Links & Quotes

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“God is not merely mending, not simply restoring a status quo. Redeemed humanity is to be something more glorious than unfallen humanity would have been, more glorious than any unfallen race now is (if at this moment the night sky conceals any such). The greater the sin, the greater the mercy: the deeper the death, the brighter the re-birth.” —C.S. Lewis

“Zeal for God feeds itself upon the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of Hell and it cannot slumber: it looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of Heaven, and it cannot but bestir itself. Zeal for God thinks of death, and hears the hoofs of the white horse with the skeleton rider close behind. Zeal for God feels that all it can do is little compared with what is wanting, and that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord.” —Charles Spurgeon

“For those who know the sound of a Goliath, David gives us this reminder: Focus on giants—you stumble. Focus on God—your giants tumble.” —Max Lucado

Frank Viola has some excellent thoughts for Christians to respond to the narrative of the culture.

Porn surveyFight The New Drug shares the results of a survey of pornography actresses, that shows their lifestyles are highly unhealthy compared to the general population. Read the full article here. Here is the important takeaway: If you are watching porn, you are keeping these young ladies in bondage to these destructive habits.

Jeffrey Kranz at the Overview Bible Project has a great infographic to help us all understand why publishers sometimes change an English translation of the Bible. (And while you’re there, check out all the other great resources on the Overview site.)

Why PhDs In Theology Commit Adultery

John PiperThis is an astounding video clip from John Piper! Please soak up this powerful 2-minute snippet…

I love when he says, “Too many Christians are fighting graduate school sins with a grammar school knowledge of God.” You can find the link to watch Piper’s entire sermon by clicking here.

Poetry Saturday—Saint Paul

F.W.H. MyersOh, could I tell, ye surely would believe it!
   Oh, could I only say what I have seen!
How should I tell, or how can ye receive it,
   How, till He bringeth you where I have been?

Therefore, O Lord, I will not fail nor falter;
   Nay but I ask it, nay but I desire,
Lay on my lips thine embers of the altar,
   Seal with the ring, and furnish with the fire.

Give me a voice, a cry, and a complaining,—
   Oh, let my sound be stormy in their ears!
Throat that would shout, but cannot stay for straining,
   Eyes that would weep, but cannot wait for tears.

Quick, in a moment, infinite forever,
   Send an arousal better than I pray;
Give me a grace upon the faint endeavor,
   Souls for my hire, and Pentecost today!

Scarcely I catch the words of His revealing,
   Hardly I hear Him, dimly understand;
Only the Power that is within me pealing
   Lives on my lips, and beckons with my hand.

Whoso has felt the Spirit of the Highest,
   Cannot confound, nor doubt Him, nor deny;
Yea, with one voice, O world, though thou deniest,
   Stand thou on that side, for on this am I. —F.W.H. Myers

 

15 Quotes From “Finding The Love Of Your Life”

Finding The Love Of Your LifeFinding The Love Of Your Life by Dr. Neil Clark Warren is a wonderful resource for anyone contemplating marriage, or for parents to help prepare their children for marriage. You can rad my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes I found especially interesting in this book.

“The person you can become is far more important than the person you are today. … When you start with who you are today and commit yourself to moving steadily toward goals, the progress you experience will not only make you feel genuinely proud, but it will also make you significantly more attractive to members of the opposite sex. … This kind of emotional growth is best achieved when you start with a deep understanding that you are totally lovable just the way you are. If your pursuit of excellence grows out of an appreciation for the way you have been created, you’ll grow by leaps and bounds.”

“The crucial thing is not to seek after someone whose personality is like your father’s or mother’s, but to search for that person whose personality would make you genuinely happy through the years.”

“Research has consistently shown that religious commitment and marital success are highly related.” 

