Quote of the Week

Publish Date: December 29, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Glory of the Incarnation

“When the Maker of time, the Word of the Father became flesh, He gave us His day of birth in time. And he without whose bidding no day runs its course, in His incarnation reserved one day for Himself. For He, Himself, with the Father, precedes all spans of time, but on this day, issuing from His mother, He stepped into the tide of the years.

Man’s Maker was made man, that He, the Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast…that the Bread might be hungry, that the Fountain might thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired from the journey.

The Word was made flesh so that the Truth might be accused by false witnesses, that the Judge of the living and the dead might be judged by a mortal judge…That the Just might be sentenced by the unjust, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Vine be crowned with thorns, the Foundation be suspended on wood…that Strength might be made weak, that He who was well might be wounded, that Life might die.

And now, with what words shall we praise the love of God? What thanks shall we give? He so loved us that for our sakes He, through whom time was made, was made in time; and He, older by eternity than the world itself, was younger in age than many of His servants in the world; He, who made man, was made man; He was given existence by a mother who He brought into existence; He was carried in the hands which He had formed; He nursed at the breasts which He filled; He cried like a babe in the manger in speechless infancy — this Word without whom human eloquence is speechless! Let us in His presence realize the abasement that He in all His majesty accepted for our sakes. And let us be kindled with love, that we may one day come into His eternity.” Saint Augustine

 

 

Publish Date: December 22, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Blessed Old Story of Love

“And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria). And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife being great with child.

And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

 

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:1-19 

 

Publish Date: December 15, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Trading Places

“He takes upon himself the poverty of my flesh so that I may receive the riches of His divinity.” Gregory Nazianzen 

 

Publish Date: December 8, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Just an Ordinary Night

“An ordinary night with ordinary sheep and ordinary shepherds. And were it not for a God who loves to hook an ‘extra’ on the front of the ordinary, the night would have gone unnoticed. The sheep would have been forgotten, and the shepherds would have slept the night away.

But God dances amidst the common. And that night he did a waltz.

The black sky exploded with brightness…. Sheep that had been silent became a chorus of curiosity. One minute the shepherd was dead asleep, the next he was rubbing his eyes and staring into the face of an alien.

The night was ordinary no more.

The angel came in the night because that is when lights are best seen and that is when they are most needed. God comes into the common for the same reason.” Max Lucado

 

Publish Date: December 1, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Spirit of Christmas

“The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.” Stuart Briscoe

 

Publish Date: November 24, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

God’s Mysteries

“When the end comes and we are taken for judgment above, we will then clearly understand in God the mysteries that puzzle us now. Not one of us will think to say, ‘Lord, if it had been some other way, all would be well.'” Julian of Norwich

 

Publish Date: November 17, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

A Problem or a Person?

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”  Barbara Johnson

 

Publish Date: November 10, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Taught to Fly

“When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of this we can be sure: either God will provide something solid to stand on or we will be taught to fly.” Unknown

 

Publish Date: November 3, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Avoiding Sin

“Jesus does not say: ‘Stop all of your sinning; this is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, stay away from everyone who sins.’ Placing too much emphasis on avoiding sin can be a major distraction from the higher aim of the Christian life of learning to love others well. It becomes a distraction that blinds us from seeing and serving those whom God brings across our path.” Bill Miller 

 

Publish Date: October 27, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Sin of Isolation

“The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation. Sin wants to remain unknown.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

Publish Date: October 27, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Touch of Grace

“One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as ‘those evil people’ or ‘those poor people who need our help.’ Nor must we search for signs of ‘loveworthiness.’ Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.” Phillip Yancey 

 

Publish Date: October 20, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The ‘Not Good’ of Aloneness

