Appreciation

my-appreciationI love the dictionary definition of the word appreciation

  1. gratitude; thankful recognition
  2. the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value
  3. assessment of the truth worth

How often do you take time to truly appreciate the blessings in your life? Appreciation goes beyond merely being thankful for blessings, as it sees the high value in those blessings, and then continually looks for ways to express even more gratitude for them.

In other words, appreciation can begin a cycle of gratitude that grows and grows and GROWS!

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, it’s a good time for us to remember that giving thanks shouldn’t be limited to just one day each November. Instead, we should learn to continuously appreciate the blessings around us.

Join us this Sunday as we begin a 4-part series considering the value of appreciation. I will be joined by some of my friends as we share what we’ve come to appreciation this past year. I hope to see you this Sunday at 10:30am.

12 Quotes From “Think On These Things”

think-on-these-thingsJohn Maxwell’s books always inspire me to think differently. In Think On These Things—the first book Maxwell wrote—we get to see the seed thoughts that would appear in fuller form in his later books. Be sure to check out my review of Think On These Things by clicking here, and then enjoy a dozen John Maxwell quotes.

“Your life today is a result of your thinking yesterday. Your life tomorrow will be determined by what you think today.”

“The truth of a man is known not by how he acts when he is in control but how he reacts when things are beyond his control.”

“Your willingness to learn and adjust positively from mistakes and shortcomings will largely determine how far you will travel the road to success.”

“A thankful heart is one that has had time to count blessings.”

“Our spiritual, physical, and emotional condition will greatly determine how we react to situations. The better we feel, the more capable we will be to evaluate difficult situations and make important decisions.”

“If you haven’t made any mistakes lately, I question if you are trying hard enough. … When you make a mistake, you can resolve never to make another one. But that is impossible. You can decide that mistakes are too costly and become fearful of them, that that fear will keep you from fulfilling your potential. You can constantly think about your mistakes and live with regret, but that is self-torture. Finally, you can learn from your mistakes and become a better person, and that is progress.”

“Success is never instantaneous. It is never an accident. Success is continuous. It takes growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping-stone to rise higher up the mountain of accomplishment.”

“No problem will leave you the same person after it has gone. Problems are the great dividers between success and failure. How you handle them will determine on which side you will live.”

“An experience is not a failure if it prods us to keep on trying. An experience is not a failure if through it we discover how we failed and put that knowledge to good use. An experience is not a failure if through it we discover our own true selves. An experience is not a failure if through it we become better-disciplined individuals.”

“Problems are reminders. They remind us that we need God’s help to handle the upheavals of life.”

“Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson afterward. Experience is yesterday’s answer to today’s problems.”

“It is vitally important to realize that either the situations around us control our lives or we control them.”

7 Quotes On Hungering & Thirsting From “The Blessing Of Humility”

The Blessing Of HumilityAs I stated in my review of Jerry Bridges’ book The Blessing Of Humility, reading through these thoughts slowly—Beatitude by Beatitude—would bring about the most life-changing impact. In that spirit, I will be sharing some noteworthy quotes one Beatitude at a time. Here are some quotes on blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6)…

“To hunger and thirst for righteousness, then, indicates a strong overwhelming desire for righteousness. … Righteousness denotes the state of being right. Biblically, it means perfect according to God’s law in every way: thought, word, deed, and even motive.”

“At the moment we trusted Christ as Savior, we were justified—declared by God to be righteous. You will never be more or less righteous before God any day of your life than you were the moment you trusted Christ as your Savior. This raises another question: Why should I hunger and thirst for that which I already have? The answer is that the more we grow and mature in the Christian life, the more sensitive we become to the sin and failure we see in our lives. It is not that we necessarily sin more but rather that we become more aware of and mourn over the sin that is already there. As that happens, we hunger more and more after the righteousness we have only in Christ.”

“There is a legitimate sense in which we are to hunger and thirst for that perfect righteousness we already have in Christ. This should be a continual daily attitude of all growing Christians because we continue to sin every day.”

