Our Greatest Christmas Hope

Nancy Guthrie:

Our great hope is not just going to heaven when we die, though that is so wondrously good. But God has much grander plans. Our great hope is that Christ will come again, not as a helpless baby in a manger, but as a magnificent king on a throne—a king who will be close enough, and gentle enough, to wipe every tear from our eyes. He will personally put an end to everything that has brought his people pain. He will “raise the sons of earth” by transforming “our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Phil. 3:21) to live with him forever on a gloriously renewed earth.

The wonder of it made the herald angels want to sing. And as the wonder of it begins to sink in, it makes us want to sing, too.

Read the rest here.

Let My First Thought Today Be of You

Eternal Father of my soul,
let my first thought today be of You,
let my first impulse be to worship You,
let my first speech be Your name,
let my first action be to kneel before You in prayer.

For Your perfect wisdom and perfect goodness:
For the love with which You love mankind:
For the love with which You love me:
For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life:
For the indwelling of Your Spirit in my heart:
For the sevenfold gifts of Your Spirit:
I praise and worship You, O Lord.

Yet let me not, when this morning prayer is said,
think my worship ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of You.
Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth,
and joy, and power, that will remain with me
through all the hours of the day;

Keeping me chaste in thought:
Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech:
Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work:
Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself:
Keeping me honorable and generous in my dealings with others:
Keeping me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past:
Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of Yours.

Through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

– John Baillie, 1886-1960

Via Trevin Wax

A Prayer of Brendan

Loved this prayer over on the Changing Worship blog:

“I thank you for this, my God,
I am a traveller and stranger
in the world,
like so many of Your people
before me.

There is a sense of adventure,
of openness to possibilities,
abandonment to God
and expectation
of fulfilling his will.

I accept the responsibility,
I’ll hear and obey,
and trust it is Your voice I hear,
the call of the Spirit,
the cry of the Bird of Heaven.

It is a Yes to risky living…

The sea takes me;
where I do not know,
but I gladly go.
And I can only trust
every word You say,
and obey.”

– Celtic Daily Prayer
Northumbria Community

“What Would You Attempt to Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?”

This simple question posed by American pastor Robert Schuller may help inspire us to try to accomplish our goals. Taking fear out of the equation, what are your biggest dreams?

The question is similar to asking or considering what you would do if you only had a few months left to live. In its simplicity, the quote helps us focus on our priorities or tune into what we may most want in life.

“Ideas Cause Ideas”

Roger Sperry once said:

“Ideas cause ideas and help evolve new ideas. They interact with each other and with other mental forces in the same brain, in neighboring brains, and thanks to global communication, in far distant, foreign brains.”

Just as clinging to a single idea can be dangerous, so having many can be a really good thing.  It’s not great because you have many ideas, but because those many ideas are not isolated and can improve the others.  This is true both in your own head and when you’re brainstorming with others.  A lot of people tend to cling to ideas as their property and are afraid of losing them, but sharing could be the very best thing.

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Do the people around you define who you are, and who are you will become.  Motivational speaker Jim Rohn suggests it does.

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

This is just an idea. There’s no science behind it. Nonetheless it’s an interesting question to think about. Is your identity written by the people you choose to be with?  In some ways this makes sense, we see with young people if they get in with “the wrong crowd” things can go wrong for them, and equally others can influence them for good.

What do you think? What do you believe shapes who we are?