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Archive – 2013


A Pastor’s Reflections: Do The Right Thing

VFT
I served on a session with two godly elders for whom I was and am very grateful. We had a great degree of harmony among us, and when we disagreed about some things, God was kind to enable us to figure out a solution. On a number of occasions we…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Do The Next Thing

VFT
“What do I do next?,” is one of the frequent questions I receive when I’m counseling someone through difficult circumstances or in the wake of a great tragedy. When a husband loses his spouse of sixty years, there is unquestionably a great sense of loss, and a loss of a…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Joys of the Pastorate

VFT
There are certainly many challenges and trials in the pastorate, but on the other hand, there are also many joys, things that bring great encouragement and happiness. One of the tremendous blessings of being a pastor is the privilege to study the Scriptures full-time. What others have to squeeze into…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: MDiv not MD

VFT
I can remember sitting around the cafeteria table at seminary where my friends and I were talking shop and someone brought up a nagging health issue. One of my friends quickly piped up that he knew what was ailing his friend and recommended a course of treatment. Flabbergasted, another one…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Casualties of War

VFT
There are certainly many stressful vocations in the world. I remember hearing about a show that featured the most dangerous jobs in the world, which included Naval aviators, because of night carrier landings, and Alaskan fishermen, because of the harsh and deadly conditions where they work on the open sea,…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Hospital Visits

VFT
Can I be honest? I don’t like going to the hospital, whether as a patient or as a visitor. There are a host of reasons for this, but perhaps one memory I have illustrates the point. I remember going on a hospital visit with a colleague to visit a member…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: American Flags

VFT
I believe I am a patriotic American citizen. I pay my taxes, love my country, and my family has paid a costly price to preserve the freedom we all enjoy. I have a posthumous Bronze Star with a Combat “V” and a Purple Heart that hang in my home—a small…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Burn’em

VFT
We live during the age of the theological celebrity. In previous generations there were undoubtedly popular preachers and theologians but things were a bit different. A theologian like Martin Luther was tied to a church not to a para-church organization, he wrote books, but they were not usually available for…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Public Prayers

VFT
This may come as a surprise but one of my least favorite things to do as a pastor is offer public prayer. I have, I believe, good reasons for my dislike of public prayer. I do like to pray—it is a very personal thing for me where I can lay…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Living the in the Shadow of Death

VFT
The sad and true reality is that we live in the valley of the shadow of death, and as a pastor, this is a pressing reality. While others in the church might be able to live somewhat detached from illness and death, the pastor typically has a much closer connection…
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