Links & Quotes

link quote

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

Today is the day to END IT: Modern-Day Slavery By The Numbers

“If the very worst should happen, our God is still the greatest and best. Therefore we will not fear though the postman’s knock should startle us or a telegram wake us at midnight. The Lord liveth, and what can His children fear?” —Charles Spurgeon

Eric Cohen says embryo research is potentially more corrupting than abortion.

“No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes are in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present to us: it is the very sign of His presence.” —C.S. Lewis

[VIDEO] So Rep. Peters votes for Obamacare but he doesn’t want anyone sharing what it has (or hasn’t) done for them?! Check this out.

[PHOTO] How dictators keep their people in the dark. Literally.

Joni On Suffering

Finding GodIf anyone understands suffering, it would be Joni Eareckson Tada. She is paralyzed from the chest down, due to a diving accident she suffered as a teenager. For the past 40+ years she has relied on her husband and others to help her with most of her daily tasks. Yet none of this has slowed down her world-wide ministry, nor has it dampened her trust in God.

I recently read her book Finding God In Hidden Places (you can read my book review by clicking here). These are some quotes about suffering that Joni has learned firsthand.

“Some refuse to believe it. Surely, if we hate suffering, God must hate it worse and could never have founded an institution as horrible as hell. But the same Jesus who gave heaven a five-star rating also described an otherworldly chamber of horrors. ‘[Hell] has long been prepared; it has been made ready… its fire pit has been made deep and wide… the breath of the Lord, like a stream of burning sulphur, sets it ablaze’ (Isaiah 30:33). Stop and listen. Do you feel the rattling? The down-deep rumbling of something gone haywire? Had the Bible not told us otherwise, we might think this life was the only life there is. We’d continue to arrange our days as though rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. We’d clink our brandy glasses and toast our fate, as though we were only facing a soul-sleep—a dull, gray existence without God, who, as a matter of fact, was a bit of a bore on earth anyway. Don’t misunderstand. God didn’t make hell for people. Jesus said it was ‘prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matthew 25:41). It’s unnatural for humans to be there—as unnatural as turning our backs on a Creator who loves us. As unseemly as shrugging off the Father’s kind arm while we caress Eden’s serpent, coiled around our hearts. No. God takes no joy in anyone heading for eternal misery. And His Son is the lifeboat—big enough and wide enough to rescue all of the perishing.”

“I was collapsing from a time of interior questioning. Suffering does this. It forces us to be utterly alone with ourselves. Once sequestered, suffering is what tests us most as persons. It examines us, sifting and asking, ‘Who are you, really?’ … Suffering, then, can be our friend. … Suffering goes below the surface, sandblasting us to the core. It brings us into a new relationship with ourselves. It also brings us into a new relationship with God. When pain and problems press us up against a holy God, guess what goes first? You’ve got it. The selfishness that pain unmasks. The pride and pettiness that problems reveal. … The beauty of being stripped down to the basics is that God can then fill us up with Himself. It’s not just that sin is removed; the saint is built up: ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27). Think of the Father’s joy when He sees Christ in you. Nothing pleases Him more. When the soul empties itself of pride and pettiness, Christ fills it up. It’s just another way of saying, ‘You died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:3). Suffering doesn’t teach me about myself from a textbook; it teaches me from my heart.”

If you would like to check out some other quotes from this book, please click here.

Thursdays With Oswald—The Patience Of The Saints

This 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.

Oswald Chambers

The Patience Of The Saints

     The patience of the saints may be illustrated by the figure of a bow and arrow in the hands of God. He sees the target and takes aim, He strains the bow, not to breaking-point, however sever the pain may seem to the saint, but to just that point whence the arrow will fly with surest, swiftest speed to the bull’s-eye. 

     The patience of the saints, like the patience of our Lord, puts the sovereignty of God over all the saint’s career…. 

From Christian Disciplines

This talk of patience is the last thing Oswald Chambers discusses in his rather lengthy book Christian Disciplines. We have to remember that God is working in our lives with the view of eternity in mind. We often want things microwave-fast: “Okay, God, go ahead and do something in my life, but do it quickly!”

God’s timing is perfect. His plan is set, and He knows exactly when, where, and how to launch us. Wait for Him. Wait in expectation. Wait in readiness. Wait in hope that He will accomplish exactly what He wants to accomplish, at exactly the right moment He wants to accomplish it.

