Here are some passages that meant something to me from a variety of books.

Things that we humans find impossible to do, God finds very easy. That is why we and trust all of his promises. We do not have to understand how he will fulfill them; we have only to believe that he will. (The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, NKJV, Life Lessons, Thomas Nelson, Inc., p. 22)

We can create a situation where God no longer aids our endeavors, not only through blatant sin but also by the choices we make that crowd him out. By our sins or by our omissions we can create an environment where God is no longer welcome. (The Greatest Stories Of The Bible, Phillip Patterson, Thomas Nelson, Inc., p. 310)

It is certain that I cannot always distinguish my own thoughts from those I read, because what I read becomes the very substance and texture of my mind....Gradually I emerged from the penumbra of that experience with a mind made clearer by trial and with a truer knowledge of life. (The Story Of My Life, Helen Keller, Dell Publishing Co., Inc., p. 69,72)

It seems strange to many people that I should be impressed by the wonders and beauties of Niagara. That are always asking: "What does this beauty of that music mean to you? You cannot see the waves rolling up the beach or hear their roar. What do they mean to you?" In the most evident sense they mean everything. I cannot fathom or define their meaning any more than I can fathom or define love or religion or goodness. (The Story Of My Life, Helen Keller, Dell Publishing Co., Inc., p. 72)

Mr. Higinbotham, President of the World's Fair, kindly gave me permission to touch the exhibits, and with an eagerness as insatiable as that which Pizarro seized the treasures of Peru, I took in the glories of the Fair with my fingers. It was a sort of tangible kaleidoscope, this white city of the West. (The Story Of My Life, Helen Keller, Dell Publishing Co., Inc., p. 73)

"I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them." (Exodus 3:7-8) God came down to deliver the Israelites then and God comes to deliver us now. No matter how many times I read this story - and I've read it many times - my heart melts every time to hear the one who created the world say, "I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them." The word "to know" in Hebrew means much more than simply being aware of, or cognitively understanding something. "To know" in the Hebrew language carries with it the connotation of being intimately connected. God is intimately connected with our sufferings. His knowledge isn't like the knowledge of suffering we get from watching the news on TV. It isn't acquired by looking down from a lofty position high up in heaven at our pain on earth. God's knowledge of our suffering suggests he hurts with those who hurt; he struggles with those who struggle. "I know your sufferings and I have come down to deliver you." God knew his people's suffering and delivered them. But the gospel tells us much more. In the person of Jesus Christ, God has literally come down, experienced our suffering himself, and he will deliver us. Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are grateful that you not only know about our pain, but you experience pain with us, and finally will deliver us. (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, God Knows, Jon Brown, Friday - May 2, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

God was present with Joseph in the midst of his success, and God was present with Joseph in the midst of his pain. God is with us too. If work and life are going well, be assured God is present with you. If the difficult realities of life and faith are overwhelming you, be assured God is still present with you....Prayer: Father, thank you for you abiding presence in our lives. (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, God's Presence, Jon Brown, Tuesday - May 20, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

"Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good." (Genesis 50:20) Sometimes God's intentions for us grow out of the soil of our pain. Joseph's brothers didn't like him. He was a tattletale and more than a little obnoxious with his self-glorifying g dreams. First we read, "they hated him." Then, "they hated him even more"; and as if that weren't enough, a third time: "They hated him even more." So in their hatred, the brothers plot and plan and decide to get rid of Joseph, not just for a while but forever. They get nervous though, and rather than killing him, they decide to hang a "for sale" sign around their baby brother's neck. By the twists and turns of God's providence Joseph rises to power, a famine falls on the land, the brothers are hungry, they come to Egypt and beg Joseph for food, Joseph is in a position to provide, and their family becomes reconciled. "Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good." God transformed the hatred of a family, the suffering of slavery, and the famine of a land to bring about his greater purpose. God has a way of doing that, growing his intentions out of the soil of our pain. Prayer: Lord, in our pain and brokenness, bring about your intentions. (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, God's Intentions, Jon Brown, Tuesday - May 19, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