“There is a second righteousness that we should hunger and thirst for: the experiential righteousness we are to pursue every day. God has inextricably linked together the righteousness we have in Christ and the righteousness we should pursue. He does not give one without the other. Therefore, whoever hungers and thirsts after the righteousness we have in Christ will also hunger and thirst to be righteous in his or her daily experience.” [See 2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 3:10]

“It is clear from Scripture, then, that we are to pursue an experiential righteousness. But what will cause us to hunger and thirst for it? The answer is twofold. First, as we have already observed, the new nature is inclined by the Holy Spirit to pursue righteousness. … The second motivation is gratitude for the righteousness we have in Christ.”

“There will be no growth in experiential righteousness apart from a regular intake of the Word of God.”

“We are absolutely dependent on the Holy Spirit to work in us Himself and to enable us to work. We cannot make one inch of progress toward experiential righteousness without His divine enablement.”

I have previously shared quotes on:

Quotes on the remaining Beatitudes will be posted next week so stay tuned. Even better: subscribe to my blog, and you’ll receive the new quotes directly in your email inbox.

Links & Quotes

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“Christ did not risk death. He embraced it. That is precisely why He came: not to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). … Christmas is for freedom. Freedom from the fear of death. Jesus took our nature in Bethlehem, to die our death in Jerusalem, that we might be fearless in our city. Yes, fearless. Because if the biggest threat to my joy is gone, then why should I fret over the little ones?” —John Piper

“The danger of all dangers would be to lose trust and confidence in the mercy of God. … To distrust Him would be a far more terrible thing than any physical evil which all the enemies of God put together could inflict on us, for without God’s permission neither the devils nor their human ministers could hinder us in the slightest degree.” —Francis Xavier

“Each instant of present labor is to be graciously repaid with a million ages of glory.” —J.W. Alexander

“If God did so much for us when enemies, what will He do, or rather, what will He not do, for us now that we are friends? … If Christ’s death did so much for us, what will not His life do?” —Horatius Bonar

“Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.” —Goethe

[VIDEO] Tim Dilena shares some practical keys for a consistent prayer life.

“I would exhort those who have entertained an hope of their being true converts, and yet since their supposed conversion have left off the duty of secret prayer, and do ordinarily allow themselves in the omission of it, to throw away their hope. If you have left off calling upon God, it is time for you to leave off hoping and flattering yourselves with an imagination that you are the children of God.” —Jonathan Edwards

“For too many of us, Christian experience is episodic rather than continuous, with a few religious experiences interspersed throughout our lives, which are otherwise lived on our own terms. Such people can see little need or use for prayer.” —Ralph Lehman

Eric Metaxas helps us get ready for Religious Freedom Day on January 16.

[VIDEO] Not just at Christmas when you are receiving gifts, but all year long we should be people of appreciation. Check out John Maxwell’s short video—

Links & Quotes

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“It’s easy to label what we consider ‘good things’ in our lives as gifts from God and to welcome them with gratitude. But when difficult things happen, we don’t look at them as part of God’s good plan for us. Mary’s example [Luke 1:38] shows us we can also welcome those things we would not necessarily label ‘good,’ confident that God’s gifts sometimes come in perplexing and even painful packages. When we belong to God, we know He will use whatever He allows into our lives for good. Somehow, in God’s hands, these things also become gifts of His grace toward us.” —Nancy Guthrie

“Unless we intend completely to forfeit our holy seasons, and to allow them to be taken captive for the purposes of crass commercialism and narrow-minded narcissism, we need to make the best use of these times as God intends….” —T.M. Moore

“No one who is lost has lost one ounce of value to God. Even if you don’t have a relationship with Him, you have immense value to God. Lostness implies value. Whatever someone is willing to spend to recover something that’s lost shows how valuable that item is. In the most famous verse in the Bible, Jesus clearly explains our value: ‘God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life’ (John 3:16).” —Rick Warren

If you have trouble knowing whether to use theirthere, or they’re, this may help.

