Links & Quotes

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“People who suffer the loss of a loved one will tell you that your presence is comforting, not your answers. In his first sermon after losing his son to suicide, Pastor Rick Warren advised his congregants that if they were unsure about what to say in a tragedy, say nothing. Just be there. Job’s friends initially did that. It was only after they began to speak that they made matters worse. If you’re hurting right now, I risk making matters worse by giving intellectual answers to emotional pain.” —Frank Turek

“Men may as well build their houses upon the sand and expect to see them stand, when the rains fall, and the winds blow, and the floods come, as to found free institutions upon any other basis than that of morality and virtue, of which the Word of God is the only authoritative rule, and the only adequate sanction. All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they have of stringent state government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. It may do for other countries and other governments to talk about the state supporting religion. Here, under our own free institutions, it is religion which must support the state.” —Robert Winthrop, speaker of the US House of Representatives (1847–1849)

Some wonderful quotes from Maya Angelou.

“Anything which you have in this world, which you do not consecrate to Christ’s cause, you do rob the Lord of.” —Charles Spurgeon

“If we don’t kill every hint of immorality, we’ll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes. But we can’t deal with our maleness until we first reject our right to mix standards. As we ask ‘How holy can I be?’ we must pray and commit to a new relationship with God, fully aligned with His call to obedience.” —Steve Arterburn

[VIDEO] So are Christian scientists biased in their research? Yes! Any scientist is, but that is why there are controls—

More Sex Talk

Married couple in bedSex is good. God designed it to be that way! As more and more scientific studies are completed and research papers published there is one thing becoming more and more clear—God’s way of having sex (a married husband and wife) is the best way to do it.

Pornography before or during marriage is a relationship killer. [1] Porn makes you objectify the other person, seeing them as an object to be used and not a person to be loved. [2] Porn creates unrealistic expectations that your spouse cannot live up to. [3] Even so-called “soft” porn is the open door to more destructive viewing habits. [4] Porn erodes the trust that holds a relationship together. [5] Porn isolates marriage partners from each other, because they think they can find satisfaction on a screen.

Having sex before marriage actually rewires your brain, making it so much harder to bond with your spouse after you say “I do.” Check this out:

For over a decade, there have been numerous studies that reveal three different attachment styles in the way people bond sexually: secure, anxious and avoidant. The latter is what’s interesting as it reflects the behavior we see in the statistics above.

According to Dr. [Sue] Johnson: “Those of us who are avoidant, that is, uncomfortable with emotional closeness and dependence on others, are more likely to have what I term ‘sealed-off sex.’ Sex is self-centered and self-affirming, a performance aimed at achieving climax and confirming one’s own sexual skill. Technique is prized; openness and vulnerability shunned. There is little foreplay, such as kissing or tender touching. And no cuddling afterward—once the Big Bang occurs, there’s nothing left … Because pleasure without emotional engagement is shallow and fleeting, this kind of sex needs continual boosting to be thrilling.”

God’s desire is for your sexual relationship with your spouse to be intoxicating! The descriptions in Scripture are of a husband and wife intoxicated with each other, and God pronouncing a blessing over the couple as they are wrapped up in each other! God wants sex in your marriage to be so amazingly good that there is never a shadow of a thought of looking anywhere else.

But if you want this, you must do sex God’s way. One man and one woman who are married to each other, and who have left behind all the entanglements of other partners, whether they’re real or virtual.

Links & Quotes

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Finally! President Obama met with Naghmeh Abedini about her imprisoned husband. Pastor Saaed has been held illegally in Iran for far too long!

Dave Barringer has some good advice for married couples in 8 Things To Evict From Your Mind.

“A quiet time with God is very similar to a special date. Denalyn and I like to go to the same restaurants over and over again. When we’re there we remember special moments we’ve shared before. Our hearts open up. We talk to each other. We listen, we laugh, and sometimes we cry. I love those times! So does God. A quiet time with God is very similar to a special date. Here are some tools to help you keep your date with Him special. Select a slot in your schedule and claim it for God. Take as much time as you need. Your time with God should last long enough for you to say what you want and for God to say what he wants. Bring an open Bible—God’s Word, His love letter to you. Bring a listening heart and listen to the Lover of your soul. Make sure your date with God is on the calendar, and do everything in your power to keep it special!” —Max Lucado

“Are you seeking day by day to live above worldliness, the love of the things of the world, and the ensnaring greed which they nourish? Remember, it is for this that you have been enriched with the treasures of God.” —Charles Spurgeon

Some great information: Understand The Same-Sex Marriage Issue.

“All paths lead to God, but only one path will present you before God without fault and with great joy. Pick a path, any path—it will take you to God. Trust me: you will stand before Him one day. You will meet your Maker. You will see the face of Christ. There are many ways up the mountain, but only one will result in life instead of destruction.” —Kevin DeYoung

Now What?

Christmas Day 2014 has come and gone … now what? My Mom forwarded a picture to me that might be a pretty good place to start—or should I say to keep the Christmas spirit alive.

Here’s your post-Christmas Day “To Do” List—

After the holidays To Do list

What would you add to this list?

Links & Quotes

link quoteSome cool reading I came across today.

“We simply can’t change ourselves. Only the Spirit of God can conform us to the glorious image of Christ.” —David Wilkerson

Oh, that today my clothes may be vestments, my meals sacraments, my house a temple, my table an alter, my speech incense, and myself a priest!” —Charles Spurgeon

I like this: 8 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do.

“Sound biblical and theological learning is useful for building the church when it is delivered with patience and gentleness by a loving shepherd.” —T.M. Moore

The Present Of Presence

The words Paul writes to Timothy (his young protege) are the wise counsel of a seasoned veteran to a young pastor. These are words of wisdom that pastors should be especially attentive to, but they also apply to anyone who is in a position of leadership (like a parent, teacher, coach, or employer).

After challenging Timothy to set an example by his lifestyle, Paul adds these words—

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:15-16)

“So that everyone may see your progress.” Quite simply: you have to be present … you have to be around people so they can see what’s going on in your life. Your presence in their lives is your present to their lives!

I need to monitor what I’m doing and why I’m doing it; what I’m teaching and how I’m teaching; what I believe and why I believe it.

I need to have goals and benchmarks. I need to make my goals—and my successes and failures in hitting my goals—known to others.

I need to be in it for the long haul. It’s awfully difficult to an example in the present if my eyes and thoughts are always on “the next thing” down the road.

Look at the blessings—the presents—of living this way: You will save both yourself and your hearers.

Not only is my presence a present to others, but having others present in my life is a present to me! The present of presence works both ways! 

Are you living so that everyone may see your progress? If not, start giving the present of your presence today!

Are You An Encourager?

Check out these words of the Apostle Paul —

When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. (2 Corinthians 7:5, 6)

Paul wasn’t doing so well! No rest … conflicts every direction he turned … battles … fear … discouragement …

But did you see how God encouraged Paul?

By the arrival of Titus

God encouraged Paul through Titus. Not through an angel, or a sign in the heavens, or anything dramatic. But through a friend showing up.

God wants to encourage you through others…

are you allowing those encouraging friends into your life?

God wants to encourage others through you…

are you allowing Him to use you to do that?

People are most often the means of God’s ministry to the world. May you and I always be ready, available, and obedient.

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