Tim’s Proverbs

Proverbs (Kingdom Truth Reminders, Life Observations…)

 

These “reflections” were originally written to help my adult kids navigate the confusing array of “messages” with which they are confronted in this world, both within and without the bible-believing community.  Many readers have shared how they have been encouraged and challenged by them, so they are published here.  I hope they impact your journey and draw you closer to the Truth, the Way and the Life.

 

  1. We all are quite screwed up.
  2. God loves screwed up people. We were created to live loved. God’s wondrous love for us never changes. Living “unloved” (or seeking to be loved) causes so many poor decisions and deep wounds in people of every culture, race, and class.
  3. Missionaries are not worthy of admiration.  People who are surrendered to, and intimate with, Jesus (and humbly like Him) are worthy of admiration regardless of their place of residence or occupation.
  4. Love and affliction both change one’s soil, so that planted seeds can grow.
  5. To selflessly care for one suffering is equally as beautiful as to suffer well.
  6. Conflict, difficulty and pain are not expected at a party.  All are, however, certain in war.  In the “abundant life”, are we to expect a party or a war?
  7. You are injured and must travel for medical help through a dangerous swamp that contains many pockets of quicksand as well as insects, reptiles, and other creatures that can further harm you. You may choose a guide. Your choices are as follows: a) one newly arrived, well studied, carrying the latest technology and who has had many classes in swamp survival, b) one young, beautiful, well-spoken, and who loves music and is much fun to be around, c) one sober and boring with gray hair. a limp and an ancient manual who has lived in the swamp for years, d) one without experience but quite enthusiastic and confident in his ability to lead and who guarantees your safe passage, e) one who is quite convincing that the dangers are exaggerated and that the crossing requires little thought or preparation, and f) none; you feel confident in your knowledge and abilities and, based on how you feel, do not need a guide. Which would you choose? Which are you choosing?
  8. Teaching old dogs new tricks is a chore. Develop good habits early.
  9. To love someone often indifferent, antagonistic, self-centered, insensitive, unaware of their “blind spots”, and completely different, is the love of marriage.  This also describes perfectly God’s love for me.
  10. It’s often easier to serve God than to walk closely to Him, to trust Him.
  11. A wise child is truly a parent’s delight.
  12. Growing older is over-rated.  Cherish your youth!
  13. Suffering is no respecter of persons or cultures.
  14. The work and the burden are His.  He builds His church.  He heals.  He transforms. We get to participate.
  15. People who live many hours from any medical help break bones and have asthma, headaches, meningitis, diarrhea, lacerations, strokes…
  16. Laughter is good medicine! Prov 17:22
  17. I have seen joy in those desperately poor and misery in those with great wealth.
  18. When we serve God in a foreign land, “self” is there.
  19. Why, within the church, do we esteem success, charisma, and confidence when the Head of the church honors and delights in humility?
  20. To work for a “Thank you!” seems healthy but pleasing people invariably leads to frustration.
  21. Maintaining intimacy (love) with God, our wife/husband, our kids, and our friends is a battle against many enemies (none of which are God, our wife/husband, our kids or our friends!).
  22. A man finds a certain, needed fulfillment in work.
  23. If luck or fortune influence any outcome, then God is either absent, impotent, or indifferent.
  24. People are very much the same anywhere.  They both reflect the beauty of their Creator and manifest the wounds of lives lived independently of Him.
  25. Communication, principally through conversation, is the foundation of intimacy in any relationship (with God, our spouse, our kids, our friends, those we lead…).
  26. The outcome of obedience often looks differently than what you may expect.
  27. Advice is typically responded to neither immediately, nor exactly in the manner advised.
  28. Wise counsel must be owned to be beneficial.
  29. A journey is simply the accumulation of many small steps toward a destination. Life is the accumulation of many little lessons learned, many little wounds, many little failures, many little joys, many little encounters, many little special moments… Embrace the “little” things today
  30. You will not “arrive” in this lifetime.  Appreciate the journey.
  31. The wounds caused by a friend or brother hurt more profoundly because of a perceived violation of trust.
  32. I can change no one.
  33. “Should” carries burden not from our Father.  Those truly loved don’t know this word.
  34. Pain and illness are worse without transportation, a soft chair, and some savings.
  35. Needs are opportunities for God’s children to approach their Father and inquire if and how they might respond.  Our calling is not to meet needs but rather to walk in intimacy with our Father; He will direct us to the needs (where He is preparing the soil for His seeds).
  36. To chase after certain results or outcomes is exhausting.  We are called rather to “delight in the Lord” and “seek first His kingdom”.
  37. God, life, love, and people (including me) are beyond my understanding.  Actually, most things are beyond my ability to understand but not beyond my ability to appreciate.
  38. A sense of wonder (“Wow!”) honors the Creator.  Sincere gratitude honors the Giver.
  39. If we look, we will see God’s provision in every situation and we can acknowledge His purposes, though we see “through a glass dimly”.
  40. Trust is gained over time and testing, and can be lost in a moment.
  41. Our enemy frequently whispers suggestions and lies.  Jesus constantly knocks at the door of our heart.  We choose, moment by moment, who we will invite in, embrace and follow.
  42. To forgive is to free the offender, but even more to free the offended.
  43. God takes special pleasure in bringing life to that which is dead, light to darkness, wholeness to that which is broken, freedom to one held captive, and joy to those oppressed. If you seem dead, in darkness, broken, captive, or depressed…
  44. To trust in God’s love, goodness and control is to live burden-free.
  45. Passion comes and goes but love endures our fickle emotions.
  46. To work hard, and to provide for oneself and one’s family, is better than receiving something for nothing.
  47. Encouragement is greatly undervalued and desperately lacking, within the church.
  48. Criticism (speaking ill to another) and slander (speaking ill of another) have more power to harm than physical assault.  Most people would never physically assault another, but …
  49. To ask questions and listen is to honor and love.
  50. Joy results from focusing on God’s beauty and goodness, not on mine.
  51. God’s will for your life has more to do with where you are than where you are to go.
  52. Nothing of value is gained without effort and cost.
  53. Duty and obligation are motivators when love is doubted or unknown.
  54. God prefers to use broken, screwed up people.
  55. I have more than a few regrets.  All of them resulted from choosing for a season to walk independently of my Father.
  56. Kingdom thoughts: “Father, what do you think about this?”  “Father, what would you have me do (say)?”
  57. Marriage and raising young kids are like working a 24 hr shift or living in a hot, bug-infested shack; who you really are is revealed.
  58. I need often to rest and be still.
  59. Facades (the most common: “I have it all together.”) deceive and harm both the owner and the observer.  Humility, confession and transparency edify especially others.
  60. Fear (of loss, failure, embarrassment, etc,) motivate many decisions in people of every culture.
  61. For all of the (human) faults in the christian church, the beautiful, consistent, unmeasurable (human) sacrificial work done in Jesus’ name, historically (and presently), for the hurting and helpless is not matched even remotely in Hinduism, Buddhism, Atheism, Islam, Socialism, Secularism, or any other religion/movement…
  62. Many christian leaders love the crowds and not the people.
  63. Perfection can be experienced by never being imperfect, or by having all imperfection erased.
  64. Too much of something healthy can be unhealthy.
  65. Seeds won’t yield a harvest from soil that hasn’t been well prepared.
  66. Expectation of life, people, and ourselves is inversely related to contentment (more expectation – less contentment; less expectation – more contentment).
  67. To lose a known love (through death, rejection, separation…) is to be wounded deeply.  Jesus said, “I will never leave nor forsake you.”
  68. A thankful heart is deeply healing.
  69. “Christian” religion is one of our enemy’s most powerful tools.
  70. All people, in every culture, are wounded, broken, weak, and afraid.  Some realize it.
  71. A healthy rhythm for living: Pour yourself into work and into relationships and take time to recover.
  72. Learn in order to gain appreciation rather than understanding.
  73. Those who wound you don’t fully realize what they are doing.
  74. To lead is to initiate – in encouraging, serving, listening, forgiving, supporting, steering, correcting, loving…
  75. To trust is to loosen one’s grip.
  76. Your trial is for another’s benefit.
  77. Humility’s reward is often humiliation… ignored, misunderstood, disregarded, disrespected, rejected, irrelevant… To follow Jesus is to walk in humility.
  78. When we condemn ourselves for our past, we are one person judging another.
  79. Our “illusion of control” excludes God.
  80. God is interested in developing much more in us than ease and prosperity would provide.
  81. Different cultures are fascinating to compare.  It’s easy to see our own culture’s strengths and another’s weaknesses, but all cultures have plenty of both.
  82. Maturity is measured not in years but in wisdom.
  83. Wisdom is demonstrated in the making of sound decisions.
  84. Because we all so often err, perhaps the most valuable genuine words of any relationship are, “I’m sorry”.
  85. Decisions made for short-term benefit will increase long-term liability.  Decisions made for long-term benefit will require short-term cost.
  86. A problem requires a response, not a solution. The solution/outcome is God’s responsibility. Only my response is my responsibility.
  87. In our American church culture, we greatly encourage people to spend much time and effort building huge, beautiful, elaborate mansions on sand. Many of our leaders live in such dwellings. Few build on rock.
  88. Spiritual and emotional wounds often contribute to physical ailments.
  89. How you say something communicates more than your words.
  90. Success is more about how you journey than about the destination.
  91. Balance your time and effort between your tasks and relationships.
  92. To know truth and not apply it is to carry water in a cracked bucket.
  93. Banana trees are abundant in the Amazon.  To seek bananas in the woods of Ohio is silly.  To pick and enjoy a fruit, one must search for the tree that produces that particular fruit, where it grows.  Happiness is the fruit of healthy relationships and work well done.  These are accessible only with significant effort.
  94. To seek one’s value in the praise of men is to seek nourishment from chocolate.
  95. Physical exercise benefits the mind as much as it does the body.
  96. Those who die as the result of their folly are many; those who die as the result of their wisdom are few. — African Proverb
  97. To hear God’s “voice” takes practice and effort.  Anything of value requires the same.
  98. More resources (money, relationships, knowledge, gifts, etc) require more decisions.
  99. Religion promises God and delivers self.
  100. Grace and mercy, purely given or received, are miracles of healing on the level of giving sight to the blind.
  101. A self-worshipping man who is transformed and worshipping Jesus is a far greater miracle than a paralytic walking, yet which would more excite most “Christians”?
  102. Success in God’s kingdom is not about results or achievement.  Success is walking humbly as a son/daughter, listening to what the Father is saying, and obeying.
  103. In this world you will see and receive little grace (unearned favor), therefore extend grace.
  104. Most of us would never think of building a boat and journeying to Brazil without instructions or experience, yet in adolescence, marriage, and parenting we begin journeys infinitely more complex and yet think that we need neither instruction nor experience to journey well.
  105. One who is humble is always learning.  One who is proud never grows.
  106. Today is greatly affected by yesterday and will significantly impact tomorrow.  Focus on today.
  107. The things of this world (success, esteem, security, pleasure, etc) can appear quite attractive. To seek them is to search for a purported great treasure that, when found, is a beautiful, empty chest.
  108. One who follows “the crowd” loses his identity.
  109. Our character is revealed not in how we feel about something, but rather in how we respond.
  110. A kind word brings light and warmth to one whose day may be dark and cold.
  111. Those who know God desperately want to know Him.
  112. Conflict is not unhealthy.  Your response to it may be.
  113. He who is faithful in little things will be given more.
  114. In the work place, honesty, integrity, hard work, and good people skills will always have more value than ability, education, and experience.
  115. Illness is no more of the devil than a hurricane or a physician’s error.  The real question is, “Do I trust God?” (Who is all-powerful and good, cherishing all involved, and who could have altered the circumstance, yet chose not to).
  116. To murder is wrong.  To shoot someone in the back is to shoot one defenseless, and is worse.  To slander (speak ill of one not present) is the same.
  117. He can be trusted who knows that he will one day stand before God.
  118. Our choices affect our health and well-being far more than do other people.
  119. Many who are in want choose to be.
  120. God loves allowing people to participate in His works of love, healing, rescue, teaching, encouraging, listening…
  121. The participation of the hand in a task created by, chosen by, and guided by, the Head, in no way indicates that the Head didn’t create, choose and guide the work.
  122. No storm continues forever and the most severe are usually the shortest.
  123. Why does physical healing need to be miraculous (in our perception) for God to receive glory and gratitude?
  124. Each and every breath is a gift that, before our birth, we didn’t request or earn.
  125. You see a life “cut short” as a travesty, but when was the last time that you thanked the Giver of life for this single, additional, given day?
  126. Regarding God, seeking to understand Him and His ways completely is like seeking the end of a rainbow.  The closer you think you are, the less you see.
  127. He who respects will be respected.
  128. In this world you will see little just and fair; be just and fair.
  129. Worship is not singing.  It is a pleasure, however, to admire, appreciate, and surrender to God (worship) in song.
  130. The way of the Kingdom is usually opposite of our desires and the ways of the world.
  131. To gain experience is to experience failure. Experiencing failure provides opportunity to gain valuable experience.
  132. Many think that knowledge (education) equals expertise.  True expertise cannot, however, be gained without much practice and experience, over much time.
  133. To love is to experience pain, rejection, disappointment, misunderstanding, and vulnerability.  Love still, for life without loving is worse than any of these.
  134. Those things most significant in this life are unseen (Love, hate, peace, joy, despair, desire, hope, trust, faith, etc).  “See” these!
  135. The world unseen is at war.  One who seeks peace, joy, faith, and love steps into this unseen, yet very real, conflict.
  136. To neglect the unseen in this life is to walk through a rose garden blindfolded.  You are able to still appreciate aroma, texture, etc, but you are unable to appreciate that part of the garden most beautiful.
  137. Every person, thing and circumstance has within it and about it both good and bad, both beautiful and ugly, both strength and weakness.  We choose, however, on which we allow our eyes, ears and hearts to focus.
  138. To do good things is not “Christian”.  To live in intimate relationship with Jesus is “Christian”.
  139. Why do preachers need to shout and carry on so when they speak about the Kingdom? When did Jesus do that?
  140. Jesus didn’t call us to be good people, He called us to Himself.
  141. In every circumstance and in every encounter, there is more going on than we perceive.
  142. Desire is like a knife.  It can be sharp or dull, strong or weak, large or small and can be used for either constructive or destructive purposes.
  143. Pain and loss are difficult for anyone to endure and require time from which to recover.
  144. Don’t make decisions of any significance when you are tired.
  145. To have a good sense of humor is to smile easily, not to be able to make people laugh.
  146. For every personal strength, there is a corresponding weakness.  For every personal weakness, there is a corresponding strength.
  147. To dwell on what you lack is to not appreciate the much that you have.
  148. You’ve been called to do what you can do, not to do what you can’t do.  The ear has been called to hear but it has not been called to smell or run.  Focus on that which you can do, and do it well.
  149. With decisions, the choice is often between inner peace, accompanied by outer conflict, and outer peace, accompanied by inner conflict.
  150. An excellent metaphor for life is that of a journey.  To remember that a difficult uphill climb will always be followed by a downhill grade offers hope. To remember that an easier, downhill stretch will most certainly be followed by a tough climb keeps one humble.
  151. The counsel of one 70 has been tried more than that of one 50, and the counsel of one 50 has been tested more than that of one 30.
  152. To love without receiving love is as unhealthy as receiving love without loving.
  153. To be critical of the behavior of someone who doesn’t know God’s love is to criticize, from the comforts of civilization, the decisions of one stranded for many years on a deserted island.
  154. God doesn’t need missionaries to accomplish His work to the unreached just as Jesus demonstrated clearly that He doesn’t need physicians to heal.  He also doesn’t need preachers to communicate truth or to lead someone to Him and He doesn’t need us to pray for Him to respond to a crisis.  But He enjoys greatly allowing the people that He loves to participate in what He wants to accomplish.
  155. Before giving advice, listen, think and pray.  Flippant, dispassionate advice is too often voiced and most often best held.
