Thanksgiving: Inspirational Quotes

Thursday, November 23, 2017

This year, I am grateful for the wisdom of others. Although we are told to read the Lord's Word on our own every day, I find that in addition to that I rely so much on others to help me along the way. Be it through teachers, ministers, friends, or strangers, I find I am constantly inspired by others in my journey to discovering what the Lord wants me to do. In this post I have included a number of quotes that have inspired me to look at spiritual life differently, as a mark of my gratitude for the help of others along my path to finding the Lord. I hope you enjoy!

"Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done."
~C.S. Lewis~

"In a world of people trying to 'find ourselves,' we would do well to listen to more closely to what God says about us."
~John Rinehart~

"I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God, it changes me."
~C.S. Lewis~

"The Creator gave us two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. Perhaps we should learn to use our eyes and ears more and our mouth less."
~Native American Reenactor, Colonial Williamsburg~

"I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun - not because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else."
~C.S. Lewis~

"Someday you'll be really, really grateful that God gave you what you needed instead of what you thought you wanted."
~Mandy Hale~

"When poisons become fashionable, they do not cease to kill."
~C.S. Lewis~

"Don't follow your heart. God did not design our hearts to be followed, but to be led."
~Jon Bloom~

"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you."
~C.S. Lewis~

"It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do."
~Jane Austen~

"'Why, then, did God give them free will?' Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the ONLY THING that makes possible any love or goodness or joy WORTH HAVING."
~C.S. Lewis~

(As you can see, I am rather fond of C.S. Lewis...the man was a genius, I think!)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Life Lesson 2: The Lord Will Fight for You

Saturday, November 18, 2017

In reading Exodus chapter 14 this morning, I discovered some astoundingly clear messages about the nature of repentance and just how much the Lord is willing to fight for us against evils. After years of horrific captivity and slavery in Egypt, Moses finally frees the people and they escape into the wilderness. Huzzah! As soon as the Egyptians start chasing after them, however, the children of Israel respond with the following:

"Are there no graves in Egypt, that thou hast taken us to die in the wilderness? What is this that thou hast done to us, to bring us out from Egypt?" (Exodus 14:11).

What a powerful message! Because when the hells (evil spirits/devils) are chasing after us, repentance feels like death: starving our sense of self/ego from doing evil feels like death. Why would we ever want to stop living in sin when it feels good, or when it feels like such a big part of our identity?
The hells can also feel like an army against us: it is so easy for us to think they have all the power.
But then the Lord provides us with a beautiful, strengthening, awe-inspiring image: the angel in the pillar of cloud moves from standing in front of the children of Israel to standing behind them, and puts himself between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The Lord will fight for you! The Lord will defend you! Wow.

I was partcularly struck this time through by another impressive image in this story, that further solidifies the idea of an all-powerful God: the Lord actually suspends the sea, and then lets it crash down on the Egyptians. He suspends the entire sea! Thinking about how dangerous a mere river can be, the force of the ocean is mind-boggling. How awesome is He?! It brings to mind a particular doxology we often sing in church:

"Glory and might be unto Him, forever and ever amen. Who is and who was and who is to come, The Almighty. Amen" (Take from Revelation 1:6,8).

Life Lesson 1: Change is a Comin'

Friday, November 10, 2017

A little life lesson I desperately needed today, that came to me in the leaf-covered woods...

Why box up life? Change is what life is all about. Seasons change. Knowledge changes. Popularity changes. Uses change. Every year is new: new breakthroughs, new failures, new stories, new leaders. Every day is new: new weather, new interactions, new objects, new surroundings. Every moment is new: unpredictable, unimaginable, uncontrollable, unknown. Habits are broken in an instant, a life ends, a relationship begins, groundbreaking discoveries are made.

Why box up life? Let go of control: Don't worry if the body seems unfit, if the knowledge is not perfected, if the skill is under-rehearsed. Don't resist the changes, don't wait until the moment is "right," don't give up before you have even begun. Flexibility grants us peace, tolerance, acceptance, patience. Spontaneity grants us laughter, adventure, and most importantly: a chance to play.

Why box up life? Open your mind. Choose to like something new every day. Like the chilly air, like the crooked glasses perched on a crooked nose, like that one cloud in the sky. Try something new every day. Try baking that cake, try climbing that tree, try sketching that portrait. Failure? Comes when you forget to laugh about the charring, the scrapes and bruises, the disproportionate features. So what if before today you didn't like baseball, or travelling, or rainy them now! The biggest obstacle? YOU.

"For I know the thoughts that I think upon you, says Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hello, thanks for checking out my blog!
I started this blog for two main reasons: 

1) Because I want to return the inspiration
I used to think blogging was self-centered; what's so special about my thoughts that I need to share them with the whole world? Who really needs to hear what I have to say? However, I am constantly being inspired by other people online, whether it be through a blog, a video, or even just a simple comment. And while I would NEVER claim that the things I write will be inspirational to others, I realize that the people I am inspired by are able to inspire me because they share. And I think sharing ideas is extremely important! So I have decided to return the favor and share back. Will my thoughts actually turn out to be inspirational to even a single person? Perhaps not, but I am willing to give it a shot.

2) Because I don't want to forget
Sometimes an inspired thought comes into my head, as I'm sure happens with everyone, that really changes the way I see the world. Maybe it's triggered by something I've read, or seen, or heard from someone else. These inspirations can be life-changing...for about five minutes, or five days, or even five months. And then I'm on to the next thing and forget that I ever had that life-changing inspiration, until it comes back again in a different phase of life. Or never comes back at all! Some of these inspirations I really do not want to forget, so I decided to put them here. That way, when I forget that the Lord will always be there to fight for me, or that expectations lead to disappointment, or that prayer is essential, I will have this blog to return to to rediscover those life-changers.


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