“In Genesis 2:18, after creating man and having the opportunity to see him function in day-to-day interaction with the rest of creation, God says, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ It is short-sighted to see this as merely a ‘marriage passage.’ For everything else that God had created was declared by him as being ‘good.’ However, the contrast of man’s aloneness with the rest of creation caused even God to observe the universal principle that it is not good for a human being as created in the image of God to be alone. Thus, the existence of humankind in community was a part of God’s signature.” Michael Bischof  

 

Publish Date: October 13, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

God’s Pursuit of Sinners

“I praise God for the incredible value He places on sinners! He does not passively wait for us to come to Him. He actively, passionately seeks after us and calls us out of our wanderings and hiding places. His pursuit is relentless.” Buddy Owens

 

Publish Date: October 6, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Love of God

“Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more. . . and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love.” Phillip Yancey

 

Publish Date: September 29, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Power of Together

“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.” Vesta M. Kelly

 

Publish Date: September 22, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Freedom of Will

“By giving humans freedom of will, the Creator has chosen to limit his own power. He risked the daring experiment of giving us the freedom to make good or bad decisions, to live decent or evil lives, because God does not want the forced obedience of slaves. Instead, he covets the voluntary love and obedience of sons who love him for himself.” Catherine Marshall  

 

Publish Date: September 15, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

True Security

“Once God is known as Father, all methods to attain to security, prosperity and assurance in the world are exposed as useless enslavement. If one knows God as Father then there is security about everything.” David Boan and John Yates

 

Publish Date: September 8, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Purpose of Creation

“It seems that God’s purpose in creation was so that he could invite a community of his image bearers in Christ to participate in the eternal love relationship that the Trinity enjoys, thus displaying his glory.” Jonathan Morrow  

 

Publish Date: September 1, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

To Know and Be Known

“The Christian life is no to be lived in isolation but in interaction with other believers, as well as nonbelievers. Christian growth and maturity is best measured by those who know us well.

 

While spending time in solitude is necessary, even vital, life change happens best in the context of authentic, biblical community.

 

The church is a living organism made up of mutually supporting members who interact with each other in highly interdependent, not independent ways. There are no healthy ‘lone rangers,’ or isolated Christians, in the church. The goal is to know and be known by other believers.” Paul Pettit 

 

Publish Date: August 25, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Wounded Healers

“Anyone God uses significantly is always deeply wounded…We are, each and every one of us, insignificant people who God has called and graced to use in a significant way….On the last day, Jesus will look us over, not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but for scars.” Brennan Manning

 

Publish Date: August 18, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

A Deadly Mix

“Jesus was not killed by atheism and anarchy. He was brought down by law and order allied with religion, which is always a deadly mix. Beware those who claim to know the mind of God and who are prepared to use force, if necessary, to make others conform. Beware those who cannot tell God’s will from their own. Temple police are always a bad sign. When chaplains start wearing guns and hanging out at the sheriff’s office, watch out. Someone is about to have no king but Caesar.” Barbara Brown Taylor

 

Publish Date: August 11, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Rules for Self-Effort

Rules for Self-Effort

 

  1. Don’t have anything wrong with you.
  2. If you do, get over it quickly.
  3. If you can’t get over it quickly, fake it.
  4. If you can’t get over it quickly or fake it, then stay away from me.

I don’t any to think I have it too.

 

Brian Dodd

 

Publish Date: August 4, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Truth and Love

“The mind of a Pharisee thinks truth is more important than love, but Jesus showed us that love is the most important part of truth.” Don Francisco

 

Publish Date: July 28, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Without Love

“No matter how right we are in what we believe about God, no matter how accurately we phrase our belief or how magnificently and persuasively we preach or write or declare it, if love does not shape the way we speak and act, we falsify the creed, we confess a lie. Believing without loving gives religion a bad name. Believing without loving destroys lives. Believing without loving turns the best of creeds into a weapon of oppression. A community that believes but does not love or marginalizes love, regardless of its belief system or doctrinal orthodoxy or ‘vision statement,’ soon, very soon, becomes a ‘synagogue of Satan’” (Rev. 2:9). Eugene Peterson 

