Tag Archives: Life

The power of habit!

(J.R. Miller, 1893)

A California stagecoach driver had held the leather reins for so many years, that when he began to grow old, his hands were crooked into hooks, and his fingers were so stiffened into that shape–that they could not be straightened out.

There is a similar process that goes on in men’s minds and souls, when they continue to do the same things over and over. If you are trained, and train yourself, from childhood . . .
to be gentle and patient,
to control your temper,
to resist all wrong–
your life will grow into moral beauty, and the peacefulness of your heart will at length shine upon your very face.

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You have only just begun!

(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)

Dear friend,

You say that you cannot live up to the things you read in the Bible and in Christian books. I know of no one who can do so. The Bible sets before us very lofty ideals–so lofty that we cannot reach them in a day or a month or in twenty-five years. So long as you may live, and if you spend every year in striving toward the best things–you will still find that you have not fully attained them.

Paul was a great deal better Christian than most of us, and he said, when he was quite an old man, that he was not yet perfect–but was still striving after the things which he wished to attain. We never measure up to our ideals. We never are so holy any day, as we intend to be in the morning when we set out.

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A silent personal influence

(J. R. Miller, “In Green Pastures”)

There is a silent personal influence, like a shadow, which goes out from everyone–and this influence is always leaving results and impressions wherever it touches. You cannot live a day–and not touch some other life. Wherever you go–your shadow falls on others, and they are either better or worse for your presence.

Our influence depends upon what we are–more than upon what we do. It is by living a beautiful life–that we bless the world. I do not under-estimate holy activities. Good deeds must characterize every true life. Our hands must do holy works. But if the life itself is noble, beautiful, holy, Christ-like, one that is itself a blessing and an inspiration–the worth of the influence is many times multiplied.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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The one is drawn in pomp to hell–while the other swims in tears to heaven!

(Thomas Sherman, “Divine Breathings;
Or, a Pious Soul Thirsting after Christ”)

The wicked have their heaven here–and their hell hereafter.

But the righteous have their hell here–and their heaven hereafter.

Dives had his good things in this life–and Lazarus his evil things.
Now Lazarus is comforted–and Dives is tormented!

I will not, therefore, envy the prosperity of the wicked,
nor be cast down at the afflictions of the righteous;
seeing the one is drawn in pomp to hell–
while the other swims in tears to heaven!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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No–keep it!

(J.R. Miller“Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul tells of a wonderful experience which he had. He had some great suffering which he called “a thorn in the flesh.” He does not say what it was–but evidently it was some physical pain, some think epilepsy, some think a trouble with the eyes, some think a nervous affliction. No matter what it was–it was very painful and seemed to interfere with the apostle’s usefulness.

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Look up!

(J. R. Miller, “Unto the Hills!” A Meditation on Psalm 121)

“I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

It is good always to look up. Thousands of people dwarf their lives, and hinder the possibilities of growth in their souls–by looking downward. They keep their eyes ever entangled in mere earthly sights, and miss the glories of the hills that pierce the clouds, and of the heavens that bend over them!

A story is told of a boy who one day found a gold coin on the street. Ever after this–he kept his eyes on the ground as he walked, watching for coins. During a long lifetime, he found a good number of coins–but meanwhile he never saw the flowers and the trees which grew in such wondrous beauty everywhere; he never saw the hills, the mountains, the sweet valleys, the picturesque landscapes; he never saw the blue sky. To him, this lovely world meant only a dusty road, dreary and unbeautiful, merely a place in which to look for coins. Continue reading

A sort of a strange, indefinable something

(J. R. Miller, “The Shadows We Cast”)

Every one of us casts a shadow.

There hangs about us, a sort of a strange, indefinable something, which we call personal influence–that has its effect on every other life on which it falls. It goes with us wherever we go. It is not something we can have when we want to have it–and then lay aside when we will, as we lay aside a garment. It is something that always pours out from our lives . . .
as light from a lamp,
as heat from flame,
as perfume from a flower.

The ministry of personal influence
is something very wonderful. Without being conscious of it, we are always impressing others by this strange power that exudes from us. Others watch us–and their thinking and actions are modified by our influence.

“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” Ephesians 5:15-16

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