Previous Quotes of the Day Page 3

I am not bound to win; I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light that I have. ~Abraham Lincoln

Every person and every team will be tested on their journey. It is part of the curriculum of life. It’s just like riding a bicycle. In the beginning you’re going to fall off and get knocked down but the important thing is to get back on, stay strong, and after a while once you master it you’ll ride with the confidence of a champion. ~Jon Gordon

You haven’t failed until you stop trying. ~Jon Gordon

Don’t waste your energy on those who don’t get on your bus. ~Jon Gordon

The more energy you spend worrying about the people who didn’t get on your bus, the less you will have for the people who are on your bus. And if you are worrying about the people who didn’t get on your bus you won’t have the energy to keep on asking new people to get on. ~Jon Gordon

It’s not easy to deal with the negativity in the world but it’s something that’s got to be done. Your success and life are so important that you must surround yourself with a positive support team. ~Jon Gordon

There are people who increase your energy and there are people who drain your energy. I call the people who drain your energy Energy Vampires and they will suck the life out of you and your goals and vision if you let them. ~Jon Gordon

Post a sign that says, “No Energy Vampires Allowed On Your Bus” ~Jon Gordon

Enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them during the ride. ~Jon Gordon

Enthusiasm comes from the Greek word entheos, which means, “inspired” or “filled with the divine.” ~Jon Gordon

Negative people often tend to create negative cultures whereas positive corporate cultures are created by positive people. ~Jon Gordon

Love your passengers. ~Jon Gordon

Love is the answer for the team’s success. ~Jon Gordon

Love takes time. It’s a process not a goal. Love is something that needs to be nurtured. But if there is one thing I urge you to start immediately it’s focus on bringing out the best in each person on your team. When you love someone you want the best for him. You want him to shine. And the best way to do this is to help him discover the value inside him. ~Jon Gordon

Dust on gold doesn’t change the nature of gold. ~Jon Gordon

Letting people share their gifts and strengths is real love. ~Jon Gordon

Five ways to love your passengers:
1. Make time for them
2. Listen to them.
3. Recognize them.
4. Serve them. – A great leader once said, the higher you get in an organization the more it is your duty to serve the people below you rather than having the people below serve you.
5. Bring out the best in them. ~Jon Gordon

Drive with purpose. ~Jon Gordon

Purpose is the ultimate fuel for our journey through life. When we drive with purpose we don’t get tired or bored and our engines don’t burn out. ~Jon Gordon

There’s a story about when President Lyndon Johnson visited NASA and as he was walking the halls he came across a janitor who was cleaning up a storm, like the Energizer bunny with a mop in his hand. The president walked over to the janitor and told him he was the best janitor he has ever seen and the janitor replied, “Sir, I’m not just a janitor, I helped put a man on the moon.” See, even though he was cleaning floors he had a bigger purpose and vision for his life. This is what kept him going and helped him excel in his job. ~Jon Gordon

When you fuel up with purpose you find the excitement in the mundane, the passion in the everyday, the extraordinary in the ordinary. ~Jon Gordon

Have fun and enjoy the ride. ~Jon Gordon

If we could but show the world that being committed to Christ is no tame, humdrum, sheltered monotony, but the most thrilling, exciting adventure the human spirit could ever know, those who have been standing outside the church and looking askance at Christ would come crowding in to pay allegiance, and we might well expect the greatest revival since Pentecost. ~Dr. James Stewart

When you step down from the podium, will people say, “What a great preacher he is,” or, “What a great Lord he serves?” ~quote Bill Bright heard at Princeton and took to heart

In one class at Fuller, Bill [Bright] took an exegetical tour of Romans 6 that so impressed him, he never forgot its four points: know, reckon, yield, obey. Know your position in Christ as dead to sin, risen in power. Reckon or account yourself dead to the old sin nature; behave by faith as if it were dead and don’t respond to it. Yield your body as an instrument of righteousness. Obey God’s commands by faith. ~Michael Richardson

There is no magic in small plans. When I consider my ministry, I think of the world. Anything less than that would not be worthy of Christ, nor of His will for my life. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender. It is not a question of who you are or what you are, but whether God controls you. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

Are you proving that the Christian life is a joyful, happy thing? Do you look glad that you are a Christian? Make the Christian life contagious. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

Enthusiasm starts a hard job; determination works at it; only love continues until it is finished. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

Serving God with our little is the way to make it more. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

You teach a little by what you say. You teach most by what you are. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

An efficient leader may, through his knowledge of his job and the magnetism of his personality, greatly increase the efficiency of others. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

All that I see teaches me to thank the Creator for all I cannot see. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

You must decide what you want to build and then precede with the plans. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

What you are is God’s gift to you. What you can become is your gift to Him. ~Dr. Henrietta Mears

I see now that evil is endemic in man and that the Christian doctrine of original sin expresses a deep and essential insight into human nature. Reject it and you fall victim, as so many of us whose minds developed in an atmosphere of left-wing politics and rationalist philosophy have fallen victims, to shallow optimism in regard to human nature. ~former atheist-philosopher Cyril E. M. Joad

Christianity seemed to offer … consolation, strengthening, and assistance, while the rationalist philosophy which I had hitherto done my best to maintain, came to seem intolerably trivial and superficial …. ~former atheist-philosopher Cyril E. M. Joad

Who can this Man be who, though He never wrote a single word Himself to be read by succeeding generations, yet has by His spoken words and unparalleled deeds, created a greater literature, led to more profound thinking about and brought more light upon life’s greatest problems, than any other person who has ever walked among men? Indeed, the very words under which thousands of books about Jesus are classified are not used of any other historical person of any century, no matter how great they may have been – such as Incarnation, Virgin Birth, Sinlessness, Deity, Resurrection, Ascension, Second Advent, Prince of Peace, and Head of the Church. ~Wilbur M. Smith

What sort of man is this, who over and over again, gave numerous details about His death, months before it occurred, and added to each such utterance that on the third day after His decease He would rise again from the dead – and DID RISE, as even the city of Jerusalem soon came to believe? No other founder of a great world religion (or a small one) ever made such statements, or ever came forth from the dead. ~Wilbur M. Smith

The life Jesus led, the miracles He performed, the words He spoke, His death on the cross, His resurrection, His ascent to heaven, all point to the fact that He was not mere man, but more than man …. It is important to consider that Jesus Christ claimed to be God. He claimed to be the author of a new way of life ….

Either Jesus of Nazareth was who He claimed to be, the Son of God, the Savior of mankind, or He was the greatest impostor the world has ever known. If His claims were false more good has resulted from a lie than has ever been accomplished by the truth …. Historically, we know that whenever His message has gone, new life, new hope, and new purpose for living have resulted ….

Does it not make sense that this person (whom most people, knowing the facts, consider the greatest teacher, the greatest example, the greatest leader the world has ever known) would be, as He Himself claimed to be, and the Bible tells us that He is, the one person who could bridge the chasm between a holy God and sinful man? ~Bill Bright

God looks first for availability in His servants, then provides them with the necessary ability for accomplishing His purpose. ~Michael Richardson

Inspiration without perspiration leads to frustration and ultimately to stagnation. ~Bill Bright

Acceptance of circumstances, Bill would explain years later, is the role of a slave. Whatever needs the Master permits in the life of the slave are the Master’s responsibility to meet. It is not for the slave to rush out and fix the situation for the Master or, even worse, to rise up and rebel. The slave is to present the need to the Master and rest in the Master’s handling of it. This requires total trust in the Master’s honor, justice, and goodness. The slave awaits the Master’s move and the Master’s provision. ~Michael Richardson

Bill [Bright] was awed by the story of Kim’s survival of a communist attack on his home village in Korea. On a rainy spring day, communist guerrillas invaded the village in Korea, intent upon killing everyone in their path. Kim’s wife and father were murdered, and Kim himself was beaten and left for dead. In the cool rain of the night he revived and fled to safety in the mountains with his young daughter. They were the sole survivors.

As a man of God, Kim had learned from Scripture that he was to love his enemies and pray for those who persecuted him. What was to be his attitude concerning those who had killed his beloved wife and honored father? The Spirit of God impressed upon him that he was to seek out the communist chief who led the guerrilla attack, tell him that he loved and forgave him, and tell him of God’s love in Christ and his need for the Savior.

This he did, and God honored his obedience. The communist chief knelt in prayer with Kim and committed his life to Christ. Within a short time a number of other communists were converted to Christ as well, and Kim helped them build a church for themselves and other communists converts before he came to America to further his education. ~Michael Richardson

He feared man so little because he feared God so much. ~Inscription on the burial monument for Lord Lawrence

Just bring the right person to the right place at the right time for the right meeting, and everyone would be stronger. ~Trevin Wax

You can’t hold on to a childlike faith if you don’t grab hold of a grownup every now and then. ~Trevin Wax

I guess sometimes you have to stand still to really see. ~Trevin Wax

I may be a little more limited than I would like, but I’m finding if you put your limitations to good use, they’re like the frame around a portrait. They enhance everything around you. ~Trevin Wax

Your very existence is only because of grace. To be is to be graced. ~Trevin Wax

So Christianity is about giving up? No, it’s about giving in. Giving in to God. Handing your heart and life over to Him and casting yourself on His mercy alone. ~Trevin Wax

Why manage in the dark when you can thrive in the light? ~Trevin Wax

Chris didn’t remember much about Third Baptist as a kid. But in hearing his mom and grandparents reminisce and tell stories, he was impressed by how well the people knew one another. Really knew one another. Struggles were out in the open. Sin was dealt with privately and publicly. These people loved one another, and their love was tough. There were grudges and catfights and all the kinds of things you expect wherever people live. But through all the stories, Chris could sense the genuine love these people had for one another. ~Trevin Wax

Who you are in Christ matters more than what people think of you. ~Trevin Wax

Don’t trust in your strength, because there is such a thing as pride. Don’t despair in your weakness, because there is such a thing as forgiveness. ~Trevin Wax

The true rebellion is in the heart of the Christian who follows King Jesus by swimming upstream against the current of the world. ~Trevin Wax

You may feel alive when you go with the flow, but any old dead thing can float downstream. ~Trevin Wax

The world says, “Be true to yourself.” King Jesus says, “Be true to your future self.” ~Trevin Wax

Augustine was awed by the truth that God reveals Himself to us. Listen here: “And, when You are poured out on us, You are not thereby bought down; rather, we are uplifted.” ~Trevin Wax

Listen to this [from Augustine] about his sinful past. “You were always by me, mercifully angry and flavoring all my unlawful pleasures with bitter discontent, in order that I might seek pleasures free from discontent. But where could I find such pleasure except in You, O Lord – except in You, who teaches us by sorrow, who wounds us to heal us, and kills us, that we might not die apart from You.” ~Trevin Wax

The greater your acknowledgment of your sinfulness, the greater your appreciation of God’s grace. ~Trevin Wax

Gil put his hand on top of Chris’s, closed his eyes, and quoted Augustine from memory. “Lord, You called and cried out loud and shattered our deafness. You were radiant and resplendent. You put to flight our blindness. You were fragrant, and we drew in our breath and now pant after You. We tasted You, and we feel nothing but hunger and thirst for You. You touched us, and we are set on fire to attain the peace which is Yours. Amen.” ~Trevin Wax

We don’t believe the gospel because it’s helpful. Or because it’s prettier. Or because it’s our upbringing. We believe the gospel because it’s true. Not just a preference but true. Truth about the way the world works. ~Trevin Wax

Proselytism is about getting someone to change from one religion to another. Evangelism is proclaiming the evangel – the gospel. It’s an announcement. ~Trevin Wax

Whoever says we should just keep our faith to ourselves and not evangelize – they’re really saying we ought to follow their instructions and not King Jesus. That is the height of arrogance, in my mind. Trying to be over Him. ~Trevin Wax

People rarely fail to evangelize because of their intellectual questions. Failure to evangelize is almost always a worship problem. It’s not that we don’t know what we ought to be doing. We do. We’re just not doing it. That’s a sign that we’re not overflowing with worship. Whenever you are completely taken with something or someone, you can’t help but talk about it. Love can’t stop talking about the beloved. Fix the worship problem, and evangelism starts coming naturally. ~Trevin Wax

The old, old gospel is the newest thing in the world; in its very essence it is for ever good news. ~Charles Spurgeon

No one ever woke up and decided, “I want to have a bad temper.” Or “I want to be addicted to pornography.” You don’t always choose your temptation, but you do choose your behavior. ~Trevin Wax

We are not defined by our temptations. We are defined by our redemption. ~Trevin Wax

Every conversion is a miracle, a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. ~Trevin Wax

You know, Jeremiah 31. “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Isn’t that a glorious promise? That God won’t ever bring up our sin again? Takes a lifetime of determination to get that truth planted in your heart. We commit to memory. God commits to forgetfulness. ~Trevin Wax

I’ve fought my entire life to find my worth and value in what Christ has done for me, not in what I do for Christ. ~Trevin Wax

He hoped Chris would put all his troubles in eternal perspective, placing his questions and doubts on the scales of eternity in order to see how one’s vision for the future affects one’s actions in the present. ~Trevin Wax

Come, for creation groans,
Impatient of Thy stay,
Worn out with these long years of ill,
These ages of delay.

