Previous Quotes of the Day Page 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, but we underestimate what God can do in a decade, ~Mark Batterson

Lion chasers who are more afraid of missing God-ordained opportunities than making a few mistakes along the way. They know that when they fail to step out in faith and chase lions, God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him. ~Mark Batterson

Just because you’re past retirement age, that doesn’t mean you’re past your prime. It’s never too late to become who you’ve always dreamed of being. ~Mark Batterson

When God answers a prayer or fulfills a dream, you steward it by praying bolder prayers and dreaming bigger dreams. In other words, you chase even bigger lions! You go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. ~Mark Batterson

Dreaming big enables you to fail forward. ~Mark Batterson

The greatest opportunities are still the scariest lions. Impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles. And to the Infinite, all finites are equal. What if the life you really want and the future God wants for you is hiding right now in your biggest problem, your worst failure, your greatest fear? Live your life in a way that is worth telling stories about. Chase the lion! It’s what you are destined to do! ~Mark Batterson

You are responsible forever for what you have tamed. ~Antoine De Saint-Exupery

There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab’s mighest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. Another time, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. ~2 Samuel 23:20-21

God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time. A sense of destiny is our birthright as followers of Christ. God is awfully good at getting us where He wants us to go. But here’s the catch: The right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time. ~Mark Batterson

God is in the resume-building business. He is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities. But those God-given opportunities often disguised as man-eating lions. And how we react when we encounter those lions will determine our destiny. We can cower in fear and run away from our greatest challenges. Or we can chase our God-ordained destiny by seizing the God-ordained opportunity. ~Mark Batterson

But when I look in the rearview mirror, I realize that the biggest risks were the greatest opportunities. Some of those life-altering decisions caused sleepless nights. The steps of faith were accompanied by acute fear that caused nausea. We experienced some financial hardships that required miraculous provision. And we had to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off after falling flat on our faces a few times. ~Mark Batterson

Goodness is not the absence of badness. You can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. Those who simply run away from sin are half-Christians. Our calling is much higher than simply running away from what’s wrong. We’re called to chase lions. ~Mark Batterson

Lion chasers are always on the lookout for God-ordained opportunities. ~Mark Batterson

What sets lion chasers apart isn’t the outcome. It’s the courage to chase God-sized dreams. Lion chasers don’t let their fears or doubts keep them from doing what God has called them to do. ~Mark Batterson

I have a simple definition of success: Do the best you can with what you have where you are. In essence, success is making the most of every opportunity. Spiritual maturity is seeing and seizing God-ordained opportunities. Think of every opportunity as God’s gift to you. What you do with those opportunities is your gift to God. I’m absolutely convinced that our greatest regrets in life will be missed opportunities. Lion chasers are always on the lookout for God-ordained opportunities. ~Mark Batterson

At the end of the day, success equals stewardship and stewardship equals success. But our view of stewardship is far too parochial [narrow minded]. Sure how we manage our time, talent, and treasure is a huge stewardship issue. But what about being a good steward of our imagination? Or our medial ventral prefrontal cortex (the seat of humor, according to neurologists)? Or how about stewardship of our sex drive and competitive streaks? Stewardship is all-inclusive. We’ve got to be good stewards of every second of time and every ounce of energy. But right at the top of the stewardship list is what I’d call opportunity stewardship. ~Mark Batterson

How much happier you would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos. ~G.K. Chesterton

There is a pattern that I see repeated throughout Scripture: Sometimes God won’t intervene until something is humanly impossible. And He usually does it just in the nick of time. I think that pattern reveals one dimension of God’s personality: God loves impossible odds. And I can relate to that. ~Mark Batterson

Too often our prayers revolve around asking God to reduce the odds in our lives. We want everything in our favor. But maybe God wants to stack the odds against us so we can experience a miracle of divine proportions. Maybe faith is trusting God no matter how impossible the odds are. Maybe our impossible situations are opportunities to experience a new dimension of God’s glory. ~Mark Batterson

Faith gives us the dimensional freedom to overcome our human limitations by exiting space-time via prayer. ~Mark Batterson

