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Category – Pastoral Ministry


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: Publicly Reading Scripture

VFT
A pet peeve of mine is when ministers stand in the pulpit and read the Bible and do so with no inflection. It sounds like the pastor is reading entries in a dictionary—they don’t inflect, run sentences together, ignore punctuation, and mispronounce words. Despite the fact that the Bible is…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Demon Possession and Mental Illness

VFT
I can remember sitting in church as a young teenager as my pastor posed a question about the possible links between demon possession and mental illness. His brother-in-law was a board certified psychiatrist and a professing Christian, which lead him to pose the following question: “What if I told you…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Drowning in Bibles

VFT
I recently received a Christian bookstore catalog in the mail, and so I began to flip through its pages, naturally. One thing I noticed was how large the Bible section was. Among the many standard translations, KJV, NKJV, NIV, TNIV, NAS, CEB, ESV, RSV, NRSV, there was a glut of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Christ in the Old Testament

VFT
In the wake of the death and resurrection of Christ a number of Jesus’ disciples failed to receive word that their Lord and Savior had arisen from the dead. Under the impression that Jesus was dead in his tomb, the disciples walked on the road to Emmaus until a visitor…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The True Rock Stars

VFT
If I were to ask my students to give me a list of the top ten theological rock stars, I suspect I know who most of the names that would appear. In many respects, this is understandable. There are many gifted and talented ministers who have very public ministries and…
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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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A Pastor’s Reflections: Supplication

VFT
If there’s a part of prayer that few Christians need encouragement to include, it’s supplication. One of the privileges of redemption is our adoption, the fact that our union with Christ grants us the status as God’s sons. As Paul writes: “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Thanksgiving

VFT
One of the common characteristics we find in the apostle Paul’s letters is the number of times he gives thanks to God in prayer. The opening of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is an example of this: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Forgive Us Our Debts

VFT
The familiar phrase, “forgive us our debts,” is probably known to most Christians because it comes from the Lord’s Prayer. When Christ’s disciples asked him how they should pray, Jesus identified the confession of sin as one of the key elements of prayer (Matt. 6:12). I suspect that most Christians…
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