Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

“[God] will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only in so far as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls.” —C.S. Lewis

“To live well is the way to die well. Death is not our first foe but the last; let us then fight our adversaries in order, and overcome them each in its turn, trusting that He Who has been with us even until now will be with us until the end.” —Charles Spurgeon

“It  is sin in the heart that makes one say, ‘This is far too hard for me!’ The yielded heart, on the other hand, becomes free, and obedience is no longer a burden. For the surrendered heart, it is all joy.” —David Wilkerson

Membership in your local church is one of the most important things about you.” Read more from Jonathan Parnell on the local church.

Warning: Essure birth control is deadly for women!

Amazing new insights into how God designed plants to manage their hours of sunlight in the photosynthesis process.

Rick Warren on homosexual “marriage”: The church must not cave-in.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell on the importance of making good decisions…

“Some people don’t lead their lives, they accept their lives.” —John Kotter

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading from today…

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein

The danger of redefining marriage: How The Decline In Marriage Is Fueling Inequality.

An important post from Tim Elmore for parents and teachers: How Stress Disables Empathy In Students.

My cousin, Dick Brogden, has an amazing year-long devotional book called Live Dead Joy. Get the Kindle edition now for only $2.

“How may I tell when satan hinders me? I think you may tell thus: first by the object. satan’s object in hindering us is to prevent our glorifying God. If anything has happened to you which has prevented your growing holy, useful, humble, and sanctified, then you may trace that to satan.” —Charles Spurgeon

“It is good to come to the understanding that while God wants us to be holy and Spirit-filled, He does not expect us to look like Abraham or to play the harp like David or to have the same spiritual insight given to Paul. All of those former heroes of the faith are dead. You are alive in your generation.” —A.W. Tozer

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.” —C.S. Lewis

All In (book review)

All InLast year I read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, and it reinvigorated my prayer life. Now the sequel, called All In, is raising my intensity and passion for prayer even higher!

This book has a different feel from all of Pastor Batterson’s other books. In books like In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day and Primal and others, the tone felt very conversational. All In feels more confrontational.

But in a good way! 

It seems like far too often we can talk a good game about prayer, but when it comes right down to it, all we ever do is talk about it. Using a picture that is well known to those who have seen a poker game, Mark urges us to use prayer as a means to push all our chips to the center of the table—to go all in—by not only believing God for great things, but by doing great things for God’s glory.

I normally share my opinion on who should read a certain book, but this time I’d like to share who I think shouldn’t read All In: (1) Those who already have such a dynamic prayer life that they put the members of the Faith Hall Of Fame members to shame (see Hebrews 11); (2) Those who don’t pray now and have no intention of praying in the future; and (3) Those who enjoy living boring, ordinary, barely-getting-by-day-after-day lives. If you’re not in one of those three groups, get ready for a supernatural boost to your prayer life through Mark Batterson’s words in All In.

Mark writes, “This isn’t a book to read. It is a decision to be made. If you read this book without making a defining decision, I wasted my time writing it and you wasted your time reading it. At some point, on some page, you will feel the Holy Spirit prompting you to act decisively. Don’t ignore it. Obey it.”

I am a Zondervan book reviewer.

Thursdays With Oswald #51

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.

Stop Doing That!

     Deliverance from sin is not the same as deliverance from human nature. There are things in human nature, such as prejudices, that the saint can only destroy through sheer neglect. But there are other things that have to be destroyed through violence, that is, through God’s divine strength imparted by His Spirit. …We can either turn back, making ourselves of no value to the kingdom of God, or we can determinedly demolish these things, allowing Jesus to bring another son to glory.

From My Utmost For His Highest

I’m usually pretty good at making To-Do lists. But how am I at making Don’t-Do lists?

I need find those things that are holding me back, and deliberately destroy them — totally neglect them, and let them die from starvation. Doing has a certain power in my spiritual growth, but not doing can have an equal power as well.

“The average human being in any line of work could double his productive [or spiritual] capacity overnight if he began right now to do all the things he knows he should do, and to stop doing all the things he knows he should not do.” —Elmer G. Letterman

Undecided Or Uncommitted?

I’ve noticed a concerning trend in our busy culture. It’s in the way we can parse our words to make others think we are saying one thing, while we are actually giving ourselves an “out” in case we need it. You know, giving ourselves a little wiggle room.

Let me illustrate. I ask someone, “Are you going to the party on Friday night?” And the answers I get sound like this:

  • “I’m planning on it.”
  • “Sure gonna try.”
  • “It looks like I’ll be there.”

They walk away smiling, and I’m left standing there wondering, “Was that a yes? Are they really going to be there? Or are they keeping their options open in case a better offer comes along?”

Even on Facebook’s event invitations I have the option to check “Attending,” “Not Attending” or “Maybe Attending.”

Are we truly undecided? Or are we uncommitted to our decisions?

Here’s the danger in being undecided about something as innocent as going to a party: The indecision anywhere can start a pattern that carries over to every part of my life; and then undecided in one area can easily be uncommitted in all areas.

The greatest danger — being uncommitted to the life God has called you and I to live.

  • “I’ll follow You anywhere (as long as I have a comfy bed every night).”
  • “I’m totally committed to You (but I have to take care of my family).”
  • “I’ve put You first (but I want to have some fun too).”

Undecided… parsing words… giving yourself an out… saying what you haven’t committed to… Jesus directly addressed the dangers of this type of speech —

And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, “I’ll pray for you,” and never doing it, or saying, “God be with you,” and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say “yes” and “no.” When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. (Matthew 5:33-37, The Message)

If you say “yes,” make your “yes” mean “yes.” Or else, just say “no.”

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Not my words, but Christ’s: “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.”

Decide… commit… say it… mean it.

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