  156. Give an opinion if asked for it.  Soil must be ready for the seed to yield life.
  157. Silence is better than many words.
  158. Opinions are a dime a dozen.  Remember this when you hear or give one.
  159. Loss and pain challenge trust.
  160. God draws people to His kingdom, God frees the captive, God heals disease, God gives hope to the brokenhearted, God gives life, God gives wisdom and understanding, God comforts the wounded… and He may use you to accomplish any of these!
  161. People are too caught up in their own affairs to spend much time dwelling on you.
  162. Seek to free rather than to control.
  163. To love my enemies and those difficult requires trust in God’s care for me and in His complete ability to intervene in any circumstance at any time.
  164. Do you want to learn?  Observe, ask questions.
  165. Repetition is the key to learning information and skills.
  166. The wonder of God’s creation is endless for those who will wonder.
  167. In decisions and responses, what you think is more important than how you feel.
  168. Consider the heart of the hearer before speaking.
  169. To compare oneself to another is to compare two movies after viewing one completely and looking at a single frame of the other.
  170. God’s directing of your journey and His joy in creating uniquely you is discounted when you compare yourself to another.
  171. We need reminded often of the truths that we already know.
  172. The “Good News” is that screwed up people are loved and cherished by a wonderful Father.
  173. To worship is to focus one’s “eyes” on the object of worship.
  174. Seeds of correction, instruction and discipline planted in soil not fertilized with encouragement will not yield growth.
  175. Opinions are a dime a dozen but correction brought by one willing to contribute to the solution is worth hearing.
  176. Love freely but trust must be earned.
  177. One who doesn’t appreciate the value of something cannot be trusted with its care.
  178. Aspire to that which you admire.
  179. In what manner do you love to serve people (work)?  Pursue this as a vocation.
  180. Superficial experiences and an inward-focused intellectual learning too often mark today’s church, rather than intimate and transparent outward sharing of our lives with one another…
  181. Those who abandon their earthly lives because of Jesus cause confusion and wonder. Those who seek comfort and prosperity and also speak of Jesus communicate a double-mindedness that impacts little the people around them…
  182. We are called to proclaim the Kingdom in season and out, with our lives and our words, and we are not called to stand in front of a group and speak.
  183. Too often, we live the life that most benefits us and we look for ways to love/serve “on the side”. The global needs (in people just like you and me) are beyond description, and are largely going unmet by those who attend church on Sundays…
  184. We can arrogantly dictate or declare what our Father should/must do or we can humbly seek His wisdom and abilities to bring about a result pleasing to the One who knows best. It is this trust that leads to “peace that passes understanding” not the granting of our every request and desire (which He doesn’t do anyway). He invited and promised to respond to our every “knock”, our every request. Sometimes the “treatment” or solution, however, requires a painful remedy, and we reject it as from Him because it isn’t immediately pleasant. Trust in our Father (as with a doctor, mechanic, veterinarian, etc) requires trust in One with more insight/experience/wisdom/ability than we have…
  185. We are called to abandon our lives to love our Father and to meet needs, to serve, and to love our fellow man. Can you imagine what this world would look like if all who called themselves Jesus-followers searched out real human needs that were not being met? If all selfish pursuits were disregarded because we passionately believed in God’s pleasure rather than our own, in the well-being of others before our own, and that He is really preparing an eternal home for us that makes this world look like the trash pile which embraced my ultrasound? Keith Green used to say that if Jesus is taking several thousand years to prepare heaven and He created this world in six days…
  186. Without active and conscious surrender to Jesus… I will seek to be loved rather than to love, I will seek to be served rather than to serve, I will seek man’s praise/favor rather than my Father’s pleasure, I will seek to be honored rather than to honor, I will seek personal comfort/ease rather than comfort for another…
  187. When we pray, like many patients, instead of presenting to Him our concerns and seeking His “treatment” or solution, we arrogantly tell our Father what to do. How much better to present to Him our difficulties, hurts and challenges and humbly request whatever solution He deems best (trusting His experience and wisdom)?
  188. We forget that our Father’s Kingdom is about His grace and undeserved love (running father of the prodigal son), not human goodness, performance or “character”. Those transformed by grace value and adore the One who affectionately and joyfully embraced them (and other screwed up people) when they didn’t deserve it, but there are many proud, religious and “upright” (based on comparative performance) prodigal older brothers who weekly attend (or lead) church services and value/emphasize human goodness.
  189. We become frustrated and disillusioned by people’s errors and mistakes and forget that their hurtful or neglectful behavior is normal and human. If we think someone is “good”, we simply don’t know him/her well enough!
  190. “Everything is difficult at first, but nothing remains difficult with a little practice and experience.” – one of our minimally educated nurses in Cavango
  191. If we can maintain the humility of a learner and appreciate the reality/necessity of gaining experience (giving ourselves and others permission to fail and make mistakes), we will grow into that which now seems overwhelming.
  192. The ways that we can deeply impact people – serving them, expressing our joy in them, affirming them… require little skill, talent, knowledge or intelligence…
  193. From the God-is-at-my-beck-and-call perspective of much of today’s American “church”, one can understand the draw of this reasoning (supported by a host of bible verses), but hungry and homeless Jesus responded by essentially saying that there is so much more to life than one’s wants and needs, that man isn’t satisfied in having his earthly desires met and that seeking earthly satisfaction is not mankind’s principal pursuit.
  194. Jesus people no longer “want” not because our wants are given to us by our Father (the message of many preachers), but rather because we are so committed to our relationship with God (and surrendered to Him) that our earthly wants grow dim in the light of our passionate pursuit of Him. We develop a godly carelessness about satisfying self as we seek first His kingdom, and we rarely pray for personal “bread” because we are so preoccupied with others lack of “bread” and with our Father’s heart to be known by those who don’t know Him.
  195. Many Christians today live what they consider a “biblical” life (going to church, being nice, helping others, praying, reading their bible…) and yet know little of peace and joy (the fruit of the spirit has nothing to do with earthly circumstances). They ignorantly miss the enemy’s deception (that was clearly outlined in Jesus’ wilderness encounter) and agree with the enemy that they should not experience hunger and should always have “bread”. They think that, because they are a “new creature”, they will be happy/content/satisfied and, because they now belong to God, circumstances will favor them (they think this is “abundant life”). Disillusionment follows because reality never lines up with this theology…
  196. As He did with His Son, our Father chooses earthly difficulty for those that are His! He sends His beloved into battle, into circumstantial tribulation, difficulty and darkness, into pain and into discomfort for the sake of those that He loves who are wandering in the darkness and haven’t yet encountered the Light.
  197. When Jesus-people worship and follow God in humility, weakness, brokenness and loss, that our Father is truly glorified in our works, causing hungry people to take notice and seek out His Light.
  198. What passionate Jesus-lovers “gain” is disregard for their own ambitions, disregard for their own success, and disregard for their own comfort. They become concerned about others’ gain and become burdened with compassion toward those hurting. They embrace living with less so that others can have more. They go to where there is need, with disregard for their personal “security”, safety and happiness. They don’t ask their Father to satisfy their hunger and they aren’t consumed with their own wants and health because they “take no thought” of their temporal desires so that their lives can be consumed by responding to the hunger and loneliness of their friends and enemies (Kingdom love). They know whose they are and where they are going, and this enables them to have no earthly concern for “bread”.
  199. If you are today facing earthly affliction, illness, loss, or tragedy, you have been placed in a position of great potential usefulness to your Father and to others. For a short season, you’ve been chosen to enter the cold darkness of pain and/or loss, to radiate warmth, light and your Father’s presence where it is not expected. Your response to your pain (seen by those around you) gives evidence that light (even a little) is so much more powerful and beautiful than darkness.
  200. “When our lives come to be written at last, God grant that they be not only our sayings, but our sayings and doings.” -Spurgeon
  201. “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” -Epictetus:
  202. Being misunderstood is a given when walking with Jesus.
  203. As the healed blind man can forget what it was like to be blind and take his sight for granted, we can take our Father’s presence with us for granted and forget what life is like without Jesus. As the seeing man can choose to be blind again, we can choose to live independently of our Father, each with its respective consequences.
  204. We can live today in expressed gratitude and worship for His demonstrated love for us, for the joy He has in us, and that we can trust Him that EVERY detail (pleasant and unpleasant) of our lives has an eternal purpose…
  205. In one thousand years your painful, tragic circumstances will look differently as you embrace your once-lost loved one, as you are embraced by someone who saw Jesus when he saw you walk with Him through your earthly pain and loss… and as you are embraced by another that met Jesus because you could relate to her brokenness and hunger and truly care…
  206. There is nothing more beautiful than a genuine smile that radiates from a joyful heart!
  207. Our joy in another affirms their value and warms a cold and lonely heart. It is similar to how knowing Jesus transforms us. Nothing “lifts my spirit” more than remembering my Father’s joy in me…
  208. It is a unique satisfaction that ANYONE can experience; to serve the truly needy, to love those others will not love, to go where others are unwilling to go…
  209. In being responded to when they have desperate, seen/felt earthly needs, those hurting often become open to Jesus’ unseen, eternal Kingdom.
  210. Conflict and confrontation are often catalysts that stimulate change in a relationship. Like anything volatile, however, they can be powerfully constructive or powerfully destructive.
  211. The church in the west models that materialism, comfort, and technology are “life”. Our words preach Jesus and our lives (our house, our work, our technology, our mode of transportation, our clothes, etc.) preach materialism…
  212. In the western church, we have forfeited so much of the Kingdom in our pursuit of temporal, material wealth and comfort…
  213. No message is valid without credibility and the greater the cost or risk required by the message (following Jesus requires abandoning one’s life), the more necessary the credibility of the message and/or the messenger.
  214. Jesus’ Good News is about eternal life, uninterrupted by inevitable death. It is about hope… in the midst of pain, hunger and loss (Jesus stated that in this life we would all face trouble and difficulty). The reality of His Kingdom offers hope for a life eternal, better than anything this world can offer. Our choice is to believe and pursue Him or to believe and pursue that which we see, feel and understand.
  215. “Abundant” earthly life has always been “daily bread” and the “fruit” of intimacy with God’s spirit and nothing is new under the sun.
  216. That we are on a journey is key to understanding our Father’s kingdom… each of us on a unique journey with our Shepherd. The more closely we journey with our Shepherd is dependent on how much we abandon or diminish other pursuits and desires (we – I – try so hard to serve many masters). Each journey passes through seasons pleasant and unpleasant, and involves turns (decisions) made wisely and poorly…
  217. Our respective journeys (with our fellow man) have apparent similarities, but only for a season, like two people crossing paths (we have paths in rural Angola instead of streets or sidewalks). Where each came from and where each will go is completely unique to the other, and we can do much harm in assuming that the perspective/journey of another is similar to ours. It is always far more different from ours than it is similar…
  218. There is a solid “why” behind every one of my Father’s commands and every bible passage has spiritual and practical implications. For example, Jesus admonished us to “deny ourselves”. A primary and practical reason for this command has become increasingly clear to me as we have worked among those with great needs. If I primarily focus on my own life/blessing, the lives and needs of others are primarily disregarded. If I disregard myself, others receive what otherwise would have been mine. Since my Father promises to care for me, I can give to others what He gives to me and trust His continual care for my needs. We all benefit greatly from our Father’s “other-focus” and His Spirit in us is always seeking an outlet…
  219. The pervasive (it’s in every church/denomination) health and wealth movement of today has missed our Father’s heart. Jesus emphasized that we are conduits, blessed to be a blessing. He knew (and communicated repeatedly) that abundant life consists of possessing nothing and blessing others abundantly. To focus on one’s own happiness/“blessing” is to miss Jesus, while to empty oneself of personal ambition and to focus on benefitting others is to become full. This is a kingdom paradox that remains hidden in our superficial church age, often characterized by the pursuit of “personal” fulfillment and “healing”.
  220. It seems that the only time I hear someone speak positively of sacrifice (a four letter word these days) is in relation to how good, or how much satisfaction, the one making the sacrifice will feel. When we first left for cross-cultural work among the “poor”, I can’t tell you how many people said to us, “I hope you find fulfillment” or “I hope you find what you are looking for”, because this is the mindset of our American culture (and church). Our journey over the years has confused many who have not embraced Jesus’ emphasis for His people (which was His own motive): go and give your abilities/energy/life for the sake of others, for the sake of others, for the sake of others… He left His home and gave His life to meeting the needs of others…
  221. The emphasis in the church today is so often about my salvation, my fulfillment, my joy, my faith, my health, my peace, my ministry, my doctrine, my achievement, my, my, my…, while the Kingdom emphasis has always been… “they”/“their”. Like Jesus, we are to live for their salvation, for their healing, for their peace, that their joy may be complete, that they may be one, that they may know Him… they/their…
  222. Superficiality (emphasis on the seen and on what money can buy), arrogance (the humble are always seeking/learning; the arrogant always “know”) and distraction (our attention diverted by the bombardment of the superficial and temporary) will define this modern age. That we are a pornographic culture is evident in that in so many ways we would rather experience (and purchase) artificial and immediate gratification, than pursue (over time) the beauty of the deeper, unseen relational fruit of Kingdom life. Are you and I a product of our age/culture or set apart?
  223. In the west we make decisions based on our emotions and what we perceive will bring us pleasure (make us happy). This cultural phenomenon is (and always has been) found only among the extremely wealthy. On our journey, we’ve been able to see first-hand that the poorer cultures don’t have this liberty, as they must do (regardless of the resulting emotions) what is necessary (for themselves and the community) or they won’t survive. Expectations from life are minimal and desires beyond the necessary are not considered relevant. Only in extreme prosperity can one consider “happiness”, or the pursuit of the same, as relevant to life. In all cultures since the flood (until very recently, historically), working (hard) for needs has been the priority, rather than even considering “wants”. “Happiness” in the west consists of an accumulation of wants/desires, as no one would be “happy” with having only their needs met. Contentment (different than happiness) in rural Angola is found in many who have nothing more than their basic needs of very simple food (same meal -grits- twice/day), water, clothing (debatably necessary, depending on the tribe) and shelter (a roof under which to sleep in the rain and to store dried goods).
  224. The pursuits of personal happiness and prosperity necessitate very different decisions than those made so that everyone in the community (or world) has their needs met.
  225. This world lacks no resources (even for six billion people), but the hoarding of resources by those chasing “happiness” is the primary cause of global poverty (lack of basic needs), and always has been. It has been my observation over years that desire for, or pursuit of, anything more than our needs promotes ill health over the long-term, even as it gives short-term pleasure (like overeating, which we now know is as chronically unhealthy as under-eating). Prosperity promises much and yields fatigue, frustration, anxiety and emptiness. There is an epidemic of anxiety and depression among those living in the wealthiest cultures in history, where the pursuit of happiness is the cultural norm.
  226. Personal, community and global health would be realized if we disregarded, rather than pursued, desires beyond our basic needs.
  227. The age-old struggle to see people as distinctly beautiful, whole “persons” rather than as objects has become more profound as we see even ourselves as comparable commodities rather than as uniquely and purposefully gifted creations. Becoming “comparably better” has replaced embracing and valuing “uniquely beautiful”. Realizing and valuing the uniqueness of each person eliminates comparison, while seeing people as objects invites comparison. Today, everything, including people and churches, are analyzed by comparison.
  228. The bible speaks of the self-focused, never-satisfied, five-senses “flesh” (the physical body) and how it has the ability to destroy the real, inner person, which is “housed” in the body. The emphasis in much of the church today on the appearance and health of our body and on what we experience with our senses (the flesh), is a concerning emphasis indeed, and evidence of our embrace of the superficial…
  229. Rural Angola is a world of margin. There is never hurry or “too much to do and too little time”. There is always time for a conversation or interruption. Everyone gets plenty of sleep, as they follow the design of the day, typically resting or sleeping for 11-12hr/day. Again, our attractive technology and “progress” has promised leisure, margin and happiness and has caused over-commitment to the irrelevant, resulting in stress unknown in rural Angola. Productivity in the west has yielded an ever-hungry covetousness that no previous culture has known. I marvel (from Africa) that some of the candidates in this year’s presidential election in the US (2016) are appealing to the voters by communicating that the US economy needs improved. The richest country/population in history…
  230. I’ve come to realize that with virtually every purchase we make (or consider), we add superficial distraction to our lives (“worried and bothered by so many things”), which moves us further away from our Father’s unseen Kingdom and the conscious appreciation of His presence. I’ve heard so many American Jesus-lovers (including me) over the years wonder why they don’t know “peace that passes understanding”, and I believe the answer lies in the overwhelming distraction that inevitably accompanies prosperity. This rural Angolan culture knows little of distraction, as the people here make almost no purchases at all (our village has no store) and peace is more prevalent here than in the US, even in the midst of great need and suffering.