"Keep awake ." (Mark 13:37) Samuel Smith stubbornly insisted he was innocent and would one day be released from prison. And sure enough, when the new evidence came back from the lab, he was set free. Over twenty years ago Jim Hansen predicted that global warming was becoming a serious problem, and in the last two decades the scientific evidence has proven him right. In each case, judgment and vindication. There is much going on in Mark chapter 13. The main point is that Jesus is predicting the destruction of the temple and the fall of Jerusalem. This is not primarily a prediction of the end of the world. It is, rather, highly charged apocalyptic language, with images drawn from the Hebrew prophets, describing God's coming judgment on Jerusalem. If you continue to walk the path of violence and injustice, Jesus says, then you will suffer the consequences. And sure enough, in AD 69 Roman legions torched the temple, killed thousands of Jews, and destroyed Jerusalem. Jesus' predictions came true. Judgment and vindication. Jesus must have been who he said he was. Sprinkled though this chapter is a call to be alert, to stay awake - a call no less important for us today - lest we, too, follow the well-worn path of violence and injustice to its inevitable and inglorious end. (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, Judgment And Vindication, Steven Bouma-Prediger, Wednesday - May 13, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

"You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34) Quoting the Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4, Jesus states that loving God with one's whole being is the most important thing in the world. He then adds that the next most important commandment is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Surprisingly, given the adversarial context, the scribe responds with words of affirmation. And he goes on to draw a most interesting conclusion: loving God and neighbor are much more important than all the temple sacrifices. Jesus repays the scribe's compliment with one of his own: you have spoken wisely and are not far from the kingdom of God. In other words, if we truly love God and neighbor, we are offering the sacrifices God really wants (Micah 6:6-8). For if we love God and neighbor, God's will is done on earth as it is in heaven, God's kingdom is realized on earth. (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, The Most Important, Steven Bouma-Prediger, Tuesday - May 12, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

"Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." (Mark 9:35) After their latest argument about who will be vice president when Jesus takes over rule of Israel, Jesus has some direct words for his followers: "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all. To emphasize his point, he take a small child, cradles it in his arms, and says that whoever welcomes this child welcomes me and the God who sent me. Children had no status or prestige in the ancient world. Jesus' message is clear: if you are looking for a position of power, go somewhere else. If, on the other hand, you are willing to serve and welcome the least, come join my kingdom. In so doing you will gain access to true royalty - even to God himself. Jesus' object lesson rings ever so true for us today. As we elbow our competition out of the way, seeking our places of power and prestige, we need to see the child in the arms Jesus. (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, True Greatness, Steven Bouma-Prediger, Sunday - May 9, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

"So he appointed the twelve." (Mark 3:16) But what a motley crew Jesus picked. No bank executives or government power-brokers. No doctors or nurses. No school teachers or college professors. Mostly just a bunch of fishermen. And quite unexpectedly there was a tax collector (Matthew) and a zealot (Simon) - in other words, a crook in collusion with the Romans and a violent revolutionary bent on overthrowing the Romans. How could Jesus ever imagine those two would get along? Did they? Do we? (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, New Israel, Steven Bouma-Prediger, Sunday - May 3, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

"Indeed you were concerned for me." (Philippians 4:10) The great apostle brought joy to the Philippian congregation by caring for them. He, in turn, found joy in their concern for him. The happiest, healthiest people are those who get outside themselves and show concern for others. Somewhere, I ran across this item called How To Be Miserable: Think about you. Talk about yourself. Use "I" as often as possible. Listen eagerly to what people say about you. Expect to be appreciated. Be suspicious. Be jealous and envious. Be sensitive to slights. Never forgive a criticism. Trust nobody but yourself. Insist on consideration and respect. Demand agreement with you own views on everything. Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them. Never forget a service you have rendered. Shirk your duties if you can. Do as little as possible for others. How different from the attitude of Ernie Harwell, the beloved former radio announcer for the Detroit Tigers. In an interview he was asked, "Is it difficult to broadcast a game? What's your approach?" Harwell, a joyful Christian, answered, "The game is the main thing! Tell what's happening, and try to stay out of the way." What will be the "main thing" for you today? Yourself? Or Christ and others? (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, Joy From Showing Concern For Others, Chic Broersma, Tuesday - April 28, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

