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"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight." – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001 edition) frontmatter.
Keywords: Satan, demons

"Those aspects of God which we never fully comprehend should be regarded as mysteries that go beyond our reason rather than as paradoxes which conflict with reason." – Millard Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1st edition) p. 338.
Keywords: attributes of God, nature of God

“Nothing shuts the mouth, seals the lips, and ties the tongue like the secret poverty of our own spiritual experience.” – John Stott
Keywords: intimacy with God, drawing near to God

“Prayer is a kind of service. It ought to be placed in a preeminent position. Satan always maneuvers to put other things concerning the Lord before prayer and to place prayer at the very last. However much people are reminded of the importance of prayer, not many really appreciate it. People are usually enthusiastic in attending meetings for ministry, Bible study, and so forth. But when it comes to the prayer meeting, the attendance is surprisingly minimal...
Faced with a pile of problems, we may say with our lips that only prayer can solve them, yet we talk more than pray, worry more than pray, and scheme more than pray. In sum, we put everything before prayer; other things are placed in prominent positions while prayer is relegated to last place; it is the only thing which is not so important.
How we need the Lord to enlighten our eyes that we may comprehend afresh the importance of prayer and know anew its value.  Furthermore, we must recognize that had Satan not deceived us we would not be neglecting prayer so much. We should therefore watch and discover therein all the various wiles of Satan. We will not allow him to delude us any more in relaxing in prayer." – Watchman Nee, Prayer Ministry of the Church, p.112.
Keywords: prayer, quiet time

“…if an individual Christian does not show love toward other true Christians, the world has a right to judge that he is not a Christian… we cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians.” – Francis Schaeffer, The Mark of the Christian (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1974) p. 21.
Keywords: witness, love, authenticity

“He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style. To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return—that is what really gladdens Our Father’s heart. And the troughs are the time for beginning the process.” – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001 edition) p. 66.
Keywords: pleasure, lust of the eyes, Satan’s covert tactics, diminishing returns

"It is noteworthy that [demon possession] is distinguished (especially in the gospel of the physician, Luke) from cases of ordinary sickness, insanity, leprosy, blindness, lameness, deafness, and other natural defects and diseases (cf., Matt. 4:23,24; 8:16; 10:8; Mark 6:13; Luke 4:40; 7:21,22)… Neither is it only a kind of physical disease, although spiritual and physical disease often accompany it (e.g. Matt 12:22, 17:15; Mark 9:18).” – Norval Geldenhuys, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke: The English Text (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1998) p. 174.
Keywords: demon possession

“This world is but a single dewdrop set
trembling upon the stem,
and yet... and yet...” – A Japanese poet named Issa, on the death of his son. Cited in Os Guinness, The Dust of Death (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1973) p. 223.
Comments: Guinness points out that Issa can’t reconcile the inconsistency between what Zen Buddhism teaches – suffering and sorrow is transient, life is transient, man is transient – and what humans experience.
Keywords: world religions, philosophy, problem of suffering

“On Nov. 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, came on stage to give a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. If you have ever been to a Perlman concert, you know that getting on stage is no small achievement for him. He was stricken with polio as a child, and so he has braces on both legs and walks with the aid of two crutches. To see him walk across the stage one step at a time, painfully and slowly, is an unforgettable sight. He walks painfully, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits down, slowly, puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the clasps on his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward. Then he bends down and picks up the violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and proceeds to play. By now, the audience is used to this ritual. They sit quietly while he makes his way across the stage to his chair. They remain reverently silent while he undoes the clasps on his legs. They wait until he is ready to play, but this time, something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke.  You could hear it snap... it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no mistaking what that sound meant. There was no mistaking what he had to do. People who were there that night thought to themselves: ‘We figured that he would have to get up, put on the clasps again, pick up the crutches and limp his way off stage - to either find another violin or else find another string for this one.’  But he didn't. Instead, he waited a moment, closed his eyes then signaled the conductor to begin again. The orchestra began, and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such passion and such power and such purity as they had never before. Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings. I know that, and you know that, but that night Itzhak Perlman refused to know that. You could see him modulating, changing, recomposing the piece in his head. At one point, it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to get new sounds from them that they had never made before. When he finished, there was an awesome silence in the room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of the auditorium. We were all on our feet, screaming and cheering, doing everything we could to show how much we appreciated what he had done. He smiled, wiped the sweat from this brow, raised his bow to quiet us, and then he said, not boastfullly, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent tone, ‘You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.’ What a powerful line that is. It has stayed in my mind ever since I heard it. And who knows? Perhaps that is the [way] of life - not just for artists but for all of us. Here is a man who has prepared all his life to make music on a violin of four strings, who, all of a sudden, in the middle of a concert, finds himself with only three strings. So he makes music with three strings, and the music he made that night with just three strings was more beautiful, more sacred, more memorable, than any that he had ever made before, when he had four strings. So, perhaps our task in this shaky, fast-changing, bewildering world in which we live, is to make music, at first, with all that we have, and then, when that is no longer possible, to make music with what we have left.” – Jack Riemer, Houston Chronicle, 4/9/2001
Keywords: Itzhak Perlman, suffering, hope

“A great many people mistake opinions for thoughts.” - Herbert Prochnow
Keywords: opinions

“Not all atheists are immoral, but morality as goodness cannot be justified with atheistic presuppositions. An atheist may be morally minded, but he just happens to be living better than his belief about the nature of man warrants. He may have personal moral values, but he cannot have any sense of compelling and universal moral obligation. Moral duty cannot logically operate without a moral law; and there is no moral law in an amoral world." – Ravi Zacharias, A Shattered Visage (Brentwood, Tenn.: Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers, 1990), p. 61,62.
Keywords: atheism, morals, values

"Truth is the object of Knowledge of whatever kind; and when we inquire what is meant by Truth, I suppose it is right to answer that Truth means facts and their relations, which stand towards each other pretty much as subjects and predicates in logic. All that exists, as contemplated by the human mind, forms one large system or complex fact, and this of course resolves itself into an indefinite number of particular facts, which, as being portions of a whole, have countless relations of every kind, one towards another." – John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University, 1801-1890.
Keywords: truth, knowledge

"Many of us have lost (the knowledge of sin) and we ought to regret the loss.  For slippage in our consciousness of sin, like most fashionable follies, may be pleasant, but it is also devastating…What's devastating about it is that when we lack an ear for wrong notes in our lives, we cannot play right ones or even recognize them in the performances of others.  Eventually…we miss…the main themes God plays in human life.  The music of creation and the still greater music of grace whistle right through our skulls, causing no catch of breath and leaving no residue.  Moral beauty begins to bore us.  The idea that the human race needs a Savior sounds quaint." – Cornelius Plantiga Jr., Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1995) p. xiii.
Keywords: sin, self-deception, conscience

“(Boredom is) the self being stuffed with itself.” – Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book, p. 71.
Keywords: boredom, self-focus

“It needs to be said that in the Kingdom of God there ain't no comfort zone and there never will be.” – J. I. Packer
Keywords: kingdom of God, risk taking

“…your job is to make him acquiesce in the present low temperature of his spirit and gradually become content with it… in a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive. Talk to him about ‘moderation in all things.’ If you can at once get him to the point of thinking that ‘religion is all very well up to a point ,’ you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001 edition) p. 45.
Keywords: dissonance, fanaticism, moderation, dryness

“My biggest fear is not that I will fail, but that I will succeed wonderfully in something that does not matter.” - Anonymous
Keywords: failure, dissipation

“You must die to multiply.” – Joseph Tson
Keywords: sacrifice, death to self

“A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.” – George Santayana
Keywords: fanaticism, perfectionism

“The great weakness of the church in the West (a weakness Satan has contrived by his quite insistent use of insidious temptation) is its materialism. Western evangelical Christians live for things.” – John White, “Problems and Procedures in Exorcism” from John Warwick Montgomery, ed., Demon Possession: A Medical, Historical, Anthropological and Theological Symposium (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House, 1975) p. 288.
Keywords: materialism, seduction, Satan’s covert tactics

“My authority over demons will operate effectively in the degree that I rejoice in a clear, unambivalent relationship with Christ—a relationship of trust in His redeeming and justifying grace and of total commitment to His person and will.” – John White, “Problems and Procedures in Exorcism” from John Warwick Montgomery, ed., Demon Possession: A Medical, Historical, Anthropological and Theological Symposium (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House, 1975) p. 295.
Keywords: demon possession, exorcism

“We didn't evolve from no fish, we didn't used to have tails, and we ain't related to no monkeys you atheistic pinko meathead!” – Archie Bunker
Keywords: evolution vs. creation

“Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. – Theodore Roosevelt
Keywords: duty, obligation, higher cause, responsibility

“We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters would eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now—thanks to the Internet—we know this is not true.” – Robert Silensky
Keywords: evolution, intelligent design

“What is history but a fable agreed upon?” – Napoleon
Keywords: history

“Propaganda is the art of persuading others of what you don't believe yourself.” – Abba Eban
Keywords: propaganda, truth

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts.” – C. S. Lewis
Keywords: education

“The appeal of Dilbert's attack is obvious: His acerbic humor generally skewers the boss, a clueless sort who misapplies trendy management ideas, tormenting his people. But there's a dark side to Dilbert. In spite of his clever and humorous point of view, nothing good will come from his persistent pessimism. He has nothing constructive to say about the problems he encounters… Another possible source of the Dilbert attitude: …professionals just may be too smart for their own good. When you think you know a lot, you can get pretty cynical when it comes to others’ actions. Smart people often see the world in black and white, when, in fact, it isn't.
The need to eliminate cynicism from any team or organization is especially compelling, but it's not just about feeling good or plastering ‘feel-good’ placards on cubicle walls. Almost anything is possible, but whenever a team focuses first on the barriers to getting something done, the result generally is pretty dismal: Nothing gets done. Replace cynicism with a philosophy of daring, pragmatism and optimism. Daring must be present to help individuals and organizations seize the opportunities that technology presents. How?  Replace cynicism with a philosophy of daring, pragmatism and optimism.” – Jim Champy from The Dilbert Antidote, https://www.idg.net/go.cgi?id=110900
Keywords: cynicism, optimism

“Are there spiritual enemies in our lives which refuse to be dislodged, giants who laugh at our puny efforts to dispossess them? Do we find our charter much larger than the spiritual territory we actually occupy and enjoy? There is a reason.  There are some areas in our lives in which we are not wholly following the Lord—some inner reser­vation, some flaw in dedication, something which short-circuits spiritual power and saps spiritual vi­tality. Caleb's open secret is for us too. Complete victory results from utter obedience.” – Oswald Sanders
Keywords: obedience, spiritual growth, surrender, consecration

“A tree is best measured when it is down.” – Anonymous                    
Comments: This is an American folk saying. Carl Sandburg used it as a title for a chapter that dealt with the death of Abraham Lincoln, because Lincoln was not a popular president at the time.
Keywords: character, legacy, evaluation

“If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy.  If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin.  God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13), are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God's glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins?  Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.” – Martin Luther, Let Your Sins Be Strong: A Letter From Martin Luther to Melanchathon, on the day of the Feast of St. Peter the Apostle, August 1, 1521.
Keywords: sin, grace, forgiveness, atonement

“The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. Spiritual darkness comes because of something I do not intend to obey. Watch the things you shrug your shoulders over, and you will know why you do not go on spiritually.” – Oswald Chambers, Pulpit Helps
Keywords: Obedience

"We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money, is our only objective." – Michael Eisner, one of the highest paid executives in America.
Keywords: money, priorities

“Darwinism can be used to back up two mad moralities, but it cannot be used to back up a single sane one. The kinship and competition of all living creatures can be used as a reason for being insanely cruel or insanely sentimental; but not for a healthy love of animals ... That you and a tiger are one may be a reason for being tender to a tiger. Or it may be a reason for being cruel as the tiger. It is one way to train the tiger to imitate you, it is a shorter way to imitate the tiger. But in neither case does evolution tell you how to treat a tiger reasonably, that is, to admire his stripes while avoiding his claws. If you want to treat a tiger reasonably, you must go back to the garden of Eden. For the obstinate reminder continues to recur: only the supernaturalist has taken a sane view of Nature.” G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (London, England: John Lane, 1927) pp. 204-205.
Keywords: evolution, morality, nature, morals, ethics, Darwinism

“A fact merely marks the point where we have agreed to let investigation cease.” – Bliss Carman
Keywords: objective truth, postmodernism

“The truest test of independent judgment is being able to dislike someone who admires us and to admire someone who dislikes us.” – Sydney J. Harris
Keywords: judgment, partiality, fairness

"The church at large seems to have lost the recognition that there is a war on. 'Church' is a place to go on a Sunday once a week - or once a month - not a corps of battle troops under a Commander against a skillful, powerful, ruthless foe. Camouflage is one of the basic arts of warfare. If the Enemy has managed to camouflage himself so well that the average churchmen do not notice he is around or even believe he exists - well, that suits him admirably. Such a church is easy prey for him. But the early Christians were under no illusions. They believed in a devil who was like a roaring lion, like an angel in disguise, like an experienced wrestler, like the best soldiery known to antiquity." – Michael Green, I Believe in Satan's Downfall (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1981) p. 248.
Keywords: spiritual warfare, Satan’s existence, Satan

"How many days are there ... when we do not give our supreme enemy even so much as a thought? Could you conceive of such a situation in earthly warfare? Let us retake this lost ground. Let us review the past to discover the successful methods of attack he has adopted in our own experience, and set a watch at that point." – J. Oswald Sanders, Satan is No Myth, pp. 128,129.
Keywords: spiritual warfare, Satan, be on the alert

"The wars of Earth ebb and flow like the tides. One year they are on, and the next they go into history books. Paul's battle language says, ‘Our struggle is...’ He does not say that it was or will be, but that it is a continually present factor in our lives as Christians. And from this struggle there is no demobilization or discharge, at least in this life. The implacable hate and (insidious) subtlety of our adversary the devil demands of us to maintain a constant state of readiness until we die or Jesus returns." – Arthur R. Matthews, Born for Battle (OMF Books, 1988) p. 53.
Keywords: spiritual warfare, Satan

