From the Word

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

Notable Quotables

“An adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” (G. K. Chesterton)

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” (Peter Drucker)

“To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love.” (Thomas Merton)

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Around the Net

My Biggest Mistake as a Mother (Carolyn Mahaney)
“Years ago, I was asked, ‘If you could parent your daughters all over again, what would you do differently?’ Mistakes and failures flooded my mind, but in a moment I had my answer. I wish I had trusted God more. . . . I was focused on what I was doing (or not doing) for my children, and only vaguely aware of what God was doing in my children’s lives. Trusting God became something of an afterthought, and I would mother my children as if it was all up to me.”

Other Forces at Work (Margaret Manning Shull)
Like Frodo and the other members of the Fellowship of the Ring, we can so easily look around us and see the peril of the journey in this world. Our desire to avoid difficulty and pain, our longing for another kind of world, often distracts us from doing God’s work in God’s world, regardless of the times at hand. Yet, our longings for what is good, beautiful, and right for our world do not have to lead us to flights of fantasy or to wishful thinking.”

The Universe Should Not Actually Exist (Gene Veith)
According to contemporary physics, there would have been an equal amount of matter and anti-matter at the Big Bang. “But if that were so, the matter and anti-matter would annihilate each other. Theorists have assumed that there must be some kind of asymmetry between matter and anti-matter, since, obviously, matter exists. But a new experiment has found that the symmetry of matter and anti-matter is complete.” So the universe should not actually exist.

Why You Should Stop Pretending You’ll Live Forever (David Gibson)
The message of Ecclesiastes is blunt. “One day you will be dead and gone, and the world will go on, probably without even remembering you. A hundred years after your death, the chances are, no one will ever know you lived. If this depresses you, there’s still a lot to learn about why this is actually a freeing reality. But if it cracks a wry smile on your face, you’re halfway to happiness. For the Preacher is going to show us what we should, and should not, expect out of life.”

4 Ways Your Church Can Help People Simplify Christmas (Karl Vaters)
“It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas is also the busiest. A few years ago, our small church decided we weren’t going to compete with all the holiday activities that were filling people’s calendars. We weren’t able to keep up, so we stopped trying. Instead, we asked ourselves ‘what can we do that no one else is doing?’ Specifically, instead of crowding their calendar even more, how can we help people simplify their Christmas season?”

Something to Ponder

The Broad Field of Promise

“Downcast and troubled Christian, come and glean today in the broad field of promise. Here is an abundance of precious promises, which meet your needs exactly. Take this one: ‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench.’ Is that not helpful to you? A reed, helpless, insignificant, and weak, a bruised reed, out of which no music can come, weaker than weakness itself—yet he will not break you, but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen you.

“You are like the smoking wick: No light, no warmth, can come from you, but he will not extinguish you; he will blow with his sweet breath of mercy until he fans you into a flame. Would you glean another ear? ‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ What gentle words! Your heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore he speaks so softly to you. . . . Our Master’s field is very rich, as you can see. Plenty of promises lie before you, believer! Gather them up, make them your own, for Jesus wants you to have them. Do not be afraid; only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation, and feed on them with joy.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon

The Glory of Creation

Sharing Is Caring

bird-mid-flight-sharingImage Credit: @landpsychology

Into All the World

“First keep the peace within yourself; then you can also bring peace to others.” (Thomas à Kempis)

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