Thought Provokers for Sunday, May 28, 2017

This is how Christ appears to us 99 percent of the time–
in ordinary, simple, everyday ways rather than in dramatic and awesome events.
The resurrected Christ walked with men on the road to Emmaus,
he had a fish dinner with Peter,
and I am convinced that all of us are invited
to have such experiences and encounters NOW,
in these closing years of the twentieth century.

Charles H. Huffman

* * * * * * * * * *

The Son of God was made the son of man
that the children of man might be made children of God.

St. Athanasius

* * * * * * * * * *

Not one word is said in the whole of the New Testament
about our Lord’s intellect;
only always about His Heart.

Alexander Whyte

* * * * * * * * * *

I have a great need for Christ;
I have a great Christ for my need.

Charles H. Spurgeon

* * * * * * * * * *

Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners.
Jesus’ love for us did not depend on what we could give him in return.
The love of Jesus is completely disinterested and gratuitous
in the sense that his love in no way depends on the loving qualities
or the response of men.
Jesus’ love is creative, not responsive:
giving, not possessing.

Charles Curran

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, May 21, 2017

It will not do for any one of us to make up his mind
that he cannot be any good and noble thing,
until first he has asked himself
whether it is as impossible in God’s sight as in his.

Phillips Brooks

* * * * * * * * * *

O God, thou knowest how busy I must be this day.
If I forget thee, do not thou forget me.

Sir John Asterley,
before going into battle

* * * * * * * * * *

Let us work as if success depended upon ourselves alone;
but with heartfelt conviction that we are doing nothing
and God everything.

Ignatius Loyola

* * * * * * * * * *

People translating the New Testament into the Karre language in equatorial Africa were having difficulty coming up with a word to translate parakletos. How could they describe the Holy Spirit?

Then they noticed porters walking in a line along a path, each carrying a heavy burden–except for one person. That one person was carrying nothing. When they asked why, they learned that the man carrying no burden was expected to help anyone who became too exhausted to carry his own burden. They called him, “The one who falls down beside us.”

And that gave the translators their word for parakletos–“The one who falls down beside us.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Do not pray for more of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity
and is not in pieces.
Every child of God has all of Him,
but does He have all of us?

Julia Kellersberger

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, May 14, 2014

jesus the way

You can read the Gospel for this Sunday here.

The husband died a few years ago, and the wife died just now. They were happy to meet each other in heaven, and the husband was proud to give her the grand tour–and a grand tour it was, indeed. Heaven was more wonderful than either of them had imagined. They could hardly imagine living in such splendor for eternity–but that was the promise.

But then the wife turned to her husband with a disapproving look. “Just think!” she said. “We could have been here years ago if you hadn’t insisted on eating all that healthy food.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Everyone knows they’re going to die,
but nobody believes it.
If we did, we would do things differently….

There’s a better approach.
To know you’re going to die,
and to be prepared for it at any time.

That’s better.
That way you can actually be more involved in your life
while you’re living.

Morrie Schwartz, in Tuesdays with Morrie

* * * * * * * * * *

Life is a great surprise.
I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.

Vladimir Nabokov

* * * * * * * * * *

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others
cannot keep it from themselves.

James M. Barrie

* * * * * * * * * *

I expect to pass through the world but once.
Any good therefore that I can do,
or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature,
let me do it now.
Let me not defer it or neglect it,
for I shall not pass this way again.

Stephen Grellet

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for this Sunday, May 7, 2017

sheep listen to his voice

Read the Gospel (and the other texts) for this Fourth Sunday of Easter here (and check our website!)

Christ is no Moses, no exactor, no giver of laws,

but a giver of grace, a Savior;

he is infinite mercy and goodness,

freely and bountifully giving to us.


Martin Luther


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Reflecting on Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15), Albert Schweitzer observed:


“In the parable of Jesus,

the shepherd saves not merely the soul of the lost sheep

but the whole animal.”


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Souls are not saved in bundles.


The Spirit says to us,

“How is it with thee?

Thee personally?

Is it well, is it ill?”


Ralph Waldo Emerson, Worship


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Jesus Christ is God’s everything

for our total need.


