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Faith asks us neither to destroy nor to exalt human desire but to gather it

into an even greater desire: the thirst for God.

Anonymous

God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.

Dwight L Moody

To confess your sins to God is not to tell [God] anything [God] doesn't
already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you.
When you confess them, they become the bridge.

Frederick Buechner

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what
delights Thee most, to value what is precious in Thy sight, to hate what is offensive to Thee. Do
not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass sentence according to the
hearing of the ears of ignorant men; but to discern with a true judgment between things visible
and spiritual, and above all, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of Thy will.

Thomas a Kempis

The present is very precious; these are the days of salvation; now is
the acceptable time. How sad that you do not spend the time in which you
might purchase everlasting life in a better way. The time will come when
you will want just one day, just one hour in which to make amends, and
do you know whether you will obtain it?

Thomas a Kempi

• Isaiah says three notable things about how God works In our lives: (1.) “In the shadow of
His hand He hid me.’ Before Elijah called down fire from Heaven at Mount Carmel, God
instructed him to go and hide himself at the brook Cherith where ho would be supernaturally fed
and strengthened (See 1 Ki 17:3). Before every ‘showing’ there’s a ‘hiding’. God gets us alone
and does a work in us that cannot be accomplished any other way. (2) “He made me into a
polished arrow.., concealed.. .in His quiver” An archer takes a rough tree branch, cuts it down
and makes it into a highly polished arrow capable of hitting the mark. Next, he puts it into his
quiver. What a wonderful place to be, tied securely to Him, within easy reach when the moment
to use you comes. Such words make us think differently about being in the shadow, don’t
they?(3) “You are My servant in whom I will display My splendour” After visiting the Balkans,
Canadian reporter James Creelman wrote, “1 learned that the world’s supply of rose oil comes
from the Balkan Mountains. The thing that interested me was that the roses had to be gathered
during the darkest hours. Initially this seemed to be a relic of superstition. But as I investigated
[learned that a full 40 percent of the fragrance disappears in the light of day.” Without speaking a
word, your life gives off an aroma. Through your influence, others are lowered or lifted. Do you
want to have impact? Embrace the shadows, discover God and grow in them, then emerge with
something to say that’s worth listening to!

We must bear in mind that mere resolutions to take more time for prayer
and to conquer reluctance to pray will not prove lastingly effective
unless there is a whole hearted and absolute surrender to the Lord Jesus
Christ.

Anonymous

The Christian is the person who sees every time and every situation,
however dreary and repetitive, as God sees it - a fresh creation from
his hand, demanding its own response in perhaps a wholly new and
creative way. Under God he is free over it. He has won through to a
purchase over events; he has risen with Christ.

Evelyn Underhill

As to the importance of the children of God opening their hearts to each


other, especially when they are getting in a cold state, or are under
the power of a certain sin, or are in especial difficulty; I know from
my own experience how often the snare of the devil has been broken when
under the power of sin; how often the heart has been comforted when nigh
to be overwhelmed; how often advice, and great perplexity, has been
obtained, - by opening my heart to a brother in whom I had confidence.
We are children of the same family, and ought therefore to be helpers
one of another.

George Muller

Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its
toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try
to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do
come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished
so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that
Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make
the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the
sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall
be no night there. In Jesus Name, Amen.

A. W. Tozer

Let our temper be under the rule of the love of Jesus: He can not alone
curb it, - He can make us gentle and patient. Let the vow, that not an
unkind word of others shall ever be heard from our lips, be laid
trustingly at His feet. Let the gentleness that refuses to take offence,
that is always ready to excuse, to think and hope the best, mark our
intercourse with all. Let our life be one of self-sacrifice, always
studying the welfare of others, finding our highest joy in blessing
others. And let us, in studying the Divine art of doing good, yield
ourselves as obedient learners to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By
His grace, the most common-place life can be transfigured with the
brightness of a heavenly beauty, as the infinite love of the Divine
nature shines out through our frail humanity.

Andrew Murray

Oh, Come On! Be Real

Acts 2:46-47 (The Message) They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed
by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People
in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were
saved.

---------

Let your words be the genuine picture of your heart.

John Wesley

---------

Preachers with cold hearts will never warm and awaken the consciences of their hearers.
Preaching is more than delivering a message from God; it is delivering a message from God in a
manner consistent with that content. The message concerns the fire of God's love and the fire of
his judgment and hence can be authentically proclaimed only by hearts kindled with the fire of
the Holy Spirit. False emotionalism, and the unrealistic dramatization of the message, do not
honour the Lord and tend only to alienate non Christians further. But there is a true engagement
of the heart in preaching... which is stamped with sincerity and which is an authentic reflection of
the heart of the God whose gospel we proclaim. God is looking today for preachers who like his
Son will cry out.

Bruce Milne

During my High School years, I often walked the quarter mile to school with two friends, Annie
and Annette, who had known me since the fourth grade and as such, they were well aware of my
physical limitations. Even on the coldest of days, they would pace themselves so I could easily
keep up. I was grateful for their sacrifice and their brave friendship. It definitely wasn’t cool to be
seen with the girl who 'walked funny and fell down a lot'. Our morning walks halted in my last
year of High School as I became gravely ill and spent several months in bed. Their loyal
friendship continued, however, and they would often stop at my door to ask my mother for a
progress report on their way to school.

