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  • TFRStaff 6:17 pm on 2016-06-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , audio lessons, , ,   

    The Benefits of Christianity–Audio Lesson 

    Many reject Christianity, because they see it as too restrictive. The Bible, to them, is a big book filled with rules and regulations that have no apparent reason other than to make humans unhappy. In truth, Christianity is able to yield a depth of happiness and peace that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. Listen >>

     
  • Eugene Adkins 8:12 am on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audio lessons, , , Light Newtwork, Pod Casts, Reviews and Criticism   

    Good Listens, If You Have The Time That Is… 

    Here are a couple of great lessons to listen to from The Light Network. If you don’t get the podcasts from “The Book Club” and “Preachers in Training” I encourage you to do so if you have the ability. I haven’t listened to any of the other 7 shows yet, but hopefully they follow in the steps of their fellow programs.

    The first link is to a good lesson and discussion on avoiding burnout for preachers, elders and really for anyone who probably serves the church diligently: Burnout

    The second link is to a review of an older book called “Sketches of Jewish Social Life” that’s really worth listening to in my opinion. I’m considering getting the book because of this review: Book Review

    I love the work that these guys (and ladies) are doing for God and His truth. I think they’re going to be great neighbors to Audio Evangelism if we can help get the word out.

     
    • Stephen R. Bradd 9:55 am on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

      Just listened to the “Burnout” lesson. Very good. Thanks for sharing, brother.

      • Eugene Adkins 10:34 am on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

        My man, I can definitely see how it would help you: a man with many duties but only a few hours to get them done. Such is life eh?

        I personally related to several things they mentioned; that’s why I thought it was worth passing along. Glad it was useful. Keep burning!

        P.S. – Thought it was an ironic match with your latest post on rest too 🙂

        • Stephen R. Bradd 12:37 pm on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

          Yeah, I thought the same about the irony.
          I know some preachers personally who have “burned out”, though I can’t say I can fully relate. I’ve never wanted to stop or quit. I do get an “overwhelmed” feeling regularly but I just try to re-evaluate my “to do” list and do whatever seems most vital that day. I think optimistic thinking & self-confidence help too (though the later can be a stumbling block in other ways, as I’ve learned). I’ve got so many things that I want to do–GOOD things, mind you, but trying to pick what is BEST for each hour & day is the real challenge. I knew what boredom was as a teenager, but I haven’t experienced it since & can’t imagine ever experiencing it again. I’m sure you can relate.

        • John T. Polk II 1:18 pm on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

          If I may “intrude,” a few thoughts came to mind: (1 the only “branch” that gets burned is the one that is not bearing fruit (John 15:5-6); (2 the term “burned-out” never occurs in connection with Apostles or early Christians (Acts 8:4); (3 the preacher today who is “burned out” needs to get another job, for he has quit exploring the treasures in the depth of the word of God (Hebrews 5:12-14); (4 “burned out” preachers usually follow false doctrines because they cannot plumb the faith of the Word of God for themselves (1 Timothy 6:3-5); (5 “burned out” preachers need to match Christians problems to the Scriptures that will help, including their own (1 Peter 5:5-7). In short, to all “burning-up preachers,” “Preach the Word.”

        • Eugene Adkins 2:05 pm on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

          John,

          Let me explain what “burn out” means in connection to the lesson referenced above and to myself. A few years ago I was preaching 7 lessons a month, teaching 8 Bible classes a month, giving 5 devo’s a month and doing the bulletin, and changing out the church sign, and trying to visit with people in their homes and in the hospital and do funerals when needed, and planned events like “lock-ins” for the kids, and head up the Bible Bowl team and planned other outings that go along those lines (and those numbers are based on 4 week months) and on top of all that I was working a 40-45 hour “regular” job and trying to spend “some” time with my wife. Praise God that I had a supporting and understanding wife!

          I did all of that for nearly 4 years and let me tell you, by time I got a break I was ready for a break because I was burnt out. I didn’t quit, but I was burned out; and I don’t think, as a matter of fact I know that it didn’t reflect my love for God, my love for preaching, my love for people, my love for the Bible or my love for the truth – because if any of that were true I would’ve quit everything I was doing. I would be careful with some of those ideas/accusations that you used, for one who honestly cares about what they’re doing may get the wrong impression.

