Sunday, 24 August 2014 00:00

Staying Sharp for Ministry

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My wife and I are in the process of building a new home. The home is located in the midst of three acres of wooded property. This process led to my purchasing a chain saw. The saw and I are faithful companions. I can spend hours sweating, working and cutting. One aspect of the chain saw routine that I dislike is sharpening the blade. It is a tedious task. However, without a sharp blade the chain saw routine becomes a difficult task.

Chain saw sharpening reminds me of one of the tasks of the pastor. It is essential that a pastor keep his skills sharp for ministry.

Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

Running in the Background

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Have you ever gone through the effort to stop an app on your cell phone only to find it continues to run in the background? This often happens with cell phones. You can use a program, close the window, leave your phone, and come back later only to find the program is running in the background.

I have a music application on my cell phone that does this on a regular basis. I go through the motions of attempting to close the application but find it is still running in the background.

Saturday, 09 August 2014 00:00

4 Obstacles Pastors Face in Setting Boundaries

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Henry Cloud and John Townsend wrote the wildly popular book, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of your Life. Dr. Cloud also wrote Boundaries for Leaders. I recommend them both. Essentially a boundary for a ministry leader or a pastor is like a property line around your yard, only in this case that yard is your soul.

Healthy boundaries make for healthy souls. Unhealthy boundaries make for unhealthy souls.

Friday, 01 August 2014 00:00

Going Fishing!

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Several weeks ago my wife, my mother and I went fishing. It was an awesome experience.  We visited a catfish pond and within 30 minutes filled our cooler.  The only down side to the trip was having to pay for the privilege of fishing.

Is fishing ever a bad idea? Rarely, would be my response. Fishing is relaxing, fun and a good stress reliever.  However, fishing often reveals things we had rather leave hidden.  The relaxing effect of a fishing trip reveals our need for rest, relaxation and gives us a fresh perspective of life.

Sunday, 27 July 2014 00:00

The Enemy Within

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Have you seen him lately, The Enemy Within?  You are probably thinking this will be a rant against the devil and his tactics.  No doubt, Satan needs to be confronted and kept at arm’s length; however, for this discussion I refer to another enemy.  The enemy to whom I refer is the enemy within our own hearts.  In looking back I am painfully aware that I was often my own worst enemy.

Saturday, 19 July 2014 00:00

Dealing with Quarrelsome People

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Do you know any quarrelsome people? Certainly there are none in God’s church. Right?
 
The apostle Paul faced many of the same issues that you and I do, including quarrelsome people. In II Tim. 2 Paul discussed quarrelsome people. Paul identified the following:
 
  • People who quibble over words
  • Babblers
  • Those who distort the truth
  • Those who cause strive and love to argue
Thursday, 10 July 2014 00:00

Can Pastors Have Friends?

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“They don’t call us any more. And the last few times we tried to get together, they had other things prioritized. Something is wrong.”

My wife and I were wondering about our friendship with this couple. It had been good to have someone with whom we could be off-duty. It seemed to us that they did not feel any need to be flossing their spiritual teeth just because they were in the company of a couple who had been appointed to take care of them. But now I felt I had to see them.

“Could I come over for a few minutes? There is something I’d like to talk with you about.”

Monday, 07 July 2014 00:00

Who are you?

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Several years ago a young man walked up to me and asked this question: “If you were not a preacher, who would you be?” He went on to explain that his question was meant as a thought provoker. He explained that much of our identity is tied to our vocation, possessions, accomplishments and the like. My friend reminded me that we are valuable because God created us and loves us just as we are apart from our accomplishments.

All of us know this to be true. God loves us unconditionally!  Love is His nature.  “God is love.” (I John 4: 8)  Sometimes we forget and need to be reminded of this simple truth.  As I pondered my friend’s question I quickly formulated my list of things in which I seek value.

My vocation- I am a pastor. I feel affirmation in being a pastor. I must differentiate my vocation from my standing before God. I need to be reminded I will always be valuable even when I am not serving as a pastor.

Monday, 30 June 2014 00:00

Rescued from the Futility of Accomplishing

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After declaring everything to be meaningless, Solomon asked a piercing question: What does a man gain for all his efforts that he labors at under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1:3)

Everyone pursues something, labors for something, works for something. And Solomon’s point was that all the labor under the sun is meaningless because there really is no gain, no profit in the end.

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