 

Publish Date: July 21, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Heart of Religion

“The heart of our religion is a relationship with God – and relationships thrive on communication. We cannot know people intimately merely by being in their presence. It takes conversation to share thoughts and personalities. Christians are meant to have an ongoing conversation with God. We address Him in the language of prayer and He addresses us in the language of Scripture. Through the Holy Spirit we engage God in prayer and the Word.” Gene Edward Veith

 

 

Publish Date: July 14, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Purpose of Life

“This life was not intended to be the place of our perfection, but the preparation for it.” Richard Baxter  

 

Publish Date: July 7, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Our Concept of God

“It is of immense importance that our idea of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God. . . . our real idea of God may lie buried . . . and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is. Only after an ordeal . . . are we really likely to discover what we actually believe about God. . . .

 

It is my opinion that the [current] Christian conception of God . . . is so decadent as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God, and actually to constitute for most believers a moral calamity.

 

Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God that idolatry, for idolatry is . . . a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is – this itself is a monstrous sin – and substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness. . . .

 

[The] church’s heaviest obligation [is] to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him.” A. W. Tozer 

 

Publish Date: June 30, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Knowing God

“What does it take to know God more clearly? The two essential ingredients are time and obedience. It takes time to cultivate a relationship, and unless we set aside consistent time for disciplines such as solitude, silence, prayer, and the reading of Scripture, we will never become intimate with our Lord. Obedience in the proper response to this communication, since it is our personal expression of trust in the promises of the Person we are coming to know.” Kenneth Boa 

 

Publish Date: June 23, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Basis of Christianity

“Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship that is born out of the trinitarian love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Kenneth Boa

 

Publish Date: June 16, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Real God

“The God of the Bible is infinite, personal, and triune. Because God is a communion of three persons, one of his purposes in creating us is to display the glory of his being and attributes to intelligent moral creatures who are capable of responding to his personal initiatives. In spite of human rebellion and sin against the person and character of the Lord, Christ bore the awesome price of our guilt and inaugurated ‘a new and living way’ (Hebrews 10:20) by which the barrier to personal relationship with God has been overcome. Because the infinite and personal God loves us, he wants us to grow in an intimate relationship with him; this is the purpose for which we were created – to know, love, enjoy, and honor the triune Lord of all creation.” Kenneth Boa 

 

Publish Date: June 9, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

A Relational God

“As a communion of three persons, God is a relational being. He originates a personal relationship with us, and our high and holy calling is to respond to his loving initiatives. By loving God completely, we discover who and whose we are as we come to see ourselves as God sees us.” Kenneth Boa

 

Publish Date: June 2, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Nouwen on Power part 5

“The temptation to power is greatest when intimacy is a threat. Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead. Many Christian empire-builders have been people unable to give and receive love.” Henri J. M. Nouwen

 

Publish Date: May 26, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Nouwen on Power part 4

“The long painful history of the Church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led. Those who resisted this temptation to the end, and thereby give us hope, are the true saints.” Henri J. M. Nouwen

 

Publish Date: May 19, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Nouwen on Power part 3

“Power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.” Henri J. M. Nouwen

 

Publish Date: May 12, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Nouwen on Power part 2

“A major cause of rupture [in the church] is the power exercised by those who claim to be followers of the poor and powerless Jesus.” Henri J. M. Nouwen

 

Publish Date: May 5, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Nouwen on Power

“When the members of a community of faith cannot truly know and love their shepherd, shepherding quickly becomes a subtle way of exercising power over others and begins to show authoritarian and dictatorial traits.” Henri J. M. Nouwen

 

Publish Date: April 28, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Respect of Others

“It seems odd that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon

 

Publish Date: April 21, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Power of Listening

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.” Rachel Naomi Remen 

 

Publish Date: April 14, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Looking for Love part 2

“Everything that I did in my life, from moving my feet to singing my songs, has been in an effort to gain love.” Pop superstar Michael Jackson

 

Publish Date: April 7, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Looking for Love

“We never had enough food. But at least I could beat on other kids and steal their lunch money and buy myself something to eat. But I couldn’t steal a father. I couldn’t steal a father’s hug when I needed one. I couldn’t steal a father’s whipping when I needed one.” Multi-sport superstar Bo Jackson

 

Publish Date: March 31, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Ouch!

