Snippets of Posts and Quotes | Take 4

the-future-is-bright

The Hardest Peace | Mundane Faithfulness

I often fail, I’m often found in weakness and brokenness, but through it all I am met- always met in love. This is not simply my story and journey with cancer. It is a book written to appeal to us all as we meet the bitter edges of life on this side of eternity. In the brokenness of our unmet expectations of life, will we look for Jesus and His abundant love? Or will we tumble into bitterness and anger that leave us utterly self focused and disappointed by the hard in our story each of us are asked to receive. —Kara Tippetts  http://www.mundanefaithfulness.com

On being healed of being a big deal | Deeper Story

I’m learning to take those moments, called “small humiliations”, as gifts.  http://deeperstory.com/on-being-healed-of-being-a-big-deal/  —Micha Boyett

Don’t ever hide your joy | The Beautiful Due

There’ll be days when you’re on high beam joy. Shine on, unapologetically. But if you’re flesh and blood, there’ll be days when you dim your lights a little because you’re having a crappy day or you know someone else is having a crappy day. You can still shine on those days, its just a little dimmer and that’s perfectly alright, sometimes even quite inviting. —John Blase

Study: Working moms’ stress levels linked to ‘mental labor’ | Fox News

“A reminder of the incredible stresses working moms try to manage. A reminder for grace.” http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/08/13/study-working-moms-stress-levels-linked-to-mental-labor/ —Fox News

 The Path Through Pain | Recovery Room

“Pause and consider: in a truthful moment, do you have areas of your life plague with unnerving, breath-quickening, near-crippling anxiety?”   http://deeperstory.com/recovery-room-the-path-through-pain/  —Seth Haines

For anyone who has ever felt alone | Journey Box Media

“With You (I Feel Again)” reflects on how easy it is to be lonely in a crowd. Set to the platinum hit single, “Feel Again” by OneRepublic. Best Video: http://journeyboxmedia.com/with-you  —journeyboxmedia.com

Poetic black and white watercolors | Bored Panda

Linger here. http://www.boredpanda.com/animals-children-black-and-white-watercolor-art-elicia-edijanto/

10 self-defeating thoughts that can wreck your workout | Today

Think of yourself as an inspiration story just waiting to happen. http://www.today.com/health/10-self-defeating-thoughts-can-wreck-your-workout-1D80342643  —today.com/health

Foggy and Fine Days | Barnstorming

The weather and my mood have little connection.I have my foggy and my fine days within me; my prosperity or misfortune has little to do with the matter. (Blaise Pascal) Being lost in the fog is never forever. The sun is always up there somewhere and all will be fine. —Emily Polis Gibson  https://briarcroft.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/foggy-and-fine-days/

The Beauty of Grace

I am grieving over the sudden death of a good friend. I am deeply saddened for a family that no longer has a son. The evil of cancer attempts to break the most valiant warrior and the rampage of an incurable disease is relentless. My heart is heavy and burdened in prayer for precious friends.

God, please help them to wait patiently for you. Please incline your ear to hear their cry. Draw them up from the pit of destruction, out of the filthy swamp. Set their feet upon a rock, make their steps secure. Put a new song in their mouths, a song of praise to you, God. You are their help and their deliverer; do not delay, O my God. (Based on Psalm 40:1-3; 17)

In my downcast state of mind this morning, I recalled a song that I heard at Redeemer, an urban church in Indianapolis, where I worship and serve in children’s ministry. My friends ask, why did this happen … yet they may never learn the answer to that question on this side of heaven but what they are certain of is that they will experience the beauty of God’s grace in calamity … day by day, moment by moment, morning, noon, and evening. I know that his kindness is steadfast, He has anchored my soul in his peace.

Listen to the song here: For HIs Own Sake (live).mp3 written and performed by Nathan Partain, Director of Worship and Culture at Redeemer Indy.

What does it mean to love the almighty God when he allows calamity? What should we expect in this life? After spending much time in the word and prayer, after trying to teach these truths to myself and those around me, this song comes and it sums up one of the largest truths that has emerged during this season. That I do not love God for what he does for me. I love him for who he is alone. That is what it means to really love. He is worthy of my love, my strength, my devotion and honor. And it is not just that I am obliged to give my everything to him. I want to. In fact, there is nothing I want more than to give my all to my God. This song was recorded live in worship on Palm Sunday.  —Nathan Partain   http://partainwordsandmusic.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/for-his-own-sake/

For His Own Sake

I have seen the bright birth of the morning,
I have worked through the sweat of the day.
I have laughed as the summer rains poured down from heaven,
and I’ve harvested oceans of grain.

