Monday, February 17, 2014

Finding Freedom In Failure

I don’t now about you, but I find within myself a tremendous desire to do well. The problem for me though, is the quest to do well is a never-ending exercise in falling short. And if that’s not bad enough, the quest to do well is likely a quest for the approval of others.

Nick Lannon, writing at Liberate has provided a wonderful illustration I desperately need to remember. He relates the story of Olympic skater Jeremy Abbott taking a spectacular fall before millions of watching eyes, and then performing far better after the fall than before.

Mr. Lannon points out how freeing it is to realize that we are rescued from the outside. He writes,

“We, like Jeremy Abbott, have gone crashing to the ice too many times to keep telling ourselves that our quest for glory is ongoing. It’s over. We’ve failed. Also like Jeremy Abbott, though, we’re now free.  We can live our lives without trying to fool anyone into thinking that we don’t need saving. We do, and desperately.”

Oh that I could take it completely to heart that I am approved not on the basis of how I well I do, but on the basis of what Christ has done on my behalf.

You can read the entire article here.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wise Words

So many of Ray Ortlund’s posts seem to just hit it out of the park for me. His latest on the speech of church leaders is must-read material.

Here’s an example:

Wisdom: Saying only Christ-honoring, life-giving things.  Always asking oneself, “Do the words I feel like saying rise to the level of wisdom?  If not, they have no place in my mouth.  Good intentions are not enough; leaders must show good judgment.  I will hold myself to a strict standard, because Christ’s honor and people’s safety are at stake.”

You can read the rest here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Miracle or Providence?

The Gospel Coalition recently published a really helpful (for me anyway) article by Justin Holcomb titled, “How Is God Working in the World? Understanding Miracles and Providence”.

He explores how we might differentiate the ordinary supernatural work of God’s providentially ordering and maintaining the world vs. miracles which are extraordinary supernatural works that are less frequent and have special purpose in bearing witness to God.

I especially appreciate his point that a wrong view of miracles leads to a diminished view of God’s supernatural providential care over all things. He details three common ways miracles are misunderstood and then shows how each of these views mitigates against a proper view of God’s hand of providence.

It’s not a quick read, but worth the time to work through. It made me appreciate all the more the many routine, yet supernatural ways in which God is sustaining and caring for his creation.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Reflections On Years Of Pastoral Ministry


No, not mine, but those of Sam Storms. This is a great list not only for pastors, but for anyone in ministry.

Here are some great take-aways:

  • I wish I'd known that people who disagree with me on doctrines I hold dearly can often love God and pursue his glory with as much, and in some cases more, fervency than I do.
  • I wish I'd known about the delusion of so-called confidentiality. Pity the man who puts his confidence in confidentiality. You can and must control the information that comes to you, but you can never control the information that comes from you.
  • I wish I'd known about the destructive effects of insecurity in a pastor. This is less because I've struggled with it and more due to its effect I've seen in others.

You can read them all here: What I Wished I’d Known: Reflections on Nearly 40 Years of Pastoral Ministry