Reprise: Why I Study

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One of the burning questions that many people long to ask about pastoral ministry is what desk_studydoes a pastor do all week. In the broader culture, there seems to be a belief that pastors have it easy because they only work a few hours on Sunday mornings. While I suppose for some that may be true (which would explain this, if you see it on a pastor’s shelf run!), but for faithful pastors, who truly love Christ and the people He has entrusted to them, nothing could be further than the truth. Although I rolled my eyes when I was repeatedly told in seminary that I would be busier in ministry than I ever was training for the ministry, I am, and truth be told I don’t know a single pastor that puts in less than 55 hours a week and most put in far more.… Continue reading

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Truths to Remember in Pursuit of Contentment

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I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV)

Do you struggle with finding contentment in the life God has assigned to you?  I sure do.  I, unlike the Apostle Paul, have not yet learned how to be content in whatever situation I am.  Indeed there are days in my life when dis-contentedness so fills my heart that not a single pleasure in this world could even begin to drive it out.… Continue reading

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True Spirituality, Dealing with Addiction, and Self-Help Manuals

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Dealing with addictions can push a Christian to the limits of patience, trust, and exhaustion. The addiction might involve drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, sex, pornography, power, popularity, wealth, social media, technology, or recreation—and many more. Recovering addicts soon find that they need help—help from God, help from family, help from friends, help from their church. As the battle rages to control the addiction, it has become very common for counselors and addicts alike to turn to self-help manuals. Who hasn’t been helped at least a little by getting some good biblical advice from a significant book like Heath Lambert’s Finally Free,[1] which deals with pornography and lust?… Continue reading

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Conflict of Interest: Resolving Conflict One “Fear” at a Time

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ArgumentsDo me a favor. “Put your finger in this webpage” and jump over to Facebook or Twitter, whichever you find yourself using the most. Don’t be shy. You have an account. I know you do. You probably found this article through one of those mediums. Now . . . what do you see? It’s likely I would get many different responses from people, because everyone’s feed is filled with different content. But you know what I see? Controversy. That’s what stands out more than anything. I bet you agree with me. Contention. Dissension. Conflict. You can’t hide from it.Continue reading

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God’s Bottle of Tears: Walking with Unseen Sorrows

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You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)

man-in-fogIt’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Or is it?

Even for those who celebrate the fact that two millennia ago God became a man and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus of Nazereth and that this Jesus will one day return to the world in victory over sin and death, Christmas time is not an entirely joyful season.  For some, the holidays are a very difficult time, characterized (for various reasons) by bouts with discouragement and even depression. … Continue reading

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