Links & Quotes

“This is one of the rewards of reading the Old Testament regularly. You keep on discovering more and more what a tissue of quotations from it the New Testament is; how constantly Our Lord repeated, reinforced, continued, refined, and sublimated the Judaic ethics, how very seldom He introduced a novelty.” —C.S. Lewis, Reflections On The Psalms 

I have shared quite often about the historicity of the Bible. Here is some additional evidence for that: Top 10 discoveries related to the Book of Daniel.

The folks at Fight The New Drug provide excellent research on the dangers of pornography as well as many helpful resources for folks to break free from a porn addiction. Pornography often attracts people when they are emotionally drained, but viewing porn actually increases feelings of loneliness and isolation.

If we ever start to think the Church is one or two ministers and a whole bunch of parishioners, it really won’t be a Church. According to Ephesians 4, all Christians should be ministers. 

You can check out the full message that this clip is from by clicking here.

Here is a word of encouragement for anyone in a time of spiritual warfare—

Check out my regular Monday Motivation series.

Wow, this post from T.M. Moore on how we respond to God’s “call” is a much-needed reminder. In the post, he wrote,

“Probably most Christians treat the calling of God as a kind of punctuated equilibrium. He breaks into their lives to ‘call’ them to some activity or task, but only from time to time, and only for that activity or task. He ‘calls’ us to believe the Gospel, and we do. He ‘calls’ us to this or that church, and we go. He ‘calls’ us to some ministry or other Christian activity, and so we participate. He ‘calls’ us to make a special gift, go on a mission trip, send a note of encouragement to a friend, and so forth. Our lives run on their own schedules, so whenever God ‘calls’ us to do something, we’ll try to get it done.

“But most of the time, other things have prior claims on our lives. We have jobs, families, friends, responsibilities, things we like to do or must do. We can’t respond to every calling from God because, well, there just isn’t enough time. We say, when friends press us to consider this or that Christian opportunity, ‘If God calls me to it, I will.’ But aren’t we just using the language of piety to relieve the discomfort of pressure to do something we’d rather not do?

“We are called of God. Of this there is no doubt. But for most Christians, the way they understand God’s calling is not the same as the way God issues it. And they have not yet learned to value His calling as He intends, as the defining and guiding value of our lives.”

Links & Quotes

Ken Blanchard shared a blog post based on one of the chapters in his book Simple Truths Of Leadership (which I highly recommend to leaders!). He wrote, “When you catch yourself doing things right, everything in your life will improve—especially your relationships. Why? Because it’s fun to be around people who like themselves. After all, if you’re not your own best friend, who will be? And as my dad used to say, ‘If you don’t toot your own horn, others might use it as a spittoon!’”

For all Christians, but especially for those in leadership positions, Jon Bloom shares How to Watch for Wolves: Three Signs of False Teachers.

Fight The New Drug shares the research behind 15 Basic Facts About Human Sex Trafficking.

This is a great lesson from church history on the power of importunate prayer: The Hundred-Year Prayer Meeting.

Mary Slessor set a high bar for missionaries. John Stonestreet reminds us of this amazing woman.

Links & Quotes

“Ministers should be persons of the same quiet, lamb-like spirit that Christ was of, the same spirit of submission to God’s will, and patience under afflictions, and meekness towards men; of the same calmness and composure of spirit under reproaches and sufferings from the malignity of evil men; of the same spirit of forgiveness of injuries; of the same spirit of charity, of fervent love and extensive benevolence; the same disposition to pity the miserable, to weep with those who weep, to help men under their calamities of both soul and body, to hear and grant the requests of the needy, and relieve the afflicted; the same spirit of condescension to the poor and mean, tenderness and gentleness towards the weak, and great and effectual love to enemies.” —Jonathan Edwards

“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.” —Elizabeth Elliot

In my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter, I talk about how important it is for us to get a good night’s sleep to keep our leadership skills sharp. Sleep is also vitally important to help in the battle against overcoming temptations.

A groundbreaking paper was released this year that appears to debunk evolutionary theories once again. Check out this commentary from John Stonestreet’s podcast.

“There’s no such thing as a spiritual vacuum in the cosmos. Whatever of our time, attention, interest, or strength is not devoted to the Lord, and His Kingdom and glory, will become susceptible to being taken over by contrary interests. These often take the form of false teachers who appeal to our selfish interests and encourage us to make of the faith of Jesus Christ a kind of spiritual smorgasbord for whatever we think we need. We leave off the solid food of sound doctrine and dabble in the sweets and crunchies of mere self-interest—if we spend any time in the Word of God at all. Our mind enters a period of arrested development which will become permanent atrophy unless serious measures are engaged.” —T.M. Moore

“Always make your gratitude greater than your success.” —Dan Sullivan & Catherine Nomura

Links & Quotes

How would you respond to someone who asked, “Why would God punish Jesus for what I did?” Here’s a thoughtful reply from cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace.

“It were a good strife amongst Christians, one to labor to give no offense, and the other to labor to take none. The best men are severe to themselves, tender over others.” —Richard Sibbes

What can archeology tell us about the place where Pilate sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion?

Doug Clay shares some thoughts on what the resurrection of Jesus means for us today.

Wow, check out this photo from the Hubble Space Telescope. It is the most distant star yet photographed.

Celebrating my Dad’s 90th birthday!

Fight The New Drug shares the benefits of quitting porn from people who actually quit using pornography.

Links & Quotes

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 

Fight The New Drug shares 10 fast facts about the real effects of pornography.

In my “Best of…” post this week, I share a conversation with a new Christian about church infighting, and the resulting poem. Check out Brothers And Sisters The Same.

The Babylon Bee always cracks me up! For those of you who know the story of Abraham and Issac, this (ahem!) alternative story is quite a hoot!

Links & Quotes

Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Look at Abraham’s faith in just one word: “WE will come back to you.”

Follow me on YouVersion so we can share more thoughts on God’s Word with each other.

Wil Robinson shares a fable from Leo Tolstoy with the three most important questions everyone should ask themselves. The three questions are: How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Who are the people I most need, and to whom should I, therefore, pay more attention than to the rest? And, what affairs are the most important and need my first attention?

T.M. Moore reminds us how the promises of God can build courage in us. Check out all of the posts in his series called Brave Heart.

“Faithfulness is displayed in both word and deed—seen best by combining the Great Commission’s instruction to ‘make disciples’ with the second greatest commandment to ‘love thy neighbor.’ The beauty of the Gospel is found in both proclamation and demonstration. Neither comes first; neither comes second. Like the perfect marriage, it’s the duty of the Christians to take on each, giving 100 percent effort to both.” —Gabe Lyons, The Next Christians 

Fight The New Drug shared the results of a study of over 11,000 releationships, the five things the happiest couples have in common, and how pornography can undermine those relationships.

“Oh, that the eyes of sinners may be speedily opened—that they may see the difference of things, the beauty which is in holiness, and the astonishing madness that is in sin!” —Thomas Watson

Science is an important component in seeking truth. The Institute for Creation Research has an excellent perspective on the role of science for a Christian: “While the pursuit of science is certainly noble, it should be situated in its proper context and tackle matters within its empirically defined framework.”

John Piper observes, “The number-one reason why people in such seemingly hopeless situations purchase scratch-offs is because things already look so hopeless for improvement that the so-called ‘stupidity’ of wasting this dollar won’t really make anything worse.” This post elaborates on how the lottery preys on the poor.

4 Quotes On The Destructive Nature Of Pornography

“Pornography is based on and fed by always needing to see something new. It works neurologically to create an obsessive demand for more of something you’ve never seen before. The promise of something new is what gets you excited and interested, which means, by definition, that you can never be fully satisfied. That’s the opposite of cherish. Pornography works off volume, not individuality; it works off the novel, not the known. Learning to cherish a solo picture of a unique mate shapes our hearts and minds to cherish a particular individual above all others.” —Gary Thomas, in Cherish

“Pornography, by its very nature, is an equal opportunity toxin. It damages the viewer, the performer, and the spouses and the children of the viewers and the performers. It is toxic mis-education about sex and relationships. It is more toxic the more you consume.” —Dr. Mary Anne Layden 

“We can’t fill up our eyes with our wives if our eyes have been previously filled with someone else. One of the many dangers of porn is that it neurologically trains us to find our wives less beautiful.” —Gary Thomas, in Cherish

“When it comes to porn, it turns an intimate relationship love-connection into a rehearsed performance that’s less about the emotional bonding that happens when people have sex. No emotional connection, no commitment, no kissing and cuddling, just performing and self-focusing. Porn fails to emphasize the most real parts in relationships. It doesn’t depict real people with real bodies with real (and beautiful) flaws. In fact, it tries to sell the complete opposite—a photoshop fantasy that reality should never have to compete with. So it only makes sense that those who are exposed to porn have their perceptions of sex twisted and warped. Soon, real people don’t measure up, and partners are considered less exciting when compared to an exaggerated production on a computer screen.” —Fight The New Drug

Pornography Is Hunting Your Kids

Talking about pornPornography continues to ravage our society. It has a devastating effect on marriages and families, and even on our physical and mental health. Check out some of these latest alarming statistics:

Here are just a few stats on porn usage:

  • 12 percent of all internet websites are pornographic.
  • 35 percent of all internet downloads are pornographic in content.
  • 25 percent of online search engine requests are related to sex, resulting in about 68 million requests a day.
  • 40 million Americans consider themselves regular visitors to porn sites.

