Chris Larson at PRTS

Pastor or Christian leader?

Living in Grand Rapids or surrounding area?

Available tomorrow (Tues 20th Sept) 1.30pm – 3pm?

Then get along to Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary to hear Chris Larson, President and CEO of Ligonier Ministries, speak on Christian Leadership. This is a unique opportunity to hear one of the most effective Christian leaders of our day speak about the most important lessons he has learned in his leadership journey. It will be of special interest to pastors as I’ve asked him to speak about what he believes pastors most need to learn about leading God’s people.

Check out


How to Avoid Pastoral Burnout (Before It’s Too Late)

Why I’m Trying to Preach Shorter Sermons

LGBT College Blacklist

Preachers, Plagiarism And What To Do With My Peter O’Brien Commentaries 

4 Questions Parents Should Ask of Extracurricular Activities

Find a Friend to Wound You

10 Ways to Practice Normal Evangelism

Kindle Books

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

Ancient Word, Changing Worlds: The Doctrine of Scripture in a Modern Age by Steve Nichols $3.99

Why Trust the Bible? by Greg Gilbert $4.99.

Four Views of the Endtimes $1.87.

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Teaching Calvin in California – The New York Times
Yes, the New York Times!

Dad Enough to Sing
“I want my sons to grow up believing that a grown man singing is one of the most natural sounds in the world.”

The Life They Never Expected: Andrew and Rachel Wilson on Raising Special-Needs Kids
“I asked the Wilsons what role lament plays in their parenting, how churches can better serve parents of children with special needs, how having a child with special needs can challenge a marriage, and more.”

Seven Principles for Angry Parents Disciplining Angry Children
Martyn Lloyd-Jones offers seven principles to govern our disciplinary action as parents.

Pastoral Advice for White Pastors Shepherding Minority Members
“The reconciling power of the gospel urges pastors to become familiar with the ethnic demographic they shepherd.”

Is Your Church Messy Enough?
“If God is in the business of saving sinners, we need to expect that church will be full of sinners—those who are still wandering and those who have only just been found. If our churches reflect God’s heart for the lost, they will be full of people with problems, full of people showing the consequences of a lifetime of wandering. And this means that church may not be a safe and easy place. It may not be a place full of people who have it all together. It may be messy. It should be messy. Thank God if it is messy.”

Seven A’s of Confession | Counseling One Another
I need to hear this again and again and again.

New Book

The Temple and the Tabernacle: A Study of God’s Dwelling Places from Genesis to Revelation by J. Daniel Hays

Kindle Books

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible by Keith Ferrin $1.99.

Five Views of Law and Gospel (Counterpoints Series) $3.99.


Interview with Alister McGrath
McGrath tells of how he moved from atheism to Christ. Some people really do speak like this in England.

The Seven Fears Controlling Controllers

Although controlling/authoritarian/obsessive people often seem intimidatingly strong and confident, at heart they are insecure people who are controlled by a number of fears.

Fear of things going wrong: Hyper-conscious of all that could go wrong in life, they are trying to protect themselves against every possible risk.

Fear of being found out: They put a protective skin around themselves, often shunning relational intimacy, because they are afraid that if people see more of them, they will see their inadequacy.

Fear of trusting: Trust entails risk and vulnerability. It means depending on other people and therefore the possibility of being let down, betrayed, exploited, etc.

Fear of needing someone else: The closer they get to someone, the more they come to need him or her, which unnerves them.

Fear of being exploited: Results in a tendency to be excessively guarded about giving, lending, or spending money.

Fear of uncertainty: The norm is excessively detailed long-term planning and a phobia toward changes.

Fear of not knowing: They tend to be obsessed about knowing every little detail about everything because the more they know the more they feel in control.

Alan Mallinger offers a few remedies for some of these fears in Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of ControlThey include:

  • Remind yourself that no one and nothing can be one-hundred-percent dependable.
  • Stop thinking in extremes. For example, just because it would be unwise to share every intimate detail of your life, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share any. There is a middle ground
  • Practice letting down your guard in one or two small ways to gain confidence and begin to build the habit of releasing control.

However, these are fairly basic and limited remedies. At the root of most sinful controlling is lack of submission to God’s perfect control. The sovereignty of God has to be the foundation of any lasting deliverance from these fears. I can release control if God is in control.