  231. I’ve lived among people experiencing profound tragedy, significant loss (including death of a loved one), severe acute and chronic pain, and none of these pushes us away from our Father and the life for which we were created more strongly than does material prosperity.
  232. When the “seen” becomes our passion, we have turned our back on our Father’s Kingdom (can’t serve two masters), who has designed this life like a parable, where only those hungry for Him will seek out and find Him (to seek one thing requires the neglect/abandonment of other pursuits). The riches of this life are unseen (God himself and His fruit – Gal 5.22-23) and when we focus on the seen, we are distracted from the unseen. To “walk in the Spirit” is to follow an unseen God, to listen to a “still, small voice”, and to emphasize the unseen priorities of His kingdom. Would our priorities, our passions, our purchases, etc change at all if God’s Spirit left us? It was for our benefit that Jesus said that one cannot serve God and money…
  233. Humility is such a necessary component of a Jesus ministry. We are not called to have all the answers, to fix all the problems, to lead crusades, or to have it all together, but rather we are called to be witnesses of the impact of encountering the risen Jesus and living in His presence. I must remember that, in the eternal scheme of things, I am quite insignificant (many people in Angola haven’t even heard of the United States, let alone me). It’s taken me more than a few years to realize and embrace this insignificance, and to see that we are called to have a small impact on a few insignificant others, all of whom are cherished by our Father. Little opportunities to make a small impact on a few are always before us…
  234. We will encounter on our journey a few who are hungry for Jesus, and it is to these few that we must devote ourselves. Jesus prioritized Peter, John and James and we, also, are called to deeply impact a few… Let’s keep our eyes open today for the one or two… the one or two that we can befriend, who will receive from us, and who we would die for.
  235. When we are serving Jesus well, we won’t know how we are making an impact, as we won’t be interested in counting our fruit (numbers), but we will be consumed with the others’ benefit and our Father’s pleasure. Humility isn’t interested in personal success or ambitious goals because its focus is “other” (it won’t even remember what it did yesterday because there are many to serve and encourage today).
  236. An outward, today focus is the key to kingdom life! This focus is not the key to happiness, as it quite costly, but it is in this focus that we find our Father’s pleasure (quite different from personal happiness). Many of the early disciples suffered miserably and lost their lives while in their Father’s pleasure…
  237. So much in this world aims to steal our passion for Jesus and we need help to maintain “our first love”. We aren’t necessarily empowered by Sunday speeches, rituals or programs, but from sober connection with like-minded Jesus-lovers we will always find encouragement. This encouragement from kindred spirits pushes us… to further abandonment from the superficial pursuit of self-fulfillment, and will empower us to continue to follow hard after Jesus, no matter the cost/hardship/pain. Who can you join with today to encourage, helping each other to give your lives away for the sake of another?
  238. My still-present, self-pleasing nature (“all is vanity”)… It is with me all day, every day and constantly pits itself against what is wise, good, and healthy for me and for others. The battle within of wise vs unwise, healthy vs unhealthy, me-focused vs other-focused, God’s will vs my will, etc rages continually. One would think that after so much time and experience, the battle would be easier. It isn’t. Perhaps it’s easier once one leaves house and home for His sake? It isn’t. The daily battle to walk closely with our unseen Father, even when He has “revealed” Himself to me so many times and in so many ways, is… a battle.One day we will see our reward, in the form of their presence with us around our Father’s throne…
  239. The good news of my Father’s grace is no less significant to me now than it was thirty years ago. My nature is still contrary to Him. I am still screwed up in so many ways. I am still not “good” and I’m often indifferent, rebellious, distracted and unaware. But Him? He is beautiful… and more beautiful to me today than thirty years ago, because for thirty years He has forgiven me, cleansed me, given me umpteen new beginnings, picked me up, lifted my head, directed me, rescued me, encouraged me, embraced me… My heart is full of worship this morning because of who He is, not who I am. When I look at myself, my work, the world’s mess and pain, the evil all around me, the way people are treated by others… I can become quite discouraged. But when I look at Him… what joy!
  240. _____________________________________________________
  241. “I will remember today, and trust in, both my Father’s goodness and my own ignorance.”
  242. Our ministry to those materially and spiritually “poor” is not, “I can help you live a better life”, but is rather “I am messed up, you are messed up (in many different ways) and knowing Jesus and His love can transform us both”.
  243. I still make unwise decisions and I pay the consequences, sometimes with shaking fever and chills. No matter who we are, we reap what we sow. Those around us also are erring every day. Whether conscious of it or not, they are struggling in the same battle and, like us, they often miss the mark. We can be critical, angry or irritated… or we can be people of grace, for ourselves and for those who offend, ignore or wound us… because we have received such grace (unearned favor) and it has transformed our soul!
  244. Because of love for the world, He left home to give His life for the benefit of others (you and me), and we are called to follow Him (do the same).
  245. For all of the (human) faults in the Christian church, the beautiful, consistent, immeasurable (human) sacrificial work done in Jesus’ name, historically (and presently), for the hurting and helpless is not matched even remotely in Hinduism, Buddhism, Atheism, Islam, Socialism, Secularism, or any other religion/movement…
  246. “Man’s greatest weakness today is his lack of self-awareness.” AW Tozer (quoted from memory – paraphrase).
  247. Make choices today based on wisdom, rather than on what I might feel at the moment.
  248. Everyone has an opinion, everyone enthusiastically passes on what they “know”, and everyone is “right” in their own eyes
  249. In stark contrast to the message of “Christianity” today, knowing our inherent value to God and living transparently and genuinely were far more important to Jesus than performing well, being good, etc.
  250. Only grace (unearned favor) and mercy (unearned forgiveness for errors/offenses) allow the “screwed up” to know love and acceptance apart from performance of any kind. Only in an environment of grace and mercy can we acknowledge our flaws without fear that those same flaws will condemn or ostracize us. In an environment of grace and mercy, we can be transparent and let go of any need to perform a certain way (or refuse to see our flaws) in order to be accepted (even in our own eyes). This is authentic Christianity, it has nothing to do with religion, and far too few (even within churches) experience its beauty. There is nothing more profoundly beautiful than Jesus’ grace. Nothing.
  251. Please remember with me today the extravagant beauty of Jesus’ grace and mercy that we likely took for granted yesterday… and join me in proclaiming to someone (anyone) the good news of our Father’s unmerited favor for someone even as screwed up as me (and you)!
  252. In the modern western culture, “affluenza” has promised contentment but has rather done what Jesus said it would do – move people away from a humble dependence on Him – and to the discontentment that follows.
  253. A very practical dependence-on-each-other becomes a primary source of community, as it promotes treating each other with respect, kindness and deference, as everyone knows that they will need help from others to survive. This dependence-on-one-another sense of community has been beautiful for me to behold (though at times uncomfortable) in rural Angola and is in stark contrast to the “rugged individualism” of the west.
  254. His “purposes” are rail thin, have beautiful, toothless smiles, are dressed in ragged clothes, are covered in flies and scabies…
  255. Often, it is very difficult to assess specific blame in a situation and most commonly the ones who suffer bear little or no responsibility for the outcome.
  256. One of the saddest “developments” in Christianity is the modern emphasis on how following Jesus benefits “me”.
  257. Unearned favor (grace) and forgiveness (mercy) are simply not found in this world apart from the Kingdom of God and maintaining a positive self-image without transparency and honesty often involves great effort (often unrecognized) in self-deception, self-defense, self-protection and self-promotion.
  258. When Jesus’ feet were covered with Judean sand, His focus was always on the glory/love of His Father and His love and concern for others. He repeatedly said that “life” was only found in a focus on the Father and a preoccupation with the good of others.
  259. The flaws of the body of Jesus (the church) receive much attention in today’s world (and media), but His body is also incredibly beautiful, indeed!
  260. I wish everyone could experience the joy of serving hurting people who have no other means of help.
  261. All of His desires for us could be summed up in two directives – love God and love people. Love resigns itself to blessing/edifying/benefitting the other. Love serves, defers, submits… Love frees the other to respond as they will.
  262. When we view God as an object, we expect Him to respond to our desires as would an object with a button to push. Have you heard some people dictate to God what He should do (when they “pray”)? People disappointed in God see Him thusly (He didn’t/doesn’t respond as they deem fit). To see God as a person is to give Him the freedom to respond as He will, and to honor Him no matter what His response.
  263. When we see people as objects, we require/expect them to respond to our desires/directives in the same way. To honor people as created and equal persons is to see them as worthy of being served and free to respond as they will. How often have I expected my Father, my wife, my kids, my friends, my patients, etc to behave as I desire and as I see fit (objects), rather than as they desire and as they see fit (persons)?
  264. Greed, the desire for “more”, is destructive. It destroys individuals, it destroys marriages, it destroys beautiful works of service, and it sets itself against God’s Kingdom. Jesus said that He and (a desire for more) money could not be served together…
  265. A hungry and frail beggar finds food, eats his fill, and then seeks out his family and friends to guide them to the rich and plentiful banquet. Some of his friends admit their hunger, follow him and are filled. Others refuse to go because they simply don’t believe that he has found food. Still others accuse the satisfied messenger of being disingenuous and critical of their lack of food. While the beggar’s love and concern for his friends compels him to introduce them to the food, only the extent of their hunger combined with his credibly transformed health will convince them to follow him to sustenance. May our words, our passion, and our credible health and vitality convince those who know us (and some who don’t know us) that we have found Life…
  266. The “majority world” can be a cruel place, which is why Jesus spoke so much of life with Him after this life’s end.
  267. I’ve moved from a “Martha” culture to a “Mary” culture (see Luke 10:38-42). The western cultures have great difficulty is “finding” God in the midst of extreme business, infinite distraction and the “tyranny of the urgent”. There is never time to sit at Jesus’ feet and to build deep relationship with Him and with one’s neighbor. This is not the case in rural Angola, where there is lack of much, but always enough time for meditation, conversation and being still.
  268. Counsel and advice are received if the the source is trusted and the receiver has the humility to desire input.
  269. Enter a new culture as a learner, ask questions, and focus on honoring the local people and their customs
  270. You will never be able to measure your influence for good. Thomas Monson
  271. People today are unreached and neglected by both the world and the church for a reason – they live hard lives in hard places, involving discomfort and/or danger from disease and their environment. To love and serve them, therefore, involves discomfort and personal risk… and they are so worth it!
  272. Our Father died for, and is pursuing, each and every one. As He pursues, He allows each of us to face various trials and blessings and He heals/rescues/prospers some, while others face injustice/debilitating illness/persecution/loss.
  273. The location/vocation/acquaintances of my Father’s kids, at any given point in our lives, are chosen for many divine purposes, and I can usually only appreciate a few of them (sometimes none of them).
  274. All beauty on this earth is imperfect, yet indeed beautiful.
  275. He is more interested in what He’s doing in you than in what He’s doing through you
  276. Our Father is interested much more in our journey than in any of our “important” destinations…
  277. Mother Teresa did what the most unskilled could do; she and her colleagues left their homes and families and went to where the needs were great… they embraced, sat with, dressed, bathed and listened to those whose simple needs others wouldn’t meet… They simply sought out, found, and served those with needs that were not being met… Jesus has called all who are His to do the same…
  278. “Every day is an adventure/gift. One never knows what will come his way.” -rural angolan
  279. “Everything made by man always falls apart.” – rural angolan
  280. I must be reminded often (even through exhausting and “wasted” days, collapsed bridges, etc) that His reign is eternal and His perspective, the same. Our (my) temporal perspective, influenced by desires, expectations, emotions, lack, ups and downs, etc must be surrendered often to the consideration (and trust) of my Father’s eternal purposes and His ability to accomplish His good and beautiful eternal will, even in this tainted and, for so many, painful and confusing earthly existence.
  281. Humility considers irrelevant its own strengths/status/flaws/struggles, prioritizing the other, even at its own expense.
  282. Hunger, both physically and spiritually, always changes our perspective.
  283. Jesus’ calling is so remarkably simple when I let go of my own desires, dreams, and ambitions; it’s impossibly complex when I try to serve others and me.
  284. I’ve grown in my understanding of what Jesus felt when He overturned tables in the temple as He saw “His people” caught up in profit and comfort while unconcerned for the heart of His Father. Where are God’s people today? For all of history, like Jesus, His people have been drawn to the forgotten, the hurting, the displaced and the disenfranchised, with radical lack of concern for personal safety, ambition and comfort. If we are not preoccupied with the same people that concerned Jesus, mustn’t we ask ourselves if we are really His?
  285. I’m concerned that, like the people in the temple who upset Jesus, so many in the American church today are more preoccupied with their job security, their three meals/day, their latest technology, and their “dreams” for this life than they are concerned for the temporal and eternal health of their “neighbor”.
  286. Are beautiful hurting and neglected global neighbors not worth the sacrifice of our pursuit of personal happiness?
  287. You will never be closer to your King… than when you are, with Him, embracing the smelly, sweaty, dirty, broken, weeping, confused, disagreeable, offensive, unappreciative, beautiful “least” that He so cherishes…
  288. We work for One, and it must always be, and only be, His pleasure that we seek.
  289. I take Jesus at his word of life in His kingdom without end, without tears, without good-byes…
  290. An accurate and challenging application of Phil 2:3 might be, “…in humility, count others’ opinions as more significant than your own…”
  291. I have no idea all that goes into my Father’s care for me and I so often take all of His work, effort and affection for granted…
  292. Our perspective as elders is needed. We’ve seen and experienced (often through our own failures) what brings lasting peace/pain and we must share with those younger, always remembering that our daily integrity and care determine the weight of our words to the next generation(s)…
  293. We too often prioritize (measurable) change in us and in others, rather than seeking intimacy with Jesus, allowing Him to be the motivator for our changes and the source of our fruit.
  294. We become Martha so quickly and forget about the “one thing necessary”. We forgo milk for meat and end up with malnourished “Christians” seeking nutrition from the things of this world.
  295. We tell them that to grow they need to study “the word”, go to church, and do “Christian” stuff… when they need Jesus. Life is Him! In His love/grace for broken people, in His beauty, in His (unchanging) nature, in His character, in our trusting Him… We find Him by abandoning the pursuit of the things of this life and seeking closeness with Jesus first, and so few realize this as they seek life in healing, acceptance, experiences, friendship, marriage, knowledge, prosperity, achievement… Life is in Him!
  296. A life surrendered to God is not an easier life, it is a surrendered life. It’s not fuller, happier or more satisfying… It’s surrendered…
  297. We can’t be someone’s mentor/discipler apart from respect gained via a relationship where we are transparently known.
  298. I wonder whose life is richer, and who is living in freedom (those who strive to fulfill their desires or those who choose to consider fulfilling their personal desires irrelevant)?
  299. We are to be always looking for opportunities to make disciples, through relationships, built on trust, over time.
  300. Our lives and words are forever scattering seeds on others’ fields (inner person), and the more time we are with someone, the more opportunities we have to scatter Kingdom seeds (encouragement, love, affirmation, correction, words that point to Jesus, etc) in their “field”.
