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Are You New?

From Oswald Chambers: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
What idea have you of the salvation of your soul? The experience of salvation means that in your actual life things are really altered, you no longer look at things as you used to; your desires are new, old things have lost their power. One of the touchstones of experience is - Has God altered the thing that matters? If you still hanker after the old things, it is absurd to talk about being born from above, you are juggling with yourself. If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the alteration manifest in your actual life and reasoning, and when the crisis comes you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you did it. It is this complete and amazing alteration that is the evidence that you are a saved soul.
What difference has my salvation a…

Having a Bad Day.

I love this story. I'll miss Barney and his antics.

A Hymn for Today

Be Not Afraid
Be not afraid, ’tis I, ’tis I,
Though the storm rages wild;
In thy sore need I’m passing by,
Off’ring to help thee, hear thy cry—
Be of good cheer, My child.”
“Be not afraid, ’tis I,
Be not afraid, ’tis I”;
Though wild winds blowing,
My bark o’erflowing,
God rules in earth and sky:
“Be not afraid, ’tis I,
Be not afraid, ’tis I”;
The storm can’t harm my trusting soul,
For Jesus walks the waves that roll;
His voice I hear, which calms my fear,
’Tis I, be not afraid.”
Be not afraid, ’mid pressing foes,
Jesus is watching near;
He all thy deepest sorrow knows,
Walked every step thy pathway goes;
Trust Him, then; do not fear.
Be not afraid,
He knows thy heart,
And He doth care for thee;
Of all thy grief He shares a part,
Stands by thy side,
He’ll not depart,
If thou wilt faithful be.
Be not afraid,
O helpless one,
Trust in His boundless grace;
Say from the heart,
“Thy will be done,
Finish the work Thou hast begun,
Bring me to see Thy face.”

Words: Barney E Warren (1911)

Vote

"In the end God alone can save a nation. When God chooses to work in a nation, He always does it through the individual choice of people."
Author Mary Farrar

Oh, No!

I saw the most alarming item in our church bulletin yesterday: Daylight Savings Time ends this week. Words fail in the attempt to describe how great is the cloud of despair that gathers on the horizon. Sigh.

I've tried to ignore the way October is speeding to a close. But alas, it can be denied no more, and with great trepidation I acknowledge my least favorite time of the year is just around the corner. So I am buying some new jammie sweats today and the giant vat of hot chocolate from Costco in what will surely be a vain effort to find comfort. Good thing I don't live in Minnesota.

I should have seen it coming, since my yearly fall habits have begun to creep in. Some of them are....
I have begun to crave bologna. This stems from the fond childhood memory in which we drove to the only truly cold place nearby, Palomar Mountain, to play in the five minutes of snow that falls yearly. We would always take a thermos of hot chocolate and bologna on white bread with mustard. I…

Don't Forfeit Your Peace

Don'tcha just love Elisabeth Elliot?

It would not be possible to exaggerate the importance hymns and spiritual songs have played in my spiritual growth. One of the latter, familiar to most of you, has this line: "O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer" (Joseph Scriven). Prayerlessness is one of many ways by which we can easily forfeit the peace God wants us to have. I've been thinking of some other ways. Here's a sampling:
Resent God's ways.
Worry as much as possible.
Pray only about things you can't manage by yourself.
Refuse to accept what God gives.
Look for peace elsewhere than in Him.
Try to rule your own life.
Doubt God's word.
Carry all your cares.


If you'd rather not forfeit your peace, here are eight ways to find it (antidotes to the above eight):
"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them" (Psalm 119:165 KJV). "Circumstances a…

Looking Up

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Mark 14:62- Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."

Buh-Bye

Summer is officially over at 8:44 this morning, which happens to be the time I am typing this. It is fall, a season that brings out the best and worst of me.

