A Patchwork Quilt

The final quotes this week from my old notebooks come from my own mouth.  These are my own words, written down in times that I was really hurting or struggling.

Returning from Denver and my return from Arizona, I was troubled in spirit and pulled over at the rest stop in front of the Big Horn Mountains.  It was beautiful!  Sunlight and shadows.  Green fields.  A patchwork quit.  And God said to me, “You do not see the whole picture, but I do.”  And I imagined how the world must look to birds who can fly high above.  I may be in one of the shadows at the moment, or in a dark valley, but that will change.  He was telling me, again, to be still and trust Him.  He will take care of everything.  [4/30/07]

And yet another:

At the Fetterman Massacre site

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge…Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world…The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul…The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.  — From Psalm 19

This is what I wrote after reading that scripture:

He was telling me to once again look to His word for promises, encouragement, wisdom — He does give promises (and I have discerned them correctly) but not in chronological order.  I need to leave the interpretation to God alone.  Even Isaiah didn’t know the order of his prophecies.  I walked across the hillside praying, and picked some flowers to remember these moments.  Seeing a cut-out of a guard on horseback (on a distant hill) reminded me of God’s presence.  Today He spoke to me in many ways — by His Spirit, through Betty & Hansi (Christian speakers & writers), by His Word, in creation, through circumstances.  Thank you Jesus!  [6/6/07]

I Know Karate

In looking at my old notebooks of quotes, I came across this sweet but sad one:

I know karate, so it’s OK — I’ll lead the way out.  — Child in the Sandy Hook school shooting (12/14/12)

Here are more quotes, going back to a 2007 notebook:

The wise counsel God gives when I’m wake is confirmed by my sleeping heart.  — Psalm 16:7 [MSG]

It’s the person who loves brother and sister that dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from others.  — 1 John 2:10 [MSG]

If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.  — Henry David Thoreau

If we want to live in harmony with the universe as God has ordered it, we must live our lives in response to those rhythms…From the heart of God comes the strongest rhythm — the rhythm of love.  Without His love reverberating in us, whatever we do will come across like a noisy gong or clanging cymbal.  — Henry David Thoreau

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.  — Psalm 90:1-2 [Given to me when Chris was climbing the Grand Teton in 2007]



Memorable and Sobering Quotes

I came across this quote several years ago, and it’s truly a memorable & sobering one.

For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph, a tumultuous parade.  In the procession came trumpeters, musicians, and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments.

The conqueror rode in a triumphant chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him.  Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses.

A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning that all glory is fleeting.  — The movie Patton

More great quotes follow here:

Mother Teresa was once asked, “How did you receive your call to serve the poor?”  She answered, “My call is not to serve the poor.  My call is to follow Jesus.  I have followed Him to the poor.”

We are to be long-tempered in contrast to short-tempered, to suffer long instead of being hasty to anger and vengeance…so to maintain unity, we set aside “self,” set aside our own needs and be willing to suffer last place instead of first place, even to look like we’re wrong if it will maintain unity.  We’re not talking doctrinal issues here — but rather things of personality and human interaction…When we’re impatient and short-tempered with people, it’s really because we’re impatient with God.  We are at that moment not trusting in and leaning upon Him to give us strength.  — from Word for the Day, 5/9/12

Your testimonies are my  heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.  — Psalm 119:111 [ESV]

Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!  Be their shepherd and carry them forever.  — Psalm 28:9 [ESV]

The Lord knows the days of the blameless and their heritage will remain forever.  — Psalm 37:18 [ESV]

God often gives in one brief moment that which He has for a long time denied — Thomas à Kempis



Saddling Up

This week I’ll feature more great quotes from older notebooks:

Knowledge is the discovery of ignorance.  — Unknown

Courage is having fear and saddling up anyway.  — John Wayne

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  — Dorothy Bernard

Only do not rebel against the LORD.  And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us.  — Numbers 14:9

The above scripture has shown up in my notebooks over and over again through the years.  I’ve continually been reminded that dominating, critical, intimidating people cannot hurt me; instead, they are “bread for me”.  They provide my nourishment — growth, steadfastness, maturing of faith, trust.  Amazing!  In looking back many years, I could see that this recurring scripture always showed up at the exact times I needed it.

Here are some more great quotes from my notebooks:

Blessed is the one who considers the poor!  In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.  The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.  — Psalm 41:1-4 [ESV]

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:58 [NIV]

What a great reminder of how we should be living each day.  When we keep our focus on Christ and the truth of the Gospel, we will not be moved.  Our labor will then stem out of gratitude for what God has done for us, and we will be able to give ourselves fully to His work.  Our work is never to be done for anyone else; they will always end up disappointing us at some point.  When our work is done fully to the Lord, we understand our reward is not on this earth.  We understand we are aliens here and not meant to be rewarded until we are home.  When we deeply understand and daily grasp this truth, we are not disappointed by people but grateful for the opportunity to fully serve God, despite any difficult circumstances.  And we can be assured that our labor in the Lord is not in vain!  May we seek to serve Him fully each day, simply because the God we serve is worthy!  — Vision Beyond Borders newsletter, 5/4/12




Joy is Gone

Here are the final quotes from my Word of the YearJoy.  This has been a difficult but joy-filled year for sure.  I’m so thankful for great quotes like this that spread true joy!  If you read carefully, you’ll find the quote from which the title comes, but it’s also a play on words — nearly time to choose a new word!

