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Category – Practical Studies


A Pastor’s Reflections: Smile

VFT
One of the things my wife constantly tells me is, “Don’t forget to smile!” It’s a simple thing, really, but something that I fail to do. You see, ever since I was born I have a tendency to walk around with a scowl on my face—in fact, my forehead has…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Out of the Bubble

VFT
I can remember being at a dinner party and overhearing two godly Christians talk about their lives, and in the course of their conversation they started talking about non-Christians. One of them commented to the nodding approval of the other, “I don’t have any non-Christian acquaintances or friends. In fact,…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Out of the Echo Chamber

I can remember hearing a colleague once boast, “I never read anyone except Reformed authors. I don’t want to waste my time with what other less-informed theologians think.” I didn’t have the time to inquire more about the statement but was nonetheless concerned with such a narrow view of theological…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: PKs

VFT
In church lingo there are two types of children beyond the regular kids that wander the church halls—PKs and MKs—Preacher’s kids and Missionary’s kids. In church lore PKs and MKs have built up a reputation. If you wear that label, chances are people might make assumptions about you. PKs, for…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Fire and Ice

VFT
As a child I can remember there were massive differences between my maternal and paternal grandparents. My paternal grandparents hardly ever said a cross word at one another—I don’t recall them ever having a fight. Maybe they were good actors, or maybe I didn’t visit them enough and they fought…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Importance of Mystery

VFT
I can remember listening to my critics in seminary as they berated me for my theology, “You Calvinists have everything figured out—you put God in your box and leave no room for mystery!” I never understood this accusation because, in reality, my Arminian critics were the ones who left no…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Don’t Pull the Trigger Too Fast

VFT
One of the church’s biggest problems is divorce. I can’t say that I’ve seen any documented statistics, but one of the mantras I’ve heard over the years is that the divorce rate is the same inside and outside the church. About half of all marriages end in divorce. I have…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Simple Evangelism

VFT
Christ has given the church the great commission—to go into the nations, baptize, and teach them all Christ has commanded (Matt. 28:18ff). In a word, we are supposed to evangelize. Evangelizing unbelievers, however, can be a daunting task. What do I say? How do I start? What if they have…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Preaching Back-Up Plans

VFT
It has happened to me, and I’ve heard of it happening to other churches, namely, what do you do if at the last minute you can’t preach? In my case, I came down with a really bad cold to the point where I lost my voice. I called one of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Sports and Sanctification

VFT
One of the places where I have seen godly Christians spiral into a death spin of bad behavior is when they play sports. I used to play pick-up basketball games at my church in the early mornings (I was a non-shooting, non-dribbling point guard, that is to say, I am…
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