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—

Choice Four-Letter Words

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible.

Have you ever been “cursed out” by someone? I mean had a stream of four-letter obscenities hurled at you? What happens inside you? Isn’t your natural reaction to strike back? To begin to a counter-attack with a few choice four-letter words of your own?

It’s natural to feel this way; it’s a very human response.

On the other hand, have you ever been “blessed out” by someone? Had someone shower you with niceties and accolades and compliments? What happens inside you this time? Isn’t your natural reaction the complete opposite? Don’t you want to say, “Well, I think you’re pretty special, too”?

It’s natural to feel this way; it’s a very human response.

But Jesus commanded us to do something counter-cultural, something which requires a spiritual response: “Bless those who curse you” (Luke 6:28). Paul amplified this thought: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14).

These words curse and bless are challenging for me. Curse means to hope for someone’s downfall; bless means to say good words to or about someone. Cursing can be done internally or verbally; blessing has to be done verbally. Eugene Peterson captures the essence of this in his paraphrase of Romans 12:14: “Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.”

If my natural response is to match curse for curse, obscenity for obscenity, then to respond in a Christ-like fashion is going to take a change of character. To respond with the right four-letter words, I have to do the opposite of my natural response.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for bless carried the understanding that it all hinged on God—He is the focal point. All of the definitions of this word involve a close relationship with God: (a) bless God; (b) bless men in the name of God; (c) ask for divine favor for persons or things created by God; or (d) salute someone because we know God has saluted us.

In the New Testament, the Greek word for bless makes it clear that this has to be done verbally, out loud. It is impossible to bless under your breath. In the Greek, bless is the compound word eulogeo = eu- (good) + –logos (words): saying good words out loud.

Only God is good, so only a closer relationship with our good God will help us say good words to others. Especially to those who curse us.

The right four-letter words to use—the un-natural words to use—are: Good words.

I’m challenging myself today to bless others, especially those who curse me. I only want to say good to and about others today. I’m attempting to live out Ephesians 4:29—

  • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up (New International Version)
  • Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others (Amplified Bible)
  • Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift (The Message)
  • When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger (New Century Version).

So let me ask you: How will you say the right four-letter words to others today?

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