Monday, March 02, 2015

Easter Video: Why? Easter

Luther Reading Challenge

The Luther Reading Challenges invites you to join with others from around the globe in reading the works of Luther each day...then discussing what they meant when they were written and what they mean for us today.
Begin the Luther Reading Challenge by visiting https://www.lutherreadingchallenge.org/

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Book: One Blood free ebook copy

One Blood, the best book on Australian Christianity and the Aboriginal people is available again, now in e-book format.
Dr John Harris’ landmark book One Blood has been out of print and unavailable for some years. Yet there has been continuing demand for the book; indeed, Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia, recommends “every Australian Christian should read One Blood”.

The book studies 200 years of Aboriginal encounters with Christianity, and discusses the impact of European missionaries on Aboriginal culture.
When Dr Harris set out to write the book, he did so to tell a story. “I wanted to write the warts-and-all story of the Christian missions in Aboriginal Australia.”

Harris has always known Aboriginal people as friends, from the time he was born. For many years he gathered accounts of mission life from them and from missionaries. For about 20 years he read thousands of diaries, newspapers, reports and mission magazines. He knew that, “here was a big story made up of many smaller stories, stories both happy and sad, stories of success and tragedy, of death and life.”

“I simply wanted to tell the story using the words of the people who were involved, those who knew what happened.”
Harris says he wrote the book for the Church. “I thought I was writing it for other Christians, to help them understand the Aboriginal Christian past. I wanted to set down the facts, not just in my own words, but by the use of a huge range of original sources.”

The book’s reception exceeded all Harris’ expectations. It became far more than the story of the missions. It turned out to be the story of what happened to Aboriginal people, in their own words and in the words of those who knew them best and lived among them.

“Many people, both Christian and non-Christian, learned of the tragic history of Aboriginal Australia through reading One Blood, the history none of us were taught in school,” says Harris. “It prompted churches and Christian organisations to make their apologies to Aboriginal people long before Kevin Rudd did. And it had important influences in the secular world as well. Sir Ronald Wilson read One Blood and because of it, he agreed to chair the National Enquiry into the ‘Stolen Generations’.”
Despite the influence of the book, its out-of-print status, and the continued demand for it, Harris was pleasantly surprised to be approached by Concordia with an offer to sponsor a digital edition.

The e-book of the second edition of One Blood  has now been published.

“The content remains virtually the same apart from a very few minor corrections,” says Harris, who was key in the process of converting the book into a digital edition. “It is a very big challenge to convert a large academic book from the original printed hard copy into an e-book. Fortunately, all the crucial footnotes and references remain: all 2,609 of them.”

Harris is aware of the need for a new revised edition of the book, to include all that has occurred since the second edition was written in 1993. “Many things have happened in the past 20 years including the Bringing Them Home report, Kevin Rudd’s apology and the canonisation of Saint Mary MacKillop.  Many things have happened in the churches too.”
“This is a somewhat daunting but exciting task which I hope to be able to complete. I pray that God will give me the life and strength to complete the third edition but we cannot know what life will bring.”

Harris concludes, “This digital edition will reach a new generation of readers. It is my prayer that you will learn from it and that it will challenge and enlarge your thinking.”

Get your ebook copy of One Blood at http://www.chr.org.au/books/24.-One-Blood.zip

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pastor Burnout web site of resources

Pastor Burnout - The Silent Ministry Killer
Pastor burnout is a weapon the enemy uses with great efficiency. It is surprising in its simplicity but brutal in its impact. Burnout begins by encouraging us to do what we do best – minister to people. But as we serve, subtle conflict infiltrates our minds.
At first, confidence leads us to some great expectations. But those very expectations are the seeds of our own downfall. Why is it that we develop such an idealistic portrait of ministry and our own abilities?
Failure to meet these expectations leads to disappointment and confusion: "Am I doing this right?" "Why am I not seeing the results I should be seeing?" "Why did he get so angry about this?" "Am I really prepared to do this?" "I never knew ministry was like this." "I am going to work harder." "Maybe I need to look for a different church." "This isn’t what I thought being a pastor would be like."
It’s very logical, when you think about it.
Peter states that Satan is prowling around looking for someone to have for lunch (1 Peter 5:8). As pastors, we know that many people in our congregations are vulnerable to these attacks. That’s why God put us in their lives. Hebrews 13:17 states that pastors keep watch over the souls of people in their congregations. And Peter teaches that we are to care for our congregation like a shepherd cares and protects his sheep (1 Peter 5:3).
So if you want to harm the flock, you first need to attack the shepherd.

The Pastor Burnout web author  tells his burnout story:
I remember the exact point I hit bottom. I was staring into a bathroom mirror with a bottle of sleeping pills in my hand. A voice of reason began to speak… but a second voice interrupted, "Don't think, just swallow. Don’t think, just swallow."
And I did.
I assumed one bottle of prescription sleeping pills would do it. But just in case, I pulled out a second bottle and gulped those down as well.
The next few hours are a blur. But I do recall my wife sitting next to me in the hospital. And I can see her face as she said through tears, "We're going to get through this."
Pastor burnout doesn't always lead to suicide, of course. But whoever and wherever it strikes, clergy burnout leaves a path of discouragement, disillusionment, and pain.
I burned out twice in ministry.
The first time, I didn't know what was happening.
The second time I knew what was happening but seemed powerless to stop it.
The first time, I denied that I had a problem.
The second time I thought I could control it.
Both instances led to problems in my marriage, challenges in my church, and clinical depression.
The major difference between the two experiences is that the second time I burned out, I left church ministry altogether.
I'm years removed from those experiences now, but I still struggle with the pain, shame, and grief of pastor burnout.

The pages on the Pastor Burnout web page are really a therapeutic labor of love. They come from a person who has been to the bottom and am making their way back to the surface. They are  not really sure that life will ever be like it was before. And they are not sure they would want it to be even if they had a choice. For as God promises, he took their misery and created something good out of it. They were broken, wounded, suffering in pain, but God is redeeming their hurts and using them for his glory.
That’s what the website Pastor Burnout is all about. They want to help pastors avoid if possible – or negotiate with hope the dark pathways of pastor burnout.
If you or someone you know wants to prevent burnout, or if you need help working through the darkness, this site is for you. This is a place where you can remain completely anonymous but still be part of a community.
This is a community of people who understand. We’ve been there. And while we don’t have all the answers, we are finding that God really does restore and redeem our pain for something greater than we can now imagine.
At the Pastor Burnout web page you will discover:
a Pastor Burnout Workbook
Pastor Burnout Stories
a Pastors Forum
a Pastor Burnout Blog
Pastor Burnout Statistics
Burnout Definition, information and symptoms including 53 Pastor Burnout Causes
information on overcoming Burnout and Burnout recovery
Clinical Depression, symptoms and responding to it?
Overcoming Pornography
Pastor Care
Career Change information for Pastors
Sermon Outlines
Pastor Burnout Jokes
Pastor Retreats
Pastor Burnout Books
and many Pastor Resources
visit http://www.pastorburnout.com/