I’m a collector of many things. This habit can often clutter up my life. But one of my most treasured collections is my Words of Wisdom file. As long as I can remember I have loved inspiring words and years ago I began to collect them in a file of inspiring quotes and Scriptures. It was my plan to begin sharing some of the inspiring words that the Lord has used in my own spiritual journey over the summer. I am a contemplative soul. The handmade journals that we make for the Restore Retreat are filled with quotes for reflection and many have asked for the source of them. The title of our blog "Monday Musings" means the contemplation of words or quotes.Sorting and sizing approximately 6000 undergarments! We stopped counting!
But words are simply words if we don’t allow them to change us within and mold our character. Beautiful inspiring words if they are truly valuable should lead us to live our lives in a way that displays the love of Christ So I began to pull together some of my favorites that I might share with you in the coming months.
The one below from Steve Fry’s book Rekindled Flame has always challenged me.
Let us never undervalue the miracle that happens when God takes a person completely bent toward selfishness and kindles within him a flame of love for the God who made him. But how we tend that flame–that is the real issue of life. He sets our hearts afire for Him, and at the end of our days, He sets our works afire to see if He can find himself. That which looks like Him, smells like Him, sounds like Him—that is the gold that will remain on the day we stand before Him. And all the great movements and monuments of men so lauded now will be just so much dust in the wind. Steve Fry
As I pondered his words and reviewed other quotes in my file last week I saw my own daughter jump into action. Mary Elizabeth studies musical theater at Oklahoma City University. She is an artist and is most comfortable blessing others with the messages of her songs through her beautiful voice. The tornado disaster in Moore, Oklahoma is just 15 minutes from her college and has sent her tender heart for people and amazing energy into action. The dorms at OCU are now home for many of those who have lost their homes. She has lived through many hurricanes in Baton Rouge and witnessed first hand during the Katrina Relief efforts of 2005 the tremendous toil a natural disaster takes on it’s victims and those who try to serve their needs. Our own church served the medical community who came to serve for months with housing and relief to triage victims and workers in Baton Rouge. The face of our community was forever changed as over 100,000 victims suddenly moved into our area. As a young girl she had helped the victims and seen her mom and dad, family and friends give sacrificially of their time and provisions. One of the homeless lived with us for several months. I remember worrying that I was neglecting the needs of my own family during those many months of ministry demands. But the Lord showed me His heart and plan this week in a way that I had not expected.
A close friend of Mary Elizabeth’s, Mrs. Joy, shared with her that from her work in the shelters during Katrina there was often of shortage of one basic need - underwear. People don’t think to send it and the local stores left in business sell out. So she began to put out word of the need. Financial donations from churches and individuals and supplies poured in.
Generosity poured out to strangers in their time of need is such a beautiful testimony of the love of Christ. I have watched her work tirelessly and use the time of her vacation off from college to help the victims of this devastating tornado in Moore, OK. She spent days driving around to the stores in Baton Rouge collecting supplies for donations. There has been a beautiful spirit of compassion leading her efforts and the efforts of so many who have helped to reach out to the victims. It is a portrait of the heart of Christ to me.
As I worked beside her and watched the compassion and love of others reach out to those in need I was reminded of some of my favorite quotes. I pray that they will inspire and challenge you in the days ahead.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We either add to the darkness of indifference....
or we light a candle to see by....
Artists of the soul aren’t lukewarm about anything–most importantly the truth. And the most important aspect of creating works of art—and living an artful life–isn’t trying to be unique or different; it’s being passionate. Passionate about what you believe, care about, hope for. If you live and love passionately, then what is most unique about your own soul will automatically spring to life and flourish–sprouting wildly among the wilted, tired weeds of the world.
We are all pencils in the hand of a writing God, who is sending love letters to the world, Mother Teresa
The 1st Shipment of compassion and hard work for Tornado Relief is complete! Over 6000 undergarments, about 300 lbs. and 8 boxes sent to
Frontline Church in Oklahoma City to be distributed!!!!
Thank you to the Chapel and other Baton Rouge churches, family, friends and the many
individuals who donated and helped
with the relief effort!!
Holiness is not a bid to be noticed or loved or accepted by God. Holiness, rather, is acting out and acting upon the truth that God has noticed, loved, and accepted us long before we did anything to warrant that.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
God completes His love in us when we love one another. The only way we can get to the place where we rely on the love God has for us — where we rest in it — is by loving. He calls us, you and me, to be His kiss, His touch, His Word, His embrace, and by doing so to also be assured of His kiss, touch, Word, embrace.
Let us remember to pray for the thousands who have been affected by the tornados in Oklahoma and to pray that the love of Christ will minister to their tremendous needs. When the news stops covering it is easy to forget that the tragedy and road to recovery continues on for months, even years. Also pray for those who are reaching out to comfort those in need. They will need strength, perseverance and compassion as well.
May we always endeavor to be His kiss and touch in the world where He has placed us. As we seek His heart of love and compassion let us remember to live out inspiring words of truth and let them change us deep within.
Blessed and changed by the compassion of Christ,
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