top3 for February 17, 2023

Happy Friday everyone! Before heading out on your weekend here are three things I’ve read and been thinking about. You can get a sense of my vacation theme based on what captured me…

Have a great weekend!


I would stay with these people for as long as necessary to acquire an imagination and develop a faith to follow Christ right here, in this congregation, in this place, with this family, in this workplace.

Eugene Peterson from The Pastor

A pastor’s faith development is at the core of their pastoral call. You may not want to hear that! Yes, we are working out our salvation in the midst of the congregation. As such, if the pastoral duties ever become something other than a means of grace to the pastor, it is time to re-assess things.

On vacation last week I ran into the above quote and it again affirmed a few things for me. Peterson is suggesting that pastors should look to be in one place for a long length of time. Length of time in one place with one people is a means of grace which can build faith for pastors and everyone else for that matter. But that is difficult work in some ways. People know the real you…the jokes start getting old…the sermon illustrations can’t be re-used as often…anyone who you have offended may still be around…all your past decisions that didn’t pan out are remembered. Did I mention that people know the real you and there is no place to hide?

But the upside of being in one place a long time cannot be overstated. A consistent presence over many years can grow compassion, develop humility, and build trust. All of these characteristics not only develop faith in the individual but the community as well.

Having served in one place for going on 18 years I can attest to my growth as a result of knowing and being known. I will forever be thankful to God for the opportunity, and for the people who help me work out my salvation!


God, what is man’s best gift to mankind?
To be beautiful of soul
and then let people see into your soul.

Frank Laubach

Only God can make a soul beautiful. What it takes on our part is a willingness to allow God to do the work. Then it becomes a matter of being transparent with others so they may see what God is doing in our lives. That takes time and trust…see #1 above.


The main thing is this, when you get up in the morning you must take your heart in your two hands.
You must do this every morning.

Grace Paley on growing older

Truth be told, I don’t fully know what this quote means. Maybe it can best be understood that, to truly mature and not simply grow older, every day we must be willing to expose our heart to the matters of the world (relationship, challenges, etc. etc.) instead of creating barriers to ‘protect’ it.

One thought on “top3 for February 17, 2023

  1. We are so glad you have been here for 18 years. Your warmth and compassion, and deep faith have helped me on my journey more than you could ever know. Hope you are here for 18 more. We all love you

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