How you think about God will determine who you become. You aren’t just the by-product of “nature and nurture.” You are a by-product of your God-picture. And that internal picture of God determines how you see everything else. ~Mark Batterson

Most of our problems are not circumstantial. Most of our problems are perceptual. Our biggest problems can be traced back to an inadequate understanding of who God is. Our problems seem really big because our God seems really small. In fact, we reduce God to the size of our biggest problem. ~Mark Batterson

Maybe it’s time to stop placing four-dimensional limits on God. Maybe it’s time to stop putting God in a box the size of your cerebral cortex. Maybe it’s time to stop creating God in your image and let Him create you in His image. ~Mark Batterson

The more we grow, the bigger God should get. And the bigger God gets, the smaller our lions will become. ~Mark Batterson

Long before God laid earth’s foundations, He had us in mind. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family. He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need. Translation: God planned for every contingency you might ever encounter, before the beginning of time. ~Mark Batterson

God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go. ~Mark Batterson

Sometimes His itinerary entails coming face to face with a lion in a pit on a snowy day. But when you find yourself in those challenging circumstances, you need to know that God is ordering your footsteps. You can have a sense of destiny because you know that God has considered every contingency in your life, and He always has your best interest at heart. And that sense of destiny, rooted in the sovereignty of God, helps you pray the unthinkable and attempt the impossible. ~Mark Batterson

To the Infinite all finites are equal. ~Mark Batterson

The price of our vitality is the sum of our fears. ~David Whyte

Half of learning is learning. The other half of learning is unlearning. ~Mark Batterson

If you study the teachings of Christ you’ll realize that learning wasn’t His primary goal. His primary goal was unlearning. He was reverse engineering religious minds. And those can be the toughest minds to change. That is why two phrases are repeated over and over again in the Sermon on the Mount. “You have heard that it was said …” “But I tell you …” ~Mark Batterson

When we read Scripture, we are recruiting new nerve cells and rewiring neuronal connections. In a sense, we are downloading a new operating system that reconfigures the mind. We stop thinking human thoughts and start thinking God thoughts. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” How do we accomplish that command? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” ~Mark Batterson

First John 4:18 describes the end goal of our relationship with God: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” The goal of love is fearlessness. ~Mark Batterson

Faith is the process of unlearning your irrational fears. ~Mark Batterson

The only God-ordained fear is the fear of God. And if we fear God, then we don’t have to fear anyone or anything else. ~Mark Batterson

Unlearning our fear is really a process of learning to trust God more and more. ~Mark Batterson

The cure for fear of failure is not success. It’s failure. The cure for the fear of rejection is not acceptance. It’s rejection. You’ve got to be exposed to small quantities of whatever you’re afraid of. That’s how you build up immunity. ~Mark Batterson

Courage is putting yourself into defenseless positions. Isn’t that what landed Daniel in a lion’s den? Isn’t that what Esther did by defying royal protocol and approaching the king without being summoned? And isn’t that what Jesus did on the cross? ~Mark Batterson

If you take a second to reflect on your life, you’ll discover that the greatest experiences are often the scariest, and the scariest experiences are often the greatest. ~Mark Batterson

Too many of us pray as if God primary objective is to keep us from getting scared. But the goal of life is not the elimination of fear. The goal is to muster the moral courage to chase lions. ~Mark Batterson

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven out of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. ~John Milton

It took a God-ordained opportunity that came as a really well-disguised problem. ~Mark Batterson

Opportunities often look like insurmountable obstacles. So, if we want to take advantage of these opportunities, we have to learn to see problems in a new way – God’s way. Then our biggest problems may just start looking like our greatest opportunities. ~Mark Batterson

If we did an honest assessment of our prayer lives, I think we’d be amazed at the percentage of prayers aimed at problem reduction. Most of us pray that God would keep us out of pits with lions on snowy days. We ask God to help us steer clear of large Eqyptain warriors with spears. And if we have to fight a Moabite, we ask God to make sure the numbers are stacked in our favor. But if these problems are just opportunities in disguise, our prayers are totally misdirected. ~Mark Batterson

