Every day when I arrive at work, I take some time to get my bearings at my desk. My physical desktop and bulletin board are plastered with things I want to remember, things that are more important than anything else. It’s my way of  staying focused on who I am and what God calls me to accomplish as a pastor. I thought I’d share these with you in hopes that along the way, you’ll be stirred to focus on what’s most important in your own life. Deal? Here’s a picture I took this morning of my desk. Each number on the photo corresponds with a brief explanation, below.

1. A picture a child drew of our church’s vision diagram. It reminds me to communicate simply, so even a child could understand.

2. A pic of my daughter, my little princess (now twelve years old) when she was maybe five. This reminds me that for now, I’m her knight in shining armour.

3. A note with a picture of a hammer that says, “Speak to the heart of every issue. Nail nothing but the head, every time.” For my preaching prep.

4. A family picture. The most important ministry I have.

5. A pic from the prologue of Lord of the Rings, where the forces of good in Middle Earth drew a line in the sand against Sauron and refused to retreat. This reminds me to draw courageous lines in the sand from which I cannot retreat, either.

6. A picture of our church taken by a local business across the street. This reminds me to consider what our church looks and feels like to those outside our four walls.

7. A picture of grandpa Huebert in his pastoral study when he was about my age. Both of my grandpas were lifetime ministers of the gospel, so this reminds me of the richness of my heritage.

8. A Calvin and Hobbes Cartoon where Hobbes dumps a load of snowballs on Calvin’s head and says, “It’s the moment of dawning comprehension I live for.” This is why I love preaching: seeing the moment of dawning comprehension week after week.

9. A pic of “the Tuesday guys,” a small group of youth I invited into my home every Tuesday after school for a year, where I taught them what it meant to be a true man, a man of God.

10. A pic of my son Noah, and my daughter Glory, as little munchkins. Reminds me that they’re growing up too fast, so I’d better make the most of the time I have with them.

11. A pic of Shauna and I. A reminder to keep our marriage a priority.

12. A ladybug painted onto a rock. Noah made this for me. It’s an inside joke from a book I read about innovative thinking. This reminds me to think creatively about my issues.

13. A slab of rock. Reminds me to consider my foundation.

14. A marble sculpture of the Lord’s Supper. Reminds me that community revolving around Christ is central.

15. A chunk of pottery, part of an altar call for leaders, on which I wrote the answer is “still yes.”

16. A clay hand I made, now broken into pieces, reminding me that when the Church is broken by conflict, the hands and feet of Jesus cannot reach out to a broken world.

17. My very own Arthurian “sword in the stone,” reminding me that I have a special calling from God no one else can fulfill, anchoring me in full dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit as I rise to meet it.

18. A picture of my son Joel. Love him so much.

19. A picture of Noah and I mowing the lawn together when he was about four. He’s using a bubble mower. This picture smashes my heart.

20. A ceramic moon Joel made me.

21. A failed outreach resourcing experiment that became an important building block toward successful ministry.

22. A cartoon I drew several years ago that won “cartoon of the year” for Christian periodicals, reminding me that I never quite know where my investments in people and things will take me.

23. A sheet of paper that says, “Cast the vision. Live the life. Preach the word. Lead the change.” My calling as a pastor.

What about you? What do you hold near and dear to your own heart and calling?