Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting — a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.
Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.
You can never do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.
With the past I have nothing to do; Nor with the future. I live for now.
Adopt the pace of nature: Her secret is patience.
The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pur on others without getting some on yourself.
Every artist was first an amateur.
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.
Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief is denying them.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
A man is what he thinks about all day long.
What you are comes to you.
All mankind love a lover.
What you do speaks so loudly that I do not hear you.
Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no debt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day: You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered you will never grow.
Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
Every day is the best day of all. One of the illusions of life is that the present is not the critical decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
To every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.
Our chief want to someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist.
Doing well is the result of doing good, that’s what Capitalism is all about.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.
If we encountered a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he read.
Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy.
Activity is contagious.
Always do what you are afraid to do.
The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
Our greatest glory consists of not in never-failing, but in rising up every time we fall.
One of the most beautiful compensations of this life is that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Beauty is an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.
A man is usually more careful of his money that he is of his principles.
We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart to big for the body.
Small minds have small worries, big minds have no time for worries.
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
The only way to have friends is be one.
A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.
Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.
Though we travel the world to find the beautiful we must carry it with us.
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.
The years tech much what the days never knew. What is life but the angle of vision? A man is measured by the angle at which he looks at objects. What is life but what a man is thinking of all day? This is his fate and his employer. Knowing is the measure of the man. By how much we know, so much we are.
Life is a journey, not a destination.
An eye can threaten like a loaded gun; or can insult like hissing and kicking; or in its altered mood, by beams of kindness, make the heart dance with joy.
H.O.P.E. = HOLDING ON, PRAYING EXPECTANTLY
I listened patiently as he poured out his problems. His work was not going well. Some of his children were sowing their wild oats and he was worried about them. The straw that finally broke his back was that his wife decided to leave him. There he sat, all slumped over in despair. It was the last sentence of his story that alarmed me. He said, “I have nothing to live for; I have lost all hope.” I began to share with him that hope was the one thing he could not afford to lose. He could lose his business, his money, and maybe even his family, and rebound on the court of life if he kept his hope alive.
If hope is so important, what is it? Tertullian said, “Hope is patience with the lamp lit.” Hope is holding on when things around you begin to slip away. Hope is praying expectantly when there are seemingly no answers. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan tells of a man whose shop had been burned during the disastrous Chicago fire. He arrived at the ruins the next morning carrying a table. He set the table amid the charred debris and above it placed this optimistic sign: “Everything lost except wife, children, and hope. Business will be resumed as usual tomorrow morning.”
Many men become bitter toward life because of the unfortunate circumstances in which they find themselves. Many quit. Others have taken their own lives. What makes the difference in the outcome? Talent? No! The only difference between those who threw in the towel and quit and those who used their energy to rebuild and keep going, is found in the word hope.
What does hope do for mankind?
Hope shines brightest when the hour is the darkest.
Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
Hope energizes when the body is tired.
Hope sweetness while the bitterness bites.
Hope sings when all melodies are gone.
Hope believes when the evidence is eliminated.
Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.
Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.
Hope endures hardship when no one is caring.
Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.
Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.
Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.
Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.
Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.
There is nothing to do but bury a man when his hopes are gone. Losing hope usually precedes loss of life itself. You don’t need a better environment; you just need more hope. It’s the one thing in your life that you cannot do without!
SOURCE: John C. Maxwell. Think On These Things: A Fresh, New Way To Look At Life. Kansas City: Beacon Hill, 1979, pp. 127-128.
Because we live in a fallen world, going through difficult times is inevitable:
JOB 5:7 – but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
JOHN 16:33 - I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
ROMANS 8:18-23 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
1 PETER 4:12 – Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
4 Purposes for Suffering
(1) It makes our faith stronger.
1 PETER 1:6-7 – In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
(2) It helps us grow into the kind of person that God wants me to be.
JOB 23:8-10 – Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
PHILIPPIANS 3:7-8 – But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
JAMES 1:2-4 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
(3) It causes us to think more about eternity in Heaven.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-18 – So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
(4) It disciplines us for our sins.
HEBREWS 12:10-13 – For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all disciplines seem painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
PROVERBS 3:11-12 – My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
How Should We Respond To Suffering?
(1) Recognize that God’s grace is sufficient for me.
PSALM 55:22 - Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my own weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(2) Remember that God is sovereign over our adversities.
PSALM 33:13-15 – The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks at the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
PSALM 71:20-21 – You have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
ISAIAH 43:1-2 – But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you will not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
(3) Know that God is always there to listen and respond to you.
PSALM 3:4 – I cried aloud to the LORD and he answered me from his holy hill.
PSALM 9:9-10 – The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
PSALM 31:9-10 – Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.
PSALM 61:2 – from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
PSALM 86:3 – Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O lOrd, do I lift up my soul.
(4) Use the help God gives you to help others.
2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(5) Know that adversity results in God’s reward.
JAMES 1:12 – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
1 PETER 5:10 – After you have suffered awhile, the God of all grace, who has called you to eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Biblical illustrations – Job – whole book; Joseph – Genesis 37-50; Stephen – Acts 7; Paul and Silas – Acts 16.
SOURCE: Adapted from the Quick Reference For Counseling. Grand Rapids, Baker, 2006, 217-219.
This photo is not my own personal library — I just wish it was – Joel Rosenberg
Someone recently emailed me (Joel Rosenberg) to ask for a list of my five favorite books, aside from the Bible.
I wrote back:
I’m so sorry, I can’t possible narrow my list to just five books.
Here are twelve books that absolutely changed my life:
Fear No Evil by Natan Sharansky – the spell-binding true story a Jewish dissident who spent 9 years in a KGB gulag, a man who became one of my heroes
From Beirut To Jerusalem by Tom Friedman – the riveting account of a New York Times reporter covering the Middle that made me want to spend my whole life understanding the epicenter
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas – the brilliant biography of one of the most courageous pastors in the history of Germany, a man who stood for Christ during the reign of Hitler
Night by Elie Wiesel – the terrifying true account of a Jewish man sent to the Auschwitz death camp but lost his faith in God
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom – the amazing true story of a godly Christian woman who not only survived a Nazi concentration camp but learned to forgive her captors because of Jesus’ love for her
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis – the most penetrating explanation of what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ ever written, by a former atheist professor at Oxford and Cambridge at that
Just As I Am by Billy Graham – the inspiring true story of a North Carolina farm boy who grew up to preach the Gospel to more people face to face than anyone in all of human history
Born Again by Chuck Colson – the game-changing true story of President Nixon’s “hatchet man,” arrested during Watergate, sent to prison, but finding utter forgiveness and redemption through Christ and taking that message to prisoners all over the world
God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew – the true story of a man willing to risk his life to bring the Word of God to the enslaved people of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union
The Coming Peace In The Middle East by Tim LaHaye – long out of print but the most fascinating book about Bible prophecy (specifically Ezekiel 38 & 39) I have ever read, bar none
The Testament by John Grisham – the first novel I ever read that was both absolutely thrilling and spiritually inspiring, something I’d never imagined was possible before reading this book
Training The Twelve by A.B. Bruce – the greatest book on how to make disciples by a pastor and theologian no one has ever heard of. *SOURCE: http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/author/joelcrosenberg/FEBRUARY 24, 2014.