Tag Archives: Tim Challies

High Commendation 1/5/19

Below are some articles, videos, etc. That I highly commend to you. I do not commend these simply because of the author or because of the subject, but because I have found value and help in reading or watching these. I will put a snippet of the article and then the link if you care to continue to read.

Eric Johnson and Warren Watson writing for Desiring God (This is a very long article, however there is an audio version at the bottom of the article if you’d rather listen than read):

We’ve all known people with a personality disorder. We just didn’t have a label for it.

Ted acts like a know-it-all. He subtly informs others about his accomplishments, and he presents to the world an image of success, happiness, and confidence. But as we get to know him better, we sense a deep underlying insecurity and a strong hunger for admiration and affection.

Cindy always seems to be in a conflict with somebody at work. Although strongly opinionated and boisterous, she easily gets flustered and starts to cry when others push back. At these times, she often can be heard quietly saying to herself something like, “You’re such a jerk!”

Matt is 33 years old and has lived with his mother since graduating from college, shortly after his father died. He has a part-time job at the grocery store, but he rarely leaves the house otherwise, and he has no friends because he is devoted full time to caring for his widowed mother.

Charlotte is quiet at work most of the time, and shows almost no emotion. When she speaks, her comments don’t always correspond to what others are talking about. When others are not around, she often seems to be daydreaming. When she gets home from work, she watches television continuously until it’s time for bed.

Compared to most people, individuals like these have significant difficulties in life, but they are not so troubled that they require hospitalization. As some of the examples indicate, most have jobs, but their performance is often substandard; most also have some relationships, though typically of poor quality.

Such people are characterized by a deep and pronounced disorderedness in many core areas of their functioning: a negative sense of self, conflicted relationships, unbearable negative emotions, strong defenses, irrational thinking, and a lack of impulse control. As a result, they may exhibit inexplicable behaviors, rigidity in the way they do things, unsubstantiated beliefs about others, and unpredictable shifts in their emotions. These patterns of human dysfunction began to be identified only in the early twentieth century, and eventually they were given the label of personality disorders.

Still Saints: Caring for Christians with Personality Disorder

Tim Challies read a book on suffering titled A Book of Comfort for Those Who are Sick, in which he shared his favorite quotes. Below are a couple of quotes from his article. Click on the link for more.

“The waters of comfort cannot run up the hills of pride; they fall down into the valleys of humility.”

“When the sun shines brightly its warm beams draw up the damp fogs from the earth, and they often obscure its lustre. When a lamp is lit, the brighter it shines, the more the insects that gather round it. And so the brighter any truth of God, the more does Satan endeavour to gather about it such mists as will obscure it, if indeed he cannot extinguish it altogether.”

Comforting Quotes for Those Who Are Suffering

Diana Davis is the wife of the former President of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana (SCOBI) and subsequently, we got to know the two of them a little but. They have since moved on from SCOBI, but Diana continues to spread new and interesting ideas for churches. Below are a couple of those ideas that I thought to be interesting and desirable. Click on the link for more!

9. Host a free car wash at church for the community.Accept no donations. Print custom air fresheners with a Scripture verse or saying, church name, and website. Offer a friendly, personal invitation to church, and hang a freshener on their rearview mirror.

21. Gather a small group from church and volunteer to host a water station at a local running event. Wear church T-shirts, cheer for participants, and invite.

52 Ideas for Inviting Someone to Church This Year

Singleness: Contentment

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been dealing with the gift and calling of singleness. If you haven’t read those articles, I would encourage you to do so before reading this one since they build upon one another.  This week, I am dealing with being content while single.

Having read the other two articles, can you see why there can be great contentment in being single?  The church often sends the message that singleness is a mistake or it is wrong or it is unfulfilling.  The world often sends the message that singleness is the life because you can do whatever you want.  But Scripture says that singleness is a gift of God by his grace, to call you to do that which married folk cannot do.

God may not always call you to singleness.  But if you are single, it is your calling right now.  There may be an aching for someone to go home to at night, to talk with, to snuggle with, to grow old with.  That is fine.  Contentment does not mean that we can’t have longings or desires.  It means that we will receive, accept, even rejoice in God’s will.

Jesus, while in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed three times to have the cup removed from Him, but nevertheless, Thy will be done.  Paul prayed three times for his thorn in the flesh to be removed from him, but it wasn’t.  “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12.9, ESV).  What did Paul say, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12.10, ESV).  He also told the Philippians though that contentment is not simply something that happens automatically, but rather learned in time.  “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content,” (Philippians 4.11b, ESV).

Remember, I told you that to be loved by Jesus is better than marriage.  As Sam Allberry said, “Both marriage and singleness point to the gospel. The former reflects its shape, the latter its sufficiency.”  In singleness the gospel of Jesus Christ shows His all-sufficient grace.  Marriage reflects the shape.  It is a picture, a model as Tim Challies has said.  But it is not the real thing.  It is a miniaturized version of what is real.  What is real encompasses not just those who are married, but all who know Christ.  Challies wrote:

When we understand the meaning of marriage, we realize that even if you never marry or are no longer married, you are not missing out on something that is essential to the human experience.

If you are unmarried, you are not missing out on what’s ultimate and, therefore, on what’s essential. It’s no tragedy to miss out on the model. The only tragedy would be to miss out on the real thing. The only tragedy would be for you to miss having that real, living, and ultimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Before finishing these articles, let me point out a few things:

  1. God has granted single people a gift that he has not given to everyone. Specifically, I am referring to those never married when I say, be happy and honored that he has bestowed such a privilege upon you. To the divorced or widowed, I say: this is not what you wanted; it is not what you asked for.  But God has promised to give his best even if we cannot make heads or tails of why.
  2. Since this is a gift, then we as God’s church ought to celebrate it and not shame it. We ought not to go to one who is single and ask them if they are seeing anyone or when they plan to marry. Let God’s gift and grace be a gift that is enjoyed.  May we not be the ones to strike discontentment into the heart of God’s child.
  3. Singleness is a calling, just like marriage is. They are each unique jobs—vocations—that we are to stay loyal to as long as He calls us to them. For the single: until married.  For the married: until death do us part.  At which point, the callings have been reversed.
  4. The freedom that one has in being single is a God-given freedom for God’s kingdom. You may have freedom of time and/or resources that others simply do not have. Let God utilize that for His kingdom and glory.
  5. Jesus, the fullest and most contented man to live, lived as a single man. Paul, the greatest of the apostles, lived as a single man. Marriage doesn’t fulfill anyone.  Only Christ can.