Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & listening from today…

“When A.B. Simpson succeeded it was in a big way. When he failed he made great failures. It had to be so. Men of his caliber do not make little mistakes. They fly too high and too far to steer their courses by city maps. They ask not, ‘What street is that?’ but ‘What continent?’ And when they get off of the course for a moment they will be sure to pull up a long way from their goal. Their range and speed make this inevitable. Little men who never get outside of their own yards point to these mistakes with great satisfaction. But history has a way of disposing of these critics by filing them away in quiet anonymity. She cannot be bothered to preserve their names. She is too busy chalking up the great successes and huge failures of her favorites.” —A.W. Tozer

“Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy! And how do children approach their daddies? I went to a school playground to find out. When a five-year-old spots his father in the parking lot, how does he react? ‘Yippee!’ screamed a redheaded boy wearing a Batman backpack. ‘Pop! Over here! Push me!’ yelled a boy wearing a Boston Red Sox cap who scooted straight to the swings. Here’s what I didn’t hear: ‘Father, it is most gracious of thee to drive thy car to my place of education. Please know of my deep gratitude for your benevolence. For thou art splendid in thy attentive care and diligent in thy dedication.’ I heard kids who were happy to see their dads and eager to speak to them! God invites us to approach Him in the same manner.” —Max Lucado

“More faith is what we want, and the Lord is willing to give it, grace upon grace; He delights, especially, to strengthen the faith which we already possess by trying it, by sustaining it under the trial, and thus rooting and grounding it, and causing it to become firm and vigorous.” —Charles Spurgeon

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Overview Bible Project has a great chart on the authors of the Bible.

[AUDIO] This interview of the late Chuck Colson by Dr. James Dobson is very timely.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

Our First Amendment rights are under assault like never before! In Idaho the state government has told pastors to either perform same-sex “weddings” or go to jail.

“When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they fee a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks; but the soul, the poor soul, how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless earth. Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed, two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep—the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body!” —Charles Spurgeon

“We’ve found that sleep may actually be a kind of elegant design solution to some of the brain’s most basic needs, a unique way that the brain meets the high demands and the narrow margins that set it apart from all the other organs of the body.” Read more about the rejuvenating power of sleep for the human brain.

“God will allow His servant to succeed when he has learned that success does not make him dearer to God nor more valuable in the total scheme of things.” —A.W. Tozer

[VIDEO] This story from Ken Davis is hilarious!

Prayers aren’t graded according to style. If prayer depends on how I pray, I’m sunk. But if the power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer, then I have hope.Read more thoughts on prayer from Max Lucado.

“Desire can’t be sated, because if it is, the longing disappears and then we’ve failed, because desire is the state we seek. We’ve expanded our desire for ever more human connection into a never-ceasing parade of physical and social desires as well. Amplified by marketers and enabled by commerce, we race down the endless road faster and faster, at greater and greater expense. The worst thing of all would be if we actually arrived at perfect, because if we did, we would extinguish the very thing that drives us. We want the wanting.” —Seth Godin

 

Links & Quotes

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Some very good reading from today…

The Heritage Foundation has an amazing interactive site to guide you through the United States Constitution.

“No man is worthy to succeed until he is willing to fail. No man is morally worthy of success in religious activities until he is willing that the honor of succeeding should go to another if God so wills.” —A.W. Tozer

Prayer is not a privilege for the pious, nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child. When we invite God into our world, He brings a host of gifts: joy, patience, resilience.” —Max Lucado

An infographic and some really interesting (and funny) statistics on how and why Americans pray.

John Piper reminds us of 5 ways our joy in God depends on the Bible.

Tim Elmore shared a great photo for parents:

Parenting success

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

[VIDEO] John Maxwell on the importance of follow-through.

Tim Dilena’s post—Pay For The Salsa & Chips—is a great reminder of the power of honesty.

Quite intriguing: Are We Evolving Stupidity?

Another reason to stand-up and speak out for the true definition of marriage—Incest: Another Disordered Image Of Worship.