“The will to use weapons is what warfare is all about. It is not enough to give mental assent to the fact that a spiritual warfare is going on. Passivity towards our enemy is what the devil wants from us and his trick is to cool the ardor of God's (soldiers). Jesus said, 'He that is not with me is against me.' Everywhere the Word of God is against passivity and advocating action: 'Fight the good fight of faith... ' ‘Endure hardship as a good soldier... ' 'Resist the devil... ' 'Take up the sword of the Spirit... "' – Arthur R. Matthews, Born for Battle (OMF Books, 1988) p. 54.
Keywords: spiritual warfare, Satan, action, passivity

"In warfare there are four possible attitudes—offense, defense, detente, and desertion. It is the first one of these that the enemy fears ... He will therefore do all that he can to put God's people on the defensive, there to talk detente or else frighten them into desertion ... Satan can get along very well with Christians as long as they are on the defensive, seeking detente, or deserting. Therefore, if we are determined to see him defeated ... we must be only and always committed to the offensive." – Arthur R. Matthews, Born for Battle (OMF Books, 1988) p. 51.
Keywords: spiritual warfare, Satan

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things, which he can afford to let alone.” – Henry David Thoreau
Keywords: simplicity, true riches

“But hushed be every thought that springs from out the bitterness of things.” – William Wordsworth, Eliagic Stanzas, 1827
Keywords: bitterness

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”  Ephesians 3:8
“The apostle Paul felt it was a great privilege to be allowed to preach the gospel.  He did not look on his calling as a drudgery, but he fulfilled it with intense delight. Yet while Paul was thankful for his calling, his success in it greatly humbled him. The fuller a vessel becomes, the deeper it sinks in the water. Idlers may indulge a fond conceit of their abilities, because they are untried; but the earnest worker soon learns his own weakness. If you seek humility, try hard work. If you would know your nothingness, attempt some great thing for Jesus. If you would feel how utterly powerless you are apart from the living God, attempt the great work of proclaiming ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ,’ and you will know, as you never knew before, what a weak, unworthy thing you are.  Although the apostle thus knew and confessed his weakness, he was never perplexed as to the subject of his ministry. From his first sermon to his last, Paul preached Christ, and nothing but Christ. He lifted up the cross and extolled the Son of God who bled thereon.  Follow his example in all your personal efforts to spread the glad tidings of salvation, and let ‘Christ and Him crucified’ be your ever-recurring theme.” – C.H. Spurgeon, Morning & Evening (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whittaker House, revised edition 1997) p. 137.
Keywords: weakness, humility, attempting great things for God

“To err is human; to blame it on the other guy is even more human.” – Bob Goddard
Keywords: mistakes, shifting blame

“Thus relativism absolutizes pluralism. That is, it takes the clearly observable fact that we have a multitude of views and values and practices in the world‚—pluralism‚—and draws the illegitimate conclusion that there is no justifiable way of choosing among them. Truth is merely opinion, goodness only what the majority says it is.” – Daniel Taylor, Deconstructing the Gospel of Tolerance, Christianity Today, 1/11/1999, Vol. 43, No. 1, p. 42.
Keywords: pluralism, postmodernism

“Perhaps one reason God delays His answers to our prayers is because He knows we need to be with Him far more than we need the things we ask of Him.” – Ben Patterson
Keywords: prayer, unanswered prayer

“For the last 250 years or so, secularists have waited patiently for the fulfillment of their prediction that religion would die out in the next generation or two. But religious people have been singularly uncooperative, and new strategies have developed for controlling this blight on human progress. If religion won't ‘wither away’ as philosopher Richard Rorty has wished, then perhaps it can be privatized and thereby removed from influence on public life‚—sort of like localizing an outbreak of the plague. – Daniel Taylor, Deconstructing the Gospel of Tolerance, Christianity Today, 1/11/1999, Vol. 43, No. 1, p. 42.
Keywords: separation of church and state, religion

“Our God spares no pains to root out of us all the dross, all the impurity, all that would cause defect or decay, to whole rottenness of our old nature…Spirit-given repentance only brings about my personal identification with the redeeming grace of God – nothing else...” – Helen Roseveare
Keywords: repentance, growth, old nature

“I knew that God had chosen me to use me and that in the grave situation in which we were placed He relied on me to be loyal.  As the saying is, ‘A soldier is trained for a thousand days; he is used only briefly.’  This was the time that God wanted to use me and on no account must I flee as we approached the battle…How could I be a traitor to the Lord whom I had served for over twenty years?  I could never be happy to be a disciple of Judas… But for the glory of God, for the church of God, and for the truth of God; for the doctrine to which I witness and for the Lord whom I serve, I cannot raise the white flag of surrender to Satan and go and do the things that the will of God and my conscience will not allow me to do…” – Wong Ming-Dao
Keywords: following Jesus, loyalty to God

"Science does not give ultimate answers to any questions, or any answers to ultimate questions." – Chris Smyth
Keywords: science

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” – Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Keywords: truth, relativism, postmodernism

“You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.” – Ogden Nash
Keywords: growth, maturity

“It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Keywords: duty, purpose, meaning, higher cause, risk taking, cynicism, criticism, failure

"'You need to control everything,' Turner said one day recently in his New York office, his foot up against an empty coffee table.  'You need to be like Rockefeller with Standard Oil.  He had the oil fields, and he had the filling stations, and he had the pipelines and the trucks and everything to get the gas to the stations.  And they broke him up as a monopoly.  You want to control everything.  You want to have a hospital and a funeral home, so when the people die in the hospital you move them right over to the funeral home next door.  When they're born, you got 'em.  When they're sick, you got 'em.  when they die, you got 'em.'  He smiled and added, 'The game's over when they break you up.  But in the meantime you play to win.  And you know you've won when the government stops you.'" – Ted Turner interviewed by Ken Auletta, The Lost Tycoon, The New Yorker, 4/23&30, 2001, p. 154
Keywords: capitalism, monopoly, business
Comments: The context is Turner explaining his business philosophy and why he consistently pursued trying to grow Turner Broadcasting by buying more and more companies, especially in the face of the fact that competitors were growing larger (e.g. G.E. acquiring NBC, Disney acquiring ABC).

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."   Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Keywords: hard work, luck

"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." – Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
Keywords: fame

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Keywords: stupidity, shortsightedness

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." – Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Keywords: gossip, lies

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." – Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
Keywords: courage, injustice

"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it." – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Keywords: temptation

"Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'." – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Keywords: pride, ego

"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'." – anonymous
Keywords: commitment, consecration

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." – Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)
Keywords: failure

"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." – Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Keywords: servanthood, compassion

“Those who are possessed of a definite body of doctrine and of deeply rooted convictions upon it will be in a much better position to deal with the shifts and surprises of daily affairs than those who are merely taking short views, and indulging their natural impulses as they are evoked by what they read from day to day. The first thing is to decide where you want to go.” – Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 210.
Keywords: principles, convictions, goals

“The nation is prepared for every sacrifice so long as it has leadership, so long as the Government shows clearly what they are aiming at, and so long as the nation is confident that those who are leading it are doing their best.” – Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 660.
Keywords: Winston Churchill, leadership, goals, vision, direction

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." – Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953
Keywords: principles, values, entitlement

"The graveyards are full of indispensable men. "   Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)
Keywords: messiah complex, body of Christ

“Man is so unhappy that he would be bored even if he had no cause for boredom, by the very nature of his temperament, and he is so vain that, though he has a thousand and one basic reasons for being bored, the slightest thing, like pushing a ball with a billiard cue, will be enough to divert him.”
“However sad a man may be, if you can persuade him to take up some diversion he will be happy while it lasts, and however happy a man may be, if he lacks diversion and has no absorbing passion or entertainment to keep boredom away, he will soon be depressed and unhappy. Without diversion there is no joy; with diversion there is no sadness.  That is what constitutes the happiness of persons of rank, for they have a number of people to divert them and the ability to keep themselves in this state.” – Blaise Pascal, Pensees (Penguin Classics, Rev. 1995) pp. 40, 41.
Comments: We seek stimulation so we don’t have to think about our plight.
Keywords: diversion, happiness, stimulation, boredom

“…as is well known, Jewish historians are not very reliable in their time-reckoning for the post-exilic era. They do not seen to have had a clear idea of the length of the Person domination, and they were in addition not free of the theological influence of the Book of Daniel, where a period of seventy weeks of years, i.e. 490 years, is given as separating the epoch of Nebuchadnezzar from that of the Messiah.” – Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (London, England: Penguin Books, fourth edition 1997) p. 58.
Comments: Vermes is a Jewish/British scholar.
Keywords: Daniel 9, prophecy, messiah

“It appears, too, that Josephus was influenced by a calculation according to which Daniel’s ‘seventy weeks’ of 490 years (Dan. 9:24-27) were due to expire around that time [A.D. 67], and he probably identified Vespasian with ‘the prince who is to come’ of Daniel 9:26.” Bruce adds the following footnote: “We have to account for the widespread belief, attested not only by Josephus (War vi. 312 f.) but also by Tacitus (History v. 13) and Suetonius (Vespasian 4), that the sacred writings of the Jews pointed to the emerging of a world-rule from Judea ‘at that very time.’ There is no precise time indication in Genesis 49:10, but Josephus points out elsewhere (Antiquities 10.267) that Daniel, unlike the other Hebrew prophets, was enabled to point to the time at which his predictions would be fulfilled.” – F.F. Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1974) p. 33.
Keywords: Daniel 9, prophecy, messiah

“Jesus commands Christians to seek consciously the lowest room. All of us—pastors, teachers, professional religious workers and nonprofessional included—are tempted to say, ‘I will take the larger place because it will give me more influence for Jesus Christ.’ Both individual Christians and Christian organizations fall prey to the temptation of rationalizing this way as we build bigger and bigger empires. But according to the Scripture this is backwards: we should consciously take the lowest place unless the Lord Himself extrudes us into a greater one.” – Francis Schaeffer, No Little People (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2003) p. 29.
Keywords: servanthood, humility

“People who are good with hammers see every problem as a nail.” – Abraham Maslow
Keywords: giving advice, counsel

“Those who make love their goal in life are going to hurt deeply when they are rejected, unappreciated, exploited, or opposed by the very people they seek to love. But that is the lot of God’s servants. However, as we face the prospect of suffering, God will remind us that, just as Christ’s sufferings produced great glory, our sufferings will also bring great glory to God.” – Ajith Fernando, Jesus-Driven Ministry (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2002), p. 52-53.
Keywords: love, servanthood, suffering

“If you're not failing every now and again it's a sign you're not trying anything very innovative.” – Woody Allen
Keywords: failure, innovation, risk taking

"There are two things to be leaned against simultaneously: the first is living as though God did not exist and as though He could not or would not lead us; the second is living as though God's leading were almost magic without any use of the mind." – Francis Schaeffer, The Letters of Francis Schaeffer (Crossway Books. Westchester, IL. 1985) p. 163.
Keywords: discovering the will of God, leading, guidance

“I have made the commitment to spend from half an hour to an hour every single morning in a secluded place with the Lord. I don’t do this to earn merit badges from God… I do it because I grew very tired of leading an unexamined life.” – Bill Hybels, Too Busy Not to Pray (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2nd edition, 1998) p. 147.
Keywords: prayer, quiet time

“We believe that all religions are basically the same… They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ in matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.” – British Journalist Steve Turner quoted by Ravi Zacharias in his Harvard Lecture, “Is Atheism Dead? Is God alive?,” November, 1993.
Keywords: pluralism, relativism, all religions teach the same thing

“The difference between believers and unbelievers is not so much in the matter of their knowledge of God as in the manner of their knowledge. The excellency of a believer does not consist in how much he knows, but in what he assimilates and what becomes transformed within his soul.” – John Owen
Keywords: obedience

A death-bed interview with existentialist Jean Paul Sartre in 1974:

INTERVIEWER: How did your atheism begin?

SARTRE: ... I don’t know where the thought came from or how it struck me, yet all at once I said to myself, "But God doesn’t exist!" ... I remember very well, it was on that day and in the form of a momentary intuition, that I said to myself "God doesn’t exist." It's striking to reflect that I thought this at the age of eleven and that I never seriously asked myself the question again until today, that is to say for sixty years.

SARTRE: ... Even if one does not believe in God, there are elements of the idea of God that remain in us and that cause us to see the world with some divine aspects.

INTERVIEWER: What, for example?

SARTRE: ... As for me, I don't see myself as so much dust in the world, but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God ... (This idea) contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for want of being able to think otherwise.

INTERVIEWER: (Then) what is the benefit to you of not believing in God?

