Links & Quotes

link quote

“While it’s true we need to shape up our practice of the faith, now is no time for shying away from engagement for the Gospel. Now is the favorable time for Christians to declare and defend the Christian worldview. Now is the day of salvation, and all believers must be diligent in proclaiming the Good News at every opportunity and by every means.” —T.M. Moore

“If you tell the world that Jesus is your Lord, your Savior and your Healer, a God Who can perform the impossible, they will watch to see how you react in impossible situations. Their eyes are glued to everyone who boasts of God’s goodness, power and glory. And the devil looks on, too, hoping our faith will fail.” —David Wilkerson

“There is a great God of grace Who magnifies His own infinite self-sufficiency by fulfilling promises to helpless people who trust Him. And there is a power that comes from prizing this God that leaves no nook and cranny of life untouched. It empowers us to love in the most practical ways.” —John Piper

“When your ethnicity is heaven, then all adversity offers the gift of intimacy, driving you into the home of His heart.” ―Ann Voskamp

Spiritual leaders need to be emotionally healthy. Peter Scazzero has written a couple of books on this topic, and I believe this interview will entice you to check out his books.

Ty Cobb is hands-down my favorite Detroit Tiger (maybe even my all-time favorite baseball player). He has gotten a bad rap from shoddy reporting. A Terrible Beauty is on my Amazon wish list (hint, hint!), and here is a cool interview with the book’s author Charles Leerhsen.

Jesus encouraged His followers to be childlike in their innocence and wonder. Here’s a great post to help us do that: How Not To Be A Boring Adult.

[VIDEO] Bobby Conway gives a good explanation of an important piece of church history: The Apostles Creed—

C.S. Lewis On Spiritual Feelings

Someone wrote to C.S. Lewis about the profound and moving spiritual experience they had just experienced, and wondered what Lewis thought about it. His reply is very insightful—

C.S. Lewis at his desk“It is quite right that you should feel that ‘something terrific’ has happened to you (it has) and be ‘all glowy.’ Accept these sensations with thankfulness as birthday cards from God, but remember that they are only greetings, not the real gift. I mean, it is not the sensations that are the real thing. The real thing is the gift of the Holy Spirit which can’t usually be—perhaps not ever—experienced as a sensation or emotion. The sensations are merely the response of your nervous system. Don’t depend on them. Otherwise when they go and you are once more emotionally flat (as you certainly will be quite soon), you might think that the real thing had gone too. But it won’t. It will be there when you can’t feel it. May even be most operative when you can feel it least.” —C.S. Lewis (emphasis added)

The spiritual experiences are great, but let them use you to turn to the Bible to find the facts behind your experience. Lewis is quite right that feelings come and go, but the Holy Spirit never does.

Liquid Leadership (book review)

Liquid LeadershipIn Liquid Leadership, Brad Szollose proposes to teach leadership principles for those who have younger employees, or for those who lead organizations that need to relate to a younger demographic. Brad says that liquid leaders are able to flow effortlessly between older and younger generations.

Brad’s seven laws say that a liquid leader…

  1. …places people first.
  2. …cultivates an environment where it is free and safe to tell the truth.
  3. …nurtures a creative culture.
  4. …supports reinvention of the organization.
  5. …leads by example.
  6. …takes responsibility.
  7. …leaves a lasting legacy.

I agree with all of these points: not just for “liquid leaders” but for all leaders. If leadership principles (or laws, as Brad calls them) are true, then they are also applicable in every setting: Gen Y or Baby Boomer, for-profit or charity, Western or Eastern.

The “meat” of Liquid Leadership comes in the opening chapter, with the remaining chapters consisting primarily of Brad’s personal experiences, or his observations of other success/failure stories, to help bolster his point.

If you are looking for a book with good stories to make your case for leadership, check this out. But if you are looking for a book about serious leadership development, look elsewhere.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“The marvelous thing about spiritual wealth is that when we take our part in that, everyone else is blessed; whereas if we refused to be partakers, we hinder others from entering into the riches of God.” —Oswald Chambers

“Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments. To rehearse His accomplishments is to discover His heart. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread.” —Max Lucado

“We can choose to define ourselves (our smarts, our brand, our character) on who rejects us. Or we can choose to focus on those that care enough to think we matter. Carrying around a list of everyone who thinks you’re not good enough is exhausting.” —Seth Godin

U.S. Congressmen have already introduced a bill to protect our First Amendment rights in light of the latest Supreme Court ruling.

G.K. Chesterton’s Fence

Some words well worth considering…

G.K. Chesterton“In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, ‘I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.’ To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: ‘If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.’

“This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, or that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.” —G.K. Chesterton

10 Blessings From Obeying God’s Word

Wonderful WordThe entire 119th Psalm is a love song to God for His amazing Word. Quite simply it is “far exceeding anything conceived by man” (v. 129, AMP) and “a miracle Word” (v. 129, MSG).

In the 8-verse section called Pe, the psalmist says, “I can’t think of any better response to Your Word than to obey it!” In Pe, here are ten blessings that come with that obedience—

  1. Light … this is the discernment that allows for the “Aha!” revelations of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Understanding … the blessing of comprehending what God is saying to us.
  3. Longings fulfilled … nothing but God’s Word will ever satisfy like God’s Word!
  4. More clearly seeing God’s face as He shines upon us.
  5. God’s mercy and favor.
  6. A greater understanding of God’s love.
  7. Secure paths that keep us from sin’s snares.
  8. Freedom from satan’s extortions … this is literally what the phrase redeem me from the oppression means in verse 134.
  9. Greater obedience.
  10. Learning God’s Word so that I can teach it to others.

The psalmist also gives us good insight into how to respond to those who reject God’s Word: Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey Your instructions” (v. 136). With all the blessings that come from obeying God’s wonderful law, why would you ever want to try to live any other way?!

