12 Quotes From “Love Changes Everything”

Micah Berteau dismantles all of the false definitions of “love” the culture has concocted. Love Changes Everything is a great book! Check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“Do not let your perception of reality shape God’s voice in your life. Rather, let God’s voice shape your reality.” 

“It is difficult to know God’s values when we keep telling Him ours.” 

“The world will always define love in a way that makes us thirst for a version that only benefits self.” 

“If the culture is going to be obsessed with the thought of love, we must become possessed by the truth of it.” 

“The dictionary defines a mirage as ‘something illusory, without substance or reality.’ Too often we find ourselves chasing an image mirage that has no substance or reality. We try to wear other people’s opinions, only to realize that’s the wrong measurement for our lives. Stop running after what you think you see and start running after what you know. Don’t chase an image mirage. Chase the Image Maker, Jesus Christ.” 

“Real love pushes you away from a cycle of sin. Authentic love encourages you not to sit on your calling. Perfect love casts out all fear because the love of God will cause you to leave all that is comfortable.” 

“God’s love does not equal God’s approval. … Love is not an approval to continue living a sinful life. Love is the power that possesses you to change everything. … Love is not a stamp of approval but a fire that consumes.” 

“Hosea was not becoming the culture, he was bringing love to a dark place. Jesus was a friend of sinners. How can we win a world that we are distanced from? We do not embrace immorality to reach people; that is a ridiculous idea. However, we are called to love all people and to be a light in the darkness. It is time to get out of the pews and show Jesus in the streets.” 

“Feelings are fleeting things that we buy into. Emotions then begin to disguise themselves as truth. When we start listening to our emotions, we even weigh them against the voice of God. It then becomes difficult to discern which voice is leading you—your own or God’s?” 

“Do not let what’s happened in your past stop you from receiving God in your present.” 

“Loneliness is not the result of being alone but of not letting God fill that missing void. … No other person can fill the emptiness that plagues our souls. Don’t put that pressure on another human being. Fulfillment is the job of the Almighty; submission is our job.” 

“Love does not magically change things in your life. It does not do the work for you. Love is an altering agent that must be received and applied. Love has to be in charge. Once this love is in you, then it can do work within you. Once it is working within you, it must come out of you. You are not loved just so you can walk around being loved. You are loved so you can be love. The places where love does not reach go unchanged.” 

Love Re-members

love-re-membersChristians often talk about God in terms of the “Trinity.” That is, the One True God revealed in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This is sometimes a difficult concept to grasp, especially since the word Trinity doesn’t specifically appear in the Bible. But make no mistake, just because the word isn’t there doesn’t mean it’s not true. Consider…

  • God’s Three-in-One nature is first exhibited when man is created (Genesis 1:26).
  • When the prophesy is given about Jesus being born in human flesh, He is given all the titles of the three Persons of the Godhead (Isaiah 9:6).
  • At Christ’s baptism we see Jesus in human form, we see the Holy Spirit descending as a dove, and we hear the Father’s voice announcing His approval of His Son (Matthew 3:16-17).
  • Jesus Himself said He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to the Christians (John 14:16).
  • And just as Jesus ascended into Heaven, He told His followers to baptize people into all three Persons of the Godhead (Matthew 28:19).

But I think the best expression of the Trinity is revealed in three simple words. John talks about how all three Persons of the Trinity are involved in the life of a Christian. And then he sums it all up in three words—

“GOD IS LOVE”

Each Person of the Godhead is encouraging and illuminating and pointing to the other Persons in the Trinity. Love is perpetually being received and given. We humans are created in God’s image … we are created to receive and to give God’s love. That’s why John tells us that we know and rely on the love God has for us (that’s the receiving part), and that whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him (that’s the giving part).

When Adam and Eve sinned, they were dis-membered from God. As a result, every human in their natural state longs for connection with God and others, but feels separated, isolated, unloved, and even unlovable.

Love re-members! 

Jesus came to be broken and crushed and to feel the pain of separation from God. It was out of this brokenness that He could do the work of re-membering us to the fullness of the Trinity.

When Jesus shared His last supper with His disciples, He took bread (which is made from broken wheat kernels) and wine (which is made from crushed grapes). He told us as often as we eat the bread and drink the wine we are to remember how He was broken and crushed for us.

Remembering Christ’s work on the Cross re-members us to the fullness of the Trinity. 

Sin and satan want to keep us feeling separated, unloved, and unloveable. But when we were the least worthy of His love, God—Who IS love—was broken and crushed to re-member us to Him.

If you feel lonely, separated, isolated, unloved or unloveable, I urge you to remember what Jesus did for you. He loved you enough to be broken and crushed for your re-membering to all of God’s love.

Check out this video where I explain this amazing thought in more detail…

Break Free From Porn—5 Quotes That Will Help You

The Porn CircuitThe Porn Circuit is a great book to make you aware of the dangers of pornography. You can read my full book review of this free downloadable book here, and check out the first set of quotes I shared by clicking here.

Here are some additional quotes specifically to help you break free from the hold pornography has on your life.

Your #1 strategy … LEARN TO HATE PORN!

Hate what it does to you, to your relationships, and to those involved in sex trafficking because of the porn industry.

#2 … Create some positive activities you can do when you’re tempted to look at porn.

“The prefrontal cortex is the decision-making logical part of the brain, and each time that a person resists temptation and each time a positive habit is reinforced, the prefrontal cortex gets stronger. That means a person’s willpower grows and the cues and cravings for porn use grow weaker.”

“This approach (of introducing positive habits) makes plastic sense because it grows a new brain circuit that gives pleasure and triggers dopamine release which, as we have seen, rewards the new activity and consolidates and grows new neural connections. This new circuit can eventually compete with the older one, and according to use it or lose it, the pathological networks will weaken. With this treatment we don’t so much ‘break’ bad habits as replace bad behaviors with better ones.” —Dr. Norman Doidge

“Whatever rewarding activity is pursued, it needs to be an activity that is reoccurring. Building new rewarding neural pathways requires time and ongoing repetition:

  1. Neurons that fire together wire together. Repeating a pleasurable activity instead of the compulsive activity, such as porn use, forms a new circuit that is gradually reinforced instead of the compulsion.
  2. Neurons that fire apart wire apart. When a person refuses to act on a compulsion, like porn and masturbation, it weakens the link between the activity and the idea that it will provide relief.”

#3 … Start using the 3-second rule.

“When watching TV, walking through the mall, or driving past billboards, temptation can strike when least expected. Many therapists recommend using the 3-Second Rule, which involves three steps:

  1. Alert: Realize that you see something inappropriate. It may only take a split-second to recognize a tempting situation.
  2. Avert: Close your eyes or look away. These first two steps should be instantaneous.
  3. Affirm: Give yourself a mental high-five to congratulate the effort. Say to yourself, ‘I saw that by mistake, and I quickly looked away. I’ve been clean for (xx number of days) and I’m going to stay that way.’”

3-Second Rule

#4 … Don’t forget to watch out for H.A.L.T. times.

“Physical care is vital to vigilance. HALT is the acronym often used by therapists to remind people of when they can be most vulnerable it stands for: hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Simply going to bed on a regular schedule to get a good night’s rest can help one’s brain be more focused on positive habits and more alert to fight temptations. Not only eating but also eating well can improve mood and feelings of well-being. Regular exercise keeps the mind more focused, the body feeling great, and improve sleep.”

Links & Quotes

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No matter how loving Christians are, and no matter how carefully we present our beliefs, people will still be offended. Check out this short video from Alan Shlemon at Stand To Reason.

“I am considering not how, but why, [God] makes each soul unique. If He had no use for all these differences, I do not see why He should have created more souls than one. Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you. The mould in which a key is made would be a strange thing, if you had never seen a key: and the key itself a strange thing if you had never seen a lock. Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the Divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions. For it is not humanity in the abstract that is to be saved, but you—you, the individual reader, John Stubbs or Janet Smith. Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another’s. All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction.” —C.S. Lewis in The Problem Of Pain

“One doesn’t realize in early life that the price of freedom is loneliness. To be happy one must be tied.” —C.S. Lewis

Eric Metaxas asks, “What’s the difference between evolutionary theory and an octopus?” You will love his answer!

“We make a mistake as Christians if we hold the view that all non-Christian culture is worthless and should be avoided. This is simply not the case. God has given gifts for making culture to every human being, and very often those who do not know Him are capable of making artifacts, establishing institutions, or promoting conventions that actually are very useful for human flourishing. This is a measure of God’s common grace to all people. Believers must not despise such gifts, and we must not ignore or avoid them. … We do not repudiate those unbelieving aspects of culture which are good and useful. Rather, we appropriate all such forms, learning as much as we can about them and considering ways they might be put to use for the glory of God.” —T.M. Moore

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood wanted to rid society of “human weeds,” and in 1925 she wrote, “We must clear the way for a better world; we must cultivate our garden.” Read more here.

“There is no rule binding with iron force upon you, for we are not under law in Christ’s church, but under grace, and grace will prompt you to do more than law might suggest….” —Charles Spurgeon

“We wouldn’t dare rob somebody of his gold watch or bank account. Yet God states clearly that slandering someone’s name is robbery of the worst kind. And we can do it in the subtlest of ways: by pointing an accusing finger, questioning one’s character, passing on tidbits of gossip. Indeed, three of the most damning words we can speak are, ‘Have you heard?’ The mere suggestion of the question robs a person of something valuable. And it defiles our own mouth.” —David Wilkerson

Frank Turek has an interesting look at the Kim Davis situation in Kentucky.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

“The true measure of ministry effectiveness is the extent to which we are able to lead God’s people into greater love for Him and His Kingdom.” —T.M. Moore

“Tragedy is that our attention centers on what people are not, rather than on what they are and who they might become.” —Brennan Manning

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.” —Mother Teresa

“Holiness is not the luxury of the few; it is a simple duty, for you and for me.” —Mother Teresa

The devil does not need to bother about us as long as we remain ignorant of the way God has made us and refuse to discipline ourselves; inattention and our own slovenliness will soon run away with every power we have.” —Oswald Chambers 

“There is something which we can do which God does. He does good to all His creatures, and we can do good also. He bears witness to His Son Jesus, and we can bear witness too.” —Charles Spurgeon

[VIDEO] Ken Davis always cracks me up. Check out this clip Arm Vs. Airbag.

Why do people get so annoyed over anything that looks “religious” to them. For people who claim God doesn’t exist, atheists get awfully mad at Him!

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“One doesn’t realize in early life that the price of freedom is loneliness. To be happy one must be tied.” —C.S. Lewis

“The Savior looks at sin through the glass of compassion; we often look upon it through the lens of Pharisaic pride.” —Charles Spurgeon

The longer the answer is delayed and the more effectually you pray, the more important He becomes and the less important the answer becomes.” Read more from David Wilkerson in his post Power In Prayer.

I always enjoy Tim Elmore’s insights into the youth mindset. Check out his post 4 Meta-Beliefs of Generation iY.

I think it is quite comical that so-called serious scientist says that a certain level of CO2 gas is “symbolic,” and how they extrapolate data with no regard to past data nor any mitigating future events. All in all, “climate change” proponents are more philosopher than they are scientist.

Pray To Preach Fruitfully

A.W. TozerTo pray successfully is the first lesson the preacher must learn if he is to preach fruitfully; yet prayer is the hardest thing he will ever be called upon to do and, being human, it is the one act he will be tempted to do less frequently than any other. He must set his heart to conquer by prayer, and that will mean that he must first conquer his own flesh, for it is the flesh that hinders prayer always. Almost anything associated with the ministry may be learned with an average amount of intelligent application. It is not hard to preach or manage church affairs or pay a social call; weddings and funerals may be conducted smoothly with a little help from Emily Post and the Minister’s Manual. Sermon making can be learned as easily as shoemaking—introduction, conclusion and all. And so with the whole work of the ministry as it is carried on in the average church today. But prayer—that is another matter. There Mrs. Post is helpless and the Minister’s Manual can offer no assistance. There the lonely man of God must wrestle it out alone, sometimes in fasting and tears and weariness untold. There every man must be an original, for true prayer cannot be imitated nor can it be learned from someone else.” —A.W. Tozer

My dear pastor, are you praying enough?


Hospitality

Max LucadoSome folks have asked me to post the Max Lucado quotes on hospitality that I shared this morning.

“Something holy happens around a dinner table that will never happen in a sanctuary. In a church auditorium you see the backs of heads. Around the table you see the expressions on faces. In the auditorium one person speaks; around the table everyone has a voice. Church services are on the clock. Around the table there is time to talk. Hospitality opens the door to uncommon community.” —Max Lucado

“If we wait until everything is perfect, we’ll never issue an invitation. Remember this: what is common to you is a banquet to someone else. You think your house is small, but to the lonely heart, it is a castle. You think the living room is a mess, but to the person whose life is a mess, your house is a sanctuary. You think the meal is simple, but to those who eat alone every night, pork and beans on paper plates tastes like filet mignon.” —Max Lucado

11 Quotes From “Alone”

AloneAlone should be read and discussed by parents and teens to help find the right balance of technology usage in our lives. You can read my book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes that stood out to me from Alone.

“Maybe God created Adam to be needy. … Maybe Adam’s relationship with God was not built in fullness but contained a hole God created inside of humanity so we might recognize the importance of each other. It was (and is) brilliant.”

“Friendship has to be accompanied by experience. … The illusion of friendship is making everyone in the world think we’re perfect. … Instead of time spent experiencing life together, we’ve turned our world into a self-shaped, self-regulated, self-indulgent, me-centered life.”

“We are now a culture that wants to deal with relationships on our time. … Relationships are work. They’re inconvenient. They’re exciting and spontaneous. You can’t apply some formula for relationships and expect to walk out of the room with a load of friends.” 

“When you realize what role you have to play here on the planet, the most beautiful sense of belonging begins to awaken inside your soul. The world begins making sense. No matter what you’re doing, if God has gifted you in it, you’re going to have a high level of functioning.”

“Don’t get me wrong: Hard work and dedication are important factors as we help people understand significance, but in the end, our short lives are shaped by the relationships we make along our own journey. And if those relationships are filled with people who believe in us, the lonely factor fades away and we are recognized for the abilities we do have rather than the ones we don’t. Paul said it clearly: ‘I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands’ (2 Timothy 1:6). What can you do to fan someone else’s flame? Who in your life fans yours?”

“Maybe it’s because we’ve replaced the idea of risk and adventure with the idea of wealth and comfort. Loneliness begins to creep into a man’s life when adventure and risk are taken out of the equation, when men have to replace their God-given desires with something ‘more responsible.’ … Men need to sense that what they are doing in the world is courageous. They need to feel the sense of responsibility and freedom. They need to have opportunities to express their manhood.”

“There is no perfect girlfriend. There is no perfect employee. There is no perfect friend. There is no perfect body type or student or athlete. There’s no such thing as a perfect woman who finds the perfect role for her perfect situation. Those who continue to assign a high value to that mythical person who has it all together are driving themselves mad with the idea that they can achieve her. It’s from this feeling of failure, of never measuring up, that the loneliness sets in.” 

“The first step in understanding true joy is defining what joy actually is. It’s a feeling. It’s an emotion. It’s a state of mind. It’s the ability to know that the desires of your heart are being fulfilled. It’s not happiness. It’s not the constant state of euphoria. It’s not everything lining up perfectly. … In modern times, joy happens when we interact with each other. When we see a friend’s smile giving us validation that he or she is interested in being with us: joy. When we hear the words ‘How are you?’ in an honest tone, with honest body language behind it: joy. When we have an opportunity to rest in the fact that someone else wants us to be the person God created us to be: ultimate joy.”

“The quickest way to initiate friendship is to give people freedom to be themselves.”

“‘Oh, you did sooo well in your game,’ she said, walking past, rolling her eyes. Versus … ‘I can’t believe you! You’re the most awesome basketball player I’ve ever seen,’ she said, putting her arm around her friend in celebration. See the difference? Authentic versus agenda-driven. Caring for someone versus using someone. When a tribe is built … When experience glues relationships together … When you can rest in the joy that certain relationship gives you … Loneliness starts to fade away. But you can’t do that on Facebook.”

“If we can take the value of the social networking scene and combine it with real-time relationships, we might see this trend of loneliness take a positive direction. What would life look like if we could really experience life together? Community is important. To be able to contribute to the life of the community is even more fulfilling.” 

Alone (book review)

AloneIt’s weird to think this way in our highly-connected society, with the status symbol of getting as many friends, followers, and likes as possible, but more and more people feel disconnected and desperately alone. This is a serious subject that Andy Braner hits head-on in his book Alone.

Andy writes, “When people ask me, ‘What’s the biggest problem we can identify in the teenage nation today?’ it’s an easy answer: Teenagers are living all alone! … Even though Facebook gives us the ability to build a convenient corner of lives over the vast Web interface, the light of a computer screen isn’t bright enough to shine deep into our hearts and souls. We need real people. … Although this book is written for just the teen crowd, know that you’re not the only ones struggling.”

I love technology, and I’m very appreciative of the instant access to information and people. But I also know  the double-edged sword of too much technology means an increased connection to screens corresponding with a decreased connection with living human beings. There has got to be a healthy balance, and Andy makes some great suggestions for finding that balance.

I not only encourage teens to read this book, but parents of teens need to read it as well. Whether you read it together or not, find a way to discuss this content. Help your teenagers find healthy, fulfilling connections both through a screen and through face-to-face interactions.

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