Tag Archives: Quotes

This Week – Ego

Ego Self-esteem, self-importance; a person’s sense of this in himself or herself. That part of the mind which has a sense of individuality and is most conscious of self.

(Oxford Dictionary)



The word EGO can be scary because the proper balance of ego and humility is a true challenge. Thomas Merton said, “Everyone of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self. We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.” Most of the time that is the way we think of our ego, that self-delusionary false self that we project to the world. Let me divide our ego into two parts.

We all need to have a positive view of ourselves if we are to look at the world in a realistic way. God created you in his own image, and that means that you are unbelievably valuable to him. People who have an exceptionally low self-esteem find it difficult to think well of others. God desires us to have a strong enough ego to be valuable and productive in the world. Our ability to love ourselves is key to our love for others. The writer Tennessee Williams believed that we see each other through our flaws. Our flaws are part of us, and we must embrace them as well. The problem is that we do not have enough positive ego to go beyond our flaws and flourish as God intended. We must value ourselves. Jesus put it best, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the part of our ego that is important to healthy living.

The second part of our ego is the dangerous one. We have all encountered egotistical, narcissistic, self-absorbed people in our lives. They make life miserable. Somehow they operate under the delusion that they are the only people in the world that really know anything. You want to know how to run your life, just ask. Egotistical people always have an answer, and their answer is the only one. Merton would refer to this type of behavior as the false self at it worst. This is the ego we are to avoid and control. Such ego leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and sometimes violent behavior.

The real key to understanding our ego is to embrace that we are created in the image of God. That means that we are to love ourselves. It also means that we are to conduct ourselves in a way that projects that created image. Psychologist Sigmund Freud warned that we must not give in to the primitive ego that destroys ourselves and others but must rise to the “super ego” that builds ourselves and others. Unlike Freud, I know that we do not have to do this alone. Because we are followers of Jesus, we have the companionship and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God guides on our way. This Spirit shows how to love others as we love ourselves, and Jesus is the prime example of that love.

Your ego is not your natural born enemy, but it is a force to be reckoned with on your journey. Let us understand that we are worthwhile and valuable, but everyone we meet is just as valuable. Remember the words of the writer of Proverbs.

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.



Quotes BannerMidlife is the time to let go of an over dominant ego and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.”

― Carl Gustav Jung

Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”

― Shannon L. Alder

Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”

― John Lennon

Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.”

― Chögyam Trungpa

“If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.”

― C.S. Lewis

The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.”

― John O’Donohue

“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.”

― Eckhart Tolle

“Or, rather, let us be more simple and less vain.”

― Rousseau Jean-Jacques

“You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.”

― George Clooney

Never allow your ego to diminish your ability to listen.”

― Gary Hopkins

How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.”

― Joseph Campbell

One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.

―Gilbert K. Chesterton



Quotes Banner“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

~~~John 5:31

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

~~~Colossians 4:6

So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.

~~~John 8:28

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

~~~Mark 10:17-18

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

~~~1 Peter 5:5

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

~~~Proverbs 16:18

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

~~~Proverbs 29:23

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

~~~Proverbs 16:5

Prayer Banner

LORD, We fear what our egos may drive us to do. You have warned us many times of the dangers of being prideful or boastful. Help me ,Lord, to have enough self-worth to glorify you and enough humility to value others. Guide me down the path that allows me to be the person that you intended to create.

Amen

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This Week – Desire

______________________________________________________

Definition

Desire – Long for, want earnestly, (a thing , a person) Feel loss of, to miss. Express a wish for, ask for, request, a thing or a person.

(Oxford Dictionary)



More often than I would like to admit the word desire is linked to physical passion. I acknowledge that physical desire is a very real thing, but I want to examine the word beyond that aspect. During the dark days of World War II, England had a great deal of difficulty keeping men in the coal mines. It was a thankless kind of job, totally lacking in any glory. Most chose to join the various military services. They desired something that could give them more social acceptance and recognition. Something was needed to motivate these men in the work that they were doing so that they would remain in the mines.