I will be continuing our series on Psalm 119 this Sunday. If you are in the area, I would love to have you join us!

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Reason can engage the conversation; winsomeness can set the tone; patient listening can earn the right to be heard; but only divine revelation—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—is powerful to break the hold of the Lie and open someone’s heart to the truth of God.” —T.M. Moore

“I am sure, whenever we see Christ, we ought to remember the deluge of wrath from which He has delivered us, the flames of hell from which He has saved us; and so, humbly bowing ourselves in the dust, let us love, and praise, and bless His name.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Remember: ‘I cannot turn one hair black or white: but I can brush my hair daily and go to the barber at regular intervals.’ In other words we must divert our efforts from our general condition or frame of mind (which we can’t alter by direct action of the will) to what is in our power—our words and acts. Try to remember that the ‘bottomless sea’ can’t hurt us as long as we keep on swimming.” —C.S. Lewis

Hey, fellas: Mark Merrill has a great suggestion of 10 texts to send your wife.

When Yonggi Cho began holding services in May 1958 in Seoul, South Korea, he couldn’t have known what God would do through his ministry. Only five people attended the first service, held in the home of a friend. However, the small gatherings grew in size, ultimately developing into the largest Christian congregation in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church, an Assemblies of God church with over 700,000 members.” Read more about Pastor Cho in From Buddhism To Christ.

George O. Wood is the General Superintendent for the Assemblies of God. In light of last week’s Supreme Court decision, he sent out a letter that I really appreciated. Here is how the letter closes: “I close with three words of pastoral advice—First, to Assemblies of God ministers: Politics reflects culture, and culture reflects religion. If you are concerned with the political drift of American culture, preach the gospel! As it sends out roots in the lives of believers, the seeds of the Gospel will change hearts and minds. Second, to Assemblies of God adherents: You are privileged citizens of a blessed nation. Use your citizenship well! Seek the common good. Advocate for the last, the lost, and the least. Speak the truth in love. And vote for candidates and issues that reflect a biblical perspective. The difference in so many conflicts in American politics and culture turns on who turns out to vote. Third, to all Christians: If you are troubled with the Supreme Court’s decision, keep perspective! In this and every other matter, always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33). Let us all pray for a great spiritual awakening in our country!”

Poetry Saturday—The Privileges Of The Living

Isaac WattsAwake, my zeal, awake, my love,
To serve my Savior here below,
In works which perfect saints above
And holy angels cannot do.

Awake my charity, to feed
The hungry soul, and clothe the poor:
In heaven are found no sons of need,
There all these duties are no more.

Subdue thy passions, O my soul!
Maintain the fight, thy work pursue,
Daily thy rising sins control,
And be thy victories ever new.

The land of triumph lies on high,
There are no foes t’ encounter there:
Lord, I would conquer till I die,
And finish all the glorious war.

Let every flying hour confess
I gave Thy gospel fresh renown;
And when my life and labor cease,
May I possess the promis’d crown. —Isaac Watts

Links & Quotes—Special Supreme Court Issue

link quote

Our culture has become one of soundbites, and the ability to listen to an argument and counter-argument is becoming a rare quality indeed. I have seen the headlines today and I have heard the 10-second soundbites, but reading the Court’s decision in full has been most educational. Read it for yourself here. The biggest concern I have in this decision was stated by Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent—

“Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create ‘liberties’ that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

And Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissenting opinion stated another truth—

“If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

Something can be legal, and still be immoral (does anyone remember slavery?). The Supreme Court of the United States can define (or re-define) legislative matters, but ultimate moral authority doesn’t belong to those nine justices; it belongs with God and His revealed will in the Bible. Despite what the Supreme Court says, God still has the final word on how marriage is defined.

Ryan T. Anderson gives us some counsel on how to respond to the Court’s decision.

John Piper’s commentary is brilliant—So-Called Same Sex Marriage: Lamenting The New Calamity.

Here is a good way for Christians to respond: “We must always remember that those who traffic in lies are image-bearers of God and objects of His love. But they are ‘defiled’—that’s Paul’s word—both in their thinking and in their values. The Lie has made such an impression on some people that it has taken over their thinking, desires, values, and choices. Such people do not need our condemnation; instead, they need patience, gentleness, and probably a series of extended conversations if they’re ever going to break out of the web of lies in which they have become ensnared. … Thus we need to make sure that our hearts are saturated with love for those we intend to confront, in order to issue a sharp rebuke and, hopefully, gain them for the faith of Christ.” —T.M. Moore

Links & Quotes

link quote

“What does ‘every need of yours’ mean in view of Philippians 4:19? It means ‘all that you need for God-glorifying contentment.’ Paul’s love for the Philippians flowed from his contentment in God, and his contentment flowed from his faith in the future grace of God’s infallible provision.” —John Piper

“Sometimes we get into the habit of shutting our eyes to difficulty; that will not do: faith is not a fool, faith does not shut her eyes to difficulty, and then run head-foremost against a brick wall—never. Faith sees the difficulty, surveys it all, and then she says, ‘By my God will I leap over a wall’; and over the wall she goes.” —Charles Spurgeon

Here is a good way to stop the spread of pornography, child exploitation, and the sex slave trade: Be aware of what companies are on the Dirty Dozen List (these are companies that profit off of porn).

In light of the recent Supreme Court decisions (and some more on the way), Rev. Tim Dilena has a dead-on-target word for our judges.

I love the infographics and study tips that The Overview Bible Project prepares. Here is the latest one on Hosea. Do yourself a favor: go to Overview and subscribe!

[VIDEO] John Piper reminds us of the importance of getting into our Bibles—

%d bloggers like this: