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Sinner saved by grace. Wife to a cute preacher. Momma to 2 precious baby boys. Blessed beyond measure. And I deserve none of it.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lies Ministry Wives Believe

 This is a very well written post from another pastor's wife, Christine. She has been such an encouragement in my life and I have never even met her. She offers great perspective, insight, challenges and encouragement to those of of us who have husbands in the ministry.

"As a pastor's wife, I find myself fighting the same old internal battles that have plagued me from year one, only now I recognize them more quickly and have tools to combat them. Do you think or believe these lies, too?

1. My identity is that of a ministry wife.
It doesn't take much. Your husband is called to a church or you announce to your friends and family that you're headed to the mission field and suddenly you are labeled and introduced everywhere you go as The Pastor's Wife or The Missionary. The labels so quickly enter the heart, causing a subtle shift from identifying as a child of God, a Christian, to identifying as a role, a status, a label, a category. As our identity wraps around our Ministry Wife label, we start questioning what a ministry wife does. What are the Ministry Wife's activities? How do we measure our performance as The Missionary Wife?
This subtle shift tweaks our motivation and reason for ministry. It leads us away from the heart of God and our primary identity to pride and performance.

2. I am not called to ministry.
This isn't just a lie we believe, it is also a go-to excuse for the timid and the resentful. I know because I've used it myself in times when I've just wanted to escape and run free. But the truth is that God has given me this man. And He has called this man to do this work. I wasn't good at Geometry proofs, but it seems to me that if a=b and b=c then a=c then if I'm called to this man and he's called to this work,  I'm called as well. My role in our ministry looks totally different, but I'm called to it just the same. I honor God when I honor the man He gave me.

3. As a ministry wife, I'm playing a specific, scripted role.
It's suffocating to think that I'm supposed to be doing this ministry wife thing a certain way, but I spent too many years self-suffocating because I was trying to be like the pastor's wife at the church down the street or the ministry wife down the pew. I've tried on all their personalities, activities, and gifts, but, in the end, I've discovered it's freeing and way more fruitful to be who God made me to be rather than a stiff imitation.

4. My husband is important to the work of the church, but I am not.
My husband is up front and out front. I'm just kind of sitting there. At least that's what it feels like sometimes, which, when I believe this lie, I fail to recognize the opportunities I have. For some crazy reason, just because I'm a a ministry wife, I can influence people. I can speak grace into the burdened legalist. I can turn conversations in a spiritual direction and offer biblical wisdom and it's not that awkward because people expect it. I know when people are hurting so I have opportunities to offer comfort, help, and Christ's healing. How is that not important to the work of the church?

5. My job as a ministry wife is to serve people.
Ok, yes, I serve people. But people are not whom I am ultimately serving. Like #1 listed above, there is such a subtle difference between the two that I find this lie the easiest to believe. After all, ministry is about people, being with people, and meeting the needs of people. But if people are my primary motivation, if I look to them for cues of what I should be doing, how I should be doing it, or how well I am doing it, ministry easily becomes a chore and a losing game. Ministry is about serving God, looking to Him for direction, for power to fulfill what He asks, and doing all of it to please Him. Serving people is a natural by-product of serving God.

6. I have to be available to everyone at all times.
How's this for a big fat lie: I have to be at everything, do everything, say yes to every request, and know everyone equally. We know this is a lie because if any woman tried to do all these things, she would be a boundary-less blob of crazy. She would have no good friends, no time to rest, and would be saying no to her family at every turn so she could say yes to everyone else. In fact, if she has pinpointed the deceit of #5 and seeks God's leadership in her time and decisions, she will have priority time for the Lord, her husband and family, and for rest. She will, in fact, be sane.

7. I can't ask for help or reveal my weaknesses and struggles.
Ah yes, this one. This is a modern day version of the "the pastor's wife can't have friends in the church" lie, birthed out of the Pinterest and Facebook era of cultivating a good exterior and being reluctant to admit to weakness. This isn't always the ministry wife's fault but instead a cyclical pattern between the church and its leaders. A ministry wife, for example, may share something with a trusted friend and either that friend has no idea of how to respond or they blab it to others, causing the ministry wife to retreat back into herself. It's a lie either way, this idea that a ministry wife doesn't have struggles or that she shouldn't be able to safely reveal them to others so as to receive the ministry of the church.

Ministry wives, the truth is that:

Your identity is as a daughter of God. You are approved and beloved by Him.
You are called to a man who is called into the ministry, therefore you are called into ministry.
God only expects you to be you and to use the specific gifts He's given you.
You are influential and important in the work God is doing through His church.
You are serving God, not people, although you will serve people as an outflow of serving God.
It's proper and right to set limits because you are limited person.
You need the church because you need sanctification and community.

Which of these lies do you most often believe? What lies would you add to the list?"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Bible

I'm not referring to the book, but the new TV series. I was very skeptical due to the poor quality of other bible-ish things created for the TV viewer. I've had several people ask my thoughts on it. So I will give my thoughts but please keep in mind. 1.I am no theologian. 2. My opinion doesn't really matter.