  301. Intimacy (closeness) in relationship needs trust and understanding, and trust and understanding need time…
  302. He left home to rescue, serve, teach, heal and free those in need, where they were and as they were… He had no interest in personal comfort, success, retirement, longevity of life, food selection, style/decorating, financial security… He did what His Father told Him to do… He taught on His Kingdom…He focused on relationship with a few key, solid, trusted followers, and He sought out those who were failures, lonely, rejected, confused, disenfranchised, wounded, ill and broken, pointing all to His Father and His Kingdom… We are to be about our Father’s business/pleasure…
  303. Jesus has called each of us to be, first and foremost, servants… not leaders, not missionaries, not doctors, business men, teachers, laborers or pastors… In whatever vocation or role we assume, we are to always find ways to humbly serve…
  304. In our families, in our neighborhoods, in our schools/work places, and in the more remote places in the world…Our sphere of influence must prioritize the narrow and deep (fewer, more time), as these are the relationships that impact most, though every interaction involves the exchange of seeds…
  305. We must remember that those who love the darkness will always be critical and suspicious of those of the Light, and those of the Light must know that they will always antagonize the darkness.
  306. Jesus asked His followers to ask God for laborers (Luke 10), not miracle workers. History has shown that His kingdom is advanced through humility, love and service (the fruit of the spirit) much more than through “signs and wonders”. Greatest in God’s Kingdom is the “gifted” miracle worker or the humble servant? According to Jesus, we need people through whom He will work miracles (His time, place, circumstance, etc), but more we need people willing to abandon self-pursuits and self-acclaim and go, care, serve, love, teach, wash feet, ask questions, listen…
  307. Jesus lovers will always be criticized by men, and we can bow to men and compromise our devotion to God or bow to our Father and compromise our devotion to men…
  308. You and I can change the world today (Jesus’ way) by embracing our neighbor, by serving our offensive co-worker (or family member), by raising our children in humility and respect, by seeking the outcast…
  309. As we look back in 500 years, will we be sorry or pleased with our pursuits and passions, and with our priorities and how we “spent” this single life given to us… There are so many ways to have an impact and, according to Jesus, serving individuals is primary…
  310. No matter how hard we pull on a young plant, it will not produce fruit more quickly.
  311. A wise question, with eternal significance, for every man and woman “Christian”: “Am I treasuring this earthly life or am I abandoning it to serve my Father and others, resulting in an eternal treasure?”
  312. There is nothing easy about the journey of self-abandonment, yet this is where Jesus leads, and in 1000 years we will be pleased that we offered ourselves to be spent by Him and that we weren’t preoccupied with our own comfort and that which doesn’t last…
  313. Our Father often transforms pain to beauty. We have the daily opportunity to communicate our care to those who are hurting and facing confusing trials, and our care communicates their value to us and to our Father.
  314. Anything purchased has nominal value.
  315. The care and value that we receive from others when we face challenges has far more significance than any temporal loss or failure.
  316. The trees must always be emphasized, while the larger forest is appreciated, but left to our Father’s care.
  317. Suffering is a window of opportunity for independent, stubborn and blind human beings to receive care from their Father and to recognize that their insignificance in this world in no way diminishes their value.
  318. We so commonly adopt the world’s superficial world view of suffering (all suffering is bad/evil/to be avoided), forgetting our Father and His care-full awareness and eternal purpose of every circumstance, whether to us pleasant or unpleasant.
  319. Every aspect of creation reveals something about our Father.
  320. It is far more our Father’s joy to see man helping/serving man than to employ the miraculous (no participation from man).
  321. There is one master who fills us, supports us, guides us into health, satisfies us, gives us real wisdom, and leads us beside quiet waters, while many, many other masters (religion, morality, pleasure, comfort, ease, gluttony, wealth, etc) steal from us, exhaust us, wound us, confuse us and leave us alone. It is daily our choice as to whom we will serve…
  322. Have we found the secret to contentment in the west or have we lost it? Have we moved closer to our Father or further away? How much of our modern activity steals from the substance of life and how much adds to what most people believe are the core ingredients of a life well-lived – peace, contentment, joy…
  323. Sound bites have replaced detailed conversations, while statements and opinions have replaced civil discourse. We are daily tempted to draw conclusions quickly and to hold strongly to our personal opinions, often gained with little interaction and knowledge.
  324. One of the most beautiful gifts that He gives to His children to give away and receive is the gift of encouragement.
  325. A great way to encourage someone is to express gratitude for their life, their presence, their work, etc.
  326. The Kingdom of God, as presented in the bible and in the life of Jesus (and historically), offers not to remove the pain, but rather offers to us the ability to put this earthly reality into an eternal perspective.
  327. We must remember that EVERY topic and EVERY person is far more complex than we are able to appreciate from our first impression(s)!
  328. As Jesus-followers, we don’t want to look back on our lives in a thousand years and see that we disregarded Jesus’ Kingdom emphasis of connecting to Him and to others as we, like those on the wide and well-trod path, were swept away by modern technology’s bells and whistles.
  329. We are called to leave our computers and TVs, weep with those who weep, laugh with those who laugh and embrace, encourage and connect.
  330. Understanding of our Father, of life, of circumstances, etc doesn’t give life (which many still seek), but rather it is daily appreciation for His care and His affirming presence that drives a life-giving relationship with Him, the foundation of which is His care and grace, so freely offered…
  331. The more unlearned/unwise we are the more vulnerable we are to charismatic leadership and empty promises…
  332. We push people toward a commitment with Jesus without honestly communicating the reality of the journey. Jesus didn’t do this…
  333. We don’t do the work of the kingdom as we gather for “church”, but we gather to support and encourage each other in our abandonment to Kingdom work (loving difficult people in difficult places) outside of the gathering.
  334. An abandoned Jesus-follower cares not about where he/she lives, about painful sacrifices, about reputation, about financial security, about enjoying life… His/her passion is to know Him and to see others know Him, as well.
  335. We commonly value our performance rather than value who we are (a loved and valued child of the One who created us in joy, just as we are). We praise a person’s “character” more than honor their beauty in the eyes of our Father (whether their behavior is “good” or otherwise). According to Jesus, all people are beautiful, quite apart from goodness (father running to his prodigal son).
  336. Jesus clearly indicated that people engage in good/healthy/constructive and bad/unhealthy/destructive behavior, but He said that “goodness” was an impossible human standard and that only God is good.
  337. Go! The global needs of beautiful people are innumerable. It only takes willingness to go to the hard places and willingness to learn what is necessary to help.
  338. Jesus was a “people-ist” and constantly railed against a focus on the law, morality and an emphasis on “right” and “wrong”. He certainly encouraged healthy, nondestructive behavior, but placed huge emphasis on people over their behavior (or political views).
  339. To disagree is human and healthy, as wherever there is more than one person involved in a decision, one will find disagreement. Why are we surprised (or offended) because, at this point in their journey, another doesn’t see the same landscape as we do?
  340. Do we ask people what they believe, honor them, and enjoy hearing their reasoning or are we focused on providing for them all the “right” answers?
  341. “And this is my commandment, that you believe and teach only correct doctrine, and that you persuade everyone to believe exactly as you do, and this is my second commandment, which is like the first, that you criticize, mock, ridicule and demonize anyone who disagrees with you.”
  342. Do we love only those who love us and think like us? Must we attack and belittle people who disagree with us?
  343. There is a humility and realistic vulnerability in rural Angola that causes one to honor another because, as the proverb says, when one falls into a pit, it is much easier to get out if you are not alone (“rugged individualism” is not admired or pursued here).
  344. If we would more demonstrate respect and honor, perhaps more men and women would see themselves as worthy of respect!
  345. Our relationship with Jesus is not a one-time commitment, but rather a journey of many changes, many errors, and many passions, and we must give grace to ourselves and to others as they(we) journey with their(our) Father. Encouraging trust and intimacy with Jesus, that will develop over eternity, is our Father’s heart for each of us.
  346. I disagree with the idea that life is a marathon and that we must pace ourselves. I think it is more a series of sprints and rest, a seemingly random compilation of starts and stops, and a battle against that which distracts us from our Father and His Kingdom.
  347. Rest is beautiful and satisfying when one has been spent. … spent by our Father for the sake of another.
  348. We haven’t found life until we have been consistently spent for the benefit of another.
  349. So much is spoken of about “finding God’s will for my life”, but I’ve heard few concerns about God’s will from those who have abandoned this life, those who are rubbing shoulders with “the least” every day, those who have died to personal ambitions/fulfillment, those who are “seeking first” the Kingdom of God, those who care not” for the things of this world…
  350. My cemetery walks are always good, sober times of uniquely refocusing on death, eternal realities and this life’s remarkable brevity… and strolling and connecting with my Father in a manner that will continue long after one of these markers bears my name…
  351. Quick growth doesn’t last (grass vs trees), and that time, patience, and continued input are necessary, whether growing fruit spiritually or naturally.
  352. We must not abandon relationship with people Jesus loves when they appear to be rejecting us or Jesus (we have all done the same).
  353. God’s directing of your journey and His joy in creating uniquely you is discounted when you compare yourself to another.
  354. Only when living in the misplaced priorities of economic prosperity can one read the bible and hear that “things must go well with you”…
  355. Today, we seek to fill our church services as we encourage people to experience the wedding without considering the cost/reality of a marriage… the ups and downs, failures and successes, conflict and harmony, the mundane and the exciting.
  356. We need reminded often of the truths that we already know.
  357. There is nothing easy about the journey of self-abandonment, yet this is where Jesus leads, and in 1000 years we will be pleased that we offered ourselves to be spent by Him and that we weren’t preoccupied with our own comfort and that which doesn’t last…
  358. We push people toward a commitment with Jesus without honestly communicating the reality of the journey. Jesus didn’t do this…
  359. We don’t do the work of the kingdom as we gather for “church”, but we gather to support and encourage each other in our abandonment to Kingdom work (loving difficult people in difficult places) outside of the gathering.
  360. An abandoned Jesus-follower cares not about where he/she lives, about painful sacrifices, about reputation, about financial security, about enjoying life… His/her passion is to know Him and to see others know Him, as well.
  361. Variety maintains interest.
  362. Abundance of anything can decrease its value, yet its value is our choice.
  363. Money represents someone’s (yours, another’s…) work.
  364. To lead is to know disappointment, misunderstanding, and conflict.
  365. Sticks and stones may break one’s bones but words can wound one’s heart.
  366. Beware of the ear-tickling “health and wealth” teachers/preachers.  They preach to the flesh rather than to the spirit.
  367. Discipline, perseverance, and teamwork are keys to survival in battle.
  368. Every organization (and family) will have conflict within.  Recognizing and addressing it effectively (not its absence) is the key to unity.
  369. Self-less love, doubt-less faith, and hope without moments of despair are not possible in this life.
  370. Grumbling/complaining is one of the most powerful forces in every organization.
  371. One cannot build or lead a strong team if he/she takes disagreement personally.
  372. Enter a relationship with exclusivity and commitment once in your life.
  373. How you see yourself greatly affects how you see others.
  374. Few things remind us of our mortality more effectively than illness and pain.
  375. Balance maintained between work, leisure, and relationships will yield long-term benefits.
  376. To learn, one must want to learn.
  377. Medication is a tool for the care of one’s body even as a wrench is for an engine and a hammer is for house maintenance.
  378. To consult a physician for a health issue is the same as to ask someone to pray for you or to seek out a mechanic for automobile care, or an architect for home repair.
  379. To hear, we must choose to listen.
  380. Be these in the hands of God:  a pawn, an instrument, a tool, soft clay…
  381. It is not our teaching that impacts people as much as our life, and the passion that motivates us.
  382. We have been called not to preach, to teach, to serve, or to heal; but to love.
  383. We are not called to do something great in the Kingdom.  We are called to abide with the King.
  384. To live with a controlling person is to live without an identity.
  385. To live with a domineering and overbearing person is to live as a slave.
  386. God is more interested in what He’s doing in you than in what He’s doing through you. Not original
  387. One must be quiet of heart to see the unseen and to hear His “still, small voice”.
  388. Many equate being “Christian” with being nice/kind, but loving another often requires words and actions that will not be perceived as nice/kind.
  389. A friend will speak to you the truth about you, as he perceives it.  A non-friend will cheer for you, support you and encourage you while you continue along a destructive path in fear of the short-term discomfort associated with confrontation.
  390. God is interested in peace makers, not in peace keepers.
  391. We errantly think that certain earthly things (marriage, children, success, wealth, popularity, power, freedom from conflict, etc) will bring us a lasting sense of well-being and contentment.  Jesus said that only intimacy with Him can bring this.
  392. Trying to motivate the unmotivated is like getting one to drink who doesn’t feel thirst.
  393. All things in the “seen” world are to reveal something to us about the unseen world.  Perhaps mosquitoes, flies, chiggers, parasites and pium exist to remind us of the ever-present, unseen, demons (the pests of the enemy).
  394. It’s a person’s heart we will remember, rarely his/her words.
  395. When the potential risk is great, think and act cautiously.
  396. It’s difficult living with uncertainty and ambiguity, but don’t try to make certain that which is not.
  397. Many know of God but few know Him.
  398. “Casting pearls before swine” occurs often today. Many don’t appreciate the value of Kingdom wisdom.
  399. To love deeply is to experience deep joy and deep pain.  How deeply we love is our choice.
  400. There is nothing like a parent’s love for their child, regardless of age.
  401. Time passes quickly and your memory will fade.  Appreciate every experience.
  402. Passionate investment requires an attitude of marked indifference toward other things.
  403. Knowing what to do and how to do it are helpful but they have no value until you begin to work.
  404. If you are mentally, physically, and spiritually equipped to handle difficulty, I have raised you well.
  405. We are often blind to our shortcomings and a true friend will point these out with care.
  406. To never quit is not a virtue.  Perseverance, in what you’ve been called to do, is a virtue.
  407. God doesn’t help those who help themselves, He helps those who ask.
  408. What you don’t have appears attractive, but this attraction “changes” when it becomes yours.
  409. Faith is not belief, but trust.
  410. Prayer is not talking to God.  It is a conversation with our Father.
  411. Being “born again” is not the goal, but rather the necessary beginning, the first step toward the goal of intimacy with God.
  412. Our goal is not to make converts, but to love people and, in so doing, introduce them to our family and to our Father.
  413. Knowing the Bible doesn’t make one holy, it points to humble relationship with its Author.
  414. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus.
  415. Live simply.  Most material things are not blessings, but distractions from the significant, beautiful, and fulfilling – what you really desire.
  416. People respond to pain by hardening their hearts, arresting their minds, or humbly exchanging their understanding for trust in a loving God
  417. We cannot focus well on two things at once. To fix our eyes on Jesus, we must take our eyes off of ourselves.
  418. Christians are not Bible followers, do-gooders or church-goers; they are Jesus lovers.
  419. The man was dead and two days later was fully alive.  He certainly was more than a teacher, a wise man, or a gifted leader.
  420. To walk in the Spirit is often different than to follow the Bible.
  421. Without breathing for three to five minutes, your life would irreversibly end.  A worthwhile study:  Examine all of the spontaneous, wondrous factors within your body, beyond your control, that occur to enable you to simply breathe once.
  422. The more we look outward (our solar system, galaxy, and beyond), and the more we look inward (life on the cellular and atomic level), the more awe inspiring becomes both the design and its Designer.
  423. Disagreement among brothers is normal.  How we disagree is more important than the matter itself.
  424. Prayer (communication with our Father) is like exercise in that often the biggest challenge is getting started.
  425. Busyness prevents relationship building; idleness is an invitation to the enemy.
  426. Marry young and hope that when you and your spouse grow up, they will still be the person that you now want to marry.
  427. God often acts in ways that man would not choose or expect.
  428. Arrogance says that life should be better, that I should have more, that I should not have to work so hard, that I should be happier.  Humility recognizes that which it has been given, and is grateful.
  429. We can only change the exterior, the superficial about us. The more we try to change, the less we change. The more we walk closely with Jesus, however, abandoning a focus on becoming better while putting our focus on His pleasure and others’ benefit, the more real, inner, deep change occurs.
  430. If a part of the body acts independently of the head, no matter how skilled it is, the body becomes uncoordinated and will either fall or lose its effectiveness to function as a whole.
  431. If the body acts without thinking (submitting to the head), injury to itself or another body will likely result.
  432. Coordination of a body occurs simply when the various parts of the body work together for the same purpose, directed by the head.
  433. Many parts of the body are quite humble in appearance or function, but a wound to the same, in a healthy body, affects the whole.
