Different Kinds of Callings

Callings come in different ways to different people. I’ve heard of women who felt a call to be a pastor’s wife – even before they met their husband-to-be. Others speak of receiving a call to be a pastor’s wife coinciding right along with the calling that their husbands received to be a pastor. When I first heard those stories I wondered if I was missing something. I had never felt called to be a pastor’s wife. Was that ok? Or, was something wrong with me? 
What’s interesting is that I never gave a calling much thought until I met my husband back in college. He had a dramatic experience when he was called to be a pastor, and following that call he began a 10-year “Jonah” run from God. By the time I met him, however, he had returned to God and had started to follow God’s calling on his life. Even though I had never felt a call to be a pastor’s wife, I did have a strong desire to partner with this man I loved dearly – who had been called into full-time vocational ministry.
As I’ve reflecte…

Reputation Restoration

Each of us has heard a rumor or two in our lifetime. We may have even been the one to spread a rumor. And sooner or later, we will likely be the target of someone else’s slander or careless words. Unfortunately, many of us will experience the reality of having our reputation tainted in the church and/or in the community. When words of attack swirl around (and it always will) the normal reaction is to run frantically to everyone we know to try to set things straight. The problem is, once a reputation is tarnished, it is hard to speak to the issue without making things worse.
When these times of disillusionment and confusion have come into my life, the best thing that I know to do is to run to God. (Ok, maybe I run after a good cry or mini tantrum!) What a privilege it is to have the Almighty God of this universe holding my hand - and my tongue. But, it is still a very painful experience to live with day to day, especially when you come face-to-face with those individuals who are behind …

Are You Enjoying Your Spiritual Gifts?

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. The first questions should likely be, Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Have you uncovered the special gems of giftedness that God created within you? If so, are you using those gifts in your daily life and to benefit your local church body?
The key to understanding our unique giftedness is to embrace the fact that God has our best interests at heart. He wants us to be happy. He knows what gifts will bring us true joy – and will bring Him glory! Let me explain with two unique stories of two special ladies in my life. They were each on the same journey as you and I, but only one had a happy ending.
Sherice was in a Discipleship Class with me years ago. She was well known for her gift of hospitality. Not only in opening up her home, but also in her abilities in cooking and baking. (I personally call that part of her natural abilities as the 'gift of entertaining'!) She oozes hospitality. She’s never met a stranger. Loves to have people…

Sick Day Sunday

What happens when the pastor is sick on Sunday?  It can throw his whole household upside down.It could provide a quiet day of recuperation.It may mean that life goes on as usual. 
Sick days may be provided and allowed for – officially – but it isn’t always that simple. What if a church has only one pastor?What if a decision has to be made the night before?What if the ‘emergency sub’ or associate staff is on vacation?What if the symptoms don’t show up until right before (or during) the worship hour?
Sometimes the reality of calling in sick on a Sunday just isn’t doable. Unless the illness is very significant the luxury of taking time off is not practical or realistic. So, how do you help your husband survive the “I feel horrible” Sundays when he still chooses to faithfully show up to work? With gentleness and kindnessWith your presence of supportWith an understanding earWith a lunch menu of his choosing (if he wants to eat at all!)With a quiet homeWith medicineWith an extra dose of patience…

Always Keep Learning and Growing!

“As iron sharpens iron,so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Good, solid Biblical resources are hard to find. But free? Yes, there is a quality online conference that you can enjoy any time (day or night) that works into your schedule – and it’s all for free!
What is it called? 'JustONE' Virtual Conference 2018
When is it happening? It begins on February 5, 2018
How long will it be held? For 14 days!
Don’t let that overwhelm you, just think of it as a mini-retreat in the comfort of your own home! In fact, the website says “Get all this delivered straight to your phone or computer while sitting comfortably on your couch, latte in hand, wearing yoga pants.” Now, I don’t personally have any yoga pants, and I’ve never had a latte in hand when at home, but…
I loved the last 'JustONE' Virtual Conference (more details below!). I watched many of the challenges at my kitchen table. Some I enjoyed cuddled up on my couch. Sometimes I enjoyed one a day. Other days, I absorbed…

The Busy Balance

Several years ago a lady accused me of being too busy and not available. She was not happy with me, and I was well aware of her irritation. I asked her if I could give her a call later, and she agreed. Before reaching out to her I pondered the best timing of that call, and I prayed for wisdom. I took time to try and think through the situation and the possible outcomes. I tried to prepare myself to genuinely give a listening ear and not be on the defensive. But, what haunted my thoughts the most was her accusation. Was I somehow unintentionally giving the impression to others that I was too busy or unavailable for them?
Within a day, I was able to connect by phone with my accuser. The conversation went something like this.
Me - I’m sorry we weren’t able to talk this through at church yesterday. I’m a bit confused why you believe me to be unavailable. Perhaps I missed a call or an email?
Her - No, I didn’t contact you earlier.
Me – Have I neglected to connect with you in the past?
Her - No…

Significant Ministry Can Happen Anywhere!

Growing up I thought I lived in a small city. We were not far from beautiful farm lands, yet we could also see Chicago’s skyline within an hour’s drive. I didn’t realize until I was in college that I actually grew up in a big city – with a population of 300,000. I also thought my church was a ‘normal’ size. It was larger than some other churches nearby, but I knew almost everyone there. Most of my family and extended family attended my church. I went to school with almost all of the kids in my Sunday School classes. If I didn’t know someone’s name, their face was familiar or my parents knew who they were. Yes, I was sure I lived in a pretty small community.
That was many years ago, and God has expanded my horizons. I’ve now lived for more years in a community with no stop lights than in a city where more time is spent waiting at stop lights than driving to your destination. God gives us the ability to adapt, and I am truly grateful for that! The traffic isn’t the issue now, it is the d…