Soul love is the soul of all love. To pet and pamper and indulge your child, as if this world was all he had to look forward to, and this life the only season for happiness—to do this is not true love, but cruelty. It is treating him like some beast of the earth, which has but only one world to look to, and nothing after death. It is hiding from him that grand truth, which he ought to be made to learn from his very infancy,—that the chief end of his life is the salvation of his soul.” Read more from J.C. Ryle in True Love For The Child’s Soul.

Charles Spurgeon: No One Can Believe For Me.

“Pain is terrible, but surely you need not have fear as well? Can you not see death as the friend and deliverer? It means stripping off that body which is tormenting you: like taking off a hair-shirt or getting out of a dungeon. What is there to be afraid of? You have long attempted (and none of us does more) a Christian life. Your sins are confessed and absolved. Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way round—we get afraid because we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust Me so little?’” —C.S. Lewis

[VIDEO] Sesame Street parodies Star Wars to teach us about self-control.

When The Game Stands Tall (movie review)

When The Game Stands TallI had the privilege of seeing an advanced showing of When The Game Stands Tall which opens in theaters next weekend (August 22). When this movie was over, I was the one standing tall because it is such an inspirational story.

The movie opens as the De La Salle High School football team is in the midst of a 151 game winning streak. Think about that: in 12 years this high school football team hadn’t lost! How did they do it? Through the careful coaching of Bob Ladouceur and Terry Eidson, and through the dedication of players that bought into their principles.

But the team lost track of who they were and how they had achieved such success. The unthinkable happens: De La Salle loses a game!

How the coaches and players respond to this loss is the real heart of the story, and I’m so glad that it’s being told on the big screen. This movie is completely family-friendly, with no questionable content at all.

Here’s the deal: If you want Hollywood to keep making movies like this, you MUST make plans to see it on opening weekend (August 22-24). The movie executives base their decisions on box office sales that first weekend, so it will largely determine whether they will make more pro-family movies like this one.

Here is a behind the scenes look at the making of When The Game Stands Tall that I think captures the essence of the heart of this story—

Please go see this movie next weekend!

12 Quotes From “12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid”

12 Huge MistakesI highlighted a lot in Tim Elmore’s newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid … a lot! This is book that every parent (or grandparent) should read because it’s never too late to invest the best in our (grand)children. You can read my full book review of this must-read book by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I highlighted in this book.

“I believe we have under-challenged kids with meaningful work to accomplish. We have overwhelmed them with tests, recitals, and practices, and kids report being stressed-out by these activities. But they are essentially virtual activities. Adults often don’t give significant work to students—work that is relevant to life and could actually improve the world if the kids rose to the challenge. We just don’t have many expectations of our kids today.” 

“Every parent and teacher wants to see their kids succeed in school, in sports, and in life, but making it impossible to fail isn’t the answer. Removing failure, in fact, is a terrific way to stunt maturity. … As parents, we’ve given them lots of possessions but not much perspective. As educators, we’ve given them plenty of schools but not plenty of skills. As coaches, we’ve taught them how to win games but not how to win in life. As youth workers, we provide lots of explanations but not enough experiences. As employers, we’ve mentored them in profit and loss but haven’t shown them how to profit from loss.”

“Truth be told, when kids have heard they are excellent without working hard or truly adding value to a team, the praise rings hollow to them. Our affirmation must match their performance.”  

“When people—especially young people—know they are free to try something and fail, their performance usually improves. It brings out the best in them. But if they are preoccupied with trying not to fail, they become paralyzed:

  • Failure can create resilience.
  • Failure can force us to evaluate.
  • Failure can motivate us to better performance.
  • Failure prompts creativity and discovery.
  • Failure can develop maturity.”

“Our constant caving begins to foster a constant craving in them. They want clarity. With boundaries unclear, they need more direct attention from Mom or Dad. Unwittingly, we actually breed insecurity and instability in our kids. This may sound strange, but consistency may be your best friend as a parent because it aids in your authority and in your child’s development.” 

“Removing the consequences takes one of two roads. We either excuse their behavior and remove negative outcomes, or we actually step in and pay the consequence for them. When we do this, we frequently relieve the stress. We bring immediate peace to the situation, so we get addicted to this pattern. Unfortunately, we don’t see the long-term problems we are causing. Removing the consequences from our children’s lives brings short-term tranquility but long-term trouble.”

