shepherding the shepherd


Shepherds’ Prayer

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people ….” And so was birthed our calling as a new breed of shepherds entrusted with this angelic good news, this gospel. Honestly, Lord, we wish it stirred greater joy than it does. We and our flock have heard this good news so often that we’ve grown a little tone deaf. Will you “cause great joy” in us and in our dear people?

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I Coulda Been a Contender

These wilderness months have not been in vain even when they’ve been disheartening. Now you have seen what was in the hearts of your people and whether or not they obeyed the Lord. Now you’ve seen how the Spirit of Christ within them worked or was quenched. One pastor friend said, “We had no idea how mean our people could be!” Well, now we know. We know, too, that others were faithful, prayerful, and self-sacrificing.

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Reluctant Rejoicing

What we’ve been through in ministry may not seem to qualify as suffering, at least not of biblical proportions. Yet ministry has exhausted many of us. Sticks and stones might have been less painful than the blunt force trauma of the words we’ve heard and the abandonment by people we’ve loved and served. Such things qualify as suffering.

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International Shepherd Month

I may sound presumptuous but I’m thinking of declaring December as International Shepherd Month. I don’t mean to detract any attention from the Lord, of course, but it seems that we pastors ought to take advantage of all the attention shepherds are getting this time of year.

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I Thank the Father for You

I’ve sat at my favorite coffee shop and in my study at home thanking our Father for you who read these letters, who have written to me, and whom I’ve met along the way.

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Taking the Plunge

Logrolling became a two-person sport with the goal of dumping one’s opponent in the water through fancy footwork. It seems like an apt metaphor for the precarious work of keeping our balance in ministry; indeed in all of life. The unsettling news is that, sooner or later, the person on the other end of your log is God.

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