Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

Surveys show that Christians who support same-sex “marriage” are also much more open to other unbiblical lifestyles. Read John Stonestreet’s post Package Deal.

“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, Who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.” —John Calvin

“God has provided His salvation that we might be, individually and personally, vibrant children of God, loving God with all our hearts and worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness.” —A.W. Tozer

Timely reading: Suicide Prevention Tips From A Survivor.

[VIDEO] Inspiring speech from a Little League coach after his team was eliminated from the Little League World Series.

I never thought I’d read the New York Times ask this question: Who Will Stand Up For The Christians?

Want A Happy Marriage? Here are three important things.

Thursdays With Oswald—Predestined Freewill?

Oswald ChambersThis 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.

Predestined Freewill?

     Our destiny is not determined for us, but it is determined by us. Man’s free will is part of God’s sovereign will. We have freedom to take which course we choose, but not freedom to determine the end of that choice. God makes clear what He desires, we must choose, and the result of the choice is not the inevitableness of law, but the inevitableness of God.

From Conformed To His Image

Typically there are two schools of thought: Predestination (also called Calvinism) and freewill (also called Arminianism). The Bible has numerous verses that make the case for both of these viewpoints.

C.S. Lewis advised that in matters with two starkly different theological viewpoints, the safest action was to chart a course right between the two rocky islands. With that in mind, I don’t consider myself a Calvinist nor an Arminian, but a “Calminian.”

No matter where you find yourself on this theological issue, I think there is one thing we can all agree upon: God is Sovereign and God is Love. In both His sovereignty and His love He created us, sent His Son to die on a Cross for us, and sent His Spirit to draw us. I choose to accept His gift of salvation, and I’m not trying to find out how far I can stray and still be “saved.”

Holy Fire (book review)

Holy FireI believe the subtitle of R.T. Kendall’s book Holy Fire is the most apt description of this work: A Balanced, Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit’s Work in Our Lives. Truly this book is both biblical and balanced.

“I am writing this book (1) to introduce the Holy Spirit as if you did not know very much about Him, (2) to show the inconsistency of the teaching of some evangelicals, but (3) also to warn you of strange fire that is about,” says Dr. Kendall.

It seems lately there is a great deal of UNbalance when discussing the Holy Spirit, and much “theology” being preached which doesn’t have a firm biblical foundation. Some want to emphasize the Spirit’s role so much that they almost exclude God the Father and God the Son. Others want to so downplay the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today that they have almost become binitarians. Kendall stated, “The Holy Spirit does not belong to you. Are you Charismatic? He is bigger than your signs and wonders event. Are you Reformed? He will not be limited by your theology.”

Sticking close to the words of Scripture, R.T. Kendall walks us through the various roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He brings in the insights of other notable thinkers from Martin Luther, to John Calvin, to Jonathan Edwards, to George Whitefield, and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Even for someone like me who grew up in the Pentecostal tradition, I learned so much from this book!

Holy Fire is not written in a scholarly tone, but in a conversational style that made me feel I was talking with R.T. Kendall. This allowed me to drink in what Rev. Kendall was saying, process it, compare it with Scripture, and reach my own conclusions.

An excellent book that is very timely for the Christian era in which we currently live. Whether your background is Pentecostal or Reformed, there is so much to be learned from Holy Fire.

Links & Quotes

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“Accept these [euphoric] sensations with thankfulness as birthday cards from God, but remember that they are only greetings, not the real gift. I mean, it is not the sensations that are the real thing. The real thing is the gift of the Holy Spirit which can’t usually be—perhaps not ever—experienced as a sensation or emotion. The sensations are merely the response of your nervous system. Don’t depend on them. Otherwise when they go and you are once more emotionally flat (as you certainly will be quite soon), you might think that the real thing had gone too. But it won’t. It will be there when you can’t feel it. May even be most operative when you can feel it least.” —C.S. Lewis

Discipline motivates—Punishment mortifies.
Discipline is based on trust—Punishment is based on fear.
Discipline is time in—Punishment is time out.
Discipline is practice—Punishment is penalty.”  Read more from Ken Davis in his post The Power Of The D Word.

Before you go anywhere else with your disappointments, go to God. Maybe you don’t want to trouble Him with your hurts. ‘He’s got famines and wars; He won’t care about my little struggles,’ you think. Why don’t you let Him decide that? He cared enough about a wedding to provide the wine. He cared enough about Peter’s tax payment to give him a coin. He cared enough about the woman at the well to give her answers. He cares about you! Your first step is to go to the right person. Go to God.” —Max Lucado 

Brian Thomas asks, “Has evolutionary faith blinded biologists from seeing the forensic clues within the insect symbiosis they study?” in his post about the beauty and elegance of Creation shown in symbiosis.

