Links & Quotes

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“In this version of the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2-4) Jesus says, ‘When you pray say’ … and then in verse 4 He includes this petition, ‘and forgive us our sins.’ So, if you connect the beginning of the prayer with the middle, what He says is, ‘Whenever you pray say … forgive us our sins.’ I take this to mean that this should be as much a part of all our praying as ‘Hallowed be Thy name.’ Which means that Jesus assumes that we need to seek forgiveness virtually every time we pray. In other words, we are always sinners. … It doesn’t matter how obedient we have been before we pray. We always come to the Lord as sinners—all of us. And God does not turn away the prayers of sinners when they pray like this.” —John Piper

“What if I say that it is not unjust but according to law that when a woman gets into debt her husband should bear it? And with the church of God sinning, it was but right that her Husband, who had espoused her unto Himself, should become the debtor on her behalf. The Lord Jesus stood in the relationship of a married Husband unto His church, and it was not, therefore, a strange thing that He should bear her burdens.” —Charles Spurgeon

“We can have confidence in our ability, through reason, to help our unbelieving friends consider the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. We know this because God Himself is reasonable, and we believe He commends the use of reason in making Himself and His will known to men.” —T.M. Moore

“Listen to your conscience. Don’t be afraid not to join the mob—if you feel inside it’s wrong. Don’t confuse being ‘soft’ with seeing the other guy’s point of view. … Avoid self-righteously turning on a friend, but have your friendship mean enough that you would be willing to share with your friend your judgment. Don’t assign away your judgment to achieve power.” —George H.W. Bush, in a letter to his sons during the Watergate scandal

Some interesting lessons in Fast Company’s list of the 50 most well-liked CEOs in the United States.

“satan has tripped up many Christians by convincing them they’ve lost something in the Lord.” But David Wilkerson urges us to forget those things!

If you are praying for one of your loved ones to accept Jesus as their Savior, Tim Dilena has an encouraging word for you in The Amazing Now Becomes More Amazing.

[VIDEO] Conrad Mbewe shows how the so-called prosperity gospel isn’t honest with the entirety of Scripture—

Poetry Saturday―Don’t You?

Edmund Vance CookeWhen the plan which I have, to grow suddenly rich
Grows weary of leg and drops into the ditch,
And scheme follows scheme
Like the web of a dream
To glamour and glimmer and shimmer and seem,…
Only seem;
And then, when the world looks unfadably blue,
If my rival sails by
With his head in the sky,
And sings “How is business?” Why, what do I do?
Well, I claim that I aim to be honest and true,
But I sometimes lie. Don’t you?

When something at home is decidedly wrong,
When somebody sings a false note in the song,
Too low or too high,
And, you hardly know why,
But it wrangles and jangles and runs all awry,…
Aye, awry!
And then, at the moment when things are askew,
Some cousin sails in
With a face all a-grin,
And a “Do I intrude? Oh, I see that I do!”
Well, then, though I aim to be honest and true,
Still I sometimes lie. Don’t you?

When a man whom I need has some foible or fad,
Not very commendable, not very bad;
Perhaps it’s his daughter,
And some one has taught her
To daub up an “oil” or to streak up a “water”!
And her grass is green green and her sky is blue blue,
But her father, with pride,
In a stagey aside
Asks my “candid opinion.” Then what do I do?
Well, I claim that I aim to be honest and true,
But I sometimes lie. Don’t you? —Edmund Vance Cooke

What Would Happen…?

In His StepsIn His Steps by Rev. Charles Sheldon is a timeless classic that every Christian should read (you can check out my book review by clicking here). This quote is a part of the final message that one of the main characters, Pastor Henry Maxwell, delivers at a prominent church in Chicago.

What would happen if in this city every church member should begin to do as Jesus would do? It staggers our minds to imagine the results! We all know that certain things would be impossible that are now practiced by church members. What would Jesus do in the matter of wealth? How would He spend it? How would Jesus be governed in the making of money? Would He take rentals from saloons? From tenement property? 

What would Jesus do about the great army of unemployed who tramp the streets and curse the church, or are indifferent to it, lost in the bitter struggle for the bread that tastes bitter when it is earned on account of the desperate conflict to get it? Would He say it was none of His business? 

What would Jesus do in the center of a civilization that hurries so fast after money that the girls employed in great business houses are not paid enough to keep soul and body together without fearful temptations? Where the demands of trade sacrifice hundreds of lads in a business that ignores all Christian duties toward them in the way of education and moral training and personal affection? Would Jesus, if He were here today as a part of our age and commercial industry, feel nothing, do nothing, say nothing in the face of these facts that every businessman knows?

How would you answer Pastor Maxwell’s questions?

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

“Avoid relations with unbelievers in which your relation endorses the unbelief or consequent sins, and avoid the kinds of relationships that involve the interweaving of deep personal values (like marriage). On the other side, don’t avoid relationships where you can have clear testimony to the truth and are allowed to stand on Christian principles, even if you are sometimes criticized for getting too close.” —John Piper

Nick Roen has a very thoughtful post that every Christian should read: Orienting On Homosexual Orientation.

One of the all-time favorite Detroit Tigers was Ty Cobb. This is a great post about Ty Cobb versus Babe Ruth in home runs.

Yes! 4 Ways To Use Failure Well.

Jen Wilkin has a good post for parents: Help Your Kids Say ‘No’ To Porn.

This is a great way of looking at this: True Patriotism Is Axing Taxes To Keep Companies In The USA.

[VIDEO] “Where have we entered when the Bill Of Rights is a partisan matter?” Watch Sen. Ted Cruz defend our First Amendment rights.

Thursdays With Oswald—Consecration Isn’t Just For Ministers

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

Oswald Chambers

Consecration Isn’t Just For Pastors 

     Consecration is not the giving over of the calling in life to God, but the separation from all other callings and the giving over of ourselves to God, letting His providence place us where He will—in business, or law, or science; in workshop, in politics…. We are to be there working according to the laws and principles of the Kingdom of God…. 

     “Business is business” is not true for the Christian. Business is a sphere of labor in the world where a man exhibits the laws and principles of the Kingdom, otherwise he is a coward, a deserter, and a traitor to that Kingdom. 

From Christian Disciplines 

Jesus calls all Christians to be salt and light; to season and shine wherever God has placed us. We are consecrated for service to God is we are working by biblical principles, no matter what job we happen to be doing.

Helping People Win At Work (book review)

Ken Blanchard’s books always cause me to ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?!?” He writes in such a way that seems so practical and so applicable, that it would seem like common sense practice. But as we all know, common sense is not always that common! In Helping People Win At Work, Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge do it again.

The sub-title of the book is based on a program Garry instituted in his company: Don’t mark my paper, help me get an A. And the idea is quite simple: Let’s tell our employees/kids/students what we’re looking for right up front, and then help them earn an A. Instead of performance reviews or tests being uncertain in their outcome, let’s make sure everyone knows what’s coming and how they can “pass” the test. This removes the uncertainty and the anxiety, and increases morale and productivity.

Simple! Common sense! And very rare.

It goes back to Ken Blanchard’s great statement, “Let’s catch people doing something right.” Most bosses/parents/teachers try to catch people doing something wrong. But this approach only reinforces the negative, and makes everyone shy away from the one in authority.

I highly recommend this easy-to-read (and even easier-to-apply) book to employers, teachers, and parents. It is well worth your time to apply these principles.

Whale Done (book review)

I love the business and intra-personal insights that Ken Blanchard shares in all of this books. In Whale Done, I learned from Sea World’s Shamu how I can inspire people to better performance.

Following the story of a frustrated business manager, husband, and father, Ken shows us how catching people doing something right is the key to turning around performance. And in the process, we also create more pleasant work and home environments. Ken’s premise is simple:

“The more attention you pay to a behavior, the more it will be repeated. …If you don’t want to encourage poor behavior, don’t spend a lot of time on it.”

Instead of focusing on what someone is doing wrong, we should be looking for opportunities to say to others, “Whale Done!” In other words, put the bulk of our energy into encouraging people to keep doing the right things, by redirecting our energy away from the mistakes.

It’s revolutionary, but it’s also very exciting. As soon as I finished reading Whale Done, I immediately handed it to my wife and said, “You’ve got to read this!” And I would say the same thing to all parents, pastors, teachers, and business leaders.

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