Saturday, October 30, 2010

Good to Great in God's Eyes

Chip Ingram uses Jim Collins book, Good to Great, to write his book, Good to Great in God Eyes. Chip list ten principles that applied will help a Christian become great in God's eyes. This is a very good book that should be required reading for all Christians. I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:

Remember that applying truth to your life is first a matter of quality; quantity comes second. God is not nearly as interested in your ability to learn truth as He is in your willingness to apply it. p. 11

But desires remain only desires if there's no follow-through, no plan to accomplish them. p. 12

Principle 1: Think Great Thoughts p. 13

The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him. (quote Dwight Moody heard expressed by an evangelist he met in Dublin) p. 16

Principle 2: Read Great Books p. 35

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things p. 40

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. p. 48

Principle 3: Pursue Great People p. 53

Principle 4: Dream Great Dreams p. 73

You made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too different for You! (NASB) Jeremiah 32:17 p. 78

Not only is He able to do big things through us, He's willing. He wants to do "things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9 NASB). p. 78

Psalm 37 :4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." In other words, get so consumed and in love with God, so overwhelmed with who He is and what He does, that your delight in Him births all sorts of desires that He would be zealous to fulfill. When we get an awesome, inspiring view of God, our hearts begin to beat like His. In that communion, dreams rise up and are fulfilled. p. 79

Most of us look at our desk calendars and try to figure out how to get everything done this week that we need to do. We focus on the now, the narrow, the next step in our survival. God wants us to lift our eyes beyond that. Our biggest problem isn't that our dreams are too big; it's that they're too small. p. 79

... a God-sized dream is impossible unless God supernaturally accomplishes it. p. 84

... David learned that his life was not about fulfilling a dream or even about success for God.
It's about loving the dream-giver more than the dream. He set his heart on the relationship first and the benefits second. p. 85

He wants to accomplish impossible things through improbable people and to impact exceeding grace to undeserving recipients. p. 86

Principle 5: Pray Great Prayers p. 99

Paul expressed the same passion. He had an impressive pedigree, an elite education, and a highly respected position. But all of that was "rubbish" compared to "the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. . . . I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering" (Phil. 3:8, 10). More than anything the world could offer, Paul wanted to have deep, intimate communion with Jesus. p. 102

Not only are great prayers deeply personal, they are also birthed in brokenness. When we come to God with a sense of bankruptcy, knowing we're in a desperate situation and have no resources to get ourselves out of it, God pays special attention. Brokenness will cause us to pour out our heart to God rather than trying to find the right words or the most persuasive arguments to present to Him. It's the helplessness we feel when a huge crisis hits or when we're filled with overwhelming remorse, grief, or confusion. Prayers that flow out of brokenness cry out, "I need you!" They come from people at the end of their rope. p. 103

Great prayers ask the improbable, expect the impossible, and receive the unthinkable. p. 114

Action Step: One one side of an index card, describe an impossible situation you've been facing. On the other side, write your request for God to resolve that situation and Jeremiah 32:17: "Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Carry the card in your pocket this week, and every time you pray, pull it out to remind yourself of the great prayer you are praying. p. 117

Principle 6: Take Great Risks p. 119

Where there's no risk, there's no faith; where there's no faith, there's no power or joy or intimacy with God. p. 121

Radical steps of faith are concrete. They always have at least two things in common: they involve risk, and they fit with God's clearly defined will. p. 128

Faith is simply doing what God tells you to do whether you feel like it or not - especially, in fact, when you don't feel like it. You obey regardless of the circumstances because He said to and His Word is true. p. 129

Principle 7: Make Great Sacrifices p. 143

Principle 8: Enjoy Great Moments p. 165

And in his explanation, the father makes a statement that we rarely give much attention to: "You are always with me, and everything I have is yours" (Luke 15:31). The older son had a distorted view of his father, and this is how his father corrected him. He could have thrown a party any time he wanted to. He could have asked his father if it was okay to invite some friends over, kill a fatted calf, and have a ball. Apparently he didn't ever do that; he was too busy earning the father's favor to realize he already had it. He was so absorbed with his performance that he could never enjoy life. p. 174

Someone has said that love was the early Christians' marketing plan and their business card was joy. p. 178

