Archives For All Praise

Verse of the Day

…Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.  I’m for peace, but when I speak, they are for war. ~ Psalm 120:16

A Year with Aslan from A Horse & His Boy

Hwin & Bree are talking, & Bree says “I can’t go on.”  Hwin answers that by saying …

Don’t horses, when they’re being ridden by humans, get forced to go on & find they have more to give?’

But that doesn’t seem to get through to Bree, & the passage goes on to say that …

One of the worst of being a slave & being forced to do things is that when there is no one to force you any more, you find you’ve almost lost the power of forcing yourself.”

Quotes

Jacob vowed a vow & it was the beginning of a wonderful life.  Daniel purposed in his heart & God honored his purpose.  Jesus set his face like a flint & walked straight to the Cross.  & Paul determined to not know anything but Jesus Christ crucified.  So let us set our sails in the will of God, so we can find ourselves moving in the right direction, no matter which way the wind blows.“ ~ A.W. Tozer, The Set of the Sail

Most people don’t get the difference.  We don’t just forgive & move on.  Trust is built over time.  If you lose trust, you’ve lost your right to lead at that moment.  It takes time to rebuild it – & in our relationship with God that comes thru obedience. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

“A photo of a man shows him lying on his back, a heavy chain on his ankle, dragging a huge boulder.  He had collapsed dragging this boulder, trying to earn forgiveness from God. So many people are walking around, maybe even in your church today, confused about what it takes to “get to heaven”, when the truth is heaven came to us. Ephesians 1:7 says …

In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

The redemption comes from him.  The forgiveness comes from him. You don’t have to earn it.  You can’t. So don’t make someone else drag a boulder around to earn your favor.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

…the otherness of God .. that idea that God is so pure & unique, so different from us, nothing else comes close.  That’s what makes his grace so outrageous.  God does not need of our offerings – everything we bring to him, whether a good deed, a tithe, or even a simple song of praise, came first from Him.  God even paid the price for us to draw near to Him in worship.“ ~ Matt Redman, Facedown

It comes mostly from losses & disappointment, which only leads to deeper discouragement.  So I’m learning, he says, to ask myself “Can I be content with these losses, knowing they’re part of aging – & as such are the will of God.  If I accept my lot with a quiet patience, not chafing against it, I will find it’s not without its compensations.  God’s will is a soft pillow for my head.“ ~ David Roper, A Heart of Wisdom

Prayer is an interruption of personal ambition.  It’s not a means of self-development.  When we’re born from above, the life of the Son of God begins in us – & we can either starve it or nourish it.  Prayer is not a way, he says, to get things from God – but rather that we may get to KNOW God. Oswald Chambers, If You Will Ask  

When we’re in an unhealthy condition we always look for thrills.  That leads to a counterfeit life – & eventually to destruction.  “ ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Scriptures 

Luke 1:17

 

Verse of the Day

Lord, do good to those who are good .. to those who are upright in heart. ~ Psalm 125:4

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

After Edmund has snuck out of the Beaver’s home & is walking toward the White Witch’s castle, he begins to talk himself into betraying the others.  It says:

As for what the Witch would do with the others, he didn’t want her to be especially nice to them – but he managed to believe, or pretend to believe, she wouldn’t do anything very bad – even though, deep down inside him, he really knew she was bad & cruel.

Quotes

The only fear I have is to fear to be out of the will of God.  Outside the will of God, there’s nothing I want – & inside there’s nothing I fear – for if I am in His will, he has sworn to keep me.  He’s able to do it, wise enough to know how, & kind enough to want to.“ ~ A.W. Tozer, Success & the Christian

Diffused light, he says, doesn’t have much of an effect on what it touches – but when you focus a light, like the sun thru a magnifying glass – you can start a fire.  & if you focus it even more, it becomes a laser, which can cut thru steel or destroy cancer. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

“In Genesis, we’re reminded that Joseph was …

a man among men, but nobody noticed it at first.  He was sold into slavery by his brothers & stuck in a prison for a crime he didn’t commit – but still, he was faithful & thru God’s power, overcame.

So much so that after Joseph interpreted his dream, Pharaoh said …

Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?

& then God used Joseph to save the land from famine, save his people from starvation, to later deliver them from bondage.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

In a sort of mysterious way, divine forgiveness depends on us.  Jesus hinges God’s forgiveness on our forgiving others.  I fervently wish these words weren’t in the Bible, but they are – from the lips of Christ himself.  God has granted us a terrible agency; by denying forgiveness to others, we are in effect deeming them unworthy of God’s forgiveness, & so are we.“ ~ Phillip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace

…because birds have a syrinx instead of a larynx, they can sing 2 different notes at the same time – essentially do a duet with themselves.“ ~ David Roper, A Heart of Wisdom

…One of the greatest difficulties in war is to find a man who can keep his head when everyone else is losing theirs.  It’s only done by steady practice.  When God says “Therefore take up the whole armor of God” – we’re not told to attack, but to stand – unpanicked – more than conquerors.  But this armor is not given – we have to take it up.  So prayer is not for special times, but must be our continual practice. Oswald Chambers, If You Will Ask  

