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Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Soul of Science

The Soul of ScienceThe Soul of Science by Nancy Pearcey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I very much enjoyed this book. Nancy Pearcey is an excellent writer and a great mind. Her Biblical worldview makes reading her works worthwhile. The quotes below should challenge all of us. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it! When we or our children and grandchildren read science books are we (they) discerning. We need to train our minds to be aware of truth and discerning of non truth. Enjoy her quotes below:

In the spirit of the Reformation, the astronomer Johannes Kepler wrote of being “called” by God to use his talents in his works as an astronomer. In one of his notebooks, Kepler broke spontaneously into prayer: “ I give you thanks, Creator and God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit.” ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

In the same spirit [of Kepler], the early chemist Jean-Baptiste van Helmont insisted that the pursuit of science is “a good gift,” given by God. This broad concept of calling lent spiritual and moral sanction to science as a legitimate way of serving God. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

The mathematical laws sought by science were legislated by God in the same manner as a king ordains laws in his realm. ~Rene’ Descartes

One of the most distinctive aspects of modern science is its use of mathematics – the conviction not only that nature is lawful but also that those laws can be stated in precise mathematical formulas. This conviction, too, historians have traced to Biblical teaching on creation. The Biblical God created the universe ex nihilo and hence has absolute control over it. Genesis paints a picture of a Workman completely in charge of His materials. Hence in its essential structure the universe is precisely what God wants it to be. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”


Matter in the Platonic sense, which must be ‘prevailed upon’ by reason, will not obey mathematical laws exactly: matter which God has created from nothing may well strictly follow the rules which its Creator has laid down for it. In this sense I called modern science a legacy, I might even have said a child, of Christianity. ~Physicist C.F. von Weizsacker

Johannes Kepler first major book sought to demonstrate that the planetary system could be inscribed within a series of three-dimensional geometrical shapes. Although he later had to abandon the schema, it reveals his Pythagorean conviction that numbers and geometry are the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe. As Kearney puts it, Kepler believed “God created the cosmos upon the basis of the divinely inspired laws of geometry.” In fact, it was his intense commitment to mathematical precision that led Kepler through failure after failure until he finally hit upon elliptical orbits for the planets. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

The reason Newton felt free to avoid ultimate causes was, of course, that for him the ultimate cause was God. He viewed gravity as an active principle through which God Himself imposes order onto passive matter – as one of the avenues through which God exercises His immediate activity in creation. As Kaiser puts it, for Newton things like gravity “depended on God’s immediate presence and activity as much as the breaching of an organism depends on the life-principle within.” Like breathing, these active powers were regular and natural, and yet they could not be explained in purely mechanical terms. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

Today we are conditioned to think of the history of science as a warfare between science and religion. In the development of classical physics, however, what we see is not a battle between science and Christiany but a debate among Christians over the best way to conceptualize God’s role in the world – a debate over how to construe divine action in a world increasingly understood to operate by natural law. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

These ideas breathed life into scientific work, especially after the Protestant Reformation. The Reformers rejected the nature/grace dualism of the medieval church and taught that one could honor the Creator by studying His creation. Scientific work acquired great dignity. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

Science became, as Kline explains, a “religious quest”: “ The search for the mathematical laws of nature was an act of devotion which would reveal the glory and grandeur of His handiwork. … Each discovery of a law of nature was hailed as evidence of God’s brilliance rather than the investigator’s. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

We find these convictions expressed, for example, in the writings of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). They conceived of God as the Cosmic Lawgiver, who created the world according to mathematical laws. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

Listen to Kepler: “The chief of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics.” This was not mere religious piety, incidental to Kepler’s scientific contributions. His convictions about God and mathematics were in fact the central inspiration for his scientific work. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

… for Kepler it was a “law of creation” that “just as the eye was made to see colors, and the ear to hear sounds, so the human mind was made to understand … quantity.” Many of the early scientists like to cite a passage from the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon 11:20, “Thou hast arranged all things by measure and number and weight.” ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642 summed up the new worldview in his well-known statement that the book of nature is written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics. Today this idea has become so familiar that it strikes us as a platitude. But in Galileo’s day it was, as philosopher R.G. Collingwood puts it, “a fighting speech” – a declaration of war on Aristotelian philosophy and a ringing endorsement of the conviction that God had created the world on a mathematical plan. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