I like fall, for some reason this time of year always feels more like New Years to me than January. Maybe that comes from being five and walking to school with my mom in matching mother-daughter dresses for the first day of kindergarten. The most significant thing I learned that year-paste tasted good. September is the month of new, new school supplies, clothes and schedules. As I grew up and became a mom myself, my life revolved around the "new" in my daughters life: her new school supplies, her new clothes, her new running shoes for cross country and track, her new schedule.

She's married now, so I'm back to my own season of "new" again. New ministry, projects, and studies. And since I'm on the far side of mid forties this year, a new physical weirdness about once a week. It's an exciting seaso…

Spiritual Health by Dr. Warren Wiersbe

I just got done reading about a million horrible stories on every major news outlet on the Internet. This is something I do the same way I eat potato chips: I start out tasting them but pretty soon I'm just plowing through them mindlessly. Today, as often happens with the potato chips, I feel sick over what I just took in and how much time I spent doing it. Having my head full of this stuff and the emotions it provokes is NOT what I needed to fill up with today, especially in light of some stuff on the days agenda. I needed not to be reminded of how vain, shallow and wicked man is, but rather how Holy, Sovereign and Perfect God and His ways are. So now I need cleansing and a nutritious meal, graciously provided by God through Warren Wiersbe's book "Prayers, Praise and Promises".

Read Psalm 105:1-4
Nutritionists remind us that we must have the minimum daily requirements of vitamins and minerals if we are to be physically healthy. Similarly, David gives God's …

The Lust for Security

From Elisabeth Elliot......

Once we have set ourselves to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth, which is what Christians are meant to be, it is incongruous for us to continue to insist upon the sort of security the world tries to guarantee. Our security lies not in protecting ourselves from suffering, but in putting ourselves fully into the hands of God. The desire for physical and material security makes us sly and hard. No. We must be like little children. The child in its father's arms is not worried. It lies quietly at rest because it trusts its father.

We disobey sometimes because we say it is impossible to do what God asks. Impossible? Perhaps what we mean is impossible to do that and keep our security, impossible to obey without tremendous cost, or at least tremendous risk. Where, then, will we find safety? Is it likely that we will find it elsewhere than in the arms of the Father?
Teach me to rest in your everlasting arms. Make me know that all other security is illusion.

Christ-Awareness

More Chambers on rest. . .
and I will give you rest —Matthew 11:28
Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once, asking Him to re-establish your rest. Never allow anything to remain in your life that is causing the unrest. Think of every detail of your life that is causing the disintegration as something to fight against, not as something you should allow to remain. Ask the Lord to put awareness of Himself in you, and your self-awareness will disappear. Then He will be your all in all. Beware of allowing your self-awareness to continue, because slowly but surely it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is satanic. Don’t allow yourself to say, "Well, they have just misunderstood me, and this is something over which they should be apologizing to me; I’m sure I must have this cleared up with them already." Learn to leave others alone regarding this. Simply ask the Lord to give you Christ-awareness, and He will steady you until your com…

Self-Awareness

Come to Me . . . —Matthew 11:28
God intends for us to live a well-rounded life in Christ Jesus, but there are times when that life is attacked from the outside. Then we tend to fall back into self-examination, a habit that we thought was gone. Self-awareness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of our life in God, and self-awareness continually produces a sense of struggling and turmoil in our lives. Self-awareness is not sin, and it can be produced by nervous emotions or by suddenly being dropped into a totally new set of circumstances. Yet it is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him. Anything that disturbs our rest in Him must be rectified at once, and it is not rectified by being ignored but only by coming to Jesus Christ. If we will come to Him, asking Him to produce Christ-awareness in us, He will always do it, until we fully learn to abide in Him.
Never allow anything that divides or destroys the oneness of your life with C…

One or the Other

Over on "Revive Our Hearts" Nancy Leigh DeMoss is beginning a series on being a woman of discretion. As a Christian woman you, like me, may believe you are a woman of discretion. Your skirts aren't too short, your tops aren't too low, you don't use certain manners of speech. As always, what we are isn't just how we behave, it's what is in our hearts. Through this series Nancy will contrast the wise woman with the foolish woman, and show us how our heart attitude can be like the immoral woman of Proverbs 7.

