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Category – Sanctification


A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and Joy

VFT
When Christians hear of the cruciform life they think that misery and sadness will mark their lives. All we have to do is read through the Bible and we quickly find the heart-wrenching cries of the saints. The psalmist’s tears, for example, often mark his prayers. Invoke the words like…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and Sacrifice

VFT
One of the more prominent words in the Scriptures is sacrifice. It appears throughout the Old Testament and in the instructions for the temple priestly service, but it also appears in the New Testament. Paul famously writes: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and False Accusations

VFT
As a pastor, you hope that people in your church will love, respect, and value your service to the church. This pattern marks, I believe, of the vast majority of the people in the church. At the same time, there will be some who dislike you and your ministry to…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and Narcissism

VFT
This is the first post in a four-part series on a cruciform ministry, a ministry shaped by the cross of Christ. This first post addresses the topic of narcissism, and in subsequent posts I address the topics of false accusations, sacrifice, and joy. Every culture and period of history presents…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Neurological Dangers of Pornography

VFT
As a pastor I have seen first-hand what pornography can do to a marriage relationship and the devastation it leaves in its wake. I normally made my pastoral visits to each household in the church and during the course of these visits I would ask people, “Are there any issues…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Alone

VFT
One of my biggest frustrations in the pastorate is the sense of being alone. In some sense the old cliché applies, it’s lonely at the top. The pastor is not a celebrity who finds himself imprisoned by fame and fortune. Rather, I think the loneliness comes in the nature of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Demonic in the Mundane

VFT
When we read the gospel accounts of Christ’s ministry one of the regular features we encounter is Christ’s interaction with demons. We read of demon possessed people, those oppressed by them, Jesus casting demons out of people, as well as Jesus speaking about them (see, e.g., Matt. 4:24, 7:22, 8:16,…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Trash Compactor

I can remember as a child that my parents had a trash compactor in the kitchen. To me, it was a neat machine. We could stuff all manner of trash into the can, close the door, hit the button, and then listen to the compactor crush and squeeze the trash…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Dangers of Comfort

VFT
We definitely live in a time when people enjoy many creature comforts. I suppose it’s because I’m quickly aging, but I can remember a time when new cars were not automatically equipped with air conditioning. It was a luxury add-on. In fact, my first car didn’t come with air conditioning…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Defining Success

VFT
We live in an age of celebrity where people become famous for merely being famous—they have little talent or significant skills. They have become adroit at taking selfies and giving people the impression that they’re someone to watch and emulate. Unfortunately the same type of pattern emerges in the church…
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