 

Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered a speech one day to thousands of coal miners, stressing to them the importance of their role in the war effort. He did this by painting for them a mental picture. He told them to picture the grand parade that would take place when VE Day came. First, he said, would come the sailors of the British Navy, the ones who had upheld the grand tradition of Trafalgar and the defeat of the Armada. Next in the parade, he said, would come the pilots of the Royal Air Force. They were the ones who, more than any other, had saved England from the dreaded German Luftwaffe. Next in the parade would come the Army, the ones that had stood tall at the crises of Dunkirk.

Last of all, he said, would come a long line of sweat-stained, soot-streaked men in minor’s caps. And someone, he said, would cry from the crowd, “And where were you during the critical days of the struggle?” And then from ten thousand throats would come, “We were deep in the earth with our faces to the coal.” We are told that there were tears in the eyes of many of those soot laden and weathered faced coal miners. They had been given a sense of their own self-worth by the man at the top. That story begs the question. What are our desires?

We desire self-worth. Just like the Welsh coal miners of that day, we have a deep desire to think we and our work make a difference. It is exceedingly difficult to toil each day with a feeling of worthlessness. Our desire is to be worthwhile and worthy. Such is a very natural and legitimate desire.

We desire recognition. All people have a simple desire to not be invisible to the world.  Most people do not need a recognition ribbon for all they do but do want to be seen and appreciated. There are loads of people who work in literal invisibility. They suffer from their lack of recognition. We are largely responsible for their lack, because we take so much for granted in the world. Whether they are our parents, children or the worker at the grocery, they desire and deserve our recognition.

We desire love. The desire to be loved is perhaps our greatest and most complicated desire. It is one that can drive us into some extremely dangerous ground. We live in a world that has defined love in a very carnal direction. Love is not always carnal. Love is the kind word, the helping hand and the warm smile for which we a yearn. Our society has, in many ways, forgotten about this type of love. The desire for the purity of the love of God stands at the front of the line.

Desire can be used to make us better persons. My hope is that you will channel your desire in a direction that will bring you peace and blessing.



Quotes BannerDo not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

~~~Epicurus

Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.

~~~Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

Unsatisfied desire is in itself more desirable than any other satisfaction.

~~~C. S. Lewis

The scientist is motivated primarily by curiosity and a desire for truth.

~~~Irving Langmuir

There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.

~~~George Bernard Shaw

The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.

~~~Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world. I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; and such alone will overthrow the kingdom of Satan and build up the kingdom of God on earth.

~~~John Wesley

Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love.

~~~Friedrich Nietzsche

The authority of those who profess to teach is often a positive hindrance to those who desire to learn.

~~~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.

~~~William Blake



Scripture BannerWhom have I in heaven but You?

And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

~~~Psalm 73:25

A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,

Favor is better than silver and gold.

~~~Proverbs 22:1

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.

~~~Hebrews 13:18

But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

~~~Romans 7:8

But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

~~~Matthew 12:7

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

~~~1 Timothy 3:1

Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,

And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

~~~Psalm 51:6

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

