top3 for March 4, 2022

I’m interrupting the Lenten devotions on Fridays to give you a glimpse of a few of the things I’ve read or thought about this week. Sort of like a good fish sandwich on Fridays in Lent! A crunchy change of pace! Or something like that…

Have a great weekend!


“A good teacher must be content to be a sower rather than a reaper,” he said. “Teachers must not expect to see immediate, specific, concrete results of their efforts. If they have any effect upon their students, it will show up later in life, long after their students have left them.” The same can be said of the pastoral ministry.”

Pastor by William H. Willimon

I need to read this one regularly. One of my values as a pastor is to be a farmer not a hunter. What I mean by this is to work for the long term of tilling, planting, watering, weeding, and maybe just every once in a while you get to see the harvest. But often you don’t. Faithful in the weeding and watering is just as important as faithful in the harvest but a lot less glamorous. No one gets asked to speak at conferences for watering and weeding. We value the harvester. I pray that I value all of the process in my call and in the call of others. Some of the most faithful and effective pastors I know have spent their careers holding the watering buckets and removing the weeds. How about this for a bumper sticker…Do you know Jesus? Thank a farmer! I know I sure do…


Linguists have demonstrated that we don’t know what an experience is until we have language to name it.

The of the Call by Marva J. Dawn

Michael Polanyi wrote about tacit knowledge. The reality that we often know how to do something before we can explain how or why it happens. Language following experience(s) is how this works. As someone who feels first and finds words afterward, it has been a relief to know that I am not alone. I have a lot of respect for people who think their way into a decision. They can write a white paper on the topic and then live it out while making adjustments based on the reality of their assumptions being put into practice. That’s not me. I normally start with my gut and work backwards. Granted, this can be quite disconcerting for those around me who must be patient with me, or not, while I try to figure out the “why” behind the “what”. A congregation member once told me that just because I didn’t mind chaos don’t assume everyone else does. What a helpful truth that was for me!


That night the Lord stood near him (Paul) and said, “Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.”

Acts 23:11 NRSV

Paul, in chains and being persecuted by the religious leaders, found a neighbor in his jail cell. Keep up your courage! Sometimes a timely word of encouragement from someone we respect makes all the difference. How much more so when the encouragement comes from the LORD. Once again…maybe this was the word you needed to hear like it was for me this week.

One thought on “top3 for March 4, 2022

  1. Todd, thanks for your ministry of faithfulness. You’re still teaching “teachers”! Blessings to you and your loved ones.

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