Category Archives: Favorite Quotes

Rest In Victory

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.  The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.   Psalm 19:8-9

For trials and crisis, it can often seem as though joy has somehow become caught in the drain hole of life.  And when the essence of joy has been removed from the soul, when purpose and hope have appeared to have run for the exit, that which remains feels deflated — defeated — discarded.  But this victory is skewed!  This victory gives the impression that the “other side” claimed for itself the ownership of the battle.  And while the evil one would have us think this is true and both in our hearts and minds establish this paradigm, it is the furthest from the actual state of affairs.

My mom loves to keep things.  More specifically, she likes little phrases, old books, articles and references to scripture jotted down on a napkin or notebook paper.  It is not uncommon for me to visit and for her to hand me this old program from an event with a “saying” on it that she feels would inspire or lift you up.  She doesn’t just share the words, she’ll give you the whole thing!  So, in true form, during my recent visit home she grabs her four-inch thick genealogy binder and pulls out this half-page piece of paper.  On it is typed — not from a computer — typed from an old typewriter.  I would sincerely suspect it was from her manual typewriter I remember from my childhood that I actually used to type my triplicate carbon copied papers on for high school.  On the paper was a six or seven line prose from, well, “unknown” was at the bottom.  I searched the internet to find it’s true author and found the same short document, but instead of “unknown” at the bottom it referenced “Alan Redpath (stroke victim).”

Below I’ve shared his words because it describes perfectly of this battle of which I’ve spoken above.  It is the truth in victory!  It is the rest of victory!  Amen!

There is nothing – no circumstance, no trouble, no testing — that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me.  If it has come that far, it has come with great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment, but as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disarm me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is.  That is the rest of victory!  (unknown)(Alan Redpath (stroke victim))

by:  Mark Cruver

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Filed under Belief, Blessings, Christian Living, Faith, Favorite Quotes, Heart, Hope, Joy, Life, Rest

Getting Wronged By Rights

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'”   Luke 15:31-32

Pride is a wonderful thing, don’t you think?  Not the kind of pride that comes through accomplishments or belief in another, but the kind that is filled with self-righteous arrogance and the lack of understanding who God is and the fact that you’re not Him.  No, not so wonderful . . . it inflates the flesh!

Do you think Adam or Eve dealt with pride?  We don’t read much in the way of life after the fall but for little snippets that shed a little light upon the groans of a broken world.   I would suspect that there was some pride during the time when Adam and Eve were banished from the garden.  The emotions, the attitudes, the lack of fellowship with God had to have been filled with moments of absolute grief and loss.  The only place they had ever known was the Garden of Eden and despite all that was made for their pleasure, none was truly theirs anymore.  Suddenly, the first family was without the amenities of sin-free existence.

I can only imagine a few conversations about how they couldn’t be treated like this . . . or how they shouldn’t be treated like this.  How too, I suspect, they both questioned why they were designed, created and given life.  After all, the serpent convinced them that they knew better than God — that their plan far outweighed God’s plan.  They were wronged by rights.

The sense of entitlement that both Adam and Eve likely felt is not unlike the rights we feel we have when something we think belongs to us is taken away.  Much like Adam and Eve, when we take our eyes off the Designer and focus on the measure of me and what I am going to gain, we immediately lose sight of the promises that come through the union of Grace and Truth.

One of my favorite authors, Bill Gillham, writes about it so well in his book Lifetime Guarantee.

Stop fighting it, brother.  Give up all your “rights”–all talents, all abilities, all gifts, all the things you’ve clung to to get your need met for self-acceptance.  You’ll love the results!  You will find “life” through allowing Him to express Himself through your talents, your abilities, your fights, and your personality to a hurting world to do His will.  That’s the way Jesus walked.  He let the Father do it through Him.  (p. 201)

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that I don’t have to think that what I feel is rightfully mine is being squandered.  But instead, I can know that what I have is everything because you live within me!