It’s very common for people to every period to believe their own age is the crisis – the turning point of history.  The real hinge pin is the Cross.  Should Christ die or not?  If he refuses, the world is doomed.  If he conquers, the world will yet see day where it dwells in righteousness.“ ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Scriptures 

John 12:20-36

Isaiah 26:3

Revelation 21:3

Psalm 24:8

Psalm 59:16

Verse of the Day

“…Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts his voice, & the earth melts. ~ Psalm 46:6

A Year with Aslan from Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Some of my biggest hallelujahs have come when God has revealed something about myself to me & I’ve been able to confess it & grow. That’s kinda where we find Eustace in today’s devotion.  He has just awakened to find he is a dragon, & for a brief moment the thought occurs to him that he could get even with the others on the ship now – but he realized he didn’t want to anymore.  It reads ..

He wanted to be friends.  He wanted to get back to humans & talk & laugh.  He began to realize the others hadn’t been fiends at all, & he wondered if he had been such a nice person as he always supposed.  & he longed for their voices.

Eustace eventually got back to being human, but it only came through confession.  & the same is true for us.  Our lives won’t change until we repent.

Quotes

Unbelief says “Some other time, not now.  Some other place, not here. Some other people, not us.”  But FAITH says “Anything he did anywhere else, He will do here.  Anything he did any other time, he’s willing to do now.  & anything he did for other people, he’ll do for us.”  If we will yield & obey, God doesn’t care about the limits – He’s bigger than all of them.  The question is – will you open your heart?“ ~ A.W. Tozer, The Counselor

We can’t be all God created us to be if we don’t take our thoughts captive.  If you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you probably wouldn’t have friends anymore – because we fill our heads with lies.  & your thoughts don’t have to be true, you just have to believe them. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

“When grace comes looking for you, it’s a pretty rare thing.  Three of the gospels share a story about a woman who was afflicted who reached out to touch Jesus’ robe.  Jesus did not just tell her “You’re healed”, but “Go in Peace”.  That is as much a mindset as anything.  If we wait for the world to agree with us about anything, especially Jesus, we’ll never have peace. But if we accept his grace – we can live in his presence – & know his shalom.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

If you don’t have all the things you want, be grateful for all that you don’t have that you don’t want.“ ~ Marty Radcliff

The wind & waves were high when Peter stepped out of the boat, but he didn’t see them at first – he simply recognized his Lord.  If we’re doing that, we aren’t overwhelmed by our circumstances – but realize he is engineering them.  As you become totally unrestrained in your faith, casting everything on him, you will only recognize his voice all the more – & be willing to risk your all.“ ~ Oswald Chambers, Utmost for His Highest

If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching – but whether or not he rose from the dead.” ~ Pastor Tim Keller

Nowhere in scripture do I see a balanced life with a little bit of God added in .. When Jesus tells us to take up our cross, it’s a call to radical faith. To walk in such intimacy with the Spirit that my genuine response when he moves is to dance with abandon.  God is capable of this, but typically asks us to play an active role.  Like we have to get on the treadmill & run if we want results.” ~ Francis Chan, Forgotten God

“Men & women were created in the image of God.  Fearfully & wonderfully made … His glory was shared with us.  Psalm 8 says “You’ve made them a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory & honor.”  We’ve heard a bit about original sin, but not nearly enough about original glory.” John Eldredge, Waking the Dead  

“For every atrocity there must be an equal & opposite atrocity.” ~ Lance Morrow

Scriptures 

Isaiah 58:4-8

Isaiah 29:13

2 Corinthians 4:18

 

Verse of the Day

“…great peace have those who love your law, & nothing can make them stumble. ~ Psalm 119:165

Crossings ~ Lee Webber

I came to the swift, raging river & the roar held the echo of fear;
“O Lord, give me wings to fly over, If you are as you promised quite near.”
But he said “Trust the grace I am giving. All pervasive, sufficient for you.
Take my hand we will face this together, but my plan is not over but through.”

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

Luke 18 tells us we have to enter the kingdom of Heaven like a little child.  That’s just the way Lucy Pevensie entered Narnia, but in today’s devotion we learn that Edmund didn’t.  As they both speak to Peter, Edmund says …

Oh yes.  Lucy & I have been playing, pretending that her story about a country in the wardrobe is true.  Just for fun of course.  There’s nothing really there.

That sends Lucy out of the room crying, & Edmund thinks by making fun of Lucy he’ll score points with Peter but just the opposite happens.  The lesson for us is clear - it’s easy to pile on, but it takes real character to show grace.

