7 Quotes From “Faith Of Our Founding Fathers”

Parents, please download a FREE copy of this book to help educate your children on the biblical faith that informed the decisions of our Founding Fathers (link in the book review). You can read my complete book review of Faith Of Our Founding Fathers by clicking here. 

“The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God, and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it, and to regulate your life by its precepts.” —John Jay 

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” —Benjamin Franklin 

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good Citizens and Soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of Religion. To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.” —George Washington 

“In this situation of this assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights, to illuminate our understandings? … I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth, That God governs in the Affairs of Men! And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without His Notice, is it probable than an Empire can rise without His Aid?—We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring Aid we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel…. I therefore beg leave to move, That henceforth Prayers, imploring the Assistance of Heaven, and its Blessing on our Deliberations, be held in this Assembly every Morning before we proceed to Business.” —Benjamin Franklin 

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep for ever….” —Thomas Jefferson 

“The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.” —Samuel Adams 

“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” —Samuel Adams

Friendship Is…

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one!’” —C.S. Lewis 

Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.” —Thomas Jefferson 

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” —Aristotle 

Friendship is not a way of accomplishing something but a way of being with another in which we become more authentically ourselves.” —Eugene Peterson 

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” —Emerson 

“If the first law of friendship is that it has to be cultivated, the second law is to be indulgent when the first has been neglected.” —Voltaire

Friendship is agreement with kindliness and affection about things human and divine.” —Cicero 

“The light of friendship is seen plainest when all around is dark.” —Grace Noll Crowell 

“For spiritual friendship, which is what we mean by true friendship, should be desired not with a view to any worldly good, nor for any reason extrinsic to itself, but from the worthiness of its own nature, and the feeling of the human heart, so that it offers no advantage or reward other than itself. … For in this true friendship one makes progress by bettering oneself, and one bears fruit by experiencing the enjoyment of this increasing degree of perfection. And so spiritual friendship is born among good people through the similarity of their characters, goals, and habits in life.” —Aelred of Rievaulx 

“The quickest way to initiate friendship is to give people freedom to be themselves.” —Andy Braner

7 Quotes For Preachers

PreachingI love getting counsel from been-there-done-that people, because I’m always looking for ways to grow and improve. I was reading these quotes for myself, but I thought my fellow pastors might enjoy them as well.

“A sermon is not like a Chinese firecracker to be fired off for the noise which it makes. It is the hunter’s gun, and at every discharge he should look to see his game fall.” ―Henry Ward Beecher

“That is not the best sermon which makes the hearers go away talking to one another, and praising the speaker, but which makes them go away thoughtful and serious, and hastening to be alone.” ―Gilbert Burnet

“Great sermons lead the people to praise the preacher. Good preaching leads to people to praise the Savior.” ―Charles G. Finney

“The priests have so disfigured the simple religion of Jesus that no one who reads the sophistications they have engrafted on it, with the jargon of Plato, or Aristotle, and other mystics, would conceive these could have been fathered on the sublime Preacher of the Sermon on the Mount.” ―Thomas Jefferson

“The sermon edifies, the example destroys. Practice what you preach.” ―Abbé de Villiers

“Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago.” ―John Wesley, in his journal

“It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher.” ―George Whitefield

Links & Quotes

link quote

Today is Thomas Jefferson’s birthday (born April 13, 1743). Inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial are these fitting words from the author of the Declaration of Independence: “I have sworn, upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

“God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love. Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it—made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.” —C.S. Lewis

“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” —Charles Spurgeon

A very interesting look at demographics in this post: What will world religions look like in 2050?

“But certainly that expression of seeking the Lord, is very commonly used to signify something more; it implies that God Himself is the great good desired and sought after; that the blessings pursued are God’s gracious presence, the blessed manifestations of Him, union and intercourse with Him; or, in short, God’s manifestations and communications of Himself by His Holy Spirit.” —Jonathan Edwards

Disagreeing Agreeably

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

Why do disagreements have to become so, well, disagreeable?

Is it possible to disagree agreeably?

It’s not easy, but I think it’s possible.

When I was younger I couldn’t stand the idea of “losing” an argument: I always had to be right. I think I’ve matured a bit (at least, I hope I have), and I no longer feel the same way. So here are a few lessons I’ve learned:

(1) Remember the person I’m disagreeing with is my brother or sister. God has created both of us, so that makes us siblings.

(2) Always go for win-win. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (Philippians 2:4).

(3) Choose your battles wisely. You can’t make everything an issue worth dying over. Thomas Jefferson wisely said, “In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.”

(4) Redefine the “win.” What does it mean to win? Is it to put someone else in their place? That doesn’t seem very healthy. Perhaps a “win” is when values or principles are agreed to, although the way they are applied may be very different from person to person.

(5) Leave the baggage behind. Don’t bring previous hurts into a new situation. Don’t assume this new person will act like someone else from your past.

We’re all different people, so we’re going to have disagreements. The key: let’s find a way to disagree agreeably.

If you have other thoughts about how to disagree agreeably, I would love it if you would share them in the comments.

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Anger That Crosses The Line

Last night in our Bible study we looked at some words that David penned when he was angry. He was on the run from his son Absalom, and it seemed like everywhere he turned people were after him, or slandering him, or just doing their best to make him miserable. Yet in two back-to-back Psalms David says, “I lay down every evening and get a great night of rest.”

His sweet sleep comes from a moment of reflection before dozing off. He says:

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah.

  • Did my anger today cross the line into sin?
  • Am I allowing the time for the Holy Spirit to search my heart?
  • When the Holy Spirit points out where my anger crossed the line, do I justify my anger, or am I silent?

How do we know if our anger has not crossed that line and become sin?

Aristotle wrote, “Anybody can become angry—that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

Being angry is not the issue. David said it (and Paul quoted it in Ephesians 4:26): “Be angry; just don’t sin.” God gets angry, but He does not sin. Jesus, in His public ministry, got angry, but He did not sin. We need to search our hearts to make sure our anger has not crossed the line to sin. We have to be angry in a godly way.

I see at least four ways to become angry without crossing the line into sin:

1.  Selfless Anger = anger at sin, but not angry at the sinner.

Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:5, 6)

2.  Slow Anger = lengthen your fuse a bit.

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:19, 20)

Good advice from Thomas Jefferson: “When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.”

3.  Protective Anger = when sinners entice others to join them in their sin. God is sad when people leave Him; He is angry at them when they take others with them.

But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep His statutes. Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow. They angered Him with their high places; they aroused His jealousy with their idols. When God heard them, He was very angry; He rejected Israel completely. (Psalm 78:56-59)

4.  Righteous Anger = against those who are keeping others from coming closer to God.

For I endure scorn for Your sake, and shame covers my face. I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons; for zeal for Your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult You fall on me. (Psalm 69:7-9)

This verse was recalled by Jesus’ disciples when they saw Him get angry and clear out the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus was angry because of the religious clutter that was keeping God’s house from being a house of prayer for all nations.

I think everyone is familiar with the acrostic WWJD = What Would Jesus Do?

I’d like to propose something similar: WGGA = Would God Get Angry?

This is a great question to ask to make sure our anger does not cross that line into sin. Get angry—in a godly way—and do not sin.

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