Links & Quotes

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“Here’s an Advent illustration for kids—and those of us who used to be kids and remember what it was like. Suppose you and your mom get separated in the grocery store, and you start to get scared and panic and don’t know which way to go, and you run to the end of an aisle, and just before you start to cry, you see a shadow on the floor at the end of the aisle that looks just like your mom. It makes you really happy and you feel hope. But which is better? The happiness of seeing the shadow, or having your mom step around the corner and it’s really her? That’s the way it is when Jesus comes to be our High Priest. That’s what Christmas is. Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing.” —John Piper (check out Hebrews 10:1-10)

“God desires to be remembered by man. He has taken unspeakable pains to keep Himself before His creatures, so as to make forgetfulness on their part the greatest of all impossibilities. In everything that God has set before our eyes or ears, He says, Remember Me. In every star, every flower, every mountain, every stream—in every joy, every comfort, every blessing of daily life—God says, Remember Me.” —Horatius Bonar

“God gives us a new revelation of His kindness in the valley of the shadow.” —Oswald Chambers

“Allow yourself one excess: be excessively obedient.” —Francois Fenelon

“satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. If the death of Jesus takes it away, the chief weapon of the devil is taken out of his hand. He cannot make a case for our death penalty, because the Judge has acquitted us by the death of His Son!” —John Piper

“Without Jesus, we’re trapped in the expectations of others. We’re trapped in living for the approval of our peers. We’re trapped in addictions. We’ve tried to change over and over again, but we don’t have the power needed to escape. Jesus came to give us that power.” —Rick Warren

“Holidays are about history, and if we fail to remember that history or to remind our contemporaries of it, then we will only be confirming their narrow and narcissistic view of ‘history’ as ‘my-story’ and my supposed right to make of my life whatever I will.” —T.M. Moore

John Stonestreet points out the power of hype in our modern culture—Ronda Rousey, Reality TV and Jesus.

Calvary Assembly of God helping the Cedar Springs community see the true meaning of Advent.

Is it really that big of a deal for a Christian to date a non-Christian?

Detroit Tigers fans and New York Yankees fans will enjoy this comparison of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.

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?

Links & Quotes

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“The Apostle Paul tells us that a temple of God, properly adorned and maintained, grows in unity and maturity in the Lord Jesus, as pastors and teachers equip church members to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). A building and other facilities can aid in this process, but they are not essential. Indeed, in many ways they can actually distract us from our task by so defining and confining what we do in the name of ministry that our endeavors consistently look more like the ways of the world than the work of the Lord, more like maintaining and maximizing an institution than seeking and advancing a Kingdom not of this world. … As we build our churches let us not lose sight of the fact that what matters most to the Lord is not the number, shape, and usability of the buildings we erect, but the health, growth, and ministries of the people in whom He has come to dwell.” —T.M. Moore

“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.” —Anais Nin

“The Lord’s Prayer contains 56 words; the Gettysburg Address, 266; the Ten Commandments, 297; the Declaration of Independence, 300; and a recent U.S. government order setting the price of cabbage, 26,911. At the state level, over 250,000 bills are introduced each year. And 25,000 pass the legislatures to disappear into the labyrinths of the law.” —Al Ries and Jack Trout

“For some (even for some Christians), faith is best defined as ‘believing in something that lacks supporting evidence.’ But this is not the definition of faith that is presented on the pages of Christian Scripture.” Read more from J. Warner Wallace on how Christianity Promotes Rational (and Evidential) Exploration.

Frank Turek points out, “Remember, Moses was on the wrong side of the golden calf. And [Abraham] Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was on the wrong side of Dred Scott.…” In this post he shares why same-sex “marriage” proponents are on the wrong side of God, evolution and humanity.

[VIDEO] This 5-minute clip of noted New Testament scholar N.T. Wright on homosexuality is well worth your time—

My son tipped me off to a thought-provoking post on dating relationships: How Our Dating Culture As Already Broken Your Future Wife’s Heart.