God had designed the universe, and it was to be expected that all phenomena of nature would follow one master plan. One mind designing a universe would almost surely employed one set of basic principles to govern related phenomena. ~Mathematician, Morris Kline

God, who founded everything in the world according to the norm of quantity, also has endowed man with a mind, which can comprehend those norms. ~Kepler

Certain laws which God has so established in nature and of certain notions which He has impressed in our souls. ~Rene’ Descartes

For the early scientists, there had been no epistemological dilemma. They believed that the Biblical God had created the world according to an intelligible pattern – and that He had designed the human mind to apprehend that pattern. God provided the link between the natural world and the human mind. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science

If the history of mathematics reveals anything, it is the crucial role that the Christian faith has played, and must play, in the world of science and scholarship. The history of mathematics was decisively shaped by its interaction with Christianity. This is not to assert that the early mathematicians were evangelicals in the modern sense of the term. Yet they did assume a broadly Christian worldview – that the world has an ordered structure because God made it; that humans made in God’s image can decipher that order; that in studying the creation, we honor its Creator. The notebooks of such giants as Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton overflow with praises to God for His orderly creation. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

The earliest attempts to formulate a mechanistic theory of life’s origin leaned heavily on chance – on random interactions of chemicals in a warm pond on the early earth. Given the complexity of life, its chance origin was a highly unlikely event, of course. But biologists hoped to vault that barrier by injecting immense quantities of time. Given enough time, they said, the most improbable event becomes not only possible, not merely probable, but inevitable.
However, at a symposium held in 1966 at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, the computer revolution caught up with the biologists. Using high-speed computers, mathematicians simulated the trial-and-error methods of chance. The outcome was devastating. Computers showed that the probability that life arose by chance processes is essentially zero, no matter how much time is allotted.
Since that time, there has been a gradual shift away from chance models of life’s origin to models that rely on some force inherent in matter. Chance has proved to be the materialist’s God-of-the-gaps, continually pushed back by advances in scientific knowledge.
As chance theories lost credibility, they were replaced by theories that rely on some inherent self-ordering force within matter. ~ Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”


But this particular form of predestinist theory has lost its initial plausibility. To begin with, it has not been confirmed experimentally. Experiments designed to simulate conditions on the early earth have not revealed any significant ordering effects due to differences in chemical bonding forces. Dean Kenyon, one of the authors of Biochemical Predestination, has since rejected the theory on experimental grounds. “If you survey the experiments performed to date designed to simulate conditions on the early earth,” he said in an interview, “ one thing that stands out is that you do not get ordered sequences of amino acids. Nor do you get ordered sequences of nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. These simply do not appear among the products of any experiments. If we thought we were going to see a lot of spontaneous ordering, something must have been wrong with our theory.”
What the experiments do yield is primarily a sludge of gummy brown tar. Or as Kenyon expresses it more elegantly: “The dominant trend in simulation experiments is the formation of non-biological materials. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

The design argument rests on an analogy between the order found in nature and the order exhibited by objects of human manufacture. The best-known formulation is by William Paley in 1802. Piling detail upon detail, Paley described the intricate adaptations found in living things. Ascribing these marvels to physical causes, he argued, would be like finding a watch on the heath and ascribing it to natural forces such as wind and erosion. The kind of order we see in watches indicates clearly that they are the products of human intelligence; and since we see an analogous order in living things, Paley argued, they are products of divine intelligence. If we are to believe the recent Gallup Poll, a great many Americans still agree with Paley.
The crux of Paley’s argument was the analogy between living things and watches. But today molecular biology has given us a much more striking analogy – between the base sequence in DNA and a written message. Updating Paley, we could say that ascribing DNA to physical-chemical causes would be like finding a book or computer disk on the heath and ascribing its contents to the effects of wind and erosion. If books and computer programs require an intelligent origin, so too does the message in the DNA molecule. Though no one has actually witnessed the creation of life, creationists argue, still we recognize the distinctive complexity that in our experience results only from intelligent activity. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

