Category Archives: Christian quotes

A Quote from Reframing the Soul by Gregory Spencer

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I reviewed this book earlier this week, and although it doesn’t specifically apply to our month’s theme, Laity, the author does have some important things to say about what he calls “engaging with others.”  To be successful as laypeople we must be able to get along and work well with one another. In any congregation there are differences:  differences in background, education, ability, understanding and more.  Sometimes these differences lead to conflict.  When that happens, Gregory Spencer points to the 4th Chapter of Ephesians for a guide to “reframing” our outlook.  Maybe you’ll find it helpful.

“An extended biblical passage that addresses “engaging with others” is Ephesians 4.  Paul reminds his readers of what makes for a strong community.  Overall we maintain unity by living peacefully (3) and fulfilling our various roles and callings (4-13).  We do this by putting off the old self and putting on the new self (22-34, some obvious reframing here), feeding certain character qualities–humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another in love(2) industriousness (28), compassion and forgiveness(32) –and by starving sensual indulgence (17-19), extended anger, bitterness, brawling, slander and malice(31).  I’m particularly taken with the admonitions to speak the truth in love (15,25) and to talk for the sake of building others up (29).”

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Martin Luther on Tribulation

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Those speak foolishly who ascribe their anger or their impatience to such as offend them or to tribulation. Tribulation does not make people impatient, but proves that they are impatient. So everyone may learn from tribulation how his heart is constituted.

Martin Luther

I’m going off theme here, because I found this quote and I really like it.  These days we might be inclined to substitute “stress” for tribulation.  How do you behave under stress?  If you become angry or impatient, doesn’t that mean the person you’re really angry with is God?  Doesn’t it show a lack of obedience and submission to His will? Isn’t it sin?  Our sin, not somebody else’s?

My problem with stress is different.  I’m likely to worry, fret and sometimes become so overwhelmed I have trouble making a decision or moving forward at all.  This is sin also, just a different kind.  It’s boils down to lack of trust in God’s goodness.

Maybe you’re reaction is different from either of these.  You may have a different sinful stress behavior, or you may be mature enough to let go and let God in times of suffering.  For most of us, it’s something with which we have trouble, something we need to work on. We will experience trouble and tribulation.  The Bible tells us that is certain. We can grow through these times, or we can keep repeating the behaviors that get us nowhere.  Behavior that hurts others and hurts us.  Luther’s right.  Our reactions are our own and we need to take responsibility for them, and learn to do better.  They reveal where we are spiritually.  Next time you’re stressed, take a look in the mirror.  Do you like what you see?

 

The Legacy You Leave Behind

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The Legacy You Leave Behind

“What matters in the end is the legacy that you leave behind. It is neither your wealth nor your various accomplishments that are the deciding factors but the seeds of love that you sowed. People will remember you for your acts of kindness, compassion, benevolence, piety, sympathy and the thoughtfulness that you had in your heart for others.”
― Latika Teotia

I recently had my first grandchild. It makes a person think even more about the legacy you want to leave for your family. The most important of these is a deep devotion to God… piety. I want my children and grandchildren to think back when I am on the other side of eternity and remember my love for God and my love for them. I want them to remember me singing songs of praise, reading Bible stories with them and applying what we read to how we are to live our lives. I want them to know that being kind, compassionate, caring, and thoughtful aren’t just things we SHOULD do…they are things we do because God shows those same things to us. All we have to do is love God and love our neighbors no matter how hard it may be. For all God has done to redeem us, it’s the best thing we can do to show our gratitude.

 

God loves you and so do I,

Leslie

 

photo courtesy of howtoadult.com

Quote courtesy of latikateotia.com

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Piety

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“God travels wonderful ways with human beings, but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people. God does not go the way that people want to prescribe for him; rather, his way is beyond all comprehension, free and self-determined beyond all proof. Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety—that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him from it. Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

Martin Luther on Piety and Women

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“Earth has nothing more tender than a woman’s heart when it is the abode of piety.”

– Martin Luther

Henri Nouwen on the Blessing of Poverty

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“How can we embrace poverty as a way to God when everyone around us wants to become rich? Poverty has many forms. We have to ask ourselves: ‘What is my poverty?’ Is it lack of money, lack of emotional stability, lack of a loving partner, lack of security, lack of safety, lack of self-confidence? Each human being has a place of poverty. That’s the place where God wants to dwell! ‘How blessed are the poor,’ Jesus says (Matthew 5:3). This means that our blessing is hidden in our poverty.

We are so inclined to cover up our poverty and ignore it that we often miss the opportunity to discover God, who dwells in it. Let’s dare to see our poverty as the land where our treasure is hidden.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith

Martin Luther Quote on the Psalms #2

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“The Psalter is the book of all saints, and everyone, whatever his situation may be, finds psalms and words in it that fit his situation and apply to his case so exactly that it seems they were put in this way only for his sake …”

Martin Luther

Martin Luther, Church, Pray

 

Martin Luther on Music

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Stewardship of Our Life

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Image result for martin luther quotes on vocationI blogged recently about being a Pastor’s wife.  The truth is I, and all of you, have many roles.  We are mothers and wives, employees and daughters, friends and neighbors, church members and siblings.  In each of these roles we have a responsibility to be God’s hands and feet in the world.  On a Via de Cristo weekend, we call the team members who are serving  others chas, which stands for Christ’s hands in Action.  When you think of your whole life that way, it puts a different perspective on the smallest and most mundane actions.

Martin Luther, changed the whole understanding of vocation.  In his time, those who had a “vocation” were the priests, nuns and monks.  These people were the ones who were giving their lives to God.  Luther said everyone could do this;  those in religious orders were no different or better than the ordinary person who was striving to dedicate their daily life to God.  Milking cows was as holy and important a role as leading the Mass.

This doesn’t mean we can go about our lives without any thought of God;  instead it means that we should be thinking of God and trying to do His will ALL THE TIME.  Imagine how the world would change if every one of us did this?  It would put an end to a lot of cursing, gossip, insults and other kinds of careless talk.  It would lead to productive employees, concerned parents, helpful neighbors and caring friends.  I suspect that the harder I try to do this, the more contented and peaceful I’ll become.

The work I have in this world is the work God has given me.  The roles I fulfill are the ones He chose for me.  Each of them will teach me something and bring me closer to Him if I just remember who I am:  a steward of the King.

C. S. Lewis on Stewardship

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  The only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. Our charities should pinch and hamper us. If we live at the same level of affluence as other people who have our level of income, we are probably giving away too little.

C. S. Lewis (1898–1963)

What is your reaction to this quote?  I find it challenging.  I fear few of us could meet C. S. Lewis’s standard–I know I don’t.