Thursday, May 13, 2010

Speaking Truth in Love David Powlison

For any minister, student for the ministry or church member who desires to speak the truth of God's Word into people's lives this book is a must read. It is another volume from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation stable. The book consists of two main sections: Part 1 Speaking Truth in Love and Part 2 We Grow Up Together. In the first section the writer deals with many of the practicalities of counseling - preparation, what questions to ask, how to illustrate your counseling and how to help people who have been to every other counseling avenue under the sun. The second part deals mainly with the role of the church in counseling and the vital topic of how to get more training in the field.
As with every CCEF book I have read I ended this one with the realization - I need to read that again with a pen and paper in hand. I think I have said it before - if you are serious in speaking the truth of God's Word in to people's lives in preaching and pastoring - then buy and read every book that these guys print. I wish I had these books when I was at theological college - perhaps I would have seen more people's lives changed by the Word than I have over these past 16 years.
If I am spared by God to minister for another 16 years I will be making the wise pastoral counsel of CCEF materials the core of my ministering of the Word of Christ from home to home.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Marathon Completed

Yesterday in superb weather conditions James and I plotted our way round the 26 odd miles of the Belfast marathon. Just under two weeks ago I developed a nasty foot injury in the last stages of training and honestly thought I was going to have to pull out. But with daily treatment and no running except for two very short slow jogs at the end of last week we lined up in front of the city hall yesterday morning. Within half a mile my foot was sore. By mile 12 the pain was getting close to the unbearable level - but hobbled on not wanting to go back to all those kind people who sponsored me and said I didn't make it. By mile 17 the pain seemed to lessen, or was simply masked a little with the escalating pain in my right knee and thigh. By this stage I was noticing that James was looking like the proverbial ghost and my attention shifted to keeping him going. By mile 19 I knew that apart from my foot breaking I was going to finish.
And after 4 hours 19 minutes and 57 seconds we crossed the finish line.
So what kept a nearly 48 year old man going for that length of time? On many occasions during the run, as I battled with the pain in my foot and leg, I thought of those for whom facing another day with prostate cancer is a much more challenging marathon and could I not cope with a few hours? The voices of the people along the way was most helpful too with their kind words of encouragement to keep going. But most especially the words that one of the church members gave me on Sabbath evening to him who has no might he increases strength. We repeated it often in the course of the 26 and a bit miles and by His grace we made it.
Thank you to all who sponsored us for The Prostate Cancer Charity. Not to late to donate yet. James and I are now hoping to make the £1000 mark over the next few days.