  434. When one part of the body is wounded, the head uses another part of the body (often the hand) to provide comfort, while other parts are used to assist in healing the wound.
  435. The function of many parts of the body is to serve, build up, repair, maintain, or protect the whole.
  436. The eye sees nothing without light.
  437. The senses appreciate both beauty and danger outside the body.
  438. Certain parts of the body are more significant to survival than others.
  439. Some parts of the body are not needed for survival (tongue) but their roles are highly significant in the effectiveness of the body’s work.
  440. Many parts of the body are directly dependent on another (heart, blood; brain, nerves; muscles, bones, etc), but all parts are interdependent on the others.
  441. The organs most needed for survival are unseen.
  442. Body parts must focus on playing their individual part well, as directed by the head, without concern for how the other parts are performing.
  443. One part can admire and appreciate the work of another, while maintaining focus on performing its own task well.
  444. Desiring to be another part of the body is never beneficial.
  445. Gratitude for the life and work of other parts will always be present in a healthy body, with the acknowledgement that not one part can function independently of the whole.
  446. The parts of the body are created, not self-chosen.
  447. Pain is a necessary signal to alert the rest of the body as to the need for assistance.
  448. Problems are not evil but our response to them may be.
  449. Our response to problems/difficulty will be one of either pushing away from, or pushing toward, our Father.
  450. There is no such thing as life without problems or change.  Learn well how to respond to these rather than wish that they weren’t there.
  451. To wish that something wasn’t real, or could be different, has no value.  A wise response, to what is, has value.
  452. The pursuit of a dream is not a worthy endeavor. To pursue the God that made you, and His purposes for you, is a worthy endeavor.
  453. The more reality varies from your ideal (the way life “should be”), the more likely that you will be depressed, frustrated, and discontented.
  454. Recalling a man’s words accurately is honoring.  Altering them kills trust.
  455. The majority of the world’s religious people ignore that God desires relationship with them.
  456. Two men enter the jungle to live.  One enters with nothing.  The second enters with tools, food, water, counsel from those who have lived there and much study to prepare.  Adulthood is like the jungle.  Enter as did the second man, equipped.
  457. Acknowledge your weaknesses (we all have them), work in your strengths.
  458. Remember that the message of the cross is foolishness to those perishing.  You will be called foolish, stupid, simple, etc. if you follow Jesus.
  459. A good teacher imparts the same truths repeatedly to his/her various students.
  460. Our Father is not looking for more excellent leaders, but rather He is looking for “normal,” flawed people who are willing to serve, dependent on Him.
  461. Kingdom response, “Yes, Lord!”
  462. You have desires, plans and dreams but what is your Father calling you to do today?
  463. God’s heart for His children (Prov 24:32):  When I observed it (situation, circumstance, etc.), I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction.
  464. To be baptized in Jesus is to be forever washed.
  465. When you pray, use spoken words. Don’t “feel” pray.
  466. The easiest and most “exciting” part of any race, endeavor or relationship (including that with Jesus) is the first.
  467. It is vision that creates the motivation to persevere.  What is your life vision?
  468. When you know the embrace and the affection of God, you will be free.
  469. In the Kingdom, both the costs and the benefits are great.  The more you give of yourself, the more others benefit.  The more you give of yourself now, the more you benefit eternally.  The more you give in the “seen” world, the more you benefit in the “unseen”…
  470. The typical “Christian” is like the Pharisees of old, clean on the outside and empty and dead on the inside.  Resist the temptation to wear any type of mask and seek Him as you are.
  471. There’s often much difference between good ideas and God’s ideas, between good plans and God’s plans, between good works and God’s works.  Think and listen!
  472. Planted seeds will not bear fruit in a day, a week, a month…
  473. Your life will never remain the same.
  474. One who can’t forgive doesn’t fully appreciate how much he’s been forgiven.
  475. Fasting takes you to a place of brokenness and it is usually in a broken state that our hearts are more able to receive.
  476. Nothing’s shape or character can be transformed without the current shape or character first being broken.
  477. Religion says, “God will love you if…”  Jesus says, “I love you, period.  Nothing that you do will ever change my affection for you.”
  478. We are our own god on the level of the ancient pagans when we say, “I will follow God if…” or “I can’t believe in a god that…”
  479. Kingdom living is “nevertheless” living.  “This difficult/painful circumstance has occurred; nevertheless I will worship and trust my loving God.”  “He/she did/said that harmful thing to/about me, nevertheless I will love them, pray for them, serve them…
  480. Kingdom living is “whatever” living.  “Jesus, whatever you wish to do/say to/through me…”  “Whatever path (easy or difficult) you wish to put me on, Jesus, in order to create in me greater intimacy with you…”
  481. Making disciples is not about teaching as much as it’s about modeling intimacy and surrender to Jesus.
  482. Arrogance will make much of either its own success or its own failure.
  483. Tension, caused by opposing forces, is a reality in both the natural world and in the Kingdom of God.
  484. Look for the one outcast or wounded. It is there that the soil is likely ready for seed.
  485. Leave enough “margin” in your life to be a “good Samaritan” when your day is “interrupted” by someone wounded.
  486. Prayer is dependence. The more that we spend time with, make requests of, and listen to, our Father, the more dependent on Him we are.
  487. The less that you spend time with, make requests of, and listen to, your Father, the more you are living independently of Him.
  488. Prayer is conversation; speaking and listening.
  489. My daughter, beware of the man that says, “I love you,” early in the relationship; He doesn’t know what love is and seeks to satisfy his own desires (the opposite of true love).
  490. A man will say, “I love you,” in his desire to get sex or some form of physical affection. A woman will give physical affection (sex) in her desire to be loved. Not original
  491. My son, beware of outward beauty as it is only the cover of the book. It’s what is inside the cover that you will “read” for a long time.
  492. If you selectively marry for physical beauty, you will regret it.
  493. If you allow physical appearance to guide your choice of relationships, you will miss relationship with many beautiful people.
  494. The best gauge for relational commitment is revealing, honest friendship.
  495. The most effective temptations of the enemy are smiling, beautiful, and “interested” in you.
  496. Beware of flattery, saying something nice to be liked. Don’t use it and learn to recognize it, so as to not be deceived by it.
  497. The more time you spend with one person (boyfriend/girlfriend), the less time you spend with the other beautiful people put on your path by your Father.
  498. Find a wife/husband while pursuing God as the other way around will fail.
  499. Whom you choose to marry is the most important decision you will ever make, next to your decision to follow Jesus. Not original
  500. True beauty resides within the family of God, His most varied, inexplicable, glorious, wonder-full creation yet.
  501. The Gardener decides which flowers remain for a full season and which are harvested while young.
  502. The return on worldly riches does not nearly equal the cost.
  503. A self-focus will destroy you, from the inside out. A Jesus focus will give you life, from the inside out.
  504. The speed at which life passes so increases when you have kids, when you would especially like to slow it down.
  505. All good deeds can be done for self gain or done with self abandonment, trusting in your Father’s vision and control.
  506. Lies may make you appear better to others but you will think less of yourself.
  507. Treating people with honor and respect will give a good return.
  508. If you lie and embellish, you will eventually neither believe yourself nor others.
  509. Each and every second, there are more “beyond understanding” miracles taking place within your body, to sustain the gift of life, than Jesus performed in His entire lifetime on earth.
  510. Criticism and praise both test your character.
  511. To feel good/content/happy may be a result but if this becomes your goal, you will never taste it.
  512. The inner drive to conquer is strong in men. Both young men and young women must be wise to this.
  513. “Who am I?” “Whose am I?” “Who will I serve?” “Which voice will I obey?”… Key questions, especially when you find yourself in a desert place.
  514. You will suffer pain, heartache, loss, and rejection. Whatever it is that you suffer, He has experienced the same. He knows what you are feeling.
  515. Your Father chooses exactly how you will suffer. He knows your abilities and He knows what it takes in your life to bring you and/or others to Him.
  516. Jesus didn’t suffer so that we would not. He showed us that suffering can glorify the King.
  517. To seek to avoid suffering is to seek to avoid the manner in which you can be best used for His glory.
  518. Our ever-present hope is that we look forward to a place without suffering and injustice.
  519. To expect to avoid injustice in this life is to expect to walk through fire without getting burned. In following Jesus, you will walk through fire.
  520. You are placed in difficult, unjust circumstances with purpose.
  521. Success in the Kingdom is to walk, with Jesus, through injustice and suffering. Jesus walked with his Father through the same.
  522. To pursue earthly success is to neglect the Kingdom.
  523. To equate earthly success with Kingdom success is to completely miss Jesus’ message of the Kingdom of God.
  524. Whether we see our life and its circumstances as the result of chance, or as a gift, given with forethought and purpose in love and joy, affects everything.
  525. To be self-confident is to be a sheep wanting to leave the shepherd, a hammer wanting to build a house, or a canoe dreaming of setting out on a river trip.
  526. Insecurity is not, in and of itself, unhealthy. Whether it is healthy or unhealthy depends on what you do with it, and to whom you go, to gain security.
  527. When you lead a small group, ask questions. It will keep all engaged and uncover otherwise hidden treasure.
  528. Your life will always consist of both the pleasant and the unpleasant, and both that which comes easily and that which is difficult.
  529. Appreciate the pleasant things in your life. “Accept with joy” those things unpleasant. Both are given/allowed by your Father.
  530. “How will I look back on (this choice) tomorrow (in a week, a year, ten years, a hundred years, etc)?” is a healthy tool in your pursuit of making wise decisions.
  531. Find those hungry for wisdom, hungry for righteousness, hungry for more of God, and spend time with them.
  532. Hunger and thirst, disappointment and sadness, weakness and inadequacy, wounding and rejection… are all realities within the Kingdom of God.
  533. It’s not possible to please everyone and there is no pleasing some people ever.
  534. Wisdom is purchased in the marketplace of suffering.
  535. Desperation is a rich instructor for the wise. The same hardens the heart of the fool.
  536. Beware of the power of distraction. It has brought to ruin many who began with a sound vision.
  537. Don’t mock or “make fun of” another, even in jest. To highlight the fault of another is to pinch a festering boil.
  538. Laugh at yourself and build up the other. Many people turn this around.
  539. A critical spirit suffocates joy.
  540. If one pushes his opinion, insisting that you choose his course or method, he honors you as a master does his slave.
  541. The wise give advice and let it go.
  542. If we journey the road less-travelled, if we choose to enter the fray and fight His fight… there will be pain, injury and discomfort. He is our example.
  543. The one who talks the most is heard the least.
  544. Talk much about yourself and you will end up talking to yourself.
  545. Don’t seek to earn another’s favor. Be yourself, be honest, and trust Him with the perceptions of your acquaintances.
  546. Worry can cause unseen damage to our physical health, it puts those we love in bondage, and it destroys our trust in the One we follow…
  547. The woman who lures you to physical intimacy outside of marriage loves neither you nor herself. Her god is self and she is using you in her desire to be loved.
  548. The man who lures you to physical intimacy outside of marriage loves neither you nor himself. His god is self and he is using you in his desire to feel better about himself.
  549. To secure the love of a woman is to catch a chicken in an open field.
  550. Seek to always feel good and you will achieve nothing.
  551. Time is your most precious commodity. Spend it wisely as how you spend your time today determines what you will harvest tomorrow.
  552. It is wise to eliminate, “I want…” from your vocabulary.
  553. With forethought, God made you exactly as he intended (in appearance, in personality, in gifts…) and declared, “It is good!” You honor Him with gratitude and a desire to be no one but you.
  554. If you try to be like another, you put on a mask, hiding the unique beauty that is in only you.
  555. Learn of your colleague’s journey. In doing so, you will learn much of why he believes, and behaves, as he does.
  556. Proverbs are written because of love for the reader and an understanding of the certain challenges and difficulties ahead.
  557. Mistakes are made by those courageous enough to step into the arena.
  558. There are no failures in the Kingdom. There are those who fail, who fall, who make mistakes (in our eyes), but one cannot be a failure who walks hand in hand with the Judge and King.
  559. All unhealthy addictions begin pleasantly without appreciation for their power to destroy.
  560. First impressions are rarely entirely accurate. Hold loosely your initial impressions of people and situations.
  561. Your life consists of seasons. These seasons will change and vary greatly.
  562. Sometimes your biggest challenge will be the juggling of many good things.
  563. The Kingdom of God is certainly multi-factorial but is centered in love, especially God’s incredible, undeserved love for you.
  564. All participants enter a debate/discussion with bias. This will be evident especially in debates about such topics as creation vs. evolution, religion, politics, etc. Realize that the person you are debating is on a journey of discovery, still formulating answers and world views (despite his apparent certainty), no matter his age or experience. Debate humbly, because you are the same.
  565. Your current immaturity will not be clear until you look back on it.
  566. The Good News is about His beauty and goodness, not ours.
  567. “As you are,” is a Kingdom phrase. Only those who see and worship God, as He is, find life. Only when you come to Him, as you are, do you discover His wondrous, life-changing love for you.
  568. Speak about yourself, if asked. Avoid “I” speak otherwise.
  569. If we are a broken vessel carrying the Light, it isn’t helpful to cover our flaws and prevent the Light from shining out.
  570. About whom and what you speak reveals your interest. If you are frequently speaking about your activities, your work, your past, your opinions, your dreams…
  571. Everyone is interested in themselves. Demonstrate your interest in another by asking them about their activities, their work, their past, their opinions, their joys, their fears, their dreams…
  572. If you have a problem with someone, speak to them, not about them. If you have been offended by someone, speak to them, not about them. If you see someone sinning, speak to them, not about them.
  573. When you speak ill of someone, you wound them far more than if you speak to them. Freely speak ill of others and you will destroy whatever group or organization of which you are part.
  574. What does a soldier think and feel while in what will be a long and victorious the battle but fatigue, confusion, reexamination of purpose, doubt, loneliness, misunderstanding, dependence, fear, desire to quit/run, vulnerability…?
  575. It is difficult to serve and to bless one ungrateful. Express freely your gratitude for the work and service done on your behalf.
  576. Be a friend of another, seeking to build them up, to encourage them, to serve them and to ask questions of them, exploring who and where they are. Or be a “friend” of another because they build you up, they encourage you, they serve you, they listen to you and you enjoy their presence.
  577. Humility is not a comfortable home to live in but all its neighbors know they are valued and loved. The home of arrogance is mansion-esque, a wonderful place to live, and others marvel at its features. Its neighbors, however, are unknown, unappreciated, and without value.
  578. The majority of women, for the majority of men, are objects of pleasure and/or fantasy.
  579. Leisure and rest have great value after hard work.
  580. You may be identified by many things that you do, such as successes, failures, vocation, spouse, etc. but I will ever identify you for who you are, my son/daughter. With our Father, it is exactly the same. We are forever and unalterably His son/daughter.
  581. On earth, we label people so quickly, creating an identity out of temporary behavior. Any behavior is redeemable with our Father. All people make some poor choices on a long journey. We must separate (our own and other’s) behavior from identity.
  582. The family of God is a “but now” people. They are a people who “once were…”, “but now…”
  583. Redemption is the redeeming of the “fix” you find yourself in. Redemption is especially God’s pleasure. Your mistake, your sin, your “fix” is an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His pleasure and ability. Go to Him!
  584. To judge is to call one’s journey completed.
  585. Every person you encounter is on a journey. How will you be used on their journey?
  586. See your (and another’s) life as a story, being written moment by moment. It involves action and suspense, heroes, and heroines, climaxes, failure, success, love, enemies…
  587. There exists evil (not simply the absence of good), motivated to destroy all that is good and of God. Most people do not recognize this force until they are personally confronted by it, when their world view is then modified to accommodate its presence.
  588. To not recognize that we have an enemy bent on destruction is to live blind to reality, in ignorance and in denial. To fear him is to not know your Father.
  589. To live ignorant of your enemy’s schemes is to be vulnerable to his will.
  590. Denial is a powerful defense mechanism, in no way protecting those who use it from the destructive influences of what they deny.