Links & Quotes

link quote

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

“Truth wears well. Time tests it, but it right well endures the trial. … What a poor thing is the temporary triumph of falsehood!” —Charles Spurgeon, commenting on Proverbs 12:19

The “stimulus” that wasn’t: CBO Again Repeats Faulty Methodology

“The word ‘mercy’ here is extracted from misericordia, the Greek word for ‘misery.’ The full meaning of this word is: ‘to take to heart the misery of another, with the intention of giving him comfort and relief.’ So being merciful means taking on another person’s hurt!” Read more from David Wilkerson.

[PHOTOS] Amazing story captured in Life magazine of a 1950s nurse Maude Callen.

[VIDEO] Largest Lunar Impact Caught By Astronomers

What the IRS is trying now even has the ACLU upset: Stop The Assault

Wow! Check out this tweet from Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov

9 Quotes From “Finding God In Hidden Places”

Finding GodFinding God In Hidden Places by Joni Eareckson Tada is a delightful, heart-warming collection of stories in which Joni shares how she has seen God at work in some unexpected places. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes that especially stood out to me from this book.

“I take comfort in this: Although it seemed as though God were asleep when I was at the wheel, He wasn’t. He was there. I remind myself that no matter if it’s by the skin of the teeth or with miles to spare… God helps His people. If it’s not their appointed time to die, God will deliver them. God will keep us. He’ll help. He’ll intervene—perhaps just in the nick of time. Is that too close for comfort? Maybe. But our trust in Him was never meant to be comfortable—only close. And the nick of time is close enough.”

“Right now you may be in the middle of a long stretch of the same old routine. … You don’t hear any cheers or applause. The days run together—and so do the weeks. Your commitment to keep putting one foot in front of the other is starting to falter. Take a moment and look at the fruit. Perseverance. Determination. Fortitude. Patience. Your life is not a boring stretch of highway. It’s a straight line to heaven. And just look at the fields ripening along the way. Look at the tenacity and endurance. Look at the grains of righteousness. You’ll have quite a crop at harvest…so don’t give up!”

“If we’re going to stand up and make a difference for Christ while others lounge about, you can be sure we will encounter hardships, obstacles, nuisances, hassles, and inconveniences—much more than the average couch potato. And we shouldn’t be surprised. Such difficulty while serving Christ isn’t necessarily suffering—it’s status quo.”

“Labels, labels, labels. I’m glad Jesus referred to people as people. He never mentioned His friend being a coward; He simply called him Peter. He never referred to the woman who loved Him deeply as a prostitute; He just called her Mary Magdalene.”

“This is the daily stuff of my life. It always involves more than simply picking up hamburgers and cokes, or clothes from the dry cleaners. It involves a chance to make God real to people. A chance for them to serve, to feel good about themselves, to experience a new way of doing things. It’s a chance to break the mold and accomplish a task in a different manner—an opportunity to throw a hand grenade into the ordinary way of living and, in so doing, take people by surprise.”

“Problems are often God’s way of grabbing a lever in order to pry us out of our ruts. And when you rise up out of a rut, you end up enjoying the fresh air of possibilities, the new breeze of challenge and change. Your faith finds feet. Your witness begins to work.”

“Jesus didn’t pass me by. He didn’t overlook me. He answered my prayer—He said, ‘No.’  And I’m glad. A ‘no’ answer has purged sin from my life, strengthened my commitment to Christ, and forced me to depend on grace. It has bound me with other believers, produced discernment, disciplined my mind, and taught me to spend my time wisely. It has stretched my hope, increased my faith, and strengthened my character. Being in this wheelchair has meant knowing Christ better. Feeling His strength every day.”

“I wonder how many of us second-guess a prompting and ignore the Spirit’s leading. That night I learned that every urge to do good, every prompting to share the gospel, is a prompting from God. We need not second-guess. … This week you’ll hear God’s still, small voice whisper, ‘Say something to her… invite him… make that call… apologize.’ You’ll be tempted to brush it off—but don’t. Seize the moment! Today is the day of salvation! The prompting may never pass your way again. Neither might that person. Ever.”

