Links & Quotes

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“How may I tell when satan hinders me? I think you may tell thus: first by the object. satan’s object in hindering us is to prevent our glorifying God. If anything has happened to you which has prevented your growing holy, useful, humble, and sanctified, then you may trace that to satan. If the distinct object of the interference to the general current of your life has been that you may be turned from righteousness into sin, then from the object you may guess the author.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Every step on satan’s ground deprives us of the security of the promises of God. Often has ruin followed by not refraining from the first step (cp. Mark 14:54, 71). The only safety is in flight (Genesis 39:10, 12). Run then into ’thy hiding-place, and behind thy shield,’ and boldly bid thy tempter ‘depart from thee’ (Psalm 119:114, 115; cp. Matthew 4:10).” —Charles Bridges

“The corruption of the first sinner consists not in choosing some evil thing (there are no evil things for him to choose) but in preferring a lesser good (himself) before a greater (God).” —C.S. Lewis

“We may think we’re living in dark days, that things are going from bad to worse, and there’s no end in sight. But the truth is just the opposite. satan is back on his heels, bound and reeling; the rulers of this world are deceived and deceiving; the Church is complacent, at least in the West, but always a spiritual tinder box, ready for a new spark of the Spirit; and the Kingdom of God is advancing wherever men and women cling to Jesus’ compelling vision and seek the Kingdom of God as their highest priority in life.” —T.M. Moore

“Science and research are proving that porn harms the brain, damages relationships, and is also linked to prostitution and sex trafficking. Porn is a fantasy that is proven to make it harder for users to have real loving relationships.” Read more reasons why pornography is harmful.

Pastors, check out Rev. Dave Barringer’s spot-on post: confronting the diva pastor.

Sheriff David Clarke has some facts that refute the “Black Lives Matter” chatter.

[VIDEO] Ted Cruz is exactly right. The media doesn’t care about substance, but about style—

Links & Quotes

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“Any fixing of the mind on old evils beyond what is absolutely necessary for repenting our own sins and forgiving those of others is certainly useless and usually bad for us.” —C.S. Lewis

“If I pay my debts in gold, no man can blame me because I do not pay them in silver; and if God gives you spiritual mercies in abundance, instead of temporal ones, He has heard your prayer.” —Charles Spurgeon

“We cannot manipulate God. He makes Himself and His glory known when He will, to whom He will, and in the measure He chooses according to His own pleasure and timing. He is not capricious, and He is not cruel. He waits to make His glory known to those who hope for it when the ‘dosage’ He applies will be precisely appropriate to the need in which we know it. So we must endure at the work of waiting on the Lord, because He knows better than we when and to what extent to bring us into His glory and love.” —T.M. Moore

J. Warner Wallace answers an important question: Would a loving God allow anything bad to happen?

4 reasons women cannot trust Planned Parenthood: (1) They lie to and manipulate women; (2) their business is death (abortion) not health care; (3) they cover-up rape, incest, and sex trafficking; and (4) they want to sell your aborted baby for profit.

GREAT NEWSthe Ohio Senate votes to defund Planned Parenthood!

Dave Barringer shares 6 actions that can turn your marriage around.

If you are battling an addiction, here are 2 underused strategies.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell has good counsel on overcoming barriers—

Links & Quotes

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“What a great responsibility God has laid upon us preachers of His gospel and teachers of His Word. In that future day when God’s wrath is poured out, how are we going to answer? How am I going to answer? I fear there is much we are doing in the name of the Christian church that is wood, hay and stubble destined to be burned up in God’s refining fire. A day is coming when I and my fellow ministers must give account of our stewardship: What kind of a gospel did we preach? Did we make it plain that men and women who are apart from Christ Jesus are lost? Did we counsel them to repent and believe?” —A.W. Tozer

“Prayer pursues God’s glory by treating Him as the inexhaustible reservoir of hope and help. In prayer, we admit our poverty and God’s prosperity, our bankruptcy and His bounty, our misery and His mercy.” —John Piper

“We love beauty with simplicity, and we love the pursuit of knowledge without effeminacy. We employee wealth properly, for use rather than for noisy display, and we do not consider poverty to be a disgrace but do regard it as shameful for someone not to seek to escape poverty through labor. We citizens of Athens care for both our own domestic concerns and for the affairs of state; those of us engaged in business are not lacking in understanding of public matters. For we alone consider those who avoid engagement in public affairs not as ‘uninvolved’ but as useless. And we, as we judge and reflect carefully on matters, do not consider words to be a hindrance to actions. Rather, the real hindrance to action is to enter into whatever must be done without taking forewarning through discussion.” —Pericles, speaking about Athenian culture, quoted in the Archaeological Study Bible

The serious mental health costs of watching pornography. Don’t be fooled: porn is dangerous!