  591. Discrediting or minimizing the abilities of your enemy/opponent will lead to confused frustration and eventual defeat. Most “Christians” fail to acknowledge an enemy’s presence, much less his abilities.
  592. Distraction can ruin a meeting, a conversation, a relationship, a job, a marriage, a family, a career, a calling, a life…
  593. Nothing remains the same.
  594. Life is lived in tension between many extremes. Identify the extremes and fight to remain in tension.
  595. Choosing to die is not a “feel good” proposition for the one dying. In the Kingdom, we don’t die in order to feel good. The abundant life does not “feel” better than the alternatives, yet it is better.
  596. We don’t follow Jesus so that we will feel happy or so that we will be more successful in what we do. In following Jesus, we lay these aside as our primary motivations for living, for something better.
  597. To choose to die, to give up your life for another, requires trust that it will be worth it for the benefactor. You cannot die without trusting in Jesus’ care and control regarding the other’s benefit. Each and every moment, you decide whether to trust Jesus that dying to yourself is the best choice.
  598. Many come to Jesus to improve their lot in life. He said rather that to find “life”, we must forsake this life, not seek to improve it.
  599. Whose am I? Where am I going?
  600. Only he that digs finds silver.
  601. Surrender is the attitude of a Kingdom heart.
  602. A life of ease is destructive to the soul. Work hard.
  603. “I don’t know,” is a common phrase of the wise and honest and is heard infrequently from the foolish.
  604. Each person’s relationship with God is different than is ours. Be critical of another’s very carefully.
  605. Jesus lovers don’t meet together in a holy place, rather every place in which they meet becomes holy, because Jesus is there.
  606. As in a family, there are those who go to their Father with questions and doubts, and those who seek knowledge and wisdom elsewhere.
  607. All men have doubts, questions, and fears. On that day, the sheep and the goats will likely be differentiated by those who went to God for wisdom and understanding and those who went elsewhere for the same.
  608. Observe the responses to Jesus’ resurrection: doubt, fear, crying, excitement, questioning… and Jesus met each person where they genuinely were.
  609. A little applied is better than much known.
  610. One returned and gave thanks.
  611. It’s our act of kindness or service that helps in the moment, but our love, hate, or indifference which has long-lasting impact.
  612. Superficiality will historically define this age.
  613. A worthwhile study: Imagine Jesus’ tone of voice in each of His recorded responses to people’s questions and statements.
  614. Do you prefer to live life or watch someone else live life?
  615. How I want to convince you that life is so short and so precious. I now realize what I did not when I was your age.
  616. Fight to maintain balance.
  617. Be quick but don’t rush.
  618. Many Christians study the Bible to gain information about God and life. More importantly, ask your Father, as you study, “What are you saying to me?”
  619. You can study a map extensively but unless you travel, you won’t arrive at your destination. Apply what you learn.
  620. In every circumstance, every conversation, every “quiet time”, every difficulty, every illness, every rejection, every insult, every failure, every achievement, etc. we can ask, “Father, what are you desiring to communicate to me?”
  621. When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Not original
  622. To not make a decision is a poor decision.
  623. We must make judgments about another’s behavior without judging the person. Know the difference.
  624. The choices you make when alone, and when nobody sees, identify who you are far more than the “observed” choices that you make.
  625. More often than not, your opinion does not need to be shared.
  626. Hearing another’s opinion is more beneficial than sharing yours.
  627. Your Father will give you the words and the opportunities to share your heart. Trust Him.
  628. The grass really does only appear greener on the other side of the fence. Not original
  629. You will rarely feel like doing what you are called to do before you do it.
  630. When in conversation with an elder, your maturity is demonstrated in questions and a desire to learn. Immaturity is demonstrated in yawns and inattention.
  631. Why do teens think that they have all the answers and that their parents “don’t understand”? Because they have been sheltered from, and do not yet appreciate, the forces that they will soon confront.
  632. Immaturity is identified by desire-driven behavior, “no!”, and a “me-centered” world view.
  633. We are maturing when we realize that our own desires can destroy us and others.
  634. All of the hours spent preparing a meal are without purpose if you leave it in the oven too long.
  635. There is NOTHING healthier than a thankful heart.
  636. Pornography and drugs attract many, but especially two types of people: those who want to escape the reality of the difficulties of this fallen world and those who are convinced that experiencing pleasure should be a priority.
  637. Pornography promotes women as slaves, objects whose purpose for being is our (men’s) pleasure. The more you dabble in this, the more you will view women thusly.
  638. We don’t overcome sin by saying “no”. We overcome sin by wholeheartedly pursuing Jesus, acknowledging His love and grace.
  639. Jesus has the power and the desire to forgive any sin.
  640. Light is more clearly defined in dark environments. Remember this especially in times of difficulty and trial.
  641. When one intimately acquainted with Jesus’ love sees another sin, err or fail, he/she is compassionate. Those religious see the same and are critical.
  642. Are you tempted? Converse with Jesus. Have you sinned? Converse with Jesus. Have you overcome? Converse with Jesus. Are you defeated, discouraged, confused? Converse with Jesus. Have a decision to make? Converse with Jesus…
  643. Smile now and cry later or cry now to smile later. Not original.
  644. After how much learning and experience will you finally see that what you believe as true is based on faith? The more you learn and experience the more you will realize that what you believe to be true is a decision. The existence of truth and your believing it are two things.
  645. The sun remains without change through day and night, summer and winter, and rain and clouds. Your perception of the sun, however, varies greatly. Do not allow your experiences or what you can presently see alter your perception of what is true about God.
  646. We can appreciate our feelings and emotions without following or serving them.
  647. Love and commitment are demonstrated and grown during times of suffering.
    Wise decisions live so much more peacefully in you than decisions made for fun or pleasure
  648. A facade attempts to beautify the owner in comparison to others. Honest transparency will humble its owner while beautifying others.
  649. The amount of material things in your possession is inversely proportional to the amount of contentment in your person.
  650. The actual race is often very different than the one you prepared for, yet every ounce of preparation will be of value at some point in the race.
  651. Are you pursuing success or what your Father would have you do?
  652. God is working in every person’s life. Look for what He is doing and ask Him how you may participate. His response may be different than what you may think is best or how you feel you would like to respond.
  653. Every person desperately needs to be loved, encouraged, and affirmed. Provide these.
  654. Why do we chase after success? Success brings attention (our substitute for love), and self-satisfaction (our substitute for knowing our Father’s love).
  655. If you have ANY questions, doubts, uncertainty, etc., dialogue with your Father.
  656. An introvert is handicapped and perhaps paralyzed among people. The same for an extrovert in solitude. Both need to develop their areas of weakness but minister/work in their area of strength.
  657. The ways of the church are often counter-cultural.
  658. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21
  659. As a child… trust your Father, listen to your Father, and rest in the love of your Father.
  660. Speak and believe the truth. Walk in love.
  661. To decide to do something and to feel like doing something are two different things.
  662. The power of sin is destroyed by the power of forgiveness. When we sin, its power to destroy is lost when we realize that we are forgiven.
  663. Discipling is much more about modeling than about teaching.
  664. Marry a critical person and hurt for many years.
  665. Never make yourself vulnerable to a critical person.
  666. A huge key to adapting cross-culturally… and in marriage, parenting, friendship, leadership, disciple-making, and doctoring, “Shut up and listen.”
  667. The conversation we have with our Father has much more impact on who we are than does any conversation we have with anyone else.
  668. When one is worried about something, he cannot serve, love, or perform well. His attention is divided as his heart is in two places.
  669. One can lose much in the pursuit of more.
  670. Hard work is healthy for us physically and, especially, mentally.
  671. Don’t ask your Father for forgiveness when you sin. You have been forgiven. Rather, when you sin, agree with Him as to what you’ve done and thank Him again for the remarkable grace and mercy that are yours because of His wonder-full love for you, which your sin cannot change.
  672. There are many ways to live well and many ways to bring yourself harm. Remember this before and as you journey, not after.
  673. Criticism received from a critical person has no value, but consider well criticism from an encourager.
  674. As we yield to Him (“Your will be done.”), we receive all the power/strength/courage we need to accomplish HIS will. He’s made no promises re. accomplishing OUR will, except that it can destroy us and others.
  675. There may be no greater demonstration of strength than remaining faithful when weak, no greater success than remaining faithful in failure, no greater love than remaining faithful when rejected, no greater faith than remaining faithful in doubt and confusion…
  676. Those who spend themselves on worshipping their Father, serving their brother, loving their enemy, and giving their life for another lack the time and energy to debate intellectual doctrinal differences.
  677. Every day you are free to choose whether to remain loyal to Him.
  678. Jesus’ heart is to be one with you as He is one with His Father.
  679. In the Kingdom of God, we trust in One we don’t understand, we look for that which we cannot see, and we listen to One we cannot hear.
  680. We may speak but we must earn the right to be listened to.
  681. The consequences of any sin involve destruction. Like rust and fire, sin will always destroy something beautiful. There is no such thing as sin without destruction.
  682. Wisdom is the perspective of the Designer. To be wise is to have His perspective. To have His perspective, we must know Him. To know Him is to spend time with Him and with those who know Him, learning of Him and from Him.
  683. Relationship cannot happen without two interested parties. Because of Jesus, we can be assured of the radical interest of His Father in us.
  684. Consciously and intentionally review and renew your personal vision and calling. If you don’t you will be amazed how far you can wander from the path you desire to walk.
  685. We need to periodically experience darkness to appreciate the value of light.
  686. As we yield to Him (“Your will be done.”), we receive all the power/strength/courage we need to accomplish HIS will. He’s made no promises re. accomplishing OUR will, except that it can destroy us and others.
  687. To believe that any historical event actually occurred requires faith. To believe the occurrence of any event apart from your physical presence requires faith.
  688. The only opinion of us and of our performance that matters is that of our Father. We have an audience of but One.
  689. Pursue hard a perspective based on truth. Lies are spoken to you and in you all day every day.
  690. If you doubt the existence of a Creator (and you will), take some time and meditate on the wonder of creation. If you doubt God’s love and affection for man (and you will), take some time and meditate on the extent that God went to in Jesus to demonstrate His love for mankind. If you doubt God’s love for you personally (and you will), remember how He has demonstrated His love for you personally and review His words and promises to us as individuals…
  691. None of us spend enough time becoming secure in God’s affection for us and His father’s joy in us.
  692. We are not called to teach, evangelize, disciple, heal, build, counsel, etc.  We are called to love, and while loving, God will direct us as to how we can best serve those that we are loving.
  693. God’s heart is to place His light in dark places.
  694. We possess no light in and of ourselves.
  695. When light enters darkness, it constantly seeks to spread itself throughout the darkness, to touch and transform the darkness to light. The darkness resists the change, cannot produce light in and of itself, and, in order to change, must be touched by the light.
  696. Another’s growth is not your responsibility.
  697. Paul encouraged a simple, pure devotion to Jesus in 2Cor 11.3, not to the bible, to a church, to our ministry, to worship, to our brother, etc. Any of these can enhance or replace our devotion to Jesus…
  698. My “Nevers” – Never want. Never complain. Never worry. Never correct another. Never compare yourself to another (or any person to another). Never joke about a person’s flaw(s). Never lose your temper. Never criticize. Never give your unsolicited opinion. Never tell someone (including your kids) what to do without demonstrating honor and respect. Never mock another. Never consider truth more important than love. Never seek to control/change another… What are your “Nevers”?
  699. The extent to which your spouse (or any person) loves you is their choice.
  700. Letting the sun go down on your anger plants your anger in the fertile, fleshy soil of your heart. It germinates and begins to grow and at some point in the future produces foul fruit that looks differently than the original planted seed.
  701. If you believe that you are broken, screwed up, and loved by your Father, you cannot be personally wounded by insult.
  702. If you forgive because, “They know not what they are doing,” you will not be embittered by another’s offense.
  703. Sin, war, disease, and death are real. God’s loving presence and power in our midst is real. On which do we focus? What often changes following a profoundly painful or a near-death experience is that on which we set our eyes.
  704. The greatest miracle and the most painful tragedy will be responded to differently by different people.
  705. What you now consider a wondrous miracle, if witnessed daily, would, after a short time, be miraculous no longer. We have an incredible capacity to take God’s works for granted and to see them as ordinary, simply because He works incredible wonders so often.
  706. If you confess your sins to another, you provide an opportunity to be loved as you truly are. This is Kingdom love and few, within the church, experience it.
  707. If you have difficulty confessing your sins to another, you do not yet understand grace.
  708. In the Kingdom, repentance is not a requirement for forgiveness but a response to it.
  709. If we both are Christian, we will agree on many things. If we both are human, we will not agree on many things.
  710. Seeds planted will remain, though the soil is always changing…
  711. I don’t feel like I thought I would at 50. Being a Christian, a husband, a father, a doctor, and a missionary doesn’t feel like I thought it would. To do (or be) something for how you anticipate it may make you feel is to be certainly disappointed
  712. Which will produce joy, finding the right spouse or being the right spouse?
  713. If something or someone promotes or encourages fast growth, beware! It is likely not of your Father as He prefers trees to grass.
  714. Do you want to impact a lot of people and be used greatly by God? Pour yourself into a hungry few.
  715. If you raise your kids in material comfort, teach them also to walk through the eye of a needle.
  716. At greatest risk for itching ears – those passionate about their own salvation and spiritual well-being/growth… It’s difficult to tickle the ears of those spending their energy, thoughts and time helping, serving, loving, praying for and caring for others instead of themselves…
  717. Every direct criticism contains some truth. In consultation with your Father, respond appropriately to what’s true and discard the rest.
  718. T.S. Eliot said, “The greatest sin is to do the right thing for the wrong reason.” This is the essence of religion, doing something for reasons other than from inside. Only Jesus can make, break, and remake your “inside”. He always, however, “knocks” (requests permission).
  719. The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to live well today.
  720. What Jesus calls us to do, ANYONE can do.
  721. All life would cease to exist without death and decay.
  722. Threat to life, livelihood, reputation, etc reveals much about the true allegiance of a person or group…
  723. Those who completely so rejected and opposed Jesus that they mocked, spit on, tortured and slaughtered Him, He completely forgave, by grace. ALL of man’s wickedness, rebellion, sin, and depravity (even theirs and even yours) was dealt with, once and for all…
  724. The salvation movement among evangelicals has been about “me”, completely the opposite of where Jesus said to put our focus. Eternal life is the fruit of an outward-focused relationship with Jesus, not the goal!
  725. Many think that only a few have what it takes to be missionaries. It’s actually exactly the opposite!
  726. Jesus: “Tonight all of you will desert me… But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” (Mt 26)… no condemnation, reprimand, guilt, criticism… such love/grace for messed up, error-prone, fickle, weak, afraid, human, screwed-up disciples… and me.
  727. Learning without application breeds arrogance.
  728. Humility has far more Kingdom value than certainty…
  729. Life must be taken or given for any living thing to continue to live.
  730. Comfort, prosperity and leisure are more dangerous to our health than difficulty and affliction.
  731. I hate religion; I love Jesus. I hate religious services; I love worshipping, learning, praying, and conversing deeply with others. I hate “christian-ese”; I love His words to us. I hate idleness; I love rest. I hate pity; I love mercy. I hate flattery; I love encouragement. I hate lies; I love discretion. I hate masks; I love self-control. I hate laziness; I love contentment. I hate ambition; I love excellence. I hate idle conversation; I love connecting. I hate loneliness; I love solitude. I hate labels; I love discernment. I hate self-confidence; I love confident trust in my Father. I hate idle knowledge; I love wisdom. I hate tolerance of destructive/unhealthy behavior; I love embracing and loving a person involved in destructive/unhealthy behavior. I hate criticism; I love sensitive correction. I hate arguments; I love passionate, honoring discussions. I hate inferiority; I love humility…
  732. Our Father is not looking for heroes, but for those willing to do ANY little thing to bring justice to the oppressed and neglected, to love kindly those broken and hurting, and to walk humbly with Him into every situation. Micah 6:8
  733. What is it that you want to be doing? How do you want to look back at this stage of your life?
  734. Learn and learn and learn, about God, about the world, about the enemy, about people, about yourself. Each of these is an open book, full of wonder, that you will never be able to completely read.