I have worked and I’ve worked and had nothing,
I have prayed and I’ve prayed but no rain,
I have lost to the fire, storm and locust,
And woke up to find all my land left in shame.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

I have made the mistake that my blessing,
Means the favor of God on my ways,
And thought every hardship, his anger against me,
And cried out in darkness for grace.

Now I know that his kindness is steadfast,
He has anchored my soul in his peace,
So that suffering is now just the pangs of my hunger,
to know the embrace of my King.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

I have learned that this world is not truest,
There’s a hope held securely beyond,
And since Jesus has suffered through my own destruction,
I entrust my all to my God.

I have seen deepest loss bring rejoicing,
Seen a mother with her stillborn sing praise,
I have seen those abused and those ravaged by sickness,
Through tears and in anguish give thanks.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

—Nathan Partain

Sunday Respite | Worship

Deuteronomy 10:17We have not loved our neighbor as you instructed us.
We have not spoken up for those who needed our help.
We have turned away from strangers.
We have not shared with others the gracious hospitality you share with us.

You asked for our hands,
that you might use them of your purpose.
We gave them for a moment,
then withdrew them, for the work was hard.

You asked for our mouths,
to speak out against injustice.
We gave you a whisper,
that we might not be accused.

You asked for our eyes,
to see the pain of poverty.
We closed them,
for we did not want to see.

You asked for our life,
that you might work through us.
We gave a small part,
that we might not get too involved.

Lord, forgive our calculated efforts to serve you
only when it is convenient for us to do so,
only in those places where it is safe to do so
and only with those who make it easy to do so.

 

The Worship Sourcebook, 2.2 Prayers of confession, 35 (p98)

Snippets of Posts and Quotes: Take 3

the-future-is-bright

LOVE  IN  ACTION :

“The church needs to be the safest place on earth for children from hard places and for the families called to love and care for them.” —Michael Monroe

COMPASSION:

“We have a large and growing team of compassionate, respectful, Christ-following volunteers who love to see God work in the lives of those who learn differently.”  —Irving Bible Church special needs ministry

TRUE  MISSION:

“You cannot have true mission while ignoring the disabled! They too, are marred by sin, they too need to be told of the beauty of salvation, they too need to be our mission, they too are the church.” —Tim Challies   (http://www.challies.com/articles/the-disabilities-dilemma)

SUFFERING:

“I have thanked thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross, but I have never thought of my cross as itself a present glory. Thou divine love, whose human path has been perfected through sufferings, teach me the glory of my cross and the value of my thorn.”  George Matheson

GRACE:

“The early church didn’t say, “Look what the world is coming to!” They said, “Look what has come into the world!”  —Carl F. Henry

CHARACTER:

“All of us have wondered at times why God doesn’t do more to fix our problems. But our human eyes often fail to see that God isn’t rushing to change our circumstances because he is concerned with a much more serious problem—our character. While you struggle with the woes of this world, God’s main occupation is preparing you for the world to come. The focus of what God is doing in your life takes place in you, not around you” — Andy Stanley

 IMMEASURABLE  VALUE:

“One of the topics we discussed frequently, as we journeyed from city to city, was the value of every human being. Not because of who we are, or what we do. But because of Whose we are, and what He has done for us. By endowing us with His image, God has imparted to us immeasurable value. As Professor Jerram Barrs from Covenant Seminary says, we should learn to look at every human being and say, “You are glorious!” We ought to see the goodness, truth and beauty of God in every person we meet. One way I like to think of the image of God is that it is like a mirror. We image God in the ways that we reflect the essence of His character through our God-given capacities. But the problem is this: because we live in a fallen/broken world, the mirror is cracked. We have cracked bodies, cracked spirits, cracked emotions, cracked minds, and cracked relationships. So here is the challenge: What will you and I focus on? Will we focus on the cracks? The brokenness? The marred aspects of the image? Or will we focus on the reflection—distorted as it may be?” — Stephanie O. Hubach  (http://specialneedsparenting.net/open-eyes/)

CHILDREN’S  MINISTRY:

“What the future of children’s ministry needs most for success is a return to an emphasis on the study of and teaching of the word of God, and less on making ministry easy for volunteers, attractive to families and processing large groups of children through fun environments. That hasn’t produced disciples who will walk  with Jesus for life. The future doesn’t need more technology – it needs deeper and better relationships. If technology can foster more connectivity or methods of relating, fantastic! But to often we look to the future as though it has some new things we need for success, when the truth is we already have everything we need.” — Karl Bastian

