Power Abuse

Then Zedekiah the king said, “Look, he is in your hand. For the king can do nothing against you” (Jeremiah 38:5).

Some schemers wanted to put Jeremiah the prophet to death (v. 4) and the king basically said, “Well, I have no power to stop you.”

What?! Isn’t Zedekiah the king?

Zedekiah was afraid of “bad press.” His officials said, “Jeremiah’s message is making us look bad,” so Zedekiah went along with them. Fortunately, Ebed-Melech wisely used the same tactic to rescue Jeremiah. He said, “King Zedekiah, if word gets out that Jeremiah has been so shamefully treated, you will look bad” (vv. 8, 9). So the king relented.

Even when Zedekiah wanted to talk to Jeremiah, he did so secretly (v. 16), and he even gave Jeremiah the “talking points” to say if anyone asked what they talked about (vv. 24-26).

What a spineless “leader”! 

Zedekiah was a position-only leader. John Maxwell rightly pointed out, “Power abuse occurs not only when evil leaders act out of selfishness, but when good leaders neglect to do what they should.” 

A mark of a godly leader is one who doesn’t abuse his power.

This is part 28 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.

Take Your Life Back (book review)

take-your-life-backStephen Arterburn and David Stoop say it’s quite simple—you are either living a reactive life or a responsive life. One keeps us trapped by our past or other people, and one sets us free to live life to the fullest. Arterburn and Stoop want you to Take Your Life Back.

Arterburn and Stoop vividly describe the childhood wounds and experiences that can lead to so many of us burying our real selves and living out of a reactive, false self that we believe others want to see. Then, using the imagery from the story of the Prodigal Son, they talk about how the younger son came home to address his concerns, and how the elder brother who never left home also had to come to grips with his woundedness.

To some extent or another, we all carry some sort of woundedness in our hearts—someone abused us, or let us down, or led us to believe that we weren’t valuable. The question now is: “Do I know my wound? Am I willing to admit to my wound? Am I willing to take the necessary steps toward healing and freedom?” Far too many people hide their wound and end up living restricted, reactive lives. But Arterburn and Stoop want to help lead you to confront your wound and take the necessary steps to live a free, responsive life.

Whether you have a wound in your life that you need to address, or you know someone close to you struggling with their woundedness, Take Your Life Back will be an invaluable resource. Stop letting your past or other people control and limit you, take your life back to live the abundant life God wants you to live!

I am a Tyndale book reviewer.

9 Quotes From “The Porn Circuit”

The Porn CircuitThe Porn Circuit is a marvelous ebook (and it’s a free download!) which shows the biological, emotional, and relational dangers of pornography. This is a great book to help protect you from the entanglements of porn, and it’s also a great help for those who want to break a porn addiction. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes that caught my eye.

“Between 14,500 and 17,500 sex slaves are trafficked into the US each year. Another 300,000 American children are at risk for trafficking each year.”

“Our biggest sexual organ rests between our ears. The brain is where we truly experience intimacy, pleasure, love, and satisfaction. But it is also where we create negative feelings, bad habits, destructive compulsions, and addictions.”

“People, unlike any other animal, were designed to have sex with their spirit, soul, and body, says sex addiction therapist Dr. Doug Weiss…. Porn not only leaves out the spirit and soul, but also the tenderness and love expressed through a spouse’s body, their words, their giving, and on and on. Unlike real intimacy, there are multiple parts missing from the pornography puzzle.”

“It should be no surprise that pornography use is correlated with a 318% increase in infidelity.”

“Though not true for everyone, many porn users find they need a greater amount or more intense porn to activate a state of arousal. The brain has decided after multiple porn excursions that this amount of dopamine is excessive. So it has reduced the amount of dopamine in response to porn, and it has reduced the number of dopamine receptors for the neural circuits associated with porn use. To escape this desensitization, people, and men especially, expand their pornographic tastes to more novel stimuli. What was once considered hard core…is now considered mundane.”

“Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with women are routed. The neural circuitry anchors this process solidly in the brain. … All women become potential porn stars in the minds of these men. They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly.” —Dr. Williams Struthers

“Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure. Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn’t like it.” —Dr. Norman Doidge

“Dr. Dolf Zillmann reports when young people are repeatedly exposed to pornography, it can have a long-lasting impact on their beliefs and behaviors. Frequently, men who habitually view pornography develop cynical attitudes about love and the need for affection between partners. They began to view the institution of marriage as sexually confining. Often, men develop a ‘tolerance’ for sexually explicit material, leading them to seek out more novel or bazaar material to achieve the same level of arousal.”

“You will never destroy an enemy you embrace.” —Dr. Doug Weiss

Coming soon: some quotes from The Porn Circuit to help you break free from pornography’s hold on your life.

Links & Quotes

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“Authority never comes from you, but from God through you, therefore let God introduce or withhold as He chooses.” —Oswald Chambers

“The best of men are men at best; and, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, and the power of divine grace, hell itself does not contain greater monsters than you and I might become.” —Charles Spurgeon

“The Bible is the grand repository … It is the complete system of divine truth, to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be taken, with impunity. Every attempt to disguise or soften any branch of this truth, in order to accommodate it to the prevailing taste around us, either to avoid the displeasure, or to court the favor, of our fellow mortals, must be an affront to the majesty of God, and an act of treachery to men.” —John Newton

“Seeking the Kingdom of God is not a matter of doing first things first. Seeking the Kingdom is not just the first thing on the Christian’s daily to-do list. Seeking the Kingdom is a first things always proposition, so that whatever is on our to-do list on any given day, seeking the Kingdom is the first things pursuit which defines and directs everything else we do.” —T.M. Moore

Eric Metaxas said, “Children are being sexually abused in Afghanistan, and our soldiers are being told to turn a blind eye. That’s got to stop.” Read more in his commentary Their Custom, Our Complicity.

In the style of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, Burk Parsons writes a letter to pastors.

A thought-provoking piece from Nancy Pearcey, in light of the Kim Davis situation and the Obergefell decision: The Bait-and-Switch Over Same-Sex ‘Marriage.’

Seth Godin points out, “Thinking of one’s self as a failure is not the same as failing.” Read more from On Feeling Like A Failure.

Links & Quotes

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“I want to be a soldier who is fully prepared for the battlefield. I know that victory is won long before the battle begins. It’s won in boot camp, in training and conditioning. When the enemy suddenly comes at me, I’m going to need all available ammunition, and that ammunition is supplied by the powerful Word of God as I hide it away in my heart. So, the next time the devil attacks, I’m confident I’ll have reserves to draw on. I’ll have won the battle alone with God, prior to the battlefield.” —David Wilkerson

“I know the math is impossible, but we certainly act as though the other person is the unreasonable one, no matter which side of the table he sits on.” —Seth Godin

The story goes that D.L. Moody arrived home late one evening from preaching a revival service. As the tired Moody climbed into bed, his wife asked, “So how did it go tonight?” Moody replied, “Pretty well, two and a half converts.” His wife smiled and said, “That’s sweet. How old was the child?” “No, no, no!” Moody answered, “it was two children and one adult! The children have their whole lives in front of them. The adult’s life is already half-gone.”

Eric Metaxas has a great reminder for Christians as they pass through this age: Exiles, Yes, But Engaged Exiles.

Boz Tchividjian shares an important article for anyone who works with kids: 4 ways to protect children from sexual abuse.

Porn & Human Trafficking

This is not cool…

Sex trafficking infographicClick the infographic to go to Fight The New Drug’s page where this was originally posted.

 

Links & Quotes

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FAM101-How-RFRA-Works-Infographic-R5“Based on the vitriol directed towards Indiana, one would never know that 19 states and the federal government already have a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) virtually identical to the one passed by the Hoosier state. One governor, Malloy of Connecticut, blasted Governor Pence even though Connecticut’s RFRA potentially goes further than Indiana’s in offering protections to people of faith. Companies such as Apple speak of boycotting Indiana while simultaneously opening stores in China and Saudi Arabia, places of real enslavement and discrimination. While most of the rhetoric is designed to intimidate other states from following Indiana’s lead, it is disturbing to see how many Americans places greater importance on sexual freedom and economic prosperity than they do on freedom of conscience.” ―Michigan Family Forum

Here’s a great infographic explaining how the RFRA really works.

The Barna Group has some research showing what Americans believe about Jesus.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Here are 5 signs that someone may have been (or is being) abused.

Interesting: research is showing that you might be healthier not getting a blood transfusion.

Seth Godin says, “Being really good is merely the first step. In order to earn word of mouth, you need to make it safe, fun and worthwhile to overcome the social hurdles to spread the word.” Read more in his post The Selfish Truth About Word Of Mouth.

[VIDEO] J. Warner Wallace and Bobby Conway discuss when you should stop looking at other religions…

 

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