In our experience, a written message is always the product of an intelligent agent; hence we can construct a positive argument that informational structures such as DNA are likewise the result of an intelligent agent. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

The most common objection to any notion of design is that it falls outside the range of science – that any theory involving reference to an intelligent agent is unscientific. But this objection assumes a particular definition of science. It assumes that there exists what some philosophers of science call a “magic fence” that enables us to divide real science on one side – astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, geology – from pseudoscience like acupuncture, astrology, parapsychology, and the writings of Velikovsky. In this scheme, any concept of a designer, an intelligent cause, falls on the side of pseudoscience.
But philosophers of science have been notoriously incapable of specifying acceptable criteria for delimiting these two realms – for mapping the dividing line where the magic fence should be erected. Observability, testability, repeatability, falsifiability, and a host of other criteria have been offered, but none has been universally accepted. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

In fact, many philosophers of science now recognize that proposed principles of demarcation are themselves philosophically charged – that they reflect the metaphysical presuppositions of the person proposing them. Larry Laudan writes that the principles offered for defining science really function as weapons in philosophical battles. “No one can look at the history of debates between scientists and ‘pseudo-scientists’ without realizing that demarcation criteria are typically used as machines de guerre in a polemical battle between rival camps,” Lauden writes. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

It is well known, for instance, that Aristotle was concerned to embarrass the practitioners of Hippocratic medicine; and it is notorious that the logical postivists wanted to repudiate metaphysics and that Popper was out to get Marx and Freud. In every case, they used a demarcation criterion of their own devising as the discrediting device. Larry Laudan

Philosopher of biology David Hull writes that he is “highly skeptical” of proposed methodologies for delimiting true science. “They tend to be self-serving,” Hull writes, “designed to put one’s opponents at a disadvantage while shoring up one’s own position.

If Laudan and Hull are right, what can we say about definitions of science that exclude any theory referring to intelligent cause of life? Do they simply reflect many scientists’ philosophical opposition to the idea? It appears so. For when evaluated from a purely logical point of view, the case for design is identical to the case one might build for any other explanation of the past. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

Historical science is guided by the principle of uniformity – that the present is a key to the past. We postulate causes for past events by seeking an analogy among present events. Similar events warrant the assumption of similar causes. For example, when we observe the effects of water erosion in the present, we conclude that the same process explains the cutting of a river bed in the past. The surface of Mars has long, narrow trenches or rills, yet the planet has no water. Reasoning by analogy to phenomena observed on earth, scientists have concluded that at some time in the past there must have been running water on the surface of Mars. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

The principle of uniformity is open to either natural or intelligent causes. As philosopher David Hume wrote in 1748, “from causes which appear similar we expect similar effects.” And later: “The same rule holds whether the cause assigned be brute unconscious matter or a rational intelligent being.” In other words, the principle of uniformity is neutral in regard to the king of cause invoked. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

Applied to the origin of life, the principle of uniformity requires us to find an analogy in the present to the creation of information-rich structures such as DNA molecules. As we have seen, there are no known examples of information-rich structures created by natural processes. However, experience gives us a wealth of examples created by intelligent agents – books, poems, musical scores, computer programs. Even houses and automobiles present information. Hence, the principle of uniformity suggests that the origin of life may likewise be attributed to an intelligent agent. Rejecting that conclusion as beyond the bounds of science gives rise to the suspicion that the deck is already stacked in favor of mechanistic materialism – that one’s definition of science is nothing more than a machines de guerre in defense of a materialist worldview. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

If our definition of science is informed by actual scientific practice, certainly it will not be so narrow. Throughout the history of science, from Copernicus to quantum mechanics, science has been deeply implicated in metaphysical and religious questions. For example, Newton argued explicitly for the validity of drawing religious implications from science (then called Natural Philosophy). In the General Scholium, Newton wrote” And thus much concerning God, to discourse of whom from the appearance of things, does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy. ~Nancy Pearcy in “The Soul of Science”

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Friday, April 14, 2017

When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the BoxWhen the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

John Ortberg is becoming one of my favorite authors. A friend, Butch Hicks, recommended this wonderful book. John relates the Christian life to playing a game. When he was small John used to play board games with his grandmother. He learned a lot more than just how to play a board game, he also learned how to live life. As you will learn through his quotes below his grandmother had lots of wisdom. I trust you will enjoy reading quotes from his book!