"Rejoice in the Lord....Let your gentleness be known to everyone." (Philippians 4:4-5) Eugene Peterson calls joyful, gentle living "subversive behavior" - the practice of Christ-like virtues hidden from public view. As we find joy in knowing Christ we will be helped to be gentle toward others. The result? We experience greater harmony in our relationships. Joy in Christ puts our other relationships into balance. We remember that we belong to Christ before we belong to each other. If we belong to Christ then we must give up our natural tendency to try to control or dominate each other. I have no right to do that to you; you belong to Another. My only right is to serve you as Christ has served me in his life and at the cross. And the same is true for you toward me. Martin Luther said that we should act as little Christs to each other. We can go through life insisting on our rights. That is one way to go. Many do, but it's a joyless path. We can fight with others instead of acting as peacemakers. The news is filled with reports of such behavior. It may make news, but it doesn't make for joy. What makes for joy is the gentleness that comes from knowing Christ. (Words Of Hope Daily Reflections, Joy From Being Gentle Toward Others, Chic Broersma, Saturday - April 25, 2009, Words Of Hope, RCA)

We are told that "God created man in his own image" (Genesis 1:27). But to live a life in conformity with our creation is difficult. In fact, it is so difficult that all of us fall far short. Thus, instead of being like God, we seek to create Him in our own image. It is so much easier to make God like ourselves than for us to be like Him. (God's Psychiatry, Charles L. Allen, Commission Press, p. 48)

Man sees a little of God in many forms, majesty in His mountains, greatness in His seas, loveliness in His flowers, righteousness in His saints. But all of these are insufficient. With Philip, the heart of each of us says, "Lord, show us the Father." Jesus replied, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14:8,9). The only perfect image of God we have is Christ, and that is sufficient. (God's Psychiatry, Charles L. Allen, Commission Press, p. 49)

...the Good Samaritan saw his brother's need and his philosophy was, what belongs to me belongs to others, and I will share it. Let us never forget that the right of private enterprise and ownership is not something we have earned. Rather is it our God-given privilege. God expresses His faith in us, but He also demands an accounting. Ability, talents, opportunity, material resources are really not ours. They are God's investments in us. And like any wise investor, God expect dividends. (God's Psychiatry, Charles L. Allen, Commission Press, p. 74)

Put God and others first, get something into your mind greater than yourself. In so doing you lose yourself, selfishness is blotted out; instead of making ourselves miserable by what we do not have, we begin to gain the blessed thrill of giving what we can give. (God's Psychiatry, Charles L. Allen, Commission Press, p. 80)

There is a good story of four men who climbed a mountain. The first complained that his feet hurt. The second had a greedy eye and kept wishing for each house and farm he could see. The third saw clouds and was worried for fear that it might rain. But the fourth fixed his eyes on the marvelous view. In looking away from himself and from the valley below, the little worries which made the others so unhappy were unnoticed. (God's Psychiatry, Charles L. Allen, Commission Press, p. 80-81)

...I think about the troubles that exist today, both inside the church (brothers) and outside the church (neighbors). I think about how much effort is required to teach the principles of the gospel over and over again. These principles are an invitation to come unto Christ, to know him. I think this is meant to help us understand that knowing God is a whole lot more than knowing about Him. I believe a sign that we truly know God is that we live in complete peace and harmony with our fellow beings. No stealing or plundering of course, but also no slandering or gossiping, with a genuine measure of heartfelt kindness, patience, and forgiveness. I heard a church leader say the job of a priesthood holder is to build others up. I therefore think that the process of coming to know God goes hand in hand with the process of learning to be generous, kind, cheerful, and optimistic. May we all live in such a way that the world is better off because we are in it. (Eric Jorgensen)

He was born in an obscure village, the child of peasant woman. He grew up in still another village where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never visited a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life. (James A. Francis)

God is always aware. And He cares very deeply. As we will see, He will do whatever it takes to rescue His people. It many be by calling you home to Himself, or it may be by splitting an ocean right down the middle so you can walk through on dry ground. His deliverance may not arrive on your timetable or in the manner you expect it, but it will arrive at the best time, the right time. He will not abandon His own.

It was no accident that you were born into this particular era, at this very juncture of history in our nation and our world. God is looking for a man or woman, who will yield to His purposes and seize the day for His glory.

