Christian Quotes: C.S. Lewis

 

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“…it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
C.S. Lewis

 

The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”

Proverbs 16:5

Christian Quotes: Amy Charmichael

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“And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Until it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.

I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire—
See in my quiet places, wishes thronging—
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.”
― Amy Carmichael

 

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
    but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:2-3

 

Hope For Better Things

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Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

My husband and I were heading down the highway the other evening when a memory stuck me of driving down this same road certain nights in my 20’s.

In those days, a restlessness and discontent rattled around inside me. Some nights, I hopped in my Colt and drove, often going for long stretches at a time. I had no specific destination in mind except away from the day-to-day reality of my life. Just being in the car, alone, felt like breaking free and reassured me there might be more “out there” somewhere for me. But there was always a tinge of loneliness mixed in. I’d glance out at the lights I’d see in neighborhoods that I passed, and wonder what it was like to have a house and family, to be settled and needed at home.   

Reliving those moments, I began feeling sad for that 20-something who felt so full of angst. But then, a new and sweeter thought popped into my mind. I would not be surprised at all if it was the Holy Spirit intervening! Here was what I pictured:

Me, as I am now, standing in front of the me I was then. I put my hands on my younger self’s shoulders and say, “I know how unhappy you are now. But you won’t find your life speeding down a road by yourself. Things are going to get a lot better for you. You can’t see that yet, so you’ll have to trust me. For right now, though, hold on to hope. That has carried through so much already – let it keep you going now.”

It’s true that no matter how discouraged or angry or depressed I got in that time of my life, I never totally gave up hope. The smallest flicker of it always appeared when I needed to be pulled out of a funk. Was it the power of my own positive thinking? Hardly!

If I really could go back and talk to my younger self, I’d tell her that God is waiting for her. He loves her, and has always had a plan for her to be in a family – His church. And He has always wanted her to feel safe and settled – under His wings. Only one thing will calm the restlessness she feels, and it won’t be a longer road trip, but coming home.

I shared my musings with my husband, who smiled – he knows the journey I’ve been on. And I realized how wonderfully God has met my longings in ways I would never have imagined.

Expect The Unexpected

I heard the conductor of our local orchestra use this phrase to promote an upcoming season: Expect the Unexpected. He was talking about concert pieces, of course. But I‘ve taken it to heart in terms of substitute teaching, and really, my overall mindset.

Flexibility is definitely one of the skills I’ve had to learn as a sub. And that trait is not part of my natural gift mix. I like being able to prepare in advance for an upcoming situation – that gives me a sense of confidence that I can handle whatever happens.

Luckily, my first couple of assignments matched up pretty well to what I imagined. But then I ventured into doing PPT days. A PPT is basically a teacher/parent meeting during the school day that lasts between 20 minutes and an hour. What that means for me is that I travel from room, going in “cold”. I have no idea of what activity or subject the class might be doing when I walk in. As you can imagine, I found that set-up nerve wracking at first. Every time I approached a new door my anxiety would spike.

The thing that finally helped my stress levels was to embrace the not knowing. Because the truth is that no matter how much prep I do, I can’t predict what will happen once I step into a school. I’m truly at their disposal. The only real way for me to get ready is to decide to stay focused on the present moment. Then I can respond effectively to any concern or need.

Sounds like a metaphor for life, doesn’t it? I sure think so. And the lesson has been as challenging to learn in my daily life as it’s been in subbing. Being a list maker and a planner, I can find my security in organization if I’m not careful. But that kind of security is fleeting.

Proverbs 3:26 says, “For the Lord shall be your confidence, and shall keep your foot from  being taken.” What a great reminder for me of what to lean on and where my security lies. I have no control, but God does. I don’t know what will happen once  any given day, but He’s already seen and prepared for everything.

So I’ll expect the unexpected from life. But I can expect God to walk with me through it all.

 

Thinking With My Heart

Do you ever wake up in a blue mood? I’ve been fighting one this morning myself. Why? Well, it’s Monday…and cloudy…the breeze has a late November chill to it…all the stuffing and pie has been eaten up… you get the idea.

The thing is, I can bring to mind lots of pretty decent reasons to be down without much effort. I’m sure you can, too. And one issue often leads to another if I’m not careful.

Yesterday I was wishing my husband and I could get more “fun” time together. Within a few hours, I was convinced he didn’t like being with me and that we had no romance in our relationship anymore. No wonder I woke up discouraged today!

Thankfully, this time I didn’t get too far down that road. And I’m sure it was the  Holy Spirit’s doing. I was sitting at the kitchen table on the verge of tears, when a scripture verse popped into my head:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?                                Jeremiah 17:9

The words brought my thoughts to a screeching halt. And it occurred to me to wonder if all those negative thoughts were from my brain or my heart. Because I have to admit that I’ve had a history of listening to my feelings first, using rational thought as a back-up. That habit has led to some bad decisions – words spoken and actions taken that were based on faulty beliefs.

So I dared to ask this morning:

  • What do I think is true right now?

My marriage is struggling – we’re falling out of love, etc…

  • Is that based on feelings or reality?

Well

I reminded myself that we’ve both been in a busy, demanding season, which is both a blessing and a challenge. There’s work, of course. And we’re trying to be available for our kids to help them navigate life as older teens. New opportunities have opened up for both of us in ministry. We’re tired and a bit stressed by life. But that doesn’t mean we’re in trouble – it means we need some sleep and a good date night!

For me, emotions can have a lot of power. So when they come on especially strong, I need to take a step back and do a reality check. It sure worked for me today – my outlook has improved a lot already.