Leave Every Place Better

Peter spent 3+ years with Jesus, and when he was asked to sum up Christ’s ministry he simply said, “He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil” (Acts 10:38).

What if His followers lived that way?

What if we made it our goal to leave every place better than we found it?

What if it was said of Christians, “I can tell they’ve been here because they did good while they were here”?

Check out this 3-minute clip…

My challenge to you:

Leave every place better than you found it

So Send I You (book review)

Jesus told His followers, “As the Father has sent Me, so send I you” (John 20:21). So Send I You by Oswald Chambers is a series of lectures to his students that were preparing to be missionaries. But, as Chambers makes perfectly clear, every Christian is a missionary.

Samuel M. Zwemer said about this book, “A preface or forward is scarcely needed to introduce the reader to this treasure-house of thought on missions. Those who have read other books by our friend, Oswald Chambers, know what to expect. A message not for superficial minds and hearts. Those who love to think on the kingdom and whose hearts the King has entered will not be disappointed as they read these pages.”

Truly this is not a book for superficial minds, as Chambers challenges Christians to look at life through the eyes of Jesus, to be on a mission just as Jesus was. His lectures are solidly founded on Scripture, showing us how Jesus intended His followers to conduct themselves.

If you are ready to be more used by God, then So Send I You is for you. You will be both challenged and encouraged and equipped to be a more effective disciple and missionary for Jesus Christ.

God Prepares Us For Battle

“See you not, then, that God may take away your comforts and your privileges, to make you the better Christians? Why, the Lord always trains His soldiers, not by letting them lie on feather-beds, but by turning them out, and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long march with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. This is the way in which He makes them soldiers—not by dressing them up in fine uniforms, to swagger at the barrack gates, and to be fine gentlemen in the eyes of the loungers in the park. God knows that soldiers are only to be made in battle; they are not to be grown in peaceful times. We may grow the stuff of which soldiers are made; but warriors are really educated by the smell of powder, in the midst of whizzing bullets and roaring cannonades, not in soft and peaceful times.

“Well, Christian, may not this account for it all? Is not thy Lord bringing out thy graces and making them grow? Is He not developing in you the qualities of the soldier by throwing you into the heat of battle, and should you not use every appliance to come off conqueror?” —Charles Spurgeon (emphasis added)

The Shadow Of An Agony (book review)

the-shadow-of-an-agonyWhat happens when all of your perfect plans, all of your neat and tidy ideas, come crashing down around you because of a tragedy? This is the topic Oswald Chambers took on in his book The Shadow Of An Agony when The Great War (or what we now call World War I) was ravaging the nations.

Many people have had their worldviews rocked because a tragedy hit them out of nowhere. What then? Do you throw out all you have believed was true? Oswald Chambers explorers this topic in depth in this book, and comes to the conclusion that these shaking events should send us back to the foundation of the Bible.

For example, Chambers says, “In the past the error of the Christian faith was that it paid no attention to a man’s actual life; it simply used human beings and made them catspaws for a religious line of things. The present error is that humanity utilizes Christianity; if Jesus Christ does not coincide with our line of things, we toss Him overboard; Humanity is on the throne. In the New Testament the point of view is God and Man in union.”

Throughout this book you will see that Jesus Christ stepped into our agony to make a way for us to go through it as more than conquerors.

In commenting on The Shadow Of An Agony, Samuel M. Zwemer said, “Oswald Chambers points out that because Jesus Christ is so like unto His brethren we can face this turmoil and stress, and stand with Him in the shadow of a great agony, undiscouraged and unafraid.”

And Pastor Walter H. Armstrong noted, “This book deals with root or rock principles. It comes, not from the surface, but ‘out of the depths.’ It is the work of a great brain and a great heart. It does not shirk the problems of life, but it looks them straight in the face. Over against the tragedy of sin and suffering it brings us to the tragedy of the Cross of Christ.”

If you are walking through a difficult time in your life, the insights Oswald Chambers shares in this book may be just the lifeline you’re looking for. This is also an excellent book to read to prepare yourself for any tragedies which may be lurking around the corner. Don’t get caught unaware, but use these faith-building thoughts to prepare you to stand firm through the trials of life.

Poetry Saturday—In Light Or Darkness

img_1700If God says “Yes” to our prayer, dear heart,
And the sunlight is golden, the sky is blue,
While the smooth road beckons to me and you,
And the song-birds warble as on we go,
Pausing to gather the buds at our feet,
Stopping to drink of the streamlets we meet,
Happy, more happy, our journey will grow,
If God says “Yes” to our prayer, dear heart.

 

If God says “No” to our prayer, dear heart,
And the clouds hang heavy and dull and gray;
If the rough rocks hinder and block the way,
While the sharp winds pierce us and sting with cold;
Ah, dear, there is home at the journey’s end,
And these are the trials the Father doth send
To draw us as sheep to His Heavenly fold,
If God says “No” to our prayer, dear heart. —Jessie E. Schindle

12 More Quotes From “Intentional Living”

Intentional LivingThere’s always tons of great content in a John Maxwell book, and Intentional Living was no exception. Here’s the second set of quotes from Dr. Maxwell from this book.

“Self-centeredness and fulfillment cannot peacefully coexist. They’re incompatible.”

“As you start your day, are you wondering what you will reap, or are you wondering what you will sow? Are you waiting for others to do something for you, or are you busy looking for something to do for others?”

“If you only place a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the rest of the world will not raise the price. And as a result of your own low self-esteem and poor sense of self-worth, you will fail to make a positive difference in the lives of others because you’ll think you have little to offer.”

“History tells us that in every age there comes a time when leaders must come forth to meet the needs of the hour. Therefore, there is no potential leader who does not have an opportunity to better mankind.”

“Once you taste significance, success will never again satisfy you.”

“I know without a doubt that every day since I started asking God to bring me people who desired significance, He has been sending them into my life so that we could make a difference together. And God continues to send them.”

“Almost everything you and I want is on the other side of fear. How do you handle that? … I don’t believe God gives me a dream to frustrate me. He gives me a dream to be fulfilled. … Fear is the most prevalent reason why people stop. Faith is what makes people start. Fear is the key that locks the door to the resources. Faith is the key that opens that door. When your dream of significance is right, it should increase your faith. … Faith should help you see the invisible and do the impossible.”

“There are no great men or women. There are just great challenges that ordinary people like you and me are willing to tackle. … Nothing separates passionate people from passive people like a call to step up.”

“Dreams often come one size too big so that we can grow into them.”

“Most people miss opportunities in life, not because the opportunity wasn’t there, but because they didn’t have a clue what it looked like when it arrived. They never took the time to figure out what they were looking for. It’s all about intentionality. You have to know what you’re looking for if you want to find it.”

“When partnering with people, don’t choose based on what they say they can do, or based on what they did once. Choose based on their regular behaviors. That’s what tells you what their values are. Too often our choices are made by what we could or think we should do rather than what we usually do. We are all human, so we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But we also need to be realistic.”

“Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Vision is only refined by failure. It’s important to remain stubborn about your vision, but flexible with your plan.”

To read the first set of Maxwell quotes from Intentional Living, please click here.

To read some of the quotes that John Maxwell used in his book, please click here.

To read my review of Intentional Living, please click here.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“The issue is not how much a person makes. Big industry and big salaries are a fact of our times, and they are not necessarily evil. The evil is in being deceived into thinking a six-digit salary must be accompanied by a six-digit lifestyle. God has made us to be conduits of His grace. The danger is in thinking the conduit should be lined with gold. It shouldn’t. Copper will do. Copper can carry unbelievable riches to others.” —John Piper

“I would prefer to combat the ‘I’m special’ feeling not by the thought ‘I’m no more special than anyone else’ but by the feeling ‘Everyone is as special as me.’ In one way there is no difference, I grant, for both remove the speciality. But there is a difference in another way. The first might lead you to think, ‘I’m only one of the crowd like anyone else.’ But the second leads to the truth that there isn’t any crowd. No one is like anyone else. All are ‘members’ (organs) in the Body of Christ. All different and all necessary to the whole and to one another: each loved by God individually, as if it were the only creature in existence. Otherwise you might get the idea that God is like the government which can only deal with the people in the mass.” —C.S. Lewis

“Life will always bring challenges. But God will always give strength to face them.” Read more encouraging words from Max Lucado’s post Here’s What You Need To Know.

Seth Godin started writing about too much salt, but he took it somewhere I wasn’t expecting. Wow!

Ryan Shelton talks about the benefit of gathering together with other people at church: Godward Together On Sunday Morning. By the way, if you are looking for a “Godward together” church in West Michigan, I ♥ Calvary Assembly of God!

Glad to see my home state is trying to ban the gruesome practice of abortion by dismemberment.

[VIDEO] Ken Davis knows something cool (and unique) about Michiganders—

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