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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
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The Ministry Paradox
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div, M.S.A.
- In ministry, so often what seems to be isn't. Reality is merely fantasy and what is
imagined can sometimes become real. What one thinks will bring good brings evil. We find
that hope can turn to disappointment and sadness to joy. The seems so sweet becomes sour
while that which was avoided becomes most welcome.
- The lame walk, the deaf hear, the dumb talk, and the dying live. Those needing ministry
are the greatest ministers. The greatest ministers are the ones who need the greatest
ministry. The righteous are sinners; the sinners are the righteous ones. The sick are
well, but the well are sick. What is dark is light; while what is light can become dark.
- What is plain is confusing, but the confusing is so very simple. What is smooth can
become rough. What is mighty is weak and what is high is made low. The exalted ones are
the humbled. Those who seek no honor are the most esteemed of all.
- Those who lead must serve, while those who are last have the promise to be first. Not
seeking riches we gain the greatest wealth. That for which we strive so hard eludes us
while those things which seemed impossible become reality. On the verge of victory there
is failure. It is the deepest failures which lead us to the experience of real victory.
- What is most surprising is that there really are no surprises. Things which appear
coincidental are planned. Accidents and mistakes are really the greatest evidence of God's
plan synchronized working in our lives.
- We are called to a place unknown. But when we arrive, it is obvious that it is where God
had planned for us all the time. Our greatest enemies become our mentors, our greatest
friends our most painful betrayers, and the unknown and unnoticed gain an unforgotten
place of honor in our lives. The blessed are cursed. The good receive bad. Suffering
brings joy. Death brings life. Tears often bear the greatness happiness.
- We give love and get hatred. We offer peace only to receive enmity. Those with whom we
are most direct respond most indirectly. That which is hidden becomes most obvious. When
we find what we sought, we discover it was not what we were looking for. What we
thought was the finish line is really just another beginning.
- Our ignorance leads us, the Spirit, to Wisdom. Our human foolishness directs us to
divine prudence. In rejection we find acceptance. In emptiness we find fullness. In
our deepest longings we find our deepest fulfillment. Just when we think we are satisfied
our longing begins again.
- Everything we have is not ours. In possessing nothing we have everything.
expectations may be those things which are least likely to occur. That which appears to be
most imminent is most fleeting. The things we control go out of our grasp, while in our
mastery we discovery gross incompetence.
- Holiness dwells amid sinners. Though sin-full we are fully holy. What we thought we
could do to earn our own salvation only draws us further away from grace. When we finally
realize we can do nothing we see that God does it all.
- Faith turns to doubt. In doubt we find faith. In time we find eternity. Though lost we
are found. Though blind we see. Though undeserving we are made heirs and through poverty
we become rich. The poor are the blessed, the hungry are the satisfied, and the most
fearful are the strong.
- Our strength is our weakness, while in our greatest weakness God demonstrates His
greatest strength. Though the world is ours, the Word is all we have...and that was
graciously given to us. Our strength is not in our being, it is in a Word. Though words
flee, the Word remains forever.
- The more we lose, the more we gain. By giving up our lives we find them. In facing
death, we live. By leaving all we gain the greatest treasure, a treasure found when
we were not even looking for it. But the harder we look for it, the harder it is to find.
- No matter how hard we work, the wages are still death. That for which we would work
hardest is free. In our freedom we bind ourselves as slaves to God. Yet, when given, it
cannot be repaid. In life there is death. In death there is life. All is vanity, but
nothingness is gain. The unseen soul is that which gets the most attention. Our greatest
good is rubbish. That which we discard becomes most valuable.
- In conflict we find peace. In disagreements we find harmony. In the irreconcilable there
is reconciliation. Amid foolishness proceeds wisdom. In childishness we find
child-likeness and find that our maturity is so immature. We have a God who is so close
but often seems so distant. The further we move from God, the closer He
comes. When we
earnestly seek Him He appears so distant.
- The God we worship was a Man who became that which was most unlike Himself. The Son of
God took flesh to dwell with us, but had no dwelling. The cursed cross represents the
greatest blessing. We earnestly pray for what we desire but what we need is given without
any prayer at all.
- In plain-ness there is special-ness. The most simple is the most spiritual. The most
abundant is the most unique. Plain water sustains the greatest power. Simple bread and
wine are the majesty of God's presence. The most abstract and spiritual is made concrete
- Yet that which is most paradoxical is that the transcendent, incomprehensible love of
God is the most simple love. It is given to all but it is also God's personal gift to each
of us. Whereas we should have given to God, God gave to us. He gave those without value
the One of greatest value. He gave His Son to gain sons and daughters. Those who believe
and have not seen are the ones who are more blessed than those who have seen.
- Our calling brings the most painful joy. It is the living experience of death. Yet it is
in the dying experience of life. Though so much unlike life, ministry in Christ is the
greatest life. Our ministry is not really ours, it's His. Yet, what He does He does
through us. Such is the greatness and mean-ness of God's calling to ministry.
- Thomas F. Fischer
Index Articles 1-49
Articles 50-99 Articles
100-149 Articles 150-199
200-249 Articles 250-299
Articles 300-349 Articles
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was revised on:
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:04:09 PM