Profiting From Death

Cecile Richards president of Planned ParenthoodPlanned Parenthood’s murderous activities continue to be exposed, and they continue to lie about it. The simple facts are:

  • Planned Parenthood makes more money from performing abortions than they do any other service.
  • Planned Parenthood alters their abortion procedures (a direct violation of the law) to procure “higher quality specimens.”
  • Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts for substantial monetary gain (also a direct violation of the law).

One of Planned Parenthood’s talking points has been that these videos are edited and unreliable. However, the Alliance Defending Freedom just reported that “a forensic analysis of undercover videos about Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices are ‘authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing.’” Read more about this report here.

Are you as disturbed about this illegal and murderous activity as I am? If you are, please let your voice be heard. Share these videos, write to your Representative and Senator, join a prayer vigil outside a local Planned Parenthood office, support a local pregnancy resource center … do something to end these atrocities!

Here’s something you can do right now—sign this petition to help defund Planned Parenthood from receiving millions of our taxpayer dollars.

Links & Quotes

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“The warrior of God is not the man of muscle and a strong jaw, but the man of un-utterable weakness, the man who knows he has not any power; Jacob is no longer strong in himself, he is strong only in God, his life is no longer marked by striving, but by reliance on God. You cannot imitate reliance on God.” —Oswald Chambers

Not perfect but lovedI normally don’t like having my picture taken, but for the Champions of Change project, Adam Bird did an amazing job with even a face like mine!

Pornography addictions act like any other addiction. Check out this video.

The Overview Bible Project always has great Bible study resources, like this one. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so.

“True believers are determined to trust God even if their prayer isn’t answered. It doesn’t matter if all their goods are taken away, or even if they face death. They desire to enter God’s rest. What is the evidence of such a life? They have ‘ceased from [their] own works’ (see Hebrews 4:10). They no longer lie awake at night trying to solve their problems in their own wisdom and skill. Instead, they turn everything over to Jesus. It doesn’t matter whether they end up in gain or loss. Their only focus is that God has a plan, and that He is working it out in their lives.” —David Wilkerson

Seth Godin reminds us that improving our attitude is a skill that can be learned.

J. Warner Wallace shares the exquisite fine-tuning of our universe that points to an Intelligent Designer/Creator.

“Is there anything more freeing, more thrilling, or more strengthening than the truth that God Almighty is your refuge—all day, every day in all the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of life? If we believed this, if we really let this truth of God’s omnipotence get hold of us, what a difference it would make in our personal lives and in our ministries! How humble and powerful we would become for the saving purposes of God!” —John Piper

“All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake, His mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave off shining, but our God will never cease to cheer His children with His love. Like a river His lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness inexhaustible as His own nature, which is its source. Like the atmosphere which always surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all His creatures.” —Charles Spurgeon

Dan Reiland has 5 questions for great communicators.

One Word

RedemptionWhen it comes right down to it, there is really just one word that makes Christians peculiar. Just one word changes our citizenship from Earth to Heaven. One word took us from a path where our sins had us headed toward an eternity in Hell.

Jesus stepped in where He didn’t have to go. Jesus became our sin to pay-off our sin debt. Jesus took us back from satan’s possession, and made us a part of His Father’s family.

Jesus redeemed us! 

I wonder if we truly understand that word redemption?

Peter is speaking to us as “strangers here in reverent fear” on Earth, and he calls us to live up to God’s call—Be holy, because I am holy (1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 11:44-45). He asks us to obediently follow God’s Word (1:22), to get rid of Earth-bound things (2:1), and instead taste that the Lord is good (2:3).

Why? Because we’ve been “redeemed from the empty way of life…by the precious blood of Christ” (1:18-19) We don’t live holy lives to try to earn redemption, but because we have been redeemed we are now capable of living holy lives!

To help illustrate his point, Peter quotes a couple of verses from Isaiah 40. In this chapter, we are invited to weigh the greatness and love and knowledge and power of God against the things we can provide for ourselves on Earth. Please check out the video below, where I go through this 40th chapter of Isaiah.

If you don’t have a home church in the Cedar Springs area, please join us this Sunday at 10:30am for our special guest speaker Jeff Hlavin. Pastor Hlavin will be continuing in our series on Aliens and Strangers. If you cannot join us live, tune-in to the Periscope broadcast (search @craigtowens on Periscope).

Links & Quotes

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“Sins of the flesh are never to be reasoned or parleyed with; there is no more reasoning with them than with the winds…. We must fly. It is true valor in such a case to turn the back. ‘Resist the devil,’ says James, but Paul does not say ‘resist lust’; he puts it thus—‘Flee also youthful lusts.’ When warring with the legions of unrighteousness we shall need all the best powers of our renewed nature, for the conflict will be stern.” —Charles Spurgeon

John Piper and the Desiring God team have a new book available: The Joy Project. You can download the ebook version free of charge.