Because of my prolonged illness, I no longer had the energy or stamina to walk that quarter mile
when I was finally allowed to return to school. As often happens, Annie, Annette and I drifted
apart; my interests lay in the creative arts, their interests lay in sciences and languages. We’d
occasionally meet for lunch during this time and I noticed a definite change in Annie. A
deepening. A blossoming. Although she had always been kind, there was something more,
something I couldn’t put my finger on. I was sincerely grateful when I learned that Annie had
taken my mother’s progress reports to school and had shared them with her new friends --- and
they had prayed for me. I met a few of her friends and thanked them as well. In my secret heart, I
couldn’t imagine as dull as sitting around praying dull old prayers for someone I hardly knew, how
boring| What a sacrifice they had made for me! These new friends of Annie became new
acquaintances to me as well. If they saw me walking down the hall between classes, they’d
wave a cheery hello. If they saw me in the lunchroom, they’d cajole me to join them at `their`
table.

Intermixed with their conversations about classes, the top 10 music charts, football and clothes,
they’d bring up the name of Jesus. The enthusiastic and joy filled manner in which they talked
about him made me wonder, it was almost as if they knew him as a person and not as a
someone who was to be worshipped from afar. I certainly wouldn’t be telling Jesus all my
problems, he had world issues to worry about after all. Surely, the everyday woes of a lowly high
school student were the least of his worries. Yet, he sure seemed like he was interested in their
lives, by the way they'd talk about him answering their prayers. They really seemed to like God,
he wasn't someone they worshipped because it was a rule; they worshipped him because they
loved him and were loved in return. It was enough to make a girl think, at least until that girl was
distracted by the distractions of all high school students.

One day, Annie walked to the bus with me, a departure for her usual routine. Half way to our
stop, she nervously reached into her pocket and handed me an invitation to a three-day
gathering taking place at my High School over a weekend. She told me that her new friends had
invited her to a similar gathering a few months earlier; while I was ill. She hoped that I'd come to
the next gathering. Armed with that vague knowledge, a permission slip from my parents, my
sleeping bag and a pillow, I willingly walked into my high school's front doors on a Friday night,
knowing that I would not be released until late Sunday afternoon.

Over the course of that weekend, I was introduced to a loving, caring, involved and
compassionate God. I was not won over by the clever speakers or the visual presentations that
had been carefully crafted to tug at the heartstrings. Although I was intrigued by the lectures and
bible studies that were presented that weekend, it was the heart of Jesus that captured me. I
recognized that heart, you see, it had already been shown me through the actions born out
hearts of love toward me.

During a time set apart for personal reflection, I sat alone in a quiet room that had been set aside
as a makeshift chapel. As I gazed upon a huge pencil sketch of Jesus that had been taped over
a blackboard, I became aware I wasn't alone. There was Someone else there and that Someone
had been there, walking beside me, for a long long time. It suddenly became clear to me that my
new friends weren't just nice people - these were people who had allowed God to touch their
hearts and were forever changed by that touch. I wanted that touch and oh so cautiously, I
reached out for that touch. As the old chorus goes, "He touched me and made me whole."

God became real to me that year through the lives of young men and women who weren't afraid
to be real with me. It was neither their reason nor their oratory skills that drew me to Him; it was
their passionate, reckless and all consuming love for Him and love for His people that drew me
into His loving embrace. My heart prayer is that I draw others to Him, not by my words nor by my
reason but through my heart that mirrors His heart to hearts that desperately needs his touch.

Divine love is perfect peace and joy, it is a freedom from all disquiet,
it is all content and happiness; and makes everything to rejoice in
itself. Love is the Christ of God; wherever it comes, it comes as the
blessing and happiness of every natural life, a redeemer from all evil,
a fulfiller of all righteousness, and a peace of God, which passeth all
understanding. Through all the universe of things, nothing is uneasy,
unsatisfied, or restless, but because it is not governed by love, or
because its nature has not reached or attained the full birth of the
spirit of love. For when that is done, every hunger is satisfied, and
all complaining, murmuring, accusing, resenting, revenging, and striving,
are as totally suppressed and overcome, as the coldness, thickness, and
horror of darkness are suppressed and overcome by the breaking forth of
the light.

William Law

The faith that relentlessly asks God, also pleases God. Now, as the
fullness of the times unfolds, as the world around us clothes itself in
prophetic fulfillments, let us put away fear and repent of withdrawal.

Francis Frangipane

We give ourselves to prayer. We preach a Gospel that saves to the


uttermost, and witness to its power. We do not argue about worldliness;
we witness. We do not discuss philosophy; we preach the Gospel. We do
not speculate about the destiny of sinners; we pluck them as brands from
the burning. We ask no man's patronage. We beg no man's money. We fear
no man's frown. Let no man join us who is afraid, and we want none but
those who are saved, sanctified and aflame with the fire of the Holy
Spirit.

Samuel Chadwick

Faith asks us neither to destroy nor to exalt human desire but to gather
it into an even greater desire: the thirst for God.

Anonymous

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what
delights Thee most, to value what is precious in Thy sight, to hate what is offensive to Thee. Do
not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass sentence according to the
hearing of the ears of ignorant men; but to discern with a true judgment between things visible
and spiritual, and above all, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of Thy will.

Thomas a Kempis

"Savour Each Morsel"

Psalm 34:8
"Taste and see that the Lord is good."

"Chew each bite twenty times before swallowing. Put your fork down on your plate between each
bite. Don't shovel your food!" Sage advice such as this has been given by generations of parents
at dinner tables across the world. Medical studies back up this advice. Those who eat quickly and
do not chew their food well are at higher risk of obesity. Eating too quickly means the body will
consume more calories than it requires before the brain feels fed and suppresses the appetite.
Chewing food releases enzymes in the mouth that aid the digestive process and again, helps to
suppress the appetite.