~~~James 1:19-20

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

~~~Romans 7:18

Prayer Banner

LORD, Desire can be a tricky emotion. It is an emotion that can lead us down the wrong path. Desire is also the strongest drive we have when we seek you. Help us to separate our selfish desires from those that drive us toward you and your love. May we all learn to possess holy desires that drive us toward you and your love. Amen

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This Week – Care

Care – An object or a matter of concern; a thing to be done or seen too – a charge, protective oversight, or guardianship. 

(Oxford Dictionary)



I doubt that there is a person on earth who genuinely wants to be known as uncaring. We all seem to care about a variety of things and people that touch our lives and even some that do not. To develop an attitude of care we must look both inside and outside of ourselves. That is perhaps the greatest challenge of becoming a caring person.

Looking outward is vital because we must see life as it exists beyond our world. Bertrand Russell tells us,“One must care about a world one will not see.” The imperative of that statement is that we must look outside of our world, or we truly just do not care about anything. Our world is full of people who never look outside of themselves to even care for the people that surround them. There is a near epidemic of abuse in so many homes today that we begin to wonder if anybody really cares. We must perhaps begin the journey of care by thinking about the many hurts and needs in the world that we never see. I pray God that we will never see starvation on the street corner, but we need to realize that such destitution is a part of the world that we live in. As we begin to care about the things we do not see, we develop keener eyes to see the needs that surround us. We begin to care for our neighbors and friends, our families, and caring becomes a way of life.

Now comes the next challenge. Most of us have heard of “compassion fatigue.” It is defined as a condition characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. In other words, we no longer care about anything or anybody. Why? Perhaps the primary reason is that we have neglected to care for ourselves. To properly care for others, we must care for ourselves. The beginning of self-care is rest. When we do not take the time to rest, we find ourselves at a loss to do the things that we love. Rest allows us to rethink what we are doing and why we are doing it. The quieting of our minds allows us to see our value to the world and the importance of respecting ourselves as a special creation of God. Essential to self -care is a positive view of ourselves before we lift a finger to others. This allows us to look deeper at the needs that surround us. With a healthy dose of self-love and self -care we are ready to care for the world.

The caring person knows how to show love and respect. There is no love without respect. It is not enough to tell someone you care when you do not value their worth to the world and see yourself as some sort of paternal figure that wants to straighten up their disastrous lives. People do not need a human savior but a friend and companion who cares about them. As persons of care, we are led to build up the self-worth of those we care for and about. Our imperative is to make their lives more worth living, and in doing so, they too become caring people. It is contagious. When people discover that others care about them, they begin to care about the world. In some nearly mystical sense, they are led to become people of care as well.

What are human beings that you are mindful of them,

   mortals that you care for them?

~~~Psalm 8:4



Quotes BannerIf we take care of the inches, we will not have to worry about the miles.

~~~Hartley Coleridge

I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

~~~Abraham Lincoln

One must care about a world one will not see.

~~~Bertrand Russell

Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world. I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; and such alone will overthrow the kingdom of Satan and build up the kingdom of God on earth.

~~~John Wesley

My friend…care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves.

~~~Socrates

Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.

~~~Dale Carnegie

If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.

~~~D. L. Moody

Nobody is so busy that they can’t make time for the people they really care about.

~~~Leila Sales

A song and a smile from someone I cared about could be enough to distract me from all that darkness, if only for a little while.

~~~Ransom Riggs

The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.

~~~Carson McCullers



Scripture BannerThat there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

~~~1 Corinthians 12:25

Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

~~~Corinthians-2 11:28

For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

~~~Philippians 2:20

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

~~~Philippians 4:10

Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.

~~~Peter-1 5:7

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

~~~Psalm 23:1

what are human beings that you are mindful of them,

   mortals that you care for them?

~~~Psalm 8:4

And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

~~~Matthew 10:30-31

The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

~~~John 10:13-14

The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.”

~~~Luke 10:35

Prayer BannerLORD,

Teach me to care for the unloving.

      Teach me to care for the undeserving.

          Teach me to care for the unknown.

              Teach me to care for the unreachable.

Teach me that in caring for these I can learn to care for myself and have the peace that is bestowed upon a person of a caring heart. I ask that your spirit guide me as I seek these things. AMEN

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THIS WEEK – Brokenness



Brokenness – Separated forcibly into parts, in fragments, fractured, shattered, split, not intact or in working order, damage; produced by breaking, fragmentary.

(Oxford Dictionary)



Quotes BannerAnd in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.

~~~Christopher Poindexter

God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.

~~~Vance Havner

We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.

~~~Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt

And in the end, we were all just humans.. drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.”

~~~F. Scott Fitzgerald

The secret to becoming unbreakable is realizing that you are already broken. We all are.

~~~Brant Menswar

God wants us to be broken in spirit so that He can make us strong at the broken places.

~~~Billy Graham

But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion.”

~~~Bryan Stevenson

The absence of brokenness is the biggest sponsor of rebellion against God.

~~~Kingsley Opuwari Manuel

Embracing our brokenness creates a need and a desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy.

~~~Bryan Stevenson

Divine love is incessantly restless until it turns all woundedness into health, all deformity into beauty, all embarrassment into laughter. In biblical faith, brokenness is never celebrated as an end in itself.”

