(Originally selected for a weekly Church Newsletter)
In each of the letters to churches Jesus makes a promise to overcomers:
|Man||His Choice||What he Overcame|
|Moses||Affliction with the Israelites||Love of pleasure|
|Micaiah||Refused to prophesy smooth things||Fear of rejection|
|Daniel||Prayer and lions||Fear of death|
|Matthew||to leave tax-collecting||Love of money|
|Paul||to leave Pharisaic privilege||Love of men's praise|
"Of all the sights in the church of Christ I know of none more painful than a Christian contented with a little grace, a little repentance, a little faith, a little knowledge, a little charity, and a little holiness."
Jesus Christ - a fugitive, misunderstood, rejected, laughed at, betrayed, forsaken, unjustly convicted, and executed.
But not in vain! He is alive!
God has more energy than all our puny nuclear warheads, fossil fuel and solar power all put together: yet he numbers the hair on our heads!
Has God the right to tell us what is right and wrong?
A lax and easy-going society will produce about as much moral authority as Father Christmas!
Does God understand electronics and micro biology? It was all his idea long ago.
Is God more than a sentimental "cuddie"?
Magic or miracles? Miracles don't leave us puzzled but praising God!
Is God grey? Many Christians seem lifeless and colourless compared with others.
Is God the ultimate bundle of all the different faiths? He is the One True and only God!
J.B.Phillips. "Your God is too Small"
When we speak of men being far from God, we speak truly. The Lord said to
Israel, "Their heart is far from me." There we have the definition of far
and near. The words refer not to physical distance, but to likeness. It is
dissimilarity that creates the sense of remoteness.
It is perfectly astonishing to note how people are able to talk about salvation
without even mentioning any sort of activity on the part of God. All the
emphasis is upon what we have to do. Never has human effort been so highly
praised. While God is pictured as a goal or One who passively waits and watches,
ready to reward us for our wonderful efforts. Salvation is seen as something
which man has to win and work out for himself. In truth we are DEAD in trespasses
and sins and there is nothing we can do! It is God who takes the initiative;
only after God has acted can we respond.
Dr Lloyd-Jones. "The Plight of Man and the Power of God"
Whenever success is made the motive of service, treachery to our Lord is the inevitable result.
The curse of much modern Christian work is its determination to preserve itself.
When a worker jealously guards his secret life with God, the public life will take care of itself.
One man called of God is worth more than 100 who have elected to work for God.
The one essential element in all our Lord's teaching about discipleship is abandonment (of self): the continuing need to reject self-interest.
A disciple is one who not only proclaims God's truth, but one who manifests that he is no longer his own, but he has been bought with a price.
Attitudes displayed in the Parable of the Good Samaritan
1. The Robbers What's yours is mine if I can get it.
2. The Priest What's mine is mine if I can keep it.
3. The Innkeeper What's mine is yours if you can pay for it.
4. The Samaritan What's mine is yours if you need it.
Tear Fund Magazine
When all is said and done: there's a lot more said than done!
... or is there? God always does what he says.
Money is not something that is morally neutral, a resource to be used in
good or bad ways depending solely upon our attitude towards it. ... Money
has power. spiritual power to seduce and win our hearts. ... God's absolute
right of ownership of all the earth has never been respected: the practical
cost has always been too high. ... Being aware of God's ownership can free
us from a possessive and anxious spirit. Giving frees us to care. It produces
an air of expectancy, joy and excitement. So: Receive gladly, Live simply,
Hold lightly, Give joyfully.
Richard Foster. "Money, Sex and Power"
The task of the preacher is not to make the Gospel of Jesus, or his discipleship,
easy; but to make it clear.
1967 was a turning point. Youth became it - and it became
a state of mind and a way of life, whether you were 15 and hoping or 50 and
pretending. ... A new mood of rebellion was born - a rebellion with a dream
that Youth would overcome one day. But yesterday's youth are now in the driving
seat! What of life after the revolution? With a new generation, has one
hopelessly unreal illusion been replaced by another in a world of self and
sex, of life without a plot, and action without consequence? Has the message
of the counter culture years lived and died: only to be replaced yet again
by the ever alluring fantasy of money, self, success and pleasure? And they
are respectable! If so, the result is fantasy faith. No-cost discipleship,
no holiness spirituality and no consequence sins. The church, as well as
the world, needs to return to reality and righteousness.
The "Gulf" War.
In about 1800 BC Rebekah, the wife of Isaac conceived. The children struggled together within her: and she asked the Lord, "Why?". Most of history is the continual struggle between the privileged few and the repressed majority.
Work is the expenditure of energy (manual and/or mental) in the service of others, which brings fulfilment to the worker, benefit to the community, and glory to God. In seeking to involve the unemployed in constructive activity, the church should act on the distinction between work and employment. All employment is work (we are not paid to do nothing), but not all work is employment. It is not employment that gives people a sense of respect, but significant work. God worked in creation and no one paid him! (However this is not an excuse for exploitation; the labourer is worthy of his hire. Beware of the seeking something for nothing syndrome.)
What impression do I like to give? - strong, friendly, successful, wise, righteous, humble, respectable? But is that really me? Am I the same at home, alone, at work or at church? "What a man is on his knees before god, that he is, and nothing more."
Does so much of life have to be involved in image building and pretence?
Jesus is exactly what he said. He appeared so ordinary, yet he was the Son of God on earth. He had no need of the current U.K. £ 5000m/year on advertising: enticing us to buy what we do not need with what we have not got. Only the Truth can show us the way. God can change us to be honest: like a stick of rock, the same all the way through. ...
The Requisites for Military Success.
1. There must be a cause worth dying for. Strength of purpose.
2. Personnel must be trained and properly equipped.
3. Sufficient and continuous supplies.
4. Accurate intelligence. You must know the enemy.
How important is the Bible to you?
Surrounded by institutionalised brutality, tortured by cold, hunger, untreated illness and deprived of correspondence with family, the women of our small 'political' zone drew strength and support from 2 Bibles, which had passed from one generation of prisoners to another. The camp administration did not dare to confiscate them for they knew that we would immediately refuse all food - such as it was - and drink, prepared to fast to death if these Bibles were taken away from us.
Irana Ratushinskaya describing her 4 years in a Russian prison.
God has provided for all the world - today.
We cannot maintain a 'good life' and a 'good conscience'.
Either we keep our conscience and reduce our affluence,
or we keep our affluence and smother our conscience.
The first evangelists did not simply ask people what they believed about
Jesus: they called upon their listeners to forsake all and follow him. To
embrace the Kingdom of God meant radical change not only in outlook but in
living, not only in thoughts but in actions. ... They made the grace of God
credible by a society of love and mutual care which astonished the pagans
... The Word was not only announced but they saw the power of God unto salvation
Jim Wallis and Michael Green
Do not look at Christ in heaven as an ideal to be arrived at; but see him as God's gift to you.
The Multi-racial Dream. All one in Christ Jesus.
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
"I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice . . . and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
"I have a dream . .. and with this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood
we will be free one day . ."
Martin Luther King, Washington 28/6/63
Mercy is not getting what we deserve:
Grace is getting what we do not deserve.
Self-confidence has to undergo major surgery if we are to be safe in the kingdom of God. Our heavenly Father does not want a family of fearful, insecure children, but he does want our security to be built on his faithfulness and power, not on our ability. When we are trusting in our own strength we may find, like Moses, that we are able to destroy one "Egyptian", but coping with the Red Sea is another matter altogether!
Love can forbear, and Love can forgive; but Love can never be reconciled
to an unlovely object ... God can never be reconciled to our sin because
that can never be changed. We may be reconciled only because we can be
transformed by the sacrifice of Christ.
Only babies cry, and sometimes women ... and twice we read that Jesus wept!
Today I cannot see those tears, but I can see them drop.
Martyn Luther had a dream, he cried - his body died, but not the dream.
Anger and hatred thrust its grief on Enniskillen. But why such senseless killing?
Thursday's thin gruel had become lonely by Sunday:
"Is there not a little more ... somewhere?"
A young family cry from the bottom of debt's pit; but who will hear?
Useless, no value, reject. The dole queue and the crushed in spirit cry.
Some were not allowed to see the light of day, prematurely snuffed,
no chance to speak a single word.
6 years had passed and one million British babies loudly cry,
all adding to the din.
"God, are you deaf?"...
A poem written 6/12/88
Jesus and his kingdom are of necessity both radical and tough.
1. Concerned with heart condition. Men are preoccupied with appearance.
2. Jesus' questions were not to win arguments but to reveal truth.
3. The Cross will either cause offence to man's pride and intelligence
or it will be the pinnacle of God's wisdom, power, glory and grace to man.
I said to the man at the gate of the year, "Give me a light that I may tread
safely into the unknown." He replied, "Go out into the darkness and put your
hand into the hand of God. He shall be to you better that a light and safer
than a known way."
Mary and Martha were people with very different temperaments. They can also
represent two type of Christian life: one committed to good works and the
other devoted to prayer and meditation. They were long rivals until a preacher
admitted that he loved them both: Martha before dinner and Mary after!
To acknowledge that you were wrong yesterday is simply to let the world know
that you are wiser today than you were then.
C.H.Spurgeon once asked a student to preach an impromptu sermon on the story of Zacchaeus.
The student said, "First, Zacchaeus was a man of small stature; and so am I.
Second, Zacchaeus was very much up a tree; and so am I.
And thirdly, Zacchaeus made haste to come down; and so will I."
A pastor was trying to cheer up his gloomy congregation:
"In these days of escalating inflation, isn't it good to know that the wages of sin remain the same!"
Murray Watts. "Rolling in the Aisles"
Simplicity is not being simplistic, which allows for only one easy right answer.
God is far bigger than our understanding: much will always remain a mystery.
