Short pithy gems from Elisabeth Elliot

(1926 2015)

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There is nothing worth living for unless it is worth dying for!

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God never withholds from His child, that which His love and wisdom call good. God's refusals are always merciful. They are "severe mercies" at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.

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To be a follower of the Crucified One means, sooner or later a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails suffering.

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A wife, if she is very generous may allow that her husband lives up to perhaps eighty percent of her expectations. There is always the other twenty percent that she would like to change and she may chip away at it for the whole of their married life without reducing it by very much.

She may, on the other hand, simply decide to enjoy the eighty percent and both of them will be happy.

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God gives all.
God requires all.

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I have one desire now to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.

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If your goal is purity of heart be prepared to be thought very odd.

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God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don't have now we don't need now. A submissive heart is content with what God gives. Have we the humility to thank our Father for the gift of pain?

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The will of God is not something you add to your life. It's a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.

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A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire has to go into the process of conforming us to the image of Christ.

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The willingness to be and to have just what God wants us to be and have, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else would set our hearts at rest, and we would discover the simpler life and the greater peace.

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God is God. I dethrone Him in my heart if I demand that He act in ways that satisfy my idea of justice.

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No marriage can survive without forgiveness. Marriage is a long term commitment between two sinners!

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The cross means suffering. Suffering's meaning is to be learned through the cross.

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The process of shaping the child shapes also the mother herself. Reverence for her sacred burden, calls her to all that is pure and good that she may teach primarily by her own humble, daily example.

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The deepest lessons come out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires.

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Sometimes God's refusals are His mercies.

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If all struggles and sufferings were eliminated the Christian would no more reach maturity than would the child.

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You can never lose what you have offered to Christ.

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I am not a theologian or a scholar but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.

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God will not protect you from anything that will make you more like Jesus.

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Our future may look fearfully intimidating yet we can look up to the Engineer of the Universe, confident that nothing escapes His attention or slips out of the control of those strong hands.

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You will never understand why God does what He does but if you believe Him, that is all that is necessary. Let us learn to trust Him for who He is.

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No one whose first concern is pleasure, can be a disciple of the Crucified One. We are called to carry a cross and to glorify God.

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Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now! The life of faith is lived one day at a time. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.

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Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.

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Cruelty and wrong are not the greatest forces in the world. There is nothing eternal in them. Only love is eternal.

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We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive his poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him may then pour ourselves out for others.

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Faith is an act of will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of a God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ.

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This hard place in which you perhaps find yourself, is the very place in which God is giving you opportunity to look only to Him, to spend time in prayer, and to learn patience, gentleness, meekness in short, to learn the depths of the love that Christ Himself has poured out on you.

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God is God. Because he is God He is worthy of my trust and obedience.

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It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given. One or the other becomes a habit of life.

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Faith's most severe tests come not when we see nothing but when we see a stunning array of evidence that seems to prove our faith vain.

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To love God is to love His will. It is to wait quietly for life to be measured by One who knows us through and through. It is to be content with His timing and His wise appointment.

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What God gives in answer to our prayers will always be the thing we most urgently need, and it will always be sufficient.

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The God who created, names, and numbers the stars in the heavens also numbers the hairs of my head. He pays attention to very big things and to very small ones. What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life.

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Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline. We are to worship "in spirit and in truth." Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.

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If we hold tightly to anything given to us, unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used we stunt the growth of the soul. What God gives us is not necessarily "ours" but only ours to offer back to him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of. Many deaths must go into reaching our maturity in Christ many letting go's.

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I asked Him to give or withhold anything according to his plan for me. Nothing is too big to ask of Him. It is God's business to decide if it is good for me. It is my business to obey Him.

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God will never disappoint us. If deep in our hearts we suspect that God does not love us and cannot manage our affairs as well as we can we certainly will not submit to His discipline. To the unbeliever the fact of suffering only convinces him that God is not to be trusted, does not love us. To the believer the opposite is true.

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Not everything needs to be said. There are very few things that need to be said by me.

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Modesty means to be free from undue familiarity, from indecency, from lewdness, pure in thought and conduct. Speaking of modest apparel, it means decent, befitting. The opposite of modesty is conceit, boldness, immodesty, brazenness, lewdness.

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God's command 'Go and preach the gospel to every creature' was the categorical imperative. The question of personal safety was wholly irrelevant.