Not only that, but porn is now seeking out younger and younger kids. The average age that someone is exposed to porn for the first time is 11 years old! 

Pornographers are purposely setting up on domains on commonly misspelled words of legitimate websites. Even setting up porn where someone types in .com instead of .edu or .org.

So what do we do? Josh McDowell urges parents to talk their children early and often about pornography:

“When it comes to discussing sex and pornography, how soon is too soon? It’s a question many parents ask. They don’t want to overexpose their children or be guilty of stirring up temptation in their children’s lives. At the same time, they don’t want to risk missing their cue and opening the door for other teachers like classmates, sex ed classes, magazines, and porn. The list of poor teachers is endless. In the face of so many mixed and misinformed messages, perhaps the question we should be asking is how late is too late?”

Parents, we can no longer simply hope our kids don’t get hooked on porn, we need to actively communicate with them. Porn is hunting your kids, so you need to help them know how to defend themselves from this evil.

Sex Obsessed

Fight The New DrugBilly Graham said, “It has always been the mark of decaying civilizations to become obsessed with sex.” Right in the opening pages of the Bible, God lays out the way sex can be fulfilling and productive, and throughout the rest of Scripture (and all of history) we see how trying to get sexual fulfillment any other way is unfulfilling and destructive.

Becky McDonald, the founder of Women At Risk International recently wrote:

“Sexuality is a real subject addressed daily in the journey of healing with the men, women, and children in our care who are facing female circumcision, sexual slavery, torture, rape, and honor killings—the list is endless. There’s no pretending behind our closed doors. I try to read every book—Christian and secular—touted as ground-breaking. None of them are. We are driven by a reality placed in us by the Creator God with legitimate ways, context, and relationship to express our sexuality. If we don’t find those legitimate outlets, we will spend our lives searching for fulfillment in self-destructive ways to fill that God-given need for community, intimacy, relationship, and meaning. We cannot live without intimacy, and here I don’t mean sex. Sex is simply one of the most powerful forms of intimacy. We are not asexual beings. Being Christ-followers, striving for integrity in all things, doesn’t neuter us.”

Pornography is one of the cheap ways men and women try to find satisfaction. But porn not only doesn’t satisfy, it keeps its victims trapped in a downward spiral of dissatisfaction and self-destruction.

Even if you remove the mandates in Scripture, science itself tells us how destructive watching pornography is. An organization I have come to appreciate for their science-based warning about pornography is Fight The New Drug.

Josh McDowell has this word of warning for parents:

“Parents need to take a leading role in encouraging an environment of loving accountability in the home, showing sympathy for present struggles (if there are any) while setting appropriate limits on what should and should not be accessed on mobile devices. Accountability software should be installed on all mobile devices with a clear expectation that there is no room for privacy when it comes to harmful content online. (By the way, if you use Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability, you can now use our Android app to lock down other apps, like unmonitored browsers.)”

If you want help breaking free from the stranglehold of pornography, the folks at Fight The New Drug have a very helpful resource called Fortify. Please click the link and sign up today!

You can break free! You can know the fulfilling, satisfying sex life that God intended for you to have all along! But you must take the first step today… do it God’s way and start really loving!

Links & Quotes

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“Most men are not satisfied with the permanent output of their lives. Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within His followers except the adoption of Christ’s purpose toward the world He came to redeem. Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of His eternal plans. The men who are putting everything into Christ’s undertaking are getting out of life its sweetest and most priceless rewards.” —J. Campbell White

“When we are confronted with temptation, we need to remember that others are looking at us, taking their cues from us. If we take sin into our souls it will affect not only us, but them as well. The demands of neighbor-love should help us to resist temptation and, thus, continue our pursuit of the righteousness of God’s Kingdom in our lives.” —T.M. Moore

“The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.” —C.S. Lewis

“Do little things as if they were great, because of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ who dwells in thee: and do great things as if they were little and easy, because of His omnipotence.” —Blaise Pascal

“In light of Revelation 1-3, every believer must ask himself: ‘Have my good works—my Bible studies and my service—robbed me of time with Jesus? Do I still hunger for Him as I once did? Or have I lost something?’” —David Wilkerson

Can you feel the heartache? “Watching porn with my husband did the complete opposite of ‘spice things up.’”

[VIDEO] How does the Bible get passed down?

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