Saturday, April 18, 2009

Don't Forget to Dream

Tim Dowdy is the Pastor of Eagles Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, GA. This is also home to the music group "Casting Crowns." His book don't forget to dream is a must read for high school students. I have listed several quotes below:

That's why I've come to the conclusion that Decision Time is always 5:15. p. 38

And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15) p. 38

Be very careful, how you live - not as unwise but as wise. (Ephesians 5:15) p. 38

I've learned that God speaks most often through three ways: His Word, His Holy Spirit, and circumstances. The best way for Him to hear from you is through prayer. p. 40

Being careful means habitually spending time in God's Word and prayer. Being careful means waiting on the Lord to make the picture clear. It means diligently examining circumstances and squaring them with Scripture. Being careful means seeking the counsel of godly friends and adults (but please make sure they're godly, and if anyone ever gives you counsel that goes against Scripture, ignore it - it's not from God). p. 40

When someone asks, "Who are you?" you should not respond by saying, "Well, I'm a student" or "I'm a technician," or "I'm a stay-at-home mom." That's what you do, but it's not your identity. Your identity is forged by clawing down to the foundational decision of whom you serve--God or self--and what kind of person you're going to be. Ask yourself, "Am I going to live for myself or am I going to live for God? Am I going to be wholly devoted to Jesus or am I going to fit into the crowd? Am I going to be a leader or a follower?" p. 42

Once you choose to honor God by living out His dream, then the answer to the question of what you will do begins to shape. In fact, it often becomes instantly apparent. p. 43

We may think that we're only making friends for a season, but relationships can impact us for a lifetime. p.60

We are who our friends are. p. 61

"If you go to heaven, you'll most likely take someone with you through your influence. But if you go to hell, you'll most likely take someone to hell with you." The Dr. Rogers quoted Romans 14:7: "For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone." p. 64

The Bible tells us that we are not created to live for ourselves. We're designed to live for God. If we are made in His image and He is others-focused, then the only path to contentment is to live for Him and for others, just as He does. God lives for Himself. He's God, so He has that privilege. He has designed the entire universe to sing His praises and to reflect glory upon Him because He alone is worthy of honor. Yet He also lives for others, and He sent His Son to die for others. p. 103

Philippians 2:3-4 "Do nothing out of selfish ambitions or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others." p. 106

You want what you watch. So I encourage you to watch what you want. So "watch what you want." You will want what you watch. p. 109

That you have to watch what you desire, because your desires can take you away from Jesus as well as take you to Him. You can be living for the wrong goals. p. 112

We should do what we were designed to do. When we do what we're designed to do, we're going to enjoy it. It won't always be easy, but it will always be best.  It doesn't mean God needs you, because He doesn't. He just wants you. Doesn't that blow your mind? He wants to include you in His  mission. And as you fall in step with Him, you embark upon the grandest and freshest of journeys. p. 157

To order this book click here!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Light in the City

I really enjoy both Janet and Craig Parshall. Craig has written several fiction books. He and Janet both wrote this non-fiction book, The Light in the City. This book details how America was founded on Christian values and how we are losing those values. Even though I've included lots of quotes the book is a must read if you love America and our freedoms we have in Christ!

In God's sovereignty, there are no accidents. In His economy, no position, talent, or experience is ever wasted. p. 46

Pastor Tony Evans wrote:
There are believers out there who should be running for office. Politics is only as dirty as the people involved. The way to clean up politics is to put righteous people in office.

This society needs people who feel God's call on their lives to serve Him in politics. Then, we will have leaders like the ones Jethro told Moses to choose: "able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain." (Ex. 18:21) p. 67

Norman Geisler wrote:
Everyone realizes the "pro-life" people want to impose: They want to protect the baby and thus impose on the mother the duty of carrying her child to term. But what is so often missed in this debate is that "pro-choice" activists want to impose their morals on others, as well: They want to impose the morals of the mother on the baby and, in some cases, on the father. When abortion is the choice, the morals imposed on the baby come in the form of a knife, a vacuum, or scalding chemicals. Such a choice also imposes on the biological father by depriving him of fatherhood and the right to protect the child. p. 69

In the 1892 Supreme Court case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States the following was stated or observed:

The Court then proceeded to give a remarkable and powerful testimony of the influence of Christianity in the founding of America. Christopher Columbus's commission from Ferdinand and Isabella recounted that they invoked "God's assistance." Sir Walter Raleigh carried with him the authority to enact regulations in the new colonies as long as they did not conflict with the "true Christian faith." The first charter of Virginia set forth the obligation and privilege of "propagating the Christian Religion to such people as yet live in darkness." The charters of the various colonies each contained references to God or to Jesus Christ. The Declaration of Independence invoked a divine "Creator" as the source of all true rights and liberties. The Court further noted:

Every constitution of every one of the forty-five states contains language which either directly or by clear implication recognizes a profound reverence for religion and an assumption that its influence in all human affairs is essential to the well being of the community.

Lastly, as the Supreme Court explained, Article I, section 7 of the Constitution exempts Sundays (the Christian Sabbath) from the calculation of the ten days the president has to veto a bill passed by Congress; and the First Amendment further underscores the importance of religion by protecting it from any law "prohibiting the free exercise thereof," or "respecting" its "establishment."  p. 81

... the real point is that we must measure our involvement in contemporary culture, whatever the issue, by the general principles and precepts of Scripture-in other words, by what the Bible does say, not what it doesn't. p. 89

The Bible shows that the dual purposes of government are to restrain evil and to promote good (Rom. 13:3-4). It also says that we have obligations to both Caesar and God (Mark 12:17); yet when the two come into conflict, our primary obedience must be o the Lord (Acts 5:29).

