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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Thought Provokers for the Gospel read last Sunday, March 19, 2017

samaritan woman and jesus

If you want to get warm you must stand by the fire;
if you want to be wet you must get into the water.

If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life,
you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.
They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose,
just hand out to anyone.
They are a great fountain of energy and beauty
spurting up at the very center of reality.

Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run
only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay.

But look for Christ and you will find Him,
and with Him everything else thrown in.

C. S. Lewis

* * * * * * * * * *

There is an ocean of cold water without motion.
In this ocean, however, is the Gulf Stream,
hot water flowing from the Equator towards the Pole.

Inquire of all scientists how it is physically imaginable
that a stream of hot water flows between the waters of the ocean,
which, so to speak, form its banks,
the moving within the motionless, the hot within the cold,
no scientist can explain it.

Similarly, there is the God of love within the God of the forces of the universe,
one with Him, and yet so totally different.
We let ourselves be seized and carried away by that vital stream.

Albert Schweitzer

* * * * * * * * * *

Back in the Old West, two men rode a train across the western plains. One man said, “If this place just had a little more water and some better people, it would be a great place to live.”

His friend replied, “A little more water and some better people. That’s all that Hell needs.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Jesus threw a dam across the desert canyon of my life
and brought in living water.
The arid cracks filled up,
the desert blossomed,
and now he controls the outflow.

Carol Rhodes

* * * * * * * * * *

Several years ago an UPI release told the story of a mid-western hospital that had existed for thirty-five years, and to their amazement they found that the fire fighting equipment had never been connected Never! The hoses had never been connected to the main water line. They had everything they needed–except the most important and vital ingredient to fight fire, and that was water.

* * * * * * * * * *

Coming from the Soviet Union I was not prepared for the incredible variety of products available in American grocery stores. On my first shopping trip I saw powdered milk–you just add water and you get milk. I saw powdered orange juice–you just add water and you get orange juice.

Then I saw baby powder–and I thought to myself, what a country.

Jake Shrimp, America On Six Rubles A Day

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, March 5, 2017

temptation stones-to-bread

These Thought Provokers may help you meditate the Gospel for this Sunday: Matthew 4:1-11

The name SATAN means in Hebrew, “the hinderer.”
That is the correct designation for the anti-human
in individuals and in the human race.

Let us not allow this Satanic element in men
to hinder us from realizing man!
…Let us dare, despite all, to trust!

Martin Buber

* * * * * * * * * *

Dag Hammarskjold warned, “The devils enter uninvited when the house stands empty.” Think about that for a moment. What Hammarskjold meant, of course, is that a person with no religious beliefs–no moral compass–is like a vacuum waiting to be filled. G.K. Chesterton warned, “When people stop believing in God they do not believe in nothing. They believe in anything.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Note that, in the temptations,
the devil did not try to persuade Jesus to do something obviously bad.
He didn’t offer Jesus his sister–or a bag of drugs.
He offered Jesus bread, to provide strength for the work that lay ahead.
He offered Jesus an opportunity to save people by the wagonload.
He offered Jesus the world that Jesus had come to save.
Thomas a Kempis says, “The devil is continually tempting thee to seek high things–
to go after honors.”

As we grow in faith,
the tempter aims higher and higher.

Richard Niell Donovan

* * * * * * * * * *

Collapse in the Christian life is seldom a blowout;
it is usually a slow leak.

Paul E. Little

* * * * * * * * * *

Satan, like the fisher,
baits his hook according to the appetite of the fish

Thomas Adams

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017

transfiguration 800px-Goreme_National_Park-kosciol_ciemny

If we cannot find God in your house or in mine,
upon the roadside or the margin of the sea;
in the bursting seed of opening flower;
in the day duty or the night musing,
in the general laugh and the secret grief….
I do not think we should discern him any more on the grass of Eden,
or beneath the moonlight of Gethsemane.

James Martineau

* * * * * * * * * *

We can no more find a method for knowing God than for making God,
because the knowledge of God is God himself dwelling in the soul.
The most we can do is to prepare for his entry, to get out of his way,
to remove the barriers,
for until God acts in us
there is nothing positive that we can do in this direction.

Alan W. Watts

* * * * * * * * * *

We need not cry very loud;
he is nearer to us than we think.

Brother Lawrence

* * * * * * * * * *

Christ always lives where there is room for him.
If there is room in your heart for Christ, he lives there;
if there is room in a law office for Christ, he lives there;
if there is room on a locomotive engine, he will be there;
if there is room in a baggage car, he will be there.

Sam Jones

* * * * * * * * * *

I felt God’s presence on the moon
more than I have ever felt it here on earth.

Astronaut James Irwin

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017

resist not evildoer

These Thought Provokers may help you meditate the Gospel for this Sunday (Matthew 5:38-48)

If we could read the secret history of our enemies,
we should find in each man’s life
sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

* * * * * * * * * *

If I am even with my enemy, the debt is paid;
but if I forgive him, I oblige him for ever.

William Penn

* * * * * * * * * *

I choose my friends for their good looks,
my acquaintances for their good characters,
and my enemies for their intellects.
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

Oscar Wilde

* * * * * * * * * *

The true and noble way to kill a foe,
Is not to kill him. You, with kindness, may
So change him, that he shall cease to be so,
And then he’s slain.

