Quotes of the Week 12

From Manners and Customs of Bible Times
Fred H. Wight

Ability to separate the Sheep;

When it becomes necessary to separate several flocks of sheep, one shepherd after another will stand up and call out: Tahhoo! Tahhoo! or a similar call of his own choosing. The sheep lift up their heads, and after a general scramble, begin following each one his own shepherd. They are thoroughly familiar with their own shepherd’s tone of voice. Strangers have often used the same call but their attempts to get the sheep to follow them always fail. The words of Jesus are indeed true to Eastern Shepherd life when he said: “The sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4,5)

I want to be a lamb that only follows my shepherd (Jesus) and knows His true voice amongst all the noise of false voices.

Quotes of the Week 11

Real Christianity (A Paraphrase in Modern English of A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed  Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes in This Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. Published in 1797. by William Wilberforce, Esq. Member of Parliament for the County of York – Revised and Updated by Dr. Bob Beltz (Regal From Gospel Light, Ventura, Ca., USA)

In 1797 long descriptive titles for books were in vogue. I’m amazed how up to date the issues of Wilberforce’s day are. I’m posting the following from the book. I’m finding it’s one of those books where I want to share every other paragraph! The following is from the first chapter titled, The State of Contemporary Christianity (Cultural Christianity, What the Bible Says, the Problem of Ignorance)

“Understanding Christianity is not something that comes without effort. Almost every example in the natural world teaches us this principle. The very way we must exert effort to enjoy all the good things God has provided illustrates this lesson. No one expects to reach the heights of success in education, the arts, finance or athletics without a great deal of hard work and perseverance. We often use the expression “You have to really want it!” Growing in our faith requires the same. Christianity is based on a revelation from God that is filled with information that the natural mind could never have imagined. The wealth of this knowledge will never be mastered without diligent effort.

Carefully studying the Bible will reveal to us our own ignorance of these things. It will challenge us to reject a superficial understanding of Christianity and impress on us that it is imperative not to simply be religious or moral, but also to master the Bible intellectually, integrate its principles into our lives morally, and put into action what we have learned practically.

The Bible is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. It tells us of the greatest gift that men and women have longed for through-out the ages and of which the prophets spoke about for centuries. When Jesus finally came, His arrival was hailed by the angelic host with the exclamation, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). How can you measure the value of the good news of Christ? It is spoken of in the Bible as light in the darkness, freedom from slavery and life from death. Look at how much the Early Church valued the message. They received it with great joy and overflowing gratitude.

Surely all these things should help us come to terms with the inexpressible value of true faith. The greatest gift of God is often either rejected outright or treated as if it is of little worth. But if we really began to study the Bible, we would be impressed with the proper value of the gift.”

Quotes of the Week 10

A prayer of George Whitefield:

“Yeah that we shall see the great Head of the Church once more . . . raise up unto Himself certain young men whom He may use in this glorious employ. And what manner of men will they be? Men mighty in the Scriptures, their lives dominated by a sense of the greatness, the majesty and holiness of God, and their minds and hearts aglow with the great truths of the doctrines of grace. They will be men who have learned what it is to die to self, to human aims and personal ambitions; men who are willing to be ‘fools for Christ’s sake’, who will bear reproach and falsehood, who will labor and suffer, and whose supreme desire will be, not to gain earth’s accolades, but to win the Master’s approbation when they appear before His awesome judgment seat. They will be men who will preach with broken hearts and tear-filled eyes, and upon whose ministries God will grant an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, and who will witness ‘signs and wonders following’ in the transformation of multitudes of human lives.”

Since we are just a few days away from 2019 I’m posting these questions that Georg Whitefield used to evaluate himself. Who is George Whitefield?

George Whitefield was probably the most famous religious figure of the eighteenth century. Newspapers called him the “marvel of the age.” Whitefield was a preacher capable of commanding thousands on two continents through the sheer power of his oratory. In his lifetime, he preached at least 18,000 times to perhaps 10 million hearers. You can read more about him here.

George Whitefield’s Diary:
Questions used to evaluate himself every day (assigning a rating from 1 to 9)
Have I –

1. Been fervent [had warmth of feeling] in private prayer?
2. Used stated hours of prayer [morning, noon, and evening]?
3. Used [spontaneous prayer to God] every hour?
4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to God’s glory?
5. After any pleasure, immediately given thanks [to God]?
6. Planned business for the day?
7. Been simple [avoided luxury and ostentation] and recollected [stayed aware of God’s presence] in everything?
8. Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?
9. Been [humble], cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?
10. Been proud, vain, unchaste or enviable of others [in my thoughts]?
11. Recollected in eating and drinking? Thankful? Temperate [disciplined] in sleep?
12. Taken time for giving thanks according to [William] Law’s rules?
13. Been diligent in studies?
14. Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone?
15. Confessed all sins?

HT: Timothy Keller

Quotes of the Week 9

“A child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where he was homeless
Are you and I at home:
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost—how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.” –G.K. Chesterton, “The House of Christmas,”

No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

John Piper: “You never, never, never outgrow your need for this gospel. You don’t begin the Christian life with this and then leave it behind. God strengthens us with the gospel till the day we die.”

