Flattery Is Like Perfume

I was recently remind of a great story by Pastor Alistair Begg. With a bit of help from some great folks at @TruthForLife, I was able to find the story. A great reminder with a great truth.

truth-for-life-260x195-v7When I was a small boy my father use to take me to a number of events that I didn’t want to go to. Not least of all the singing of male voice choirs. And it always seem to happen on a Saturday afternoon. And as part of salve to my reluctance he would he would allow me to go into a confectionery store and purchase sweets or candies as you would say. And those were the days when they still had them in the big jars and they meted them out in 2 ounces or 4 ounces or whatever it was and so you pointed up and the lady got it down and then she poured it in the tray and weighed it and put it in a bag and she gave it to you. So there was a transaction involved.

And I remember particularly one place on a Saturday afternoon. I must have been all shined up and ready for action. Brill cream on the hair. Shaved up the back of my head. I looked like I was ready for the Army.

There were, I remember, a number of people in the store. I don’t know what happened in the shop, but it must have been that that somebody said complimentary things about this shiny faced, wee chap that was waiting for his sweets.

And when the shop cleared and it was just the lady and myself, this lady, who I don’t know, I met her once in my life, as she handed me the bag of candy, she lent over the counter, and she said, “Sonny, flattery is like perfume – Sniff it, don’t swallow it.”


Flattery is like perfume

Sniff it, don’t swallow it.


 

You can hear the full teaching at: “The Pulpit – It’s Power & Pitfalls

An abbreviated version of the quote is also available at the teaching “Betrayal and Denial

What are some of your favorite Alistair Begg quotes or stories?

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“Try Not to Become a Man of Success. Rather Become a Man of Value.”

This is one of my favorite quotes. I came across it again on this Lifehacker Post.

“Try Not to Become a Man of Success. Rather Become a Man of Value.”

Being successful isn’t always the hardest thing in the world. It’s equal parts luck and hard work. But adding value to something is a lot harder, which is why Albert Einstein’s quote is a good reminder if you find yourself blinded by the hunt for success.

There’s nothing wrong with success, but oftentimes it’s easy to lose sight of who you are when you’re successful. If you keep your eyes on your own values, you’ll end up both successful and a good person, which is a pretty good combination.

Forgiveness Precedes Repentance

ragamuffin-gospelI stumbled upon this quote in the book “Confessions of a Good Christian Guy” (Tom Davis & Tammy Maltby), and it’s been a thought I’ve continued to be moved by several days later.

“In his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning describes it this way: ‘The gospel of grace announces: Forgiveness precedes repentance. The sinner is accepted before he pleads for mercy. It is already granted. He need only receive it. Total amnesty. Gratuitous pardon.'”

Thankful for grace amazing.

Advent :: Christmas Eve

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Christmas Eve

Silent Night

Words: Josef Mohr, ca. 1816-1818. Music: Franz Gruber, ca. 1820
Stanzas 1-3

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.

Original from Passion City Church

 

Advent :: Day 21

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Day 21 — Monday, December 24

LAST DAY OF ADVENT

Take a moment now of reflective silence and ponder all that you have experienced on your Advent journey as it draws to its conclusion. Rejoice, for tomorrow the angels will announce the birth of our Lord, all our hopes and fears will come together and be laid at the feet of the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.

May the Lord bless you in this time of silence before God’s silence is broken forevermore. Fill it with your anticipation and prayers deep within your heart, knowing that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with intercessions too deep even for our own words.

Scripture

Luke 1:67-79

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come to His people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David (as He said through His holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember His holy covenant, the oath He swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Meditation

What Child is This, William Chatterton Dix, 1865
Stanzas 1-3

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Prayer

Father, You have brought us this far in hopeful expectation. We are confident that Your mighty hand and great power are sufficient to lead us all the way home. Awaken our hearts as we open them to You. Live in us, Christ with us, for Your glory. Amen.

Original from Passion City Church

Advent :: Day 20

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Day 20 — Sunday, December 23

Scripture

Luke 1:57-66

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of Your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.

Meditation

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Latin, c. 12th cent,; Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710; tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66, alt.
Stanzas 1 & 7

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Desire of nations bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid thou are sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

Prayer

O King of the nations, the Ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people: build our faith on Your firm foundation. Make the kingdoms of humanity reflect Your heavenly kingdom that peace and equality may abound. Govern our hearts with Your love that the works of our hands may glorify You as we live out the vocations You have assigned each of us. Fill us with a longing for Your Kingdom that is to come on that Great Last Day so that the home and anticipation of it become tangible as we offer our prayers on behalf of all peoples. King of the nations come and save us all, whom You formed out of clay. This we pray by the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, our Potter. Amen.

Original from Passion City Church

Advent :: Day 19

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Day 19 — Saturday, December 22

Scripture

Luke 1:46-56

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name. His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as He said to our fathers.” Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

Meditation

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Latin, c. 12th cent,; Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710; tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66, alt.
Stanzas 1 & 6

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

Prayer

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

O Lord hear my prayer.
And let my cry come to You.

O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting; You are Lord of lords and a light for the nations. Arise, shine for this night grows long. Arise, shine lest Your people stumble and grow weary in the final watches before the break of day. Grant us patience Lord, and strength, to be faithful watchmen through this age until the sunrise of Your Kingdom come. Lord God by Your grace and according to Your mercy for us come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. This we pray by the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, everlasting Dawn. Amen.

Original from Passion City Church