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Learning To Endure (via David Powlison)

David Powlison on the fact that learning some spiritual disciplines can only happen by going through a protracted painful pathway.
A couple of quotes:

There’s no way you’re ever going to learn endurance without having to keep on going through something hard that doesn’t go away. There’s no way you’re ever going to learn forbearance without having to face something that you really wish you didn’t have to, and you need to somehow come to grips with it.
It is actually the way that we learn the most profound and the best lessons that we could ever learn. It’s where faith, love, and joy are most profoundly formed.

read the whole transcript (or watch the video) here.

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Tumbling Sky – Matt Searles’ Album Of Psalms For Weary Souls Free For A Limited Time

To mark the release of his book Tumbling Sky: Psalm Devotions for Weary Souls Matt Searles is making the album which inspired the book available for free download.
The album is a wonderful addition to Searles’ two earlier productions.
The Psalms are chosen this time to reflect the ministry that they offer to those in times of lament or suffering.
I don’t know how long the offer will last.

Go here for information about the devotional book.

Go here for the free music.

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Encourage One Another (via Dane Ortlund)

Those who have received the Word of Life speak words of life to others.
From Dane Ortlund:

After all, when Paul says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up,” what is the “therefore” referring to? What is fueling such encouragement? One of the greatest exultations in all the New Testament about the hope of the gospel:
God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him (1 Thess. 5:9–10).
Having been shown life through the word of the gospel, we give life through the words we use.

Read the rest of the encouraging post here.

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J.I. Packer On Old Age And Infirmity

J.I. Packer is a well known theologian whose books have been appreciated by Christians for decades.
At the age of 89 the effects of macular generation have ended his reading and writing capacities, and, as a result, the conclusion of his writing ministry.
There are reports on the Crossway Blog and Gospel Coalition.
The interview at the Gospel Coalition is a remarkable insight in Packer’s faith.
An excerpt:

Has this been a hard trial emotionally?
Emotionally, it doesn’t make an impact on me because after all I’m nearly 90, and I would have had to stop those things soon anyway because my strength would not have continued. God has been very good to us [he includes his wife, Kit], and none of us has been struck as so many people of our age by any form of dementia. We’re both blessedly free of that in a way that other folks of our age known to us are not. When you’re preserved from something other people actually have to work their way through you recognize that this is a mercy and are thankful.

Ecclesiastes is a book of the Bible you have especially treasured and have gleaned much wisdom from over the years. You’ve said Ecclesiastes cured you of youthful cynicism. On this side of life what has the old sage taught you? Does the final chapter of Ecclesiastes—chapter 12—hold more resonance at this stage than, say, 40 years ago?
The author of Ecclesiastes has taught me that it is folly to suppose that you can plan life and master it, and you will get hurt if you try. You must acknowledge the sovereignty of God and leave the wisdom to him.
It tells me now what it told me 40 years ago, namely, that we wear out, physically we come apart. You get old, and getting old means the loss of faculties and powers you had when you were younger. And that is the way God prepares us to leave this world for a better world to which he’s taking us. The message of Ecclesiastes 12 is “Get right with God as early in life as you can; ‘remember the creator in your days of youth’ (Eccl. 12:1). Don’t leave it until some time in the future when you’re not likely to be able to handle it well at all.”

What role does calling play in these latter days of life for you?
All that I can say is that as one’s powers of mind and body diminish so one’s understanding to what one can do—should do—in fulfillment of one’s calling has to be adjusted in terms of, “I can’t do that anymore.” And Christian realism kicks in at that point. God doesn’t call us to do what is no longer within our power to do.

Read the whole post here.

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23 Things That Love Is (via Paul Tripp)

This was featured as one of Paul Tripp’s most popular posts from last year.
I don’t think I linked to it then.
Here’s the first eight:
LOVE IS… being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.
LOVE IS… actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
LOVE IS… being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.
LOVE IS… being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.
LOVE IS… a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.
LOVE IS… being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.
LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.
Read the others here.

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Bearing One Another’s Burdens (via Daniel Hyde)

The Lord Jesus has borne the burden of judgment for the Christian’s sins.
Then Jesus calls on his people to bear each other’s burdens.
From Daniel Hyde, in a post at Ligonier:

…since we in the new covenant are all priests of the Lord who can approach Him with boldness and confidence in prayer (Heb. 4:16), we are called by the Lord to bear one another’s burdens: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1–2).
How do we bear one another’s burdens? There are several ways. First, we do so by praying for each other, taking each other’s burdens into the presence of God. Second, we do it by coming alongside our brothers and sisters to help them through trials or difficult seasons in their lives. Third, we do it by stepping into their shoes, taking difficulties away from them, and bearing them in their place.

Read the whole post at Ligonier.

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Something For The Teachers – ‘One More Day’

For all the teachers out there, if you haven’t seen this, chances are you’ll be shown it sometime or another.
A routine teacher’s welcome back day brightened up with a specially themed flash mob using One More Day as its inspiration.
Put the closed caption subtitles on to view all the return to teaching lyrics.