God is One and Three. Jesus is both wholly God and wholly man.
God reigns and controls all things and gives man the right to choose.
Salvation is by grace through faith; yet we must work out our own salvation.
To live we must die. I am strongest when weak and richest when I am poor.
The Prince of Peace brings a sword of division.
Christians are given freedom and discipline.
We love the Invisible and know what is beyond understanding.
We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations
agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must
not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business
or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets; and our message is
not a compromise but an ultimatum! God offers life, not an improved old life.
The life he offers is life out of death. It always stands on the far side
of the Cross. ... Do not seek to make terms with God, but bow your head and
acknowledge God's just sentence against you ... and the same power that raised
Christ from the dead will now also raise you to a new life for ever with Christ.
To dwell above with saints I love, one day that will be glory.
To dwell below with saints I know, now, that's a different story!
The Jews are still God's chosen people.
Being chosen in this sense does not mean being saved. There is no back door for the Jews, nor for anyone else. But it does mean being special. God made a promise and a covenant with Abraham for ever. He has never broken it, and he never will.
The violent contrasts between the luxury hotels and the shanty towns of all
the great cities of the world would surely call down the strongest denunciations
of which the Old Testament prophets were capable.
You cannot worship One whom you do not trust ... worship requires confidence,
and also respect. Communion with God is one thing; familiarity is quite another.
I've heard all sorts of preachers, some ignorant, some clever. I've heard
the eloquent, the witty and the dull: but the ones that have helped me most
were the ones who were awestruck in the presence of the God of whom they spoke.
A.W.Tozer. "Worship, The Missing Jewel"
Adam was disobedient and so was unable to fulfil either of the God's commissions,
to be fruitful or to subdue the earth. He and his offspring are all sinners
and he initiated a continual struggle for power.
Jesus alone was obedient unto death. He restored the life that Adam lost and has borne many sons. As King of kings, Jesus alone reigns over the earth.
Self-righteous criticism of violence, immorality or greed is no answer. If
the house is dark when the sun goes down, why blame the house? If the meat
is bad and becomes inedible, is the meat to blame because the bacteria are
not stopped from breeding by the salt?
John Stott. "Issues Facing Christian today"
T.V. is the most powerful medium ever to affect the thinking and behaviour of men.
Sir Hugh Green
The seduction of wealth is the illusion that it gives us control of our lives.
If in prison with Christ there is freedom.
Without Christ, even in freedom there is imprisonment.
When men are prepared to die for their ideals, but not to kill for them:
only then will they be able to say that they have laid the foundations for peace.
A Multiple Choice Question.
Freedom is being able to chose, uncluttered by the pressure of fear or the lure of gain.
When Jesus was being crucified, men teased him, "If you really are the Son of God, come down ..."
He chose not to.
He could have summoned legions of angels to his aid. He chose not to.
"I lay down my life for the sheep, no one takes it from me." It was his choice.
When Jesus began his ministry he said, "Come, follow me." They did.
When Jesus ended his ministry he said, "Go and make disciples." They did.
Our response to the call of God may be:
1. Regular and disciplined prayer.
2. Financial sacrifice.
3. Short term service.
4. Early retirement.
5. Extended Christian service.
One thing is certain, we must begin where we are now. In front of us lie
opportunities to express the love of God in a hurt and dying world. It is
no good dreaming about what we might do if we were a thousand miles away.
Serving begins in our own back-yard.
David Hall and others. "Dirty Hands"
At the start of this century only 14% of the world population lived in urban areas: by the end it will probably have risen to 50%. What are the social, economic and religious implications?
Jesus walking on the earth is far more important than man walking on the moon.
James Irwin, 1971
Jesus, through his moral goodness and brilliant truth brought people into
a realization of their own desperate need. He rarely had to point out sin
and failure. ... He was neither disrespectful nor in awe of a person's social
status. He was not thrown by their personality nor embarrassed by their social
standing. He saw them for what they were in the sight of the living God.
So, to Jesus, evangelism was entirely straightforward. It was the simple
act of offering forgiveness, life and love.
Marks of a Disciple.
Willing to serve. Eagre to learn. Easily corrected. Obedient.
Quick to forgive. Open and honest. Endorses God's values. Humble.
Secure, trusts God. Right values for life. Does little things well. Not a gossip.
Good stickability. Uses leisure wisely. 1st aim to please God. Trustworthy.
Discipleship affects our whole life and life-style. We must never restrict
it to religious events when we gather for prayer, Bible study or evangelism.
It is the sharing of our lives together. Making disciples is not easy!
Jesus Christ was secure in the words of his Father when under enemy attack.
They were not clever words and concepts that he had read in the latest scroll
by some charismatic Jewish leader. "It is written", was his continual answer.
And he knew what was written! He placed himself under the authority of the
written word of God. When his creation begins to ask questions, and looks
for answers beyond the religious paraphernalia of life ... we can only conclude
that God has visited this mad world and given it a dose of sanity.
World mission may require mastery of language, the adoption of new customs
and an exertion of abundant energy. But a man's ministry stands or falls
in the end by the quality of their life with God.
There are enough hours in each day to do all that God wants. The secret lies
in knowing how to recognise when an interruption is really an intervention.
Who knows, the next knock at the door could be from God.
Privilege creates responsibility, revelation demands response. The moment
anyone takes a significant step of obedience, he will almost certainly be
tested ... Elijah prayed earnestly that it would not rain. God told him to
hide by the brook Cherith. He obeyed, and the brook dried up! God had not
broken any of his promises. He remained totally faithful. Never despise the
educational experience of your 'drying brook'. Let patience have her perfect
work. God desires to make us just like his Son.
An atheist does not look for God for the same reason that a thief does not
look for a policeman.
A man was so annoyed by the church clock that always told the wrong time
that he hung up a notice on it which read, "Don't blame my hands, the trouble
Living under the Cross.
Forgiveness acknowledges the reality of evil, wrong and injustice. ...
Forgiveness signals an approach to wrong in terms, not of peace at any price, nor of the destruction of the wrong-doer, but of God's willingness to reshape our future. ...
Revolutions are aptly named: they revolve. They turn one lot of sinners out
and put another lot of sinners in. The trouble with virtually all forms of
revolution is that they can change everything except the human heart. ...
however Christ offers a revolution of love that can transform the innermost
nature and desires of every single one of us.
The Marks of a Radical:
Jesus and his kingdom are of necessity both radical and tough.
1. Focuses on a man's inward state rather than his appearance or piety
2. Vigorously opposes all hypocrisy
3. Searches and is deliberately provocative to reveal true issues
4. Always compels men to face reality
5. Narrow gate is rarely the easy, attractive way
6. Never careless, presumptuous, lazy or indifferent
7. Often unconventional
8. Life, power and authority in great contrast to sterile religion
9. Prostitutes would enter Kingdom before the correct and unrepentant
Arthur Wallis (in appreciation of the life of a man who practised what he preached).
Assimilation, complicity and compromise best describe the modern church's
relationship to the world. The Gospel is in direct collision with the world
system. Talk of realism, respectability and reasonableness dominate the
conversations of contemporary Christianity, but the New Testament speaks
of abandonment, insecurity, persecution and exile that come from seeking
first the kingdom of God. A Church of comfort, property, privilege, and position
stands in sharp contrast with the Bible which describes the people of God
as aliens, exiles, pilgrims and strangers.
If God spare my life, ere many years pass, I will cause a boy that drives
the plough to know more of the scriptures (and thus also of Christ) than you do!
William Tyndale. Spoken to Church leader who had little interest in the Bible. 1523
13 years later, as Tyndale was being burned at the stake he cried, "Lord, open the king of England's eyes." Within two years Henry VIII ordered The Great Bible to be displayed in every parish in the land so that every man able to read could do so in his own English language. God was delighted to answer this great martyr's dying prayer - he had put the desire in his heart in the first place.
People spontaneously praise whatever they value: and they urge others to
do so too. The Psalmists, in telling everyone to praise God are doing what
all men do when they speak about what they care about. ... Meanwhile of course
we are merely tuning our instruments ... anticipating the symphony. And like
tuning, there may be more duty than delight. The duty exists for the delight.
Both are equally certain.
Bishop J.C.Ryle was captain of cricket at Oxford and one of the top three scholars in his year. He went on to serve nearly 40 years as an Anglican clergyman in country parishes and a further 20 years as the first Bishop of Liverpool. He published some 20 books and 200 tracts, (distributing over 12 million of them!). He died in 1900.
He writes, "I have had a deep conviction for many years that practical holiness
is not sufficiently attended to by modern Christians. Politics, or controversy,
or worldliness have eaten the heart of lively piety in too many of us. ...
The immense importance of 'adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour' and making it lovely and beautiful by our daily habits and tempers has been far too much overlooked ... sound doctrine is useless unless it is accompanied by a holy life."
Ryle has no easy way to holiness to offer us ... but he invariably produces that "hunger and thirst after righteousness" which is the only indispensable condition of being filled. "Sensational and exciting addresses ... meetings that produce a strong religious feeling are very interesting and seem to do good at the time. But is the effect deeply rooted, solid and lasting? Do Christians become more content with their position in life and more free from the restless craving after 'something different'? Are they more pleasant and easier to live with? Can they enjoy a quiet Sunday and the quiet means of grace without noise, heat and excitement? Above all, do they grow in charity?
Wrong views about holiness are generally traceable to wrong views about human corruption. ... The first thing that God does when he makes anyone a new creature in Christ, is to send light into his heart and show him that he is a guilty sinner. ... If a man does not realise the dangerous nature of the soul's disease, you cannot wonder if he is content with false or imperfect remedies.
Sin, in short, is that vast moral disease which affects the whole human race and justly deserves God's wrath and damnation. (see Church of England 9th Article). It is universal to every nation, class, gender, age; and always has been.