    • Loy Pressley 2:59 pm on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

      “Sketches of Jewish Social Life” is available as an e-Sword module. You can get it at:
      http://www.e-sword.net/

    • Stephen R. Bradd 3:07 pm on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

      John, I have great respect for you brother but your reply has left me scratching my head a bit in confusion. I hope you will hear me out on this and correct me kindly if I’m wrong.

      Burnout = “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration” (Merriam-Webster’s).

      That precise term is not in Scripture but the concept surely is.
      I believe Elijah in 1 Kings 19:4,10,14 is a classic Biblical example (Rom. 15:4) of burnout.

      Elijah had just done great things for the Lord (he was bearing tremendous fruit for God the chapter before), and suddenly he is utterly depressed, ready to quit & die. He was exhausted physically & emotionally; his motivation was gone. The stress & death-threat had overwhelmed him.

      Based on your post above, would you have advised Elijah to stop being a prophet and “get another job”? Would you have told him that none of the faithful ones before him ever burned out?

      Elijah needed food, rest, and encouragement–and that’s what God gave him. God came to him in a “small voice” (a voice of compassion & tenderness, perhaps?). Isn’t there a place for that approach today? OR should we automatically default to “the preacher today who is ‘burned out’ needs to get another job” advice you offered? John, your advice above is applicable in SOME cases, but not ALL (as I see it).

      Sometimes preachers get discouraged & even depressed and it may not have anything to do with their love of the Lord or His word (and they may not be anywhere near apostasy). They may just need some rest & encouragement–like Elijah did. They may need someone to help them bear their burdens, not rebuke them or insult them (Gal. 6:2).

      The Messiah would not break a bruised reed or quench smoking flax–and neither should we (Isa. 42:3). May we stand for God’s truth firmly yet do so in meekness & fear always (I Pet. 3:15).

      • John T. Polk II 5:59 pm on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

        Stephen,
        Discouragement and disappointment come to all of us, for Elijah was of the same nature as are we (James 5:17-18), but he was not “burned out,” by definition. He simply “ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:3) under threat of death, then “prayed that he might die” (1 Kings 19:4). An angel gave him food and drink (1 Kings 19:6-8) to strengthen him for 40 days’ travel to “the mountain of God.” His was retreat for fear for his life, when God had more plans for his life. We are like him.
        What both you and Eugene seem to be referring to are the plethora of “duties” heaped upon a Gospel Preacher, most of which have nothing whatever to do with preaching the Word. They are trapped Denominational Pastoring expected but not proven by Scripture. The “burnout” preachers I referred to are those who reach the end of their spiritual maturity and begin searching for something they might do to impress others that they still have somewhat to offer. When Paul told Timothy to “be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5), he had just defined what would “fulfil” his ministry’–“Preach the word.” What “burns out” too many preachers is not heeding, or not knowing about the Apostles’ rule for churches of Christ: “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables” (Acts 6:2). It seems to be “either or” but not two masters we need to serve. Others should “serve tables,” Preachers should serve “the word of God.” Since the Apostles were inspired of God, they spoke this not for themselves, but all of us who must study to preach the Word. I have no rebuke for Gospel Preachers who minister the Word, but for those who serve others than the Word. Paul never gave up on preaching that Word (2 Timothy 4:6-8), and neither should we who have put our hand to the plow. We need encouragement, sometimes sympathy, and lots of love, but also to look at those who are trying to make a pathway for us. Look to the men who love the Lord and last in the work (Elijah had yet not met the 7000). There is no doubt, Preachers (and Preachers’ wives!) need to be “debriefed” by like-minded Preachers (and wives!). May God help us, all.

        • John T. Polk II 10:21 pm on 2013-02-15 Permalink | Reply

          Stephen & Eugene, After a “cold read,” I understand how you both took what I said as a personal affront. I apologize to both of you, because my remarks were based upon years of experiencing letdowns by Gospel Preachers who waved the “burned out” flag as they waved goodbye to either their faith or family, or both. I certainly didn’t mean to attack you, personally, but to keep a line of demarcation clear that all of us need to know exists, like the ring of an athletic endeavor, to keep us in the foray. “Burned out” signifies the end of one’s faith, and I don’t want you, or any of us, to reach that point. It will not happen unless we become burdened down with so many other “cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). My prayer is for you, that you keep your work squarely centered on God’s Word, for you, both, do what you do, well (3 John 5). God bless you.

