Links & Quotes

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“Is it not said in Scripture, ‘If any man sin, we have an Advocate’? Why is Christ an advocate today? Only because we want an advocate every day. Does He not constantly intercede yonder before the eternal throne? Why does He do that? Because we want daily intercession. And it is because we are constantly sinning that He is constantly an advocate, constantly an intercessor.” —Charles Spurgeon

“The only right a Christian has is the right to give up his rights.” —Oswald Chambers

“Unbelief hinders Christ from working those works which show the glory. It seems a strange saying, and one which we could not have ventured to utter had it not been written down for us by inspired men. That a child’s hand held up against the sun should hinder it from shining; that a weathered leaf thrown into a stream should stay its flowing or dry up its source; that the breath of man, breathed up against the sky, should quench the light of its myriad stars—these things would not really be so marvelous as that man’s unbelief should prevent God’s power from being sent forth, and the Son of God from doing those things which would reveal the glory of the Father. Yet we find the strange truth thus recorded. The evangelist Matthew thus writes, ‘He did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief’ (13:58); and Mark uses still stronger language, ‘He could there do no mighty work, saving that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk and heal them; and He marveled because of their unbelief ‘(6:5, 6).” —Horatius Bonar

A really nice story about our church’s move.

Despite what some people want to teach, here are 24 reasons to believe Hell is a reality.

George Muller was a faith giant. But check out what John Piper writes about him: Muller did not have the gift of faith.

Jon Bloom writes, “If we want to really know what’s going on in the world, we cannot depend on CNN or FoxNews. We will keep our eyes on the global church. She is at the center of history,” in his post entitled America’s one enduring legacy in history.

[VIDEO] Does free speech offend you?

Why Revival Tarries

Leonard Ravenhill“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shopwindow to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.

“Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.

“The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer-the highest ministry of all human offices—is open to all. Spiritual adolescents say, ‘I’ll not go tonight, it’s only the prayer meeting.’ It may be that satan has little cause to fear most preaching. Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying. Modern Christians know little of ‘binding and loosing,’ though the onus is on us-—‘Whatsoever ye shall bind….’ Have you done any of this lately? God is not prodigal with His power; but to be much for God, we must be much with God.

“This world hits the trail for hell with a speed that makes our fastest plane look like a tortoise; yet alas, few of us can remember the last time we missed our bed for a night of waiting upon God for a world-shaking revival. Our compassions are not moved. We mistake the scaffolding for the building. Present-day preaching, with its pale interpretation of divine truths, causes us to mistake action for unction, commotion for creation, and rattles for revivals.

“The secret of praying is praying in secret. A sinning man will stop praying, and a praying man will stop sinning. We are beggared and bankrupt, but not broken, nor even bent.

“Prayer is profoundly simple and simply profound. ‘Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try,’ and yet so sublime that it outranges all speech and exhausts man’s vocabulary. A Niagara of burning words does not mean that God is either impressed or moved. One of the most profound of Old Testament intercessors had no language ‘Her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.’ No linguist here! There are ‘groanings which cannot be uttered.’

“Are we so substandard to New Testament Christianity that we know not the historical faith of our fathers (with its implications and operations), but only the hysterical faith of our fellows? Prayer is to the believer what capital is to the business man.

“Can any deny that in the modern church setup the main cause of anxiety is money? Yet that which tries the modern churches the most, troubled the New Testament Church the least. Our accent is on paying, theirs was on praying. When we have paid, the place is taken; when they had prayed, the place was shaken!

“In the matter of New Testament, Spirit-inspired, hell-shaking, world-breaking prayer, never has so much been left by so many to so few. For this kind of prayer there is no substitute. We do it—or die!” —Leonard Ravenhill,  from his book Why Revival Tarries

Making Hearts Burn

Living WordThere is an interesting line the angels speak to the ladies who came to anoint Christ’s dead body in the tomb: “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5).

