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Archive for the ‘Hymns and Quotations’ Category

As if in response to my previous post, I was given this quote from Pastor John Piper:

 

Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped for.
Grieve the losses.  Feel the pain.

…Then wash your face.  Trust God.  And embrace the life you have.

 

The lapse between the first and last lines is individual, but our trust in our good Lord’s loving Providence must certainly lead us to the latter attitude.

 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… And without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:1, 6).

 

Yes, my conscience; He [does] us great good.

 

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Many of us are mourning the loss of an American era with the passing of a man, I think we won’t soon see the likes of again.  The beloved preacher and evangelist, the Reverend Billy Graham, passed away on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, and was laid to rest in Charlotte, North Carolina, after his March 2nd funeral.  He was 99 years old.  Among other endearing terms, Rev. Graham is being remembered as God’s Ambassador and America’s Pastor, having provided spiritual counsel for every United States president since Harry S. Truman (our 33rd) right on to Barack Obama (our 44th president).

When I think of Dr. Graham, I can’t help think of my Dad who always encouraged us girls to sit and listen whenever a crusade was being televised (on network T.V. no less). I never told dad or mom, but I responded to one of those crusades, back when we lived in town (so prior to 8th grade). I sent for the follow-up material too, writing to “Billy Graham, Minneapolis, MN – that’s all the address you need” as Billy directed us from every crusade.  What came was a summary of his Steps to Peace with God and a study of the book of John.

I attribute that experience to a sensitive period in my life when God was softening my heart and mind to his, eventually leading me to receive the gospel truth.  I would not fully put it all together until my college years when God through his Word in Ephesians 2:8-9 caused me to once and for all lay down my works which I had been trying to offer all my life as an acceptable arrangement; one which I hoped would make God pleased with me and lead me to eternal life.  My plan had been Jesus + me = salvation, never realizing that the only thing I could contribute to Christ’s offering, was the sin that made it necessary.  Using the small faith God gave me for just that moment, I gave all that I knew of myself (my whole sin-saturated self and my inadequate works) to all I knew of Christ (my only rescue).

During college, Dana and I would counsel for a Billy Graham movie or two (World Wide Pictures) at the Cinema Theater in town (now the WDAZ studios).  After one particular movie, The Prodigal, Dana was completely broken and rededicated his life to the Lord.

A highlight for us was counseling for the Billy Graham live crusade in Fargo the summer of 1987 when we were expecting Ashley. We brought my cousin Paul with us one of the days (who was living in Grand Forks at the time, in the restaurant business with my Uncle Warren).  I’m sad to say, though, that I seem to recall my dad was unable to go to Fargo with us to see Billy in person, amounting to a double loss since the entertainment was another of Dad’s favorites, Johnny Cash (and his wife, Rosalind).

Rev. Graham’s gravestone briefly summarizes his life – Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ – and then makes reference to John 14:6, “Jesus said to [Thomas], ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.'” One of my favorite Billy Graham quotes was printed on his funeral brochure:  “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now.”  I pray God will enable me to be faithful and about the King’s work to the end – in whatever capacity I am able – just as the world has observed in the life of God’s good and faithful servant, Billy Graham.

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On the cusp of the 20th century, William Booth (1829 – 1912), founder of the Salvation Army, wrote of his fears for the turn of the century.  Now looking back on the past 117 years we might see just how prescient he was as he wrote:

“I consider that the chief dangers
which confront the coming century will be:
religion without the Holy Ghost,
Christianity without Christ,
forgiveness without repentance,
salvation without regeneration,
politics without God,
and heaven without hell.”

Happily though, the following famous quote is also attributed to Booth.  With it we need not just wring our hands or flee to the mountaintops to search the skies for Christ’s sure coming.  Jesus said, “We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).  Booth put it this way: “Work as if everything depended upon work and pray as if everything depended upon prayer.”

 

 

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“You will be the same person in five years as you are today,
except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

~ Charlie Jones

 

 

 

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time-flying

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the new year:
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’

“But he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and
put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’

“So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.”

~ From “The Gate of the Year” by Minnie Louise Haskins

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I look not back; God knows the fruitless efforts,
The wasted hours, the sinning, the regrets.
I leave them all with Him who blots the record,
And graciously forgives, and then forgets.

I look not forward; God sees all the future,
The road that, short or long, will lead me home,
And He will face with me its every trial,
And bear for me the burdens that may come.

I look not round me; then would fears assail me,
So wild the tumult of earth’s restless seas,
So dark the world, so filled with woe and evil,
So vain the hope of comfort and of ease.

I look not inward; that would make me wretched;
For I have naught on which to stay my trust.
Nothing I see save failures and shortcomings,
And weak endeavors, crumbling into dust.

But I look up–into the face of Jesus,
For there my heart can rest, my fears are stilled;
And there is joy, and love, and light for darkness,
And perfect peace, and every hope fulfilled.

Amen.

~ Annie Johnson Flint

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Geeks

geeks

“Geeks are people who love something so much that all the details matter.”

~Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO

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black-hole-ii

There are actually two God-designed holes which the soul longs to have filled –
one, a God-shaped hole; the second, an eternity-shaped hole.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless,
until they can find rest in you.” ~ Augustine

– – – – –
The God-Shaped Hole:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, …though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

~ Blaise Pascal, Pensées VII (425)

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you… may be able to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

– – – – –
An Eternity-Shaped Hole:

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

~ C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York, Macmillan, 1960), p. 119

“…He has put eternity into man’s heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

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