Monday, October 31, 2011

The Kingdom Conflict

Kingdom Conflict: Triumph in the Midst of TestingKingdom Conflict: Triumph in the Midst of Testing by Joseph Stowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joseph Stowell uses the book of Genesis to show how we (Christians) should act and react to Kingdom Conflicts. In the afterword Stowell states, "War. Battles. Conflicts. Strategy. These may be concepts that make us uncomfortable. We prefer lives that are smooth, peaceful, and tension free. Yet the kingdom conflict is both biblical and relevant to our lives today. Just because we don't enjoy discussing battle plans doesn't mean the war isn't taking place.  We should learn from the victories of those who have gone before us. And more importantly, we should learn from their mistakes. Why else would Scripture be so starkly honest about so many people's failures if not to teach us and give us the opportunity to avoid making the same blunders?"

If you are interested to learn from the saints of the past then this is a book you will want to read!

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Here are some excellent quotes from this great book:

Excuses are an anesthetic of Satan. They numb us to the operation of sin in our lives. They make us insensitive to sin’s impact and deceive us as to our responsibilities.  p. 14

“Life is not made by the dreams we dream but by the choices we make.” How true. Choices are the ingredients of triumph or failure. p. 17

Never look at the temptation. Always look beyond it and see the tempter! p. 25

Satan uses creation (the tree) to entice man into his control. Man submits to the alluring creation and in so doing serves Satan. God is expelled from the experience. This new “fallen factor” permeates everything godless man does. Tragically, it is even reflected in the behavior of some believers. Creation, in the form of silver, gold, cars, houses, bodies, vacation spots, and every material portion of the universe, lures us to live for it and to sacrifice values of godliness to satisfy our unchecked desires. This fallen factor places the material over the spiritual. It degrades us, and it brings death and Satan’s defilement to our environment and experience. p. 31

To dedicate self to the benefit of God and others is a strong defense against sin (Matthew 22:37-40). p. 54

Though we as parents don’t personally select our children’s partners, we can be committed to the same ideals and pass them on to our children. Here are a few principles we can start with.
Principle # 1: Never consider marrying anyone outside the scope of your spiritual heritage (Genesis 24:3-4).
Principle # 2: Never spiritually backtrack for marriage (Genesis 24:5-6).
Principle # 3: Maintain an unflinching trust in God (Genesis 24:7-8).
Principle # 4: Make a commitment to these principles before you begin searching for a partner (Genesis 24:9).
Principle # 5: Go where the fishing’s good (Genesis 24:10-11).
Principle # 6: Pray (Genesis 24:12-14).
Principle # 7: Ask God for discernment (Genesis 24:15-21). pp.  64-66

It is instructive to note the basis for Abraham’s interest in Rebekah. The qualities she had developed set a standard for anyone looking for a meaningful marriage partner today.
  • Neat Appearance (Genesis 24:16)
  • Moral Purity (Genesis 24:16)
  • Respect for Authority (Genesis 24:18)
  • Hospitality (Genesis 24:17-18)
  • Willingness to Go the Extra Mile (Genesis 24:19-20) pp. 67-68

As the Westminster Catechism says, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” p. 77

The Fall of man (Genesis 3) realigned our nature to reflect the will, emotions, and personality of Satan and his system. Redemption was God’s way of restoring us to our original purpose (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). His indwelling Spirit became the internal dynamic that would lead and teach us for the purpose of glorifying Him (John 16:12-15). This divine purpose requires that I commit to align myself with God by submitting my will to His will, and to submit my emotions and character to the work of the Spirit that I might reflect His character. But alignment is not easy. p. 80

President Reagan kept a sign on his desk that read, “There is no limit to what a man can do if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” Biblically, there is no limit to what God can do through us if we are willing to give Him the credit. That’s what it means to glorify His name. p. 81

While it is relatively easy to tell people what God is like, it is even more significant to show them with our actions. p. 81

Kingdom people are meant to be people in process – people continually growing and becoming more like Christ. This process is a lifelong development of our spiritual potential, yet it takes place one-step at a time. It’s a slow yet significant stretch. p. 86