Yes, you may feel unqualified, uneducated, untrained, under-gifted, or even unworthy. Yet, as we will see in the coming chapters, those are excellent qualifications for God to do a mighty work. (Moses, Charles Swindoll, Word Publishing, p. 17)

Dwight L Moody gave his own spin on this remarkable biography. "Moses," Moody observed, "spent his first forty years thinking he was somebody. He spent his second forty years learning he was a nobody. He spent his third forty years discovering what God can do with a nobody."

You and I, though we may never achieve the age of one hundred and twenty, live in one of those three stages at this very moment. We either think we're somebody, or we have advanced enough to realize we are nobody, or we have finally discovered what God can do with a nobody! It's kind of encouraging, isn't it? God never gives up on us!

The best of the three, of course, in the final phase. Moses had already blown out eighty candles on his birthday cake before that last fact began to take root in his soul (and then only after a stubborn argument with the Almighty). After he learned it, however - after the truth of heaven's desire and ability to use him finally gripped his heart - the very earth would shake, and the seas would boil with the power of God radiating through his life. (Moses, Charles Swindoll, Word Publishing, p. 20)

Here we meet a woman (Moses' mother, Jochebed) with great faith in God. But it was not foolish faith! On the contrary, she took steps to devise the very best plan she could under those terrible circumstances (positioning that little basket precisely in a very special place), leaving the ultimate results to a sovereign God. (Moses, Charles Swindoll, Word Publishing, p. 24)

Wow! That's terrific, isn't it? You not only get your child back from the edge of the grave, you not only get the official sanction and protection of Pharaoh's daughter, but you get paid to raise him! That , my friend, is no coincidence. This is the hand of God. Scripture tells us, "When a man's way are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7, NIV). Never doubt that. When your ways really please the Lord, He'll take care of those enemies one by one, day by day. (Moses, Charles Swindoll, Word Publishing, p. 26)

Wisdom says, do all you can within your strength, then trust Him to do what you cannot do, to accomplish what you cannot accomplish. Faith and careful planning go hand-in-hand. The always have. (Moses, Charles Swindoll, Word Publishing, p. 27)

Prayer is, then, not so much an issue of telling God what we need, as it is an exercise in trusting God's gracious provision for the Kingdom and His righteousness, as well as for everyday needs. The patterns and sequences of our prayers change drastically when we are no longer frantically trying to gain God's attention. Prayer becomes a way to nurture our relationship with God. Prayer becomes a way to soak in grace until our lives reflect the the Father who is in heaven. Prayer becomes a conversation with a dear Friend who is waiting to provide.

When we look at the structure of our prayers, it quickly becomes apparent that we seldom pray with complete trust. We plead and struggle as we pray. We are not completely confident that God knows and will provide.

Each of us has known mature Christians who have lived the way the Sermon on the Mount prescribes. There is an aura of peace about them. They walk confidently in God's gracious provisions. They never panic, for they know God is with them.

Such an understanding of the way God works releases us from the burden of carrying the whole universe on our shoulders. It frees us to live and to pray the way our Lord taught us to pray. (Teach Us To Pray, Everett Leadingham, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, p. 38-39)

So there is nothing to look at but the vastness - nothing to think of. (Valley of Gods, Monument Valley, Arizona) That is why an Indian is great. He's like his surroundings. (The Vanishing American, Zane Grey, Pocket Books, p. 65)

Perhaps to the Indian poverty was nothing. The piñon might be his roof and warmth, the sage-covered earth his bed, the sheep his sustenance. (The Vanishing American, Zane Grey, Pocket Books, p. 84)

They slowed to a walk, and rode side by side. Marian awoke to the realization of a stinging happiness. Could it last? What was the cause? Herself, Nophaie, their love - these did not account wholly for that new significance of life. The she remembered what Withers had said: places have more to do with happiness than people. What did he mean by that? She told Nophaie this remark of the trader's and asked for an explanation. Nophaie did not reply for some moments. "People are false. Human nature is imperfect. Places are true. Nature itself is evolution - an inexorable working for perfection." (The Vanishing American, Zane Grey, Pocket Books, p. 89-90)

God grants peace to those who belong to Him. Jesus said, "My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful" (John 14:27). There's no greater gift for the anxious than God's peace. (Anxious for Nothing, John MacArthur, Victor, p. 106)

...He is peace. Whatever it is that He gives us, He has and He is. There is no lack of perfect peace in His being. God is never stressed. He is never anxious. He never worries. He never doubts. He never fears. (Anxious for Nothing, John MacArthur, Victor, p. 105)

