Gems of Thought by Christian Authors

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.

--Isaiah 61:10.

Something Beautiful--
Out of Trash
A "Sermon" Never
to Be Forgotten
The Highest and Best
Gift in the Universe
Hotline to Heaven--
No Busy Signals!

A Murder
Stopped by Radio
Mother Teresa's
Kind of Love
The Little Dude's
A Prayer by
Catherine Marshall

Jesus Died So That
You and I Will Live
Aborted Abortion--
All Because of Love!
The Secret Is to
Know God
The Lord Restores,
He Brings Healing

Something Beautiful--Out of Trash

As we were driving down one of the alleys in Nashville on Music Row, I saw a sight that I don't see very often. There was a man pushing a shopping cart filled with large plastic bags. He was going from dumpster to dumpster, digging through the trash, looking for treasures. As my heart went out to this man, I was reminded of how richly God has blessed me. Beyond this, I saw the huge difference in this man's and my shopping habits. First of all, I don't go to shop, I go to buy. There is a difference, but I have yet to convince my wife that mine is the better way. I go to a nice clean store with the products all shiny and new, each easily displaying their worth and value. This man digs through what the world has thrown away, looking for anything that might be cleaned up and useful. I only consider items with obvious and noticeable value. He looks for hidden value underneath a covering of filth and dirt.

It is a bit painful for me to admit, but Jesus is more like that man in the alley than He is like me. He doesn't look for only the ones who are clean and shiny, ready to use for his purpose. No, He digs through what the world has thrown away to find that perfect soul that He can cleanse and remake into something beautiful. He sees the value not in what we are, but in what we can be in His service.

If you think that there is too much sin and filth in your life for God to accept you, you are wrong. God is a great bargain hunter. He takes the worthless and useless and remakes them into masterpieces. I'm so thankful for the day that Jesus reached down into the trash for me. The good news is that God still walks the alley. He's still looking for hidden treasures. You can't clean yourself up enough to be worthy of Him, but don't worry, He can see your true value. When He looks at you, He doesn't see a sinner...He sees a son or daughter. What could be worth more than that?--Reprinted by permission from "The Inspiration Station," devotional newsletter of Phil & Pam Morgan Music Ministry: PO Box 1991, Lee's Summit, MO 64063; 888-523-4492;


A "Sermon" Never to Be Forgotten

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kinda esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now people are looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer to the pulpit and when he realizes there are no seats, he squats down right on the carpet. By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, a three-piece suit, and a pocket watch. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves, You can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The people are thinking, The minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget."--Author unkown.


The Highest and Best Gift in the Universe

If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing.

This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience--it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.

Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it shares the joy of those who live by the truth.

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love never fails.--The Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13).


Hotline to Heaven--No Busy Signals!

Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears, before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. "The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" [James 5:11]. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows, and even by our utterance of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perlexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds" [Psalm 147:3]. The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.--E. G. White (Steps to Christ, p. 100).


A Murder Stopped by a Radio

Maria was desperate. A single mother living in Peru, she worked long hours to provide for her teenage daughter, Angela, and herself. Maria worried as her innocent child became a rebellious teenager. Maria seemed powerless to change the path Angela's life was taking. Angela stayed out night after night, rebelling against Maria's values.

Then it happened. Maria noticed Angela's health was failing. She tried to deny it, but the truth was evident: Her daughter had contracted AIDS. Heartbroken, Maria sought help to reverse her daughter's disease, but she found no help. Angela's health continued to decline until she was bedridden in great pain.

Maria was so depressed and heartsick that she could see only one way out. Desperate, she decided to end her daughter's pain by killing her, then turn the gun on herself and end her own life. She purchased a gun and hid it in a desk drawer, awaiting the day she had appointed for the murders.

On the given day, Maria opened the desk drawer and removed the gun. But then something happened that changed her mind. Maria explains in her own words.

"I don't believe in miracles, but this morning, as I prepared to carry out my plan, an extraordinary thing happened. As I opened my desk and removed the revolver, the clock radio came on, and a voice said, 'In the midst of suffering and pain, Jesus understands, because He suffered just as we do.' I sat down and listened. It seemed as if the voice was directed at me personally. I felt a peace in my heart that I had not known. The progam ended with a phone number."

The number Maria called was the Voice of Hope, and the person who answered the phone listened to Maria's story then promised to visit Maria and her daughter. In fact, several staff members visited the family, sharing God's Word and weeping with them through their suffering. Sadly, the disease had taken its toll, and Angela died. Maria grieved over her daughter's death. But she was strengthened by God's promises and drew courage from her newfound faith in Christ and the support of her Christian friends.--Don Jacobsen (former president of "AWR," Adventist World Radio).