SARTRE: It has strengthened my freedom and made it sounder: at the present time this freedom is not there to give God what he asks me for; it is there for the discovery of myself and to give me what I ask of myself. That is essential... This life owes nothing to God; it was what I wanted it to be...” – "A Conversation about Death and God," Harper's, February, 1984, p. 39.
Keywords: death, pride, bias,
“The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” – C. S. Lewis
Keywords: pride, evil, sin

“Deep vers'd in books and shallow in himself.” – John Milton
Keywords: obedience
“Because times change, no ministry can afford to fall in love with its own methods. . . Most ministry methods are a monument to a successful ministry of another time.” – Tim Downs
Keywords: change, being all things to all men, seeker sensitive, methods, mission, contextualization

“Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.” – Sir Francis Bacon
Keywords: reading, counsel, writing, learning

"The solemn thing about time is, of course, that it can be lost and time lost can never be regained." – A Spiritual Clinic, p. 163, Back to the Bible Publishers, 1958
Keywords: time stewardship

“I should not like you, if meant by God to be a missionary, to die a millionaire. I should not like it, were you fitted to be a missionary, that you should drivel down to a king. What are all your kings, all your nobles, all your diadems, when you put them together, compared with the dignity of winning souls to Christ, with the special honor of building for Christ, not on another man’s foundation, but preaching Christ’s Gospel in regions far beyond.” – C. H. Spurgeon to his son
Keywords: careers, missions, sacrifice

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Anonymous
Keywords: failure, perseverance

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods an goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if only in a nightmare.  All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations... There are no ordinary people.  You have never talked to a mere mortal... But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—Immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” – C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory (New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001 edition) p. 43.
Keywords: human dignity, immortality

“For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for him in our souls.” – C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001) p. 141.
Keywords: surrender, consecration, will

"A student asked the president of his school whether he could take a shorter course than the one prescribed. ‘Oh yes,’ replied the president. ‘But then it depends on what you want to be. When God wants to make an oak, He takes a hundred years. But when He wants to make a squash, He takes six months.’” – A.H. Strong
Keywords: delayed gratification, Christian growth, sanctification

"If you want your people as well as yourself to be soul-winners, try and keep up the prayer-meetings all you can… Keep up the prayer-meeting, whatever else flags… If I were you, I would make that prayer-meeting a special feature of my
ministry… let it be such a prayer-meeting that there is not the like of it within
seven thousand miles. Do not go walking into the prayer meeting, as so many
do, to say anything or nothing that may occur to you at the moment; but do
your best to make the meeting interesting to all who are there; and do not
hesitate to tell good Mr. Snooks that, God helping you, he shall not pray
for five-and-twenty minutes. Earnestly entreat him to cut it short, and if
he does not, then stop him.  If a man came into my house intending to cut my
wife's throat, I would reason with him as to the wrong of it, and then I
would effectually prevent him from doing her any harm; and I love the church
almost as much as I love my dear wife. So, if a man will pray long, he may
pray long somewhere else, but not at the meeting over which I am presiding. – C.H. Spurgeon, from The Soul Winner
Keywords: prayer meetings, corporate prayer

“Stand in the stream and fish. Many preachers are utterly ignorant as to how the bulk of the people are living; they are at home among books, but quite at sea among men. What would you think of a botanist who seldom saw real flowers, or an astronomer who never spent a night with the stars? Would they be worthy of the name of men of science? Neither can a minister of the gospel be anything but a mere empiric unless he mingles with men, and studies character for himself… Get into close quarters with those who are in an anxious state… It will help to make you earnest when you see their eagerness to find peace… See the masses living in their sins, denied with drinking and Sabbath-breaking, rioting and blaspheming; and see them dying sodden and hardened, or terrified and despairing: surely this will rekindle expiring zeal if anything can do it. The world is full of grinding poverty, and crushing sorrow; shame and death are the portion of thousands, and it needs a ‘great gospel’ to meet the dire necessities of men's souls... Go and see for yourselves. Thus will you learn to preach a great salvation, and magnify the great Savior, not with your mouth only, but with your heart...” – Helmut Thielicke quoting C.H. Spurgeon, Encounter with Spurgeon (Cambridge, UK: James Clarke and Co., Ltd., 1978 reprint) p. 86-87.
Keywords: preaching, the lost, zeal, evangelism

“God wants His mouthpiece to have His heart.” – Jim Leffel, 2004 XSI
Keywords: compassion, personal investment

“The phrase ‘Don't be afraid’ is found 366 times in the Bible (one for each day of the year - and an extra one to cover leap years!)” – Clive Calver, 2004 XSI
Keywords: fear, afraid

"When new Christians are born into the kingdom, they don't automatically imprint on God—they imprint on us." – Neil Cole, 2004 XSI
Keywords: modeling, discipleship

"Service and obedience to His call is our best expression of love to Him." – Samuel Stephen, 2004 XSI
Keywords: servanthood, obedience, loving God

"God always uses the man closest to Him!" – Samuel Stephen, 2004 XSI
Keywords: ministry, intimacy with God

“Our obedience to the Great Commission has more consistently been blocked by our affluence than any other factor.” – 2004 XSI, Dennis McCallum
Keywords: affluence, great commission

“There unanimously, whether of malice or of wantonness, they all joined in mockery of the victim who hung upon the center cross.  Some thrust out the tongue, some wagged their heads, others scoffed and jeered, some taunted Him in words, and others in signs, but all alike exulted over the defenseless man who was given as a prey to their teeth.  Earth never beheld a scene in which so much unrestrained derision and expressive contempt were poured upon one man so unanimously and for so long a time.  It must have been hideous to the last degree to have seen so many grinning faces and mocking eyes and to have heard so many cruel words and scornful shouts.” – Charles H. Spurgeon, The Power of the Cross of Christ (Emerald Books, 1995) p.179.
Keywords: the cross, crucifixion

“This is all of it. Do you believe in Christ? Then God will work in you ‘to will and to do for His good pleasure’ (Phil. 2:13). God will conquer your sin; God will sanctify you; God will save you; God will keep you; God will bring you to Himself.  Rest in the covenant. Then moved by intense gratitude, go forward to serve your Lord with all your heart and soul and strength.  Being saved, live to praise Him.  Do not work so that you may be saved, but serve Him because you are saved, for the covenant has secured your safety… Moved by love of the Father, spend and be spent for His sake.  If the selfish hope of winning heaven by works has moved some men to great sacrifice, so much more should the godly motive of gratitude to Him, who has done all this for us, move us to the noblest service and make us feel that it is not a sacrifice at all.” – Charles Spurgeon, Grace and Power (Whitaker House, 2000) p. 21.
Keywords: gratitude, sanctification, motivated by grace, overcoming sin

“It remains to consider how we can retrieve this disaster.  The great thing is to prevent his doing anything.  As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance.  Let the little brute wallow in it.  Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilising the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul.  Let him do anything but act.  No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will.” – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001 edition) p. 66.
Keywords: taking action, obedience, spiritual warfare, conversion

“Golf is not a sport. It’s a relationship. And like most relationships, it requires generous amounts of time, practice and patience. You don’t have to be in love to throw a baseball or football or to shoot a basketball. But a birdie from the back bunker, that requires a very deep affection.” – from an AT&T add that ran in Newsweek in Feb of 2006.
Keywords: priorities, what we’re willing to sacrifice for, idolatry, relationships

“We today believe in Marx, Freud and Darwin.  We believe everything is OK as long as you don't hurt anyone, to the best of your definition of `hurt' and to the best of your definition of ‘knowledge.’  We believe in sex before, during and after marriage.  We believe in the therapy of sin.  We believe that taboos are taboo.  We believe that everything is getting better despite evidence to the contrary.  The evidence must be investigated and you can prove anything with evidence.  We believe there is something in horoscopes, UFO's and bent spoons.  Jesus was a good man, just like Buddha, Mohammed and ourselves.  He was a good moral teacher, although we think his good morals were really bad.  We believe that all religions are basically the same, at least the ones that we read were.  They all believe in love and goodness.  They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God and salvation.  We believe that after death comes The Nothing, because when you ask the dead what happens, they say nothing.  If death is not the end and if the dead have lied, then it is compulsory heaven for all—except perhaps for Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.  We believe in Masters and Johnson: what's selected is average, what's average is normal, what's normal is good.  We believe in total disarmament.  We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.  Americans should beat their swords into tractors and the Russians would be sure to follow.  We believe that man in essentially good; it's only his behavior that lets him down.  This is the fault of society, society is the fault of conditions, and conditions are the fault of society.  We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him, and reality will adapt accordingly, the universe will adjust, history will alter.  We believe there is no absolute truth except the truth that there is no absolute truth.  We believe in the rejection of creeds and the flowering of individual thought.  If chance be the father of all flesh, disaster is his rainbow in the sky.  And when you hear `State of Emergency,' `Sniper Kills Ten,' `Troops On Rampage,' `Youths Go Looting,' `Bombs Blast School,' it is but the sound of man worshipping his maker." – Steve Turner, British Journalist; quoted by Ravi Zacharias in his Harvard lecture "Is Atheism Dead? Is God Alive?", November, 1993
Keywords: relativism, postmodernism, absolute truth, pluralism

“The biggest crisis I have faced in ministry came a few years ago when some people when upset with certain decisions. They felt that I had betrayed them. I experienced some deep hurts as I listened to their anger. During this time, God taught me a principle that I found extremely helpful: In a time of crisis, before we meet hostile people, we must first meet God. Our ministry is primarily not a reaction to the anger and rejection of people. It springs from God’s acceptance of us as his valued servants and from the filling of the Spirit to meet the challenges that we face… I would then go to meet the people in the strength of that time with God. I believe it helped me respond to their anger in the Spirit rather than in the flesh.” Ajith Fernando, Jesus-Driven Ministry (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2002), p. 39.
Keywords: receiving criticism, God’s acceptance, responding to anger

“If I wished to humble anyone, I should question him about his prayers. I know nothing to compare with this topic for its sorrowful self confessions.” – British clergyman C.J. Vaughan in Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders, p. 85.
Keywords: prayer, quiet time, devotions

"In the western world… many of us in our praying are like nasty little boys who ring front door bells and run away before anyone answers." - D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation, p. 37.
Keywords: prayer, quiet time, devotions

"There is no doubt that love is not an easy subject with which to deal… There is perhaps no word more misused than love…. A person may 'love' God and 'love' apple pie or the Dodgers. He may see 'love' as sacrifice or dependency. He may think of ‘love’ only in a male-female relationship, as a referent to sexual 'love', or he may see it only in saintly purity. Love is many things, perhaps too many things to be definitive about it. So, one who attempts a definition runs the danger of ending up being vague or nebulous and arriving nowhere." – Leo Buscaglia, Love, p. 88,89.
Keywords: love

"[Chastity is] the most unnatural of the sexual perversions." – Aldous Huxley, cited in James Patterson and Peter Kim, The Day America Told The Truth (New York: Prentiss Hall Press, 1991), p. 81.
Keywords: sex, sexuality, morals, cultural trends

"In terms of the idealized couple of the past--virgins joined in holy matrimony, faithful till death do them part--we found nothing but a shadow on the wall." – James Patterson and Peter Kim, The Day America Told The Truth (New York: Prentiss Hall Press, 1991), p. 73.
Keywords: sexuality, morals, cultural trends

"Almost everyone knows what infatuation feels like. That euphoria. That torment. Those sleepless nights and restless days. Awash in ecstasy or apprehension, you daydream during class or business, forget your coat, drive past your
turn, sit by the phone, or plan what you will say—obsessed, longing for the next encounter with "him" or "her". Then when you meet again, his slightest gesture stops your pulse. Her laugh dizzies you. You take foolish risks, say stupid
things, laugh too hard, reveal dark secrets, talk all night, walk at dawn, and often hug and kiss—oblivious to all the world as you tumble through a fever, breathless, etherized by bliss." – Helen Fisher, Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce, p. 37.
Keywords: infatuation, eros, love

"To love somebody is not just a strong feeling - it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision?" - Erich Fromm, a German-American psychoanalyst, author, and teacher.
Keywords: love, feelings

"Love's symptoms are familiar enough: a drifting mooniness in thought and behavior, the mad conceit that the entire universe has rolled itself up into the person of the beloved, a conviction that no one on earth has ever felt so torrentially about a fellow creature before. Love is ecstasy and torment, freedom and slavery." – Paul Gray, What is Love? Time, 2/15/93
Keywords: eros, love

"Love is the state in which a man sees things most widely different from what they are. The force of illusion reaches its zenith here… When a man is in love he endures more than at other times; he submits to everything." – Friedrich Nietzche
Keywords: eros, love

"Burrowing into his past, he was appalled at what he found…'I have found out ludicrous and terrible things about my own character. Sitting by, watching the rising thoughts to break their necks as they pop up, one learns to know the sort of thoughts that do come. And, will you believe it, one out of every three is a thought of self-admiration: when everything else fails, having had its neck broken, up comes the thought "What an admirable fellow I am to have broken their necks!" I catch myself posturing before the mirror, so to speak, all day long. I pretend I am carefully thinking out what to say to the next pupil (for his good, of course) and then suddenly realize I am really thinking how frightfully clever I'm going to be and how he will admire me…. when you force yourself to stop it, you admire yourself for doing that. It's like fighting the hydra…There seems to be no end to it. Depth under depth of self-love and self-admiration…Pride…is the mother of all sins, and the original sin of Lucifer." – Green and Hooper, C.S Lewis: A Biography. p. 105.
Keywords: pride, self-love, self-admiration

On the cross, Christ "absorbed all the pain, all the suffering caused by the breakdown in our relationship with God and in doing so demonstrated the lengths to which a God who is love will go to restore it… the fact is that the cross isn't a form of cosmic child abuse - a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for an offence he has not even committed ... such a concept stands in total contradiction to the statement ‘God is love’... The truth is, the cross is a symbol of love. It is a demonstration of just how far God as Father and Jesus as his Son are prepared to go to prove that love. The cross is a vivid statement of the powerlessness of love…” – Steve Chalke, Alan Mann The Lost Message of Jesus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2004).
Keywords: false views of the atonement, substitutionary atonement, the cross

"Agape love is not primarily an emotion. Rather, it is a volitional commitment to give to others - to meet their needs, especially at our own personal expense. Laying down our lives is not a feeling. Laying down our lives is an action; it is something that we either do or do not do, regardless of how we feel… Since agape love is a volitional commitment to give, and therefore, not subject to momentary feeling, one cannot 'fall out' of agape love as if it was beyond control." Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt, The Myth of Romance, p. 10.
Keywords: romance, love, commitment, agape love

"Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the Word of God committed to the Church ... the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ ... It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, are in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls." – Second Vatican Council, "Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation," no. 10.
Keywords: Catholicism, scripture, tradition, authority of scripture

"The Church affirms that for believers, the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation." – The Holy See, Catechism of the Catholic Church (Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications, 1994) p. 292.
Keywords: Catholicism, salvation, sacraments
"The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine grace is dispensed to us." – The Holy See, Catechism of the Catholic Church (Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications, 1994) p. 292.
Keywords: Catholicism, salvation, sacraments

"Church teaching is that I don't know, at any given moment, what my eternal future will be. I can hope, pray, do my very best—but I still don't know. Pope John Paul II doesn't absolutely know that he will go to heaven, nor did Mother Theresa of Calcutta . . ." – Cardinal John O'Connor, The New York Times, February 1, 1990, p. B4.
Keywords: Catholicism, eternal security, security of salvation

“Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” – Pope John Paul II, Reconcilio et paenitentia. 17 § 19 “If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act in itself is a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justices and mercy of God.” – The Holy See, Catechism of the Catholic Church (Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications, 1994) p. 456.
Keywords: Catholicism, mortal sin, eternal security, security of salvation

"…(God) does not create everyone in the same condition, but ordains eternal life for some and eternal damnation for others." – John Calvin, cited in Alister McGrath, Christian Theology, p. 396.
Keywords: predestination, double predestination, John Calvin

"Several years ago I was sitting at my desk, idly glancing at my daily schedule, which was laid out in a time-management system roughly the size of Nebraska. This binder was bursting with "to-do" lists, phone logs, time-organizers, meeting maximizers, goal-stabilizers, high-tech efficiency charts, and five- and ten-year life planners. Suddenly, I realized I no longer wanted a life that complicated." - Elaine St. James, Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter, p. 3.
Keywords: simplify your life, planning, schedules

"We looked around us and saw too many broken marriages and suffering children. We saw too many purchases piled up in the garage and too few hours of loving communication within the home. Such a life had no appeal for us.” - Tyra Arraj with James Arraj, The Treasures of Simple Living: A Family's Search for a Simpler and More Meaningful Life in the Middle of the Forest, p. 17.
Keywords: materialism, simplify your life, family

"I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau, "Walden," in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1906), 2:44.
Keywords: simplicity, materialism, purpose

"To be simple is to fix one's eye solely on the simple truth of God at a time when all concepts are being confused, distorted, and turned upside down." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, p. 68.
Keywords: simplicity, crisis

"I'm referring to an impossible marriage or a relationship that isn't going anywhere, and that is causing you stress or pain. If you're in such a relationship, and you've tried to fix it and you can't, get out...Perhaps it's time to think about moving on from a relationship that no longer works for you..." - Elaine St. James, Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter, p. 182,183.
Keywords: simplify your life, antithesis, relationships

"Give up relationships that don't support you. Let go of those people who are critical or over demanding and who do not enhance your life." – One Step Each Month Can Help Streamline Your Life, Elaine St. James, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Dec 12, 2000, p. 6.

