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Experiencing Joy Among God’s Flock

discipleshipA few weeks ago I shared an article that detailed several prayer requests that a congregation can pray for her pastor. With that in mind, it seems appropriate to offer pastors several prayer requests pray for the congregation among whom our Lord has given you to serve (1 Peter 5:2).

Don’t forget pastor, that you do not serve at the pleasure of the congregation. You serve at the pleasure of the Lord. He has assigned you a field of service, with a congregation among whom you will serve. Pastor, this should liberate you to pray heartfelt and genuine prayers that your members might serve the Lord with you. Similarly, pastor this should allow you to minister and pray even if your congregation does not choose to serve the Lord with you. The ministry of the Word the Lord has called you to accomplish demands that you call people to follow, not push them to follow. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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When Tears Fall in the Pastorate…

LonelyPrayerIn the recent weeks, I have experienced a great burden as I have watched on the sidelines as three pastors in our association have resigned their churches. For various reasons, these pastors found that they could no longer serve in the capacities to which they once felt so strongly called to serve. Even though I do not face any kind of pain or tears at this moment, I have known at times what each one of these men must have felt. WIth that in mind can I offer you a few ways that you can pray for your pastor?

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How Should Christians Say Hello? (Part 2)

To read Part One of this series click here.

The Reason for This Regard

JesusExample

Jesus’ example of greeting includes an extreme moment when he even washed the disciples’ feet.

If Romans 12:16 affirms unity in Christ as the necessary means from which believers learn to regard others enough to greet them, Romans 15:7 speaks to the reason that one believer should welcome another believer. After pointing out in Chapter thirteen the way Christians submit to authorities and how they refrain from judging different brothers or causing weak brothers to stumble; Paul begins to close this section of his letter by reminding the believers that he asks them to live in this way due to the example of Christ.[1] The greater context of this verse mentions living in harmony in such a way that believers glorify God together, with one voice. Paul repeats the sentiment of Romans 12:16 in such a way that he makes this occasion sound like the believers have joined in worship singing his praise together. Then Paul draws this conclusion of welcoming one another in the form of command. The Greek words command believers to receive one another with kindness.[2] Since believers do this in order to follow the example of Christ, one must ask, “How did Christ “welcome” believers?” Christ welcomed believers in spite of their sin (Rom. 5:8) in order to lead people to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Thus as believers “welcome one another” they should do so in such a way that each one also receives encouragement to continue in a lifestyle of repentance and faith. Notice as well that the prepositional phrase “for God’s glory” aids and confirms the conclusions thus provided. Believers, like Christ should “welcome one another” so that God can be glorified through that greeting. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Church Watch Care

 

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How Should Christians Say Hello?

Introduction: No Time for Greeting?           

Imagine an ordinary Sunday morning. The congregation gathers as it normally does. As the pastor makes his way around to greet members who have arrived early one older member grabs his hand and pulls him in close so no one else can here. “Pastor, I think we need to stop this greeting time at the beginning of the service. And I’m not the only one. Hugging and shaking hands like that and talking; well it makes us look like a social club. Is this church a social club?” How should the pastor respond? Does greeting one another really matter to the Lord? In fact this question has many facets. Does it matter if a committee meeting, small group or board meeting begins with a warm greeting towards one another? Particularly as it relates to biblical counseling, does it matter how a counselor greets his counselee both inside and outside of the counseling room? While this paper does not provide adequate room to address this issue throughout the Bible, the book of Romans at the very least teaches plainly that it does matter how believers display their loving care to one another.    Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Church Watch Care

 

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TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO: BIBLICAL COUNSEL FOR ADD (Part 4)

As I got ready to upload a few new posts, I realized that this last part of my ADD paper never made it onto the blog. Many apologies.