Come, for love waxes cold;
Its steps are faint and slow:
Faith now is lost in unbelief,
Hope’s lamp burns dim and low.

Come, and make all things new;
Build up this ruined earth,
Restore our faded Paradise,
Creation’s second birth. ~Horatius Bonar

If we do not become changed from the inside-out – if we don’t morph – we will be tempted to find external methods to satisfy our need to feel that we’re different from those outside the faith. If we cannot be transformed, we will settle for being informed or conformed. ~John Ortberg

Sheldon Vanauken wrote that the strongest argument for Christianity is Christians, when they are drawing life from God. The strongest argument against Christianity? Also Christians, when they become exclusive, self-righteous, and complacent. ~John Ortberg

So how do I know if I am settling for pseudo-transformation instead of the real thing? In the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus offers a list of warning signs in capital letters. Here are a few that I find helpful.
1. Am I spiritually “inauthentic”?
2. Am I becoming judgmental or exclusive or proud?
3. Am I becoming more approachable, or less?
4. Am I growing weary of pursuing spiritual growth?
Am I measuring my spiritual life in superficial ways? ~ John Ortberg

The Holy Spirit will lead you to be with people as Jesus would be with them if He were in your place. ~ John Ortberg

It only makes sense to ask God for guidance in the context of a life committed to “seeking first the kingdom.” ~ John Ortberg

The goal is not for us to get through the Scriptures. The goal is to get the Scriptures through us. ~ John Ortberg

The character of the faith that allows us to be transformed by suffering and darkness is not doubt-free certainty; rather, it is tenacious obedience. ~ John Ortberg

A test is a difficult experience through which a person’s true values, commitments, beliefs are revealed. Test became a very important word in the Old Testament, and the way it is used there reveals something about how endurance develops.
1. It is used only in reference to the people of God, never to heathen nations.
2. It is applied only to people of faith, never to the ungodly.
Testing is reserved for those in a covenant relationship with God. Even though it is painful, testing is an act of love. Suffering serves to test our faith. James wrote, “You know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” ~ John Ortberg

Going in faith does not necessarily mean going with serenity or without doubts. Faith can be difficult. ~ John Ortberg

Having faith does not mean never having doubts or questions. It does mean remaining obedient. ~ John Ortberg

One of the most painful aspects of suffering is the loneliness of it. Others may offer support or empathy, but no one can walk the road to Moriah in our place. ~ John Ortberg

Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get. ~Warren Buffett

No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has. ~Henry Ward Beecher

To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. ~Thomas Edison

If it takes seven days to make a living, you ought to be doing something else. ~S. Truett Cathy

Ringing the cash register is not the name of the game. It’s only the scorekeeper, and it’s not what motivates me. I’m motivated in my business by the compliments I receive about our people, our service, and the quality of our food. ~S. Truett Cathy

Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life. ~S. Truett Cathy

In most cases we perform better when we’re busy than when we’re not busy. When we’re slow, our mind wanders. We’re not as attentive to our business. When we’re on the firing line, we’re sharper. We move more quickly and get the job done right. ~S. Truett Cathy

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of it filling a vacuum, it makes one. ~Benjamin Franklin

If you’re excited about what you’re doing, it’s a lot more likely that your employees will also be excited. People want to work for a person, not a company. It’s about relationships. ~S. Truett Cathy

Opportunity presents itself sometimes in unusual situations. What you think is the worst thing turns out to be a good thing. Different circumstances challenge people to do things they didn’t know they could do, and in those times when the outlook appears the worst, we find new reasons for optimism. ~S. Truett Cathy

You know what ego stands for: Edging Out God! ~S. Truett Cathy

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways,” said Elihu to Job. ~Job 37:5 (NIV)

We should feel dissonance; we are, after all, immortals trapped in mortal surroundings. We lack unity because long ago a gap fissured open between our mortal and immortal parts; theologians trace the fault line back to the Fall. ~Philip Yancey

The discomfiture we feel may be our most accurate human sensation; reminding us we are not quite “at home” here. ~C.S. Lewis

Jesus announced a great reversal of values in His Sermon on the Mount, elevating not the rich or attractive, but rather the poor, the persecuted, and those who mourn. ~Philip Yancey

And perhaps, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit may be our very best defense against a materialist view of mankind here on earth. ~Philip Yancey

I have more appreciation for why the Bible avoids fuzzy psychologisms and says simply to the stealer, “Steal no more,” and to the tempted, “Flee temptation.” The Bible challenges us to look upward, not inward, for counsel at moments of crisis. ~Philip Yancey

That story [Ecclesiastes] of decadence by the richest, wisest, and most talented person in the world serves as a perfect allegory for what can happen when we lose sight of the Giver whose good gifts we enjoy. ~Philip Yancey

As Ecclesiastes tells it, a wholesale devotion to pleasure will, paradoxically, lead to a state of utter despair. ~Philip Yancey

I came away from the “midnight church” impressed, but also wondering why AA meets needs in a way that the local church does not – or at least did not, for my friend. I asked him to name the one quality missing in the local church that AA had somehow provided. He stared at his cup of coffee for a long time, watching it go cold. I expected to hear a word like love or acceptance or, knowing him, perhaps anti-institutionalism. Instead, he said softly one word: dependency. “None of us can make it on our own – isn’t that why Jesus came?” he explained. “Yet most church people give off a self-satisfied air of piety or superiority. I don’t sense them consciously leaning on God or each other.” ~Philip Yancey

Like Job’s friends, we can too easily come across as cranky or smug, not prophetic. Judgment without love makes enemies, not converts. ~Philip Yancey

Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. ~Luke 13:1-5 He (Jesus) seems to imply that we “bystanders” of catastrophe have as much to learn from the event as do the sufferers themselves. What should a plague teach us? Humility, for one thing. And gratitude that God has so far withheld the judgment all of us deserve. And compassion, the compassion that Jesus displayed to all who mourn and suffer. Finally, catastrophe joins together victim and bystander in a common call to repentance, by abruptly reminding us of the brevity of life. It warns us to make ourselves ready in case we are the next victim of a falling tower – or an AIDS virus. ~Philip Yancey

I have yet to find any support in the Bible for an attitude of smugness: Ah, they deserve their punishment; watch them squirm. ~Philip Yancey

Curiously, the righteous Pharisees had little historical impact, save for a brief time in a remote corner of the Roman Empire. But Jesus’ disciples – an ornery, undependable, and hopelessly flawed group of men – became drunk with the power of a gospel that offered free forgiveness to the worst sinners and traitors. Those men managed to change the world. ~Philip Yancey

A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again;” and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. ~G. K. Chesterton

As I read the Bible, it seems clear that God satisfies his “eternal appetite” by loving individual human beings. I imagine He views each halting step forward in my spiritual “walk” with the eagerness of a parent watching a child take the very first step. ~Philip Yancey

To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness – especially in the wilderness – you shall love Him. ~Frederick Buechner

He empties himself in order to be full. He admits he is wrong so he can be declared right. He goes down in order to get up. He is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live. He forsakes in order to have He gives away so he can keep. ~A.W. Tozer describing a Christian with perfect trust in the Savior

Many, many years ago, Felix of Nola was escaping his enemies, and he too, took temporary refuge in a cave. He had scarcely entered the opening of the cave before a spider began to weave its web across the small opening. With remarkable speed, the insect completely sealed off the mouth of the cave with an intricate web, giving the appearance that the cave had not been entered for many weeks. As Felix’s pursuers passed by they saw the web and didn’t bother to look inside. Later, as the godly fugitive stepped out into the sunlight, he uttered these insightful words: Where God is, a spider’s web is a wall; where He is not, a wall is but a spider’s web. ~Charles Swindoll

Helen Rosevere was a British medical missionary in the Congo years ago during an uprising. Her faith was strong and her trust was confident, yet she was raped and assaulted and treated brutally. Commenting later, she said, “I must ask myself a question as if it came directly from the Lord, ‘Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience even if I never tell you why?’” What a profound thought. God has trusted each of us with our own set of unfair circumstances and unexplained experiences to deal with. Can we still trust in Him even if He never tells us why? ~Charles Swindoll

The secret to responsible trust is acceptance. Acceptance is taking from God’s hand absolutely anything He gives, looking into His face in trust and thanksgiving, knowing that the confinement of the hedge we’re in is good and for His glory. Even though what we’re enduring may be painful, it’s good simply because God Himself has allowed it. ~Charles Swindoll

Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation. ~Elton Trueblood

Strength comes from choosing to fully trust, pray, and praise. Our circumstances may not change, but in the process we change. ~Charles Swindoll

We continually encounter hardships. People disappoint us. We disappoint ourselves. But God is constant and compassionate. We are not alone. He cares. Against all reason, the transcendent God loves us so much that He has committed Himself to us. ~Charles Swindoll

The more impossible the situation, the greater God accomplishes His work. ~Charles Swindoll

Remarkably his [Job’s] first response to God was the response of worship. ~Charles Swindoll

He [Job] worshipped. And not because he understood what was happening to him, but in spite of all that was happening to him. Not only did Job worship, he accepted what God had sent into his life. That is wisdom. That is perfect trust. ~Charles Swindoll

It’s the nature of the beast within us to keep going back to the familiar rather than to strap on faith and face the future. ~Charles Swindoll

We want the safety of yesterday even though we know it’s not where God would have us. ~Charles Swindoll

When a person does something, it has the man or woman look about it. It drips with humanity. You can follow the logic of it and see the meaning behind it. ~Charles Swindoll

And when God steps in, His working is like the difference between a skyscraper and a star. ~Charles Swindoll

“Do not lean on your own understanding.” That means don’t bring in the crutches and lean on them, those crutches that you have designed and made to handle such situations. Stay away from them. Don’t lean on them; lean on God. ~Charles Swindoll

I don’t have to explain or defend the will of God. My job is simply to obey it. ~Charles Swindoll

Things will happen that seem to be totally contradictory, but these are God’s arrangements. It was a wonderful day when I finally realized I don’t have to explained or defend the will of God. My job is simply to obey it. ~Charles Swindoll

Anxious. Intriguing word. It literally means, “to be divided” or “distracted.” It conveys the idea of being so mentally ill at ease that you cannot do what you need to do because you are so distracted in your thinking. ~Charles Swindoll

One of the problems with worry is that it keeps you from enjoying what you have. ~Charles Swindoll

Worry is assuming responsibilities that you cannot handle. They truth is, they are responsibilities that God never intended for you to handle, because they are His. ~Charles Swindoll

Another problem with worry is that it makes you forget your worth. Worry makes you feel worthless, forgotten, and unimportant. ~Charles Swindoll

Worry is a complete waste of energy. It solves nothing. ~Charles Swindoll

Worry erases the promises of God from your mind. ~Charles Swindoll

Worry is characteristic of the heathen, not the Christian. ~Charles Swindoll

Faith is like lighting the torch that passes from one person to the next. You can’t light the torch of another if yours isn’t burning. ~Charles Swindoll

You may be going through a trial so overwhelming that it’s borderline unbearable. You want to see the end of the tunnel. Which is only natural, because once we see that little speck of light, we feel we can make it through to the finish. But God’s tunnels are often twisting, too complex and dark to see the light for many days. In such settings He says, “In that dark, twisting, seemingly endless period of time, trust Me. Stop running scared! Stop fearing!” ~Charles Swindoll

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intently it seems beyond strength.
Pressed in body and pressed in soul;
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll;
Pressed by foes, pressure by friends;
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod;
Pressed into knowing no helper but God. ~Annie Johnson Flint

You see, this people [Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, etc.] simply believed that God existed in the situation they were faced with, and they trusted Him rather than themselves. The result? God said, “That pleases Me.” They were men and women just like you and I, which is the most encouraging part of all. We don’t find golden haloes, or perfect backgrounds, or sinless lives, we just find people. People who failed, who struggled, who doubted, who experienced hard times and low times in which their faith was eclipsed by doubt. But their lives were basically characterized by faith. ~Charles Swindoll

Faith does not change my circumstances; faith changes me. Faith may not bring in the tuition check when I need it, but faith will give me what it takes to hang on. ~Charles Swindoll

Trusting God doesn’t alter our circumstances. Perfect trust in Him changes us. ~Charles Swindoll

You see, when we talk about perfect trust, we’re talking about what gives us roots, character, the stability to handle the hard times. Trusting God doesn’t alter our circumstances. Perfect trust in Him changes us. ~Charles Swindoll

You know one of the most encouraging things about faith? It pleases God. ~Charles Swindoll

He’s building our character through the process of waiting. Perfect trust is a character building process. ~Charles Swindoll

Strength comes from choosing to fully trust, pray, and praise. Our circumstances may not change, but in the process we change. ~Charles Swindoll

Christian [godliness] is not moralistic, for it is rooted in the Christ event (1 Timothy 3:16). It is not just outward worship, nor a mere concept of God, nor a virtue, nor an ideal. Over against a [Gnostic philosophy of self-deprivation] that regards creation as bad … true [godliness], born of faith, covers everyday conduct in honoring God as Creator and Redeemer, even though it may expect persecution from the very orders of God, which it respects. ~ Anonymous Scholar

A “godly” person is one who ceases to be self-centered in order to become God-centered. ~ Charles Swindoll

What sets Christian spiritual activity apart from all other religions is that they have knowledge of Christ as their goal; not moral perfection (although you will become more moral), not tranquility (although your life will be remarkably more peaceful). And because of the grace you have in Christ, the disciplines will do nothing to make you more accepted by the Father. You cannot be more accepted than you already are in Christ, since He has already done it all for you! ~ Charles Swindoll

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him – that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding [the wonders of His person] more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers]; and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death. ~Philippians 3:10, The Amplified Bible, Expanded Edition “My determined purpose [perhaps Paul means ‘my focus’] is that I may know Him. ~ Charles Swindoll

When you pray, pray so that you may know Him. When you seek to simplify, do it as a means of knowing Him more. When you surrender, or behave with humility or sacrifice, do it with the sole purpose in mind to know Him. ~ Charles Swindoll

So, you want to be like Christ? Me too. But that kind of godliness won’t just happen by hanging around a church or thinking lofty thoughts three or four times a day or learning a few verses of Scripture. It will take more – much more. Disciplining ourselves will require the same kind of focused thinking and living that our Master modeled during His brief life on earth. ~ Charles Swindoll

Distance from God is a frightening thing. God will never adjust His agenda to fit ours. He will not speed His pace to catch up with ours; we need to slow our pace in order to recover our walk with Him. God will not scream and shout over the noisy clamor; He expects us to seek quietness, where His still, small voice can be heard again. God will not work within the framework of our complicated schedules; we must adapt to His style. We need to conform to His way if our lives are to be characterized by the all-encompassing word godliness. ~ Charles Swindoll

God often does His best work in us when He catches us by surprise and introduces a change that is completely against our own desire. ~ Charles Swindoll

Discipline is training that corrects and perfects our mental faculties or molds our moral character. Discipline is control gained by enforced obedience. It is the deliberate cultivation of inner order. ~ Charles Swindoll

People who are close to God cultivate a personal intimacy with Him like a good gardener cultivates beautiful flowers. ~ Charles Swindoll

Our great tendency in this age is to increase our speed, to run faster, even in the Christian life. In the process our walk with God stays shallow, and our tank runs low on fumes. Intimacy offers a full tank of fuel that can only be found by pulling up closer to God, which requires taking necessary time and going to the effort to make that happen. ~ Charles Swindoll

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life:
‘Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Christlikeness is a journey, not a destination. The joy is in the journey. ~ Charles Swindoll

Next time you’re faced with a credit-purchase decision, wait. Don’t say no necessarily. Just wait. I challenge you to present your need to the Lord before presenting it to a bank, and see what He does with it. ~ Charles Swindoll

Many seducers clutter the simple message of the gospel with legalistic additions, with convoluted attempts to legitimize moral compromise, and with psychological theories that turn churches into relational support groups instead of houses of worship. ~ Charles Swindoll

May not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the Kingdom like children in the market place, chattering about everything, but pausing to learn the value of nothing. ~A.W. Tozer

Former CBS anchor Dan Rather found himself unprepared for a television interview with Mother Teresa several years ago. Ron Mehl described the newsman’s encounter this way:
Somehow, all of his standard approaches and formula questions were inadequate for the task, and the little nun from Calcutta, sitting beside him so sweetly and tranquilly, didn’t seem inclined to make his task easier.
“When you pray,” asked Rather, “what do you say to God?”
“I don’t say anything,” she replied. “I listen.”
Rather tried another tack. “Well, okay … when God speaks to you, then, what does He say?”
“He doesn’t say anything. He listens.”
Rather looked bewildered. For an instant, he didn’t know what to say.
“And if you don’t understand that,” Mother Teresa added, “I can’t explain it to you.”

I do not believe anyone can ever become a deep person without stillness and silence. ~ Charles Swindoll

When grace changes the heart, submission out of fear changes to submission out of love, and true humility is born. ~William Hendriksen

Focusing intently on Christ naturally results in a lifestyle of increasingly greater selflessness. And it has another benefit. Gazing on Christ gives us greater ability to look past life’s trials and remain calm in the midst of what others would call chaos. ~ Charles Swindoll

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace. ~Helen H. Lemmel

I am convinced that wise planning is good. But plans, like material possessions, must always be held loosely. Yes – always! Plan wisely, but be ready for God to rearrange things and take you along paths that may feel dangerous to you. Don’t sweat it; He knows what He’s doing. And He isn’t obligated to inform you … or request permission to upset your neat little agenda! ~ Charles Swindoll

Part of the thrill of guiding children into adulthood is the release. But it’s also a parent’s greatest act of surrender. Still, you have to let them go. Start now. ~ Charles Swindoll

Peter Marshall, the late chaplain of the United States Senate, concluded a message on anxiety titled, “Sin in the Present Tense,” with this prayer. I leave it with you to make it your prayer today (~ Charles Swindoll)
“Forgive us, O God, for the doubting suspicion with which we regard the heart of God.
We have faith in checks and banks, in trains and airplanes, in cooks, and in strangers who drive us in cabs. Forgive us for our stupidity, that we have faith in people whom we do not know and are so reluctant to have faith in Thee who knowest us altogether.
We are always striving to find a complicated way through life when Thou hast a plan, and we refuse to walk in it. So many of our troubles we bring on ourselves. How silly we are.
Wilt Thou give to us that faith that we can deposit in the bank of Thy love, so that we may receive the dividends and interest that Thou art so willing to give us. We ask it all in the lovely name of Jesus, Our Savior.”

Prayer is listening as well as speaking, receiving as well as asking; and its deepest mood is friendship held in reverence. So the daily prayer should end as it begins – in adoration. ~George A. Buttrick

Prayer is not a natural response; it’s a Spirit response. If we fail to cultivate this discipline, prayer winds up being our last resort rather than our first response. ~Charles Swindoll

It’s not our church; it’s God’s – it’s not our responsibility to run it! ~Charles Swindoll

When each elder or pastor has his will aligned with the Lord’s, we waste no time arguing for our own. ~Charles Swindoll

Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. ~Jim Elliot

We know that it was no accident. God performs all things according to the counsel of His own will. The real issues at stake on January 8, 1956, were very far greater than those immediately involved five young men and their families, or this small tribe of naked “savages.” Letters from many countries have told of God’s dealings with hundreds of men and women, through the examples of five who believed literally that “the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. ~Elisabeth Elliot (the wife of one of the men that was killed on the mission field; she stayed and ministered to those same ones who killed her husband)

Disciples [deep people] are not manufactured wholesale. They are produced one by one, because someone has taken the pains to discipline, to instruct and enlighten, to nurture and train one that is younger. ~Oswald Sanders

I remind you of the seminar Jesus offered His disciples just before He went to the cross. He described to them a world, not unlike ours, that was falling apart, and he appeared to be saying, “The good news amid all this, gentlemen, is that you’re going to get to plant a new movement in the middle of this mess. So be wise, alert, faithful, and productive.” Mindful of such tumultuous days ahead, Jesus spent the majority of His time training a small group of men whose message to the world would go viral. ~Gordon MacDonald

Great training has exponential results. ~Gordon MacDonald

Leadership is first about character, then about a disciplined charisma and competence. ~Gordon MacDonald

When you think about it, we do seem to know how to get unchurched people to visit our buildings and enjoy our programs. We even appear to know how to persuade many to acknowledge personal faith in Jesus. But some are saying that what we do not know is how to produce the deep people who are supposed to emerge after that. We do not produce them, at least, in the quantities that are necessary to the challenges of our times. The result is a growing scarcity in spiritual leadership. And the implication is that without an abundance of deep people – spiritual leaders – tomorrow’s organized church could be headed for irrelevance. ~Gordon MacDonald

What might deep people in a twenty-first-century church look like? Here are a few ideas.
• Some live quiet but noticeable lives of devotion to Jesus. We love to be around them because they exude qualities such as grace, peacefulness, joy, wisdom, encouragement, and unconditional love. They motivate us to want to live better, more faithfully.
• Some know how to envision and organize others to do unusual things in alignment with the purposes of God.
• Some possess the capability for praying, caring, and supporting people in times of struggle.
• Some know how to teach and mentor others so that spiritual growth happens across the face of the congregation from children to senior people.
• Some deep people might possess the apostolic (missional) call to project the evangelistic and compassionate work of the church into the surrounding community or to other parts of the world.
• And some love to help. ~Gordon MacDonald

Our Church Elevator Story
Our 175 year-old church is composed of people who, through the generations, have shared a common commitment to Jesus Christ. Following His example, we regularly worship God. Studying His life and the lives of those who followed Him, we do our best to emulate Him in the way we live in our community. Believing that God’s central message is about love, we try to assure that our relationships (God, marriage, family, friendships, strangers, even enemies) all reflect what He both taught and did. Finally, aware of His intense compassion for people who lost their way spiritually and physically, we attempt to represent His mission by serving others in the larger world when we become aware of their needs. ~Gordon MacDonald

The elevator story can’t happen unless somebody’s constantly training people. If you’re going to keep that story honest, training, training, training is going to be your most important job. ~Gordon MacDonald

You may be president [Pastor] of your store [church], but you should also be the chief training officer. ~Gordon MacDonald

But how would one know that Christ is present? How about these evidences? Lives would begin to change; that’s conversion. People would begin to love, to care for, to enjoy one another; that’s community, or fellowship. A spirit of generosity would start to fill the air as each person invested his or her energies and resources in the life of the gathering; that’s servanthood. Children would be instructed; youth mentored; adults of every age would be encouraged; older people might be appreciated, even listened to. That’s love. ~Gordon MacDonald

The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people. ~Richard Foster

Most of what you and I know has been learned from the people we watched. It’s not what anyone says or writes half as how they live it out under every circumstance. ~Gordon MacDonald

Spiritual leadership is the power to change the atmosphere by one’s presence, the unconscious influence that makes Christ and spiritual things real to others. ~Oswald Sanders

We teach people to grow by growing ourselves. It’s sort of like painting a huge bridge. The minute the painter finishes at one end, he goes back to the beginning and starts again. ~Gordon MacDonald

Depth comes before competency. ~Gordon MacDonald

I ask that my voice be the lesser, yours the greater. Amen. ~Gordon MacDonald

A walloping great congregation is fine and fun, but what most [churches] really need is a couple of saints. The tragedy is that they may well be there in embryo, waiting to be discovered, waiting for sound training, waiting to be emancipated from the cult of the mediocre. ~Martin Thornton

Make uniformed. Un-prayed-about decisions, and you pay a severe price later on. ~Gordon MacDonald

The true spiritual leader is concerned infinitely more with the service he can render God and his fellow men than with the benefits and pleasures he can extract from life. He aims to put more into life then he takes out of it. ~Gordon MacDonald

There are things that you learn best the hard way. You fail. And you fail again. And then, four, six failure times later, you figure out how to do something the right way. And you never forget it. ~Gordon MacDonald

Reflecting on his (Brother Lawrence) work in a monastery kitchen, Lawrence said, “I turn over my little omelet in the pan for the love of God. When it is finished, if
I having nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and adore my God. From whom came the grace to make it. After that, I get up, more content than a king.”

