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Thoughts From A Few Less-Well-Known Writers

Dear Friends,

Today I thought I would give you a couple "thoughts" from virtually unknown authors. Sometimes we look to well-known or best-selling authors for inspiration and challenging thoughts. But popularity is not proof of virtue, and some false teachers have an immense number of followers. The first thought is a very helpful admonition regarding prayer, and the second a helpful way to respond to loss. I trust you will find helpful advice in both. (I have taken the liberty to update and clarify both.) Enjoy.

"Among arguments that encourage the necessity of daily prayer remains the fact that Christ enjoins us to petition for "daily" bread. New bread, as we know, is the best. And in a spiritual sense our bread every day given, as a new and hot blessing, is daily requested and bestowed by God. Manna was to be gathered daily, and not provisionally hoarded up. Their attempts to store it up so as to avoid the need to collect it daily, led to it turning r…
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Thoughts From J.I. Packer

Dear Friends,

Today I send out a "thought" from one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century - J. I. Packer. He is one of my favorites. I have at least 15 of his books! These are simply some thoughts on knowing God and His guidance for our lives. I trust you might find them helpful. Enjoy.
"Every time we mention God we become theologians, and the only question is whether we are going to be good ones or bad ones. A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about him... [In fact] What matters supremely, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it – the fact that he knows me... Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.
How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is simple but demanding. It is that we turn each truth that we learn abo…

Thoughts From J. Oswald Sanders

Dear Friends,

Initially I thought this excerpt might not be for everyone. Yet, if we are ministry-minded there's a sense in which it IS -- since all of us surely know someone who struggles with loneliness. Shut-ins. People who live in nursing homes. People in hospitals. People who have lost a spouse or live alone and are now in isolation -- and there are many other scenarios. Therefore I would encourage you to read it, if not for yourself, then at least for the help it might give you in ministering to others who wrestle with feelings of loneliness. It is by J. Oswald Sanders and comes from his book, "Facing Loneliness." Enjoy.
"A nine-year study by researchers at the University of California shows that loneliness has a greater impact on the death rate than smoking, drinking, eating or exercise. The study found that people without spouses or friends had a death rate twice as high as those with social ties" (ABC News). Loneliness is usually considered a m…

Thoughts From Nick Needham

Dear Friends,

Today I received a gift from a close friend. It was a devotional book entitled, "Daily Readings - The Early Church Fathers." It is edited by a church historian named Nick Needham. As one who loves history, and especially church history, I immediately turned to the readings for May and decided to pass a couple along to you today! It's a chance for you to "step back in time" and see how some of the earlier believers used the Bible, defended the faith, and sought to instruct people in the faith. Enjoy.
Both entries are by Basil of Caesarea (330-339 A.D.). In the first he responds to a pastor who apparently had people in his church who rejected the teaching that Jesus came in the flesh. In the second he encourages us to affirm the central Gospel truth of justification by grace through faith alone.
He Knits our Shattered Lives Together

"You speak of men in your midst trying to overthrow our Lord Jesus Christ's saving incarnation, castin…

Thoughts on Praying Continually

Dear Friends,

Last week we did a Zoom prayer meeting at my church for the National Day of Prayer. During that meeting I spoke on I Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." After the meeting a couple people asked me about a quote I used in explaining how we can "pray continually." Not just often, but continually.
 In this regard Brother Lawrence's short and very practical book, "The Practice of the Presence of God" was extremely helpful. But I was also helped by the spiritual guidance offered in the three quotes I have chosen to share today. And the benefits are enormous. Praying continually adds stability to our spiritual lives and helps keep us get off the spiritual roller coaster ride that can occur when we pray sporadically. And it helps us to "bring every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ" as Paul admonishes us …

Thoughts From "Streams In the Desert"

Dear Friends,

As I sat in my office today pondering what "thought" I would send out, I grabbed an old devotional book sitting on my desk, and just out of curiosity turned to see the devotion for today. It fit well with the times we are in, so I will share it with you. I also grabbed another from a friend's feed on Facebook. I had seen it years ago, but it also struck me as so very pertinent to the present time. So, today, you get two short thoughts to ponder! Enjoy.
"As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men...
who were invading Judah and they were defeated." I Chronicles 20:22

"Oh, if only we would worry less about our problems and sing and praise more! There are thousands of things that shackle us which could be turned into instruments of music if we just knew how to do it. Think of those people who ponder, meditate, and weigh the affairs of life, and who continually try to figure out the mysterious workings of God'…

More Thoughts From Charles Spurgeon

Greetings Friends,
Some days are slower than others. For me, today is not one of them! Therefore, I will be sending out a much shorter thought! I spoke with someone on a call earlier today and they mentioned how they bought a book I recommended -- "Beside Still Waters - Words of Comfort for the Soul." It is a book with the writings of Charles Spurgeon updated into today's language by Roy Clarke.
In our conversation she said, "It's amazing how many of them speak so clearly into what we are going through now." In light of her words I simply opened my copy and decided to send the first one I looked at. She was right. Enjoy.

"God has fixed the time of our death (Job 7:1). It is useless to dream of living here forever. A time of departure must come unless the Lord returns. If He returns before our departure, then "we who are alive and remain shall be caught up... in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lor…