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.”

What God Will You Choose?

What God:godMy friend Chuck and I have a sort of shorthand when we talk. We’ve been through so many experiences together, that now just a single word can bring to our minds the fullness of that time, with all of its tears and laughter. Someone listening to one of our conversations might not get the full impact, but we sure do!

It’s the same way when we read one of the Apostle Paul’s letters. He is writing to a church or an individual with whom he had a rich, personal experience. So when he alludes to something, those friends who went through that experience with him recall all of the fullness. When reading the letter to the church at Ephesus, you can experience some of that fullness by reading about Paul’s experience in that city in Acts 19.

In Acts 19 you will meet the followers of Jesus who were already there and see them get baptized in the Holy Spirit … watch Paul teach for three months in the synagogue before the Jewish troublemakers run him out … see Paul lecture for the next three years in the Hall of Tyrannus, so that everyone in that province heard the Word of God … see how God authenticated Paul’s ministry with miracles … experience those who tried to counterfeit what Paul was doing … see many in that city turn from their witchcraft and idol worship … and finally experience the tumult of a near-riot started by the merchants who were losing their income on sales of mythological trinkets because so many were turning to Christ.

With this backdrop, you can then understand why Paul uses such specific language in the opening greeting of his letter to Ephesus (see Ephesians 1:1-3). By doing so he is contrasting the followers of Jesus with the followers of Artemis—

  • Christians for whom God has a specific plan (“by the will of God” [1:1a]; see also 1:4 and 2:10) versus Artemis’ followers who felt like they had no choice (Acts 19:26).
  • Christians who are called saints (set apart for God’s special use) and faithful (trusting Jesus implicitly [1:1b]) versus those followers of Artemis who are self-serving (Acts 19:24, 25).
  • Christians who experience God’s grace and peace (1:2) versus those followers of Artemis who did not even know why they were there (Acts 19:32).

But the most specific language is in Ephesians 1:3—Praise be to THE God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (emphasis added)….

  • Not “a” god, but “THE” God.
  • Not a god that needs to be appeased, but THE loving Father.
  • Not a god that may or may not be able to respond, but OUR Lord Jesus Christ Who overcame death, hell and the grave so that our sins can be forgiven!

The question Paul invites the Ephesians to consider is the same question we must consider:

What God / god will you choose?

We will be continuing our study on the book of Ephesians next Sunday, and I would love to have you join us!

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