We found out yesterday via ultrasound that Maggie and Calvin are having a little sister in October. Of course we’re excited about having another girl in the house, though I can’t claim to share Mo’s enthusiasm regarding its effect on cloth diaper coloring.
I finished reading Lectures to My Students yesterday. The journey took almost two years and included some breathtaking sights. The Void previously published highlights related to the preacher and praying, preaching with clarity, and holding on to the truth. While creating my index inside the back cover I retread precious, providential, faith-focusing ground concerning how God makes His ministers through difficulties.
Afflictions make sensitive shepherds.
It is of need that we are sometimes in heaviness. Good men are promised tribulation in this world, and ministers may expect a larger share than others, that they may learn sympathy with the Lord’s suffering people, and so may be fitting shepherds of an ailing flock. (155)
These infirmities may be no detriment to a man’s career of special usefulness; they may even have been imposed upon him by divine wisdom as necessary qualifications for his peculiar course of service. (155)
Troubles make clean vessels.
The scouring of the vessel has fitted it for the Master’s use. (160)
Adversities make humble instruments.
Those who are honoured of the Lord in public have usually to endure a secret chastening, or to carry a peculiar cross, lest by any means they exalt themselves, and fall into the snare of the devil. (164)
Serve God with all your might while the candle is burning, and then when it goes out for a season, you will have the less to regret. Be content to be nothing, for that is what you are. When your own emptiness is painfully forced upon your consciousness, chide yourself that you ever dreamed of being full, except in the Lord. (164)
Instruments shall be used, but their intrinsic weakness shall be clearly manifested; there shall be no division of the glory, no diminishing of the honor due to the Great Worker. (163)
Trials make trusting servants.
Put no trust in frames or feelings. Care more for a grain of faith than a ton of excitement. (164)
Continue with double earnestness to serve your Lord when no visible result is before you. Any simpleton can follow the narrow path in the light; faith’s rare wisdom enables a man to march on in the dark with infallible accuracy. (165)
Here’s a great start to a new series on a gospel vision for the rising generation of young people. From someone who’s in the thick of parenting and pastoring youth:
living for the glory of Christ is not on hold until you are eighteen or twenty-one. There is a way for six-year-olds to make much of Christ and a way for ten-year-olds to make much of Christ and a way for sixteen-year-olds to make much of Christ. And there is a way for parents and church leaders and all of us to create a matrix of relationships and teachings and expectations and blessings that awaken young people from the emptiness and aimlessness of our popular youth culture and give them a vision for Christ-exalting significance throughout their pre-teen and teen years.
This afternoon at Starbucks the barista compared my outfit to the sun in a bright blue sky. I responded that no one would ever make that comparison with my personality, so I’d take what I could get.
Here’s a BRIEFING on one-to-one ministry that compliments much of the Biblical Shepherding Bulls-eye and prepares the way for a Practical Plan of Discipleship. For a taste:
Effective one-to-one Christian ministry is not limited to counseling, nor is it essentially about solving personal or emotional problems. What is it then? It is forming a relationship with another individual for the purpose of mutual growth in Christian understanding, obedience and service of others.
I don’t love the recommended resources near the end but the rest of the article is worth the time to read and implement.
Follow updates of Micah Lugg preaching in chapel at The Master’s College here.
Chuck Weinberg started a new blog to give updates on Grant’s condition and to thank God for His goodness. With his son in the Critical Care Unit hooked to a breathing machine, sitting in the waiting room unsure of what’s next, his first thought for a blog name was How good is God? This wasn’t a question for him of whether or not God is good, but a question of recognizing how good God really is. How good is that perspective?
For another first hand account, read what Micah Lugg learned from sitting at the hospital all day.