          • Eugene Adkins 6:57 am on 2013-02-16 Permalink | Reply

            John,

            I figured that was your intended target, but I believe where our “sights” are different is when is comes to the definition that’s being used for “burn out.” Stephen provided you with a definition of the word; and if you listen to the conversation provided through the link and also to what Stephen and I were saying you’ll see that the topic is very much different than what you referred to.

            It’s not always as easy as saying “let someone else wait the tables” when there’s no one else willing/able to wait the tables because of the size of the congregation or because of apathetic attitudes. You can bring a horse to the water through preaching, but you can’t make them drink. If others don’t step up to fulfill vital roles like Bible class teachers you can’t just say “it’s not my job” and then completely ignore it.

            Again, with your reference to Mark 4:19 I believe you’re thinking about a completely different topic than what was/is referred to in the post. You may have never walked in a pair of “burned out” shoes but I assure you of two things: 1) there are plenty of people out there who have, and 2) it has nothing to do with their love for God, the truth or the church…it has to do with them being human.

            I appreciate your efforts and your encouragement.

    • Stephen R. Bradd 8:43 am on 2013-02-16 Permalink | Reply

      John & Eugene, I appreciate the comments brothers, particularly the willingness to apologize.

      I cannot discount your personal experiences John (which are far richer than my own), and I do see where you are coming from. But, Eugene & I are looking at a different side of “burnout.” I think Eugene said it well when he said burnout “has to do with them being human.”

      For me personally, I’m never going to quit preaching, though I’ve been a part-time tentmaker (and therefore a part-time preacher) by choice for years now. I could preach full-time somewhere else but only if I abandoned the small group here in Clinton. I sometimes feel “overwhelmed” because of all the things I am trying to do and yet can’t get done because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. These are not expectations put upon me by others (e.g., the trappings of denominational pastoring), but Scriptural responsibilities that are competing for my time: Am I spending enough time in the Scriptures? Am I spending enough time in prayer? Am I using my talents as effectively as possible both locally & abroad (via the internet)? Am I being the best preacher I can be? Am I spending enough time with my wife? Am I spending enough time with my kids? Am I spending enough time seeking the lost? Am I spending enough time building up the weak & restoring the wandering? etc. etc. It never ends. With 5 little ones at home, a wife that stays home to train them, a congregation of 35 with no elders, there are times I feel like butter spread over too much bread. But I’m not complaining. I thank God for the strength He provides me. I am so blessed and I know it. My life is wonderful and balance is the hardest thing I have to deal with each day. I get up every morning and I keep juggling the best I can–with a smile on my face & real joy in my heart.

      This thread reminded me of some articles I’ve posted on AE in the past. Perhaps they will be worth your time. These articles reiterate some of the points being made by ALL of us, and then they go into some other matters as well.

      http://www.audioevangelism.com/lessons/2011/transcripts/AE_2011_09_05_text.htm
      http://www.audioevangelism.com/lessons/2011/transcripts/AE_2011_09_06_text.htm
      http://www.audioevangelism.com/lessons/2011/transcripts/AE_2011_09_07_text.htm
      http://www.audioevangelism.com/lessons/2011/transcripts/AE_2011_09_08_text.htm
      http://www.audioevangelism.com/lessons/2011/transcripts/AE_2011_09_09_text.htm
      http://www.audioevangelism.com/lessons/2011/transcripts/AE_2011_09_10_text.htm

      Well, I’ve got to run…1001 tasks await me…praise the Lord! Grace & peace, brothers.

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:27 pm on 2009-12-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audio lessons, ,   

    Audio CC: Cast Your Burden on the Lord 

    Besides the good lesson with the title above, this is the neatest thing: the audio is accompanied by text, or closed captions. But don’t pause it; I had to do that (the wife was heading out to the fruits-and-veggies store), and the CC got confused. Still a good deal. From our good brother Roy Davison, in Belgium.

     
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