Keywords: simply your life, relationships, selfishnsss

"We are never more apt to forget God than when he prospers us." - John Cotton, A Practical Commentary, or An Exposition with Observations, Reasons and Uses upon the First Epistle General of John, 2nd ed. (London, 1658) p. 132.
Keywords: materialism, prosperity

“You give coverings to walls and bring men to nakedness. The naked cries out before your house unheeded; your fellow-man is there, naked and crying, while you are perplexed by the choice of marble to clothe your floor. A poor man begs for money in vain; your fellow-man is there, begging bread, and your horse champs gold between his teeth. Other men have no corn; your fancy is held by precious ornaments. What a judgment you draw upon yourself! The people are starving, and you shut your barns; the people are groaning, and you toy with the jewel upon your finger. Unhappy man, with the power but not the will to rescue so many souls from death, when the price of a jeweled ring might save the lives of a whole populace.” – Ambrose
Keywords: Materialism, poverty, poor, giving, generosity, selfishness

"Many scientists who were not long ago certain that the universe was created and peopled by accident are having second thoughts and concede the possibility that some intelligent creative force may have been responsible." - The Washington Post, describing an international conference held in Washington D.C. in the late 1980s
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, evolution

"…surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is?  Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth.  If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly.  But the suddenness does not create the rats it only prevents them from hiding." – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001 edition) p. 192.
Keywords: true self, truth

“The God of Jacob is preeminently the God of the second chance to Christians who have failed and failed persistently. The second chance does not avert the consequences of past failure, but even failure can be a steppingstone to new victories. To the child of God failure can have an important educative value. God does not waste even failure. The outstanding lesson of Jacob’s life is that no failure need be final. There is hope with the God of Jacob for any disposition or temperament. No past defeat puts future victory out of reach. When God has saved and apprehended a person, He pursues him with undiscourageable perseverance that He might bless him. God will turn the tables on the Devil by creating a wider ministry out of our very defeats.” – J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Maturity (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1994 edition) p. 33.
Keywords: failure, second chances, defeat

"The scientific community is prepared to consider the idea God created the universe a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years," - Frederic B. Burnham, science historian.
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, evolution

"The equations of physics have in them incredible simplicity, elegance, and beauty. That in itself is sufficient to prove to me that there must be a God who is
responsible for these laws and responsible for the universe," - astrophysicist Paul Davies, Superforce (1984).
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, physics, evolution

"…the universe and the laws of physics seem to have been specifically
designed for us. If any one of about 40 physical qualities had more
than slightly different values, life as we know it could not exist:
Either atoms would not be stable, or they wouldn't combine into
molecules, or the stars wouldn't form the heavier elements, or the
universe would collapse before life could develop, and so on…" - Austin American-Statesman, October 19, 1997
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, evolution

"Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy coincidences. But there are so many odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them." - British Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, evolution, physics

"The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible." – George Burns
Keywords: teaching, brevity

“Quit griping about your church.  If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.” – Anonymous
Keywords: complaining

“We should not, therefore, be too taken aback when unexpected and upsetting and discouraging things happen to us now. What do they mean? Why, simply that God in His wisdom means to make something of us which we have not attained yet, and is dealing with us accordingly. Perhaps He means to strengthen us in patience, good humor, compassion, humility, or meekness, by giving us some extra practice in exercising these graces under specially difficult conditions. Perhaps He has new lessons in self-denial and self-distrust to teach us. Perhaps He wishes to break us of complacency, or unreality, or undetected forms of pride and conceit. Perhaps His purpose is to draw us closer to Himself in conscious communion with Him; for it is often the case... that fellowship with (God) is most vivid and sweet, and Christian joy is greatest, when the cross is heaviest. Or perhaps God is preparing us for forms of service of which at present we have no inkling.” – J.I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1973) p. 86.

“God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead.  So why should you?” – Anonymous
Keywords: judging

“There must be something—a willingness to yield, a breaking and pouring out of everything to Him—which gives release to that fragrance of Christ and produces in other lives an awareness of need, drawing them out and on to know the Lord. This is what I feel to be the heart of everything. The Gospel has as its one object the producing in us sinners of a condition that will satisfy the heart of our God. In order that He may have that, we come to him with all we have, all we are—yes, even the most cherished things in our spiritual experience—and we make known to him: ‘Lord, I am willing to let go of all this for You: not just for Your work, not for Your children, not for anything else, but for Yourself.’” – Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barber Publishing, 2000 edition) p. 211.
Keywords: consecration, surrender, commitment, why this waste

“Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.” – Anonymous
Keywords: stubbornness, self-deception

“God grades on the cross, not the curve.” – Anonymous
Keywords: grace

“Speak about beauty, truth and goodness, or about a God who is simply the indwelling principle of these three, speak about a great spiritual force pervading all things, a common mind of which we are all parts, a pool of generalized spirituality to which we can all flow, and you will command a friendly interest. But the temperature drops as soon as you mention a God who has purposes and performs particular actions, who does one thing and not another, a concrete, choosing, commanding, prohibiting God with a determinate character.” – C. S. Lewis, The Business of Heaven (New York, New York: Harcourt, Inc., 1984) p. 18.
Keywords: the nature of God, law, judgment

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." – Socrates
Keywords: marriage

"...and he (Alexander) came into the city; and when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high priest's direction, and magnificently treated both the high priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed to him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended . . . The next day he called them to him, and had them ask what favors they pleased of him . . . (and) he granted all they desired." – Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, book 11, chapter 8, paragraph 5.
Keywords: Daniel, prophecy, Alexander the Great

"By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere." – Billy Crystal
Keywords: aging, wisdom

"Slight variations in physical laws such as gravity or electromagnetism would Make life impossible . . . the necessity to produce life lies at the center of the
universe's whole machinery and design," - John Wheeler, Princeton University professor of physics (Reader's Digest, Sept., 1986).
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, evolution, physics

"If I were a religious man, I would say that everything we have learned about life in the past twenty years shows that we are unique, and therefore, special in God's sight." - University of Virginia astronomers R.T. Rood and J.S. Trefil
(Trefil went on to conclude that life on planet earth is a remarkable
accident, unlikely to have been replicated anywhere else in
the universe!)
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, evolution

"The current scenario of the origin of life is about as likely as a tornado passing through a junkyard beside Boeing airplane company accidentally producing a 747 airplane," – Sir Fred Hoyle, The Intelligent Universe.
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, evolution

"The simplest bacterium is so damned complicated from the point of view of a chemist that it is almost impossible to imagine how it happened." Sir Francis Crick, Scientific American (February, 1991)
Keywords: intelligent design, creation, science, evolution, microbiology

“The secret to keeping (groups) on track is to build fidelity to scripture into the DNA of the earliest reproducing church models.” – David Garrison, Church Planting Movements (WIG Take Resources, 2003)
Keywords: Bible, church multiplication, multiplication

“Church Planting Movements (CPMs) are pushing (learning)… even farther as missionaries scramble to find new innovative ways to make theological education available for all Christians at all times. Like a country that has mobilized for war, CPM practitioners are exploiting every means possible for theological training to keep pace with rapidly multiplying new churches.” – David Garrison, Church Planting Movements, p. 269-270
Keywords: church planting, multiplication, training, equipping

“Vision for ministry is a clear mental image of a preferable future imparted by God to his chosen servants and is based upon an accurate understanding of God, self and circumstances.” – George Barna, The Power of Vision, p. 28.
Keywords: vision

“Missionaries experienced in Church Planting Movements would never admit to sacrificing orthodoxy (sound Bible teaching) for the sake of rapid reproduction. Instead they have learned to build the theological controls into the DNA of each church rather than trying to continually reinforce them from the outside.” – David Garrison, Church Planting Movements (Midlothian, Virginia: WIGTake Resources, 2004), p. 196.
Keywords: church planting movements, orthodoxy, rapid growth, false teaching

“Vision is seeing that which is not yet here – visualizing something before it is. Vision is the clear mental picture that leads people to reach out to the future.” – Dale Galloway, Leading With Vision, p. 9.
Keywords: vision

“For the Christian leader, vision is faith bringing the future and the present together.” Heb 11:1,6. “The whole 11th chapter of Hebrews is about persons who trusted God for things that seemed impossible to them or others. They had a dream for a great future. They saw something beyond what happened in the ordinary. Their faith gave them a vision of the future, captured their imagination, and mobilized their resources.” – Dale Galloway, Leading With Vision, p. 13.
Keywords: vision

“Leadership vision is a picture of a better future for a group or individual, constrained by the principles of Scripture, and supplied by God.” – Dennis McCallum
Keywords: vision

“Vision is initiated by God, is desired by His people and is conveyed through the Holy Spirit. God communicates his vision only to those who have persisted in knowing Him intimately, for His vision is a sacred part of unfolding His eternal plan. This means that your motives for seeking a vision are crucial.” George Barna, Turning Vision into Action, p. 36.
Keywords: vision

"The Bible is basically clear and lucid. It is simple enough for any literate person to understand its basic message. This is not to say that all parts of the Bible are equally clear or that there are no difficult passages or sections to be found in it. Laymen unskilled in the ancient languages and the fine points of exegesis may have difficulty with parts of scripture, but the essential content is clear enough to be understood easily." – R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1977), p 15.
Keywords: perspicuity, exegesis, is the Bible understandable, problem passages

“A sense of vision for the future seems to come to leaders in the context of their Bible study, their prayer, and their reflection about a group or individual. It seems that God will stimulate the leader's imagination at certain times to see a desirable future. This often happens during times of prayer, but also could happen, for instance, while listening to another person teach. Sometimes such pictures may come unexpectedly at strange times, and even during sleep.” – Dennis McCallum
Keywords: vision

"When it comes to the central core of the Christian faith . . . the biblical evidence is overwhelming. The deity of Christ, the triune nature of God, the creation of the world by God, the sinfulness of all humanity, salvation by grace through faith, the resurrection of the dead—these and many other such matters are clearly taught in scripture." - James Sire, Scripture Twisting (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1980), pp. 12,13.
Keywords: doctrine, perspicuity, is the Bible understandable

"Because he is human, encompassed with infirmity, he will still be prone to make mistakes. But a genuine mistake is not necessarily sin. It is better to have made an honest mistake than to have attempted nothing for God." Oswald Sanders, A Spiritual Clinic, p. 112.
Keywords: mistakes, failure, serving God

"When you get bogged down on a frustrating assignment, do you give up or do you see it as a chance to grow in perseverance? When tempted by an unethical practice, do you yield to it or do you see it as a chance to grow in honesty? When you hear a friend being slandered, do you give silent assent, or do you stand up for your friend and practice loyalty? When you become irritated by a co-worker's idiosyncrasies, do you criticize and belittle him, or do you commit yourself to learning greater tolerance? When you're asked to stretch in an area of weakness, do you let fear stop you, or do you decide to muster courage and proceed?" – Bill Hybels, Honest To God? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), p. 146.
Keywords: work, honesty, character

"Lewis... noted that ‘when a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is alright... Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.’  Lewis says the more we struggle with our bad impulses, the better we know them.  The more we give in to them, the less we understand them.  Lewis writes, ‘Virtue -- even attempted virtue -- brings light; indulgence brings fog.’” – Armand M. Nicholi Jr., The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life (New York, New York: Free Press, 2003) p. 74.
Keywords: sin, goodness, evil, self understanding

“There are three kinds of men: The ones who learn by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence.” – Will Rogers
Keywords: vicarious learning, foolishness, wisdom

“I feel that life consists of distractions. It’s the only way to survive. You’ve got to constantly distract yourself from the existential realities of life. You get to work on a solvable situation. I can sit home and obsess for four hours on a second-act curtain line, and I don’t have to sit home along and obsess about my mortality or something.” – Woody Allen
Keywords: distraction, seduction, mortality

“Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact.  There must be, it seems to me, a deeper level of explanation.” – Paul Davies, The Mind of God (New York:  Simon & Schuster, 1992), p. 169.
Keywords: physics, initial conditions, intelligent life, creation vs. evolution

"A 15-year-old responds to what I write because I have the same problems with my existence as they do. If you don't have any belief in life after death you can't really shake existential angst. It just is." – The Cure's Robert Smith, Reuters, August 16, 2004.
Keywords: existence, death, afterlife

"To serve the Father. I'm here to do what makes Him happy. I did a lot of bad s--- in my life . . . But, I did a lot of good, too—my scale is balanced out." – Former Wu Tang Clang member and current solo artist Ghostface Killah (Toney Starks) speaking about his purpose, Vibe, May 2004, p. 144.
Keywords: works, salvation, cosmic scales

