Enjoying the Journey

In crisis hours we are all reminded of what is most important in life, and who truly watches for our souls. We are all living through a season that reminds us of the importance of the local church. This season will pass but the church remains. Christ is building His church even now! He is purifying it. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. You can count on that! In good times and bad believers need one another. We need the church. Sheep need to be led and fed. This is why the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, calls under-shepherds to care for the flock. Though schedules have come to a screeching halt pastors are working harder…

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Tammy and I are spending the day with a great group of preachers and their wives at The Preacher’s Rest. I thank the Lord for calling me to be a preacher, and I thank Him for using faithful preachers in my life. It is a pleasure to invest in precious servants of the Lord over these few days. Ministers are real people with real needs. They live every day on an active battlefield, and the enemy hates what they are doing. The fight is on and we can have a part! “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God…

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We all love the lunch hour! A few moments of quiet from the busyness of the work day. The halfway point. And, most of all…the food! But have you ever considered how your lunch hour could be used for God? It could actually be the most important work you do all day – and the work that makes all the other work more profitable. Here are three suggestions: Use a portion of your lunch hour for prayer. At the very least we should pause to give God thanks for His provision. But perhaps there is a deeper conversation to be had. Lunch is often a time to catch up with friends or conduct business with associates. What if we took…

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Every preacher is different. The same all-wise God who used the unique personalities and gifts of the Bible writers continues to minister through all different types of men. Over time a man learns how God speaks to him and how he best can receive and relay the Lord’s message to others.  Preaching day after day the Lord is teaching me much about myself and about preaching that no homiletics class or book on preaching can convey. You can take a text from anywhere in the Bible with confidence that it is the very Word of God without error. It will work. But do we not think that God would like to be involved in what we preach to His people?…

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1801-16 Enjoying the Journey Guest Articles Slide

Pastors have their own hurts as they seek to help hurting people. A minister who cannot grieve does not have the heart of the Chief Shepherd. I thank the Lord for faithful pastors and pray that God will continue to encourage and use them. Below is a very personal article written by my friend Pastor Mark Fowler during a recent period of ministry to a hurting family. I am passing it along, by permission, with the prayer that God will use it to help another pastor and perhaps another church member to encourage their own pastor… I kept saying this over and over to myself this week, “The pastor is not supposed to cry. I am supposed to be the…

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Recently NBC aired a special news report on the increase of loneliness in people around the world. The British government has now instituted a “minister for loneliness.” This new undersecretary in England has been commissioned to work on what the prime minister called “the sad reality of modern life.” How is it possible? We have more communication and more connection than ever and yet more people feel disconnected and alone. And it’s not just those living alone. Often those who are surrounded most by people – great crowds of people – feel very much isolated. In our own country medical professionals are now talking about loneliness as a public health issue. The former surgeon general went so far as to say…

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Winter is not often thought of as fruitful. In many parts of the country short days and cold weather begin to limit the activities of the church. Depressed moods can settle in on good people, and days are just lived in expectation of better times to come. Never forget that our God is a present tense God. He is the “I AM.” And He is at work right now, right where you are. Refuse to allow this season to be wasted. The Lord never wastes a day and He longs to make every moment count in us. There is a danger to “down times.” (Read more about “Dealing with Down Times” here.) Boredom and idleness can become traps for a…

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Everyone expects the pastor to pray for his people.  But pastors need prayer too. In fact, they need much prayer. Their responsibility is great. Satan’s attack strong. We have made a practice of praying for our Pastor every day.  We pray for wisdom, for strength, and protection. We pray for his family. Hundreds of times over the last few years I have asked my Pastor if there was anything I could do for him, only to hear him quietly say, “A lot of prayer.” This is the desire of every true man of God I know. Listen to the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you…

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A fine young man was driving me to the airport in another state recently.  We had a pleasant conversation about many things.  He is soon to be married and has much to look forward to in life and ministry. He reminded me of so many young men that I have the privilege to work with every week.  He reminded me of me.  Trying to figure it all out.  Soaking up what older preachers had to say.  Watching.  Listening.  Appreciative for those men who would invest in a young preacher. During the course of our talk he asked me several questions.  At one point we talked about physical exercise and he told me that he spent some time every morning working…

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Through the years I have met many interesting people on airplanes.  Everyone has a story and a simple conversation with a stranger can be memorable.  I have tried to pray as I board a flight that God would put me next to the person He wants me to get acquainted with.  Often it has allowed me to minister in some way. This week God put someone next to me to minister to me.  Across the aisle sat a man, a university professor, headed to a wedding.  He was friendly enough but not really interested in talking about spiritual things.  To my right was an Asian woman, headed to a funeral, and intensely interested in discussing Christ. They could not have…

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