Tim Dilena talks about the difference between truth and “viral fame” in this video.

Truth! Why marriage shouldn’t end your dating life.

I like Seth Godin’s thoughts on our vocabulary. “It’s not about knowing needlessly fancy words (but it’s often hard to know if the fancy word is needless until after you learn it). Your vocabulary reflects the way you think (and vice versa). It’s tempting to read and write at the eighth-grade level, but there’s a lot more leverage when you are able to use the right word in the right moment.” Read more in Does Vocabulary Matter?

“Playboy” Is Covering Up?!

Playboy logoPart of me wanted to cheer at the news that Playboy magazine will no longer publish pictures of nude women. But then I begin to ask myself, “Why would they do this?”

Here are some reasons they might be making this move…

1. Internet pornography is easier to access, cheaper to produce, and much more titillating than purchasing a magazine with pictures taken of professional models by professional photographers. 

The New York Times said, “For a generation of American men, reading Playboy was a cultural rite, an illicit thrill consumed by flashlight. Now every teenage boy has an Internet-connected phone instead. Pornographic magazines, even those as storied as Playboy, have lost their shock value, their commercial value and their cultural relevance.”

So basically internet pornography is putting a pornographic magazine on the ropes, because internet-produced porn is largely fueled by sex slaves.

2. Our porn-saturated society is no longer turned-on by the so-called “soft porn” that Playboy produced.

In their press release, Playboy CEO Scott Flanders said, “The political and sexual climate of 1953, the year Hugh Hefner introduced Playboy to the world, bears almost no resemblance to today. We are more free to express ourselves politically, sexually and culturally today…” (emphasis added). In another interview, Mr. Flanders said that nudity is “just passé at this juncture.” Nothing to see here!

So we now need to “express ourselves” more graphically in order to get the same sexual high than the generation before us.

3. Making Playboy a “PG-13” magazine helps legitimize the product.

The magazine will still feature pin-up centerfolds, but that doesn’t do anything to help with the objectification of women. In fact, it makes it worse. Making Playboy “safe for work” makes ogling scantily-clad women “acceptable” and “normal” for anyone who wants to lust.

Make no mistake about it, this is a plain-and-simple business move for Playboy. This does nothing to protect our society from the ravages of lust and pornography.

Speaking of which: if you struggle with lust or porn, here is a great resource to help you break free.

Links & Quotes

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“The warrior of God is not the man of muscle and a strong jaw, but the man of un-utterable weakness, the man who knows he has not any power; Jacob is no longer strong in himself, he is strong only in God, his life is no longer marked by striving, but by reliance on God. You cannot imitate reliance on God.” —Oswald Chambers

Not perfect but lovedI normally don’t like having my picture taken, but for the Champions of Change project, Adam Bird did an amazing job with even a face like mine!

Pornography addictions act like any other addiction. Check out this video.

The Overview Bible Project always has great Bible study resources, like this one. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so.

“True believers are determined to trust God even if their prayer isn’t answered. It doesn’t matter if all their goods are taken away, or even if they face death. They desire to enter God’s rest. What is the evidence of such a life? They have ‘ceased from [their] own works’ (see Hebrews 4:10). They no longer lie awake at night trying to solve their problems in their own wisdom and skill. Instead, they turn everything over to Jesus. It doesn’t matter whether they end up in gain or loss. Their only focus is that God has a plan, and that He is working it out in their lives.” —David Wilkerson

Seth Godin reminds us that improving our attitude is a skill that can be learned.

J. Warner Wallace shares the exquisite fine-tuning of our universe that points to an Intelligent Designer/Creator.

“Is there anything more freeing, more thrilling, or more strengthening than the truth that God Almighty is your refuge—all day, every day in all the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of life? If we believed this, if we really let this truth of God’s omnipotence get hold of us, what a difference it would make in our personal lives and in our ministries! How humble and powerful we would become for the saving purposes of God!” —John Piper

“All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake, His mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave off shining, but our God will never cease to cheer His children with His love. Like a river His lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness inexhaustible as His own nature, which is its source. Like the atmosphere which always surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all His creatures.” —Charles Spurgeon

Dan Reiland has 5 questions for great communicators.

Links & Quotes

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“Remember it is God, and not man, that must have the glory. It is not much speaking, but much faith, that is needed.” —Robert Murray McCheyne

“That very church which the world likes best is sure to be that which God abhors.” —Charles Spurgeon

Mark Atteberry asks a good question: “Aren’t we out-of-touch, narrow-minded, sexually-repressed Christians supposed to be the only ones who are bothered by rampant sexuality? Why, then, are these such big stories Jared Fogle, Ashley Madison, Larry Flynt], worthy of reporting on national newscasts?” Check out his post A Big Day For Sexual Sin.

Reminder: There is no such thing as free pornography. “The simple truth is that porn always costs us dearly, and it is never a victimless crime. Peer-reviewed research suggests that porn is highly addictive, negatively affects our behavior, and functionally operates as a destructive drug.”

Eric Metaxas shares some cool archeological findings about Jesus Christ’s hometown of Nazareth.

“Believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead is much more than accepting a fact. It means being confident that God is for you, that He has closed ranks with you, that He is transforming your life, and that He will save you for eternal joy.” —John Piper

Links & Quotes

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“God has signed all created things. We can trace His footsteps through the natural world. It is possible here to see the marks of God’s feet.” —Francis DeSales

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” —Carl Jung

If you are thinking or praying about serving as a missionary, these are wise words from Dick Brogden.

I hope you and I are not guilty of these: 3 ways Christians turn people off from church.

Fight The New Drug addresses this issue head-on: What’s the real problem with watching pornography?

The Christians in China are being persecuted for their faith, but check out how they are standing up.

Links & Quotes

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“The Law of God encodes the mind and will of God. Only by reading, meditating on, studying, and obeying the Law of God could God’s people obtain all that He had promised them and all that He was resolved to do by bringing His eternal reign to bear on earth as it is in heaven. The prayer of God’s people should thus ever be, ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer’ (Psalm 19:14).” —T.M. Moore

“Either he is a bad child, or he has got a bad father, that does not want to go home. Now, we have got a good and blessed Father, and I hope He has made us His true children, and we want to see His face; we long for the time when we shall no longer be under tutors and governors, but shall come home to enjoy the inheritance. Brethren, we are also laborers. It would be a strange thing if the laborer did not wish to achieve the end of his toils. It would indeed be a strange thing if, industrious though he be, he did not prefer the end of his toils to the beginning. It would be contrary to nature, and I think contrary to grace, if the husbandman did not long for the harvest, and if he that toils did not desire to receive the reward.” —Charles Spurgeon

“The fruit of the tree of knowledge is still being eaten by man, and still infusing its poison. Love of knowledge is the professed starting-point. But in the pursuit of this, God is not acknowledged as the teacher, nor the Bible as the infallible textbook. Speculation abounds; inspired trammels are flung off; pride of intellect operates; man worships his own mind; every day brings forth some novel opinion; revelation is thrust down from its high position; every form of error gets vent; till God gives men over to a reprobate mind, and sends them strong delusion that they should believe a lie. ‘They will not endure sound doctrine,’ but are ‘carried about with every wind of doctrine.’” —Horatius Bonar

A medical doctor discusses the difference between an adult donating their body for medical research/education, and a mother “donating” her aborted baby for its chopped-up body part.

Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, explains how “tissue donation” works.

Seth Godin says, “Just because a thing can be noticed, or compared, or fretted over doesn’t mean it’s important, or even relevant.” Read more of his post Compared To…

[VIDEO] Jefferson Bethke talks about encountering the God who suffers—

[VIDEO] Bobby Conway has some encouraging words for those fighting an addiction to pornography—

Problems With Pornography

Porn liesPornography is so terribly destructive! It destroys relationships, it destroys intimacy, and it even negatively effects the human brain.

Frank Powell has a short, but important, article listing 8 lies we believe about porn. Please check this out.

And then see what Bobby Conway has to say about the destructive power of porn in this video—

Links & Quotes

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“How much foolish talking and jesting would at once end if we said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place.’ … Let your recreation be free from sin; let your amusements be such that you can enjoy them while God looks on. If, too, we felt that God was in this place, how much oftener should we talk of Him and of Christ.” —Charles Spurgeon

“David celebrates God as the sovereign, ‘with-us’ God Who is absolutely for His people and determined to do them good. He is Father to the fatherless, Defender of widows, the One Who gives homes to the homeless and release to captives (Psalm 68:5-6). He gives them gifts, blessings, and salvation (vv. 18-20), and He calls them into His presence to celebrate His magnificence in worship (vv. 24-28). He gives strength for His people to do all His bidding (v. 28) and to know Him in His glory in the heavens (v. 33). Over His people Israel, God is strong, excellent, awesome, and powerful.” —T.M. Moore (emphasis added)

Fast Company published an article from Dr. Tim Elmore on how to bridge the gap between potential and performance. As always, his stuff is spot-on!

“Kids are getting turned on by watching video, but physiologically they are less aroused. We call it P.I.E.D.—Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction.” —Dr. Philip Zimbardo. Check out this really fast-moving TEDx talk Dr. Zimbardo gave…

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