Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

[VIDEO] Derek Jeter has been a classy baseball player (even if he does play for the Yankees!). This Nike video tribute to The Captain is also very classy and well deserved. #Re2pect

[VIDEO] This is a lot of fun: Toy Wars.

I have to agree with this: Israel’s ‘Reasonable’ Response To Hamas.

“For real business at the mercy seat give me a homemade prayer, a prayer that comes out of the depths of your heart, not because you invented it, but because the Holy Spirit put it there. Though your words are broken and your sentences disconnected, God will hear you. Perhaps you can pray better without words than with them. There are prayers that break the backs of words; they are too heavy for any human language to carry.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Generous pastors lead generous churches, and generous churches embody the true Spirit of Christ, Who gave Himself a ransom for all.” —T.M. Moore

Dr. Horton was a giant, not because of his impressive achievements, but because he embodied what it meant to have a servant’s heart. I pray that his legacy of godliness and servanthood live on in future generations of Pentecostal scholars.” Read more about the life of Dr. Stanley Horton.

This is a hard-hitting piece, but it is definitely on-target. Too many churches are selling out on the pro-life message. Read Faith & Forceps.

“…While man and woman are equally valuable in God’s image, and while both of them have essential and satisfying roles to play in the drama of God-exalting human life, nevertheless men bear a primary (not solitary) responsibility for leadership and protection and provision in the human race. Therefore they bear a representative role when it comes to accountability (Genesis 3:9; Romans 5:12-14). This unique calling is a responsibility to bear in sacrificial love, not a right to seize in dominating power. Where it is embraced with servantlike, Christ-honoring courage, and supported by women with faith-filled, fearless, intelligent joy, the best harmony of man and woman prevails.”—John Piper

15 Quotes From “I Like Giving”

I Like GivingI Like Giving by Brad Formsma is a unique look at how to impact our communities. You can read my full book review by clicking here, but I strongly encourage anyone who wants to see their world changed to pick up a copy of this book. Below are some quotes I found thought-provoking in this book.

“Living generously is about giving your life to other people so that everything you do—whether it is your work, your charitable giving, or your contribution to your neighborhood—becomes both a gift to others and rewarding for yourself.” 

“Don’t make giving too big a project. Sometimes your best and most perfect gift might be as simple as a smile or a compliment. Maybe it’s paying for a stranger’s lunch.”

“Watch out for these nasty four-letter words: debt, fear, and busy. They steal the joy with the greatest of ease. Be aware of them as they compete with the nudge to do for others.” 

“The good news is that it’s never too late to give. If an opportunity comes your way and you don’t seize it, don’t get stuck in the downward spiral of regret. Smile, tell yourself all is well, and then ask for another one. If there are people around you, there will be more opportunities to give.”

“No matter how successful you are, it is giving your life away to others that makes you happy. … The right response, though, is not to shun success but to replace selfish ambition with other ambitions—doing things for others.” 

“Give daily, in small ways, and you will be happier. Give and you will be healthier. Give, and you will even live longer. … Giving protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease.” —Dr. Stephen Post

“Don’t let the occasional person who abuses the goodwill of others ruin your giving and deter you.”

“Compassion doesn’t mean giving every time, but when I give, I do it knowing that I’ve loved a fellow human being right where that person is, whether the money will be wasted or not.”

“One thing I’ve learned through the process is that I can’t force generosity. I can’t lead my family unless I’m going there myself. Simply keeping my eyes open for opportunities to give and ways to include the whole family sparks the idea in my kids. Kids are too young and innocent to believe they can’t be generous if they see adults living that way. … I never want to underestimate the example I am setting. My kids are watching how I live, and the choices I make have rippling effects down through the generations. I can choose to do nothing and let my children be swept up in the current of empty materialism that is rampant in our culture, or I can choose to live a different way by living generously.” 

“I don’t think we can ever overestimate just how profound the effects of giving can be. You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. The reality is that other people are watching how we live our lives, and what we do can have extraordinary effects in our communities. Generosity is for all of us. It is available to all of us, even when the cultural tide is moving in the opposite direction. Why not be brave and live differently?”

“Is weakness really that bad? Could it be that our specific weaknesses allow other people’s strengths to shine? Could it be that life sometimes throws us a curve that creates a need in our own lives? Once you experience the joy of giving, you realize that other people feel the same way when they give to you. Receiving might be harder than giving, but if you think about the joy the givers are receiving when they give to you, that will help you open up to receiving. You know that refusing the gift would deny them that joy.” 

“Focusing on what you don’t have or the bad hand you were dealt can actually make your life worse. What you think about affects who you become. It affects your relationships and the people you attract into your life. Keeping your focus on what you do have, what you have been given, and the good things in your life will make you happier and more grateful and will empower you to become a generous person yourself.”

“Often when we see someone in a bad situation, our natural response is to say, ‘Hey, if you need anything, let me know.’ Please don’t say that. Unknowingly you have put an added burden on the person. For some people the pressure is just too great, so they freeze and never respond. It’s a dangerous comment that produces a false sense of doing good. I encourage you to assess the situation and make something happen.”