To read the prior articles click on these links:

Biblical Counseling Plan for the ADD/ADHD Child and Parents

Upon embarking upon a counseling plan for ADD, the problem that parents present to the counselor comes as nothing more sophisticated than one line, “Help me control my child.” The biblical counselor must help the parent look towards a higher goal. While the child may not initially receive any biblical counseling, he too presents a problem to the counselor. The child presents the problem of his unique behaviors as well as the associated pattern of decision-making, and the consequences for such actions. While the DSM V lists a certain range and variety of observable behaviors that a psychiatrist uses to assess the presence of ADD, the biblical counselor, unlike the psychiatrist, must labor to address the desires of the heart motivating each of the behaviors. The biblical counselor aims for something much higher than temporary fixes. The biblical counselor seeks to have the child internalize the way or process he should go and follow it.[1]CounselingChildren

To that end, the biblical counselor helps the parents and child to think biblically about the real goal of counseling. In the first session the parents and child should adopt the biblical mission of pleasing God as they bring up this child. The child must know that all the efforts made will help him to please Christ with his everyday activities and relationships. Great hope should come from adopting this mission since they can through Christ accomplish the task and please God! If the child does not know Christ as his Savior, the pastor should talk to him about this, but give his parents the privilege through some helpful pamphlets to lead the child to faith. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Shepherding

 

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A FEW 2014 RESOLUTIONS

Before the New Year’s Day comes to a close, and after reading several posts detailing some lofty resolutions, I thought it wise to share a few of my own. For me, making resolutions that I will keep happens only when I think about the next logical steps in my relationships. So I organized this list with that in mind.

With God: Resolved, to cease looking at my devotional as another hour for work related tasks. Further resolved to maintain a more consistent conversation with The Lord by spending more productive time journaling about my thoughts and life events and seeking to record how the Holy Spirit illumines His Word. (Psalm 119:105-112)

With Self: Resolved, to keep myself from frustration and exhaustion by more diligently and realistically planning my schedule. Further resolved, to delegate as many tasks as I can and still know I am pleasing the Lord. (Matt. 6:33-34; Acts 6:2; Eph. 5:15-16)

With Family: Resolved, to put off harshness and cultivate gentleness with my wife and children. In particular, I must seek to serve them more by trying to understand their point of view before speaking to them. (Eph. 5:25-33, 6:4; Col. 3:19, 3:21; 1 Peter 3:7)

With Church: Resolved, to trust that The Lord will revive His people in the measure that we will hear and obey His Spirit through His Word. Further resolved to consistently call His people through biblical preaching, teaching, and counsel to hear and obey Him. (Acts 6:7; 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 4:2)

With Others: Resolved, to pray more regularly and intentionally for the evangelization and discipleship of those around me. In particular, I want to continually pray for three individuals in my regular routine until I have the opportunity to call them to repentance and faith in Christ. Once I share, I will begin praying for a new person. (2 Timothy 4:5)

With World: Resolved, to become more informed about the news of the day that I may think well about how to speak biblically to the issues the world presents. In particular, I will read the headlines and noteworthy stories each day and blog once a week so I may be in the world, but not of it. (John 15:19)

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in At the Parsonage

 

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BIBLICAL COUNSEL FOR THOSE HAVING A BLUE CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR

Being an Elvis fan, I can’t tell you the number of times that I have listened to his most famous Christmas song, Blue Christmas. While Elvis pines in the song for the company of a lost girlfriend, I’m sure that many during This season have a blue Christmas for different reasons. Those facing the Christmas season for the first time after the passing of a loved one certainly might feel that impulse. In fact, this year as my family will gather, we will do so for the first time without the presence of my Grams.

While it may seem understandable and even natural to have the grief you felt at the passing of a loved one resurface during the holiday season, this sort of grief can easily become a tool in our Enemy’s deceptive hands. Just as the you seem to get on with your normal life, the Holiday hits you. You must decorate the house alone. The extended family must discuss the “plan” for Christmas instead of falling back into the familiar routines. Instead of buying a gift for the loved one to place under the tree, a special “Christmasy” arrangement of flowers must make its way to the gravesite. In this our Enemy seeks to demoralize and discourage those who believe from finding any joy in this season at all.

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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Shepherding

 

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