How has CCEF blessed and encouraged you this year?
The men and women at CCEF are being productive in fulfilling our ministry goals. Let me mention three things that deeply encourage me.
One is that new resources are being released, and further resources are actively in the works. This past year we published two new DVD curriculum series: Psychiatric Disorders and Loss. A third is due out next month: Growing Together. And, as senior editor of our Journal of Biblical Counseling (JBC), I never take for granted that each year three issues (the equivalent of three books!) come out in a timely way.
We are also being fruitful in the way this work is being done. It’s a huge joy to see, experience, and be part of how our staff relates and cares for each other as we seek to produce thoughtful, caring, and helpful teaching. We are meant to live what we say. Though each of us fails or flails at times, our workplace culture is healthy and flourishing, and we bear each other up.
A second joy is best captured by the focus of our faculty retreat last winter. We spent two days taking 2 Timothy to heart. We walked through the book and talked through the implications. The take away for me is how we see Paul being personal with Timothy. He speaks about his own life, and Timothy’s, and their relationship—all while he is speaking so clearly about our God and about the nature of ministry. It’s a rich picture of how life works. And it says profound things about how pastoral ministry is meant to unfold.
The third encouragement comes in seeing what is happening in biblical counseling around the world. We have friends in every continent (except Antarctica!). Ministry-minded people read our journal, take our courses, and value our ministry to their ministries. In June, I was privileged to be part of a global summit of the Biblical Counseling Coalition (BCC). I was deeply moved by conversations with brothers and sisters from Brazil, Romania, Mexico, Canada, Philippines, Germany, Dominican Republic, UK (and I’m probably forgetting some other countries). They appreciate our work. It is very stimulating to hear how they are adapting biblical counseling ministry to their own cultural settings. It is an encouragement to connect to the body of Christ and get glimpses of what he is is doing across the world.
Your new book Good & Angry will be released in September. Why is this book so important?
It’s not too strong a word to say I am delighted that “the anger book” is coming out after being in process for 20 years. I tease Ed Welch, “You’ve taken all the good topics! You get to write on addictions, fear of man, depression, shame, anxiety, mutual ministry, and the role our bodies play in counseling problems. What’s left for the rest of us?!” But I have been working on a really good topic—anger. Health challenges, life’s other complications, and my recent calling as executive director have delayed this project. But in God’s providence and care, the time it took has allowed my understanding to deepen and season. By God’s grace the book is done, and I’m happy with the final product. I trust that it will prove relevant and helpful to many readers. Thanks be to God and to our dear friends at New Growth Press (to whom the book is dedicated).
How can people pray for you?
One of God’s greatest gifts to me as a person and as his child is that he has never let me lose an immediate, daily awareness of my need for his grace. Many of you know my love for the psalms. That love is not something literary. It’s personal. Psalms give voice to a heart that needs the God of mercy to give mercies. He strengthens me when I know I am weak. He protects me when I feel vulnerable. He leads me when I’m not sure what to do. He forgives me when I fail. He is my God.
I ask you to pray that God will not let me go. Pray that he will continue to keep alive an inward fire, an awareness of need for him, a listening ear, an honest voice, a child’s simple trust and love. I want to know that God’s power is perfected in weakness. I want to be a man after God’s own heart.
In a more particular way, I always face the balancing act between ministry life and family life, and between responsibilities in leading our ministry and responsibilities for teaching, speaking, mentoring, and writing. Pray for me and for the people who help me to balance my life and schedule. May God give the wisdom to find the right mix that makes life doable.Please support David Powlison this summer through your prayers and financial gifts.