Thursday, February 25, 2010

MLK jr quotes

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must use time creatively.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cg notes = Isaiah 27-39 by: Erin McCallum

Isaiah 27-39

Challenge Group

Intro: The “Woes”, Hezekiah and Babylon

Ch. 1-35 Prophetical Assyria

Ch. 36-39 Historical Babylon & Assyria

Ch. 40-66 Prophetical Babylon

Historical Setting: Kingdom was divided and both Israel and Judah were being threatened by outside enemies. Assyria was looking for growing her empire. Israel under King Hoshea turned to Egypt for help and Shalmaneser (727-722) of Assyria heard about this alliance and attacked Samaria. Israel was destroyed in 722 B.C. and Assyria then turns to Judah. Sennacherib (705-681), king of Assyria deals with King Hezekiah.

Central theme: Do I trust in God or seek something else in times of trial?

For them: Alliances

For us: Idols


I. Renewed song of the Vineyard – Ch. 27

II. The Woes – Chaps. 28-35

III. Historical Interlude – Chaps. 36-39

I. Ch. 27 – Renewed Song of the Vineyard

“In that day” – starts each new section

Section 1: “In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, with his fierce and great and mighty sword, even Leviathan the twisted serpent; and he will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.” –v.1

PICTURE – Leviathan = chaotic disorder

Section 2: Song of the Vineyard v. 2-11 – ref. 5:1-7


Spiritual fruit

Section 3: Regathering of Israel v.12-13

II. Chaps. 28-35 The “Woes”

1. Woe to Ephraim (28: 1-13)

drunkard – “Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim” –v.1, 7

children – v.9-10

2. Woe to Judah (28:14-29)

“a covenant with death” v. 14-15 – seeking foreign gods for protection

“stone” – “Therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.’” –v.16

3. Woe to Jerusalem (ch. 29)

Ariel – “lion of God” or “hearth or altar”

Deliverance from Assyria v.5-8

“Blind” v. 9-10

“Worship” “Rules” v.13-14 – hearts were not close to God

“Hide their plans” v.15-16

Millennial Kingdom v. 22-24

4. Woe to the Obstinate Children (ch. 30)

Judah turns to Egypt instead of the Lord

RAHAB – female sea monster

“unwilling to listen to the Lord” v.8-11

2 Timothy 4:3-4

Millennial Kingdom – v.18-26 Israel will be faithful

Assyria defeated – v.27-33 – Assyria was defeated in 701 B.C.

5. Woe to the Egyptian Alliance (chaps. 31-32)

Repentance - 31: 6-7 – No other alternative

Messiah – 32:1-2 “Behold a king will reign righteously and princes will rule justly.”

Millennial Kingdom v. 3-8

6. Woe to the Destroyers (ch. 33)

1. Woe to the enemies of God’s people (33:1-12)

destroyer: Assyria

traitor: people in Judah seeking aid other than God v.1

For salvation, wisdom, and knowledge, they must fear the Lord – Prov. 1:7

Destruction promised

2. The deliverance of the righteous (33:13-24)

righteous will live!

God calls people to acknowledge him.

Millennial Kingdom v. 17-24 God is on his throne.

7. Vengeance and Blessing (chaps 34-35)

Vengeance (Ch. 34)

1. Whole World v.1-4

“stars will be dissolved” – Joel 2:10, 30-31, 3:15, Matt. 24:29

2. Edom v.5-17

“Sword of the Lord”

God will uphold Zion’s cause v.8

Land will be ablaze – Obad. 1:13

Blessing (ch. 35)

Parched land -> Rich agriculture

Blind -> See

Deaf -> Hear

Lame-> Leap

Mute-> Speak

Joy! – No sorrow! “And the ransomed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” – 35:10

III. Chaps. 36-39 Historical Interlude

King Hezekiah

2 Kings 18-20 2 Chron. 29-32

Father: King Ahaz

Evil King– 2 Kings 16:2

Made an alliance with Tiglath-pilesar of Assyria

Hezekiah: Good King!

2 Chron. 29:3 opened the doors of the temple (Ahaz had closed them)

:6 confessed sins of his fathers

:10 restores temple worship, offerings to atone, singing JOY worship, thank offerings, Passover reinstated. (Grace)

31:20-21 Sought God with all of his heart

2 Kings 18:4-6 destroyed idols!

Illness: Before the Assyrian assault

Central theme revisited – Hezekiah puts his faith in God

Ch. 36: v. 1-10 :Assyria set up a seize against Judah

Very real threat! Assyria clearly would win this battle.

Rabshakeh taunts Hezekiah

Rab makes the people freaked out.

Sounds a great deal like Satan.

Ch.37: Hezekiah seeks God help.

“Rumor” – v. 5-7

Prayer to God - v.16-20 Acknowledges God as creator.

Isaiah pronounces judgment against Senach

Assyria Destroyed! – v. 30-38

Ch. 38: Hezekiah’s Healing

Hezekiah’s request v.1-8

Ch. 39: Hezekiah’s Fatal Error

V.1-8 Showed his booty to the Babylonians.