“By giving to You what You do not need, and what I might enjoy, I am saying more earnestly and more authentically, ‘You are my treasure, not these things.’” —John Piper on fasting

I was going through an Advent reading plan on YouVersion, and I came across this quote: “Each Christmas is practice for the moment of Christ’s second coming, when every knee will bend, either in worship or terror.”

In this video, Brett Kunkle explains from Scripture and from personal observation how we know humans are born into sin.

“Many Christians today…choose to listen only to soft, flesh-assuring preaching. Where there is no convicting word, there can be no godly sorrow over sin. Where there is no godly sorrow for sin, there can be no repentance. And where there is no repentance, there is only hardness of heart.” —David Wilkerson

“We are tempted in our day to be ashamed of the gospel. It is thought to be bare, unintellectual, almost childish by many. Hence, they would overlay it with argument and eloquence, to make it more respectable and more attractive. Every such attempt to add to it is being ashamed of it [Romans 1:16].” —Horatius Bonar

Check out some absolutely stunning pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope!

15 More Tweetable Billy Graham Quotes

BillyGrahamI recently shared 15 quotes from The Quotable Billy Graham that fit nicely into Twitter. I saw lots of those quotes appearing in other places, so here are 15 more tweetable quotes from Dr. Graham…

“Without God, the best man in the world is capable of the most terrifying crimes.”

“We have become so accustomed to immorality that it no longer seems to us to be immoral.”

“One of the best ways to get a boy to say ‘I do’ at the marriage altar is for the girl to say ‘No’ before marriage.”

“One of the worst sins we can commit is that of ingratitude.”

“I beg you not to squander life. I beseech you to take the long view. Do not live for the world only.”

“All mankind is searching for ideal conditions in a world that is anything but ideal.”

“A religion which is full of pretense is nothing but religious addiction.”

“Crisis times are the times when Christ should be proclaimed.”

Only if Christ is a partner in the home and in the hearts of the two people will romance continue.”

“Self-respect is a wonderful thing so long as it is not produced by self-deception.”

“It has always been the mark of decaying civilizations to become obsessed with sex.”

“The three chief consequences of sin are: estrangement from God; bondage to self; disharmony with others.”

“The verb of the world is ‘get.’ The verb of the Christian is ‘give.’” 

“Any philosophy which deals only with the here and now is not adequate for man.”

“Everyone meets temptations, but some folks entertain them.”

You can read my review of this book here. And check out some longer quotes from Billy Graham here and here.

Links & Quotes

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“If then, Christian, you believe the gospel to be ‘glad tidings’ (Luke 1:19; 8:1), show that you believe it, by lighting up your face with a smile.” —Charles Bridges

“God’s yardstick for measuring faithfulness is how faithful you are with your own gifts. You are not responsible for the nature of your gift. But you are responsible for how you use it!” —Max Lucado

J. Warner Wallace shares some of his favorite sources for Christians to make their case.

How to keep your gratitude going after Thanksgiving Day.

From Live Action: “Extremists have made the 2016 election about attacking reproductive rights,” Cecile Richards says in the video. “Enough is enough.” Yes, Ms. Richards—enough IS enough:

  • when it comes to the slaughter of preborn babies in the womb. (327,653 reported in their 2013-2014 annual report)
  • when it comes to harvesting their body parts for profit.
  • when it comes to $528 million tax dollars annually to the abortion chain while Planned Parenthood directors receive six digit salaries.
  • when it comes to Planned Parenthood pushing sexual deviancy on teens.
  • when Planned Parenthood covers up the sexual abuse of young girls.
  • when Planned Parenthood names its highest award after its founder, Margaret Sanger, a known Klan speaker and supporter of racist eugenics.
  • of ambulances summoned to Planned Parenthood due to abortion complications.
  • of the silence when Planned Parenthood leaves a Black woman on the table to bleed to death after an abortion.
  • of Planned Parenthood’s lies.
  • nearly one-quarter of all Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from abortions.

[VIDEO] I like what Barnabas Piper says about how the church should handle questions—

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