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Sometimes it's wrong to take the blame.

I sat in John and Brenda's living room absorbing their angry and unyielding stares. The thought kept running through my mind, What in the world am I doing here?

On the surface I knew why. Some elders had suggested I visit the family to seek reconciliation.

Brenda had been a relentless critic of my ministry, going as far as to stand in a public meeting and read this passage from Jeremiah: " 'Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!' declares the Lord. … 'Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done.' "

Though she stopped short of ending her reading with the words, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your presence," that was clearly her intent.

A board action occurring just before I came as pastor had planted the seeds of conflict. Differences had arisen between a staff member and members of the board. This staff person had a small but ...

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