Detroit Tigers fans (especially those who know the history of the Tigers) will appreciate this article about Miguel Cabrera. I especially think that, in terms of a pure hitter, the comparison to Ty Cobb is right on.

The Democrats in the US House and Senate are making it more and more clear that they are interested in money and position, not in life and liberty. It is unconscionable that anyone could vote against a bill that says a baby born alive after a failed abortion should be allowed to live.

My friend, Pastor Dave Barringer, has some good thoughts on rest and burn-out. Pastors especially should take the time to read this one.

“Porn makes you think you are having sexual needs met, but really they are hollow and leave you feeling empty and lonelier than before.” Read more in this post: What it means to be pro-sex and anti-porn.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell says setbacks can be “set-ups” if we handle them correctly—

[VIDEO] J. Warner Wallace explains how human consciousness points to a Creator—


A Whole New Revelation

The Word and the SpiritHow would you like to have better insight than prophets like David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel or Daniel? How would you like to have a greater revelation of who Jesus is than even in the angels in Heaven? You can!

Peter tells us aliens and strangers how we should live on Earth as citizens of Heaven (1 Peter 1:13-16):

  • Our minds prepared for action
  • Self-controlled (another translation says sober)
  • Fully hopeful of God’s promises
  • Obedient children
  • Not conformed to the world’s standards
  • As holy as God is

If that sounds like a challenging list, it’s because it is a challenging list! But notice an important word that starts verse 13: Therefore. This tells us we must look at what came before the therefore to know how to respond to what comes after the therefore.

In the verses preceding (vv. 10-12) we read about Old Testament prophets and New Testament preachers. But notice the similarities between these two—They both spoke about grace and salvation, and they both spoke with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. The Word of God was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it is the same Holy Spirit that wants to give you a full revelation of what is in the Word.

The prophets searched carefully, but they never got to see Jesus come to Earth and fulfill the prophesies. The angels in Heaven have seen the story played out, but they don’t know what it is to have received a complete pardon for their sins that would have damned their souls to Hell.

That’s why Spirit-filled Christians who regularly study the Word of God have better insight than the prophets, and greater revelation than the angels!

What about you?

  1. Have you invited Jesus into your heart?
  2. If you have, are you regularly reading your Bible?
  3. If you are, have you allowed God to baptize you in His Holy Spirit?

This combination not only makes you peculiar to Earthlings, it makes you peculiar to prophets and angels too!

If you are in the Cedar Springs area and don’t have a home church, please join us at 10:30am Sunday morning. If you cannot join us in person, you can tune-in to our live broadcast on Periscope (search for @craigtowens).

To view the slides from this message, click here.

Links & Quotes

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“Paul says ‘whatever you do’—even down to such everyday things as taking a meal—do it in order to glorify God [1 Corinthians 10:31]. Apparently there are ways of using culture—our table manners, language, style of dress, way of working, how we drive our car and care for our homes, the use we make of TV and films, the emails we write, the phone calls in which we become involved, and all the rest of our culture—there are ways of using such everyday things that will allow us to signal to the world around us that we are aware of an obligation in such cultural activities that extends beyond our own puny selfish interests. We seek the glory of God in our use of culture.” —T.M. Moore

“To be fully free, we must have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will make us happy forever. No regrets. And only Jesus, the Son of God Who died and rose for us, can make that possible. If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed [John 8:31-32].” —John Piper

Here is what is sad to me, many people buy into what George Lord Byron wrote, speaking of Socrates: “Well didst thou speak, Athena’s wisest son, ‘All we know is nothing can be known.’” We can know through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem.” —C.S. Lewis

“Pleasure is not a quick fix, it can be a thief, it will undermine happiness. Eventually, pleasure loses its pleasure and becomes a prison.” —Andy Stanley

If you have ever been hurt by your church, first of all: my heart breaks with yours … that should never have happened. But if it did, this post may help you in overcoming your hurt.

We must be in prayer! Every five minutes, a Christian is martyred for their faith somewhere in the world.

[VIDEO] J. Warner Wallace, a cold case detective, talks about how he uses his investigative skills to explain the origin of life from non-life—


Links & Quotes

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“If my prayers are listless and unimpassioned, perhaps they reveal a heart that is self-assured and content with itself.” —T.M. Moore

“Our joy does not just rise from the backward glance in gratitude. It also rises from the forward glance in hope. In the end, the heart longs not for any of God’s good gifts, but for God Himself. To see Him and know Him and be in His presence is the soul’s final feast.” —John Piper

Fellas, this is a pretty good list: 10 ways to romance your wife. And both husbands and wives should check out The Secret Enemy in Your Marriage.

“The key to spiritual growth isn’t increased church attendance or involvement in spiritual activities. People don’t grow in Christ because they’re busy at church. They grow in Christ when they read and trust their Bibles.” Read more in Max Lucado’s post: Key To Spiritual Growth.

Carly Fiorina is so right about the Iran deal and Planned Parenthood. And what I love is that she links both of them to the moral foundation of the United States of America. Check out this 90-second video clip.


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