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The Darkness Of True Liberty

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness,.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”  Romans 8:26-27

My experiences have proven the realization that life exists in the midst of straightaways and sharp curves, smooth surfaces and potholes, along with periods of light and darkness.  It’s within those moments in tight turns, jolted with blindness that life truly begins to define itself.  It’s when life enters the Refiner’s fire that the true S[s]elf emerges.  It’s a phase, a stage, within a life-altering experience that while the music stops and the lights suddenly go out, opportunity for something miraculous occurs — transformation into true liberty.

But letting go is a crazy thing to do, it’s not easy with something precious.  Stepping into the dark requires significant abandonment.  In the dark the senses are heightened because nothing is seen.  Nothing is as it appears and nothing seems trustworthy, yet it is here that God tells me to “let go.”  Let go?  What?  Are you kidding me?  Sound familiar?

And with that I light a candle, flip the switch and bring light onto my circumstances.  Why?  Well, it’s safe there!  I am most comfortable in that place I recognize, understand and relate.  Even if it means hurting the same way, staying in conflict or being in trouble, I am most familiar in those moments because experiencing these things would bring far more comfort in the light of familiarity than in the darkness of uncertainty.  But God tells me [us] to “let go.”

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

So, just maybe, in the midst of my own crisis, while in the chrysalis seems dark, it is a period of time to learn the lessons of letting go.  My flesh wants to cling on to those things I am most comfortable in knowing.  But true crisis: separation from something, warrants a response to change.  The options are simple . . . Run!  Walk! or Wait!  Each response determines the success and direction of the rest of my life.  And the process of waiting is the choice of transformation and wholeness.  My choice!

John Sanford writes in his book, The Kingdom Within:

At first the approach of the kingdom may seem like a violent attack from something dark and dreadful . . . . Entrance into the kingdom means the destruction of the old personality with its constricted and uncreative attitudes . . . . The fortress behind which the ego had been hiding must be torn down, and as these defenses are battered down forcibly by the movements from within, it may seem at first like a violent assault.

Lord Jesus, I’m feeling battered within.  My circumstances rear themselves to my heart and soul much like a violent assault.  I know and step toward you in confidence, that though this is how I feel, that true liberty in Christ is happening!  When my thoughts turn negative, whisper your promises back into my heart — remind me of your staff that comforts me and your spring from which I drink!

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So I Wait

“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.”  Proverbs 14:13

When life meets crisis there’s rarely a warm welcome.  My crises, converging on many fronts has launched into a journey of soul-making I can hardly describe.  The torch of significance that flickered what seemed an eternal flame has been snuffed by the breathe from the whispers of God within my core.  The beacon that shone brightly throughout each of my identities has been extinguished — the night air is cold, the stars do not twinkle — so I wait.

Life as I knew it was pretty simple — coasting through the harbors the journeys of each day would set sail on new adventures, great discoveries — empty of purpose, laced with secrecy and ultimately hollow and void of meaning.  A voluntary departure was hardly considered.  But when God calls, it’s a good idea to answer!  And so it began . . . a journey of transformation or a journey of continued disobedience.  It was time to weave my cocoon — so I wait.

In waiting, the soul-making experience takes on a new form.  The change is slow, yet painful.  The change encounters loss, yet gain.  The change requires surrender, yet control.  The change swells with pathos, yet joy — so I wait.

The paradox in waiting is like many of those Christ spoke of during His ministry.  Like His call to drink of living water and never thirst again.  Like His call to die is to gain.  And no different too, is His call to find joy in the midst of sorrow.

Will I ever laugh again?  Will I ever see and live the joy He speaks of in the midst of such loss?  I suppose I will — so I wait.

Paul worried for the Galatians.  He visited and preached the love of Christ and the power of His resurrection and was welcomed as though he were Christ himself — despite his past.  Yet, upon return to them, he noticed a considerable change — they lost their joy.  They lost the joy in the hope of Christ Jesus!