Towels and dishes and sandals, all the ordinary sordid things of our lives, reveal more quickly than anything what we are made of. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the meanest duty as it ought to be done. ~Gordon MacDonald

Every task and every activity contains the seeds of servanthood in the name of Jesus. ~Gordon MacDonald

The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of principles to be obeyed apart from identification with Jesus Christ. The Sermon on the Mount is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is getting his way with us. ~Oswald Chambers

Asking ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” when suddenly in the face of an important situation simply is not an adequate discipline or preparation to enable one to live as He lived. It no doubt will do some good and is certainly better than nothing at all, but that act alone is not sufficient to see us boldly and confidently through a crisis, and we could easily find ourselves driven to despair over the powerless tension it will put us through. The secret of the easy yoke, then, is to learn from Christ how to live our total lives, how to invest all our time and our energies of mind and body as He did. We must learn how to follow His preparations, the disciplines for life in God’s rule that enabled Him to receive His Father’s constant and effective support while doing His will. We have to discover how to enter into His disciplines from where we stand today – and no doubt, how to extend and amplify them to suit our needy cases. ~Dallas Willard

Many Christians were suddenly prepared to look at traditional methods of spiritual formation. They could not help but see that spiritual growth and vitality stem from what we actually do with our lives, from the habits we form, and from the character that results. ~Dallas Willard

Where is our Christ, who is alive and lives in power? In the preaching of our churches, He has become a beautiful ideal. He has been turned into a myth, embodying a theological concept. The witness to His objective reality has largely been lost. Most liberal Protestant churches have never even heard of the prayer of power in His name. The church has become an organization of well-meaning idealists, working for Christ but far from His presence and power. ~Flora Wuellner

When we think of “taking Christ into the workplace” or “keeping Christ in the home,” we are making our faith into a set of special acts. The “specialness” of such acts just underscores the point – that being a Christian, being Christ’s isn’t thought of as a normal part of life. ~Dallas Willard

Proceed in your career of cruelty, but do not suppose that you will thus accomplish your purpose of extinguishing the hated sect [the Christians]. We are like the grass, which grows the more luxuriantly the oftener it is mown. The blood of Christians is the seed of Christianity. Your philosophers taught men to despise pain and death by words; but how few their converts compared with those of the Christians, who teach by example! The very obstinacy for which you upbraid us is the great propagator of our doctrines. For who can behold it, and not inquire into the nature of that faith which inspires such supernatural courage? Who can inquire into faith, and not embrace it, and not desire himself to undergo the same sufferings in order that he may thus secure a participation in the fullness of divine favour? ~Tertullian

We who are saved are to have a different order of life from that of the unsaved. We are to live in a different world. ~Colossians 1:13

O, this faith is a living, busy, active, powerful thing! It is impossible that it should not be ceaselessly doing that which is good. It does not even ask whether good works should be done; but before the question can be asked, it has done them, and it is constantly engaged in doing them. But he who does not do such works, is a man without faith. He gropes and casts about him to find faith and good works, not knowing what either of them is, and yet prattles and idly multiplies words about faith and good works. ~ Martin Luther

[Faith] is a living well-founded confidence in the grace of God, so perfectly certain that it would die a thousand times rather than surrender its conviction. Such confidence and personal knowledge of divine grace makes its possessor joyful, bold, and full of warm affection toward God and all created things – all of which the Holy Spirit works in faith. Hence, such a man becomes without constraint willing and eager to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer all manner of ills, in order to please and glorify God, who has shown toward him such grace. ~ Martin Luther

He [Peter after the resurrection] now understood that he and the church were to exercise a transcendent power that did not depend upon having a kingdom or government in any human sense, for it was literally a “God government” in which they were participants (Acts 1:6-8). ~Dallas Willard

It is also to be noted that one of the characteristics of true spirituality is that it supersedes lesser desires and issues. The Biblical, as well as practical, cure for “worldliness” among Christians is so to fill the heart and life with the eternal blessings of God that there will be a joyous preoccupation and absentmindedness to unspiritual things. … A dead leaf cannot remain where a new bud is springing, nor can worldliness remain where the blessings of the Spirit are flowing. Lewis Sperry Chafer

The Spirit, we are told, led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Was this not to put Jesus in the weakest possible position before Satan, starving and alone in the wilds? Most to whom I have spoken about this matter are shocked at the suggestion that the “wilderness,” the place of solitude and deprivation, was actually the place of strength and strengthening for our Lord and that the Spirit led Him there – as He would lead us there – to ensure that Christ was in the best possible condition for the trial.
In that desert solitude, Jesus fasted for more than a month. Then, and not before, Satan was allowed to approach Him with his glittering proposals of bread, notoriety, and power. Only then was Jesus at the height of His strength. The desert was His fortress, His place of power. Throughout His life He sought the solitary place as an indirect submission of His own physical body to righteousness (e.g. Mark 1:35, 3:13, 6:31, 46). That is, He sought it not as an activity done for its on sake, but one done to give Him power for good. All of those who followed Jesus knew of His practice of solitude, and it was greatly imitated in the centuries after His death. ~Dallas Willard

Paul followed Jesus by living as He lived. And how did he do that? Through activities and ways of living that would train his whole personality to depend upon the risen Christ as Christ trained Himself to depend upon the Father. ~Dallas Willard

The question of forming habits on the basis of the grace of God is a very vital one. To ignore it is to fall into the snare of the Pharisee – the grace of God is praised, Jesus Christ is praised, the Redemption is praised, but the practical everyday life evades working it out. If we refuse to practice, it is not God’s grace that fails when a crisis comes, but our own nature. When the crisis comes, we ask God to help us, but He cannot if we have not made our nature our ally. The practicing is ours, not God’s. God regenerates us and puts us in contact with all His divine resources, but He cannot make us walk according to His will. ~Oswald Chambers

I submit my tongue as an instrument of righteousness when I make it bless them that curse me and pray for them who persecute me, even though it “automatically” tends to strike and wound those who have wounded me. I submit my legs to God as instruments of righteousness when I engage them in physical labor as service, perhaps carrying a burden the “second mile” for someone whom I would rather let my legs kick. I submit my body to righteousness when I do my good deeds without letting them be known, though my whole frame cries out to strut and crow. ~Dallas Willard

Of course, we do the righteous deed because of our redemption, not for our redemption. ~Dallas Willard

Discipline, strictly speaking, is activity carried on to prepare us indirectly for some activity other than itself. We do not practice the piano to practice the piano well, but to play it well. ~Dallas Willard

Almost everything worth doing in human life is very difficult in its early stages and the good we are aiming at is never available at first, to strengthen us when we seem to need it most. ~Dallas Willard

If we feel that any habit or pursuit, harmless in itself, is keeping us from God and sinking us deeper in the things of earth; if we find that things which others can do with impunity are for us the occasion of falling, then abstinence is our only course. Abstinence alone can recover for us the real value of what should have been for our help but which has been an occasion of falling. … It is necessary that we should steadily resolve to give up anything that comes between ourselves and God. ~W.R. Inge

Those who deny themselves will be sure to find their strength increased, their affections raised, and their inward peace continually augmented. ~Bishop Wilson of the Isle of Man

Some of those who stop in inns are given beds, while others having no beds stretch themselves on the floor and sleep as soundly as those in beds. In the morning, when night is over, all alike get up and leave the inn, carrying away with them only their own belongings. It is the same with those who tread the path of this life: both those who have lived in the modest circumstances, and those who had wealth and fame, leave this life like an inn, taking with them no worldly comforts or riches, but only what they have done in this life, whether it be good or bad. ~St. Antony

The organized churches must become schools of spiritual discipline where Christians are taught how to own without treasuring (Matt. 6:21); how to possess without, like the “rich young ruler,” being possessed (Mark 10:22); how to live simply, even frugally, though controlling great wealth and power. ~Dallas Willard

Ministers pay far too much attention to people who do not came to services. Those people should, generally, be given exactly that disregard by the pastor that they give to Christ. The Christian leader has something much more important to do than pursue the godless. The leader’s task is to equip saints until they are like Christ (Eph. 4:12), and history and the God of history waits for him to do this job. It is so easy for the leader today to get caught up in illusory goals, pursuing the marks of success which come from our training as Christians leaders or which are simply imposed by the world. It is big, Big, always BIG, and BIGGER STILL! That is the contemporary imperative. Thus we fail to take seriously the nurture and training of those, however few, who stand constantly by us. ~Dallas Willard

Churches are filled with “undiscipled disciples,” as Jess Moody has called them. Most problems in contemporary churches can be explained by the fact that members have not yet decided to follow Christ. ~Dallas Willard

Leo Tolstoy claimed, “Man’s whole life is a continual contradiction of what he knows to be his duty. In every department of life he acts in defiant opposition to the dictates of his conscience and his common sense.” In our age of bumper-sticker communications some clever entrepreneur has devised a frame for the rear license plate that advises: “Don’t follow me. I’m lost.” It has had amazingly wide use, possibly because it touches with humor upon the universal failure referred to by Tolstoy. This failure causes a pervasive and profound hopelessness and sense of worthlessness: a sense that I could never stand in my world as a salty, light-giving example, showing people The Way of Life. Jesus’ description of savorless salt sadly serves well to characterize how we feel about ourselves: “Good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matt. 5:13), and not even fit to mollify a manure pile (Luke 14:35). ~Dallas Willard

The Christian stands, not under the dictatorship of a legalistic “You ought,” but in the magnetic field of Christian freedom, under the empowering of the “You may.” ~Helmut Thielicke

My vocation, my true calling, is serving others. Medicine is my avocation. It’s the part of how I answer my calling, but not all I do, I minister to bodies, but I also minister to hearts and souls. ~ From the movie “Finding Normal” spoken by character, Doc Shelby played by Lou Beatty Jr.

Fear of the right type can be beneficial to the people of God (see Prov. 1:7), but the fear of man’s hostile intentions seldom fits that category. ~Max Anders

Believers should be more concerned for God’s opinion of them than for what human opponents might do to their bodies. ~Max Anders

The thoughtful believer recalls God’s faithfulness in the past when confronted by any new threat. Part of spiritual maturity is strong sense of one’s own history. ~Max Anders

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, but for powers equal to your tasks. Today’s pains not only affect today. They are God’s training ground for our tomorrows. ~Phillips Brooks & Max Anders

The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else. ~Oswald Chambers

God’s Word calls His people to adore Him exclusively and completely and to love people as themselves. ~Max Anders

The concept of freedom in Scripture differs from modern notions. Freedom is not a life lived free of restraints but a life that recognizes healthy limits, those that are concern to produce prosperity and order for the person who observes them. ~Max Anders

The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, how can you hope to find inward peace? ~A.W. Tozer

Nothing should be considered outside the scope of God’s authority. ~Max Anders

Moses warned them [Israelites] that the leading spiritual danger they would face on entering the [promise] land would be forgetting the Lord. What adversity would not do, prosperity and satisfaction could. They were to be on their guard against spiritual lethargy. ~Max Anders

Conversion is essential, but it is a beginning, not an end. The believer in Jesus Christ is not simply rescued from the penalty of his sin; he is redeemed to love God and his neighbor so that others might come to know him. ~Max Anders

Moses simplifies the whole duty of Israel (and of humanity) by crystalizing the moral law into a single command to love God supremely. ~Max Anders

Even the wisest people learn little from their successes; God warns His people against allowing their victories (which He will grant) to lead them into pride and spiritual indifference. Instead, they should pay close attention to God’s Word. ~Max Anders

Although their parents died in the wilderness for their stubbornness, Israel could profit from the older generation’s failure by remembering that God had used adversity to train them. ~Max Anders

It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business in the morning and the last in the evening. Guard yourself against such false and deceitful thoughts that keep whispering, “Wait a while. In an hour or so I will pray. I must first finish this or that.” Thinking such thoughts we get away from prayer into other things that will hold us and involve us till the prayer of the day comes to naught. ~Martin Luther

Although God’s people find many successes in the world, they must not fall prey to a spirit of pride. We succeed not because of our moral superiority but because of the faithfulness of our divine intercessor and because of the great mercy of God. ~Max Anders

If and when a horror turns up you will then be given Grace to help you. I don’t think one is usually given it in advance. “Give us our daily bread” (not an annuity for life) applies to spiritual gifts too; the little daily support for the daily trial. Life has to be taken day by day and hour by hour. ~C.S. Lewis

In Deuteronomy 11, God offers Israel a choice; either a life of productivity and enjoyment made possible by obedience to Him, or a life of difficulty and opposition made necessary by disobedience. The happiness Israel desires can only be theirs by being properly related to Him. ~Max Anders