“It’s just like God. He steps into our tightly controlled, private space, raises His hand, and says, ‘Pardon Me, everyone. I have something to reveal about this person.’ He presumes on our comfort zones, tears aside curtains, throws open locked doors, and pulls the fire alarm on stuffy, sacrosanct attitudes. He oversteps our nicely organized plans and strips the veneer off our smug ways. He boldly intrudes into our sin, brashly calling it what it is and challenging us to leave it behind. It’s called humiliation. It’s one of the painful ways we face our sin. If we remain unaware of our sin, we cannot truly know or understand ourselves. Humiliation lands a knockout blow to self-esteem, reminding us that without Christ we are nothing.”

God Sees An Indiv1dual

God sees an individualThe Bible often recounts the history of Israel. In one particular psalm the history of the Israelites sounds like one story repeated over and over:

  • But they continued to sin against God… (Psalm 78:17)
  • In spite of all this, they kept on sinning… (v. 32)
  • Their hearts were not loyal to God, they were not faithful to His covenant… (v. 37)
  • They put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High… (v. 56)

After experiencing God’s blessing, they fall away from God, experience the pain of punishment, repent of their wickedness, get restored, only to fall away again.

So what’s the use in serving God? In following His ways? In keeping His commands?

God sees indiv1duals, not a mass of humanity.

The culture may have been unfaithful to Him, but God saw ONE who was faithful and obedient. He saw ONE who loved God so deeply—“He choose David His servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep He brought him to be the shepherd of His people Jacob, of Israel His inheritance” (vv. 70, 71).

God saw the ONE man who was consistently faithful and rewarded him. God doesn’t miss a thing! He sees every ONE who keeps his or her heart set on Him. Whether in this life or the next, that ONE will be rewarded by God.

Don’t give in to the everyone’s-doing-it-so-it-must-be-okay mindset. God sees YOU as an indiv1dual, and He longs to reward YOU for your faithfulness to Him.

Links & Quotes

link quote

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

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” —Abraham Lincoln

The “settled science” of the origin of the universe is far from settled: Einstein’s Lost Theory Uncovered

“Pastors must be students of God’s Word, continually reviewing and digging deeper into the Scriptures in order to discern what is right and true and essential for the equipping of the saints. The pastor’s study of the Word must be, first, for his own edification and enrichment. From there, he must consider the application of Scripture to the needs of his congregation and the temper of the times. The more we are furnished with the sure Word of God, the more we will grow to be like Jesus, and be equipped to help others in this same calling.” —T.M. Moore

“Jesus observed the law and fulfilled the law. He did not throw the law away, for the sake of love. For the sake of love, He threw Himself away. That’s another counterintuitive lesson He gave to us, as we all proceed together, slouching toward ‘tolerance’ and carrying our consciences along the way ” —Elizabeth Scalia. Read more of her post Jesus Might Bake The Cake, But Would He Perform The Nuptials?

Disgusting! Michigan’s ‘House Of Horrors’

“God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship.” —A.W. Tozer

Finding God In Hidden Places (book review)

Finding GodThe life of Joni Eareckson Tada is a marvel! The way she has transparently lived out her disability, with all its challenges and opportunities, has been encouraging to many, including myself. In her book Finding God In Hidden Places I got even more insight into this godly woman’s unique paradigm.

This book is really a collection of short stories in which Joni shares how God has revealed Himself to her through the people she’s met and the experiences she’s had. The title of the book sounds like God is hidden, but as Joni shares, God is actually revealing Himself all the time, if we will only have open eyes and hearts to see Him.

In fact, near the end of the book Joni shared how she has grown through all of her experiences—“God is always revealing Himself to us through His Word and through the works of His hands. He’s an intentional God, brimming over with purpose, infusing meaning into everything around us. But we need to open ‘the eyes of our heart’ before we can see; and that, my friend, begins with a prayer from Ephesians 1:17-18.”

Not too long I ago I realized that most of the books I was reading were authored by men and I determined that I needed to be intentional in getting a feminine perspective in my reading material. Find God is the first book I selected after making this decision, and I don’t think I could have picked anything more eye-opening than these sensitive, thought-provoking insights from Joni.

