One of the best pieces of advice if you’re looking to regulate your emotions is very simple: SLOW DOWN! Constantly having your game face on or being “on a mission” can cause your emotional regulation to suffer, and seriously hurt your leadership. Be sure to check out all of my videos on my YouTube channel.
You may have heard the oft-repeated line that human beings and chimpanzees share 98-99% of our DNA with each other. This simply isn’t true, and yet it will not die. John Stonestreet has an idea of what is behind this claim in his post Of Primates and Percentages.
“The unprepared mind cannot see the outstretched hand of opportunity.” —Alexander Fleming
John Piper asks, “Why is anxiety about the future a form of pride?” Check out this faith-building post that concludes with these words, “The way to battle the unbelief of pride is to admit freely that you have anxieties, and to cherish the promise of future grace in the words, ‘He cares for you.’ And then unload your fears onto His strong shoulders.”
“Hold fast to eternal salvation through the eternal covenant carried out by eternal love to eternal life.” —Charles Spurgeon
“Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” —Mia Hamm
When you say, “I don’t know how to do this,” your mind stops looking for answers. But if we simply add one word—“I don’t know how to do this yet”—your mind will stay active. Adding this one word will unleash the creative, solution-finding part of your mind.
“Our preaching ought to have a voice for all classes, and all should have an ear for it. To suit our word to the rich alone is wicked sycophancy, and to aim only at pleasing the poor is to act the part of a demagogue. Truth may be so spoken as to commend the ear of all, and wise teachers seek to learn that acceptable style.” —Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon And The Psalms
“How did Jesus live among us? He was different things to different people. See if you find yourself on this list.
A bonus quote from Charles Spurgeon: “‘No God’ means no law, no order, no restraint to lust, no limit to passion. Who but a fool would be of this mind? What a bedlam, or rather what a battleground, would the world become, if such lawless principles came to be universal!” —Charles Spurgeon, commenting on Psalm 53:1
There are some long-lasting benefits in keeping a journal. Here’s one benefit I shared with some ministry interns. If you haven’t already done so, please check out my YouTube channel for more great content.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is causing problems for Big Bang proponents. In a recent post from the Institute for Creation Research, some of these problematic areas were laid out. “As noted in a previous Creation Science Update and Impact article, data from the JWST show that distant galaxies look more ‘mature’ and ‘developed’ than predicted by Big Bang theorists. Big Bang astronomers assume light from the most distant galaxies took almost 14 billion years to reach Earth. Although this may sound reasonable, creation scientists think this assumption is open to challenge. But in any case, by Big Bang reckoning, we should be seeing these very distant galaxies—not as they are now, but as they were almost 14 billion years ago. Hence, these galaxies should appear very “unevolved” and ‘immature.’ Yet, this expectation is routinely contradicted, and data from the JWST are making the disagreement even worse.” One thing the JWST has definitely done: It has shown the beauty and the power of our Creator!
God will give you everything you need to minister to others. But there’s one thing you have to do first…
“He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.” —Isaac Newton
Back in 1929, Donald Gee shared three temptations that Pentecostals needed to be cautious of avoiding: (1) selfish satisfaction, (2) fanaticism, and (3) the temptation to forsake the pure worship of God in exchange for popularity. Check out the full article here.
“Forgiveness does not excuse the offending behavior. Forgiveness excuses the offender. The fact that God forgives us of sin, does not make sinning okay. The fact that we forgive someone of their sin towards us, does not make the sin okay.” —Kanayo Situ
“The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.” —Alfred Lord Tennyson
“In life you can take things one of two ways: you can take them for granted or you can take them with gratitude.” —G.K. Chesterton
T.M. Moore has an excellent post on how we can prepare for temptation before it even comes. Please check out this whole post which concludes with this thought, “Make up your mind, each day, that you’re going to resist temptation with prayer, preparation, and resting in the Word of God. Let the Spirit Who brings conviction and repentance be at work within you before you come upon the nets and snares of temptation, and you’ll be in a much better position to overcome the evil that threatens to engulf you, with the good choices and conduct that please the Lord and honor Him.”
