I’ve learned — 1
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.
I’ve learned — 2
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.
I’ve learned — 3
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned — 4
that it’s not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.
I’ve learned — 5
that you can get by on charm
for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.
I’ve learned — 6
that you shouldn’t compare
yourself to the best others can do
but to the best you can do.
I’ve learned — 7
that it’s not what happens to people
that’s important. It’s what they do about it.
I’ve learned — 8
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.
I’ve learned — 9
that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.
I’ve learned — 10
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.
“But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people God has called—Jews and Greeks.”
1 Corinthians 1:24, NCV
I’m not sure who wrote this, I can’t remember even where or how I found this. I’m obviously not the author. But it is an excellent piece of thought, I really hope it blesses you– making you see your life through some simple wisdom.
I do know that I have a Savior who is within me, living His life through me. Today, I choose to rest in His unfailing love for me.
Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Take the words of Jesus and let them become the Supreme Court of the Gospel to you. –John G. Lake
Some wish to hear the word of God, others wish to receive it.–Anonymous
Understanding is the reward of obedience. Obedience is the key to every door. –George MacDonald
In the spiritual life only one thing produces genuine joy and that is obedience. –Richard Foster
The level of our obedience is most often determined by the behavior standard of other Christians around us. –Jerry Bridges
Many Christians have what we might call a “cultural holiness”. They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God. –Jerry Bridges
Holiness has never been the driving force of the majority. It is, however, mandatory for anyone who wants to enter the kingdom. –Elisabeth Elliot
The reason for not going out and sinning all you like is the same as the reason for not going out and putting your nose in a slicing machine: its dumb, stupid, and no fun. Some individual sins may have pleasure still attached to them because of the residual goodness of the realities they are abusing: adultery can indeed be pleasant and tying one on can amuse. But betrayal, jealousy, love grown cold, and the gray dawn of the morning after are nobody’s idea of a good time. –Robert Farrer Capon
Whatsoever one would understand what he hears must hasten to put into practice what he has heard. –Gregory the Great
I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible. –Teresa of Avila
Let this be thy whole endeavor, this thy prayer, this thy desire,–that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only. –Thomas à Kempis
No man has the mind of Christ, except him who makes it his business to obey him.—George MacDonald
One can believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and feel no personal loyalty to Him at all – indeed, pay no attention whatever to His commandments and His will for one’s life. –Catherine Marshall
I defy you to read the life of any saint that has ever adorned the life of the Church without seeing at once that the greatest characteristic in the life of that saint was discipline and order. Invariably it is the universal characteristic of all the outstanding men and women of God.—Unknown
Men do not decide their future. They decide their habits and their habits decide their future.—Unknown
Plant a word in the mind, and you will reap an act. Plant the act and you will reap a habit. Plant a habit and you will reap a character. Plant a character and you will reap a nature. Plant a nature and you will reap a destiny. –Unknown
The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.–Blaise Pascal
He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. –Jesus Christ
If Christ does not reign over the mundane events in our lives, He does not reign at all. –Paul Tripp
Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. –Abraham Joshua Heschel
The worship of the true God, and to dethrone all rivals to his authority. –Graham Kendrick
We must assess our thoughts and beliefs and reckon whether they are moving us closer to conformity to Christ or farther away from it. –John Ortberg
Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, Bob, why are you resisting me? I said, I’m not resisting you! He said, You gonna follow me? I said, I’ve never thought about that before! He said, When you’re not following me, you’re resisting me. —Bob Dylan
There is no peace in the border lands. The halfway Christian is a torment to himself and of no benefit to others. –Earnest Worker
The characteristic of holiness, which is the outcome of the indwelling of God, is blazing truthfulness with regard to God’s word and an amazing tenderness in personal dealings. –Oswald Chambers
Christianity does not consist in any partial amendment of our lives, any particular moral virtues, but in an entire change of our natural temper, a life wholly devoted to God. –William Law
Those who teach by their doctrine must teach by their life, or else they pull down with one hand what they build up with the other. –Matthew Henry
…Christ did not appoint professors, but followers. If Christianity … is not reduplicated in the life of the person expounding it, then he does not expound Christianity, for Christianity is a message about living and can only be expounded by being realized in men’s lives. —Soren Kierkegaard
