Darkness Light

There are so many great quotes in the various books I read, and today I’m sharing some of the best ones with you.  I hope these words encourage you today.

Of all the providential dealings of God toward me throughout the year, I must take my stand and testify that God’s way is right.  When things seem to go wrong with me, instead of believing they are going wrong, I stand upon the authority of God’s Word.  I decided long ago that instead of trusting my way, I will gladly trust blindly in the wisdom of God.  If I trust blindly in God’s wisdom, He will lead me by a way I know not.  He will guide in paths where I have not been before.  He will make darkness light before me and make crooked things straight, and will lead me through into His marvelous light.  God will lead me into a rich place and make me rich with treasures that can never die.  [spiritual treasures]  If I want my own way, God will let me go my way.  Many Christians do just that.  They insist on their plans and their ambitions and imperil everything because they lack the wisdom to know how to do it.  God’s way is the best way, because it is backed up by the infinite wisdom of God.  Gladly will I blindly trust God’s way instead of my own.  — A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 378

A man who is destitute knows how to pray.  He needs not an instructor.  His miseries indoctrinate him wonderfully in the art of prayer.  Let us know ourselves destitute that we might know how to pray.  –Stephen Marshall

It’s not our job to fix people; it’s our job to love them even while they are broken.  –Dave Willis

Winding this year down makes me pause to think and in my thinking I thank God that in His wisdom He has my best in mind for the longest period of time.  What God is doing in my life right now cannot be defined by the word now!  I have lived long enough to realize that God has all my tomorrows in mind when He is opening or closing a door now, today…O God, I stand between time and eternity.  The only thing linking these two in my life is Thee.  Thou hast my best interests in mind for the longest period of time.  I rejoice in this truth.  –A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 377

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.  My victory and honor come from God alone.  He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.  O my people, trust in Him at all times.  Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.  –Psalm 62:5-8 [NLT]

 

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My Word

Today I’m sharing quotes from my “Word of the Year” journal; my word this year is “Joy!”

Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.  For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything He does.  –Psalm 33:3-4 [NLT]

Sometime in our future there’s a party to end all parties.  The Lamb of God will invite us to a bash that rings out the old life forever and rings in a new unity with Him.  Hatred, fear, and pride will go suddenly stale, as we feast on love, joy, and praise.  What a day that will be!  Hallelujah!  —One Year Book of Psalms, 12/31

I’m not on top of the peak calling you to climb up where I am.  Rather I’m standing with you as we both look to the summit of this great mountain called the fear of God.  It’s a challenging climb upward, but also a joyous climb.  My prayer is that this book will help us both on our journey.  –Jerry Bridges, The Joy of Fearing God, pg. ix

In contrast to servile fear, filial fear is the loving fear of a child toward his father.  Ferguson describes it as “that indefinable mixture of reverence, fear, pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what He has done for us.”  –Jerry Bridges, The Joy of Fearing God, pg. 27

God does not give us overcoming life; He gives us life as we overcome.  The strain is the strength.  If there is no strain there is no strength.  Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy?  He cannot, unless you will accept the strain.  Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. –Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, 8/2

Sobering Words

I’m taking a short break from the photos of our trip to Amsterdam.  There are many outstanding quotes from my journals that I’d like to share this week.  First, insightful words from Compassion’s Vice President of the Latin America and Caribbean Region.  I met Edouard Lassegue and his wife years ago when I was in Haiti for the first time; at the time he was the President of Compassion Haiti.

Now he very capably administers, counsels and directs a much larger region.  This man is kind, warm, humble, caring, energetic and especially passionate about helping children in need.  This is his recent update:

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in praying for and supporting Compassion’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Your unwavering commitment in uplifting this region to God’s care is an affirmation of the power and solidarity of the global Church, which I believe is the main reason for the gains the region continues to experience.

Over the past decade, the Latin America and Caribbean Region has seen ongoing progress in many socioeconomic areas.  In fact, today, many economists attest that the majority of the countries in this region have been experiencing modest, but steady annual growth rates.  What’s more, these countries are also seeing declining extreme poverty rates with citizens generally becoming healthier and better educated.

These are encouraging highlights, but regrettably, they represent only half of the present situation.  Today, this region remains the most violent in the world, with one of the highest homicide rates ever.  Most of the clashes involve drug and gang activities, resulting in ruthless and barbaric murders.