"I have faith. It only becomes cultish when people start to think that their way is the only way. I feel bad for Hilary Faye—her whole identity is her relationship with Jesus." – Singer/actress Mandy Moore speaking about the character (Hilary Faye) she plays in the Saved, Teen Vogue, May 2004, p. 118.
Keywords: pluralism, relativism, absolute truth

“Almost twenty years ago I rode in a car with a fellow believer who relayed to me what the Lord had 'told' him that morning in his quiet time. He had been reading the KJV of Matthew; and I perceived that not only had he misunderstood the archaic English, but also that the KJV at that place had unwittingly misrepresented the Greek text. I gently suggested there might be another way to understand the passage and summarized what I thought the passage was saying. The brother dismissed my view as impossible on the grounds that the Holy Spirit, who does not lie, had told him the truth on this matter. Being young and bold, I pressed on with my explanation of grammar, context, and translation, but was brushed off by a reference to 1 Cor. 2:10b-15  – spiritual things must be spiritually discerned – which left little doubt about my status. Genuinely intrigued, I asked this brother what he would say if I put forward my interpretation, not on the basis of grammar and text, but on the basis that the Lord himself had given me the interpretation I was advancing. He was silent a long time, and then concluded, 'I guess that would mean the Spirit says the Bible means different things to different people.’” – D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Co., 1984) p. 13.
Keywords: interpretation, exegesis, illumination of the Spirit

"I think there's a great void that many Americans feel about the purpose of their lives and the speed of their lives, and they're looking for their own sort of answers. And art, whether it be movies, books, or whatever, allows them an entry to find some sense of what it is that they're looking for without preaching to them. If you do something that just preaches, then they recoil a little bit."
"I think there's a hunger for faith in this country, not a faith. There's a hunger for a sense of purpose, not a purpose." – Author Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven), Entertainment Weekly, April 16, 2004, p. 36.
Keywords: purpose, meaning, art

"I'm just searching right now. I grew up being Baptist, and I started traveling the world. It's so weird-sometimes you wish you had the naiveness to stay with one religion and go with it. But after seeing the world and seeing all these different religions out there, who's to say that I'm right, and who's to say that they're right?" – Britney Spears answering the question, "Are you a spiritual person?", Seventeen, April 2004, p. 135.
Keywords: pluralism, relativism, absolute truth

"Everybody has their breaking point, and I've been there. And it brings you closer to God... faith. There's no other way to go. Faith and God. I just had to put it in His hands and allow him to carry me.  Because you can't carry it yourself. It's too much, too heavy..." – L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant on his newfound faith in relation to his being charged with sexual assault.
Keywords: depending on God, failure
"I believe in Christ with all my heart, mind and soul. But when people label you 'Christian rock,' it's segregation, and it tells somebody who doesn't believe that they can't listen to this music because we write for Christians. We never have." – P.O.D. lead singer Sonny Sandoval, USA Today, November 12, 2003, 4D
Keywords: descrimination, Christian music

"I think I always did have faith, but I never knew its true power until it was revealed in my darkest times. I had a hole in me that got bigger and bigger the more I tried to fill it with people and expensive things and drugs. Then it was all stripped away, and I learned you can't fill the hole inside that way. It has to be filled with something else, with faith and love and humility." – Actor Charlie Sheen, Parade Magazine, October 5, 2003, p. 6.
Keywords: purpose, meaning, failure

"Asking God to forgive me opened me up. I'm a very spiritual person and know God saved me for a reason. God put Walter in my life, and maybe someday I'll find out why . . . I don't understand how Walt was able to (forgive), and I was suspicious in the beginning. But he kept showing up as a genuine person, and he's been there every minute, steady and constant. And, meanwhile, I killed his son, but yet he saved my life—how many people would do that?" – Convicted killer Mike Carlucci speaking about the forgiveness he received from the United Methodist Church pastor Walter Everett, whose son was killed by Carlucci, Rolling Stone, June 24, 2004, p. 78.
Keywords: forgiveness

“If you're struggling to lose weight, just make sure it's not because the world wants you to." – Rapper Missy Elliott, Vibe, February 2003, p. 120.
Keywords: eating disorders, self-esteem, weight loss, man pleasing

“You can have all the money in the world. You can have everything under the tree that you ever wanted. And if you're sitting there alone, you are the saddest, loneliest human being on the planet, and there is absolutely nothing that money can buy that will fill your soul.”            - Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, USA Today, December 27, 2004, 2D
Keywords: materialism, happiness

"When you're hungry, you think the dark place in you is from not having things. But it wasn't from being poor. It was from other things." - Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden, Teen People, September 2004, p. 98.
Keywords: materialism, meaning, happiness

"When I look at the magazine pages or a TV screen, I know there's nothing they can sell me that can satisfy me. And when I look at the sunset or the stars, I am reminded that there's something inside of me that's meant to live for more than what pop culture often sells us. The punchline is: I'm not buying and I want something more." - Switchfoot member Jon Foreman on their hit song "Meant to Live." (mtv.com)
Keywords: meaning, purpose, happiness

“We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values—looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous. It's the most superficial part of the American dream and who would know better than me? The only thing that's going to bring you happiness is love and how you treat your fellow man and having compassion for one another." – Madonna, quoted by Reuters, April 24, 2003.
Keywords: fame, wealth, materialism, meaning, happiness

“The greatest and most inspiring mountain climbing achievements in history are not so much stories of individual achievement, but are stories of the extraordinary power of a unified, talented, prepared team that stays loyally committed to one another and to their shared vision to the end.  Most climbing teams that set out to climb Mount Everest never reach the summit – only the very, very few.  For one reason or another, most people and teams, when pressed to their limits by the extreme conditions, drop out along the way and either choose to or are forced to turn back.” – Steven R. Covey, The 8th Habit – From Effectiveness to Greatness, p. xi.
Keywords: endurance, teamwork, teams

“I abandoned the bird’s-eye view that lets you see everything from above, from the sky.  I assumed a worm’s-eye view, trying to find whatever comes right in front of you – smell it, touch it, see if you can do something about it.” – Steven R. Covey, The 8th Habit – From Effectiveness to Greatness, p. 7. Excerpt from Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
Keywords: management, action, engagement

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Steven R. Covey quoting Edmund Burke, The 8th Habit – From Effectiveness to Greatness, p. 7.
Keywords: triumphing over evil, admonition, speaking the truth

“God will conquer your sin;
God will sanctify you;
God will save you;
God will keep you;
God will bring you to Himself.
Rest in the covenant.
Then moved by intense gratitude, go forward to serve your Lord with all your heart and soul and strength. Being saved, live to praise Him. Do not work so that you may be saved, but serve Him because you are saved, for the covenant has secured your safety. Delivered from the servile fear that an Ishmael might have known, live the joyous life of an Isaac. Moved by love of the Father, spend and be spent for His sake.  If the selfish hope of winning heaven by works has moved some men to great sacrifice, so much more should the godly motive of gratitude to Him, who has done all this for us, move us to the noblest service and make us feel that it is not a sacrifice at all.” – Charles H. Spurgeon, Grace & Power
Keywords: gratitude, serving under grace, sacrifice

“For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”  Context v10: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more that all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” – Paul, I Cor. 15:9, AD 56
“To me, the very least of all saints …” – Paul, Eph. 3:8, AD 62
“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am the foremost of all.” – Paul, I Tim. 1:15, AD 63
Comments: While Paul’s self-evaluation was falling, his appreciation for the grace of God was increasing!
Keywords: Paul, humility, growth

“…the world as we know it is changing rapidly, and increasingly no one is in charge. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the apparent triumph of capitalism worldwide, and the spread of communications and information technology bringing the ability to move capital around the world at the stroke of a computer key, have fundamentally changed the way the world works. Increasingly such changes are affecting not only Wall Street and Main Street, but even rural villages in the developing world.

The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and (much more recently) the World Trade Organization were founded to advance this agenda.

It's not clear that anyone, even national governments, could slow globalization if they wanted to. Of the world's 100 largest economic entities, more than half are no longer countries but companies. While many rightly criticize the effects of this trend, it is folly to deny that financial capital is now instantly transferable around the globe, or that communications technology and the Internet have forever changed the way business is done and decisions are made. It is even questionable whether the nation-state as such will endure in a world in which the market is breaking down political and economic borders.” – L. Hunter Lovins, The Impact of Globalization, Rocky Mountain Institute, https://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid842.php
Keywords: globalization

“While the world economy grew more than twice as fast as population did, demand for grain, water, beef, and firewood roughly tripled, and consumption of seafood quadrupled. By 1989, all the oceans were being fished at or beyond capacity and thirteen of fifteen major oceanic fisheries were declining. Grazing lands were not faring much better. They were declining in every country in Africa, for example.” – Carter Findley and John Rothney, Twentieth Century World, (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Co., Sixth Edition 2006) p. 511.
Keywords: environment, overpopulation

"The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible." – George Burns
Keywords: teaching, brevity

“Quit griping about your church. If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.” – Anonymous
Keywords: complaining

“God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?” – Anonymous
Keywords: judging

“Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.” – Anonymous
Keywords: stubbornness, self-deception

“God grades on the cross, not the curve.” – Anonymous
Keywords: grace

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." – Socrates
Keywords: marriage

“Man gets the feeling that if he’s joyful, he is certain to be punished for it tomorrow. The old adage that says, ‘All that is good in the world is either illegal, immoral, or fattening,’ is a case in point. The Christian ethic… convinces man that he is not on earth to know joy and satisfaction but rather to work and suffer his way to eternal peace with God…” – Leo Buscaglia, Love (New York, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1984) p. 113.
Keywords: legalism, fear of punishment, eternal security, salvation

“Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God, and said, ‘As if, indeed, it is not enough, that miserable sinners, eternally lost through original sin, are crushed by every kind of calamity by the law of the decalogue, without having God add pain to pain by the gospel and also by the gospel threatening us with his righteousness and wrath!’ Thus I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience. Nevertheless, I beat importunately upon Paul at that place, most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted.

At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, ‘In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.”’ There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’ Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.” – Martin Luther describing his "tower experience" at Wittenberg: from "Preface to Complete Edition of Latin Writings, 1545."
Keywords: legalism, fear of punishment, salvation, Martin Luther, conversion, law is a tutor

"By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere." – Billy Crystal
Keywords: aging, wisdom

"The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible." – George Burns
Keywords: teaching, brevity

“Quit griping about your church. If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.” – Anonymous
Keywords: complaining

“Under certain circumstances, in periods of distress or under bad climatic condition, or if the soil yields too poor a return, nature herself tends to check the increase of population in some countries and among some races, but by a method which is quite as ruthless as it is wise.  It does not impede the procreative faculty as such; but is does impede the further existence of the offspring by submitting it to such test and privation that everything which is less strong or less healthy is forced to retreat into the bosom of the unknown.  Whatever survives these hardships of existence has been tested and tried a thousand-fold, hardened and rendered fit to continue the process of procreation; so that the same thorough selection will begin all over again.  By thus dealing brutally with the individual and recalling him the very moment he shows that he is not fitted for the trials of life, Nature preserves the strength of the race and the species and raises it the highest degree of efficiency.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, James Murphy trans., (London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., 1939), pp. 82,83.
Keywords: eugenics, human evolution, discrimination, racism

“And so I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.  In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, James Murphy trans., (London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., 1939), p. 46.
Keywords: self-deception, anti-Semitism, racism

“A stronger race will oust that which has grown weak; for the vital urge, in its ultimate form, will burst asunder all the absurd chains of this so-called humane consideration for the individual and will replace it with the humanity of Nature, which wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the strong.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, James Murphy trans., (London: Hurst and Blackett Ltd., 1939), pp. 82,83.
Keywords: eugenics, human evolution, discrimination, racism

“God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?” – Anonymous
Keywords: judging

“Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.” – Anonymous
Keywords: stubbornness, self-deception

“(The cross) is the measure of the goodness of God; lay it to heart. Ask yourself the Psalmist’s question – ‘What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?’ See grace to give this answer – ‘I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord… O Lord, truly I am thy servant… I will pay vows unto the Lord now…’ (Psalm 116:12ff.).” – J.I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1977) p. 150.
Keywords: the cross, God’s goodness, gratitude, motivation, servanthood

“God grades on the cross, not the curve.” – Anonymous
Keywords: grace

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." – Socrates
Keywords: marriage

I. The Nature of Grace
1. Grace is God acting freely, according to His own nature as Love; with no promises or obligations to fulfill; and acting of course, righteously-in view of the cross.
2. Grace, therefore, is uncaused in the recipient: its cause lies wholly in the GIVER, in GOD.
3. Grace, also is sovereign. Not having debts to pay, or fulfilled conditions on man's part to wait for, it can act toward whom, and how, it pleases. It can, and does, often, place the worst deservers in the highest favors.
4. Grace cannot act where there is either desert or ability: Grace does not help—it is absolute, it does all.
5. There being no cause in the creature why Grace should be shown, the creature must be brought off from trying to give cause to God for His Grace.
6. The discovery by the creature that he is truly the object of Divine grace, works the utmost humility: for the receiver of grace is brought to know his own absolute unworthiness, and his complete inability to attain worthiness : yet he finds himself blessed,—o n another principle, outside of himself!
7. Therefore, flesh has no place in the plan of Grace. This is the great reason why Grace is hated by the proud natural mind of man. But for this very reason, the true believer rejoices! For he knows that "in him, that is, in his flesh, is no good thing"; and yet he finds God glad to bless him, just as he is!
II. The Place of Man under Grace
1. He has been accepted in Christ, who is his standing!
2. He is not "on probation."
3. As to his life past, it does not exist before God: he died at the Cross, and Christ is his life.
4. Grace, once bestowed, is not withdrawn: for God knew all the human exigencies beforehand: His action was independent of them, not dependent upon them.
5. The failure of devotion does not cause the withdrawal of bestowed grace (as it would under law). For example: the man in I Cor. 5.1-5; and also those in 11.30-32, who did not "judge" themselves, and so were "judged by the Lord; that they might not be condemned with the world"!
III. The Proper Attitude of Man under Grace
1. To believe, and to consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret.
2. To refuse to make "resolutions" and "vows"; for that is to trust in the flesh.
3. To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth.
4. To testify of God's goodness, at all times.
5. To be certain of God's future favor; yet to be ever more tender in conscience toward Him.
6. To rely on God's chastening hand as a mark of His kindness.
7. A man under grace, if like Paul, has no burdens regard­ing himself; but many about others.
IV. Things Which Gracious Souls Discover
1. To "hope to be better" is to fail to see yourself in Christ
2. To be disappointed with yourself, is to have believed in yourself.
3. To be discouraged is unbelief,-as to God's purpose and plan of blessing for you.
4. To be proud, is to be blind! For we have no standing before God, in ourselves.
5. The lack of Divine blessing, therefore, comes from unbelief, and not from failure of devotion.
6. Real devotion to God arises, not from man's will to show it; but from the discovery that blessing has been received from God while we were yet unworthy and undevoted.
7. To preach devotion first, and blessing second, is to re­verse God's order, and preach law, not grace. The Law made man's blessing depend on devotion ; Grace confers undeserved, unconditional blessing: our devotion may follow, but does not always do so,—in proper measure.”
– William R. Newell, Romans Verse by Verse (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1938) pp. 245-247.
Keywords: grace, grace vs. law, motivation, serving in the flesh

