Archives For All Praise

Word for Your Life

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. ~ Psalm 127:1

A Year with Aslan from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Have you ever met someone & hit it off right away?

As Lucy is on the ship, she’s watching a school of fish swim around, when suddenly she sees a little Sea Girl, about her age, right in the middle of them. Just when she thought she’d lose her, the girl looked up .. & it says ..

Lucy will never forget her face.  It didn’t look frightened or angry.  In that one moment they had somehow become friends.  & while it doesn’t seem there’s much chance of their meeting again, if they do – they’ll rush together with their hands held out.

What a beautiful picture of what heaven must be like.  You & others you’ve met, if only thru prayer, with eternity to get to know each other.

Daily Walk Devotion ~ Intentional Living Center

Happy Labor Day Weekend!  1 Corinthians 4:12 says:

We work hard with our own hands.  When we’re cursed, we bless.

Isn’t that perfect to celebrate Labor Day? If we want to live our faith out before others, we’re going to run into people that will criticize & make fun of us.  How we respond may or may not have an impact on them – but it wil definitely have a profound impact on us. 

Continue to work with diligence, & when you’re treated badly – do something good for them.

Quotes

Donald Miller ~ Blue Like Jazz

When we worship God, we worship a Being our life experience does not give us the tools to understand.  If we could, God would not inspire awe.

Anon

What the caterpillar calls the end, God calls a butterfly.

Oswald Chambers ~ My Utmost for His Highest

Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at how un-simple we are. It is our own opinions that make us stupid. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be, it is now; we look for it in some cataclysmic event. When Philip said “Show us the Father” he expected the revelation of a tremendous mystery, not the One Whom he knew.  God never guides presently, but always now.

Phillip Yancey ~ What’s So Amazing About Grace?

Christians may choose to enter an arena of power, but when we do we dare not leave love behind.  The largest & deepest reference of the Gospel is not to the world or its social problems, but to Eternity & its social obligations.

Pastor Ralph Hefner: Following surgery that left him blind

You never realize God is all you need until you wake up one morning & he’s all you have.

Scriptures

Hebrews 12:26-28

James 2:14

Luke 1:51

Matthew 5:16

Matthew 9:13

Psalm 113:5-6

Daniel 2:27

Psalm 30:11

Colossians 2

Luke 8:26-38

Word for Your Life

Instruct the wise & they will be wiser still; teach the righteous & they will add to their learning. ~ Proverbs 9:9

A Year with Aslan from The Silver Chair

If we are taking a step to trust in God, it means we have to stop trusting in our own ways.

As Jill & Eustace find themselves in Underland, Jill can smell there’s a stable there & Eustace sees this magnificent rocket take off.  & as they discuss what they’re seeing, the prince says …

Friends, when once a man is launched on such an adventure as this, he must bid farewell to hopes & fears – otherwise death or deliverance will both come too late to save his honor & his reason.

In other words, if we say we’re trusting in Him, but we continually look to our own ways to get things done – we’ll lose our honor, & miss out on the adventure.

Daily Walk Devotion ~ Intentional Living Center

The sovereignty of God means he won’t leave us incomplete, the that’s often a long term project.

The National Cathedral is one of the most beautiful structures in Washington, D.C. – but for the longest time it was a laughing stock. Work began on it in 1907, but it was never completely finished until 1990. 83 years – thanks to all the government red tape.

We can often be that red tape in the Lord’s work in us, constantly questioning the vision & putting off the work.  So today’s One Thing for you & me is to think about a project we’ve left unfinished – & get going on it again.

 

Quotes

AW Tozer ~ The Counselor

We’re light as butterflies.  We flit around in the sunshine & imagine we’re eagles flapping our broad wings.  When Jesus said “Go into all the world & preach the gospel”, Peter probably leapt to his feet & scooped up his hat on the way out. But the Lord said “stay until you’ve been clothed with power from on high.”  He goes on to say sometimes I think the Church would be better off if we would call a moratorium on activity for about 6 weeks & just wait on God to see what He is waiting to do for us.

Brennan Manning ~ The Ragamuffin Gospel

What Jesus did was sufficient.  To the extent that we are self-made saints like the Pharisees or neutral like Pilate, we let prostitutes & tax collectors go first into the kingdom while we are in the background having our alleged virtue burnt out of us. They enter before us because they know they can’t save themselves, & so they risked everything on Jesus.

Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

When I went there, she was a pious, warm, & tender-hearted woman.  There was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear.  Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities.  The tender heart became stone, & the lamb-like disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness.

John Eldredge ~ Waking the Dead

Somehow we have overlooked the fact this treasure called the heart can also be broken, has been broken, & now lies in pieces–much of what troubles us comes out of the broken places in our hearts crying out for relief. Jesus speaks as if we are all brokenhearted. We would do well to trust His perspective on this.