If you feel guilty having fun, maybe it will help to remember that enjoying the richness of God's gifts is a command. Not to enjoy life is actually disobedient! As C.S. Lewis said, "Joy is the serious business of heaven." p. 180

Principle 9: Empower Great People p. 185

In each of our lives, if we're going to have any possibility of becoming truly great in God's eyes, it means turning upside down the entrenched worldly ideas of our definition of greatness. The difference couldn't be more stark, as sinfully and culturally defined greatness looks like this: individuals motivated by self-interest, self-indulgence, and a false sense of self-sufficiency, pursue selfish ambition for the purpose of self-glorification. . . . Serving others for the glory of God; this is the genuine expression of humility. This is true greatness as our Savior defines it. [from the book Humility: True Greatness] p. 187

Good Christians "live the life;" great Christians "leave a legacy." p. 189

. . . look for F.A.T. people. p. 192

Faithful, Available, and Teachable. p. 192

Proverbs 20:6 says, "Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?" Faithful people are the ones who complete an assignment, who actually take care of a problem when they say they'll take care of it, and who call you later because they promised they would. We get all wrapped up in the potential people seem to have based on their personality and talents, but God doesn't. He looks at the heart. Those who are faithful have put themselves in a position to grow in maturity. Instead of listening to what people say, watch what they do with their responsibilities. When you see faithfulness, you see potential. p. 192

Faithfulness alone isn't enough, however. Someone can be very faithful and yet be pointed in twenty different directions. They'll say, "I want to grow, I want to learn, let's get together," but then be out of town every other week. p. 192

To invest your life wisely, you'll want to choose people who are available in addition to being faithful. p. 193

Look also for people who are teachable. A person who thinks he or she has already mastered certain aspects of life is not going to be open to instruction or even subtle suggestions. There's no point in investing in someone who isn't aware that the investment is beneficial. People who are teachable are in position to grow and bear fruit. p. 193

There's a real danger in evaluating people the way the world does. We often fall into the trap of seeing people who have a sharp mind, a great personality, and the right education as those who are most likely to make an impact for Christ. But God chooses the lowly things of this world in order to shame our worldly standards (1 Cor. 1:27-29). In the New Testament He used former prostitutes, homosexuals, idols worshipers, thieves, and drunkards by redeeming them and giving them spiritual gifts to use for the benefit of others. I encourage you to look beyond people's history and look at their heart. p. 193

"Laziness isn't being inactive," he said. "Laziness is not doing the right thing at the right time to fulfill the right assignment. p. 200

Principle 10: Develop Great Habits p. 205

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Character Makes a Difference

Mike Huckabee could be our next president. I enjoy watching his show on Fox News channel. He has a way with words. His book, Character Makes a Difference, really is a biography of him. He stands for character and principle. I highly recommend this book.

... the darker things are, the more difference even the tiniest light will make. p. 175

We really need to pray for our country, asking God to turn us back to Him.

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Walking Wisely

Charles Stanley is an excellent teaching pastor. You can read this in his book Walking Wisely. He also gives you meat to chew on. Just a small taste below:

Wisdom is the capacity to see things from God’s perspective and to respond to them according to scriptural principles. p. 3
If you know with assurance that you have God’s love and Hs favor on your life, it doesn’t matter to you if a person criticizes you, rejects you, or speaks ill of you to others. God loves you and approves of you, and His opinion is the only opinion that matters! p. 63

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Six Hours One Friday

Max Lucado is one of the best devotional writers. His book Six Hours One Friday is no disappointment. As you read the quotes below I'm sure you will agree.

