Learning to Live in the New Normal!

Change – it is inevitable. There are tons of jokes about change, some more funny than others. After all, no one typically embraces change really well unless the change was their idea in the first place. So, here’s the question of the week…
How are you doing with all the change that has come your way amidst COVID19? How are you doing in your 'new normal'? It has been amazing to see the country - for the most part - and the Christian community pitch in to help others with a spirit of teamwork and solidarity. Many are sacrificing of their time and talents to help others. (And then there are those that simply stay in a state of panic from one change to the next.) I have a feeling we’ll never take the privilege of corporate worship and church gatherings for granted again. At least, I hope not! Our children and grandchildren have all been affected by the virus and its restrictions in one way or another. The world as we knew it has changed. The world as our children and grandchildren h…

You Are Where You Are “For Such a Time as This”!

Once upon a time there was a young maiden who was asked to go to the king’s palace. She was given fine clothes, beauty treatments and all the best the king had to offer. The king even made her his queen! Though it seemed as if she was living a fairy tale, fear soon struck her heart. 
When she learned that the king’s aides planned to harm her family, she was so scared and she didn’t know what to do. No matter how hard she tried, fear kept creeping into her mind and heart. Every day, she was in fear for her family and even for her own life. 
Now, even though the young maiden couldn’t see God, He was protecting her and her family. He even sent her cousin to her speak to her. (He was the same man who had adopted her as a daughter after her parents died.) He brought her words of wisdom. He told her that she could be brave, and with God’s help, she could find the courage to speak to the king. In fact, she was the only one who could ask the king not to harm their family. 
She wanted to believe …

The (Answered) Prayers of a Pastor’s Wife

As I stood in the hallway, I peeked through the crack in the sanctuary doors. My husband. My pastor. He was created to preach! I never doubted the gift that God had given my husband, but the reality of that gift rushed over me that day. He needs to preach God’s Word! He was created to be a preacher! A new prayer formed in my heart that day. It was based off of something I had just read in a study on the Book of Acts. In fact, it is found in the last verse of the book. Paul is under house arrest, but God keeps providing him with opportunities to preach. The verse says, “[For two years] he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”  (Acts 28:31)
Since that day, over five years ago, that verse has been my heart-cry for my husband. Amazingly, I have seen that prayer answered over and over again. To preach with boldness and without hindrance can be a challenge in so many ways. Not because our husbands are unwilling (well, ma…

Just Thinking About You Makes Me Smile!

Who is that person in your life that makes you grin from ear to ear when you just think of them? The memories are so sweet! Who is the one that represents the enthusiasm and love expressed in The Message version of Philippians 1:3: “Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God”?
Who are the ones who prayed for you? The ones who taught you God's Word? Those who brought you a renewed sense of hope and purpose?The ones that you knew would always love and care for you - no matter how bad you messed up? Those special ones in whom you can't help but “break out in exclamations of thanks to God”?
And…when is the last time you spoke to them? Perhaps you touch base each Christmas or they are a part of your life each and every week. A mom, a grandma, a teacher or a friend? Or, is it someone who you haven’t thought of for years, but when God brings them to your mind you know you owe them a debt of gratitude? I love the way The Message phrases the rest of this f…

Are They Seen and Not Heard?

Did you know that the old English proverb, “Children should be seen and not heard,” was actually an expression aimed at women? Scholars believe the saying dates back to the 15th century. It was later adapted to mean young maiden - and eventually to all those who were young. Perhaps we’ve all experienced situations where someone, old or young, was not ‘allowed’ to speak. They were looked down upon as inferior, uneducated or simply not worth hearing from. The devaluing of human beings for any reason is a challenge in our world at large and, sadly, even in the Christian church of America.
In corporate worship settings, there remains a controversy in some churches as to whether or not children should be ‘seen or heard.’ I’ve heard of churches that didn’t allow children in the sanctuary, but only in the children’s wing. I’ve also heard of churches where families with children were only allowed to sit in the back rows of the church – marked off specifically for families. The thought in both …

Overwhelmed By Life’s Demands?

Have you ever heard this question - “How do you eat an elephant?” Know the answer?
“One bite at a time!”
The principle is this: A project that is put off often seems to grow larger and more intimidating over time. Procrastination is never helpful. It may make you feel good for one brief moment, but when you get your head out of the sand, that elephant is still there – and may be getting bigger and bigger!
So, the goal is to just take the first step (or first bite!), and start working through the process that will get you closer to your goal!
About 15 years ago there was a fun show called “Clean Sweep.” (I enjoyed watching it, but I can’t say that I ever did a Clean Sweep at my house.) The premise was this: An individual or household wanted to do some renovations in their house, but to get the expert designer’s assistance they had to do a clean sweep.
Everything was taken out of the room and sorted – usually placed on top of tarps in the yard! The homeowners were asked to put things in thr…

Does The Holy Spirit Really Matter?

A.W. Tozer, pastor and author, was said to have made this statement – “If God took His Holy Spirit out of the world, what the church is doing would go right on and nobody would know the difference.”
Wow! That’s worth a double take. Could that really be true? If so, that is mind-boggling. 
I have to wonder if what Tozer was getting at is that there are churches in our world that are not being influenced or led by the Holy Spirit. His power and presence has either been squelched by independent-thinking believers or the church is filled with those who are ‘Christian’ in name only but have no personal relationship with Christ. In either case, one would think that the church would be ineffective in reaching the lost or in making much of an impact in their community. Is it possible for a church to go right on doing what they're doing (without the influence of the Holy Spirit), and no one would notice?
“If God took His Holy Spirit out of the world,” I believe the world would be unrecognizab…