Sounds fun, huh? Real feel good stuff? Maybe not, but in her usual warm, encouraging style Nancy shares some hard truths with grace and compassion. Without the conviction of sin we won't know the joy of forgiveness, without the exposing of lies we won't know the freedom of truth. So hit the link and be blessed by the opening session of this life changing series "Becoming a Woman of Discretion".
http://www.reviveourhearts.com/rad…

Reading Well Pt 3

My husband recently went through Warren Wiersbe's book "On Being a Servant of God" with the other pastors at our church. I always like when the guys are going through a book, because he shares not only his insight with me but the general insights of the group, and I get a ton from that. I've read this book before, he's read this book before, and every time we look at it God does a fresh work in us for the current season and situations in our life.

In Wiersbes book he addresses some myths about reading, and one of them is that "reading books will of itself guarantee growth and success". He goes on to say that reading is only the key that opens the door to the vault, and it is in assimilating what your read, relating it to what you already know and of course, practicing it that makes reading anything profitable.

This was never proven to be true more than when I worked in a Christian bookstore. It was exciting to hook people up with good material and h…

Reading Well Pt. 2

Among the great books I’ve read by a contemporary author is just about anything by Warren Wiersbe. From his “Be” series commentaries to his compilations of Christian biographies, I dig this guy. His commentaries are full of application for the New Testament believer, while giving plenty of insight and context to literal interpretation of the scriptures. As a biographer, he never fails to make even the super-est of super saints human, real and inspirational.

Among my favorite Wiersbe books are the ones that he has written regarding Christian service. “Ten Power Principles” is a great one, and of particular note is “On Being a Servant of God”. Written for the ministry worker, it holds application for anyone who walks with God, since each of us have a “good work” we were created for. In this book is a fine chapter on reading.

In another of his books, he exhorts us to not just be buyers of books but readers of books. He is clearly a guy who enjoys reading for the sake of doing it, a…

Reading Well

My old profile on Know & Believe shed some light on why I was doing a book review blog. When I created That Good Part, I lost the profile and couldn’t figure out how to get it back. Okay, being a technophobe I didn’t really try, and I couldn’t remember everything it said so I let it go.

In a nutshell, it said that I preview books for the Women’s Ministry at Calvary Chapel Vista and do the recommendations at our annual Women’s Retreat, as well as serving our churches current version of a book store. This makes me the logical choice to ask the question, “Hey, what’s a good book?”

On the way to discovering good books, I read an awful lot of bad books. Not necessarily heretical, blasphemous books, although I’ve hit my share of those. Usually they are just lame books, in the sense of the definition found on dictionary.com; Lame: weak; inadequate; unsatisfactory; clumsy. In one way, these are worse than heretical books. Heretical books are like pouring milk on your cereal and havi…

Devo-Not the Band

" . . do you love Me? . . . Tend My sheep —John 21:16"

Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine. "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate . . . , he cannot be My disciple" ( Luke 14:26 ). In this verse, there is no argument and no pressure from Jesus to follow Him; He is simply saying, in effect, "If you want to be My disciple, you must be devoted solely to Me." A person touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says, "Now I see who Jesus is!"— that is the source of devotion.

Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to caus…

Get With the Flow

So here I am, having my daily dose of Chamber's, when I hit this little gem...
"The one true mark of a saint of God is the inner creativity that flows from being totally surrendered to Jesus Christ. In the life of a saint there is this amazing Well, which is a continual Source of original life. The Spirit of God is a Well of water springing up perpetually fresh. A saint realizes that it is God who engineers his circumstances; consequently there are no complaints, only unrestrained surrender to Jesus. Never try to make your experience a principle for others, but allow God to be as creative and original with others as He is with you."