A reminder from a class I recently taught: you don’t have to go to a church building to be the Church of Jesus Christ—
“When the Holy Spirit is ignored or rejected, religious people are forced either to do their own creating or to fossilize completely. A few churches accept fossilization as the will of God and settle down to the work of preserving their past—as if it needed preserving. Others seek to appear modern and imitate the current activities of the world with the mistaken idea that they are being creative.” —A.W. Tozer
Dr. Kristin Collier is a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan and director of the school’s Program on Health, Spirituality and Religion. In a recent keynote address to medical students, she had some wise words: “The risk of this education and the one that I fell into is that you can come out of medical school with a bio-reductionist, mechanistic view of people and ultimately of yourself. You can easily end up seeing your patients as just a bag of blood and bones or human life as just molecules in motion. You are not technicians taking care of complex machines, but human beings taking care of other human beings. Let’s resist a view, of our patients and ourselves, that strips us of our humanity, and takes away from the very goal of why we went into this profession in the first place: to take care of human beings entrusted to our care in their moments of greatest need.”
My wife and I just celebrated our anniversary. We enjoyed the many words of congratulations we received, but that got me thinking about marriages where only one spouse is a Christian and I then recorded this thought—
“It is not your business to succeed, but to do right; when you have done so, the rest lies with God.” —C.S. Lewis
“Homosexuality is not about some issue to debate; it’s about people to love.” —Dr. Preston Sprinkle, Living In A Gray World
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” —Herman Melville
More fascinating news for creationists. Plants know how to defend themselves. “There are two main types of threat-detection mechanisms in plant cells—the ability to recognize distinctive chemical patterns that signify an invader, such as components of a bacterial cell, and the ability to recognize a disruption caused by invading pathogen.” Check out the full article here.
I shared an important reminder with my fellow pastors—
“God, give me a deep humility, a well-guided zeal, a burning love, and a single eye, and then let men or devils do their worst.” —George Whitefield, prayer when sailing for Georgia, December 30, 1777
To fill the granaries of God! —Margaret J. Prescott
My friend and podcast partner Greg Heeres talked about growing and learning through change. You can check out the rest of this episode of The Craig And Greg Show here.
Sometimes the prophetic language in the Bible can be a bit confusing. Like the phrase: “A time, times, and half a time.” Here is how Dr. Henry Halley unpacks this—
“It denotes the duration of the other horn of the fourth beast (Daniel 7:25). It denotes the period from Daniel to the time of the end (Daniel 12:6–7). It is used in Revelation 12:14 as identical to 42 months and to 1260 days (Revelation 11:2–3; 12:6, 14; 13:5), the period of time the Holy City was trampled, the two witnesses prophesied, the woman was in the wilderness, and the revived beast was on the throne.
“The word ‘time,’ in the phrase ‘a time, times, and half a time’ is generally taken to mean year; the phrase thus means three and a half years, which is 42 months, or 1260 days.
“By some, this is taken to refer to a literal three and a half years. Others, on the year-day interpretation (Numbers 14:34; Ezra 4:6), take it to be a period of 1260 years. Still others look upon the figures, not as defining time limits or periods, but as being symbolic: 7 Is the symbol of completeness, while three and a half, which is half of 7, represents incompleteness—that is, the reign of evil will be only temporary.” —Halley’s Study Bible(check out all of the biblical references in this quote by clicking here)
“Ambivalence toward the Law of God is troubling. Theologians discard the Law, and pastors either reject or neglect it. Jesus said that keeping and teaching the Law of God was a mark of Kingdom greatness (Matthew 5:17-19). Apparently that’s not a goal many of us aspire to. He also said that when the Law of God is neglected, love grows cold (Matthew 12:24). The ubiquitous lack of love in our world today is undoubtedly related to our failure to teach and live according to the Law of God. …
“Pastors have three main resources for the work and business of ministry: The Word of God, prayer, and their personal example (Acts 6:4; 1 Peter 5:1-3). If any of these fails, their ministry will as well. Especially must pastors be seen to be men zealous for the Law of God, to obey all the counsel of the Lord in His Word and to resist the devil and overcome every temptation. Jesus did. Paul did. John said this is the way love flourishes (1 John 5:1-3). Throughout this generation, failures of obedience on the part of highly visible pastors have contributed to the Church’s becoming an object of scorn by many unbelievers, while believers have been largely silent about their failings. We must be diligent in obeying Christ if we would teach others to do so and thus fulfill our calling to the Kingdom and glory of God.” —T.M. Moore
Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or Audible.
