The Church Needs To Foster Community

“Amid the confusion of Christians mistreating people with gender dysphoria to prop up their sense of self-righteousness, and progressives mistreating them to advance their agenda of autonomy, those with real identity struggles are forgotten. Christ alone understands who we are through and through. And because of that each one of us in our fractured states needs to come to Him. …

“The need of the hour is for biblically faithful compassion. The church needs to open its doors and Christians need to open their hearts so that those struggling to find resolution to their dysphoria—and those who are struggling to find clarity amidst other confusions—can find community and, ultimately, their true identity in Christ. In Christ, they can be understood. …

“God’s original intent is for harmony between one’s soul and one’s body. This is why Christians, of all people, should be compassionately concerned with helping people find mind-body congruence. For the Christian, the mind and the body are both important and were meant to work harmoniously. … This biblical perspective defends our integrity as whole human beings in contradistinction to the secular effort to reduce us to our chemistry and jettison any idea that we have an immaterial mind or soul. …

“That is why the invitation of Christ has come in this order: recognition, repentance, redemption, regeneration. When we recognize our need for the Savior (because of our sins in general, not because of our dysphoria), repentance happens and then we are redeemed. But that redemption works itself out in our lives over time. It is the Holy Spirit who lives and works in us to conform us to Jesus’ likeness. It is not an overnight process, which means the church must do a better job of helping that process along. The church needs to foster community.” —Abdu Murray

Rethinking Addiction

AddictionThis is a fascinating video that may just revolutionize the way you think about addictions and addicts.

Near the 4:45 mark of the video the statement is made about a new way of interacting with others. This, I believe, is what the Christian church should be doing. If we aren’t, I doubt we are living out the good news that Jesus taught. If you want to do an interesting study, check out how many times the phrase “let us” is used in the New Testament. Also note that the word saint never appears in the New Testament in the singular, but it is always saintS. This tells me that we were designed to be together.

“Human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe…. We should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.” —Johann Hari

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment below?

Links & Quotes

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“To do an evil action is base; to do a good action, without incurring danger, is common enough; but it is the part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risks everything.” —Plutarch

“A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.” —George Washington

Jon Bloom reminds us that your Bible is a gold mine! “The Bible contains over 31,000 verses—so much gold and so little time. We’ll never exhaust the gold it contains during our brief lives, but we must discover all we can.”

Dr. Steve Turley on the consequences from families that skip church for sports.

Another good reason to be involved in a local church. “We can’t really experience salvation by ourselves. By its very nature, it reaches out toward others in community,” say Ben Sternke. Read more from his post here.

I am shocked (I type this with great sarcasm!)—Planned Parenthood has donated to (bribed?) several Democrats who are on the committee to investigate Planned Parenthood’s murderous crimes.

9 More Quotes From “Abolishing Abortion”

Abolishing AbortionIt is time to end the evil of abortion once and for all, and Father Frank Pavone lays out a helpful game plan in his book Abolishing Abortion. Check out my review of his book here, and then read some of the quotes I found noteworthy.

“As I have often said, the last thing supporters of abortion want to discuss is abortion. You will not hear them described the procedure or any of its gory details. Often they avoid the very word, instead couching it in softer, more acceptable terms like ‘a woman’s right to choose’ or ‘reproductive rights.’ We are living in a world proud to turn a blind eye to the obvious. That great blind spot in our culture covers the children in the womb. Our mission is to shine light on that darkness.” 

“The point here is not to turn the church into a political mechanism. The point is to increase the freedom of the church to speak about relevant national issues. We are not talking about preaching politics, but about preaching the Word of God as a way of illuminating politics.”

“God did not rescue us from sin and death to build a community of nervous chipmunks ever sniffing the air for potential danger. He sealed our lives with His own death-defining Spirit so that we might act in kind.” —Rev. John Ensor, Innocent Blood

“Federal law and some state laws recognize unborn children as victims if they are killed in the commission of a crime. This leads to the curious contradiction that if a pregnant woman on her way to an abortion is struck by a drunk driver, that driver can be charged with the death of the child she was about to have legally killed.”

“So when the public is horrified at Kermit Gosnell snipped the spinal cords of babies born alive, or when they are horrified that he performed abortions in the final months of pregnancy, they are not horrified by some anomaly, but by an abortion mind-set that simply exalts choice above life.”

“The incremental nature of our activities—the fact that at the present time we might pass a ban on abortions after twenty weeks but not before—is justified only as long as that limitation is not chosen by us but imposed on us by circumstances beyond our control. In other words, if I worked to pass a law to protect children at twenty weeks and later, the failure to protect them earlier must be totally beyond the scope of what I can decide. As a goal, I can never decide, choose, will, or agree to make even a single abortion acceptable or legal. But if the legislative support for protecting babies before twenty weeks does not yet exist in a particular legislative body—if, in other words, the votes just aren’t there—then I can support that ban precisely because I’m doing everything I can at the moment.”

“Our Lord simply did not follow the doctrine that successful ministry requires being liked. In fact, He promised that fidelity to Him (that is, ‘success’ in being His disciples) would guarantee persecution. It is wrong, of course, to use such a guarantee as an excuse for imprudence, insensitivity, or lack of preparation. But at the same time, it would be foolish to ignore this promise of the Lord. Our success will depend not on whether we are liked, but rather on whether we are respected. Respect flows not from doing what the other finds pleasing but from what all recognized to be consistent, courageous, and immune from the temptation to change with the wind.”

“Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception.” —Pope John Paul II, The Gospel Of Life

“We need to convince the unconvinced that to be pro-life is to be pro-woman. The difference between ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ is not that pro-lifers love the baby and pro-choicers love the woman. The difference is that the pro-choice message says you can separate the two, and the pro-life message says you cannot.”

If you would like to read the first batch of quotes I shared from this book, please click here.

Links & Quotes

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“What life have you if you have not life together? There is no life that is not in community.” —T.S. Eliot

“Dr. Karl Menninger once observed that sin dropped out of the national vocabulary in the middle of the twentieth century. The word no longer has a place in public discourse because it conveys images that the majority of the people will not accept. … Perhaps holiness dropped out of our vocabulary because we are accustomed to a Christian civilization where our Christianity seldom demanded that we stand apart from our society. Worldliness, the opposite of holiness, has also dropped from our vocabulary. Where we have made peace with our culture, the words ‘holiness’ and ‘worldliness’ lose their meaning, for we cannot imagine how Christianity would demand that we separate from the dominant standards of our time.” —James W. Thompson

“A real Christian allows his mind to run up the sunbeam to the sun.” —C.S. Lewis

“Here’s the secret of the lilies [Luke 12:27]: they bask. … Waiting for the Lord has the connotation of waiting for Him to show up, or do something or grant a provision. It’s like focusing on the sunbeam. Waiting upon the Lord is running up the sunbeam to the Lord Himself, beyond what He does, and basking under the influence of who He is.” —Curt Dalaba

Links & Quotes

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Kevin DeYoung has an amazing post—40 Questions For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags.

“The more people talk about their worldview, the more open and confident they are in making their case, the bolder they become. The bolder and more outspoken they become, the more a ‘spiral of silence’ begins to engulf those who believe otherwise. No one wants to be thought of as holding to a ‘minority position’ on anything, so, rather than speak up in the face of many who are doing so, most will remain silent. This is where the Christian community finds itself at this time, trapped in a spiral of silence before a blustering but empty secular and unbelieving worldview. So it is very important that believers in Jesus Christ make the best use of every opportunity to talk about what is good and pleasing to God.” —T.M. Moore

“Being infinite, God is inexhaustibly interesting. It is impossible, therefore, that God be boring. His continual demonstration of the most intelligent and interesting actions is volcanic. As the source of every good pleasure, He Himself pleases fully and finally. If that’s not how we experience Him, we are either dead or sleeping. It is therefore astonishing how little effort is put into knowing God. … Let us pray that our infinitely great God would open our eyes and hearts to see Him and seek to know Him more.” —John Piper

