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Archive – 2014


A Pastor’s Reflections: Meatloaf or Lobster?

VFT
One of the best feelings in the world is to deliver a sermon and get positive feedback. You spend a large part of your week preparing your message—translating the text, studying its syntax, reading commentaries, looking over background materials, and then refining and honing your message. Often it seems as…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Secret Service

VFT
The pastorate can be an interesting vocation because you end up interacting with a lot of different types of people. In my pastorate I have met business people, former professional athletes, homemakers, fighter pilots, millionaires, scholars, politicians, and the like. I’m always intrigued and enjoy meeting people from all walks…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: A Footnote In the Flesh

VFT
I think there are many in the church who underestimate the importance of fellowship, i.e., spending time with someone in the effort to get to know them better. A number of the colleagues that I know will go to presbytery, and then as soon as the meeting is over, they…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Five Years

VFT
I suspect one of the more exciting things for a seminary graduate is the day when he officially receives his first pastoral call. All of the years of training, studying, late nights, and hard work finally pay off—he finally gets to stand before a congregation and preach the word of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Practice, Practice, Practice!

VFT
I was recently at a dinner party where an esteemed and seasoned colleague was commenting about the state of preaching in the church. He sadly lamented, “I think the problem with most seminary graduates is that they think that they’ve picked up all they need to learn in seminary, and…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Preparing for Presbytery Exams

VFT
I was recently asked by a colleague to give a list of the top ten things that a ministerial candidate should do to prepare for his licensure or ordination exams. I thought that I would share it with you since a number of you that regularly read A Pastor’s Reflections…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Hope in the Face of Death

VFT
I can distinctly remember entering the hospice room and hearing the medical machinery around the bed whir, beep, and make barely audible noises that indicated that the old man lying before me was alive. But I was also overwhelmed by the stench of encroaching death—the elderly man was lying there…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Theological Junkies

VFT
Within the Reformed community people place a high premium upon theological learning and knowledge. On the one hand, I think this is a good thing. There are far too many Christians who barely know their Bibles. I remember listening to a radio broadcast where the interviewer went around a Christian…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Time Management

VFT
I think time management is one of the biggest challenges for pastors. Unlike some jobs, where there is a regular routine (say, a garbage man, one who drives the same route most days at the same time and through the same neighborhoods), a pastor’s schedule can vary from week to…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Shyness

VFT
I can remember very distinctly how as a teenager I was mortified to meet new people. I was, and still am to a certain extent, a shy person. Give me a choice – stand before one thousand people to speak for an hour or lock me in a room with…
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