Early one morning, my firstborn, Abby, came stumbling out of her room in a predawn stupor. She caught me at the kitchen table enjoying some coffee and solitude.

"What are you doing, Daddy?"

"Spending time with Jesus," I said.

I pulled her onto my lap, showed her my Bible and the journal where I record my thoughts and prayers. In a minute she was on her way back to bed, and I didn't think much more about the encounter.

Several weeks later I saw light coming from under her door. I knocked gently and asked, "What are you doing, Sweetie?" Abby was lying on the floor with her children's Bible open, holding a pen over some note paper. She looked up and replied in a matter-of-fact tone, "Spending time with Jesus."

Pastoring, I'm learning, is a lot like parenting. To a large extent, you get what you are.

While I believe what we say is crucial, I am convinced that nothing impacts people more deeply than an embodied gospel message. ...

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