Thursday, January 31, 2013

Truly...

"Character is much easier kept that recovered."
~Thomas Paine

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What love does...

"Being loved deeply by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
~Lao Tzu

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Key to relationships...

"And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise."
~ Jesus in Luke 6:31

Monday, January 28, 2013

This week, remember...

“Live like Jesus did and the world will listen.” 
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday reminder...

"And He said to all, 'If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.'"
~Jesus recorded in Luke 9:23

Saturday, January 26, 2013

In life...

"The opposite of loneliness, it's not togetherness. It is intimacy."
~ Richard Bach

Friday, January 25, 2013

Too true...

“Denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good.” 
~ Philip Gourevitch

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Time for action...

“Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.” 
~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Each day...

“Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” 
~ Plato

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Second only to your relationship to God...

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, 
'What are you doing for others?'” 
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday message...


On one of our ice-filled days last week, I was looking for a movie to watch online. I looked at several reviews of different movies of different kinds. Some of the reviews talked about the actors or the storylines of the particular films. Other reviews talked about the feeling that the reviewer got as he/she watched the movie. On one review of a popular action movie, the author simply put: “You have not lived until you have seen this movie.” 
Obviously, it is in fact possible to live without seeing that specific movie, but we understand what the reviewer meant. He intended to say that your life will dramatically change by viewing this film. He believed the movie was so great that he had to share its greatness with everyone he could reach. His review has likely had thousands of readers and everyone knows how he felt about that movie.
What are we excited about in our lives? Are we excited about our favorite sports team or our favorite celebrity? Are we excited about our career or our family? Do we realize that the subjects we choose to spend time on and what topics we choose to talk about demonstrate what really matters to us?
I would suggest that most people who come to this blog are at least interested in living the Christian life. I invite you to turn that mere interest into genuine excitement. The life of a Christian is a passionate life as well as a fulfilling life. The journey through life as a Christian is exciting because the gospel of Jesus Christ calls for radical living. We are to be the most loving people in the world.  We are to be people who spend time in good works and in caring about others. We are to spend our resources of time and money on spreading the message of hope in Christ to the far corners of the earth. In short, we are to be excited. Our message to the world around us is to be similar to that of the enthusiastic movie reviewer, “You have not lived until you have experienced life in Jesus Christ.”

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Truly...

"Random acts of greatness pale in comparison to habitual acts of faithfulness." 
~Ann Voskamp

Friday, January 18, 2013

Spending time in quietness and inactivity...

"…there are certain things that you and I will never learn in the presence of other people." 
~A.W. Tozer 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In life...

"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."
~Arthur Ashe

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday observation...


One skill that every person needs to develop is the ability to accurately observe what is happening in a given situation.  We all need to learn to pick up on the verbal and visual clues people are sending out during a conversation.  Being able to pick up on characteristics like tone of voice and whether or not someone is attempting humor are key in being able to having a fulfilling social life.  We all know people who are naturally good at reading other people’s emotions and we probably also know people who lack this skill and therefore create awkwardness and tension in their conversations.
Jesus was a masterful observer of the world around Him.  He drew analogies from the natural world and referenced often the writings that were familiar to His audience.  Perhaps His greatest skill was in the observation of human nature.  In John 4, He immediately realized that the woman at the well was avoiding her true problem by deflecting the conversation onto ethnicity and religion.  Jesus cut through her attempts at distraction and went straight to her heart.  Jesus had an ability to discern the hearts of men and women because of His being the Son of God, but even without His divine nature, Jesus was a great listener and therefore a great observer of the human condition.  He could see true faith and could also know the hearts of His enemies.  This skill was one of the greatest aspects of His ministry.
As Christians, we must also learn to observe the signals that people give off in our conversations.  Is this person bragging to cover up insecurity?  Is this person lying to himself/herself to cover up a wounded heart?  Is this person truly joyous or simply masking fear?  The reason we need to listen to others and to observe their words and actions is simple: only when we truly know someone can we empathize with him/her and then demonstrate the love of Christ.  We don’t love people just to convert them, but we must love people in the hope that they will see what we have in Christ and want that same measure of peace and joy in their own lives.  May God help us to observe, to respond and to help heal the lives of those around us.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Find out who you are but...

"...never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Friday, January 11, 2013

Awards Day on Musical Theatre Friday!



Congratulations to Les Miserables for receiving eight Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Love Is...

"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained."
~C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In your life...

"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall ever have a beginning."
~Cardinal John Henry Newman

Monday, January 7, 2013

What is Faith?

"Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling - feelings don't help much when you're in the lions' den or hanging on a wooden Cross. Faith is not inferred from the happy way things work. It is an act of will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of a God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ."
~Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Knowing yourself...


Over the last few days, I have seen lots of photos of my friends and family that were taken during the holidays.  Technology allows us to share our moments with each other like never before.  One activity present in lots of the photos was the fact that many people played games with their families during their Christmas and New Year's celebrations.  One new game that several folks enjoyed is called HedBanz.  The idea of the game is that each player has a card worn on a headband that everyone else can see, but you do not see your own card.  You then attempt to figure out what is on your card by asking questions of the other players.
Many people are in a similar situation in their lives spiritually.  Everyone around them can see their weaknesses and their strengths, but the person in question does not have a high level of spiritual discernment.  One great strength to have as a person is the ability to evaluate oneself honestly.  It takes true strength of character to be able to realize our own weaknesses and to be able to recognize our strengths and yet maintain humility.
What are some of your weaknesses as a person?  Do you have a tendency to gossip, gripe or boast?  Do you have a problem with laziness, carelessness, self-control or honesty?  Being able to recognize a weakness is the first step in being able to correct it.
What are some of your strengths?  Are you a good listener or an effective communicator?  Are you fair, level-headed, diligent or hard-working?  It is not boastful to humbly recognize your personal strengths.  When you are able to realize what you do well, you are able to put those talents into work in service to God and to others.
To be able to see yourself as you truly are is an ability that we all need to develop and use in our lives.  Only when we have some understanding of ourselves, can we hope to understand the hearts of those around us.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Little dieting wisdom this Saturday...

"People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas."
~Unknown

Friday, January 4, 2013

In life...

"The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
~Khalil Gibran in The Prophet

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Truly...

"Comfort is the great human gift that creates community. Those who come together in mutual vulnerability are bound together by a new strength that makes them into one body."
~Henri Nouwen

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Remember...

"In the final analysis, the real challenge of Christian growth is personal responsibility."
~Brennan Manning

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Just think about it...

If your life continues and the world continues to stand, you have over 31 million seconds to spend in the next year.  

Make these moments count. 
Believe in others and in yourself.
Give of yourself to the people and causes you care about.
Trust that things will turn out alright.
Pray more and complain less.
Don't be afraid to embrace love.
Be good to yourself.
Throw off regret.
Live well.
Dare to be extraordinary.



Have a blessed 2013!