Friday, August 31, 2012

Prayer for a purpose-filled life...

"Give me the love that leads the way, 
The faith that nothing can dismay, 
The hope no disappointments tire, 
The passion that will burn like fire; 
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, O Flame of God!"
-Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Remember...

"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply."
~Hudson Taylor

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Looking ahead...

A lot has changed in my life in the past few years.  Some of the changes have been positive while others have been negative.  Having the ability to look back over those years and see what has transpired and what might have been has led me to be very thankful for how things have ended up.  For the first time in a long time, I am more positive about the future than about the past.  Learning to let go and not to live in the memories of the past has been so helpful.
I have a ministry I enjoy, a family I love and a peace that I have not felt at any other point in my life. 
Thank you for all your continued support of me and my work.  May God continue to bless you and build you up in Him.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A little wear on the Bible...


One book that influenced me a great deal during my formative college years was a biography of Jonathan Goforth called Goforth of China.  The book was written by his widow, Rosalind Goforth.
Early in the book she tells of Goforth's work in the slums of Toronto.  He was conducting a meeting at the mission building and the future Mrs. Goforth was present.  People had spoken to her of him about how earnest he was (and how poor).  Rosalind was a committed Christian, but she was a member of a well-to-do family.  Instead of approaching him directly, she waited until he was engaged with the others and then she picked up his Bible and began to look through it.  It was so worn and full of notes that she remarks in the book, "I knew at once this would be the man I would like to marry!"

If someone looked at the state of your Bible, what would they think of you?
Would the dust tell them all they need to know?
Would the scraps of paper contain thoughtful notes on lessons heard or grocery lists and games of  Tic-Tac-Toe?
Would your margins bear outlines and cross-references or thoughtless doodles?
Would the loose paper stuck in your Bible hold phone numbers of the sick and addresses of the sad?
Would the pages of your Bible show more than once-a-week use?

Obviously, one cannot totally gage one's spiritual life from looking at one's Bible, but every Christian's Bible needs to be used daily in order to train one's life so that one can then teach others.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy birthday!

My younger sister turns 25 today.  It is amazing to think that childhood is a distant memory and our busy, full adult lives have come in its place.  We are so blessed to have a great family relationship and to share many things in common.
Sibling relationships in the Bible are usually strained at best and hostile at worst.  Rivalry, envy and jealousy are common in the Biblical account.  One likely reason for this was the great favoritism given to one sibling (usually the older) over the others.  Modern parents can learn from this example.  Loving our children as Christ loves them mandates an impartial love.  Every child must be loved for his or her own worth and not for some role that parents long to assign them.
May God bless us as we continue to grow up into His likeness.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Worth considering...

"We are all born as originals - why then is it that so many of us die as copies?"
~Edward Young

Friday, August 24, 2012

In football and in life...

"You will never break through a tackle unless you keep your feet moving."
~Donald Miller

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Remember...

"No one is born with greatness.  Great people become great while other people are sleeping."
~African wisdom

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sometimes you need to work on you...

"Trust yourself.  Create the kind of self you will be happy to live your whole life with."
~Golda Meir

Monday, August 20, 2012

"...I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."

"Let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."
~Paul as recorded in Galatians 6:17

The apostle Paul wrote these words to the Christians who had been bewitched by false doctrine and were tempted to leave the faith.  Paul writes in exasperation encouraging them to hold fast to what he had taught them.  He says he believes this message so much that he has been willing to suffer for it.  To the false teachers he says in effect, "I have the scars of many battles for truth and I have the mark of Jesus on my life...what are you able to show to prove the truth of what you preach?"
Paul had been stoned, beaten, whipped, shipwrecked and left for dead all in pursuit of expanding the influence of the Gospel.  While we likely have not suffered physically in this way, it costs us all something to be Christians.  Many of us bear the emotional scars of losing family members or friends when we traded in our old life for new life in Christ.  We carry the burdens of sleepless nights in prayer and long hours in service.  We sacrifice time, money, energy and effort in order to live active, healthy lives as people of faith. We all must pay a price to bear witness to the power of Christ and His resurrection in our lives.  
What price are you paying for your relationship with Jesus?  
What are you willing to sacrifice to grow and nurture this relationship?
If it isn't costing you something to follow Christ, what does that say about how much you value this relationship?
Don't give to the Lord that which costs you nothing (2 Samuel 24:24).  
Make it cost you something, and you will realize how much it is really worth.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Truly...

