Pastoral Ministry
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So many times I've broken dates with my family to do something for the church. Below is an excerpt from by book, "The Boomerang Mandate, Returning the Ministry to the people of God"  that tells about a time I got it right.

Last spring, Susan and I scheduled a getaway weekend at a bed and breakfast in a nearby resort community. She arranged for someone to keep the boys and I called to make the reservations. It was five years since we last went somewhere together, and we were anxious to go. 

Monday, when I arrived at the office, I immediately reached for my calendar to reserve the dates. I couldn't believe it! I was scheduled to teach a class at a nearby seminary on the Saturday we would be gone. I sat in silence for a few moments and thought about my options. I knew that the academic dean wouldn't be too happy if I canceled the class and that doing so could create conflict and ultimately jeopardize my job. I didn't know how he would react, but I knew what Susan's response would be. She is always supportive and understanding. She never complains when I cut vacations short or make it home late from work; I knew she would understand. 

Like I'd done so often, I picked up the phone and called home. "Susan, I've got some bad news." I heard the disappointment in her voice as I explained the scheduling conflict. "What should I do, Baby?" "It's OK Jim. Do whatever you need to do." In that split second, I made my decision. "Thanks, Sue, you are always so understanding. I've got to go, Susan" "What's the hurry?" she asked. "Well, I've got to call the seminary and tell them to cancel the class or reschedule it. I'm going to take my wife away for the weekend!" 

I didn't need a picture phone to see her response. She was smiling from ear to ear.

What? You didn't think I'd avoid a little conflict at work and miss a weekend with my beautiful wife, did you?

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