Quotes

God has nothing to say to the frivolous man.  The psalmists wrote in tears, the prophets could hardly conceal their heavy heartedness, & the apostle Paul broke into tears when he thought about how many were enemies of the Cross.  There is not power in tears per se, but tears & power lie close together.  God, send them soon.“ ~ A.W. Tozer, God Tells the Man Who Cares

We can’t make changes in our lives until we understand our identity.  We may all have been given different parents, pains & problems, but we all have potential.  It’s like a game of cards: You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

Redemption isn’t a word we use much outside of church, but think of it like going to a big yard sale.  All kinds of stuff rejected by its owners, but gets a second chance at usefulness when you redeem it. Redemption means you were bought at a price .. & the price was Jesus’ life .. but that allowed God to remove from you the penalty of your sin.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

“A team of Navy SEALs went in to rescue some hostages, but the hostages wouldn’t follow.  They didn’t believe them, thinking they were kidnappers just messing with them.  So one SEAL put his guns down, took off his helmet, went & sat down,  huddled up in the corner with the hostages – getting as close as he could.  Then he told them “We’re Americans & here to rescue you.”  That’s when they believed him, because they knew the kidnappers would never have treated them like that.“ ~ Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Christianity is not a matter of deciding for Christ, or making vows.  The way of His entrance into us is the knowledge of our own poverty.  A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow & arrow is in the hands of an archer.  God is aiming at something the saint can’t see.  He stretches & strains, & every now & then the saint says “I can’t stand it any more”..but God doesn’t heed; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight .. then he lets the arrow fly.“ ~ Oswald Chambers, The Love of God

If grace is so amazing, why don’t Christians show more of it?  The ladder of power, he says, reaches up.  The ladder of grace reaches down.” ~ Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

“Don’t follow where the path may lead .. [follow God] where there’s no path & leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (paraphrase)

Scriptures 

Luke 6:47-49

Luke 1:68

2 Corinthians 3:7-11

Romans 8:22-27

Verse of the Day

“…but the meek will inherit the land & enjoy peace & prosperity. ~ Psalm 37:11

Billy Graham

Dr. Billy Graham on our spiritual battle.

The REAL St. Patrick

St. Patrick was not Irish.  History tells us he was most likely from Wales or Scotland.  Taken prisoner when he was 16 years old, God spoke to him in a vision.  He escaped & walked more than 200 miles to the coast, where he got on a passing ship.
When he got back home, God spoke again, this time telling him to return to Ireland as a missionary.  You may have heard that he drove the snakes from Ireland.  That is just legend, but St. Patrick DID help start over 300 churches, baptize more than 120,000 people, & re-evangelize Europe.  In some of his writings, St. Patrick echoed the words of the prophet Hosea, who said…

Those who are not my people I will call my people, & those not beloved I will call my beloved, and in the very place it was said to them, You are not My People, they will be called Sons of God.

A Year with Aslan from The Silver Chair

There are some folks who just tend to look on the down side – even after meeting Jesus. In today’s devotion we meet Puddleglum. Jill & Eustace have just met these strangers who’ve invited them to a place called Harfang. The kids can’t wait to go, but Puddleglum keeps warning them, saying ..

What would you find if you lifted up the visor of their helmet.  How about skeleton, or nothing at all? What if there’s someone invisible?”

The kids ignore him & go on, but that decision doesn’t necessarily lead them to happiness.
Most of us don’t want to be seen as the Puddleglum – but we also must remember that God has allowed all kinds of people into our lives, & there’s something we can learn from all of them.

God’s Children

Two young brothers were signing up for Sunday School one day. The teacher asked the boys their birthdays, & the older one said “Mine is April 8, 1976 – & my brother’s is April 20, 1976.” The teacher said “That’s impossible.” The older one says “No it isn’t.  One of us is adopted.” When the teacher asked which one, the boy said “We asked Dad a while a go, but he just says he loves us both & doesn’t remember which one was adopted.”

Quotes

The church should be without wrinkle.  To get the wrinkles out of a sack, you fill it – but to get wrinkles out of a rug, you’ve got to lay it down & walk on it.  Sometimes God makes us into his image by filling us up, & sometimes by laying us down & allowing the world to walk on us.“ ~ A.W. Tozer, Men Who Met God

Sharing the message is part of our life’s mission.  Just like a soldier is never sent out by himself, God never meant for us to do our mission alone.  In John 13, Jesus tells us our love for each other proves to the world that we’re His disciples.  & Paul tells the Philippian church “I will know you stand firm in 1 Spirit, striving together for the faith of the gospel.” ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

“When God says “Always”, he means “Always.”  In Matthew 6, Jesus says Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” & he goes on to tell us he will always come through for us, & give us everything we need, if we seek His kingdom first.” ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

I can no more understand all the complexities of God than the pancake I made for breakfast can understand me.” ~ Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

“If you see only what he’s done for you, your God isn’t big enough.  But when you see him as he really is, experience can come & go & yet you will endure.  You can’t bring your friend to the point of seeing.  God has to do it.  But you have to tell them, even if they don’t believe.” ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

“Freedom in Christ is the harder way.  It’s relatively easy not to murder, but hard to reach out in love.  Easy to avoid coveting your neighbor’s wife, but hard to keep a marriage alive.  Easy to pay taxes, hard to serve the poor.  When living in freedom, I have to remain open to the Spirit for guidance – not hide behind comparisons with other Christians.” ~ Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

Scriptures 

Matthew 14:22-34

1 John 3

Romans 8:16-17