A man may break God's law in heart and thought, when there is no overt and visible act of wickedness. There are sins of omission as well as commission. We sin by leaving undone the things we ought to do. Math 2541
A man may commit sin and still be ignorant of it. He may fancy himself innocent when he is guilty. When we make our own imperfect knowledge and conscience the measure of our sinfulness, we are on very dangerous ground.
The sinfulness of man does not begin from without, but from within. It is not the result of bad training in early years. (Environment and upbringing can easily feed the natural sin that is already there). The fairest baby is not so much a little 'angel', but a little 'sinner'. Any parent will see the buds and germs of deceit, evil temper, selfishness, self-will, obstinacy, greediness, envy, and passion which, if indulged and let alone, will shoot up with painful rapidity. Who taught the child these things?
You may see the deceitfulness of sin in the proneness of men to make excuses for it and minimize the guilt. i.e. God is merciful ... he understands ... everyone does it ...
Terribly black must that guilt be for which nothing but the blood of the Son of God could make satisfaction.
We can properly rejoice at Christmas only if we first appreciate why Christmas had to be.
J.C.Ryle (all the above statements)
Justification and Sanctification.
The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that our souls require: not only to deliver us from the guilt of our sins by his atoning death (justification), but also from the dominion of our sins (sanctification).
Where there is no sanctification there is no regeneration, and where there is no holy life there is no new birth. It is the only certain evidence of that indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is essential to salvation.
Sanctification does not prevent a man having a great deal of inward spiritual conflict; the struggle between the old nature and the new. A true Christian has both peace of conscience and war within. He is humbled and more keenly aware that even his best works are defective.
Sanctification is not talk about religion, nor is it temporary religious feelings. It shows itself in habitual respect to God's Law, the constant endeavour to do Christ's will, and the continuing attention to the passive graces of Christianity (long-suffering, gentleness and meekness).
Justification and Sanctification are alike in that:
a) Both proceed originally from the free grace of God.
b) The root of each is Christ, the giver of both pardon and holiness.
c) Both begin at the same time.
Justification and Sanctification differ in that:
a) In justification our own works have no place at all. Simple faith in Christ is the one needful thing.
In sanctification our own works are of vast importance, and God bids us fight and watch and pray and strive and take pains and labour.
b) Justification is a finished, complete work. Sanctification is eminently a progressive work and admits of continual growth and enlargement as long as a man lives.
c) The righteousness we have by our justification is not our own, but that of our Mediator, Christ. The righteousness we have by our sanctification is our own righteousness, imparted, inherent and wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, but mingled with much infirmity and imperfection.
"Christ, our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption." 1 Co
What is true, practical holiness?
a) It is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we mind his
mind described in scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God's judgement,
hating what he hates, loving what he loves and measuring everything in this
world by the standard of his word (instead of by the futility of our own
'wisdom'). 1 Co 118-25
b) A holy man will endeavour to shun every known sin and to keep every known command. He will have a far greater fear of displeasing God than of displeasing the world.
c) A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. He will therefore:
Draw from Christ all his daily strength.
Bear with and forgive others, even as Christ forgives us.
Be unselfish and continually deny himself in order to serve others.
Be lowly-minded and humble, not seeking his own reputation.
Not retaliate under undeserved insults.
Think more of the godly poor than of kings and men of power.
Continue constant in prayer.
Always be a faithful witness to the truth.
Be temperate, and labour to mortify the desires of the flesh.
Follow after charity and brotherly kindness.
Esteem others better than himself.
Hold all earthly things lightly.
Can holiness save us?
No, not one wit! Our purest works are no better than filthy rags.
Christ alone must be our righteousness.
Why then is holiness important?
"Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." Heb 1214
The early church were united with one purpose, to show the glories of the
Lord's Kingdom before he returned again. They shared their goods, their problems,
and their blessings as God had shared his life with them. They had no forms
or ceremonies, no headquarters or buildings, no official organ or handbook,
no films or even guitars. They had no organised Sunday Schools or Women's
fellowships, not even a coffee-bar! Their leaders received no regular salary
and mostly had no theological training; yet they turned the world upside-down.
They healed the sick, raised the dead and won thousands to the faith. Surely
our hearts cry, "Lord, do it again." (or is the price too high?)
John Noble. "Forgive us our Denominations"
One day a Chinese evangelist (who was unable to obtain a Bible) fell head
first into a hole in the ditch beside the road. After much shouting and
struggling he began to pray. Just then it happened that another traveller
came by and was able to free him from his plight. Arriving at the next village
a new set was formed. All the believers stand on their heads to pray! For
he reasoned that earlier God had not answered his prayers, but when he prayed
upside-down, God answered - immediately. (Regrettably this is a true story,
not a joke)
The greatest task of the church is not solving political problems, nor is
to meet social needs but it is a renewed truthful proclamation of Jesus Christ
as Lord. The Gospel will never be fashionable. It humbles the
self-righteous and rebukes the self-indulgent. Jesus Christ has no peers,
no successors and no rivals. All must one day bend their knees before
him. (And the sooner the better.)
Prayer is God moving us into his world to serve his purposes ...
The quickest way to create a guilt complex in most Christians is to start investigating their private prayer-life. Prayer is not a hurried visit to a religious drive-in restaurant for a moral sandwich or a cup of spiritual stimulant, but the fervent communion with God who is never in a hurry. It is the find-or-die outreach of the soul for God.
Jim Graham. 21st CC
Whose Job is it?
This is a story of 4 people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it. But Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody, when Nobody did what Anybody could have done!
Many of our problems arise because we listen to ourselves instead of talking
(the truth) to ourselves.
The foundation of understanding is the willingness to listen.
Help save an Endangered Species! (Picture of old missionary in glass case)
Well, what do you know! we had one of those in our fellowship once. We got shot of it though when we discovered it required regular support.
He is Thy best servant, who looks not so much to hear that which himself willeth,
as rather to will that which from Thee he heareth.
Our main business in prayer is not to discern what lies dimly in the distance,
but to do what clearly lies at hand.
I crossed the threshold to a fuller life,
I walked in freedom on another shore;
My pains and sorrows were no more ...
They called it Death.
Death? ... to be at last made one
With him who gave me life?
Please tell them on that other shore
That theirs is grief, but mine no more ...
I call it Life ... Eternal.
We achieve spirituality when we are out there in the busy streets, among
the oppressed and the poor, struggling with them for a free, open society,
where the weak shall be strong, and the strong shall be just.
Jesus never asks us
to go where he has not gone,
to face what he has not faced,
to love anyone he does not love,
or to give anything that he has not given.
God's answer to human destruction is a Baby and a Cross.
Christmas is a joyful day for children.
For parents, peace on earth comes a few days later when the batteries run out!
God noes not expect us to come to him - we can't. But he came to us!
Try praising your wife; even if it does frighten her at first.
Seven days without prayer make one weak!
The problem with walking in the middle of the road
is the considerable danger of being knocked flat from either side.
The soul would have no rainbow had the eye no tears.
In the early centuries after Christ, Christianity spread because Christians
outlived, outloved and outdied the pagans.
Prayer is never a device for getting what we want from God;
it is always the means of obtaining what God wants for us.
It is necessary to ask, not in order to make up God's mind, but to make up our own.
If you think you're too big for a small job, then you're certainly too small
for the bigger job.
Jesus of the scars ... we seek you now,
We must have sight of thorn-marks on your brow,
We must have you, O Jesus of the scars.
The other gods were strong, but you were weak.
They rode, but you did stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds, only God's wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but you alone.
If you believe that no one was ever corrupted by a book, you have also to
believe that no one was ever improved by a book. You have to believe that
all art is morally trivial and that consequently, all education is irrelevant.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a McDonald
makes you a hamburger.
Confused and unsure if God wanted him to marry his girlfriend, a 20 year-old
from Hampshire decided to "put out a fleece". Taking a coin from his pocket,
he said to God, "If it lands on heads I'll pop the question, tails and it's
off." When the coin landed tails he decided to make it the best of three!
He is now happily married to the same lady.
God desires our availability rather than our ability.
Pray for them now and at the hour of their birth.
Consider the postage stamp. It's usefulness consists in sticking to one thing
till it gets there.
I asked God for strength that I might achieve,
But I was made weak that I might learn humility.
I asked for health that I might do great things,
But I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy,
But I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life,
But I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for,
But everything hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.
A Confederate Soldier
A man found a well marked Bible. It was a King James Version and in the front
"Appointed to be read in Churches" was crossed out and replaced with "Appointed
to be read Anywhere".
There is never enough time to do everything we want to do; not even enough
time to do what needs to be done. Especially with longer daylight evenings.
The pressure soon increases. "We become enslaved to the tyranny of the urgent,
rather than free to pursue the truly important. ... We need to realise that
the work is the Lord's and we are his helpers." (How did we get the
idea that it was the other way round?!)
see 'A Silence and a Shouting' by Eddie Askew.
What thoughtful rich people call the problem of poverty, thoughtful poor
people call the problem of riches.
Preaching is not the performance of an hour, it is the outflow of a life.
The only shadow on the cloudless Easter day of Christ's victory is the poverty
of my own devotion, the memory of ineffective hours of unbelief and my own
stingy response to God's generosity.
The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.
It is not for us to judge the scriptures, but for the scriptures to judge us.
Progress comes when my weakness is exposed and I am vulnerable to failure.
Worthwhile change inevitably means taking risks - when there is no way out
(or forward) but to trust Jesus.
The world will ignore or ridicule what it does not respect.
Only when the Church is a threat will there be lively persecution.
Be a risk-taker! There is no insurance cover available in our life with Christ - Only his Word!
Live simply that others may simply live.
