Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

Thrilled for the pro-life victory in today’s Supreme Court ruling!

[VIDEO] This is a really straightforward explanation behind the horror of the Plan B pill that Hobby Lobby stood firm against providing.

“We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.” —Henry Ward Beecher 

“Whatever we may undertake with a sincere desire to promote His glory, we may comfortably pursue. Nothing is trivial that is done for Him.” —John Newton

“I would never follow a leader who doesn’t follow a leader.” —John Maxwell

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” —George Bernard Shaw

[VIDEO] Why didn’t anyone tell me that Star Wars’ Mark Hamill did the voice of Joker in the animated Batman series?!?

“Quiet heroes dot the landscape of our society. They don’t make the headlines, but they do sew the hemlines and check the outlines and stand on the sidelines. You won’t find their names on the Nobel Prize short list, but you’ll find their names on the carpool, and Bible teacher lists. They are parents! Heroes! Their kids call them mom. Dad. And these moms and dads, more valuable than all the executives and lawmakers, quietly hold the world together. Be numbered among them. Read books to your kids. Play ball while you can and they want you to. Make it your aim to watch every game they play, read every story they write, hear every recital in which they perform. Children spell love with four letters:  T-I-M-E. Not just quality time, but hang time, downtime, anytime, all the time! Cherish the children who share your name. Succeed at home first!” —Max Lucado

Dr. Tim Elmore has a great post called How Failure Can Be Your Kid’s Best Friend. And exciting news … he has a new book coming out! I cannot wait to read Twelve Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid.

 

“The cosmos exists to help you know God, the Maker. And the main message is that He is very great and that we are very small. We need to feel this greatness. We need to be able to say, ‘You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You’ (2 Samuel 7:22).” —John Piper

Altar To Alter

Altar to alterThe process of sanctification—or as I like remember the word: saint-ification—is the process whereby the Holy Spirit develops Christlike character in us. His process is immediate, personalized and ongoing. In other words, the Spirit is intimately and immediately involved in every aspect of our lives.

Christlikeness in us is described in the Bible with phrases like…

  • Being made new in the attitude of your minds; and putting on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24).
  • Conformed to the likeness of God’s Son (Romans 8:29).

The Holy Spirit is often portrayed as fire. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). This is because in order for Christlike character to be formed in us, that character will have to be forged in us. Forged in the Spirit’s fire.

Look at two examples:

  • Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character (Psalm 105:19).
  • Even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8).

Here’s what I’ve learned—

We must altar our lives so that the Holy Spirit can alter our lives.

Unless we yield to what the Holy Spirit wants to do with us, He cannot and will not bring about the changes that will lead to more Christlikeness being revealed in us.

It may be painful to altar our lives, but the Apostle Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

You altar, and then watch the Holy Spirit alter your life in a way that reveals God’s glory!

You’re Awesome!

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“You’re not important because of how many people know you; you’re important because you’re a child of God.” —Nick Vujicic

“You’re Mine!” —God

 

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“Therefore it is the duty of a brave man not to shut his eyes when anything threatens, but to put it before him and to search it out as it were in the mirror of his mind, and to meet the future with foreseeing thought, for fear he might afterwards have to say: This has come to me because I thought it could not come about. If misfortunes are not looked for beforehand, they quickly get a hold of us.” —Ambrose

Sad: The Presbyterian Church (USA) votes to NOT denounce infanticide. Seriously?!?

Turn off the tube: “The study involved more than 13,200 adults in Spain who were all college graduates, and were around 37 years old at the study’s start. Participants were followed for about eight years, over which there were 97 deaths. Those who watched three or more hours of TV a day were twice as likely to die over the study period, compared with those whose watched TV for one hour or less daily, the study found. And, oddly, even compared to other activities that are sedentary—like driving a car or using a computer—watching TV still appears to be deadlier.”

A good overview of ISIS in Iraq.

A challenging thought from Dr. Tim Elmore for anyone who works with students: Addictions: One Reason Not To Take The Easy Road.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” —William James 

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” —Peter Marshall

 

15 Quotes From “I Like Giving”

I Like GivingI Like Giving by Brad Formsma is a unique look at how to impact our communities. You can read my full book review by clicking here, but I strongly encourage anyone who wants to see their world changed to pick up a copy of this book. Below are some quotes I found thought-provoking in this book.

