"Joy is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there."—Robert Rainey
Dr. Paul Chappell
Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain,
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame.
Even when the times are hard,
Fierce winds are bound to blow;
God is forever able—
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love;
Joy would cease to be.
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee.
Move out of "Camp Complaining"—
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone.
Quit looking at the future,
Redeem the time at hand.
A truly humble man is hard to find, yet God delights to honor such selfless people. Booker T. Washington, the renowned black educator, was an outstanding example of this truth.
Shortly after he took over the presidency of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town when he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her.
If I had known what trouble you were bearing,
What griefs were in the silence of your face;
I would have been more gentle and more caring,
And tried to give you gladness for a space.
I would have brought more warmth into the place,
If I had known.
If I had known what thoughts despairing drew you;
I would have lent a little friendship to you,
And slipped my hand within your hand,
And made your stay more pleasant in the land,
If I had known.
-Mary Caroline Davies
Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission, use to hang in his home a plaque with two Hebrew words on it: Ebenezer and JEHOVAH JIREH. The first word means "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." The second word means, "The Lord will see to it or provide." One looked back while the other looked forward. One reminded him of God's faithfulness and the other of God's assurances.
John Wesley was about 21 years of age when he went to Oxford University. He came from a Christian home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet, in those days he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic. One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even have a bed. Yet, he was an unusually happy person, filled with gratitude to God. Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the man’s misfortunes.
It's time to plant our gardens. As you plant, may I suggest the following rules for your garden planting:
Plant three rows of squash: 1. Squash gossip; 2. Squash criticism; 3. Squash indifference
Plant three rows of peas: 1. Purity; 2. Patience; 3. Perseverance
Plant six rows of lettuce: 1. Let us be unselfish and loyal; 2. Let us be faithful to duty; 3. Let us search the scriptures; 4. Let us not be weary in well-doing; 5. Let us be obedient in all things; 6. Let us love one another
An old deacon was leading in prayer using one of his stereotypical phrases, "Oh Lord, touch the unsaved with Thy finger."
As he intoned this phrase in this particular prayer, he stopped short. Other members came to his side and asked if he were ill.
"No," he replied, "but something seemed to say to me, "Thou art the finger."
Research demonstrates that if lay people will make a 15 minute visit in the homes of first time visitors within 36 hours of their visit to the church, 85%of them will return the following week. If the lag time is 72 hours the return rate drops to 60%; and after one week it slips to 15%. If the pastor makes the visit instead of lay people, the percentage of return is cut in half.
Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the seed of God's Word and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts. William Carey, for example, labored 7 years before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in Burma, and Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded by seeing his first converts.