Archives For All Praise

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

Word for Your Life

“Small is the gate & narrow the road that leads to life, & only a few find it. ~ Matthew 7:14

A Year with Aslan from Prince Caspian

One of the hardest lessons for us to learn is that God sometimes brings the world alive through ways we wouldn’t choose.

Nikabrik the Dwarf is with the Pevensies, in a sticky situation, & he wants to call on the powers of the White Witch – because she has power he can understand.  He says ..

Aslan & the Kings go together. Either Aslan is dead, or he’s not on our side. Or else something stronger than himself keeps him back. And if he did come—how do we know he’d be our friend?”

Maybe that can help us understand why so many don’t seem all that anxious to come to Jesus, because they don’t know they can trust Him.

Quotes

Jews for Jesus

God can be trusted to care for Israelis & Palestinians – & anyone else worldwide, & there will be sense to it because He is watching over the situation. Psalm 121:4 says “He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep”, but his promises go beyond Israel’s safety & even beyond justice. Through Israel’s Messiah, peace with God & with each other is an option for all who believe.

Daily Walk Devotion ~ Intentional Living Center

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells the church “Everything we do is for your strengthening.”

Red Adair became world famous for being the go to guy when it came to putting out oil fires.  (John Wayne even played him in the movie of his life).  Sometimes when people would bristle at how much he charged, he’d say…

If you think it’s expensive to hire a pro, wait until you hire an amateur.

Likewise, our homes & workplaces will benefit if we become professionals at putting out those little fires that can build up in our relationships.  Maybe God is using your circumstances to strengthen your abilities to move yourself & others to new places of maturity.

Donald Miller ~ Blue Like Jazz

When we reduce Christianity to math we defile the Holy.  You can’t be a Christian without being a mystic.

Brennan Manning ~ The Ragamuffin Gospel

The trouble with our ideals is that if we live up to all of them, we become impossible to live with.  The tilted halo of the saved sinner is worn loosely & with easy grace, & the deeper we grow in the Spirit of Jesus, the poorer we become.

Robert Capon ~ Parables of the Kingdom

…for us, heaven is an unearthly, humanly irrelevant condition in which paper-winged spirits sit on clouds & play tinkly music until their pipe-cleaner halos fall off from boredom.  But in Scripture it’s a city with boys & girls playing in the streets; building that use amethysts for cinder blocks & pearls for gates.  It is, in short, earth wedded – not earth jilted.

Philip Yancey ~ What’s So Amazing About Grace?

Forgiving frees a prisoner, & the prisoner is me.  A rabbi, who moved from Germany to America after WWII, said…

Before I came to America, I had to forgive Adolph Hitler.  I didn’t want to bring him inside me to my new country.”

Jay Milbrandt ~ Go + Do

I feel more alive when I’m climbing or surfing.  I wonder if man’s natural attraction to fear is actually a disguised attraction to God.  If it is, then it’s no surprise that society is so focused on safety.  We design life with blunt edges, & either perish in safety or find adventure in the wrong places.

Christopher Ash ~ Job: The Wisdom of the Cross

If you believe in any kind of justice, [the story of Job] would seem to contradict your beliefs…a man who doesn’t deserve to suffer finds himself suffering intensely & deeply.  In their world, good things only happen to good people & bad things only to bad people.  The Cross shows that at the heart of history there is undeserved suffering that makes possible undeserved blessing

Scriptures

Romans 15:13

2 Corinthians 5:17

Romans 5:3-5

1 Corinthians 15:9-11

Daniel 7:27-28

Word for Your Life

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:23

A Year with Aslan from The Magician’s Nephew

Oh how beautiful is the love of God?

Digory is crying out to Aslan…

Please, can’t you give me something that will cure my Mother?  Up until then he had been looking at the Lion’s great feet, but now he looked up at its face.  What he saw surprised him – great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes.  “My son, my son .. I know.  Grief is great.  Only you & I in this land know that yet.  Let us be good to one another.”

Isn’t that wonderful?  Even though we still have the consequences of our sin, we can still know perfect peace & righteousness by knowing a God who understands, empathizes, & pays for our restoration.

Quotes

A-W Tozer ~ The Pursuit of Man

The need for divine illumination is so fully developed in the New Testament that’s it’s astonishing we’ve gone so far astray from it.  Too many have stood aloof in self-conscious superiority & fallen into the error of textualism – which is just orthodoxy without the Spirit.  For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God.  Truth consists not in correct doctrine, but doctrine plus the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

Daily Walk Devotion ~ Intentional Living Center

We want to be multipliers of the good things of God, but lying can also multiply in a big, fat hurry.

Proverbs 12:19 says “A lying tongue lasts only a moment”, which probably refers the fact that if you keep it up, eventually you’re gonna lose all credibility & people will just quit listening to you.  Every lie diminishes you & your ability to influence others.