“Living generously is about giving your life to other people so that everything you do—whether it is your work, your charitable giving, or your contribution to your neighborhood—becomes both a gift to others and rewarding for yourself.” 

“Don’t make giving too big a project. Sometimes your best and most perfect gift might be as simple as a smile or a compliment. Maybe it’s paying for a stranger’s lunch.”

“Watch out for these nasty four-letter words: debt, fear, and busy. They steal the joy with the greatest of ease. Be aware of them as they compete with the nudge to do for others.” 

“The good news is that it’s never too late to give. If an opportunity comes your way and you don’t seize it, don’t get stuck in the downward spiral of regret. Smile, tell yourself all is well, and then ask for another one. If there are people around you, there will be more opportunities to give.”

“No matter how successful you are, it is giving your life away to others that makes you happy. … The right response, though, is not to shun success but to replace selfish ambition with other ambitions—doing things for others.” 

“Give daily, in small ways, and you will be happier. Give and you will be healthier. Give, and you will even live longer. … Giving protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease.” —Dr. Stephen Post

“Don’t let the occasional person who abuses the goodwill of others ruin your giving and deter you.”

“Compassion doesn’t mean giving every time, but when I give, I do it knowing that I’ve loved a fellow human being right where that person is, whether the money will be wasted or not.”

“One thing I’ve learned through the process is that I can’t force generosity. I can’t lead my family unless I’m going there myself. Simply keeping my eyes open for opportunities to give and ways to include the whole family sparks the idea in my kids. Kids are too young and innocent to believe they can’t be generous if they see adults living that way. … I never want to underestimate the example I am setting. My kids are watching how I live, and the choices I make have rippling effects down through the generations. I can choose to do nothing and let my children be swept up in the current of empty materialism that is rampant in our culture, or I can choose to live a different way by living generously.” 

“I don’t think we can ever overestimate just how profound the effects of giving can be. You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. The reality is that other people are watching how we live our lives, and what we do can have extraordinary effects in our communities. Generosity is for all of us. It is available to all of us, even when the cultural tide is moving in the opposite direction. Why not be brave and live differently?”

“Is weakness really that bad? Could it be that our specific weaknesses allow other people’s strengths to shine? Could it be that life sometimes throws us a curve that creates a need in our own lives? Once you experience the joy of giving, you realize that other people feel the same way when they give to you. Receiving might be harder than giving, but if you think about the joy the givers are receiving when they give to you, that will help you open up to receiving. You know that refusing the gift would deny them that joy.” 

“Focusing on what you don’t have or the bad hand you were dealt can actually make your life worse. What you think about affects who you become. It affects your relationships and the people you attract into your life. Keeping your focus on what you do have, what you have been given, and the good things in your life will make you happier and more grateful and will empower you to become a generous person yourself.”

“Often when we see someone in a bad situation, our natural response is to say, ‘Hey, if you need anything, let me know.’ Please don’t say that. Unknowingly you have put an added burden on the person. For some people the pressure is just too great, so they freeze and never respond. It’s a dangerous comment that produces a false sense of doing good. I encourage you to assess the situation and make something happen.”

“There are a lot of problems in the world. Sitting around talking about them or waiting for a large organization to do something about them doesn’t work. Finding opportunities to help others and change the world around us does work. We just have to take that scary step of actually doing something. We don’t need to overthink what we do. Sometimes we just know this is our opportunity to help. When we recognize an opportunity and dive in, amazing things happen! … So the question then becomes, are we willing? Will we decide to live generously and then be open to the opportunities that come our way?”

“You don’t have to make massive life changes, move to another city, or start your own nonprofit to become a gift to other people. You can start with who you are, right where you are, right now. In fact, you probably are already a gift to many people in many ways, but you might not always be aware of it.” 

 

Poetry Saturday—Pass It On

Pass it onHave you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
‘Twas not giv’n for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another’s tears;
Till in Heav’n the deed appears,
Pass it on.

Pass it on, pass it on!
Cheerful word of loving deed,
Pass it on,
Live for self, you live in vain;
Live for Christ, you live again,
Live for Him, with Him you reign.
Pass it on.

Did you hear the loving word?
Pass it on;
Like the singing of a bird?
Pass it on;
Let its music live and grow,
Let it cheer another’s woe;
You have reaped what others sow,
Pass it on.