“The Lord doesn’t want our victory to be merely a one-time experience. His goal isn’t for us to emerge from a crisis, saying, ‘Thank God, I kept my faith through that.’ Yes, you may have made it through that one. But, like victorious Israel at the Red Sea, another trial will eventually come and it may be a different kind of test altogether. Living in God’s rest is a way of life. He wants us to be maintained by His peace and confidence in all our trials, knowing our High Priest is touched by the feelings of our infirmities.” —David Wilkerson

“Part of God’s fullness which He communicates is His happiness. This happiness consists in enjoying and rejoicing in Himself; so does also the creature’s happiness.” —Jonathan Edwards

Jeff Bonzelaar has a fascinating look at the difference between self-esteem and God-esteem.

Eric Metaxas tells an inspiring story about churches making a difference in their community.

[VIDEOS] Bobby Conway at the One Minute Apologist has two videos worth your time—

10 Quotes From John Maxwell In “Teamwork 101”

Teamwork 101The 101 Series of book from John Maxwell is a great introduction to the many topics which he address in greater depth in other books. Here are some quotes from Dr. Maxwell which I especially enjoyed.

“I believe that insecurity, rather than poor judgment or lack of intelligence, most often causes leaders to surround themselves with weak people.”

“On good teams, trust is a nonnegotiable. On winning teams, players extend trust to one another. Initially that is a risk because their trust can be violated and they can be hurt. At the same time that they are giving trust freely, they conduct themselves in such a way to earn trust from others. They hold themselves to a high standard. When everyone gives freely and bonds of trust are developed and are tested over time, players began to have faith in one another. They believe that the person next to them will act with consistency, keep commitments, maintain confidences, and support others. The stronger the sense of community becomes, the greater their potential to work together. Developing a sense of community in a team does not mean there is never conflict. All teams experienced disagreements. All relationships have tension. But you can work them out.”

“Create an environment that unleashes new leaders.” 

“Teams that don’t bond can’t build.”

“For a team to be successful, the teammates have to know they will look out for one another.” 

“In a sport such as basketball, the players on the team recognize that scoring is what is important. When a team is more effective at scoring than the opponent, it wins. Because the team members know that, they spend their time in improving and perfecting their ability to score. That is their focus. In contrast, in many organizational settings, the team members don’t know what it means to ‘score.’ They may have a list of duties, but they don’t know how those duties go together to make a score. It would be the equivalent of a basketball player who knew how to set a pick, dribble, and pass, but who never knew all the skills were used together to score baskets. If just one player on a basketball team doesn’t know what is important to the team, it makes him ineffective. And when he is in the game, it is impossible for the team to succeed. The same is true in any organization. Anyone who doesn’t know what’s important to the team not only fails to contribute to the team, but actually prevents the team from achieving success. That is why it is so important for leaders of the team to identify what is important to the team and to communicate that information to her team members.”

“People on the team must be made to feel that they are in an environment where it is safe to offer suggestions or criticism without feeling threatened.” 

“The key to being competitive is channeling it in a positive way. If you squash it, you lose an edge that motivates you to do some of your best work. If you let it run wild, you run over your teammates and alienate them. But if you control it and directed, competitiveness can help you succeed.”

“Don’t let the personality of someone you work with cause you to lose sight of the greater purpose, which is to add value to the team and advance the organization. If that means listening to the ideas of people with whom you have no chemistry, or worse, a difficult history, so be it. Set aside your pride and listen. And in cases where you must reject the ideas of others, make sure you reject only the idea and not the person.” 

“Being an encouraging leader and leading across is not about getting your own way. It’s not about winning at all costs. It’s about winning respect and influence with your peers so that you can help the whole team win. Should you be passionate and determined, believing in yourself and your ability to contribute? Definitely. Should you hold on to your deeply held values and stand on principle when those are in jeopardy? Absolutely. But never forget that having a collaborative spirit helps the organization. When you think in terms of our idea instead of my idea or her idea, you’re probably on track to helping the team win.”

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