Snippets of Posts and Quotes: Take 2

the-future-is-bright

GOSPEL-HUMILITY:

“If we were to meet a truly humble person, we would never come away from meeting them thinking they were humble. They would not be always telling us they were a nobody (because a person who keeps saying they are a nobody is actually a self-obsessed person). The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.” — Tim Keller, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness

GRACE:

“Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unloveable. Grace doesn’t make demands. It just gives. Grace is unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver. It is one-way love.” — Tullian TchividjianOne Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World

UNCOMFORTABLE  GRACE:

“God will take you where you haven’t intended to go in order to produce in you what you couldn’t achieve on your own.”         — Paul Tripp

FAITH:

Bono: Who is Jesus? A rockstar talks about Jesus, faith and prayer.

PRAYER:

“A praying life is interconnected with every part of our lives. Learning to pray is almost identical to maturing over a lifetime. When life makes sense, it becomes a journey, a spiritual adventure. Writing down the adventure as it happens gives us a feel for our place in the story God is weaving in our lives. When we keep a prayer journal, we can reflect on what God is doing, on the patterns of our Father’s care instead of reacting to life. If we see our lives as a pilgrimage, then it becomes an integrated whole. It makes sense. When we understand the story, it quiets our souls. It’s okay to have a busy life. It’s crazy to have busy soul.”

KNOWLEDGE:

“…There are some who long to know, simply for the sake of knowing, and that is shameful curiosity. Others long to know to show off before others, and that is shameful vanity. There are others who long for knowledge to make a fat profit from it, or to make honors from it; and this is shameful profiteering. But there are those who long to know in order to be of service to others; and this is charity…” — Bernard of Clairvaux

GOODNESS:

‘His sovereignty is exercised in a way of grace. All shall work together for good; everything is needful that He sends; nothing can be needful that He withholds.”  — John Newton, Puritan Sermons

FAITHFUL:

“The word faithful can be illustrated by the image of the strong arms of a father that uphold and protect his helpless child. When the word faithful is used with regard to God, it means that He is worthy of absolute trust, and that we can depend upon Him without doubt or reservation. It is important to understand that God is faithful, not because He does everything we want, but because He does everything that He has promised.” — Paul Washer, The One True God

LEADERSHIP:

“Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter Drucker 

CHILDREN’S  MINISTRY:

“Everybody needs someone who knows their name, and what’s happening in their life.”  — Lead Small

CONVERSATION:

“I believe that folks who are de-churched or seemingly apathetic toward Christianity are sending the church a clear message. They want us to demonstrate how a book written several thousand years ago could possibly have something to say to them in this day and age. I think we owe them that much, don’t you? …I think that real people talking about real faith in a relevant way is what makes sense in the real world.” — Doug Pollock, God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally

Snippets of Posts and Quotes: Take 1

the-future-is-bright

The following are a few snippets of posts and quotes to ponder that I’ve saved from reading books and blogs. I use Evernote  to save information I collect from books, articles, blog posts and more. Evernote is like a digital file drawer. I wrote a post about being an “Evernote Junkie” and you can check it out here. I clicked through the notebooks in Evernote to select a few that I thought would be worth sharing as you move forward into 2014.  Scroll the cursor over the name of the author for a link to the blog or book.

CHRIST-LIKENESS:

“You will not stroll into Christ-likeness with your hands in your pockets, shoving the door open with a careless shoulder. This is no hobby for one’s leisure moments, taken up at intervals when we have nothing much to do, and put down and forgotten when our life grows full and interesting… It takes all one’s strength, and all one’s heart, and all one’s mind, and all one’s soul, given freely and recklessly and without restraint.”  A. J. Gossip

LIFE:

“Hard stops for prayer, rest so you can have the rest of God. Unplug to plug into your purpose. It’s the everyday, not the every now and then…We are all going to botch it somedays. We all sometimes get the notes wrong. But the song only goes wrong when we keep thinking back to the wrong notes…When a piece starts to fall apart — fall forward. Fall forward into the next bar. Moving forward is what makes music.“ Ann Voskamp

STRESS:

“Stress is the inappropriate response to a stimulus. Do our hearts provide a home for stress? You are no doubt completely aware of the concept of stress in your own life, but perhaps are not looking at its insinuative manner. What idols lie in waiting? I would propose that we sit down, often and for longer periods of time, and let Jesus shine a light in our hearts on the idols we harbor. His love, kindness, and desire for us to be whole will reveal what lies deep within and does not belong. He will haul these idols out and turn our affections toward him.” Greg Gelburd