An elderly man was beaten badly by thugs and left lying in the gutter and
in pain. The first passer-by averted his gaze; the second did the same. Nobody
wanted to know until a Social Worker on her way home came to the spot. She
looked down at the recumbent figure and said, "Tut, tut, whoever did this
The greatest problem for the Chinese Church in the 90's is not in relation
to the authorities. The big question is how do we care for millions of new
Christians? Evangelism is not the problem; the Chinese people are hungry
for God. Persecution is not the problem either; we are used to it. But
discipling, which is so vital. We just don't have the resources to do it.
A Chinese House- Church Leader
God never sent a messenger with an empty envelope.
"You Gentiles have taken everything form us," argued a Jew.
"Like what?" said the Christian.
"Like the 10 Commandments for a start."
"We may have taken them," the Christian replied,
"But you can never accuse us of keeping them!"
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Joy and sorrow are inseparable.
The holy man will endeavour to shun every known sin and to keep every known
command. He will have a greater fear of displeasing God than of displeasing
the world. ... You may see the deceitfulness of sin in the proneness of men
to make excuses for it. ... The holy man will both need and draw from Christ
all his daily strength.
The world is increasingly deaf to a church that has sold out to materialism. It is only when the world is confronted with a church that is wholly dependant upon God, perhaps because it has voluntarily or involuntarily accepted material poverty for the sake of the countless poor that God is trying to reach, that any impact will be made. Affluence and spiritual complacency often go together.
Today there is no shortage of pious words, affirmations of faith, discussions about hunger, or expressions of spirituality. But the world is still waiting for the demonstration, in hard, costly and practical terms, of what we proclaim with our lips.
I was hungry and you formed a committee to investigate my hunger.
I was homeless, and you filed a report on my plight.
I was sick and you held a seminar on the underprivileged.
You have investigated all the aspects of my plight.
And yet I am still hungry, homeless and sick.
One minute's obedience to Christ is worth infinitely more than striving, even to the point of exhaustion ...
We happily respond to the reassuring words of Jesus, "Fear not little flock,
for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom"; but we may
easily ignore the next verse, "Sell your possessions and give alms." When
we fail to take the challenge of Jesus seriously, we may wonder why the kingdom
of God is not coming in power that Jesus apparently promised. We say, "Yes,
God still requires of us a biblical radicalism which refuses to be conformed to this world.
The Christian is an odd number. He has supreme love for one he has never
seen, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of another, he is strongest when
weak, richest when poor, confident in uncertainty. He dies so that he can
live, forsakes all but is given all things; he sees the invisible, hears
the inaudible and knows what is beyond knowledge.
It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly.
The work of praying is prerequisite to all other work in the kingdom of God,
for the simple reason that it is by prayer that we couple the power of heaven
to our helplessness.
The Christian must learn the lesson from Jesus that although one may possess
little in the way of solutions, that little can become much in God's hands.
Many who visit Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity are surprised
that every lunch-time they leave their life-sustaining work in dispensaries
in the home for the dying. Why? To pray!
They have learned that to work without prayer is to achieve only what is humanly possible, and their desire is to be involved in divine possibilities.
Faith makes a Christian,
Life proves him,
Trials confirm him,
and Death finally crowns him.
He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot loose.
Jim Elliot (he gained the martyr's crown by the hand of the Auca Indians in 1956)
The crocodile is said to be the one creature that grows all its life-time.
So must Christians! Not to become like a Croc', but to be like Jesus.
Ratbags need daily atonement.
The Tate Family
Old man Dictate, who wants to run everything.
Cousin Rotate, who wants to change everything - again.
Agitate and Irritate are always stirring up trouble.
Hesitate and Vegetate always want to leave it till next year.
Cogitate and Meditate, being Cornish, do things "drekkly"!
Aunt Imitate wants everything to be like it was in her old church.
Young Devastate is a voice of doom.
Miss Facilitate is always most helpful.
Dr Amputate has regretfully cut himself off completely.
St Mary's Church, Middleton (slightly modified)
Send me anywhere - only go with me.
Lay any burden on me - only sustain me.
Sever any tie - except the tie that binds me to thyself.
There are two freedoms.
The false, where man is free to do what he likes;
and the true, where he is free (and desires) to do what he ought.
The meek may inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights. (not yet anyway!)
John Paul Getty
The only thing we learn from history seems to be that we learn nothing from history.
We are not citizens of this world trying to make our way to heaven;
we are citizens of heaven trying to make our way through this world.
War or Peace in the Middle East and the Soviet Republics and ... ?
What is God s Plan ?
God does have a plan!
and it may be for war -- however shocking we may think that might be.
It was God who sent the plagues on Egypt and killed all the first-born.
They had refused His plan to set Israel free.
So God brought "judgement on all the gods of Egypt". Exd 1212
We have exploited and enslaved the Third World with debt and consistently denied them their freedom.
When the northern tribes of Israel became rich, proud, secure, careless and
complacent, 'God withheld rain, ... He sent mildew on their crops, ... He
killed their young men with the sword ... " etc (Amos 4).
"I hate, I despise your religious feasts ... but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph." Amos 521 66
What notice have we taken of God s clear warnings in the last few years?
150 years later Habbakuk moaned to God about the state of the nation -- they persistently insulted Almighty God and even sacrificed children to Molech. 'Why don t you do something?", he said. "I shall," said God, "but you will not believe me when I tell you what it is! I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people." Hab 1 Jer 3235. God kept his word! Every day in the UK we sacrifice 465 babies to the idol of social convenience.
God will not be mocked for ever.
"How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth .. . ?" Rev 610
(The Gulf War started as promised by the USA 2 days later on 15/1/91) (Now, over 15 years later the West has yet to pay for the wages of sin. God has not forgotten, nor will he overlook our pride) Anon
One arrogant farmer in the USA wrote a letter to his local newspaper. "In
the Spring I ploughed my fields on a Sunday, then I harrowed and drilled
them on Sunday, I sprayed on Sunday and finally harvested a bumper crop on
Sunday." Underneath his published letter the editor wrote, "God does not
always settle his accounts in October."
Full Assurance by May B. Knot
The Protestant Work Ethic by Daly Grind
The German Charismatic Movement by Hans Reising
Pray Continually by Neil A Lot
Salt of the Earth by Pastor Pepper
Intercession by Frank and Ernest Pleading
Praise in the U.S.A. by Hal E. Looyah
A husband is a man who after emptying the ashtray, manages to look as if
he had just finished cleaning the whole house.
This elderly Romanian preacher who knew about prison atrocities said,
"My days in prison were golden days."
In the Third World the daily Children's death toll is
5,400 from Measles
4,900 from Tetanus
1,800 from Whooping cough
200 from TB Polio or Diptheria
All 12,300 children could live if immunised at the cost of just £ 1/child.
Life has never been so cheap!
Tear Fund Sunday
Prayer without work is as bad as work without prayer.
To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
Women do 2/3rds of the world's work for 10% of its income.
They own 1% of its assets and produce 100% of its people.
God wisely designed our bodies so that we can neither pat our own backs nor
kick ourselves too easily.
The world will be impressed not when we claim to have hold of God,
but when it sees that God has got hold of us.
The probability of being killed by a terrorist is 1 in 420,000
of being killed by accident (mostly road) is 1 in 30
of being killed in a British mother's womb is 1 in 5
How many Charismatics does it take to change a light bulb?
1 to change the bulb and 4 to share the experience!
Jesus Christ bore the judgement we deserve in order to give us the salvation
we do not deserve.
The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man.
Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be;
God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be.
Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.
Rebecca Pippert. "Hope has its Reasons"
When I give to the poor they call me a saint;
when I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist.
Dom Helder Camera
We have greater affinity with the affluent and influential than with the
downtrodden and the oppressed. We have accepted a largely middle-class culture,
with its worldly values and selfish ambitions; and have conveniently ignored
the utterly radical teaching of Jesus concerning money, possessions and social
standing within the kingdom of God.
If we are going to be the body of Christ, shouldn't we do as he did? He didn't
commute from heaven to earth to minister to us. Nor did he set up a mission
compound which would make him immune to our problems. No, he became flesh
and lived among us.
You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.
Many people have come and done things for us;
but very few have come and done things with us.
An optimist is one who when treed by a lion, enjoys the scenery.
A politician is one who approaches every question with an open mouth.
Hither have I come leaning upon the Cross;
But now the crown!
O Cross, how is it that I shall sing thy praise?
Thou art like precious warmth on winter days!
I live in light and love; by God's grace given;
Yet is my hungry heart homesick for heaven!
Today there is no respite from the pain, except the dream
Of playing on the hills when spring comes back again!
(Each of these 4 Poems was written by Lepers from a Japanese Leprosy Hospital)
In the year 303 the Roman emperor Diocletian announced the extinction of
the Christian church:
and then to celebrate the destruction of the Bible he struck a medal. But God had other plans!
In the 18th century Voltaire prophesied that the Bible would become a museum
piece within 50 years of his death.
It is ironic that Voltaire's own house would subsequently be used by the Geneva Bible Society as their first depot!
Jesus said, "My words will never pass away."
True conversion will always challenge the guardians of the existing social
order (and often the Church order too) because it is not something just added
to life already lived, but is a death and a new birth! There are no neutral
zones left untouched.
The Beatitudes give blessing on those who have what most try to avoid,
and a dire warning to those who have what most earnestly seek!
Ideas are funny things - they don't work unless you do!
Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!
Some people are like blisters - they don't show up until all the work is done!
Faith make things possible - it doesn't make them easy!
Smart is when you believe only half of what you hear.
Brilliant is when you know which half to believe.
Long is the way, and very steep the slope,
Strengthen me once again, O God of Hope.
Far, very far, the summit doth appear;
But thou art near my God, but thou art near.
And wilt thou give me with my daily food,
Powers of endurance, courage, fortitude?
