Tag Archives: Perseverance

Ortberg on New Year



Talks about how Jesus grew, and may not have been a physically great specimen, but when he died the Spirit entered into him and was able to draw him out of death.


There is thing about trying to pretend to be smart – if you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room.


Also great comparison of 10 year olds who were given maths problems, and some of them gave up and were frustrated, but others loved the challenge, even though they were getting these wrong all the time.

Red Moon Rising


Augustine once said that God puts salt on our tongues that we may thirst for him.  Sometimes perhaps it is our own tears that carry the salt.


Finding answers during periods of turmoil takes time.  First we must find and formulate the questions.  And before even that we must simply face the pain.  The godless philosopher Nietzsche once wrote: “The essential thing in heaven and earth is … that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and have always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.” (page 48)


God thinks much ore of your desires than of the words in which they are expressed.  It may be natural for a scholar to consider the accuracy of your terms, but God especially notes the sincerity of your soul.  There is no other place where the heart should be so free as before the mercy seat.  There, you can talk out your very soul, for that is the best prayer that you can present.  Do not ask for what some tell you, that you should ask for, but for that which you feel the need of, that which the Holy Spiirit has made you to hunger and to thirst for, you ask for that. (from C.H.Spurgeon in a sermon entitled, “Pray, always pray”) (page 53)


Perhaps the atheists are right and God is a figment of our evolving imaginations.  If this is the case, then in the words of Paul we are to be ‘pitied more than all men’ (1 Corinthians 15:19).  If there is no God, then the fact that we have now mobilised may tens of thousands of people to sacrifice sleep and talk to a wall in the middle of the night is the sum total of stupidity.


But if – just if – there is a God, we can be sure that we are connecting with the greatest power of the universe.  And so through these years of persevering, sacrificial prayer ‘We do not lose heart’ (1 Corinthians 4:16-18) (page 58)


May there still be thousands of them who, in the plan and way assigned to them, and in the orders into which you have called them, without leaving their way of worship and forming a new church for themselves, prove their identity as inward men of God, as members of your invisible and true body before all people, for your own sake, Amen. – Von Zinzendorf, page 62


They are tests, moments of divine crisis, which the Chinese call ‘dangerous opportunities’ (page 70)


Prayer itself is an art only the Holy Spirit can teach us.  Pray for prayer.  Pray until you can really pray. – Spurgeon (page 88)

A prayer room is not some giant spiritual slot machine – just put in enough money and you’re guaranteed a can of coke.  A prayer room is first and foremost a living room – a place where the Father waits for his children to come and climb into his loving arms. – page 94


The Greek word for rest is hesychia and so Nouwen writes: ‘ Hesychia, the rest which flows from unceasing prayer, needs to be sought at all costs, even when the flesh is itchy, the world alluring and the demons noisy (page 95)


24/7 values

  1. Obedient to the Holy Spirit
  2. Relational
  3. Indigenous
  4. Inclusive
  5. Like Jesus
  6. Deeply rooted
  7. Creative and innovative
  8. Just
  9. Good stewards
  10. Sacrificial
  11. Celebratory
  12. Raw/Simple


Living in Skin

  1. Scent – a pleasing aroma
  2. Touch – just one touch
  3. Sight – glimpses of glory
  4. Taste – O taste and see
  5. Hearing – hearing from God, talking to God


Orders of evangelism

Author and speaker Ed Silovoso, reminds us in Prayer Evangelism, that we often start our contact with the non-Christians with a verbal declaration of the gospel, then healing, then the normality of a meal together and then praying for peace.  Note that the order in Luke 10 :5-9 is completely the other way around. (page 335)

The seven aspect of the Moravian ‘Brotherly Agreement’

–          the need for personal conversion

–          a commitment to simplicity and integrity as marks of the true Church

–          a refusal to be hostile to other believers – even when you believed they were not understanding the Scripture as you might

–          the belief that the sin of some believers was their fault, not the of the Church.  Zinznedorf believed in discipline, no coercion

–          A wariness of labels and names that might divide rather than unite

–          An active quest for spiritual growth. There was to be no reliance on the blessings of the past.  The people of God were to be intentional

–          A readiness to lay aside one’es personal desires and be ready to make sacrifices for the sake of others.  (page 341)


There is a great review of John Wesley on the ship on page 343.