Mother Teresa's Kind of Love

Lord, make me a channel of Thy peace, that where there is hatred I may bring love; that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness; that where there is doubt, I may bring faith; that where there is error, I may bring truth; that where there is discord, I may bring harmony; that where there is despair, I may bring hope; that where there are shadows, I may bring light; that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted; to understand than to be understood; to love than to be loved; for it is by forgetting self that one finds; it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life. Amen.--Presentation by Mother Teresa.

People are moved by the love they receive, and it may be just a touch of my hand, or a glass of water, or providing them with something they desire. But because of this they believe that God must be even kinder, more generous, and so their souls are lifted up to God. We don't preach, we just do what we do with love, and they are touched by God's grace. (Mother Teresa, A Simple Path,
p. 88).


The Little Dude's Bloodline!

When I was a little dude, my mom was the assistant vice president for nursing at a local hospital. People at the hospital treated Mom with a lot of respect.

I never thought much about it when I came to her office. Whether she was there or not, I knew to let myself in. Not even her secretary would dream of opening the drawers in her desk without permission, yet I went straight to my favorite drawer, the one where Mom kept markers and sketch pads and notebooks.

No one else in the hospital would have been comfortable doing what I did. But I always knew that I was welcome and exactly where to go to get the things I needed.

What made the rules different for me than for Mom's secretary or anyone else who worked in the hospital? It was my blood. Mom's blood runs in my veins. I was her kid. I knew she would be glad to see me.

It works that way with God too. He is the most powerful king of the universe. Everyone on the entire planet will bow the knee to Him someday and acknowledge that He is truly the victor. Yet I can barge into His office anytime, knowing that He will give me what I need and that He'll always be happy to see me. Why? Because of the blood. I'm His kid.--Mike Dillon (Mike's World, p. 17).


A Prayer by Catherine Marshall

Father, once I had such big dreams, so much anticipation of the future. Now no shimmering horizon beckons me; my days are lack-lustre. I see so little of lasting value in the daily rounds. Where is your plan for my life?

You have told us that without vision, we men perish. So, Father in heaven, knowing that I can ask in confidence for what is your expressed will to give me, I ask You to deposit in my mind and heart that particular dream, the special vision You have for my life. And along with the dream, will You give me whatever graces, patience, and stamina it takes to see the dream through to fruition?

I sense this may involve adventures I have not bargained for. But I want to trust You enough to follow even if You lead along new paths. I admit to liking some of my ruts. But I know that habit patterns that seem like cozy nests from the inside, from Your vantage point may be prison cells. Lord, if You have to break down any prisons of mind before I can see the stars and catch the vision, then, Lord, begin the process now. In joyous anticipation. Amen.


Jesus Died So That You and I Will Live

Graphic copyrighted by S. E. Bohlmann

Jesus was pierced for our sins,
He was crushed for our iniquities,
the death that brought us peace was placed on Him
and by the wounds of Jesus we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray.
We have each gone our own way.
Yet the Lord has laid on Him all our sins.

--Isaiah 53:5, 6, paraphrased.


Aborted Abortion--All Because of Love!

My mom was sick and having to take a lot of medicine when she found out that I was on the way. Her doctor worried about the effect of the drugs on me since there was a huge chance that I would be born with serious deformities and health problems. He told Mom to have an abortion and try again later when she didn't have to take so much medicine. Upset, Mom prayed and prayed about it. She decided that I was her kid and my life was important, and that God wouldn't have given me life if He didn't have a plan for me.

Mom decided she would love me and take care of me even if I had a cleft palate or was seriously disabled. I'm so glad that she placed such value on me. I was born healthy with all the appropriate parts, but it feels good to know that Mom would have wanted me anyway. It makes me really love my mom.

God placed an even higher value on me. He sent His only Son to die for me and would have done it even if I were the only person on earth who needed it. Understanding how important I am to God changes the way I feel about myself. I have value, and it makes me love Him.--Mike Dillon (Mike's World, p. 30).


The Secret Is to Know God

"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the Lord.--Jeremiah 9:23, 24, emphasis supplied.

Knowing God apparently is the secret for every human need. It comes through an intimate experience with Jesus Christ, King of heaven and earth. It means spending quality time with Jesus every day in the study of His Word, the Bible, and making priority time each day in prayer, confessing and forsaking known sins (see 1 John 1:9), and loving as Jesus loved (see 1 John 4:7-11). Then His character will become ours and we will reflect His life (Philippians 4:8, 9): Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:32).--Eric Kreye.


The Lord Restores, He Brings Healing

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in
the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow
me all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

--Psalm 23, a Psalm of King David.



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