He’ll pick you up

falling
Each time you fall
He’ll pick you up.
He knows your own efforts
are never going to bring you
anywhere near perfection.
     –C. S. Lewis

A Living Hope

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In his great mercy he has given us
new birth into a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3).

Hope is more than feeling.
Hope is more than experience.
Hope is more than foresight.
Hope is a command.
Obeying it means life,
survival, endurance,
standing up to life until death
is swallowed up in victory.

–Jürgen Moltmann

Published in: on 09/12/2016 at 19:49  Leave a Comment  
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No Reason to Quit

blank square233081 copyWe need not despair
even in our worst…
our failures are forgiven…
[the] only fatal thing
is to sit down content
with anything less
than perfection.
      –C. S. Lewis

Keep on going

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Your life is short,
your duties many,
your assistance great,
and your reward sure;
therefore faint not,
hold on and hold up,
in ways of well-doing,
and heaven shall
make amends
for all.

–Thomas Brooks

 

We plant seeds

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It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view. The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts; it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise than is the Lord’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us. No sermon says all that should be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the Church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything. That is what we are about.

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We plant seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted knowing they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that affects far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very, very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and to do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the Master Builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are the prophets of a future that is not our own.

–Oscar Romero

The final flood of light

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The world is full of dark shadows,
to be sure both the world without
and the world within …
But praise and trust him …
for the knowledge that what’s lost
is nothing to what’s found,
and that all the dark there ever was,
set next to light,
would scarcely fill a cup.

–Frederick Buechner

Things bad, good and best

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Our bad things
turn out for good.
Our good things
can never be lost.
And the best things
are yet to come.

–Jonathan Edwards
(1703–1758)

Published in: on 09/02/2015 at 4:38  Leave a Comment  
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The slow work of God

3611951_orig copy 2Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time. Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser.

–Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
(1881 – 1955)

The triumph of good

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Good is stronger than evil;
love is stronger than hate;
light is stronger than darkness;
life is stronger than death.
Victory is ours, through Him
who loves us.

–Desmond Tutu

My Father’s world

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This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

–Maltbie D. Babcock
(1858 – 1901)

Not an easy road

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No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered by the time we reach home, but the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of His presence.

–C. S. Lewis

Continuing to climb

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Those on the heights
Are not the souls
Who never erred nor went astray,
Who trod unswerving
To their goals
Along a smooth, rose-bordered way.
Nay, those who stand
Where first comes dawn,
Are those who stumbled–
but went on.

-J. Sidlow Baxter
Explore the Book

Photo credit: HARRY BERKING

Not alone

424926_Tree-Lined-AvenueI know:
there is someone
waiting for me,
who will not
give up on me,
who goes ahead of me,
who lifts me up,
someone to whom
I am important.

–Jürgen Moltmann

Passing it on

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Each one of us is something that the other is not, and therefore knows something — it may be without knowing he knows it — which no one else knows, and it’s everyone’s business, as one of the kingdom of light and inheritor in it all, to give his portion to the rest.

–George MacDonald
(1824 – 1905)

The life of faith

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The life of faith is a happy life,
and if attended with conflicts,
there is an assurance of victory;
if we sometimes get a wound,
there is healing balm near at hand;
if we seem to fall, we are raised again;
and if tribulations abound,
consolations shall abound likewise.

–John Newton
(1725-1807)

The journey ahead

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Do not give into fear in the face of the changes and chances of this life. Rather, as they arise, look at them with full trust in God, to whom you belong, who will enable you – through His powerful love – to profit from them. He has guided you thus far in life; so hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through every trial. Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you in his loving arms. Do not be anxious about what may happen tomorrow. The same Eternal Father who takes care of you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day of your life. He will either shield you from suffering, or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads and all anxious imaginations.

–St Francis de Sales

New beginnings

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God is for ever and for ever
getting new mornings
out of old nights,
fair beginnings out of
dismal endings.

–F. W. Boreham

Published in: on 12/30/2013 at 1:53  Leave a Comment  
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The basis for hope

Sitting on park bench

The ultimate reason
for our hope is not
to be found at all in what
we want, wish for and wait for;
the ultimate reason is that we . . .
are wanted and wished for
and waited for.

–Jürgen Moltmann

Image: Adam Firth

Published in: on 12/04/2013 at 3:47  Leave a Comment  
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Known by name

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He calls each
and every star by name.
It’s not likely that
He’s forgotten yours.

–Louie Giglio

Image: David Nunuk

Published in: on 10/25/2013 at 8:16  Leave a Comment  
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Stumbling ahead

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If we only have
the will to walk,
then God is pleased
with our stumbles.

–C. S. Lewis

Image: Angela Evancie

No illusions

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God is not
disillusioned with us.
He never had any illusions
to begin with.

–Luis Palau

His faithful presence

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Our life is full of brokenness—
broken relationships,
broken promises,
broken expectations.
How can we live with that brokenness
without becoming bitter and resentful
except by returning again and again
to God’s faithful presence
in our lives?

–Henri Nouwen

Brief journey

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Faint not;
the miles to heaven
are but few
and short.

–Samuel Rutherford

On our side

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The God of the universe
who made the stars
with a whisper of His breath,
who holds the oceans in His palm,
who fashioned redwood trees,
He is for us, on our side.

–Mary DeMuth

In strong hands

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The strong hands of God 
twisted the crown of thorns 
into a crown of glory; 
and in such hands we are safe.

–Charles Williams
(1886 – 1945)

Gentle us, Holy One

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Gentle us, Holy One,
into an unclenched moment,
a deep breath,
a letting go of heavy expectations,
of shriveling anxieties,
of dead certainties, that,
softened by the silence,
surrounded by the light,
and open to the mystery,
we may be found by wholeness,
upheld by the unfathomable,
entranced by the simple,
and filled with the joy that is you.

–Ted Loder

Published in: on 07/08/2013 at 16:46  Leave a Comment  
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An Irish blessing

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May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again, May God hold you
In the palm of his hand.

–Irish Blessing

Published in: on 06/30/2013 at 16:53  Leave a Comment  
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Of this we can be sure

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The day may bring many strange things to us,
perplexing or painful or disappointing;
but this stands strong: our prayer
has not been turned away,
nor His lovingkindness.

–Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)
 Edges of His Ways

It’s worth fighting for

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Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

― J.R.R. Tolkien
The Two Towers

God is there

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We must never get into the habit
of being preoccupied with the future.
There is no reason to do so.
God is there.

–Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Published in: on 12/31/2012 at 23:45  Leave a Comment  
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