Links & Quotes

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“How may I tell when satan hinders me? I think you may tell thus: first by the object. satan’s object in hindering us is to prevent our glorifying God. If anything has happened to you which has prevented your growing holy, useful, humble, and sanctified, then you may trace that to satan. If the distinct object of the interference to the general current of your life has been that you may be turned from righteousness into sin, then from the object you may guess the author.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Every step on satan’s ground deprives us of the security of the promises of God. Often has ruin followed by not refraining from the first step (cp. Mark 14:54, 71). The only safety is in flight (Genesis 39:10, 12). Run then into ’thy hiding-place, and behind thy shield,’ and boldly bid thy tempter ‘depart from thee’ (Psalm 119:114, 115; cp. Matthew 4:10).” —Charles Bridges

“The corruption of the first sinner consists not in choosing some evil thing (there are no evil things for him to choose) but in preferring a lesser good (himself) before a greater (God).” —C.S. Lewis

“We may think we’re living in dark days, that things are going from bad to worse, and there’s no end in sight. But the truth is just the opposite. satan is back on his heels, bound and reeling; the rulers of this world are deceived and deceiving; the Church is complacent, at least in the West, but always a spiritual tinder box, ready for a new spark of the Spirit; and the Kingdom of God is advancing wherever men and women cling to Jesus’ compelling vision and seek the Kingdom of God as their highest priority in life.” —T.M. Moore

“Science and research are proving that porn harms the brain, damages relationships, and is also linked to prostitution and sex trafficking. Porn is a fantasy that is proven to make it harder for users to have real loving relationships.” Read more reasons why pornography is harmful.

Pastors, check out Rev. Dave Barringer’s spot-on post: confronting the diva pastor.

Sheriff David Clarke has some facts that refute the “Black Lives Matter” chatter.

[VIDEO] Ted Cruz is exactly right. The media doesn’t care about substance, but about style—

Links & Quotes

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“Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company…. You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope!” —John Piper

In another post, John Piper writes, “Christianity means change is possible. Deep, fundamental change. It is possible to become tender-hearted when once you were callous and insensitive. It is possible to stop being dominated by bitterness and anger. It is possible to become a loving person no matter what your background has been.” Read more in You Are Not Enslaved To Your Past.

“The depravity of man is on full display in the press as powerful and wicked people now openly suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Check out this post on media distortion and disinformation.

Mental illness impacts so many people! Are we in the church handling it correctly? Check out 10 misconceptions about mental illness and faith.

“Remember, the more a person uses porn, the greater the amount and explicitness required to achieve the same level of satisfaction. This means more women and children are becoming commodities in this industry—and being forced to do these things we deem now as ‘disgusting.’ Studies prove that for some regular porn users, pornographic acts they found disgusting in the past now turn them on. And as you can imagine, it’s harder for the so-called ‘legit’ porn producers to hire people to do those extreme things. It’s much easier—and less expensive—for people to be kidnapped, devalued, dehumanized, and turned into nothing more than sex slaves.” —Anne Miller

[VIDEO] Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has some challenging words for us about how we speak about others—

[VIDEO]

The Dead Reckoning guys refute Bill Nye (the Science Guy) on his abortion claims—

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading from today…

“Ask yourself—Is God justified in my justification? Do I prove by the way I live and talk and do my work that God has made me holy?” —Oswald Chambers

Keep praying and speaking out for Meriam Ibrahim’s freedom. Sudan has imprisoned her and sentenced her to death because she is a (gasp!) Christian.

“The economy shrank for the first time in 58 years! Many of you, this has never happened in your life. The Drive-By Media, of course, is going to ignore this. Or, as the AP does here, say, “The setback is expected to be temporary with growth rebounding solidly since spring.’ Really? Well, every Drive-By news report I’ve read on the economy for the past six years has had the word ‘unexpected’ or ‘surprised’ in it, meaning everything they’ve reported has been a shock. They haven’t expected it. So it’s no big deal. Yeah, it shrank 3%. But that’s just expected to be temporary. … And so, for I don’t know what—the umpteenth or gazillionth time in the last six years—we are being told that prosperity is just around the corner. How long has AP been spreading this sunshine now? How long have ABC, NBC, CBS, the Washington Post, the New York Times been spreading this BS that prosperity is just around the corner—we’re poised for growth, waiting to break out—while the day-to-day reality is it’s worsening?” —Rush Limbaugh

Do you take vitamin supplements? This latest report says you should, and it says you shouldn’t.

Lower courts make a ruling on redefining marriage that is just flat-out wrong.