[INFOGRAPHIC] How President Obama’s end-run around Congress is going to cost you money. A lot of money!

“Scripture will ultimately suffice for a saving knowledge of God only when its certainty is founded upon the inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, these human testimonies which exist to confirm it will not be vain if, as secondary aids to our feebleness, they follow that chief and highest testimony. But those who wish to prove to unbelievers that Scripture is the Word of God are acting foolishly, for only by faith can this be known. Augustine therefore justly warns that godliness and peace of mind ought to come first if a man is to understand anything of such great matters.” —John Calvin

Links & Quotes

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Some readable reading from today.

I find the science driving “global warming” or “climate change” to be more philosophy than science. A new report notes, “Even if we were to stop emitting greenhouse gas emissions entirely, we would not moderate the Earth’s temperature more than a few tenths of a degree Celsius by the end of the century.” Read more in this post: Obama Hasn’t Healed The Planet.

I love the Bible Overview Project. Here is a cool infographic on the least popular book of the Bible.

“How could it [the Bible], assailed so strongly from every side, have resisted if it had relied upon human protection alone? Rather, by this very fact it is proved to be from God, because, with all human efforts striving against it, still it has of its own power thus far prevailed. Besides this, it is not one state, not one people, that has agreed to receive and embrace it; but, as far and as wide as the earth extends, it has obtained its authority by the holy concord of divers peoples, who otherwise had nothing in common among themselves. Such agreement of minds, so disparate and otherwise disagreeing in everything among themselves, ought to move us greatly, since it is clear that this agreement is brought about by nothing else than the divine will.” —John Calvin

I don’t agree with everything in this post ‘The Idol Of Church Growth,’ but I definitely agree with this statement: “The question churches should be asking is not ‘How do we grow our church?’ but ‘How do we grow His kingdom?’ Sadly, those interests are often kingdoms apart.” 

Ask to summarize his theology, Karl Barth said, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

“There must be illumination before revelation can get to a person’s soul. It is not enough that I hold an inspired Book in my hands. I must have an inspired heart.” —A.W. Tozer

Links & Quotes

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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.

Links & Quotes

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

4 Health Dangers Of People-Pleasing

“What is so profoundly disturbing here is that the one person who takes a specific oath to defend the Constitution—to protect the Constitution, to defend the laws of the United States and to enforce the laws—is the one bastardizing them. The rule of law is disintegrating before our eyes.” —Rush Limbaugh. Read this: How Far Can Obama Go?

Amazing story! Miracle Baby Born After Sustains The Life Of His Brain-Dead Wife

“You see, the Lord’s concept of ‘church’ is much different from ours. We think of church as being a ministry to people. It is a place where all the needs of God’s people—spiritual, physical and emotional—are met. Of course, that is all part of what makes up a church. But the true Church, according to Scripture, begins with ministry to Jesus Christ. His concept of the Church is anyplace there is ministry to Him.” —David Wilkerson

Belief in science takes faith: Statistical Errors In The Scientific Method. “Change your statistical philosophy and all of a sudden different things become important. Then ‘laws’ handed down from God are no longer handed down from God. They’re actually handed down to us by ourselves, through the methodology we adopt.” —Dr. Steven Goodman, a physician and statistician at Stanford

The Bible says God has placed eternity in every human heart. Can this be verified? Evidence Of Eternity In Our Hearts?

“With good reason the ancient proverb strongly recommended knowledge of self to man. For if it is considered disgraceful for us not to know all that pertains to the business of human life, even more detestable is our ignorance of ourselves, by which, when making decisions in necessary matters, we miserably deceive and even blind ourselves! But since this precept is so valuable, we ought more diligently to avoid applying it perversely. This, we observe, has happened to certain philosophers, who, while urging man to know himself, propose the goal of recognizing his own worth and excellence. And they would have him contemplate in himself nothing but what swells him with empty assurance and puffs him up with pride. But knowledge of ourselves lies first in considering what we were given at creation and how generously God continues his favor toward us, in order to know how great our natural excellence would be if only it had remained unblemished; yet at the same time to bear in mind that there is in us nothing of our own, but that we hold on sufferance whatever God has bestowed upon us. Hence we are ever dependent on him. Secondly, to call to mind our miserable condition after Adam’s fall; the awareness of which, when all our boasting and self-assurance are laid low, should truly humble us and overwhelm us with shame.” —John Calvin

The dangers of our national debt: America In Debt

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