12 Quotes From “12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid”

12 Huge MistakesI highlighted a lot in Tim Elmore’s newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid … a lot! This is book that every parent (or grandparent) should read because it’s never too late to invest the best in our (grand)children. You can read my full book review of this must-read book by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I highlighted in this book.

“I believe we have under-challenged kids with meaningful work to accomplish. We have overwhelmed them with tests, recitals, and practices, and kids report being stressed-out by these activities. But they are essentially virtual activities. Adults often don’t give significant work to students—work that is relevant to life and could actually improve the world if the kids rose to the challenge. We just don’t have many expectations of our kids today.” 

“Every parent and teacher wants to see their kids succeed in school, in sports, and in life, but making it impossible to fail isn’t the answer. Removing failure, in fact, is a terrific way to stunt maturity. … As parents, we’ve given them lots of possessions but not much perspective. As educators, we’ve given them plenty of schools but not plenty of skills. As coaches, we’ve taught them how to win games but not how to win in life. As youth workers, we provide lots of explanations but not enough experiences. As employers, we’ve mentored them in profit and loss but haven’t shown them how to profit from loss.”

“Truth be told, when kids have heard they are excellent without working hard or truly adding value to a team, the praise rings hollow to them. Our affirmation must match their performance.”  

“When people—especially young people—know they are free to try something and fail, their performance usually improves. It brings out the best in them. But if they are preoccupied with trying not to fail, they become paralyzed:

  • Failure can create resilience.
  • Failure can force us to evaluate.
  • Failure can motivate us to better performance.
  • Failure prompts creativity and discovery.
  • Failure can develop maturity.”

“Our constant caving begins to foster a constant craving in them. They want clarity. With boundaries unclear, they need more direct attention from Mom or Dad. Unwittingly, we actually breed insecurity and instability in our kids. This may sound strange, but consistency may be your best friend as a parent because it aids in your authority and in your child’s development.” 

“Removing the consequences takes one of two roads. We either excuse their behavior and remove negative outcomes, or we actually step in and pay the consequence for them. When we do this, we frequently relieve the stress. We bring immediate peace to the situation, so we get addicted to this pattern. Unfortunately, we don’t see the long-term problems we are causing. Removing the consequences from our children’s lives brings short-term tranquility but long-term trouble.”

“‘You can do anything you want.’ I recognize why we say this, but as our kids grow older, we must help them to see what we really meant. … We really meant, if they set their mind to do something, they’ll be amazed at what they can pull off. The catch is, it needs to be something with in their gift area. They cannot simply make up a dream or copy a friend’s dream and call it theirs. Dreams should be attached to strengths.” 

“We have created a world of conveniences, filled with smart phones, microwaves, Internet shopping, and online banking. The subtle message is that struggles are to be avoided. We want as much convenience as possible. In fact, we feel entitled to it. But we failed to see that when we remove the struggles from our children’s lives, we begin to render them helpless. They don’t have the opportunity to develop the life skills they’ll need later on. Further, when we step in to control their levels of struggle, they don’t learn how to be in control or under control themselves. In fact, all they learn is how to be controlled.”

“Ironically, the things young people want to avoid are necessary for them to mature authentically. Slow, hard, boring, risky, laborious… these are the very challenges that prepare me to become a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good employee, a good employer. Many life skills that once naturally developed in us now atrophy in today’s culture. So we must be far more intentional about leading our kids into opportunities to build these skills.” 

“When we affirm looks or clothing—external matters instead of internal virtues—kids values become skewed. Remember, what gets rewarded gets repeated. Without realizing it, we are reinforcing cosmetic features—usually features that are not in their control. … We should be doing just the opposite. We must affirm effort and behavior, which are in their control, instead of characteristics that are out of their control. If we do this, we begin to foster a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.”

“We mistake hurtful with harmful. Many times, hurting helps us. In fact, removing the hurt may be harmful. … When we hurt, we can learn important truths about ourselves and about others, truth that will be beneficial later in our lives. … We confuse disturbance with damage. We hate being disturbed. Our days are so full, we often hope and pray we won’t face any unexpected disturbances as we pursue our goals. The fact is, however, that on our way to those goals, we fall into unhealthy ruts. Interruptions force us out of those ruts. Interruptions are not damaging at all. They are the very items that save us from our tunnel vision. We need to be disturbed from time to time. Interruptions are wake-up calls that rouse us from our apathy or complacency.” 

“I know you think kids are tired of you talking about the good old days. But I’ve found most kids love hearing stories of how we adults struggled to learn the same life skills when we were young. It’s all part of growing up.”

Mere Humanism

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among many of my pastor colleagues. I’m not sure if it’s an attempt to be “relatable” or unoffensive, but it is dead wrong.

The trend is to tell stories (even Bible stories) without using the Bible. To give people good thoughts from Scripture without actually opening the Scripture. To tell people how they should live but to never show them the passages of God’s Word on which those thoughts are based.

Are we ashamed of the Scripture? How can someone “preach” without pointing their audience to the authority for their preaching?!?