~~~Belden C. Lane

We’re all broken, all walk with a limp. Here is the truth about you and me: even when in a far-off country, wasted life, stripped bare, smeared, squandered, nothing but scar tissue and shameful, self-inflicted wounds, the love of the Father finds the son and daughter.

~~~Charles Martin

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

~~~Ernest Hemingway

Jesus didn’t say, ‘Blessed are those who care for the poor.’ He said, ‘Blessed are we where we are poor, where we are broken.’ It is there that God loves us deeply and pulls us into deeper communion with himself.

~~~Henri Nouwen

Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul, but his life.

~~~Gilbert K. Chesterton



Scripture BannerThe Lord is near to the brokenhearted,

   and saves the crushed in spirit.

~~~Psalm 34:18

And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.

~~~Zechariah 12:10

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

   because the Lord has anointed me;

he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,

   to bind up the broken-hearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

   and release to the prisoners;

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

~~~Isaiah 61:1

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;

mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

for the first things have passed away.’

~~~Revelation 21:4

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;

   a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

~~~Psalm 51:17

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

~~~Matthew 5:3-4

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

~~~1 Peter 5:7

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

~~~Matthew 11:28-30

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

~~~Psalm 51:7

Prayer BannerLord, Guide me by your spirit to be able to use the setbacks and defeats of my life as a way to move forward. Allow me to offer my sufferings to you so that they may become steppingstones to a stronger, greater faith. Please give me awareness of your presence and the comfort that comes with it when I suffer. I ask that you allow me to see suffering through the eyes that you did when you went to the cross.

Amen

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THIS WEEK – Service

Service – To be advantageous to a prescribed organization or person by contributing to the functions of that person or organization .

(Oxford Dictionary)

Service

Service means to take care of the needs of others. An imperative of the teachings of Jesus is to serve the world and to bring his message of salvation to all. A person who is a member of the military is said to be in the service. Every store offers customer service. Those are some of the many ways what we can use the word service, but what does it mean to be in service to the Lord?

Servants of the Lord put Jesus first. The writer of Romans says, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Serving the Lord means that we learn his ways and his will. Our lives are focused on pleasing the one who gave us life. God/Jesus, after all, is not only our creator but our redeemer. Jesus came to earth to set things right for us. He came to show the way to abundant life, and we must put our service to him first that we might share in his abundance.

All who serve Jesus as Lord understand that they are to put others first. Jesus said, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” What does it mean to be a servant of all? It means that we are continually looking out for the welfare of our fellow beings. We do not see ourselves as an independent entity but part of great community of creation. That vision of ourselves will drive us to look out for the wellbeing of all.

Service to the Lord means that we want to share His message to the world. It is our greatest desire that others may know his message of blessing and freedom. As servants we are commissioned to be the “tellers” of the story. We are to share that good news with all those that we meet. I am not talking about door knocking evangelism but living in a way that others will be drawn to him. It is not what we say, but what we do that brings people to Jesus. That is an aspect of our service.

The greatest service we render to the world is the desire to make the world a better place. We live in a confused and dark world. The message of Christ is a message of abundance. The more people get to know about the salvation of Jesus, the more ready they are to improve their lot in life. Such an improvement becomes contagious to all those around them. It is our job, our calling, our mission to make the world a better place. Because we are the people of the Trinity, we can make the world a better place.

I want you to take the time this week, and ask yourself – what am I doing in service to the Lord? 



Quotes BannerEverybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

~~~Martin Luther King Jr.

A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.

~~~Henry Ford

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.

We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.

~~~Mother Teresa

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

~~~Carl Gustav Jung

The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.

~~~Gordon B. Hinckley

So long as we love we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.

~~~Ramana Maharshi

Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.

~~~George Bernard Shaw

Life is for service.

~~~Fred Rogers

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

~~~Albert Schweitzer



Scripture BannerAs each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

~~~1 Peter 4:10

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

~~~1 Peter 4:9-11

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

~~~Galatians 5:13

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

~~~Mark 10:45

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

~~~Colossians 3:23-24

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

~~~Isaiah 58:10

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ …

~~~Matthew 25:35-40

And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

~~~Mark 9:35

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

~~~Romans 12:11

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

