Category Archives: Quotes/Links

These are quotes or links that we wanted to share with you. The quotes will be brilliant, funny, ironic, or whatever. The links should hopefully be helpful, thought-provoking, or win you a million dollars!

You need a Nathan

One of my favorite blogs—The Resurgence—recently posted an entry called You Flat Out Won’t Make It Without These Two. I thought it was very practical, very insightful, and very challenging. Please take a moment to read it:

Jonathans and Nathans

The challenging part is to make sure that I’m open to Nathans. We would all probably claim that we want to have Nathans in our lives, but I doubt that’s the case. While in the Air Force, I’ve often encountered leaders who claimed they had an “open door policy” and if you ever needed to bring anything to their attention then they would be open to it. Yet, it was sometimes the case that when I took them up on their offer, even slightly, they didn’t respond well.
I’ve seen the same with myself and other Christian brothers. We claim we want that Proverbs 27:17 experience of “iron sharpening iron” but we don’t really consider what that might look like. We don’t consider the fact that we might actually get called on foolish or sinful behavior! I remember when I first became a Christian and got confronted about some foolish behavior. I really liked a girl named April and we were studying alone in my dorm room. Out of nowhere, my pastor called me; turns out that God had prompted him to. He told me I needed to be more careful, that it was unwise to spend time alone, in my dorm room, with a girl I was attracted to. He was right and I knew it, but I secretly resented him for months.
Truthfully, at that point I was too immature to appreciate how much he was trying to love me. He was trying to be a Nathan to me and I failed to submit to his authority or even appreciate the courage and integrity he demonstrated by confronting me about an area in my life that was not “above reproach” (Col 1:22). I realize now that my reaction to his confrontation  was prideful and rebellious and I’m still ashamed of how I responded. I was a fool (Pr 12:15; 15:12, 32; 19:20; 23:9; 29:1 and many others).
In fact, in the last year or so, this is an area where I’ve deliberately tried to grow and God has blessed me with at least one Nathan who I know isn’t afraid to speak hard truth into my life. It’s been a tremendous blessing and, by the grace of God, has challenged me to grow in several areas. I’m grateful for our relationship and truly appreciate his honest words.
But the point of sharing this is to challenge you to consider if you want a Nathan in your life. Are you willing to be confronted in areas where you’re immature or need to grow? Are you willing to be held accountable? In our individualistic culture, this is not a popular idea. We believe that no one has the right to tell us what to do; “you’re not the boss of me!” We’re a very rebellious culture and I think it’s cost us dearly.
It’s wise to actively, humbly seek council from others and to actually listen to their advice (Pr 17:10; 19:20; 27:9). It will require humility and a willingness to be honest with others. It will require the integrity to actually repent when you’re confronted about unwise or sinful patterns in your life. And it means you’ll need someone to love you enough to put up with you if you respond like a jerk…like I did. I pray that God will bless us all with wisdom, humility, and a Nathan!

What Kind of Religion is This?

(A friend of mine named Aaron Gray originally posted this quote and it came up with Connie in a recent conversation. It’s one of my favorite illustrations of why Christianity is not a religion. In fact, one of the charges brought against Christians, by the Romans, was atheism! Anywho, I thought this was far too awesome of a quote not to share here also. Hope you enjoy!)

“In a sermon Dick Lucas once preached, he recounted an imaginary conversation between an early Christian and her neighbor in Rome.

“Ah,” the neighbor says. “I hear you are religious! Great! Religion is a good thing. Where is your temple or holy place?”

“We don’t have a temple,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our temple.”

“No temple? But where do your priests work and do their ritual?”

“We don’t have priests to mediate the presence of God,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our priest.”

“No priests? But where do you offer your sacrifices to acquire the favor of your God?”

“We don’t need a sacrifice,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our sacrifice.”

“What kind of religion is this?” sputters the pagan neighbor.

And the answer is, it’s no kind of religion at all.”

—Tim Keller, King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus, p. 48.

Sustaining the Covenant of Marital Love

I stumbled upon this video and found it very encouraging. I feel as though we as a society have lost our understanding of what it means to enter into a covenant relationship with our spouse. We actually don’t make our commitment to them, we make our commitment to God! May we all grow in our appreciation for the covenant we enter into when we say “I do.” And, may we grow in our appreciation for the faithfulness that God shows us when we enter into a covenant with Him!

Piper, Carson, and Keller on Sustaining the Covenant of Marital Love from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

I want to live a Spirit-filled life.

Connie & I have begun a study about the Holy Spirit. I feel like this is an oft-neglected area of Christianity in America. While I think it’s neglected theologically, I think it’s even more neglected practically. Here’s a challenging quote from Forgotten God by Francis Chan that I thought was worth sharing:
Churchgoers all across the nation say the Holy Spirit has entered them. They claim that God has given them a supernatural ability to follow Christ, put their sin to death, and serve the church. Christians talk about being born again say that they they were dead but now have come to life. We have become hardened to those words, but they are powerful words that have significant meaning. Yet when those outside the church see no difference in our lives, they begin to question our integrity, out sanity, or even worse, our God. And can you blame them (Pgs 32-33)?

Another great quote, from the same book, is about the confusion a caterpillar must experience and a challenge for us to live a Spirit-filled life:
For all its caterpillar life, it crawls around a small patch of dirt and up and down a few plants. Then one day it takes a nap. A long nap. And then, what in the world must go through its head when it wakes up to discover it can fly? What happened to its dirty, plump little worm body? What does it think when it sees its tiny new body and gorgeous wings?
As believers, we ought to experience this same kind of astonishment when the Holy Spirit enters our bodies. We should be stunned in disbelief over becoming “new creations” with the Spirit living in us. As the caterpillar finds its new ability to fly, we should be thrilled over our Spirit-empowered ability to live differently and faithfully.
I want to live so that I am truly submitted to the Spirit’s leading on a daily basis. Christ said it is better for us that the Spirit came, and I want to live like I know that is true. I don’t want to keep crawling when I have the ability to fly (Pg 37).


Do you know any Christians like this? Do you know anyone who is undeniably filled with the Holy Spirit? It’s my prayer that Connie and I continue to grow in this area!

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit

Erasing Hell by Francis Chan

Recently, I found out that Francis Chan is working on a book about hell called Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we’ve made up (set to release on July 5th). Suffice it to say, I was very excited to hear him weigh in on this issue that has, very sadly, become very controversial lately. After watching his video, I am very excited to hear his thoughts and humbled by his call in the video for us to remember that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up

Dug Down Deep

In an earlier post I talked about the importance of studying and understanding theology. Joshua Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl, is releasing a book called Dug Down Deep that I’m looking forward to picking up. For his book he had a short film made that does a great job of explaining why we need to study theology:

…hearts that want more

My wife recently bought me the new Toby Mac album called Tonight. As I opened it and removed the cd, I read the text behind the disc:

“…under a sky full of stars with hearts that want more”

How profound…isn’t there both a sense of wonder and a longing for home as you gaze at a sky full of stars? Psalm 19:1-4 tells us that the stars declare the glory of God in all languages at all places at all times. One need only look up to see God’s glory. It makes me feel small to look at the stars and at the same time makes me homesick. It amazes me that, despite the fact that I’m just a tiny speck in the universe, God loves me.

This quote makes me think that nothing in the universe can fill the void that God can. Only a relationship with our Creator can fulfill us. As Augustine puts it, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord.” 1 John 2:17 reminds us that this world is temporary; God is eternal. Looking at the stars reminds me that my home is found not in this life, but in the life to come.

Tonight