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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 rancid.
God expects that every day people will address themselves to Him by petitioning Him for their sustenance. Yet how contrary this is to the common practice of many. As camels in hot desert countries are said to drink but once in seven days, so many do the same. They offer up last week's and next week's devotions all in one quick prayer.
The emperor Constantine believed that because baptism washed away all sins, he would not be baptized until his death-bed. That way his soul might never lose the purity gained by that act and immediately enter heaven. But sudden death prevented him, and he was never baptized at all... If any erroneously, on the same supposition, put off praying to the last minute, let them take heed lest they pray rarely, or in effect, not at all."
Thomas Fuller
"You must accustom yourself more and more to the thought that here is not our abiding city, and that all which we call ours here, is only lent, not given to us. We may sorrow for those friends, parents or children we have lost, yet we must acknowledge with gratitude to God the blessing of having enjoyed our years with them... In fact, even the years we had, however short they may have been, were only given to us, we had not deserved them.
I know well there is no comfort for this pain of parting. The wound always remains. But one learns to bear the pain, and must learn to thank God for what He gave. If someone has lent us something for several years, and at last takes it back, he expects gratitude, not anger. And though God has more patience with our weakness than men have, yet murmurings and complaints for the life He has measured out for us are not what He expects from us. A spirit of resignation to God's will is our only comfort. It is the only relief for the trials God lays upon us. And when we have such a spirit of resignation, the heaviest as well as the lightest trials of life are not only bearable, but useful, and gratitude to God and joy in life remain untroubled."
Max Muller

As those made for fellowship with God, we only do ourselves a disservice when we neglect intimate time spent with our Savior -- an affectionate relationship kept fresh and sweet through prayer. Likewise, as those made for continual and unbroken communion with our Redeemer, few things are more helpful than remembering that under grace we are owed nothing and deserve nothing (yet given so much!). This reality helps to stifle murmurings and complaints and replace them with the trust of resignation to the God's will and praise offered in gratitude offered to God - both of which help "our joy in life to remain untroubled."

With prayers for your growth in grace,

Pastor Jeff


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