Category Archives: Quotes

What not to Buy Your Wife for Christmas

Some years ago, I came across this gift giving advice attributed to Herb Frost in Cross River, NY, Patent Trader, in Reader’s Digest.

Although the only person a man usually shops for is his wife, the whole experience is a stressful one. Many a man has felt extreme frigid temperatures for a long period based on a poor present decision. As a veteran of these wars, I’m still not sure what to buy my wife, but I’ll pass on what not to buy her:

  1. Don’t buy anything that plugs in. Anything that requires electricity is seen as utilitarian.
  2. Don’t buy clothing that involves sizes. The chances are one in seven thousand that you will get her size right, and your wife will be offended the other 6999 times. “Do I look like a size 16?” she’ll say. Too small a size doesn’t cut it either: “I haven’t worn a size 8 in 20 years!”
  3. Avoid all things useful. The new silver polish advertised to save hundreds of hours is not going to win you any brownie points.
  4. Don’t buy anything that involves weight loss or self-improvement. She’ll perceive a six-month membership to a fitness center as a suggestion that’s she’s overweight.
  5. Don’t buy jewelry. The jewelry your wife wants, you can’t afford. And the jewelry you can afford, she doesn’t want.
  6. And, guys, do not fall into the traditional trap of buying her frilly underwear. Your idea of the kind your wife should wear and what she actually wears are light years apart.
  7. Finally, don’t spend too much. “How do you think we’re going to afford that?” she’ll ask. But don’t spend too little. She won’t say anything, but she’ll think, “Is that all I’m worth?”
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Posted by on December 22, 2020 in Christmas, Fun, Quotes


God will never fail you

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Posted by on December 17, 2020 in Quotes, Tim Challies


Reflections on the cross

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Posted by on December 9, 2020 in Jesus, Quotes, Tim Challies


Becoming a Pastor

I’ve been working my way through God Walk: Moving at the Speed of Your Soul, by Mark Buchanan. In one section, I chuckled at his description of how he became a pastor.

Then I became a pastor, which surprised many people, not the least myself, and most of all my wife. When I told her that a church, out of the blue, had contacted me to be their associate pastor, she said, “You can’t be a pastor. Pastors are holy people.”

That was a problem, for sure. But I needed work, and we needed money, and becoming a pastor was the only live option. My motive wasn’t any more noble than that. So we packed up, moved to a small town, and I, a mere eight years after coming to faith, became a pastor. And my wife, not much holier than I, became a pastor’s wife.

Neither of us had hardly a notion of what was involved. We hadn’t grown up in church. We had no role models. I’d never even sat on a church committee prior to this. I was still naïve enough to think that church boards wanted nothing so badly as to see the kingdom of God come in power and to pour themselves out like drink offerings to make it so.

Well, what happened is a long story. But I ended up a pastor in that church for more than six years, and then a pastor in another church for almost eighteen. I loved every day of it, except for the days I didn’t. I loved every person in it, except for the people I didn’t. All the leaders were just as I imagined, except the ones who weren’t. But altogether, those were twenty-four amazing and difficult years, pretty much in equal measure, often intertwined.

While my background and experience are different, I can certainly identify with his description of pastoral ministry and church life. Now, 34+ years later, I can attest that they have been “amazing and difficult years, pretty much in equal measure, often intertwined.” And I would not trade them as it was been a privilege to serve Christ as a pastor.

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Posted by on November 19, 2020 in Books, Ministry, Quotes


Look for God’s answers

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Posted by on November 14, 2020 in Prayer, Quotes, Tim Challies


Don’t cut off the church

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Posted by on October 22, 2020 in Church, Quotes, Tim Challies


How can I prepare for church?

How can we prepare to hear from God? How can we make sure God has our undivided attention when we come to church? How can we make sure we hear God clearly? Author Jim Shaddix has several suggestions adapted from a chapter entitled, “Teaching About Preaching: Helping people worship through the sermon.” (Cited in the book Progress in the Pulpit: How to grow in your preaching, by Jerry Vines & Jim Shaddix.

  • Pray for the message in advance. All week long, ask God to show up, to talk directly to you, to anoint your pastor, to change your life, and to save lost people.
  • Plan for church in your schedule. Make church and the preaching event a priority. Don’t merely plan your week and decide to attend church if you have extra time.
  • Prepare your heart for the message. Ask God to prepare your heart to hear from him. Go to bed early on Saturday night so you are rested and alert on Sunday morning.
  • Participate in the sermon every week. Open your Bible, follow along with the pastor, take notes, and stay engaged. Be a participant, not a spectator.
  • Process the sermon when it’s over. Revisit the Scripture text during the week. Review your notes. Discuss the message with your family or small group.
  • Practice the message in your life. Put the sermon into practice. Obey what God says in his word. Live out your faith.
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Posted by on October 15, 2020 in Books, Church, Prayer, Preaching, Quotes


What’s your story?

“If your life is sedentary and lacking in compelling stories of God’s deliverance, it is because you are not taking enough risks for the sake of the gospel. If you step out on the thin ice of risk so that God must intervene to demonstrate his love and provision for you, then you too will have great stories to tell of God’s deliverance.”

Neil Cole in Journeys to Significance: Charting a leadership course from the life of Paul

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Posted by on October 12, 2020 in Books, Personal growth, Quotes


Draw a line; Take a stand

Can one person really make a difference? Can one individual influence the direction of a culture and a nation? Using the example of Daniel and his three friends, author Ravi Zacharias presents the case that a faithful Christ follower can indeed influence the direction of a nation.

Being aligned with God’s will is no light matter. Nebuchadnezzar had plundered Jerusalme and its temple and took the Jewish people into captivity. He ordered Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel to be instructed in the Babylonian language and philosophy for three years, preparing them to serve in his kingdom. Although Daniel and his friends were subjected to a foreign culture, they held to three principles that allowed them to stand against the powerful forces of their day: they drew a line of resistance, a line of dependence, and a line of confidence in God.

They resisted the temptation to accommodate themselves to the pagan culture of Babylon. They depended upon God and knew where knowledge and education ended, and where trust and wisdom in God began. And they had confidence that God alone was Judge—even as Daniel’s own name indicates. (Daniel means “God is my judge.”)

What happened as a result of their obedience to God? Three pagan kings prayed to the God of heaven by the time the book of Daniel ended. The kings steeped the young men in Babylonian philosophy and tried to change their names and worldview. But God’s faithful servants ended up changing the kings’ allegiances and identities.

Can it still happen? Yes, it can.

(from #31, “The Gift of Faith,” in The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind, by Ravi Zacharias)

If you want to have this kind of impact, then draw a line and take a stand. Who knows how God might use you?

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Posted by on September 28, 2020 in Apologetics, Culture, Quotes, Scripture


Why the church exists

“God’s primary purpose for His church in every nation is for them to evangelize, to change the world through spiritual regeneration, not social revolution.”

John MacArthur

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Posted by on September 26, 2020 in Church, Quotes