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Category – Sanctification


A Pastor’s Reflections: The Inner Ring

VFT
One of the terms that has become popular in the last year is the deep state. In other words, people recognize that there is the recognized government, the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, but that at a deeper level there is a group of people and institutions that truly make…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Understanding Doctrine

VFT
As a professor and minister I regularly evaluate students to determine whether they possess the requisite theological knowledge to pass their exams. After a thirteen week semester students must take their final exam to demonstrate they have mastered the knowledge they have learned. It’s not enough to sit and listen—students…
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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: 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: 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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