Thy way is perfect; only let that way
Be clear before my feet from day to day.
Thou art my Portion, saith my soul to thee,
O what a Portion is my God to me!
The task of the evangelist is not to make the gospel easy, but to make it clear.
He will refute every ideological prescription and every self-effort. Only
in Christ is it possible. Evangelism does not pass on knowledge or impart
a transient experience, but calls for and expects a radical change in life-style
The blessing of God is not me having a good time,
but seeing the gracious plan of God being fulfilled, whatever the cost.
In the Philippines there is a small caterpillar whose fuzzy hairs leave a
burning welt on the skin. However, there is an effective remedy for the burn
- the Samrid itself! You scoop up the offending creature on a leaf and squash
it between your fingers without touching it. Then, removing the body with
a stick, you use the body fluids to rub on the burn. This gives instant relief.
The word "madagat" describes the power of the Samrid to heal as well as the
power to sting.
The word of God is living, powerful and sharp as a two-edged sword, a magadat,
... If you don't open it up, it holds nothing but judgement; but if you read
it and believe it, there is medicine inside that removes judgement like nothing
Wycliffe Bible Translators
The Christian is more formed from his trials than from his enjoyments.
Brother Andrew was writing a new book on Prayer. He proposed to include several short chapters on the prayer life of such men as Moses, Nehemiah, David, Saul and Jeremiah. But King Saul would have only one page and it would be completely blank! His publisher rejected the idea thinking that it might convict too many people.
"Some Russians are still convinced that the Garden of Eden must have been
in the Soviet Union. It's the only place a man and a woman could be naked,
with only an apple to eat, and think that they were in paradise."
"If we all decided that we had enough food, that our houses were big enough,
that our cars were not too old, and that our clothes were sufficient, then
our economic system would collapse."
"The end of the world will mark a turning point in everyone's life!"
A woman had just commissioned an artist to paint her portrait.
"I want you to do me justice," she said.
"Madam," replied the artist, "It is not justice that you need, but mercy!"
The Graciousness of Uncertainty
"Naturally we are inclined to be so calculating that we look on uncertainty as a bad thing ... The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Certainty is a mark of the commonsense life; gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways; we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God and do the duty that lies nearest, he packs our life with surprises all the time. When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe about him ... But when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy."
25 Years of Legal Abortion
When the U.K. passed the Abortion Bill in 1967 it set the pattern for much of the rest of the world.
We were "world leaders" - to our eternal shame of the annual destruction of over 25 million lives.
In the period 1967 to 1991 in the UK we have killed babies.
As always, the main question is WHAT DOES GOD THINK ABOUT IT?
"The Problem with the Universe"
The paradox of the human condition is that it contains both the good and the bad, the generous and the self-centred, the honest and the devious. We see how much genuine kindness there is and that in every community one finds quiet heroism and self-sacrifice. Most of us try to have warm relationships at home, to be productive, responsible citizens and workers. ... We want to believe that the essential "us" is who we are at our best moments. We would like to believe that we are what we try to project to the world: nice, respectable, competent people who have it all together. Fortunately, or unfortunately, life does not let us get away with this charade. Sooner or later we are confronted with our darker side. ...
G.K.Chesterton was asked to write a letter to the London Times on the question,
"What is the problem with the Universe?".
He replied, "I am. Sincerely, G.K.C."
This book is written for people who live their lives in the lag between promise
Rebecca Manley Pippert
A little girl had been to Sunday School for the first time. Her mother asked
her how it compared with day school. "Oh, I like it much better. There are
no exams, and you end up going to heaven instead of High School!"
But there was One who took an exam for us. It was a very stiff, practical exam. And thankfully, He passed with the highest possible honours.
The Cross is the only point where God and sinful man may be reconciled and
the way to life be opened. But how can we stop ourselves being self-centred?
... Jesus called his message 'Good News' because help is at hand. He knew
that the fatal disease within human nature could be cured only by the Divine
Surgeon. Our only hope of a remedy is if God operates!
... We slide into presuming that help is easy.
... We assume God has no problem forgiving us.
... But only in the Cross is there any means of deliverance.
Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be;
God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be.
Oswald Chambers, Rebecca Pippert and John Stott
CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST
The only one who keeps his word
The only you can trust.
Trenoweth Methodist Chapel (prior to 1992 General Election)
"Prepare for the Coming of the Messiah" so reads the large signs erected
in Israel by members of a large Hasidic movement.
Israeli Jews like to tell the old fable of a Russian Jew who goes to his rabbi in search of a job. The rabbi instructs the man to stand at the village gate each day and wait until the Messiah comes. For this the rabbi offers the man a ruble a month (pre the recent devaluation). "The pay is too low," the man complains. "Yes," says the rabbi, "but the job security is excellent."
During a long service a small but clear voice was heard to say, "Mummy, is
it still Sunday?"
Be careful of your thoughts; they may become words at any moment.
There is no Christian solution of the problems presented by self-will; but
there is a Christian cure and if that is effective, the problem is abolished.
So when a man wanted Jesus to divide an inheritance, that is to arbitrate
between two self-centred claims, he refused. He did not settle the dispute;
but he did tell them how to avoid continuing the dispute. "Take heed and
keep yourselves from covertness."
Why the Cross?
From the parable of the prodigal son there are some who conclude that the younger son is saved without a saviour so there is no need for the cross. Many others believe that if any man seeks forgiveness, then God is merciful and will easily forgive. This false conclusion would mean that the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection are all quite unnecessary. This is the human wisdom of which Paul writes, "God has made foolish the wisdom of the world ..." and he preached instead "Christ crucified ... who has become for us the wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. ... So that our faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Co 120-29
What seems to many men to be a good idea has no validity in heaven. God revealed from the beginning that forgiveness could only be achieved by the offering of a perfect sacrifice, and never by an imperfect human hope.
Heb 922 "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."
Heb 928 "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of the world."
Would God himself have left the glory of heaven and come to earth if it was not necessary?
Would Christ have suffered rejection, pain, humiliation and death if it was not necessary?
It was necessary - and by our sin, we make it so.
If you heard that your life had been valued
And a price had been paid on the nail,
Would you ask what was traded, how much and who paid it,
Who was he, and what was his name?
If you heard that his name was called Jesus,
Would you say that the price was too dear?
He was held to the cross, not by nails but by love;
It was you broke his heart, not the spear!
Would you say you are worth what it cost him?
You say no, but the price stays the same.
If it don't make you cry, knock it off, pass it by,
But remember the day when you throw it away
That he paid what he thought you were worth!
Part of the Song by Graham Kendrick "Paid on the Nail"
Satan and all his angels are a limited company.
George Washington said, "The best way to get peace is to be ready for war."
That principle has failed so miserably that many people today advocate
replacing the last word with "peace". It is a noble thought, but it reminds
me of an old story.
One day an elderly Jewish pedlar returned home covered with blood and with his clothing torn. "What happened?" he was asked. He told a sad story of having been set upon by a pack of wild dogs as he walked through the forest bordering his home village. "You silly man! Why didn't you recite the passage: 'And no dog shall as much as flash his tongue at any Jew'?" (Exd 117) The pedlar replied, "I did; I even said it three times. But it seems that those dogs don't know the Bible!"
Anon. Quoted in the Jerusalem Post 14/3/92
Christ still prefers the company of people who need to repent to that of
those who think that they are a cut above that!
Paint Christ not dead but risen, with his foot set in scorn on the split
rock with which they sought to hold him down. Paint him the Conqueror over
death! Paint him the Lord of Life! Paint him as what he is, the irresistible
Victor who, tested to the uttermost, has proved himself in very deed, mighty
Tommoso Campanella to the Italian painters of his day.(1630)
If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I loose affection, or lest the one concerned should say,"You do not understand," or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness. If I put my own good name before the other's highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I am content to heal hurt slightly, saying,"Peace, peace, where there
is no peace"; if I forget the poignant word, "let love be without dissimulation"
and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men ..." Romans 118
Isaiah (98-104) prophesies four times to his generation - and to ours. "For all this, his anger is not turned away ..." Why?
1) Men were arrogant. Bricks have fallen but we will rebuild them with dressed stone.
2) Lying Leaders. They did not seek the Lord. False expectations and failed promises.
3) Covetous. Profit is what matters, my gain, my happiness, my success ... me.
4) Unjust Exploitation. It does not matter who has to pay, or when!
God's kindness, tolerance and patience is not to lull us into complacency,
or the false idea that God has but one attribute and that is his love.
It is intended to lead us towards repentance, to receive the mercy of God in forgiveness:
and to be born again by the power of God to live a new life. Ro 24
The love of God being revealed is staggering; and so also is the wrath of God!
This generation will live to see both as never before.
Samuel Johnson wrote to one man who had submitted a manuscript,
"It is both good and original; but he part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good!"
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that
is not being talked about.
Boys will be boys; and so will a lot of middle-aged men.
Television is ... medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done.
T.V. is a device that permits people who haven't anything to do, to watch
people who can't do anything
It is not how many years we live, but what we do with them.
Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long
for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice; but for those who
believe, time is eternity.
When I handle a religious cheque, I want to know what experience there is
in the bank to back it.
There is a great difference between an affair and a marriage, and the former
cannot be a trial run for the latter. The real commitment comes when you
hear the doors closing behind you for good.
A committee is a collection of the unfit chosen from amongst the unwilling,
by the incompetent, to do the unnecessary.
A committee is a group that keeps the minutes but loses the hours.
A committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing and collectively
decide that nothing can be done.
Computers will never replace human beings entirely. Someone has to complain
You watch the guy who drives ahead and the guy who drives behind.
You watch to the left and you watch to the right and drive with a calm, clear mind.
