Posts Tagged ‘Fire’

I love to read the stories of the people God has used powerfully throughout history.  And I especially get challenged when I see women of God who surrendered all to Him.    Their words are kindling to my spirit, starting fires in my heart and mind.  Here are five of my favorites.

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc, mystic visionary, military leader, martyr, heroine of France:

“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying. “

“In God’s name! Let us go on bravely!”


Catherine Booth

Catherine Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army:

“If we are to better the future we must disturb the present.”

“Here is the reason why we have such a host of stillborn, sinewless, ricketty, powerless spiritual children. They are born of half-dead parents, a sort of sentimental religion which does not take hold of the soul, which has no depth of earth, no grasp, no power in it, and the result is a sickly crop of sentimental converts. Oh! the Lord give us a real, robust, living, hardy, Christianity, full of zeal and faith, which shall bring into the kingdom of God lively, well-developed children, full of life and energy, instead of these poor sentimental ghosts that are hopping around us.”

Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, rescuer of children, founder of Dohnavur Fellowship:

“But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed.”

“Missionary life is simply a chance to die.”

Corrie ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom, survivor of Nazi concentration camp, author of The Hiding Place:

“Hold everything in your hands lightly; otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”

Isobel Kuhn

Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand:

“I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!”

“The difficult lessons of 1942 taught me to fear leaning heavily on human props. I had surrendered husband, child, friends, all I possessed, long ago. But this was something deeper. This was relinquishing my rights to them. This was holding them, but on the open palm of my hand…. Affection, especially with intense natures… runs to excess if given free rein. Uncrucified love runs to inordinate affection and selfish possessiveness which blights rather than blesses.  When we allow the Lord to nail our affections to the cross (to use the scriptural metaphor), we do not cease to love. We love even more widely, but it is a love stripped of corrupting influences. Love is not killed – only the seed of corruption in natural affection is killed.”

What about you?  Who has started fires in your heart and mind?


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Culture Rebel.

I love this phrase and this concept.

I know I can be pretty rebellious.  I’ve always desired that my rebellion is not against God, or what should be, but against what shouldn’t be, or should be different.  I think that is usually true.

That’s what this Kindling blog is about—starting fires in hearts and minds.

But I know I still settle in comfortably to the culture of the world way too often.  I keep asking God to make me dissatisfied and uncomfortable with the way some things are.  And willing to try to help encourage change—in myself and in others.

So I was really excited when my new Redbud Writers Guild friend Connie Jakab launched her new site, Culture Rebel, this week.  I like what she is saying and where she is going.  I hope you will to.

So click on over to Culture Rebel to read her introductory blog post.  I think you will be glad you did!  And may it fan some flames in your life.

(The contest she offers is already over.  Sorry.)

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The fire raced down the mountain, driven by 90 mph Santa Ana winds.

We had about 30 minutes to evacuate before the flames arrived at Arrowhead Springs.  I grabbed a few clothes for Steve and me and baby Debbie, then ran over to the next door child care to get her.  A few other mothers were there, but no time to notify others to get their children.  So each of us took two.

We made it to safety in a friend’s home.  Steve returned from San Diego, and all he could see were flames where our home and office should be.  Where were Debbie and I?

All the phone lines were down (this was long before cell phones); frantic parents had no idea where to find their children. It took hours to reconnect everyone. And all waited to see if they still had a home.


The raging fire swept through the foothills and into the city, consuming 285 homes, claiming four lives, injuring hundreds.  Firefighters could make no headway.  The flames rolled into great fireballs, jumped firebreaks and sent sparks flying into new homes and trees.

The fire exploded.

Spirit Fire

That’s what the spread of the gospel should be like.  Like a firestorm!

We should be sparks flung widely by the wind of the Holy Spirit—fireseeds igniting wildfires of God’s love and forgiveness wherever we go.

These fires should be unstoppable, jumping fire breaks and every other barrier that our enemy throws up.  Our fires, however, should not bring terror and destruction, but life and hope.

The Panorama fire was only contained when the wind stopped days later.  Just so, the fires of God’s good news in Jesus will only be arrested when we no longer allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to enflame our hearts and lives.  When we settle for tame flames in a fireplace, for the gospel contained in four walls.

God is waiting to set us—hearts, minds, lives—aflame for His Kingdom.  Are you ready?  Willing to be consumed by the fire of the Spirit for the redemption of lost people?

(If you would like to know more about the Panorama fire, it is documented in this video:  The Panorama Fire (http://wildfiretube.com/videos/62/)

c 2011 Judy Douglass

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I’ve been on earth a long time and in ministry a long time.  After graduation,  I was single for 9 years and married without children for 5 years.  I have been a mom for 30 years, and now all 3 of my children are married and I have 4 grandchildren.


Hopefully I’ve learned a few things in those years and through those experiences.  So let me share a few of the truths that have sunk in fairly well, in no particular order:


1. God is crazy in love with me.

Amazing, I know!  I never get over it.  He pursues me, desires to be with me, pours extravagant love all over me.  This is wonderful to remember at so many different times—when I don’t feel loved, when I haven’t loved someone well, or have not obeyed….


2. God remembers that I am dust.

He knows how weak and sinful I am.  He is not surprised when I blow it.  He loves to extend mercy.  He even says He gets more glory because I am so dusty.


3. God’s plan is always better than mine.

Always.  This has been one of the hardest things for me to absorb—I always seem to think my plan is best.  I advise God regularly.  He listens patiently, then reminds me again that He has a better way.  We can try my way first, then always have to return to His way.  Or we can do it His way first—a much better option.



4. God has made me the way I am so I can do what He created me to do.

He has invited me to be on His Kingdom building team—ME!  I can’t build anything, make anything, draw anything.  But He gave me words to use for my part in His grand endeavor.


