Thursday, May 19, 2011

10 Simple Things We All Should Say

 Saw this posted by Justin Taylor. May our hearts be postured with such humility and character.

1. Please forgive me.

Better than "I'm sorry," which can often be followed with an "if" or a "but," these words indicate a humble heart. Bad pastors hide their faults behind the cloak of their authority, practice self-defense against all charges, and basically pretend. Good pastors know they're sinners and admit it.

2. You're right.

Good pastors know they're not always (not usually?) the smartest, most "spiritual" person in the room. They are zealous to give credit and acknowledge achievement and intelligence, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it encourages and empowers others.

3. You're wrong.

Bad pastors chicken out when it comes to calling people on sin or biblical ignorance. Good pastors brave potential conflict and hurt feelings and say "You're wrong" in gentle but firm ways when necessary.

4. Jesus loves you.

Why did we stop saying this? I think because it became cliche. I'd love to see a recovery of the art of "Jesus loves you." Strategically said at times of others' admissions of failure, sin, or trouble, "Jesus loves you" is a fantastic way to speak the gospel into people's lives.

5. I love you.

I think one reason we stopped saying "Jesus loves you" to people is because we don't really love them ourselves. Might as well save the hypocrisy, eh? But good pastors lay their lives down for the sheep. Telling people you love them is a reminder to them and to you that sacrificial love is your calling.

6. Me too.

Next to "Grace is true" (see below), these might be the most important words in pastoral counseling. Bad pastors trade regularly in "Not me." In the pulpit and in the office, bad pastors set themselves apart from their congregations with tales of adventure, spirituality, and personal holiness. In the pulpit and in the office, good pastors talk of sin and trials and utter ineptitude and say, "Me too." I have seen entire countenances change when I've said some variation of "Me too."

7. Any time.

Of course you don't mean it literally. But you kinda do. Good pastors are available.

8. Thank you.

Bad pastors think they're owed. Good pastors know everything is a gift.

9. Grace is true.

I think deep down we all want to hear "You're approved" (see below), which is why we find "Grace is true" such a radical statement. You probably won't use the words, of course. But good pastors take the opportunity to glorify God by "talking up" his amazing grace every chance they get. Just 30 minutes ago, my writing of this post got interrupted by a visitor who wanted to talk about works and grace. I relished the chance to confirm his suspicion that grace is true. Bad pastors may say grace is true but the context of their teaching and the expectations in their leadership say "Your works must be this high to ride this ride." I know some of my friends hate it when "gospel" is used as a verb, but I just have to say it: Good pastors gospel their people. :-)

10. You're approved.

Everyone wants to believe they have what it takes, which is why it's such a bummer to hear the first half of the gospel and learn we really don't. Don't leave your people hanging. Be a good news pastor. Bad pastors beat their people up with their failures. Bad pastors are always disappointed. Good pastors know grace is true and Jesus is Lord, so they are ready to challenge every self-despairing soul with the wonderful truth that in Christ we are approved by God. Good pastors tell people they do have what it takes when they have Jesus' righteousness. Do you trust Jesus? You're all set, then.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Five Myths About Forgiveness!

These Five Myths about Forgiveness are written by Dr. Sam Storms.You will
 find his writings promoted on John Pipers Desiring God, Monergism, Driscoll's
 Acts 29, and AdrianWarnocks site.

I mention all of this so that you can sense the weight of this brothers influence
in the Kingdom and why each of you brothers should prioritize reading the entire

You will discover that the article supports the doctrinal position advocated
during our Redeemed Community days together and which is consistently the
same today. Note that it certainly applies to a relatively recent attack upon
 our doctrinal position via a public venue.
Be encouraged, we are not alone my friends. There continues to be a broad
and deep remnant of kingdom oriented citizens.


1. Contrary to what many have been led to believe, forgiveness is not forgetting.

2. Forgiving someone does not mean you no longer feel the pain of their offense

3. Forgiving someone who has sinned against you doesn’t mean you cease longing for justice.

4. Forgiveness does not mean you are to make it easy for the offender to hurt you again.

5. Forgiveness is rarely a one-time, climactic event.

Laughter Commensurate To Humility: "A Tribute To Joe Sacco"

When I received the videos of my recent visit to Teen Challenge, the first
response was to watch the introductional part where I attempted allow the
 students to enjoy laughter at the expense of Joe Sacco.

As I began to watch, I was so overcome with hysterical laughed that tears
 were rolling down. What would cause such a reaction? Hearing Joe Sacoo
 laughing louder than everyone else in the room, even though he was the
 strategic target of the humor. This quote decribes why my special friend
 could laugh loudly with 250 other men in the room. 


Terry Lindvall writes in Surprised By Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis:

"Laughter is a divine gift to the human who is humble. A proud man
cannot laugh because he must watch his dignity; he cannot give himself
over to the rocking and rolling of his belly. But a poor and happy man laughs
heartily because he gives no serious attention to his ego….Only the truly
 humble belong to this kingdom of divine laughter…Humor and humility
 should keep good company.

Self deprecating humor can be a healthy reminder that we are not the center
of the universe, that humility is our proper posture before our fellow humans
as well as before almighty God…"