John Percival shares ten lessons from the preaching ministry of Eric Liddell, the 1924 Olympic gold medalist in the 400 meters. Most people know that Liddell was a great runner because of the movie Chariots of Fire. Many know that he was a missionary to China. But few know about his preaching ministry but now you can (and you don’t have to be a preacher to benefit from this article).
Archive for August 17th, 2012
Last Saturday “David Boudia jumped off the 10-meter platform at the Aquatics Center in London and twisted and flipped his way to an Olympic gold medal, the first U.S. gold in men’s diving since 1992.
Friends and family crowded around Boudia as Olympic officials announced his final winning score. The 23-year-old from Noblesville, Ind., and Purdue University had barely made it into the finals—finishing 18th in preliminaries—but he somehow rose to the occasion in the end, beating out expected winner Qui Bo of China and crowd favorite Tom Daley of Great Britain. Once the scores were tallied, the camera panned to a disappointed Qui leaning against the wall behind the diving board.
In contrast, Boudia had expressed before the finals that he would be content regardless of the outcome. In an interview with NBC following his disappointing preliminary dives, Boudia said, “The coolest thing about this is that I know God is perfect and sovereign. And if I made it, great, if I didn’t, great. So I was totally content if I was on the bubble or out.”
Read the rest of this great story by Angela Lu at WORLD–not just about swimming but about finding new focus and redemption.
“I have more trouble with D. L Moody than with any man I know!”–D. L. Moody.
Or as Pogo, that great theologian once said, “I have met the enemy and it is I.”
A good reminder that our greatest enemy in the spiritual life is our sinful nature–not the world.
Two thoughts on prayer today:
“I think that in my childhood I came nearer to conforming to the apostle’s injunction: “Pray without ceasing,” than in any other period of my life. As far back as I can remember, I had the habit of thanking God for everything I received, and asking him for everything I wanted. If I lost a book, or any of my play things, I prayed that I might find it. I prayed walking along the streets, in school and out of school, whether playing or studying. I did not do this in obedience to any prescribed rule. It seemed natural. I thought of God as an everywhere—present Being, full of kindness and love, who would not be offended if children talked to Him. I knew he cared for sparrows. I was as cheerful and happy as the birds and acted as they did._–Charles Hodge
“Let a sense of your helplessness for the work of the Lord lead you to the throne of grace, to pray, and watch, and wait, for the strengthening and refreshing influences of the Spirit of grace. Here let your faith realize at one and the same view your utter insufficiency, and your complete All-sufficiency. Here behold Him, who is ever presenting Himself before God as our glorious Head, receiving in Himself, according to the good pleasure of the Father, the full supply for this and every successive moment of inexpressible need. Our work is not therefore left upon our own hands, or wrought out at our “own charges.” So long as “he has the residue of the Spirit,” “grace” will be found “sufficient;”-Divine “strength will be made perfect in weakness.” “Without Him we can do nothing;” “through Him, all things.” Even the “worm Jacob shall thresh the mountains,” when the Lord says, “Fear not, I will help you.”–
Charles Bridges, Exposition Of Psalm 119 ( HT: Aaron)
Great article by John Piper that starts out talking about how much information we produce now and how much the average American has to process every day. But he applies this particularly and specifically to Christians:
“Here’s my point: “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” And a poverty of attention is spiritually dangerous. The writer of Hebrews warns us:
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)
Hear that: less attention may result in our drifting away. We Twenty-first Century western Christians should tremble.
There is no shortcut to paying closer attention. It requires prayerful, careful listening to every word that has come out of God’s mouth (Deuteronomy 8:3), especially, what his Son, the Word speaks (John 1:1). And such prayerful, careful listening and thinking requires time — undistracted, focused time.
And undistracted time will likely not come to us. We will need to carve it out and protect it. Paul tells us to “[make] the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Make the time. It’s going to take some work because part of the evil of our day is the locust swarm of information that will eat up our time if we let it.
So let’s fight for faith today by paying less attention to the whirring words of the world so that we may pay more attention to the Word. Let’s choose wealth, not poverty. After all, our Father said, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him” (Mark 9:7). Let’s do what he said.
Read the first half of the article as well