"Tell me who your friend is, and I'll tell you who you are."
~Common Wisdom

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Truthfully...

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
~Oscar Wilde

Friday, August 17, 2012

Perspective...

The Seven Deadly Sins are these:

Wealth without work,
Pleasure without conscience,
Science without humanity,
Knowledge without character,
Politics without principle,
Commerce without morality,
Worship without sacrifice.
~Gandhi

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On the first day of football season, remember...

"People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society."
~Vince Lombardi

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Remember...

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” 
~Gandhi

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Know truly that...

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
~Albert Einstein

Monday, August 13, 2012

Remember always...

The nightmare we awaken from,
grateful, is someone else's life.
Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Such were you...

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
~Paul to the Corinthians recorded in First Corinthians Chapter Six

Many Christians forget where they have come from.  Even if not engaged in these grievous sins, every Christian has a past.  Fortunately for us, each one of us also has a future in which we can become more and more like Christ so that one day we will truly be as He is.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Orpheum Memphis 2012-13 Broadway Season



Hope you enjoyed this week's quotes brought to you from the world of theatre.
Looking forward to seeing several of these shows in the coming year.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 10, 2012

More theatre wisdom...

"The harder to get, the better to have."
~Noted by the character of Cinderella's Prince in Into the Woods

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Always try...

"I come into a world of iron to make a world of gold."
~Spoken by the character of Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha

Resolve to remake the world into a better place each day.  Through every action, large or small, we either place another blessing or another curse into the world around us.  Be the blessing.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Always...

"Measure your life in love."
~Jonathan Larson, author of the rock musical RENT

Monday, August 6, 2012

This week...

"Let me wake up feeling terribly proud that the girl (or guy) in the mirror is me."
~From the musical A Chorus Line

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Principle of Love

In recent years, the church has been forced to deal with many issues that are social in nature.  Questions of family structure, child rearing, sexuality, marriage, forms of recreation and entertainment have caused many people to become frustrated with each other and, in some cases, with God's Word.
I am comforted in the midst of this when I read about the church of the 1st century.  The churches in Corinth and Ephesus, in Crete and in Jerusalem, in Rome and in Antioch all dealt with problems stemming from the culture in which they lived.  Many of these issues are the same ones we are dealing with today.  What allowed Paul and the rest of the early church fathers to be able to call all these confused Christians "brethren" was the bond they had in Jesus Christ.  It seems that the formula was, "Even if you are wrong about this particular issue, I am going to continue to bear with you and warn you because of the love I have for you personally and for Christ's church as a whole."
The principle of love is what bound early Christians together.  The ancient world was not often a loving place and Christians found themselves outcasts in that culture.  While some people argue that Christians are outcasts in America today, I would argue the opposite.  The vast majority of American Christians are so much like the world and so enjoy the things of the world that they fit in all too well in 21st Western culture.  Early Christians were told time and time again to not be of the world.  Using political rhetoric for personal gain is worldly.  Denouncing whole groups of people based on stereotype is worldly.  Fueling hatred and strife instead of love and charity is worldly.  When the church becomes allied with the world whether politically, socially or morally, true adherence to Jesus' teachings will suffer.  This poor allegiance can be made by religious conservatives or liberals and often is made by both.  We as a people are so busy fighting against each other that we have forgotten that our purpose is to fight together against the source of evil and injustice.
If we can learn to truly love our brothers and sisters, we will have a much greater impact on those who are not Christians and even those who may be opposed to Christ.  We will fail often in this, but as Paul so famously wrote to the troubled church at Corinth, "Love never fails."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thoughts for the first day of school...

Our culture bombards us constantly with the idea that we must engage in constant self-promotion in order to get what we want.  We must be bolder, more brash, more in-your-face in order to achieve success.  Truthfully, however, we find success when we do our best in our current situation.  Are you teaching multiplication tables? Teach them in a way that is practical and fun.  Are you helping a child struggling with phonics? Don't be afraid to make silly sounds and goofy faces if that is what it takes.  Are you disciplining an unruly pupil? Maintain your composure and your sense of fairness.  Students also benefit when they resolve to give their best effort.  Whether in social relationships, in academics or in athletics, students who give their best are much less likely to have regrets years later.  Doing your best almost always involves risk.  Challenge yourself to rise higher and be better.  When you do this, you don't need to tell people how good you are or how much you have achieved.  The results of your efforts will be obvious to everyone watching.

Have a great 2012-2013 school year!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Perspective...

"We don’t see things the way they are. We see them the way WE are."
~Talmud