God sovereignly chose Abraham and Sarah to become stewards of the promised victory through Christ (Genesis 12:1-3). He stepped out with God, became mobile, and entered the process. It was a process that demanded three things from Abraham.
  • First, the process demanded obedience, a submitted will (Hebrews 11:8). There is essentially one key principle to spiritual mobility: God is the boss and can unconditionally call the shots in our lives.
  • Second, Abraham’s process demanded persistence. Victory is not assured at the altar of commitment. It is won in the persistence of our hearts not to flinch from our resolve to obey (Hebrews 11:9, 15-16).
  • Third, the process involved productivity. Twenty-five years after obeying God and leaving their home country, Abraham and Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the promised son of the messianic line (Hebrews 11:11-12). Persistent obedience is not a dead-end street. God will produce His plan through us in His time and His way, as long as we remain faithful. pp. 86-87

For every good plan of God to bless us, Satan responds with some kind of counterattack. The account of Abraham and Sarah in Hebrews 11 delineates four obstacles that threaten to block the progress of God’s process.
Fear of the Unknown-When threatened by fear of the unknown, we must remember all that God is and all He promises to be. The one sure known in the unknown is that God is there (Hebrews 11:8).
Past Comforts-The second obstacle we can expect is the pull of past comforts (Hebrews 11:9, 13, 15). Obedience to God may demand lowering our comfort level to live a simpler, less materialistic existence, and the pull of past standards of living will threaten to bring the process to a quick halt.  Why did Abraham and Sarah persist in the process? Because “they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16).
Believing the Impossible-There are some words you should never use in His presence, and impossible is one of them. It’s not in His vocabulary.  Obedience to God often moves us into the territory of the impossible.  When God does the impossible, then and only then can He show the extent of His strength on our behalf. That’s how He demonstrates His glory to a watching world. He delights in the impossible.
Lack of Immediate Gratification-Lastly, the process of spiritual growth is difficult because there is seldom instant feedback (Hebrews 11:13). Even with no instant feedback, this life was persistent in the process and productive far beyond itself.
When we step out with God, we must do so in faith, believing that He is the known in the unknown. We must develop an unflinching belief that He is the God of the impossible. Our commitment is not to the here and now, but to the bigger picture. These things fortify our persistence and guarantee productivity. pp. 89-93

Financial pressure always distracts us from God’s best. p. 114

If we understand why God doesn’t come rushing to our side every time we call Him, we can learn to wait patiently for Him. There are at least three reasons why God waits before responding to us.
  1. God waits for the sake of our growth. Prosperity without pain doesn’t do much to motivate my spiritual life. But let some crisis hit and immediately I become sensitive to God.
  2. God waits for the sake of His glory.  Why did God wait till Abraham and Sarah were past childbearing age to give them a son? It was so He would be glorified and the credit would be totally His. Abraham and Sarah both needed firsthand experience with the glory of God. As faithful as they had been so far, neither of them really believed that He was the God of the impossible (Genesis 17:17-18; 18:10-14). Therefore, He allowed them to wait until it would take a miracle to honor His promise to them, and then He glorified Himself on their behalf.
  3. God waits because He works on our ground. God works His plans and purposes through our lives, our politics, our economics, our complexities, and Satan’s domain. God’s design is to work His will on our turf and in the environment of this world. That takes time because we are slow to change and Satan’s domain is strong and aggressive. pp. 116-119

When God requires from us what He has promised to us, always-eventually supernaturally-repays. And when He does, we are better off than before (Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death). p. 129

The issue of values is not a matter of what we own, but rather a matter of what owns us. p. 134

Spiritual maturity is measured by a person’s willingness to take a short-term loss for a long-term gain. p. 136

We detect signs of our divided loyalties when we are willing to exchange character for cash, conviction for convenience, Christ for comfort, purity for pleasure, holiness for self-fulfillment, financial faithfulness for material gain, God’s way for our way, or truth for error. Each of these actions is a betrayal kiss on the cheek of Christ who dwells within us. p. 138