“‘You can do anything you want.’ I recognize why we say this, but as our kids grow older, we must help them to see what we really meant. … We really meant, if they set their mind to do something, they’ll be amazed at what they can pull off. The catch is, it needs to be something with in their gift area. They cannot simply make up a dream or copy a friend’s dream and call it theirs. Dreams should be attached to strengths.” 

“We have created a world of conveniences, filled with smart phones, microwaves, Internet shopping, and online banking. The subtle message is that struggles are to be avoided. We want as much convenience as possible. In fact, we feel entitled to it. But we failed to see that when we remove the struggles from our children’s lives, we begin to render them helpless. They don’t have the opportunity to develop the life skills they’ll need later on. Further, when we step in to control their levels of struggle, they don’t learn how to be in control or under control themselves. In fact, all they learn is how to be controlled.”

“Ironically, the things young people want to avoid are necessary for them to mature authentically. Slow, hard, boring, risky, laborious… these are the very challenges that prepare me to become a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good employee, a good employer. Many life skills that once naturally developed in us now atrophy in today’s culture. So we must be far more intentional about leading our kids into opportunities to build these skills.” 

“When we affirm looks or clothing—external matters instead of internal virtues—kids values become skewed. Remember, what gets rewarded gets repeated. Without realizing it, we are reinforcing cosmetic features—usually features that are not in their control. … We should be doing just the opposite. We must affirm effort and behavior, which are in their control, instead of characteristics that are out of their control. If we do this, we begin to foster a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.”

“We mistake hurtful with harmful. Many times, hurting helps us. In fact, removing the hurt may be harmful. … When we hurt, we can learn important truths about ourselves and about others, truth that will be beneficial later in our lives. … We confuse disturbance with damage. We hate being disturbed. Our days are so full, we often hope and pray we won’t face any unexpected disturbances as we pursue our goals. The fact is, however, that on our way to those goals, we fall into unhealthy ruts. Interruptions force us out of those ruts. Interruptions are not damaging at all. They are the very items that save us from our tunnel vision. We need to be disturbed from time to time. Interruptions are wake-up calls that rouse us from our apathy or complacency.” 

“I know you think kids are tired of you talking about the good old days. But I’ve found most kids love hearing stories of how we adults struggled to learn the same life skills when we were young. It’s all part of growing up.”

12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid (book review)

12 Huge MistakesI read a lot of books, but very few of them get a “must read” designation from me. For parents and teachers, 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid by Dr. Tim Elmore fully earns my must-read label.

The future of our schools, our businesses, our communities and our country is being determined right now in our homes and in our schools. The way we raise our kids now will have far-reaching implications for all of us. Dr. Elmore has such a great way of speaking to the leadership issues of our young people, that I cannot urge you strongly enough to read this book.

Real quickly, the 12 huge mistakes that parents and teachers need to avoid are:

  • We Won’t Let Them Fail
  • We Project Our Lives On Them
  • We Prioritize Being Happy
  • We Are Inconsistent
  • We Remove The Consequences
  • We Lie About Their Potential And Don’t Explore Their True Potential
  • We Won’t Let Them Struggle Or Fight
  • We Give Them What They Should Earn
  • We Praise The Wrong Things
  • We Value Removing All Pain
  • We Do It For Them
  • We Prepare The Path For The Child Instead Of The Child For The Path

The book opens with a simple parenting quiz that will allow assess where you are in these 12 areas. Then you can turn to the chapter on which you scored the highest in the “overfunctioning parent” scale, and deal with that issue first. Each chapter is jam-packed with practical tips to correct that particular mistake.

Dr. Elmore describes the purpose behind his book this way—“Here’s the bottom line. I believe we need to face some new issues as parents. We must define what kids need from us to mature in a healthy way. We must figure out what hinders their growth and what equips them to be great adults. We must become both nurturers and trainers, knowing that we are not raising children, but future adults. I offer this book as a reference guide as you face your toughest challenges and attempt to get kids ready for life as they leave your home or school. Here’s to correcting our mistakes along the way—for their sake.”

Parents and teachers, go get this book!

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