Reading your Gauges > article by Bill Hybels. Summary by Eric Oldenburg: “His main thrust is that you have various gauges in your life (e.g., spiritual, physical) and you have to monitor those gauges to make sure you're life has proper balance. Are you spending appropriate time in the Word, in fellowship with other believers, in conversation with the Lord? Are you eating healthy, getting sufficient exercise, resting enough? If your life seems out of whack, perhaps you need to check your gauges and see if you might answer “no” to any of these questions. But gauging the spiritual and physical is not enough. We have an emotional aspect to life whose gauge we need to check regularly. The part of Hybels' article that hit home for me is that it takes more emotional energy to perform functions and fulfill responsibilities when the gifts, strengths and talents needed to accomplish those tasks are not your primary gifts and strengths. Someone whose gift is not teaching might be able to teach well but it will be more of a drain on them emotionally because they are having to work, think and feel harder than the gifted teacher. Teaching for the non-teacher will likely turn out to be draining rather than fulfilling the way it is for the teacher. It is in such cases of working and serving outside of your primary giftedness that your emotional gauge may run low. In such cases, you need to build emotionally rejuvenating activities into your schedule in order to renew your emotional reserves. If you don't, you may begin to experience an emotional weakness the same way you would feel a spiritual weakness if you stopped reading your Bible or a physical weakness if you ate nothing but chocolate chip cookies.”
What Makes a Leader > The importance of emotional intelligence for a leader - article by Daniel Goleman. “I have found, however, that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence.”
ProQOL: is the most commonly used measure of the negative and positive affects of helping others who experience suffering and trauma. The ProQOL has sub-scales for compassion satisfaction, burnout and compassion fatigue.
A Pilgrim’s Journey blog is written by a fellow co-worker (who worked among the Y people) as he shares his journals since the events that changed their lives (loss of home, ministry, and dear Y friends). The journals reflect on lessons, thoughts, and interactions with God's Word as related to the path of pilgrims, which include grief, loss, pain, suffering, etc., and clinging to Christ along the way.
Books related to grief, suffering, and God’s sovereignty. Not books that talk about how to “remove the pain”, but walking through it with God's strength and with his perspective.
Suffering is Never for Nothing by Elizabeth Elliot, who is no stranger to suffering. Her first husband, Jim, was murdered by the Waoroni people in Ecuador moments after he arrived in hopes of sharing the gospel. Her second husband was lost to cancer. Yet, it was in her deepest suffering that she learned the deepest lessons about God. She shares those lessons in this book.
A Path Through Suffering by Elizabeth Elliot, who shares that there is only one reliable path through pain and suffering, and if you walk it, you will experience the transformation of all your losses, heartbreaks, and tragedies into something strong and purposeful.
Suffering by Paul David Tripp, who weaves together his personal story, a recent time of deep suffering, years of counseling experience, and biblical insights to help us in the midst of suffering, identifying six traps to avoid - including doubt, discouragement, and denial - and six comforts to embrace - including God’s presence, God’s people, and God’s grace.
The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering by Vaneetha Rendall Risner. Twenty-one surgeries by age thirteen. Years in the hospital. Verbal and physical bullying from schoolmates. Multiple miscarriages as a young wife. The death of a child. A debilitating progressive disease. Riveting pain. Abandonment. Vaneetha Rendall Risner begged God for grace that would deliver her. But God offered something better: his sustaining grace. In The Scars That Have Shaped Me, Vaneetha does more than share her stories of pain; she invites other sufferers to taste with her the goodness of a sovereign God who will carry us in our darkest of days.
New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp, this is setup as a daily devotional, but often the entries are centered on the trials of life and the sovereignty of God and his sufficient grace. These are all gospel-soaked messages that take you through a year.
A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada, this is an account of her current struggle (40 years since her accident) with physical pain, offers her perspective on divine healing, God’s purposes, and what it means to live with joy in spite of pain and suffering.
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy by Mark Vroegop. A book to help us to recover the practice of honest spiritual struggle that gives us permission to vocalize our pain and wrestle with our sorrow. Lament avoids trite answers and quick solutions, progressively moving us toward deeper worship and trust. Lament is how you live between the poles of a hard life and trusting God's goodness. This book gives a very good foundation for the purpose and goal of biblcal lament as it walks through several psalms of lament and also the book of Lamentations. Lament is how we bring our sorrow to God - but it is a neglected dimension of the Christian life for many Christians today.
None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God by Matthew Barrett, this book helps us to put God back in his place…as God. Barrett says that for too long, Christians have domesticated God, bringing him down to our level as if he is a God who can be tamed. But he is a God who is high and lifted up, the Creator rather than the creature, someone than whom none greater can be conceived. This book is a journey to rediscover the divine perfections of God.
Strength for the Weary by Derek Thomas. Thomas explores the final chapters of Isaiah, laying out the remarkable promises that God makes to His people. In these pages, there is consolation in the struggles of this life and encouragement for the road ahead. The God of Comfort has promised to be with His people always. This promise is better than God just removing our problems, instead, he walks with us through them.
31 Days Towards Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. It’s easy to trust God when everything is going well. But when adversity strikes—do you wonder if God cares or if He’s even there at all? In this 31-day devotional, author Jerry Bridges tackles the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. These daily readings set the biblical foundation for the essential goodness of His character.