Quotes of the Week 8

Look up, your redemption is drawing near:

“Let’s not deceive ourselves. “Your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28), whether we know it or not, and the only question is: Are we going to let it come to us too, or are we going to resist it? Are we going to join the movement that comes down from heaven to earth, or are we going to close ourselves off? Christmas is coming-whether it is with us or without us depends on each and every one of us.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger-Reflections on Advent and Christmas

“Cast yourself on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only one who has walked through death and come out on the other side.” —Alistair Begg
Listen to the full message at http://www.TFL.org

“He has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee’? And again, ‘I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me’?” (Heb. 1:4-5).

“Jesus is better than the angels because Christ was more than a messenger—He was a Son.” John MacArthur

“It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ. One look at HIs dear face, all sorrow will erase, so bravely run the race until we see Christ.” Alistair Begg

And on the light side…

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song over hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

~J.R.R.Tolkien

Quotes of the Week 7

Quotes this week are from a couple of books by C.S. Lewis. The photo above is from Addison’s Walk on the grounds of Magdalene College in Oxford where C.S. Lewis walked with J.R.R. Tolkien. Photos below the quotes are from our road trip back from Bothell last Tuesday.

This quote comes from Letters to an American Lady ~by C.S. Lewis

Another thing that annoys me is when people say “Why did you give that man money? He’ll probably go and drink it.” My reply is “But if I’d kept [it] I should probably have drunk it.

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C.S. Lewis:

If we were perfected, prayer would not be a duty, it would be delight. Some day, please God, it will be. The same is true of many other behaviours which now appear as duties. If I loved my neighbor as myself, most of the actions which are now my moral duty would flow out of me as spontaneously as song from a lark or fragrance from a flower. Why is this not so yet? Well, we know, don’t we? Aristotle has taught us that delight is the “bloom” on an unimpeded activity. But the very activities for which we were created are, while we live on earth, variously impeded: by evil in ourselves or in others. Not to practise them is to abandon our humanity. To practise them spontaneously and delightfully is not yet possible. The situation creates the category of duty, the whole specifically moral realm.

It exists to be transcended. Here is the paradox of Christianity. As practical imperatives for here and now the two great commandments have to be translated “Behave as if you loved God and man.” For no man can love because he is told to. Yet obedience on this practical level is not really obedience at all. And if a man really loved God and man, once again this would hardly be obedience; for if he did, he would be unable to help it. Thus the command really says to us, “Ye must be born again.” Till then, we have duty, morality, the Law. A schoolmaster, as St Paul says, to bring us to Christ. We must expect no more of it than of a schoolmaster; we must allow it no less…

But the school-days, please God, are numbered. There is no morality in heaven. The angels never knew (from within) the meaning of the word ought, and the blessed dead have long since gladly forgotten it. This is why Dante’s Heaven is so right, and Milton’s, with its military discipline so silly.

…In the perfect and eternal world the Law will vanish. But the results of having lived faithfully under it will not.

I am therefore not really deeply worried by the fact prayer is at present a duty, and even an irksome one.

 

Tuesdays with Moisi will resume in the New Year.

Tomorrow I’ll share my MGCC Christmas Party Post.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend as we continue in this Advent season.

Quotes of the Week 6

My quotes this week are taken from the writings of George MacDonald and a current quote from a blog.

George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish Victorian novelist, began his adult life as a clergyman and always considered himself a poet first of all. His unorthodox views resulted in a very short career in the pulpit, after which he turned to writing in earnest. He initially attracted notice for poetry and his adult fantasy, Phantastes, but once he turned to the writing of realistic novels in the early 1860s, his name became widely known throughout Great Britain and the U.S.  You can read more about him in this article I’m quoting, here.

Here are some quotes from some of his books or from him…

The things that can be shaken, said Andrew, as if thinking with himself “may last for a time. But they will at length be shaken to pieces, so that the things which cannot be shaken may emerge as what they truly are. Whatever we call religion will vanish when we see God face to face.”

From The Landlady’s Master ~ George MacDonald

The Curate of Glaston, by George MacDonald

“But perhaps even then you had more knowledge which, they say, only life can give.”

“I have it now in any case. But of that everyone has enough who lives his life. Those who gain no experience are those who shirk the King’s highway for fear of encountering the Deity seated by the roadside.”

From Lilith by MacDonald, a book I had trouble understanding. This quote, however, I understood and stand convicted by it…

“I sighed – and regarded with wonder my past self, which preferred the company of book or pen to that of man or woman, which, if the author of a tale I was enjoying appeared, would wish him away that I might return to his story. I had chosen the dead rather than the living, the thing thought rather than the thing thinking! “Any man,” I said now, “is more than the greatest of books!” I had not cared for my live brothers and sisters and now I was left without even the dead to comfort me!”

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give.  ~George MacDonald

I definitely related better to his more realistic novels but I’m no C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien. 🙂

A quote from the author’s of the blog Take Them a Meal about our Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations:

A beautiful cookbook for your coffee table as well as a practical resource for real life events. The cookbook includes devotional reflections, personal stories and recipes divided into sections to celebrate life’s events. A few of my favorite sections are recipes for celebrating birth, milestones, hospitality and a life well lived. Author royalties go to nourish children around the world.

Shared from the book, ‘When we face illness in the family, find ourselves housebound, or lose a loved one, there’s nothing more appreciated than a meal prepared with love and delivered to our door.’

This was fun to see on this popular blog called Take Them a Meal. Our cookbook, Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations, is one of their 7 favorite gifts for 2018!