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The world cries for men who are strong; strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer.

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It is God to whom and with whom we travel and He is also the end of our journey.

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Silence is the mother of prayer and the nurse of holy thoughts. Silence cuts down on our sins. We can't be sinning in so many different ways, if we are being quiet before God. Silence nourishes patience, charity, discretion.

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Everything, if given to God, can become your gateway to joy.

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I think growing older is a wonderful privilege. I want to learn to glorify God in every stage of my life.

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The way you keep your house,
the way you organize your time,
the care you take in your personal appearance,
the things you spend your money on
all speak loudly about what you believe.
The beauty of your peace shines forth in an ordered life.
A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.

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My most earnest of all pleas to others, is abandonment of the self, surrender to Christ of all unfulfilled longings, an unequivocal willingness to receive whatever God assigns, and a determination to practice the sacrificial principle of service. Then life becomes not only far simpler but surprisingly joyful and free.

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When our plans are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled. They include our minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable.

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"If God gave it to me," we say "it's mine. I can do what I want with it." No. The truth is, that it is ours to thank Him for, ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of if we want real life, if our hearts are set on glory.

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Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. There would be not enjoyment of leisure if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done which enables us to enjoy rest; just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst, which make food and drink such pleasures.

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Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts.

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Among the most joyful people I have known, have been some who seem to have had no human reason for joy. The sweet fragrance of Christ has shown through their lives.

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A whole lot of what we call 'struggling' is simply delayed obedience.

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I'm convinced that there is nothing that can happen to me in this life which is not precisely designed by a sovereign Lord to give me the opportunity to learn to know Him.

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Leave it all in the hands that were pierced for you!

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It seems disrespectful to me to see ladies in church in very short skirts or skimpy, sleeveless tops. I would imagine that it could be distracting to men who are trying to keep their minds on God.

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The one who loves knows better than anyone else how to conduct himself, and how to serve the one he loves. Love prescribes an answer in a given situation, as no mere rule can do.

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For one who has made thanksgiving the habit of his life, the morning prayer will be, "Lord, what will you give me today to offer back to you?"

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Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.

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If you take being a father seriously, you'll know that you're not big enough for the job. Being a father will put you on your knees, if nothing else ever did.

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Loneliness is a required course for leadership.

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We have ample evidence that the Lord is able to guide. The promises cover every imaginable situation. All we need to do is to take the hand which he stretches out.

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Amy Carmichael's great longing was to have a "single eye" for the glory of God. Whatever might blur the vision God had given her of His work, whatever could distract or deceive or tempt others to seek anything but the Lord Jesus Himself she tried to eliminate.

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Things which sound like platitudes become vital, living and powerful when you have to learn them in dark tunnels.

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I will offer to Him both my tears and my exultation. Nothing I offer to Him will be lost.

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A spirit of restlessness and resistance can never wait but one who believes he is loved with an everlasting love, and knows that underneath are the everlasting arms will find strength and peace.

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The things that we feel most deeply, we ought to learn to be silent about at least until we have talked them over thoroughly with God.

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Sometimes life is so hard you can only do the next thing. Whatever that is, just do the next thing. God will meet you there.

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The devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds. He will not allow quietness.

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Do you often feel like parched ground, unable to produce anything worthwhile? I do. When I am in need of refreshment it isn't easy to think of the needs of others. But I have found that if, instead of praying for my own comfort and satisfaction, I ask the Lord to enable me to give to others, an amazing thing often happens I find my own needs wonderfully met. Refreshment comes in ways I would never have thought of, both for others, and then, incidentally, for myself.

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The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse but in the end it's going to be a lot better and a lot bigger.

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Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful, when men are willing to be men.

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The disciplined Christian will be very careful what sort of counsel he seeks from others. Counsel that contradicts the written Word is ungodly counsel. Blessed is the man who walks not in that.

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Teach me to treat all that comes to me with peace of soul, and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.

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Jesus never pussyfooted.

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Holiness has never been the driving force of the majority.
It is, however, mandatory for anyone who wants to enter the kingdom.

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Maturity starts with the willingness to give oneself to Christ.

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The way we live ought to manifest the truth of what we believe. A messy life speaks of a messy and incoherent faith.

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A man must at times be hard as nails willing to face up to the truth about himself, and refusing compromise when compromise is wrong. But he must also be tender.