God’s sovereignty means that even if things do go wrong, they are not out of control but under God’s control, and He will work it together for our good.

God’s sovereignty means that even if people find out I’m not what my public persona portrays, He can still provide me with friends and loved ones who care for the real me. Indeed, God’s sovereignty means I can stop pretending and start trusting Him with the real me.

God’s sovereignty means that He will never let us down, and even if others do, he can still overrule even the greatest betrayal for good.

God’s sovereignty means that we can depend upon him for the big things, and through that learn to depend upon others for smaller things.

God’s sovereignty means that even if we are exploited and conned, that he can make it up to us as the cattle on a thousand hills are his, as are the millions in Merril Lynch.

God’s sovereignty means that His plan is certain and that nothing is uncertain to God. We don’t need to make detailed long-term plans because God has made an every-hair-on-my-head plan that covers time and eternity.

God’s sovereignty means we don’t need to know everything, because He already does.

God’s sovereignty means we can abandon perfectionism and embrace His perfection.

God’s sovereignty means we can repent of authoritarianism and trust His authority.

God’s sovereignty means we can release control into God’s control.

Previous posts on Perfectionism and Control: Part 1Part 2Part 3,Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7.

Check out


Western Culture – Moral Suicide
Don’t read this if you’re depressed. Some recent developments in the godless West.

Conflict Is an Opportunity
If we handle conflict biblically, it can be an opportunity for spiritual growth.

Visiting the Home and Grave of C. S. Lewis
Trevin Wax is on a pilgrimage.

Why is Worship So Happy?
“Proverbs 25:20 says that happy songs sung to a heavy heart are like stealing a garment on a cold day or pouring vinegar on a wound. They don’t help – they exacerbate the problem. Rather than lifting spirits they simply delineate the gap between out broken spirits and the gladness of others. Trying to comfort the grieving or empty with happy songs makes about as much sense as having toasts and dancing at a funeral.”

Whatever Is False, Whatever Is Dishonorable, Whatever Is Unjust…
“What makes holy people holy? What makes unholy people unholy? To a large degree it is what fills their minds and their hearts. This is why the battle for holiness is first a battle to flood your mind and heart with the right things, the best things, and why it’s equally a battle to avoid flooding your mind and heart with the wrong things, the worst things”

I Am a Pastor – And, I May Be Suffering From Burnout
See video below as well.

New Book

Faithfulness: No More Excuses by Lou Priolo $4.99.

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Son by Vicki Courtney $0.99.

No Guts no Glory: How to Build A Youth Ministry That Lasts by Alan Stewart $2.99.


Megachurch Pastor Pete Wilson Resigns: “I’m not OK. I’m tired and I’m broken.”
I don’t know much about Pastor Wilson but this is a deeply moving resignation announcement. I’d watch it all to get the flavor, but he gets into his resignation about 3.37.

Call to the Ministry Checklist

In my “Christian Ministry” class we put together a “Call the the Ministry Checklist.” Basically we went through the Bible, and a number of pastoral theologies, pastoral biographies, and blog posts on the subject and noted the most common recurring marks that were given by various authors. In no particular order (apart from the first one):

  • Salvation: You must be born again
  • Christ-like character: Your life is clearly evidencing the fruits of the Spirit.
  • Deep sense of unworthiness: “Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given  that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
  • Deep sense of insufficiency: You are asking, “Who is sufficient for these things?”
  • Holy desire: You passionately want to be a pastor with holy motives firing the passion.
  • Overwhelming constraint: It’s not an option but a compulsion: “Necessity is laid upon me. Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.”
  • Unofficial affirmation: Supportive and confirming feedback from those who know you best.
  • Official confirmation: Your congregational leadership supports and affirms your call.
  • A burden for souls: You love the souls of sinners and long to do them good.
  • Energy: You have an enthusiasim for the task. If you lack this, get out of the way and let someone else take your place.
  • Spiritual maturity: “Not a novice.” You have a proven track record of Christian service.
  • Gifts: Ability to study, communicate, listen, organize.
  • Friendliness: You like people and can initiate and sustain conversations.
  • Providence: God is opening doors of service.
  • Patient: Willingness to wait for the doors to open.
  • Sacrifice: Willingness to suffer loss in pursuit of the call.
  • Training: A desire and willingness to receive training for the ministry.
  • Assurance: A sufficient degree of certainty about personal salvation and personal call.

What others would you add?