"By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere." – Billy Crystal
Keywords: aging, wisdom

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation… the delight is incomplete till it is expressed… the worthier the object the more intense this delight would be.” – C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (New York, New York, Harcourt, Inc., 1986), p. 95-96.
“To fully enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.” – C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (New York, New York, Harcourt, Inc., 1986), p. 97.
Keywords: glorifying God, enjoying God, praise

“In addition to the 5500+ Greek documents... there are thousands of other ancient New Testament manuscripts in other languages. There are 8,000 to 10,000 Latin Vulgate manuscripts, plus a total of 8,000 in Ethiopic, Slavic, and Armenian. In all, there are about 24,000 documents in existence.” – Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1998) p. 63.
Keywords: transmission, reliability, textual criticism, bibliographical test

“The interval between the dates of original composition (of the New Testament) and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.” – Sir Frederick Kenyon, cited in J.A. Thompson, The Bible and Archaeology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1982) pp. 288-289.
Keywords: transmission, reliability, textual criticism, bibliographical test

“The earliest preachers of the gospel knew the value of . . . first-hand testimony, and appealed to it time and again. 'We are witnesses of these things,' was their constant and confident assertion. And it can have been by no means so easy as some writers seem to think to invent words and deeds of Jesus in those early years when so many of His disciples were about who could remember what had and had not happened (and been said). And it was not only friendly eyewitnesses that the early preachers had to reckon with; there were others less well disposed who were also conversant with the main facts of the ministry and death of Jesus. The disciples could not afford to risk inaccuracies (not to speak of willful manipulation of the facts), which would at once be exposed by those who would be only too glad to do so. On the contrary, one of the strong points in the original apostolic preaching is the confident appeal to the knowledge of the hearers; they not only said, 'We are witness of these things,' but also, 'As you yourselves also know' (Acts 2:22). Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective." - F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1987) pp. 45-46.
Keywords: eyewitness testimony, Gosples, reliability of the Gospels, resurrection

“As I have dealt with one apparent discrepancy after another and have studied the alleged contradictions between the biblical record and the evidence of linguistics, archaeology, or science, my confidence in the trustworthiness of Scripture has been repeatedly verified and strengthened by the discovery that almost every problem in Scripture that has ever been discovered by man, from ancient times until now, has been dealt with in a completely satisfactory manner by the biblical text itself—or else by objective archaeological information.” – Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1982), p. 12.
Keywords: contradictions in the Bible, discrepancies, errors

Commenting on Nero's attempt to blame Christians for the burning of Rome, Tacitus says " ...Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for the abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one or our procurators, Pontius Pilatus..." – Tacitus, Annals, book 15, chapter 44.  The Oxford Translation, Revised (New York: Harper & Bros., Publishers, 1858), p. 428.
Keywords: Jesus outside the New Testament, extrabiblical references to Jesus

"It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical passage. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible." – Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1969), p. 31.
Keywords: archaeology, reliability, historical accuracy

“Luke's historicity is unsurpassed in respect to its trustworthiness... Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy... this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.” – W. Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1953). p. 222.
Keywords: Luke, historicity, historical reliability, Acts

“The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book... More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them.” – Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code (New York, New York: Doubleday, 2003), p. 231.
Keywords: transmission, textual criticism, reliability of the Bible, canonicity

“For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another (as the Greeks have), but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them, five belong to Moses, which contain his laws, and the traditions of the origin of mankind until his death. This interval of time is little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artexerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life.

From Artexerxes to our own time the complete history has been written but has not been deemed worthy of equal credit with the earlier records because of the failure of the exact succession of the prophets.

We have given practical proof of our reverence for our own scriptures. For, although such long ages have now passed, no one has ventured to add, or to remove, or to alter anything, and it is an instinct with every Jew, from the day of his birth, to regard them as decrees of God…” – Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, book 1, paragraph 8.
Keywords: canonicity, accuracy in transmission

“We pointed out that numerous passages of the Bible which long puzzled the commentators have readily yielded up their meaning when new light from archaeological discoveries has been focused on them. In other words, archaeology illuminates the text of the Scriptures and so makes valuable contribution to the fields of Biblical interpretation and exegesis. In addition to illuminating the Bible, archaeology has confirmed countless passages which have been rejected by the critics as unhistorical or contradictory to known facts.” - J. P. Free, Archaeology and Bible History (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publication, Inc., 1973)
Keywords: archaeology, historical reliability

“In order to have a good idea, you must have lots of ideas.” – Linus Pauling
Keywords: persistence

“What will posterity see as the chief Christian blind spot at the end of the twentieth century? …While a thousand million people are destitute, lacking the basic necessities for survival, and while about 10,000 people die of starvation daily, should not the Christian voice of protest be louder and more strident?” – John Stott, The Contemporary Christian: Applying God’s Word to Today’s World (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1992), p. 193.
Keywords: poverty, giving, compassion

“Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” – C.S. Lewis
Keywords: prayer, desires, Christian hedonism

“Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.” – Joseph Joubert
Keywords: labor, hard work, persistence

“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.” – Galileo Galilei
Keywords: people, curiosity

"What is described in Scripture as having happened to others is not necessarily intended for us, whereas what is promised to us we should appropriate, and what is commanded us we are to obey... What is descriptive is valuable (in determining what God intends for all Christians) only in so far as it is interpreted by what is didactic... We must derive our standards of belief and behavior from the teaching of the New Testament . . . rather than from the practices and experiences which it portrays." – John R. W. Stott, Baptism and Fullness (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1975), pp. 15-17.
Keywords: hermeneutics, descriptive, didactic, narrative

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Alva Edison
Keywords: labor, hard work, persistence

“Most of us… get bogged down with trivia: Jane’s sinus trouble, Ben’s discouragement, Mary’s problem with her mother-in-law, the pastor’s prostate operation. All of these may be important, but prayer, like warfare, calls for strategy.” – John White, Daring to Draw Near (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1977) p. 137.
Keywords: prayer, strategic prayer, prayer meetings

“It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone.” – Hudson Taylor
Keyword: prayer

“The goal of prayer is the ear of God. Prayer moves others through God’s influence on them. It is not the prayer that moves people, but the God to whom we pray.” – J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1994 edition) p. 91.
Keyword: prayer

“…Christians should pray long enough and honestly enough, at a single session, to get past the feeling of formalism and unreality that attends not a little praying. We are especially prone to such feelings when we pray for only a few minutes, rushing to be done with a mere duty. To enter the spirit of prayer, we must stick to it for a while. If we ‘pray until we pray,’ eventually we come to delight in God’s presence, to rest in his love, to cherish his will.” – D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Grand Rapids Michigan: Baker Books, 1992) p. 36.
Keywords: prayer, quiet time, persistence in prayer

“Many of us in our praying are like nasty little school boys who ring front door bells and run away before anyone answers.” – D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Grand Rapids Michigan: Baker Books, 1992) p. 37.
Keywords: prayer, quiet time, persistence in prayer

“Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.” – E.M. Bounds
Keywords: prayer, preaching, teaching

“Vision without action is merely a dream.  Action without vision just passes the time.  Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel Barker
Keywords: vision, action

“No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.” – Isaac Newton
Keywords: risk taking, discovery

“In fact, as the Bells describe it, after launching Mars Hill in 1999, they found themselves increasingly uncomfortable with church. ‘Life in the church had become so small,’ Kristen says. ‘It had worked for me for a long time. Then it stopped working.’ The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself—‘discovering the Bible as a human product,’ as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. ‘The Bible is still in the center for us,’ Rob says, ‘but it's a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.’

‘I grew up thinking that we’ve figured out the Bible,’ Kristen says, ‘that we knew what it means. Now I have no idea what most of it means. And yet I feel like life is big again – like life used to be black and white, and now it’s in color.’” –Rob and Kristen Bell (Rob is the senior pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan) quoted in Christianity Today, “The Emergent Mystique” by Andy Crouch, October 22, 2004.
Keywords: perspicuity, postmodernism, emergent church

“The important thing is this:  To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” – Charles du Bois
Keywords: growth, maturity

"WD‑40 literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt.  That's the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed WD‑40 back in 1953.  The chemist, Norm Larsen, was attempting to concoct a formula to prevent corrosion ‑ a task which is done by displacing water.  Norm's persistence paid off when he perfected the formula on his 40th try." – from the WD 40 web site www.sd40.com 
Keyword: persistence, problem solving

"We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything." - Thomas Alva Edison
Keywords: human knowledge, curiosity, teachability, humility

“Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment. But you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area.  There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague.” – Agent Smith, The Matrix
Keywords: humans, the environment, population growth

"I never want to criticize anything which people claim has been a blessing to them in terms of a greater awareness of the reality of God, or a profounder joy, or an overwhelming love for God and for others, or a fresh zeal in evangelism. It's not for me to doubt any of these things. My major questions concern three areas. First, it is a self-consciously anti-intellectual movement. I listened on tape to the first person who brought the Toronto Blessing to Britain. This person said: ‘Don't analyze, don't ask questions. Simply receive.’ I think that is both foolish and dangerous. We must never forget that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Secondly, I cannot possibly come to terms with those animal noises, and it grieves me very much that-- as far as I know--no charismatic leaders have publicly disassociated themselves from them, as they should. The whole Bible tells us that we are different from the animal creation; it rebukes us when we behave like animals and calls us to be distinct. Nebuchadnezzar's animal behavior was under the judgment, not the blessing, of God. My third problem concerns all the falling. Even charismatic leaders have pointed this out, that on the few occasions in the Bible when people have fallen over, they have all fallen forward on their faces, and they have all done so after they have been granted a vision of the majesty, holiness, and glory of God. In the Toronto experience, however, people fall backwards without any previous vision of God. Those three things trouble me." – John Stott, "Basic Stott," by Roy McCloughry of Christianity Today; Jan 8, 1996; p.32.
Keywords: Toronto blessing, barking, slain in the Spirit, anti-intellectual

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."- Helen Keller
Keywords: growth, maturity, character, character development

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit."- Helen Keller
Keywords: pessimism, cynicism

“The evolution of religions from animism can no longer be assumed as axiomatic and that some anthropologists now suggest that monotheism may be more naturally primitive as a world view than animism. Their research suggests that tribes are not animistic because they have continued unchanged since the dawn of history. Rather, the evidence indicates degeneration from a true knowledge of God. Isolation from prophets and religious books has ensnared them into sacrificial bribery to placate the spirits instead of joyous sacrificial meals in the presence of the creator.” – Robert Brow, "Origins of Religion", in Eerdman's Handbook to the World Religions (Grand Rapids, MI.: William Eerdman Publishing Company, 1982) p. 31,
Keywords: evolution, religion, early religion, monotheism, polytheism, evolution of religion

“Once we see the Bible’s realism, we can understand why the Reformation produced a democracy of checks and balances. A Christian does not even trust himself with unlimited power. Calvin pointed out that because men are sinners it is better to be governed by the many rather than the few or a single man. Every Christian organization and every state built on the Reformation mentality are built to allow men freedom under God, but not unlimited freedom. Unlimited freedom will not work in a lost world.” – Francis Schaeffer, No Little People (Downer’s Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1974) pp. 44,45.
Keywords: government, freedom, checks and balances, Reformation, power

“The scripture emphasizes that much can come from little if the little is truly consecrated to God. There are no little people and no big people in the true spiritual sense, but only consecrated and unconsecrated people.” – Francis Schaeffer, No Little People (Downer’s Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1974) p. 25.

“By taking on human nature, (Jesus) accepted certain limitations upon the functioning of his divine attributes. These limitations were not the result of a loss of divine attributes, but on the addition of human attributes.” – Millard Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1985) p. 735.
Keywords: human nature, Jesus, incarnation, hypostatic union, divine attributes

“The case for an original monotheism and worship through animal sacrifice, with subsequent degeneration into polytheism, is by no means proved. But it is certainly much easier to fit it into the recurring cycles of history than a gradual upward evolution of religion. Where documented are available, as among the early Aryans and Hebrews, the evidence for degeneration is strong.” – Robert Brow, "Origins of Religion", in Eerdman's Handbook to the World Religions (Grand Rapids, MI.: William Eerdman Publishing Company, 1982) p. 34.
Keywords: evolution, religion, early religion, monotheism, polytheism, evolution of religion

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment.  Most people are not even capable of forming such opinions." – Albert Einstein
Keywords: culture, critical thinking

“The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know."  -- Albert Einstein
Keywords: curiosity, teachability, humility, human knowledge

“Religion is the most malevolent and persistent of all viruses. We should get rid of it as quick as we can.” – Arthur C. Clark
Keywords: religion

“Modern criticism of the historical truth of the Resurrection and Christianity boils down to three propositions: first, that the disciples were mistaken (i.e., they never saw the resurrected Christ); or second, that the disciples knowingly perpetrated a myth (i.e., a lie) intended as a symbol; or third, the eleven disciples conceived a "Passover plot" – spirited the body of Christ out of the tomb and disposed of it neatly – and to their dying breaths maintained conspiratorial silence.

Let's consider each.

