Links & Quotes

link quote

Here are the links to some interesting reading I found today.

“A poll of hundred college students about their Facebook habits revealed that those who posted numerous status updates each day actually experienced positive mood swings that a control group did not experience. Those who posted more frequently felt less lonely and more connected to friends. The reason? While sitting behind a computer screen may seem isolating, updating your status keeps friends on the brain when you can’t see them in person. Researchers actually call it ‘social snacking.’” Read more of Tim Elmore’s post How Facebook Affects Your Mental Health.

Interesting: How Many Bible Passages Speak To Homosexuality?

[VIDEO] I liked this part of Kevin Durant’s MVP acceptance speech.

How scientists can see cancer cells in action.

Appalling! Planned Parenthood helps an accused serial rapist cover up his crimes!!

“The fetus, though enclosed in the womb of his mother, is already a human being, and it is a monstrous crime to rob it of life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house then in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” —John Calvin, commenting on Exodus 21:22-23

[VIDEO] John Maxwell and Nick Vujicic remind you that you are unique.

Spring (time) Cleaning

This is a reprint of an article I wrote for this week’s Cedar Springs Post.

Cedar Springs PostNow that it appears that—let’s cross our fingers—Spring has finally sprung, many people will be throwing open the windows, airing out the house, and cleaning up some things that have accumulated over the long, icy winter. Ah, yes, the annual rites of spring cleaning!

One place that lots of things accumulate is our schedule. Between sports schedules, church activities, music lessons, grocery store trips, making meals, parent-teacher conferences, birthday parties, and so many other things, our schedules are packed chockfull.

In our relationships love is typically spelled “t-i-m-e.” So if you don’t have enough t-i-m-e to express your love, perhaps some spring cleaning is needed.

A few things to remember:

(1) Time is finite. You cannot call a time-out, you cannot bank up some time for another day, you cannot slow down the clock. Once you commit to something, that time is gone forever.

(2) It’s okay to say “No.” A friend of mine recently shared this thought: Whenever you say “Yes” to anything, there is less of you and your time for something else. So make sure your “Yes” is worth the “less.” If the “less” is t-i-m-e with your loved ones, please say a guilt-free “No, thank you.”

(3) Make your “Yes” mean yes. If you do decide to commit to something, then honor your commitment. Jesus said, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37). And wise King Solomon warned, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).

(4) Time is your servant, not the other way around. Make your time work for you; don’t be a slave to the clock. A good indication that you’re the slave and not the master is that feeling like you are always running late for everything. Cut out some non-essentials like TV time or countless Facebook hours so you can make t-i-m-e for what’s really important.

Happy Spring (time) Cleaning!

Thursdays With Oswald—Knowing God’s Thoughts

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Oswald Chambers

Knowing God’s Thoughts 

     As soon as we begin to examine the foundations of our salvation we are up against the thoughts of God, and as Christians we ought to be busy thinking God’s thoughts after Him. That is where we fall short…. It is because of the refusal to think on Christian lines that satan has come in as an angel of light and switched off numbers of God’s children in their head, with the result that there is a divorce between heart and head. 

From Conformed To His Image

I read a report recently that said in the United Kingdom, Facebook is read more each day than the Bible. My guess is that the same thing could be said for the United States of America. So if we’re not reading God’s Word, how in the world can we think God’s thoughts? If we don’t know what God is saying, we can’t know what He is thinking?!

So what are we left with? “I feel that God would want…” or “I don’t think God would…” and the like. WE, the biblically-illiterate, have become the final authority on what God thinks. No wonder satan has switched off so many people’s heads!

Don’t simply repeat what someone else says that God says. Read it for yourself! Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true (Acts 17:11).

If you want help getting started reading the Bible, check out some reading plans from BibleGateway.

Links & Quotes

link quote

These are links to articles and quotes I found interesting today.