You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy.  — Psalm 30:11 (GNT)

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.  — Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Joy is the serious business of Heaven.  — C. S. Lewis, The Joyful Christian, pg. 228

Give me the strength to wait for hope — to look through the window when there are no stars.  Even when my joy is gone, give me the strength to stand victoriously in the darkest night and say, “To my Heavenly Father, the sun still shines.”  I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope.  — L. B. Cowman quoting George Matheson, Streams in the Desert

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing to Zion; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  — Isaiah 51:11 (RSV)

What is the sign of a friend?  Is it that he tells you his secret sorrows?  No, it is that he tells you his secret joys.  Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you.  Have we ever let God tells us any of His joys?  — Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Remove from my heart, Lord, the spirit of pride and ego.  Make me your willing servant, and give me such a song in my heart, that I may do the humblest tasks with joy.  — Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, God’s Song in My Heart, pg. 49

Only with wisdom comes joy, and with greatness comes love.  — Harry S. Truman

I bless Thee for tempering every distress with joy; too much of the former might weigh me down, too much of the latter might puff me up; Thou art wise to give me a taste of both.  — The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, pg. 157

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!  The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble.  — Psalm 41:1 (NLT)

The flowers live by the tears that fall from the sad face of the skies; and life would have no joy at all, were there no watery eyes.  Love the sorrow, for grief will bring its own reward in later years; the rainbow!  See how fair a thing God has built up from tears.  — L. B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert

We must remember to maintain within our hearts the spirit of Sabbath calm and peace, not fussy, not anxious, nor fretful nor impetuous; refraining our feet from our own paths, our hand from our own devices, refusing to make our own joy and do our own works.  — David Roper quoting F. B. Meyer, A Man to Match the Mountains, pg. 109

Holy Father, I ask that You would draw nearer to me and that Your Holy Spirit would guide my thoughts and my ways.  I pray that I would have a deeper understanding of Your love and how Your heart — the heart of a loving Father — cares for me and for all people, equally.  I pray I would see those around me as You see them.  I pray You would give me Your heart for the poor, that I would see them as my brothers and sisters in Christ, and as co-heirs in the abundant hope and joy of Your love.  — A Compassion International prayer

Not Alone

This week I’m sharing quotes from my Word of the YearJoy!  Following are more wonderful phrases that use the word, “Joy.”  I can honestly say that this has not been an easy year; but, in truth, even when times are really difficult, there is a joy and strength deep inside that no one can displace in my life.  It’s always there, as a foundation to everything because God is faithful and present and He loves unconditionally.

The Christian joy is found in knowing that, though he must go through scenes of deepest gloom, he is not alone; there is One who has led the way.  Yes, he knows that nothing can separate him from that One, if he will keep his eyes fixed on Him; and the sorrow to be endured will only make the goal more beautiful.  — Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, God’s Son in My Heart, pg. 10

While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up to Heaven.  So they worshiped Him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy.  — Luke 24:51-52 (NIV)

At His sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music.  Psalm 27:6b (NLT)

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.  The self-same well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes be filled with your tears…The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.  — Kahil Gibran

Jesus saves us not only from our sin and ourselves.  He also saves us from our ordinariness.  He transforms the drudgery of daily existence into a wonderful journey with Him…Jesus brings new meaning to everything, even the most meaningless of days.  We find joy where before there was only dullness of heart because, beyond ourselves, Jesus has come, the true bringer of joy.  Pray that your dullest tasks will be transformed with the joy of Christ. — Michael Card, Joy in the Journey

Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.  Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the king!  Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise!  Let the earth and all living things join in.  Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!  Let the hills sing out their songs of joy before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth.  He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness.  — from Psalm 98 (NLT)

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow!  John 15:11 (NLT)

You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.  — Psalm 4:7 (NLT)

The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) is a familiar story, and it’s important to keep the focus where it belongs:  not on the lost son, but on the father and his great joy at the repentance and return of the son.  — R. C. Sproul, What is theGreat Commission?, go, 57

Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the LORD because the foundation of the LORD’s Temple had been laid.  But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation.  The others, however, were shouting for joy.  The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.  — Ezra 3:11-13 (NLT)

Joy is hard to find on ordinary days in the routine of daily life.  If real joy is to be found, it must come from the outside.  On those mystical occasions when joy comes to us from beyond, the ordinary is transformed into a vehicle for the joy.  The entire world can be transformed in a moment…the first Easter [or Christmas] began as an ordinary day.  Jesus chose an ordinary day to transform the world and give us the chance to know joy.  — Michael Card, Joy in the Journey



Look Back

It’s nearly time to choose a new Word of the Year, and I certainly have enjoyed this year’s word — Joy!  Here are some of the amazing quotes in my journal that use this vibrant word:

Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  — Philippians 2:2 (NIV)

Look back with joy to all your wanderings.  — John Muir

Shout for joy…shout in triumph…Rejoice and exult with all your heart…You will fear disaster no more…the Lord your God is in your midst.  He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love.  He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.  — Zephaniah 3:14-17 (NASB)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.  — Jude 24-25 (ESV)

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized Him in the Jordan River.  As Jesus came up out of the water, He saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on Him like a dove.  And a voice from Heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”  — Mark 1:9-11 (NLT)

When God’s Spirit moves, He leaves singing in His wake, and in particular He leaves new songs, songs that embody His truth and are an obedient response to His beauty.  These songs are a spontaneous and joyful response to the great truth that it is in fact God who is doing something new!  He is coming, and His approach is meant to be strewn, like palm branches, with new songs!  — Michael Card, Joy in the Journey

We may have civilized bodies and yet barbarous souls. We are blind to the real sights of this world; deaf to its voice; and dead to its death. And not till we know, that one grief outweighs ten thousand joys will we become what Christianity is striving to make us. — Herman Melville

Lament is a gift of God for the people of God, the trailing breadcrumbs of sorrow that lead to the feast of joy.  — Rev. Joe Holland, Tabletalk, , May 2018, pg. 22

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  — Psalm 16:11 (ESV)

As He spoke, He showed them His hands and His feet.  Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder.  — Luke 24:40-41 (NLT)