Emile Chartier

* * * * * * * * * *

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors,
and also to love our enemies;
probably because they are generally the same people.

G.K. Chesterton

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017

jesus conflict among brethren

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be,
since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.

Thomas a Kempis

* * * * * * * * * *

Anger is quieted by a gentle word
just as fire is quenched by water.

Jean Pierre Camus

* * * * * * * * * *

People who fly into a rage
always make a bad landing.

Will Rogers

* * * * * * * * * *

All men know in their very earliest years that beside the good of their animal personality, there is another, a better a good in life, which is not only independent of the gratification of the appetites of the animal personality, but on the contrary, the greater the renunciation of the welfare of the animal personality the greater the good becomes….This feeling…is known to all. This feeling is love.

Count Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

* * * * * * * * * *

When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow Him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time- death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at His call. That is why the rich young man was so loath to follow Jesus, for the cost of following was the death of his will. In fact every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts. But we do not want to die, and therefore Jesus Christ and His call are necessarily our death and our life.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017

candles 6628581

Church-goers are like coals in a fire.
When they cling together they keep the flame aglow;
when they separate, they die out.

Billy Graham

* * * * * * * * * *

One telling statistic reveals the fruit of two centuries of faithful mission work:
Of India’s 700 million people, only 2.7 percent call themselves Christian,
and yet Christians are responsible for more than eighteen percent
of the nation’s health care.

Philip Yancey, I Was Just Wondering

* * * * * * * * * *

Like the athletes in the old Athenian torch race of Pan,
let us not run so fast that we put out the Light!
For without God everything is darkness in human society.

Robert I. Gannon

* * * * * * * * * *

We are called to be not the honey of the world
but the salt of the earth.
Salt stings on an open wound,
but it also saves one from gangrene.

Donald Bloesch

* * * * * * * * * *

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown,”
and he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you a better light and safer than a known way.”

M.L. Hoskins, The Gate of the Year

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017

Peacemakers blessed -01

We are rich in the things that perish, but poor in the things of the spirit.
We are rich in gadgets, but poor in faith.
We are rich in goods, but poor in grace.
We are rich in know-how, but poor in character.
We are rich in words, but poor in deeds.

Billy Graham

* * * * * * * * * *

God designed the human machine to run on Himself.
He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn,
or the food our spirits were designed to feed on.
There isn’t any other.

That’s why it’s no good asking God to make us happy in our own way
without bothering about religion.

C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity

* * * * * * * * * *

One discouraged person to another:
“What I need is a blessing that ISN’T in disguise.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Blessed to us is the night,
for it reveals the stars.

* * * * * * * * * *

There is no security in things.
In fact, things are deceptive:
they appear to be satisfying and lasting
when they are actually temporary
and unable to satisfy the deepest needs of life….
Certainly, God wants us to enjoy the blessings of life.
There is nothing spiritual about sitting morosely in a corner
and saying, “These things will not last anyway! Why enjoy them?”
God wants us to enjoy His good gifts,
just as we want our children to enjoy what we give them.
But He does not want us to depend on things–
He wants us to depend on Him.

Warren W. Wiersbe, Meet Yourself in the Parables

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017

people in darkness great ligth

If you think you’re too small to have an impact.
try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.

Anita Roddick

* * * * * * * * * *

God is the master of the scenes;
we must not choose which part we shall act;
it concerns us only to be careful that we do it well.

Jeremy Taylor

* * * * * * * * * *

It is very significant that in every recorded instance,
the Apostles were busy at their daily work
when the Master called them:

Peter and Andrew were fishing.
James and John were mending their nets;
Matthew was sitting at the receipt of custom.
God never visits an idle or unserviceable life.

David Smith

* * * * * * * * * *

If I could give you information of my life,
it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability
has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths
to do in His service what He has done in her.

And if I could tell you all,
you would see how God has done all, and I nothing.
I have worked hard, very hard-that is all,
and I have never refused God anything.

Florence Nightingale,
founder of the nursing profession

* * * * * * * * * *

The right, practical divinity is this:
believe in Christ,
and do your duty in that state of life
to which God has called you.

Martin Luther

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for the Gospel of Sunday, Jan. 15, 2015

Come And See

Read the Gospel (John 1:29-42) here.

God made Sun and Moon to distinguish seasons, and day and night,
and we cannot have the fruits of the earth but in their seasons:
But God hath made no decree to distinguish the seasons of His mercies….
In Heaven it is always Autumn,
his mercies are ever in their maturity.

John Donne

* * * * * * * * * *

God is the God of the humble, the miserable,
the oppressed, and the desperate,
and of those who are brought even to nothing;
and his nature is to give sight to the blind,
to comfort the broken-hearted,
to justify sinners,
to save the very desperate and damned.

Martin Luther

* * * * * * * * * *

Ultimately, this is what you go before God for:
You’ve had bad luck and good luck
and all you really want in the end is mercy.

Robert Frost

* * * * * * * * * *

The modern soul is not going to find peace
so long as he is locked up inside himself,
mulling around in the scum and sediment of his unconscious mind,
a prey of the unconscious forces
whose nature and existence he glorifies.

Fulton J. Sheen

* * * * * * * * * *

A great many people are trying to make peace,
but that has already been done.
God has not left it for us to do;
all we have to do is to enter into it.

Dwight L. Moody

* * * * * * * * * *

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