Then she asked the question that revealed the gaping hole in her soul. “Where is God? My people say he is on the mountain. Your people say he is in Jerusalem. I don’t know where he is.” I’d give a thousand sunsets to see the expression on Jesus’ face as he heard those words. Did his eyes water? Did he smile? Did he look up into the clouds and wink at his father? Of all the places to find a hungry heart – Samaria? Of all the Samaritans to be searching for God – a woman? Of all the women to have an insatiable appetite for God – a five-time divorcee? And of all the people to be chose to personally receive the secret of the ages, an outcast among outcasts? The most “insignificant” person in the region? Remarkable. Jesus didn’t reveal the secret to King Herod. He didn’t request an audience of the Sanhedrin and tell them the news. It wasn’t within the colonnades of a Roman court that he announced his identity. No, it was in the shade of a well in a rejected land to an ostracized woman. His eyes must have danced as he whispered the secret. “I am the Messiah.” pp. 24-25
And though God’s people often forgot their God, God didn’t forget them. He kept His Word. The land became theirs. God didn’t give up. He never gives up. When Joseph was dropped into a pit by his own brothers, God didn’t give up. When Moses said, “Here I am, send Aaron.” God didn’t give up. When the delivered Israelites wanted Egyptian slavery instead of milk and honey, God didn’t give up. When Aaron was making a false god at the very moment Moses was with the true God, God didn’t give up. When only two of the ten spies though the Creator was powerful enough to deliver the created, God didn’t give up. When Samson whispered to Delilah, when Saul roared after David, when David schemed against Uriah, God didn’t give up. When God’s word lay forgotten and man’s idols stood glistening, God didn’t give up. When the children of Israel were taken into captivity, God didn’t give up. He could have given up. He could have turned His back. He could have walked away from the wretched mess, but He didn’t. He didn’t give up. When He became flesh and was the victim of an assassination attempt before He was two years old, He didn’t give up. When the people from His own hometown tried to push Him over a cliff, He didn’t give up. When His brothers ridiculed Him, He didn’t give up. When He was accused of blaspheming God by people who didn’t fear God, He didn’t give up. When Peter worshiped Him at the supper and cursed Him at the fire, He didn’t give up. When people spat in His face, He didn’t spit back. When the bystanders slapped Him, He didn’t slap them. When a whip ripped His sides, He didn’t turn and command the awaiting angels to stuff that whip down that soldiers’ throat. And when human hands fastened the divine hands to a cross with spikes, it wasn’t the soldiers who held the hands of Jesus steady. It was God who held them steady. For those wounded hands were the same invisible hands that had carried the firepot and the torch two thousand years earlier. They were the same hands that had brought light into Abram’s thick and dreadful darkness. They had come to do it again. So, the next time that obnoxious neighbor walks in, escort him out. Out to the hill. Out to Calvary. Out to the cross where, with holy blood, the hand that carried the flame wrote the promise, “God would give up His only Son before He’d give up on you.” pp. 37-39
Your complaints are not over the lack of necessities but the abundance of benefits. You bellyache over the frills, not the basics; over benefits, not essentials. The source of your problems is your blessings.” p. 43
Gratitude. More aware of what you have than what you don’t. Recognizing the treasure in the simple – a child’s hug, fertile soil, a golden sunset. Relishing in the comfort of the common – a warm bed, a hot meal, a clean shirt. pp. 43-44
And though I’d never read 2 Corinthians 4:13, I knew what it meant. “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” p. 52

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Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout

A new author for me is Rick Rigsby. In his book, Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout, are lessons he learned from his Dad. An amazing practical wisdom that everyone can use! Enjoy!!!

Simply stated the great disconnect is between an older generation of doers verses a contemporary generation of viewers. p. 7
You may know some who represent this generation. They are remarkable in their simple yet profound work ethic. They represent an era of people who valued their work and took pride in doing a good job. They were hardworking, decent people who arrived early to the job, did not run from responsibility, and gave maximum effort. Their work habits were not for show. Doing a good job simply was a way of life. p. 8
An interruption in he flow of wisdom will not necessarily threaten technological supremacy. Few eras have witnessed the technology boom of the twentieth century. However, an interruption in the transfer of wisdom produces an invisible malaise just as destructive as sickness, war, and famine. A culture whose leaders neglect to model wisdom produces teams and organizations in a similar manner. The outcome is a society in great peril – a society that seeks simple solutions for complex problems. Such a society is satisfied with mediocrity as long as workers put in eight hours. The environment produces workers who emphasize appearance over substance, personality over principle, and convenience over character. What good is technological supremacy without authentic leadership? What good is an information superhighway without trustworthy travelers? pp. 9-10
Always place character above gifting. p. 10
It is a void produced by everyday citizens who do not take pride in what they do, would rather finish first than do things right, and would rather look good than be good. Our goal in the new millennium is to make a good impression. p. 12
This is just a small taste of the godly principles in this book. I hope you will take time to purchase a copy and read it!