“Research findings are highly consistent: the most stable marriages are those involving two people with many similarities. … For couples, similarities are like money in the bank, and differences are like debts they owe. Suppose you received two bank statements in the mail today, one showing the amount of money in your savings account, the other showing the amount you owe on your credit card. If you have a large savings account and little debt, you’re in a position of strength and you can weather economic storms. If a financial crisis arises, you have the means to handle it. You can make decisions and purchases without scrambling to figure out how you’ll manage. But the reverse is also true. With big debts and little savings, you’re on shaky financial ground. You have to work a lot harder to cover the bills, and you worry about job security and making ends meet. … If you want to make a marriage work with someone who is very different from you, you had better have a large number of similarities as permanent equity in your account. If you don’t, your relationship could be bankrupt at a frighteningly early stage. Why is this the case? Because every difference you have requires negotiation and adaptation. One of you has to give a lot, or both of you have to give some, and in either case there is the need for plenty of change.”

“If the qualities that attracted you to someone are different from your own, be cautious.” 

“A great marriage requires two healthy people, and the time to get healthy is before you get married. … What I am particularly concerned about here is the emotional and mental health of the two people considering a lifelong partnership.”

“When we marry, it will be ideal if in relation to our parents (1) we are essentially free from them—emotionally independent individuals—so we do not have to make decisions and live our lives to please them; (2) we are clear about what is particularly true of our relationship with our mother and father, and what is true in relation to our spouse. When we confuse these relationships, we leave our spouse feeling violated and helpless; and (3) we have established a relationship with our parents in which they will not intrude in our marriage, will not dictate to us in any authoritative ways, and yet we can still maintain a closeness and connectedness to them.”

“The desire to touch, hold hands and hug is critical for long-term satisfaction. I agree. Building a great marriage is virtually impossible without the attraction and excitement that comes with passionate love. … I am deeply convinced that any two people who choose to marry need to maintain clear minds until the moment they say ‘I do.’ Because of this, I believe in sexual abstinence prior to marriage. Sexual intercourse before marriage is a clear act of commitment! Once you have become sexually involved with a potential mate, your ability to think clearly and objectively becomes impossible. … In one impulsive moment, two people cut short the process of ‘choosing’ one another, and they rob themselves of their own wisdom. Once they are sexually involved, they forfeit their combined ability to make a wise, unhindered decision.”

“(1) Passionate love between two people is a crucial ingredient if they are to have a long and satisfying relationship. (2) Passionate love always involves strong physical attraction. (3) Physical involvement must be managed with extreme care. (4) Every progression of physical activity establishes a new plateau—and it is extremely difficult to retreat once it has been reached. (5) When sexual expression is not kept in check, the emotional, cognitive and spiritual aspects of the relationship become slaves to the physical desires.”

“Too many failed marriages involve fantasy triumphing over fact.”

“When you are intimate with the person you love, you create unlimited possibilities for the growth of your relationship. Intimacy has the potential for lifting the two of you out of the lonely world of separateness and into the stratosphere of emotional oneness. Conversely, the number one enemy of any marriage is the lack of intimacy. If two people do not know each other deeply, they can never become what the Bible calls ‘one flesh.’” 

“You have to know yourself if you’re going to be intimate with someone else.”

“When two people discover that they have a spiritual hunger or spiritual awareness in common, they are strongly drawn to one another. In fact, I have found that a lack of mutually held spiritual beliefs often signals an intimacy deficit that leaves couples dangerously unconnected. In fact, one research study showed that spirituality ranked among the six most common characteristics of strong families. The strongest families in this study reported experiencing ‘a sense of power and a purpose’ greater than themselves—a spiritual orientation.”

“The fatal flaw of our society is that the principles of business have increasingly infiltrated our intimate relationships. That’s why society has found it necessary to trivialize wedding vows, to pretend they are no longer binding or relevant. Marriage makes very little sense when viewed from a business perspective. Let me explain: Two fundamental principles in business are: (1) What you pay for something is based on what you get in return; (2) When a business arrangement is no longer a ‘good deal,’ you either alter the arrangement or terminate it. But marriage is radically different! It depends on unconditional commitment. When you get married, you pledge to love, honor and cherish another person for a lifetime. If your mate changes over time, you are not released from your pledge. … Relationships that are conditional allow almost no room for trust and intimacy.”