Israel’s [as well as our] enjoyment of the land is contingent on their behavior. Blessings or cruses lie before them; the choice is theirs. ~Max Anders

Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin. ~William Temple

False teaching – anything that would weaken the believer’s ties to his Lord – must be confronted wherever it appears, even if that confrontation requires painful correction. ~Max Anders

Father, we ask that you give us a passion for the truth and not merely a hatred of falsehood. Keep us concerned for the spiritual health of people but open to your own rebukes from your mighty Word. ~Max Anders

God loves as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way. ~Anonymous

The worship practices of the people of God are to be marked by devotion to Him and compassion to the needy. ~Max Anders

If Israel is to please the Lord fully, they will live lives that are as distinctive among the nations as their Lord is different from pagan deities. ~Max Anders

In glory God is incomprehensible, in greatness unfathomable, in height inconceivable, in power incomparable, in wisdom unrivaled, in goodness inimitable, in kindness unutterable. ~Theophilus of Antioch

God demonstrates generosity, then asks it from His people. ~Max Anders

Giving works best when the Lord's portion is removed first and believers learn to live within the remainder. ~Max Anders

The generous giver, demonstrating the nature of God by his behavior, can never outgive God. ~Max Anders

God expects believers to improve their attitude in giving as well as their giving itself. ~Max Anders

Since all wealth ultimately comes from God, His people ought to acknowledge His primacy by offering Him the best of their wealth, time, and abilities. ~Max Anders

All human beings pass away. Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose. If love is to be a blessing, not a misery, it must be for the only beloved who will never pass away. ~C.S. Lewis

Discussing Deut. 7:22-23, “However, God would not, as He did against the Egyptians, destroy all the armies of the nations in one brief encounter, all at once. Instead, He would drive out those nations … little by little. Israel would fight a war that it could win, but not a war that would be swift or uncomplicated. It was to Israel’s benefit that they not enter a deserted land. Had they done so, the wild animals would multiply around them and place them in jeopardy. The war that Christians must fight bears many similarities to the divine design for occupying the Holy Land. Christians must go to war every day, putting to death the deeds of the body so they can live victorious lives. Although the greatest victory is already won, a life still waits to be carved out for each soldier, and progress generally comes little by little. Come it will, however, to the one who fights, just as it would for Israel. The Lord promised to deliver their enemies over if His people would fight faithfully. ~Max Anders

God wanted Israel, as He wants Christians, to learn to utterly abhor and detest anything that had the potential of coming between them and their God. The believer’s enemies are typically internal rather than external, and they pose a powerful threat to spiritual health and progress. ~Max Anders

Wisdom lies in recognizing the dangers that lie within us and doing battle with them daily. ~Max Anders

The choice of a mate is crucial because no one has a greater influence on our spiritual lives. ~Max Anders

Kindness that allows barriers to one’s relationship with God to spring up is self-destructive. ~Max Anders

God chooses people not for what He can do for them, but for the good they can do for others. ~Max Anders

Christianity, righty understood, is utterly unlike religion that man invents. It is so completely contrary to the way man does things that it must have come from God. Take Christmas, for example; only God could have thought of that. When man invents a super being, he comes up with a Superman, or a Captain Marvel. God gives the world a baby. ~Richard Halverson.

My mother’s influence in molding my character was conspicuous. She forced me to learn daily long chapters of the Bible by heart. To that discipline and patient, accurate resolve I owe not only much of my general power of taking pains, but of the best part of my taste for literature. ~John Ruskin

People sometimes punish to exact judgment for past actions. God disciplines in order to teach and always in the interest of those whom he disciplines. ~Max Anders

God leads His people whether they are obedient or rebellious, but His leading is far more pleasant when they obey. ~Max Anders

God’s loving discipline brings us face-to-face with our pride. ~Max Anders

Chastening is a mark of affection, not a sign of rejection. ~Max Anders

God delights in providing His people with material gain and comfort, although prosperity can pose a threat to spiritual well-being. ~Max Anders

If someone considers the prophetic writings with all the diligence and reverence they are worth, while he reads and examines with great care, it is certain that in that very act he will be struck in his mind and senses by some more divine breath and will recognize that the books he reads have not been produced in a human way, but are words of God. ~Origen of Alexandria

There is no merit where there is no trial; and till experience stamps the mark of strength, cowards may pass for heroes, and falsehood for faith. ~Aaron Hill

The meaning of earthly existence lies, not as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Never yet did there exist a full faith in the divine Word, which did not expand the intellect while it purified the heart; which did not multiply the aims and objects of the understanding, while it fixed and simplified those of the desires and passions. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Intercessors constitute the greatest unseen group of spiritual heroes in world history. Their labors are not seen, but the results are. Those who pray for the spiritual needs of others do immeasurable good in the world, often preventing (at least for a time) divine judgment. ~Max Anders

Although God’s people find many successes in the world, they must not fall prey to a spirit of pride. We succeed not because of our moral superiority but because of the faithfulness of our Divine Intercessor and because of the great mercy of God. ~Max Anders

Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God. ~William Carey

There is no limit to what God’s people can expect their God to do if they are rightly related to Him. ~Max Anders

In any spiritual undertaking, God’s first order of business is to see to the spiritual health of His people. ~Max Anders

Believers are inclined to attribute their spiritual successes to their godliness when it would be more accurate to connect them with God’s faithfulness. ~Max Anders

The believer who feels the agony caused by rebellion will grow to become the best intercessor. ~Max Anders

Persistence in prayer brings results that casual prayer does not. ~Max Anders

To know God and to find one’s full satisfaction in that knowledge is the ultimate goal of Christian experience. The Lord’s greatest delight comes when His people discover the ultimate value lies in the knowledge of God. Nothing in the material world can complete with the delights that are present in His Person. ~Max Anders

Grace is always given freely by God, but grace received should always issue in a joyous delight in Him. ~Max Anders

For my part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa …. Is that a sacrifice, which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of the life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory, which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice. ~David Livingstone

The heart that delights in God and longs only to see His glory advance will seldom be conscious of sacrifice. God in His wisdom asks that we first love Him and then live in keeping with that core value. He does not want His people to think of what they do as sacrificial, even though from the world’s point of view it may be just that. Gratitude for grace of God will always be found near the center of the Biblical Christian’s most powerful motivations. ~Max Anders

I remember 31 years ago being in the Decatur, AL Hospital ( My precious wife was about to deliver our first-born. The hospital had me put on the ridiculous hospital grab including a mask over my face. They told me to stand behind a red line until they gave the word to go past it. My wife was in a “room” with another Mom to be. One Mom-to-be was screaming at the top of her lungs. The nurse told us not to be worried that the woman had not seen a doctor for any of her nine months. When they finally let me cross the red line, I was told to stand at the front of the bed and to help my wife breathe (we had attended birthing class and was taught the “correct” breathing for delivery. Mom did great and delivered what we said at the time was the most perfect baby we had ever seen. When they allowed me to hold my baby, I quoted John 3:16 to her. God has blessed us so much over the years. We had no insurance and very little salary at the time of our first-born. When the doctor came by the next day he said that Mom would need one more day in the hospital then she would get to go home. I told him we had no insurance and he changed his mind and told us he would release her that day. I was called down to the business office. The lady in the office asked if we could work out a payment plan. I said sure what would be an acceptable monthly payment? She told me to tell her what we could afford. I said about $5. She said $5/week? I had to tell her no but $5 a month. Believe it or not, the hospital accepted that agreement. I’m grateful to our savior within a month He had supplied all the money to pay off the bill. I still cannot tell you where the money came from except to say it was from the Lord. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our first born Carrie Marie Chavel Cole. I love YOU! God blessed us with you and now He is blessing us by allowing us to see you serving Him!

Just as the ark rested in the center of Israel’s camp, God wants His Word to form the center of the believer’s life. ~Max Anders

The most blessed gift that God can give any person is a knowledge of Himself. ~Max Anders

Fear of God and love for God coexist happily in the heart of people who are rightly related to Him. ~Max Anders

God’s commandments not only reflect His holiness, they promote our happiness. ~Max Anders

All believers can increase their commitment to God by reflecting on His faithfulness and by considering the forms such commitment should assume in their experience. ~Max Anders

Spiritual strength is connected to faithful obedience to God’s commands. ~Max Anders

God supplies the needs of His people according to their needs but does not ordinarily allow stockpiling. ~Max Anders

The worship of false gods is always an outgrowth of spiritual deception. ~Max Anders

Since the success of believers is tied to our knowledge of and obedience to God’s Word, the memorizing of portions of the Bible is advisable. ~Max Anders

David memorized Scripture and recognized it as a key to walking with God: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11). He knew that memorization was the doorway to constant meditation and all the benefits associated with it: “But [the godly person’s] delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:2). Fixing God’s Word on the heart and mind is both preventative and corrective to engage in foolish and sinful practices. At the same time, God will use Scripture to help us realize it when our actions are not pleasing to Him. ~Max Anders

Curiosity is an enormous challenge to godly living. ~Max Anders

Believers have just as much to fear from legalism as from waywardness. The first detracts from the beauty of the message, while the second mars it content. ~Max Anders

Worship is accomplished with the life as well as with the words and attitudes of people. Changed and transformed lives testify to the character and supernatural power of the God of heaven. Closeness to Him produces changes in character and holiness. ~Max Anders

Attachments to older forms of worship may be comfortable, but they may contain elements of falsehood that make them unacceptable to God. ~Max Anders

Common sense religion emphasizes the human contributions that are supposed to move the deity. Valid worship always begins with recognition of what God has already done. ~Max Anders

Religious truth is not false for being narrow any more than mathematical or scientific truth is false for the same reason. ~Max Anders

Rejoicing is the essence of genuine worship. A sad face (apart from remorse for sin or regret concerning the pain of others) is an affront to a gracious and generous God. ~Max Anders

God ought to be given the choice portion of our wealth and not its dregs. ~Max Anders

God warned Israel, “And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it” (Ex. 20:25). To pollute something is to make it ordinary. God insists that any approach crafted by human ingenuity will produce a worship system just like all the pagan systems in the world. In other words, it will be common or profane – just like everyone else’s paganism. ~Max Anders

By definition, if man contributes anything toward acceptance by God, he loses everything. God expects man to be the recipient, not the originator. Jesus paid it all, not 99% of it. Paul wrote, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). ~Max Anders

We dare not trim stones to make God an altar, for if we do we ruin everything. We would spend time bringing people to the altar and saying, “Look at those beautiful stones we trimmed!” We merely need to accept the work that God has done for us in Christ. The object of His restrictions is to help us see how wonderful He is and to spend the rest of our lives rendering true worship to Him. ~Max Anders

Simplicity reaches out after God; purity discovers and enjoys Him. ~Thomas a Kempis

How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing ... it is irresistible. If even ten percent of the world's population had it, would not the whole world be converted and happy before year's end? ~C.S. Lewis

Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means but always also as an end. ~Immanuel Kant

Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God. And only he who sees takes off his shoes, the rest sit around and pick blackberries. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Unless we know the difference between flowers and weeds, we are not fit to take care of a garden. It is not enough to have truth planted in our minds. We must learn and labor to keep the ground clear of thorns and briars, follies and perversities, which have a wicked propensity to choke the word of life. ~Clyde Francis Lytle

True repentance hates the sin, and not merely the penalty; and it hates the sin most of all because it has discovered and felt God’s love. ~William Mackergo Taylor

When people stop believing in God, they do not believe in nothing. They believe in anything. ~ G.K. Chesterton

Conversion is not a repairing of the old building; but it takes all down and erects a new structure. The sincere Christian is quite a new fabric – from the foundation to the top stone all new. ~Joseph Alleine

Love thy God and love Him only and thy breast will ne’er be lonely. ~Aubrey Thomas DeVere

Grace binds with far stronger cords than the cords of duty or obligation can bind you. Grace is free, but when once you take it you are bound forever to the Giver, and bound to catch the spirit of the Giver. Like produces like. Grace makes you gracious, the Giver makes you give. ~ E. Stanley Jones

With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? ~A. W. Tozer

Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, and looks to that alone; laughs at life’s impossibilities, and cries, it shall be done. ~Charles Wesley

Theological error is the most pernicious of errors; it strikes at man’s center and separates him from his Creator and Redeemer. God insisted not only that Israelites should judge their own hearts and cast aside falsehood about Him but that they should also confront it wherever it emerged. ~Max Anders

False teaching – anything that would weaken the believer’s ties to his Lord – must be confronted wherever it appears, even if that confrontation requires painful correction. ~Max Anders

The dictionary defines tolerance as “the capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.” Tolerance in this traditional sense is merely an outgrowth of Christian love, part of practicing the Golden Rule. We like to have our views and practices respected. The Lord insisted that the best way to encourage this is to grant it to other people.

