Links & Quotes

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Here are links to some interesting reading (and watching) from today.

[VIDEO] Funny, but really sad. I’m not sure what is being taught on college campuses anymore.

[VIDEO] Stephen A. Smith on Arsenio Hall’s show about race relations. Right on target!

Great reminder from Jennilee Goodwin: When The Grace Seems Greener.

[VIDEO] Greg Koukl discusses how Christians should debate evolutionists.

Tim Elmore shares a hilarious but helpful story about a woman involved in her own search party.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell reminds us of the importance of generosity.

God-Oriented & People-Focused

God-oriented & People-focusedYou can spin it around, roll it down the stairs, throw it high in the air, and still it isn’t phased one bit. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving fast or slow, if you’re at high altitudes or in Death Valley, it still works. The needle of the compass always points north.

It can’t help it: it is naturally oriented to the north pole. Whether it’s pitch-black outside, or 40 degrees below zero; whether you feel like north is “north” or not, the needle will always point its way back to north.

Jesus could be cheered by the crowds or jeered by them. People could shout “Hosanna!” or “Crucify Him!” The weather could be calm or stormy, His disciples could be courageous or scared to death, and still Jesus was oriented to His Father.

Every word Jesus said, every action He undertook, every lesson He taught, every prayer He prayed was God-oriented.

But not only that, even as much as people ridiculed Him, snubbed Him, rejected Him, or denied Him, Jesus was still people-focused. After being so cruelly treated, I think I may have turned from some people, or even turned on some people with some not-so-kind words. I may have even begun to withdraw from people. But despite the way people mistreated Him, Jesus remained lovingly people-focused (see 1 Peter 2:21-23).

Jesus us told us that if we stand for Him, we will be mistreated as well (see Luke 21:17 and John 15:20). But He also told us there was a reward for that mistreatment (see Matthew 5:11-12).

When asked what the greatest of all the commandments was, Jesus replied that it was to be God-focused and people-oriented

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

So a good check-up question for us all: How am I doing at being God-oriented and people-focused, no matter what the circumstances are?

Counterculture Christian

I’ve been pondering these quotes for the past few days. They describe a view of Christianity that is biblical, but highly countercultural. What do you think?

C.H. Spurgeon“If we obey the Lord, He will compel our adversaries to see that His blessing rests upon us. … It is for saints to lead the way among men by holy influence: they are not to be the tail, to be dragged hither and thither by others. We must not yield to the spirit of the age, but compel the age to do homage to Christ.” —Charles Spurgeon


Tozer“I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.” —A.W. Tozer


C.S. Lewis at his desk“The symbols under which Heaven is presented to us are (a) a dinner party, (b) a wedding, (c) a city, and (d) a concert. It would be grotesque to suppose that the guests or citizens or members of the choir didn’t know one another. And how can love of one another be commanded in this life if it is to be cut short at death?” —C.S. Lewis

Links & Quotes

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These are links to some interesting quotes and news stories I was reading this weekend.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder still thumbing his nose at the law he has sworn to uphold.

Apparently it’s more important to win games than it is for student athletes to get an education. Check out this whistleblower report.

[VIDEO] Congressman Bruce Braley thinks only lawyers are qualified to serve in Congress … certainly not “a farmer … from Iowa” !

“May God raise up more ministers like William Booth, who support gospel proclamation with practical ministry to those who need it most.” Amen! Check out this great article about Salvation Army founder William Booth.

The Hollywood movie Noah has been called “the least biblical biblical movie ever made” by its director Darren Aronofsky. But check out this article: The Folly Of What Noah Preached.

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.” —Rick Warren

Tell your Congressional representative and senator not to turn control of the internet over to the U.N.

Glad to see that World Vision reversed their decision on same sex couples.

“I fear John Knox’s prayers more than an army of ten thousand men.” —Mary Queen of Scots

Astronomers have found a new planet! Think what else the Creator has out there for us to discover…. “It goes to show that there’s something we don’t know about our Solar System, and it’s something important,” says co-discoverer Chad Trujillo.

Poetry Saturday—How Did You Die?

Edmund Vance CookeDid you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?


You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there—that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,
It’s how did you fight—and why?


And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die? —Edmund Vance Cooke


Invocation

Yesterday I was so honored to be able to offer the invocation for the Michigan House of Representatives as the guest of Rep. Pete MacGregor. It was an amazing experience!

(L-R) Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, me, Rep. Pete MacGregor

(L-R) Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, me, Rep. Pete MacGregor

At the Speaker's rostrum offering the invocation

At the Speaker’s rostrum offering the invocation

 

Almighty God,

Your Word, the Bible, tells us that “the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes” [Daniel 4:25]. And that “there is no authority except that which God has established” [Romans 13:1]. This is why the Apostle Paul said, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone … for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior” [1 Timothy 2:1-3].

Heavenly Father, the issues before this body of elected representatives today are not unknown to You. Neither are the House members who will be discussing these issues unknown to You. You have established both the authority and the persons of authority in this great chamber today.

Therefore, it is well and good, and pleasing to You, that I humbly ask for wisdom for Your servants. You have told us that wisdom will be “given generously” to all who ask You for it [James 1:5]. And that by Your wisdom officials “rule wisely” [Proverbs 8:15]. Give these members of the House such wisdom to deliberate and to decide in a fashion that pleases Your righteousness and Your justice.

In the Name of Your Son Jesus I pray. Amen.

7 Quotes From “Discipleship In Crisis”

Discipleship In CrisisCheck out my review of Discipleship In Crisis by Frank Viola by clicking here. Below are a few quotes which I found especially highlighter worthy.

“The presupposition that sits underneath virtually every sermon heralded today and most of the Christian books that fill bookstores is that we can live the Christian life if we just try hard enough. If we study our Bible more, pray more, witness more, tithe more, hear more sermons… then we can be like Jesus. But that’s not the gospel. The gospel teaches that just as Jesus couldn’t do anything of Himself, we can’t do anything of ourselves. Listen to the Lord again: ‘Without Me you can do nothing.’ The Christian life is impossible. It’s only Him-possible.” 

“The goal of the gospel is not to get you out of hell and into Heaven, but to get God out of Heaven and into you.”

“A person who is living by the tree of life doesn’t sit back and say, ‘Let me try to do good and avoid evil.’ Instead, he allows the life of God to flow with in and through him. He yields to the instincts, promptings, and energy of that God-life. … You see, ‘good’ is a form of life. And only God is good. Here are the two choices before you today: (1) The choice to intellectually know good from evil and to try to do good = the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; (2) Living by the life of God, which is goodness itself = the tree of life.”

“The only way you and I can truly imitate Jesus’ external lifestyle is to imitate His internal relationship with His Father.”

“What history teaches us is that men have never learned anything from it.” —G.W.F. Hegel

“In a word, you cannot raise the bar on discipleship without raising the bar on the ekklesia—the living experience of the body of Christ—the native habitat in which true disciple-making and transformation take place.”

“The New Testament talks about spiritual seeing, spiritual touching, spiritual tasting, spiritual handling, and spiritual healing. These are the faculties of your Spirit-regenerated human spirit. Jesus was very much in touch with His spiritual instincts, and hence, He ‘perceived’ things ‘in His spirit’ that were outside natural means. He did this as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit, not because He was God.”

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