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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

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