But the guy you really have to watch on the highway you will find,
Is guy behind the guy ahead and ahead of the guy behind
Self-pity is a prison without walls, a sign pointing nowhere.
Some people never look up until they are flat on their backs.
A curt reply to a bishop who had suggested that the incumbent should move.
"Dear Bishop, I REMAIN , yours faithfully, ..."
I am convinced that if the devil cannot make us lazy, he will make us so
busy here and there that the best is sacrificed for the good.
One elderly gentleman gives this prescription for a long and healthy life.
"Go to bed on the same day that you get up."
God often gives in one brief moment that which he has for a long time denied.
Thomas A. Kempis
Character, like embroidery, is made stitch by stitch.
A religion small enough for our understanding would not be big enough for
Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?
Success is getting up just one more time than you fall.
Before we can eradicate poverty, we must learn to hate it.
Having no shoes, I complained, until I met a man with no feet.
Theology teaches us what ends are desirable and what means are lawful;
while politics teaches us what means are successful.
God sends no one away empty except those that full of themselves.
Our world has narrowed into a neighbourhood
before it has managed to broaden into a brotherhood.
Witnessing isn't a once a week activity.
You don't go witnessing, you are a witness wherever you go.
An actor and an old lady were both asked to recite the 23rd Psalm.
Afterwards the actor said to the lady, "It's perfectly obvious that while I know the Psalm, you know the Shepherd."
If a crisis does not become a process, it will become an abscess.
I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I would like to be.
I an not what I hope to be. But I am not what I was,
and by the grace of God, I am what I am.
Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young.
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and who won't change the subject.
A great deal of what we see depends on what we are looking for.
If you look like your passport photo, you're too ill to travel.
Your don't get ulcers from what you eat. You get them from what's eating you.
There's no such thing as a non-working mother.
I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.
Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
The only place where success comes before work is in a dictionary.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
You may see from history that in a time of instability, the Jews do not do
well. Things go wrong, and the cause is usually the Jews! And so, if they
are rich, you rob them; and if they are poor, you kick them. It is simple.
Howard Spring. "Time and the Hour" 1937
Your will be done, O God of Life,
On earth as it is in wild heaven;
Where those in poverty are freed and fed,
Where martyrs sing and mourners dance,
Where debts are off and death is dead
And power is safe with the Lamb of God.
Garth Hewitt. 'Prayer for the day' BBC4 10/5/97
The past is history.
The future is mystery.
Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.
I found my humble afflictions were dignified by his immeasurable grace.
I have served the Lord for so long now that I can hardly tell the difference
between a blessing and a trial.
90 year-old American lady
If you believe what you like in the Gospel and reject what you don't like,
it is not the Gospel you believe but yourself.
Augustine of Hippo
"Lord, build me a son who ll be strong enough to know when he is weak and
brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who is proud and unbending
in defeat, yet humble and gentle in victory. Build me a son whose wishbone
will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will first know You and
then know himself, for that is the true foundation of all knowledge. Lead
him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and
spur of difficulties and challenge. There let him learn to stand in the storm,
yet have compassion for those who fall. Build me a son whose heart is clear
and whose goals are high; who ll master himself before he seeks to master
other men; one who ll learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach
into the future, yet never forget the past. And after all these things are
his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humour that, though serious, he may
never take himself too seriously. And above all, Lord, give him enough humility
to know that true greatness requires simplicity, true wisdom requires an
open mind and true strength requires meekness. Only when this has been
accomplished will I his father dare to whisper, 'I have not lived in
General Douglas MacArthur
On his deathbed. "I go to change my place, but not my company."
Had I but served my God as diligently as I have served the King.
Cardinal Wolsey (1530)
If you cannot mould yourself as you would wish, how can you expect other
people to be entirely to your liking?
Thomas à Kempis
Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive;
easy to govern, but impossible to enslave. (Let's hope he's right)
Jesus came to pay a debt he did not owe,
Because we owed a debt we could not pay.
Instead of saying, "Look what the world has come to",
Christians can say, "Look who has come to the world!"
Snoopy, the cherished PEANUTS cartoon pet, sat droopy-eyed at the entrance of his dog house. He lamented, "Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. SIGH. There's so little hope for advancement!"
The average pencil is seven inches of lead, and a half inch of eraser - just
in case you thought optimism was dead.
The condition of any empire can be ascertained by the quality of its coins.
The New is in the Old contained: the Old is in the New explained.
The Old commences what the New completes.
An intersection is a place where you stop and either find your way or lose it.
The Cross is the most important intersection in any man's life.
Daily Devotions 14/5/00
Love can always wait to give; lust can never wait to get.
Heavenly Father we ask your forgiveness.
We know what your Word says, 'Woe on those who call evil good',
but that's exactly what we have done and we confess that:
We have ridicules the absolute truth of your Word and called it pluralism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.
We have killed the unborn and called it choice.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it self-expression.
We have abused power and called it political savvy.
We have coveted our neighbour's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honoured values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, O God, know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin
and set us free in the name of your Son, the Living Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Rev Joe Wright when opening the Kansas Senate. Adapted by Care Trust.
Genesis is the beginning of Revelation.
If you are not part of the answer, then you are part of the problem.
Rafi Eitan, Mossad
"We, the German Fuhrer and Chancellor, and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for our two countries and for Europe.
We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.
We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe."
"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time... Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."
[But God, who knows the hearts of men, has writen that war will continue to the
end. And God is right - whatever man may dream. Dan 926 Math 247]
Neville Chamberlain at 10 Downing St, 30th Sept 1938. The day after the Munich Conference.
Riding the elevator to the fortieth floor of a skyscraper at a breathtaking
speed, a little fellow with eyes wide asked his father, "Daddy, does God
know we're coming?"
A Scotish visitor to the Holy Land was outraged at the cost of a boat trip
on Galilee. He was told it was the equivalent of £ 35.
"Do you realise," he said, "I can hire a boat for a week on Loch Lomond for that?"
"Ah, but sir," the guide explained, "these are the waters on which Christ himself walked."
"No wonder he walked!" said the Scotsman.
from 'Hot under the Collar' by Murray Watts.
"Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown," said Lucy. "Since it's this time
of the season, I think we ought to bury past differences and try to be kind."
Charlie Brown asks, "Why does it just have to be this time of the season?
Why can't it be all year long?" Lucy looks at him and exclaims, "What are
you, some kind of fanatic?"
The American Fathers devised the system of electing a President by Electoral
College because of their fears about a true Democracy being hijacked a majority
to the detriment of a minority. Over 200 years ago Professor Alexander Tyler,
a Scottish historian wrote, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form
of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can
vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on, the
majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the
public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose
fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship."
Who am I?
I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onwards or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do, you might as well turn over to me and I'll do them quickly and correctly. I'm easily managed, but you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and, after a few lessons, I'll do it automatically. I'm the servant of all great men and, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I work with the precision of a scientist and the passion of a patriot. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet. But be easy with me and I'll destroy you.
Who am I? Habit.
Jesus had a particular care for the little, the least, the last and the lost.
'Social inclusion' was not invented by Tony Blair.
Post Office clerk to lady posting a parcel that contained a Bible. "Anything
breakable madam?" "Only the 10 Commandments," she replied.
"Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." Gen 98-10
A certain coastal town was proud of its lifeboat crew. Whenever there was
a ship in distress the crew would immediately leave their work and go and
render whatever aid they could. In order to show their appreciation for their
dedication, the town built a new lifeboat station. They held community events
to raise funds to furnish it with the latest equipment. However, as time
went on, the furnishings became thick carpeting, plush chairs, a checkerboard,
a kitchen. Soon it was more of a social hall than a lifeboat station and
when the alarm sounded, fewer members of the crew responded. This can happen
to the church too. We must not forget about our mission to share our faith
in Jesus Christ. We are not the only ones who need God's forgiveness.
The Lord frustrates our plans, shatters our purposes, lets us see the wreck
of all our hopes, and whispers to us, "It's not your work I wanted, but you."
Footprints in the Sand. by Ron Newhouse
What you tolerate you cannot change.
"Cancer is a Word, not a Sentence"
Title of book by Fiona Castle
Commitment is an act, not a word.
You cannot be anything if you want to be everything.
A committed pre-school teacher whose heart particularly went out to "disadvantaged children" begun to despair over some who seemed so lost, so limited--and in some cases, so neglected at home. Then her mother died. She was very close to her mother. Following the funeral, school was about what she expected. She kept her hurt carefully hidden and continued like the competent professional she was.
But then it happened. She had come around the corner to discover Rachel picking
flowers from the pot in the hall. Rachel was the most distant, most disruptive
child in the class. In a stern, trembling voice the teacher demanded, "Rachel,
what are you doing?" Rachel held out her little hand full of flowers. "Miss,
you used to be like a mother to us. Would these flowers help you to be like
a mother again?
A hunter observed an eagle landing on an ice-crusted limb floating in a river rushing down toward a waterfall. At any moment, the eagle could have turned loose of that icy perch and soared into the blue sky. But it did not turn loose. It remained too long, so that the eagle's talons froze onto the limb and it could not let go.
At first the eagle had the limb, but now the limb had the eagle, and it perished.
There is a point in our drive for a better life when we are forced to make
a decision--whether we have it or it has us. In a survey done by USA Today,
it indicated that the more people earn, the less they give proportionally
to help others? It should work the other way, shouldn't it? It seems that
in their drive to earn more--the earning became the controlling element.
The eagle once had the limb but now the limb has the eagle.
You may get to the very top of the ladder and find it has not been leaning
against the right wall.
We read of man's achievements on the sports page. We read of his failures
on the front page.
An Irish priest
One night a burglar was turning over a vicarage looking for valuables. Disturbed
by the incumbent, the burglar cried, "Don't move! Where's the money?"
The Vicar replied, "Well let's turn the light on and we will look together!"