Richard Halverson


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Two men were watching a man drive a herd of sheep

through the main street of a small town.


“I thought shepherds led sheep,” remarked the first man.

“I didn’t know they drive them with a whip.”


“They do,” the other fellow replied.

“That’s not a shepherd.

That’s the village butcher.”


  1. Robert Cueni
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Thought Provokers for Sunday, April 30, 2017

emmaus pilgrims

This is the third Sunday of Easter time. The Gospel reading is about the Emmaus disciples. Read the Gospel (and the other texts) here!

Love when you expect no love in return.
Do good without expecting thanks.
Lend when you do not hope for a return.
Then we will be sons and daughters of the Most High.

Henrietta Mears

* * * * * * * * * *

This is how Christ appears to us 99 percent of the time–
in ordinary, simple, everyday ways
rather than in dramatic and awesome events.

The resurrected Christ walked with men on the road to Emmaus,
he had a fish dinner with Peter,
and I am convinced that all of us are invited
to have such experiences and encounters NOW.

Charles H. Huffman, Encounters with Christ

* * * * * * * * * *

Whenever we pray intent chiefly on what we want,
we are likely to be disappointed.

But when we pray, intent chiefly on what God wants to give us–
perhaps fortitude to bear the trouble which we wish to evade,
or patience to wait for the blessing which we demand now,
or leadership down a road of service from which we are asking release–
we need never be disappointed.

Men who come to God not to dictate
but to receive have approached prayer from the right angle.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

* * * * * * * * * *

We cannot love God unless we love each other,
and to love we must know each other.

We know Him in the breaking of bread,
and we know each other in the breaking of bread,
and we are not alone anymore.

Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too,
even with a crust, when there is companionship.

Dorothy Day

* * * * * * * * * *

John Templeton came from ordinary circumstances, but became enormously wealthy man managing investments. He has been exceedingly generous, giving millions to various causes. He established the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. When asked about his interest in spirituality, he said:

Trust in God magnifies my life.
It enlarges my perspective beyond surface appearances
and beyond my own smallness and limitations;
it makes for a pervasive sense of gratitude
for the blessings of everyday existence
and that gratitude in turn flows out in efforts to help others.

If you are seeking wholeheartedly to help other people,
you cannot prevent rewards coming back to you
in terms of friendship and love, which are, after all, life’s most important gifts.

Happiness comes to those who try to give happiness to others.

* * * * * * * * * *

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others
cannot keep it from themselves.

James M. Barrie

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017


As a lawyer I have made a prolonged study of the evidences
for the events of the first Easter Day.
To me the evidence is conclusive,
and over and over again in the High Court

I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling.
Inference follows on evidence,
and a truthful witness is always artless and disdains effect.

The Gospel evidence for the resurrection is of this class,
and as a lawyer I accept it unreservedly
as the testimony of truthful men
to facts they were able to substantiate.

Sir Edward Clarke in J. R. W. Stott, Basic Christianity

* * * * * * * * * *

The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death–
that is not the great thing–
but that we are to, and may, live nobly now
because we are to live forever.

Phillips Brooks

* * * * * * * * * *

If Easter says anything to us today, it says this:

You can put truth in a grave,
but it won’t stay there.

You can nail it to a cross,
wrap it in winding sheets
and shut it up in a tomb,
but it will rise!

Clarence W. Hall

* * * * * * * * * *

God’s main purpose with us is not to get us somewhere
but to make something of us on the way..

When your way is rough and lonely,
when you are beaten by failure and chilled with disappointment,
remember that God is seeking to develop your soul by those experiences..

It is not getting somewhere
or finding something on which we have set our hearts that matters.
It is what we become on the way that counts.

John Bishop, A Word in Season

* * * * * * * * * *

He brought light out of darkness,
not out of a lesser light;

he can bring your summer out of winter,
though you have no spring;
though in the ways of fortune,
or understanding, or conscience,
you have been benighted until now,
wintered and frozen,
clouded and eclipsed,
damped and benumbed,
smothered and stupefied till now,
now God comes to you,
not as in the dawning of the day,
not as in the bud of the spring,
but as the sun at noon.