Too often, frustrated cooks watch with dismay as meals that took hours to prepare are devoured
in mere moments. Carefully seasoned casseroles and soups are not tasted before salt and
ketchup are poured on liberally. Colourful salads and artistically arranged vegetable dishes are
met with disdain as children and husbands ask if there is any dessert. Teens would rather eat
instant noodles in front of their video games or homework. Adults would rather munch on chips
as they watch the news or chat on their cell phones. Children are handed a juice box and a
sweetened granola bar, as they are loaded into a minivan on their way to soccer practice. As
mothers stop off at the local coffee shop for a coffee and a doughnut, they berate themselves for
such poor nutritional habits. It is easy to understand why many home chefs turn to fast food take-
out menus rather than cherished cookbooks.

Unfortunately, our fast food, fast-paced culture has become a snare to many modern Christians.
As we weave through our work schedules, church responsibilities and home life, we are too busy
looking toward the next activity or responsibility to give our full attention to the present moment.
By lunchtime, we are focused on tomorrow's calendar and we are hard pressed to remember
what we ate for breakfast, no matter what we read in the Word that morning. We are so busy
looking for the next exit along the superhighway of life that we have no idea where we have
been.

The Lord reminded me of Psalm 34:8 by bringing me back to a cherished memory that took place
in 1985. I joined a group of fellow missionaries on a pleasure trip. We had heard of a small town
about four hours away that sold wonderful handicrafts and as my time in the country was ending,
I looked forward to the opportunity of buying some gifts to bring home. As we drove further into
the countryside, rice paddies gave way to rolling hills and lush forests. As we reached the top of
one particularly steep incline, I was met with one of the most beautiful landscapes I had ever
seen. I whipped out my camera and took a desperate snapshot, knowing I did not have the time
to set up proper composition for the frame. In the split second it took for our van to navigate
around the bend as we headed down the other side of the hill, I willed myself to slow that
moment in my mind and to capture every detail of the breathtaking vista. I saw that view for a
scant two seconds, yet over 20 years later I can remember every vivid detail of the valley, the
lush vines and the flora covered rock formations.

I didn't allow that moment to slip past me like a half-chewed bite of hamburger. I savoured every
morsel of the gift God gave me that day and I have used that same technique over the years. I
don't need a photo at hand or a note to jostle my memory; those treasures are engrained deep in
my heart, embossed by grateful attentiveness.

God calls me to "Taste and see that He is good." I can only taste of his goodness if I take the
time to savour that goodness, discovering and acknowledging all the flavours and nuances of his
goodness, even if the flavours of that particular moment might be unfamiliar to my spiritual
'palate'. In order for this to happen, I must make the mindful effort to remain in the present
moment; whether that be in reading his word, talking with a friend, listening to a sermon or
enjoying his creation. Physical food nourishes us best when slowly and mindfully eaten and the
same holds true with those truths he speaks to our hearts.

For most of our lives, we are so filled with good things that we don't have room for the best.
While the sun gleams brightly over the sea of our prosperity, making its gentle waters glisten like
diamonds, we find comfort in many things. But when the storm comes, turning the waves into
dark, frightening cliffs which threaten to take us under, we find the most precious treasure of all,
"Immanuel, God with us."

Greg Wright

Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the tune, and not be
dismayed at the "rests." They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not to destroy the
melody, not to change the keynote. If we look up, God Himself will beat the time for us. With the
eye on Him, we shall strike the next note full and clear. If we sadly say to ourselves, "There is no
music in a 'rest,'" let us not forget "there is the making of music in it." The making of music is
often a slow and painful process in this life. How patiently God works to teach us! How long He
waits for us to learn the lesson!

Ruskin

God is looking for men and women whose hearts are firmly fixed on Him and who will continually
trust Him for all he desires to do with their lives. God is ready and eager to work more powerfully
than ever through His people, and the clock of the centuries is striking the eleventh hour.

Anonymous

God is not satisfied by the sound of our lips, nor the position of our bodies, nor external
ceremonies. What he asks is a will which will no longer be divided between him and any
creature, a will pliant in his hands, which neither desires anything nor refuses anything, which
wants without reservation everything he wants, and which never, under any pretext, wants
anything which he does not want.

Francois Fenelon

The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid
suffering the more you suffer, because smaller things begin to torture you in proportion to your
fear of suffering.

Thomas Merton

Where two or three are met together, the prayer of one strikes fire from the soul of another; and
the latter in his turn leads the way to nobler heights of devotion. And lo! as their joy increases,
there is One in their midst whom they all recognize and cling to. He was there before, but it is
only when their hearts begin to burn that they recognize Him; and in a true sense they may be
said to bring Him there-"Where two or three are met together in My name, there am I in the midst
of them."

James Stalker
http://www.shilohonline.org/authors/jstalker.htm
Writings

What is necessary is to continue to love. How does a lamp burn, if it is not by the continuous
feeding of little drops of oil? When there is no oil, there is no light and the bridegroom will say: "I
do not know you". Dear friends, what are our drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things
from every day life: the joy, the generosity, the little good things, the humility and the patience. A
simple thought for someone else. Our way to be silent, to listen, to forgive, to speak and to act.
That are the real drops of oil that make our lamps burn vividly our whole life.

Mother Teresa

Recognize to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that
you are wise, and, above all, that you know God and hope for the kingdom of heaven. You have
been made a son of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this, and from whom?....
What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the sky, the sun in its course,
the circle of the moon, the countless number of stars, with the harmony and order that are theirs,
like the music of a harp? Who has blessed you with rain, with the art of husbandry, with different
kinds of food, with the arts, with houses, with laws, with states, with a life of humanity and
culture, with friendship and the easy familiarity of kinship? ... Is it not God who asks you now in
your turn to show yourself generous ... Because we have received from him so many wonderful
gifts, will we not be ashamed to refuse him this one thing only, our generosity?