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mohondas Gandhi

 

Publish Date: March 24, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Describing Christians part 3

“Christians love everyone, yet are persecuted by everyone. . . . When they are cursed, they bless. When they are insulted, they answer with kind words. . . . They do good to others. . . . Christians love those who hate them.” from Letter to Diognetus

 

 

Publish Date: March 17, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Describing Christians part 2

“Christians help those who offend them, making friends of them; do good to their enemies. . . . they are kind, good, modest, sincere, they love one another.” Aristides (2nd century)

 

Publish Date: March 10, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Describing Christians

“‘Behold, how these Christians love one another!'” Tertullian (2nd century) quoting pagans who were persecuting Christians 

 

Publish Date: March 3, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Vision

“Vision will motivate people, but only for a short time. I must care for people and love them if I want them to really buy into my leadership. When people are well loved, they follow. In the words of I Corinthians 13, if I have a great vision, but I don’t love, I have nothing.” Brad Johnson

 

 

Publish Date: February 24, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

The Cause of Division

“I have observed one thing among true Christians in their differences. What divides and severs true Christian groups and Christians – what leaves a bitterness that can last for 20, 30 or 40 years is not the issue of doctrine or belief which caused the difference in the first place. Invariably it is a lack of love.”  Frances Schaeffer

 

Publish Date: February 17, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Religious Factions

“Factions are led by aggressive ‘true believers’ who are convinced God agrees with them. We begin to believe that the only way we can love God is to hate a person who disagrees with us. We think we don’t have any religion at all unless we persecute all religions but our own. In this furious effort we may preserve the body, but we destroy the soul.” Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)

 

Publish Date: February 10, 2013  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Why People Don’t Know Christ

“There are two basic reasons people don’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior: They’ve never met a Christian. They have met a Christian.” Rick Warren

 

Publish Date: February 3, 2013

Dull Religion

“Religion as a dull habit is not that for which Jesus Christ lived and died.” Henri Nouwen

 

 

Publish Date: January 27, 2013

Let Your Light Shine

“God calls us out of darkness and into his marvelous light and then calls us to walk right back into the darkness and shine.” Burk Parsons

 

 

Publish Date: January 20, 2013

Grace at Work

“The Law tells me how crooked I am; Grace comes along and straightens me out.” Dwight L. Moody

 

 

Publish Date: January 13, 2013

Rich in Mercy

“God is not a miser with his grace. Your cup may be low on cash or clout, but it is overflowing with mercy.” Max Lucado

 

 

Publish Date: January 6, 2013

Truth and Grace

“O Jesus, full of truth and grace

More full of grace than I of sin

Yet once again I seek Thy face:

Open Thine arms and take me in.”

Charles Wesley from the second stanza of his hymn “Weary of Wandering from My God”

 

 

Publish Date: December 30, 2012

Our Greatest Need

“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator.  If our greatest need would have been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.  If our greatest need would have been money, God would have sent us an economist.  But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.”  Roy Lessin

 

Publish Date: December 23, 2012

That Night

That night when in the Judean skies

The mystic star dispensed its light,

A blind man moved in his sleep –

And dreamed that he had sight.

 

That night when shepherds heard the song

Of hosts angelic choiring near,

A deaf man stirred in slumber’s spell –

And dreamed that he could hear!

That night when in the cattle stall

Slept Child and mother cheek by jowl,

A cripple turned his twisted limbs –

And dreamed that he was whole.

