Sunday, January 28, 2007


"An eagle does not roost in a sparrows nest." Joseph Parker

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom. He give strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, thy will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 41:28-31.

"You and I, as born again believers, ought to be like the eagle, never content to roost in a sparrows nest. God has designed and empowered us to be like the eagle. Each day it is possible to reach another unknown height. Moment by moment, experiences of growth and adventure in walking by faith can be ours. Yet, it is evident that many Christians have settled into a sparrows nest...It is easier to talk about climbing than to climb. It is easier to "chew the fat" than to walk it off...We can climb onward and upward like the eagle...On the top of the mountain you will find those who are encouragers. It is so good to be on top of the mountain. The air is clear, the vision is great. That feeling of exhilaration surges through you when you know you have done everything possible to fulfill the potential God has given you." Think on These Things. - John Maxwell.

There are moments when it would be easy to quit...especially getting in shape physically. It is amazing how many people have something to say about our outward appearance...and yet not too many people seem concerned if we stop growing spiritually. I guess the physical is easy to see and to "judge," but only God truly knows the heart. It is easier to just go through life - to settle for roosting at the bottom - to even discourage those who want to reach the heights, or at least offer sympathy for those who find the climb too hard. I want more, and I want to challenge others to be more. I have a friend who pushed us as a church staff to exercise. We would go to a local toboggan slide and climb the stairs to get in shape. Give me that kind of determination to take others up the hill spiritually like she takes others up the hill physically.

"Finally we arrive at the top. It is less crowded now, but the caliber of those who make it is different. You have soared like the eagle. You have seen too much to be satisfied with less." Think on These Things. John Maxwell.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Forgiveness Cont.

"The trouble with our ideals is that if we live up to them, we become impossible to live with.

The tilted halo of the saved sinner is worn loosely and with easy grace. We have discovered that the cross accomplished far more than revealing the love of God. The blood of the Lamb points to the truth of grace: what we cannot do for ourselves, God has done for us. On the cross, somehow, some way, Christ bore our sins, took our place, died for us..

The save sinner is prostrate in adoration, lost in wonder and praise. He knows repentance is not what we do to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven." The Ragamuffin Gospel - Manning

Romans 3:21 "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

"What we cannot do for ourselves, God has done for us." How comforting are those words when we feel powerless to forgive ourselves. Someone asked me recently if we can truly be healed of childhood issues that formed us at an impressionable age. I have to believe that healing is possible...but it is through a relationship with Christ - not self will and determination.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


"Most Christians are like a man who was toiling along the road, bending under a heavy burden, when a wagon overtook him, and the driver kindly offered to help him on his journey. He joyfully accepted the offer, but when seated, continued to bend beneath his burden, which he still kept on his shoulders. "Why do you not lay down your burden?" asked the kind-hearted driver. "Oh!" replied the man, "I feel that it is almost too much to ask you to carry me, and I could not think of letting you carry my burden too." And so Christians, who have given themselves into the care and keeping of the Lord Jesus, still continue to bend beneath the weight of their burden, and often go weary and heavy-laden throughout the whole length of their journey." Hannah Whitall Smith - The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. NIV

God doesn't want us to be weighed down with burdens and thoughts of past sins. He came to deliver us - He delights in restoring our broken relationship with Him. How stubbornly we hold onto what we "deserve", forgetting that He paid the price on Calvary for our sins. So why is it so difficult for us to accept the grace that God so freely offers? Could it be because it doesn't make sense to us in our human limited minds? We don't forgive that how could God? And yet, even I, in my humanness, have no problem forgiving someone who is truly sorry for the mistakes they have made. Why would I think that God wouldn't forgive a truly repentant heart? Or is it that we have a hard time forgiving ourselves? Human pride keeps us from letting ourselves off the hook - we should have known better, done better, been perfect.

"The purpose of grace is not to make us perfect but to show us our need for a Savior, then show us the Savior we need, then create in us a burning desire to be more like Him. Jesus' life in us will become evident as we open ourselves to His grace, but in this life, our fallenness is interwoven with our humanness, and will be imperfect until we're home." Nancy Groom - From Bondage to Bonding.