Al’s Quotes & Quips for August

  • “There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you.” (William Hazlitt)
  • “God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.” (Dr. David Livingstone, quoted in Daily In The Word)
  • “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” (Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Des Moines Register)
  • “The Promised Land always is on the other side of a wilderness.” (Havelock Ellis, quoted in Passport to the Soul)
  • “Anyone can make a mistake. Only a fool insists on repeating it.” (Robertine Mayard, quoted in Reader’s Digest)
  • “The money spent on government today doesn’t make it one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money we spent twenty years ago.” (Will Rogers)

***Here is the final installment of quotes by Chuck Knox, former coach of the Seattle Seahawks from his book Hard Knox

  • “Winners form the habit of concentrating on what they want to have happen. Losers concentrate on what they don’t want to have happen. In pressure situations, winners call up past wins, losers call up past losses, and both are self-fulfilling.”
  • “Nearly as important as experiencing a big win is understanding how you won, why you won, so you can go on to win again.”
  • “I consider the act of playing harder when you are ahead as important as not giving up when you are behind.”
  • “We don’t have to change what we are doing—We just have to do it better.”
  • “Sometimes a guy will want to know what his title will be. Bad question. I tell him, you want a title, join the service, get a job at the bank. Here, we are only looking for guy called workers.”
  • “I never fire a coach… once they are hired, they are with me as long as they want to be. It is easier to develop continuity and vision that way. It’s harder to hire, because I can’t afford to make a mistake, but once they are here, it’s easier to be their boss. If a coach is not doing his job, the bottom line is, I brought him in, he’s my responsibility, I’ve got to make him better.”
  • “It’s not how far you’ve come, but what kind of trail you left for others to follow.”
  • “The thing I’ve discovered is that life’s results won’t always fit neatly into a line score.  Success and failure cannot always be judged by the game films.  All a man can do is walk straight and upright and believe that if behind him things don’t look so good, around the corner they must be eye-popping wonderful.”

When You Don’t Know What to Do

Neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.  ―2 Chronicles 20:12
Jehoshaphat is faced by a powerful combination of Moabites, Ammonites, and others. In his desperation he turns to God: “O God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us.”
Are we not often in this plight? Do these lines fall under the eye of someone sore beset by an alliance of evil confederates, whether in the flesh or of the unseen world of principalities and powers? You do not know what to do. We never do. We have no might against the Moabites.
But we can take Jehoshaphat’s way out: “Our eyes are upon thee.” We may not know what to do, but God always knows what He is going to do. He is never caught off guard or taken by surprise. Commit your case to Him. You can lie down at night and sleep, although tomorrow the Moabites will arrive. Many a saint has pillowed his head on a promise when all hope seemed gone. And when the dreaded day arrived God had handled the Moabites in His own way.
“Our eyes are upon thee.” “Looking unto Jesus.” We know not what to do, but He knows.  No sleeping pill can rest a man like knowing that!

A Word of Encouragement

“…and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” —Obadiah verse 21

When Nazi’s overran France in WW2, the French Resistance fought against the Nazi’s in guerrilla warfare. Suppose you were a member of the French Resistance fighting along side of other Frenchmen you believed were your friends. Then came a day when a member of the French Resistance betrayed your group to the Nazi’s.  Many of your friends were killed and you are captured and imprisoned.  At that point what would you need to hear that would encourage you?  You would need to hear, “D-Day is coming! The Allies are coming to free you.”

During the prophecy of Obadiah, things looked very dark for Israel as they were betrayed by Edom and captured by the Babylonians. But Obadiah gave some encouraging words, “the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.”  This promise would be a great encouragement to Israel in it’s affliction.

Today we are living in dark days also (2 Tim. 3:1).  Wickedness is on every hand (1 John 5:19).  Where can we find a word of comfort in these perilous times?  Just as Obadiah comforted Israel in their distress by assuring them, “the kingdom shall be the Lord’s,” we also find comfort in God’s promise that, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout… and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which remain shall be caught up together with then in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore COMFORT one another WITH THESE WORDS” (1 Thess. 16-18).

Be encouraged Christian, the day is coming when “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).

Amen! “The kingdom shall be the Lord’s.”

Unholy Smoke

 “Out of his mouth go burning lamps… out of his nostrils goeth smoke” (Job 41:19-20).

Smoking tobacco was unknown outside of America before the Europeans came to the “new world.” It was introduced to “the white man” by Eastern Native American Indians in the 17th century. According to Tobacco: A Study of Its Consumption in the United States, by Jack Jacob Gottsegen (page 107), tobacco was originally smoked in pipe ceremonies to seal a treaty. The Native Americans considered tobacco a gift from the Creator, and tobacco smoke as a means of carrying one’s prayers to the spirits. (This false idea may have come from a misinterpretation of Revelation 8:4, which has nothing to do with smoking tobacco.)

The settlers of America and Sir Walter Raleigh sent tobacco seeds back to Europe, and the rest is history! Selling and smoking tobacco has been a profitable enterprise ever since.

So, the next time you “light up,” remember you are puffing on stuff that is “rooted” in a false religion and defiles your body which is “the temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. 3:17).

Tobacco is a filthy weed,

From the devil it doth proceed.

It stains your fingers and your clothes;

It makes a chimney of your nose!

Coming Down The Mountain

Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John… and bringeth them UP into an high mountain apart… And as they came DOWN from the mountain… —Matthew 17:1, 9

What is harder—Climbing up a mountain or coming down from a mountain?   I’m not a mountain climber, but I have climbed a couple of small mountains—Silly Mountain in Apache Junction, AZ and Hibriten Mountain in Lenoir, NC.  From my limited experience, it is just as hard, and maybe harder, to come down from a mountain as it was to go up!

I have a good friend who has climbed several large mountains—Pike’s Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount Shasta, and Mount Hood.  He told me the strain on your muscles after climbing up leaves your legs weak and rubbery.  You’re not as steady coming down as you were when you started up. Fatigue also makes it harder.

Peter, James, and John had a “mountain top experience” with Jesus as He was transfigured with Elijah and Moses before them (Mt. 17:1-8).  Peter wanted to make tents and dwell there.  But there were people at the base of the mountain who needed them.  So they came down.  What a descent that must have been for them as they came down from that mountain. [Most scholars believe this was on Mount Hermon.]

The same is true about coming down from a spiritual mountain top experience.  What a blessing to have a “mountain top” experience with the Lord.  But, you cannot live on the mountain top.  After the joy of being on the mountain top, we are faced with the inevitability of coming down to the reality of pain, sorrow and ministry.

Coming down spiritually can be painful. Jesus knew this when He came down from Mt. Zion in heaven to this sin-cursed planet.  Coming down means humbling yourself. This involves killing your pride and pride does not “die” easily (and has a way of resurrecting itself continually). After the disciples came down, they needed to be humbled (Mark 9:33-35).

So, enjoy whatever mountain top experience you may have with the Lord. But remember also, what goes up, must come down.  For every mountain top there is a valley also, and coming down may be harder than going up.

 

Leading from Redemption to Spiritual growth…