Links & Quotes

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“O Lord, keep me strong in the sense of Thy call.” —Thomas Boston, Scottish Presbyterian pastor

“You have remained true to God under the great tests, now be alert over the least things.” —Oswald Chambers

“Mighty events turn on a straw.” —Thomas Carlyle

“God is love, but God is also just, as severely just as if He had no love, and yet as intensely loving as if He had no justice. To gain a just view of the character of God you must perceive all His attributes as infinitely developed; justice must have its infinity acknowledged as much as mercy.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Pleasures demean, disappoint, and destroy us when they are merely fleeting, fleshly, and foolish. The pleasure we ultimately seek, and for which we were created, can only be found in one place, in fellowship and communion with the Lord of heaven and earth.” —T.M. Moore

John Piper has some very insightful words in the wake of the tragedy in Paris—France: A Fabric Torn.

Jim Cymbala reminds us, “There are no trendy shortcuts, no hocus-pocus mantras that can defeat satan.” Read more in No Hocus-Pocus.

Parents, teachers, and anyone who works with youth will appreciate this counsel from Tim Elmore: 5 ways to cure the “cool kid” curse.

[VIDEO] What does the Quran teach about Jesus?—

[VIDEO] Pastor Dave Barringer is in Israel, and this real-time observation is quite eye-opening—

Links & Quotes

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“The question, then, isn’t, ‘when am I going to get promoted?’ No, I think the question is, ‘will I grab these openings to become someone who’s already doing work at a higher level?’” Read more from Seth Godin’s post.

“Faith is not a distant view but a warm embrace of Christ.” —John Calvin

“The honest truth is that I have seen God do more in people’s lives during ten minutes of real prayer than in ten of my sermons.” Read more of Jim Cymbala’s post The Day Jesus Got Mad.

“Success is a tale of obstacles overcome, and for every obstacle overcome, an excuse not used.” —Robert Brault

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.” —Goethe

“The good news of the Bible is that God is not at all disinclined to satisfy the hearts of those who hope in Him. Just the opposite: The very thing that can make us happiest is what God delights in with all His heart and with all His soul. With all His heart and with all His soul, God joins us in the pursuit of our everlasting joy because the consummation of that joy in Him redounds to the glory of His own infinite worth.” —John Piper

You may need to bookmark this: 15 Scriptures on starting over.

60+ eminent legal scholars call on elected officials to not recognize the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision on homosexual “marriage.”

Another place to reject culture’s language is on the issue of abortion.

Jeff Jacoby has an important look at Christopher Columbus.

 

Links & Quotes

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“When something drops into your life that seems to threaten your future, remember this: The first shock waves of the bomb are not sin. The real danger is yielding to them. Giving in. Putting up no spiritual fight. And the root of that surrender is unbelief—a failure to fight for faith in future grace. A failure to cherish all that God promises to be for us in Jesus.” —John Piper

“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” —Gaylord Nelson

My fellow pastors, may this be said of us: “Even now the Lord is raising up godly watchmen to speak for Him in these times. These shepherds are grieving, weeping and repenting as they seek God’s face. And I believe they’re hearing and understanding the Lord’s message behind the present events. Moreover, they’re not afraid to proclaim dire warnings, because they know they’ve heard from God. They’re compelled to speak of His purposes behind our calamities.” —David Wilkerson

“Who is doing exploits for God today? Where is the enemy being driven back? That is the great yearning of all spiritually-minded people. They are not enchanted with polished sermons and slick organizational technique. Where are the mighty men and women anointed by God to truly make a difference?” —Jim Cymbala

Good read for anyone in church leadership: 10 Fine Lines Of Church Leadership Tension.

Medical science validates what Scripture tells us: Unforgiveness can be lethal.

In the United States, roughly 10% of people struggle with dyslexia. Here are some helpful ways to make your materials more dyslexic-friendly for them.

J. Warner Wallace shares 6 pieces of evidence that point to our  universe having a beginning.

[VIDEO] Probably the best baby announcement I have seen yet—

Links & Quotes

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“It is the disagreeable things which make us exhibit whether we are manifesting the life of the Son of God, or living a life which is antagonistic to Him. When disagreeable things happen, do we manifest the essential sweetness of the Son of God or the essential irritation of ourselves apart from Him?” —Oswald Chambers

“Without the Holy Spirit no good thing ever did or ever can come into any of your hearts—no sigh of penitence, no cry of faith, no glance of love, no tear of hallowed sorrow. Your heart can never beat with life divine, except through the Spirit; you are not capable of the smallest degree of spiritual emotion, much less spiritual action, apart from the Holy Spirit. Dead you lie, living only for evil, but absolutely dead for God until the Holy Spirit comes and raises you.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Man was created ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ Whether that is best pictured as being in love, or like being one of an orchestra who are playing a great work with perfect success, or like surf bathing, or like endlessly exploring a wonderful country or endlessly reading a glorious story—who knows? Dante says Heaven ‘grew drunken with its universal laughter.’” —C.S. Lewis

“Our Lord will come! This is one of the great certainties of the unknown future. He may tarry, but He will come at last. Many obstacles may seem to rise up, but He will come. Men may not desire Him, but He will come. The Church may be cold, but He will come. Earth may think she has no need of Him, but He will come! The scoffer may say, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ but He will come. satan may do his utmost to oppose, but He will come. This is the great future certainty which Christ and His apostles have proclaimed to us. Our Lord will come!” —Horatius Bonar

“[God] does not bless us begrudgingly. There is a kind of eagerness about the beneficence of God. He does not wait for us to come to Him. He seeks us out, because it is His pleasure to do us good. God is not waiting for us, He is pursuing us. That, in fact, is the literal translation of Psalm 23:6, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life.’ … God is never irritable or edgy. His anger never has a short fuse. Instead He is infinitely energetic with absolutely unbounded and unending enthusiasm for the fulfillment of His delights.” —John Piper

“When it comes to spiritual matters, you and I will never know our potential under God until we step out and take risks on the front line of battle. … Sitting safely in the shelter of Bible discussions among ourselves, or complaining to one another about the horrible state of today’s society, does nothing to unleash the power of God.” Read more of this post from Jim Cymbala.

Putting a probe on a moving comet is just too cool! Check out the latest news from the Philae lander.

Alan Trammell has always been one of my all-time favorite Detroit Tigers. Here’s proof that he is just as classy off the field as he was on it.

Links & Quotes

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“Every time you prefer the pleasures of this world to the joys of heaven, you spit in the face of Christ; every time when to gain in your business, you do an unrighteous thing, you are like Judas selling Him for thirty pieces of silver; every time you make a false profession of religion, you give Him a traitor’s kiss; every word you have spoken against Him, every hard thought you have had of Him, has helped to complete your complicity with the great crowd which gathered around the Cross of Calvary, to mock and jeer the Lord of life and glory.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Unfortunately, seeking the Lord wholeheartedly does not exempt us from outside attack.” Read more from Jim Cymbala in his post about gaining victory.

Heart-breaking: “Babies born as early as 22 weeks may survive if they are treated. Sadly, a number of hospitals refuse to treat infants who are born before 24 weeks.” Read more about what you can do in this Live Action post.

Links & Quotes

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“Prayer for your enemies (Matthew 5:44) is one of the deepest forms of love, because it means that you have to really want that something good happen to them. You might do nice things for your enemy without any genuine desire that things go well with them. But prayer for them is in the presence of God Who knows your heart, and prayer is interceding with God on their behalf.” —John Piper

“The only thing one can usually change in one’s situation is oneself. And yet one can’t change that either—only ask Our Lord to do so….” —C.S. Lewis

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” —C.S. Lewis

“The world is not looking for more doctrinal proof of the reality of God! It is not looking for greater proof of the resurrection or better arguments about creation. The world is looking for Christians who can stand up to every crisis, fear, trouble and difficulty and remain calm and at rest in the midst of it all. The world needs to see God’s children trusting wholly in their Lord.” —David Wilkerson

“I would then that the quickening Spirit would come down upon me, and upon you, upon every one of us in abundance, to create men valiant for truth and mighty for the Lord.” —Charles Spurgeon

I know I have said this before, but I love the infographics and study tools from the folks at The Overview Bible Project. Here is a sample of their overview of Deuteronomy.

Illustration-11-1024x566Another great Bible study resource is the work of former cold case detective J. Warner Wallace. Here is a cool article and infographic on the authorship of the Gospel of Mark.

Jim Cymbala says, “The Scriptures are not so much the goal as they are an arrow that points us to the life-changing Christ.” Read more in his post The Limits Of Teaching.

Rosaria Butterfield wrote, “Unbelievers don’t ‘struggle’ with same-sex attraction. I didn’t….” Read more in her post The Dead End Of Sexual Sin.

GREAT NEWS: Kansas passes the nation’s first ban on abortion by dismemberment.

Links & Quotes

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Today is pi day (3.1415), and Seth Godin has a great look at this day in his post Magical and Irrational.

Sadly, religious persecution is alive and well … IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?!? This Navy chaplain has been removed from his unit for―gasp!―preaching from the Bible!

Some very good pro-life news. Scientists have called on their peers to agree not to modify human embryos — even for research. Just because scientists can do something doesn’t mean it should be done.

“Cancer research disagrees with the assumptions of beneficial mutations, millions of years, and junk DNA.” Read more in Cancer Research Inadvertently Refutes Evolution.

“Yes, I know one doesn’t even want to be cured of one’s pride because it gives pleasure. But the pleasure of pride is like the pleasure of scratching. If there is an itch one does want to scratch: but it is much nicer to have neither the itch nor the scratch. As long as we have the itch of self-regard we shall want the pleasure of self-approval; but the happiest moments are those when we forget our precious selves and have neither, but have everything else (God, our fellow-humans, animals, the garden and the sky) instead.” ―C.S. Lewis

Who Needs Sex? An insightful post from Pastor Dave Barringer.

Jim Cymbala asks, “Does anyone really think that America today is lacking preachers, books, Bible translations, and neat doctrinal statements? What we really lack is the passion to call upon the Lord until He opens the heavens and shows Himself powerful.” Read more in Prayer Revival.

“Let me say that for comfort, there is no thought more full of sweetness than that of an eternal God engaged in Christ Jesus to His people; to love, and bless, and save them all. One Who has made them the distinguished objects of His discriminating regard from all eternity, it is the eternal God.” —Charles Spurgeon

Links & Quotes

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For my pastor friends: “A growing church is a work of God. We, His servants, matter only to the extent that we are faithful in our callings.” —T.M. Moore

“Maintaining doctrinal purity is good but it is not the whole picture for a New Testament church. The apostles wanted to do much more than simply ‘hold the fort,’ as the old gospel song says. They asked God to empower them to move out and impact an entire culture.” Read more from Jim Cymbala’s post His Hand Of Love.

“Read whatever chapter of Scripture you will, and be ever so delighted with it—yet it will leave you as poor, as empty and unchanged as it found you unless it has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and brought you into full union with and dependence upon Him.” —William Law

Pastor Chilly Chilton has an important reminder: Being Mean Is MEAN.

If you are fasting during Lent, or if you simply fast on a regular basis, this post is helpful: Kingdom Fast: Caffeine.

Very helpful: Want To Get Your Dream Job? Do These 4 Things.

Ever been here? How To Pray When You Don’t Feel Like It.

Thoughtful words from Seth Godin: Kicking And Screaming (vs. singing and dancing).

Funny, but true, from Truth Facts

Tax forms

Links & Quotes

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“Another point is that on that view you would have to regard the accounts of the Man as being legends. Now, as a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing. They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they are clumsy, they don’t work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so. Apart from bits of the Platonic dialogues, there are no conversations that I know of in ancient literature like the Fourth Gospel. There is nothing, even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence. In the story of the woman taken in adultery we are told Christ bent down and scribbled in the dust with His finger. Nothing comes of this. No one has ever based any doctrine on it. And the art of inventing little irrelevant details to make an imaginary scene more convincing is a purely modern art. Surely the only explanation of this passage is that the thing really happened? The author put it in simply because he had seen it.” ―C.S. Lewis

“It takes more than academic rigor to win the world for Christ. Correct doctrine alone isn’t enough. Proclamation and teaching aren’t enough. God must be invited to ‘confirm the Word with signs following’ (see Hebrews 2:4). In other words, the gospel must be preached with the involvement of the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.” Read more from Jim Cymbala in his post With Signs Following.

Unbiblical Church Growth

Jim CymbalaThis message from Jim Cymbala is a hard word, but right on target.

The apostles never tried to finesse people when they were presenting the gospel. Their communication was not supposed to be “cool” or soothing. They aimed for a piercing of the heart, for conviction of sin. They had not the faintest intention of asking, “What do people want to hear? How can we draw more people to church on Sunday?” That was the last thing on their minds. Such an approach would have been foreign to them.

Instead of trying to bring men and women to Christ in the biblical way, we are consumed with the unbiblical concept of “church growth.” The Bible does not say we should aim at numbers but rather urges us to proclaim God’s message in the boldness of the Holy Spirit. This will build God’s church God’s way.

Unfortunately, some churches now continually monitor how pleased people are with the services and ask what else they would like. We have no permission whatsoever to adjust the message of the gospel! Whether it seems popular or not, whether it is “hip” to the times, we must faithfully and boldly proclaim that sin is real but Jesus forgives those who confess.

Nowhere does God ask anyone to have a large church. He only calls us to do His work, proclaiming His Word to people He loves under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit to produce results that only He can bring about. The glory then goes to Him alone—not any denomination, local church, local pastor, or church growth consultant. This is God’s only plan, and anything else is a deviation from the teaching of the New Testament.

Today we have an anti-authority spirit in America that says, “Nobody can tell me I need to change. Don’t you dare.”

Both in the pulpit and in pastoral counseling we have too often given in to this mentality and are afraid to speak the truth about sin. We keep appealing to Paul’s line about becoming “all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22), not noticing that in the very next paragraph he says, “Run in such a way as to get the prize” (verse 24). Adapting our style to get a hearing is one thing, but the message can never change without leaving us empty-handed before the Lord.

I’m curious: What do you think of this?

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