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The Janitor

One of my favorite new stores is Ollies. The have lots of books for very low prices. A picked up a little book, The Janitor by Tod Hopkins and Ray Hilbert, that looked interesting. Boy, was it a great book. It shares a commonsense balance for maintaining your priorities when chaos threatens. The story is about a CEO whose business, marriage, and life is in chaos. He happens to meet the janitor who cleans his company each night. This janitor happens to be a retired CEO who has learned some valuable principles ("Directives") from his late wife. I share these principles below, but you will need to read the book to have each explained to you.

Directive 1: Recharge versus discharge.

Directive 2: View family as a blessing, not a responsibility.

Directive 3: Pray: don't pout.

Directive 4: Pass it around.

Directive 5: Don't spend; invest.

Directive 6: Leave a legacy.

To order this book click here!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jesus: The Greatest Life of All

One of my favorite authors, Chuck Swindoll hits another homerun with his book, Jesus: The Greatest Life of All. I know you will enjoy reading the quotes below:

Jesus didn’t come to earth to establish a new religion. He came to restore a broken relationship. He came to make the primary, primary again. The secondary activity of obedience to the law of God was always intended to serve the primary activity: to love God and enjoy Him forever. When that is primary, the secondary becomes a labor of love, a joyful; “easy” burden to bear. This is what Jesus meant when He said,
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew11: 28-30. p. 84
He is all-powerful, He is also utterly sovereign, God has the right to do whatever He chooses, for whomever He chooses, and whenever He chooses to do it. He answers to no one. p. 130
The best prayers often come after we have exhausted our pleas for deliverance. p. 135
Express your sincere desire for the complete restoration of the suffering. Pray that he or she will experience less pain and will avoid the debilitating effects of fear. Pray that the illness will yield surprising, unexpected benefits. But submit your requests to the sovereign care of God in complete confidence that He is impeccably good and unfailingly right. As Jesus Himself prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42) p. 137
The will of God is paramount; respect it. p. 138
Even as we pray, we must remember that God is right in all His ways, including our afflictions. p. 138
Intercessory prayer is God’s commandment; obey it. p. 138
Jesus, the healer, did not come to prolong our earthly existence or even to make it more pleasant--at least not pleasant in the selfish, pampered way we would prefer. He came to give us healing from the disease that threatens eternal life, and to give us joy, which surpasses mere happiness by eons and light years. pp. 140-141
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away.” Many versions of the Bible translate a key Greek term in this verse as “takes away,” “removes,” or even “cuts off,” but its primary definition is “to lift from the ground.” The word can and often does mean “to lift with a view to carrying, to carry off or put away.” In keeping with the metaphor, Jesus most likely referred to the vinedresser’s practice of lifting a sagging branch and tying it to the trellis—a procedure called “training.” The vinedresser also carefully prunes the branches to encourage healthy growth. pp. 148-149
Note that Jesus never commanded believers to produce fruit. Fruit is the purpose of the branch, but it is not the responsibility of the branch. The branch cannot produce anything on its own. However, if it remains attached to the vine, it will receive life-sustaining sap, nourishment, strength, everything it needs. If it remains connected to the vine, it will inevitably hang heavy with grapes. p. 149-150
The focus of a Christian’s activity is not to work hard enough to make fruit, but to keep his connection to Jesus Christ clean and strong One way to do that is to absorb the teaching of God’s Word, the sixty-six books of the Bible. Read God’s Word…think about it, apply it, talk about it with others, ask questions, commit sections of it to memory. Strength and productivity come from staying connected. p. 150
Knowing your mission will help you stay focused on the goal. Jesus clearly understood the reason for His coming to earth and never allowed popularity, success, opposition, threats, or even dissention within His ranks to distract Him. p. 169
Encountering evil requires confrontation. Few people enjoy confrontation, but standing for the truth against evil will inevitably require it. And sometimes what must be said will be difficult to say as well as difficult for others to hear. p. 169
Boldness in the course of a noble fight is worth the risk. Standing for truth requires boldness. Some will be offended by it, so expect to be criticized for style when the opposition can find no fault with content. Furthermore, boldness may require strong action to accompany strong speech. You may have to quit a job, end a relationship, confront a powerful opponent, cope with a fear, deal with threats, perhaps even face certain defeat. Don’t back down. If you stand on truth, you’ll only regret your timidity later, but you’ll never regret being bold. p. 169
Truth telling offers no guarantee of victory. We live in a world that does not operate according to God’s rules. The present world system punishes good deeds and rewards those who choose evil. In the words of James Russell Lowell, “Truth forever on the scaffold; wrong forever on the throne.” pp. 169-170
Association with godliness is no guarantee that we will become godly. Joining a healthy church and cultivating relationships with spiritually mature people should be a priority. We need healthy influences. However, associating with mature believers will not nourish the soul any more than merely sitting at a table in a restaurant will nourish the body. To grow wise and to develop spiritually, we must personally take in what Jesus has offered. For that to occur, we must submit to the truth we receive through His Word. Otherwise, we deceive ourselves and become our own worst enemy. p. 184
Moral corruption in secret is deadlier than visible moral corruption. There is no cancer deadlier than one that goes undetected. The same is true of sin. Keeping our sinful nature carefully concealed keeps us from applying the remedy Jesus provided through the gift of salvation. One of His disciples later wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Failure to confess and receive forgiveness forces us to cope with the deadly effects of sin in ways that are sure to cause more damage later. In the case of Judas, it consumed him. p. 185
Satan and his demons are looking for any opportunity to work against the Lord. Several passages of Scripture teach that the person who bears unresolved sin is an ideal vessel by which the Devil can attack the people and plans of God. p. 185
No sorrow can compare to the remorse of one who discovers too late that he’s misunderstood Jesus and spurned His love. Satan’s primary tool is deception, which he uses to twist unresolved sin and selfish motivation to serve his purposes. And once he’s finished using someone, he cruelly unmasks the truth to reveal the consequences of his or her foolish choices. p. 185
Jesus recognized a basic fact of life: words are wasted on people who have no desire for truth. p. 208
He tilted His head back, pulled up one last time to draw a deep breath and cried, “Tetelestai!” It was a Greek expression most everyone present would have understood. It was a accounting term. Archeologists have found papyrus tax receipts with “Tetelestai” written across them, meaning “paid in full.” With Jesus’ last breath on the cross, He declared the debt of sin canceled, completely satisfied. Nothing else required. Not good deeds. Not generous donations. Not penance or confession or baptism or…or…or…nothing. The penalty for sin is death, and we were all born hopelessly in debt. He paid our debt in full by giving His life so that we might live forever. p. 224
Jesus looked for very different qualities in the men He chose to carry out His vision. He chose men with little formal education, though most would have learned to read and write in the synagogue. He chose men with obvious flaws, though none except Judas Iscariot was steadfastly dedicated to evil like the corrupt religious leaders. He chose men whose wills could not be easily bent, but could be or would be divinely compelled to follow. The eleven disciples were extraordinary people, yet for no other reason than their passionate pursuit of Christ and His calling. pp. 270-271
He would prepare His followers in two mountaintop meetings. At the first meeting in Galilee, Jesus gave them the plan (Matthew 28:16-20); at the second in Judea, He gave them His power (Acts 1:3-11). p. 274
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Personal God