The peace that God gives is not subject to the vicissitude of life. It is a spiritual peace; it is an attitude of heart and mind when we believe and thus know deep down that all is well between ourselves and God. Along with it is the assurance that He is lovingly in control of everything. We as Christians should know for sure that our sins are forgiven, that God is concerned with our well-being, and that heaven is our destiny. God's peace is our possession and privilege by divine right. (Anxious for Nothing, John MacArthur, Victor, p. 104)

Lord, You are bigger than history. You own everything in the entire universe. You can do anything You want to do. You love me and promise I will never be without the things I need. You said You would take care of me as You take care of the birds and the flowers. You have promised that Your character and power are at my disposal. (Anxious for Nothing, John MacArthur, Victor, p. 72)

Even today there are many who must see signs and wonder or they will not believe...if this is your case, do you crave signs and wonders? Isn't the Gospel its own sign and wonder? (His Miracles, Truth Itself, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Integrity Publishers, p. 50)

Don't Worry! "Do not worry about your life." (Matthew 6:25) This is not a suggestion. It is a command. You may say, "But I can't help feeling anxious, I have always been a worrier!"...My response is, "Oh, yes you can." There is nothing about a circumstance that automatically creates anxiety. Anxiety occurs because of the way we respond to a problem or troubling situation. Your ability to choose is part of God's gift of free will to every human being. You can choose how you feel. You can choose what you think about, and you can choose how you will respond to a circumstance. (God's Way Day By Day, Charles F. Stanley, Countryman, p. 91)

At the same time God often has lessons to teach us when we face adversity. He also can use life's hard experiences to knock the rough edges off our lives and change us into the people he wants us to be. Whatever it is, put Christ first in your life, and then ask him to help you trust him and not let the things of this world dominate your thinking. (Billy Graham, Trust In God -- And Get Help, Tribune Media Services 5/8/2006)

In every life come periods of darkness when we do not see the way. In every life come things which are such that we do not see why they came or any meaning in them. Happy is the man who in such a case still trusts even when he cannot understand. (His Miracles, To Have Faith Is to Trust, Charles Barclay, Integrity Publishers, p. 43)

And Jesus Christ is coming back. Someday He will be the world ruler, and at last we will have peace. All the hate and oppression and lies and wickedness will be eliminated. Is this the day Jesus is coming? I don't know. But I do know this: At any moment, any day, I may die. The Bible says, "prepare to meet your God" (Amos 4:12, NIV). I'm ready. Are you? (Billy Graham, The Love of God, February 2004 issue of "Decision" magazine,

We know that Thou, our God, art still able to do more than we ask or expect. So bless us, each one, not according to our deserving, but according to the riches in glory of Christ Jesus, or Lord. (His Miracles, Thou Knowest, Peter Marshall, Integrity Publishers, p. 28)

None of us are good enough to make it to heaven by our own efforts. Why would Jesus have had to endure death and suffering if we could do it alone? So, God's plan is for all of us in every generation and in every nation, to ask for His mercy, confess our sins, and trust Him for our salvation. That's the essence of God's plan for you and me, friend. It is also the fundamental requirement for us to experience God's wonderful, continuous gift of peace. Jesus is the foundation stone of our peace. (God's Way Day By Day, Charles F. Stanley, Countryman, p. 76)

The second greatest miracle, next to Christ, is what happens to a person who comes to know Christ personally. When we commit our lives to Him and invite Him to live in us, our days are filled with a constant succession of surprises. He is Lord of all life, has unlimited power, and can arrange events and circumstances to bless us. Our only task is to surrender or needs to Him, and then leave the results to Him...Where do you need a miracle---what to you seems impossible? Persist! Don't give up. At all costs make your way to the Master. Tell Him your need, and then leave it with Him. Even greater than the miracle you seek will be the miracle you become by seeking Him, touching Him, and experiencing His matchless love. (His Miracles, Constant Surprises, Lloyd John Ogilvie, Integrity Publishers, p. 27)

Phillippians 4:6-7 "Pray about everthing...If you do this, you will experience God's peace." Being in constant communication with the God of peace gives us real peace. (TouchPoints for Men - God's Answers for Your Daily Needs, Tyndale House Publishers, p. 228)

