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A Menial Work, By Design (via David Powlison)

Although not central to the book’s theme, this tangental observation about pastoral life rings true:

…by design, ministry is menial work. It means being a servant, someone’s assistant, a helper. You are running errands. You lay down your life so that another person’s life might go better. Discontentment and complaining reveal pride, as if menial work were “beneath me.”

David Powlison, God’s Grace In Your Suffering, Crossway, 2018, pg. 41.

On to another day of service.

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God’s Grace In Your Suffering

God’s Grace In Your Suffering is newly released from the reliable David Powlison.

It is a short read, with eight chapters representing daily reading material.

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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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Christians Suffer, But They Don’t Suffer Alone (via David Powlison)

David Powlison writes about lessons he learned as a Christian who went through a prolonged season of intense suffering.
He avoids glib and sentimental expressions and also stays clear of wrongly placed triumphalism.
From the post:

…yes, we do learn from suffering, but it’s not a simple lesson. What’s most important is this: God shows up in our lives and hearts. He walks with us through fire. He directly communicates His love. He purifies our faith. He anchors our hope. He deepens our love for other strugglers. God is teaching us something. He is revealing Himself to us.
A misconception about the image of Christ often goes hand-in-hand with this misconception about suffering. We imagine that the image of Christ is all the things that are good and strong and noble and generous. We can forget that His image includes the heartfelt way in which Jesus lived out Scriptures such as Psalms 22, 25, and 31.
His faith honestly expressed affliction. He wrestled with God. He agonized. He trusted. He sought His God. He walks with God on difficult roads, not immune to the heartache and grief that come with our plight as human beings. We are being conformed to the image of Christ.
Read the whole article at Crossway blog.

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Supporting People Who Are Angry With God (via David Powlison at CCEF)

A wise friend of mine told me that a strong bridge of relationship is required to bear the conveyance of weighty truths.
From David Powlison at CCEF:

your first question is not, “Do I have all the right passages to quote?” but rather, “Do I have this man’s ear? Are we in a conversation where the truth can be savory and relevant, and really touch him?”
When someone’s struggling with anger at God, rather than immediately diving into any number of passages of Scripture, make sure you have his ear. Take a walk with him as a friend. Acknowledge the value of his being honest about his struggle with God. Affirm his current conviction that life in a fallen world can be very difficult and deeply disappointing.

From here.

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Don’t Anchor Your Identity In A Role (via David Powlison)

This video is directed towards pastors and other Christian ministry workers, but is applicable to everyone.
The danger of allowing a role to define your identity is that every role has a limited time frame.
When the role ends identity can come adrift.
Identity for the Christian must be found in the eternal.

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Speaking The Truth In Love by David Powlison – Kindle Edition Free At Amazon For Limited Time

Some of you will want a copy of David Powlison’s Speaking The Truth In Love.
Kindle edition currently free for a couple of days at Amazon.
Thanks Gospel eBooks.

The blurb:

Speaking-Truth-In-Love-198x300You probably speak 20,000 words a day, give or take, and each one influences those who listen. No wonder God has so much to say about our words. We are all counselors, whether we realize it or not!
Speaking Truth in Love is a blueprint for communication that strengthens community in Christ. The principles outlined in this pivotal work are specific to counseling, yet extend to marriage, family, friendship, business, and the church.
Have you ever wondered how to be a more effective counselor?
Have you ever looked for a better way to talk to difficult people?
Have you ever wanted to express faith and love more naturally in your relationships?
Practical in its approach yet comprehensive in its scope, Speaking Truth in Love is sure to become required reading for anyone interested in pursuing a career as a counselor or anyone else who longs for ways to redeem relationships.