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Fed, Nourished, Guarded, And Protected By The Tools Christ Has Entrusted To Our Hands (via Harold Senkbeil)

In The Care Of Souls, Harold Senkbeil reminds us that God accomplishes the work of growing the saints through the tools that Christ has entrusted to the Church, not through the personal capacities of those who wield them. This is not say that people don’t matter, it’s just important to remember what the channels that God works to bring change and growth really are.

I can guarantee you’ll be strung out, tapped out, and burned out in the ministry very quickly if you don’t grasp this one central truth: By your own power or strength you can do absolutely nothing as a servant of Christ and steward of his mysteries. I’ve seen it over and over again: A bright, gifted young pastor is driven to despair and the brink of emotional and spiritual collapse simply because he set out to do ministry relying on his own ingenuity and internal resources. Please get this straight: It’s not that you do part of the work and God does the rest; it’s not that you do a little bit and God does a Whole lot. Rather, in Christ’s church the Holy Spirit does everything.
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By our Lord’s own mandate, he has so arranged it in his church that we grow, are fed, nourished, guarded, and protected not out of the weakness and ineptitude of our ministers but rather by the tools Christ has entrusted into their hands. The gospel and the sacraments are not static entities—mere object lessons by which we advertise and promote the kingdom of God. Rather, the gospel and sacraments throb with vitality. They are filled to the brim with the energy and life of God’s own Spirit. The actual words that originated from the mouth ofJesus are the instruments and tools of the Holy Spirit to create and sustain faith. And just think: Jesus has given those very words to you. He has entrusted into your all too human and very flawed mouth and hands the gospel and the sacraments by which the Holy Spirit continues to call, gather, enlighten and sanctify his church on earth. You might fail; in fact, from my own bitter experience I have to say you most certainly will fail—repeatedly and spectacularly. But we believe in the forgiveness of sins also for pastors! So let me tell you this: Though you will falter and fail, God’s Spirit will not.

The Care Of Souls, Harold Senkbeil, Lexham Press, 2019, pgs 28 and 30.


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Minister Of The Gospel, Not Salesman For The Gospel (via Harold Senkbeil)

The Care Of Souls by Harold Senkbeil is a book about pastoral ministry that focuses on the pastoral role as ministering grace, rather than managerial or therapeutic.
In writing about being a pastor, Senkbeil describes how the acts of pastoral craft move from being habits to what he terms habitus, and how the pastor moves from being a workman to a craftsman.
What is the core of pastoral habitus?

The core of the pastoral habitus revolves around what I’ve been talking about in the pages above: mystery. If the content and source of ministry is the Jesus Christ, the central mystery of God, then pastors are themselves stewards of the mystery. In contrast, if you and I see ourselves merely as paddlers or purveyors of a spiritual “message,” we rapidly become salesmen for the gospel instead of true ministers of the Gospel. That is, we’re always scrambling to persuade reluctant customers to buy our product, rather than serving as emissaries sent by God to issue his perennial joyous invitation toward genuine freedom and release: “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15)

The Care Of Souls, Harold Senkbeil, Lexham Press, 2019, pg 23.


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A Movie I Can Watch Over And Over Again

First image when the disc loads for tonight’s movie.

It stands up to repeated viewings.


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Acquiring The Pastoral Habitus (via Harold Senkbeil)

The Care Of Souls by Harold Senkbeil is a book about pastoral ministry that focuses on the pastoral role as ministering grace, rather than managerial or therapeutic.
In writing about being a pastor, Senkbeil describes how the acts of pastoral craft move from being habits to what he terms habitus, and how the pastor moves from being a workman to a craftsman.

We learn by doing. That’s how we develop our pastoral nose; that’s how you and I become habituated into the pastoral calling. And it’s a cyclical process. For while we faithfully practice our craft from one day to the next, we acquire a pastoral habitus for the long haul and our work comes more and more naturally to us.
When the habits of a habitus begin to inhabit a workman, he becomes a craftsman and his work a true craft.
Notice you don’t adopt a habitus; you acquire it. You might say you don’t find a habitus, rather the habitus finds you. When “occupation” becomes vocation, when calling and work merge as one, it’s a happy combination in any line of work.”

The Care Of Souls, Harold Senkbeil, Lexham Press, 2019, pg 22.


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The Faces Behind The Voices (via Great Big Story)

This video from Great Big Story compiles four segments featuring voice actors Charles Martinet, Tara Strong, Redd Pepper, and Jim Cummings. You may not know the names, but you’ll recognise the voices if you’ve played Mario, watched Raven in Teen Titans, listened to a movie trailer, or seen a screen version of Winnie the Pooh. I’ve featured the Tara Strong section of this before, but it’s all very entertaining.


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The Two Women Who Create The Names For Generic Prescription Drugs (via David Lazarus at the LA Times)

This column from the LA Times responds to a question about the way prescription drugs are named.
Not the brand names, there are marketing departments that do that, but the pseudo-chemical sounding names that are used for those drugs when referred to in non-brand contexts.
Turns out that a couple of women in an office in Chicago create them.
An interesting job.

The aim is to avoid products being given “generic names that sneakily come too close to the original manufacturer’s name or the eventual brand name, which could give the company an unfair advantage after the patent expires and generic makers try to compete.
In other words, the generic has to be sufficiently different from the original brand so no confusion is possible.”

Read the article and meet the two staff members of the United States Adopted Names program at the LA Times.


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He Is Our God – Sunday Songs

He Is Our God is a song from Behold Our God, a collaborative album by Sovereign Grace Music and the Choir of Shiloh Church.
Some of the songs on the album are quite stylised in their presentation and the choir leading is strong which makes it hard to know exactly how a congregation would handle the vocals. He Is Our God sounds singable, though.

The lyrics.
Verse 1
Who can light the fires
Of a thousand burning suns
Blazing in the heavens?
There is only one, He is our God
Verse 2
Who commands the nations
Building up and tearing down
Silencing His rivals?
There is only one, He is our God
He is our God
Chorus 1
Holy, You alone are Holy
Matchless in Your glory, Holy God
Verse 3
Who would come to save us
When we turned away His love
Conquer us with kindness?
There is only one, He is our God
He is our God
Chorus 2
Holy, You alone are holy
Matchless in Your glory; no one is like You
Worthy, You alone are worthy
We adore You only, Holy God
Bridge
Now to the King on the throne
Who was and is to come
And to the Lamb Who was slain be glory

Music and Words: Jon Althoff and Bob Kauflin
© 2017 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)