But the real question is this: Are you ready for that day? You can know by confession your sins and your need of Christ and trusting him alone for your salvation. (Billy Graham, Resurrection Shows the Glory of Afterlife, Tribune Media Services 4/6/2006)

Once you have received God's forgivness...then you are ready to fulfill the rest of God's plan for your life, which is this: to follow the Lord wherever He leads you. Your destiny will unfold before you as you obey the daily prompting and leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. (God's Way Day By Day, Charles F. Stanley, Countryman, p. 75)

Like a huge dog Kurt shook himself and launched into action. There were sense and pleasure in muscular activity, and it lessened the habit of worry...But Kurt, using an old harrow, had to walk. The four big horses plodded at a gait that made Kurt step out to keep up with them. To keep up, to drive a straight line, to hold back on the reins, was labor for a man. It spoke well for Kurt that he had followed that old harrow hundreds of miles, that he could stand the strain, that he loved both the physical sense and the spiritual meaning of the toil. (The Desert of Wheat, Zane Grey, Forge Books, p. 28)

A hideous and monstrous thing existed out there in the darkness. Lenore passionately loved her brother, and this black thing had taken him away. Why could not women, who suffered most, have some word in the regulation of events? If women could help govern the world there would be no wars. (The Desert of Wheat, Zane Grey, Forge Books, p. 51)

Priorities...What should be my priority concerning the pursuit of money? 1 Timothy 6:6 "People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desired that plunge them into ruin and destruction." Pursue most what last longest and strengthens life the best. The Lord will be around forever, long after material things have disappeared! He will give greater joy than riches ever could. (TouchPoints for Men - God's Answers for Your Daily Needs, Tyndale House Publishers, p. 209)

Restlessness...How do I find peace? Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Jesus promises his peace to all who come to him in trusting faith. (TouchPoints for Men - God's Answers for Your Daily Needs, Tyndale House Publishers, p. 227)

I think it is difficult for us today to appreciate the spiritual power of a man (Jesus) uniquely integrated and dedicated, and who spent many hours in solitary communion with God. (His Miracles, The Miracle Man, J. B. Phillips, Integrity Publishers, p. 17)

Don't get lost in the scope of it all. The incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is nothing if it is not personal. God loves you, individually. He knows you better than you know yourself, yet He loves you. He entered this world, took on human flesh, and died on a cross to bear your sin, to pay the penalty for your iniquity, to remove your guilt. He did it so that you might enter into His presence. You must respond. (His Miracles, The Message of Christmas, John MacArthur, Integrity Publishers, p. 24)

God has compassion for the poor, so if we would be godly, we must have compassion for the poor. Compassion that does not reach into our checkbooks or onto our "to do" list is philosophical passion, not godly passion. Helping the poor is not merely an obligation but a privilege that should bring us great joy. (TouchPoints for Men - God's Answers for Your Daily Needs, Tyndale House Publishers, p. 195)

Prayer is asking God for guidance and waiting for his direction and leading. (TouchPoints for Men - God's Answers for Your Daily Needs, Tyndale House Publishers, p. 199)

Sometimes...we will find that God answers prayer by giving us not what we ask for but something better. (TouchPoints for Men - God's Answers for Your Daily Needs, Tyndale House Publishers, p. 201)

Acts 3:19-20 "Turn from your sins and turn to God so you can be cleansed of your sins. Then wonderful times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will send Jesus your Messiah to you again." Humble yourself in prayer, confession, turning away from sin, and turning to God. (TouchPoints for Men - God's Answers for Your Daily Needs, Tyndale House Publishers, p. 229)

How desolate and grand! The faraway, lonely, and terrible places of the earth are the most beautiful and elevating. (The Westerners: Death Valley, Zane Grey, Dorchester Publishing, p. 221)

How intense the silence! Dead, vast, sepulcher-like, dreaming, waiting, a silence of ages, burdened with the history of the past, awful! I strained my ears for sound of insect or rustle of sage or drop of weathered rock. The soft, cool desert wind was soundless. This silence had something terrifying in it, making me a man alone on the earth. The great spaces, the wild places as they had been millions of years before! (The Westerners: Death Valley, Zane Grey, Dorchester Publishing, p. 222)