Isaiah prophesized the Babylonian Captivity


What is it that we turn to in times of trial?

On idols:

“Each person acts as if God could not make him happy without the addition of something else. Thus the glutton makes a god of his dainties; the ambitious man of his honor, the incontinent man of his lust; the covetous man of his wealth; and consequently esteems them as his chief goods, and the most noble end to which he directs his thoughts…All men worship some golden calf, set up by education, custom, natural inclination and the like…When a general is taken, the army runs. [Even so] this [the main idol] is the great stream, and other sins the rivulets which bring supply…this is the strongest chain wherein the devil holds the man…” –Stephen Chamock, The Existence and Attributes of God

“If a transtemporal, transfinite good is our real destiny, then any other good, on which our desire fixes must be in some degree fallacious, must bear at best only a symbolical relation to what will truly satisfy.” – C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory

Monday, February 22, 2010

"The Mark of the Christian" by Francis Schaeffer

Spoiler alert = the mark of the Christian is love.

This simple book is an argument for Christians to adorn themselves with love. Not just for outsiders; but for each other. Not just for each other, but for outsiders (those who don't know God) too. He claims that this balanced love-giving is not automatic; and takes discipline to maintain.

Our love, as Christians, is supposed to show the world something about God. And our love should be according to, or similar to, the love Christ has for us. "According to the Scripture and the teaching of Christ, the love that is shown is to be exceedingly strong. It is not just something you mention in words once in a while." (p.21)

Visible love includes apologizing and giving forgiveness. Also, we must have a deep unity according to John 17 - not merely a shallow organizational unity.

He gets into church discipline and true disagreement; but maintains that this is not unloving - quite the opposite! it is not true love to merely tolerate each other and watch as we each destroy ourselves.

Schaeffer rebukes churches for acting snobby and rejecting toward fellow believing churches - a rebuke that is good for Xenos people to hear. He mentions that the non-Christian world doesn't understand all of the little theological differences, and that we would have a better witness to them if we could focus on the good things in other churches that can be agreed upon. As Believers, we don't need to rely on fakery or shallow love - we literally do have a unifying factor between ourselves and other Christians = God's Spirit. So, when we preserve the unity He gives us, we are allowing His Spirit to show something to the world about God.

He concludes: "In short, we are to practice and exhibit the holiness of God and the love of God, for without this we grieve the Holy Spirit. Love - and the unity it attests to - is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians (Jn.13:34-35) and that Jesus was sent by the Father (Jn.17)."

"No Easy Answers" by William Lane Craig

I only read one chapter from this short book. Someone photocopied a chapter for a retreat teaching - but, man! I loved it. I'm really looking forward to getting the book and reading the whole thing.
For those who don't know William Lane Craig - he a great scholar and known for public debate skills. He had a pretty awesome debate here in Columbus with an atheist thinker. I've only ever seen his writings in textbooks, but this book "No Easy Answers" is a devotional-style book about prayer.
In the chapter I read "Unanswered Prayer", he explores Jesus' promise to answer our prayers and the seemingly different experience that many people have had. It's easy to understand why some prayers go unanswered, but it's a harder pill to swallow in other areas.

He gives 5 suggestions for having an unfettered spiritually powerful prayer life:
1. Confess and repent from sin in your lives. Psalm 66:18 says, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." Also, 1 Peter 3:7 gives biblical precedence to the idea that prayers can be hindered because of sin.
2. Ask for things that will glorify God rather than just asking for things "with wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." - James 4:3
3. Have faith the size of a mustard seed. James 1:6-8 says that the double-minded man needs to ask and "believe, and do not doubt" because the one who doubts "should not think he will receive anything from the Lord." Now, I think I should point out - as a sidenote, that it doesn't say God won't answer that sort of prayer - it just says that we shouldn't expect Him to if we are just words without faith.
4. Develop earnestness about the things we pray about. If we're having a hard time with earnestness, if we just pray for something at a prayer meeting and then never think about it again, we can ask God to help us develop a burden or a passion for the things we are praying for. He talked about when he and his wife raised missionary support and certain people would say, "we're not going to support you financially - but we'll pray for you." and how they didn't expect that those people would actually be earnest to pray for them. "Unfortunately, Christians have the idea that prayer support is a lesser commitment than financial support, when in reality precisely the opposite is the case. It doesn't take much effort to write a check every month or so and never think of it again, but it's a tough thing to pray earnestly and regularly for a Christian worker or missionary." (p.49)
5. Persevere in prayer. "Some Christians will tell you that all you have to do is pray once about something, commit it to the Lord, and then relax and trust Him to take care of it. But I think I can say confidently that this is not the teaching of Jesus." (p.50)

