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This morning, I woke up after having stayed up way too late with two friends of mine…one Catholic and the other Baptist…talking about theology and liturgy (and of course, Mary). I had a headache, but I pulled my prayer book (the one I just recently purchased from CPO in Springfield, MO…published by Concordia) out and prayed one of the prayers for Sunday morning.

I dragged myself to church this morning. I was feeling really low. I literally sat at my desk at 11:20 (5 min. after church had started, 10 min. away), and thought, “What’s the use?”

But the prayer this morning included lines about helping me to sing to Christ whole-heartedly…and to prepare me for the Lord’s Supper. And I decided, well, I’ve already prayed these things…might as well go to church. So I did. And I was incredibly blessed by what happened there this morning.

After the service, I was talking with the liturgist (who is also a professor of mine) and we were discussing a friend that I have and how I’m trying to encourage him in his marriage and so on. As I was describing the conversations I’ve had with him in the last few days/weeks, the liturgist said to me,

“You’ll make a good pastor.”

I was sort of taken aback by this…I think I almost cried. Will I? Right now I just feel like a screw-up. I can’t seem to think I’ll be good at much of anything after my last academic semester…

And yet, he continued by telling me that I have a great sense of relationships and relational difficulty…and that I don’t have to be 50 to have good experiences with that.

He really encouraged me this morning. I thank God for this man. Some days, nearly all I have to go on is the affirmation of a Christian brother or sister. I mean, God uses means to encourage us…so this is no surprise that a good God would encourage me through others.

I think I’m learning not to take others for granted. If I want to tell them I love them…and especially if they need to hear it, I want to tell them exactly that. I want to love others with the same love I’ve been shown…through the Cross…and through this brother who encourages me.

Thanks, brother. You know who you are. You bless my life in ways you’ll never fully grasp.

congregant

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