Archive for the 'Quotes' Category

count it ALL joy

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Singing Pots by Mark Altrogge from The Blazing Center

As an art major in college, I was required to take two semesters of ceramics. So the biblical illustration about the Potter and clay is very real to me. But another illustration I heard speaks powerfully to me about the need to rejoice in all things.

A potter was giving a man a tour of his studio. He explained that most of the time after clay has been formed into bottles, cups, or dishes he sets them aside to dry, then puts them into a kiln and “fires” them at very high heat, to harden the clay. After a set period of time, the kiln is turned off. At some point the visitor noticed the artist placed some particular pots into a kiln but did not set the timer. Curious, he asked, “How will you know when they’re done?” To which the potter replied, “When they sing.” When this particular clay reached a certain temperature, it would emit a whistling sound – it would “sing.” When the potter heard the pots “singing” he’d know the fire had finished it’s work and he’d turn off the kiln.

How often does God have to take us around the mountain one more time because we’ve failed to learn the lesson of rejoicing in all things?

I can imagine angels watching as Jesus takes me through some trial. “How will you know when he’s done?” they ask. And I can hear the Lord answer like the potter, “When he sings.”

We can know God has done an incredible work in our lives when we can worship him in the midst of trials, when our mouth is filled praise though our eyes are filled with tears. How that brings glory to God. It’s easy to praise him when everything’s going great. But when we offer a costly sacrifice of praise while suffering, it shows our confidence in his sovereignty, goodness and wisdom. It brings our Father great pleasure when we sing of his goodness when everything about our situation would call his goodness into question. It brings him deep joy when we sing that he’s in control when our circumstances scream there is no one at the wheel.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Conversely, faith greatly pleases God. And what could please God more than our faith expressed by singing?

I’m not saying that God will end our trials if we start to sing. But worship will lift our eyes from our affliction onto our Savior. Anybody want to be a singing pot?

I am a visual thinker. I remember facts, details, and instructions better if I can see them or paint a mental picture of them. In college I too took a pottery class. I completed the class with a joyful appreciation for the mental picture of God and His children through the analogy of the potter and the clay. The above post by Mark Altrogge reminded me of that great analogy which gives me a glimpse of what it might be like to THE Potter as he deals with this “lump of clay” that is me. How often have I failed to rejoice and worship Him during the molding and firing times of my spiritual journey? How often has The Lord wanted to hear singing from me, but instead heard complaining and bitterness? Sadly, this has happened way to often.

The Gospel is what we need!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Peter posted this quote on his blog and I thought it was a sobering thought that needed to be shared.

“It’s no wonder that self-help books top the charts in Christian publishing and that counseling offices are overwhelmed. Our pride and our neglect of the gospel force us to run from seminar to seminar, book to book, counselor to counselor, always seeking but never finding some secret to holy living.

Most of us have never really understood that Christianity is not a self-help religion meant to enable moral people to become more moral. We don’t need a self-help book; we need a Savior. We don’t need to get our collective act together; we need death and resurrection and the life-transforming truths of the gospel. And we don’t need them just once, at the beginning of our Christian life; we need them every moment of every day.”

-Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson, Counsel from the Cross (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2009), 30.

Ron Paul on Abortion

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Thanks to Dailey and Michelle for posting this!

…if the baby is inadvertently killed, we punish the person. But if it’s [done] deliberately, we pay the person. That is probably the greatest moral inconsistency in my lifetime…

read the full interview here

Childlike Confidence

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

“Very much of prayer is to be highly commended for it’s reverence, but it has in it a lack of childlike confidence. I can admire the solemn and stately language of worship that recognizes the greatness of God, but it will not warm my heart or express my soul until it has also blended therewith the joyful nearness of that perfect l0ve that casts out fear and ventures to speak with our Father in heaven as a child speaks with it’s father on earth.”

– Charles Spurgeon, The Rent Veil

(via firstimportance.org)

Live in THIS moment

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Ashamedly I admit that this describes me (well, except for the iPhone part- I am still in love with mine!):

The future has such promise, and I’ve spent many hours pondering what’s to come. When I was single the future held the promise of marriage. Now that I’m married the future holds the promise of buying a house.

I longed for the day when I could purchase an iPhone. Thirteen seconds after I bought my phone it became obsolete, and I could look forward to getting a newer, faster phone someday.

When I was in high school I couldn’t wait to get to college. By week two of college I couldn’t wait to graduate.

If the quote above has any familiarity to you, please continue to read this post at The Blazing Center.

I struggle often with being content with where I am on the path of life.  I am always looking forward to the next big event.  From as far back as I can remember, my parents have reminded me to enjoy the NOW and not wish it away.  And now that I am married, Peter lovingly reminds me often that I need to be patient.  I thank the Lord for these gentle reminders from my family and pray that He will use them to steady my heart and help me to focus on doing His will one step at a time and not trying to race through life.