~~~John 12:26

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

~~~Matthew 6:24Prayer Banner

Lord, I want to be of service to you. Open for me opportunities to learn more of you. Open for me opportunities to serve the unlovely. Open for me opportunities to make the world a better place. I pray that you will guide me through direction of your Holy Spirit to find a way to serve the world and make it a better place. Let all my thoughts be directed toward serving and not being served. Amen

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THIS WEEK–Abide

Abide – Remain in expectation, wait. Stay, remain, reside, dwell, endure, stand firm.

(Oxford Dictionary)





The word abide has an inbuilt connotation of a call to be a stable and patient person. Those two characteristics are not common virtues in our society. We live in a world of instant access and gratification. Our self-worth is damaged if we must wait. There is sense of restlessness that causes us to not want to wait or be still. Such actions are somehow a waste of time or an intrusion in our lives. The Bible, in one way or another speaks often of waiting.

So, Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine. (John 8:31) I stress that Jesus said continue in his word. That is the key to abiding in God. We must stay with him and learn of him. Our faith journey is just that- a journey. All too often we see faith as a destination, but the only destination we have is to abide in God day by day. That requires that we learn the secret of abiding.

Abiding is long term. We all know a long-term debt takes many years to pay off. The typical home mortgage is 30 years or more. Cars are now financed for as much as 8 years. When we take on this long-term debt, we know that we must pay it regularly and be patient. Just as we enjoy the house we live in or the car we drive even though we have the debt, we can enjoy our abiding journey with God. He gives us the blessings of each day and the strength to endure the tough times. He is committed to long-term, and you should be, too.

Abiding is boring from time to time. Boredom is another great enemy of abiding in God. The blessings do not always flow down like a rushing stream. There are times when life is plain dull and slow. We are often tempted to do something to liven up our lives. Jimmy Buffet’s song, “Gypsies in the Palace,” presents a ridiculous solution to boredom when he sings,” Snake this party is getting dull, let’s throw someone in the pool.” Christians are always getting ready to throw someone in the pool when our abiding journey is getting boring. Our church is not alive, our prayers do not have the right answers. God is with us even in those boring and unexciting times. Oswald Chambers refers to the “the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people that smother the burning heart” and stresses that is the most important time to recall the abiding presence of God.

Abiding in God is a call to change. It is a call to change our expectations in life. It is a call to reevaluate our way of living. As we abide in Christ, we distance ourselves from the world. By world I mean base elements of our nature and not some strange detachment from normal life. Those who abide in him are active in life and seek to be a positive role model for the world. They can wear fashionable clothing and enjoy contemporary music but are always ready to acknowledge who they follow. That is the change- we must acknowledge him. To abide in God, we must be willing to acknowledge him to all the world. Abiding in God is not being a like member of a secret society, but it is having the sort of faith that is fully visible to the world. Most Christians tend to say that our faith is private, but it is not. A private faith is not an abiding faith, and that is the change we must embrace. We must go public.

In the words of Oswald Chambers, “There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.” That is our call and challenge for this day- to abide in him at all times and under all circumstances.

Quotes BannerThe more we abide in Christ, the more His grace and power transform us into His image.

~~~Lailah Gifty Akita

Abiding does not mean sitting idly by. It means resting in the work, resting in the moment, resting in the truth, resting in the confidence that God is your provision.

~~~Robin Bertram

“There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

~~~Oswald Chambers

It is the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people that smothers the burning heart–unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.

~~~Oswald Chambers

You can do anything under one condition; you must continually abide in Jesus Christ

~~~Sunday Adelaja

I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

~~~Bill Hicks

Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

~~~Harper Lee

Time abides long enough for those who make use of it.

~~~Leonardo da Vinci

For any young democracy, the most difficult but important step is burying the legacy of tyranny and establishing an economy and a government and institutions that abide by the rule of law. Every country faces challenges to the rule of law, including my own.

~~~Joe Biden

Amidst the confusion of the times, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives.

~~~Thomas S. Monson

A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies.

~~~Diogenes

Those who trust to chance must abide by the results of chance.

~~~Calvin Coolidge





I have built you an exalted house,

  a place for you to abide forever.’