Lord Jesus, I struggle with what words to say, but I know your joy in me exists!  I know that stripped of every mask, every persona, every identity, the only thing that remains is the essence of my being — I am.  I am only because You ARE!  This is who I am!  Living through my loss, my grief and my unfortunate circumstances breeds pathos within me.  While I may experience pathos though, help me laugh again through the joy only you bring.  May I not laugh for others — but instead live joy — so I wait!

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
-T.S. Eliott

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The Beauty Of The Cross

“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”  Isaiah 65:17

He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!'”  Revelation 21:5

I serve a God that says, “Behold, I will make all things new!”

This past week I watched more football than I have ever watched in a single week.  For those who know me they would be amazed.  In those games I heard and witnessed coaches in victory, defeat and frustration.  Players were exhausted, discouraged while others were equally energized and enthusiastic.  Victory and defeat.  Those in victory fed like a frenzy off the encouragement and belief in their coaches to “press on” and finish strong!  Those in defeat required a bit more propping up.  A tough task even for the most experienced coach.  But in that locker room, on that side-line, in the huddle, I can assure you there is no backing down of what could be.  There is nothing withholding the reminders, the reflection, the truth of what got them on that field.

God gave us a reminder, an image to reflect upon — the Truth of what got us in His loving arms day in and day out.  Something to constantly and forever ponder in those moments when we tend to forget about who leads us into victory and who is seated on the throne, by our side, when we feel a sense of defeat.

God is standing in the locker room and huddle of our life and getting our attention . . . “Behold!”  It’s a locker room, half-time pep talk, if I’ve ever seen one!  “Behold, I will make ALL things new!”    VICTORY!!!

But I spin around to see the win, find the scoreboard, check the yards and time till the buzzer sounds.  The lights are bright, the stands have cleared, the roar is dim . . . but I no longer see the hash marks, the field rises to the end zone and in place of the goal post . . . is the beauty of the cross!  Whether in victory or sensing defeat, the cross is ALWAYS there!

The straight way to a perpetual newness and freshness of holy youth is to go to Christ again, just as we did at the first. A better thing still is never to leave him, but to stand for ever at the cross-foot delighting yourself in his all-sufficient sacrifice.

They that are full of the joy of the Lord never find life grow weary. Getting near to Christ, you will partake in his joy, and that joy shall be your strength, your freshness, the newness of your life. God grant us to drink of the eternal founts, that we may for ever overflow.

Charles Spurgeon

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The Most Hallowed Spot

“Persuaded, as we are, that the foot of the cross is the nearest spot to Heaven, that Heaven’s choicest blessings are found only there; that, beneath its warm sunshine the holy fruit of the Spirit ripens, and that under its sacred shade the sweetest repose is found; that, never is the believing soul so near to God, in such intimate fellowship with Christ, more really under the direct teaching of the Holy Spirit, as when there, we would sincerely employ every scriptural argument and put forth every persuasive motive to allure the reader to this hallowed spot, assured that, once he finds himself in believing, loving adoration at the foot of Christ’s cross, he has found himself at the focus of all divine glory, and at the confluence of all spiritual blessing.”
— Octavius Winslow,  The Foot of the Cross

Octavius Winslow stood out as a one of the foremost evangelical preachers of the 19th Century. A Baptist minister for most of his life, he seceded to the Anglican church in his last decade. His Christ centered writings show devotion, practicality, and excellence. His writings are richly devotional and warms the soul and inflames the heart with sincere love, reverence, and praise to Christ.

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Faith Is Rest, Not Toil

Faith is rest, not toil. It is the giving up all the former weary efforts to do or feel something good, in order to induce God to love and pardon; and the calm reception of the truth so long rejected, that God is not waiting for any such inducements, but loves and pardons of His own goodwill, and is showing that goodwill to any sinner who will come to Him on such a footing, casting away his own performances or goodnesses, and relying implicitly upon the free love of Him who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.”

— Horatius Bonar

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