That phrase sums up much of our culture. People are looking for life, but they are looking for it among dead things. Wise King Solomon wrote that God has placed a God-shaped void in the heart of every human being (Ecclesiastes 3:11). But Solomon went on to say that anything “under the sun” that we try to use to fill that God-void will be utterly meaningless.

Peter wrote to aliens and strangers about living such good lives that will point people to God. This means Christians need to help people who are looking for the living among the dead see that real life is in Christ. To do this, we need to be immersed in the Living Word of God.

In the conversations after Christ’s resurrection, look at the references to God’s Living Word:

  • Remember how He told you … Then they remembered His words (Luke 24:6-8)
  • what was said in all the Scripture concerning Himself… (Luke 24:27)
  • …written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms … so they could understand the Scriptures ( Luke 24:44-45)

There is life in God’s Word! When the two disciples of Jesus remembered His Living Word, they said their hearts burned inside them (Luke 24:32).

If you want to help those searching for life to find it, let them hear God’s Living Word coming from your lips. This will make their hearts burn, and lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

We will be continuing our series on Aliens And Strangers this Sunday, and I’d love to have you join me either in-person or on Periscope (search for @craigtowens).

Links & Quotes

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At age 38, after playing 20 years for the Detroit Tigers, Ty Cobb had an amazing performance in the 1925 season.

“Everything you do is either going to raise your average or lower it. The next hire. The quality of the chickpeas you serve. The service experience on register 4. Each interaction is a choice. A choice to raise your average or lower it. Progress is almost always a series of choices, an inexorable move toward mediocrity, or its opposite.” —Seth Godin

Fight The New Drug shares 3 things that pornography doesn’t show.

“If Margaret Sanger had her way, MLK and Rosa Parks would never have been born,” said [Bishop E.W.] Jackson. “It’s an outrage the national museum would honor such a person and add insult to injury by putting her in the Struggle for Justice exhibit.” Margaret Sanger’s bust should be removed from the Smithsonian.

Married couples, have more sex to help slash the chances of prostate cancer.

Murray Vassar finds a very appropriate connection between what Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and what is happening with Planned Parenthood.

So House Speaker John Boehner wants to build a coalition by calling a member of his own party this?!

12 Quotes From “JumpStart Your Growth”

JumpStart Your GrowthJumpStart Your Growth is a companion book to The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth by John Maxwell. Check out my review of both of these books by clicking here. These are some of the quotes I appreciated from JumpStart.

“The time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be.” —Bruce Springsteen

“Growing involves admitting you don’t have the answers, and it requires that you get over any fear you may have of making mistakes or looking foolish. And I found that I had to get started if I wanted to find the best way. That is the price of admission if you want to improve.” —John Maxwell

“If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be, you have to start by becoming aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired destination.” —Darren Hardy

“No factor is more important in people’s psychological development and motivation than the value judgments they make about themselves. Every aspect of their lives is impacted by the way they see themselves.” —Nathaniel Branden

“You need to learn to become your own encourager. Every time you do a good job, don’t just let it pass; give yourself a compliment. Every time you choose discipline over indulgence, don’t tell yourself that you should have anyway; recognize how much you are helping yourself. Every time you make a mistake, don’t bring up everything that’s wrong with yourself; tell yourself that you’re paying the price for growth and that you will learn to do better next time. Every positive thing you can say to yourself will help.” —John Maxwell 

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

“If there is an area in your life that seems overwhelming to you—health, work, family, or something else—try chipping away at it a little bit every day instead of trying to tackle it all at once. … Discipline is a morale builder. Boost yours by taking small steps that will take you in a positive direction.” —John Maxwell 

“At the end of each day, you should play back the tapes of your performance. The results should either applaud you or prod you.” —Jim Rohn

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or to accept the responsibility for changing them.” —Denis Waitley 

“Rarely does a haphazard approach to anything succeed, and if it does, it’s not repeatable.” —John Maxwell

“Train yourself to fight for positive changes. Remember that your choices will lead to either the pain of self-discipline or the pain of regret.” —John Maxwell

“You can’t improve and avoid change at the same time.” —John Maxwell

The Hospital

C06C0E2718-1260x467I am reblogging this from Live Dead. I wonder how many Christians are really concerned about the truly sick? The Church should be a hospital for the sick and dying, and Christians everywhere should be rescuing those stumbling toward an eternity separated from God.