In the last half of the chapter, Wright talks about Paul's prayers for the churches as an example to us, and wonders if any of us pray that way for others and for churches. His conclusion is as follows:
"Are you just muddling along in the Christian life, never seeing God really work in response to your prayers? When was the last time you moved the hands of God through prayer? If you're not satisfied with your prayer life, maybe it's time to take inventory of the obstacles to answered prayer in your life...prayer is hard work. But the promises of prayer are great. Let us strive to lay hold of those promises." (p.57)

I think as a whole, there are some really good thoughts here. Although, I find myself qualifying some of his points because I think that there are plenty of messed up people who have their prayers answered; and plenty of good people who have their prayers unanswered. And, this can't be about law or formula. However, if you (like me) know that there is no formula and simply want some advice on how to become a better prayer warrior - this is a great book and a great chapter for stirring up the prayer warrior inside.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Revolution in World Missions Part 2

In the last half of the book, the author discusses strategy. He begins by condemning the liberal "social gospel" that many people are into. He claims that the message is much more important than any social or physical help that we can give. And helping minister to physical needs is important and biblical - but, it must be done as a sidedish - the main course is the gospel. He claims that many Christians have a theological problem: a refusal to truly believe in hell. And even if they say they believe in the Bible and in hell, that their actions show that they don't really believe it. If they did, they would do more to rescue souls.
"Go to save souls. And go to the worst." That's a quote he gave from the founder of the salvation army.

He then explained why grassroots movements are more successful than the building of institutions. He used communist China as an example. A conversation happened between a Christian in China and a communist. The communist said, "What you have failed to do in 100 years with your buildings and institutions, we will do in 10 years through the printed word and word of mouth." And that became the reality. Within 10 years, the Christians were kicked out of China, and communism was prevelant.

Furthermore, he insists that indigenous missionaries will be more successful than western missionaries. This is due partly to racism, (people racist against Americans, and people who believe that Christianity is just a white religion), partly due to how inefficient western missionaries have become (many need 80k a year to live which is much more than indigenous missionaries. Indigenous missionaries can live comfortably on 1k-2k per year. Also, many leave the country without even 1 well-trained disciple to continue their work without them).

He is not calling for all western missionaries to pull out of all countries and simply become financial backers only. He specifically states that he doesn't want that. He simply wants people to be less prideful about their view on missions; and more willing to humbly get behind what the nationals are doing. And he feels that many people are dead wrong about their racist view of national missionaries - they have a feeling of superiority or distrust that isn't biblical.

When asked the question, "Is there any room for Western missionaries?" at the end of the book; he answers "yes". and gives 3 ways that western missionaries are needed on the field: 1. There are some completely unreached places that need to be infiltrated before there can be indigenous missionaries - places like morroco, afghanastan, and maldive islands. 2. missionaries need technical support and training from western missionaries. 3. short-term mission trips are important for raising awareness and burden.
To support a national missionary - go to and pledge $30 per month

Monday, February 1, 2010

Revolution in World Missions by Yohannin

"The words echoed in my mind. This is His work, I told myself. Why am I making it mine? The burden is light. Why am I making it heavy? The work is a privilege. Why am I making it a chore?"

I began reading this missions book today. It actually brought tears to my eyes when he described indigenous missionaries and the way they live. I felt a lot of guilt and shame as he described what it was like for him to come to America and see the churches here. I'm not finished with it yet - so I'll have to come back later and give the final thoughts on the book. But, so far all I can say is: ouch! It's a real wake-up call. I usually feel skeptical of books that make me feel so shamed - but not this one. Not at all. We probably all deserve to feel some tension and true moral guilt about our excessive lifestyles and the suffering of Christian missionaries in the other 2/3 of the world. What bothers me isn't the guilt - it's just that the guilt will be forgotten and I'll go back into the matrix! Ug.

This book is free for anyone to read. Look it up! It's well worth the read so far. I am completely sucked in --- I'll probably finish it tonight.

It's part-biography, part-wake up call, and part-a call to viewing missions differently. He wants to promote the work of national indigenous missionaries and get us to realize that we are past the "2nd wave" colonial missions era and into the "3rd wave" native missionary era. I'm not sure about all the conclusions yet - so I have reserved judgment about the strategy portion so far; yet the story and the wake up call are certainly really speaking volumes to me! I'm halfway done now. He's advocating for national missionaries to receive financial and technical support from us Americans.

  "What's the bottom line? God is calling us as Christians to alter our lifestyles, to give up the nonessentials of our lives so we can better invest our wealth in the kingdom of God."

He makes a great point about racism; saying that Americans often begin asking subtly racist things about local missionaries like, "well, are they well-trained?" or "will money corrupt them?" They ask these things because deep-down they trust people who look like them more than people who look differently; when in actuality - people from a less oppulant culture are probably more likely to do well with money than we are.

His view of America is pretty harsh - we are rich, wasteful, proud, people who don't pray or practice the quiet spiritual arts enough, people who ignore sections of the Bible. However, he also thinks that the western church has the ability to help the native missionaries reach the world. And in giving financially, we will be a part of a great and important work.

So, more to come on this later....