That night when o’er the newborn Babe

The tender Mary rose to lean,

A loathsome leper smiled in sleep –

And dreamed that he was clean.

That night when to the mother’s breast

The little King was held secure,

A harlot slept a happy sleep –

And dreamed that she was pure!

That night when in the manger lay

The Sanctified who came to save,

A man moved in the sleep of death –

And dreamed there was no grave.

 

Author Unknown

 

 

 

 

Publish Date: December 9, 2012

A Conspiracy of Love

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” Hamilton Wright Mabie 

 

Publish Date: December 2, 2012

God the Child

“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty founder was a child Himself.” Charles Dickens

 

Publish Date: November 25, 2012

Finding God

“A man who says he cannot find God is like a robber who says he cannot find a policeman.” Adrian Rogers

 

 

Publish Date: November 18, 2012

Grateful Hearts

“Gratefulness is one of the clearest signs of healthy spirituality. The opposite is also true. Entitlement is a sure sign of an unhealthy spiritual life.” Chris Seay

 

 

Publish Date: November 11, 2012

Let God Choose

“God always gives his best to those who leave the choice to him!” Leonard Ravenhill

 

 

Publish Date: November 4, 2012

God’s Eyesight

“How can a righteous God look at me, a sinner, and see a precious child? Simple: the Son gets in his eyes.” Unknown

 

 

Publish Date: October 28, 2012

The Heart of the Gospel

“At the heart of the Christian message is the good news that the Triune God desires to bring us into fellowship with himself, with each other and with all creation. I believe that this biblical vision of community – this core set of beliefs – can provide the foundation for truly Christian living, as we are drawn by the Holy Spirit to live on the basis of this vision.” Stanley J. Grenz

 

 

Publish Date: October 21, 2012

How Will You Travel?

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, bring others with you.” African proverb

 

 

Publish Date: October 14, 2012

Turn Loose

“. . . . frequently we hold on so tightly to the good that we do know that we cannot receive the greater good that we do not know. God has to help us let go of our tiny vision in order to release the greater good He has in store for us.” Richard Foster

 

 

Publish Date: October 7, 2012

Love Your Neighbor

“It’s hard for people to believe we want them in heaven if we don’t want them in our living room.” Ralph Neighbor

 

 

Publish Date: September 30, 2012

What Are You Living For?

“. . . the difference between living for God and living for anything else is that when we live for anything else we do so to gain acceptance. When we live for God we do so because we are already accepted. Real freedom (the freedom that only the Gospel grants) is living for something because we already have favor instead of living for something in order to gain favor.” Tullian Tchividjian

 

 

Publish Date: September 23, 2012

What Is Your Job?

“It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and it’s my job to love.” Billy Graham

 

 

Publish Date: September 16, 2012

What Do People Remember?

“People don’t necessarily remember what they are told of God’s love, but they never forget what they have experienced of God’s love.” Steve Sjogren

 

 

Publish Date: September 9, 2012

What Is God Looking For?

“The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.” E. M. Bounds

 

 

Publish Date: September 2, 2012

Praching the Gospel or Living It?

“The church that preaches the gospel must embody the gospel. The good news must be seen in our corporate relationships, worship, joy, and life. With the steady erosion of relationships in today’s world, the church needs urgently to become a visible community marked by love, God’s new society in Christ.” David Watson

 

 

Publish Date: August 26, 2012

Don’t Do It!