Young people and the purposes of God (page 345) – Samuel, Daniel, Joseph, Josiah, David, Jeremiah, Mary, Jesus, Timothy.  Also looks at people like Anna Nitchsman, the four men of Kells in the Ulster revival, the Welsh revival of 1904 where 100,000 young people made a commitment. (page 348)

Billy Graham – Part 5


(page 155)

“The mightiest force in world” on prayer from Frank Laubach.


On support from Catholics (page 161)

Heartening to us also was the response of the Roman Catholic Church [during the Boston mission of 1950], remarkable especially in the light of the fact that the landmark decisions on ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council were still years away.  “BRAVO BILLY!” read the editorial headline in the Pilot the official newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese.  “We are ‘not amused’ by his critics, some unfortunately among the Protestant cloth…  If, as some people seem to think, the non-Catholic Christian congregations of New England are disintegrating, we are not such bigots as to rejoice therein.”


On speaking in Universities (page 165)

My appetite for many opportunities to speak in university settings had been sharpened.  I always felt the power of the Holy Spirit in these student meetings.  I didn’t claim to be an intellectual, nor did I have the academic training to answer every philosophical question that might be raised.  But I had come to realise that there was absolutely no need to apologise for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in academic settings.  The Gospel could more than hold its own.  It alone dealt with the deepest questions of the human mind.  It alone met the deepest yearnings of the human heart.  As someone once commented to me, the Gospel wasn’t so much examined and rejected on most university campuses as it was ignored.


On keeping going (page 166)

Then there was the question of my own stamina.  The Lord tells us to be anxious for nothing (see Philippians 4:6) but that’s always been a hard lesson for me to learn.


In MIT (page 168)

This has been an age in which we have humanised God and deified man, and we have worshipped at the throne of science.  We thought that science could bring about Utopia.  We must have a spiritual awakening similar to that which we had under Wesley and Whitefield.


Preparing for the London Crusade of 1954 (page 212)

Early 1954 gave me very little time at home in Montreat.  Ruth maintained in her counsel and advice to me that my studies should consist primarily of filling up spiritually; she believed, as I did, that God would give me the message and bring to remembrance in my preaching the things I had studied.  This was always the most effective preaching, we had discovered: preaching that came from the overflow of the heart and mind filled not only with the Spirit but with much reading.  Hence I picked each sermon topic carefully, read myself full, wrote myself empty, and read myself full again on the subject.

The Critic

Critics and artists

Key Words Critic Gossip Criticism
Source Piers Morgan
Author Roosevelt, Teddy
Page 255
Quote It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and the sweat and the blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
References Parable of the talents (Matthew 25)


From 27th March

Sadhu Sundar Singh, an early twentieth century Indian missionary, wrote

“A silkworm was struggling out of the cocoon and an ignorant man saw it battling as if in pain, so he went and helped it to get free, but very soon after it fluttered and died.  The other silkworms that struggled out without help suffered, but they came out into full life and beauty, with wings made strong for flight by their battle for fresh existence.”

Keep Calm and Carry On


The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are rather the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt.  For mortals, the ‘easy life of the gods’ would be a lifeless life.  Hannah Arendt, German political philosopher

Never stop because you are afraid – you are never more likely to be wrong – Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian Explorer

A man’s life is interesting primarily when he has failed – I well know.  For it’s a sign that he tried to surpass himself – George Clemenceau, French Statesman

The laurels of mere willing are dry leaves which have never been green – G.W.F. Hegel, German Philosopher

I accept the universe! – Margaret Fuller, 19th Century American writer and activist

Keep Me Reasonably Sweet

17th Century Nun’s Prayer

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will some day be old
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject, and on every occasion
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody: helpful but not bossy
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all,
But thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details
Give me wits to get to the point
Seal my lips on my aches and pains:
They are increasing and of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by
I dare not ask for grace to enjoy the tales of other’s pains
But help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for growing humility and a lessing cocksureness.
When my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet:
I do not want to be a Saint- some them are so hard to live with
– but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places,
And talents in unexpected people
And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.


Building Character

From  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Testament To Freedom, Page 92

A Christian life proves itself not in words, but character.  No one is a Christian without character … Only those who persevere are experienced and produce character.  Those who do not persevere experience nothing that will build character.  To whomever God wants to grant such experience – to an individual or to a Church, to them God sends much temptation, restlessness, and anxiety; they must cry out daily and hourly for the peace of God.  The experience that is talked of here leads us into the depths of hell, to the jaws of death, and in the night of unbelief.  But through all that, God does not want to take God’s peace from us.  Throughout, we experience God’s power and victory, and the ultimate peace at Christ’s cross more with each passing day.