  735. The Bible has been tested and tried for thousands of years. All other sources of “truth” (feelings, books, statistical surveys, people, leaders, pastors, etc) are tainted and can deceive.
  736. God will use so many things that are right in front of you to teach you; what you already know, what you experience daily, those with whom you converse often. If you allow Him, He will make the commonplace significant. Live today with your eyes and ears open to what He may be saying to you, through the common, “insignificant” things.
  737. God’s love is completely unconditional. Growth, however, results when we move toward Him, surrender to Him, and trust Him.
  738. Living Water is bitter and unappealing to those healthy, prosperous, full, and without thirst. To those broken, empty, lacking, weak, hurting, parched and hungry… there is nothing sweeter…
  739. Pursuing our dreams is not of our Father. He calls us to surrender them. Forsaking our dreams, however, is NOT forsaking life. It is, in fact, in surrendering our dreams to our Father that we find the life He created for us before time.
  740. People who know the Truth but refuse to surrender lack one of the following: 1) they haven’t been broken and are still blind to the realities of this world, 2) they don’t fully appreciate the value of the treasure and/or, 3) they choose darkness over light.
  741. As we witness the varied responses to Jesus’ “trial” and crucifixion, we see that a threat to life, livelihood, status, reputation, etc reveals much about the true allegiance of a person or a group…
  742. Living Water is like wine in that the more you drink, the better it tastes.
  743. Goodness never just happens. There is always a cost.
  744. The bible tells us what to do, our Father’s Spirit tells us how, when, with whom, etc… We desperately need both!
  745. They matter to us if we spend individual time with them, listen to them, and/or serve them.
  746. Those who are hungry do not desire extravagant meals and do not criticize the quality of their food.
  747. If you don’t believe you are sick, you will not seek help. If you aren’t confident in its potential benefit, you will not seek help.
  748. What did Jesus call Judas after his betrayal? (Mt 26.50)
  749. A Kingdom leader is reproduced in other men.
  750. A broken heart does not require extravagance to be satisfied.
  751. Grief, trial, illness, pain, loss, difficulty, affliction… followed by joy. A Kingdom pattern…
  752. Pursuing our dreams is not of our Father. He calls us to surrender them. Forsaking our dreams, however, is NOT forsaking life. It is, in fact, in surrendering our dreams to our Father that we find the life He created us for…
  753. “Why?” is perhaps the most important question and those wise often ask it.
  754. You are no one’s savior. No person will be your savior. There is only One who can save and transform.
  755. Living in humility does not make one happy; it makes one genuine/real/true.
  756. Effort + Time = Improvement
  757. Our enemies are powerful and numerous and seek to destroy our (or another’s) heart/life: self-satisfaction, inferiority, prosperity, fear, insecurity, superiority, apathy, comparison, anger, a critical spirit, the pursuit of pleasure, comfort, personal success… but greater is He within us… to know Him and to walk closely with Him is to overcome our enemies, which almost never are people…
  758. Mental/spiritual/physical health necessitates acknowledging our profound insignificance in this world combined with our profoundly significant value to Him…
  759. Courage is the foundation of a life of integrity.
  760. The grade and conditions of the road will affect how we feel about our journey as well as the rate of our progress. Observe and compare people ascending and descending at the same point on a steep hill.
  761. Beauty isn’t perfection, it’s better…
  762. As we delight in Him, He gives us new desires… Our old desires, dreams and ambitions are replaced with the desires, dreams and ambitions of those He loves (Ps 37.4)…
  763. Love is not spoken as much as it is demonstrated.
  764. Self-serving behavior typically brings immediate gain for self and always brings destruction for self or another.
  765. We were created with a thirst for peace and joy which can be satisfied only in Him. Don’t seek peace and joy where it can’t be found!
  766. No matter how clean you are, if you step in manure, you will stink. Even if you had just washed…
  767. We scatter seeds in every interaction. We control the seeds we scatter (love vs indifference, truth vs lies, grace vs judgement, etc). We have no control over the condition of the soil on which we scatter.
  768. We don’t bring Jesus to people. He is already working in each and we have the immense privilege of participating in what He is already doing…
  769. Res ipsa loquitur – a legal term, “it speaks for itself”. “Witness” – a legal term. Can our love, grace, humble service, etc be so passionate /radical /devoted to Jesus today that (to our wife/husband, to our kids and to all those we interact with) as to whether Jesus’ spirit lives in us, our credibility of a witness “res ipsa loquitur”?
  770. Being honest and being edifying are often in conflict. What we say (honest?) and how we say it (edifying?) must both remain equal priorities.
  771. Speaking the truth (what we say) in love (how we say it) is a Kingdom skill that is learned over much time and many mistakes.
  772. There are many different ways to respond to circumstances, occurrences, and words said. There are poor responses, certainly, but so many different good ways to respond.
  773. What we do not know and cannot do far surpasses what we do know and can do… Mental/spiritual/physical health necessitates acknowledging our profound insignificance in this world combined with our profoundly significant value to Him…
  774. I more need reminded today of what I already know to be true than I need to learn/feel/experience something new…
  775. We can do much good work independent of our Father…
  776. Humility can be lonely and painful road because so little of its traveler’s effort, skill, accomplishment is noticed.
  777. In relationship, more conversation is better. And more conversation typically means closer relationship.
  778. A life focused on outcasts is a life well-spent.
  779. Experience and demonstrated care gives one genuine authority far more than words.
  780. My Father has been so faithful to lead me by putting light on the path for my present step. He has been completely unfaithful to show me all I want to see further along the path.
  781. My Father has been so faithful to give me what I need to serve Him and those He has chosen for me to serve. He has been unfaithful in giving me all I want and ask Him for…
  782. Through much effort in conversation with your Father comes wisdom and direction.
  783. “If you love, you will be loved in return,” is a lie. No responses are certain. Yet devote yourself to love…
  784. We are called to love, give and serve not because we may receive something in return, but because the receiver will benefit.
  785. Many ingredients make a good pizza. Several are key.
  786. At every stage of your life, seek to have a Paul and a Timothy relationship.
  787. Burden-free is never trying to impress, never worrying about how much you’ve grown, and never worrying about doing something great for God.
  788. Many “Christians” read the Bible frequently, pray daily, are part of a church, read Christian books, listen to Christian music, say, “Praise the Lord” and other Christian phrases, and have no relationship with Jesus.
  789. Rationalization/superstition is the admission that life (or a certain circumstance) is beyond the control of people who want to portray themselves (even to themselves) as “in control”.
  790. The most important issue facing any of us in any circumstance (whether we understand or not) is, “How will I respond?”
  791. Much of our inner frustration with people can be traced to unrealistic expectations.
  792. Work in response to the delight that our Father already has in us.
  793. In drawing close and trusting our Father, we do the “work of God” and, in so doing, find that which we seek in serving Him.
  794. Millions of church-goers believe that following Jesus will improve their life. He said, however, that His followers would have radical disregard for their own life, rather devoting themselves to improving others’ lives….
  795. Happiness in this life is an idol for many “Christians”.
  796. A church is several or more Jesus-lovers walking together.
  797. Comparison is a primary tool for the proud, religious, and those not interested in God’s opinion.
  798. It’s not difficult to separate from the vine.  The challenge (and the fruit) is in remaining connected.
  799. A leader’s success depends entirely on the work of those he leads.
  800. There is no value in giving that which will not be received.
  801. It is painful to love and advise and to see your tried and true counsel rejected. You know the consequences that will follow.
  802. We often worship our experiences with God rather than He who arranges them.
  803. The Kingdom of God is about quality, not quantity. As is faith, trust, love, wisdom…
  804. A battle leader yells and yells during times of peace so that there is no mistaking his voice in the turmoil.
  805. Wisdom and the Kingdom are both about invitation and hunger. They are forced on no one and are found by those who hunger for them.
  806. You are seeding your soil every moment (by what you allow in through your eyes, ears, feelings, etc) and scattering seed to those around you with every interaction.
  807. There is no value in a farmer pulling on a young plant to encourage it to grow.
  808. Heaven will be about growing and nurturing relationships without the constraints of time.
  809. The favor or lack of favor you have with people is only partially within your control.
  810. Someone will ALWAYS disagree with you.
  811. Almost all of our Father’s promises are conditional. Focus on the condition and trust Him with the fulfillment of the promise.
  812. In knowing our Father’s will, certainty follows surrender of our hearts and lives to Him.
  813. Surrender is not sacrificial drudgery, but rather a pursuit prioritized in such a way that anything that would hinder that pursuit must go.
  814. Exercise great caution when you tell someone that in their decision they are either not following God’s direction or they are hearing errantly. To speak thusly, you must be surrendered and certain of God’s heart regarding the matter at hand or you will encourage the seeking of YOUR will over that of your Father.
  815. The pursuit of a renewed Kingdom mind is the pursuit of a humble branch – to remain connected and surrendered.
  816. A fruit-bearing branch is not heroic or worthy of praise. The vine grows and prepares the branch and uses it to mature the fruit. Without the vine, there is no fruit. Without the branch, the vine grows another. The branch is blessed to participate and be used to connect the fruit to the vine, nothing more.
  817. Are we to be the salt of the earth or the sugar of the earth?
  818. Our wise responses to confusing circumstances will benefit others and delight Our Father.
  819. Don’t waste energy on deciding whom to love. Love all and gently speak truth to all; to those who bless you, love you, encourage you, wound you, mock you, slander you…
  820. Like fire, money is a good servant but a destructive master. Anonymous
  821. Our perspective is temporal; God’s perspective is eternal.
  822. He completes His work in us with purpose and for another’s sake.
  823. We err if we define God’s goodness by present circumstances.
  824. Understanding blessing is every bit as difficult as understanding tragedy and hardship.
  825. Contentment is only recognized after experiencing discontentment.
  826. We (me!), who call ourselves “Christian” (and our “gospel” message), focus more on saving, preserving, protecting, extending, improving our life than forsaking it for the sake of others (exactly opposite of the One we claim to follow).
  827. All of the theology, truth, and understanding has NO value without love. Where are you spending your time and effort?
  828. Eat to live or live to eat. Have passion for your life or for another’s (TV, movies, celebrities, friends, family).
  829. All first impressions are a mixture of truth and deception.
  830. We can’t eliminate our flesh but we must minimize its influence. It can destroy us and others
  831. Theology can kill intimacy with God
  832. 3,000 years from now, we will still be awed by our Father’s ways and how different He is from us, His created beings
  833. None of the people that I will serve in Angola will have the ability to receive angioplasty.  With an average life expectancy of 40 years, most won’t have the privilege of experiencing coronary artery disease.
  834. His confounding love is life and life is found in no pursuit.
  835. That His love is greater than my flawed-ness and my unfaithfulness is the good news of His kingdom.
  836. He is ever gracious to prepare us for the task to which He calls us and preparation usually isn’t easy.
  837. ALL “thorns” have purpose.
  838. Kingdom paradox: to live in darkness is to focus on, pursue and serve that which is seen; to live in light is to focus on, pursue and serve that which is unseen…
  839. Jesus didn’t call us to study, but to love.  He didn’t call us to know about Him, but to know Him.
  840. Can bible study and bible teaching be a God-less pursuit?
  841. How many people can you truly love?
  842. We need to learn to “know what we believe and why we believe it”, but more we need to learn to love and be loved.
  843. No information has value without trust.
  844. Even with our enemies, we can always communicate with humility and sensitivity, with honor and respect.
  845. We are called to be witnesses, not preachers. Witnesses tell the truth and their word is or is not validated by their lives.
  846. Your life and care earn you the right to be heard.
  847. Expressing care and concern always has more value than a solution or a “fix”. This is especially true in marriage.
  848. Money can have tremendous value if given with wisdom, with Kingdom priorities, and with an outward focus.
  849. Helping isn’t always good; enthusiasm, passion and zeal require direction; giving can be harmful; preaching isn’t always appropriate; and love needs wisdom to be effective…
  850. Serving someone with a glass of water, or medication, or instruction certainly has a vital, though temporal impact, but how we serve gives eternal significance to our work.
  851. It is His (and our) care and concern that breaks up the hardened soil (heart), allowing the truth about Jesus to germinate within.
  852. Kingdom leadership relieves burden, rather than placing burden, performance requirements, etc.
  853. It is not our circumstances that determine whether we believe in God and His love, but rather our faith and trust, in the One who works all things for good for those that are His, that give purpose to our circumstances.
  854. A  compassionate heart is often the fruit of pain and brokenness.
  855. True comfort usually comes from one who has been there. (2Cor 1:4)
  856. Interestingly, his Father never answered Job’s questions, but rather revealed to Job who He was, and this was sufficient to restore Job’s trust and confidence in Him, as his need to understand lost significance in light of knowing God.
  857. We can pursue understanding with our severely limited perspective, or we can seek to know and walk with the Author of life, trusting His perspective and wisdom rather than our own.  The former leads nowhere, the latter to eternal life and peace.  Jesus promised tribulation and difficulty and He also promised abundant life in the midst of this difficult life (not the removal of difficulty!), for those who trust Him.
  858. Are you today seeking pleasant circumstances or are you seeking to walk with the One who made you (no matter the circumstances)?
  859. Being part of our Father’s caring, supportive, encouraging, and uplifting family is such a beautiful way to journey through this minefield of life, where injustice and pain are so prevalent.
  860. Those who have faced pain know the value of empathy and are less likely to respond with trite answers and bible verses.  They don’t try to “fix it”, but know how to “come along side” those hurting. We so often need an arm around our shoulder instead of answers and solutions.
  861. So few of us live with the daily realization that we ARE so blessed because we ARE so loved, and that we give for the benefit of another (so that they will experience the same love and affection that we ALREADY know) and for the pleasure of the One who already so loves us and HAS blessed us.
  862. Experiencing darkness now and then sure helps one appreciate again what a difference it makes to walk in the light.
  863. Sometimes the best thing we can do is stop and wait for direction from the Light.
  864. In whatever we face, the same daily choices, with the ensuing consequences, lie before us.  We will seek to understand in order to believe (not possible, given our human limitations), or we will trust Him (“I trust you, Jesus”), despite our inability to understand.  We will live dependently on the One who made us (trusting His purposes and wisdom), or we will live independently of Him.
  865. Especially in trying circumstances and difficult decisions, our Father would tell us to look at it again with Him in the morning.  A new day always brings with it accompanying fresh insight and perspective.
  866. We love to emphasize and pursue that which we can measure, and most kingdom qualities are simply not measurable!
  867. Kingdom love, in contrast to the love of this world, has nothing to do with feelings and everything to do with prioritizing another’s life and interests before my own.
  868. My focus (chosen attitude) can give or eliminate the power of my own blemishes and weakness.  In our daily lives, we can choose to focus inwardly (on our blemishes, failures, inabilities, etc) or outwardly on the people before us, our Father, the glory of His creation, where we are going, etc.  The latter makes us a useful tool in our Father’s hands.  Too much of the former keeps us in His tool belt.  We so often seek God to remove our blemishes, weaknesses, flaws, etc while His heart is for us to draw close to Him so that His profound, unconditional love for us gives us the ability to see beyond them.
  869. Jesus and His followers always married our relationship with God with our relationship with others.
  870. “People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care”. (not original)
  871. There is a time in our lives for the wind to blow and a time for calm (inactivity).  Same in our every day, as we see God obviously touch someone in one encounter, and see little in another.
  872. Loving the “unlovely” is our Father’s specialty and must be ours, as well.
  873. it is often personal affliction which best equips us to minister with Jesus’ sensitivity and compassion.
  874. In difficult interactions, we must remember to dialogue with our Father and not base our response on how we feel.   Our encounter with that person (as well as their attitude) did not surprise God.  He allowed the interaction with purpose.
  875. Our flesh wants to be “right” (our own opinions can be way too important).  As christians, we often study, argue, rationalize and justify our opinions/lives in order to be “right”, all the while living in the flesh.  Jesus wants us to live in humility, surrendered to Him while considering others’ opinions/lives as more important than our own.  Our conversation changes radically when our motive is to love instead of arguing a point, seeking a convert, preaching the truth, etc
  876. The beauty (and incredible miracle) of the church is that our Father uses broken, weathered, imperfect vessels (me!) to draw people to Himself.