Matthew Henry ~ Commentary on Zechariah 12:3

Those that are for advancing the kingdom of sin in the world look upon Jerusalem, & even the church of God, as the great obstacle to their designs..& they must have it out of the way; but they will find it heavier than they think.  They cannot remove it, because God will have a church in the world.

Matt Redman ~ Facedown

All worship is a response to a revelation – it’s only as we breathe in more of the wonders of God that we can breathe out a fuller response to Him.  In worship, explanation gives way to mystery.  & mystery leads us to reverence & awe.

Phillip Yancey ~ What’s So Amazing About Grace?

The ladder of power reaches up, the ladder of grace reaches down.

C.S. Lewis ~ Mere Christianity

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

Scriptures

Titus 3:5

Zechariah 12:3

Proverbs 17:27

Isaiah 40:31

Mark 14:33-35

Word for Your Life

Let the wise listen & add to their learning, & let the discerning get guidance. ~ Proverbs 1:5

A Year with Aslan from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Perhaps the most amazing thing about grace is that it doesn’t look like we think it should.

Lucy, Eustace & the others have landed on his island & found these men all in a deep trance around a table – with one of them grasping this knife. & a spirit comes & says to them “Don’t you know about it?”  Lucy answers ..

I think I’ve seen something like it before.  It was a knife like it that the White Witch used when she killed Aslan. The girl says “It was the same. & it was brought here to be kept in honor while the world lasts.”

That’s what the Cross is for us. The Bible says when Jesus laid down his life, he disarmed the forces of evil.  He made a public spectacle of them, turning an instrument of torture & death into the perfect symbol of love, sacrifice & triumph.

Daily Walk Devotion ~ Intentional Living Center

Being overwhelmed – it’s an idea we can all relate to.  If that’s you today, take encouragement.

Whether it’s a relationship, a financial struggle, or even a physical ailment, there’s no getting around the truth that life is tough.  But it’s also true that God has blessed your home.  One of the biggest ways he’s done that is by giving you each other.  Nobody’s perfect, but a family unit is perfectly designed to help you weather your storms.

Quotes

AW Tozer ~ The Set of the Sail

Faith grows with use.  If we would have great faith we must begin to use the little faith we already have.  God waits to be invited to display His power, & the world situation is such that nothing less than God can straighten it out.  So let’s not fail the world & disappoint God by failing to pray.

Helen Keller

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.

Hannah Smith ~ The Christian’s Secret of A Happy Life

Holding onto what was isn’t healthy for what is.

Ron Ragotzy ~ Raising Abel

Understanding faith is like solving a Sudoku puzzle.  At first it’s hard to see how everything will work out, but as you start filling in numbers, more answers are revealed.  & there’s often more than one route to the answer.  It wouldn’t be a puzzle if you could see the whole picture at the beginning.

Oswald Chambers ~ My Utmost for His Highest

“Jesus did not commit Himself to them, for He knew what was in man.” ~ John 2:24-25

& yet, he was never suspicious, never bitter, never lost hope for anyone – because his trust was in God first.  He absolutely trusted in what God’s grace could do for others.

David Roper ~ A Heart of Wisdom

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me & drink.  & he goes on to say that in those moments when it seems like love has dried up, or the demands on your time & energy drain you, or you just get weary of the struggle – all of this comes from God, the never-ending source of righteousness, joy, & peace.  & where God’s river flows, there is life.  But there is one requirement: We must thirst.

Matt Redman ~ Facedown

We come to God thru Jesus, in Jesus, & with Jesus.  God receives with delight the gifts that belonged to him in the first place, but he also pays the price for their delivery.  Time after time we find ourselves amazed, yet let’s not be fooled into thinking this story is about us.  It never has been.

Phillip Yancey ~ What’s So Amazing About Grace?

In the mid-70s, Polish & Czech dissidents decided to change the way they fought communism.  They started acting in the way they thought society should act.  If you want freedom of speech, speak freely.  If you love the truth, tell the truth.  The authorities didn’t know how to respond.

Charles Dickens

The whole difference between construction & creation is that a thing constructed can only be loved after it’s constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.

Scriptures

John 21

Psalm 80:7

Matthew 22:1-14

Zephaniah 3:17

Psalm 18:16

 

Word for Your Life

I have become a sign to many; You are my strong refuge. ~ Psalm 71:7

A Year with Aslan from The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe

We often hope for God to present with us, but that can be a wonderful & terrible thing at the same time.

Edmund has returned from the White Witch. The other kids find this out, & wolf down their breakfast & want to run out & see him, but he’s walking with Aslan. & as the others approach, it’s Aslan who breaks the silence…

Here is your brother, he says.  & there is no need to talk to him about what is past.

That also means there’s no need to talk to each other about his past either.  Proverbs 17:28 says …

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent. 

