Catalytic Converters

I used to tell my pastoral counseling students, “Your people will come to you for counsel about marriage, kids, jobs, decisions—all kinds of things, but almost no one will ever ask you to help them with their souls. Don’t let that throw you off. It’s always about their souls.” So it is when we seek God’s counsel. God always starts with our souls.

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Wonderful Counselor

Pastors aren’t neutral arbiters or consultants in the problems facing us. They suck us in. They affect our own souls. We need God’s counsel, not only to help others but to guard our own hearts.

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Our Feast and Estate

When push comes to shove—which is exactly what happens in churches sometimes—pastors realize how insecure our positions are. Veteran pastors have this in common with the old gunslingers: we don’t like to sit with our backs to the door.

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Splendid Friends

There are holy people in this beleaguered congregation, I realized. Noble, splendid, high-born people of God who will help keep me safe and be the delight of my life. I wrote the date, 2/98, in the margin.

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I Got to Preach Last Sunday

What is that feeling? It was as if I’d dressed in the crisp white of the kingdom, as if I’d arrived in the stately uniform of a royal official bearing a scroll inscribed by the Lord Christ himself. The message on my lips came with royal authority.

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“Sweet Sorrow”

Amidst all the noise and commotion of a commercial wharf, Paul “knelt down with all of them and prayed.” What could be more natural than including God in a last huddle of Christian brothers? When I anticipated saying goodbye to my congregation of 22 years, I invited households to meet with me for prayer. Over the course of my last three weeks 55 of them came.

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