Pawn and king alike, they all go back in the bag. ~Ancient Italian Proverb

Wherefore play the game of life warily, for your opponent is full of subtlety, and take abundant thought over your moves, for the stake is your soul! ~anonymous

This is our predicament. Over and over again, we lose sight of what is important and what isn’t. ~Epictetus

The biggest lesson life has to teach is the absolute necessity of arranging our life around what matters in light of our mortality and eternity. ~John Ortberg

When the game is over, it all goes back in the box. ~John Ortberg

To me, if life boils down to one significant thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving. Unfortunately, this means that for the rest of our lives we’re going to be looking for boxes.

When you’re moving, your whole world is boxes. That’s all you think about. “Boxes, where are the boxes?” You just wander down the street going in and out of stores, “Are there boxes here? Have you seen any boxes?” It’s all you think about.

You could be at a funeral, everyone around you is mourning, crying, and you’re looking at the casket. “That’s a nice box. Does anybody know where that guy got that box? When he’s done with it, you think I could get it? It’s got some nice handles on it. My stereo would fit right in there.”

I mean that’s what death is, really – the last big move of your life. The hearse is like the van, the pallbearers are your close friends, the only ones you could really ask to help you with a big move like that. And the casket is that great, perfect box you’ve been looking for your whole life. ~Comedian Jerry Seinfeld

Then one day it stops. For you, the game is over. Did you play wisely? ~John Ortberg

The Talmud teaches that every person should fully repent one day before death. When a visitor asked, “But how will I know when that day is?” He was told: “Treat every day as it were the day before your last.” Arrange your life around what matters most. Starting today. The box will wait. ~John Ortberg

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. ~Dave Toycen

“He looks so peaceful.” Rigor mortis will do that. Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down. They ask the same foolish question people ask when somebody rich dies: “I wonder how much he left.” He left it all. Everybody always leaves it all. ~John Ortberg

You can be rich toward God. Your life – with God’s help – can be a source of pleasure to the God of the universe. You can make God smile. ~John Ortberg

When the game is over, all that will matter will be God’s assessment of our lives. John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means growing a soul that is increasingly healthy and good. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means loving and enjoying the people around you. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means learning about your gifts and passions and doing good work to help improve the world. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means becoming generous with your stuff. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means making that which is temporary become the servant of that which is eternal. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means savoring every roll of the dice and every trip around the board. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God begins with giving to God that which He desires most of all. And what He desires most from you is you – your heart and devotion. Just as God can give us many gifts but the best gift is Himself, so we can offer God our resources and acts of service, but the gift He desires most is us. ~John Ortberg

The reason God created people is so He could be with us. ~John Ortberg

Love is a by-product of knowing. ~John Ortberg

In the West, you measure a man’s wealth by his possessions. In this country, we measure his wealth by his friends. ~A man from Ethiopia

One of the main reasons we are tempted to get more invested in our work than in our relationships is that in our vocations it’s easier to keep score. ~John Ortberg

But how can we track the well-being of the part of us that will last? This may look a little different for everyone, but there are a few mirrors and scales that we all will probably need:
Self-examination and confession
Friends who love you enough to speak truth to you
Time to be alone and listen to God
Examination of your calendar and checkbook
Key questions, such as: How easy discouraged do I get these days? How easily irritated am I compared to six months ago?
Attention to your secret thought life. What is your mind drawn toward – really? Where do envy or blaming or judging or lusting rob your inner person of life and joy? ~John Ortberg

Spend as much time caring for the inner you as you send on the outer you. ~John Ortberg

Caesar thought his throne in Rome was secure. But the kingdom was lying in a manger in Bethlehem. ~John Ortberg

