In Quotes

“How beautifully the leaves grow old! How full of light and color are their later days!”

{John Burroughs}


fall tree 1

I found this quote at the back of a magazine last week as I waited in the doctor’s office on a gorgeous autumn morning.   Among others sitting in the room with me were several elderly people and, looking around at their faces, I thought about how each of them had a name and a story all their own.  They’ve celebrated many birthdays and no doubt earned every wrinkle around their eyes and each gray hair on their head.   They’ve seen countless sunrises and an equal number of sunsets; known ups and downs, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, companionship and loneliness.   And I found myself hoping this quote described them too.

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In Quotes

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”

{Old English Proverb}

 


ship in storm3

Is there anything in nature quite like the ocean to remind us of how small, how assailable we are?  I have very mixed emotions about the vastness of it all.  I don’t know how to swim.  So, a day by the sea usually involves sitting contentedly under an umbrella with a book in hand; soaking up the sound of rhythmic waves; the smell of salty air; and the panoramic view as banded shades of white, green, blue, and gray appear stacked on top of each other as far as the eye can see.   A walk on the beach in the surf’s ruffled edge;  collecting little treasures of driftwood, sea glass, and shells is pure relaxation.  How easy to lose track of time, lulled to sleep as the sun warms my face and seagulls call overhead. What’s not to love?

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In Quotes

“Prayer is not only asking, it is an attitude of heart that produces an atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural.”

{Oswald Chambers}


 

path to horizon

I stumbled upon this quote yesterday and just had to pass it along to y’all.  Everything about these words resonated with me.  Honestly, when I read it, it made me smile and my heart glad.

There are many wonderful books on all the facets of prayer (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, etc.), and most of the books on our recommended reading list touch on these in varying degrees.  But for this post, I want to share a couple of things I’m learning to help simplify a topic that often becomes unnecessarily complicated.  It all comes back to relationship.

Turning to Him with the faith of a child;  dependent, expectant, and submissive.

Trusting that in His goodness and grace we are free to boldly ask for things only He can do and provide.

Not hesitating to show Him the parts of our heart we’re reluctant to share with anyone else.  He sees and knows it all anyway,  so why not rely upon Him to change and mold us according to His good pleasure.

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In Quotes

“It is said that in some countries

trees will grow,

but will bear no fruit

because there is no winter there.”

{John Bunyan}


apple tree

 

Leave it to Bunyan (1628-1688) to make what appears obvious into something so much more.  I’ve had such a tree.  An apple tree.  Two years in a row with record warm winters meant there weren’t enough necessary chilling hours to produce fruit.   Still looking every bit like an apple tree, it didn’t yield anything.  It never broke dormancy.

Confession:  I’ve been that tree as well.  What is it about times of abundance and ease (let’s clarify; there’s nothing wrong with either) that can cause our hearts to slip into spiritual dormancy?  Times you’d think would naturally produce a bumper crop of mature fruit as temperate goodness characterizes most days, are instead often marked by stunted growth. 

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In Quotes

st francis of

Peace Prayer

{Francis of Assisi}

Lord, make me an instrument of  Your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

In Quotes

child with heart balloon

“Be revealed to me as the

only fitting and suitable place of rest

where my soul is truly satisfied.”

{John Owen}


/ Part I /

Good morning friends!  I can’t think of a more illuminating way to begin a new day than to soak up this prayer from the pen of John Owen and make it our own.  What Marie Kondo is to all the unnecessary stuff that clutters our closets and drawers, Owen is to words on a page.  His are carefully edited thoughts, leaving us with only the truly important.  Here is depth and beauty packed into a single sentence, waiting to be opened up and applied.  Let’s dive in!

“Be revealed to me …”

A prevalent blind spot as Christ followers in the twenty-first century is that we often possess a less than humble, teachable heart.   We’ve heard so much, read so much, debated so much, and concluded so much that the notion of quietly listening and allowing His word to instruct us can be challenging at times.  Acknowledging our childlike dependence on Him to make known and disclose who He is is the best place to start.  After all, our lives are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2)  This also encompasses an experiential knowledge of God’s mercy, love, faithfulness, sovereignty, goodness, trustworthiness, kindness, holiness —  all His wonderful attributes — cultivated in times of both blessing and testing.

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In Quotes

pencil sketch sea gull

“Affliction may be lasting,

but it is not everlasting;

a sting, but with a wing;

sorrow shall soon fly away.”

{Thomas Watson}

Hi, friends.  I’ve been thinking about this laconic reminder, written for those who wonder if the storm you’re weathering is ever going to relent.  From the pen of Thomas Watson (1652), it has captured my imagination — to know the Father’s providence established that any testing in the lives of His children will be bounded by time.  Now and again, hearing truth we believe expressed in a fresh new way animates our hearts to trust Him through the waiting.

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