Gregory Nazianzen

A Soft Heart When Bad Things Happen


ILME
Oct 7, 2008What's the key that allow many to keep their hearts soft during times of horrible
tragedy and hardship? I don't know all the answers but I have observed running theme in the
lives of those I have considered my spiritual mentors. That theme is a life that has practiced
thankfulness.

I worked in a refugee camp along the Thai/Cambodian border in 1984. If you saw the movie
"The Killing Fields" the very last scene of the movie, when the Cambodian reporter finally makes
it to freedom was shot in this camp. Bamboo huts, open sewage, dirt floors, bland and
insufficient diet marked the daily life of these refugees. Young women would dig a pit under their
huts to hide from the drunken Thai soldiers that were supposed to be protecting them. Crime
and corruption were rampant. Yet the church was growing at an incredible rate. Many Buddhists
faced open mocking and rejection from their families if they converted to Christianity. However,
what set them apart was the light of Jesus in their lives and the smiles on their faces. Even when
their bellies were rumbling, they could still rejoice in Christ and find joy in the smallest things.
One young man, Duan, accepted the Lord about a year before I arrived in the camp. His love for
Christ was so infectious and his ready laugh often filled our little office. Every day he would
come into work and share with me the wonderful things God was doing in his life. He'd rejoice
over having an extra half an egg for dinner, he'd give thanks as he'd show how an older sister in
Christ repaired his jeans, patching over the patches. Even when his heart was broken, when a
girl he had set his affections on did not feel the same way, he would still be thankful. And many
within the area he lived came to know Christ by being drawn to his positive heart. His hut literally
shone the light of Jesus, most of the light contained in his smile. Duan could have been a bitter
young man, his family had been murdered and he was starved and beaten by the Khmer Rouge.
He saw young women and men tortured and brutally executed right in front of him. Yet he had
the softest, most tender heart I had seen up to that point in my life. Why?

He learned the discipline of being thankful. Thankful the Lord had set him free from sin, that the
Lord had delivered him from his enemies, thankful that he woke up in the morning, that he had
rice in his bowl and occasionally an extra half of an egg along with it. At times, I could see the
pain in his eyes; it's hard to erase the effects of prolonged trauma that occurred over several
years. But in that pain, he rejoiced. I learned much from that brother in Christ and look forward to
the day in Heaven when I can once again see him face to face as I have no idea where he
resettled. I want to shake his hand and thank him for modeling this discipline.

While I am Canadian and celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in early October, I know that many
of my readers are American and are celebrating Thanksgiving next month. I pray you have a
blessed time of family, fellowship and fun. Might I issue a challenge for us all? Let's pledge not to
just give thanks over the one weekend that we call Thanksgiving but let us determine to live a
life of thanks. Thanks-Living, I suppose you can call it. A Thanks-living lifestyle searches and
finds the many blessings in our lives on a daily basis. If Duan and the millions of persecuted
Christians around the world can have that thanks-living deep in their spirits, then we as Western
Christians have absolutely no excuse not to give thanks in ALL things.

Think of it as something you need to learn how to do in the same way you learned to tie a shoe
or ride a bike. It only comes with practice, with concentration and determination at first. You
might falter and want to give up. But press in. Soon, it will be as natural as it now for you to tie
your shoes in the morning. It won't seem foreign or fake, it'll become routine and as a part of you
as breathing. If you learn the art of thanks-living, you'll be guarding your heart against hardness.

I Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

How rich is anyone who can simply see human faces.

Corrie Ten Boom


http://www.corrietenboom.com/
Corrie Ten Boom Museum

Christianity is not about ideas but about deeds inspired by love.

Frederic Ozanam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Ozanam
Brief Biography

Oh, thrice fools are we, who like new-born princes weeping in the cradle, know not that there is a
kingdom before them; then, let our Lord's sweet hand square us, and hammer us, and strike off
the knots of pride, self-love, and world-worship, and infidelity, that He may make us stones and
pillars in His Father's house.

Samuel Rutherford
http://www.ccel.org/r/rutherford/
Selected Letters

If you're on the rocks, don't despair; be a lighthouse.

Anonymous

October 4, 2008

While the Lord calls me to be wise and discerning, he reminds me often that his discernment
cannot dwell in a cynical distrustful heart. With Him, there is no hidden agenda and no ulterior
motive. His gifts are free for the taking but I cannot take these gifts if my hands are already full of
my own weapons of self-protection. Therefore, He asks me to lay down the shields that I have
forged for protection and to pick up the shield of faith in their place. He asks me to take Him at
His Word.

Katherine Walden

He that is down needs fear no fall. He that is low, no pride; He that is humble, ever shall have
God to be his Guide.

John Bunyan
http://acacia.pair.com/Acacia.John.Bunyan/index.html
Online Library

For most of our lives, we are so filled with good things that we don't have room for the best.
While the sun gleams brightly over the sea of our prosperity, making its gentle waters glisten like
diamonds, we find comfort in many things. But when the storm comes, turning the waves into
dark, frightening cliffs which threaten to take us under, we find the most precious treasure of all,
"Immanuel, God with us."
Greg Wright

Forget to Prepare for the Guest Of Honour

"Prepare for God's arrival!


