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Showing posts from October, 2014

“Christianity is not built on the foundation of philosophy or a code of ethics.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 259). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is not its foundation.It is built on the Resurrection.
As Mark puts it, “The footer of our faith is one fundamental fact— the empty tomb. After cheating death by calling Lazarus out of his tomb, Jesus walked out of His own tomb under His own power! That’s the ultimate apologetic— there is no argument against it. If the resurrection didn’t happen, Christianity ranks as history’s cruelest hoax. We’re not just wasting our lives worshiping Him. We’re living a lie. But if Jesus walked out of the tomb two thousand years ago, all bets are off. Or maybe I should say, all bets are on Jesus.”
But so many want to believe in Jesus as a very good teacher, a very good man who made a difference.As Mark says, “Most people have no hesitation acknowledging that Jesus was compas…

“Your tears are precious to God.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 251). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Mark continues, “Whether they are tears of joy, tears of sorrow, or tears of pain— not one teardrop is lost on God.”
Maybe you need that thought today.Maybe you are going through a very rough spell and it is about to get you down and you would like to break down and cry and it would be great to do it with a friend.Or you maybe are going through an exciting time and you just feel like crying with joy and it would be great to do it with a friend.Maybe your pain is so great and you just can’t handle it because it is so unbearable and you just feel like crying and it would be great to have a friend close to you.Jesus is right next to you and He really cares about you and your tears are precious to Him.
We are looking here in this section of Mark’s book at the death of H…

“Few things kill pride faster than failure!”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 249). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

How do you feel after you’ve failed?You feel miserable but what you do after failure is the key to having a dream realized.
As Mark says, “Few things kill pride faster than failure! And that’s the point. God doesn’t want to kill the dream He’s given you, but He does want to crucify anything that would keep Him from getting all of the glory when you ultimately succeed.”
He also says, “When God takes something away from us, it doesn’t always mean that He takes it away forever. In fact, God often takes things away with the express purpose of giving them back. And when He does, we’re able to see the miracle for what it is. If you’ve lost love and found it again, you know whereof I speak. The same is true of health and wealth. It’s much more difficult to take the blessin…

“Miracles happen once we’re good and ready, and not a moment sooner.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 247). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)


Now we may think we’re ready before God thinks we’re ready and that is where our trust in Him and His timing comes in.
Mark says, “Sometimes it’s because God in His grace is allowing us to mature so we’ll be able to steward it. Sometimes He waits so we don’t miss the point. And sometimes God waits to punctuate His power.”He has a plan, and He has a purpose and that is where our trust comes in.
He also says, “Most miracles take longer than we want, but the longer we wait, the more we appreciate them.”
God had a plan for Jesus’ life when He sent His Son to earth and it didn’t just happen.What if Jesus in His confining human body had stopped somewhere in the 30 plus years in that body and said “OK I’m done and I’m ready to come back home.You are God and you could speed …

“Faith inserts a comma, even at the end of a death sentence.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 244). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

We are looking here at the story in the New Testament where Jesus heard that a good friend of his was about to die but Jesus waited for four days to go see him but he dies before he gets there.When he finally gets there the man’s two sisters ask Jesus why He hadn’t come earlier?One of them, Martha said in John 11:22-23, “Lord . . . if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”The word, but showed that she held out some hope even a little bit in this situation.
What about you?Maybe you are at the end of something in your life, a sickness, a relationship, a job.Remember, “Faith inserts a comma, even at the end of a death sentence.”
Mark says, “Faith often looks like it’s out of touch with reality, b…

“But it’s not over until God says it’s over!”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book,The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible. (p234). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)


We look at life and something happens and we think that life as we know it is over.It could be a lost job, a divorce, a sickness, a decision, a sin, a death and we think it’s over.  In this story that Mark is looking at in this section, the story of Jesus friend, Lazarus’ death “that’s precisely how Mary and Martha felt. Their brother was gone for good. And their lives as they knew them were over.” But Jesus finally comes and He brings Lazarus out of that tomb alive. He gave Him back his life. Jesus was truly The Grave Robber.
Now Mark says, “This miracle doesn’t just foreshadow Jesus’ own resurrection. It foreshadows yours! It’s not just something Jesus did for Lazarus. It’s a snapshot of what Jesus wants to do in your life right here, right now. When we sin, it’s l…

“The methodology behind the miracles of Jesus isn’t the point. The point is His power.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 228). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

The miracle that Mark is dealing with here in this section is the healing of the man who was born blind.The method that Jesus used was a gross one.He spit on the ground and made mud, He put the mud on the man’s eyes and then sent him off to the Pool of Saloam to wash it off.After the man found the Pool He washed the mud off and then he could see.Our tendency would be to start having the method for healing to have mud involved but the key was obedience.The man obeyed and was healed.
I like how Mark puts it.He says, “I’m not entirely sure why Jesus had this blind man go and wash, but I’m guessing that he had lived a relatively helpless life. He depended upon everybody for everything! So Jesus didn’t just heal his blind eyes. He restored his dignity by rebuking helple…

“Billions of galaxies trace their origin to four words.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 226). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

And those four words were, “Let there be light.” Genesis 1: 3.   And even now we are finding that the command is still being lived out. 
Mark says, “Less than a century ago the prevailing opinion in cosmology was that the Milky Way galaxy was the sum total of the universe. Nineteenth-century Austrian physicist Christian Doppler had theorized an expanding universe, but there wasn’t much tangible evidence to back up his belief. Then an astronomer named Edwin Hubble spied several spiral nebulae that were far too distant to be part of the Milky Way galaxy. The announcement of his discovery on January 1, 1925, was an astronomical paradigm shift. He discovered that the degree of redshift observed in light coming from other galaxies increased in proportion to the distance…

“At about six months of age, children start developing internal pictures of external realities.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 202). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Mark continues, “Psychologists refer to this ability to create and catalog mental images as representational intelligence. Like a slow-developing Polaroid, those internal images are developed in the darkroom of your mind’s eye. The first internal image is mom, which develops at about six months of age. Dad doesn’t enter the picture until about eight months. Give children a few years, and their entire vocabulary will have a matching picture. But if your eyesight doesn’t develop normally, neither will your mind’s eye.”
And that is true in so many areas in our development even spiritual.
I was fortunate that I was raised in a home that took me to church at a very early age.Of course my dad was a minister so that was my life and going to church was never an option so w…

“There are lots of different explanations for every experience.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 220). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is so true.Have you learned to use that as a way to enjoy life instead of endure it?
Look at what Mark says, “Let’s say you’re at a restaurant waiting for a date that you were supposed to meet at 7: 00 sharp, but forty-five minutes later he or she is a no-show. At some point you need to explain to yourself why the person isn’t there. Here are some possible explanations. You might think, “He stood me up,” causing you to become mad. You could jump to conclusions and think, “She doesn’t love me anymore,” causing you to become sad. You could assume, “He was in an accident,” causing you to feel anxious. You might imagine, “He’s working overtime so that he can pay for our meal,” causing you to feel grateful. You could speculate, “She’s with another man,” causing you…

“The goal isn’t the miracle. The goal is God’s glory.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 216). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)


That can be a problem to realize when we are going through an impossible situation and we are looking for a miracle but that is the real goal.But that can be a very difficult prayer to pray.I’m sure it was difficult for Jesus when He was facing the cross, and prayed to His Father, “Not my will but Your will be done.”
Marks says, “And if you forget that, it’s difficult to get through difficult circumstances. So let me offer this reminder: the will of God is the glory of God. That’s why cancer can’t keep you from doing the will of God. Nothing can. You can glorify God under any and every circumstance.”
We prayed that prayer when we found out my wife had thyroid cancer.He took care of the cancer but she still lives with some of the complications of taking her thyroid o…