John Donne,
Sermon Preached on Christmas Day, 1624

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017

palm sunday

Jesus did not say that it would be a great thing
if the Kingdom of God existed.
He announced that the Kingdom was at hand.

W.A. Visser ‘t Hooft

* * * * * * * * * *

The capital of Heaven
is the heart in which Jesus Christ
is enthroned as king.

Sadhu Sundar Singh

* * * * * * * * * *

Not to the gates of Jerusalem alone does Jesus ride today,
but to the gates of our hearts.
There he waits knocking, knocking.
His knuckles must be raw by now.
The gentle rap has been so long smothered by contemporary rivals
that some of us can barely hear it.
But he goes on standing there.

Samuel M. Shoemaker

* * * * * * * * * *

Everyone who lined the streets
had a different reason for waving those palms.
Some were political activists;
they’d heard Jesus had supernatural power,
and they wanted him to use it to free Israel from Roman rule.

Others had loved ones who were sick or dying.
They waved branches, hoping for physical healing.

Some were onlookers merely looking for something to do,
while others were genuine followers
who wished Jesus would establish himself as an earthly king.

Jesus was the only one in the parade
who knew why he was going to Jerusalem–to die.
He had a mission, while everyone else had an agenda.

Bill Hybels

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Household Prayer for the week starting on Sunday, April 2, 2017

lazarus Giovanni_di_Paolo_-_The_Resurrection_of_Lazarus_-_Walters_37489Acrop-715x446

Household Prayer: Morning

I rise, O God, awakened by your Word,

to live another day.

Lead me in your path.

Show me the steps to take toward greater faith.

Hold me in your care as I move through this Holy Week

where the shadows deepen even in the daylight.

Hosanna! Save me now, dear God! Amen.

Household Prayer: Evening

I come to the darkness of night, O God,

tired and ready for a sweet respite in your care.

Keep me safe from all harm,

and bring me to the morning light with renewed strength.

In Jesus’ holy name, I pray. Amen.

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Thought Provokers for the Gospel read on Sunday, April 2, 2017

lazarus Giovanni_di_Paolo_-_The_Resurrection_of_Lazarus_-_Walters_37489Acrop-715x446

The Church is not so much a continuously living thing,
as something that has survived a thousand crucifixions
through a thousand Resurrections.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

* * * * * * * * * *

If you have not clung to a broken piece of your old ship
in the dark night of the soul,
your faith may not have the sustaining power
to carry you through to the end of the journey.

The Rev. Rufus M. Jones

* * * * * * * * * *

To be thoroughly religious,
one must, I believe, be sorely disappointed.
One’s faith in God increases as one’s faith in the world decreases.
The happier the man, the farther he is from God.

George Jean Nathan, writer

* * * * * * * * * *

No one is fit to comprehend heavenly things
who hath not resigned himself to suffer adversities for Christ.

Thomas a Kempis

* * * * * * * * * *

Long illnesses are good schools of mercy
for those who tend the sick,
and of loving patience
for those who suffer.

Jean Pierre Camus

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, March 26, 2017

light of the world

These Thought Provokers may help you meditate over the Gospel for this Sunday, that you may read here with the others Bible readings.


CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT, an invalid for half a century, publishes a hymnbook. Her most famous hymn is sung around the world, “Just as I Am.”

GEORGE FREDERICK HANDEL, health and fortune gone, right side paralyzed, sits down and writes: “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

PAUL AND SILAS, thrown in prison in Philippi, their very lives hanging in the balance, hold choir practice at midnight (Acts 16:19-25).

Gilbert W. Bowen

* * * * * * * * * *

Certain virtue is like precious odours,
most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed;
for Prosperity doth best discover vice,
but Adversity doth best discover virtue.

Francis Bacon

* * * * * * * * * *

The darker the world and the deeper the virus of hate,
the more glowing must be our Christianity
and the more triumphant the note of our faith.

Rufus Jones

* * * * * * * * * *

No Christian escapes a taste of the wilderness
on the way to the Promised Land.

Evelyn Underhill

* * * * * * * * * *

The pearl of great price
always begins as a pain in the oyster’s stomach.

John E. Large

* * * * * * * * * *

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