“If you want to make people happy, don’t be a leader. Sell ice cream.” —Steve Jobs
“Pride is the first chapter in the book of failure. Humility is the first chapter in the book of success.” —Mark Batterson
“Great shepherds seek daily to increase in the Good Shepherd and to lead the people they serve to feed on Him and grow in His salvation.” (T.M. Moore). I share T.M.’s passion for shepherd in the Church, which is why he graciously wrote an endorsement for my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter.
Sobhi Malek has an excellent prayer guide which gives weekly prayer points for Muslims. Each week you will get more insight into the mindset of our Muslim friends, a prayer, and a passage of Scripture. I encourage you to subscribe to this page so you won’t miss any updates.
“Criticism is something you can avoid easily—by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.” —Aristotle
“The Lord uses critics to show us our own hearts, even if what they say is not fully true, informed, or even fair. There is almost always a germ of truth in what our critics (in their own pain and disappointment) shout at us. The wise leader will humble himself and look for the truth embedded in every oppositional interaction.” —Dick Brogden [see 2 Samuel 16:5-12]
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” —Ken Blanchard
“Criticism can be received as a gift from God. It is an opportunity to pray, search Scripture, evaluate your own heart, and offer grace to others. The right response to criticism should not be retaliation or pride (which just perpetuates hurt), but rather humility.” —Jeremy Carr
“There is a growing trend to attack, criticize, and resent anyone who has talent or achievements that sets them apart from others. This tendency extends to those who resent the efforts of leaders who challenge the status quo. Opponents of change initiatives often attempt to marginalize leaders by attacking their character and questioning their motives. If the messenger is flawed, then the message and vision they offer cannot be trusted. As disappointing as it is, these challenges come with the territory of leadership.” —Dr. J. Lee Whittington
“If I were to attempt to answer all the criticisms and complaints I receive, I would have no time for any other business. From day to day I do the best I can and will continue to do so till the end. If in the end I come out all right, then the complaints and criticisms and what is said against me will make no difference. But, if the end brings me out wrong, then ten angels coming down from heaven to swear I was right would still make no difference.” —Abraham Lincoln
“If a ministry is God-anointed, it doesn’t matter who criticizes it. If it’s not anointed, it doesn’t matter who praises it.” —Rick Warren
“Your critics have information that your friends are withholding.” —John Maxwell
“God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.” —Oswald Chambers
“No leader is exempt from criticism and his humility will nowhere be seen more clearly than in the manner in which he accepts and reacts to it.” —J. Oswald Sanders
“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body: It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” —Winston Churchill
“Every man needs a blind eye and a deaf ear, so when people applaud, you’ll only hear half of it, and when people salute, you’ll only see part of it. Believe only half the praise and half the criticism.” —C.H. Spurgeon
“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” —Dale Carnegie
“A mark of a godly leader is one so focused on God’s plan that he pays no attention to his critics or enemies.” —Craig T. Owens
“Never be afraid of honest criticism. If the critic is wrong, you can help him; and if you’re wrong, he can help you. Either way, somebody’s helped.” —A.W. Tozer
“It’s so much easier to teach correct principles than it is to know and love a person. It’s so much easier to give brilliant advice than to empathize and be open. It’s so much easier to live independently than to live interdependently. It’s so much easier to be a judge than to be a light. It’s so much easier to be a critic than to be a model.” —Stephen Covey
“When is it inappropriate to praise a critical person? One: When you are being criticized for outright sin, and the criticism is accurate. If what is said is true, the tension you feel will be relieved only one way: confession. Two: when you are falsely accused of sin. Sin is a serious charge, obviously more serious than those ‘against you’ realize or they would have done their homework.” —Blaine Allen
“Don’t let an arrow of criticism pierce your heart unless it first passes through the filter of Scripture.” —Mark Batterson
“There is no better antidote for unjust criticism than a clear conscience before God.” —James Hernando
“It is not the critic who counts; nor the many who point out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly… who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat.” —Teddy Roosevelt
In Whisper, Mark Batterson gives us seven love languages which God uses to speak to us (check out my review of Whisper here). Mark always does a masterful job of weaving together Scripture, quotes from other authors, historical and his own personal accounts. Here are some of the quotes he shared from others.
“The voice of the Spirit is as gentle as a zephyr. So gentle that unless you are living in a perfect communion with God, you never hear it.” —Oswald Chambers
“The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” —Blaise Pascal
“The best translation of the Hebrew in Genesis 1 was not ‘and God said’ but ‘and God sang.’” —Leonard Bernstein
“How much happier you would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos!” —G.K. Chesterton
“Vocatus atque non vacates, Deus aderit. Bidden or not bidden, God is here.” —Desiderius Erasmus
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” —Charles Spurgeon
“The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” —Martin Luther
“No crooked table legs or ill-fitting drawers ever, I dare swear, came out of the Carpenter’s shop at Nazareth.” —Dorothy Sayers
Mark Batterson’s newest book—Whisper—is all about learning to hear what God is speaking to you. Check out my review of Whisper by clicking here.
“Is God’s voice the loudest voice in your life? That’s the question. If the answer is no, that’s the problem.”
“If you aren’t willing to listen to everything God has to say, eventually you won’t hear anything He has to say.”
“When someone speaks in a whisper, you have to get very close to hear. … And that’s what God wants.”
“God is great not just because nothing is too big; God is great because nothing is too small. God doesn’t just know you by name; He has a unique name for you. And He speaks a language that is unique to you.”
“We worry way too much about what people think, which is evidence that we don’t worry enough about what God thinks. It’s the fear of people that keeps us from hearing and heeding the voice of God. We let the expectations of others override the desires God has put in our hearts.”
“Every thought that fires across our eighty-six billion neurons is a tribute to the God who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. But when we have a thought that is better than our best thoughts on our best day, it might be from God. That doesn’t make it equal with Scripture, but it’s a step above a ‘good idea.’ Is it easy differentiating between good ideas and God ideas? No, it’s not. And again, even what we perceive to be God ideas must be screened by Scripture. But when God gives us ideas that we don’t believe originated with us, we must be careful to give credit where credit is due. And it’s our job to take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.”
“If your life is off-key, maybe it’s because you’ve been deafened by the negative self-talk that doesn’t let God get a word in edgewise. Maybe you’ve listened to the voice of shame so long that you can’t believe anything else about yourself. Or maybe it’s the enemy’s voice of condemnation that speaks lies about who you really are.”
Does God still speak to people today? If He does, how can you learn how to hear His voice? Mark Batterson has some answers to those questions in his newest book Whisper—How to hear the voice of God.
As he usually does, Mark weaves Whisper together with sources from biblical accounts, personal life lessons, modern-day findings in various scientific fields, and insights from other noted authors across the spectrum of literature. One sentence in the opening pages sums up the value of this book: “Learning how to hear the voice of God is the solution to a thousand problems!”
Whisper is divided into two broad sections. In the first section, you will learn the power that is available to anyone who will learn how to listen to God’s voice. In the second section, Mark shares the seven languages God uses as He communicates with us. Some of these “love languages” will resonate more with you than others, depending on how God has hardwired you, but all seven languages together give all of us a comprehensive picture of how to become more tuned-in to what God is saying to us.
If you are longing to hear God speak to you more clearly, Whisper is for you!
“The Bible says the devil prowls around like a roaring lion. The keyword is like. He is a poser, and his bark is worse than his bite. Refuse to believe his lies or to cower to his intimidation. When he reminds you of your past, remind him of his future! Fight back with the words of faith. Fight back with songs of praise. …
“A lion’s roar is meant to communicate dominance—to assert its authority in a territory. And the only thing that will silence a lion’s roar is the roar of a more powerful lion. … satan may roar at you, but he cannot touch you. He is the one in a cage. You are the one that’s free.” —Mark Batterson, in Chase The Lion
This is an excerpt from Mark Batterson’s powerful book Chase The Lion—
“When I hear the word legacy, I think of Amos Alonzo Stagg. You can’t walk very far on the University of Chicago campus without bumping into his legacy. As the coach of the original Monsters of the Midway, Coach Stagg led the university to two national titles in 1905 and 1913.
“His football legacy includes the huddle, the Statue of Liberty play, the onside kick, the T-formation, the end-around, and the forward pass. In other words, he practically invented the game of football as we know it. But that isn’t his most enduring or most endearing legacy.
“When Coach Stagg accepted the invitation to coach, he gave the university president a speech of sorts: ‘After much thought and prayer, I decided that my life can best be used for my Master’s service in the position you have offered.’ Amos Alonzo Stagg coached until the age of ninety-eight. But he did more than coaches players; he discipled them. He was a priest-coach. After one of his most successful seasons, a well-intentioned reporter congratulated Stagg on a job well done. Coach Stagg courteously cut him short. ‘I won’t know how good a job I did for twenty years,’ Coach Stagg said. ‘That’s when I’ll see how my boys turned out.’”
Book Reviews From 2016December 27, 2016 — Craig T. Owens
Here are the books I read and reviewed in 2016. Click a title to read the review…
An Angel’s Story
Archeological Study Bible
Chase The Lion
Hope … The Best Of All Things
How To Read A Book
I Stand At The Door And Knock
Letters To A Birmingham Jail
Light & Truth—Acts & The Larger Epistles
Light & Truth—Revelation
Light & Truth—The Lesser Epistles
More Than A Carpenter
Of Antichrist And His Ruin
On This Day
One Of The Few
Our Iceberg Is Melting
Streams In The Desert
The American Patriot’s Almanac
The Bad Habits Of Jesus
The Beauty Of Intolerance
The Blessing Of Humility
The Dawn Of Indestructible Joy
The Duty Of Pastors
The Gospels Side-By-Side
The Mathematical Proof For Christianity
The Philosophy Of Sin
The Place Of Help
The Porn Circuit
The Psychology Of Redemption
The Seven Laws Of Love
The Shadow Of An Agony
The Tabernacle Of Israel
Think On These Things
Today’s Moment Of Truth
Your Sorrow Will Turn To Joy
Here are my book reviews for 2011.
Here are my book reviews for 2012.
Here are my book reviews for 2013.
Here are my book reviews for 2014.
Here are my book reviews for 2015.