Make the road straight and smooth,
a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys,
level off the hills,
Smooth out the ruts,
clear out the rocks.
Then God's bright glory will shine
and everyone will see it.
Yes. Just as God has said."
Isaiah 40:1-11 (The Message)

I have had the blessing of being an invited dinner guest in family homes all across North
America and in South America and Asia. I have dined on bamboo mats carefully placed over
compacted dirt floors; I have eaten in formal dining rooms whose walls graced with fine and
expensive artwork. I have sat around kitchen tables, I've sat at picnic tables and I've stood
around many campfires, carefully balancing a paper plate and a Styrofoam cup of juice. I have
eaten prime rib with all the accompaniments and I have shared a hard boiled egg with a small
bowl of rice between two people. More than once, I ate local delicacies that were foreign to my
tongue in many ways. I have been both humbled and blessed by the kind hospitality offered, I
have received each gift of friendship, and fellowship offered me with a very grateful heart.

Although my hosts' circumstances greatly varied, my hosts' shared two commonalities:


preparation and a desire to bless me as their guest. In Northern Ontario, my hosts literally
ploughed a road to their door and had snowmobiles laying in wait in case their Christmas guests
needed alternative modes of transportation. In Thailand, my hostess rolled up her family
bedding, storing it carefully in a corner then used the sleeping mats to form a makeshift table,
carefully positioned under a single red paper streamer that was left over from a neighbour's
wedding. Year after year, I have marveled at the charming and festive decor of a dear friend who
truly loves the Christmas season and loves her friends and family even more.

One of my more memorable dining hosts was my own brother who invited my best friend and
me to his bachelor suite for a gourmet meal of boxed macaroni and cheese, with an exotic touch
of a can of tuna and frozen mixed vegetables mixed in. My brother was not known for his
housekeeping skills and my friend and I braced ourselves for the worst. We were happily
surprised that he made room for three people to sit around his table and he had actually washed
the plates and cutlery with soap and water, rather than his usual quick rinse under the tap. Our
beverages were served in fast-food cups but at least they were plastic cups and had been
washed. We closed our eyes to the rest of the clutter; it was the thought that counted. No matter
how simple or lavish the meal; each host carefully planned the meal and prepared their homes
in anticipation of my arrival.

Although my own circumstances have made it difficult for me to prepare meals for my guests, I
do what I can in order to bless them, even if it as simple as heading down to the local store to
buy their favourite brand of soda. I dust and tidy up, scrub the bathroom as best I can and select
music that I hope will be a blessing to play in the background. I make sure I am well rested in
order that I can be an attentive and cheerful host and I greet them with open arms.

The month before Christmas is called "Advent" in churches that follow the liturgical year. The
word 'advent' is derived from the Latin adventus and means 'a coming or arrival'. Advent might
be defined as a season of preparatory anticipation. At the time of the Roman Empire adventus
referred to the arrival of a person of dignity and great power and importance, such as a king. It is
unfortunate that many evangelical churches do not celebrate the season of Advent as it provides
the perfect opportunity for Christians to stop and consider what their lives were like before they
became followers of Jesus and what their lives are like now because of all his blessings.

In the same manner in which we clean and prepare our homes in the anticipation of welcomed
guests and family members this Christmas season, let us also prepare our hearts in anticipation
of the Lord's coming. Christ, our most honoured and eagerly anticipated guest, desires to meet
with us in a heart prepared for his arrival. So eager is he to meet with us that he offers to help us
with our spiritual housecleaning, working with us; creating a resting place for Himself within our
hearts.

The reason that people do not have a rich, beautiful faith is that their spirit is denied the privilege
of communion and fellowship with the Father.

John G. Lake

Down through the centuries in times of trouble and trial God has brought courage to the hearts
of those who love Him. The Bible is filled with assurances of God's help and comfort in every
kind of trouble which might cause fears to arise in the human heart. You can look ahead with
promise, hope, and joy.

Billy Graham
http://www.billygraham.org
Billy Graham Organization

I'm glad God has all the answers, 'cause I barely understand the questions.

Barbara Johnson

People may excite in themselves a glow of compassion, not by toasting their feet at the fire, and
saying: "Lord, teach me compassion," but by going and seeking an object that requires
compassion.

Henry Ward Beecher


http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/128.htm

When my body is pained, it is not wrong to wish for relief. When overtaken by sickness, it is not
wrong to send for the physician. You may call this selfishness, which He who made us what we
are, and who gave us these instincts, expects us to act upon; and in acting on which, we may
count upon his blessing, not his rebuke. It is not wrong to dread hell, to desire heaven, to flee
from torments, to long for blessedness, to shun condemnation, and to desire pardon.

Horatius Bonar
http://members.aol.com/OrthodoxUM/BonarHome.html
The Horatius Bonar Homepage

People seem to think that the masses are outside the Christian church because our evangelistic
methods are not what they ought to be. That is not the answer. People are outside the church
because looking at us they say, "What is the point of being Christians? - look at them!" They are
judging Christ by you and me. And you cannot stop them and you cannot blame them.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones
http://www.mlj.org.uk/
Martyn Lloyd-Jones Website

November 24, 2008


We never know how much real faith we have until it is put to the test in some fierce storm; and
that is the reason why the Saviour is on board. If you are ever to be strong in the Lord and the
power of His might, your strength will be born in some storm.

Anonymous

Give The Gift Of The Season

We are a strong and hearty lot, those of us who call Canada home. I can bear witness to our
national toughness by looking out my window, watching people rushing past to do their
Christmas shopping as they brave the elements, facing the silver-grey sleet and high winds in
order to do their countless errands. There is unspoken solidarity in the air; neighbours are quick
to assist their neighbours in clearing off their sidewalks. Strangers smile to one another over
steaming mugs of coffee in local coffee shop; after all, they are a band of brothers of sorts, not
allowing the harsh climate to hinder them in reaching their goals.

