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Earlier this morning, while walking peacefully in the near-dawn with my wife, I concluded, with more hope than certainty, that today would be my last chiropractor visit. My neck was pivoting painlessly, effortlessly-right, left, right, left. This after recurrent, stress-related neck and shoulder problems.

Frankly, before I became a pastor, if someone had said, "Pastoring gives me a pain in the neck!" I would have assumed he had missed his calling. But no more.

As a pastor, I've consistently struggled with the Lord's words "Why take ye thought . . ." I find myself taking considerable thought about the difficulties of ministry. And my neck pays the price.

As the street lights flicked off with the brightening sky, my thoughts turned to a family that, a few months ago, had been enthusiastic about our church. When I met with the husband and wife to discuss youth ministry, they were brimming with motivation. They led the "bus ministry" for a month (our children's church meets in the parking lot ...

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