Daily Walk Devotion ~ Intentional Living Center

How many times have you heard the expression “Open Up the Heavens” in terms of asking for God’s blessing on something?  “If we ask, he’ll give it to us”, we say.

We must be careful what we ask for – & what we pursue.

Ecclesiastes 5:12 tells us ..

The abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.

The more we have, the more we stay up trying to figure out a way to keep it or get more.

Instead, let’s pursue & trust in God – & find our rest.

Quotes

AW Tozer ~ The Price of Neglect

Every Christian is in some degree a mystic.  He prays, meditates on spiritual things & communes with God in the invisible world.  But he must also descend to work, & eat, & sleep, & pay his taxes, & get on somehow with the world around him.  The big problem is to keep the 2 elements in proper balance.  We need both Martha & Mary.  The light in the tower burns dimly while we hurry about the grounds below.

Sam Levenson ~ Humorist & Writer

For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers thru it once a day

Pastor Charles Stanley

We have a new freedom, a new nature, a new standard of conduct, but if we use human reasoning to help us grasp a spiritual truth like this we’ll get confused.  So set aside your human logic, depend on the Holy Spirit, believe you are a new creation & then practice what you learn.  That’s when you’ll find a spiritual joy & be fully alive in Christ.

Donald Miller ~ Blue Like Jazz

[Donald Miller speaking about other Christians at his college]

Built a confession booth on campus, but instead of taking confessions, they confessed their sins .. that they had not represented Jesus very well.  That started conversations about God, about Jesus, & in the end it was the Christians that were changed.

Pastor Tim Keller ~ Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York

It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch.

David Roper ~ A Heart of Wisdom

Why do we have to die?  God has put eternity in our hearts; we were made for immortality!  Why does death sweep us away?  The answer comes as a complete surprise:  Death is not our lot; it is our sentence.  We are mortal because we are sinful.  So it’s a good thing to ponder now & then the brevity of life, & to number our days.

Elijah Price (played by Samuel L. Jackson) ~ Unbreakable

You know what the scariest thing is?  To not know your place in this world.  To not know why you’re here.  Now that we know who you are, I know who I am.

Scriptures

Psalm 16:5

1 John 3:2

1 Corinthians 4:2-5

2 Corinthians 12:9

Psalm 107:10-16

1 Kings 19:1-18

Word for Your Life

Through the praise of children & infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe & the avenger. ~ Psalm 8:2

A Year with Aslan from The Horse & His Boy

Shasta has been walking across a desert on his way to meet up with others, & he gets more & more anxious with each step.  & it says ..

He now realized when they arranged to wait for one another no one had said anything about how long.  He couldn’t wait here for the rest of his life! & soon it would be dark again, & he’d have another night just like last night.  A dozen different plans went thru his head…& at last he fixed on the worst plan of all.

One day, in heaven, our minds will not go automatically to the cynical – but only to praise.

 

Daily Walk Devotion ~ Intentional Living Center

 

With the moral decay, the celebration of sin & nation fighting nation it’s easy to get depressed.

 

Even the author of Psalm 73, when talking about the wicked prospering, said “They have no struggles” .. but that’s not reality.  Appearances can be deceiving.  Even those who appear to have the world on a string have struggles. The key is to not focus on others, but on what God is doing through you.  & remember to say thanks.

 

Quotes

AW Tozer ~ How to Be Filled With the Spirit

If you were to go to a church & ask the preacher “Do you believe the Lord answers prayer & heals the sick?”, he’d say “Sure” .. but if he doesn’t teach it, it doesn’t do any good.  The same is true of the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  Evangelical Christianity believes it, but nobody [seems to] experience it.  It lies under the snow, forgotten.  I’m praying God will melt away that ice, & let it spring up again .. alive.

CS Lewis ~ Mere Christianity

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

Matt Redman ~ Facedown

Creation is alive with musicality – every sound, note & strain is a response to the divine.

Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

On the one hand there stood slavery – a stern reality.  On the other hand, away back in the dim distance, under the flickering light of the north star, behind some craggy hill or snow covered mountain, stood a doubtful freedom – half-frozen – beckoning us to come & share its hospitality.

Philip Yancey ~ What’s So Amazing About Grace?

The image Jesus used to describe the church’s destiny – “the gates of hell will not prevail against it” – is a metaphor of offense, not defense.  Christians are storming the gates, & they will prevail.  No matter how it looks at any point in history, the gates guarding the powers of evil will not withstand an assault by grace.

Oswald Chambers ~ The Love of God

The world does not bid you to sing, but God does.  Words & emotions pass, so when the duller moments come & the mind requires something more certain, remember love is not an attribute of God – it IS God.  Whatever God is, love is.

Scriptures

John 12:32

Romans 8:19

Isaiah 40:31

Galatians 4:4-5

Psalm 61:5

Acts 5

Revelation 5:13