In the same manner, recent political, economic and natural storms across our planet have
banded Christians together against the winds that rattle at our doors and howl at our windows.
An occasional cold, bracing wind stirs us out of our self-absorption. It reminds us that we can
have a positive effect on the world around us if we will just venture out and walk against that
wind.

Although many biblical scholars dispute that Jesus' birthday can be pinpointed to December 25,
the thought of God incarnate bringing eternal light and hope in the season of bleak winter brings
much solace.

During times of adversity and hardship, when the grey, thick clouds of political strife and
international crises loom over us, it is natural to want to draw the curtains closed and barricade
ourselves from the ugliness outside our doors. When we wonder if we will have enough money
to keep a roof over our heads and food on our tables, it might be difficult to imagine that we can
offer anything of value to God. Yet, it is in these seasons of spiritual winter; in these times of
vulnerability and uncertainty that we offer to God the gifts he desires most.

Although our hands may be empty of resources, if our hearts are full of praise and thankfulness
to Him and love expressed in generosity to His people, He is blessed beyond measure. As he
found much pleasure in the poor widow's offering of a few pennies at the temple, so he finds
much pleasure in our sacrificial giving of ourselves during times of hardship.

In the Bleak Midwinter


Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894

In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan,


earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;


heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

No matter what season you are experiencing in your life, as you present your heart to the Lord,
may you feel the warmth of His light shine upon you and through you. May that light be a beacon
to those in the darkness and may you truly be a messenger of God's greatest gift to the world,
His son, Jesus Christ.

God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your
procrastination.

Augustine
http://www.ccel.org/a/augustine/

If you knew that there was One greater than yourself, who knows you better than you know
yourself, and loves you better than you can love yourself; One who gathered into himself all
great and good things and causes, blending in his beauty all the enduring colour of life, who
could turn your dreams into visions, and make real things you hoped were true; and if that One
had done one unmistakable thing to prove, even at the price of blood - his own blood - that you
could come to him, would you not fall at his feet with the treasure of your years, your powers,
your love? And is there not One such? Would you not fall at his feet with the treasure of your
years, your powers, service, and love? And is there not one such, and does he not call you?

A. E. Whitham

In heaven, God will not ask us why we sinned; He will ask us why we didn't repent.

Anonymous

I urge upon you communion with Christ; a growing communion. There are curtains to be drawn
aside in Christ that we never saw, and newfoldings of love in him. I despair that I shall ever win
to the far end of that love, there are so many aspects to it. Therefore dig deep, and sweat and
labor and take pains for him, and set by as much time in the day for him as you can. We will be
won in the labor.

Samuel Rutherford
http://www.ccel.org/r/rutherford/

The boundless stores of Providence are engaged for the support of the believer. Christ is our
Joseph, who has granaries full of wheat; but He does not treat us as Joseph did the Egyptians,
for He opens the door of His storehouse and bids us call all the good therein our own. He has
entailed upon His estate of Providence a perpetual charge of a daily portion for us, and He has
promised that one day we shall clearly perceive that the estate itself has been well-farmed on
our behalf and has always been ours. The axle of the wheels of the chariot of Providence is
Infinite Love, and Gracious Wisdom is the perpetual charioteer.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


http://www.spurgeon.org/
The Spurgeon Archive
For the first two or three years after my conversion, I used to ask for specific things. Now I ask
for God. Supposing there is a tree full of fruits - you will have to go and buy or beg the fruits from
the owner of the tree. Every day you would have to go for one or two fruits. But if you can make
the tree your own property, then all the fruits will be your own. In the same way, if God is your
own, then all things in Heaven and on earth will be your own, because He is your Father and is
everything to you; otherwise you will have to go and ask like a beggar for certain things. When
they are used up, you will have to ask again. So ask not for gifts but for the Giver of Gifts: not for
life but for the Giver of Life - then life and the things needed for life will be added unto you.

Sadhu Sundar Singh


http://www.sadhusundarsingh.homestead.com/files/introduction.html
A Short Biography

The most glorious promises of God are generally fulfilled in such a wondrous manner that He
steps forth to save us at a time when there is the least appearance of it.

C. H. von Bogatzy

-------------
Cradle, Calvary's Cross

Bethlehem's Cradle, Calvary's Cross


Did Mary know the price each would cost?
Announced by the Angels, Rejected by men.
Gift of the ages, Heaven's Diadem.

Bethlehem's Cradle, Calvary's Cross,


A life just beginning. A life lost.
Christ in the manger, a gift of love,
Christ in the garden, sweating drops of blood.

Bethlehem's Cradle needed Calvary's Cross,


Together they would redeem the lost.
One not complete without the other,
Both were required, sin’s debt to cover.

Christ of the Cradle, Christ of the Cross,


No longer a Baby, No longer on the Cross,
Over death victorious, forever free,
This is his legacy to you and to me.

Blessings of Jesus Christ at Christmas


(http://blessingsofchristmas.com/index.html)

Starting page for "I Lift My Eyes Ministries" Christmas Pages. Peaceful graphics and
inspirational writings, Christian Christmas stories, all centring on Jesus Christ, His birth and the
true reason for the holiday season.

Christian Christmas Dinner Blessings, Prayers and Graces.


(http://blessingsofchristmas.com/christmaspraymeals2.html#christmas)

The present is very precious; these are the days of salvation; now is the acceptable time. How
sad that you do not spend the time in which you might purchase everlasting life in a better way.
The time will come when you will want just one day, just one hour in which to make amends, and
do you know whether you will obtain it?

Thomas a Kempis
http://www.ccel.org/k/kempis/
Thomas a Kempis Biography And Works

For the sun meets not the springing bud that stretches towards him with half that certainty as
God, the source of all good, communicates Himself to the soul that longs to partake of Him.

