Links & Quotes

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Some really good reading (and watching) from this weekend…

“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.” —Ronald Reagan

“I hope that when you’re my age you’ll be able to say, as I have been able to say: we lived in freedom, we lived lives that were a statement, not an apology.” —Ronald Reagan

Senator Ted Cruz reminds us: Never Forget The Gift Of Freedom.

Want more proof that Planned Parenthood’s singular focus is death? Check out the awards they hand out.

“We lack a comfort in just being alone with our thoughts. We’re constantly looking to the external world for some sort of entertainment,” says Malia Mason, a psychologist at Columbia University. A study finds: Many people would rather endure physical pain than be alone with their own thoughts.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Stats on homelessness.

“For if a man is always busy talking and yet is slow to act, he shows by his acts how worthless his knowledge is: besides it is much worse to know what one ought to do, and yet not to do what one has learnt should be done. On the other hand, to be active in good works and unfaithful at heart is as idle as though one wanted to raise a beautiful and lofty dome upon a bad foundation.” —Ambrose

“Faith feeds on the Word of God. Without a steady diet it gets weaker and weaker. If you are dissatisfied with your Christian courage and joy and purity of heart, check the way you are feeding your faith.” —John Piper

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire.” —John Witherspoon

Religious persecution alert: ISIS is eliminating Christians in Iraq.

“It is a serious fault if a believer is in want, and thou knowest it, or if thou knowest that he is without means, that he is hungry, that he suffer distress, especially if he is ashamed of his need…. If he is in prison, and—upright though he is—has to suffer pain and punishment for some debt (for though we ought to show mercy to all, yet we ought to show it especially to an upright man); if in the time of his trouble he obtains nothing from thee; if in time of danger, when he is carried off to die, thy money seems more to thee than the life of a dying man; what a sin is that to thee!” —Ambrose

[VIDEO] Detroit Tigers radio announcer Ernie Harwell broadcasting his last game.

Interesting: Why The First Hospital To Do Sex-Reassignment Surgeries No Longer Do Them.

“When the Middle East is fragmented in this horrible war, this savage, savage war between militant Shiites and militant Sunnis … the only place where you have freedom, tolerance, protection of minorities, protection of gays, protection of Christians and all other faiths is Israel,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister. Read more about the wrong-headed decision of the Presbyterian (USA) Church to divest in Israel.

More young adults are having kids outside of marriage, and that is creating a dangerous environment for the kids.

“Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power which seems to be beyond natural causes, as if they were some angel’s song which had lost its way and come on earth. It seems as if they could almost do what in reality God alone can do—soften the hard and angry hearts of men. No one was ever corrected by a sarcasm—crushed, perhaps, if the sarcasm was clever enough, but drawn nearer to God, never.” —Frederick William Faber

Links & Quotes

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[VIDEO] Brilliant! The Bible’s place in our worldview.

“The most common remedy for most behavioral and mental disorders today is some form of self-worth enhancement. It pervades our educational institutions, the psychotherapeutic and counseling system, the personnel and motivational industry, advertising, and even the church. I think the remedy is flawed. … What is the root of mental health? My answer is, God. Or seeing God as God and enjoying Him as God, which involves being forgiven by God and welcomed with utterly free grace. I personally believe that these truths are hijacked when they are used to make self-esteem the root of mental health.” —John Piper

[COMIC] What the parishioners think the clergy think the parishioners think the clergy do.

15 great G.K. Chesterton quotes.

Why America doesn’t need Planned Parenthood.

Live Action releases a scathing 6-year investigation of Planned Parenthood.

How we glorify God by sleeping.

Thursdays With Oswald—All Of Me

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.

All Of Me

     Never run away with the idea that you are a person who has a spirit, has a soul and has a body; you are a person that is spirit, soul and body. Man is one; body, soul and spirit are terms of definition. My body is the manifest “me.” Some of us are so dominated by the body that our spirit lives only in the physical domain, instead of the physical being slowly taken into the spiritual by a series of moral choices. Our spirit goes no further than we bring our body. 

From Conformed To His Image

God created us as a three-part, integrated being. Quite simply, all parts are interdependent on each other.

If my body is diseased, it’s hard for me to develop my soul and spirit. If my emotions are out-of-balance, it adversely affects by body and spirit. If my spirit is still weighed down by sin, it cannot but affect my body and soul.

I love the brief description Dr. Luke gives us about how Jesus grew up: Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people (Luke 2:52). Let me state this verse differently. Jesus grew healthily…

  • …in wisdom (His mind)
  • …in stature (His physical body)
  • …in favor with God (His soul)
  • …in favor with all the people (His emotions and relationships)

Jesus showed us well-round, healthy growth. If you are diseased in your body, talk to a doctor about remedies; if you are diseased in your soul, talk to a counselor or psychologist about your emotional health; if you are diseased in your spirit, talk to God about forgiveness.