Love for God and love for others will drive us to purity. p. 152

But Joseph came to realize that God is able to use even offensive and intentionally evil acts to accomplish His purpose. Why would Joseph seek revenge or maintain animosity toward tools that God used to bring about good? With this awareness, he was free to forgive his brothers.  When Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), He recognized that behind those wicked hands was the hand of God, accomplishing the most glorious event in history (Acts 2:23-24).  Walking in righteousness keeps us alert to the fact that God is at work in everything, even the things we tend to find offensive. This then enables us to forgive those who hurt and offend us. God will deal with those people. In the meantime, He will use their negative actions to produce His best through us. p. 154

War. Battles. Conflict. Strategy.  These may be concepts that make us uncomfortable. We prefer lives that are smooth, peaceful, and tension free. Yet the kingdom conflict is both Biblical and relevant to our lives today. Just because we don't enjoy discussing battle plans doesn't mean the war isn't taking place. We should learn from th e victories of those who have gone before us. And more importantly, we should learn from their mistakes. Why else would Scripture be so starkly honest about so many people's failures if not to teach us and give us the opportunity to avoid making the same blunders? p. 159

To order this book click here!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Little Red Book of WISDOM

The Little Red Book of WisdomThe Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark Demoss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an excellent book to learn practical wisdom from a Godly man. The book is written from a Biblical Worldview. I highly recommend this book.

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Here are several great quotes from the book:

Knowledge is horizontal, but wisdom is vertical – it comes down from above.  p. xv

No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow. ~Euripides   p. 1

The secret of success is constancy to purpose. – Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield p. 7

Walt Disney used to advise people to “find a job that you like so much that you’d do it without compensation; then do it so well that people will pay you to continue.”  p. 9

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt   p. 15

Less is more. – Robert Browning, Andrea del Sarto    p. 22

Under-promise, over deliver. p. 25

I have yet to see the company fail that promises less and delivers more. p. 25

Great leaders are first of all great servants—and that great service is modest, understated in speech and action. pp. 28-29

The significant problems we face in life cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. ~Albert Einstein p. 30

To send a letter is a good way to move somewhere without moving anything but your heart. ~Phyllis Theroux p. 36

Technology has kind of turned the tables on us. We move to its speed and its rhythm. ~Carl Honore p. 47

Honesty’s the best policy. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote p. 56

You can buy a person’s hands but you can’t buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm is, his loyalty is. ~Stephen Covey p. 62

Einstein once said: “a person doesn’t so much need rest as variety.”  p. 64

All honest work glorifies God. p. 66

People have an easier time serving a leader who is wholeheartedly serving them.   p. 67

Everything you do or say is public relations. ~Anonymous p. 70

Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends. ~Walt Disney p. 76

I teach my children that words have powers. “Stupid” and “shut up,” for instance, close doors. “Please” and “thank you” open them. p. 79

Small things often make the biggest impact—thinking like a customer, admitting to not knowing everything, asking for help. Just take a look around then join the minority who understand and practice these simple principles. p. 82

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. ~Aldous Huxley p. 85

God’s ownership opens my hands, loosening my grip on stuff. The standard, “How much should I give?” gives way to “How much should I keep?” p. 90

I feel it is far better to begin with God, to see His face first, to get my soul near Him before it is near another. ~E.M. Bounds p. 91

 “It should be our rule never to see the face of men before first seeing the face of God.” ~Spurgeon. p. 92

We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone…and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something. ~Sandra Day O’Connor p. 98

Always do right. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. ~Mark Twain  p. 98

Always do right. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.  ~Mark Twain p. 104
Integrity is not what we do when it serves us. It is who we are in the dark and how we treat people when it makes no difference to us. p. 111

Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced. Even a proverb is no proverb to you till your Life has illustrated it.   ~John Keats, letter George and Georgiana Keats p. 113

Knowledge in youth is wisdom in age. ~Proverb p. 120

I never dealt with expectations. Our team never talked about winning,” John Wooten said. The legendary coach focused instead on practice, and winning followed. p. 121

“Your character is who you are, Tom. Your reputation is who people think you are. Only you know your character, so focus on that. You can fool everybody else, but you can’t fool yourself.” ~John Wooden p. 121

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint…Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. ~King Solomon, The book of Proverbs. p. 130

In my life it’s safe to say that I have never learned a single thing while I was talking. p. 131

There’s one thing to be said about inviting trouble: it generally accepts. ~May Maloo p. 135

