This year has been gut-wrenching for many on almost every level: a global pandemic sweeping through our country has left well over 200,000 dead and many other sick, the restrictions many states have enacted have left many others without work, especially those who labor in the service and hospitality industries, and political and social unrest…

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I’ve had conversations with pastors across the United States over the last few months. And while my friends do ministry in vastly different contexts, there is one thing they share in common: pastoring (and pastoral care) in 2020 is the most exhausting, frustrating, difficult season of their lives. The cross-pressures right now on leaders is…

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“… And he’s a pastor!” I hear this phrase almost every week about a pastor’s online activity—namely, their treatment toward another human being through harsh speech. It’s almost as if we get behind a keyboard or touchscreen and forget our calling as heralds of God’s Word, shepherds of God’s people. Today there are many ways…

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It’s a bit ironic that the human race’s descent into darkness began with the serpent’s own twisted misrepresentation of God’s words of instruction to His image-bearers. Words, after humanity’s fall into sin, can now be used either to injure or inspire. This is why King David prayed that the words of his mouth be “acceptable”…

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I’ll never forget where I was when I nearly quit the ministry: sitting in my office at church, weeping. My wife was out of town with our children, ministering to a friend whose husband had just died from cancer. It was very early in my first pastorate. Being a senior pastor was new, different, and…

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Several years ago, a church I pastored went through a massive remodeling effort, updating a tired, ‘90s-era look with more modern, chic, 21st-century décor. Peeling wallpaper was replaced with fresh paint. Hideous brown siding was covered over with a beautiful new stone treatment. A landscaper transformed some tired and unkempt bushes into a beautiful garden…

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“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that…

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I’m reading through James K. A. Smith’s excellent new book, You Are What You Love. I highly recommend this book. Here are some of Smith’s thoughts on the formative power of families eating dinner together: For example: never underestimate the formative power of the family supper table. This vanishing liturgy is a powerful site of formation. Most…

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We just finished perhaps the most divisive election in modern history. The good news is that the election is over and we are experiencing what few countries experience: a peaceful transfer of power. It was good to see the President and President-elect meet and discuss the transition. But there is stil much division in the…

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If you haven’t heard, the Cubs just won the World Series. No really, they did. The pathway from a team mired in mediocrity to a first-class operation began with the brilliant hire, by new owner Tom Ricketts, of Theo Epstein as president of baseball operations. When Ricketts made this move in 2011, I knew the Cubs…

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This is part of an occasional series of posts on the Lord’s Prayer. You can read the previous entries in this series here, here, here, here, here, and here. Today’s post looks at the phrase “Give us this day our daily bread” from the Lord’s Prayer. This is the first in a series of three…

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