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Blog
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Taking Care of the Pastor

Spring is slowly awakening my garden. We don’t plant much food. A little lettuce. Some beans. Still it is nourishment. In order for us to get the nourishment from this small plot, we need to tend the plot, ensure adequate water, and get rid of the weeds. It is neither instant nor effortless.
Often times the image of feeding is used to speak about preaching...

Elders
Blog
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Hearing Aids as Fashion Accessories?

In a comment to my blog post, "Do Older People Have 'Disabilities,'" J Cornelisse wrote: "Isn't it funny how we have so many things to make our lives more convenient (remote controls, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, little things on our key chains to lock and unlock our cars, automatic windows and doors, garage door openers - you get the point) and yet if using a hearing aid or a walker would make our lives easier..."

Disability Concerns
Blog
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What Does All This Mean for Ministry?

Over the course of the past year, I was introduced to a series of YouTube videos entitled “Shift Happens.” According to the video’s wiki page this video series originally started out as a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting in August 2006 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. The presentation hit the web in February 2007 and, as of June 2007, had been seen by at least 5 million online viewers.

Pastors
Blog
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The Sounds of Easter

Holy week was a whirlwind of noise, energy, and emotion! Help your kids wonder at the sound of tables crashing in the temple, the thump, thump of approaching soldiers, the crow of a rooster.

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Perfect Storm?

Gargantuan federal deficits, increasing taxes, growing global competition, tapped out consumers, threats of inflation, corporations making profits but not hiring, banks making profits but not lending, continued unemployment, waves of foreclosures...

Deacons
Blog
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A Whole New World

With decreasing spiritual zeal, evangelistic fervor, and shrinking congregations, North America has become one of the largest mission fields on the planet.

Global Mission
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Fresh Eyes Ears

My grandchildren have me looking as if for the first time once again. They see what I pass over. They are delighted with what I consider common. They hear in a fresh way. Observing them takes me out of my world and into theirs. Fresh ears and eyes that see and hear with wonder. It reminds me of what Jesus said: “unless you become like a child.”

Elders
Blog
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Spilled Salt: Thoughts from Van Dop

The other day, while I was playing with my daughter, the news was on. There was a story of a couple in South Korea who had 3 month old daughter, who was born prematurely. This couple also had an internet addiction. Put the two together, and the end result was the death of their daughter – due to malnutrition and neglect, a terribly sad ending.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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Paralympics Live Out the Olympic Spirit

The Olympic Spirit seeks "to build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play . . . " No games better exemplify the Olympic Spirit than the Paralympics. See results from the winter Paralympics which ran from March 12 - 21 in Vancouver. 

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Taming the Pounce

Pouncers squash ideas. Have you ever been the squasher? the squashee?  A young person expresses an opinion, idea, or wish that's a little edgy or goofy or scary. An adult pounces on it to make sure it gets "fixed" before it goes too far. A spouse... 

Deacons
Blog
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Gone Fishing

One Saturday last July my son-in-law Jason and I took a bike ride outside Ottawa. The country road was mostly flat, almost without traffic. As we were beating up that morning’s only serious hill, out of nowhere a Dodge Ram pick-up blasted by well over the 80 km/h limit, nearly clipping my handlebars and, arguably, shortening my life expectancy by several hours.

Pastors
Blog
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Music-Dominated Worship

I love worship music. I love it so much that I have spent a lot of my life learning about it, listening to it, singing it, leading it. However, I often wonder if our discussions about worship are focused way too much on music...

Worship
Blog
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Do Older People Have "Disabilities"?

Most people in North America over age 75 live with a disability (according to Statistics Canada and the US Census Bureau). Yet if you were to ask a group of them to raise their hand if they lived with a disability, very few of them would. My mother lives with such severe dementia that she resides in assisted living. Yet, if someone were to ask...

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Lessons Learned from Google Buzz

The privacy concerns that accompanied the announcement of Google Buzz illustrate the importance of scrutinizing every option, feature, and aspect with a rollout on your website. Even though your church won't announce anything that will be as widely used or talked about as Google Buzz, there is a lesson to be learned.

Church Communications
Blog
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Sidelines: Who Are You?

How do I balance the busyness of being a youth pastor's wife, becoming a mother, and doing what I'm passionate about? I am slowly learning, and the following are three things I've figured out. I would love to hear further thoughts and suggestions if you have any.

Youth Ministry
Blog
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On Reading Mel Lawrenz Whole Church: Book Reflection

In church council we are always concerned about vision in the life of the church. We are also concerned about building unity in our common life. This book addresses both. His vision is summarized as “engaging God, God’s people, community, and mission to the world”.

Elders
Blog
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Living in a Time of Radical Change

In a recent seminary class, we were reviewing key moments in the history of the church. My colleague Scott Hoezee asked students to think about what church life would have been like in six different centuries. As students reflected on each of these different moments in history, it struck me that in each of them public worship would have been led almost entirely by a single pastor, with the help of a single musician...

Worship
Blog
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We Need to Redefine Excellence in Worship

With the winter Olympics just behind us, the word "excellence" easily comes to mind. The athletes displayed brilliant excellence on the short track, the half pipe, the slope, and many other venues. After years of intense training with the world's greatest coaches these young men and women dazzled us with a feats of athleticism so that shockingly difficult maneuvers looked easy.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Chair Wars

I don't usually think of chairs as a distraction, but at my church they are. What about you, what distractions to do you face in your Sunday school room? What solutions have you found?

Children's Ministry
Blog
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Who Is Job Today?

Last week I attended the funeral service of a 54 year old nurse, daughter of an elderly couple in our congregation. Diane was a lovely person, giving care and love to patients, nieces, nephews, parents, siblings. As I was driving the two hours to the funeral with several friends, I became starkly aware again of the pain that invades even the most carefully ordered and disciplined lives. All my travelling companions are good, content folk, who love the Lord. Yet all had lost children many years ago.

Pastors

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