A holy life has a voice. It speaks when the tongue is silent, and is either a constant attraction or a perpetual reproof. –Hinton
Preaching is to much avail, but practice is far more effective. A godly life is the strongest argument you can offer the skeptic. –Hosea Ballou
Sometimes we don’t need another chance to express how we feel or to ask someone to understand our situation. Sometimes we just need a firm kick in the pants. An unsmiling expectation that if we mean all these wonderful things we talk about and sing about, then lets see something to prove it. –Dietrich Bonhoeffer
No one can sum up all God is able to accomplish through one solitary life, wholly yielded, adjusted, and obedient to Him. –D.L.Moody
I surrendered unto Him all there was of me; everything! Then for the first time I realized what it meant to have real power. –Kathryn Kuhlman
I dare not say with Paul that I am the slave of Christ, but my highest aspiration and desire is to be the slave of Christ. –George MacDonald
Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice; everything is lost by failure to obey God’s call. –Henry P Liddon
Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but it screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition. –Richard Foster
The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life. –John Ortberg
The Christian ideal has not been found tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried. — GK Chesterton
If thou art willing to suffer no adversity, how wilt thou be the friend of Christ? –Thomas à Kempis
There is no success without sacrifice. If you succeed without sacrifice it is because someone has suffered before you. If you sacrifice without success it is because someone will succeed after. –Rick Joyner
The Bible parable says that while men slept, the enemy sowed tares among the wheat. A boy who rises at 4:30 to deliver papers is considered a go-getter, but to urge our young people to rise at 5:30 to pray is considered fanaticism. We must once again wear the harness of discipline. There is no other way. –Leonard Ravenhill
To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul. –Simone Weil
Knowing that we are fulfilling God’s purpose is the only thing that really gives rest to the restless human heart. –Chuck Colson
The invitation is not, “Give Me thine head.” The invitation is, “My Son, give Me thine heart.” –John G. Lake
At the back of it there lies the central citadel of obstinacy: I will not give up my right to myself–the thing God intends you to give up if ever you are going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.–Oswald Chambers
Whatever God’s dream about man may be, it seems certain it cannot come true unless man cooperates. –Stella Terrill Mann
… I gave as an offering my all to Him Who had won me and saved me, my property, my fame, my health, my very words… In considering all these things, I preferred Christ. And the words of God were made sweet as honeycombs to me, and I cried after knowledge and lifted up my voice for wisdom. There was moreover the moderation of anger, the curbing of the tongue, the restraint of the eyes, the discipline of the belly, and the trampling under foot of the glory which clings to the earth. –Gregory of Nazianzus
Let no one imagine that he will lose anything of human dignity by this voluntary sell-out of his all to his God. He does not by this degrade himself as a man; rather he finds his right place of high honor as one made in the image of his Creator. His deep disgrace lay in his moral derangement, his unnatural usurpation of the place of God. His honor will be proved by restoring again that stolen throne. In exalting God over all, he finds his own highest honor upheld. –A.W Tozer
It is the Father’s life, and the Father’s life alone, that ever lives the Christian life. It is the Father’s life, and Father’s life alone, which will live the Christian life in you. Embrace a formula or a list in order to “live the Christian life,” and you are doomed to frustration. –Gene Edwards
Especially for the Leaders and Pastors who Guide the Ministry of the Church:
“Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”
“O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways.”
“The highest expression of the will of God in this age is the church which He purchased with His own blood. To be scripturally valid any religious activity must be part of the church. Let it be clearly stated that there can be no service acceptable to God in this age that does not center in and spring out of the church. Bible schools, tract societies, Christian business men’s committees, seminaries and the many independent groups working at one or another phase of religion need to check themselves reverently and courageously, for they have no true spiritual significance outside of or apart from the church.”
As believers we sometimes lose the sight of what is going on around us. We get attached to a structure or a mechanism and view it as why we are here. Ministries, churches, retreats, conventions, even websites (!): every “structure” and every effort of man— however good and noble is not the Church of Jesus Christ.
The Church is a fluid and dynamic thing. It supersedes anything we can do or plan. Our efforts are always secondary, and even at there best are minuscule. We are gifted so that we might serve others, that is true. But wisdom always realizes the “big picture” even while serving in a “para-church” context.
The Church is the bride of Christ himself. It really is the only authorized work of God in the world today. It is what the Spirit is doing in our midst. Our personal efforts (like this website) are not really the full expression of truth in this world. That privilege belongs to the body.
