Spiritually Speaking

FliesAin’t no flies on my Jesus, He’s done risen from the dead.
From a Negro Spiritual, Salvation Army songbook, or a colloquialism.

(W)ith Jesus … there are no dregs in this wine,
no dead flies in this ointment…

C. H. Spurgeon, Morning & Evening Devotions, January 8

As Abraham and IsaacAbraham is about to kill his only son as a sacrifice to God…

Isaac:  There is nothing that He may not ask of thee?
Abraham:  Nothing.

The Bible.  (1966).  Twentieth Century Fox Film corporation.

EinsteinThe Bible…
“is a great source of wisdom
and should be read frequently.”

Albert Einstein, written (in German)
inside a Bible that he and his wife signed
and gave to a friend in 1932.


I sit down alone,
only God is here;
In His presence I open,
I read his books;
…And what I thus learn,
that I teach.

John Wesley
Preface to Sermons on Several Occasions

Child Praying

THE PERSONAL FATHER GOD to whom the believers pray does not require information about our needs.  As a father knows the needs of his family, yet teaches them to ask in confidence and trust, so does God treat His children.

– D. A. Carson (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary)

I KNOW MEN, and I tell you, Jesus is not a mere man.  He commands us to believe, and gives no other reasons than His words, I AM GOD.  Philosophers try to solve the mysteries of the universe by their empty dissertations; fools, they are like infants that cry to have the moon for a plaything.  Christ never hesitates.  He speaks with authority.  His religion is a mystery; but it subsists by its own force.  He seeks, and absolutely requires, the love of men, the most difficult thing in the world to obtain.  Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal conquered the world, but had no friends.  I myself am perhaps the only person of my day who loves Alexander, Caesar, and Hannibal.  Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but upon what?  Force.  Jesus founded His empire on Love; and at this hour millions would die for Him. Napoleon on St. Helena

I myself have inspired multitudes with such affection that they would die for me.  But my presence was necessary.  Now that I am in St. Helena, where are my friends?  I am forgotten, soon to return to the earth, and become food for worms.  What an abyss between my misery and the eternal kingdom of Christ, who is proclaimed, loved, adored, and which is extending over all the earth.  Is this death?

– Napoleon Bonaparte, his reflections on Jesus after having been banished
in exile to St. Helena Island.

Mountain CrucifixJESUS DID NOT DIE AT THE HANDS of muggers, rapists, or thugs.  He fell into the well-scrubbed hands of deeply religious people, society’s most respected members.

– Brennan Manning
Abba’s Child

With Jesus… Ancient ruins
You don’t get a detour around heartaches,
you get a guided tour through them.

– Jon Duncan, Vice President, NCAA
speaking to 120 men and boys
First Baptist Church, Kearney, MO, 2015

to manipulate or control people,
I consider it the enemy of humanity
and the enemy of God.

– Erwin McManus
Soul Cravings, 2006

Jesus, loveGOD UTTERS ME LIKE A WORD containing a partial thought of Himself.  A word will never be able to comprehend the voice that utters it.  But if I am true to the concept God utters in me, if I am true to the thought in Him I was meant to embody, I shall be full of His actuality and find Him everywhere in myself, and find myself nowhere.  I shall be lost in Him.

– Thomas Merton (in Seeds of Contemplation)

Scalia, Antonin

God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed.  Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society.  We are fools for Christ’s sake.  We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world.  If I have brought any message today, it is this:  Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity.  Be fools for Christ.  And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.

– Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)

John 3(16) in stone

On the first birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are two births of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one divine, the other human  …  Consider that first begetting: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  Whose Word?  The Father’s own.  Which Word?  The Son Himself.  The Father has never been without the Son; and yet the one who has never been without the Son begot the Son.  He both begot and yet did not begin to do so.  There is no beginning for one begotten without beginning.  And yet He is the Son, and yet he is begotten.  A mere human is going to say, “How is it that he is begotten, and yet he does not have a beginning?  If he does not have a beginning, how was he begotten?”  How, I do not know.  Are you asking a mere human how God was begotten?

– Augustine (his commentary on John 1:1)

THAT GOODNESS WHICH IS CONSCIOUS, which draws attention to itself, is not Christian goodness.

William Barclay, in his commentary on Matthew 5:16

Compass on map

There are a lot of things we do in ministry that we’re not gifted to do, we just get good at it after a while.

– Tyson Branizor (coworker, office talk, February 20, 2018)

– Love is…  manly.  Victorious Youth, bronze statue, Greek c. 77AD

– (F)ollies of your heart…  are evils which you suffer rather than commit; and so long as they displease you and you struggle against them, it is a matter of merit and not a loss.

– Thomas à Kempis (in The Imitation of Christ)






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