We Are Not Stoics

“At the same time, although the faith can thrive in times of persecution, we are not to pray for persecution. We are instructed to pray for quiet and peaceable lives (1 Tim. 2:2). A Christian should be able to be content whether he is out in the cold, or inside by the fire (Phil. 4:12). But even so, everything else being equal, the apostle Paul knew enough to come in out of the rain. We know which way to go, which way to pray, which direction to set our sights as we work.”

Ploductivity, pp. 69-70

A Deadly Snare

“There is truth in the belief that much of the best thinking and preaching of the land is done in obscure parishes and by unfamous preachers . . . To set one’s heart on being popular is fatal to the preacher’s best growth. To escape from that desire one needs to know that the men who are in no sense popular favorites do much of the very best work of the ministry.”

Phillips Brooks, The Joy of Preaching, pp. 156-157

Under the Blessing

“Living and working in the presence of God is essential because what constitutes a truly productive person is the fact that they are laboring under the blessing of God. This is because you can have people who strive to do everything technically right, but it is somehow not blessed. There are others who look to the world like they are a walking slapdash, and yet everything lands right side up for them. They are blessed. And there are two other categories as well—there are folks who do everything wrong, and it looks like it, as we see with the sluggard in Proverbs, and then you have that irritating handful of people who do everything right, and they are blessed by God on top of everything else.”

Ploductivity, p. 68

And When the Fire is Hot, It All Burns Clean

“Now if my body is a living sacrifice, this means that everything it rests upon is an altar. The car I drive is an altar, the bed I sleep in is an altar, and the desk where I work is an altar. Everything is offered to God, everything ascends to Him as a sweet-smelling savor. Faith is the fire of the altar, and it consumes the whole burnt offering, the ascension offering . . . Those works include, but are not limited to, writing code, making birdhouses, repairing a carburetor, outlining a novel, or manufacturing microchips.”

Ploductivity, pp. 67-68