“There is only one time to think about commitment-—before you make it!

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“Let there be a method in our giving, so that the poor may not go away empty nor the subsistence of the needy be done away and become the spoil of the dishonest.” —Ambrose

“Passion for the glory of the Lord is the key to making a difference all out of proportion to who we are. It is not the prerogative of old or young, intelligent or simple, men or women. This passion can flame up in the heart of any saint. Do we want it enough to seek it?” —John Piper

“Of one thing we are very sure. There will be a full restoration of the apostolic gifts and the full power of Pentecost before the coming of the Lord….” Read more of this quote from Dr. Charles S. Price from over 75 years ago.

[INFOGRAPHIC] A very cool timeline of the book of Acts.

Dr. Tim Elmore shares One Antidote To Male Disillusionment. Very helpful for anyone working with young men.

Thursdays With Oswald—Stir Me, Oh Lord

This is a weekly 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.

Oswald Chambers

Stir me, Oh Lord!

Stir me, oh! stir me, Lord, I care not how, 
   But stir my heart in passion for the world! 
Stir me to give, to go—but most to pray;
   Stir, till the blood-red banner is unfurled 
O’er lands that still in heathen darkness lie, 
O’er deserts where no Cross is lifted high. 
 
Stir me, oh! stir me, Lord, till prayer is pain—
   Till prayer is joy—till prayer turns into praise! 
Stir me, till heart and will and mind—yea, all
   Is wholly Thine to use through all the day. 
Stir, till I learn to pray “exceedingly:” 
Stir, till I learn to wait expectantly.

From Christian Disciplines

Yes, Lord, yes! Stir me!

867-5309

MeditatingI know I’m showing my age with this example: But how many of you remember the song by Tommy Tutone that contained Jenny’s phone number. That song hit #4 on the charts in 1982, and yet after all of these years if you start singing the song, people can tell you that Jenny’s number is 867-5309.

Why do we remember such trivial things?!

The way God designed the human brain is absolutely astounding! Electrical impulses from our five senses filter into the brain and are saved as short-term memories, with the emphasis on short. Short-term memories usually last 20-30 seconds. But we can reset the timer by repeating the information again and again.

If we repeat it enough or think about it more, our brain realizes that it has some significance to us, and begins to “solidify” the information in our intermediate memory banks. These intermediary memories last 5-8 hours.

But in order for the intermediary memories to be stored away in our long-term memory—where they can be stored indefinitely—there needs to be an added component from us. That component is emotion.

The more important the information is to us, the greater the likelihood it will be filed in the “do not delete” section of our brain.

People tell me all the time how difficult it is for them to memorize Scripture, but the keys to memorization are built into the Scripture itself.

First, you have to approach it with a passion. Oh, how I love your law! … Therefore I hate every wrong path (Psalm 119:97, 104). The “bookends” of this section show passionate emotion.

Second, you need to sing the Word. Twice the psalmist said he mediated on God’s Word all day long (vv. 97, 99). At the root of this word is to hum. Singing God’s Word attaches emotion to it, and the emotion tells your brain to move it to long-term storage.

Third, you need to realize just how important it is to have the Scripture stored away in your memory banks. In one section of the 119th Psalm we see benefits like: makes me wiser, gives me more insight, I have greater understanding, I can avoid evil paths (vv. 98-102).

C.S. Lewis commented, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless.” Jenny’s phone number won’t keep us out of trouble, or draw us closer to God, or even give us insight into helping a friend. But God’s Word will do all of those things … and so much more!

These steps will help you store and retrieve eternally useful truths, and not just fictional phone numbers! Try it and let me know how it works for you.

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