“Joy is increased by spreading it to others.” —Robert Murray McCheyne

“satan will try to bring upon you the most dreadful temptation or trial you have ever faced. He wants you to get bogged down in guilt, condemnation and self-examination. Dear saint, you have to arise in the Spirit and get your eyes off your circumstances and bondage. Do not try to figure it all out. Start praising, singing and trusting God—and He will take care of your deliverance.” —David Wilkerson

Alexander Solzhenitsyn tells us why countries fail: “Men have forgotten God.” Read more here.

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading from this weekend…

Are you a Christian? Then there’s something dreadfully wrong with you. You’re unthinking; you’re unscientific; you can’t see how badly Christianity botches morality. You represent a deeply defective culture that’s been getting all the most important things wrong for a hundred generations.” Read more from Tom Gilson in Skeptics Dehumanizing Christianity.

“No one can know truth except the one who obeys truth. You think you know truth. People memorize the Scriptures by the yard, but that is not a guarantee of knowing the truth. Truth is not a text. Truth is in the text, but it takes the text plus the Holy Spirit to bring truth to a human soul.” —A.W. Tozer

Important news for pregnant women: Take care of your teeth. “The results reinforce data suggesting a link between periodontal disease in the mother and the risk of preterm birth.” Read more in Bacteria Found In Healthy Placentas.

Many contemporary critics of the faith charge that Christianity is a barrier to progress. … But the overwhelming weight of good is undeniable—and indispensable to civilization.” Read more in The ABCs Of Christian Civilization.

[VIDEO] Rep. Trey Gowdy asks “Did the media ever pursue these big questions on Benghazi?”

“Biblical hope is not wishful thinking or an optimistic outlook; rather, it is a confident expectation based on the certainty of God’s Word that as He has anchored us in the past, so He will in the future.” —David Wilkerson

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” —Jim Stovall

“The Bible was not given to replace the miraculous but to correct abuses.” —Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Links & Quotes

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Some interesting reading I found today.

“The Bible is not a book for the faint of heart—it is a book full of all the greed and glory and violence and tenderness and sex and betrayal that benefits mankind. It is not the collection of pretty little anecdotes mouthed by pious little church mice—it does not so much nibble at our shoe leather as it cuts to the heart and splits the marrow from the bone. It does not give us answers fitted to our small-minded questions, but truth that goes beyond what we even know to ask.” —Rich Mullins

As I have said before, tolerance is only afforded to those who say “anything goes.” Anyone who says there is a right/wrong, truth/lie is labeled intolerant, as illustrated in this story of the Benham brothers losing their TV show deal

…and to further prove the point, Yahoo Joins Google In Banning Pro-Life Ads.

It’s pretty obvious… that the Judeo-Christian concept of God held the key to the rise of the West, and that is the belief in a rational Creator God, because that had the implication, then, that the creation was itself rational—that is to say, it obeys rules” (Rodney Stark). Read more in How Christianity Created Science (And Why Atheism Wouldn’t Have).

Detroit Tiger fans (like me!) will enjoy this: A Numerical Guide To The History Of The Detroit Tigers.

“Has the enemy tried to tell you that God has bypassed you? Have you been tempted to conclude that the Lord isn’t with you? Have you almost given up your faith? Put your hope in the Lord’s Word to you: ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5). ‘The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know Your name will put their trust in You: for You, Lord, have not forsaken them that seek You’ (Psalm 9:9-10).” —David Wilkerson

… this inscription from Jerusalem may signal widespread—if elementary—literacy during the time of David and Solomon.” Read more about this archeological discovery in Jerusalem.

“Let us meditate on the Lord’s holy name that we may trust Him the better and rejoice the more readily.” —Charles Spurgeon

Links & Quotes

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Here are the links to some interesting reading I found today.

“It is right and inevitable that we should be much concerned about the salvation of those we love. But we must be careful not to expect or demand that their salvation should conform to some ready-made pattern of our own.” —C.S. Lewis

Well, this is interesting. Follow your tax dollars to the countries that are enemies of America.

[PHOTOS] An accurate recap of the tragedy in Benghazi, and the cover up of that terrorist attack…

…and here’s why the media is now covering up the cover up of Benghazi: [INFOGRAPHIC] The relationship between the media and the Obama administration.

“What we practice, not (save at rare intervals) what we preach, is usually our great contribution to the conversion of others.” —C.S. Lewis

“What a bondage it is when the child of God is sold under sin, held in chains by satan, deprived of his liberty, robbed of his power in prayer and his delight in the Lord! Let us watch that we come not into such bondage; but if this has already happened to us, let us by no means despair. But we cannot be held in slavery forever. The Lord Jesus has paid too high a price for our redemption to leave us in the enemy’s hand. The way to freedom is, ‘Return unto the Lord your God.’” —Charles Spurgeon

[VIDEO] A good reminder from John Maxwell: Find a friend that you can edify today.

Links & Quotes

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These are links to articles and quotes I found interesting today.

Planned Parenthood announces their plans for the 2014 election, and Michigan is on the list.

Rush Limbaugh’s take: Religious Liberty Defeated In Arizona …

…and the Gospel Coalition’s look at the same topic: When Tolerance Turns To Coerced Celebration

Here are some good ideas for supporting missionaries: Heart For The World

[VIDEO] Constitutional law professor slams Obama’s use of executive orders.

“You are not leading or teaching a child. You are leading a future adult. Everything you do and say will either serve to prepare them or prevent them from being ready. The more you maintain that focus, the better choices you’ll make as a mentor” (Tim Elmore). Read more: Two View Points To Avoid and check out Elmore’s book Generation iY.

“The full, literal meaning of the word ‘repent’ in the New Testament is ‘to feel remorse and self-reproach for one’s sins against God; to be contrite, sorry; to want to change direction.’ The difference in meanings here rests on the word ‘want.’ True repentance includes a desire to change!” —David Wilkerson

How the media misrepresents what scientists say about climate change

Chinese police break up child-trakkicking ring and save hundreds of babies 

[VIDEO] Cecile Richards (the president of Planned Parenthood) isn’t sure when life begins

Quotes From “From Santa To Sexting”

If you are parent of children middle school age or younger, or if you are a teacher or youth pastor that works with this age group, I cannot urge you strongly enough to read From Santa To Sexting (you can read my review here).

These are some quotes from this book that really got me thinking…

Sexual Activity & Sexual Roles

“What helps young adolescents accept a heterosexual sex role identity? Psychiatrist David P. Ausubel, the author of Theory And Problems of Adolescent Development, writes that accepting a heterosexual sex role is aided by the following: 1) witnessing a happy marriage between parents; 2) having positive experiences with the opposite sex; and 3) possessing a strong, positive identification with the parent of the same sex. …In addition, Ausubel believes that parents exert a strong influence on their adolescent’s adoption of a particular biological sex role. For example, if the parent of the opposite sex is negative about the sex role of his child, the child will find it difficult to identify with that role. Suppose a father, for example, put his wife down and is negative about women. Then his impressionable young daughter will find it hard to embrace her femininity and identify with her own sex. The converse is true for boys. According to Ausubel, the preadolescent, depending on the ‘psychological climate’ of his home, may adopt one of three attitudes toward gender: 1) acceptance, leading to heterosexuality; 2) rejection, leading to homosexuality or asexuality (the renunciation of all sexual expression); and 3) ambivalence, resulting in bisexuality, perversion, or sexual delinquency.”

“The evidence is that early sexual experience has consequences for both boys and girls. Joe McIlhaney, MD, an obstetrician and coauthor of the book Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children, told us that ‘sex is a primary stimulator and molder of the brain. When we have sex, the body secrets the hormone dopamine, and that makes us want to do it again and again. That’s one of the primary reasons to abstain from sex when you’re young, because it becomes addictive.’ He adds, ‘The body also secrets the hormone oxytocin, that some label the love hormone—a hormone that seems to contribute to a girl’s trusting a man she is intimate with and also bonding to him emotionally.’ Then comes the breakup. McIlhaney continues, ‘When young people break up, MRIs show that the pain center of the brain lights up. Emotional and physical pain are felt in the same brain center.’ McIlhaney believes that when kids have multiple breakups, they seem to contribute to their losing their ability to forge lasting connections or attachments with the opposite sex. In addition, they sometimes become depressed and some become suicidal.”

Empathy 

“Sensing what others feel without their saying so captures the essence of empathy. Others rarely tell us in words what they feel; instead, they tell us in their tone of voice, facial expressions, or other nonverbal ways. The ability to sense these subtle communications builds on more basic competencies, particularly self-awareness and self-control. Without the ability to sense our own feelings—to keep them from swamping us—we would be hopelessly out of touch with the moods of others.” —Daniel Goleman 

“Empathy has twin components—one in the affective or emotional area and the other in the cognitive. On other words, we feel the distress of others from birth, but as we grow and our brain develops, we begin to think about what they are feeling and can decide how to help the poor, the distressed, and the handicapped.” 

“If you’re in a relationship, the relationship is a part of you, there’s no way around it. You get an empathetic child not by trying to teach the child and admonish the child to be empathetic; you get an empathetic child by being empathetic with the child. The child’s understanding of relationship can only be from the relationships he has experienced.” —Alan Sroufe 

“If empathy is caught, not taught, then the effect of training students to be empathetic is only skin-deep. The training is focused on a cognitive-behavioral approach; it does not take into account the emotional aspect of empathy and the fact that empathy emerges from an intimate relationship or emotional bond.”

School

“Dr. Robert Balfanz, a research scientist at Johns Hopkins University who studies risk factors for dropping out of school, has found that future dropouts can be identified as early as sixth grade. …Dr. Balfanz’s study of fourteen thousand students in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, found that sixth grader with just one of the following distress signals had ‘at least a three in four chance’ of dropping out when they reached high school. Here are the four areas he says parents and teachers should monitor:

  • A final grade of F in mathematics;
  • A final grade of F in English;
  • Attendance below 80 percent for the year;
  • A final ‘unsatisfactory’ behavior mark in at least one class.”

“Parents are the first and best anti-bullying program around.”

Video Games & Media

“Scientifically speaking, the notion that media violence harms kids is an open-and-shut case; research has found that violent video games increase levels of aggression hormones in teen players. While their onscreen personas kicked, punched, cut, and shot their way through enemies, testosterone and adrenaline levels rose significantly in the bodies of the players behind the controls…. The strength of the evidence linking media violence to youth aggression is stronger than the evidence linking lead poisoning with mental retardation and more definitive than the case linking secondhand smoke with cancer.” —Dr. David Walsh, Why Do They Act That Way? 

Home Life

“We found that we could actually measure how parents were getting along in two ways. We could either ask them how happy they were—how much conflict they were having—or we could take a 24-hour urine sample from their kids and measure how many stress hormones, particularly adrenaline, were getting secreted in the children’s bodies. So if you’re fighting, your kids are secreting adrenaline. And if they’re secreting adrenaline because they’re stressed out, one of the things that happens to them is that the first and most sensitive system to reflect this stress is the attentional system—the kid’s ability to focus attention, the kid’s ability to shift attention when they want to, and the kid’s ability to sustain attention. And part of what we’re seeing in all of this diagnosis of hyperactivity is, in part, a reflection of increased family stress, increased stress between parents. So the attentional system is really a very sensitive indicator of whether kids are stressed out.” —Dr. John Gottman

“People who become Christians before their teen years are more likely than those who are converted when older to remain ‘absolutely committed’ to Christianity.” —Barna Group

“Revolutionary parenting, which is based on one’s faith in God, makes parenting a priority. Those who engage in revolutionary parenting define success as intentionally facilitating faith-based transformation in the lives of their children, rather than simply accepting the aging and survival of the child as a satisfactory result.” —George Barna

Courageous Countdown

I cannot wait for Courageous to open… just two weeks from today! I had the opportunity to see an advanced screening of this movie, and it is phenomenal. Please go see it on the opening weekend (September 30), as that is the weekend that Hollywood and the media pay attention to.

And just to get you ready, check out the opening scene from this movie —

Upside (book review)

Have you ever heard how a TV news producer decides what the lead story will be? Or how a managing editor decides which stories get the front page of the newspaper? It comes down to this: “If it bleeds, it leads.” Sad, but too often true. With all of this negative news leading, Dr. Bradley R.E. Wright’s book Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World is indeed surprisingly good news!

Dr. Wright notes that sociologist Joel Best “classifies the different types of bad statistics as follows: some numbers are bad to begin with; some numbers get bad as they are passed along; and some numbers are chosen because they are bad.” In other words, there’s just a lot of bad news out there!

But despite all of this negative press, people around the world are surprisingly upbeat. That’s because when a sociologist like Dr. Wright gets a hold of all of these statistics, he can put them into the proper perspective. He looks at the data on a variety of topics:

  • Personal finances
  • Education
  • Health
  • Crime and war
  • Marriage and divorce
  • The environment

“The trouble with this country is that there are too many people going about saying ‘the trouble with this country is….’” — Sinclair Lewis

Do bad things happen? Yes. Are there some issues that still need to be addressed? Absolutely. Is the world ready to collapse all around us? It doesn’t appear so. Christians should have the clearest and keenest worldview because it’s a biblical worldview. Dr. Wright does an excellent job of helping the reader find the perspective that is realistic, yet balanced.

Economist professor Julian Simons summarized it this way —

Almost every economic and social change or trend points in the positive direction, as long as we view the matter over a reasonably long period of time. That is, all aspects of material human welfare are improving in the aggregate.

I am a Bethany House book reviewer.

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