  877. Never , never, never be critical of another without honor and respect.
  878. If I had no provisions, food, hope for change, etc, would I still rejoice?
  879. His view of us is that we are quite flawed and quite beautiful
  880. Our words really mean little compared to how we say them and the actions of our lives that either validate or negate what we say.
  881. Fear and control often yield positive short-term results, but result in long-term wounds.
  882. Isn’t it so honoring to have your life, your opinions, your possessions, your dreams, etc cared for and valued by another?
  883. The Kingdom is about freedom rather than control and grace rather than fear.
  884. Fear kills love and love kills fear.
  885. It is far easier to begin well than it is to maintain and finish well.  Christian ministry is full of people who love the thrill of beginning new works and ministries.  The part of any race/work/relationship where we feel the best (more energy, more grace, more enthusiasm) is the beginning.  Our preparation and commitment are tested later in the race/work/relationship.
  886. Our earnings, our things, our energy, our time, our dreams… are not given to us to enjoy, but to give away to someone of our choosing.
  887. We are healthy when our expectations (of ourselves, others, circumstances, etc) match reality.
  888. A broken, split piece of wood burns so much more brightly and gives so much more heat than one whole and unbroken.
  889. His personal letters are written not to theologians for exhaustive study, but to those simple folks who simply seek to know Him better.
  890. Loving the crowd vs loving people… So many church leaders love the attention and adulation of the crowd, but won’t love and invest their time and effort in building relationships with a few individual people (the front lines of Kingdom work).
  891. Downward mobility, becoming less important, more of a servant, less known, etc is our journey with Jesus… less worldly successful, less prosperous, less known, less esteem from people…  more unheralded (no one knows) serving and giving, more actions with less words, more genuine, more time loving individuals…
  892. Paul counted all good things as loss in light of his pursuit of knowing Jesus more intimately.
  893. How we worship and bring our hearts to a place of surrender before our King is not nearly as important as the surrendered heart.  For some, we best bow through music, for others, it is in meditating on His word, some meet Him best in the presence of other worshippers, others surrender best in solitude.  Some draw close to Jesus in a more formal service, others through informal interaction, some are stirred to surrender through teaching, others through prayer.  Some need long periods alone with Jesus, others walk best with Him in constant interaction with Him throughout the day.  Our Father has given us so many ways to draw close to Him.  We each use different methods in different seasons of our lives.  Variety helps any relationship.  How can you draw close to Him today?
  894. Are we leaders, trainers, disciplers, teachers, healers, builders, messengers of the Gospel/Good News, etc or… are we foot-washing, humble, honoring servants of the Angolan people?  Do we work from a motive of love for the people we serve or do we serve to feel good about ourselves?
  895. He is the source of all good things and is so deserving of our praise and gratitude.
  896. The arm and the foot are unified, yet function very differently, and their perspectives are SO different.  Allow for differences and walk in love with each different person.
  897. When you experience something good from God, don’t universalize it and expect/desire everyone to do/experience the same. People are different and journeys are different.
  898. A thankful heart is the source of mental and spiritual (and likely physical) health.
  899. Walking in unity does NOT mean walking in an identical manner or agreeing on everything (impossible with honest journeyers).  It means following the same leader!
  900. All food tastes good to the hungry.
  901. I have seen theology (study of God and bible) produce arrogance rather than humility, leaders rather than servants, and division rather than unity. Yet we greatly need reminded of all He has said.
  902. KNOWING His love for us results in a love for God and our fellow man that is not possible without a certainty of His love and care for us.
  903. Though we can study and preach and teach we CANNOT love without knowing His love first.
  904. If we don’t love the brother who is offending us, we don’t love God.
  905. God has made His reality clear all around us, if we will see it.
  906. I understand so little and my challenge is to trust either in my Father or in my understanding.
  907. With each exposure to pain, whether in our life or in another’s, we choose our response.  We can deny reality, wish it away, call evil everything unpleasant, or trust God and that His wisdom and purposes are beyond us.
  908. Meditating on the world without me is a humbling, healthy exercise.  I am loved but not essential to the outworking of God’s plans.
  909. To “make” a disciple is to love a person, placing their lives and interests above our own. THEN, while loving them, we share about our incredible Father and help them to live in relationship with Him. Sadly, the church today often seeks to make disciples through teaching and doctrine, without love.
  910. A key to cross-cultural adaptation… and to marriage, parenting, friendship, leadership, and disciple-making: “Shut up and listen”.
  911. Discipleship is more modeling than teaching. Who we are has greater impact than what we say…
  912. If studying God’s word is our priority and our passion, we build on sand. If our priority is to know a little and do what we know, we build on rock. We need to know less and do more.
  913. Contentment is not dependent on circumstances. Adam and Eve were discontented in EDEN!
  914. Communicate grace (favor) in your every word and action.
  915. Our Father communicates far more nonverbally that verbally… so do we.
  916. We make people objects to feel better about ourselves and we manipulate objects for our benefit.  We honor people and we give people freedom to make their own choices.
  917. Living in surrender to Jesus is living with the freedom to be completely genuine, and this genuine-ness and freedom to be yourself (blemishes, weaknesses and all) is lived out in a community of people with the same motive for living (loving the weak and flawed, as are we…).
  918. Our Father so often allows us to wander in our own choices (chasing distractions) until we arrive at a place where we realize we are lost without Him (again), at which point we are willing to yield to His guidance and to receive the encouragement, correction, or instruction that He has for us.  He loves being our rescuer, our counselor, our helper and doesn’t hold our human-ness against us any more than we think less of a two year old for messing his/her pants while in “training”.
  919. Skyscrapers are built one brick at a time, long journeys consist of many small steps, and Jesus impacts the world one broken, loved heart at a time. Today focus on loving one person and change the world…
  920. Health is to know you are loved and to know you are flawed, weak and needy.
  921. Our Father loves providing new beginnings for our ever-wandering hearts!  His mercy is new every morning.
  922. As soon as we expect someone to behave or react a certain way, we have made them an object and ourself a god.
  923. That we know Jesus is demonstrated in HOW we do more than in WHAT we do, in HOW we speak more than in WHAT we say…
  924. It is the radical difference in our love, not in our morality or “goodness” that opens people’s eyes and hearts to the “unseen” Kingdom of God.
  925. Experience much or experience deeply.
  926. Affliction and success both reveal our true allegiance.
  927. Develop the habit of pausing before responding, whether in circumstance or in conversation. The fool lives reactively, by “instinct” or feeling.
  928. Neglect is the biggest killer of beautiful, intimate relationships (and marriages).  It usually does its work through its ever faithful partner, distraction.
  929. With genuine Jesus-lovers, masks are off and every screwed up person in the bunch (all of them) admits freely their weaknesses and screwed-up-ness and lives in constant worship of their Father for HIS goodness (not their own).  They are ever living out grace (unmerited favor), having received the same so many times.
  930. Life is in Him, and Him alone.  We wander, and then we realize again that Life is not in church, religion, healing, prosperity, ease, bible knowledge, friends, being married, a better job, becoming a missionary, having a big ministry, etc, etc.  Life is in Him.  Walking with Him, sharing our life with Him, surrendering to Him, worshipping Him…
  931. All feel. The wise consider which feelings to express to whom, how and when. The fool expresses his/her feelings freely.
  932. As to theology, we can seek knowledge of God as a means to love Him and relationally know Him and walk with Him better, or we can seek knowledge of God as an end. Knowledge about God, apart from surrender and humble relationship, is a primary means of arrogance in many churches today.
  933. Fear kills love and love kills fear.
  934. Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do…
  935. Loving Him in adversity, loss and pain always brings Him more glory than loving Him in ease.
  936. Our lives demonstrate what we believe. Our words demonstrate what we want to believe…
  937. Impatience causes wise people to do foolish things.
  938. Jesus washed Judas’ feet!
  939. We can judge actions and behavior as healthy or unhealthy, but we are completely incapable of accurately judging another’s motives
  940. We never know the path that one has walked when we meet them on the way.
  941. When we look back critically on a decision or response we made in the past, we are judging another person with the same name.
  942. We make our decisions with the light that we have at that moment (life’s chaos limits our ability to see anything with complete clarity) and there is nothing “wrong” with looking back on a situation with more light (hindsight knows what was unknown at the time) but we are wise to remember that judging someone (including ourselves) in different light can be unfair, inaccurate, and destructive.
  943. Because of our human-ness, our life is lived in an arena of less-than-perfect light, and we must give ourselves and others grace, much grace, to err and/or to see things differently than we do…
  944. Because our very human perspective will always be quite limited, because this life is like walking through a minefield, and because only light gives clarity to darkness, Jesus, in a phenomenal demonstration of love, offers to walk with us every step (“I am with you always”) and He wrote to us many letters (He called both His letters to us and Himself, “light”) to help guide us on this challenging, foggy and wondrous journey…
  945. We must never receive/accept the judgments and labels of others, as they are made with the same ignorance and lack of clarity.
  946. No one understands you or your motives at any given time
  947. In the grand scheme of things, we each (and our activity) are quite insignificant and humility embraces this reality, while arrogance disregards it.
  948. The kingdom of God is about Him and His profound love for flawed creatures.  It is the grace and mercy of God that make this messed up creature smile and worship, and it is this same grace and mercy (not my goodness or that of Moses, David, Paul, etc) shown to others that will open their eyes to see my Father’s beauty…
  949. Grace (favor apart from performance) and mercy (favor despite poor behavior) are beautiful, indeed, and are rarely found outside of our Father’s Kingdom (unfortunately they are often absent within His church, as well).
  950. Sabbath is about trust (as are all of the commandments)
  951. Because of my hard-headedness, repentance must happen often, as I have such a propensity to walk independently of my Father. Every day I both wander from Him and follow Him.
  952. The Kingdom of Heaven is centered on Him, His glory, His love, His abilities, etc and life is found in Him and not in me and my earthly understanding.  When I remember this and focus on my relationship with Him and His perspective toward me, I know life and peace and, when I forget, I know emptiness, confusion, frustration and fatigue.
  953. The message of the Kingdom is that this same Godhead has now included us in the love they know for One another.______________________
  954. ______________________
  955. Proverbs of others:
  956. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.  Corrie ten Boom
  957. People tend to believe the views of those they trust. – Aristotle.
  958. Humility is more about how I treat others than how I think about myself. – John Dickson
  959. We all walk with a limp. Danny Meyer
  960. People are complex. We can win in one area, but be at a complete loss in another part of our lives. And we can be completely unaware of the gap. It takes time and patience to work these things out in our lives, and to help those around us. R. Bergen
  961. Everyone needs help, only some realize it. -Drunk administrator in Otchinjau
  962. Jesus today has many that love His heavenly kingdom, but few who carry His cross; many who long for comfort, few who long for distress. Plenty of people He finds to share His banquet, few to share His fast. Everyone desires to take part in His rejoicing, but few are willing to suffer anything for His sake. There are many that follow Jesus to the breaking of the bread, few as far as drinking the cup of suffering; many that revere His miracles, few that follow Him in the indignity of the cross. T. á Kempis
  963. Perhaps the greatest thing to fear is getting what you want and missing what God wants.
    E. Peterson
  964. Only a minority stagger about with the delirious joy of the man who found the buried treasure.
    B. Manning
  965. The most difficult part of mature faith is to allow yourself to be the object of God’s delight.
    A. Jones
  966. If we could count the fears, both great and small, that once hounded us, and then thank God for each dread outcome that never materialized, we would reach no end of gratitude. J. Kavanaugh
  967. Purity paves the way to intimacy. A. Stanley
  968. Men will always be making mistakes as long as they are striving after something. Goethe
  969. “Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, and awe me in every crevice of your universe… Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason of it all; I only ask to share the wonder of it all.” J.A. Heschel
  970. A saint is not someone who is good but someone who experiences the goodness of God.
    Merton
  971. My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it. Augustine
  972. More precious to me than all your prayers, works and penances is that you would believe that I love you. Jesus to M. Kempe, 1667
  973. The greatest fault of the church of this generation is its lack of self-evaluation. A.W. Tozer
  974. All people are moving in one of two directions; toward God or away from Him. R. Nathan
  975. Sorrow and suffering are often our companions while we journey with our Shepherd. H. Hurnard
  976. There are two kinds of people: those who look at life and complain of what is not there and those who look at life and rejoice in what is there. Fenelon
  977. Most problems do not require a solution, but rather an adjustment. D. Stranges
  978. The opposite of intolerance is not tolerance, but love.        J. McDowell
  979. It’s so hard to see, when my eyes are on me.            K. Green
  980. I’ve never had a selfless thought. C.S. Lewis
  981. To seek love and fulfillment outside of God is to dig wells where there is no water. D. Meyer
  982. Wherever you are, be all there.        D. Stranges
  983. One friend in a lifetime is much, two are many; three are hardly possible. H. Adams
  984. We will always be disappointing somebody.      D. Stranges
  985. We teach what we know; we reproduce who we are. J Maxwell
  986. When you train up a leader in love, encouragement, instruction, and example, when he is “older” (and leading), he will not depart from doing the same. H. Hansen
  987. Our lack of clarity and understanding in this life (“we see through a glass dimly”) serves a primary Kingdom purpose: we remain dependent on our Father’s leading. T. Price
  988. Truth is a cold and bitter drink and few drink it undiluted. -loosely from “Byzantium”
  989. What God says to those who make “mistakes” in ministry, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” H. Hansen
  990. I believe in Jesus, not because it’s easy, but because it’s true. J.E. Tada
  991. The majority of us do not enthrone God, we enthrone common sense. We make our decisions and then ask the real God to bless our god’s decision. Oswald Chambers
  992. To live is to change, and to have lived well is to have changed often. J.H. Newman
  993. Jesus is the divine Enough. B. Manning
  994. The usefulness of my life is His concern, not mine. D. Voillaume
  995. Prefer contempt to honor, ridicule to praise, and humiliation to glory. B. Manning
  996. I am what I am in God’s sight and nothing more. Francis of Assisi
  997. A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the Kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution. J. Oswald Sanders
  998. Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can. John Wesley
  999. All things have a purpose and they help again and again to bring us back to the Father. Alfred Depp – Jesuit priest facing death in a German concentration camp
  1000. How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter. Woody Allen
  1001. It’s hard to imagine how a religion steeped in so much pain and sacrifice turned into a promise for euphoria. Donald Miller
  1002. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliott
  1003. “Nothing, therefore, happens unless the Omnipotent wills it to happen: He either permits it to happen, or He brings it about Himself.” Augustine
  1004. “If a man loves all men passionately, but says only about one man that him he cannot love, the man who says this is no more a Christian, because his love is not all-embracing.” Marcay
  1005. The risk-free life is a victory-free life. J. Buckingham
  1006. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  1007. In my experience, 95% of the believers who face the test of external persecution pass it, while 95% of those who face the test of prosperity fail it. Romanian church leader
  1008. A Vietnamese evangelist said, “We are to stay in the first grade, grateful to Jesus, repentant for our sins, expectant of his coming. Don’t graduate or you’ll leave the basics behind.”
  1009. Everyone in this world has only two choices –  they can choose to do God’s will by co-operating with God, or they can choose to defy God and do his will unknowingly. Open Doors
  1010. Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can. J. Wesley
  1011. Because we are human, we yearn to understand, but because we are human, we cannot understand. Anonymous
  1012. If your compassion does not extend beyond your prayer time, it isn’t genuine. Stephen Davey
  1013. “You know, Christians are the easiest religion to deal with, because you are all so good at stoning each other.” Government worker in China
  1014. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Henry Ford
  1015. There are two types of people: those who say to God, “Your will be done,” and those to whom God says,”All right then, have it your way”. C.S. Lewis
  1016. We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. – Bertha Calloway
  1017. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. Thomas Aquinas
  1018. “I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.” -Mother Teresa
  1019. “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee”

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