Showing posts from 2013

Making the Most of the Count Down!

Have the past few weeks been a bit of chaos mixed with special moments with friends and family at your Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations? Hopefully, you’ve gotten in on some great deals during your holiday shopping and that you’ve had time to spend a few quality moments with those you love. In the midst of all these extra activities, the regular routines of life may get a bit overwhelming – washing clothes, cleaning house, paying bills and so on. One of the goals that wasn’t met in my life over the past two weeks was getting a blog post written. Often, I struggle with guilt over these types of self-imposed deadlines, but such is life. You do your best and then keep on going. And in the end, many things stressed over are not deal breakers in life. Learning to keep the most important things as the daily priority is a true challenge!

In an effort to encourage you to enjoy the spirit of Christmas each day as you count down to Christmas, here are a few ideas we are sharing at our Wome…

What Does True Forgiveness Look Like?

Recently, a friend of mine asked if the Bible really said that we are to "forgive and forget." The principle sounds Biblical. However, if forgiveness is truly based on whether or not we remember any past hurts, I'm in big trouble. How about you?

The actual phrase "forgive and forget" is not in the Bible. (Whew!) God does, however, give us insight to help us forgive ourselves and others. He also gives us ways in which we can choose to deal with our hurt and betrayal so that we can live peaceably with those who have offended us. With God’s help, we are able to forgive others and in a way "forget" those offenses. We may not literally forget the pain or the circumstances, but we choose to live beyond the pain and then begin to experience the freedom of peace given through God’s grace working in our lives.

1. The Bible teaches that we all sin, and that God is able and willing to forgive us of our sins. See Romans 3:23, Psalm 103:10-14, 1 John 1:9

2. The Bible…

Finding Escape!

Years ago, when I was growing up, I remember the Calgon commercials on TV. The tag line was “Take me away” and it had a luxurious setting of a woman getting ready to relax in a bathtub filled with the aroma of Calgon bath products. That commercial dates me, but that’s okay. I was only a kid! If that doesn’t sound familiar, how about this classic slogan: “You deserve a break”? McDonalds and other retailers all promise moments of escape from the demands of life regardless of whether it is found in a Big Mac or an island paradise experience. What is common – and realistic – to all is the desire to experience the sense of escape and freedom when the burdens of life are lifted off of our shoulders. Creating moments of relaxation in our lives is usually not as simple as running through the drive-through or relaxing in a hot tub.

Taking a day off – truly a day off – in ministry is hard. To take a day off at your house often just provides easy access to well-meaning individuals to stop by and…

Which Way Are You Walking?

What is more important? Job, Church, Husband, Grandkids, Kids, Parents. The list is endless. When the lines between any of these areas get blurry, the choice gets harder. When am I a volunteer? When am I a pastor’s wife? When am I a mom or grandma? Why do I do the things I do? Why do you do the things you do?

When is the last time you took time out of your busy schedule to prioritize your life?
Over the past two weeks, I have made a choice to put family first. In doing so, I didn’t neglect my job, but I did have to let go of the false guilt and tendency to be overly conscientious. My work ethic and commitment can somtimes hinder me from engaging in sweet and special moments with friends and family. Knowing which way to turn, how to balance all the demands of life and dividing up your much sought after time is not an easy balancing act - even on a good day!

By God's grace, I said ‘yes’ to a half-day field trip with one of my four-year old grandsons. After a hayride, pig races an…

Greater is He that is in the World!

While running several errands today, I breathed a simple prayer of thankfulness for my little car. “It’s been running good ever since we got it, and it’s so nice not to have car payments!” On I went to my final stop to pick up a few cold items at the grocery store. Upon returning to my car, I was caught off guard when I saw it. A flat tire! Not just a low tire. This one was as flat as a pancake!

Quickly contemplating my options, I hoped the tire had just deflated while I was getting groceries and that the rim wasn’t damaged. Knowing the necessary tools and spare tire were in the back of the car, the idea of getting down on my hands and knees and manhandling a tire – in a public parking lot – was not the first option I wanted to try. Rather, I began trying to track down my husband hoping that he could rescue me. No answer. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach him, I decided to wait for his reply - hoping he was still in the nearby vicinity.

While waiting, I had to smile at G…

Second Time Around

In retrospect, I do not remember exactly when we made the choice. But, early on in ministry, the partnership mindset became the heart of our marriage and ministry. What that translated into was my participation in both worship hours on a given Sunday morning. For some pastors’ wives, that choice seems too close to a martyr mindset or at the very least not manageable for logistical reasons. What is interesting is that this ‘double duty’ has not been a burden for me, but rather a great blessing for over 20 years.

Undoubtedly, there are many Sundays where I need – yes, need – to participate in two worship hours to truly absorb what God has for me. There are even days when God knows that I will not have time for personal reflection during the worship service as the demands of ministry may distract me or call for my attention. On these days, the Holy Spirit actually prompts my heart and mind while in the shower preparing to go to church. With my spiritual preparation underway, I now have …

Embraced or Ensnared?

The title, pastor’s wife can be very controversial depending on who you talk to. Some women even bristle with antagonism at the thought of being introduced with a title and not with their given name. Titles, however, are just that – a title. They are words that help to identify an individual.

Just this past Sunday, I was introduced to a sister of a church attender as the pastor’s wife. From the beaming smile on her face, it was obvious that this introduction was meant to honor me as well as a means to help identify me with my husband, the pastor. With instant recognition – through this relationship connection – this sweet lady spoke of my husband’s glowing qualities and how much he was loved by her. What a blessing! Every wife wants her husband to be well thought of. Proverbs 31:23 even speaks to this desire when it states that “Her husband is respected at the city gate,where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” It is healthy for those in our churches and communities to r…

Sundays - Expecting the Unexpected!

No matter how diligently you prepare, sooner or later there will be a Sunday morning that challenges even the most devoted servant heart. I’ll admit that Sundays can be a mixed blessing. Some weeks go so smoothly, and God’s presence is sensed throughout the day. Other Sundays, however, can quickly challenge patience levels and are amazingly draining for both the pastor and his wife. 
When the phone rings on a Sunday morning at my house, it is typically not a good sign. Bracing for what is coming, I pick up the phone with a tentative “Hello” as I internally consider ways to rearrange my morning routine. The call can just be a simple request to bring some allergy medication along with me for my sweet husband. Or, I may hear my sweet pastor’s voice (yes, my husband!) letting me know that the sanctuary projection system has gone haywire. Now, he’s wondering if I can get it up and running again! Throwing on clothes, I consider what might be done to remedy the situation. As the clock ticks …

Make the Connection!

Is attending a carnival ministry? Sure! It’s a unique way to meet people and build relationships. This year, an out-of-town visitor asked my husband if he was the mayor of our town. The sincere question made us both grin! It is so refreshing at times to see things from a different perspective. Apparently, the man had seen my husband “working the crowd” and was intrigued. What this visitor didn’t know was that my husband is friendly all year long – not just at parades or when he is in the public eye. He genuinely loves people, wants them to feel special and takes the time to remember names. Shaking hands and giving hugs comes naturally to him. But, what do I do when “my pastor” is connecting with people? Often, a smile is all that’s needed.

People are always watching, and that reality is easy to forget. As Christians, we are in essence ‘on parade’ throughout the year. People are intrigued just to see what we will do, how we will handle ourselves and if we really care about those in our…
My Husband, My Pastor, My Partner!
What a blessing it is to be married to a man who I truly consider my partner in life - my yokemate. Now, you may think that is a strange term of endearment. It may sound a bit too much like the proverbial "ball and chain." However, nothing could be farther from the truth when we are living as partners and are working together through the daily joys and struggles of life and ministry.
When we truly are working side-by-side toward the same goal, our marriage runs smoothly. When we help to carry the load of life together the burden becomes lighter to manage for each partner and the 'yoke' keeps us both on track and working together without added stress and pain.   In Matthew 11:29-30, Jesus encourages us with these words of invitation: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." What a great invitation and a …