(Yesterday on the blog: Are You Looking for Something Good To Read?)
Kimberly Wagner writes about the most frightening words for those who are suffering from chronic pain. “I’ve learned that it is best to patiently and gently approach those who are traumatized by their pain and be willing to wait. Let the sufferer know you are praying for them, ask if there is anything specific you might be able to do for them, but wait for them to voice their pain when they are ready. Always, always, be asking the Holy Spirit to direct your conversation with them that you might bless them and not accidentally add to their suffering.”
Since they are constantly in the news, even here in Canada, I guess it makes sense to know what they are and how they work.
“Should preachers today emulate Spurgeon? Is there a place for lighthearted laughter in sermons? I think Spurgeon himself had the healthiest view of laughter in the pulpit: use it if it fits your personality, but take care never to let it distract from or undermine sublime gospel truths.”
This represents an interesting and surprisingly important little snippet of American history. How would American history have gone if his trip had been interrupted or his ship sunk?
Ed Welch uses the story of Flea (bass player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) to show the importance of close listening. “Listen to Scripture, listen to people. This is how we grow in our care and counsel. And grow we must if we want to help someone who has stories beneath stories. Most addicts do.”
I suspect you know the answer to this question: It’s a solid “sometimes.”
Paul tells how and why in his church (which, as it happens is also my church) there has been a lot of effort to build and maintain genuine fellowship between congregations representing different denominations.
Part of the joy of being Reformed is entering in to an existing, defined stream of theology. This gives us access to a thorough reference library that answers many questions and clarifies many conundrums.
Let thy hope of heaven master thy fear of death. Why shouldst thou be afraid to die, who hopest to live by dying!—William Gurnall