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When you don't know what to do then do the thing in front of you.

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We can't really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.

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New Year's Day is a good time to fix one's eyes on the only One who knows what the year is to hold.

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Worry is the antithesis of trust in God. You simply cannot do both. They are mutually exclusive.

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It is when we come to the Lord in our nothingness, our powerlessness and our helplessness that He then enables us to live in a way which, without Him, would be absolutely impossible.

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We must quit bending the Word to suit our situation. It is we who must be bent to that Word. It is our necks which must bow under the yoke.

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Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy.

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If you believe in a God who controls the big things then you have to believe in a God who controls the little things. It is only we, of course, to whom things look 'little' or 'big'.

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Lead me, Lord, to the Rock that is higher than I. Let me hear your word, give me grace to obey, to build steadily, stone upon stone, day by day, to do what You say. Establish my heart where floods have no power to overwhelm, for Christ's sake. Amen.

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A real woman understands that man was created to be the initiator, and she operates on that premise. This is primarily a matter of attitude. I am convinced that the woman who understands and accepts with gladness the difference between masculine and feminine will be, without pretense or self-consciousness, truly womanly.

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Faith has to be exercised in the midst of ordinary, down-to-earth living.

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Waiting silently for God, is the hardest thing of all.

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A grandmother's special calling is to pray and to be a fellow worker in the battle in which her children or her grandchildren are engaged.

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It is impossible to love deeply, without sacrifice.

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If we do anything to further the kingdom of God, we may expect to find what Christ found on that road abuse, indifference, injustice, misunderstanding, trouble of some kind. Take it. Why not? To that you were called.

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The woman who accepts the limitations of womanhood finds in those very limitations her gifts, her special calling which bears her up into perfect freedom into the will of God.

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Christ is sufficient. We do not need "support groups" for each and every separate tribulation. The most widely divergent sorrows may all be taken to the foot of the same old rugged cross and find there cleansing, peace, and joy.

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One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime. Maturity is the accomplishment of years and I can only surrender to the will of God as I know what that will is.

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Cold prayers, like cold suitors are seldom effective in their aims.

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What I ought to do and what I feel like doing are seldom the same thing.

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The Bible doesn't explain everything necessary for our intellectual satisfaction but it explains everything necessary for our obedience.

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If it were not for uncertainties we would have no need to walk by faith.

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God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.

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Self-pity is a sinkhole from which no rescuing hand can drag you because you have chosen to sink.

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The world looks for happiness through self-assertion.
The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment.

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True faith goes into operation, when there are no answers.

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There is no need for faith where there is no consciousness of an element of risk.

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A little quiet reflection will remind me that obedience to God always leads in the end to joy.

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One way to begin to see how vastly indulgent we usually are, is to fast. It is a long day that is not broken by the usual three meals. One finds out what an astonishing amount of time is spent in the planning, purchasing, preparing, eating, and cleaning up of meals.

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A broken heart is a reminder of our only source of comfort.

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Discipline, for the Christian, begins with the body. We have only one. It is this body that is the primary material given to us for sacrifice. We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves.

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Money holds terrible power when it is loved!

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Are you afraid? Remember the "fear nots" of the Bible.

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Blessings taken for granted are often forgotten.

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Muddled thinking, inevitably results in muddled living.

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The world cries for men who are strong strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer. I pray that you will be that kind of man glad that God made you a man, glad to shoulder the burden of manliness in a time when to do so will often bring contempt.

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Experience has taught me that the Shepherd is far more willing to show His sheep the path than the sheep are to follow. He is endlessly merciful, patient, tender, and loving. If we, His stupid and wayward sheep, really want to be led we will without fail be led.

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Think of this we may live together with Him here and now a daily walking with Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.

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The heart set to do the Father's will need never fear defeat.

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One step at a time, over the years, as I sought to plumb the mystery of suffering (which cannot be plumbed), I began to see that there is a sense in which everything is a gift even my widowhood.

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Most of the time we like the idea of our own freedom. There are times when we do not at all like the idea of the freedom of others. If we suffer because of their freedom let us remember that they suffer because of ours.

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Faith receives, day by day what a loving Heavenly Father apportions.

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"When the time comes to die make sure that all you have to do is die!" Jim Elliot

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"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Jim Elliot