Personal God is my first book by Tim Stafford, but it will not be my last. As you will see in the quotes below, he makes you think.
When you say you have a “personal relationship” with a prominent person, it means you can get to that person outside official channels; perhaps you can call him at home. Other people may now him by reputation, but you know him. You are not just associates; you’re friends. p. 14
If we don’t approach Him with our concerns, He waits. He could fix things without us, but He would rather stay quiet until we join Him. When at long last we come to Him with our concerns, we take the first step into what He most seeks: communion between creature and Creator, who join in partnership toward the reconciliation of all things. This is His priority, above all else. p. 43
I go to pray for my friend with cancer, I try to expunge any idea that I am bringing the matter to God. Rather I try to remember that God is already there. I am not asking Him to join me in my concern. I am joining Him. He has been waiting for me—waiting to act and to help until I am there with Him. He has never, not for an instant, taken His eyes off my friend. p. 44
He is not, we devoutly hope, guided strictly by our requests. Why He sometimes does what we ask and not other times we cannot say. We can only conclude that He knows more than we do about what should be done. p. 44
People sometimes say that prayer works wonders. I do not think this is quite correct. God works wonders. Prayer lets us participate in these and draws us into closer relationship with Him. p. 45
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” we say, and it can be true. But absence may also break people apart, which makes Jesus’ prayer for us all the more poignant. He knew that He would be absent in body for a very long time and that we would miss Him. So He prayed for us in advance: “My prayer is not for [my disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us…I in them and You in Me” (John 17:20-23).
It is for personal relationship that Jesus prays—close personal relationship. He wants us to have the closeness to each other that He and his Father experience. He wants us to be “in” God and He wants to be “in” us. Despite the pain of absence, He asks the Father to create the closest personal relationships—with each other and with God. p. 132
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The Power of Persistence