Surrender is not passivity or abdication. It is saying yes to God and life each day. It is accepting the gifts he has given me – my body, my mind, my biorhythms, my energy. It is letting go of my envy or desire for what He has given someone else. It is letting go of outcomes that in reality I cannot accept anyway. I surrender my ambitions, my dreams, my money, my relationships, my marital status, my time, and my desires to God. ~John Ortberg

When I try to control something too tightly based on my own little ideas, I miss all the creativity and serendipity of life. ~John Ortberg

If you think you have free rein over things that are naturally beyond your control, or if you attempt to adopt the affairs of others as your own, your purpose will be thwarted and you will become a frustrated, anxious, and faultfinding person. ~Epictetus

Jesus taught that we should speak truth without using words to manipulate, intimidate, deceive, or flatter. ~John Ortberg

Jesus taught many times about this strange truth that power comes to us not when we seek control but when we freely yield our little centers of control to God. He said that if a grain of wheat remains alone, it bears no fruit, but if it is placed in the ground and dies, then it lives. He said that if we deny ourselves, we are fulfilled. He said that if we seek to save our lives, we lose them, but when we lose them for His sake, we come alive. ~John Ortberg

We actually receive greater power by surrendering … There is only so much that willpower can accomplish. ~John Ortberg

Everyone must carry two pieces of paper with him and look at them every day. On one it is written: “You are as dust and ashes.” And on the other: “For you the universe was created.” ~Rabbinic Saying

A game is at its heart the creation of a challenge against which one tests oneself. What makes a good game, he argues, is that it embodies well-crafted problems. And it is in the owning and embracing of the problem that players are able to grow in what the Greek Olympians called arĂȘte: excellence of will and character. ~Bernard Suits

God has given to you a tiny measure of what he has without limit – the ability to choose. Psychologists use words like initiative or being proactive or taking responsibility. But these are not just psychological concepts. They are deeply connected to what it means to be made in the image of God. ~John Ortberg

In nursing homes, such trivial choices as getting to decide when to see a movie or how to arrange their rooms made seniors’ health and emotional well-being improve and the death rate drop. Daniel flourished because even in exile he refused to believe he was helpless. ~John Ortberg

Smart players are clear on what lasts and what doesn’t. It is wise to store up treasure in what’s eternal: God and people. ~John Ortberg

It’s not that such treasures are bad. It’s that they won’t last long. It’s all going back in the box. ~John Ortberg

When we give casually, we receive casual joy. When we effortfully, thoughtfully, creatively, we get immense joy. ~John Ortberg

Richness of having usually means getting more stuff; richness of being is generally associated with giving more stuff. Jesus’ goal of “richness toward God” always involves richness of being. ~John Ortberg

I’ll do it someday, I tell myself, when my life is not so full. And then the day is gone. ~John Ortberg

Creeping commitments are the crabgrass on the lawn of life. They multiply without our permission or even our awareness. ~John Ortberg

Our truth is certain: time will not slow down, and we will never be able to redo yesterday. ~John Ortberg

The journey to integrity requires the cultivation of a desire: I must want to be good more than I want to do well. It requires a decision: I will choose to play with integrity and lose rather than cheat and win. It requires a belief: I cannot succeed in what I do and fail in who I am. ~John Ortberg

Developing a reputation for integrity is not the same as having it. ~John Ortberg

In a strict sense, I cannot break the rules. They endure, for they reflect the way things are. I can only break myself against them. ~John Ortberg

Integrity is much bigger than simply avoiding breaking the rules. It is becoming the kind of person who does the right thing. Integrity does not mean I get really good at not doing the things I really want to do. It is not using lots of willpower to override my desires. It means I become the kind of person who actually wants to do what is right. ~John Ortberg

My problem is not just my lack of character; it is that I can’t even see how badly I lack it. ~John Ortberg

The way back home for rule breakers is the way of grace through repentance. ~John Ortberg

If you wait for days to get easier before you get around to what matters, you may wait a long time. ~John Ortberg

If the devil cannot make you bad, he will make you busy. Either way you miss out on the life God intended for you to lead. ~John Ortberg

Here’s the radical idea: take the jar that is your life, and empty out all the sand. Start your day with an empty jar. ~John Ortberg