Here's where this totally rocks. I was just talking with a gal who thinks she is in a difficult situation. She thinks anyone who enters into a similar situation will find it as difficult. Because it is. In her experience.

I have been in her situation-it was a blast. I had a few rough days, but by and large my experience was great. Now h…

Habits

No, not nun dresses. It has been widely reported that it takes thirty day to make or break a habit. I was annoyed lately to discover that it usually take me thirty weeks, while it seems to take my husband thirty seconds.

We both take vitamin stuff, and he recently had to change the order in which he takes said vitamins. The day after he realized this change was necessary, he never reached for the other bottle first again. If you wonder why I would notice such a thing, in fact, keep track of such a thing, well, that's a post for another day.

We moved into a different house just about a year ago. I seem to have to move a lot, so one would think I was used to adapting to new surroundings. Not so. Every day, for nearly a year, I have banged my hand on a door jam at least once reaching for a light switch that is not there. It's on the other side of the doorway in this house.

I want to blame age but my husband is older than I am so it can't be that. I like to think I have a lot of …

Great Quote

From Warren Wiersbe:

"I don't recall too many chapel messages from my years as a seminary student, but Vance Havner gave a message that has stayed with me and often encouraged me. Speaking from Heb 11, he told us that because Moses was a man of faith, he was able to "see the invisible, choose the imperishable, and do the impossible." I needed that message then and I still need it today."

The Never-forsaking God

I only have about three original thoughts in my head today and I need to save them for another project-I hope you're encouraged and challenged by Chambers today.....

"He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you’ —Hebrews 13:5

What line of thinking do my thoughts take? Do I turn to what God says or to my own fears? Am I simply repeating what God says, or am I learning to truly hear Him and then to respond after I have heard what He says? "For He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ " ( Hebrews 13:5-6 ).

"I will never leave you . . ."— not for any reason; not my sin, selfishness, stubbornness, nor waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never leave me? If I have not truly heard this assurance of God, then let me listen again.

"I will never . . . forsake you." Sometimes it is not the difficulty of life but the…

Our Careful Unbelief

". . . do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on —Matthew 6:25"

Jesus summed up commonsense carefulness in the life of a disciple as unbelief. If we have received the Spirit of God, He will squeeze right through our lives, as if to ask, "Now where do I come into this relationship, this vacation you have planned, or these new books you want to read?" And He always presses the point until we learn to make Him our first consideration. Whenever we put other things first, there is confusion.

". . . do not worry about your life . . . ." Don’t take the pressure of your provision upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but those details that worry us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word He puts in us? Is it the devil? No— "the ca…

LOL Part 2

These guys were laughing out loud!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24765324/

LOL

Our pastor recently included a bunch of slang terms and their definitions in a study (do you still call it slang or is there a new word for that, too?). I still use a bunch of old ones like dig it, chick, and rocks. My daughter, Muffin, and I decided that we dig "boss" and want to bring it back. I have no understanding of the current text abbreviations, except LOL which I hope really means laughing out loud and some mean kid didn't snow me on it's true meaning.

I have a laugh you can hear down the street-sorry. If something strikes me as funny, and most things do whether you intend them to or not, you definitely know what I thought about it. I have a friend who is a snorter, it doesn't take much for her to rip a good snort when she laughs. I snort as well, but usually in sarcastic derision. I am not known for having a poker face, so the concept of having to tell someone what my reaction is (LOL) is totally foreign.

I read a variety of blogs, and this morning I read…

sim·pli·fy

"To make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier: to simplify a problem."

I once took a job that was suppose to be a no-brainer, part time deal, and promptly found myself in the position of in-charge-of-everything. This actually happened to me more than once. In this case, it was a business in which people with good intentions had driven it into a pit. One of the reasons for this was the systems they used internally to track and process stuff. There were folders for folders, files for files, most things were done not once but three different ways-for "backup". This wasn't a complex business, yet in their attempt to be efficient, they were completely ineffective.

