Poetry Saturday—Lester

Lester was given a magic wish 
By the goblin who lived in the banyan tree, 
And with his wish he wished for two more wishes—
So now instead of just one wish, he cleverly had three.
And with each one of these 
He simply wished for three more wishes,
Which gave him three old wishes, plus nine new.
And with each of these twelve 
He slyly wished for three more wishes, 
Which added up to forty-six—or is it fifty-two? 
Well anyway, he used each wish 
To wish for more wishes ’til he had
Five billion, seven million, eighteen thousand thirty-four. 
And then he spread them on the ground 
And clapped his hands and danced around 
And skipped and sang, and then sat down 
And wished for more.
And more … and more … they multiplied 
While other people smiled and cried 
And loved and reached and touched and felt.
Lester sat amid his wealth 
Stacked mountain-high like stacks of gold, 
Sat and counted—and grew old.
And then one Thursday night they found him
Dead—with his wishes piled around him.
And they counted the lot and found that not 
A single one was missing.
All shiny and new—here, take a few 
And think of Lester as you do.
In a world of apples and kisses and shoes
He wasted his wishes on wishing. —Shel Silverstein

The Difficulty In Answered Prayer

Often it is simply the answers to our prayers that cause many of the difficulties in the Christian life.

We pray for patience, and our Father sends demanding people our way who test us to the limit, ‘because…suffering produces perseverance’ (Romans 5:3). …

We pray to be unselfish, and God gives us opportunities to sacrifice by placing other people’s needs first and by laying down our lives for other believers. …

We pray to the Lord, as His apostles did, saying, ‘Increase our faith!’ (Luke 17:5). Then our money seems to take wings and fly away; our children become critically ill; an employee becomes careless, slow, and wasteful; or some other new trial comes upon us, requiring more faith than we have ever before experienced.

We pray for a Christlike life that exhibits the humility of a lamb. Then we are asked to perform some lowly task, or we are unjustly accused and given no opportunity to explain….

We pray for gentleness and quickly face a storm of temptation to be harsh and irritable. 

We pray for quietness, and suddenly every nerve is tested to its limit with tremendous tension so that we may learn that when He sends His peace, no one can disturb it.

We pray for love for others, and God sends unique suffering by sending people our way who are difficult to love and who say things that get on our nerves and tear at our heart. …

The way to peace and victory is to accept every circumstance and every trial as being straight from the hand of our loving Father.” —Lettie Cowman, in Streams in the Desert (emphasis added)

Poetry Saturday—At Christmas

Edgar A. Guest

A man is at his finest
     towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be
     when the Christmas season is here;
Then he’s thinking more of others
     than he’s thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children
     is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than
     at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him
     he comes close to the sublime.

When it’s Christmas man is bigger
     and is better in his part;
He is keener for the service
     that is prompted by the heart.
All the petty thoughts and narrow
     seem to vanish for awhile
And the true reward he’s seeking
     is the glory of a smile.
Then for others he is toiling and
     somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas he is almost
     what God wanted him to be.

If I had to paint a picture of a man
     I think I’d wait
Till he’d fought his selfish battles
     and had put aside his hate.
I’d not catch him at his labors
     when his thoughts are all of pelf,
On the long days and the dreary
     when he’s striving for himself.
I’d not take him when he’s sneering,
     when he’s scornful or depressed,
But I’d look for him at Christmas
     when he’s shining at his best.

Man is ever in a struggle
     and he’s oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that’s in him
     is the master of the good,
But at Christmas kindness rules him
     and he puts himself aside
And his petty hates are vanquished
     and his heart is opened wide.
Oh, I don’t know how to say it,
     but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost
     what God sent him here to be. —Edgar Guest

 

12 Quotes From “Love Like That”

Dr. Les Parrott dives into the loving life of Jesus and takes us with him to discover the five was Jesus loved. Check out my full book review by clicking here, and then enjoy some of the quotes I especially liked. 

“The great hindrance to true enjoyment is our willingness to settle for pitiful pleasures.” 

“What keeps us from being mindful? I can answer this question with one word: agendas. … Every one of us has the capacity to set aside our self-interest, temporarily. We have the ability at any time to press the pause button on what we want. … That’s the moment we become mindful.” 

“Loving like Jesus is not efficient. It takes time away from our own agenda-driven pace.” 

“Jesus was shockingly accessible to anyone who felt undesirable or unwanted—lepers, Gentiles, tax collectors, the poor and persecuted, pagans and sinners. He wasn’t like other ‘holy men’ in Judea. His fellow rabbis operated on the principles of exclusion and isolation.” 