The air had a solemn stillness. Peace! How it rested my troubled soul! I felt that I was myself here, far different from my habitual self. Why had I longed to see Death Valley? What did I want of the desert that was naked, red, sinister, somber, forbidding, ghastly, stark, dim and dark and dismal, the abode of silence and loneliness, the proof of death, decay, devastation, and destruction, the majestic sublimity of desolation? The answer was that I sought the awful, the appalling and terrible because they harked me back to a primitive day where my blood and bones were bequeathed their heritage of the elements. That was the secret of the eternal fascination the desert exerted upon all men. It carried them back. It inhibited thought. It brought up the age-old sensations, so that I could feel, although I did not know it then, once again the all-satisfying state of the savage in nature. (The Westerners: Death Valley, Zane Grey, Dorchester Publishing, p. 230)

Lying there, I realized that I had come to love the silence, the loneliness, the serenity, even the tragedy of this valley of shadows. Death Valley was one place that could never be popular with men. It had been set apart for the hardy diggers for earthen treasure, and for the wanderers of the wasteland--men who go forth to seek and to find and to face their souls. Perhaps most of them found death. But there was a death in life. Desert travelers learned that secret that men lived too much in the world--that in silence and loneliness and desolation there was something infinite, something hidden from the crowd. (The Westerners: Death Valley, Zane Grey, Dorchester Publishing, p. 235)

In quietness, listen to the sounds around you. Seek to enter a sense of rest, letting outer noises become a distant hum. Set your heart toward the living God by expressing your thankfulness that He is always here, ready to meet you. (Contemplating The Cross, Tricia McCary Rhodes, W Publishing Group, p 52.)

At times you get tired of carrying Coach Rake around. You want to be able to screw up and not hear him bark. You want to slide and maybe cut a corner without hearing his whistle. Then the voice will tell you to pick yourself up, to set a goal, work harder than everybody else, stick to the basics, execute perfectly, be confident, be brave, and never, never quit. The voice is never far away. (Bleachers, Johns Grisham, Bantam Dell, p. 222)

Preacher was a spiritual man, but not a religious one. He worshipped in his own way, in places of his choosing, instead of in some gloomy church where a fella couldn't quite breathe right. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 17)

It don't do no good to sit around moanin' and cryin' and feelin' sorry for yourself. That's just a plumb waste of time. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 64)

But I don't have to have people around to be happy. I got a good horse and a good dog, and there's places I ain't been yet, and places I been but want to go back to. That's all it really takes for a man like me. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 86)

Nate had heard his grandpa and his uncles make noises like he wanted to make now when they had to get up out of their chairs, and he wondered if they felt like this all the time. It must be horrible to be old, he thought. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 119)

Well, a mite of prayin' never hurt, that's for sure. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 123)

But sometimes a fella's just got to go ahead and do what has to be done, no matter what the odds. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 186)

Preacher didn't say anything. It didn't matter to Simon where he spent the rest of the night, but then, after a fella was dead, nothing mattered. All the gestures and rituals that went with death were for those who remained behind, not the one who had already crossed over the divide. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 218)

At times he suspected he would spend the rest of his life alone. That frightened him near as much as that grizz he had tangled with, back in the days when he hadn't been long in the mountains, but fate was called that for a reason. A fella chose his own path, his own way of getting there, but in the end he had a destiny to live out, and there wasn't much that could change it. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 220)

Sorrow was a good thing in many ways, but it had to be tempered with hope. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 221)

He didn't bother explaining to Jonathan that any marker he put up on the grave probably wouldn't lasts more than a year before the elements claimed it. After a few years had gone by, all signs of the grave would be gone for sure. It would be just another small stretch of prairie, just like the other hundreds of miles of prairie. That didn't really matter, Preacher thought. The memories that folks kept in their hearts were the best and most lasting markers of all. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 257)

You've given us those names because we're running out of time. You think we may not survive the day.
That's true of ever'body, every day they open their eyes and go on livin'. I sure as hell ain't givin' up, if that what you mean. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 260)

If a fella does what's got to be done, no matter how scared he is, then he's just as brave as anybody else. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 268)

Most of the time in life, there ain't no right or wrong answers, just shades of good and bad on both sides. You got to go with which side looks the best. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 288)

Somebody's got to take up for folks what can't take up for theirselves. Preacher shook his head. I hate to think what it'll be like in this world if people ever forget how to do that. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 300)