Charles Hummel (no relation to us French Hommels) wrote a great book called "Tyranny of the Urgent" in which he makes the important distinction between efficient and effective. Read the book, it will be an extremely effective use of your time. The point is, it is possible to hold to …

Slow Down

From the priceless little book "If" by Amy Carmichael.

"Perhaps prayer often needs to be followed by a little pause, that we may have time to open our hearts to that for which we have prayed. We often rush from prayer to prayer without waiting for the word within, which says, "I have heard you, My child."

Lighten Your Load

"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, o what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our Refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He'll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there. "

Hymn by Joseph Scriven

Interrupted Plans

Wisdom from Elisabeth Elliot

We like things to go smoothly and as planned. Very often unexpected things intervene, and our plans go awry. We think we've got "problems." There is another level at which everything that happens is being engineered. "God has no problems," Corrie ten Boom said, "only plans." When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) "toward the goal of true maturity" (Rom 12:2 JBP). Believe God. Turn the interruptions over to Him. He is at the controls.

Take Every Thought Captive....

From A.W. Tozer

"Distractions must be conquered or they will conquer us. So let us cultivate simplicity; let us want fewer things; let us walk in the Spirit; let us fill our minds with the Word of God and our hearts with praise. In that way we can live in peace even in such a distraught world as this. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." The Set of the Sail, 129-132.

What I Did Last Weekend

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Me and my husband (the amazing Pastor Dave) in the middle, along with the other leadership of Calvary Chapel Vista Motorcycle Fellowship. Mike (in the foreground) cooked us an amazing biker breakfast. We make Oscar park his bike on the end because it's not a Harley. We're praying for him. Check out our new blog over at http://www.ccvmf.blogspot.com/. Also pictured-Traci with Mike and Sonia with Oscar.

Get Busy

"We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results." R. A. Torrey

Get Out of the Way

From "My Utmost for His Highest" Decreasing for His Purpose

He must increase, but I must decrease —John 3:30
If you become a necessity to someone else’s life, you are out of God’s will. As a servant, your primary responsibility is to be a "friend of the bridegroom" (John 3:29 ). When you see a person who is close to grasping the claims of Jesus Christ, you know that your influence has been used in the right direction. And when you begin to see that person in the middle of a difficult and painful struggle, don’t try to prevent it, but pray that his difficulty will grow even ten times stronger, until no power on earth or in hell could hold him away from Jesus Christ. Over and over again, we try to be amateur providences in someone’s life. We are indeed amateurs, coming in and actually preventing God’s will and saying, "This person should not have to experience this difficulty." Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, our sympathy gets in the way. One day t…

Power Source

vigour [ˈvigə] noun:strength and energy

"The vigour of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts."
George Muller

On Solid Ground

"Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12
It is a curious fact, that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, "I have great faith, I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall." "I have fervent love," says another, "I can stand, there is no danger of my going astray." He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountain head, or else the brook will soon be dry. If a continuous stream of oil comes not to the lamp, though it burn brightly to-day, it will smoke to-morrow, and noxious will be its scent. Take heed that thou gloriest not in thy graces, but let all thy glorying and confidence be in Christ and His strength, for only so canst thou be kept from falling. Be much more in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly …

Nothing New Under the Sun

"It is a remarkable fact that all the heresies which have arisen in the Christian Church have had a decided tendency to 'dishonor God and to flatter man.'" Charles Spurgeon

Feeling Spiritual

The most significant information I received in the last week was this wonderful truth- Sunday, March 9.....DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS!

Every year I experience what is whispered about in my house as the "Fall Funk". No, it is not a season of the year where we have a Soul Train retrospective, it is the descent of doom that arrives as we "fall back". Most years it only lasts a month or so, the year my daughter went off to college it lasted three months but this year-well, there are no good words to describe this year.

