Taking Each Day as it Comes

614_agitatedWe feel like we will miss out, or that we are not enough. This is why we cram days into each other. We blur them and force them to get along. But we are restless. Agitated. Irritated. Discontent. When is anything ever enough? Continue reading “Taking Each Day as it Comes”

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A Forgotten Remedy for the Stress and Fatigue of Ministry

pilgrims-progress-giant-despair The Apostle Paul was physically and emotionally wore out. Fear thunderstormed his soul. Conflict awaited him. He had no rest. Rather than hide this fact, the Apostle gave voice to it.  As pastors, the idea of giving voice to the hurricane that batters against the boarded up windows of our souls feels dangerous. But God has a help in mind.

Continue reading “A Forgotten Remedy for the Stress and Fatigue of Ministry”

Searching for Greatness in Ministry

Zack Preaching Spurgeon Fellowship 2016
Zack speaking to Pastors and Ministry leaders in Portland Oregon, March 2016.

This two-part audio series “Searching for Greatness in Ministry,” is taken from Zack’s recent visit with pastors and ministry leaders who participate in the Spurgeon Fellowship in Portland, Oregon.  Out of his daily life in local pastoral ministry, Zack seeks to encourage us in our common vocation in Jesus.

Part 1: What do you want Jesus to do for you?  (begins at the 40 minute 20 second mark)

Part 2: What is the greatest thing you can do in ministry?

Why are we Lonely in Ministry?

The Bishop Cover Picture“Ah, look at all the lonely people,” the band sang in the old song. “Where do they all come from?” This question hums with haunted melody, as the song searches out the lonely lives of a priest, his congregant and the church they both serve. Why is it that those who give their days to a vocation charged with the enjoyment, love and glory of God remain so vulnerable to the loneliness and isolation that any human being can feel? Anton Chekhov’s short story, The Bishop, helps us. Without spoiling the story, I’d like to tell you why. Continue reading “Why are we Lonely in Ministry?”

Clarifying Your Calling: Some Questions to Help You

Sometimes when I feel that I’m trying to be something I’m not, or pretending that I’m not something that I am, or when I’m losing a sense of clarity regarding what my identity and calling in Christ actually is, I will revisit questions like these. Not all of them will resonate with me at one time or another. But the ones that do provide a strong clue regarding what to pray about.

Continue reading “Clarifying Your Calling: Some Questions to Help You”

When We Are Worn Out

Fatigue PaintingThe man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. (Prov. 30:1)

When you hear someone say that they are tired, or when someone says to you, “wow, you look exhausted,” it is time to ask God, “What kind of fatigue am I experiencing Lord?” Rightly diagnosing our particular brand of exhaustion graciously get us more truly and quickly onto recovery’s road.  Continue reading “When We Are Worn Out”

Cultivating a Stamina for Waiting

Sowing in rowInstant video streaming, on-demand programming, twenty-four hour grocery, credit-cards, texting, and next-day delivery are wonderful. They reward my desires instantly. Immediacy befriends me. Entitlement invites me to come over. We party at once and without delay. So, when I crave a food, want a mood from a show, or need aspirin from Walgreens at 3:00am, I feel quite grateful for this split-second, on the spot way of life.

But ask me how long I can handle no response after I’ve texted or emailed somebody before I begin to doubt whether they like me, or think I’ve done something wrong to offend them or ascribe negative judgments about their character, and you can begin to see through me into an area of weakness. Continue reading “Cultivating a Stamina for Waiting”