~~~1 Kings 8:13

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

~~~ John 15:9

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

~~~John 15:10

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

~~~John 15:4

Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

~~~2 John 1:9

‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’

~~~Haggai 2:5

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

~~~John 15:5

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

~~~John 15:6

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

~~~John 15:7

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

~~~Romans 11:22

Prayer BannerLord, I ask that you abide in me in my coming and my going, my success and failure, my good days and bad days and may you at all times know that there is a place for you in my life. Let me pause this moment and invite you in so that I may live in the blessed assurance of your abiding presence and love.

Amen

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This Week–INSPIRATION



Inspiration – The prompting of the mind to exalted thoughts, to creative activity, also , a quality of a thing that shows creative activity.

(Oxford Dictionary)





Inspiration is the beginning of all the work that we do. Without inspiration we will wander aimlessly through life and never fulfill the intent of God. He created us with meaning and purpose. We all have trouble finding that meaning and purpose, but when we do we are motivated beyond our imagination. Let me share a story that I adapted from sermons.com.

During World War II, Winston Churchill as Prime Minister was traveling around his country. He was trying to motivate and inspire his fellow citizens. He was willing to go almost anywhere to encourage people in the war effort. He would, of course, always visit the troops. But he also visited those who worked on the farms and in the factories. He knew that the odds against them were great, and that he must continue to help keep the morale high.

There was one group he had not yet seen. It was the coal miners. Someone asked him if he would be willing to see these men, who spent most of their time below the ground in such dangerous conditions. One man told Churchill that the miners did not feel that they were doing very much in the war effort. He said that no one ever gave them any credit for the work that they did. Would he visit them, he asked. The Prime Minister told the man that he would be pleased to visit these men.

When Churchill visited the coal miners they were absolutely amazed that he was there. They could not believe that he would come to see them. All they could do was to stare with their dirty faces at the man who would lead Britain to victory. His words will never be forgotten by those who heard him on that day. “We will be victorious!” he said. “We will preserve our freedom. And years from now when our freedom is secure and peace reigns, your children and your children’s children will come and they will say to you, ‘What did you do to win our freedom in that great war?’ And one will say, ‘I marched with the Eighth Army!’ Someone else will proudly say, ‘I manned a submarine.’ And another will say, ‘I guided the ships that moved the troops and the supplies.’ And still another will say, ‘I doctored the wounds!’ ” The men sat with rapt attention wondering what he might say about them. “They will come to you,” he shouted, “and you will say with equal right and equal pride, ‘I cut the coal! I cut the coal that fueled the ships that moved the supplies! That’s what I did. I cut the coal!”

What are you cutting in your life?

Quotes Banner

Inspirations never go in for long engagements; they demand immediate marriage to action.

~~~Brendan Francis

Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic energy striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time.

~~~Brenda Ueland

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.

~~~Brad Henry

Inspiration does not come like a blot, nor is it kinetic energy striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly all the time.

~~~Brenda Euland

We are all motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is, the more he is inspired by glory.

~~~Marcus Tullius Cicero

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.

~~~Bertrand Russell

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.

~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Confidence imparts a wonderful inspiration to its possessor.

~~~John Milton

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

~~~John Quincy Adams

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.

~~~Plato

Selfishness is one of the qualities apt to inspire love.

~~~Nathaniel Hawthorne





Scripture Banner

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

~~~ Isaiah 40:31

Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’

~~~Mark 10:27

But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’

~~~Matthew 19:26

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, knowing that in the LORD your labor is not in vain.

~~~1 Corinthians 15:58

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

~~~Proverbs 3:3-6

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

~~~1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Give thanks to the LORD for He is good: His love endures forever.

~~~Psalm 107:1

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~~~Jeremiah 29:11

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

~~~Psalm 34:8

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

~~~Romans 8:2Prayer Banner

Lord, Allow me to receive inspiration from the scripture I read, the people I meet, the life I experience and to know that it is all from you. For in this knowing, I can live in a way that spreads your wisdom and goodness to a world that so desperately needs it. Let this and every day be a day of divine inspiration.

Amen

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HUMILITY

Humility Definition

Humility should be the goal of all who seek to follow Christ. Our culture refuses to acknowledge godly humility as a virtue. The culture pushes to make humility a scourge of the weak and downtrodden. That is because we see humility as a destination. Humility is a lifelong quest that probably never has a destination, but it can find a resting place. We can rest in humility along the journey that is before us. We need not always be in building mode. In our humility we can allow others to thrive and prosper.