Last week I said, “You are God’s gift to the world IF you are revealing God’s Gift to the world in everything you say and do.”
That “IF” is a big one.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I struggle with consistency in this! But before we all get frustrated, throw up our hands and say, “This is so hard! Why even try?” I’ve got a word of encouragement for you: God’s Gift in us is both perfect and being perfected.
In order to explain this, I need to go back in time. In fact, I need to go all the way back to when Time began. The opening words of the Bible are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God the Father, the Nicene Creed says, is “the Maker of heaven and earth.”
But God the Son is involved in Creation, as is God the Holy Spirit (John 1:1-3; Genesis 1:2). Again, the Nicene Creed quotes John 1 about Jesus, “Through Him all things were made,” and the Creed also says the Holy Spirit is “the Giver of life.”
So the Father created everything through His Word and by His Spirit.
All of the Godhead is also involved in our salvation too. The Father loved us and gave us His Son. Jesus paid the price for our atonement and justified us with the Father. And the Holy Spirit draws us to the Father through the Son as He sanctifies us.
The reason I said the Gift in us is both perfect and being perfected is because when Jesus said, “It is finished,” nothing was left to be done: it is a perfect Gift, fully paid for. “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. … [But] by one sacrifice He [Jesus] has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:1, 14).
Do you see those verb tenses? Jesus made our atonement perfect, but we are now being made holy by the Holy Spirit.
When I serve as a coach or a consultant, I tell people up front, “There is going to be a time that you won’t like me very much because I’m going to keep uncovering things that you’ve overlooked. It’s going to get uncomfortable before we see improvement. But if you will stick with me, I promise you that there will be a noticeable improvement on the other side of this uncomfortableness.”
God disciplines those He loves. He wants His Son’s Gift to be seen by the world, so the Spirit must keep saint-ifying us. He will continue to hover over us, never letting us get complacent, vivifying us so that more and more of Jesus is increasingly seen in our lives.
It’s going to get uncomfortable before we see improvement!
Instead, listen to this prayer from the apostle Paul and make it your own prayer—
For this reason we…have not ceased to pray and make special request for you, asking that you may be filled with the full, deep, and clear knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom—in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God, and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things.
That you may walk, live, and conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition.
We pray that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, to exercise every kind of endurance and patience, perseverance, and forbearance with joy, giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints—God’s holy people—in the Light. (Colossians 1:9-12 AMP)
You are God’s gift to the world IF you are revealing God’s gift to the world in everything you say and do. The Gift in you has already been made perfect, and now the Holy Spirit is going to help you demonstrate this Gift more perfectly. Your fruitfulness is being made holy through His loving work in you.
T.M. Moore wrote one of the endorsements for my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter. This is another challenging word T.M. gives to pastor shepherds: “Shepherds and the sheep they serve stand together under the authority of God’s Word. But the shepherds have a greater obligation of study, learning, living, and disciple-making because God entrusts His sheep to their care (James 3:1). He intends that, by our teaching and example, His sheep should increase in eternal life. Let’s make sure our ministries are directed toward that end.” —T.M. Moore
More research showing just how dissimilar are the genes are between humans and chimpanzees. Humans are a unique creation just as every other speices of plant and animal are.
“Forgive me, most gracious Lord and Father, if this day I have done or said anything to increase the pain of the world. Pardon the unkind word, the impatient gesture, the hard and selfish deed, the failure to show sympathy and kindly help where I had the opportunity, but missed it; and enable me so to live that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human sorrow, and add to the sum of human happiness.” —F.B. Meyer
“It is a good thing to be engaged in holy work, but if you are in holy work before you are in the Lord, you will have no heart for it; neither will the Lord accept it! It is not essential that you should be in this church or in that church, but it is essential that you should be ‘in the Lord’!” —Charles Spurgeon