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We wanted to have something special for the children in our services, so one of our ladies volunteered to deliver a children's sermon. These sermons, however, quickly became discourses aimed at the congregation. (After all, what do three-year-olds care about the various theories of inspiration or eschatology?) I needed to correct the situation. But the best I could manage was to drop little hints.

I was a pastoral doormat. I knew what was right, but I was far too unsure of myself to speak it out. Perhaps I was afraid of the conflict that might occur if I really told it like it was. Or maybe I just didn't think that my opinions, feelings, or rights had much validity. Anyway, regardless of the reason, I rarely spoke my true feelings. And I was frustrated.

Occasionally my frustrations would increase to the point of explosion. Then I would take my stand. Unfortunately, I usually took a stand over something that had little meaning, or I would do it in a rather angry or aggressive way. Or I spoke ...

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