Saturday, 28 January 2012


“Go west, young man, go west.”
–Horace Greeley

Philippians 1:2-6

From "Portrait of a Christian"
Not only in the words you say,
Not only in your deeds confessed.
But in the most unconscious way
Is Christ expressed.
Is it a beatific smile?
A holy light upon your brow?
Oh no, I felt His presence when
You laughed just now.
For me ‘twas not the truth you taught,
To you so clear, to me so dim.
But when you came to me,
You brought a sense of Him.
And from your eyes He beckons me,
From your lips His love is shed,
'Til I lose sight of you and see
The Christ instead.
–Beatrice Clelland

Philippians 1:14-30

“When I go down to the grave I can say I’ve finished my day’s work, but I cannot say I finished my life. My life’s work will begin the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley. It is a thoroughfare. It closes with the twilight to open with the dawn.”
–Victor Hugo

Philippians 2:1-6

Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us:
Ye call Me Master and obey Me not.
Ye call Me Light and see Me not.
Ye call Me Way and walk Me not.
Ye call Me Life and desire Me not.
Ye call Me Wise and follow Me not.
Ye call Me Fair and love Me not.
Ye call Me Rich and ask Me not.
Ye call Me Eternal and seek Me not.
Ye call Me Gracious and trust Me not.
Ye call Me Noble and serve Me not.
Ye call Me Mighty and honor me not.
Ye call Me Just and fear Me not.
If I condemn you, blame Me not.
–Inscription in the cathedral in Lubeck

Phillipians 2:8-11

Consider Him
When the storm is raging high,
When the tempest rends the sky,
When my eyes with tears are dim,
Then, my soul, consider HIM.
When my plans are in the dust,
When my dearest hopes are crushed,
When is passed each foolish whim,
Then, my soul, consider HIM.
When with dearest friends I part,
When deep sorrow fills my heart,
When pain racks each weary limb,
Then, my soul, consider HIM.
When I track my weary way,
When fresh trials come each day,
When my faith and hope are dim,
Then, my soul, consider HIM.
Clouds or sunshine, dark or bright,
Evening shades or morning light,
When my cup flows o’er the brim,
Then, my soul, consider HIM.
–Author unknown

Philippians 2:12-26

“Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone.”
–John Calvin

Philippians 3:7-14

“When I was converted, I lost my religion.”
–Dr. W.I. Carroll

Philippians 3:15-20

“To be anxious for souls, and yet not impatient; to be patient, and yet not indifferent; to bear the infirmities of the weak without fostering them; to testify against sin and unfaithfulness and a low standard of spiritual life, and yet to keep the stream of love full and free and open. To have the mind of a faithful, loving shepherd, a hopeful physician, a tender nurse, a skillful teacher requires the continual renewal of the Lord’s grace.”
–Missionary in Guatemala

I’ll stay where You put me, I will, dear Lord,
Though I wanted so badly to go.
I was eager to march with the rank and file,
Yes, I wanted to lead them, you know.
I planned to keep step to the music loud,
To cheer when the banner’s unfurled,
To stand in the midst of the fight, straight and proud,
But I’ll stay where you put me.
I’ll stay where you put me, I’ll work, dear Lord,
Though the field be narrow and small
And the ground be fallow and the stones are thick
And there seems to be no life at all.
The field is Thine own, only give me the seed.
I’ll sow it with never a fear.
I’ll till the dry soil while I wait for the rain
And rejoice when the green blades appear.
I’ll work where You put me.
I’ll stay where You put me, I will, dear Lord.
I’ll face the day’s burden and heat,
Always trusting Thee fully. When even has come,
I’ll lay heavy sheaves at Thy feet.
And then when my earth work is ended and done,
In bright eternity’s glow,
Life’s record all closed, I surely shall find
It was better to stay than to go.
I’ll stay where you put me.
–Mrs. Charles Cowman

“For our city home is in heaven.”
–Mrs. Montgomery

“Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone.”
–John Calvin

Philippians 3:20—4:3

“All the way to heaven is heaven.”
–Dr. Herbert Bieber

Philippians 4:4-6

“Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you to conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability. Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself as to others. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from each other never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back; neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration, just what they think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God.”

“I carry this in the back of my Bible, everywhere I go, and every now and then I get it out and read it. This was written by Fenelon, a great saint and mystic of the Middle Ages.”
–Dr. J. Vernon McGee

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Apologetic Sound Bites: ‘Why do you want to force your opinion on me?’ Tim Chester

Continuing the Apologetic Sound Bites series, here are some pointers suggesting how to answer the question ’Why do you want to force your opinion on me?’
1. Avoid trading personal opinions by pointing people to something Jesus said or did. Confront people with Jesus so it becomes their opinion verses Jesus.
2. Suppose I spot a serious fault with your car that will soon cause a life-threatening accident and so I warn you of it. It would be madness to say, ‘Don’t force your opinion on me.’ Suppose I knew of a wonderful free gift available for all who ask. It would be madness to say, ‘Don’t force your opinion on me.’
3. ‘You may make it sound like a noble struggle for freedom. But the truth is you simply want the right to be selfish.’
4. When you say, ‘Let me decide for myself,’ you are saying, in effect, ‘I know better than God. I make a better god than God.’
5. “One of the most frequent statements I heard was that ‘Every person has to define right and wrong for him- or herself.’ I always responded to the speakers by asking, ‘Is there anyone in the world right now doing things you believe they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behaviour?’ They would invariably say, ‘Yes, our course.’ Then I would ask, ‘Doesn’t that mean that you do believe there is some kind of moral reality that is “there” that is not defined by us, that must be abided by regardless of what a person feels or things?’ Almost always, the response to that question was a silence, either a thoughtful or a grumpy one.”1
6. Christian missionaries are often accused of destroying indigenous cultures. Sometimes this has been true, but more often Christianity has adapted to, and reinforced, local culture. God himself came not in a transcultural form, but as a first century Jewish man. Unlike Islam, Christianity has always translated its message into local languages and practices. This has often created a new sense of cultural identity. ‘Now God speaks to us in our own language,’ said one tribal leader. The Bible celebrates cultural diversity and looks forward to a future when people from ‘every tongue, tribe, people and nation’ worship Jesus together and bring their glory into his kingdom (Revelation 7:9, 21:24-26).
1 Cited in Tim Keller, The Reason for God, Dutton, 2008, 47.