Michael Catt is becoming one of my favorite authors. As you know he is the pastor of the church that made "Facing the Giants." He book, The Power of Persistence, is an excellent book on prayer. The quotes below are a great blessing to me.

When we work, we work. But when we pray, God works. p. 1

Mordecai Ham, revivalist: Charlotte, North Carolina, 1934 – Several businessmen, along with Billy Graham’s father, spent a day at the family farm praying that God would touch their city, their state, and their world through Dr. Ham’s meeting in Charlotte. During one of the revival services, Billy Graham came to Christ. p. 5

The strength of the church has never been in programs, numbers, or events, but in prayer and obedience. God is not interested in our innovative methods. He is not impressed with our twenty-first century technology. God is still moved by prayers of simple saints who learn in their quite place to lay hold of the throne of grace. Prayer is not incidental to the work of God—it is the work! p. 7

Our tendency is to have a big view of our situations and a small view of God’s sovereignty. We tend to see God through a microscope and our problems through a telescope, but is should be the other way around. Our problems are miniscule compared to the vastness of God. p. 15

Prayer is faith acting like it’s supposed to act. Elijah “stretched himself out over the boy three times.” Not once. Not twice. Powerful praying demands discipline and patience. p. 15
When’s the last time you asked God for something that was beyond your ability? p. 16
We cannot go any further until we resolve that prayer is a key to all we do and say. p. 22
We are powerless primarily because we are prayerless. p. 23
You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” pp. 36 – 37
Prayer is not about changing God’s mind; it’s about changing our mind in light of how God wants things to happen. It’s not about getting my will done on earth; it’s about seeing His will done on earth as it is in heaven. p. 78
The disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them how to perform miracles, how to multiply loaves and fish or to heal the sick. They didn’t ask Him to give them a class in hermeneutics. They didn’t want instructions in preaching, video presentations drama, skis, or any aid to worship. They wanted to learn to pray. They had come to the conclusion on their own that the power behind the Person was prayer. p. 79
When we make prayer a priority, we are telling God that we totally depend on him. [quote by Terry Virgo in the book, Ten Praying Churches] p. 110
Seeking the will of God in prayer is not out our agenda, our itinerary, or our calendar. It’s about His agenda and what’s on the eternal calendar. It is never about our schedule but about the surrender of our schedule. When we walk in the will of God, we cannot fail. But when we try to walk outside the will of God, we cannot succeed. p. 124
Praying by faith must be consistent with the will and Word of God. As Thomas Watson said, “Prayer is the key of heaven; faith is the hand that turns it. p. 132
Augustine wrote, “What is faith, unless it is to believe what you do not see?” p. 133
Jesus taught His disciples that the key to prayer is not faith in faith, but faith in God. God is the object of our faith. p. 133
Thomas Adams wrote, “It is the office of faith to believe what we do not see, and it shall be the reward of faith to see what we do believe.” p. 133
“I consider the problem, but I don’t take the problem into consideration.” The problem is not our priority; having faith in God is our priority. The mountain is not the issue; God is the issue. [quote by Ron Dunn] p. 134
If we want to be effective parents and give our kids the best possible shot at being all God designed them to be, we need to get before our heavenly Father on heir behalf. p. 179
We worry more about our kids being accepted in school than being accepted in the Beloved. p. 196
Also pray that your children will not buy into the lie that fame, fortune, power, and pleasure are the ultimate things that matter. p. 198
The early church was a praying church. That’s why sin was not tolerated (Ananias and Sapphira), evangelism was effective (three thousand saved at Pentecost), persecution couldn’t stop them (they prayed for more boldness to do the very thing that got them in trouble), prejudices were destroyed (Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, Peter and Cornelius), and missions began (Paul took the gospel to the world). p. 206
If I don’t know how to pray for someone, I pray the Word. If I don’t know how to pray for my church I pray the prayers of Paul. p. 207
We often live as if God and the devil are equals, that the fight could go either way. No, Satan is a defeated foe. His destiny is set. We are to live, act, and think as overcomers. It’s not that we need more power or more of the Spirit; it’s that we need to appropriate what we already have available. p. 223
There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.” p. 238