Links & Quotes

link quote

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

Wise words from John Maxwell: A Leader′s Need For Humility

“Many people preach and teach. Many take part in the music. Certain ones try to administer God’s work. But if the power of God’s Spirit does not have freedom to energize all they do, these workers might just as well stay home. Natural gifts are not enough in God’s work. The mighty Spirit of God must have freedom to animate and quicken with His overtones of creativity and blessing.” —A.W. Tozer

Very thoughtful post from Frank Viola: Rethinking The Second Coming Of Christ. Frank references the book he co-authored with Leonard Sweet entitled Jesus: A Theography; I highly recommend this book!

Max Lucado writes in Like A Child, “Quit looking at life like an adult.  See it through the eyes of a child.”

[VIDEO] Greg Koukl on Discussing The Age Of The Earth With Other Christians

5 Reasons To Attend Church Regularly

“To be humble, and, like a little child, afraid of taking a step alone, and so conscious of snares and dangers around us, as to cry to [God] continually to hold us up that we may be safe, is the sure, the infallible, the only secret of walking closely with Him.” —John Newton

“One of principle that today’s intellectuals most passionately disseminate is a vulgar relativism, ‘Nihilism with a happy face.’ For them it is certain that there is no truth, only opinion: my opinion, your opinion. They abandoned the defense of the intellect…. Those who surrender the domain of the intellect make straight the road to fascism. Totalitarianism…is the will-to-power unchecked by any regard for truth. To surrender the claims of truth upon humans is to surrender Earth to thugs…. Vulgar relativism is an invisible gas, odorless, deadly, that is now polluting every free society on earth. It is a gas that attacks the central nervous system of moral striving…. ‘There is no such thing as truth,’ they teach even the little ones. ‘Truth is bondage. Believe what seems right to you. There are as many truths as there are individuals. Follow your feelings. Do as you please. Get in touch with yourself….’ Those who speak in this way prepare the jails of the twenty-first century. They do the work of tyrants.” —Michael Novak

Cool story on how The Detroit Tigers Hired Sparky Anderson

Miracle Or “Cheating”?

C.S. Lewis at his deskI recently re-read C.S. Lewis′ book Miracles (you can read my full book review by clicking here). As you may have noticed, after reading and reviewing books on this blog, I also like to share some quotes that caught my attention. Doing this with Lewis is difficult, because in order to get the context of a particular quote, I think I would have to cite almost a full page or more. So over the next few weeks I plan to share some quotes from Miracles that require not as much context, or I will provide a bit of background to set the stage.

This particular quote is fairly long in itself, but I think you will understand the context within the quote—

“It is certain that the billiard balls will behave in a particular way, just as it is certain that if you divide a shilling unequally between two recipients then A’s share must exceed the half and B’s share fall short of it by exactly the same amount. Provided, of course, that A does not by sleight-of-hand steal some of B’s pennies at the very moment of the transaction. In the same way, you know what will happen to the two billiard balls—provided that nothing interferes. If one ball encounters a roughness in the cloth which the other does not, their motion will not illustrate the law in the way you had expected. Of course what happens as a result of the roughness in the cloth will illustrate the law in some other way, but your original prediction will have been false. Or again, if I snatch up a cue and give one of the balls a little help, you will get a third result: and that third result will equally illustrate the laws of physics, and equally falsify your prediction. I shall have ‘spoiled the experiment.’ All interferences leave the law perfectly true. But every prediction of what will happen in a given instance is made under the proviso ‘other things being equal’ or ‘if there are no interferences.’ Whether other things are equal in a given case and whether interferences may occur is another matter. The arithmetician, as a arithmetician, does not know how likely A is to steal some of B’s pennies when the shilling is being divided; you had better ask a criminologist. The physicist, as a physicist, does not know how likely I am to catch up a cue and ‘spoil’ his experiment with the billiard balls: you had better ask someone who knows me. In the same way, the physicist, as such, does not know how likely it is that some supernatural power is going to interfere with them: you has better ask a metaphysician. But the physicist does know, just because he is a physicist, that if the billiard balls are tampered with by any agency, natural or supernatural, which he has not taken into account, then their behavior must differ from what he expected. Not because the law is false, but because it is true. The more certain we are of the law the more clearly we know that if new factors have been introduced the result will vary accordingly. What we do not know, as physicists, is whether Supernatural power might be one of the new factors. … Miracle is, from the point of view of the scientist, a form of doctoring, tampering, (if you like) cheating.”

%d bloggers like this: