How Can We Know How Far To Press On?

There is a delicate balance that is ever present in any church body, family situation, relationship or work environment. We all have preferences, and many even think their way is always the best way. Without being tempted to point fingers at others, let’s take a few moments to be introspective on the topic of which way is the best way. My way? Your way?
Or, what about the times when our ideas are being heard, but we don’t get the ‘green light’ to move on the project, idea or inspiration? Who takes priority? How can we know how far to push a personal agenda and when we need to back off?
Here are the three elements that I’ve found to be a useful sort of litmus test in discerning wisely:
1. Respect - Yep, it goes back to the ‘Golden Rule’ – which is actually of biblical origin. Luke 6:31 teaches us to “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” That gracious strategy for life is just as valuable for a young child as it is for those with graying hairs. But, how can this become a daily p…

Preparing Our Children For Change

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
The pastor’s family lives in an interesting world - one that can be just as stable as it is unpredictable. Unexpected changes are common in all professions with budget cuts, lay-offs and management shifts, but it is rare that they affect a family as much as for those living in a pastor’s home. Military families and missionaries are probably the other households where vocational changes drastically impact each family member.
Preparing for potential change is key in keeping a peaceful home and in maintaining some sense of stability. For the average household, a change in employment just means that mom or dad need to secure a new job. For the pastor’s family, however, it often means they will not just be looking for a new job, but a new church, new friends, new ministry endeavors - and quite possibly a new home. In these situations, the loss of church family and the loss of a home can be equally traumatic. What were on…

We Are Privileged To Be A Witness

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 4
There they stood. The three of them. Grown men, yet boys. How many prayers were answered in this one sweet moment?
Thank you, God, for the privilege to see this glimpse into time. I’ve only heard stories of the antics of these boys from decades ago. Now grown men. But, here they are in church together. Standing. Sharing. Side-by-side. Enjoying a moment of comradery, friendship, connectedness. A lifetime of shared memories.
These men each have a unique story, and I only have a small understanding of the lives they have lived. They’ve each seen trouble. Drugs and alcohol, sports and school, marriage and divorce, babies lost and babies born, heartbreak and humor. A lifetime spent in the same community and now back in church together. Decades have passed. Some are dads, some are grandpas – all are saved!
I can only imagine the tears that have been shed by their mothers over the years. The fear, the anxiou…

Until God Opens A Door, Praise Him in the Hallway

Is it the influence of our ‘me-centered’ society or just the reality of our humanity? The tendency to look toward and anticipate the next big thing on the horizon is all too common – even for the believer. Our intent to walk carefully on the path of healthy pursuit can easily get muddled by the whispers of selfish ambition and pride. We dream of achieving a long-desired goal, and we wait impatiently for enough wiggle room in the budget to buy that special something. There is always something bigger and better to work toward.
Opportunities abound in our world, and we are bombarded daily with fun ideas, interesting destinations and creative ways to organize our homes or spice up next week’s menu. Juggling the many demands on our calendars takes a healthy dose of planning, patience and grace. We do our best to meet the needs of those we love without neglecting the demands at work or our husband’s desires. We have a heart for the unmet needs at church, yet know that there is only so much o…

Open My Eyes That I May See

At most, I have about two dozen pairs of earrings. A few pairs that I bought as souvenirs while on vacation are set aside in boxes, but the rest are just tossed into a small glass container. Not surprisingly, these earrings get tangled up with each other quite often. This morning was one of those mornings. Too lazy to search for my reading glasses, I tried to detangle this mess. It quickly became apparent that my earrings weren’t going to come apart easily. So, I tossed the whole container onto the bathroom counter and started placing one earring at a time back into the jar. 
Surprisingly, there were only two earrings that were actually intertwined. So, I gave in and put on my glasses, and the earrings were separated in mere seconds. What, at first, seemed like a complicated mess actually turned out to be quite simple to remedy – once I knew what to focus on.
Another challenge I faced this week involved my husband’s tool set. I can’t count how many times I’ve picked up this case of tool…

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Just Like…

There is a lady in my church who I love dearly. She has been a mentor to me for years, but she doesn’t even know it. Her life has been a roadmap of sorts for me. Specifically, she has challenged me in my love toward others – just by her example. She’s not quick to take sides. (In fact, I don’t know if she has ever taken sides.) But, she’s no push-over either. She is not quick to judge and is very kind-hearted. She has a way of seeing the best in others even when their faults and failures are glaring. She is one special lady!
She’s served in so many roles within our church that I wouldn’t even know where to start listing the myriad of ways she has blessed our church and community with her love, dedication and commitment. She is not a whiner, and she has a great sense of humor. Her years may categorize her as old, but she is ever young at heart and eager for the next adventure. She has the gift of story-telling, and oh can she keep a carful of ladies laughing when on road trips. Young an…

The Power of Praying Pastor’s Wife

That title sounds like it could be part of Stormie Omartian’s collection of prayer books, right? If you’re not familiar with her work, Stormie has published multiple titles including “The Power of a Praying Parent,” “…Woman,” “…Mom,” “…Grandparent” and on and on the list goes. One of her books, “The Power of a Praying Wife,” is one of my favorite titles, and I’ve enjoyed teaching from her DVD materials on that topic as well. But, I must confess. I have dreamed of writing to her and saying, “Hey, would you ever consider writing a book entitled, “The Power of a Praying Pastor’s Wife”? I don’t know if she’d think I was nuts or if she would be intrigued. Needless to say, I’ve not taken that huge leap of faith – or craziness – but I do think it could be an invaluable book for many.
The prayers I’ve prayed on behalf of my husband over the years are countless. Many of those prayers had absolutely nothing to do with him being a pastor, but were focused on our relationship, his relationship wit…