Monday, July 16, 2018

OUR FAITHFUL COMPANION

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.’”  (Matthew 16:24 NIV)

Reality is hard, it’s messy, it takes us unawares, and it happens to be precisely where we live. The point of this pilgrim path is to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus, right in the middle of routine stuff -- good, bad, and ugly.

Jesus didn’t promise to make anything easy, but He does promise to be our faithful companion along the way.

-- Derek Maul in “The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian”


#4379

Friday, July 13, 2018

THINKING OF OTHERS

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,…”  (Philippians 2:3-5 NRSV)

Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity.  If you learn this art of being thoughtful, you will become more and more Christ-like, for His heart was meek and He always thought of others.  Our vocation, to be beautiful, must be full of thought for others.

-- Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)


#4378

Thursday, July 12, 2018

TIME TO LIVE

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”  (Ecclesiates 3:1 NIV)

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve become so busy scheduling every moment of my life for success that I miss the one thing I long for most: time to live.

Time to walk hand in hand with my wife -- regardless of unfinished tasks. Time to lie on my back and watch the clouds form and re-form into monsters and angels and things that exist only in the minds of dreamers. Time to talk to the people I love. Time to write about the stirrings of my heart. Time to visit with those people across the street I’ve never met. Time to pray -- not during scheduled prayer time, but simply because I’m overcome with gratitude, weariness, or joy. Time to simply talk with God.

-- Ken Davis in “Lighten Up!”


#4377

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

OUR TOUGH GOD

“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10 NRSV)

We have a tough, problem-confronting, problem-solving God. He does not retreat from either the problems we have brought on ourselves or the problems life has dished out. And He wants to make us much tougher people. He wants to give us a new perspective on our problems, exercise our prayer muscles, and strengthen the fiber of our souls. Instead of wringing our hands in consternation or running away in panic, He wants to make us people He can use.

…He wants to transform our approach to problems. He wants us to think of ourselves as being men and women of valor because of His might at work in us. And He assures us that His abiding presence is available to help us tackle every problem with His strength and direction -- confident that problems are not a sign of His absence.

…We all have problems. That’s life. But we also have a Lord who not only helps us grow through our problems, but gives us the power to triumph over them.

-- Lloyd J. Ogilvie in “If God Cares, Why Do I Still Have Problems?”


#4376

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

PRAYER FOR PEOPLE I DISLIKE

Loving God, Mysterious Wind-like Spirit,
blow strongly if You will
and surround with joy all those people whom I dislike.
Be gracious to those whose giftedness I envy.
Bless with wealth and success
those already annoyingly more successful than myself.
They deserve my encouragement, never my scorn.
I pray especially for all those
who do not particularly reverence me,
or may, in fact, dislike me and shun my company.
Give me eyes to see beauty and winsomeness
where I have not seen it before,
and give us all the self confidence to believe
that we would have no enemies at all
if we were known as You, Holy Wisdom, know us.
Amen.

-- William Cleary, as quoted in “When in Doubt, Sing” by Jane Redmont


#4375