William Law
http://www.ccel.org/l/law/
Biography And Works

In the same manner in which we clean and prepare our homes in the anticipation of welcomed
guests and family members this Christmas season, let us also prepare our hearts in anticipation
of the Lord's coming. Christ, our most honoured and eagerly anticipated guest, desires to meet
with us in a heart prepared for his arrival. So eager is he to meet with us that he offers to help us
with our spiritual housecleaning, working with us; creating a resting place for Himself within our
hearts.

Katherine Walden
http://psalm121.ca/
I Lift My Eyes Ministries

December 12, 2008

Satan loves the gullible Christian, who likes sensations and the spectacular; he provides the
spectacle and sensation, with which he can keep them off the true track.

Anonymous

What, then, is the biblical basis for social concern? Why should Christians get involved? In the
end there are only two possible attitudes which Christians can adopt towards the world: Escape
and Engagement...'Escape' means turning our backs on the world in rejection, washing our
hands of it ... and steeling our hearts against its agonized cries for help. In contrast,
'engagement' means turning our faces towards the world in compassion, getting our hands dirty,
sore and worn in its service, and feeling deep within us the stirring of the love of which cannot be
contained.

John R. W. Stott
http://www.johnstott.org
John Stott Ministries

If I crave hungrily to be used to show the way of liberty to a soul in bondage, instead of caring
only that it be delivered; if I nurse my disappointment when I fail, instead of asking that to
another the word of release may be given, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
Amy Carmichael
http://www.heroesofhistory.com/page49.html
Biography and Bibliography

A saint's life is in the hands of God as a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming
at something the saint cannot see; He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint
says, I cannot stand any more. But God does not heed; He goes on stretching until His purpose
is in sight, then He lets fly.

Oswald Chambers
http://www.myutmost.org/
My Utmost for His Highest

IJCWM2H-CB006J3G-LB007BBC-QB007FN5-2HIJCWM

The Lamp Bearers

Fan into flame the gift of God


2 Timothy 1:6

Humanity's heart held captive


Groaned for release
Incarcerated within utter darkness
The memory of welcoming fire and flame
The fellowship with light
Now distant memories
Hopelessness and resignation
The reluctant heart's only companions

Redeeming light
battered the prison walls
Invading, encompassing, enveloping
Called forth the captives
Melted their shackles

Placing living embers within each clay vessel,


The breath of His Spirit fanned coals into flame

Kindled by His lasting truth


Fragile containers are entrusted
To carry his illuminance
To those yearning for redemption.

©2008 Written by Katherine Walden


For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us
the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in
jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:
6-7

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness
covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his
glory appears over you." Isaiah 60:1-2

I pray that God's light, love and warmth floods your hearts and that you will draw many to his
light that dwells within you. Merry Christmas and may you joyfully celebrate Jesus!

DCQ Archive
December 16 - December 22, 2008

December 16, 2008

I would rather play with forked lightning, or take in my hand living wires with their fiery current,
than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts
which thousands of Christian are hurling on others.

A. B. Simpson
http://www.churchinwestland.org/id270.htm
Biography/Bibliography

-----------------

December 17, 2008

Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot
prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience.

Handel Brown

-----------------

December 18, 2008

I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to
our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our
lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be
present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad
that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.

A. W. Tozer
http://www.indwelt.com/books/Tozer/
The Works Of A. W. Tozer

-----------------

December 19, 2008


We give ourselves to prayer. We preach a Gospel that saves to the uttermost, and witness to its
power. We do not argue about worldliness; we witness. We do not discuss philosophy; we
preach the Gospel. We do not speculate about the destiny of sinners; we pluck them as brands
from the burning. We ask no man's patronage. We beg no man's money. We fear no man's
frown. Let no man join us who is afraid, and we want none but those who are saved, sanctified
and aflame with the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Samuel Chadwick
http://www.Jesus.org.uk/ja/mag_revivalfires_chadwick.shtml
Biography

-----------------
December 20, 2008

It comes every year and will go on forever. And along with Christmas belong the keepsakes and
the customs. Those humble, everyday things a mother clings to, and ponders, like Mary in the
secret spaces of her heart.

Marjorie Holmes

-----------------

December 21, 2008

The faith that relentlessly asks God, also pleases God. Now, as the fullness of the times unfolds,
as the world around us clothes itself in prophetic fulfillments, let us put away fear and repent of
withdrawal.

Francis Frangipane
http://frangipane.org/
Ministries of Francis Frangipane

-----------------

December 22, 2008

Divine love is perfect peace and joy, it is a freedom from all disquiet, it is all content and
happiness; and makes everything to rejoice in itself. Love is the Christ of God; wherever it
comes, it comes as the blessing and happiness of every natural life, a redeemer from all evil, a
fulfiller of all righteousness, and a peace of God, which passeth all understanding. Through all
the universe of things, nothing is uneasy, unsatisfied, or restless, but because it is not governed
by love, or because its nature has not reached or attained the full birth of the spirit of love. For
when that is done, every hunger is satisfied, and all complaining, murmuring, accusing,
resenting, revenging, and striving, are as totally suppressed and overcome, as the coldness,
thickness, and horror of darkness are suppressed and overcome by the breaking forth of the
light.

William Law
http://www.ccel.org/l/law/
Biography And Works
Field God Gives

There is something magical about a fresh blanket of snow during the middle of the winter in a
large urban center. The dirty, grimy snow piles on the side of the road is camouflaged, at least
for a day or so until the soot from traffic sullies the new snowfall. Formerly barren, brown and
grey school fields now sparkle and glisten in the bright winter sunlight.

