Links & Quotes

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Some interesting reading (and watching and listening) from the last couple of days.

Great D-Day history! You can listen to CBS Radio as they reported the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.

Watching porn not only decreases brain size, but it also weakens the watcher’s ability to make good long-term decisions.

Parents: kids can download apps to hide pictures and videos on their electronic devices. Check out the latest news from uknowkids.com.

The Congressional Budget Office now reports that ObamaCare costs are so outrageous that it is impossible for them to calculate the total economic impact.

“It is delightful to worship God, but it is also a humbling thing; and the man who has not been humbled in the presence of God will never be a worshiper of God at all. He may be a church member who keeps the rules and obeys the discipline, and who tithes and goes to conference, but he’ll never be a worshiper unless he is deeply humbled. … There’s an awesomeness about God which is missing in our day altogether; there’s little sense of admiring awe in the Church of Christ these days.” —A.W. Tozer

[VIDEO] Clay Christensen on the importance of religious freedom to democracy.

“The most paralyzing thing we can do for our relationship is to define our spouse by their past, rather than by who they are in the present.” Read more from this post Top 10 Relationship Killers.

Fasting is beneficial spiritually and physically: Fasting can regenerate immune system.

Pray To Preach Fruitfully

A.W. TozerTo pray successfully is the first lesson the preacher must learn if he is to preach fruitfully; yet prayer is the hardest thing he will ever be called upon to do and, being human, it is the one act he will be tempted to do less frequently than any other. He must set his heart to conquer by prayer, and that will mean that he must first conquer his own flesh, for it is the flesh that hinders prayer always. Almost anything associated with the ministry may be learned with an average amount of intelligent application. It is not hard to preach or manage church affairs or pay a social call; weddings and funerals may be conducted smoothly with a little help from Emily Post and the Minister’s Manual. Sermon making can be learned as easily as shoemaking—introduction, conclusion and all. And so with the whole work of the ministry as it is carried on in the average church today. But prayer—that is another matter. There Mrs. Post is helpless and the Minister’s Manual can offer no assistance. There the lonely man of God must wrestle it out alone, sometimes in fasting and tears and weariness untold. There every man must be an original, for true prayer cannot be imitated nor can it be learned from someone else.” —A.W. Tozer

My dear pastor, are you praying enough?


Links & Quotes

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Some great reading from today.

“All of the advertising we can do will never equal the interest and participation in the things of God resulting from the gracious answers to the prayers of faith generated by the Holy Spirit.” —A.W. Tozer

“The state of the times extremely requires a fullness of the divine Spirit in ministers, and we ought to give ourselves no rest till we have obtained it. And in order to [do] this, I should think ministers, above all persons, ought to be much in secret prayer and fasting, and also much in praying and fasting one with another. It seems to me it would be becoming the circumstances of the present day, if ministers in a neighborhood would often meet together and spend days in fasting and fervent prayer among themselves, earnestly seeking for those extraordinary supplies of divine grace from heaven, that we need at this day.” —Jonathan Edwards

Why is the media not in an uproar over this?! Pakistani Girls Forced to Renounce Christianity And Marry Muslims

“There is a bond: He takes it and crosses it all out and hands it back to you, and says, ‘There is a full discharge, I have blotted it all out.’ So does the Lord deal with penitents. He has a book in which all your debts are written; but with the blood of Christ He crosses out the handwriting of ordinances which is there written against you. The bond is destroyed, and He will not demand payment for it again. The devil will sometimes insinuate to the contrary, as he did to Martin Luther. ‘Bring me the catalogue of my sins,’ said Luther; and he brought a scroll black and long. ‘Is that all?’ said Luther. ‘No,’ said the devil; and he brought yet another. ‘And now,’ said the heroic saint of God, ‘write at the foot of the scroll: “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin.”’ That is a full discharge.” —Charles Spurgeon

Funny, but instructional, from Ken Davis: Five Super Powers Of Effective Leaders!

I-Have-To-Have-It Attitude

In our Live Dead series, we have been talking about different areas we need to allow to die, so that we might truly live for Christ as His disciples.

One of the things that often gets in the way of our pursuit of Christ is our cravings. This word — which the dictionary defines as a longing or an eager desire — has an interesting origin. The root word in both Latin and Old English means to lay claim to or to demand by right.

In other words, a craving is when something that was originally a want has now become a need in my mind. So I lay claim to it, saying that it’s something that is owed to me.

The Apostle Paul talks about cravings that we all had before we came to know Christ as Savior when he wrote, “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts” (Ephesians 2:3).