Our region also faces natural disasters of all kinds, including flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes.  Haiti, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic continue their recovery efforts from hurricanes and tropical storms, while Mexico focuses on reconstruction from earthquake devastation.  Heavy rainfall in Colombia and Peru have brought about flooding and higher incidents of mosquito-borne illnesses.

But, in the midst of it all, I am so inspired by the dedication and courage of our church partners.  They do not complain; they do not back down.  That is why we count it a distinct privilege to walk alongside them in this vital ministry of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

So please don’t stoop praying for the Latin America and Caribbean Region.  Pray that the Church stays firm in the midst of the violence that surrounds them, serving as an example of Christ’s truth and love.  Pray for the safety of families and children–many of whom face the threat of violence every day in their normal day-to-day activities.  Pray for governments and local branches of authority, that they will “step up” and care for the people they profess to serve.

The troubles of the Latin America and Caribbean Region will not fade by just good intentions.  Real progress and peace will only come through a change of heart and mindset, and as followers of Christ, we know that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you, again, for your prayerful support.  And may you be encouraged that all things are possible through God — and that includes a transformation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the spirit of the triune God, Edouard Lassegue, Vice President of the Latin America and Caribbean Region, Compassion International

Here is the link for my second visit with Josue, and with his younger brother that I also sponsored later.  If you would like to sponsor a child, click here and you can search a child from Latin America or the Caribbean!

Standing

Although I love hymns and choruses focused on God Himself, rather than on us as worshippers, there are some great lyrics that refer to the actual worship of the believer.  These too have a place in our hymnals and in our worship.

Standing on the promises of Christ my King, thro’ the eternal ages let His praises ring.  Glory in the highest I will shout and sing; standing on the promises of God.  — R. Kelso Carter

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation!  O my soul, praise Him, for He is they health and salvation!  All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; join me in glad adoration!  — Joachim Neander

What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms?  I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms.  — Elisha A. Hoffman

 

 

 

Hymns

This week I’ m focusing on hymn lyrics.  I’ve been seeing these in my devotions this year and some of the lyrics have made their way into my journal.  I’m not one to say that we need only hymns in our worship services, but I do think they have a way of worshipping God that is truly special.  But chorus or hymn, I love the ones that are more focused on God (His character, His works, His heart) than on us (our worship, our service, our hearts).

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater;  He sendeth more strength as our labors increase.  To added afflictions He added His mercy; to multiplied trials He multiplies peace.  –Annie J. Flint

I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise.; that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies.  I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day.  The moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey.  — Isaac Watts

Wonderful grace of Jesus, reaching to all the lost.  By it I have been pardoned, saved to the uttermost.  Chains have been torn asunder, giving me liberty; for the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.  — Holder Lillenas

He framed the globe, He built the sky.  He made the shining worlds on high and reigns in glory there.  His beams are majesty and light; His beauties, how divinely bright!  His dwelling place how fair!  — Isaac Watts

 

Power

Each of these quotes has something to do with power, if you think about it.

The godly minister has no more difficult, no more solemn, no more blessed task, than to lead his people out to meet God.  –Andrew Murray, Waiting On God, pg. 73

Power can be used for good or evil.  This is underscored by the fact that the inventor of dynamite was Alfred Nobel, for whom the peace prize is named.  — One Year Book of Psalms, 8/7/17

Each act of self-denial is a seed-germ of the harvest of gladness.  — F. B. Meyer

Boundless

It’s time for more quotes from my journal.  I love these thoughts about God–big, limitless, boundless.

The mercy of God is an ocean divine, a boundless and fathomless flood.  Launch out in the deep and cut away the shore line, and be lost in the mercy of God.  –A. B. Simpson

We misuse the words ‘boundless’ and ‘unlimited’ because the words ‘boundless,’ ‘unlimited,’ and ‘infinite’ all mean the same thing.  They are words to describe God.  In no way, shape or form do they describe man.  We have a limit to everything about us.  God, on the other hand, has no limits.  We are not using words carelessly when we say that God is boundless, limitless and infinite.  — A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 230

Bravo, God, Bravo!  Everyone join in the great shout:  Encore!  In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might.  — Psalm 96:7 (MSG)