In a distant land of the decaying, I happened upon a hospital. There were many pseudo-hospitals, clinics and traditional healers scattered in the shadow of its mighty walls, but a quick inspection proved them dirty and inadequate.

I made my way into the hospital via a backdoor and climbed the stairwell to the top floor. I pushed the door open to the children’s ward and was repulsed by the smell. Children crowded three to a crib. Few if any of them diapered, and it was obvious they had wallowed in their own filth for some time. A cacophony of desperate tears erupted at my entrance. Infants with open lesions lifted their hands in desperate appeal. Others could not muster the strength to stretch out their weakened limbs and simply stared at me with a dull look.

I realized I needed to find the medical staff quickly and ran from the room to do so. Running down the stairs three at a time, I raced to the ward on the floor below me. I rushed in only to stop suddenly at its silence. The ward seemed to stretch interminably. Row after row of the aged stretched out like merging railroad tracks in the distance. They lay there mute and hopeless. On the horizon of that hall I thought I saw a solitary physician, but I would not swear it if under oath. I numbly spun on my heel and continued my search for doctors.

Floor after floor I descended the building and entered ward after ward that burst with the ill and wounded, largely absent of any healers. The horribly burned, maimed and suffering tossed listlessly on filthy sheets vainly waiting for medicine, comfort or cleaning.

I finally arrived on the ground floor. My pace had slowed to a walk by a mounting sense of despair. As I pushed open the ward door, I was smacked in the face by beauty. Fragrant smells wafted from freshly arranged flowers. Soothing music slipped from hidden speakers. The floor gleamed as if recently polished; bright sunshine beamed in the picture windows.

Hospital beds contained patrons smiling in comfort. Some were in critical condition while others appeared only to have minor abrasions or slight temperatures. The puzzling thing about the ward, however, was its activity. Hoards of doctors raced around like frenzied ants. Nurses, technicians and medical assistants jockeyed for elbowroom around each bed. As new patients trickled in, they were practically devoured by aggressive physicians, desperately trying to pull them to the empty bed of their responsibility. Patients seemed over medicated and triple bandaged.

I stopped a physician hurtling by me to join a throng of thirty gathered around one young man who had cut himself shaving. “Please, could you come with me?” I asked. “There are desperately sick patients on the upper floors!” “I would love to,” he replied, “but I have not been called to those floors.”

Another doctor bumped into me as she vainly tried to join a team who argued about who would get to operate on an ingrown fingernail. “Please, ma’am, it is urgent that we have more doctors upstairs,” I pleaded. She scalded me with her eyes, “Can you not see that there are sick people here as well?” I could of course, and I was not suggesting that all the doctors transfer, but couldn’t one or two?

I drifted towards another bustling group who gathered around a pleasant man explaining just how he would like his tummy tightened. “Excuse me, sir,” I asked one of the short doctors who struggled to see over the shoulders of those in front of him, “Could you possibly come help out on a needy floor?” He winced a little and muttered, “You know, I wish I could, but I am not cut out for that kind of stuff. I am glad you can do it, but…well…you know…I just can’t.” And he scuttled off to join a dozen doctors who were reading the chart of a nearby soul.

I tried several more times but was continually rebuffed. Every reason had a measure of truth. Every reason went further to ensure that those struggling for life on the floors above us would certainly die.

I climbed slowly back up the stairs. The music receded, the lovely fragrance faded. The hustle and bustle of clean, intelligent, capable doctors faded into the silence of desperation. I walked with a heavy heart down the silent halls of the neglected. I could not understand it.