Sometimes an unanswered prayer is God, in His sovereign wisdom, sparing us the pain of unintended consequences. Sometimes God allows what His power could prevent. Most of the time that causes us a great deal of temporal angst, but someday we will owe God as many thank-yous for the prayers He did not answer as the ones He did. ~Mark Batterson

Maybe prayer is less about changing our circumstances than it is changing our perspective. Most of our problems aren’t the by-product of our circumstances but of our perspective on our circumstances. Maybe we need to quit praying safe prayers. ~Mark Batterson

Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God. ~Mark Batterson

Reframing problems is about shifting focus. You stop focusing on what’s wrong with your circumstances. And you start focusing on what’s right with God. ~Mark Batterson

Worship is forgetting about what’s wrong with you and remembering what’s right with God. It is like hitting the refresh key on your computer. It restores the joy of your salvation. It recalibrates your spirit. It renews your mind. And it enables you to find something good to praise God about even when everything seems to be going wrong. ~Mark Batterson

The most important choice you make every day is your attitude. Your internal attitudes are far more important than your external circumstances. Joy is mind over matter. ~Mark Batterson

How you feel is a result of what you focus on. ~Mark Batterson

I think there are basically two types of people in the world: complainers and worshipers. And there isn’t much circumstantial difference between the two. Complainers will always find something to complain about. Worshipers will always find something to praise God about. They simply have different default settings. ~Mark Batterson

Worship changes the spiritual atmosphere. It charges the spiritual atmosphere. ~Mark Batterson

The circumstances you complain about become chains that imprison you. And worship is the way out. Worship reframes our problems and refocuses our lives. It helps us get through the bad days by reminding us of how good God is. ~Mark Batterson

Adversity can produce an increased capacity to serve God. ~Mark Batterson

God is in the business of recycling our pain and using it for someone else’s gain. ~Mark Batterson

It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him (Philippians 1:29). The word granted comes from the Greek word charizomai, which literally means “to grant a favor.” This sounds ludicrous at first earshot, but it is almost as if God is saying: Listen, I owe you a favor. Let me let you suffer. We tend to see suffering as a necessary evil at best, but Paul calls it a divine favor. ~Mark Batterson

We should stop asking God to get us out of difficult circumstances and start asking Him what He wants us to get out of those difficult circumstances. ~Mark Batterson

To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways; we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should rather be an expression of breathless expectation. ~Oswald Chambers.

Lion chasers challenge the status quo. They climb cliffs, move to foreign countries, build boats in the desert. Lion chasers are often considered crazy, but they are able to do these things because they aren’t afraid of uncertainty. They don’t need to know what is coming next because they know that God knows. They don’t need explanations for every disappointment because they know God has a plan. Lion chasers refuse to settle down because they want to experience every divine twist and turn that God has in store for them. ~Mark Batterson

But maybe faith has less to do with gaining knowledge and more to do with causing wonder. Maybe a relationship with God doesn’t simplify our lives. Maybe it complicates our lives in ways that they should be complicated. ~Mark Batterson

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain

The more you’re willing to risk, the more God can use you. And if you’re willing to risk everything, then there is nothing God can’t do in you and through you. ~Mark Batterson

In 1960, an MIT meteorologist named Edward Lorenz made an accidental discovery while he was trying to develop a computer program that could simulate and forecast weather conditions. One day he was in a hurry, instead of entering .506127, the number he had used in an earlier trial, he rounded to the nearest thousandth, or .506. Lorenz figured that rounding the number to the nearest thousandth would be inconsequwntial. He left the lab, and when he returned he found a radical change in the weather conditions. Lorenz estimated that the numerical difference between the orginal number and the rounded number was the equivalent of a puff of wind created by a butterfly’s wing. He concluded that a minor event like the flapping of a butterfly’s wing could conceivably alter wing currents sufficiently to eventually change weather conditions thousands of miles away. Lorenz then introduced the scientific community to “the butterfly effect.”
In his book Chaos, James Gleick defines the butterfly effect this way: “Tiny differences in input [can] quickly become overwhelming differences in output.” ~Mark Batterson

Small changes and small choices become magnified over time and have major consequences. Everything we change changes everything. Too often we fail to connect the dots between choices and consequences. Every choice has a domino effect that can alter our destiny. ~Mark Batterson

