Sunday, August 9, 2015

Long Quotes On Saints

The Child and His Heroes
By J. Jorg.

One of the most revealing commentaries on the spiritual status of families in America today is the heroes our children idolize.

The lifestyles of many of these heroes are in almost every respect contrary to that which we find taught in the Word of God. Yet they are influencing the way children respond in their homes, schools and churches. Young hearts and minds are being subtly sucked into the world's philosophies exemplified by their heroes.

The first step to directing children to right heroes is for adults to respect godly people and point out ungodly characteristics and habits in the lives of popular figures. Every hero worth emulating should be able to say with the apostle Paul, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1, NIV).

The second step is to introduce children to godly heroes in the Bible. A good listing is found in Hebrews 11. These people are great examples of living faith. Extra time can be spent studying the heroes in each week's Sunday School lesson. Instruct children both at home and in the classroom about the amazing works of God in the lives of these people. (See Psalm 78:1-8).

Another way to introduce children to godly heroes is through reading Christian biographies. Men like George Mueller, George Washington Carver and Jim Eliot, and women like Amy Carmichael, Fanny Crosby and Joni Eareckson Tada inspire Christians of all ages.

Plan opportunities for children to meet and associate with outstanding Christians alive today. These people may include pastors, missionaries, evangelists, Bible conference speakers, or maybe an older person in your church who walks with God and exhibits many of the qualities of Christ.

In any discussions of heroes there is always concern not to lift up people. The argument goes that men have shortcomings and may fail. The question, however, is not whether or not our children should have heroes. Youth of every generation will always find people after which to pattern their lives. The question is, who will their heroes be? Let's do all we can to help our children follow godly men and women of the past and present who will inspire them, too, to become "heroes of the faith."
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The People as Curriculum

By Norma Cook Everist,
The Church As Learning Community, 2002.

"Each time the faith community gathers, in whole or in part, also present are all the others in whom Christ in incarnate, God's people from every time and place: Madagascar, Indonesia, Chile, Chicago, or the town down the highway. The teacher becomes the learner and the learner the teacher in an interdependent global community. That is not a call for role confusion. In any given class setting, one teacher or a team of teachers will lead the group and others will primarily be learners. But the roles might be reversed in another activity. Having been together in creative ways, learners teach one another and go forth to teach. 'Contrary to all that we might experience, no learning community is ever isolated or inadequate. Whether the room is sparsely populated or crowded, the people present are significant and sufficient. At the same time, no one group is ever complete unto itself, incapable of learning from those not present in the room, or not needing the stories of God's interaction with people of centuries ago, or encounter with people very different from oneself around the world, or those who do not confess the same faith. We need each other in order to learn. If we are the curriculum, how can we learn if we keep the book of people different from ourselves closed? The curriculum incorporates the faith and life of the people in any locale, including worship, study, community, stewardship, witness, service, and social action. Reflective involvement is essential. Those who concretize the curriculum have the task of putting together a comprehensive and practical plan in light of the challenges and opportunities presented by a certain place.
The phrase, "Curriculum is God and God's people in this time and place" should not be interpreted to mean that religious education is simply a matter of like-minded people gathering to do things they enjoy together. That would exclude real challenge and real growth. Nor, as we have seen, do the emphases on the here and now, the local, or the contemporary church exclude the historic, global church. By no means. The latter are essential if the local church is to encounter the activity of a God who engages people in every time and every place. In the complexity, even in the midst of the confusion and controversy of diverse people who do not understand one another, God has created and will sustain community, thereby creating a living curriculum – one which we will never complete, but one which is real. God is in the center of this concept of church as a learning community with all of God's creating, redeeming, and liberating activity."

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The Circuit Rider

George T. Ashley.

"He was thoroughly consecrated and devoted to his work. His sole equipment usually consisted of a horse, saddle and a pair of saddlebags – now a rare sight indeed- in which he placed most of his earthly possessions, usually consisting of but one change of clothing, a Bible, a hymnbook, and possibly a few tracts; and maybe a few books to sell. His home was on his horse and among the people whom he served.
Thus he went from place to place, from village to village, from settlement to settlement, from house to house, preaching every Sunday, sometimes two or three times; and almost every night in the week at one of the larger homes in the remote settlements; preaching to and praying with a mere handful of people; burying the dead when occasion called for it; holding prayer and giving admonition at every house at which he stopped. The circuit usually required a month to get around in this way; and then the circuit rider would at once start again.
The circuit riders met once a year in "Conference" to discuss their previous year's work, to lay plans for the next year's work to re-assign the preachers to their circuits and to discuss their many common and often perplexing problems. At that time, no circuit rider rode the same circuit more than one year in succession. Thus the various talents among them were widely distributed and shared among all the people.
With increasing population, better roads and better means of transportation, the circuits were gradually diminished in area from a preaching point almost every day in the month down to a circuit of six or eight places, usually close enough together for him to preach to two separate congregations each Sunday; then down to four churches in a circuit; and now in most places to the "Station" where the minister serves but one congregation." 

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If God can Use These Saints. . .
then surely he can use me!

* A Liar named Abram to father his new nation;
* A Murderer named Moses to liberate them;
* An Adulterer named David to lead them;
* A Deserter named Peter to nurture his lambs;
* And a Church Killer named Saul to build his church.

~ Sid Cox, Stumbling Into Grace.

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The Heart of a Saint
Bert Ghezzi
“Amid their vast diversity, one commonality stands out: they (saints) share the same heart—a heart set on loving God above all. The heart is that deep place at the core of our being where we make the choices that direct and orient our lives. At some point every one of the saints made a heartfelt decision to put God first in his or her life. . . Holiness is not the narrowly guarded privilege of a few, but rather an abundantly available opportunity for all. Here’s the point: we can become saints if we want. All we must do is choose to be holy, and the Holy Spirit will make it happen. And because making us saints is God’s work, we don’t have to be without problems, faults, or even sins. All of the saints, including the apostles, were sinners, just like you and me. . . Holiness does not come from staying busy with Christian activities. It is a matter of the heart, a matter of falling in love with God. “  

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Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:15-17.