Good advice from Dr. Tim Elmore: Technology Etiquette For The Emerging Generation

And good advice from Dr. James Dobson: 10 Essentials For Your Marriage

“If you could increase the attendance of your church until there is no more room, if you could provide everything they have in churches that men want and love and value, and yet you didn’t have the Holy Spirit, you might as well have nothing at all. For it is ‘“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty’ (Zechariah 4:6). Not by the eloquence of a man, not by good music, not by good preaching, but it is by the Spirit that God works His mighty works.” —A.W. Tozer

FINALLY!! Obama Pushes For Release Of Americans Held In North Korea, Iran

[VIDEO] Memorable Super Bowl moments

Uh oh! Facebook Is Now More Widely Read Than The Bible

[VIDEO] For all of those you posting your Facebook video: An Honest Facebook Movie

21 Quotes From “All In”

All InAll In by Mark Batterson is the sequel to his fantastic book on prayer called The Circle Maker. All In is the challenge to followup our prayer times with bold action. You can read my full book review by clicking here. These are some of the quotes I especially liked from All In—

“When did we start believing God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things?”

“You cannot be in the presence of God and be bored at the same time. For that matter, you cannot be in the will of God and be bored at the same time.”

“The Rich Young Ruler may rank as one of the most religious people in the pages of Scripture. The text tells us that he kept all the commandments. He did nothing wrong, but you can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. By definition, righteousness is doing something right. We’ve reduced it to doing nothing wrong. … [Jesus] asks the Rich Young Ruler to ante up everything. Why? Because He loved the Rich Young Ruler too much to ask for anything less! We focus on what Jesus asked him to give up but fail to consider what He offered up in exchange.”

“God cannot reveal His faithfulness until we exercise our faith.”

“The first step is always the longest and the hardest. And you can’t just take a step forward into the future. You also have to eliminate the possibility of moving backward into the past.”

“One of our fundamental spiritual problems is this: we want God to do something new while we keep doing the same old thing.”

“When we cling too tightly to what God did last, we often miss what God wants to do next.”

“We all want to spend eternity with God. We just don’t want to spend time with Him. We stand and stare from a distance, satisfied with superficiality. We Facebook more that we seek His face. We text more than we study The Text. And our eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus. They’re fixed on our iPhone and iPads—emphasis on ‘i.’ Then we wonder why God feels so distant.”

“You cannot go to church because you are the church. … Your workplace is your mission field. Your job is your sermon. Your colleagues are your congregation.”

“Our lack of guts is really a lack of faith. Instead of playing to win, we play not to lose.”

“There are two kinds of people in the world—those who ask why and those who ask why not. Going all out is asking why not. Why people look for excuses. Why not people look for opportunities. Why people are afraid of making mistakes. Why not people don’t want to miss out on God-ordained opportunities.”

“We treat failure and success like their antonyms. Failure is a part of every success story. Think of it as the prologue.”

“No matter what tool you use in your trade—a hammer, a keyboard, a mop, a football, a spreadsheet, a microphone, or an espresso machine—using it is an act of obedience. It’s the mechanism whereby you worship God. It’s the way you do what you are supposed to do.”

“I’ve discovered that if I don’t take the first step, God generally won’t reveal the next step.”

“It doesn’t matter what you do, God wants to help you do it. He wants to favor your business plan, your political campaign, your manuscript, your lesson plan, your legal brief, your film, and your sales pitch. But you’ve got to position yourself for that favor by acting in obedience. And if God knows He’ll get the glory, He will bless you beyond your ability, beyond your resources.”

“Courage doesn’t wait until situational factors turn in one’s favor. It doesn’t wait until a plan is perfectly formed. It doesn’t wait until the tide of popular opinion is turned. Courage only waits for one thing: a green light from God. And when God gives the go, it’s full steam ahead, no questions asked.”

“Opportunities typically come disguised as impossible problems.”

“When it comes to sinful rationalizations, we are infinitely creative. But it’s our rationalizations that often annul His revelations. When we compromise our integrity, we don’t leave room for divine intervention. When we take matters into our own hands, we take God out of the equation. When we try to manipulate a situation, we miss out on the miracle.”

“Integrity won’t keep us from getting thrown into a fiery furnace, but it can keep us from getting burned.”

“It’s much easier to act like a Christian than it is to react like one!”

“There has never been and never will be anyone like you, but that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. And that means no one can worship God like you or for you. You are absolutely irreplaceable in God’s grand scheme. And God is jealous for you—all of you.”

11 Quotes From “Alone”

AloneAlone should be read and discussed by parents and teens to help find the right balance of technology usage in our lives. You can read my book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes that stood out to me from Alone.

“Maybe God created Adam to be needy. … Maybe Adam’s relationship with God was not built in fullness but contained a hole God created inside of humanity so we might recognize the importance of each other. It was (and is) brilliant.”

