One Solitary Life

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

Adapted from a sermon by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926

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Favorite Quotes from ‘Love Bila Regrets’

I thought I should share some of the quotes that stood out for me as I read John Musyimi and Mark Ambundo’s book. Find my review of the book here.

On the point or end-goal of a dating relationship:

“Christian dating does not always lead to marriage; however, it must only be pursued in the context of movement towards marriage.”

On why a man should be very clear about his intentions when considering dating a woman:

“[Jesus] is absolutely clear to his bride – the Church – about His love for her, His commitment to her and His plans for her future. The church is never in the dark on these matters.”

On how a wife is to “actively” submit to her husband in marriage:

“In marriage, the call to submission for the wife is not one of passive waiting around for the man to do everything; rather it is joyful and intelligent submission. She participates fully in all issues. Though the final decision rests with the husband, it is not without input from the wife.”

What is the fundamental thing to look for in a potential mate?

“Look for an individual who is growing in Christlikeness.”

On delaying sexual gratification until marriage:

“Refuse now to engage in what will later rob you the beautiful experience of marital intimacy with the love of your life. Wait, preserve, persevere.”

On pursuing intimacy with God as a way to deal with lustful and impure thoughts:

“[Pursuing intimacy with God] is the ultimate antidote to lust.”

On the need for accountability and pursuing our growth in the midst of Christian community (church):

“How can character be developed outside the feedback. Correction, rebuke and even confrontation best found within authentic Christian community? People in such a community are like rough pebbles flowing down a river, knocking against each other thus smoothing each other out as they go along.”

On the importance of focusing on our relationship with God more than our relationship with our mate:

“One’s ability to relate healthily is born out of a robust walk with God who consistently affirms and strengthens self-identity.”

On how Christ uses relationships to shape  us and grow us and refine us:

“[Christ] uses relationships to refine our character; calling us to speak the truth in love, admit our short-comings and learn from our past failures.”

And finally, to those of us who may be tempted to use “that’s just the way I am” as an excuse to be less loving in a relationship:

“We are not slaves to our personalities. Every Christian has an obligation to subject his or her personality under Christ because in Him we are new creations.”