“Resolved, never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last year of my life.”  Jonathan Edwards

 

 

Publish Date: August 19, 2012

The Voyage of Life

“Our life is like a ship on a voyage. The wind is God’s hand moving us to do His will on route to the destination. We, as ship’s captain, must work with the wind to set the sails for movement. Without the wind our work is fruitless, without setting the sails the wind’s power is wasted.” Origen

 

 

Publish Date: August 12, 2012

The Problem with Christianity

“Christianity has not so much been tried and found wanting, as it has been found difficult and left untried.” G. K. Chesterton

 

 

Publish Date: August 5, 2012

The Work of a Prophet

“Learn this lesson – if you are to do the work of a prophet, what you need is not a scepter but a towel and basin.” Bernard of Clairvaux 

 

 

Publish Date: July 29, 2012

The Insufficiency of Knowledge

“It is possible to learn all about the mysteries of the Bible and never be affected by it in one’s soul. Great knowledge is not enough.” John Bunyan

 

 

Publish Date: July 22, 2012

Breaking Chains

 “The chains of love are stronger than the chains of fear.” William Gurnall

 

 

Publish Date: July 15, 2012

Answer the Door

“Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there.” Unknown

 

 

Publish Date: July 8, 2012

Fear or Faith?

“Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.”  Unknown

 

 

Publish Date: July 1, 2012

When Were You Saved?

“While visiting the United States in 1962, theologian Karl Barth faced a questioner intent on pinning down exactly when Barth had been saved. Barth replied, ‘It happened one afternoon in A.D. 34 when Jesus died on the cross.’”

 

 

Publish Date: June 24, 2012

Transformed by Relationship

“Relational formation is the process of spiritual transformation that results from being deeply involved in authentic and life-changing relationships with other people.” Michael Bischof

 

 

Publish Date: June 17, 2012

The Emptiness of Legalism

“The God of legalistic Christianity. . . is often unpredictable, erratic, and capable of all manner of prejudices. When we view God in this way, we feel compelled to engage in some sort of magic to appease him. Sunday worship becomes a superstitious insurance policy against his whims. This God expects people to be perfect and to live in perpetual control of their feelings and thoughts. When broken people with this concept of God fail – as inevitably they must – they usually expect punishment. So, they persevere in religious practices as they struggle to maintain a hollow image of a perfect self. The struggle itself is exhausting. The legalists can never live up to the expectations they project on God.”  Brennan Manning

 

 

Publish Date: June 10, 2012

Heart and Hand

“If your heart be as mine, then give me your hand.” John Wesley

 

 

Publish Date: June 3, 2012

A Warning

“Whatever lofty spiritual plane you are on, remember, Adam was in Paradise and he fell. Even in your deepest worship of the Almighty do not forget, in long ages past, Lucifer himself was once in heaven, pouring out praise to God.” Francis Frangipane

 

 

Publish Date: May 27, 2012

Is God Disillusioned?

“God is not disillusioned with you, because he had no illusions about you in the first place.” Gerald Coates

 

 

Publish Date: May 20, 2012

What the Bible Is All About

“It is possible to read the Bible from a number of different angles and for various purposes without dealing with God as God has revealed himself, without setting ourselves under the authority of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit who is alive and present in everything we are and do. To put it bluntly, not everyone who gets interested in the Bible and even gets excited about the Bible wants to get involved with God. But God is what the book is about.” Eugene Peterson

 

 

Publish Date: May 13, 2012

Less Is More

“I think almost without exception that if I want to go deeper with God, be more spiritually alive, I probably need to do less of something. For so many years I saw being more spiritually alive as throwing one more duty on top of the pile.” Ben Patterson

 

 

Publish Date: May 6, 2012

Life’s Turning Point

“The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is.” Patrick Morely

 

 

Publish Date: April 29, 2012

True Brothers

“My true brothers are those who rejoice for me in their hearts when they find good in me, and grieve for me when they find sin. They are my true brothers, because whether they see good in me or evil, they love me still.” St. Augustine

 

 

Publish Date: April 28, 2012

Spiritual Journey

“The spiritual journey is not to be a solitary walk but a community pilgrimage.” Richard J. Goodrich

 

 

Publish Date: July 31, 2011

The Nature of Prayer

“Prayer begins when God addresses us. First God speaks; our response, our answer, is our prayer. This is basic to understanding the practice of prayer: we never initiate prayer, even though we think we do.” Eugene Peterson 

 

Publish Date: January 30, 2011

Rules or God?

