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Showing posts from 2019

Dealing With Awkward Greetings!

The first thing she said to me in a rather accusatory tone was, “Well, where is your tan? I thought you were going to the beach?” What a way to start a Sunday morning, right? 
Years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to let that awkward greeting go. Instead, I would have had a bit of an internal meltdown. My immediate response would have sounded something like this: “How dare she?” “Who does she think she is?” Truth be told, I might have even wanted to give this retort: “Well, if you weren’t always laying in a tanning bed, you wouldn’t glow golden brown either.” Thankfully, my lips stayed sealed, but I still have to process through those unintentional, yet awkward jabs to this day.
Another greeting that made me squirm for years was when that sweet ‘grandma’ type would pat me on the cheek and say, “Do you feel alright? You look a little tired and pale.” Granted, I may have look tired on some of those Sunday mornings, but it seemed to always be said on the days when I actually felt really goo…

The Dangerous Side of Influence

Queen Jezebel, now that’s a character in the Bible that I do not want to be associated with. She is known for her evil ways and that of her husband, King Ahab. In fact, the Bible has much to say about King Ahab’s character and behavior. 1 Kings 16:29-33 gives us this introduction and synopsis of his reign: “Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him…He did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.”

Two key points are then listed - - He married Jezebel, daughter of Eth-baal king of the Sidonians. - This marriage resulted in the import of Baal worship into the Israelite nation.
One man influenced by one woman. The king may have issued the order to build both an altar and temple in Samaria for Baal worship, but his wife's religious practices set the stage. The huge influence of and addiction to idolatry within the nation eventually resulted in the showdown at Mt. Carmel between Elijah and t…

Can The Pastor's Wife Really Be Defined?

There is a long-standing subject that is tip-toed around by many pastors’ wives. Are you glad you are one? Did you make your husband promise he’d never go into pastoral ministry, and yet here you are? Have you been called? What is a pastor’s wife supposed to do anyway?

The answers to these questions are just as varied as we are as women. As God, in His infinite wisdom, made us each unique in our personalities and giftedness, so are our marriages and our church settings. So varied are our circumstances that we often fall short in trying to objectively compare what life is like for the 'typical' pastor’s wife. Yet, in that non-defined characterization of what it means to be a pastor’s wife we can trust that God will guide each of us individually or we can get caught up in someone else’s perceived reality for us.
When my husband and I got engaged I was clueless that there was an unofficial list, from generations past, of what traits were found in a good pastor’s wife. I soon found …

Our Methods May Change, But Our Message Is Timeless!

Since the first Easter morning, the Good News of Jesus Christ has been spread near and far. Peter, ‘The Rock,’ focused on the Jewish community and the grace and freedom they could find in Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law. Paul dared to follow Jesus’ example by inviting Gentiles to also live beyond the barriers of culture and custom. Over the centuries, the methods that have been used to share the Gospel are countless and will hopefully continue to change for years to come.
Bottom line, whatever method is found to effectively share the Gospel (within reason, of course) is worth trying. In John 14:6, Jesus is quoted as saying that He is "the way and the truth and the life." That part of the verse and message our world may even now be willing to accept, but rarely do they want to embrace the rest of that verse. "No one comes to the Father except through me.” That distinction affects the eternity of today's generation and those to come.
"Wow! The Good News in Four Words…

Seeking Wisdom from Higher Powers

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so.” Genesis 1:14-15
If you would drive into our little community this week, you would see a large sign advertising the upcoming community Vacation Bible School. I can’t remember the exact title, but it has an outer-space theme which highlights things like rocket ships, planets and astronauts!
In stark contrast to this ‘heavenly theme’ is another sign. This one is posted across the street at our local library and it is promoting an Astrology Class for kids. To be fair, they have been exploring outer space through their summer reading program, but here’s the description of the class: “Make the stars your allies. Learn the basics of the ancient science of astrology and discover your personal map through natal charts. Read and analyze your s…

Know Your Audience

There is a story of a mother who had anxiously anticipated the moment when she'd be faced with the inevitable question about the 'birds and the bees.' When that day came her young daughter seemed genuinely confused and perhaps a bit traumatized. So, what went wrong?