This same Greek word shows up in Christ’s parable of the sower when He talks about the seed that falls among the weeds. These people, He explains, allow the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the Word (Mark 4:19).

Gratifying my cravings = choking out the life of Christ.

The problem is that this craving or desire for things other than Christ is often an unconscious habit. We have allowed them to become cravings — laying our claim to them as needs — without even realizing it.

The antidote: fasting. When we give up something, the Holy Spirit can show us if that thing has created an I-Have-To-Have-It attitude in our hearts. This spiritual discipline is hard because our bodies will rebel against having to give up “a right.” But when we press through with this discipline of fasting, God describes the results —

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I. (Isaiah 58:8-9)

That’s how I want to live! So I must live dead to my cravings. I can only do this when I allow a time of fasting to open my heart to hear the Holy Spirit point out all my I-Have-To-Have-It attitudes.

National Day Of Prayer & Fasting

Many times in our nation’s history, our presidents have called for a time for our citizens to pause from their normal routine, and seek God’s face in prayer. America needs prayer! But instead of this call to prayer coming from Washington, D.C., this one comes from Austin, TX, as Governor Rick Perry is appealing for us to pray.

Part of his proclamation reads —

Given the trials that beset our nation and world, from the global economic downturn to natural disasters, the lingering danger of terrorism and continued debasement of our culture, I believe it is time to convene the leaders from each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting, like that described in the book of Joel. I urge all Americans of faith to pray on that day for the healing of our country, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of enduring values as our guiding force.

Right on cue the “usual suspects” have filed a lawsuit to stop this, claiming its unconstitutionality. HA!! One of those leading the charge to stop this day of prayer and fasting even said, “Nothing fails like prayer. It’s the ultimate political cop-out.” [1] DOUBLE HA!!

I won’t presume to speak for anyone else, but I know from personal experience that prayer works! And I also know from my history books that our Founding Fathers would be appalled at those who continually try to paint them as atheists or deists.

The Founding Fathers were so emphatic in their belief that prayer was to be an integral part of daily public life and public service that by 1815 they had called the people to pray 1,400 times! [2]

If you’d care to peruse some of the national, presidential calls to prayer from our so-called atheist/deist presidents, check out the resources at Wall Builders to see quotes from George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and others.

Despite the naysayers’ complaints, I’m answering Gov. Perry’s call to prayer and fasting on Saturday, August 6, 2011. I hope you will join me!

Fasting (book review)

It’s one of the age-old practices for nearly every religion, but there is still so much mystery surrounding fasting. But Scot McKnight’s book simply entitled Fasting is a simple, straightforward explanation of how to apply this ancient discipline.

I appreciated Scot’s blending of passages from the Bible, the writings of the church fathers, and examples and excerpts from modern writers to present a well-rounded look at fasting. Scot lays the groundwork in the opening pages by giving this working definition —

The Bible presents a responsive view of fasting. Fasting is a response to a grievous sacred moment.

Throughout Fasting, Scot reiterates that we don’t fast to try to get God’s attention, but we fast because we are heartbroken over our condition or the condition of others, and we’re so desperate to see God move. In the process of fasting, our body, soul, and spirit become fully engaged and lead us into a place where we are the ones who are changed. We begin to see those “grievous sacred moments” through God’s eyes, and we begin to feel the same pain He feels.

Those who yearn for God the most often realize the superficiality of their intimacy with God, fast in response to that superficiality, and then (on the other side) find themselves entranced in the presence of the angels and God.

If you yearn for greater intimacy with God, I would encourage you to check out Fasting.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

Failure To Recognize

 

The Apostle John opens his gospel account with these sobering words —

[Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. (John 1:10)

Commenting on this verse, A.W. Tozer wrote —

My fellow man, do you not know that your great sin is this: the all-pervading and eternal Presence is here, and you cannot feel Him? Are you not aware that there is a great and true Light which brightly shines — and you cannot see it? Have you not heard within your being a tender Voice whispering of the eternal value of your soul — and yet you have said, “I have heard nothing”? This is, in essence, the charge that John levels at human kind: Jesus Christ, the Word of God, was in the world, and the world failed to recognize Him.

I never want to be guilty of failing to recognize Jesus! Sometimes in the busyness of life — even the busyness of the ministry of the church — I can become guilty of being focused on the activity, instead of focusing on Christ, Who is supposed to be the focus of my activity.

So we’re taking a “time out” today. As a church we are fasting and praying for 24-hours to cleanse our hearts to recognize Jesus, and to recognize what He wants to accomplish as we commemorate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday later this month.

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