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe p. 142

What defines us is not one large intention to be a good person, or parent—it’s a hundred thousand ongoing choices of every size that arise when we’re tired, satisfied, distracted, full of ourselves, threatened, happy, reactionary, sentimental, hurried, bored…. p. 147

One of the reasons I don’t drink is that I want to know when I’m having a good time. ~Lady Astor p. 148

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara W. Tuchman p. 154

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”  ~Charles “Tremendous” Jones p. 155

What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world yet lose his own soul? The Bible, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew p. 160

Blaise Pascal wrote, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator.” p. 164

“You can afford many wrong choices in life. You can choose the wrong career and survive, the wrong city and survive, the wrong house and survive. But there is one choice that must be made correctly and that is your eternal destiny.”  ~ Max Lucado  p. 167

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The City On A Hill

The City on a Hill: Fulfilling Ronald Reagan's Vision for AmericaThe City on a Hill: Fulfilling Ronald Reagan's Vision for America by Michael Reagan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Michael Reagan does a good job of building on his Dad's policies as President. He quotes President Reagan in every chapter. He also tells a couple of things from his childhood I had not read before. If you are a Reagan fan you will enjoy this book.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On Earth As It Is On Heaven

On Earth as It Is in HeavenOn Earth as It Is in Heaven by Warren Wiersbe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As usual Warren Wiersbe has written an excellent book. Many great insghts on the lord's Prayer! Check out this quote, "When God is not permitted to rule, He often over-rules and is able to bring blessing out of disobedience and disappointment." If you are interested in learning more about "The Lord's Prayer" then this is the book for you!

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Below are several quotes from the book:

Martin Luther said that “the ancients ably defined prayer an Ascensus mentis ad Deum, a climbing up of the heart unto God.”  p. 10

“Not to want to pray, then, is the sin behind sin,” wrote P.T. Forsyth, “and it ends in not being able to pray.”  p. 10

Prayer isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. P. 12

If prayerlessness is one of our sins, this is a good time to confess it. p. 12

The most important “great thing” about prayer is that, when God answers, it brings great glory to His name. Jesus told His disciples, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). No Christian believer can take credit for the miracle of answered prayer, whether that answer is the healing of the sick, the providing of employment, the conversion of the lost, or the solving of a difficult problem. “We do not know what to do,” King Jehoshaphat prayed, “but our eyes are on you” (2 Chron. 20:12; see also Heb. 12:2).

God answers prayer, not just to meet the needs of his burdened children but to bring glory to His name through the answers. That’s one reason why God permits difficulties in our lives, so that His ministry to us will reveal His power and glory to those who are watching. Do we pray only to have our needs met and our wants supplied as soon as possible, or do we pray because we want to see Jesus glorified on earth? Are we willing to suffer or even to fail if this will honor the Lord in a greater way?  p. 14

If our praying calls attention to itself or our abilities instead of glorifying God, something is radically wrong. p. 15

To be gripped by the miraculous magnificence of prayer means to be humbled and broken, deeply grateful for the privilege of access into the presence of the Almighty. It means following the example of the publican and crying out for help, not bragging about our achievements as the Pharisee did (Luke 18:9-14). It means depending wholly on the grace of God and not being ashamed to admit it. p. 15

This prayer (The Lord’s Prayer – Matt. 6:9-13) is at the heart of the Sermon on the Mount and is preceded by two warnings from our Savior: don’t use your prayers to show off how religious you are (6:5-6), and don’t just “babble” a lot of meaningless words (6:7-8). Get to the point! It’s the strength of our faith and the length of our prayers that pleases Him. Yes, some long prayers are recorded in the Bible (see 2 Chronicles 6, Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, and Daniel 9), but there are many more short prayers that God heard and answered (e.g., “Lord, save me!” [Matt. 14:30]).