Most God-ordained dreams die because we aren’t willing to do something that seems illogical. ~Mark Batterson

Good is often the enemy of great. ~Mark Batterson

Sometimes taking a calculated risk means giving up something that is good so you can experience something that is great. ~Mark Batterson

The goal of faith is not the elimination of risk. In fact, the greatest risk is taking no risks. Isn’t that the principle in the parable of the talents? Jesus commends the two men who take a risk and make a return. But the servant who buries his talent and breaks even is called “wicked.” ~Mark Batterson

Righteousness is using our God-given gifts to their God-given potential. And that requires risk. ~Mark Batterson

God never promised that the reward for risk would always be given this side of eternity. But He does promise that every God-ordained risk will be rewarded on the flip side of the space-time continuum. ~Mark Batterson

In the words of German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Hell begins the day God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, and would have done, but did not do.” ~Mark Batterson

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them. ~George Bernard Shaw

God is in the business of making sure we cross paths with the right people at the right time. The Holy Spirit can open doors that seem to be dead-bolted shut. ~Mark Batterson

Dreams usually start out as mustard-seed opportunities. In fact, the biggest dreams often start out as the smallest opportunities. The seed is so small you wonder if it can actually grow into anything of significance. ~Mark Batterson

Many of us fail to seize the small opportunities because we’re looking for the big opportunities. But Scripture says, “Do not despise these small beginnings.” ~Mark Batterson

Lion chasers don’t look for excuses. They don’t focus on disadvantages. They find a way of making circumstances work in their favor. ~Mark Batterson

Isn’t it ironic that some people who have so much do so little and others who have so little do so much? Lion chasers don’t let what they can’t do keep them from doing what they can. ~Mark Batterson

Here is the great irony about opportunities. They usually come disguised as insurmountable problems. They look like five-hundred-pound lions that want to eat you for lunch. Or they look like six hundred Philistines charging at you. ~Mark Batterson

Psalm 5:3 reveals the way David started every day: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” ~Mark Batterson

One of our greatest spiritual shortcomings is low expectations. We don’t expect much from God because we aren’t asking for much. ~Mark Batterson

When I’m not in prayer mode, I have good ideas. But when I’m in prayer mode I have God ideas. And I’d rather have one God idea than a thousand good ideas. ~Mark Batterson

Seizing an opportunity usually feels like swallowing a whale or chasing a lion. But at the end of our lives, we won’t regret the mistakes we made nearly as much as the opportunities we missed. It will be the “what if” questions that haunt us. ~Mark Batterson

If you wait for perfect conditions before you seize an opportunity, you’ll be waiting till the day you die. ~Mark Batterson

A dream becomes reality one opportunity at a time. And if you work like it depends on God, there is no telling what God can do in you and through you. ~Mark Batterson

If you’re going to defy the odds, face your fears, reframe your problems, take a risk, and seize a God-ordained opportunity, you have to be willing to look foolish in the world’s eyes. Because, no matter how it might look, doing God’s will is never foolish. ~Mark Batterson

Neoteny is more than retaining a youthful appearance, although that is often part of it. Neoteny is the retention of those wonderful qualities that we associate with youth: curiosity, playfulness, eagerness, fearlessness, warmth, energy. Unlike those defeated by time and age, our geezers have remained much like our geeks – open, willing to take risks, hungry for knowledge and experience, courageous, eager to see what the new day brings. ~Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas. Neoteny is at the very heart of what the kingdom of God is all about. Neoteny “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Jesus Christ

Part of spiritual maturity is caring less and less about what people think about you and more and more about what God thinks about you. Part of taking God more seriously is taking yourself less seriously. The holiest and healthiest people in the world are those who laugh at themselves the most. ~Mark Batterson

If we had ultrasonic hearing that allowed us to tune in to heaven’s frequency and hear angels singing, the music would literally lift us off our feet. ~Mark Batterson

It’s not about what we can do for God. It’s about what God has done for us. ~Mark Batterson

Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning. ~John Henry Cardinal Newman

