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Archive for August, 2012

Pastor John’s message last weekend, He Stood by Me and Strengthened Me for the Sake of the Gospelincluded some very personal reflections on his own sorrows in ministry.  He followed it up with a blog post yesterday, More Thoughts on Friends Who Fail You.

We all fail; the number of people I’ve failed is too high to count.  But I feel even more acutely ashamed of the times I intentionally tried to hurt people – people often trying to do me good – for their failures: using the wrong words for a disability; suggesting the wrong therapy; not ‘getting it.’  And because it involves disability, the culture gives us the ‘right’ to find offense wherever we look.  I’ve touched that topic before here and here.

So the message and the blog posting were good words for me as we live this unusual life of disability in this hostile culture with people who fail and who I fail.  Especially the closing to the blog post:

We look to Jesus not only because he was the great model of holding onto friends who let him down, but also because he died and rose again to be the joyful bond of broken and restored friendships.

So keep Jesus before your eyes, and pray this into your heart: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:7–8).

Whatever you do, don’t let the failure of your Christian friends become the basis for abandoning the one Friend who never fails.

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My dad hasn’t been feeling well lately, so my kids made some cards.

Daniel thought maybe a verse he had read recently would be helpful.

Grandpa like it!

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Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (1 Peter 4:19 ESV)

This has been posted a lot of different places, for which I am very grateful!  As Justin Taylor said when he posted it, “We need to see and hear testimonies like this over and over.”

Make much of God today; tell your story of what God has done for you.

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When I first saw the video of Eliot Mooney and his parents, Matt and Ginny, I thought to myself, “these are people who understand something about God and life and death and suffering that is precious.”  I’m grateful God gave them – and us – Eliot.

Matt went on to create a ministry, 99 Balloons, to serve families like ours.

So when they said they wanted to tell some stories of God’s goodness in disability and invited me to join them, I gladly accepted.

They’ve posted it this morning: God’s Kindness Through My Rube Goldberg Boy.

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The fourteen young men in the first row of this picture are the newest seminary students of Bethlehem College and Seminary.

 

I learned Saturday night that one of them is a father of a baby with Down syndrome.  I can’t wait to meet that young man.

For the past several years I’ve had the opportunity to talk about disability, the Bible and our church with these first-year students.  I’ll get to do so with these young men in about three weeks.

But I have a feeling the real, lasting learning will come from within their midst.  Because these cohorts work together over several years, the men get to know each other pretty well, and their families.

And isn’t it kind of God to give them a little one to help them learn about God’s good design in disability up close?

 

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Whatever is wrong in our life, we are given an unshakable conviction that our Witness is in heaven. We know that Christ is our Intercessor, a Friend to whom we can pour out our tears to God. We know that Jesus, our Elder Brother, is pleading on our behalf as a man pleads for his friend.

Michael Horton, A Place for Weakness, p. 128.

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November 8 is rapidly coming!  Only 74 more days until we convene for Desiring God’s conference: The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability at Bethlehem’s North Campus.

(No, I’m not counting the days.  Our events team sends out a prayer guide every week for every upcoming conference.)

Please pray with us for our four speakers (John Piper, Nancy Guthrie, Mark Talbot and Greg Lucas), for all the logistics associated with the conference, and for more people to sign up.  We still have plenty of room!

I’ve also heard from two churches that are considering live-streaming the event.  Both are a LONG way from Minnesota and knew their people could not attend in person, but each wants to gather their families (and hopefully leaders) to learn, enjoy and celebrate God’s goodness together.

If your church is considering live-streaming the conference, would you let Desiring God know?  You can email them at mail@desiringGod.org.

In the meantime, please pray that God would help us, and then use us, to make much of his name through this conference.

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