5. One of God’s favorite words is “wait.”

Not my favorite at all.  I want it now.  I want it my way.  So God often has me in “the waiting room.”   You see, it’s there that I learn more of what God is like—and what I am like.  I discover what it means to persevere.  It was in the waiting room that Isaiah 60:22 came alive:  “I am the Lord.  In its time I will do this swiftly.”


6. Two more favorite words of God’s, these for me to say:  “Thank You.”

He was serious when He told us to give thanks in everything.  When I choose to say thank you, about things I hate, or am hurt by, or confused by, I express to God that I believe that He is really God—in control, all powerful—and that He is good—He always is looking for ways to do good to me.  Those two words begin to change my perspective, and they seem almost magic as they open the door for God to work in the situation.


7. On my own I can do NOTHING!!!

When I walk in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, NOTHING is impossible for me.


8. God has made me a fire starter

—seeking to be kindling to start fires in hearts and minds.  It is so easy for me to settle for warm little blazes.  But His plans are so much bigger.  He says I can’t even imagine what He wants to do in and through me. He says repeatedly, ”Don’t settle.  Fan the flames.  Let the wind of My Spirit blow through you to spread the wildfires of my love and forgiveness everywhere.”


What about you?  What are some life truths that have sunk in for you?


c2011 Judy Douglass

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My friend Susan and I were sharing a room at a retreat.  I was reading Shadow of the Almighty:  The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elizabeth Elliot.

Astounded at the depth and insight and commitment Jim Elliot expressed throughout his journals, I turned to Susan and said, “Why don’t my journals sound like this?”  I was especially startled at how often he mentions “having only a short life in which to serve God.”

I was touched and challenged repeatedly by his words.  They were Kindling to my spirit.   So I would like to share a few of them with you.  May they be fireseeds in your life.

Jim Elliot

He is no fool…

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

“God preserve me from living a life that conforms to the general pattern.  To whom shall I go for counsel for a way of life?  To whom for example?  To thee Lord?  Yea , I come to thee.”

“Oh, Lord, you see the secret places in me.  If you see anything in me that is holding back the clear revelation of your will, uncover it to me, I pray.”

Have it all, Lord…

“Father take my life, even my blood, if thou wilt, and consume it with thine enveloping fire.  I would not save it, for it is not mine to save.   Have it Lord, have it all.  Pour my life as an oblation for the world.  Blood is only of value as it flows before thine altars.”

“I pray that the Lord might crown this year with His goodness and in the coming one give you a hallowed, dare-devil spirit in lifting the biting sword of Truth, consuming you with a passion that is called by the cultured citizen of Christendom ‘fanaticism’, but known to God as that saintly madness that led His Son through bloody sweat and hot tears to agony on a rude Cross—and Glory!”

“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.”

“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

…that I may burn for Thee.

“God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life, that I may burn for Thee.  Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine.  I seek not a long life, but a full one, like You, Lord Jesus.”

“Rest in this – it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call or whatever you want to call it.  It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you.”

“Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on Earth!  I care not if I never raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him.  Mayhap in mercy He shall give me a host of children that I may lead them through the vast star fields to explore His delicacies whose finger ends set them to burning.  But if not, if only I may see Him, touch His garments, smile into His eyes — ah then, not stars nor children shall matter, only Himself.”

“Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence.  The result of the law of my God is perfect.  It condemns but forgives.  It restores – more than abundantly – what it takes away

Leave the choice to Him…

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.”

“There is within a hunger after God, given of God, filled by God.  I can be happy when I am conscious that he is doing what He wills to do within.”

“As your life is in His hands, so are the days of your life. But don’t let the sands of time get into the eye of your vision to reach those who sit in darkness. They simply must hear.”

I must not think it strange if God takes in youth those whom I would have kept on earth till they were older. God is peopling Eternity, and I must not restrict Him to old men and women.”

“The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for.”

“Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame. But flame is often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul? Short life? In me there dwells the spirit of the Great Short-Lived, whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him. ‘Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.’”

Oh, Lord, set my heart on fire.  Ignite my spirit with Your holiness and Your passion.  May my life be kindling to start fires in the hearts and minds of all I encounter.

Philip James Elliot (October 8, 1927 – January 8, 1956) was a missionary to Ecuador, where he and his missionary friend–.Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Peter Fleming Nate Saint–were martyred.

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Becoming Kindling

I suppose I could be called an arsonist.

I’ve been known to start a few fires.  Literal ones—in the fireplace of course, so warm and inviting.  A few at a campground—though camping has never been my thing.  And several in the kitchen.

But I am much more interested in starting fires in minds and hearts.  To be kindling to ignite, stir up, excite.

I had the privilege of being mentored by Bill Bright, a charter member of the Fellowship of the Burning Heart.  He often said, “My heart is aflame within me.”  That fiery spirit gave him a passion for reaching the lost, a faith to believe God for impossible tasks, a supernatural energy to keep going no matter what.

I want such a fiery spirit.  I want to think beyond the obvious and ordinary.  I want to believe that God wants to do more in me and through me than I can ask or imagine.  I want to be filled with God’s passion and compassion for the lost, the hurting, the needy, the rebellious.  I want my life to make a difference for others—now and for eternity.

And I want God to use me as a fire starter—to be kindling to others.  I want them to grasp how much God loves and cherishes them.  But I also want to encourage and challenge them to allow God to set their hearts aflame.

God sets hearts on fire through His fiery Holy Spirit, living in, filling, controlling—inflaming hearts and minds and bodies.  And turning us into fireseeds—sparks that spread the holy flames of God’s love and forgiveness.

That’s my dream for this blog—to share my journey as kindling for wildfires that ignite sweeping transformation in God’s children around the globe.

c Judy Douglass

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