Dickson Ogwang – So That You May Overflow with Hope (2011 Conference) from Peacemaker Ministries on Vimeo.
Nancy Guthrie‘s keynote from our annual conference, “Hope as You Trust in Him,” is available online now! You can view it below (although RSS feed subscribers might have to click through or go to Vimeo to view).
If you weren’t able to join us for our annual conference in Orlando last week or would just like to review Tim Lane’s message, it’s now available online. I’ve embedded it below, but if your reading via the RSS feed you may need to click through to the video on Vimeo.
In celebration of our annual conference going on right now in Orlando, I thought I would post the following video of Nancy Guthrie, our keynote speaker for tomorrow morning. It’s the full video interview she did a while back for DG Live. If you’d like to know more about Nancy and see why we invited her to speak, this is a great video to watch.
The folks over at Crossway took a bit of time to put together the list below of specific sections you may be interested in:
- 8:14 Nancy shares the story of her daughter, Hope.
- 13:18 Nancy talks about her experience dealing with devastation and finding comfort in God’s Word.
- 46:28 Nancy explains Respite Retreats.
- 55:58 Nancy articulates the importance of working the Word of God into one’s life and the foundational role it plays in enabling one to endure the storms of life.
- 1:05:17 Nancy introduces her newest series: Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament.
- 1:15:26 Nancy shares how Genesis points towards what is to come from her book The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis.
- 1:22:40 Nancy previews the next four titles in the Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament series.
Our Annual Conference begins today in Orlando at 7pm with Ken Sande speaking on the first part of Romans 5:13: “May the God of hope…” If you’re interested in being a part of the conversation at our conference, use the hashtag #pmconf on Twitter.
This great excerpt from Joni Eareckson Tada’s book Hope . . . The Best of Things is making it’s rounds in the blogosphere and I thought it was too good not to post here. It relates really well to our theme at this years conference: Hope in Brokenness.
I sure hope I can bring this wheelchair to heaven.
Now, I know that’s not theologically correct.
But I hope to bring it and put it in a little corner of heaven, and then in my new, perfect, glorified body, standing on grateful glorified legs, I’ll stand next to my Savior, holding his nail-pierced hands.
I’ll say, “Thank you, Jesus,” and he will know that I mean it, because he knows me.
He’ll recognize me from the fellowship we’re now sharing in his sufferings.
And I will say,
“Jesus, do you see that wheelchair? You were right when you said that in this world we would have trouble, because that thing was a lot of trouble. But the weaker I was in that thing, the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. It never would have happened had you not given me the bruising of the blessing of that wheelchair.”
Then the real ticker-tape parade of praise will begin. And all of earth will join in the party.
And at that point Christ will open up our eyes to the great fountain of joy in his heart for us beyond all that we ever experienced on earth.
And when we’re able to stop laughing and crying, the Lord Jesus really will wipe away our tears.
I find it so poignant that finally at the point when I do have the use of my arms to wipe away my own tears, I won’t have to, because God will.
It’s a great reminder of where our hope lies and how God works through suffering. If you’re interested in exploring this subject further with us at our conference in Orlando this month, you can still register.
Here’s a video testimony from the leaders at Quail Springs Church talking about the conflict in their church and how God moved to unify the church through the work of some committed peacemakers. For a bit more background on the story, I recommend reading this article from that Fred wrote a while back.
The story of a church that faced a deep conflict and pursued reconciliation.
Sometimes as peacemakers we are called to minister to people in moments of suffering and one of the things we should seek to avoid is making the suffering worse. This is because we’re called to minister to the suffering in a biblically faithful, tender, and caring way.
Something that I commonly see (and, sadly, have done myself) is giving poor advice, hurtful words, or empty phrases to people who want to be comforted. This is why I found the following two posts helpful and wanted to share them with you.
The first is an excerpt from Justin and Lindsey Holcomb’s book Rid of My Disgrace recommending what not to say (and what to say) to a victim of sexual abuse. Although their book is written for people who have been sexually abused, I found a lot of their advice to be applicable in most situations of suffering and well worth reading.
- I know how you feel.
- I understand.
- You’re lucky that ___________.
- It’ll take some time, but you’ll get over it.
- Tell me more details about what happened.
- I can imagine how you feel.
- Don’t worry, it’s going to be all right.
- Try to be strong.
- Out of tragedies, good things happen.
- Time heals all wounds.
- It was God’s will.
- You need to forgive and move on.
- Calm down and try to relax.
- You should get on with your life.
- I believe you.
- Thank you for telling me.
- How can I help?