God never gives anyone too much to do. ~John Ortberg

Boredom ought to be one of the seven deadly sins. ~Frederick Buechner

That little amoeba had no stress, no problems, no challenges. Know what happened to it? It died. Too much comfort is lethal. ~John Ortberg

Whether it’s a special assignment or just living in a fallen world, people all the time are given burdens they cannot handle. ~John Ortberg

When God calls people to do something, their initial response is almost always fear. If there is a challenge in front of you, a course of action that could cause you to grow and that would be helpful to people around you, but you find yourself scared about it, there’s a real good chance that God is in that challenge. Take it a step further. If you’re not facing any challenges too big for you, if it has been a while since you have felt scared, there’s a real good chance that you’ve been sitting in the chair too long. ~John Ortberg

What really matters when God calls you to do something is not whether or not you feel inadequate. Of course you will; you are inadequate. So am I. That’s why God promises to go with us. What matters is your decision. Only people who say yes to challenge, demand, and risk are ever fully alive. ~John Ortberg

Where proof is possible, faith is impossible. ~John Ortberg

We would all like to be people of faith, but we would prefer a guarantee up front. ~John Ortberg

Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It opens us up to wonder, delight, and humility. It makes our hearts generous. It liberates from the prison of self-preoccupation. ~John Ortberg

Having too much can make a person ungrateful. ~John Ortberg

Sometimes we do not realize how much we have to be grateful for until it is threatened. ~John Ortberg

Our souls need to be fed, just as our bodies do. Bodies are fed by protein and carbs; souls are fed by words. What people need from us the most is not more information. They just need words that will feed their souls. Sometimes words as simple as “thank you” or “I hope you have a really good day” can feed a soul. ~John Ortberg

Sometimes we’re tempted to think that our current position/job/situation is a barrier to our mission, but in fact it is where it starts. ~John Ortberg

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.”

Salt’s calling is to lose itself in something much bigger and more glorious; and then it fulfills its destiny. We were made to count. We were made to be salt. ~John Ortberg

If I do it by myself for myself, it’s death. If I do it with God for others, it’s life, because whatever I do with God for others does not go back in the box. ~John Ortberg

Sometimes people think they are robbed of any chance at having a significant mission in life because of their weaknesses. In fact, the opposite is true. God never wastes a hurt. Part of what makes a human life most powerful is the struggle. ~John Ortberg

If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Esther had no idea what the future would hold for her. Neither do you or I. ~John Ortberg

What is your position? Maybe it involves your job, your marriage, your tasks as a parent, or your friendships. Maybe your position includes going to school. Maybe it involves the neighborhood where you live, or volunteering, or your church. One thing is for sure: this is your time. Not some other situation. Not tomorrow or yesterday. We are often tempted to think that we are treading water right now, waiting for some other time, some more important position. You don’t get to choose your time; your time chooses you. You are what and who you are for a reason. ~John Ortberg

We play games to win. But merely winning doesn’t mean we have always achieved this inner excellence, and losing doesn’t mean we have neglected it. There is a score inside us, a measure of determination and heart and courage under pressure that matters more than the points on the board. Winning and losing apart from this inner score do not matter much. We play games to test ourselves. ~John Ortberg

Competitive greatness is a love for the battle, because it is in the struggle and the challenge that you are offered the opportunity to be your best when your best is required. ~John Ortberg

Men have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

That’s the world in which we live: we sell what nobody needs. But the problem of the human heart is: we need what nobody sells. ~John Ortberg

Contentment does not come when we acquire enough. It is a product of the way we think. ~John Ortberg

A pastor wants his church to change in ways that the people do not embrace. He wants it to look like his ideal of what a church should look like. Mostly this means he wants it to look big. But people sense that his desire has more to do with his ego than anything else. So they vote no in a hundred subtle ways. Still, he cannot bring himself to admit the truth. So he preaches angry sermons that chastise them for not following his leadership. He tries to pressure the elders. He threatens, he whines, he manipulates. Eventually the elders ask him to leave the church. Because he cannot lose and learn from his losses, he loses everything. ~John Ortberg

I recommend this book to everyone!


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