Monday, April 26, 2010

Shepherd of Tender Youth

"Shepherd of tender youth, guiding in love and truth
Through devious ways: Christ, our triumphant King,
We come Thy Name to sing;
Hither our children bring, to shout Thy praise.
Thou art our holy Lord, the all-subduing Word,
Healer of strife: Thou didst Thyself abase,
That from sin's deep disgrace,
Thou mightest save our race and give us life.
So now and till we die, sound we Thy praises high,
And joyful sing: infants, and the glad throng,
Who to Thy church belong,
Unite to swell the song to Christ our King. Amen."

Clement of Alexandria

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Early Apologists

"In conclusion, the writings of the apologists witness to the tensions in which the early Christians lived. While rejecting paganism, they had to deal with the fact that paganism produced a valuable culture. While accepting the truth to be found in the philosophers, they insisted on the superiority of Christian revelation. While refusing to worship the emperor, and even while persecuted by the authorities, they continued praying for the emperor and admiring the greatness of the Roman Empire. These tensions were admirably expressed in the address To Diognetus:

Christians are no different from the rest in their nationality, language or customs... They live in their own countries, but as sojourners. They fulfill all their duties as citizens, but they suffer as foreigners. They find their homeland wherever they are, but their homeland is not in any one place.... They are in the flesh, but they do not live according to the flesh. They live on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey all laws, but they live at a level higher than that required by law. They love all, but all persecute them.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Who am I?

I don't know if this quote will make sense if you do not know the character involved in the book...

"For still she thought that "Religion" was a kind of exhalation or a cloud of incense, something steaming up from specially gifted souls towards a receptive Heaven. Then, quite sharply, it occurred to her that the Director never talked about Religion; nor did the Dimbles nor Camilla. They talked about God. They had no picture in their minds of some mist steaming upward: rather of strong, skillful hands thrust down to make, and mend, perhaps even to destroy. Supposing one were a thing after all - a thing designed and invented by Someone Else and valued for qualities quite different from what one had decided to regard as one's true self?"

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

Thursday, April 15, 2010


"He had never before known what an Idea meant: he had always thought till now that they were things inside one's own head. But now, when his head was continually attacked and often completely filled with the clinging corruption of the training, this Idea towered up above him - something which obviously existed quite independently of himself and had hard rock surfaces which would not give, surfaces he could cling to."

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What is my story about?

"History is the story of redemption. This story is much bigger than I. I am not the main character in the drama of redemption. I am not the point. But by God's grace I am a part of it. My subplot is integral to the whole. It is far more significant to have a small part in this story than to star in my own puny production. This is a cosmic story that will run throughout eternity. Will I play my part with grace and joy, or will I go for the short-run, insignificant story that really has no point?"

Susan Hunt

"The Truth is, it's not about you. It's not about me. It's all about Him. The Truth may not change your circumstances - at least not here and now - but it will change you. The Truth will set you free."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Emotional health

"Helping people to feel loved and worthwhile has become the central mission of the church. We are learning not to worship God in self-denial and costly service, but to embrace our inner child, heal our memories, overcome addictions, lift our depressions, improve our self-images, establish self-preserving boundaries, substitute self-love for self-hatred, and replace shame with an affirming acceptance of who we are.

Recovery from pain is absorbing an increasing share of the church's energy. And that is alarming...

We have become committed to relieving the pain behind our problems rather than using our pain to wrestle more passionately with the character and purpose of God. Feeling better has become more important than finding God...

As a result, we happily camp on biblical ideas that help us feel loved and accepted, and we pass over Scripture that calls us to higher ground. We twist wonderful truths about God's acceptance, his redeeming love, and our new identity in Christ into a basis for honoring ourselves rather than seeing those truths for what they are: the stunning revelation of a God gracious enough to love people who hated him, a God worthy to be honored about everyone and everything else.

... We have rearranged things so that God is now worthy of honor because he has honored us. "worthy is the Lamb," we cry, not in response to his amazing grace, but because he has recovered what we value most: the ability to like ourselves. We now matter more than God."