The Lord’s Prayer contains six requests, and we will study them in this book. Since the days of the church fathers, it’s been pointed out that the first three requests in this prayer focus on matters that especially concern God – the glory of His name, the coming of His kingdom, and the accomplishing of His will – while the last three requests deal with the needs of the one who is praying – the necessities of life, personal forgiveness of sin, and victory over trail and temptation. The prayer asks the Father to forgive the sins of the past, to provide what we need for the present day (both physical and spiritual), and to guide us in the future as we anticipate the coming of Christ’s kingdom. Just about every prayer burden we might have, either for ourselves or for others, can fit into each of these six requests.  pp. 16-17

The plural pronouns in the Lord’s Prayer remind us that we belong to a great family of faith and we must never ask anything for ourselves that would adversely affect our Christian brothers and sisters in the church at large. p. 17

This prayer is simple and to the point, and there is no needless repetition, the very practice Jesus warned about in Matthew 6:7-8. Jesus rebuked the teachers of the law who “for a show [made] lengthy prayers” (Mark 12:40). I recall preaching at a church in Norhern Ireland where an elder stood and prayed at great length. As he journeyed through Scripture, I was worried that my passport might run out before he ended. In one of his public meeings evangelist D. L. Moody asked a man to pray, and the man prayed for so long that Moody interrupted him and said to the crowd, “As our brother finishes his prayer, let’s sing a hymn.” That helped to save the meeting and perhaps even some lost souls. p. 18

God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10). He is a Father who is determined that His children will obey Him and grow in godly character. pp. 24-25

What does it mean to walk by faith? It means to obey God's Word in spite of the feelings within us, the circumstances around us, and the consequences before us. The people of Israel saw the Red Sea before them and the Egyptian army behind them, but Moses looked by faith to the Lord above them, and he led the nation safely out of Egypt.  p. 29

To live above with saints we love,
Will certainly be glory.
To live below with saints we know -
Well, that’s another story. p. 36

As a Christian, I'm not a physical unit in a religious organization. I'm a living part of a miraculous spiritual unity in Christ - a member of one body, a stone in one temple, a branch in one vine, to name but a few of the New Testament images of the church. All Christians are different, and yet we are all united in Christ. Regardless of race, color, gender, political, or economic status, believers are "all one in Christ Jesus."  Unity without diversity is uniformity, and diversity without unity is anarchy; but unity and diversity combined by the Holy Spirit in the church will produce a dynamic life of sacrifice and service that can change the world.  p. 41

Humble prayers build bridges, but selfish prayers tear down and build barbed wire fences.  p. 42

The Lord usually starts to answer prayer by working first in the hearts of those who are praying.  p. 43

"Well, the least I can do is pray for you," we hear Christians say, but they are dead wrong. The most we can do is to pray for others, because that's the first step in our getting involved with them to help meet their needs.  p. 43

The phrase "love one another" is found at least a dozen times in the New Testament, and prayer is one way we practice that love.  p. 43

"The purpose of preaching is to express and not to impress," and the same truth applies to our praying, especially our public praying. We should pray because we want the Father to be glorified, not because we want to impress Him or anyone else with our vocabulary or our theology. How tragic to please everybody except God!  p. 48

Has the glory of God departed from some of our homes, churches, and parachurch ministries and we don't realize it? Is there really "glory in the church" or just crowds of people seeking religious entertainment? Not to desire to glorify God  is the beginning of sin and leads to a dark and foolish heart (Romans 1:21).  p. 56

When I see worshipers arriving late and walking into the sanctuary carrying cups of coffee, I wonder if they would arrive late to see the president at the White House and carry their cups into the Oval Office. . . . I recall visiting a famous national historical site, and the sign at the door read: "No Smoking-No Food-No Chewing Gum." I wanted to get copies for the church I was serving.  Standing on a church platform, I've often seen people in the congregation chewing gum one minute and singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" the next minute. There is a better way for those who revere God's name (Mal. 4:2).  p. 57

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God" (Ps. 20:7). If you want a 20th-century application of that verse, I suggest: "Some trust in money and management, others in clever promotion and sophisticated equipment, and some in Hollywood-style religious entertainment, but we will give ourselves to prayer and God's Word and trust in the name of Jesus."  p. 59

I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice and an alien by birth;
But I've been adopted, my name's written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe, and a crown.
I'm a child of the King, a child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior, I'm a child of the King.  ~Harriet E. Buell  pp. 62-63