A.W. TozerA.W. Tozer warned us with these words—

“Any appeal to the public in the name of Christ that rises no higher than an invitation to tranquillity must be recognized as mere humanism with a few words of Jesus thrown in to make it appear Christian.”

Don’t just throw in some words of Christ; actually take them to His Word. This inspired Word is powerful, if we will just let people get their hands, and eyes, and hearts on it!

14 Quotes From “Pentecost”

Pentecost

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pentecost by Robert P. Menzies, and learned quite a bit. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Here are a few quotes that stood out to me.

“It’s because Pentecostals fuse the biblical and contemporary horizons that we link baptism in the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues, since that’s what Acts 2 does. It’s why we associate Spirit-baptism with empowerment for mission rather than with spiritual regeneration. And it’s why we expect God to perform ‘signs and wonders’ and to manifest spiritual gifts in worship services. All these things happened in the first Pentecostal community, and their story is our story.” 

“At its heart, the Pentecostal movement is not Spirit-centered but Christ-centered. The work of the Spirit, as Pentecostals understand it, centers on exalting and bearing witness to the Lordship of Christ.”

“Pentecostals are ‘people of the Book.’ Although Pentecostals certainly encourage spiritual experience, they do so with a constant eye to Scripture.”

“So, the stories of Acts are our stories, and we read them with expectation and eagerness: stories of the Holy Spirit’s power, enabling ordinary disciples to do extraordinary things for God. … The hermeneutic of the typical Pentecostal believer is straightforward and simple: the stories in Acts are my stories—stories that were written to serve as models for shaping my life and experience.”

“In Luke’s view, every member of the church is called (Luke 24:45–49; Acts 1:4–8/Isaiah 49:6) and empowered (Acts 2:17–21; cf. 4:31) to be a prophet. Far from being unique and unrepeatable, Luke emphasizes that the prophetic enabling experienced by the disciples at Pentecost is available to all of God’s people. … Through his two-volume work, Luke declares that the church, by virtue of its reception of the Pentecostal gift, is nothing less than a community of prophets. It matters not whether we are young or old, male or female, rich or poor, black or white; the Spirit of Pentecost comes to enable every member of the church, each one of us, to fulfill our prophetic call to be a light to the nations.” 

“Not long ago a Chinese house church leader commented, ‘When Western Christians read the book of Acts, they see in it inspiring stories; when Chinese believers read the book of Acts, we see in it our lives.’”

“Luke’s theology of the Spirit is different from that of Paul. Unlike Paul, who frequently speaks of the soteriological dimension of the Spirit’s work, Luke consistently portrays the Spirit as a charismatic or, more precisely, a prophetic gift, the source of power for service.” 

“Luke crafts his narrative so that the parallels between Jesus’ experience of the Spirit (Luke 3–4) and that of the disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1–2) cannot be missed. Both accounts: 1. Are placed at the outset of Luke’s Gospel on the one hand, and the book of Acts on the other; 2. Associate the reception of the Spirit with prayer; 3. Record visible and audible manifestations; 4. Offer explanations of the event in the form of a sermon that alludes to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.”

“Luke’s understanding of baptism in the Holy Spirit, I have argued, is different from that of Paul. It is missiological rather than soteriological in nature. … The tendency in Protestant churches has been to read Luke in the light of Paul. Paul addresses pastoral concerns in the church; Luke writes a missionary manifesto.” 

“Bold witness for Jesus is recognized as our primary calling and the central purpose of our experience of the Spirit’s power. Missions is woven into the fabric of our DNA.”

“I do not wish to minimize in any way the significance of the great doctrinal truths of Paul’s writings. I merely point out that since Paul was, for the most part, addressing specific needs in various churches, his writings tend to feature the inner life of the Christian community. His writings, with some significant exceptions, do not focus on the mission of the church to the world. … It is probably fair to say that while Paul features the ‘interior’ work of the Spirit (e.g., the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22–23); Luke features His ‘expressive’ work (Acts 1:8). Thus, by appropriating in a unique way the significant contributions of Luke-Acts, Pentecostals have developed a piety with a uniquely outward or missiological thrust.”

“The clarity of the Pentecostal message flows from the simple, straightforward manner in which we read the Bible. As I have noted, Pentecostals love the stories of the Bible. We identify with the stories that fill the pages of the Gospels and Acts, and the lessons gleaned from these stories are easily grasped and applied in our lives. For Pentecostals, the New Testament presents models that are to be emulated and guidelines that are to be followed. It should be noted that our approach to doing theology is not dependent on mastering a particular set of writings, say, the works of Luther; or coming to terms with a highly complex theological system. Pentecostals also do not worry much about cultural distance or theological diversity within the canon. We do not lose sleep over how we should understand the miracle stories of the Bible or how we might resolve apparent contradictions in the Bible. Our commitment to the Bible as the Word of God enables us to face these questions with a sense of confidence.”

“We must remember that whatever we do, God is measuring the work we do for Him in a qualitative, not quantitative way. … Only the work which is done by the power of the Holy Spirit can be acceptable in the Kingdom of God.” —David Yonggi Cho

“Some will still remain skeptical. They will ask: Is not this approach to church life, with its emphasis on ecstatic experience, emotional response, and spiritual power, filled with inherent dangers? Might it not encourage us to feature emotionally manipulative methods and to focus on superficial matters? Yes, undoubtedly, there are dangers. However, there is more danger in an approach that fails to make room for the full range of human experience, including the emotions, in our encounter with God.”

10 Quotes From “You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader”

You Don't Need A Title To Be A LeaderMark Sanborn has given us a wonderful book to help people be more well-rounded in their leadership, whether they have a title or not. You can read my full book review by clicking here. These are some of the quotes from this book that caught my eye.

“Leaders, untitled or otherwise, realize the extraordinary impact they can have on others and the world around them. They consciously choose to exercise their abilities, skills, and knowledge to help make a difference.”

“The reality is that we all work ‘backstage’ in our lives at times. Real leaders bring the same commitment to excellence to whatever they do, whether on the stage or behind it.”

“I began to see what happened to me as an opportunity rather than an obligation. And it made all the difference. Now when the phone rings, I respond to each call as an opportunity to serve, earn, learn, influence, network, encourage, or teach. The difference isn’t in the caller or the purpose for the call; the difference is in my response. …Genuine, authentic leadership infuses meaning into your life, because you know that your efforts count and that you are serving the needs of others as well as your own.”

“I think of the ‘self-mastery index’ as the ratio between promises made and promises kept—both to oneself and to others. If your mouth keeps making promises that you can’t keep, there is a great deal of room for improvement. Integrity, after all, is measured by the distance between your lips and your life. If you want to be a leader in your own life and in the lives of others, you’ve got to follow through on your own promises, whether you have a title or not.”

“You don’t necessarily have to be smarter or better educated to succeed. Your power lies in your ability to focus on doing what is important. If you focus on the right things, and work at them often, you will achieve exceptional results.”

“People do things for their own reasons, not for yours. To be an effective leader, you need to know how to motivate others.”

“One of the greatest compliments you can be paid as a leader is to have someone say that you helped them be better than they thought they could be.”

“People remember stories. Stories are the coat pegs of the mind. They are where people hang their ideas. Once they have a memorable story to help them remember, they can recall whatever important moral or point you have to make. …Telling an entertaining story is important, but being the story is better.”

“When something doesn’t happen, there is always an explanation. But never accept an explanation as an excuse. …Instead, use explanations to figure out what happened, then look for the lesson that will prevent that something from happening again.”

“Everyone makes a difference. The choice we all have is whether we want to make positive difference or a negative one.”

One Touch From The Maker (book review)

One of the things I’ve always liked about the Reader’s Digest was the quick, memorable way stories were presented. Pat Kirk’s compilation of stories in One Touch From The Maker does the same thing.

Over 30 stories — many of them told first person — tell about the miracles of God showing up in both ordinary and extraordinary situations. You’ll find stories about broken families and loving families; civilians and military personnel; young and old; urban, suburban, and country; national and international; land and sea; distant past and recent occurrence. In short, there’s enough evidence in these stories to bolster anyone’s faith that God sees our needs and God touches us at the point of our need.

These are not highly-polished, professionally-written stories. They are real people writing about their real experiences. They are stories we can all relate to.

My thanks to Pat Kirk for looking me up on Twitter and sending a review copy my way.

Old And Valuable

During my freshman year of college I was placed as a roommate with another freshman who was a theology major. Just so we’re all clear about this: theology is the study of God. And just so we’re all crystal clear about this: the study of God is typically based on the Bible.

I can hear some of you now, “Duh! Great insight!” But hang with me for a moment.

Near the start of our first semester together my roommate came into our dorm room very upset, slammed the door shut and threw down his book bag. When I asked what was the matter he told me he had just come from a meeting with his dean and was furious at his list of required classes. When I inquired what class he wasn’t allowed to take, he said, “No, it’s not what class I can’t take; it’s what classes I have to take!”

“So what classes are you upset that you have to take?” I asked, thinking maybe something like science or phys ed.

“Old Testament,” he responded. I was speechless, but he continued, “I mean, Old Testament! C’mon, that was stuff from a long time ago. We live under the new covenant now, so the old covenant has no purpose for us anymore!”

Although this is somewhat shocking to hear from a theology major, I’m afraid a lot of people feel this way.

Did you know —

  • The Old Testament (OT) is directly quoted by the New Testament (NT) writers nearly 700 times.
  • There are thousands of references to OT people, events, or principles in the NT.
  • Of the 27 books in the NT, only six don’t have direct OT quotations. But four of those six books refer back to OT people or passages.
  • Of the 39 books in the OT, all but nine of them are quoted in the NT.
  • Jesus Himself quoted from the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) nearly 60 times.

I love the OT… there I read some great stories and meet some very colorful personalities. But I especially love reading the OT to see what was going to happen, and then reading the NT to see both what happened and what’s still going to happen.

Those 39 books of the Old Testament may be old, but they’re so rich… and so valuable… and so enlightening to the New Testament. If you haven’t made the OT a part of your Bible reading time, I encourage you to do so. It’s not old, as in worn out, archaic, useless. It’s old, as in priceless, valuable, foundational.

Hey, comment below on your favorite Old Testament story or stories.

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