“Friendship has to be accompanied by experience. … The illusion of friendship is making everyone in the world think we’re perfect. … Instead of time spent experiencing life together, we’ve turned our world into a self-shaped, self-regulated, self-indulgent, me-centered life.”

“We are now a culture that wants to deal with relationships on our time. … Relationships are work. They’re inconvenient. They’re exciting and spontaneous. You can’t apply some formula for relationships and expect to walk out of the room with a load of friends.” 

“When you realize what role you have to play here on the planet, the most beautiful sense of belonging begins to awaken inside your soul. The world begins making sense. No matter what you’re doing, if God has gifted you in it, you’re going to have a high level of functioning.”

“Don’t get me wrong: Hard work and dedication are important factors as we help people understand significance, but in the end, our short lives are shaped by the relationships we make along our own journey. And if those relationships are filled with people who believe in us, the lonely factor fades away and we are recognized for the abilities we do have rather than the ones we don’t. Paul said it clearly: ‘I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands’ (2 Timothy 1:6). What can you do to fan someone else’s flame? Who in your life fans yours?”

“Maybe it’s because we’ve replaced the idea of risk and adventure with the idea of wealth and comfort. Loneliness begins to creep into a man’s life when adventure and risk are taken out of the equation, when men have to replace their God-given desires with something ‘more responsible.’ … Men need to sense that what they are doing in the world is courageous. They need to feel the sense of responsibility and freedom. They need to have opportunities to express their manhood.”

“There is no perfect girlfriend. There is no perfect employee. There is no perfect friend. There is no perfect body type or student or athlete. There’s no such thing as a perfect woman who finds the perfect role for her perfect situation. Those who continue to assign a high value to that mythical person who has it all together are driving themselves mad with the idea that they can achieve her. It’s from this feeling of failure, of never measuring up, that the loneliness sets in.” 

“The first step in understanding true joy is defining what joy actually is. It’s a feeling. It’s an emotion. It’s a state of mind. It’s the ability to know that the desires of your heart are being fulfilled. It’s not happiness. It’s not the constant state of euphoria. It’s not everything lining up perfectly. … In modern times, joy happens when we interact with each other. When we see a friend’s smile giving us validation that he or she is interested in being with us: joy. When we hear the words ‘How are you?’ in an honest tone, with honest body language behind it: joy. When we have an opportunity to rest in the fact that someone else wants us to be the person God created us to be: ultimate joy.”

“The quickest way to initiate friendship is to give people freedom to be themselves.”

“‘Oh, you did sooo well in your game,’ she said, walking past, rolling her eyes. Versus … ‘I can’t believe you! You’re the most awesome basketball player I’ve ever seen,’ she said, putting her arm around her friend in celebration. See the difference? Authentic versus agenda-driven. Caring for someone versus using someone. When a tribe is built … When experience glues relationships together … When you can rest in the joy that certain relationship gives you … Loneliness starts to fade away. But you can’t do that on Facebook.”

“If we can take the value of the social networking scene and combine it with real-time relationships, we might see this trend of loneliness take a positive direction. What would life look like if we could really experience life together? Community is important. To be able to contribute to the life of the community is even more fulfilling.” 

Alone (book review)

AloneIt’s weird to think this way in our highly-connected society, with the status symbol of getting as many friends, followers, and likes as possible, but more and more people feel disconnected and desperately alone. This is a serious subject that Andy Braner hits head-on in his book Alone.

Andy writes, “When people ask me, ‘What’s the biggest problem we can identify in the teenage nation today?’ it’s an easy answer: Teenagers are living all alone! … Even though Facebook gives us the ability to build a convenient corner of lives over the vast Web interface, the light of a computer screen isn’t bright enough to shine deep into our hearts and souls. We need real people. … Although this book is written for just the teen crowd, know that you’re not the only ones struggling.”

I love technology, and I’m very appreciative of the instant access to information and people. But I also know  the double-edged sword of too much technology means an increased connection to screens corresponding with a decreased connection with living human beings. There has got to be a healthy balance, and Andy makes some great suggestions for finding that balance.

I not only encourage teens to read this book, but parents of teens need to read it as well. Whether you read it together or not, find a way to discuss this content. Help your teenagers find healthy, fulfilling connections both through a screen and through face-to-face interactions.

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