Dr. Larry Crab, Finding God, as quoted in Lies Women Believe by Nancy DeMoss

Monday, April 12, 2010


What is important to me?
Who is important to me?
Who do I spend time with?
Who am I intimate with?
What do I represent?
Who do I represent?
Can anyone tell?
Do I give a right impression?
Do I represent them rightly?
Am I who I think I am?
Am I who I want to be?
How does the world see me?
How do my students and friends see me?
How does my family see me?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Prayer by Polycarp

"Thou God and Father of Thy beloved and blessed Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of Thee, O God of the angels and of all creation and of all just men who live in Thy presence, I thank Thee that Thou hast graciously granted this day and this hour to allot me a portion among the number of martyrs, among the people of Christ, unto the resurrection of everlasting life: may I be received in Thy sight, as a fruitful and acceptable sacrifice, wherefore, for all this, I praise Thee, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee through the eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son; to whom, with Thee and the Holy Spirit, be all glory, world without end. Amen."

"I have served Him for 86 years, and He has done me know harm. How could I curse my King who saved me?"

Polycarp, as he was being martyred, 155AD

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


"We want to know no will but God's in this question... The experience of the past winter would impress upon me the fact that place and position have next to nothing to do with happiness; that we can be wretched in a palace, radiant in a dungeon... perhaps this heartbreaking is exactly what we need to remind us... that we are pilgrims and strangers on the earth."
Elizabeth Prentiss

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be; for I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds, wherever we go."
Martha Washington

"The Truth is, God is far more interested in our holiness than in our immediate, temporal happiness - He knows that apart from being holy, we can never be truly happy."
Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Monday, April 5, 2010

Leadership and Followship

A Leader is not a dictator.
A Follower is not a slave.

A Leader serves those he leads.
A Follower serves the one who leads.

A Leader gives up his life for those he leads.
A Follower gives up his life to the one who leads.

Both serve and give with an attitude of humility.
Both give up what they have and what they want for the sake of the other.
Both sacrifice.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


"When it comes to dealing with our emotions, we must remember that 'feeling good' is not the ultimate objective in the Christian's life. God does not promise that those who walk with Him will be free from all difficult emotions. In fact, as long as we are in these bodies, we will experience varying degrees of pain and distress.
...the real focus of our lives must not be on changing or 'fixing' things to make ourselves feel better but on the glory of God and His redemptive purposes in the world. Everything else is expendable. True joy comes from abandoning ourselves to that end."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Change, Chance and Fear

"Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hitherto, - do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms... The same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations."
Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lies Women Believe - on emotions

I am making my way through this fabulous book... and today's section was called "I can't help how I respond when my hormones are out of whack. (It's understandable to at like a shrew at certain times.)"

sigh. I wish I could reprint the entire section here for you. Go read the book. But here are some things that stick in my mind.

(italics are my own thoughts)
"So if we feel a sudden craving for a big bowl of chocolate ice cream at 10:00 at night, we head for the freezer and pull out the ice cream. (this is why I don't buy ice cream) If we feel like staying up and watching a late-night movie, we do so (I did that Sunday night and regretted it for 2 days). If we don't feel like getting out of bed the next morning, we pull the covers up over our head and call in sick at work. If we don't feel like cooking a meal that night, we call for pizza delivery(guilty on a regular basis). If we don't feel like cleaning our house, we let it go until the mess is so great we are really depressed (this would be my normal state of house cleaning).
The problem is, if we cater to our emotions and let them control our actions in these kinds of daily routines, we will be more vulnerable to being controlled by our emotions in the major transitions and difficult seasons of life."

"Certainly what happens in our bodies does affect us emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. We cannot isolate these various dimensions of who we are - they are inseparably intertwined. But we fall into the trap of the Enemy when we justify fleshly, sinful attitudes and responses based on our physical condition or hormonal changes."

"Didn't God make our bodies? Doesn't He understand how they work? Do you think things like menstrual cycles, hormones, pregnancy, and menopause catch Him off guard?"

"You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made... When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Tax Insanity

"It is a good thing that we do not get as much government as we pay for." Will Rogers

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..." James Madison

"Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even." Will Rogers

"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him." Robert Heinlein

"I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is I could be just as proud for half of the money." Arthur Godfrey

"Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages." H.L. Mencken

[on filing for tax returns] "This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher." Albert Einstein

"The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away." John S. Coleman

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." Mark Twain