Links & Quotes

Dan Reiland shares 5 reasons leaders stumble and fall.

Max Lucado addresses the sickening news of sexual abuse coverups in the church. He wrote, “[Jesus] defended the weak, stood up for the forgotten. The idea that His church would be unsafe for His sons and daughters disturbs Him deeply. And you can bet your Bible that He’ll turn a few tables. If history teaches us anything it is this: Jesus will not sit idle while His church drifts from His cause. ‘I will rescue My flock from their mouths,” He declared through a prophet. ‘It will no longer be food for them’ (Ezekiel 34:10). 

“Repentance is necessary; heartfelt, tear-stained, face-on-the floor repentance. By all of us in positions of leadership. Will we see it? I pray so. Regardless, I pray that you will pursue the difficult path of seeking Christ in spite of Christians who have let you down. His pastors have failed to pastor. But when they don’t, He still does. Let Him pastor you.”

Darren Carlson wrote, “Healthy pastors experience the fullness and complexity of their emotions, and then hold them up against the sinlessness of Christ. How might Jesus respond to the pain and loss and victory and neediness in front of me? We grow emotionally as leaders by studying the heart of Jesus as he walks among sinners and sufferers.” His post ‘Healthy Pastors Have Emotions: How to Test and Cultivate Your Feelings’ is an excellent read. I explore the emotional health of shepherd pastors in my book.

Nicky Cruz’s story is a fascinating one. His message for America today should be heeded!

My friend Greg Heeres and I had a helpful discussion about leaders and forgiveness on our Craig And Greg Show podcast. Here is a brief snippet:

Thursdays With Spurgeon—Prayer Preparation And Prayer Expectation

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

Prayer Preparation And Prayer Expectation

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3) 

     Do we not miss very much of the sweetness and efficacy of prayer by a want of careful meditation before it, and hopeful expectation after it? … We too often rush into the presence of God without forethought or humility. We are like people who present themselves before a king without a petition, and what wonder is it that we often miss the end of prayer? We should be careful to keep the stream of meditation always running, for this is the water to drive the mill of prayer. … Prayer without fervency is like hunting with a dead dog, and prayer without preparation is hawking with a blind falcon. Prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit, but He works by means. God made man, but He used the dust of the earth as a material. The Holy Ghost is the Author of prayer, but He employs the thoughts of a fervent soul as the gold with which to fashion the vessel. Let our prayers and praises be not the flashes of a hot and hasty brain but the steady burning of a well-kindled fire.

From Spurgeon And The Psalms

Sadly, I think we’ve become so accustomed to instant-everything in our society that it has seriously limited our prayer life. We walk into our prayer closet without an idea of what we’re going to pray, rattle off a few requests, say “Amen,” and walk out of our prayer closet exactly the same as we walked in. 

There is certainly help for us when we are so distressed—so at our wits’ end—that we don’t even know what to pray, but this is not what David is saying in Psalm 5. David is making it a regular practice to come into God’s presence with his requests at the ready, and he is walking away from his prayer time in eager expectation of God’s soon-to-be-realized answers. 

The Amplified Bible says, “I prepare a prayer…and watch and wait for You to speak to my heart.” 

I think it is a good idea for us to:

As Spurgeon said, “Let our prayers and praises be not the flashes of a hot and hasty brain but the steady burning of a well-kindled fire.”

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