11 Quotes From “Your Next 24 Hours”

your-next-24-hoursHal Donaldson makes the case that a revolution of kindness can be started by what you do in the next 24 hours. It’s a great book! Check out my review of Your Next 24 Hours by clicking here, and then enjoy some of these quotes that I found enlightening.

“Think of your heart as a bank vault that’s packed with the currency of love and kindness. When that currency is hoarded—it is wasted. But when it is invested in the lives of others, it pays great dividends. With each disbursement, you give others strength, hope, and value.”

“You have a unique capacity to bring hope and beauty to the world. Don’t waste your precious energy using the wrong ruler. Granted, not everyone will acknowledge your unique gifts. But don’t allow how others see you to dictate how you see yourself. The words they use to describe you don’t define you. You can’t control how they respond to you, but you can influence what they have to respond to.”

“If all you possess are two hands, collect trash along the way. If all you own is a smile, use it to befriend someone who is lonely. If all you have is an umbrella, share it with someone who is quivering in the rain. If all you have is a kind word, encourage those who think the world is against them. To the lonely, rain-soaked, and downtrodden, your resourcefulness is their miracle.” 

“If enough families are built on a foundation of kindness, communities will see crime rates fall, domestic disputes decline, suicides drop, teen pregnancies wane, and cases of child abuse fade.”

“Whenever you see injustice, it’s safer to ignore it and do nothing. When you raise your voice in defense of others, you put yourself at risk. Retreating will protect you temporarily, but that approach only perpetuates more injustice and suffering. Don’t allow the threat of retaliation to make you a spectator.”

“From a heart of kindness, will you stand and say, ‘There are no second class citizens—nor should anyone be made to feel like one. Every life is precious to God and must be treasured, because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”?’ Remember, your voice is a vote for justice; your silence may be interpreted as a vote for injustice.”

“To offer the right prescription of hope and encouragement, you need to be emotionally and spiritually prepared.” 

“No life experience should be wasted, because crises teach patience, empathy, and perseverance.”

“Make it your goal to do more for your friends and family members than they do for you. When they are facing hardship, make an effort to be by their side. They may not know how to ask for help, so don’t be afraid to be proactive.” 

“Occasional kindness has limited power. But relentless kindness has the power to restore, inspire, rescue, and unite.”

“Your acts of kindness are an outward expression of the love and happiness that are in your heart.” 

I’ll be sharing more quotes from this wonderful book soon. To be notified right away when these quotes are posted, enter your email address to subscribe. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter and Tumblr, where I share quotes from Hal Donaldson and other thought-provoking people every day.

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Dr. Martin Luther King On Abortion

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.In preparing for a recent book review, I re-read Dr. Martin Luther King’s amazing Letter From A Birmingham Jail. Dr. King was addressing some pastors who had advised him to slow down in his push to abolish segregation.

I believe there are some amazing parallels to what Dr. King wrote about abolishing segregation, and what many are writing and speaking about today in abolishing abortion.

Below are a few quotes from Dr. King’s Letter that I think are appropriate in the context of calling the church to not slow down in her push to abolish abortion. Just as Dr. King spoke up for the people whose voices were not being heard, we need to speak up for those children in the womb whose voices are not being heard.

I have taken the liberty to make a couple of changes in Dr. King’s original letter, to clarify how I believe he would have addressed the abortion issue. My changes are in brackets.

“You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since [many] so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of [1973 ‘legalizing’ abortion], at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: ‘How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?’ The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’ 

“Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades the human personality is unjust. All [abortion] statutes are unjust because [abortion kills an unborn] soul and [destroys a] personality. It gives the [abortionist and those who advocate for abortion] a false sense of superiority and the [aborted human baby] a false sense of inferiority. … 

“An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is a difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made it legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to [live], had no part in enacting or devising the law. …

“One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.” 

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the [murder of innocent human beings] but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.” 

“So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremist for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of [abortion laws] or for the [saving] of [life]?” 

“I have heard many ministers say: ‘Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern.’ And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other-worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and secular.” 

“Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! how we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.” 

“There was a time when the church was very powerful—in that time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being ‘disturbers of the peace’ and ‘outside agitators.’ But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were ‘a colony of heaven,’ called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be ‘astronomically intimidated.’ By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. 

“Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an arch-defender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent—and often even the vocal—sanction of things as they are.

“But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the [twenty-first] century.” 

“Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.”

The Danger Of Unbelief

Horatius Bonar“Unbelief in Scripture is spoken of as the sin of sins. As faith is the root of all good, so is unbelief of all evil. God hates it; Christ condemns it; our own hearts cannot but say it is evil. ‘The evil heart of unbelief’ is the most evil of all. … Unbelief is injustice—

  1. To God—It assumes that He is not to be trusted or credited; that He is not the being that He has said He is. It does gross injustice to His whole character; His love, His grace, His veracity, His unchangeableness. It misinterprets and misrepresents Him in all respects, and so dishonors Him, and separates us from Him.
  2. To Christ—It rejects the testimony which God has given of Him; it refuses to accept the character which the Father has given of Him, and treats Him as one like ourselves. Every act of unbelief, every doubt, every suspicion is an injustice to Him—to one who has not deserved such treatment at our hands. It keeps us apart from Him, and Him from us; it will not allow us to be satisfied with what Scripture has revealed concerning Him.
  3. To the Holy Spirit—All unbelief is a rejection of the Spirit’s testimony to the Son; a grieving of the Spirit. It is a doing injustice to His love and power; to His willingness to bless. It is making Him a liar. It is casting discredit on that Book which He has written for us concerning the love of God.
  4. To the Cross—All unbelief, more or less, directly assails the cross. It says—(1) That Cross is insufficient, it cannot save unless assisted by goodness in us; (2) That Cross may save ordinary sinners, it cannot save me; (3) That Cross is not the place of substitution, but merely of example of a divine self-surrender. Thus it insists that we shall not take our peace from the cross alone.
  5. To the blood—The special thing which marks the Cross is the blood; and unbelief specially sets aside the blood in its value and efficacy. It refuses to take peace from the blood alone. …
  6. To the gospel—It makes void the good news, and turns them into evil tidings, or at least into no tidings at all. It makes the faith which receives the gospel a work to be done, a condition to be performed; and upon the right doing of that work, and the right performance of that condition….

“Unbelief checks prayerfulness—Prayer implies expectancy: ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’ Where unbelief comes in, this expectancy is stopped; and prayer becomes irksome, and in the end brief and infrequent.” —Horatius Bonar

Links & Quotes—Pro-life Edition

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Planned Parenthood continues to lie about their work, claiming they don’t modify abortion procedures at all. Here they are—yet again!—caught on video telling us how they treat living human beings!

Here is a great video from Stand To Reason explaining why abortion is unjust discrimination—

Murray Vassar shares 4 pro-abortion arguments that sound like historic pro-slavery arguments.

This undercover video shows that abortion providers know that they are killing a human being, but they just don’t want us to know that they know.

 

Don’t Play The Fool

You probably know this already: Once you get boiling mad, it’s hard to see things objectively any more. You get steamed up—ticked off!—and you are on a no-detours course to “make things right.”

You might say things like…

  • “They need to know what they did wrong!”
  • “He’s got this coming to him!”
  • “She needs to get a taste of her own medicine!”

The unspoken completion of all of those phrases is the dangerous part. What we’re really saying is, “He need to know what he did wrong, and I’m just the one to tell him!” Or, “She needs to get a taste of her own medicine, and I’m just the one to dispense that prescription to her!

It’s been said that action has killed its thousands; reaction its tens of thousands.

Did he hurt you? Yes!

Is he a jerk for doing so? Absolutely!

Should he get punished for it? Probably!

Are you the one to do it? No. No! NO!

He played the fool… Don’t sink to his level and play the fool yourself! 

Wise King Solomon said:

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. (Proverbs 26:4)

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (Proverbs 29:11)

So what can you do to the one who injured you?

The best thing you can do is to FORGIVE HIM!

That’s right: leave him in God’s hands. Let the All-Righteous Judge deal with him. Don’t stay wounded, because you are continuing to allow your injurer to keep you trapped, to keep you wounded. Leave him in God’s hands by taking your hands off of him!

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. (Romans 12:17-19)

Don’t play the fool! Forgive him and let God take it from there.

Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain (book review)

I’ve been a fan of Dr. Paul Meier for quite some time, and his latest book – coauthored with Dr. David Henderson – kept me cheering. Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain explores seven areas that prompt some of the deepest soul-searching and some of the stickiest questions that humans face.

There are a couple of things I admire about Drs. Meier and Henderson. One is their understanding that humans are a tri-part being: body, soul, and spirit. Those that try to bring help for the deep pain that we all experience by addressing just one area are missing the mark. There is physical pain, emotional pain, and spiritual pain.

I’ve often found that humanists who just want to address the physical and emotional symptoms, but ignore the spiritual symptoms, offer only short-sighted answers. On the other extreme, some in the church world want to offer spiritual solutions for everything, and completely ignore the physical and emotional causes. Either extreme is unhelpful to someone who is hurting. Drs. Meier and Henderson do an excellent job addressing all three areas.

The other thing I’ve always appreciated about Dr. Meier, and now his new coauthor as well, is his accessible writing style. In other words, although these are incredibly well educated men, they write in a way that everyone can understand. And more importantly, their writing style allows for ready application.

This book is divided into seven sections of four chapters each. Each section diagnosis an area of pain, looks at the causes, the possible responses, and ultimately the purpose beyond the pain. In every section the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions are addressed. These sections cover the most common pain-filled struggles we all face –

  • Injustice
  • Rejection
  • Loneliness
  • Loss
  • Discipline
  • Failure
  • Death

As a pastor, I have to deal with people who are experiencing past or present pain quite frequently. This book has enlightened me in some biblically-rooted, practical ways I can point to the purpose beyond their pain. But even if you are not a pastor or counselor, this book will be a great resource to have on your shelf. Whether you have lingering questions about the pain you have experienced, or you simply want to be ready to help a friend or loved one who may be battling one of these areas, you will appreciate Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain.

I am a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson.

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