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Contributor: VFT


A Pastor’s Reflections: Sanity in the Swarm of Gnats

VFT
In my college days, I used to play in my church’s softball league. I had a lot of fun playing softball with my fellow teammates. In fact, I played in the fall, spring, and summer leagues—almost year-round. But my least favorite season to play was summer. It wasn’t the hot,…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Now Thank We All Our God

VFT
One of the things my family does each Thanksgiving is, before we partake of our meal, we sing the first verse of the hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God,” which states: Now Thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things has done, in…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Dangers of Bitterness

VFT
One of the biggest dangers in the pastorate is growing bitter towards your church. Ministry can wear on you very quickly. Whenever I’ve heard a pastor tell me that they’ve served for twenty or thirty years, I always comment that I’m impressed. Why? Because years in the pastorate are dog…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

VFT
The famous nineteenth-century novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tells the story of Dr. Jekyll who would transform into the evil Mr. Hyde. Even though the novel was an early foray into science fiction, the book captures an aspect of sin-fallen condition. People carry sinful tendencies…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: License to Sin?

VFT
One of the more common patterns that appears in the church is when people find themselves in the midst of suffering, they believe they have a license to sin. Sometimes they do this consciously, although at times it might be an involuntary reaction. For example, a person might be deprived…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Considering a Call

VFT
What things should you consider when you’re considering taking a call? Some seminarians don’t think much about it and are willing to serve wherever they can get a church, but others have very specific criteria including the type of church, geographic location, and even the specific role they want to…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Frozen Chosen?

VFT
Reformed churches have a long-standing reputation for being the “frozen chosen.” There are a number of historic factors that contribute to this well-known but mistaken characterization including a concern for the purity of doctrine, worship practices that are fitting for the majesty and holiness of the God we worship, and…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Eschatological Bombs

VFT
When new seminarians first begin their theological education I suspect they are overwhelmed with the tidal wave of new terminology that comes their way. Terms like eschatological, supralapsarian, kenotic christology, hapax legomenon, merism, and the like come flooding in and incites fear in the most intellectually stout-hearted students. In fact,…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Crossing Lines

VFT
In my time as a pastor I regularly encountered people who were in dire straits—unemployed, homeless, struggling with addiction, and the like. I feel sorry for people when they suffer and always did what I could to render assistance. Our church always reserved funds, for example, to purchase people food…
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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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