Links & Quotes

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Sheriff David Clarke has a great take on what is behind so many of the protests against the police. Be sure to watch the video of his CNN interview too.

“The fullest obedience and the smallest faith obtain the same thing from God: mercy. A mere mustard seed of faith taps into the mercy of tree-moving power. And flawless obedience leaves us utterly dependent on mercy. The point is this: Whatever the timing or form of God’s mercy, we never rise above the status of beneficiaries of mercy. We are always utterly dependent on the undeserved. Therefore let us humble ourselves and rejoice and ‘glorify God for His mercy!’” —John Piper

“Isn’t it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?” —Sean Covey. Read more of the post The Year Of Speaking Kindly.

Are you single? Check out Being The Third Wheel Is Underrated.

Are you ready to be disgusted? Last year Planned Parenthood not only ended 327,653 lives through abortion, but they also were given $528 million of your tax dollars!

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

15 good quotes from Soren Kierkegaard.

For the singles, here is 10 guys you should never date and 8 types of women you should never date.

“I can neither teach nor live by the faith of others. I must live by my own faith as the Spirit of the Lord has taught me through His Word.” —Menno Simons

Pretty cool! We just landed a robot on a comet!

Coaches & Parents, Tim Elmore tells us how athletes hide behind their talent and what we can do about it.

Human touch is just as nutritious as the food we eat. So go hug someone!

“The notion that the careless sinner is the smart fellow and the serious-minded Christian, though well-intentioned, is a stupid dolt altogether out of touch with life will not stand up under scrutiny. Sin is basically an act of moral folly, and the greater the folly the greater the fool.” —A.W. Tozer

15 Quotes From “Finding The Love Of Your Life”

Finding The Love Of Your LifeFinding The Love Of Your Life by Dr. Neil Clark Warren is a wonderful resource for anyone contemplating marriage, or for parents to help prepare their children for marriage. You can rad my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes I found especially interesting in this book.

“The person you can become is far more important than the person you are today. … When you start with who you are today and commit yourself to moving steadily toward goals, the progress you experience will not only make you feel genuinely proud, but it will also make you significantly more attractive to members of the opposite sex. … This kind of emotional growth is best achieved when you start with a deep understanding that you are totally lovable just the way you are. If your pursuit of excellence grows out of an appreciation for the way you have been created, you’ll grow by leaps and bounds.”

“The crucial thing is not to seek after someone whose personality is like your father’s or mother’s, but to search for that person whose personality would make you genuinely happy through the years.”

“Research has consistently shown that religious commitment and marital success are highly related.” 

“Research findings are highly consistent: the most stable marriages are those involving two people with many similarities. … For couples, similarities are like money in the bank, and differences are like debts they owe. Suppose you received two bank statements in the mail today, one showing the amount of money in your savings account, the other showing the amount you owe on your credit card. If you have a large savings account and little debt, you’re in a position of strength and you can weather economic storms. If a financial crisis arises, you have the means to handle it. You can make decisions and purchases without scrambling to figure out how you’ll manage. But the reverse is also true. With big debts and little savings, you’re on shaky financial ground. You have to work a lot harder to cover the bills, and you worry about job security and making ends meet. … If you want to make a marriage work with someone who is very different from you, you had better have a large number of similarities as permanent equity in your account. If you don’t, your relationship could be bankrupt at a frighteningly early stage. Why is this the case? Because every difference you have requires negotiation and adaptation. One of you has to give a lot, or both of you have to give some, and in either case there is the need for plenty of change.”

“If the qualities that attracted you to someone are different from your own, be cautious.” 

“A great marriage requires two healthy people, and the time to get healthy is before you get married. … What I am particularly concerned about here is the emotional and mental health of the two people considering a lifelong partnership.”