Donald Miller ~ Blue Like Jazz

Deep belief costs something.  If I really believed something, I’d have to do something about it. What I believe is not what I say I believe .. What I believe is what I do.

David Platt ~ Radical

If we were left to ourselves with the task of taking the gospel to the world, we would immediately begin planning innovate strategies & plotting elaborate schemes.  We’d organize conventions, develop programs & create foundations.  We’d get the biggest names to draw the biggest crowds to the biggest events.  We’d do .. exactly what we are doing.  But Jesus is different.  He wandered thru the streets of Israel looking for a few men .. who would think as he did, love as he did, see as he did, reach as he did & serve as he did.

Robert Frost ~ The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a wood, & I – I took the one less traveled by. And that’s made all the difference.

Oswald Chambers ~ My Utmost for His Highest

The Cross isn’t something that happened to Jesus, it’s the whole reason he came.  The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin.  It’s the central event in time & eternity. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much .. where the way to life was opened, & the cost & pain was absorbed by the heart of God.

David Roper ~ A Heart of Wisdom

There is no static balance in the spiritual life.  We’re either moving toward God or away.  So we must never let up, because our adversary does not.

C.S. Lewis ~ Mere Christianity

We can’t discover our failure to keep God’s law except by trying our very hardest (& then failing). Unless we really try, whatever we say there will always be at the back of our minds the idea that if we try harder next time we shall succeed in being completely good. Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder & harder. But in another sense it is not trying that’s ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, “You must do this. I can’t.” 

 

Scriptures

1 Samuel 2:1-10 – Hannah’s Prayer

Colossians 2:9

Psalm 18:2

Ecclesiastes 7:15-18

Matthew 22:1-14

Word for Your Life

This day I call the heavens & earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life & death, blessings & curses.  Now choose life, that you & your children may live. ~ Deuteronomy 30:19

A Year with Aslan from The Magician’s Nephew

We often say we “Trust in God”, but do we really?

As Aslan looks at Digory, he says …

“Son of Adam” .. “Are you ready to undo the wrong that you have done to my sweet country of Narnia on the very first day of its birth?”

Digory starts to answer .. “Well, I don’t see what I can do,” … but Aslan interrupts…

“I asked, are you ready?”  Digory says “Yes”, but the passage goes on to say that he thought about asking for a promise to help his mother, but he realized that the Lion was not at all the sort of person you could try to make bargains with.

God is less worried about your ability as He is your availability.

Quotes

A-W Tozer ~ That Incredible Christian

The typical church is composed of the few whose shoulders are bruised by their faithful labors & the many who are unwilling to raise a blister in the service of God & their fellow men.  Before the judgment seat of Christ my service will be judged not by how much I have done, but by how much I could have done. In God’s sight my giving is measured not by how much I have given, but by how much I could have given – & how much I had left after I made my gift.

Daily Walk Devotion ~ Intentional Living Center

Salvation is from the Lord and not man, but we do have a part to play.  There are Cumulative Consequences to the decisions we make.

Back in Vietnam, a lot of soldiers were exposed to Agent Orange.  They were told it was safe, but found out years later it wasn’t.  & the same thing can be true for what we’re allowing into our minds.  Society glorifies violence, promotes immorality & the love of money.  It may seem harmless now, but we’ll find out soon enough that it’s not.

That’s why 2 Corinthians 7:1 is so important.

Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body & spirit.

Donald Miller ~ Blue Like Jazz

I can no more understand all the complexities of God than the pancake I made for breakfast can understand me.  At the end of the day I know the chances of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, but I also know it’s going to be okay – because God has things figured out.

Brennan Manning ~ The Ragamuffin Gospel

The slant of the earth, tilted at 23º, produces our seasons.  If the moon were only 50,000 miles away instead of 250,000 – the tides might be so enormous we’d all be submerged in water. & if the crust of the earth were just 10 thicker, there’s wouldn’t be any oxygen.

When we consider all that, Job 26:7 takes on new significance.

He has poised the earth on nothingness.

Matt Redman ~ Facedown

the key to a life of passionate & powerful worship comes from seeing God.  We live as worshippers of the otherly in a culture of the ordinary.  All worship, he says, 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.

Oswald Chambers ~ The Love of God

If we try to fight God’s battles with our own weapons, we shall fail & fail miserably.  We’re told, he says, to keep [ourselves] in the Love of God, not keep on loving God.  We can’t do that, but oh that we may be driven further & further out into the ocean fullness of the Love of God, taking care that nothing entices us out of that fullness again.

Scriptures

Zechariah 12:3

Ezekiel 1

Isaiah 40:31

1 Corinthians 15:51

John 1:1-14