I’m not trying to demean your ministry or work for the Lord. I won’t advocate that we shut-down our separate efforts. But I do suggest we restore our focus on the Church of Jesus above anything we can do. Paul cared deeply for the churches; he labored, toiled, travelled, was persecuted and despised all for the Church. Paul saw Jesus as its head, and he saw it as “the bride of Christ.” No sacrifice was too high or hard for the Bride.
“Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.”
2 Corinthians 11:28, NASB
We are to be servants of the Church first. We dare not be side-tracked or led in a subtly different direction. Perhaps a good way to think of this subject is that there are:
Sometimes we’re somewhat mechanical and something living. I suggest that we restore to the living Church the honor and glory it deserves. Our individual ministries can be good— fruit may even be seen. But we dare not minimize the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. She is his bride. She will rule and reign with him forever and ever.
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”
It will not be brokenbelievers.com that “descends” from heaven, but the Church. As important as I think I am, this website will not be in that place. This privilege belongs to Christ’s own bride– the Church. Perhaps it is this fact that we who are in ministry should consider from time-to-time: Let the church be the Church.
I have gained much from reading Spurgeon over the years. I read this this morning, and I could hear the Holy Spirit speaking into my soul. I need more of this “peaceful perseverance” working in me.
From Charle Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Checkbook” Wait for the Finals
“Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.”
Genesis 49:19, KJV
“Gad will be attacked by marauding bands, but he will attack them when they retreat.”
Some of us have been like the tribe of Gad. Our adversaries for a while were too many for us; they came upon us like a troop. Yes, and for the moment they overcame us; and they exulted greatly because of their temporary victory. Thus they only proved the first part of the family heritage to be really ours, for Christ’s people, like Dan, shall have a troop overcoming them.
This being overcome is very painful, and we should have despaired if we had not by faith believed the second line of our father’s benediction, “He shall overcome at the last.”“All’s well that ends well,” said the world’s poet; and he spoke the truth. A war is to be judged, not by first success or defeats, but by that which happens “at the last.” The Lord will give to truth and righteousness victory “at the last”; and, as Mr. Bunyan says, that means forever, for nothing can come after the last.
What we need is patient perseverance in well-doing, calm confidence in our glorious Captain. Christ, our Lord Jesus, would teach us His holy art of setting the face like a flint to go through with work or suffering till we can say, “It is finished.” Hallelujah. Victory! Victory! We believe the promise.“He shall overcome at the last.”
In “Letters to a Young Poet“, the author deals with the subject of weakness, difficulty and trouble. As a person who struggles with depression on a substantial scale and yet can try to speak the Word of God to his brothers this is remarkably good news.
“Do not believe that he who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good.
His life has much difficulty and remains far behind yours. Were it not otherwise he would never been able to find these words.”
*-Rainer Maria Rilke
@Inevitably, as Christians we find ourselves helping other disabled people that have somehow worked themselves into our lives. The irony is that our illness has taught us something, but somehow we don’t communicate well. Inevitably, we miss the point and speak even more confusion into their hearts. That is frustrating.
When we are finally work up the courage to speak, we seem to only deliver pious platitudes and inane ‘babblings.’ We know we can help them, but alas, we can’t do it. This is when we must meet the Holy Spirit first. Hearing Him will guide us and direct us. We will be able to speak something, that will really mean something.
We so want to be mature and wise. We want to be in a position of strength. We aspire to that. But the truth is, life doesn’t work that way. We are always sabotaged by our weakness. We discover that we have no place to go.
I believe life is constructed so that we’ll learn the reality of desperately humble prayer.
A child plays with two colors of “Play-Doh”. After a while separating them is no longer possible. The colors blend and become a completely different color. As simple believers in Jesus this “mixing” can cause despair and frustration. We must live with the realities of being seriously weak and unconditionally loved, simultaneously. We must blend the two.
St. Paul would come to the conclusion that he“would boast in his weaknesses, that the power of God would be revealed in his life”. It seems to us that “boasting” is a bit of exaggeration or hyperbole. And “weaknesses”, are those terrible flaws that need to be painted over or ignored. But we can’t seem to see them as the starting point of the spiritual life. (Oh God, please teach us to boast in our flaws, to let You use our weaknesses.)
Strength comes in a frustratingly weird way. It’s the very opposite of our heart’s inclination. Admitting that I am weak is my starting point. I suppose you might say that as a physically and mentally ill person, I may have a step on the average person. I can be strong because I am so pathetic. I can speak something that may bring life and hope to someone else.