“The path toward holiness is not revealed in rules but in God.” Paul Evdokimov 

 

Publish Date: January 23, 2011

Good News

“The good news of the gospel is not an announcement or a proclamation, it’s a Person: Jesus the Christ. . . . The good news is that ‘in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.’ This is relationship at its best, relationship as God defines it.” Leonard Sweet 

 

Publish Date: January 16, 2011

True Brothers

“My true brothers are those who rejoice for me in their hearts when they find good in me, and grieve for me when they find sin. They are my true brothers, because whether they see good in me or evil, they love me still.” Augustine of Hippo 

 

Publish Date: January 9, 2011

To Save the World

“We know how to save the world. We just don’t realize that we know what we know. The way to save the world is not through more rules to live by, but through right relationships to live for.” Leonard Sweet 

 

Publish Date: November 28, 2010

Blessed Advent

“As Man alone, Jesus could not have saved us; as God alone he would not. Incarnate, he could and did.” Malcolm Muggeridge

 

Publish Date: November 21, 2010

Give Him Thanks

 “In the good times, praise His name. In the bad times, do the same. In everything give the King of Kings all the thanks!” Lanny Wolfe

 

Publish Date: November 14, 2010  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Give Me All

“Christ says, ‘Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think are innocent as well as the ones you think are wicked—the whole outfit.’” C. S. Lewis

 

 

Publish Date: November 7, 2010

No Illusions

“God is not disillusioned with you, because he had no illusions about you in the first place.” Gerald Coates

 

Publish Date: October 31, 2010

A Faint Shadow

“If we take all the goodness, wisdom, and compassion of the best mothers and fathers who have ever lived, they would only be a faint shadow of the love and mercy in the heart of the redeeming God.” Brennan Manning

 

Publish Date: October 24, 2010

Love Outside the Lines

“Grace does not exist to make us successful. God’s grace exists to point people to a love like no other they have ever known. A love outside the lines.” Mike Yaconelli

 

Publish Date: October 17, 2010

Busyness

“We can talk on the phone as we eat fast food while using the ATM. Not only are we better at multitasking and becoming more productive and efficient, along with the increased pace, more is required of us. And so we hurtle through life faster and faster, becoming busier and busier. The result is that in our busyness we are becoming increasingly efficient at leading meaningless lives.” Don Whitney

 

Publish Date: October 10, 2010

Lost but not Worthless

 “Even in its ruined condition a human being is regarded by God as something immensely worth saving. Sin doesn’t make you worthless, but only lost.” Dallas Willard

 

Publish Date: October 3, 2010

Dance of Love

“May all your expectations be frustrated. May all your plans be thwarted. May all your desires be withered into nothingness. That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.” A prayer of blessing prayed over Henri Nouwen by a friend

 

Publish Date: September 26, 2010

Amazing Feature of Grace

“Here is the most amazing feature of grace: although God has no need of us, being complete within himself, he earnestly desires that we be on speaking terms with him.” Calvin Miller

 

Publish Date: September 19, 2010

The Theme of the Bible

“If I had to choose one word to summarize the theme of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, that word would be relationships. We have seen that God is a community of being – in the mystery of the divine Trinity, the three persons of the Godhead enjoy perfect mutual love. We have also seen that God created us in his image as relational beings whose ultimate source of fullness and enjoyment should have been found in fellowship and intimacy with God. Through his loving initiative, God has overcome the alienation and separation caused by human sin by sending his Son into the world to pay for our guilt and give us his life. The restoration of our vertical relationship with God that was made possible through Christ’s atonement becomes the basis for the restoration of righteous horizontal relationships with others. In scripture, righteousness is a relational concept, since it refers to good, just, and loving associations with God and others.” Kenneth Boa

 

