not a blogger, but from time to time I will posts thoughts
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Confident or Faltering and Pitiable
"A minister who is sure of his call is among the most poised, confident, joy-filled, and effective of human beings; a minister who is not is among the most faltering and pitiable."
Joel Nederhood in The Preacher and Preaching, The Minister's Call, page 34.
We ordained and installed 5 new officers at Grace Community Presbyterian Church on December 15, 2019.
It has been my privilege to work with and walk alongside these 5 guys for almost a year, as our process in training and study is that long.
We've done this five times now, in our relatively young and small church. Every time I am stunned by God's kindness in giving us men, gifted men, who are willing to shoulder the burden of ordained office.
This time, something hit me for the first time.
Among our officers, we have teachers, a school administrator, a pilot, a lawyer, a man involved in the insurance industry, a COO and CEO of a health provider in our area, a man who is supplier to car mechanics, an IT man for an oil company, an IT man for a multi-million dollar corporation, an artist and sign-maker, a man who does something with bonds, working with markets all over the world, a man who works in the construction industry, and a rules and regulations guy for BNSF Railroad.
He taught some of my counseling classes at WTS and is the Executive Director of CCEF. His ability to pastor the human heart and his relentless pursuit of the glory of Christ was on display in the classes he taught. We would often begin classes by singing a hymn together and Dr. Powlison would pull a nugget of truth from the hymn and riff for a few minutes. It was always encouraging to our faith. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Powlison and his wife Nan for how kind they were to me and my young family.
He has left a treasure for us in what he has published. Without reservation, I recommend everything below:
Paul Tripp is a faithful counselor and has served me and many of you through his conferences, books, video series, newsletters and booklets. He has written on the transition to middle age, love, sex, and money, raising teens and many other subjects. If you are not familiar with him or his writing, I highly recommend him. His latest book, Suffering, is the best thing he has written. There are multiple contact points any reader will have with this book because suffering is universal. We all experience it. We can’t escape it. Tripp, through his decade's long association with the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) has counseled hundreds of sufferers. You will hear many of their stories in this book. More importantly, you will hear how a skilled biblical counselor helps the sufferer frame her experience in such a way that the truths of the Bible connect to the experience of the sufferer. The chapters “The Awareness Trap”, The Fear Trap”, “The Envy Trap”, “The Denial T…