But as is so often the case, the directory is running behind the culture. Today we are hearing a new definition of tolerance in the modern world. To respect people as people is not enough. To grant them the right to their practices is inadequate. Today, we must accept their ideas as equally valid with our own. We are constantly asked to jettison a love for the truth for the sake of harmony.

In the Western world, tolerance has now become the highest of all virtues. No one should be made uncomfortable by raising questions about the validity of their beliefs. Still less acceptable are people who have strong spiritual convictions. Christian evangelism is now often viewed as a form of hate speech.

Many Christians today subscribe to this perspective, not realizing that this modern brand of tolerance brings with it a diminished concern for lost people. We now can comfort ourselves when we are indifferent to people without Christ by explaining that we dare not cause them discomfort. As our biblical text shows, however, spiritual truth is literally a matter of life and death. Christians must not fail to show loving spiritual concern for others by justifying such neglect in the name of good manners. Our witness must always be winsome, but it must be a winsome witness. ~Max Anders

Truth can be attested by the supernatural, but so can falsehood. ~Max Anders

A concern for doctrinal purity should always be based on love of the Lord, not a desire to express spiritual pride. ~Max Anders

Some believers tend to forget God’s persistent faithfulness in the face of the spectacular and showy. ~Max Anders

There is a kind of misguided pity that deals gently with false teachers at the expense of their victims. ~Max Anders

Error is most painful when it is found inside the family. ~Max Anders

God chose Israel not because they were superior but because of what He could do through them for others. ~Max Anders

The fear of God does not come naturally to human beings; it must be learned through Scripture, worship, and the hard knocks of experience. ~Max Anders

God not only allowed for joyful worship but also commanded it. ~Max Anders

Compassion is easily forsaken in the midst of prosperity, even when this prosperity is God given. ~Max Anders

God is glorified when His people find satisfaction in Him and in His provisions for them. ~Max Anders

When things are out of our hands, then it is easier to hold on to God. ~Mission Air

God demonstrates generosity, then asks it from His people. ~Max Anders

Giving works best when the Lord’s portion is removed first and believers learn to live within the remainder. ~Max Anders

The generous giver, demonstrating the nature of God by his behavior, can never outgive God. ~Max Anders

God expects believers to improve their attitude in giving as well as their giving itself. ~Max Anders

Since all wealth ultimately comes from God, His people ought to acknowledge His primacy by offering Him the best of their wealth, time, and abilities. ~Max Anders

God delights to see His people rejoice in what He has provided. ~Max Anders

A good memory is one of the most precious assets of spiritual living. ~Max Anders

Recalling what our lives were like before Jesus Christ entered them will help keep our daily problems in perspective. ~Max Anders

Prosperity is often the enemy of spiritual development. ~Max Anders

A worshiper’s gift makes a statement about the worshiper and his God. ~Max Anders

In God’s pattern of justice, He takes the risk of the guilty going free but not the innocent being punished. ~Max Anders

Man’s sinful nature causes him to deny his guilt as well as pervert the judicial system that seeks to discover the truth. ~Max Anders

God is not naïve in the giving of His laws; He anticipates our disobedience even as He commands our obedience. ~Max Anders

There is no substitute for a firsthand encounter with the Word of God. ~Max Anders

Those who serve God in vocational ministry must learn to trust Him for their daily needs before they can encourage others to do so. ~Max Anders

Intimacy with God is to be preferred above material wealth. ~Max Anders

Giving to God should come from the firstfruits of a person’s labor rather than from what is left after the bills are paid. ~Max Anders

When believers neglect the revealed Word of God, they are likely to turn to silly and unprofitable methods of insight. ~Max Anders

God realizes His people need protection from the pains and heartaches of the world. ~Max Anders

The agonies of those who are falsely accused are of great concern to the living God, and He acts as their defender. ~Max Anders

The task of evangelism often involves preparing an open road so offenders can find their refuge in Christ. ~Max Anders

Compassion for victims is sometimes forgotten in a misapplied concern for their oppressors and murderers. ~Max Anders

The faithfulness of God in the past fortifies believers for future challenges. ~Max Anders

Courage is the most fundamental of all virtues. ~Max Anders

Discouragement is contagious and is easily transmitted to others. ~Max Anders

Exposure to false doctrine places a person at risk not just for theological errors but for moral failure. ~Max Anders

Love is one factor – but not the only on – that God uses to promote the permanence of the marriage bond. ~Max Anders

People are not free to violate law or convention to satisfy their wants and cravings. ~Max Anders

Even guilty people deserve to be treated as those made in the image of God. ~Max Anders

The opposite of love is indifference to the genuine needs of others. ~Max Anders

God is concerned that Christians live consistent with their profession even in the seemingly small and insignificant areas of life. ~Max Anders

God wants believers to take an interest in the well-being of the society in which they live. ~Max Anders

Protection of human life can be costly; but so is the neglect of that protection. ~Max Anders

Sometimes believers are hampered in their public effectiveness by limitations that are no fault of their own. ~Max Anders

God is able to transform the hostile intentions of wicked people into blessings for His people. ~Max Anders

God is always near His people, but their sinful behavior may cause His presence to be grievous. ~Max Anders

Christians must allow no unclean thing to interfere with a harmonious relationship with Christ. ~Max Anders

The health of marriage and the health of society are bound together; as one goes, so goes the other. ~Max Anders

The wise Christian will learn from the spiritual blunders of others. ~Max Anders

Equal justice under law is a spiritual as well as a civic principle. ~Max Anders

Individual believers are not to usurp the role of civil government and judge people who are offensive. ~Max Anders

Christians should be among those who speak loudest in defense of civil liberties and the protection of the weak. ~Max Anders

Some duties exist simply because we are part of a larger family or community. ~Max Anders

When shame is missing from corporate life, society, quickly becomes uncivilized. ~Max Anders

Every demonstration of God’s faithfulness to us is an opportunity for us to testify of Him to others. ~Max Anders

An enriched capacity for rejoicing is an expanded capacity for worship. ~Max Anders

Celebration is best done in the company of others who can rejoice with us over God’s goodness. ~Max Anders

Before we can pray for God’s blessing, we should ask ourselves if our disobedience could hinder his blessing. ~Max Anders

Hearing alone is less effective in learning God’s truth than hearing combined with reading. ~Max Anders

The person who believes he must earn the right to go through the door of eternal life will miss the mark. ~Max Anders

Our identity as the people of God is marked primarily by our faithfulness in obedience to Him. ~Max Anders

What we do in public determines our reputation; what we do in private determines our character. ~Max Anders

The Lord longs to exalt His people as trophies of His work in them. ~Max Anders

Mental confusion can be the product of divine discipline. ~Max Anders

No amount of human willfulness can overcome God’s determined love. ~Max Anders

While catastrophes do enter the lives of godly people, they attach themselves far more to people who reject Him. ~Max Anders

Conversion engages the mind as well as the emotions. ~Max Anders

Distance is no barrier to the love of God. ~Max Anders

A healthy relationship with God is built on the internal changes He brings about through Christ. ~Max Anders

A life that is lived without regard to God cannot be called living. ~Max Anders

It is sometimes easier to trust God in a life-threatening battle than in the small challenges of daily life. ~Max Anders

Although spiritual growth puts our wills to the test, after the battle has been won, we recognize that the Lord is the true victor in the struggle. ~Max Anders

Only people of proven character should be placed in positions of spiritual leadership. ~Max Anders

No amount of temporal success can compensate for the loss of God’s approval. ~Max Anders

In a world of constant change, God alone is the Rock upon which to build a life. ~Max Anders

Although the world places a premium on the latest things, some realities are discovered by looking into the past. ~Max Anders

Many people find spiritual growth possible only when times are hard; prosperity tends to promote complacency. ~Max Anders

Demons lie behind much of the world’s pagan worship systems. ~Max Anders

God’s love does not depend on the current spiritual condition of those He loves. ~Max Anders

One of the greatest testimonials to God’s love is His provision of His Word. ~Max Anders

Spiritual leadership ought to be given to those who have proven themselves under stress. ~Max Anders

The spiritual heritage of the godly lives on after they are gone. ~Max Anders

God never forgets a promise. ~Max Anders

Our lives will last as long as God has something for us to do. ~Max Anders

Christians can mourn, but not as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). ~Max Anders

Training leaders is part of the work of discipling. ~Max Anders

The Quakers have a saying: “An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.” To communicate to post-Christians, I must first listen to their stories for clues to how they view the world and how they view people like me. ~Philip Yancey

… the issue is not whether I agree with someone but rather how I treat someone with whom I profoundly disagree. We Christians are called to use the “weapons of grace,” which means treating even our opponents with love and respect. ~Philip Yancey

Often, it seems, we’re [Christians] perceived more as guilt dispensers than as grace dispensers. ~Philip Yancey

God, help me to see others not as enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst. ~Henri Nouwen

… the core problem with Christians communicating faith: we do not always do so in love. That is an indispensable point to presenting faith in a grace-full way. ~Philip Yancey

Christians fail to communicate to others because we ignore basic principles in relationship. When we make condescending judgments or proclaim lofty words that don’t translate into action, or simply speak without first listening, we fail to love – and thus deter a thirsty world from Living Water. The good news about God’s grace goes unheard. ~Philip Yancey

According to Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Great Britain. “The Hebrew [Old Testament] in one verse commands, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ but in no fewer than 36 places commands us to ‘love the stranger.’” He adds, “The supreme religious challenge is to see God’s image in one who is not in our image.” ~Philip Yancey

Love has the power to win over the stranger. A news event in 1995 shocked both sides in the culture wars controversy. Norma Leah McCorvey, the “Jane Doe” of the famous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case of 1973, converted to Christ, got baptized, and joined the pro-life campaign. Most astoundingly, it was the director of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who influenced her. As she tells the story, the change occurred when that director stopped treating her like an antagonist. He apologized for publicly calling her “baby killer” and started spending time with her during her smoking breaks in the parking lot that, oddly enough, their offices shared. In time, McCorvey accepted an invitation to church from a seven-year-old girl, whose mother also worked at Operation Rescue. Pro-abortion forces had dismissed McCorvey – her dubious past of drug-dealing, alcohol, and promiscuity made bad public relations – but Christian leaders took the time to counsel her in the faith while keeping her out of the spotlight for some time. In a command found in no other religion, Jesus bids us to show love not only to strangers and sinners but also to our outright adversaries. ~Philip Yancey

The more we love, and the more unlikely people we love, the more we resemble God – who, after all, loves ornery creatures like us. ~Philip Yancey

… learning humility is a prerequisite for grace. ~Philip Yancey

Henri Nouwen says, “When we come to realize that … only God saves, then we are free to serve, then we can live truly humble lives.” Nouwen changed his approach from “selling pearls,” or peddling the good news, to “hunting for the treasure” already present in those he was called to love – a shift from dispensing religion to dispensing grace. It makes all the difference in the world whether I view my neighbor as a potential convert or as someone whom God already loves. ~Philip Yancey

… the approach of admitting our errors, besides being most true to a gospel of grace, is also most effective at expressing who we are. Propaganda turns people off; humbly admitting mistakes disarms. ~Philip Yancey

The uncommitted share many of our core values, but if we do not live out those values in a compelling way, we will not awaken a thirst for their ultimate Source. ~Philip Yancey

… we need to reclaim the “goodnewness” of the gospel, and the best place to start is to rediscover the good news ourselves. ~Philip Yancey

The Christian sees the world as a transitional home badly in need of rehab, and we are active agents in that project. ~Philip Yancey

We respond to healing grace by giving it away. ~Philip Yancey

An alcoholic friend once made this point by comparing church with AA, which had become for him a substitute church. “When I show up late to church, people turn and look at me. Some scowl, some smile a self-satisfied smile – See that person’s not as responsible as I am. In AA, if I show up late the meeting comes to a halt and everyone jumps up to greet me. They realize that my desperate need for them won out over my desperate need for alcohol.” ~Philip Yancey

Ignatius of Loyola defined sin as refusing to believe that God wants my happiness and fulfillment. Human rebellion began in the Garden of Eden when said in effect, “Trust me. I know what is best for you.” ~Philip Yancey

Unless we love natural goods – sex, alcohol, food, money, success, power – in the way God intended, we become their slaves, as any addict can attest. ~Philip Yancey