Thought I might head south, Preacher said with a grin. Find someplace warmer to spend the winter. There's a place called Texas I ain't never been to yet. It's part o' Mexico, but things like that don't mean much to me. Lines on a map only matter as long as a fella lets them. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 300)

You're leaving?
He nodded. I reckon it's time.
I...I hoped you'd spend the winter here too.
Oh, I don't reckon I could do that, he said. Bein' around people all the time, sleepin' with a roof over my head...some of us just ain't made for that kind o' life. We need to be out in the wild, lonesome places. (The First Mountain Man: Preacher's Journey, William W. Johnstone, Pinnacle Books, p. 302)

William Penn, founder of the Pennsylvania colony (which bears his name), once wrote, "Patience and diligence, life faith, move mountains." But real patience, like real faith, is a rare quality. In an instant-gratification society like our own, patience seems even rarer. Yet most people know, deep down, what a desirable quality it is. While the patient person is quietly enduring the trial of the moment, others are groaning in frustration, cursing, and wasting valuable mental energy, and for what purpose? The Bible has high praise for the patient person--more praise, in fact, than for wisdom or bravery. The Bible calls people to be "God's diehards," enduring anything (with God's help) and coming out stronger for having endured. (Biblical Quotations For All Occasions, J. Stephen Lang, Gramercy Books, p.319)

Putting it mildly, the Bible's view of parenting differs from our contemporary view. The ancient world (and the modern world, at least until the last fifty years) believed in strictness and physical punishment for children, and, yes, "spare the rod and spoil the child" is found in the Bible. Yet some things have not changed: Parents in biblical days, as now, were expected to love their children, to keep them from harm, and to pass on to them whatever values they cherished. Then there is the flip side: Children should love and honor their parents, respecting them as authority figures just as the parents should respect the ultimate Authority Figure, God. We need to remember that God in the Bible is a complex figure--strict and highly moral but also loving and tender, merciful toward those who make mistakes. Parents are expected to be the same way toward their own children. (Biblical Quotations For All Occasions, J. Stephen Lang, Gramercy Books, p.317)

Too many times we pray for ease, but that's a prayer seldom met. What we need to do is pray for roots that reach deep into the Eternal, so when the rains fall and the winds blow, we wont' be swept asunder. (Live Like a Jesus Freak, dc Talk, Albury Publishing, p.74 - Story excerpted from Front Porch Tales by Philip Gulley, Multnomah Books)

The Bible is alive. Once your spirit is made "alive" to Christ, it's as if you pick up the same wavelength, because the same Spirit who wrote the Bible is living in you! (Live Like a Jesus Freak, dc Talk, Albury Publishing, p.69)

Don't let your busy life to rob you of the blessing of a thankful heart. Become a person of gratitude. Has God blessed you with wonderful parents? Tell Him so. Did your coach believe in you when no one else on the team did? Thank him or her for it. Was your best friend there for you when your girlfriend broke up with you? Let him know how much it meant. Has God given you special talents or gifts? Remember to thank Him for it. (Live Like a Jesus Freak, dc Talk, Albury Publishing, p.61)

Has the Holy Spirit put somebody's name or face in your thoughts? If so, stop and pray for that person, no matter where you are or what you're doing. Remember, prayer is simply talking to God in a simple, straightforward way. When you're too upset for words, it can even take the form of wordless cries coming from your spirit, but the meaning is just real--and understandable--to the Father. (Live Like a Jesus Freak, dc Talk, Albury Publishing, p.38)

What a simple teaching on prayer. Find a quiet place, and talk with God like you were talking with a friend. Tell Him how you honor and thank Him. Seek His help in doing what He wants you to do. Talk about how you have wronged Him. (He already knows), and ask His help in forgiving those who have wronged you. Ask Him for all you need to make it through the day. Let him know your propensity for doing the wrong thing, and seek His help to do what is right. (Live Like a Jesus Freak, dc Talk, Albury Publishing, p.36)

Don't underestimate what you--as one person--can do. God will work through anyone--of any age--who is submitted to Him, to accomplish His will on earth. One man or woman willing to obey God can change the destiny of millions. (Live Like a Jesus Freak, dc Talk, Albury Publishing, p.28)