The prophet Micah says, “He (God)has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” A life that is well lived involves more than being just and kind. We are to learn to walk humbly with God. Walking humbly with God means several things:

  • Understand that God is our creator.
  • See him as the source of all blessings that come our way.
  • Never try to take his place.
  • Live a life of love and not judgement.
  • Always think of the needs of the other.

As we strive to reach those goals, we find ourselves moving further away from the world and closer to that humble walk with God. God has sought for you and me to walk humbly with him ever since the fall of Adam. Remember, God walked with Adam in the cool of the evening in the garden. When Adam chose knowledge over walking with God, he was cast out of the Garden. Since that day God has worked on restoring his walks with us.

To walk humbly with God means to walk with him as our God and creator. Humility is a place of rest in the presence of God.

Quotes Banner

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

― Rick Warren

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.

― C.S. Lewis

Talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.

― Patrick Süskind

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

― Ernest Hemingway

In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.

― Winston Spencer Churchill

Every person that you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.

― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Life is a long lesson in humility.

― J.M. Barrie

True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue.

― Martin Luther

The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

Until you have suffered much in your heart, you cannot learn humility.

― Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

The more humble and obedient to God a man is, the more wise and at peace he will be in all that he does.”

― Thomas à Kempis

There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.

― Robert Louis Stevenson



Scripture Banner

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord

   is riches and honor and life.

~~~Proverbs 22:4

In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for

‘God opposes the proud,

   but gives grace to the humble.’

~~~1 Peter 5:5

When pride comes, then comes disgrace;

   but wisdom is with the humble.

~~~Proverbs 11:2

But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,

‘God opposes the proud,

   but gives grace to the humble.’

~~~James 4:6

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;

   and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

   and to walk humbly with your God?

~~~Micah 6:8

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

~~~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

~~~ Luke 14:11

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.

~~~Philippians 2:3

Towards the scorners he is scornful,

   but to the humble he shows favor.

~~~Proverbs 3:34

He leads the humble in what is right,

   and teaches the humble his way.