She was confident she had just the right plan in place. She rehearsed it over and over in her mind. But, the one thing she forgot to truly consider was...her audience.

That became all too clear, after she shared her carefully crafted explanation about the miracle of life. Hoping she'd successfully communicated, this eager mother asked her daughter - "What do you think about God's amazing plan that brought you into the world for mommy and daddy to love?" Her daughter looked up and simply replied, "Gracie said that she was delivered by a stork, and I just wondered what store delivered me."

In our eagerness to share truth, we too can forget to consider the question, "Who is my audienc…

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Every other summer, our Women’s Ministry sponsors a Secret Sister outreach. We swap names and a list of our favorites – and try to keep it anonymous until our Reveal Party in the early fall. We keep it simple. One gift per month valued at no more than $5, cards any time and prayer as much as possible! It’s so fun to see the gifts come and go each week and the excitement that builds as the summer months keep passing. Who is my secret sister? Hmmm…
A bit embarrassing to admit, but two years ago the lady I was giving gifts to confessed that early on in the summer she knew exactly who her Secret Sister was. I couldn’t believe it! I thought I’d been so careful not to leave a clue. So, I asked her, “What gave me away?” She grinned and said “The reused gift bag that still had a name label on it with one of your kid’s names.” Oh my! That’s a dead giveaway, huh? We had a good laugh together, and I encouraged her with how much I enjoyed praying for her over the past weeks.
Sometimes the things we…

Guilt-Free Prayer Life

Many years ago, I began a habit of praying for my Sunday School students while I was at the dentist. It was a positive way to spend 20 minutes of my day while confined to a small space. In fact, one of my more challenging high school teens was the subject of many prayers from my dentist's chair. He is nearly 40 years old now, and he still gets prayed for every time I go to the dentist – and this week was no exception. 
Unexpectedly, a consult with a specialist turned into an on-the-spot root canal! For over two hours, I tried to refocus away from what was happening to me and instead use my time wisely. I prayed for my family, my friends, the dentist, the church and even that special young man!
What’s amazing about prayer is that there is not one specific way that it has to be done.
Standing, Sitting, Laying Lifting Hands or Looking Up Pounding Chest or Head Between Knees All these ways, and more, are in the Bible.
All around our world, there are many different prayer practices that may…

Are You Seeking Hidden Treasures?

“I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.” Psalm 119:162 (NLT).
Did you and your friends ever hunt for buried treasure as kids? Swords, pirate gear – complete with eye patch – and a treasure map! Imaginations were larger than life and elaborate tales were role played in backyards, school yards and damp basements. The proverbial X was to mark THE spot, but thankfully most searches ended before any of the neighbor’s yards were dug up and left with gaping holes. What’s strange is that I have no recollection of ever discovering anything resembling a hidden treasure. Did you?
While I have no memory of how those explorations ended, I do now love to find hidden treasure in God’s Word. One such treasure was uncovered recently while I was doing a study of the Book of Nehemiah. As I began, I assumed that I would just be revisiting the rebuilding of the wall surrounding Jerusalem. However, I soon discovered many fun facts about that massive renovation project. It is a great …

Choosing Our Words Wisely

In our early months of ministry, my husband lovingly pointed out a couple of my ‘rough edges’ that would likely create an issue for us. What was strange about these requests is that he’d never had a problem with my behavior prior. I wasn’t offended by the request, but I was a bit surprised when this hint of duty surfaced simply because I now carried the title, Pastor’s Wife. His gentle nudging and final request in one area of potential conflict went something like this –
He - “You really have to stop saying that.”
Me - “But that word just fits perfectly sometimes.”
He – I know, but it’s just not wise.”
And so, I submitted to his wisdom and years of experience dealing with church leadership.
What was the issue that made him so uncomfortable with his new bride? My ‘colored’ vocabulary. Gasp! Yep, me. The good girl that my parents raised had retained a pet word even after I rededicated my life to the Lord. I was not blind to the fact that this particular word was definitely not something that…