I vividly remember staring out of a classroom window when I was a child; gazing upon a thick
blanket of fluffy white snow that had fallen on my schoolyard while class was in session. It was
hard for me to concentrate on the lessons of the day. I silently begged the recess bell to ring and
I am sure most of my classmates presented their own petitions for recess to come quickly. As
soon as we were released, we scrambled to the cloakroom, pulling on our sweaters, mitts,
scarves, boots and coats as we ran out the door and down the stairs. Fresh snow!

Several of my classmates ran straight on into the snow but I held back for the briefest of
moments. I was overwhelmed by the possibilities that lay before me and I was reluctant to spoil
the untouched beauty by trampling upon it. A snowball tossed my way quickly overcame my
reticence and soon I joined with a group of girls making snow angels. All too soon, recess was
over and we trudged back to our classroom. I glanced out the window at the still white field.
Although hundreds of little feet and hands had made good use of the snow, nothing beyond our
footprints remained.

Snowfall, no matter how beautiful, can only offer a temporary cover for what lays below the
pristine surface. When the spring thaw comes, the ugly stains, grime and pollution that the world
endured during the winter months lay exposed for all to see and the clean white snow mixes into
the soot, creating murky. Charcoal-grey puddles that lay in wait for a poor inattentive pedestrian
who walks alongside the roadway.

Praise God! His forgiveness does not just cover our sins, leaving our filthy stains just under the
surface, ready to be exposed by the heat of the day.

Psalm 51: 1-15 (The Message)

Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my
guilt; soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down.
You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all
the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I've been out of step with you for a
long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you're after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub
me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken
bones to dancing. Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a
fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the
trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my
sails!

God's cleansing forgiveness and grace seeps deep down into the core of our being, bringing
purity and freshness from the inside out. At the very moment we come to him in repentance and
accept that forgiveness, we are 'pure and white, clean and bright'. He makes 'all things new'
(Revelation 21:5). His schoolyard is clean and pristine and he invites us to work alongside him in
fields of white, carrying his promise to those who are weary and needing his cleansing touch.
Until next week

©2008 Katherine Walden

A reminder: You will find great daily and weekly devotional books targeting all ages and
genders, personal bible studies and other quiet time material in our bookstore.

I Lift My Eyes has partnered with "Christianbook.com" to provide you with deep discounts of top-
selling, current Christian books, gifts, church supplies, music DVDs, pastoral helps, Sunday
School programs and a lot more. As 2009 approaches, please visit our bookstore at
http://psalm121.ca/books.html Your purchases help offset some of the online costs of this
ministry.

-------------

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new email addresses for the daily mailing list as we had to cut costs and move to a simpler
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-------------

DCQ Archive
December 23 - December 29, 2008

December 23, 2008

A Christian may for many days together see neither sun nor star, neither light in God's
countenance, nor light in his own heart, though even at that time God darts some beams
through those clouds upon the soul; the soul again by a spirit of faith sees some light through
those thickest clouds, enough to keep it from utter despair, though not to settle it in peace. In this
dark condition, if they do as Paul and his company did, cast an anchor even in the dark night of
temptation, and pray still for day, God will appear, and all shall clear up, we shall see light
without and light within; the day-star will arise in their hearts.

Richard Sibbes
http://www.puritansermons.com/toc.htm#SIBBES
Brief Biography and Article

December 24, 2008

Christmas is nothing more than sentiment to those who do not know Jesus Christ. But for us
who know Him Christmas commemorates an event well worth celebrating.

Anonymous
December 25, 2008

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;


hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel

Charles Wesley

December 26, 2008

We have false expectations of our holy days, of our churches, of each other. We have false
expectations of our friends. Jesus did not. He had expectations, but they were not false, and
when they were not met, he did not fall apart. He was never taken in by golden calves!
Friendship not only takes time, it takes a willingness to drop false expectations, of ourselves, of
each other. Friends - or lovers - are not always available to each other. Inner turmoils can cause
us to be unhearing when someone needs us, to need to receive understanding when we should
be giving understanding.

Madeleine L'Engle
http://www.madeleinelengle.com/
Website

December 27, 2008

Let our temper be under the rule of the love of Jesus: He can not alone curb it, - He can make
us gentle and patient. Let the vow, that not an unkind word of others shall ever be heard from
our lips, be laid trustingly at His feet. Let the gentleness that refuses to take offence, that is
always ready to excuse, to think and hope the best, mark our intercourse with all. Let our life be
one of self-sacrifice, always studying the welfare of others, finding our highest joy in blessing
others. And let us, in studying the Divine art of doing good, yield ourselves as obedient learners
to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By His grace, the most common-place life can be transfigured
with the brightness of a heavenly beauty, as the infinite love of the Divine nature shines out
through our frail humanity.

Andrew Murray
http://www.ccel.org/m/murray/
Biography And Works

December 28, 2008

Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with
them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come
trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so
long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell
there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart
have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night
there. In Jesus Name, Amen.

A. W. Tozer
http://www.indwelt.com/books/Tozer/
The Works Of A. W. Tozer

December 29, 2008

As to the importance of the children of God opening their hearts to each other, especially when
they are getting in a cold state, or are under the power of a certain sin, or are in especial
difficulty; I know from my own experience how often the snare of the devil has been broken
when under the power of sin; how often the heart has been comforted when nigh to be
overwhelmed; how often advice, and great perplexity, has been obtained, - by opening my heart
to a brother in whom I had confidence. We are children of the same family, and ought therefore
to be helpers one of another.

George Muller
http://www.mullers.org/
George Muller Foundation

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