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Notes on Suffering From Job, By Chambers & Peterson

Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will leave this life.
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.
-Job 1:20-22
This is a follow-up on why we can not and should not try to fix people.  (You Can't Fix People)  There is a whole book on this in the Bible, called Job.  It is the story of a good guy who had bad things happen to him.

Here are notes and quotes, full of sage advice and Christ centered wisdom about how to approach suffering, from first Oswald Chambers, then Eugene Peterson.
These are some notes or quotes from Oswald Chambers book on Job called, Baffled To Fight Better. The sympathy which is reverent with what it cannot understand is worth its weight in gold.It is not what a man does that is of final importance, but what he is in what he does. The atmosphere produced by…

You Can't Fix People

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.
-John 15:1-9
You can't fix people.  Have you discovered this?  It is futile to imagine that you can.
We get fr…

God Will Restore Your Lost Inheritance

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “since I intend to show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all your grandfather Saul’s fields, and you will always eat meals at my table.”
-2 Samuel 9:7
Many people have lost inheritances that God is going to restore.  
You have thought about it and you have also worked on coming to terms with it, as your history, your story. 
I believe that God does restore lost inheritances.  God's kindness and graciousness knows no bounds with his children.  This is illustrated in the story of Mephibosheth, in 2 Samuel 9:
David asked, “Is there anyone remaining from the family of Saul I can show kindness to for Jonathan’s sake?” There was a servant of Saul’s family named Ziba. They summoned him to David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

“I am your servant,” he replied.

So the king asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul’s family that I can show the kindness of God to?”

Ziba said to the king, “There is still Jonathan’…

Our Barnabas Disciple Maker

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus by birth, the one the apostles called Barnabas (which is translated Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned, brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. -Acts 4:36-37
Yesterday, we went to a retirement party, for Kenny.  He has been a Barnabas, a 'Son of Encouragement', just like that man, in the book of Acts.  The occasion was his retirement from 30 years at his job, but what we really celebrated was his 45 years or so of ministry, as a disciple who made disciples.
I was blessed to be one of the people whom he reached out to, to show the love of Jesus to, over 40 years ago.  That 'Thank You' song by Ray Boltz, came to my mind; as I listened to the four men, including my brother, who got up and paid tribute to Kenny:
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Kenny was and is an encourager.  One of the guys who spoke yesterday, said that he has been…

Sheep, Goats, & Shepherds

All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.


I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory about to be revealed: Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but willingly, as God would have you; not out of greed for money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because

God resists the proud but gives grace to the h…

Preparing For the Harvest

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease. -Genesis 8:22
A whole bunch of people are going to get saved, become Christians, and will need to be made disciples of Jesus.  I believe a huge harvest is coming soon.  God has been preparing his people for this.  Are we ready?
These are some thoughts of mine, in no particular order, about being ready for and receiving the harvest of people who will flow into our lives.
A huge number of people are going to suddenly become pastors, who have previously been minding their own business and walking with God on the sidelines.  The pastors who have been pastors will step back and be equippers, coaches, consultants, and fathers & mothers to this whole new tier of pastoral ministers about to be released in the kingdom.
Be ready for and willing for God to inconvenience you, with people.You can only plan to be open to what God does.The people God sends or gives you to care …

Musical Instruments Are Endorsed by the NT

What then, brothers and sisters? Whenever you come together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a revelation, another tongue, or an interpretation. Everything is to be done for building up.

And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.

Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. -1 Cor. 14:24, Eph. 5:18-21, Col. 3:16
I read an article from November, 2010; from Scot McKnight, where he asked his readers how they would respond to this question:
"How would you respond to someone who believes that instrumental music is not an acceptable form of wors…

Sky Links, 9-27-17

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. -1 Peter 4:8

These are clips from Darren Wilson's new film, Questions With God.










Darren Wilson, Chad Norris, and friends: Questions With God.




Hypocrites who call out heresy

Scot McKnight wrote about hypocrisy vs. heresy.  Today, we have so many Christians who call out other Christians on the heresy charge, when the real issue is hypocrisy.

Put together, Jesus accuses the Pharisees for “hypocrisy” because (1) they had abused their teaching authority by teaching false things, (2) not living according to what they taught, and for (3) their desire for power and control. In addition, (4) their teaching was a focus on minor issues to the neglect of major issues.

They flattened the Torah into a listing of God’s will while Jesus saw love of God and love of others as the center of that Torah. If the Pharisees saw love as one of the commandments, however important, Jesus saw love as central and everything…

Sky Links, 9-19-17

Discretion

Are you discreet?  Charles Pope wrote an article about priestly discretion.  Should you speak out or remain silent?  Or, should you just be careful?

"To be discreet most commonly means to be careful, prudent, or circumspect, especially in terms of speech. The word discreet comes from Latin discretus, meaning separate or distinct. To be discreet is not to be secretive; it is to make a prudent discernment about what to say to whom and when to say it. Personal, private conversations ought to stay that way."

On Priestly Discretion, Charles Pope.


Unreforming Leadership

Mike Frost asked the question, "Can the seminary produce visionary leaders?"  The answer is "no".

"Recently, I was teaching a class on missional church when, in a moment of unguarded clarity, one of my students said, “I like hearing about all these new ways of doing church, but I don’t know if I could do them because I’ve grown up in church and I love it.” The unspoken end of that se…

My Vacation Taught Me About Community

Live in harmony with one another.
-Romans 12:16a
I just got back from a family vacation.  We all lived in a condominium together for a week.  We had two sets of people who don't normally live together, so we had to learn to be together.
Every vacation time puts us into a different routine, in a different place sometimes with different people.  This one was just like that.  No one or no thing completely ruined it, but there were challenges and joys.
Even though it was completely predictable, I was was caught off guard once by the difficulty in choosing what to watch on television.  Four out of the five of us are first borns, who like to dictate what tv shows will be watched.
After the first disagreement, I realized that I don't need to control what we watch.  And I was immediately set free.  The next time there was an issue, we discovered the second tv and split into two groups.
You don't have to do everything together.  This is stating the obvious, but I think being able …

Tozer Quotes on Worship

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
This is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
-Exodus 15:2

My first memory of worship was when I was a little boy, and all the people were in the sanctuary singing The Lord's Prayer.  I can still hear the roar of all the voices, in unison, singing, "For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever!"  There was a pipe organ that did not overpower the voices of the congregation, but seemed to guide and blend with our words, towards heaven.
Everything I have learned and everything I have seen and experienced about worship starts with that childhood memory.  Christians have been offended and put off by different styles of worship.  How we worship has been in contention for a long time.
I recently picked up a book, Tozer on Worship and Entertainment, which is a compilation of thoughts from A.W. Tozer, by James L. Snyder; published in 1997.  Around 1987, I read a simi…