The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to the world evangelism in history.” [quote by Andrew Murray] p. 238
If faith without works is dead, so is prayer without putting your feet to those prayers. Prayer and evangelism are inseparable. p. 239
A true prayer warrior eliminates “can’t” from his vocabulary. p. 240
We can't reach out until we reach up. p. 240
“We must pray! Prayer is what moves the hand of God!” “Much prayer, much power! No prayer, no power!” p. 241
Seven practical steps in praying for the lost:
1. Pray for them by name.
2. Ask others to pray with you.
3. Pray for their conviction.
4. Pray for a contact (this could be you).
5. Pray for them to have a seeking heart.
6. Pray in faith for their salvation.
7. Pray in thanksgiving! Praise! Claim! p. 246
“When the outlook is bleak, try the uplook!” p. 259
Our lives, our ministries, and our churches are to be exclamations rather than explanations. p. 264
The time is now for us to get to the point where we dare not go forward unless we sense God’s presence and prompting. We must pour our hearts out on the altar and set our hearts to seeking Him. We must be students of the Scripture to know how to pray, Biblically, not using God as an ecclesiastical Santa Claus or thinking of Him as a bellhop who jumps when we ring. The way to victory is through confession of need, through a broken and contrite spirit, and through tears. When God sees that, He meets us at the altar. He expands our borders and opens doors that were previously impossible to open. p. 266
If you want your prayers to lead to a breakthrough, you have to learn to pray according to the Word and will of God, in the name of Jesus. Breakthroughs are not manipulations of the Almighty; they are a means of aligning ourselves with the will of the Almighty. Breakthrough praying has one goal in mind the glory of God. p. 269
In his book The Theory of 21, Chuck Reaves writes, “For every one person who will say yes, there will be 20 who will say no. For a positive response, you must find the 21st person.” I believe part of our problem when it comes to breakthrough praying is that we are more inclined to be in the group of twenty than to be the one. If we want to see God do a mighty work, we must be willing to stand alone if necessary. Every great work of God has been done by those who believed God when others said it couldn’t be done. p. 271
Prayer is not so much talking to God as it is God speaking to us and telling us what is on His heart. p. 288
It’s not that prayer enables us to do a greater work; prayer is the greatest work we do. “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” p. 302
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Mover of Men and Mountains

Many years ago my college room mate recommended the book, Mover of Men and Mountains by R. G. LeTourneau. I read his copy. Recently I saw it in a used book store and it was autographed. I bought it and reread it. It is a wonderful book about LeToreau's life. The college he founded still is in Texas. I highly recommend this book. I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:

My slogan with the exception of one disastrous lapse I will bring up later, has long been, “Not how much of my money I give to God, but how much of His money I keep for myself.” Or as I sometimes put it more bluntly, “It’s all right to give God credit, but He can use cash, too.” You know, they say you can’t take it with you, but I say you can send it on ahead, and have it waiting to your credit when you get there. p. 90
We took our problem to our Lord, and felt better about it. You know, a lot of people take their problems to the Lord, and get up and walk away, carrying their problems back with them. Like those who pray for rain, and then go out without an umbrella. If that’s all the faith there is, there is not much point in praying. The Lord can’t help you if you insist on carrying your problems with you. Leave them with Him, and they are no longer yours but His. p. 103
You will never improve unless you blame yourself for the troubles you have. Then when you realize your troubles are your own, you can take them to the Lord and He will give you guidance. Just don’t make the mistake of asking Him to believe the other fellow was to blame. p. 147
When a man admits his mistakes, and is willing to learn from them with the Lord’s help, new worlds can open up. p. 154
When the Lord has a job for you to do, He’ll give you the strength and the ability to do it. p. 206
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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012