For any country music fans who read this blog, the song “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins speaks to this same topic.

Politicians vs. THE Politician

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Peter and I do not want to use this blog to discuss politics, however we do want this site to bring Glory to God. After reading the following post at The Blazing Center by Stephen Altrogge I felt much comfort and peace, so I thought it appropriate to share.

Depending on your politics, you fall into one of three categories:

* You believe that Barack Obama is single handedly destroying this country.

* You believe that Barack Obama is rescuing this country.

* You like hamburgers. And you’re not sure about Barack.

If you fall into one of the first two categories, you’re probably aware that people are seriously fired up right now. Hordes of protesters recently descended onto Washington DC to protest Obama’s health care plan. Parents were fired up when Mr. President decided to address school children on the first day of school. I actually heard someone use the word ‘impeachment’ recently.

I’m not to going play political analyst in this post. I’ll leave that up to smarter, more godly men like Al Mohler. I simply want to remind us of one truth:

When thinking about politics, we must first remember The Great Politician.

Politics tend to bring out two responses in us. The first is panic. Barack Obama is bringing this country to the brink of ruin! Our children and grandchildren are going to face an apocalypse!

The second response is anger. I can’t believe what is happening in Congress. They’re killing us! This country is becoming a socialist nation!

Both of these responses forget one magnificent truth: God is The Great Politician who rules and reigns.

Proverbs 21:1 says:

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

Barack Obama makes his plans and authors legislation that is thousands of pages long. But ultimately, Barack Obama doesn’t lift a finger without God ordaining it. God is using Obama exactly as he pleases. God is the one directing Obama’s heart, and Obama’s plans are nothing more than a tiny sub-clause in God’s sovereign plan.

God is used to working with people in high places. He hardened Pharaohs’ heart, and He raised up King David. He humbled Nebuchadnezzar, and He exalted Solomon. Kings and Presidents are like tiny streams of water in the hands of God, and He does with them as He pleases.

The next time you’re tempted to panic or anger, remember The Great Politician. He knows what He’s doing.

Making Bible Reading Simple

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Have you ever gotten lost while reading your Bible? You’re wandering through Judges, and as you’re reading about bloody sacrifices, bloodier battles, and a long-haired strong man killing hundred of Philistines with a jaw bone, you suddenly realize, I have no idea what this means for me today. What do ram sacrifices, the sun going backwards, and a long line of oddly named judges, have to do with budgets, disciplining your children, and spending eight hours in a cubicle? I’ve been there, and frankly, it can be pretty discouraging.

Let me give you two simple questions to ask when you’re reading Scripture and feeling lost. These questions came directly from a sermon by a man named Mike Bullmore. The questions are:

What Does This Passage Tell Me About God?

At times we forget the obvious: the Bible is all about God. Every passage points to God, revealing something about his character, his desires, or his actions. The OT sacrifices tell me that God is holy and that he takes sin seriously. The Psalms tell me that God is sovereign, and yet he’s also an intensely personal. In every book of the Bible, the glory of God bursts through and the story of salvation is unfolded. So when you feel lost, step back a moment and ask, Where is God in this picture? What work is he doing in this scene? How does this passage point to God’s saving work in Christ? Where’s the glory, and where’s the story?

What Does This Passage Tell Me About Myself?

For each revelation of God there is an appropriate response from us. His majesty calls us to humbly worship him, His goodness compels us to thank him. His commands require obedience, which in turn leads us to ask him for the grace to obey. The Bible isn’t simply information to be digested, it requires a heartfelt response. So as you read, ask yourself, How should I respond to what I just read? Is there a command I must obey, a sin I must repent of, or a blessing for which I should be grateful?

I find these questions to be tremendously helpful, and they have a simplifying effect on my devotional life. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t dive deep into Scripture, or read commentaries, or do word studies. Those are all wonderful tools. But ultimately Scripture is the story of God revealing himself to and redeeming sinners. When we keep that in mind, things get much simpler.

From The Blazing Center. View original post here.

The Lord God Will Seek Them Out

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Ezekiel 34:11-16

11 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

We’ll Never be Rejected

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

“Why am I so blessed? I am blessed because, in the most painful moment in human history, Jesus willingly subjected himself to the rejection of his Father. He took on my sin and allowed himself to be rejected. In this unthinkable moment of substitution, the Trinity was torn apart as the Father turned away the Son. Here is what you and I have to understand: Jesus was willing to suffer the horrible rejection of his Father so that you and I would never, ever have to experience it ourselves.”

– Paul David Tripp, A Shelter in the Time of Storm

[via: firstimportance.org]

Strategic Choice

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Your spouse was a strategic choice made by a wise and loving God. Selected by Him, for you, from the beginning of the world, your spouse is an essential part of God’s rescue mission for your life.

[Source: “When Sinners Say I Do” by Dave Harvey p.71]