“When we marry, it will be ideal if in relation to our parents (1) we are essentially free from them—emotionally independent individuals—so we do not have to make decisions and live our lives to please them; (2) we are clear about what is particularly true of our relationship with our mother and father, and what is true in relation to our spouse. When we confuse these relationships, we leave our spouse feeling violated and helpless; and (3) we have established a relationship with our parents in which they will not intrude in our marriage, will not dictate to us in any authoritative ways, and yet we can still maintain a closeness and connectedness to them.”

“The desire to touch, hold hands and hug is critical for long-term satisfaction. I agree. Building a great marriage is virtually impossible without the attraction and excitement that comes with passionate love. … I am deeply convinced that any two people who choose to marry need to maintain clear minds until the moment they say ‘I do.’ Because of this, I believe in sexual abstinence prior to marriage. Sexual intercourse before marriage is a clear act of commitment! Once you have become sexually involved with a potential mate, your ability to think clearly and objectively becomes impossible. … In one impulsive moment, two people cut short the process of ‘choosing’ one another, and they rob themselves of their own wisdom. Once they are sexually involved, they forfeit their combined ability to make a wise, unhindered decision.”

“(1) Passionate love between two people is a crucial ingredient if they are to have a long and satisfying relationship. (2) Passionate love always involves strong physical attraction. (3) Physical involvement must be managed with extreme care. (4) Every progression of physical activity establishes a new plateau—and it is extremely difficult to retreat once it has been reached. (5) When sexual expression is not kept in check, the emotional, cognitive and spiritual aspects of the relationship become slaves to the physical desires.”

“Too many failed marriages involve fantasy triumphing over fact.”

“When you are intimate with the person you love, you create unlimited possibilities for the growth of your relationship. Intimacy has the potential for lifting the two of you out of the lonely world of separateness and into the stratosphere of emotional oneness. Conversely, the number one enemy of any marriage is the lack of intimacy. If two people do not know each other deeply, they can never become what the Bible calls ‘one flesh.’” 

“You have to know yourself if you’re going to be intimate with someone else.”

“When two people discover that they have a spiritual hunger or spiritual awareness in common, they are strongly drawn to one another. In fact, I have found that a lack of mutually held spiritual beliefs often signals an intimacy deficit that leaves couples dangerously unconnected. In fact, one research study showed that spirituality ranked among the six most common characteristics of strong families. The strongest families in this study reported experiencing ‘a sense of power and a purpose’ greater than themselves—a spiritual orientation.”

“The fatal flaw of our society is that the principles of business have increasingly infiltrated our intimate relationships. That’s why society has found it necessary to trivialize wedding vows, to pretend they are no longer binding or relevant. Marriage makes very little sense when viewed from a business perspective. Let me explain: Two fundamental principles in business are: (1) What you pay for something is based on what you get in return; (2) When a business arrangement is no longer a ‘good deal,’ you either alter the arrangement or terminate it. But marriage is radically different! It depends on unconditional commitment. When you get married, you pledge to love, honor and cherish another person for a lifetime. If your mate changes over time, you are not released from your pledge. … Relationships that are conditional allow almost no room for trust and intimacy.”

“There is only one time to think about commitment-—before you make it!

Finding The Love Of Your Life (book review)

Finding The Love Of Your LifeQuite possibly one of the most important life decisions that you will make is deciding whom you will marry. Neil Clark Warren has a very needed book to help with this decision called Finding The Love Of Your Life.

The book is compromised of 10 principles to aid in the selection of a mate. Dr. Warren combines his years of experience as a psychologist with lots of data to make up these 10 easy-to-understand principles. This book was originally published nearly 20 years ago, but the results of research and surveys over that time have only served to strengthen the points that Dr. Warren makes here. Thus, telling me that his 10 principles are truly timeless.

Who should read this book? (1) Young people who are dating; and (2) their parents.

There is plenty of information in this book to get a conversation started, so I would encourage parents to read this book along with their children who are dating, and then talk about each of these principles in relationship to the person whom they are dating.

A great resource that is very readable. Go get it!

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