Have you found the heav’nly light?
Pass it on;
Souls are groping in the night,
Daylight gone, daylight gone!
Hold your lighted lamp on high,
Be a star in someone’s sky,
He may live who else would die,
Pass it on. —Henry Burton

Bold Pastors

A.W. TozerI want to be this kind of pastor that A.W. Tozer describes! What about you, my dear pastor?

“The Church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men…. We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within—or from above. This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.” —A.W. Tozer

What stood out to you in this quote?

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading from today…

“Ask yourself—Is God justified in my justification? Do I prove by the way I live and talk and do my work that God has made me holy?” —Oswald Chambers

Keep praying and speaking out for Meriam Ibrahim’s freedom. Sudan has imprisoned her and sentenced her to death because she is a (gasp!) Christian.

“The economy shrank for the first time in 58 years! Many of you, this has never happened in your life. The Drive-By Media, of course, is going to ignore this. Or, as the AP does here, say, “The setback is expected to be temporary with growth rebounding solidly since spring.’ Really? Well, every Drive-By news report I’ve read on the economy for the past six years has had the word ‘unexpected’ or ‘surprised’ in it, meaning everything they’ve reported has been a shock. They haven’t expected it. So it’s no big deal. Yeah, it shrank 3%. But that’s just expected to be temporary. … And so, for I don’t know what—the umpteenth or gazillionth time in the last six years—we are being told that prosperity is just around the corner. How long has AP been spreading this sunshine now? How long have ABC, NBC, CBS, the Washington Post, the New York Times been spreading this BS that prosperity is just around the corner—we’re poised for growth, waiting to break out—while the day-to-day reality is it’s worsening?” —Rush Limbaugh

Do you take vitamin supplements? This latest report says you should, and it says you shouldn’t.

Lower courts make a ruling on redefining marriage that is just flat-out wrong.

“Joy is increased by spreading it to others.” —Robert Murray McCheyne

“satan will try to bring upon you the most dreadful temptation or trial you have ever faced. He wants you to get bogged down in guilt, condemnation and self-examination. Dear saint, you have to arise in the Spirit and get your eyes off your circumstances and bondage. Do not try to figure it all out. Start praising, singing and trusting God—and He will take care of your deliverance.” —David Wilkerson

Alexander Solzhenitsyn tells us why countries fail: “Men have forgotten God.” Read more here.

Thursdays With Oswald—Character Development

Oswald ChambersThis 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.

Character Development 

     God can put a saint into a right relationship with Himself, but He cannot make him work out that relationship, the saint must do that himself. … 

     God alters our disposition, but He does not make our character. When God alters my disposition the first thing the new disposition will do is to stir up my brain to think along God’s line. As I began to think, begin to work out what God has worked in, it will become character. Character is consolidated thought. God makes me pure in heart; I must make myself pure in conduct.

From Conformed To His Image 

I like to think of the word sanctification this way: saint-ification. Through His Holy Spirit, God is making me a saint, by making it possible for me to demonstrate Christlike conduct.

Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to make a saint out of you? What’s holding you back?

(If you are in the Cedar Springs area this Sunday, I will be talking more about the Holy Spirit’s role in this saint-ification process. Please join me!)

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading (and watching) from today…

GREAT NEWS! The FBI rescued 168 child victims of sex trafficking.

John Maxwell talks about the value of concentration.

“Don’t fornicate with your body. Worship with your body. The Apostle Paul even says that the body is a temple, that is, a place of worship. The body is a place for meeting God, not prostitutes. This doesn’t mean sex is bad. It means that sex is precious. Too precious to be treated cheaply. God means that we put it in a very secure and sacred place—marriage. There it becomes the expression of the love between Christ and the church. It shows the glory of the intensity of God’s love for His people. It becomes worship. ‘Glorify God in your body.’ And not doing sex outside marriage also shows the preciousness of what it stands for. So chastity is worship.” —John Piper, commenting on 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Here’s a piece of advice: admit it when you mess up. Don’t lie or plead ignorance. Don’t try to make yourself out to be a victim. And above all, don’t throw your wife (or anyone else) under the bus. If you did it, own it. Any other choice will lead you into deeper problems than you already have, both in the here and now and the hereafter.” Read more from Mark Atteberry in his post The IRS Scandal: Eden Revisited.

[VIDEO] …speaking of the IRS scandal, Rep. Trey Gowdy grills IRS commissioner John Koskinen.

Some fascinating statistics that show a stable marriage leads to better performance in school for kids, and more stable employment options after school: How Churches Can Bridge The Marriage Divide.

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