I paused to hold the hand of a sufferer, and my tears joined his in anguished refrain. He took one last fragile breath. His eyes framed one last question. And then he passed into the ranks of the damned.

Links & Quotes

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“The spiritual life is life in Jesus Christ, our risen and reigning Savior and King. We are in Him and He is in us, and we are learning to desire Him and deny whatever keeps us from depending solely on Him for full and abundant life.” —T.M. Moore

“The Bible itself gives us one short prayer which is suitable for all who are struggling with the beliefs and doctrines. It is: ‘Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief [Mark 9:24].’” —C.S. Lewis

“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here…. [These] are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the ocean.” —Jonathan Edwards

Senator Ted Cruz calls on pastors to speak out about abortion: “Preaching from the pulpit biblical values on life and comparing those values, the teachings of Jesus, to this nationwide business of trafficking in the body parts of unborn children is a message that needs to be heard across this nation.”

When 200 retired US generals and admirals speak out on this Iranian deal, I would think our Senators should take notice.

Links & Quotes

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“It has pleased God to give each one of us the same amount of time each day, week, month, and year. Time is a gift of God, and He expects us to use it wisely, in ways that overcome the foolishness of living apart from God and glorify Him in all the details of our lives (Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:15-17; 1 Corinthians 10:31). … The challenge of the spiritual life is to claim all our time and construct all our activities in order to pursue what we desire as the life of following Jesus. Anything that doesn’t contribute to that objective distracts from it. … What do the time and activities of your life reveal about what you desire in life and what you’re depending on to give your life purpose and joy?” —T.M. Moore

If you haven’t checked out The Bible Project videos lately, please visit their YouTube channel. They have some really cool stuff that give you an overview of a book of the Bible, and some of the major themes in the Bible. Each video is only 5-7 minutes long, but there is a ton of good insight packed into that time.

“If God did not love us unconditionally, He would not penetrate our unattractive lives, bring us to faith, unite us to Christ, give us His Spirit, and make us progressively like Jesus.” —John Piper

“The Word of God is an expansive Word; ever widening its dimensions; growing upon us; never old, ever new; in which we make continual discoveries; the same tree, but ever putting forth new branches and leaves; the same river, but ever swelling and widening; losing none of its old water, yet ever receiving accessions.” —Horatius Bonar

Planned Parenthood’s love/hate relationship with science.

The Federalist shares 10 reasons it makes zero sense to support abortion.

Parents & teachers, check out what Tim Elmore says we often forget when we are helping our students solve problems.

More Planned Parenthood Madness

“Sometimes we ship a whole baby to the lab and the techs sorta freak out…ha! ha! ha!” says the woman who is profiting from these murders. So that’s what you find funny?! In some ways I don’t want anyone to see these videos, but it is vital that you are aware of what is going on.

Live Action shares 4 quotes from former abortionists who have now become pro-life. One doctor said, “And as I brought out the rib cage, I looked and I saw a tiny, beating heart. And when I found the head of the baby, I looked squarely in the face of another human being—a human being that I’d just killed. I turned to the scrub nurse and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ But I just knew that I couldn’t be a part of abortion anymore.” Thank God he changed his mind.

Now let’s keep sharing this gruesome information to change other hearts and minds too! We have got to keep changing minds, before the abortionists take all our brains…

Evolution of the American progressive

13 Quotes From “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”

Seeking Allah Finding JesusIf you want to know about Islam from an insider’s perspective, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi is simply a phenomenal book! Check out my book review by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I found quite educational.

“There is much division in Islam. The best determination of whether a man is Muslim is if he exclusively declares that Allah is God and Mohammad is Allah’s messenger. Beyond this point, there is great diversity in Islam.”