I've tried every remedy I've ever heard of and made up a few, but the real truth is that since last October, I have been in a dry toast, beige clothes, elevator muzak state. Desert time is a weak description. My husband, the wise, all-knowing Dave, informs me that the reasons for this are more than the usual fall funk, and after some consideration, I would agree. What those reasons are doesn't matter today in light of the fact that NEXT WEEK …

For No Good Reason

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Alistair and Mister Knightley

Andrew Murray on Prayer

"Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, ‘above all that we ask or think’. Each time, before you Intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!"

Wisdom From Tozer

"Important as it is that we recognize God working in us, I would yet warn against an over preoccupation with the thought. It is a sure road to sterile passivity. God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, ‘Oh Lord Thou knowest.’ Those things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God's omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints."

In the Shadows

"In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft: in his quiver hath he hid me" (Isa. 49:2).

"In the shadow." We must all go there sometimes. The glare of the daylight is too brilliant; our eyes become injured, and unable to discern the delicate shades of color, or appreciate neutral tints--the shadowed chamber of sickness, the shadowed house of mourning, the shadowed life from which the sunlight has gone.

But fear not! It is the shadow of God's hand. He is leading thee. There are lessons that can be learned only there.

The photograph of His face can only be fixed in the dark chamber. But do not suppose that He has cast thee aside. Thou art still in His quiver; He has not flung thee away as a worthless thing.

He is only keeping thee close till the moment comes when He can send thee most swiftly and surely on some errand in which He will be glorified. Oh, shadowed, solitary ones, remember how closely the quiver is bound to the warrior, within …

What?

I was over on Charlie Campbell's apologetic site, www.alwaysbeready.com, the other day and checked out his blog. He has a link to a segment on CNN in which Dr. John MacArthur, respected Bible teacher, and Doug Pagitt, emergent church leader, debate whether Christians should practice yoga. While this is a topic worth looking at, what is really worth your attention in this clip is Doug Pagitt. If you want to see the redefinition of Christianity that is refered to in 1 John 2:18-29 in our day and age, check him out. Watch it to the end, the most telling portion is Pagitts final comments off camera. I'm too techno-challenged to post the right link here.

I'm not a big fan of naming names, it is one of the more unpleasant aspects of talking about false teaching. I'd much rather focus on the error than the person teaching it. People often get all bent out of shape when you name someone they like, thinking you're attacking the person. Deceivers come and deceivers go, but th…

Personal Life: Choices

Here's a little A.W. Tozer to start your week:


"I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me. I cling to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame! Psalm 119:30-31

The important thing about a man is not where he goes when he is compelled to go, but where he goes when he is free to go where he will....A man is absent from church Sunday morning. Where is he? If he is in a hospital having his appendix removed his absence tells us nothing about him except that he is ill; but if he is out on the golf course, that tells us a lot. To go to the hospital is compulsory; to go to the golf course, voluntary. The man is free to choose and he chooses to play instead of to pray. His choice reveals what kind of man he is. Choices always do....I think it might be well for us to check our spiritual condition occasionally by the simple test of compatibility. When we are free to go, where do we go? In what company do we feel most at home? Where do our thoughts turn w…

Look Again and Consecrate

My oldest friend and I frequently encourage each other with the reminder that while the Christian life may not always be easy or effortless, it is, always, amazingly simple. Oswald Chambers had a little something to say about that.......


"If God so clothes the grass of the field . . . , will He not much more clothe you . . . ? —Matthew 6:30

A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us because we will not be simple. How can we maintain the simplicity of Jesus so that we may understand Him? By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, and obeying Him as He brings us the truth of His Word, life will become amazingly simple. Jesus asks us to consider that "if God so clothes the grass of the field . . ." how "much more" will He clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him? Every time we lose ground in our fellowship with God, it is because we have disrespectfully thought that we knew better than Jesus Christ. We have allowed "the …

New Shoes

"Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be" (Deut.33:25).

"Each of us may be sure that if God sends us on stony paths He will provide us with strong shoes, and He will not send us out on any journey for which He does not equip us well." Alexander Maclaren

Quote of the Day

"I COME to do Thy will, O God."

That is what we are here for,--to do God's will. That is the object of your life and mine,--to do God's will. Any of us can tell in a moment whether our lives are right or not. Are we doing God's will? We do not mean, Are we doing God's work?--preaching, or teaching, or collecting money,--but God's will. A man may think he is doing God's work when he is not even doing God's will. And a man may be doing God's work and God's will quite as much by hewing stones, or sweeping streets, as by preaching or praying. So the question means just this, Are we working out our common every-day life on the great lines of God's will? HENRY DRUMMOND

Come Away My Beloved

I just started to re-read the devotional classic, "Come Away My Beloved". Written from the perspective of God speaking to us, it takes the focus off our petitions and causes us to remember that we are already the recipients of more than we deserve or could ever think to ask.

"Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation. Isaiah 33:6"

O My beloved, abide under the shelter of the lattice for I have betrothed you to Myself, and though you are sometimes indifferent toward Me, My love for you is at all times as flame of fire. My ardor never cools. My longing for your love and affection is deep and constant.

Tarry not for an opportunity to have more time to be alone with Me. Take it, though you leave the tasks at hand. Nothing will suffer. Things are of less importance than you think. Our time together is like a garden full of flowers, whereas the time you give to things is as a field full of stubble.

I love you, and if …

Need a Good Soaking?

I'm looking out at the standing water on my back porch, left by the heavy and welcome showers overnight. The sun has broken through, and my yard is busy percolating, getting nourished in a way the sprinkler could never match. My mom has told me stories of catching rainwater in buckets to wash her hair when she was young, nothing makes your hair shine like rain water, she says. But nothing beats these showers from heaven......


"I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing" (Ezek. 34:26).

What is thy season this morning? Is it a season of drought? Then that is the season for showers. Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers. "As thy day so shall thy strength be." "I will give thee showers of blessing." The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God's blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If He gives converting grace, He…

Why Can I Not Follow You Now?

From "My Utmost for His Highest"

Peter said to Him, ’Lord, why can I not follow You now?’
John 13:37

There are times when you can’t understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don’t fill it with busyness, just wait. The time of waiting may come to teach you the meaning of sanctification— to be set apart from sin and made holy— or it may come after the process of sanctification has begun to teach you what service means. Never run before God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt— wait.

At first you may see clearly what God’s will is— the severance of a friendship, the breaking off of a business relationship, or something else you feel is distinctly God’s will for you to do. But never act on the impulse of that feeling. If you do, you will cause difficult situations to arise which will take years to untangle. Wait for God’s timing and He will…

A Good Word

"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety." --George Mueller

My Utmost-January 2

"He went out, not knowing whither he went." Hebrews 11:8

Have you been "out" in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question - "What do you expect to do?" You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder - you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a "going out," building in confidence on God. "Take no thought for your life, . . . nor yet for your body" - take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you "went out."

Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reve…

Happy New Year

We begin the new year with a word from Charles Spurgeon.....

"We will be glad and rejoice in Thee."—Song of Solomon 1:4.

We will be glad and rejoice in Thee. We will not open the gates of the year to the dolorous notes of the sackbut, but to the sweet strains of the harp of joy, and the high sounding cymbals of gladness. "O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise unto the rock of our salvation." We, the called and faithful and chosen, we will drive away our griefs, and set up our banners of confidence in the name of God. Let others lament over their troubles, we who have the sweetening tree to cast into Marah's bitter pool, with joy will magnify the Lord. Eternal Spirit, our effectual Comforter, we who are the temples in which Thou dwellest, will never cease from adoring and blessing the name of Jesus. We WILL, we are resolved about it, Jesus must have the crown of our heart's delight; we will not dishonour our Bridegroom by mourning in Hi…