Publish Date: September 12, 2010

Prayer of St. Richard

“Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which thou hast given us; for all the pains and insults which thou hast borne for us. O merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, may we know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly; for thine own sake.” The prayer of St. Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

 

Publish Date: September 5, 2010

Created for Fellowship

“Because God is a relational being, the two great commandments of loving him and expressing this love for him by loving others are also intensely relational. We were created for fellowship not only with God but also with each other. The relational implications of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity are profound. Since we were created in God’s image and likeness, we too are relational beings.” Kenneth Boa

 

Publish Date: August 29, 2010

The Real Question

“The question is not ‘How many people take you seriously?’ ‘How much are you going to accomplish?’ ‘Can you show some results?’ But: ‘Are you in love with Jesus?’” Henri J. M. Nouwen

 

Publish Date: August 22, 2010

God at Home

“God is not only at work in every particle of his creation and in all our human experience, but he makes his home in us.” Gerard W. Hughes

 

Publish Date: August 15, 2010

Magnetic Appeal

“The specific attribute that made Christianity magnetically appealing, even irresistible to the Roman world, was an exclusively Christian characteristic not found in the pagan religions or philosophical systems of the Greco-Roman world. It was the preaching and practice of the Gospel of love.” Themisticles Adamopoulo

 

Publish Date: August 8, 2010

Deeply Loved

“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” Brennan Manning

 

Publish Date: August 1, 2010

Master of Relationships

“Some of the meanest people I know can quote astounding amounts of Scripture while they walk up and down your back. How can this be? They know the rules, they know the law, they know the facts. But they don’t know the Master of Relationships.” Leonard Sweet

 

Publish Date: July 25, 2010

The Worst Disease

“The worst disease I’ve ever seen  is loneliness.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Publish Date: July 18, 2010

Journey Without Maps

“Christ calls us not to a place, but to himself. His command is ‘Follow me,’ not ‘Go over there.’ God told Abram to leave his home to go to a place ‘that I will show you.’ The critical question was not where, but who would show where. To follow Christ has always been a journey without maps, but with him.” Ben Patterson

 

Publish Date: July 11, 2010

Church as Relationship

“For the early Christians, belonging to a local church was a commitment to a group of people, not to a highly programmed institution driven by corporate management and numerical growth. First and foremost then, we must return to the concept and practice of church as a relational entity.” Joseph Hellerman

 

Publish Date: July 4, 2010  ::  Author: Larry Duncan

Positioning the Church

“I believe it is important today to position the church as a family, rather than as an institution. Since the 1960’s, Americans have become increasingly anti-institutional. They use the phrase ‘organized religion’ with contempt. On the other hand, people are longing for a sense of family and community.” Rick Warren

 

Publish Date: June 27, 2010

The Essence of Christianity

“The essence of the Christian faith is as simple and complex as this: God loves us and desires a relationship with us through Jesus. . . . Our identity is found in Christ – in a relationship, not in an organization or a system or a philosophy.” Leonard Sweet

 

Publish Date: June 20, 2010

The Power of Friendship

“What is almost unbelievably remarkable is that God chooses friendship, available to everyone, as the means of changing the world, its people, and societies.” Michael E. Williams

 

Publish Date: June 13, 2010

Good News

“The good news of the gospel is not an announcement or a proclamation, it’s a Person: Jesus the Christ. . . . The good news is that ‘in Christ God was reconciling the world to himslef.’ This is relationship at its best, relationship as God defines it.” Leonard Sweet 

 

Publish Date: June 6, 2010

God’s Kingdom

“God’s kingdom is not a place, but rather a relationship. It exists wherever people enthrone Jesus as Lord of their lives.” J. I. Packer

 

Publish Date: June 1, 2010

A Life of Relationship

“Faith is not simply a decision that is made or a commitment that is promised. Rather, faith is a new life we practice. And that life is practiced in the context of relationship.” Leonard Sweet