This historical epoch of spiritual revival in the early 1700's conveniently overlooked by politically correct historians, was one of the true catalysts for America's fight for freedom. p. 128

Historian Paul Johnson noted:
The Great Awakening was the proto-revolutionary event, the formative moment in American history history, preceding the political drive for independence and making it possible. . . Its key text was Revelation 21:5: "Behold, I make all things new" - which was also the text for the American experience as a whole.  p. 129

The point of the Great Awakening and its causal contribution to the American Revolution is that the evangelical understanding of the gospel has, throughout history, been a contributing factor to a new, and sometimes radical, understanding of how our nations should be run. When God penetrates our hearts with His light and opens our eyes to His Word, that becomes the preeminent guiding event. It is logical to believe, then, that we should (or even can) fail to take that preeminent guiding event along with us into our involvement in the public affairs of the day-into the local school board, or the town council, or the state house, or the Congress? p. 129

One of the first orders of business for Congress, in 1789, was to pass a measure providing for the payment of a salary for the chaplain of the Congress, who would conduct opening prayers. Three days later, the same men approved the language of the First Amendment. It is obvious that they had no flights of fancy about the kind of absolute "wall of separation" between church and state imbedded in the thinking of our current courts. 

When President George Washington resigned his commission as commander in chief of the revolutionary army, he circulated his farewell message to the governors of the thirteen states. He ended it with his "earnest prayer," that they remember: "what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God," quoting from Micah 6:8. He expressed, in this farewell address, the belief that the only possibility for a "happy nation" lay in our adopting the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Thirteen years later, when he gave his farewell address after serving as president of the United States, Washington returned to the same theme, proclaiming that there was no chance of any successful national morality--indeed, no hope for any real civic virtue at all---apart from the primary source of morality, which is found in our worship of God.

John Adams, one of the pioneers of the movement for American independence and later a president himself (and the father of John Quincy Adams, who also became president), once wrote in the twilight years that there were two principles which knit the nation together during the Revolution: the ideas of English and American liberty, and the general principles of Christianity.

While president, James Madison signed a bill into law that aided the Bible society in distributing Scripture. He also issued proclamations for official days of fasting, prayer, and thanksgiving to God.

While Thomas Jefferson is often cited by secularists as someone who would have approved our contemporary hostility toward expressions of belief in God in the public sphere, his actions do not bear this out. As the founder of the University of Virginia (a public university), he voiced no objections over its earliest commencement exercises, which included prayer and religious invocations. pp.. 132-133

Tocqueville noted that while "religion in America takes no direct part in the government of must be regarded as the first of [America's] institutions...I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions." He also wrote: The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in heir minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren, traditionary faith which seems to vegetate rathe than to live in the soul. Thus religious zeal is perpetually warmed in the United States by the fires of patriotism. p. 134

The title of Jerry Falwell's response in Christianity Today sums it up: "I'd Do It All Again." He asks: If Christians do not also lead the battle in defense of the unborn, who will? If believers do not oppose same-sex marriages, who will? If people of faith do not aggressively defend religious freedom in the public square, including our public schools, who will? If Christians do not cry out against wickedness in high places, who will? p. 148

If Christians are going to be successful in these cultural and spiritual battles, especially the volatile ones, we have to learn to separate the sinner from the sin--to separate the public policy issue from the person. The ultimate aim is not just to win the important case, or to oppose bad policy, or to pass good legislation. The ultimate goal is to love the other side to the cross of Christ while convicting them with the truth. p. 179

To order this book click here!

If God Should Choose

If you want to read of faith in Christ lived out then read Kristen Stagg's book, If God Should Choose. This book is about ABWE missionaries, Jim and Roni Bowers. Their plane was shot down over Iquitos, Peru by Peruvian Force A-37 fighter. Both Mom and daughter were killed. Through this tragedy God has used Jim's testimony to motivate many to surrender their life to the mission field. I have only one quote from the book and it is by Steve Saint:

In life, many of us Christians have tried to preach and have tried to believe that the life of a believer is all joy and no pain. That isn't so. And we've tried to believe that for those people who don't know the Lord as we do, their life is ll pain and no joy, and that isn't so. You know what the difference is (and it's taken me a long time to learn it)? For them, the pain is fundamental and the joy is superficial because it won't last. For us, the pain is superficial and the joy is fundamental.

A good friend of mine, Steven Curtis Chapman, wrote a song taken from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 and I give this to you. He wrote,

"This is not how we thought it was supposed to be.
We had so many plans for you. We had so many dreams.
And now you've gone away leaving us with nothing
but the memories of your smile.
And nothing we can say and nothing we can do
can take away the pain, the pain of losing you.
But we cry with hope, and we say good-bye with hope
because we know our good-bye is not the end.
We can grieve with hope because we believe with hope,
there's a place where we'll see your face again."  pp. 216-217

To order this book click here!

Call Me TED

Ted Turner's book, Call Me Ted, is an excellent read. Even though politically I do not agree with him, his life has always intrigued me. He is/was very much a risk taker and is a man of great vision. I recommend you read his book. It is long, 433 pages, but has lots of interesting information. I have only listed a few quotes from the book for your enjoyment:

He [Ted's Dad] then told me something I've never forgotten. He said, "Son, you be sure to set your goals so high that you can't possibly accomplish them in one lifetime. That way you'll always have something ahead of you. I made the mistake of setting my goals too low and I'm having a hard time coming up with new ones." p. 56

I'm convinced that one of the reasons I've been successful is that almost always competed against people who were bigger and stronger but who had less commitment and desire than I did. p. 184

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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012