Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Best Charles Spurgeon Animal Quotes

Great preaching requires great writing, and Charles Spurgeon had a way with words that helped him become one of the most legendary preachers in history. Since I like animals, and he often used creatures of many kinds in his sermon illustrations, I collected my favorites of his animal quotes.

I limited this list to short quotes, to keep it simple and easy to read, and now I want to share them with you.

From the mighty mind of Charles Spurgeon:

- We see the present power of God in the flight of every sparrow, and hear His goodness in the song of every lark.

- I have often heard people laugh at religion, but ask them what it is, and they know no more about religion than a horse, and worse than that, for they believe untruths about it, and a horse does not do that.

- Rest assured that every black horse of error that comes forth to swallow up the sea of divine truth shall be drowned therein.

- Each sin leaves a trail. The dogs of judgment will be sure to scent it out, and find their prey.

- A stag followed by the hungry hounds with open mouths is far more happy than the man who is followed by his sins.

- There's no telling when a man's sins may show themselves, for hares pop out of the ditch just when you are not looking for them.

- It may have been better for you if you had been made a frog or a toad than to have lived a man, if you should live and die without making peace with your Maker.

- Swift as the dove pursued by the hawk, fly, fly poor sinner, to God's dear Son.

- Prayer without fervency is like hunting with a dead dog.

- Let us but send out the dove of prayer, and we may be certain that she will return unto us with an olive branch of peace in her mouth.

- The fox hastens to its hole; every creature uses its refuge in the hour of danger, and even so in all peril or fear of peril let us flee unto Jehovah, the Eternal Protector of His own.

- The hound, when he has lost his scent, hunts backwards and so recovers it, and pursues his game with louder cry than ever. Thus, Christian, when your hope is at a loss, and you question your salvation in another world, then look backward and see what God has already done for you.

- A feigned friend is much like the bee, who carries honey in her mouth and a sting in her tail. So his countenance is friendly and his words pleasant, but his intent dangerous, and his deeds unwholesome.

- Too many ministers are toying with the deadly cobra of “another gospel,” in the form of “modern thought.”

- As the sportsman has a gun for wild fowl, and another for deer and game, so has Satan a different temptation for various orders of men.

- Trust a wolf at your throat sooner than worldly men in religious matters.

- When a man is proud as a peacock, all strut and show, he needs converting himself before he sets up to preach to others.

- Birds reveal their nature by their song. Owls cannot sing the carol of the lark, nor can the nightingale hoot like the owl. Let us, then, weigh and watch our words, lest our speech should prove us to be foreigners, and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.

- Like a moth that lies under the finger, God can crush us now if He pleases, or He can let us go and save us. What reflections ought to cross our mind, if we believe that?

- Self-sufficiency is Satan's net, wherein he catcheth men, like poor silly fish, and doth destroy them. Be not self-sufficient. Think yourselves nothing, for ye are nothing, and live by God's help.

- Thoughts from heaven, like birds in spring, will fill our souls with music, but thoughts of evil will sting us like vipers.

- The true Church of God is a stranger and pilgrim still; an alien and a foreigner in every land; a speckled bird; a dove in the midst of ravens.

- If you keep your conscience clear, it is a great joy. Conscience is a little bird that sings more sweetly than any lark or nightingale.

- We play the man today, and the mouse tomorrow. Lord have mercy upon us: we are an inconsistent people, fickle as the wind. The Lord would have us abide always in Him with strong and mighty confidence, being rooted and built up in Him.

- A Christian should do with truth as a snail does with his shell—live inside it, as well as carry it on his back, and bear it perpetually about with him.

- Joy, like the nightingale, sings in the dark, and can praise God in the tempest and shout his high praises in the storm.

What do you think of this collection of Charles Spurgeon’s animal quotes? If you have any favorite Spurgeon animal quotes that you’d like to add, share them in the comments!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Movie Review: Unbreakable

The Story: After a man is the sole survivor of a train wreck, he is contacted by a stranger who thinks that his survival is due to him having a superhuman resistance to harm, just like a superhero out of a comic book. As the two men explore this seemingly unbelievable idea, they discover shocking things that will change them forever.

My Thoughts: This film is paced more like a drama than an action film, which is likely what made me find it somewhat forgettable when I saw it as a teen. When watching it recently, however, I noticed the subtle but powerful depth of the story, as well as the low-key but skillfully-executed scenes which often contain interesting details that enhance the story.

The ultimate message of embracing one’s calling to do good in the world, which includes a man helping to heal his troubled marriage, is far more clearly expressed than in most modern stories. Those who don’t mind the slow pace and who can appreciate the subtlety will find this to be a refreshingly hopeful film that gives a unique and fascinating take on the idea of superheroes.

Content Overview: Foul language is infrequent, but the few instances of it are harsh, generally God’s name in vain. Violence is also infrequent, but intense when present, and there are some unsettling scenes. A few vague references (and one not-so-vague reference) to sexual immorality appear.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book Review: The Singer Trilogy by Calvin Miller

The Story: The maker of the world sends his son to sing a new song for the people in the world, and once the son is an adult, he embraces his mission. While a few people accept his song, most cling to the empty music of the devil or the song of religious tradition, leading to a showdown between the new song of the maker’s son and the old music of the world and the devil. The result of the showdown will greatly affect the world’s future.

My Thoughts: This trilogy, which is comprised of The Singer, The Song, and The Finale, calls itself a “poetic narrative,” and that accurately sums up how it’s written. The style is not quite poetry, but also not like a normal novel, and poems play a big role in the text. It is a bit awkward to read at first, but easy to get used to. Retelling the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation in a fantasy world where salvation is partly brought about using music is a brilliant idea, and fun to read. As I read, however, I found myself wishing it had more depth and more complex musical elements.

Some questionable theology appears, such as, in the first book, the maker’s son not knowing that he is truly the son of the maker. While it’s fine to alter a real person in a fantasy re-telling, and the book did much of that, to experiment with the nature of God seems unwise. This, combined with a sense that the writing never quite lives up to the premise, make this less enjoyable than it otherwise would have been. In spite of its flaws, the trilogy is still definitely worth reading for those who want to experience such a unique fantasy premise and writing style.

Content Overview: It’s fairly similar to the Gospels in the Bible. Violence, scariness, and references to adult subjects such as prostitution occur, but are all mild.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Movie Review: Suddenly

The Story: When a small town sheriff has to help the Secret Service get the president through his town safely, he soon finds out that the government knows an assassination attempt targeting the president is imminent. Meanwhile, a ruthless criminal who cares only about killing and money slips into town with his men, convinced that he has what it takes to successfully assassinate the president, escape from the area, and claim the money from those who hired him.

My Thoughts: This film wisely doesn’t open with a bang. It starts out quietly, introducing the characters and the setting, and this makes a sudden burst of violence all the more effective. It caused me to feel the frightening shift that the characters were being subjected to, rather than just seeing it. That, and other similarly masterful touches, left me impressed with how skillfully-made this thriller is.

The story is believable and brutal, showing the importance of always doing the right thing, while not implying that everything will turn out perfectly even when people do what’s right. It’s definitely one of the best thrillers I’ve seen, and my only quibble with it is that I would have liked it to be a bit longer, to add even more depth of the story and characters. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers.

Content Overview: There’s a lot of mild violence and intensity.