An old American is talking to his grandson about his reaction to a recent
tragedy, said, "It is as though there are two wolves fighting in my heart.
One is the wolf of anger and vengeance; the other is of compassion
and hope." The grandson asks, "Which wolf is going to win?" The wise old
man replies, "The one I feed."
In pre-WWII Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak
up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't
speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for
the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they
came for me -- and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.
If the Arabs put down their weapons today there would be no more violence.
If the Jews put down their weapons today there would be no more Israel.
No God - No peace
Know God - know peace
Trenoweth Methodist Chapel
Little boy asks his Aunty, "How big is heaven?" She replied, "Big enough."
If you believe what you like in the Gospel and reject what you don't like,
it is not the Gospel you believe but yourself.
Augustine of Hippo 354-430
Most people are not bothered by those passages of Scripture that they don't
understand, but the passages which bother me are those I do understand.
The Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.
God writes with a pen that never blots,
speaks with a tongue that never slips
and acts with a hand that never fails.
Study the Bible to be wise; believe it to be safe; practice it to be holy.
I have done nothing; the Word has done and accomplished everything.
Europeans live in a purely secular political system, where religion does
not play an important role.
Patience, Practice and Perseverance.
Grace, Grit and Gumption.
(Title of a book by Geraint Fielder)
Did Adam have a Belly-button?
(Title of a book by Ken Ham)
Will Speed get you to Eternity?
If you don't live as a Christian, you cannot die as a Christian.
Calvary was not a hopeless end, but the means of an endless hope.
Men who fear God have no need to fear men.
I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh, the things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me.
Mrs Cowman Streams in the Desert
Broadly speaking, human beings may be divided into three classes: those who
are billed to death, those who are worried to death and those who are bored
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get
its pants on.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind, and won't change the subject.
The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.
Sir Winston Churchill was once asked, "Must you fall asleep while I'm speaking?" "No, " he replied, "it's purely voluntary."
If you're going through hell, keep going.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work,
and learning from failure.
Colin L. Powell
Pluralism = all views equal
Syncretism = all religions equal
Universalism = all men equal
Fundamentalism = Jesus - There is no other name whereby men must be saved.
How do a ewe and her two lambs sing?
Two bleats to a ba!!
Constantine Parish Magazine
One day a dad and his young son went out together fishing in a boat. His
thoughtful son asked, "Dad, why does this boat float?" "I don't rightly know,"
his father replied. Then his son asked, "How can fish breathe?" "I don't
rightly know," his father replied. A little while later he asked, "How can
fish see straight ahead?" "I don't rightly know," his father replied. "I
hope you don't mind me asking you all these questions." "Not at all," Dad
said, "If you don't ask questions, you'll never learn."
Tim (Beach Mission) at Grace Community Church
A most perplexing question is not "How could God send good people to hell"? but "How can God bring bad people to heaven"?
Another mystery is contained in the statement, "Bring me a worm that can
understand man, and I will show you a man who can understand God."
Robert Zins - Christian Watch
He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Shun him
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child. Teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep. Awaken him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise. Follow him.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
Message posted in Synagogues around the world (in 2004 AD):
"Under the same management for over 5,765 years."
It was mealtime during a flight on El-Al.
'Would you like dinner?,' the flight attendant asked Moshe, seated in front.
'What are my choices?' Moshe asked.
'Yes or no,' she replied.
Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries
to rich people in poor countries.
The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
Talk slowly; but think quickly.
The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
Notice on a field gate: "The Farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges!"
Peter was walking one day with a friend discussing the problem of suffering.
"All the time God suffers more than we do," he said.
"Do you mean Calvary?"
"No, that was only a piece of it - the piece we saw - in time. Like that," he said, pointing to a felled tree beside them, "That dark ring there goes up the length of the tree. But you only see it where it has been sawn. That is what Christ's life was; the bit of God that we saw."
Peter Abelard (1079-1142)
A pioneer is: Everything. A worker and a fighter, a builder and a soldier. One who sacrifices everything for his country and expects no reward for his efforts. A son of his people. The vanguard of suffering millions. He belongs to no class; he represents no class. He is prepared to perform every kind of work and becomes the right man for the right job wherever he is sent.
Capt Joseph Trumpeldor - quoted in "6 Officers, 2 Lions and 750 Mules"
Suffering and success go together. If you are succeeding without suffering, it is because others before you have suffered; if you are suffering without succeeding, it is that others after you might succeed. 'Happy are they that mourn'. They can be happy because they know that their pain, their distress and their privation are the travail of a new creation, the birth pangs of a better world. They can be happy if they are aware that the Master Artist, God, is employing both light and shadow to produce a masterpiece worthy of divine artistry. They can also glory in their infirmities, smile through their tears and sing in the midst of their sorrow, because they realize that in God's economy, 'If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.'
Dr. Edward Judson
There is a story about a boy flying a kite. The kite was so high that it had disappeared into the clouds. A man came by and asked, "What are you doing, son, holding onto that string?" The boy answered, "I've got a kite up there." The man looked up and said, "I don't see it." The boy replied, "Well, I know it's there because I can feel the tug." That's like the witness of the Holy Spirit within us. We may not see the evidence, but we feel a tug in our hearts constantly, letting us know that we are in touch with God. That is the witness of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Billy Graham
He that made man was made man.
If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have and don't want.
We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.
The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God.
When Victor Frankl was released from a Nazi concentration camp he found the courage to walk for miles in the open country. Suddenly he stopped, looked up and fell on his knees. He repeated over and ever, "I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space."
Ps 1185 Victor Frankl. Man's Search for Meaning
A Christian woman was on a flight one day and began reading her Bible. The man seated next to her said, "You don't believe all that stuff do you? You know about Jonah and whale?" "Yes, I do. Though there are many things I would like ask him in heaven," she replied. "What if he isn't there?" he asked sarcastically. She immediately replied, "Then you can ask him!"
from 'A Barrel of Fun' by John and Mark Stibbe
Democracy is a human invention. Christianity is a Divine revelation.
Rev Colin Salter
One of the defining marks of our time is that God is now considered to be 'weightless'. That is he has become unimportant. He wrests upon the world so inconsequentially as not to be noticeable. Those who assure the pollsters of their belief in God's existence consider him less interesting than TV, his commands less authoritative than their appetites for affluence or influence, his judgement no more awe-inspiring than the evening news and his truth less compelling than the advertisers sweet catalogue of flattery and lies.
Dr David F. Wells
Much of what I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark...
One: Don't miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on high ground.
Seven: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine: When you're stressed, float a while.
Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
Two Irishmen find a mirror in the road.
The first one picks it up and says, "I know that face, but I cannot put a name to it."
The second man picks it up and says, "It's me you dope!"
An Unknown Irishman?
Where the plain sense makes common sense, don't look for any other sense.
Some think that the earth began with a big bang; it may well end with a big bang!
Rabbi Marder tells the story of a 17-year old boy. Chemotherapy had taken his hair, surgeons had taken his right arm and cancer was taking his life. He drifted in and out of a coma. His father and mother sat by his bedside day after day. Suddenly he opened his eyes and seeing his Dad said, "I'm scared. Sometimes I don't know who I am." His father asked, "Do you know who I am?" "Yes, of course, you're my Dad," he answered. "That's OK then. You don't need to worry. I know who you are. You are am Segulah." (hebrew = 'my treasure')
Bridges for Peace
Life's trials are a challenge to be conquered, not a difficulty to be ducked!
There was once a poor Scottish farmer named Fleming. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of" and that he did. Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman's son who had been saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. His life was saved by a new drug called penicillin. The name of the nobleman was Lord Randolph Churchill and his son was Sir Winston Churchill.
A good garden needs plenty of water; most of it in the form of perspiration.
Quotable Quotes for the Garden
When considering the lukewarm some one said, "It is easier to cool down a fanatic than to wake up a corpse."
Love can always wait to give; lust can never wait to get.
Considering the parable of the 'Good Samaritan'; the first question that the priest and the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But the good Samaritan reversed the question and asked, "If I do not help this man, what will happen to him?"
Martin Luther King
We have deliverance because there is a Deliverer
We have salvation because there is a Saviour
We have redemption because there is a Redeemer
We have righteousness because Jesus gives us himself.
You aren't wealthy until you have something money cannot buy.
A compromise is an agreement whereby both parties get what neither of them wanted.
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
If you don't know where you are going, you might end up someplace else.
A member of the Taliban was separated from his fighting party and wandered around for a few days in the desert, lost, out of food, no water. He looked on the horizon and he saw what looked like a little shack, and he walked toward that shack and as he got to it, turned out that it was a shack, a store, a little store owned by a Jewish merchant. And the Taliban warrior went up to him and said, 'I need water, get me some water.' And the merchant said, 'I'm sorry, I don't have any water, but would you like to buy a tie? We have a nice sale of ties today.'
"Whereupon the Taliban erupted into a stream of language that I can't repeat about Israel, about Jewish people, about the man himself, about his family -- and just saying 'I need water, you try to sell me ties, you people don't get it.'
"And passively, the merchant stood there until this Taliban was through with his diatribe and said, 'Well, I'm sorry but I don't have water for you and I forgive you for all of the insults you've levied against me, my family, my country, but I will help you out. If you go over that hill and walk about two miles there's a restaurant there, and they have all the water you'll need.'
"And the Taliban, instead of saying thanks, still muttering under his breath, disappears over the hill -- only to come back about an hour later and walking up to the merchant and says, 'Your brother tells me I need a tie in order to get into the restaurant.'"
Near the top of Mount Everest is a marker which reads, 'He died climbing.' Growth is an uphill climb. If you want to keep growing you must never stop climbing: '...the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day' (Proverbs 4:18).
UCB Word for 11/1/11
For a Christian, this life is as bad as it gets. For an unbeliever, this life is as good as it gets.
