Saturday, July 27, 2013

Warnings for 40-Somethings

A great fear has been at work in my mind and God has used it to arouse me to prayer.  I came across a man whom I knew years ago, a mighty man of God, and now ten years have gone and I meet him again - garrulous and unenlivened [shallow and superficial].  How many men seem to become like that after forty years of age!  The fear of sloth and indulgence has come home with a huge fear and fairly driven me to God to keep me from ever forgetting what I owe him.  - Oswald Chambers

We have observed that most people cease learning by the age of forty. By that we mean they no longer actively pursue knowledge, understanding, and experience that will enhance their capacity to grow and contribute to others. Most simply rest on what they already know. But those who finish well maintain a positive learning attitude all their lives.  - Bobby Clinton, Connecting, p. 222

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Oh for a child's perspective. My eight-year old announces to me (most of this based on Wilson house rules), "Daddy, I want to tell you about the five exciting years of childhood I have left! At age eight I got a BB gun. At age nine, I can get a pocket knife. At ten, an air-soft gun. When I am eleven, I get to learn how to drive the riding lawn mower. And when I turn twelve, I can get an ipod! I have still got four exciting years of childhood left!" Wow. That makes me feel good.

Taking Care of Your Pastor

"The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of an ample honorarium (Literally of double honor, or possibly of respect and remuneration), especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says: ‘You must not muzzle an ox that is threshing grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’" 1 Tim 5:17-18 (HCSB)
As a deacon, elder, or other church leader, you have an opportunity to encourage your pastor to get regular rest, refreshment, and spiritual renewal. A practical way to do this is to make certain your pastor takes regular time off and ensure that he has a way to do it.
As a personal mission, ensure that your pastor takes time-off in the following three areas:
1. Make sure he takes at least one day off a week

 The biblical command to take a weekly Sabbath applies to your pastor and staff. Knowing that Sunday is a very full and draining day, encourage your pastor to find a day when he can enjoy his family and get needed rest.

Read the entire article by Henry Webb and Craig Webb here.   

Friday, July 12, 2013

Burn the Boats

In 1519, Hernán Cortés landed on the vast inland of Mexico along with 600 Spaniards, approximately 16 horses, and 11 boats. The Span­ish con­quis­ta­dor and his men were about to embark on a con­quest of an empire that hoarded some of the world’s great­est trea­sure.
This dar­ing under­tak­ing seemed insur­mount­able because for more than 600 years, con­querors had never suc­ceeded.  For this rea­son, Cortés did something daring when he arrived at the land of the Mayans.
Instead of charg­ing through cities and forc­ing his men into imme­di­ate bat­tle, Cortés stayed on the beach and awoke the souls of his men with embla­zoned speeches.  However, it was just three words he murmured that changed the his­tory of the New World.  As they marched inland to face their ene­mies, Cortés ordered, “Burn the boats.”

Monday, July 8, 2013

Preventing Burnout

Here is part two of a great article from Focus on the Family's Thriving Pastor to pastors about preventing burnout . . .

In Part 1 of this article we talked about the reality of “burnout” – its prevalence among ministers, its symptoms, and some of its more harmful practical effects.  We discussed how this psychological phenomenon impacts pastors in the office, in the pulpit, and at home with spouse and kids.  I closed with a promise to give you some specific advice for avoiding “burnout.”  Here are some of the syndrome’s most common symptoms and a few suggestions for dealing with them.

Lack of rest: To avoid burnout you have to be spiritually, mentally, physically, and relationally healthy. This isn’t easy to achieve, of course—sometimes the ministry can be so consuming that rest seems impossible. That’s why Jesus’ words to His disciples are so important: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while. For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:11)

If you don’t intentionally schedule rest, it will not happen.  Here is the rule that I try to live by: Whatever is on the calendar first wins. I don’t change the calendar unless it is an emergency by my definition. I recommend that you sit down with your spouse and schedule time for recreation, study, a day off, and your vacation. Then, when you get a request to do this or that, you can honestly say, “I am sorry but I have an appointment.” It’s important to maintain this boundary and protect your time off.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Talking to Children About the Marriage Debate

With the Supreme Court's gay marriage decisions all over the news, some Christian parents wonder how they ought to explain all of this to their small children. I've faced the same question as my children have asked, "What is the Supreme Court doing that's keeping you so busy?" So how does one teach the controversy, without exposing one's children to more than they can handle?

First of all, you should, I think, talk to your children about this. No matter how you shelter your family, keeping your children from knowing about the contested questions about marriage would take a "Truman Show"-level choreography of their lives. That's not realistic, nor is it particularly Christian.

The Bible isn't nearly as antiseptic as Christians sometimes pretend to be, and it certainly doesn't shrink back from addressing all the complexities of human life. If we are discipling our children, let's apply the Scriptures to all of life. If we refuse to talk to our children about some issue that is clearly before them, our children will assume we are unequipped to speak to it, and they'll eventually search out a worldview that will.

Read the entire article by Russ Moore here