Eugene Peterson points out that “the root meaning in Hebrew of salvation is to be broad, to become spacious, to enlarge. It carries the sense of deliverance from an existence that has become compressed, confined and cramped.” God wants to set free, to make it possible for us to live open and loving lives with God and our neighbors. “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free,” wrote the psalmist. ~Philip Yancey

Perhaps the most powerful thing Christians can do to communicate to a skeptical world is to live fulfilled lives, exhibiting proof that Jesus’ way truly leads to a life most abundant and most thirst-satisfying. ~Philip Yancey

I have come to think that the challenge confronting Christians is not that we do not believe what we say, though that can be a problem, but that what we say we believe does not seem to make any difference for either the church or the world. ~Stanley Hauerwas

I am convinced that if we lose kids to the culture of drugs and materialism, of violence and war, it’s because we don’t dare them, not because we don’t entertain them. It’s because we make the gospel too easy, not because we make it too difficult. Kids want to do something heroic with their lives, which is why they play video games and join the army. But what do they do with a church that teaches them to tiptoe through life so they can arrive safely at death? ~Shane Claiborne

We should live in such a way that our lives wouldn’t make much sense if the gospel were not true. ~Dorothy Day

Jesus once asked His disciples, “For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?” In that society, rife with slaves and servants, the question probably sounded rhetorical, if not ridiculous. No one envied a servant. Yet Jesus went on to say, “But I am among you as one who serves.” By serving others we follow Jesus, building up His kingdom step-by-step. ~Philip Yancey

While discussing the growing antipathy toward Christians, a friend remarked to me, “There are three kinds of Christians that outsiders to the faith still respect: pilgrims, activists, and artists. The uncommitted will listen to them far sooner than to an evangelist or apologist.” Although nonbelievers do not oppose a spiritual search, they will listen only to those Christians who present themselves as fellow pilgrims on the way rather than as part of a superior class who has already arrived. Activists express their faith in the most persuasive way of all, by their deeds. And art succeeds when it speaks most authentically to the human condition when believers do so with skill, again the world takes note. ~Philip Yancey

The church is, above all, a place to receive grace: it brings forgiven people together with the aim of equipping us to dispense grace to others. ~Philip Yancey

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” were the disciples’ last words to Jesus, and it was left to the angels to provide an indirect answer: “Why do you stand here looking into the shy?” Get moving – you’re the main actors now. ~Philip Yancey

Again and again I tell God I need help, and God says, “Well isn’t that fabulous? Because I need help too. So you go get that old woman over there some water, and I’ll figure out what we’re going to do about your stuff.” ~Anne Lamott

Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. ~Eugene Peterson

Early in her career Mother Teresa of Calcutta was struck by Jesus’ words on the cross: “I thirst.” For her they came to symbolize not just physical thirst but God’s own thirst to draw humanity close. She made “I thirst” the motto for the Sisters of Charity, ordering those words to be displayed in every chapel of the society. “We carry in our body and soul the love of an infinite thirsty God,” she wrote one sister. “God thirsts. God thirsts for us and humanity thirsts for God.” God thirsts not out of need but out of desire, for God’s essence is love. ~Philip Yancey

We lead our lives well when we love God with our whole being and when we love neighbors as we (properly) love ourselves. ~Miroslav Volf

We, Jesus’ followers, are the agents assigned to carry out God’s will on earth. Too easily we expect God to do something for us when instead God wants to do it through us. ~Philip Yancey

We preach sermons, write books on apologetics, conduct city-wide evangelistic campaigns. For those alienated from the church, that approach no longer has the same drawing power. And for the truly needy, words alone don’t satisfy; “A hungry person has no ears,” as one relief worker told me. A skeptical world judges the truth of what we say by the proof of how we live. ~Philip Yancey

The church works best not as a power center, rather as a countercultural community – in the world but not of it – that shows others how to live the most fulfilled and meaningful life on earth. In modern society that means rejecting the false gods of independence, success, and pleasure and replacing them with love for God and neighbor. ~Philip Yancey

One Harlem preacher likens us to the pink plastic spoons at Baskin Robbins: we give the world a foretaste of what lies ahead, the vision of the Biblical prophets. In a world gone astray we should be activity demonstrating here and now God’s will for the planet. ~Philip Yancey

Sacred music called the classical composers to their highest artistic achievements. Of his hundreds of works Beethoven wrote only two masses, yet he judged one of them, Missa Solemnis, his greatest composition. In their oratorios Handel and Mendelssohn served almost as evangelists, presenting the Biblical stories and themes in colorfully staged epics. Mozart and Haydn drifted toward religious themes mainly for economic reasons, as commissions for church events made it worthwhile. Even so, Mozart was so obsessed with the Requiem Mass he was striving to finish before his death that his doctor tried to take the manuscript away from him to enforce rest. ~Philip Yancey

We cannot expect art always to uplift and inspire. In the words of Alan Paton, literature “will illuminate the road, but it will not lead the way with a lamp. It will expose the crevasse, but not provide the bridge. It will lance the boil, but not purify the blood. It cannot be expected to do more than this; and if we ask it to do more, we are asking too much. ~Philip Yancey

We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom, and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years. ~”The Paradox of Our Time” by Dr. Bob Moorehead

Faith is not simply a private matter, or something we practice once a week at church. Rather, it should have a contagious effect on the broader world. Jesus used these images to illustrate His kingdom.: a sprinkle of yeast causing the whole loaf to rise, a pinch of salt preserving a slab of meat, the smallest seed in the garden growing into a great tree in which birds of the air come to nest. ~Philip Yancey

John Wesley taught that the gospel of Christ involved more than saving souls. It should have an impact on all of society, and his followers worked to accomplish just that. They were dispensing grace to the broader world, and in the process their spirit helped change a nation, saving it from the revolutionary chaos that had spread across Europe. ~Philip Yancey

The reason we fear to go out after dark is not that we may be set upon by bands of evangelicals and forced to read the New Testament, but that we may be set upon by gangs of feral young people who have been taught that nothing is superior to their own needs or feelings. ~David C. Stolinsky (Jewish medical educator)

In early 2014 Christianity Today published a cover story on a sociologist named Robert Woodberry, who had wondered why some countries take democracy so well while their next door neighbors wallow in corruption and bad government. Painstaking research led him to conclude that missionaries made the difference. They taught people to read, built hospitals, and gave a biblical foundation for basic human rights. He concluded, “Areas where Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past are on average more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations. ~Philip Yancey

Matthew Parris, a journalist and former member of parliament in the U.K., grew up in Africa. In 2008 he returned to his childhood home after forty-five years and wrote an article for The Times of London with the subtitle, “Missionaries, Not Aid Money, Are the Solution to Africa’s Biggest Problem – The Crushing Passivity of the People’s Mindset.”

He wrote, “Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

I used to avoid this truth by applauding – as you can - the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.

But this doesn’t fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing … .

The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, and engagement with the world – a directness in their dealings with others – that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.

Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards strangers – in some ways less so – but more open. …

What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man’s place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.

Alexander Tsiaras, a professor at the Yale Department of Medicine, entranced a sophisticated crowd at a TED conference with a video of the fetal stages from conception to birth. The video compresses nine months of growth and development into a nine-minute film.

A friend who is a physicist and also a committed Christian wondered whether celebrating creation can be a form of worship, even by those who do not acknowledge the Creator. He told of a conversion with someone who praised one of his books while admitting he could not recall the author’s name – totally unaware he was speaking to the author. “The praise was strangely more genuine for its inarticulate anonymity. I suspect, C.S. Lewis once speculated, that God may have more connection with honest atheists than many think. ~Philip Yancey

As the quantum pioneer Erwin Schrodinger admitted, “The scientific picture of the world around me is very deficient. It gives me a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but is ghastly silent about all that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell a word about the sensation of red and blue, bitter and sweet, feelings of delight and sorrow. It knows nothing of beauty and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity.” Another scientist expressed a similar thought: “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” ~Philip Yancey

Long before He laid down earth’s foundation he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!)…

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone. ~The Message

Jesus represents a point of common ground an esteemed rabbi to the Jew, a god to the Hindu, an enlightened one to the Buddhist, a great prophet to the Muslim. Even to the New Age guru, Jesus is the pinnacle of God-consciousness. At the same time, Jesus is the divider. None but Christians see Him as a member of the Godhead on an exclusive mission to repair the broken world. ~Philip Yancey

What would a church look like that created space for quietness, that bucked the celebrity trend and unplugged from noisy media, that actively resisted our consumer culture? What would worship look like if we directed it more toward God than toward our own amusement? ~Philip Yancey

I may, I suppose, regard myself, or pass for being, a relatively successful man. People occasionally stare at me in the streets – that’s fame. I can fairly easily earn enough to qualify for admission to the higher slopes of the Internal Revenue – that’s success. Furnished with money and a little fame even the elderly, if they care to, may partake of trendy diversions – that’s pleasure. It might happen once in a while that something I said or wrote was sufficiently heeded for me to persuade myself that it represented a serious impact on our time – that’s fulfillment. Yet I say to you – and I beg you to believe me – multiply these tiny triumphs by a million, add them all together, and they are nothing - less than nothing, a positive impediment – measured against one draught of that living water Christ offers to the spiritually thirsty, irrespective of who or what they are. ~Malcolm Muggeridge, journalist and author

Why are we here? God wants us to flourish, and paradoxically we flourish best by obeying rather than rebelling, by giving more than receiving, by serving rather than being served. Six times in the Gospels Jesus iterated the deeper truth that we succeed not by acquiring more and more but by “losing” life through service to God and others. Centuries later the converted slave trader John Newton wrote in a hymn of the “solid joys and lasting treasure” that far exceed the fading “worldling’s pleasure.”

Jesus gave a vivid object lesson His last night with the disciples by washing their feet, like a servant. Parents know the self-giving principle by instinct as they pour their energies into their self-absorbed children. Volunteers in soup kitchens and hospices and mission projects learn this lesson by doing. What seems like sacrifice becomes instead a kind of nourishment because dispensing grace enriches the giver as well as the receiver. ~Philip Yancey

According to Time magazine, “A research review published in BMC Public Health found that doing volunteer work – in such places as hospitals and soup kitchens that allow direct contact with the people you’ve helping - may lower mortality rates by as much as 22% compared with those of nonvolunteers. Making such social connections increases life satisfaction and reduces depression and loneliness and in turn lowers the risk of hypertension, stroke, dementia and more.

If you read history you will find out that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. ~C.S. Lewis

Christians have an important role to play in contending that no human life is “devoid of value.” We can do so through courageous protest, as happened in Germany, as well, as in compassionate care for the most vulnerable members of society, as Mother Teresa did. In both approaches theology – what one believes about God and human life – matters. The world desperately needs that good news. ~Philip Yancey

Theology reminded me that, however diabolical the act, it did not turn the perpetrator into a demon. We had to distinguish between the deed and the perpetrator, between the sinner and the sin, to hate and condemn the sin while being filled with compassion for the sinner. ~Bishop Desmond Tutu

Individuals and societies are not helpless victims of heredity. We have the power to change – not by looking “down” to nature but “up” to God, who consistently calls us forward to become the people we were designed to be. A confused world urgently needs a model of what that looks like. If Christians fail to provide that model, who will? ~Philip Yancey

The shift in American society from admiring Christians to fearing and criticizing them provides an opportunity for self-reflection. How have we been presenting the message we believe in? Might there be a more grace-filled way? ~Philip Yancey

Whoever desires to remain faithful to Jesus must communicate faith as he did, not by compelling assent but by presenting it as a true answer to basic thirst. Rather than looking back nostalgically on a time when Christians wielded more power, I suggest another approach: that we regard ourselves as subversives operating within the broader culture. ~Philip Yancey

Our confused society badly needs a community of contrast, a counterculture of ordinary pilgrims who insist living a different way. Unlike popular culture, we will lavish attention on the least “deserving” in direct opposition to our celebrity culture’s emphasis on success, wealth, and beauty. ~Philip Yancey

Christians are simply pilgrims who acknowledge their lostness and their desire for help in finding the way. ~Philip Yancey

[In art] you are telling the reader or the listener or the viewer something he already knows but which he doesn’t quite know that he knows, so that in the action of communication he experiences a recognition, a feeling that he has been there before, a shock of recognition. ~Walker Percy

Art involves an exchange between two parties: the creator and the receiver. C.S. Lewis explains the act of reading as “less concerned with altering our own opinions – though this of course is sometimes their effect - than with entering fully into the opinions, and therefore also the attitudes, feelings, and total experience” of the author. While reading a good book I temporarily suspend my own life and enter an imaginative world created for me. Prior to that, the author has done almost the reverse: entering into the attitudes, feelings, and total experience of the reader. And here, I believe, is where Christians sometimes err in attempts to communicate faith: we fail to take into account the point of view of the other party. ~Philip Yancey

