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Short Thoughts to Ponder

Greetings All,

     This weeks "thought" comes to you in the form of many short thoughts to ponder. They are taken from various sources, and the first four were sent to me by a gentleman who receives these weekly thoughts and returned the favor by sending some my way to encourage me.  It seems most everyone has some favorite thoughts, or sayings, that have helped them in their life-journey by the wise counsel conveyed through them. Thus I pass his on to you with a couple others included. I pray that one or more may speak to where you are at and help you on this day. Enjoy.

     "To see the Law by Christ fufilled,
       And hear His pardoning voice,
       Changes a slave into a child,
       And duty into choice."

                                   W. Cowper

     "Be still and know that He is God,
     Through pathways steep and rough;
     Not what He brings, but what He is,
     Will always be enough."

    "It is God's will that I should cast,
     My care on Him each day.
     He also asks me not to cast,
     My confidence away.
     But oh how stupidly I act,
     When taken unaware,
     I cast away my confidence,
     And carry all my care."
                                  T. Baird

    "The perfection of heaven is not static, nor do we see all at once all there is to see (about God) - for the finite cannot take in all the infinite. It is not our destiny to become God, therefore, there will always be more for a finite creature to know and enjoy about God. The end of increasing pleasure in God never comes. God is inexhaustably infinite!"     

John Piper 

     "It is vitally important at the outset to emphasize that there is no need for a log cabin, cottages, or huts, in order to lead a life of prayer. Prayer is interior.  The hut, the log cabin, the chapel, is the human heart in which we must learn how to pray. Solitude sometimes helps prayer, and for special vocations is the cradle of prayer -- and powerful prayer at that. But for the average Christian, prayer doesn't need a geographic spot. Prayer is a contact of love between God and man.
     Married people don't need a bedroom to make love.  One can make love anyplace -- and 'making love' does not necessarily mean what people immediately think it means!  Making love can mean looking into each other's eyes.  It can mean holding hands tightly.  It means being aware of each other in the midst of a crowd. So it is with prayer.  In the intense stillness of a loving heart all of that person strains toward the beloved, and words -- simple, gentle, tender -- come forth, audible or inaudible, as the case may be."  

  Catherine de Hueck Doherty 

       "I had recently found myself struggling with discontent. I lacked joy. Little things bothered me.  My thoughts turned to regrets and 'could have been's...'  Situations I used to bear up under seemed intolerable. I felt like I needed to run, start over, or pursue the happiness that was evading me, since the clock was ticking and I wasn't getting any younger.  Once time passed, I reasoned, I would lose it forever. 
     But as those thoughts went through my mind I realized my problem -- my words made it so very clear -- I was a Christian who had lost sight of the eternal. Like it or not (and it happened so gradually I was quite unaware of it) the pervading mindset of the contemporary culture around me (focused as it is on the temporal and not the eternal) had not only influenced but captivated my thinking.  Instead of living for eternity, as I had in my younger days, I had started living for the today's that seemed to be slipping away -- thinking almost entirely about what I wanted out of this life.  I was living for this life, not in a bad, overtly hedonistic or evil sense, but simply as if this life was the only one I had.
     My mind had gradually been transformed, but it was not by the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, it was by "the pattern of this world" (Rom. 12:2) which I thought I had left behind at my conversion years ago. I came to see how easily and deceptively the world's false value system finds a way of slipping in and taking root again, even after being unrooted. And when it does, the struggles and trails of this life become larger and more daunting than they really are.  Decisions are made on the basis of a present "quality of life" pursuit, rather than an eternal "future grace" pursuit -- where our reward is stored up in heaven for us, God's honor dictates our choices, and the anticipation of hearing the blessed words, "well done good and faithful servant" shed joy upon every struggle this present life seems to buffet us with.
     It brought to mind the words Richard Baxter wrote concerning the four benefits of thinking about heaven or eternity.  1.) It protects us from temptation because it keeps the heart focused on what pleases God.  2.) It maintains the vigor of the Christian life. 3.) It provides medicine for our afflictions cheering our spirits and easing our suffering. 4.) It makes us an encouragement to fellow pilgrims.  And I will add number 5.) It helps us remember that "our light and momentary afflictions are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
     Those are the reasons we are to, "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (II Cor. 5:18).  How many struggles we would gladly endure or bear up under with a divine joy, if we could just maintain, or regain, the Bible's perspective that life is always to be lived in light of eternity.  Though it has been said that some people are so heavenly minded they do no earthly good, it can also be said that many more people are so earthly minded they have lost entirely the ability to persevere, endure any discomfort, or weather the struggles of life with joy. To lose sight of our eternal future robs us of joy and strength of character in the present."  


      With prayers for your growth, encouragement and personal edification, Pastor Jeff