Our task as a chosen people is to advertise by our words and deeds the glorious virtues of Jesus Christ. We are to live and serve in such a way that others will want what we have in Jesus Christ.  But how can the church advertise the virtues of Christ if the church is imitating the world? We have been called to shine as lights, not to reflect as mirrors. We don't belong to this world system (John 17:14-19) but to a heavenly counterculture that is hated by the same world system that hated Jesus and crucified Him.  p. 66

Near the end of the Fiddler on the Roof is a brief but poignant conversation that may help us better understand the use and abuse of a future hope. The Russian authorities gave the residents of the Jewish village of Anatevka three days to clear out and find other places to live. Mendel, son of the rabbi, says to his father, "Rabbi, we've been waiting for the Messiah all our lives. Wouldn't this be a good time for Him to come?"  His father replies, "We'll have to wait for Him someplace else. Meanwhile, let's start packing."  Like some people today, Mendel saw the coming of Messiah only as the perfect solution to the painful problems of life. Let Messiah come! In an instant, the enemy will be defeated and the village will be rescued! But the beloved rabbi had the correct approach. To paraphrase his reply: "The promise doesn't change, only our location changes, and we can take the promise with us. The promise must not be an excuse for indolence. Now, get to work!   p. 69

"Your kingdom come" implies that God rules first of all in our lives and then through us in the lives of others as we pray for them and minister to them. We want God's kingdom to rule in homes and families, in places of employment and ministry, in various government offices and agencies, and in places of authority and ministry around the world. p. 73

Someone has said, "The secret of happiness is to have someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to."  Certainly we who have trusted Jesus have someone to love, and He asks us as He asked Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" (see John 21:15-19). Jesus didn't ask Peter about his doctrine or his progress in preaching. He asked Peter if he loved Him most of all. That's the foundation for ministry and the first step toward happiness.   p. 73

Someone to love means worshiping.
Something to do means working and witnessing.
Something to look forward to means waiting and watching.  p. 74

The will of God is nourishment, not punishment! To live and serve in the will of God means to mature spiritually day after day, to discover our gifts and use them joyfully, and to become all that we can become for the glory of God. The more we do the Lord's will, the more we enjoy the Lord's blessings that he has tailor-made especially for us.  p. 79

Yes, there are times when obeying God's will is costly and painful, but not doing God's will is even more costly and painful.  p. 81

Don't try to explain God's ways (Romans 11:33) . It can't be done. Just do what He says by faith and He will take care of everything. Faith is living without scheming.
Don't try to change God's mind (Romans 11:34). You'll be the loser.
Don't try to buy God off (Romans 11:35) His will is nonnegotiable. You don't bargain for God's blessings; you obey his commands. 
Don't try to steal God's glory (Romans 11:36). Then you'll miss everything God wants to give you. He will provide all that you need, but He will never give His glory or praise to anyone else (Isaiah 42:8)  p. 84

Romans 12:2 says, "test and approve what God's will is." The verb test means "to discern, to find and to follow," as in testing metals and separating the gold from the dross. It suggests that God's guidance usually involves several factors that must be evaluated carefully, such as circumstances, personal counsel, Scripture, self-examination, and the Spirit's inner direction. p. 84

If we are living in the Word and seeking to glorify Christ, the Spirit will direct us when we must make these "routine" everyday decisions. If we unintentionally begin to move in the wrong direction, the Lord will stop us and instruct us (Phil. 3:12-14). Paul called this "keeping in step with the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25).  p.  86

When God is not permitted to rule, He often over-rules and is able to bring blessings out of disobedience and disappointment.  p. 88

It's much easier for us to ask God to change other people than it is to ask Him to change us.  p. 98

If somebody is being a file or sandpaper in our lives, let's ask God to use the experience to polish us, not to scratch or irritate us.  p. 90

We exercise our stewardship a day at a time, a fact so important it is mentioned twice: "Give us today our daily bread!  p. 90

As Henry David Thoreau said in the first chapter of his classic book, Walden, "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." Christian believers respect time because the way we use time prepares us for eternity. p. 99

Someone has said that the average American is being "crucified" between two thieves: the regrets of yesterday and the worries about tomorrow.  p. 100

There is always time for the will of God. I complained about my schedule at our family dinner one evening and our youngest daughter asked, ,"Dad, who plans your schedule?" Ouch!   p. 100

Knowing, loving, and doing the will of God is the key to an effective life.  p. 101

