shepherding the shepherd


The Big Ending

I imagine this conversation with John Mark. “It’s such an honor to meet you! What a book you’ve written! I’ve preached through it all. Such vivid pictures of following Jesus! It really moves along, too.” Thank you. I’m glad you like it. “There’s just one thing—uh, well, the ending …”

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Watch and Pray

Denial has many scripts and many actors. It doesn’t always look like Peter’s. We all have our own accounts of weak flesh undermining vigilance and prayer.

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Kids Seen and Heard

These days most churches compete for children. We welcome them, love them, and recruit platoons of volunteers to teach them about Jesus and his Word. That’s as it should be. But we may miss what Jesus was getting at.

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Beware of the GOAT

I’m not particularly humble but I honestly couldn’t remember ever thinking, “I’m the greatest.” Then reality intervened. None of the disciples was claiming to be the GOAT—the Greatest Of All Time. They were arguing about who was the Greatest Of All Twelve. In particular, who was best suited to be Jesus’ right-hand man.

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Dying Well Now

The three interwoven strands of discipleship—self-denial, cross-bearing, and Christ-following—are a blessed death sentence, shot through with resurrection life. We are called to die daily, putting to death our old nature, and sometimes sharing in the sufferings of Christ.

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Sign Language

Disciples fail when we don’t see meanings. The manger was a sign to be interpreted. When Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding, that was a sign. When he fed huge crowds from small lunches, with specific basketsful left over, those were signs. When disciples miss what these miracles signify, blind hearts are the problem. That’s where pastors come in.

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