“When life doesn’t go according to plan, we naturally look for someone or something to blame.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 213). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
As Rick Warren has said. “To blame is to be lame” but it is an easy thing to do.It started way back in the Garden of Eden where Adam blamed Eve and then got around to blame God.Their eating the forbidden was really God’s fault because He created the woman.
So are you a blamer?When something happens that really is your fault do you strive to find someone to blame?I mean you are really in debt but it’s your spouce’s fault.They just need, need, and want, want, want so you have to spend, spend, spend. Or it’s the Democrat’s/Republican’s fault when it really it is your fault.
But as Mark says, “But no one wins at the blame game! And it’s usually followed by a postgame pity party. At some point, we must recognize that the circumstances we ask God to change are often the v…

“Doubt is downgrading your theology to match your experience of reality.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (pp. 175-176). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Here is what Mark says leading up to this thought, “We have a natural tendency to explain away what we cannot explain.”He then says, “The reason many of us miss the miracles that are all around us all the time is because we don’t have a prior memory to associate with them.”
Mark is looking in this section of his book of the experience of the apostles out in a boat on the Sea of Galilee and the miracle of Jesus walking on the water. They had never seen someone walking on water and so there was no way that their mind would come up with that as a fact.They first thought He was a ghost.And wouldn’t that be true of you and me?My first thought wouldn’t be that Jesus would be walking on the water.I haven’t seen it so it can’t be true.So I must downgrade my theology t…

“Your job is not to crunch numbers and audit the will of God.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 141). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)


Mark in this chapter of his book is dealing with the feeding of the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish.Now if we crunch those numbers, 5 + 2 does not = 5,000.No way.And we do that over and over in our lives don’t we?But the equation had another variable to it that makes all the difference and it was 5 + 2 + God and that does = 5,000.And that is true in your life too.
As Marks says, “Your job is not to crunch numbers and audit the will of God. After all, the will of God is not a zero sum game. When you add God to the equation, His output always exceeds your input. And your two fish can go a lot further than you imagine if you put them into His hands.”
Just remember that as you face whatever you are facing this week.The equation of yours and my life is totally differ…

“Half of faith is learning what we don’t know. The other half is unlearning what we do know.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 131). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)


The first part means that we should spend a lot of time in the Bible trying to see how God thinks, how He reacts, and what He wants.That goes a long way in building our faith.It also means to think, to stop and remember what He has done in our lives in times past, and to read of other’s experiences.That also strengthens our faith but we also need to do some unlearning.
Mark says, "The second half is far more difficult than the first half. That’s why Jesus repeatedly said, 'You have heard that it was said . . . but I tell you.' He was uninstalling Old Testament assumptions with New Testament revelations. Going the extra mile or turning the other cheek was more than behavior modification. Jesus was reverse engineering the old rules and installing new one…

“Don’t let what’s wrong with you define you.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 119). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

And that is so easy to do.
I have been overweight a big part of my life but I have striven to not make that define me.Now it may define what some people think of me but that is their problem not mine.As I see myself today I see myself as a healthy person who is striving to be healthier.
Now there was a time a few years back that I saw the potential if I didn’t start doing something with my weight problem of living my later years as an invalid.And I knew that I had the potential to do something about it so I changed my eating and exercise habits.
So how do you see yourself?
Mark has some very good thoughts on this.He says, “When my children lie to me, I don’t call them liars. I remind them that that’s not who they are. I certainly call it what it is— a lie. But I don’t…

“With a few minor changes, we could solve most of our major health problems.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2014-09-02) from his book, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible (p. 113). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

But the problem is, we really don’t want to.Oh we may wish to but want to is a different thing.
Mark says, “No matter what goal you’re trying to achieve or problem you’re trying to solve, you have to want it more than the pain that will be inflicted upon you in the process of trying to attain it. That’s where nine out of ten of us fall short, according to Dr. Edward Miller, the thirteenth dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. More than one and a half million Americans undergo a coronary bypass graft every year. And while angioplasty effectively relieves many of the symptoms of clogged arteries, it’s a temporary fix. Without a change in eating and exercise habits, the health benefits are short-lived. And patients are told that point-blank. Yet, D…