 

LEADERSHIP:

“The kind of people who oppose things as a matter of course often don’t have an alternative vision…Opponents generally don’t possess a vision for the future, only a vision for the past which is an impossible vision…Leaders who attack people rather than problems are a very different breed. They can leave a trail of bodies in their wake..You will never look back with regret if you remain generous and kind to people who are not kind to you…When you listen to the loudest voices, you miss the most important voices…Decide whether you will focus on who you want to reach or who you want to keep.”  Carey Nieuwhof

FORGIVENESS AND HOLINESS:

“The grace of Jesus doesn’t just work to make you comfortable before God (forgiveness), it works to make you like him (holiness).”  Paul David Tripp

ASTONISHING:

“Never believe anything about yourself or God that makes His grace to you seem anything less than astonishing. Because that’s exactly what it is.”  Randy Alcorn

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY:

“That’s where I met Jesus, Daddy! Can we go to church again sometime so I can see Jesus again sometime?” Quinn, a three-year old

PEACE:

“Whatever disrupts our peace….unexpected news, heartbreak, daily interruptions, or even tragedy, His peace is available and it’s worth fighting for. We can walk through anything and He promises peace in His presence. Breathe in his presence, exhale peace.”  Godschick.net

SPECIAL NEEDS: 

“When the church attempts to function without all of its parts, the body of Christ becomes disabled.Same Lake, Different Boat is a transformational work–designed to renew our minds to think biblically about disability in order that our lives, our relationships, and our congregations might wholly reflect Christ.” Stephanie O. Hubach

PARENTING: 

“God is at work telling a story of restoration and redemption through your family. Never buy into the myth that you need to become the “right kind” of parent before God can use you in your children’s lives. Instead learn to cooperate with whatever God desires to do in your heart today so your children will have a front-row seat to the grace and goodness of God.” Reggie Joiner

WORSHIP:

“It is easy to see that you and I have been created to worship. We’re flat-out desperate for it. From sports fanaticism to celebrity tabloids to all the other strange sorts of voyeurism normative in our culture, we evidence that we were created to look at something beyond ourselves and marvel at it, desire it, like it with zeal, and love it with affection. Our thoughts, our desires, and our behaviors are always oriented around something, which means we are always worshiping — ascribing worth to — something. If it’s not God, we are engaging in idolatry. But either way, there is no way to turn the worship switch in our hearts off…Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss…God does not regret saving you. There is no sin which you commit which is beyond the cross of Christ.”  Matt Chandler

GRACE:

“As 2014 progresses, open the eyes of our hearts to see all these glorious riches more clearly that we might enjoy them more fully (Ephesians.1:18-19). We rest and rejoice, in your covenant and capacity to keep us from falling. Though we may falter in the journey, the grasp of your grace is steady and secure.” Scotty Smith

 

The UnMaking of a Worship Disorder

Good grief! What a week this has been! Topsy turvy, stressful, conflicted, heavy. I struggled to get a grip on my thoughts, my choices and emotions.

And there it is…the making of a worship disorder. I was so focused on the stressful situation to an exaggerated point that it began to consume my mind, will and emotions. That is a worship disorder.

Before you can understand what a worship disorder is, you  need to answer this question first, “What is worship?”   I like how Tim Keller defines Worship:

“Worship is an act of ascribing ultimate value to something in a way that engages your entire being.”

Obviously, I had ascribed to something of “value”… but in a very negative way, so much so that it was palpable in my home environment. I had amazing support, faithful prayers, and words of affirmation from my family but it wasn’t until I purposefully and with intentionality transferred all of that which was robbing my joy over to God that my entire being became filled with peace and equilibrium.

Psalm 95:1-11 is the coach that got me moving out of a worship disorder

Verse 1 of that Psalm spoke to my emotions: “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!”  It requires emotion to sing, to dance, to shout joyfully because God is the rock of my salvation. And God gave me a song.

Verse 6 spoke to my will: “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” This took a humble volition, a choice to come, bow, and kneel before the Lord.  This act was the surrender.

Verse 8 spoke to my mind: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart…”  This meant I needed to actively listen to truth and choose to hear God speak through his Word. This is experiencing peace. This is experiencing forgiveness. 

Bit by bit by bit the more I worship, the more it changes where my  heart looks for peace and satisfaction.

The worship of the living God gives us peace and equilibrium to face the troubles of life. Worship engages our entire being in adoration and brings us to a sense of joy in God’s ravishing beauty. ~Tim Keller