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On Needing Resurrection Power To Endure Suffering

In John 13 Jesus tells Peter “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
Jesus is speaking of his death on the cross and the resurrection life that will be shared as a result.
Peter will learn that his own suffering would consume him without resurrection life within him.

Paul speaks of this in Philippians 3 when he writes in verse 10 “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”.
Jesus suffers, and is resurrected.
Because of his suffering and resurrection, for Jesus’ disciples the order is reversed.
We know the power of his resurrection, and because of that we are able to endure the sufferings that follow.

We could not endure going where he went, until he had first gone there alone.
Having gone and triumphed, we can now go there in his power.


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Pastoral Anxiety (via Kevin DeYoung)

Kevin DeYoung reflects on Second Corinthians 11:28 “apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”
Pastoral life brings what Paul characterises as “anxiety,” and DeYoung is at pains (as is Paul) not to be seeking pity, or to make out that this anxiety is worse that concerns that so many have as part of their daily lives.
Being a pastor is a wonderful calling.
But this anxiety is a constant companion. It doesn’t get left on a desk or worksite at the end of the day. It’s never completed.
This though, is normal.
And if you’ve got a disposition that gets a bit blue at times then it weighs a bit heavier sometimes than others.
Sometimes black dog Monday lasts through till Wednesday.

DeYoung wants to simply “encourage pastors to keep fighting the good fight and encourage congregations to keep encouraging their pastors.”

Read more at Ligonier.


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Maybe Next Year by Andrew Peterson

Maybe Next Year is track 6 on Andrew Peterson’s Resurrection Letters Vol. 1.
A song of expectation and hope.
“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”


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Benefits Of A Long Term Pastorate (via 9Marks)

9Marks has an article written by Ron Pracht, who has served one church for 45 years, 25 years of those as pastor.
In the article Pracht lists the benefits and negatives of a long-term pastorate.
Here are a few of the ‘benefit’ points that resonated with my experience:

  • Trust grows stronger every year you stay.
  • You learn to be open and confessional, personally and in your preaching, because you have failed, sought forgiveness, and displayed to the people you pastor what it means to intentionally follow Jesus.
  • You learn the importance of relationships and keeping them right before God. You have fought through difficulties and walked with people in success and failure—both yours and theirs.
  • You earn the right to lead significant change because of the relational investments you have made.
  • There is a depth of relationship with people with whom you have shared joys and sorrows, disappointments and successes.

Read the rest here.


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Vale Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder played Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman movie, displaying a hard-edged tenderness that was a perfect foil for Christopher Reeve’s guileless strength as he portrayed the Man of Steel.

For a comic book reading teenager in the 1970s watching a puffy Marlon Brando as Jor-el or Gene Hackman’s supposedly wig-wearing Lex Luthor were prices that seemed worth paying to get a Superman movie on the big screen, but there was no sense of sacrifice when it came to Kidder and Reeve who perfectly embodied the fictional characters they were plucked from relative obscurity to play.

Their skill as actors enabled them to respect their characters in such a way that they could have fun in the roles without ever seeming to send them up.

The personal lives of both actors transcended their careers, and for a kid from the 70s the fact that they are both gone is both surreal and another reminder of time’s relentless march.


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Refreshing The Saints (via Gentle Reformation)

Kyle Borg poses a question based on reflection about Philemon verse 7: “For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you” (emphasis added).

What am I to my brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus? Do I refresh or weary them? Do I give rest or restlessness? Am I a comfort or an anxiety? Do I encourage confidence or are people walking on egg shells around me? Am I blessing to those I am bound to in the gospel or a burden? Are the hearts of the saints being refreshed through me?

Read more at Gentle Reformation.


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The Church Ladder No One Can Move

Pastors who watch this video about the immovable ladder of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre may find the scenario to be somewhat familiar.