“There is no book of sharia. We must derive the law from a hierarchy of sources using a process of jurisprudence called fiqh. The first and greatest source is the Quran. Nothing can supersede the Quran because it is the word of Allah. But the Koran is not comprehensive. As Muslims, there is much we must do and believe that is not found in the Quran. For this, we go to the second source, hadith. The hadith elaborate and clarify what is found in the Quran, but they never contradict. There is no contradiction in Islam. If a hadith is found in any way to contradict the Quran, then it is inauthentic and must be disregarded. If no hadith can be found to clarify an issue, then we must turn to the third source of sharia: the ulema, Muslim scholars who are wise and experienced in Islam.”

“Muftis from different schools of thought have different precedents and therefore provide different fatwas. Each denomination differs on what hadith they consider accurate. Since the hadith are the second rung of sharia, these differences of opinion have real consequences. Many of the differences between the ways Sunnis and Shias practice Islam are over this very matter. Their books of hadith are disparate. This difference, combined with the Shia position regarding the authority of imams, results in a significantly different view of sharia. … Most Muslims do not know these things. They know Islam to the extent that they practice it, and these are matters for the learned.”

“Christians believe Jesus is God incarnate, and this is a necessary belief for orthodox Christianity. Muslims believe that Jesus is no more than a prophet, and to consider Him God incarnate would be blasphemy and would cause one to be condemned to hell eternally, according to the Quran.”

“Regarding Jesus, there are two issues on which Muslims particularly disagree with Christians: that Jesus died on the Cross and that Jesus claimed to be God. The Quran specifically denies both of these beliefs.” 

“Sahih Bukhari…is the most trustworthy book of hadith, compiled by Imam Bukhari. The hadith were not collected into the books until a long time after Mohammad’s death. Many false hadith had been fabricated, and it was difficult to determine which ones were accurate. Imam Bukhari sifted through five hundred thousand hadith and pick out the five thousand most accurate.”

“The earliest historical records show that Mohammad launched offensive military campaigns and used violence at times to accomplish his purposes. He used the term jihad in both spiritual and physical contexts, but the physical jihad is the one Mohammad strongly emphasizes. The peaceful practice of Islam hinges on later, often Western, interpretations of Mohammad’s teachings, whereas the more violent variations of Islam are deeply rooted in orthodoxy and history.”

“The Bible and the Quran were nothing alike. Not in the slightest. … Mohammad dictated the contents of the Quran to his scribes over a period of twenty-three years. Only after his death was the Quran collected into a book. Verses that had been dictated years or decades apart are frequently found side-by-side in the Quran, often with no obvious connection. The result is that Muslims placed relatively little weight on surrounding passages when trying to interpret sections of the Quran.”

“Almost everything Muslims know about Mohammad comes to them orally, rarely from primary sources. Unlike Christians learning about Jesus from the Bible, the Quran has very little to say about Mohammad.”

“Mohammad’s first biography, Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, comes down to our date only through the transmission of a later biographer, Ibn Hisham. In his introduction, Ibn Hisham explains that he altered the story of Mohammad’s life. ‘Things which it is disgraceful to discuss, matters which would distressed certain people, and such reports as [my teacher] (sic) told me he could not accept as trustworthy—all these things I have omitted.’”

“According to the hadith, Mohammad named four men as the best teachers of the Quran. The first one was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, whome Mohammad distinguished as the foremost expert of the Quran. The last one was Ubay ibn Ka’b, whom Sahih Bukhari identifies as the best reciter of the Quran. These were the men that Mohammad hand selected as the best teachers of the Quran, but as I studied the early sources, I found that they did not agree with the final Quran, which has been passed down as today’s version. They did not even agree with each other. … Ubay is known to have had 116 chapters in his Quran, two more than Zaid’s edition. Ibn Mas’ud had only 111 chapters in his Quran, insisting that the additional chapters in Zaid’s Quran and Ubay’s Quran were just prayers, not Quranic recitation.”

“In Islam, there is only one unforgivable sin, shirk, the belief that someone other than Allah is God. Shirk is specifically discussed in the context of Jesus in 5:72. He who believes Jesus is God, ‘Allah has forbidden Heaven for him, and his abode will be the Hellfire.’”

“All suffering is worth it to follow Jesus. He is amazing.”

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