Don’t let one part of you hold you back from being all the you God created you to be!

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.

“The patience of hope does not turn men and women into monks and nuns, it gives men and women the right use of this world from another world′s standpoint.” —Oswald Chambers

The proper place of science in our culture: Science And Its Limits

Astronomers, cosmologists and physicists are always trying to explain the “missing” parts of their evolutionary theories: Missing Galaxy Mass Found

Very good! The Non-Physical Sides Of Sex

“You may think it out of place for me to say so, but in our churches today we are leaning too heavily upon human talents and educated abilities. We forget that the illumination of the Holy Spirit of God is a necessity, not only in our ministerial preparation, but in the administrative and leadership functions of our churches.” —A.W. Tozer

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, who is poor.” —Seneca

“Selfish religion loves Christ for His benefits, but not for Himself.” —David Brainerd

“Few marriages can make it if both partners are hiding out from God. Show me a marriage without one partner that is close to Jesus, and I’ll show you a marriage with little chance of survival. At least one of the partners must be in daily consultation with the Lord. It is best when both husband and wife are talking to Him, but if one partner is running from God, it is all the more important that the other be able to run to a secret closet of prayer for help and direction. A praying wife can often save her marriage, as can a praying husband. Love alone is not enough to keep a marriage strong—only God’s power can do that. That power is at work right now, healing and keeping marriages. Where Jesus rules, the marriage can make it.” —David Wilkerson

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

A Perilous Profession

My dear fellow pastor, please be on guard! Be careful to remain physically fit, spiritually full, emotionally strong, and mentally stimulated. Keep your relationships healthy and guard against the attacks of the enemy.

Heed these wise words of A.W. Tozer—

A.W. Tozer“Yet the ministry is one of the most perilous of professions. The devil hates the Spirit-filled minister with an intensity second only to that which he feels for Christ Himself. The source of this hatred is not difficult to discover. An effective, Christ-like minister is a constant embarrassment to the devil, a threat to his dominion, a rebuttal of his best arguments and a dogged reminder of his coming overthrow. No wonder he hates him. satan knows that the downfall of a prophet of God is a strategic victory for him, so he rests not day or night devising hidden snares and deadfalls for the ministry. Perhaps a better figure would be the poison dart that only paralyzes its victim, for I think that satan has little interest in killing the preacher outright. An ineffective, half-alive minister is a better advertisement for hell than a good man dead. So the preacher’s dangers are likely to be spiritual rather than physical, though sometimes the enemy works through bodily weaknesses to get to the preacher’s soul.”

What do you do to keep yourself healthy and on-guard?

Gratitude Cancels Anxiety

Gratitude cancels anxietyThe wise King Solomon said, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down…” (Proverbs 12:25). And now medical science proves it.

There’s the physical weight of anxiety:

  • Digestion of food is hindered
  • Sleep is disrupted
  • Short-term memory is hampered
  • Immune system is depressed
  • Heart disease risks are elevated
  • Not to mention the emotional and relational weights of anxiety

But do you know what brings an almost immediate bounce-back from these conditions? Feeling and expressing gratitude.

The feelings of gratitude…

  • Release endorphins (the feel-good hormone)
  • Make good memories easier to recall
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Improve overall physical health

The verse I quoted earlier from Proverbs was only the first half of the verse. The full verse says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Science tells us that it doesn’t matter if those good words are words others say to us, or words we say to ourselves, or words we say to others. Our bodies cannot tell the difference, so any grateful/thankful/positive words cancel out the heaviness of anxiety!

Try it! Keep a gratitude journal … write a letter to someone you haven’t properly thanked for their investment in your life … make it a point to compliment others … speak more positively to yourself. Those grateful words are not only the antidote to the anxiety weighing you down now but also the inoculation against future anxiety. 

We’ll be looking at more benefits of gratitude next week, as we continue our series A Grateful Heart Is A Strong Heart. Please join me!

A Grateful Heart Is A Strong Heart

A Grateful Heart [web]As we approach Thanksgiving Day, many people begin to get their thanks on! They will start rehearsing for their family gathering when someone might ask them, “What are you thankful for this year?”

But I want to make the case for practicing gratitude all year long!

There are emotional, physical, psychological and relational benefits to being a thanks-filled person. Truly those with grateful hearts have strong, healthy hearts … both physically and emotionally.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense out of our past, brings peace for today, and create a vision for tomorrow.” —John Maxwell 

Please join me the next two Sundays at Calvary Assembly of God as I share some of the medical research and biblical truths that will reveal the year-round, whole-person benefits of being grateful.

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