Quote Title Quotation Source
Difficult to Swallow but True St. Francis began to preach, first ordering the swallows who were quivering to keep quiet until he had finished preaching. And the swallows obeyed him. He preached there so fervently that all the men and women of that village, as a result of his sermon and the miracle of the swallows, and their great devotion wanted to follow him and abandon the village. But St. Francis did not let them, saying to them: “Don’t be in a hurry and don’t leave, for I will arrange what you should do for the salvation of your souls.” St. Francis of Assisi – The Little Flowers of St. Francis – circa 1200; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Seeking Him In the Inner Man A brother named John came from the coast to Father Philimon and, clasping his feet, said to him: What shall I do to be saved? For my intellect vacillates to and fro and strays after all the wrong things. After a pause, the father replied: This is one of the outer passions and it stays with you because you still have not acquired a perfect longing for God. The warmth of this longing and of the knowledge of God has not yet come to you. The brother said to him: What shall I do, father? Abba Philimon replied: Meditate inwardly for a while, deep in your heart; for this can cleanse your intellect of these things. The brother, not understanding what was said, asked the Elder: What is inward meditation, father? The Elder replied: Keep watch in your heart; and with watchfulness say in your mind with awe and trembling: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. Symeon The New Theologian – The Ethical Discourses – circa 1000; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Tools of the Trade Embrace the difficult circumstances you find yourself in even when you feel they will overwhelm you. Allow God to mold you through the events He allows to enter your life. This will make you flexible toward the will of God. The events of life are like a furnace for the heart. All your impurities are melted and your old ways are lost. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Blessed Teamwork There is no blessing so great as that which comes when our hearts are lifted out of self and become one with Christ in intercession for others and for His cause. There is no joy so pure as that of taking the burden of our Master s cause on our hearts and bearing it with Him every day in ceaseless prayer doing it as though its success wholly depended upon the uplifting of our hands and the exercise of our faith. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
God s Specialties Charity is a paradox, like modesty and courage. Stated baldly, charity certainly means one of two things — pardoning unpardonable acts, or loving unlovable people. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Not a Hand Puppet, A Body Puppet And let me make it quite clear that when Christians say the Christ-life is in them, they do not mean simply something mental or moral. When they speak of being “in Christ” or of Christ being “in them”, this is not simply a way of saying that they are thinking about Christ or copying Him. They mean that Christ is actually operating through them; but the whole mass of Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts — that we are His fingers and muscles, the cells of His body. C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity, copyright 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
I Live, Yet Not I God created Adam to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth ( Genesis 1:28 ); the one thing Adam was not to have dominion over was himself. God was to have dominion over him, and Adam had to partake in his own development by obeying God s rule over him, not his own wisdom. The source of life in Adam was his obedience to God. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
God In Hot Pursuit A wild young fellow, who was brought to the Lord at a mission meeting, and who became a rejoicing Christian and lived an exemplary life afterward, was asked by someone what he did to get converted. “Oh,” he said, “I did my part, and the Lord did His.” “But what was your part,” asked the inquirer, “and what was the Lord’s part?” “My part,” was the prompt reply, “was to run away, and the Lord’s part was to run after me until He caught me.” Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
The Heart is Lifted By a Merry Melody Songs are the fitting expressions of inward thankfulness, and it were well if we indulged ourselves and honored our Lord with more of them. Mr. B. P. Power has well said, “The sailors give a cheery cry as they weigh anchor, the plowman whistles in the morning as he drives his team; the milkmaid sings her rustic song as she sets about her early task; when the soldiers are leaving friends behind them, they do not march out to the tune of the “Dead March of Saul,” but to the quick notes of some lively air. A praising spirit would do for us all that their songs and music do for them; and if only we could determine to praise the Lord, we should surmount many a difficulty which our low spirits never would have been equal to, and we should do double the work which can be done if the heart be languid in its beating, if we be crushed and trodden down in soul. Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Arrested By A Messenger from God It has never occurred to many religious leaders that they are going in the wrong direction. They persistently and blindly continue down a dangerous road to their own peril never considering that God would send an ass to reveal His Word and will and save their soul. Tom Van Hoogen