God must love art because most of the Bible is expressed in the form of story or poetry. ~Philip Yancey

Lord, help us realize that everything that happens to us happens for a reason. Help us realize that every sorrow or setback we experience can be transformed into a blessing, if we but trust in you. Help us realize that if we trust you, all things – even tragedies – will work out for our good. ~Robert Pascuzzi

Life changes in an instant. The ordinary instant. ~Joan Didion

God dislikes evil. And no happiness can be built on hate. Love one another as brothers. ~Josephine Baker

But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. ~Robert Frost

Fame is a bee.
It has a song-
It has a sting-
Ah, too, it has a wing. ~Emily Dickinson

Our lives are the sum total of the choices we have made. ~Wayne Dyer

What’s done cannot be undone. ~William Shakespeare

Brief is life, But love is long ~Lord Alfred Tennyson

Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver. ~Sophocles

The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.  ~Stephen King

Deep into that darkest peering,
Long I stood there,
Wondering, fearing ~Edgar Allan Poe

Go out into the darkness,

And put your hand into the hand of God.  ~Minnie Louise Haskins

To love and win is the best thing;

To love and lose, the next best.  ~William Makepeace Thackeray

If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.  ~1 Cor. 15:19

We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.  ~Mother Teresa

My mind is like a bad neighborhood; I try not to go there alone.   ~Anne Lamott

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains.  ~C.S. Lewis

Let us forgive each other; only then will we live in peace.  ~Tolstoy

There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.  ~Author Unknown

William Provine of Cornell University said, “If Darwinism is true, then there are five inescapable conclusions:
·      there’s no evidence for God
·      there’s no life after death
·      there’s no absolute foundation for right and wrong
·      there’s no ultimate meaning for life

·      and people don’t really have free will.”

It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in numbers, has been rather carefully thought out. … The seemingly miraculous concurrence of these numerical values must remain the most compelling evidence for cosmic design.  ~Physicist Paul Davies

Would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose? ~Sir John Templeton

… all the seemingly arbitrary and unrelated constants in physics have one strange thing in common – these are precisely the values you need if you want to have a universe capable of producing life. ~Patrick Glynn

In his book God: The Evidence, [Patrick] Glynn credits the absolutely incredible fine-tuning of the cosmos as being among the key reasons why he concluded that the universe must have been the handiwork of a master designer.

A universe aiming at the production of man implies a mind directing it. Though man is not at the physical center of the universe, he appears to be at the center of its purpose. ~Robert Augros

When scientists talk about the fine-tuning of the universe they’re generally referring to the extraordinary balancing of the fundamental laws and parameters of physics and the initial conditions of the universe. Our minds can’t comprehend the precision of some of them. The result is a universe that has just the right conditions to sustain life. The coincidences are simply too amazing to have been the result of happenstance.  ~Robin Collins    … as Paul Davies said, “the impression of design is overwhelming.”

As scientific knowledge grew, dreams of finding lunar civilizations dissipated. Everyone came to agree that the moon cannot support life. Yet surprising discoveries in recent years have shown the opposite to be true: the moon really does support life – ours! Scientific evidence confirms how this parched, airless satellite actually contributes in unexpected ways to creating a lush and stable environment a quarter of a million miles away on Earth.   ~Lee Strobel

There was a remarkable finding that the moon actually stabilizes the tilt of the earth’s axis. The tilt is responsible for our seasons. During the summer, in the northern hemisphere the north pole axis is pointed more toward the sun. Six months later, when the Earth is on the other side of the sun, then the south pole is more pointed toward the sun. While the Earth’s tilt at 23.5 degrees, this gives us very mild seasons. So in a very real way, the stability of our climate is attributable to the moon.  ~Guillermo Gonzalez

What would happen if the moon were not there? Then our tilt could swing wildly over a large range, resulting in major temperature swings. If our tilt were more like ninety degrees, the north pole would be exposed to the sun for six months, while the south pole would be in darkness, then vice-versa. Instead, it varies by only about one and a half degrees – just a tiny variation, because the gravity from the moon’s orbit keeps it stabilized.  ~Guillermo Gonzalez

We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cossetted, cherished group of creatures; our Darwinian claim to have done it all ourselves is as ridiculous and as charming as a baby’s brave efforts to stand on its own feet and refuse his mother’s hand. If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.  ~John A. O’Keefe

If God so precisely and carefully and lovingly and amazingly constructed a mind-boggling habitat for his creatures, then it would be natural for Him to want them to explore it, to measure it, to investigate it, to appreciate it, to be inspired by it – and ultimately, and most importantly, to find Him through it.  ~Lee Strobel

We have always underestimated the cell. … The entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines. … Why do we call [them] machines? Precisely because, like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world, these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts.  ~Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences

We should reject, as a matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity; but we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical system, only a variety of wishful speculations.   ~Biochemist Franklin M. Harold

One scientist described a singled-celled organism as a high-tech factory, complete with artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction … [and] a capacity not equaled in any of our own most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours.  ~Lee Strobel

Today we buy information, we sell it, we regard it as commodity, we value it, we send it down wires and bounce it off satellites – and we know it invariably comes from intelligent agents. So what do we make of the fact that DNA stores far more information in a smaller space than the most advanced supercomputer on the planet?  ~Lee Strobel

Wilder Penfield, the renowned father of modern neurosurgery, has encountered concrete evidence that the brain and mind are actually distant from each other, although they clearly interact.

At this point, having considered J.P. Moreland’s critique of physicalism. I wanted to hear his affirmative case that consciousness and the souls are immaterial entities. “What positive evidence is there that consciousness and the self are not merely a physical process of the brain?” I [Lee Strobel] asked.

“We have experimental data, for one thing,” he replied. “For example, neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield electrically stimulated the brains of epilepsy patients and found he could cause them to move their arms or legs, turn their heads or eyes, talk, or swallow. Invariably the patient would respond by saying, ‘I didn’t do that. You did.’ According to Penfield, ‘the patient thinks of himself as having an existence separate from his body.’

“No matter how much Penfield probed the cerebral cortex, he said, ‘There is no place … whose electrical stimulation will cause a patient to believe or to decide.’ That’s because those functions originate in the conscious self, not the brain.

“A lot of subsequent research has validated this. When Roger Sperry and his team studied the differences between the brain’s right and left hemispheres, they discovered the mind has a causal power independent of the brain’s activities. This led Sperry to conclude materialism was false.” 

The portrait of the Creator that emerges from the scientific data is uncannily consistent with the description of the God whose identity is spelled out in the pages of the Bible.

  • Creator? “In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”
  • Unique? “You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides Him there is no other.”
  • Uncaused and timeless? “Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God.”
  • Immaterial? “God is spirit.”
  • Personal? “I am God Almighty.”
  • Freedom of will? “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
  • Intelligent and rational? “How many are Your works, O Lord! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.”
  • Enormously powerful? “This Lord is … great in power.”
  • Creative? “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
  • Caring? “The earth is full of His unfailing love.”
  • Omnipresent? “The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain You.”
  • Has given humankind purpose? “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, … everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.”
  • Provides for life after death? “He will sallow up death forever.”

As the apostle Paul wrote two millennia ago: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made [that is, His creation], so that men are without excuse.” ~ Lee Strobel

James Tour of Rice University said, “Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.” Astrophysicist and priest George Coyne put it this way, “Nothing we learn about the universe threatens our faith. It only enriches it.”

Polkinghome, who achieved acclaim as a mathematical physicist at Cambridge before becoming a full-time minister, the same kind of thinking he uses in science has helped him draw life-changing conclusions about God: “ No one has ever seen a quark, and we believe that no one ever will. They are so tightly bound to each other inside the protons and neutrons that nothing can make them break out on their own. Why, then, do I believe in these invisible quarks? … In summary, it’s because quarks make sense of a lot of direct physical evidence. … I wish to engage in a similar strategy with regard to the unseen reality of God. His existence makes sense of many aspects of our knowledge and experience: the order and fruitfulness of the physical world; the multilayered character of reality; the almost universal human experiences of worship and hope; the phenomenon of Jesus Christ (including His resurrection). I think that very similar thought processes are involved in both cases. I do not believe that I shift in some strange intellectual way when I move from science to religion. … In their search for the truth science and faith are intellectual cousins under the skin.”

Religious knowledge is more demanding than scientific knowledge. While it requires scrupulous attention to matters of truth, it also calls for the response of commitment to the truth discovered.  ~ Polkinghome

Many have found that the awesome sight of the star-studded heavens evoke a sense of wonder, an awareness of transcendence, which is charged with spiritual significance. Yet the distant shimmering of stars does not itself create this sense of longing; it merely exposes what is already there. They are catalysts for our spiritual insights, revealing our emptiness and compelling us to ask whether and how this void might be filled.

Might our true origins and destiny somehow lie beyond these stars? Might there not be a homeland, from which we are presently exiled and to which we secretly long to return? Might not our accumulation of discontentment and disillusionment with our present existence be a pointer to another land where our true destiny lies and which is able to make its presence felt now in this haunting way?

Suppose that this is not where we are meant to be but that a better land is at hand? We don’t belong here. We have somehow lost our way. Would not this make our present existence both strange and splendid? Strange, because it is not where our true destiny lies; splendid, because it points ahead to where that real hope might be found. The beauty of the night skies or a glorious sunset are important pointers to the origins and the ultimate fulfillment of our heart’s deepest desires. But if we mistake the signpost for what is signposted, we will attach our hopes and longings to lesser goals, which cannot finally quench our thirst for meaning.  ~Alister McGrath

When things are out of our hands, then it is easier to hold on to God.  ~Mission Air

God permits what He hates to accomplish that which He loves.  ~Steve Estes

When we walk in the Light, we won’t stumble in the darkness.  John 12:46  ~ Bill Crowder

We cannot help make the world more as our Creator intended until we first learn to see it through our Creator’s eyes.  ~Bobby Bowden

The God who created the universe is the God who loves you.  ~Dave Branon

Waiting well requires us to wait for God and trust His timing. To put it differently, waiting well means to remind ourselves time and again – especially when troubles mount up – that God is in control. Such waiting gives us confidence. We gain strength. Our endurance grows. Hope burns brighter. And those encumbrances that once dragged us down slowly lose their grip.  (Is. 40:31)  ~ Bobby Bowden

Great joy can be found by those who have little and need less. Great joy can also be found by those who have much and give more. Contentment is available to us whatever our circumstance in life, if our eyes are set first and constantly on the Living God.  ~ Bobby Bowden

It's not the amount of our possessions, but the value we give them, that distinguishes the wise from fools.  ~ Bobby Bowden

It is not miracles that produce faith but faith that produces miracles.  ~Fyodor Dostoevsky

I believe this blessed land was set apart in a very special way, a country created by men and women who came here not in search of gold but in search of God. They would be free people, living under the law, with faith in their Maker and their future.   ~Ronald Reagan

Yours is a sacred mission. In the words of Henry Adams, "A teacher affects eternity." Each of you, as tiring and routine as your daily duties may sometimes seem, is a keeper of the American dream, the American future. By informing and exercising young minds, by transmitting learning and values, you are the vital link between all that is most precious in our national heritage and our children and grandchildren, who will some day take up the burdens of guiding the greatest, freest society on Earth.  ~Ronald Reagan

What America needs is spiritual renewal and reconciliation - first, man with God, and then man with man.  ~Ronald Reagan

Freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted.  ~Ronald Reagan

When the liberals say "family" they mean "Big Brother in Washington." When we say "family" we mean, "honor thy father and mother."  ~Ronald Reagan

The right of parents and the rights of family take precedence over those of Washington-based bureaucrats and social engineers.  ~Ronald Reagan

Man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics, as government expands, liberty contracts.  ~Ronald Reagan

Let us be frank. Evil still stalks the planet. Its ideology may be nothing more than bloodlust; no program more complex than economic plunder or military aggrandizement. But it is evil all the same. And wherever there are forces that would destroy the human spirit and diminish human potential, they must be recognized, and they must be countered.   ~Ronald Reagan

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.  ~Ronald Reagan

All of these men were different, but they shared this in common: They loved America very much. There was nothing they wouldn't do for her. And they loved with the sureness of the young.  .  ~Ronald Reagan, Arlington Cemetery, May 25, 1986

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

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