- I’m glad you’re talking with me.
- I’m glad you’re safe now.
- It wasn’t your fault.
- Your reaction is not an uncommon response.
- It’s understandable you feel that way.
- You’re not going crazy; these are normal reactions.
- Things may not ever be the same, but they can get better.
- It’s OK to cry.
- I can’t imagine how terrible your experience must have been.
- I’m sorry this happened to you.
This second article, written by David Powlison, gives some insight into how and why we should be aware of how our words are heard:
We could all generate a Top Ten List of words we spoke or received that make us shudder when we think about them. Here is one that, I suspect, makes a lot of lists.
“What is God teaching you through this?”
Hmmm. This is orthodox. God does teach us in our suffering, and he is working all things together for good. We agree with C.S.Lewis when he writes that pain is God’s megaphone to arouse a deaf world. But the story of Jezebel and her entrails being food for the dogs is orthodox too. We are after orthodoxy that is relevant, pastoral and edifying.
Consider a few of the possible problems with this question.
- It tends to be condescending. If you heard this question from someone, you probably didn’t hear compassion.
- It suggests that suffering is a solvable riddle. God has something specific in mind and we have to guess what it is. Welcome to a cosmic game of Twenty-Questions, and we better get the right answer soon; otherwise, the suffering will continue.
- It suggests that we have done something that has unleashed the suffering.
- It undercuts God’s call to all suffering people, “Trust me.”
To briefly respond to these four problems,
- Suffering compels us to modesty. Scripture gives us a number of insights into human suffering, but no insight is exhaustive. The mystery in suffering reminds us that we are still like children who don’t understand how good parents can impose difficulties in our lives. In light of the mystery, humility is natural and necessary. For those who speak to suffering people, humility before the Lord is expressed in humility before the suffering person.
- We over-interpret suffering. I am speaking with a person now who has gone through horrible suffering in her life, and “What is God trying to tell you?” has been the question everyone asks. She has wondered for years why she doesn’t have an answer yet. All she can figure is that she is too sinful to get it or God is not giving out the answer key – so she is alternately guilty and frustrated. Job in the Old Testament and the man born blind in the New Testament (John 9) should keep us from endless speculation about God’s precise intent. Neither one was supposed to get what God was teaching them.
- Focus on a sin-suffering nexus to your peril. Granted, the question might not assume that the suffering person is in sin. The question might have been intended more positively, as in “How are you learning about the Lord in this?” But unless there is an absolutely clear connection between a person’s sin and suffering, and it is obvious to every believer on the planet, then we shouldn’t make the connection and do everything we can to keep the suffering person from making the connection. Most of us see more of our sin during our suffering – I know I do – but that doesn’t mean our sin was the cause of the suffering.
- Insight can work against faith. By that I don’t mean that we should be mindless stoics in our suffering. But when our primary goal is to discover a personal message about a specific deficiency in our lives, then we are resting in our human understanding rather than the plainly revealed character of God. Faith is our calling in suffering – faith in Jesus Christ. This is not a mindless leap into the unknown. It is a turn of heart, away from us and to Jesus. In our suffering we want to remember that God is, indeed, good and compassionate. Jesus’ incarnation and his voluntary suffering culminating with the cross are the undeniable evidence. Then we trust him.
One of our conference keynote speakers, Nancy Guthrie, will be on DG Live tonight!
Here’s the blurb from the Desiring God blog:
Tonight from 7:00 – 8:30 (EDT) we’re pleased to have Nancy Guthrie as our guest on DG Live. Nancy will talk about her life and testimony, as well as discuss her new book from Crossway, The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis. A little about Nancy:
In today’s modern world, few parents have to face the bitter task of burying a child that they love. But David and Nancy Guthrie have faced the grave twice now, burying two children who lived only six months.
When Nancy gave birth to a daughter, Hope, in 1998, club feet, extreme lethargy, an inability to suck, and a number of other small problems hinted at something more significant. On her second day of life, Hope was diagnosed with Zellweger Syndrome, a rare metabolic disorder that is characterized by the reduction or absence of peroxisomes (cell structures that rid the body of toxic substances) in the cells of the liver, kidneys, and brain. There is no treatment and no cure for Zellweger Syndrome and most children with the syndrome live less than six months.
For Nancy, her husband David, and their son, Matt, the diagnosis was devastating and disappointing. Hope’s brief life—a life of only 199 days— made a significant impact on them and those around them, causing them to dig deep into their faith to make sense of such suffering.
We hope you’ll join us!
Having watched a few DG Live’s, I can say they’re very well done and worth taking the time out to watch.