“If you want to love like Jesus, you can’t limit your love to people who deserve it.” 

“God is happy to give unconditional acceptance and unmerited grace to all who will receive it.” 

“We can’t give grace to others when we are aren’t receiving it ourselves. When we’re busy earning acceptance from God, we start to think everyone else should earn it too. Judgmentalism creeps in. Self-righteousness appears. … When we aren’t cognizant of God’s unconditional acceptance in our own lives, we can’t give it to others.” 

“If you want to love like Jesus, you can’t shy away from what you know is right and true. You can’t remain silent just to go unnoticed. Loving like Jesus is not for the chickenhearted. It requires a fierce commitment to being authentic. It requires a bold commitment to being a truth-teller. … No one accused Jesus of being a pushover—or winsome.” 

“Self-giving is selfishness in reverse. It is not concerned with benefits, and it expects nothing in return. … It comes down to motive. You can be a giver and still expect something in return. … True self-giving is offering the best of who you are to others, and it comes with no strings attached.” 

“The long and short of it is that we love like Jesus when we allow Jesus to love through us. It’s not about our effort. We are not trying to imitate Jesus. It’s an inside job. It’s about being a channel for His love.” 

“Loving like Jesus isn’t achieved as much as it is received.” 

“The word intuition comes from the Latin word intueri, which is roughly translated as meaning ‘to contemplate.’ You see, our intuition stems from what we are considering, what we are sensitive to or attuned to do. … So, if you want to hear from God, you’ve got to slow down enough to clear your head and be attuned to His Spirit. That’s when the sacred gift of God’s whisper is heard—when you become accustomed to His voice.” 

I’ll be sharing more quotes from Love Like That soon, so stay tuned! Updatenew quotes are posted here.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“When we look at the love of Christ, we make a wonderful discovery. Love is more a decision than an emotion! Christ-like love applauds good behavior. At the same time Christ-like love refuses to endorse misbehavior. Jesus loved His apostles, but He wasn’t silent when they were faithless. Jesus loved the people in the temple, but He didn’t sit still when they were hypocritical.” —Max Lucado

“One of the great enemies of hope is forgetting God’s promises.” —John Piper

“If you perform deeds of charity with the idea of getting to heaven by them, it is yourself that you are feeding and clothing; all your virtue is not virtue, it is rank selfishness, and Christ will never accept it; you will never hear Him say, ‘Thank you’ for it. You served yourself, and no reward is due. You must first come to the Lord Jesus Christ, and look to Him to save you; you will forever renounce all idea of doing anything to save yourself, and being saved, you will be able to give to the poor without selfishness mixing with your motive.” —Charles Spurgeon

Dave Barringer has a good word for pastors: 8 reasons why being vulnerable is better.

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading & watching from today…

“What matters is not the accomplishments you achieve; what matters is the person you become.” —Dallas Willard

“God-given dreams have to do with unselfishness and the serving and blessing of others. Dreams that are initiated out of our own imaginations tend to be primarily focused on ourselves and what we can ‘get.’” —Jeff Hlavin

“Pray against pride, dear friends, wherever you may be. Pride will grow on a dunghill, as well as in the king’s garden. Pray against pride and vainglory, and God give you grace to keep it under!” —C.H. Spurgeon

[VIDEO] John Maxwell reminds us that you don’t have to be a cosmetologist to make someone else beautiful.

Mark Atteberry addresses an article about why millennials are leaving churches, and he does a great job refuting the main points.

Great encouragement from David Wilkerson for anyone praying for a wayward child or spouse.

Planned Parenthood’s stance: if it’s consensual, then violent sex is okay. Again I ask, “Why are my tax dollars funding this garbage?!” Check out this transcript from Live Action’s latest undercover investigation

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: OK. Um, role-play absolutely is normal. Um, it’s—I would say anything within the sexual world is normal as long as it’s consensual 

15-YEAR-OLD: OK. 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: —between the two people. So if you feel like—like, if he threw out role-play and you were like, “That sounds really weird,” or “I feel really uncomfortable with that,” and he still, like, pressured you, then that is not normal. 

15-YEAR-OLD: OK.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: But if you were like, “Yeah, I’m open to it, whatever,” and you try it and it felt weird, so you said that, and he was like, “Yeah, that—whatever, that’s fine, let’s not do that again,” that’s also normal.

%d bloggers like this: