8 Quotes From “The Jesus Who Surprises”

Dee Brestin has given us an excellent “starter’s guide” to help you discover Jesus on every page of the Old Testament. Be sure to check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“Every time we sin, it is because we do not trust the goodness of God, so we endeavor to meet our needs our way.” 

“The blood of innocent lambs spills throughout the pages of the Old Testament but ceases when John the Baptist heralds Jesus as the Lamb of God. Jesus is the only Lamb who can take away our sins (Hebrews 10:4, 10). All other sacrificial lambs were simply a foreshadowing of the One to come.” 

“What satan wants to do is cause attachment disorder between God and us. … satan wants to convince us that God does not love us and does not want the best for us so that we will back away and stop talking to Him, throwing away our only lifeline.” 

“Think about what makes Jesus so angry over and over again—it is the pretense and dishonesty of the Pharisees. He is not angry with Job, Naomi, the prophets, or the psalmists who lament, and indeed He often comes running to them. But He is angry with the Pharisees. They put up a façade, a wall that keeps them from experiencing intimacy with the Lord, and one day He may surprise them by saying, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me’ (Matthew 7:23).” 

“Recording and retelling increases memory—memory that is sorely needed in times of trouble.” 

“God knows the shaking of our world can awaken us to understand what is transitory and what is eternal. If we press into Him, we will discover what can never be shaken.” 

“Prayer is not getting God to give you what you want but dialoguing with Him, listening to Him, submitting to Him, and asking Him to give you what He wants, even if it is costly.” 

“Love is not love if it is only grace. That is enablement.” 

Useful Maxims (book review)

Useful MaximsKing Solomon had his maxims—Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Benjamin Franklin had his maxims—A stitch in time saves nine. And now Brian Ridolfi gives us a book of fresh Useful Maxims.

Maxims are short, catchy, and very memorable; a brief, succinct statement that captures profound wisdom in a way that’s easy to recall at the appropriate time. Parents, teachers, pastors, and coaches have all sought ways to get their message across to their young charges, and have those messages come back to the forefront of their mind at crucial moments. This is where an appropriate maxim can be so helpful.

Useful Maxims is organized in broad chapter headings, and then the individual maxims are grouped together in various sub-headings throughout each chapter. Most of them are short—He who exalts himself halts himself—but occasionally Brian shares a short parable along with its memorable meaning.

If you are involved with instructing others, and want to find a way to have your point “stick” in their memory, Useful Maxims will become an invaluable, go-to tool for your lesson plans.

Thursdays With Oswald—The Memory Of Sin

Oswald ChambersThis is a periodic series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

The Memory Of Sin

     No aspect of Christian life and service is in more need of revision than our attitude to the memory of sin in the saint. When the Apostle Paul said “forgetting those things which are behind,” he was talking not about sin, but about his spiritual attainment. Paul never forgot what he had been; it comes out repeatedly in the Epistles—“For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle” (1 Corinthians 15:9); “unto me who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given” (Ephesians 3:8); …sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). …

     If one wants a touchstone for the depth of true spiritual Christianity, one will surely find it in this matter of the memory of sin. There are those who exhibit a Pharisaic holiness, they thank God with an arrogant offensiveness that they are “not as other men are”; they have forgotten the horrible pit and miry clay from whence they were taken, and their feet set upon a rock through the might of the Atonement. … 

     May the conviction of God come with swift and stern rebuke upon any one who is remembering the past of another, and deliberately choosing to forget their restoration through God’s grace. When a servant of God meets these sins in others, let him be reverent with what he does not understand and leave God to deal with them. 

From Conformed To His Image (emphasis added)

These are good questions for Christians to ask themselves regularly: (1) Am I remembering the sins of others the way I would want others to remember my sins? (2) Am I remembering my forgiven sins the way that God remembers them (Psalm 103:10-12)?

7 Quotes And A Helpful Memory Tool From “A Brilliant Mind”

A Brilliant MindIn his latest book, Dr. Frank Minrith tells us about a vital link between our vocabulary, and the growth in the human brain. It’s really quite fascinating! Check out my review of A Brilliant Mind by clicking here. Below are a few quotes from this book I wanted to share with you, along with a helpful list for increasing your memorization capacity.

“Only 3,500 words separate the culturally literate from others.”

“The average adult probably has a vocabulary of thirty to sixty thousand words. The highly literate may extend to one hundred thousand words. Yet the English language has well over one million words. Moving above the thirty-thousand-word range will greatly enhance our communication skills.”

“Many other tests since Dr. Johnson O’Connor’s have confirmed the correlation between career success and vocabulary knowledge.”

“Neuroplasticity simply means that the brain is capable of being molded: it can change and develop more connections between its many nerve cells so that, to a degree, it can even develop more cells. Neurogenesis is a similar term; it means that the brain is capable of growth and development. … You can increase the number of synapses in your brain by memorizing words. The more words you memorize, the more you can memorize because of the increase in neural synapses.”

“K. Warner Schaie, who investigated cognitive decline, found that the risk of cognitive decline could be reduced by three factors: higher education, extensive reading, and being married to a spouse with high cognitive status.” 

“We are, to a degree, what we repeatedly take into our brains. As we begin to expand our mental capacity through memorization, the brain chemistry is rearranged and memory is stored. Not only do we gain greater memory capability, but our brains actually change and improve. It is as if we program the brain with new software, and therefore we can respond to life around us in a healthier manner.”

Eight memory techniques:

  1. Review
  2. Employ visualization
  3. Use exaggeration
  4. Utilize association—synonyms, antonyms, subordination, relationships, etc.
  5. Use classification
  6. Command yourself—“When you direct the brain to do a task, it releases powerful chemicals in the direction requested. These chemicals are so powerful that if one hundred people with major medical depression—documented by a medical PET scan—are given a placebo, 33 percent will respond and their PET scan often returns to normal.” 
  7. Learn prefixes, suffixes, and roots
  8. See the origins in foreign words

13 More Quotes From “Notes On Ezekiel”

The Complete Works Of Oswald ChambersHere are some more quotes from Oswald Chambers’ book Notes On Ezekiel. My book review is here, and my first set of quotes from this book is here.

“We are too shallow to be afraid of God. … It requires a miracle of grace before we believe this, consequently we are foolishly fearless, but when the grace of God lifts us into the life of God we fear nothing and no one saving God alone. … Confusion arises when we do not see God as Almighty.”

“God will put us in circumstances where we have to take steps of which we do not see the meaning, only on looking back do we discern that it was God’s will for us.”

“We are always on the wrong line when we come to God with a pre-occupied mind because a pre-occupied mind springs from a disloyal heart: ‘I don’t want to do God’s will, what I want is for God to give me permission to do what I want to do.’” 

“What God burns is not weakness, not imperfection, but perverted goodness.”

“Every part of our human nature which is not brought into subjection to the Holy Spirit after experiencing deliverance from sin will prove a corrupting influence.”

“We all have the sneaking idea that we are the favorites of God—‘It’s alright for me to do this, God will understand.’ If I as a child of God commit sin, I will be as sternly dealt with as if I were not His child.”

“Don’t tie God up in your own conceptions, or say too surely you know what God will do. … The sovereign purposes of God work out slowly and inexorably, but ever be careful to note where God’s sovereignty is at work among men in matters of history and Time, and where it is at work in matters of eternal destiny. Beware of allowing your memory of how God has worked to take the place of present vital moral relationship to Him.”

“When I have been using ‘the sword of the Spirit’ in a spirit of indignation against another, it is a terrible experience to find the sword suddenly wrested out of my hand and laid about me personally by God. Let your personal experience of the work of God’s Spirit instruct you at the foot of Calvary; let the light of God riddle you through, then you will never use the Word of God to another, never turn the light of God on him, without fear and trembling.”

“Liberty is the ability to obey the law of God, with the power to live according to its demands; license is the unrestrained impulse to traffic against the law of God. … The seal of immorality is that I do what I like; the seal of freedom is that I do what God likes.”

“If the Holy Spirit is obeyed the stubbornness is blown out, the dynamite of the Holy Ghost blows it out.”

“Pride in its most estimable as well as its most debased form is self-deification; it is not a yielding to temptation from without, but a distinct alteration of relationships within.”

“I may suffer because of the sins of my progenitors—I am never punished for them.”

“In dealing with Bible experiences we must ever make allowance for the miraculous, which never contradicts reason, but very often does contradict common sense. The miraculous transcends reason and lifts it into another world than the logical one, consequently spiritual experience is something I have lived through, not thought through.”

14 Quotes About Thinking From “The Moral Foundations Of Life”

The Moral Foundations Of LifeAs I noted in my review of The Moral Foundations Of Life (you can read that review by clicking here), Oswald Chambers wanted Christians to think more deeply about their relationship with Jesus Christ, and then live differently because of their new way of thinking. Here are some of his quotes related to a Christians’ thought life.

“When we become spiritual we have to exercise the power of thinking to a greater degree than ever before. We starve our mind as Christians by not thinking.” 

“The Atonement of our Lord never contradicts human reason, it contradicts the logic of human intellect that has never partaken of regeneration.”

“Is Jesus Christ’s teaching God-breathed to me? There is an intention that seeks God’s blessings without obeying Jesus Christ’s teaching. We are apt to say with sanctimonious piety, ‘Yes, Jesus Christ’s teaching is of God’; but how do we measure up to it? Do we intend to think about it and act on it?” 

“The old idea that we cannot help evil thoughts has become so ingrained in our minds that most of us accept it as fact. But if it is true, then Paul is talking nonsense when he tells us to choose our thinking, to think only on those things that are true, and honorable, and just, and pure.” [Philippians 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 10:5]

“We are so extraordinarily fussy that we won’t give ourselves one minute before God to think, and unless we do we shall never form the habit of abiding. We must get alone in secret and think, screw our minds down and not allow them to wool-gather.” 

“If a man lets his garden alone it very soon ceases to be a garden; and if a saint lets his mind alone it will soon become a rubbish keep for satan to make use of.”

“If we have been storing our minds with the Word of God, we are never taken unawares in new circumstances because the Holy Spirit brings back these things to our remembrance and we know what we should do; but the Holy Spirit cannot bring back to our minds what we have never troubled to put there.” 

“Think of the sweat and labor that a scientific student will expend in order to attain his end; where do we find men and women concentrating with the same intensity on spiritual realities?”

“As soon as you get down to pray you remember a letter you ought to write, or something else that needs to be done, a thousand and one little impertinences come in and claim your attention. When we suspend our own activities and get down at the foot of the Cross and meditate there, God brings His thoughts to us by the Holy Spirit and interprets them to us. … God has not the remotest opportunity of coming to some of us, our minds are packed full with our own thoughts and conceptions.” 

“The devil does not need to bother about us as long as we remain ignorant of the way God has made us and refused to discipline ourselves; inattention and our own slovenliness will soon run away with every power we have. … All we need is grit and gumption and reliance on the Holy Spirit. We must bring the same determined energy to the revelations in the God’s Book as we bring to earthly professions. Most of us leave the sweat of brain outside when we come to deal with the Bible.”

“God will not bring every thought and imagination into captivity; we have to do it, and that is the test of spiritual concentration. The inattentive, slovenly way we drift into the presence of God is an indication that we are not bothering to think about Him. … God gives us the Holy Spirit not only for holy living but for holy thinking, and we are held responsible if we do not think concentratedly along the right lines.” 

“Glean your thinking; don’t allow your mind to be a harborage for every kind of vagabond sentiment; resolutely get into the way of disciplining your impulses and stray thinking.”

“We have to transform into real thinking possession for ourselves all that the Spirit of God puts into our spirits.” 

“An undisciplined imagination will destroy reliable judgment more quickly even then sin.”

Beyond IQ (book review)

Beyond IQHow many times have you been told that your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) determines how smart you are? Probably quite often, but Garth Sundem’s new book Beyond IQ challenges that long-held assumption.

Sundem writes, “Raw intelligence is good: it helps shape your potential top speed. But there’s much, more more that goes into realizing it. This brain-training book for everything but IQ will teach you how to drive your mind—to get the most from what you’ve got under the hood.”

Indeed, Sundem not only shares the findings of top psychologists and other brain experts from around the world, but tells you the practical applications of those findings. Each chapter is loaded with brain-boosting exercises that you can do to tap into the intelligence that God has given you.

I found this book to be not only educational, but a lot of fun too! The exercises were engaging and challenging in a way that made me want to bookmark them and come back again and again. That, says Sundem, is what will allow you to harness the greatest potential in your brain power.

I am a Three Rivers Press book reviewer.

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