We are not manufacturers; we are distributors. Our works depend on His grace, and we can't earn grace. "But He gives more grace" (James 4:6), and we receive it by faith.  p. 101

When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep is your downfall.  They who go a-borrowing, go a-sorrowing, says an old English proverb, and when that was written, there were no credit cards.  p. 105

We may forget our decisions, but our decisions will never forget us.  p. 106

You can measure the distance from the north pole to the south pole but not from east to west. It's a beautiful image of our sins being taken away forever!  p. 107

Love is the circulatory system of the body of Christ, the church.  ~Howard Hendricks p. 112

The word restore  (Gal. 6:1) was a medical term that meant "to set a broken bone." Would you want your physician to set a broken leg using a pipe wrench and a sledgehammer? We must not be gentle with sin, but we must be gentle with sinners. "So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" (1 Cor. 10:12).   pp. 112-113

"If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear" (Ps. 66:18 NASB). The word translated "regard" means "to know it is there and approve of it."  p. 114

When we don't permit God to rule, he will overrule us and accomplish His great purposes anyway, but there will be a greater price for us to pay.  p. 114

“The first duty of every soul,” wrote P.T. Forsyth, “is not to find its freedom but its Master.” When Jesus is our Master, we have in Him the freedom we need to live, serve, and grow. We are free to experience all that will make us what we were born to become. p. 117

Sunshine is good for plant life only if the plants have roots. Trails bring blessings to true Christians but not shallow "professors" (Matthew 13:6).  p. 119

. . . faith is living without scheming.  p. 120

. . . the Lord never permits temptations or trails unless they are necessary. We may not understand why God allows us to suffer, but we don't live on explanations - we live on promises.  p. 122

To quote P.T. Forsyth, "It's a greater thing for pain's conversion than for pain's removal." Paul pleaded three times that God would remove his painful thorn in the flesh, but instead God converted the pain into power and transformed Paul's weakness into strength (2 Cor. 12:1-10). p. 123

We don't fight for victory but from victory, the victory Christ won for us on the cross. "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" (Col. 2:15).  p. 130

The tail feathers of pride should be pulled out of our prayers, for our prayers need only the wing feathers of faith.  ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon p. 135

True worship involves praise wrapped in prayer.  p. 140

The command, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10) literally means, "Take your hands off. Relax!" We are too prone to tell the Father what to do and to start manipulating circumstances to suit ourselves, when we should submit to Him because the kingdom is His. p. 141

. . .  my life is fragile and transient; only the Lord can make anything lasting out of it. "The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever" (1 John 2:17).  p. 143

C.S. Lewis wrote in The Four Loves, "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." We Christians are often called "old-fashioned" or "not with it" or "outdated" by people who don't know Christ, when actually it is our accusers who are out of date! Because we share in God's eternal life, the passage of time takes nothing away from us that really is essential.  p. 145

As unbelievable as it sounds, here on earth we are sharing in eternity! That's why the words kingdom, power, glory, forever,  and  amen, are so important. They help us to take inventory so we can make sure we are "on praying ground."

Kingdom-Am I a faithful child of the King?
Power-Am I depending on His power as I serve Him?
Glory-Is my motive only to glorify Jesus Christ?
Forever-Do I live with eternity's values in view?
Amen-Am I walking by faith and saying "Amen!" to His promises?

If we can answer "yes" to the above questions, then we are privileged to share in eternity as we pray.  p. 148

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Prayer: Asking and Receiving

Prayer: Asking and ReceivingPrayer: Asking and Receiving by John R. Rice
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book every Christian should read. The best book on prayer I have ever read. John R. Rice lived what he preached. One of the greats of all time!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

M.R. DeHaan the MAN and HIS MINISTRY

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The copy of the book I have is titled, "M.R. DeHaan the MAN and HIS MINISTRY. The book was published in 1969. If you enjoy "The Daily Bread" then you will enjoy this book. Dr. DeHaan started the Radio Bible Class and "The Daily Bread." His son after his father's death started the tv program, "The Day of Discovery." This book is a biography of Dr. DeHaan. "Perhaps Today" became Dr. DeHaan's motto. He tried to live each day if that day may be the return of Christ.

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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012