“There are a lot of problems in the world. Sitting around talking about them or waiting for a large organization to do something about them doesn’t work. Finding opportunities to help others and change the world around us does work. We just have to take that scary step of actually doing something. We don’t need to overthink what we do. Sometimes we just know this is our opportunity to help. When we recognize an opportunity and dive in, amazing things happen! … So the question then becomes, are we willing? Will we decide to live generously and then be open to the opportunities that come our way?”

“You don’t have to make massive life changes, move to another city, or start your own nonprofit to become a gift to other people. You can start with who you are, right where you are, right now. In fact, you probably are already a gift to many people in many ways, but you might not always be aware of it.” 

 

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading I found this weekend.

“God’s work on this earth languishes when God’s people give up their ministries of prayer and supplication.” —A.W. Tozer

Very thoughtful: Why We Should Say “Yes” To A Culture Of Marriage.

Hmmm … Teen Pregnancy Rates Drop When Planned Parenthood Locations Close.

An informative article about the Holy Spirit: Jesus’ Closest Companion.

“Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes.” —Martin Luther

It becomes those to be generous who are the children of a gracious God.” —Charles Spurgeon

Debunking 7 Myths About Marijuana.

This is so cool! Laser surgery conducted on twins girls while they were still in the womb.

Where is the outrage in the mainstream media?! Pakistani married couple sentenced to death for their “anti-Islam” texts.

Links & Quotes

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Here are links to some interesting reading (and watching) from today.

[VIDEO] Funny, but really sad. I’m not sure what is being taught on college campuses anymore.

[VIDEO] Stephen A. Smith on Arsenio Hall’s show about race relations. Right on target!

Great reminder from Jennilee Goodwin: When The Grace Seems Greener.

[VIDEO] Greg Koukl discusses how Christians should debate evolutionists.

Tim Elmore shares a hilarious but helpful story about a woman involved in her own search party.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell reminds us of the importance of generosity.

Reciprocity

A big word that simply means: You will get what you give. Hear me correctly. I’m not saying give more just to get more. It doesn’t work that way because that’s not true reciprocity; that’s just plain selfishness.

Reciprocity is giving to others just because you have it in your power — and in your heart — to give, and it will “bounce back” to you. Reciprocity is from your heart. God makes sure you get the return blessings. And, by the way, if you have something you could give but you don’t give it, your “bounce back” becomes a world that is smaller and smaller, with greater scarcity.

Reciprocity is win-win. Selfishness is lose-lose.

When you’re kind to others, you help yourself; when you are cruel to others, you hurt yourself. (Proverbs 11:17)

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. (Proverbs 11:24)

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:25)

It’s Hard To Help Someone Up With Your Fists Clenched

Helpful people have to be openhanded people in order to help others. Tightfisted people may try to help, but they’ll probably bring more hurt than help.

In just one chapter of Deuteronomy (the book that is helping prepare the people to live in the Promised Land) there are several starkly-contrasted words. In fact these words hardly appear anywhere else in the book, except in this chapter teaching us how to help the down-and-outer. Like this one

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.

Throughout this chapter, look at the contrasting words…

  • Hardhearted  //  Openhearted
  • Tightfisted  //  Openhanded
  • Grudging heart  //  Give generously
  • Stingy  //  Freely lend
  • Empty-handed  //  Supply liberally

God tells us, “There should be no poor among you.” And, “Give to the poor as the Lord has blessed you.”

Do you know why we’re to give to the poor? So we can receive a greater blessing. Check this out

Give generously to the poor and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

A tightfisted person cannot catch a blessing from God; only the openhanded person can.

A hardhearted person cannot feel God’s love; only the openhearted can.

Pretty simple – if you want to be blessed, then generously bless others. Now let’s go do it!

Stopping More Than Enough

There’s a well-known line from the movie Wall Street in which the up-and-coming Bud Fox asks his rich mentor Gordon Gekko, “How much is enough?” By his words and actions Gordon answers, “It’s never enough, pal!”

The pursuit of More Than Enough is beyond greed. It’s what both the Bible and the Greeks called Mammon: the relentless pursuit of More. It’s an easy trap in which anyone – young or old, rich or poor – can get caught. But God gave us a way out

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

God wants us to acknowledge that He is Provider by deliberately leaving something behind.

Let me state that another way: He provides our daily bread. If I have anything that is More Than Enough, it’s not for me… it’s for others.

So this is yet another work-in-progress for my life. How do I deliberately leave the More Than Enough behind for someone else? I have a couple of thoughts, but would love you to expand on this list –

  • Leave a larger tip for my server at the restaurant.
  • Pay for the people in the car behind me in line at the drive-thru.
  • Continue to be a proud member of the Junky Car Club, so I can use my car payment money to help others.
  • Find out what one day of work really earns me, and then give up just one day a month to help others (see One Day’s Wages).
  • Order less food at McDonald’s and giving a donation to The Ronald McDonald House.
  • When I have a buy-one-get-one-free coupon, give the free one away to someone in need.

That’s just the start of my list. I want to honor God and I want to defeat the More Than Enough monster. I can do both by deliberately leaving something behind. Will you join me?

And feel free to continue to add to the list of ways we can all deliberately leave something behind.

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