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Hi subscriber,

Here's a thought, a quote, and a resource I wanted to share with you this Thursday.

I just returned from a pastoral respite retreat. I spent a couple of days with a small number of other pastors in Muskoka, Ontario.

I didn’t think I needed this break, but about a month ago I sensed that I was getting tired. I felt a little more irritable, and sermons felt harder to prepare. I’m grateful I was able to take a small amount of time to get away and be refreshed.

We spent some time lamenting what we’ve lost. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this, but we learned about the importance of biblical lament and were given a copy of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy, an excellent book on lament. We finished the retreat by looking to the future. Someone asked the question, “If the next two years are like this, what will we do?” We were challenged to think of ways to move ahead, not just hunker down.

I’m reminded again of the need for rest, especially in a draining time like this, so that we can lament and begin to think about the future in positive ways. I didn’t realize how much I needed this.

“Without lament we won’t know how to help people walking through sorrow. Instead, we’ll offer trite solutions, unhelpful comments, or impatient responses … We need to recover the ancient practice of lament and the grace that comes through it. Christianity suffers when lament is missing.” (Mark Vroegop, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy)

Rick Reed, president of Heritage Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario, has started a podcast called Preacher to Preacher. Each episode is short and practical. Rick is a gifted leader and preacher, and he also knows how to explain how he does it. If you’re a preacher, I highly recommend this podcast. Look for it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.
Thanks for reading!

Darryl Dash
author of How to Grow