The first is the shakiest After all, a man being raised from the dead is a rather mind-boggling event – not the kind of thing people are likely to be vague or indecisive about The Scriptures state very honestly that the disciples were so staggered by Jesus' reappearance that at least one demanded the tangible proof of fingering the wounds in His hands and side. Jesus knew human nature, knew they needed physical evidence. Luke says, "He showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days..." (Acts 1:3).The records of the event, written independently by various eyewitness reporters, belie the possibility that the disciples were mistaken.

But could it have been a myth? This second theory seems plausible at first since it was customary in the first century to convey religious truths through symbols. But this assumes that all the disciples understood that they were using a symbolic device. Even a cursory reading of the Gospels reveals not allegory or fable, but a straightforward, narrative account. Moreover, Paul, an intimate associate of the original disciples, shatters the myth theory altogether when he argues that if Jesus was not actually resurrected, Christianity is a hoax, a sham. Nothing in Paul's writings remotely suggests mythology .

The myth theory is as untenable as the mistake theory. So if one is to assail the historicity of the Resurrection and therefore the deity of Christ, one must conclude that there was a conspiracy – a cover-up if you will – by eleven men with the complicity of up to five hundred others (since that number of people are reported to have been eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ).

To subscribe to this argument, one must also be ready to believe that each disciple was willing to be ostracized by friends and family, live in daily fear of death, endure prisons, live penniless and hungry, sacrifice family, be tortured without mercy, and ultimately die – all without ever once renouncing that Jesus had risen from the dead!

This is why the Watergate experience is so instructive for me. If John Dean and the rest of us were so panic-stricken, not by the prospect of beatings and execution, but by political disgrace and a possible prison term, one can only speculate about the emotions of the disciples. Unlike the men in the White House, the disciples were powerless people, abandoned by their leader, homeless in a conquered land. Yet they clung tenaciously to their enormously offensive story that their Leader had risen from His ignoble death and was alive-and was the Lord.” – Charles Colson, Loving God, p. 67.
Keywords: resurrection, evidence for the resurrection, eyewitnesses, conspiracy

“Bible believing Christians should never have the reaction designated by the term shocked. There is a type of Christian who constantly draws himself or herself up and declares, ‘I am shocked.’  If he is, he is not reacting to reality as he should, for it is as much against the teaching of Scripture to romanticize men, himself or others, as to explaining away sin.  On the one hand, we should not view men with a cynical eye, seeing them only as meaningless products of chance, but on the other hand, we should not go to the opposite extreme of seeing them romantically.  To do either is to fail to understand who men really are – creatures made in the image of God, but fallen.” – Francis Schaeffer, No Little People (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1974) p. 46.
Keywords: sin, depravity, human nature

“In general, I would say that I do not think Christians take the Fall and the present abnormality of the world with practical comprehension and seriousness.  I mean by this that although Bible believing Christians certainly do hold to a historical Fall and the present abnormality of the world as a theological truth, when it comes down to living, this is often forgotten.  In other words, we forget that everything is abnormal today, and that much of the sickness in the world and sorrows in other areas are a result of this abnormality.  Or to say it another way, there is so much in history that God did not mean to be there, in the way that He created the world and created man.

To me, perhaps the greatest key here is Jesus standing in front of the tomb of Lazarus.  The Greek makes plain that Jesus only wept, but He was angry.  In other words, He who was God was angry at the abnormality of death without being angry at Himself.  The death of Lazarus, death in general, and sickness come not from God, but flow from the fact that all things are now abnormal.

In forgetting this, Christians, when they hear they have cancer, say, ‘Why did God give me the cancer?’  This is what I mean by forgetting in practice the existence of the Fall and the present abnormality.  I do not believe for a moment that God gave me my lymphoma.  It is a result of the abnormal flow of things, just as my eventual death will be from some [abnormal] case (if Christ does not come back first).  This changes everything – for now I can use every medical means, as well as prayer by myself and others, to fight against this abnormal thing that not only I hate, but God does.” - Francis Schaeffer, Lane T. Dennis, Ed. Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1987) p.157,158
Keywords: fallen world, illness, suffering, effects of the Fall

“I called each of our four children to tell them with my own voice about the malignancy as soon as I knew I had it.  Each of the four responded in the same way – that is, by saying… how glad they are that I have stressed to them the reality of the Biblical teaching that the world really is abnormal because of the Fall.  Thus, they were not taken by surprise, though, of course, there have been tears.  Knowing the world is abnormal, and yet knowing that it is possible to bring our mistakes and sin under the work of Christ, means that there is the possibility of living a life, in an unromantic and practical way, that has fullness and beauty – in spite of those scars that are there, either because of our past choices, or simply because of the fallenness of the world.

And because of the specific experiences each one of us has had as a result of the Fall, each one of us can help others in a way that no one else is able to do.  I would say this gently – that my having had cancer has enabled me to be a help to some people that otherwise I never could have helped.  The cancer of sin and failure is not different from this, once it is cared for in the Biblical way.” - Francis Schaeffer, Lane T. Dennis, Ed. Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1987) p.152,153.
Keywords: suffering, the Fall, comforting others

“From within the perspective of Biblical realism we understand that even if a man is a nice man and shows many evidences of being made in the image of God, (and we should be thankful for that), he nevertheless is a sinner who needs to be saved.  The apostle Paul understood Abraham and David as excellent illustrations.... [Rom 4:1-7]  Both David and Abraham understood that it was not just others, the ‘they’, who needed to be saved but themselves as well.” – Francis Schaeffer, No Little People (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1974) p. 52.
Keywords: salvation, the lost

“God knew from the beginning who David was.  When David was keeping sheep, God had no illusions that here was a perfect man to do God’s work.  David’s sin did not take God by surprise.  He knows who men are when he chooses them for leadership.  There are no perfect men to do God’s work.  God is not romantic concerning men…  And just as you and I should go on with each other when there has been confession, so God goes on with his people, including his leaders, after their repentance.” – Francis Schaeffer, No Little People (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1974) p. 54.
Keywords: sin, failure, repentance, restoration

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York, New York: Penguin Books, 1957)
Keywords: selfishness, happiness, purpose, meaning

“Christians often hesitate to reach out to those who are different. They want God to clean the fish before they catch them. If someone’s gold ring is attached to an unusual body part, if the person doesn’t smell the best, or if the skin color is not the same, Christians tend to hesitate. But think for a moment about God reaching out to us. If ever there was a “reach,” that was it: the holy, pure Deity extending himself to us who were soiled, evil-hearted, unholy.” Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1997) p. 141.
Keywords: evangelism, partiality, outreach, accepting others, unseemly member

"Burrowing into his past, he was appalled at what he found…'I have found out ludicrous and terrible things abut my own character. Sitting by, watching the rising thoughts to break their necks as they pop up, one learns to know the sort of thoughts that do come. And, will you believe it, one out of every three is a thought of self-admiration: when everything else fails, having had its neck broken, up comes the thought "What an admirable fellow I am to have broken their necks!" I catch myself posturing before the mirror, so to speak, all day long. I pretend I am carefully thinking out what to say to the next pupil (for his good, of course) and then suddenly realize I am really thinking how frightfully clever I'm going to be and how he will admire me…. when you force yourself
to stop it, you admire yourself for doing that. It's like fighting the hydra…There seems to be no end to it. Depth under depth of self-love and self-admiration…Pride…is the mother of all sins, and the original sin of Lucifer." – Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper, C.S Lewis: A Biography (New York, New York: Harcourt, 1974) p. 105.
Keywords: pride, sin, self-focus, self-admiration

“If we are not careful, even though we say we are biblical Christians and supernaturalists, nevertheless the naturalism of our generation tends to come in upon us It may infiltrate our thinking without our recognizing its coming, like a fog creeping in through a window opened only half an inch. As soon as this happens, Christians begin to lost the reality of their Christian lives.” – Francis Schaeffer, True Sprirituality (Tyndale House, 1974) p. 60.
Keywords: naturalism, skepticism, unbelief

“The Lord’s work done in human energy is not the Lord’s work any longer. It is something, but it is not the Lord’s work.” – Francis Schaeffer, True Sprirituality (Tyndale House, 1974) p. 65.
Keywords: naturalism, skepticism, unbelief

"The last part of the person to convert is the wallet." – Herbert Kane
Keywords: giving, finances, money, financial giving, stewardship

"Your checkbook reveals all that you really believe about stewardship... A person who has been a Christian for even a short while can fake prayer, Bible study, evangelism, going to church, but he can't fake what his checkbook reveals. Maybe that is why so many of us are so secretive about our personal finances." – Ron Blue, Master Your Money (New York; Thomas Nelson, 1997) pp. 20,21.
Keywords: finances, idolatry, stewardship, financial giving

“This is... the new mathematics, the arithmetic of heaven. God estimates our gifts not so much by their financial value, as by the sacrifice involved, the love that accompanies it, and the amount that is left. The supreme value of the widow's gift lay in the fact that she `out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on' - while the others gave `out of their surplus' (Mk. 12:44). Here is a searching test of our giving, but that incident should greatly encourage those who have only a little to give, but give it gladly.” – Oswald Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy With God (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 155.
Keywords: sacrifice, giving until it hurts, financial giving, sacrificial giving

"I believe God has an individual will for my life and for every life, but its realization depends on a true surrender of my will and your will to Him for the fulfillment of His plan as and where He sees best. He may, however, leave considerable freedom of choice within His moral will…” – J. Oswald Sanders, Every Life is a Plan of God (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Discovery House Publishers, 1992) p. 39.
Keywords: disovering the will of God, obeying God, promptings, the leading of the Holy Spirit, God’s moral will

“Another thing to lean against is [the idea]...that we can know God's leading with the same finality that we have concerning the teaching of Scripture, for example, about the deity of Christ.  When we are led, we must acknowledge that since we are both finite and sinful we can be mistaken.  Thus, the Lord can lead us so clearly [in a particular moment], and yet we can never say at that moment that we personally know this to be truth on the same level as Scripture.

When the Lord led my wife and myself to begin L'Abri, the leading was so clear that not to have moved forward would have been disobedience.  And yet if you had asked me at that time if I was as sure of this as I was that which Scripture taught, I could not have said yes.  But as the years have passed there is no doubt that we did understand the leading of the Lord [in beginning L'Abri]. – Francis Schaeffer, The Letters of Francis Schaeffer (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1985) p. 163.
Keywords: disovering the will of God, obeying God, promptings, the leading of the Holy Spirit

"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'  ...No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened." – C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (New York, New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1946) p.72.
Keywords: obedience, doing God’s will, submission

"There are two things to be leaned against simultaneously: the first is living as though God did not exist and as though He could not or would not lead us; the second is living as though God's leading were almost magic without any use of the mind." – Francis Schaeffer, The Letters of Francis Schaeffer (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1985) p. 163.
Keywords: God’s leading, discovering God’s will

“Thus we face a balance--by living in a personal relationship to God, and by not living as if God were not there.  But this does not mean that I must find God's leading in a mechanical and legalistic way, and perfectly in every case, or God will cast me off.
I personally could not live for twenty-four hours without looking to the leading of the Lord, and this is how I live my life, not in theory, but in practice. But I also know the freedom I have of knowing there is no mechanical formula given in the Scripture, but that it must be a day-by-day closeness to God... And I have the freedom of knowing that if I honestly miss this way somewhere, God will still deal with me gently.” – Francis Schaeffer, The Letters of Francis Schaeffer (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1985) p. 164.
Keywords: leading, prompting, discovering the will of God

“While disregarding God's leadership may result in loss, we should never feel that our lives are destroyed. God is a God of grace, and this means that when we turn back to him, he will continue to lead us from there and to bless us and use us.” - Francis Schaeffer, The Letters of Francis Schaeffer (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1985) p. 163-164.
Keywords: failure, setbacks

“You don't even know who is sitting in your own seat, let alone who is sitting next to you.” – Oswald Sanders, in a talk he gave at Xenos in the ‘80s.
Keywords: vision, potential

"The fact is that generalizations about religion are almost always misleading. Nothing could be further from the truth than the dictum . . . ‘Religion has not many voices, but only one.’ . . . Even the most cursory examination of the theology of these different religions reveals far more contradiction than consensus." – Sir Norman Anderson, Christianity and World Religions: The Challenge of Pluralism (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1984) p. 15.
Keywords: relativism, pluralism, world religions, paths to the same destination, all religions teach the same thing

“To maintain that all religions are paths leading to the same goal, as is so frequently done today, is to maintain something that is not true... (T)he basic principles of East and West... simply are not starting from the same premises. The only common ground is that the function of religion is to provide release; there is no agreement at all as to what (we) must be released from. The great religions are talking at cross purposes." – Colin G. Chapman, The Case For Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1981) p. 143.
Keywords: relativism, pluralism, world religions, paths to the same destination, all religions teach the same thing

"Contrary to the idea that all the religions teach the same thing, by virtue of their historical particularity and specificity the many religions offer us radically divergent pictures of God, the world, life, death, the afterlife, and humanity... Historically and empirically it is obvious that a common essence is precisely what religions do not have; they aim at different goals, teach contradictory doctrines, and prescribe radically different experiences. Religion as a common genus simply does not exist." - Daniel B. Clendenin, Many Gods, Many Lords (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1995) pp. 64, 108.
Keywords: relativism, pluralism, world religions, paths to the same destination, all religions teach the same thing

"It is difficult indeed to escape the conclusion that some of the central affirmations of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Shinto are opposed; as long as the meanings of the doctrines within the respective religious communities are preserved, they cannot be jointly accepted without absurdity." – Harold Netland, Dissonant Voices: Religious Pluralism and the Question of Truth (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1991) pp. 110,111.
Keywords: relativism, pluralism, world religions, paths to the same destination, all religions teach the same thing

"(Pluralists must abandon their quest for a common essence because) the incommensurability of ultimate systems is unbridgeable... (and any) alleged common denominator is a sheer reductionist abstraction." – Raimundo Panikkar, "The Jordan, the Tigris, and the Gangis," In Hick and Kitter, eds., The Myth of Christian Uniqueness (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1988) p. 110.
Keywords: relativism, pluralism, world religions, paths to the same destination, all religions teach the same thing