Aging is the process of accumulating evidence of God’s faithfulness, and the cumulative evidence is overwhelming. So the older you get, the more faith you have. Over time, your faith ceiling becomes your faith floor. ~Mark Batterson

Start your day with a task completed. If you want to change the world … start by making your bed. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Nothing can replace the strength and comfort of one’s faith, but sometimes the simple act of making your bed can give you the lift you need to start your day and provide you the satisfaction to end it right. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

You can’t do it alone! If you want to change the world … find someone to help you paddle. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

You cannot paddle the boat alone. Find someone to share your life with. Make as many friends as possible, and never forget that your success depends on others. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Only the size of your heart matters. If you want to change the world … measure a person by the size of their heart. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Determination and girt are always more important than talent. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Life’s not fair, drive on! If you want to change the world … get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

It is easy to blame your lot in life on some outside force, to stop trying because you believe fate is against you. It is easy to think that where you were raised, how your parents treated you, or what school you went to is all that determines your future. Nothing could be further from the truth. The common people and the great men and women are all defined by how they deal with life’s unfairness: Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking, Malala Yousafzai, and – Moki Martin. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are, you still up as a sugar cookie. Don’t complain. Don’t blame it on your misfortune. Stand tall, look to the future, and drive on! ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Failure can make you stronger. If you want to change the world … don’t be afraid of The Circus. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

The Circus, which had started as a punishment for failure, was making us stronger, faster, and more confident in the water. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

You will pay for your failures. But, if you persevere, if you let those failures teach you and strengthen you, then you will be prepared to handle life’s toughest moments. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

You must dare greatly. If you want to change the world … slide down the obstacle headfirst. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Stand up to the Bullies. If you want to change the world … don’t back down from the sharks. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Courage is a remarkable quality. Nothing and nobody can stand in your way. Without it, others will define your path forward. Without it, you are at the mercy of life’s temptations. Without courage, men will be ruled by tyrants and despots. Without courage, no great society can flourish. Without courage, the bullies of the world rise up. With it, you can accomplish any goal. With it, you can defy and defeat evil. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Rise to the Occasion. If you want to change the world … be your very best in the darkest moments. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Give People Hope. If you want to change the world … start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

One again, we had learned an important lesson: the power of one person to unite the group, the power of one person to inspire those around him, to give them hope. If that one person could sing while neck deep in mud, then so could we. If that one person could endure the freezing cold, then so could we. If that one person could hold on, then so could we.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Never, Ever Quit! If you want to change the world … don’t ever, ever ring the bell.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

“If you form good habits, good habits will start to form you.” Kirby Smart

Never quit. It doesn’t sound particularly profound, but life constantly puts you in situations where quitting seems so much easier than continuing on. Where the odds are so stacked against you that giving up seems the rational thing to do.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Life is full of difficult times. But someone out there always has it worse than you do. If you fill your days with pity, sorrowful for the way you have been treated, bemoaning your lot in life, blaming your circumstances on someone or something else, then life will be long and hard. If, on the other hand, you refuse to give up on your dreams, stand tall and strong against the odds – then life will be what you make of it – and you can make it great. Never, ever, ring the bell!   ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Remember … start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up – if you do these things, then you can change your life for the better … and maybe change the world.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made – that you made – and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

You can’t change the world alone – you will need some help – and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the goodwill of strangers, and a strong coxswain to guide them.  If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie. It’s just the way life is sometimes.  If you want to change the world, get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Life is filled with circuses. You will fail. You will fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the Circuses.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

If you want to change the world, sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle headfirst.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission, is the time when you must be calm – composed – when all your tactical skills, your physical power, and all your inner strength must be brought to bear. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment. ~Admiral William H. McRaven

We knew if one man could rise above the misery, then others could as well.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person, a Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela, and even a young girl from Pakistan, Malala. One person can change the world by giving people hope.  If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

If you want to change the world, don’t ever ring the bell.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up … if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.  ~Admiral William H. McRaven

God promises to provide everything we need to honor Him with our lives.

God’s Word is the only sure foundation for life.

Jesus has made true love possible.

Jesus came to usher peace into our lives and our world.

To live forever we must let Jesus live in us now.    

The Bible is the only Book whose Author is always present when it is read.

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