But I am distinctively flawed, and I can’t pretend that I am otherwise. I now have the liberty to speak without pretense to my wounded brothers and sisters. But let us have no foolish talk that I’ve been able to fix myself somehow. That is not going to happen.
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:32, NLT
Great hearts are often shuttled through experiences with intense forgiving. The Father tutors us through out our earthly lives, with many visits to this classroom. It is here we get our learning. It will happen several times in our walk, and we carry different nuances, or slants. Each time we are required to forgive authentically. The course is set for us. We can’t choose to skip these lessons without injuring ourselves, and harming others.
We are learning to love– it is our calling and destiny. There are no “accidents” or misaligned ‘drop-outs’ here. We step into our classroom, and the Teacher and Comforter begins His instruction. Many things will strike you as diabolical. Deep inside us we have simply no idea of how “this” will turn out for good. And you’d be right. But the power of God steps in, and “all is well”.
Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch Christian. After her release from a Nazi concentration camp, she began traveling the world and speaking to any who would have her. The needs of postwar Europe were desperate. She traveled as an evangelist telling people who Jesus is and spoke about His redemption. She gave many people hope.
Through her travels she came in contact with a few of the guards that had been a part of the Nazi regime and had to practice forgiveness that only Jesus can bring. The first encounter with one of her previous jailers proved to be most difficult.
Here is an excerpt from her book, “The Hiding Place”.
“It was a church service in Munich that I saw him, the former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.
He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein,” he said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.
I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.
She then took his hand and the most incredible thing happened.
From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.
And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
Corrie’s Wisdom for Us
There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.
Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.
It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.
When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.
Faith is like radar that sees through the fog-the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.
Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.
Thoughts from Other Believers
Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. Author Unknown
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. C.S. Lewis
There is such a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. It takes two to reconcile, so it is not always possible to be reconciled. But it takes only one to forgive. So if people do you wrong, forgive them, whether or not they ask for forgiveness. You cannot cancel their sin. Only God can do that, and He will only do it if they repent. But what you can do is set aside your own anger, bitterness, and resentment towards them. Philip Graham Ryken
Forgiveness may be described as a decision to make four promises:
“I will not dwell on this incident.”
“I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.”
“I will not talk to others about this incident.”
“I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.” Ken Sande
For her efforts to hide Jews from arrest and deportation during the German occupation of the Netherlands, Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) received recognition from the Yad Vashem Remembrance Authority as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations” on December 12, 1967.
“The Hiding Place” and her many other books can be purchased at Amazon.com. It really must be read and there is a movie out with the same name.
The subject of “the pool at Bethesda” alludes to the following excerpt from the Thorton Wilder play, “The Angel that Troubled the Waters”.The play is based on the biblical verses of John 5:1-4, but it changes the end of the parable. I first encountered this excerpt within the book “Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging“, by Brennan Manning.
The play tells of a physician who comes periodically to the pool of Bethesda, hoping to be the first in the water and healed of his melancholy when the angel appears and troubles the water. Everybody at the pool also hopes to be the first in the water and thereby healed of his malady.
An angel appears and blocks the physician at the moment he is ready to step into the pool and be healed.
Angel: “Draw back, physician, this moment is not for you.”
Physician: “Angelic visitor, I pray thee, listen to my prayer.
Angel: “This healing is not for you.”
Physician: “Surely, surely, the angels are wise. Surely, O Prince, you are not deceived by my apparent wholeness. Your eyes can see the nets in which my wings are caught; the sin into which all my endeavors sink half-performed cannot be concealed from you.”
Angel: “I know.”
Physician: “Oh, in such an hour was I born, and doubly fearful to me is the flaw in my heart. Must I drag my shame, Prince and Singer, all my days more bowed than my neighbor?”
Angel:“Without your wound where would your power be?It is your very sadness that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service only the wounded soldiers can serve. Draw back.”
Later, the person who enters the pool first and was healed rejoices in his good fortune then turns to the physician before leaving and said:
“But come with me first, an hour only, to my home. My son is lost in dark thoughts. I — I do not understand him, and only you have ever lifted his mood. Only an hour . . . my daughter, since her child has died, sits in the shadow. She will not listen to us but she will listen to you.”
For me, this story has made an incredible difference and, because the message of this excerpt—“Without your wound where would your power be?“—carries so much meaning for me. As this has taught me that its through my weakness I can see others like Jesus does. I believe, for me, it is slowly becoming my whole foundation for ministry.