I am not defined by being an Olympic champion - but by God's love for me, and mine for him. 26/9/00
Albert Einstein declared, "Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind." A scientist challenged God, "What relevance do you have in a world where science has done away with the need for faith?" God pointed to the splendour and complexity of the universe, asking did not the very wonder of creation require a creator? The scientist was not convinced. He spoke of BigBangs, quantum physics and string theories as a means of explaining the existence of all that is. God talked of creating life from the dust of the earth. The scientist said he believed that scientific methods could do the same. So God challenged him as to who would be the first to create life. Feeling confident, the scientist bent down to scoop up some dust, but was stopped by the voice of God saying, "Oh no. You get your own dust!"
Malc. Halliday. Western Morning News 14/1/12
Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or do without.
If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed;
if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
Education is not about filling buckets, it is about lighting a fire.
W B Yeats
Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.
Sir Isaac Newton
As we must account for every idle word, so we must account for every idle silence.
Political power does not rest with those who cast votes; political power rests with those who count votes.
The introduction of washable plastic banknotes is bound to lead to an increase in money-laundering!
Bill Croft - Letter to Daily Mail
There is no education in the second kick of a mule.
Mercy came running
Like a prisoner set free
Past all my failures to the point of my need
When the sin that I carried
Was all I could see
And when I could not reach mercy
Mercy came running to me.
Philips, Craig and Dean
To continue to do today, what you did yesterday with the expectation of different results is the definition of insanity.
Happiness is pretty simple - someone to love, something to do, something to look forward to.
Rita Mae Brown
For a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
When I give food to the poor, people call me a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.
Brazilian Archbishop Helder Camara
Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Ed Miliband is like a plastic bag caught in a tree. No one can remember how he got there and no one can be bothered to get him down!
Like all travellers, I have seen more than I can remember, and remember more than I have seen.
It goes so fast that you can still remember why you went upstairs.
June Whitfield on her latest stairlift.
Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.
All work is the avoidance of harder work.
Thirty years ago, the Queen was a guest at a civic lunch in Rochdale Town Hall. As the time for her speech approached, the mayor turned to her for a reminder of how to address her. "The first time you call me 'Your Majesty', then it's 'Ma'am'," advised the Queen. "But I shouldn't worry. You've been calling me 'Luv' right through lunch."
Canon Simon Tatton-Brown (The Week 25/9/15)
With money you can buy food, but not appetite, medicine but not health, soft beds but not sleep, knowledge but not wisdom, glitter but not splendour, acquaintances but not friends.
One morning in Paris a young girl was taking her dog for a walk when it suddenly turned upon her. A man walking nearby immediately tackled the dog and in doing so killed it. Very quickly an eager newspaper reporter wanted to know the story.
He began to write the headline, "Brave Parisian kills fierce dog to save little girl ..."
"No, said the man, "You can't write that, I'm not a Parisian."
"OK, then I'll put 'Brave Frenchman kills fierce dog to save little girl'."
"No, you can't put that either; you see, I'm an Israeli."
"Fine," said the reporter, "then the headline will be, 'Jewish man kills little girl's dog'!"
A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
Edward R. Murrow
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.
I cannot change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust the set of the sails.
The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.
There are two ways spreading light; to be a candle or the mirror to reflect it.
We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
Someone is sitting in the shade today because long ago someone planted a tree.
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
I love the light for it shows me the way, and I will endure darkness because it shows me the stars.
The things that we love tell us what we are.
Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.
The great heroes of history seem to be those who have won wars.
True success, however, may be those who managed to avoid fighting them.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings.
The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
The axe forgets, the tree remembers.
The first rule of diplomacy: “Never propose anything unless it has been stitched up in advance.”
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
The pen is mightier than the sword, but only in retrospect. At the time of combat, those with the swords generally win. (This will also be true at the end of the world, when Jesus Christ returns; “Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.” This he will do. Rev 1915,20 )
When asked what advice he might offer to Trump. "… a man like Mr. Trump doesn’t need any advice, especially on domestic political issues…In general, giving advice to your colleagues is always counterproductive".
A Sabbath well spent
Brings a week of content,
And health for the toils of the morrow;
But a Sabbath profaned
Whate'er may be gained,
Is a certain forerunner of sorrow.
If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?
The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.
What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.
Written on a card with the gift of a compass, "So you’ll always know where you are and where home is."
Film: Message in a Bottle
The chief dangers are these:
Religion without the Holy Spirit.
Christianity without Christ.
Forgiveness without repentance.
Salvation without regeneration.
Politics without God.
Heaven without hell.
William Booth when in 1900 was asked “What are your concerns for the next century?”
Chinese lady on being asked how she came to be saved replied, "I enter by narrow gate."
Alistair Begg, Keswick 2017
The root cause of our moral flabbiness is that we have neglected (or rejected) God’s Law. We have affirmed the judgements of our own hearts as being more important than the clear precepts of God’s Word.
Alistair Begg, Keswick 2017
Keep me kept.
Scottish farmer’s prayer
I believe in the rising of the sun , not just because I can see it, but because it enables me to see everything else.
After God spoke to us through the prophets, he spoke to us by his Son, not as a concept to wrestle with or a philosophy to adopt, but as the Saviour to trust and obey.
As Prophet, Christ came to inform / reveal
As Priest, Christ came to transform / reconcile, redeem
As King, Christ is coming to reform / reign.
Christ upholds everything by his word of power. Nothing is outside of his interest, compassion and ability. He remains entirely reliable.
“If something is going to get clean, something else has to get dirty.” (Terry McTier)
Alister Begg Sermon on Heb 11-3 Prophet, Priest and King
There are no short cuts to any place worth going to.
The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate.
It has been a wonderful experience to compete in the Olympic Games and to bring home a gold medal. But since I have been a young lad, I have had my eyes on a different prize. You see, each one of us is in a greater race than any I have run in Paris, and this race ends when God gives out the medals.
The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.
I am only one, but I am one; I cannot do everything, but I can do something; What I can do, I ought to do; and what I ought to do, I will do by the grace of God.
Asked what was the purpose of his Bible class, he replied, "The purpose is to give every boy a Bible in his hand, a Saviour in his heart, and a purpose for his life."
D.S.Moody ?? (a Banker)
I have one message: that Jesus Christ came, he died on a cross, he rose again, and he asked us to repent of our sins and receive him by faith as Lord and Savior, and if we do, we have forgiveness of all of our sins.
Someday, you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.
Billy Graham (before he 'moved' 21/2/2018)
The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays - not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps, but because God loves clean floors.
You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.
C S Lewis
God’s plan cannot be improved upon.
Steph Gidney. MAF
The problem in the modern world is not so much what we know, as what we do with what we know.
The trouble with Margaret Thatcher is that when she speaks without thinking, she says what she thinks.
Norman St. John-Stevas
I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptations. It is not serious provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience, etc. don’t get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of his presence.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Never stand between a dog and a lamp post! (Talking on politics)
Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Communism is the other way round.
Rodric Braithwaite, a British diplomat
When that one great scorer comes, to mark against your name,
It matters not who won, or lost, but how you played the game.
William Ernest Henley
The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat!
Seeing the disgraceful way in which many MP’s behave in Westminster
gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘political asylum’.
The Bible is given to us, not to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.
“Remember, I am only a forgiven sinner.”
Dr Lloyd-Jones. Shortly before he died.
The Gospel sounds almost like a fairy tale. "It's too good to be true," someone protested to George MacDonald. “No," he replied, "it’s so good it has to be true."
After 25 years volunteering to work in war zones from Srajevo to Syria, trauma surgeon David Nott had his bravery rewarded with an invite to lunch at Buckingham Palace, where he was seated on the Queen’s left. But when the monarch asked what life was like in Aleppo, from where he had recently returned, he recalls, "My bottom lip started to go" and he was unable to speak. The Queen touched his hand, and took some biscuits from a box on the table. "These are for the dogs," she said. For the rest of lunch, the Queen and the doctor fed the corgis under the table. "While we were petting them, my anxiety drained away. 'There', the Queen said, 'That’s so much better than talking isn’t it?’"
From The Week
Son, if you go with the crows, you will be sure to be shot.
Alistair Begg's Father
I walked a mile with Pleasure; she chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser for all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow; and ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her, when Sorrow walked with me.
Robert B. Hamilton
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.
Worry is like a rocking chair: it give you something to do, but never gets you anywhere.
“Men do not differ much about what things they call evil; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.” [Almighty God is totally consistent.]
If life gives you a lemon; make lemonade.
Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself.
Exercise daily - walk with the Lord.
People are like tea bags -
you have to drop them in hot water before you know how strong they are.
Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
It’s hard to stumble when you’re down on your knees.
When you flee temptation, don’t leave a forwarding address.
The best vitamin for a Christian is B 1.
A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shadow they know they will never sit.
The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
‘No’ is a complete sentence.
The Old Testament is the Word of God. It exists, not to record for our amusement the quaint notions of ancient man, but for our learning principles of divine truth.
Gardening adds years to your life, and life to your years.
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done.
Anyone who wants to rule the world should first try to rule a garden.
Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Sometimes when I’m faced with an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we have finished eating that magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there is a cook.
There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I cannot remember what the second one is.
Mark Hanna - former US Senator
A very simple rule in politics is that if you are always insisting that you’ve been ‘very clear’ about something; you haven't been, your messaging has failed.
G. K. Chesterton pointed out that it is a mistake to suppose that humility excludes conviction: “A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.”
The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.
You have the watches, but we have the time.
a Taliban saying.
In a liberal society, offence is the price we pay for freedom.
Books remain our most faithful, silent, life companions.
A well-liked book will never betray you.
To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.
Mathematics is the music of reason.
Patience, and the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.