~~~Psalm 25:9

For thus says the high and lofty one

   who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

I dwell in the high and holy place,

   and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,

to revive the spirit of the humble,

   and to revive the heart of the contrite.

~~~Isaiah 57:15Prayer Banner

Lord, Humility allows us to accomplish so much more than we can when we are stuffed to overflowing with pride. As we surrender to the humility of knowing that we are your creation, we can see clearly your love for us. Help me, Lord, to discover my true worth so I may discard my false worth. My false worth is of my own creation and must be laid aside and replaced by my God created worth as shown by the God who walks with me.

Amen

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Effort

Effort Definition



When I was a small boy I was told I had to put more effort into things or I would fail. Effort seemed like a word that always meant that I had to do more than I wanted to do, but I realized as I got older that effort brought satisfaction and reward. Sometimes that satisfaction of putting forth your best was the reward.

As followers of Christ we are asked to make every effort to be the salt and light of the world. We carry the burden of being the people who are to make the world a better place. That is done as we do our best to usher in the Kingdom of God. We are compelled to put forth our best and let the world see who we follow and what followship of Jesus truly means. Our calling requires that we do make the effort and walk the second mile. Additionally, we must work without expectation of worldly reward. Our reward comes from above and dwells within our inner souls.

Helen Keller said, “Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” Many people will not venture at a task unless they are assured success. The many and varied efforts we must put forth as Christ followers do not seem successful or necessary by worldly standards. Christians are surely called to live by other worldly standards. These standards are not achieved without great effort.

As we walk in this difficult time, we must ask ourselves:

  • What special effort have I put forth to make the world a better place?
  • Have I tried to present the Kingdom of God to those I encounter?
  • Have I made every effort to help the needy that are sent my way?
  • Have I tried to be a peacemaker?
  • Have I refrained from trying to get my way?

We must ask ourselves these and other questions as we determine if we are really putting forth an effort that is worthy of our calling as Christians.

Quotes BannerAll the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.

― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you.

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means

effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

― Theodore Roosevelt

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.

Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.

― Helen Keller

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

― Samuel Johnson, Johnsonian Miscellanies – Vol II

When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion – through the fact that for that someone (or for ourself) we take an extra step or walk an extra mile. Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful.

― M. Scott Peck

Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.

― Sandra Day O’Connor

Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping stones to genius.

― Elbert Hubbard

To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.

― Bertrand Russell


Scripture BannerI have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

~~2 Timothy 4:7

And whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be bold, and bring some of the fruit of the land.’ Now it was the season of the first ripe grapes.

~~Numbers 13:20

With great pains I have provided for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold, one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weighing, for there is so much of it; timber and stone too I have provided. To these you must add more.

~~1 Chronicles 22:14

But when I thought how to understand this,

  it seemed to me a wearisome task,

~~Psalm 73:16

The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing,

   while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.

~~ Proverbs 13:4

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,

   and whatever else you get, get insight.

~~ Proverbs 4:7

For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

~~ Romans 14:9

Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

~~Ecclesiastes 9:10

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.

~~Galatians 6:9Prayer BannerPrayer

Lord, In all things teach me that I will be rewarded in relation to the effort I put forth. Inspire me to know that I must put all of my efforts into achieving the goals that you have set forth before me. It is only when I do my very best and put all that I have into something that you bless me. Bless me, as well, when I’m utterly exhausted and barely able to continue. I know that you will be with me in the times when it simply takes an effort to keep on going.

Amen

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Reverence

Reverence– Deep respect or veneration, especially on account of the object’s sacred or exalted character. The condition or state of being deeply respected or venerated.

(Oxford Dictionary)

 

Line

Our reverence for God is much more than just respect or honor. Reverence for God involves a recognition of who he is that brings into our souls joy and awe for the creator. God, himself, who created us in his image has enabled our Spirits to know and acknowledge deep within our souls who he is. That understanding leads us to a level of adoration and worship that is reserved for God alone. No other person or any creation is worthy of such reverence.

Respect is earned by merit. Reverence is an intrinsic acknowledgement and recognition of the holiness and awesomeness of God . Reverence is not mere admiration, it is a unique level of existence that is reserved for our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and Comforter as we glorify and exalt his very existence and power and presence in our lives.

The people of Israel could not even speak the name of Yahweh. We should humbly approach God with a level of fear and awe that belongs to him alone.

Reverence invites Revelation ~~~Boyd K. Packer

Quotes Banner

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
~~~Henry David Thoreau
Whoever gives reverence receives reverence.
~~~Rumi
Just as white light consists of colored rays, so reverence for life contains all the components of ethics: love, kindliness, sympathy, empathy, peacefulness and power to forgive.
~~~Albert Schweitzer
No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.
~~~George Eliot
Only reverence can restrain violence – reverence for human life and the environment.
~~~William Sloane Coffin
What we call love is in its essence reverence for life.
~~~Albert Schweitzer
Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.
~~~Plato
Only when we are captured by an overwhelming sense of awe and reverence in the presence of God, will we begin to worship God in spirit and in truth.
~~~Alistair Begg
By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world By practicing reverence for life we become good, deep, and alive.
~~~Albert Schweitzer
Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.
~~~Pope Francis
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies.
~~~John Milton
The more reverence we have for the Word of God, the more joy we shall find in it.
~~~Matthew Henry

Scripture Banner

Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’
—Exodus 3:5
a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
  great and awesome above all that are around him?
—Psalm 89:7
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
  who walks in his ways.
—Psalm 128:1
The God of Israel has spoken,
  the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
  ruling in the fear of God,
—2 Samuel 23:3
Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
—Acts 9:31
Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.
—1 Samuel 12:24
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
—Hebrews 5:7
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder.
—James 2:19
You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling-block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
—Leviticus 19:14
The angel of the Lord encamps
  around those who fear him, and delivers them.
—Psalm 34:7Prayer Banner

Prayer

Lord, In all ways I respect and reverence you. You are my creator and redeemer-the reason I am here. In you I find strength and comfort in all the paths of my life. Make my life an example to others by the way that I fear and serve you. May I never forget the praise I owe to you.

Amen

 

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