"Do we really want to say... that all religions and religious practices without exception are pathways to God?... What about Hindu widow-burning, female infanticide, or Aztec human sacrifice (Hans Kung notes that 20,000 people were sacrificed in four days at the consecration of a temple in Mexico in 1487)? ...But in assessing religion, pluralists have the problem of avoiding radical relativism, which... is inherent in their position. In fact, consistent relativism would render both praise and blame impossible. As the pluralists themselves acknowledge, without some criteria it is impossible to distinguish between Jim Jones and Mother Theresa, between an Amish village and David Koresh's Waco compound. To make critical judgments of any sort requires some standard or standards, but to introduce such criteria in order to judge religions is to no longer accept them all as equally true and good." – Daniel B. Clendenin, Many Gods, Many Lords (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1995) pp. 50,51.
Keywords: relativism, pluralism, world religions, paths to the same destination, all religions teach the same thing

"Pluralism... is incompatible with and even antithetical to any traditional account of religion. If the pluralist is right, then the adherents of all the major religions... are badly mistaken in their traditional understanding and practice of their various faiths. Consequently, a consistent pluralism requires a drastic revision... a genetic-like mutation, of all human religiosity as it has been conceived and lived throughout human history. It is obvious that such an absolutistic diagnosis and prescription are as theologically and culturally imperialistic as one can imagine... Pluralism's residual patronization lurks in the idea of a common essence. It suggests that the particularity of a religion's cumulative tradition really does not matter, that its many incongruities with other faiths are merely accidental or arbitrary. The more one emphasizes an essential core of religion, the less reason there is to take the particularities of a religion with genuine seriousness... Rather than a celebration of the world's heterogeneous and particular faiths which might inform and challenge one's religious worldview, we have here a suffocating homogeneity..." – Daniel B. Clendenin, Many Gods, Many Lords (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1995) pp. 90,108,109.
Keywords: pluralism, absolutism, world religions

“...God has not told us what his arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no person can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him.” – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, New York: Touchstone, 1996) p. 65.
Keywords: the lost, those who have never heard

"You know the sort of person I mean—one who is always reading, always exploring questions of truth, poking half the time into esoteric aspects of typology, unfulfilled prophecy, the millennium, the symbolic chapters of Revelation, and the problems of Bible harmony. He or she is not much concerned about experience, not very active in obedience and service of others, and not distinguished for a radically changed life. But the head is always busy with theological questions, and is full to overflowing with doctrine. In an anti-intellectual age like ours, such love of truth, and such devotion to the task of determining it, are rare and precious; and as we saw earlier, interest in the truth about God is natural to all the born-again. But is that interest, in and of itself, a token of good spiritual health? ...No, it is not!" – J. I. Packer, Rediscovering Holiness (Vine Books, 1992) p. 168.
Keywords: obedience, doctrine, study, intellectualism

". . .we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing 'ourselves' to talk to us! Do you realize what that means? I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man's treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. 'Why art thou cast down, O my soul?' he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: 'Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you'. Do you know what I mean? If you do not, you have had but little experience.
The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: 'Why are you cast down'—what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself; 'Hope you in God'—instead of muttering in this depressed unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: 'I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God.’” – D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1982) pp. 20,21.
Keywords: claiming God’s promises, resolve, accusation, depression

“(If Paul) speaks in Galatians 5:22 of the harvest of the Spirit, he writes in 6:8 that we are to sow to the Spirit, and then we reap what we sow. Whether we reap the fruit of the Spirit depends on whether we sow to the Spirit. The seeds we sow to the Spirit that produce this harvest are . . . a disciplined use of the means of grace. That is, daily prayer and meditation on the Scriptures, reading Christian books, making Christian friends, and getting engaged in Christian service.
It is by a disciplined use of these means of grace that we grow in grace, and the Holy Spirit within us is able to produce the beauty of holiness.” – John R.W. Stott, "The Unforbidden Fruit", Christianity Today, Aug 17, 1992, p. 36.
Keywords: fruit of the Spirit, sowing to the Spirit, means of grace, means of growth

"Anyone who serves God will discover sooner or later that the great hindrance to his work is not others but himself... " – Watchman Nee, Release of the Spirit, p. 9.
Keywords: sin nature, ministry, service

"What God is now doing is the pruning work of the vinedresser. In our souls there is an uncontrolled development, an untimely growth, that has to be checked and dealt with. God must cut that off. So now there are two things before us to which our eyes must be opened. On the one hand God is seeking to bring us to the place where we live by the life of his Son (‘abide in me’). On the other hand he is doing a direct work in our hearts to undo that other natural resource (our sin-nature). Every day we are learning two lessons: a rising up of the life of this One, and a checking and a handing over to death of the other (sinful nature). These two processes go on all the time, for God is seeking the fully developed life of his Son among us ... What does this mean? It simply means that I will not take any action without relying on God. I will find no sufficiency in myself. I will not take any step just because I have the power to do so. Even though I have that inherited power within me, I will not go ahead solely upon it as (a) basis; I will put no reliance on myself." – Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: Christian Literature Crusade, 1961) pp. 157,158.
Keywords: suffering, pruning, death to self, outer man decaying

"We cannot ultimately break God's moral laws; rather, we break ourselves upon them." – anonymous
Keywords: law, sin, consequences, breaking the law

"How is the process of forming Christ within the believing life advanced? Every circumstance of our lives has been planned with this end in view. Our heredity and environment, our temperament, and all the frustrations and disappointments of life are not the result of blind chance... As we subject ourselves to the Word of God, the lordship of Christ, and the leading of the Spirit, the circumstances will combine to wean us from the old life of self-pleasing and to conform us to the image of Christ. Our Father loves us so well that He places us in positions of great difficulty and perplexity, withdraws some cherished object of love, places us to live and work with or among uncongenial people—all in order that we may despair of ourselves and learn to draw more on the resources which are for us in Christ. The process of Christ being formed in us usually progresses more rapidly in times of adversity than in prosperity. When all runs smoothly, we tend to forget our dependence on God, but in times of trouble we turn to Him and appropriate His grace and help. Some of the greatest saints have been those who have been tested most severely. Rightly received, the disciplines of life serve to reproduce in us the likeness of Christ." – J. Oswald Sanders, The Best That I Can Be (Singapore: OMF Books, 1984), pp. 56,57.
Keywords: discipline of the Holy Spirit, frustration, disappointment, failure, suffering, trials

“I asked the Lord that I might grow in faith and love and every grace,
might more of His salvation know and seek more earnestly His face.
'Twas He who taught me thus to pray, and he, I trust, has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way as almost drove me to despair.
I thought that in some favored hour at once He'd answer my request
and by His love's constraining power, subdue my sins and give me rest.
Instead of that, He made me feel the hidden evils of my heart,
and bade the angry powers of hell assault my soul in every part.
Nay more, with His own hand he seemed intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
"Lord, why is this?" I trembling cried. "Wilt Thou pursue this worm to death?"
"This is the way," the Lord replied, "I answer prayer for grace and faith.
"These inward trials I employ from self and sin to set thee free,
And cross thy schemes of earthly joy that thou might'st find thy all in Me." - John Newton, cited in J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Maturity (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), pp. 14-15.
Keywords: discipline of the Holy Spirit, frustration, suffering, trials

"Prayer is not a convenient device for imposing our will on God, or for bending his will to ours, but the prescribed way of subordinating our will to his. It is by prayer that we seek God's will, embrace it, and align ourselves with it. Every true prayer is a variation on the theme `your will be done.'" – John R. W. Stott, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: The Epistles of John (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1983) p. 185.
Keywords: prayer, God’s will, desire, submission

"... The Spirit works through means - the means of Growth ... The Spirit shows his power in us, not by constantly interrupting our use of these means with visions, impressions, or prophecies, which serve up to us ready-made insights on a plate . . . but rather by making these regular means effective to change us for the better and the wiser as we go along ... Holiness by habit forming (through these means) is not self-sanctification through self-effort, but is simply a matter of understanding the Spirit's method and then keeping in step with him."  – J. I. Packer, Keep In Step With The Spirit (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1984), pp. 109,110.
Keywords: means of growth, crisis vs. process, spiritual experiences, learning, sanctification

“That, in God's mercy, momentous post-conversion experiences come to some Christians, bringing assurance, liberty of heart, new spiritual joy and energy, with new power for life and witness, is beyond doubt. These, however, seem to be the particular discretionary dealings of a gracious heavenly Father with his individual children. They are not universal requirements, not prescribed patterns of experience for all, not hoops through which every Christian must try to jump. Those who have had no momentous `second experience,' therefore, should not see themselves as necessarily inferior to those who have been thus blessed. History confirms that some of God's finest servants have been enriched this way, while others, equally fine, have not.” – J. I. Packer, Rediscovering Holiness (Ann Arbor: Servant Publications, 1992), p. 112.
Keywords: second experience, spiritual experience, crisis experience, baptism of the Holy Spirit, sanctification

“The immaturity and childish egoism that infect our culture claim their victims among Christians too. Symptoms of these defects appear in the all-too-common tendency of modern Christians to undervalue the natural and the ordinary. There are just too many people who want every problem to be solved by an immediate miracle, a display of the supernatural, a wonderful providence that will change everything. I think that is a sign not of great faith, but of great immaturity.” J. I. Packer, Rediscovering Holiness (Ann Arbor: Servant Publications, 1992), p. 214. "
Keywords: sanctification, growth, maturity, spiritual experience, miracles

“The common denominator of all of these aberrations is reliance on subjective experience divorced from the objective control of reason and the written Word of God . . . Christians who block out their minds in the process of attuning themselves to the Spirit are trying to replace an essential human attribute by the gift of the Spirit which is meant to transform that faculty, not replace it. To relinquish the guiding and superintending function of the intellect in our experience seems pious at first, but in the end this course dehumanizes us by turning us into either dependent robots waiting to be programmed by the Spirit's guidance or whimsical enthusiasts blown about by our hunches and emotions. God has provided us with the ability to gather information and to make rational decisions in light of this information in conformity with his revealed will in Scripture. Any method of guidance which habitually detours around reason is crippling and dehumanizing.” – Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of the Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1979), p. 265.
Keywords: anti-intellectualism, reason, experience, promptings, discerning God’s will, guidance

“... When a prophet or a spirit comes to you, the test of whether he should be accepted or rejected is not the experience that the spirit or prophet gives you. Nor is it the strength of the emotion which the spirit or prophet gives you. Nor is it any special outward manifestations that the spirit or the prophet may give to you. The basis of accepting the spirit or prophet--and the basis of Christian fellowship--is Christian doctrine. There is no other final test. Satan can counterfeit and he will. I am not speaking against emotion in itself. Of course there should be emotion. I am saying that you cannot trust your emotions or the strength of your emotions or the boost your emotions give you when you stand in the presence of the spirit or the prophet. This does not prove for one moment whether he is from God, or the Devil, or whether the emotions are simply from within yourself.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, 2 Contents, 2 Realities, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1982), Vol. 3, p. 415.
Keywords: doctrine, prophecy, discerning spirits, testing spirits, emotion

“. . . in meeting the challenges of the new super-spirituality we must not overreact. I'm desperately afraid of overreaction,  . . . (of) treating Christianity as if it were only a system. God is there, and we must be in a living relationship to Him. Consequently, as we see the new super-spirituality, the danger is that we will overreact and underemphasize the work of the Holy Spirit . . . When a group begins to overemphasize the work of the Holy Spirit at the expense of the full content of Scripture or to underemphasize the status of the intellect . . . , the danger is to talk less and less about the Holy Spirit for fear someone will confuse us with this other group. Instead, a Christian must have the courage to  . . . stress (this area) in (its) proper relationship to the whole of Scripture . . . In the present instance, we must properly stress spirituality . . . a balance not just of abstract doctrine, but a balance to be lived, by God's grace, by the individual and by the group . . . Christianity is not only intellectual, nor is it only your cultural responsibility . . . Christianity is the reality of communion with God in the present life; it is the understanding that there is the indwelling Holy Spirit; it is the understanding that there is the moment-by-moment empowering of the Holy Spirit . . . It is the understanding that the fruit of the Spirit is meant to be something real to all Christians. It is the understanding that prayer is real and not just a devotional exercise. Indeed we must not overreact to . . . super-spirituality, but we must stress that Christ . . . means us to affirm life and not negate life. Such is the ideal. May God show us the living balance and help us to live, by His grace, in that balance.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, The New Superspirituality, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1982), Vol. 3, pp. 399-401.
Keywords: super-spirituality, superspirituality, super spirituality, Holy Spirit, experience

" If we seek for the cause which produces rapid expansion when a new faith seizes hold of men who feel able and free to propagate it spontaneously of their own initiative, we find its roots in a certain natural instinct. This instinct is admirably expressed in a saying of Archytas of Tarentum quoted by Cicero, "If a man ascended to Heaven and saw the beautiful nature of the world and of the stars his feeling of wonder, in itself most delightful, would lose its sweetness if he had not someone to whom he could tell it." This is the instinctive force which drives men even at the risk of life itself to impart to others a new-found joy: that is why it is proverbially difficult to keep a secret. It is not surprising then that when Christians are scattered and feel solitary this craving for fellowship should demand an outlet, especially when the hope of the Gospel and the experience of its power is something new and wonderful. But in Christians there is more than this natural instinct. The Spirit of Christ is a Spirit who longs for, and strives after, the salvation of the souls of men, and that spirit dwells in them. That Spirit converts the natural instinct into a longing for the conversion of others which is indeed divine in its source and character.
Upon the speaker, too, the effort to express his truth exercises a profound effect. The expression of his experience intensifies it; it renews it; it repeats it; it enlightens it. In speaking of it he goes through it again; in setting it before another he sets it before himself in a new light. He gets a deeper sense of its reality and power and meaning. In speaking of it he pledges himself to the conduct and life which it involves. He proclaims himself bound by it, and every time that his speech produces an effect upon another, that effect reacts upon himself, making his hold upon his truth surer and stronger.” – Roland Allen, The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1997)
Keywords: witnessing, sharing your faith, the gospel, proclamation

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” – Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream
Keywords: civil rights, discrimination, Amos, prophets, social justice

"Have we never risen from our knees in haste for fear God's will should become too unmistakable if we prayed longer?" – Anonymous
Keywords: prayer, God’s will, submission