If we're all clear... then here are my thoughts:
I think the series is well done. The creativity and design aspect is phenomenal. However, I am not fond of the inaccuracies. If one of the most successful producers is going to produce a hit why not make it accurate if we are basing it on a true story? Simple things such as the people having scottish accents...?...  which I found very interesting. Scripture also specifically says Moses held his hands up for the red sea to part... in the series he stabbed his stick in the water. Also, the Israelites  passed through the red sea on dry land not by getting pelted with water. Minor, but inaccurate. Samson was not an African American and Delilah was not the one to offer him a drink. Based on the series you would have thought he had a single mother. Scripture is very clear he had a father and a brother, yet they are no where to be found. It was his father and brother who went to him after he died not his mother. These are very minor things, but still why not get them right? D compared it to a bad commentary. Good, but not great on accuracy.

I know it seems I'm being harsh but overall I really have enjoyed the series. I love that it challenges me to go into scripture and find out for myself if its accurate or not. I literally watch it with my bible in hand and verify. I love that it has challenged my knowledge and lack there of. It has made me want to study scripture more so I can clearly point out inaccuracies or false teaching when I see it or hear it. Though this series is not perfect, it is getting great ratings and people who would normally not read their bibles or attend church are watching and anticipating the next episode. This series is showing everyone the bible is not dull or boring but exciting and relevant.

So though its not perfect, it is doing great things and for that I am grateful. We have not even seen the last couple of episodes. They are still on the DVR so unless they are completely off base, my opinion stands though not completely accurate I am a fan of this series. And I am very thankful for it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Our Habits Talk

I came across this article the other day. Man was it ever eye opening. Sometimes we just need a good slap of reality. If you're in need of a good slap or at least some perspective check this article out by Jarrid Wilson. But I'm warning you... you may not like what you read or rather what it reveals. 

5 Things Your Habits Say About You By Jarrid Wilson March 21, 2013

Your daily patterns and routines shape you more than you might think.
Behavioral therapists and others who study human behavior will tell you there’s only one difference between those who succeed and those who don't. “It’s all about their habits,” they say.
Our habits are patterns of repeated behavior—whether yoga every morning before the sun rises, lying, going to sleep at ten every night or smoking a pack a day. Specialists say that it takes around thirty days to form a habit—whether it’s a fitness routine or a tendency to lie.
Habitual behavior can make or break someone in today’s fast-paced, WiFi-loving, Starbucks-drinking culture. Because although not all habits are bad, they can shape a lot of who you are.
Here are five things your habits may be saying about you.
What do you hold as important and unimportant in this life? Just take a look at your habits.

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.

A habit as simple as arriving late or constantly procrastinating can show what you rank at the bottom of your scale of priorities—and also what you rank at the top. What do you hold as important and unimportant in this life? Just take a look at your habits. They will speak for themselves—and most likely, they will speak to others as well.
If you have a habit of working hard, helping others or always being on time to work, it shows that you see a great deal of value in your future, your character and your work ethic. Likewise, if you are perpetually late, interrupt times with friends because you always answer your phone or commit initially only to back out late, it will be clear to the people around you what comes first in your life—and what doesn’t.

2. They reveal where you spend your time.

Habits don’t just happen overnight. If a habit takes 30 days to form, then those 30 days will tell you a lot about your commitments. Are you cutting down on your Starbucks habit so that you can read Scripture in the morning before work? Or are you routinely hitting snooze and falling off your exercise program 10 days in? We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and have to make choices about we’re using our time. We make trade-offs based on what we deem most important at the time—for better or for worse.

3. They reveal the state of your mental health.

Our habits are shaped by either a self-disciplined will, or a powerful felt need—and the latter can often pull us into habitual sin.
Some habits are internal, more than external. They live in our thought processes, our attitudes and our outlook. And if these mental habits go unchecked, it can cause us to live in a state of mental compression because our habits are living our lives for us. But the truth is, mental health is the beginning of all habitual health problems. If a habit, such as envy, lust, comparison, discontent, takes root in your mind, that mental habit is eventually going to be given the reins to the rest of your health if not taken care of.

4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.

Your habits play a massive role in your sinful nature. Our habits are shaped by either a self-disciplined will, or a powerful felt need—and the latter can often pull us into habitual sin. If you really think about it, most sin is derived from a habit that has been formed over an extensive period of time, and then exposes itself when that habit yearns to be activated. On the other hand, forming habits of prayer and worship can also create virtuous habits that can counteract the destructive pull toward sin.

5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

We’re a society of busy people—and there’s a multitude of fast food, drive-thru options just for our convenience.
Look at your food and exercise habits: do you make late-night taco runs, put off your gym membership renewal, lounge around playing video games all weekend? Or do you make it a point to work out three times a week, floss your teeth daily, fill your cart with produce? Your habits will tell you a thing or two about your physical health.
It’s easy to go about our days as usual—with our habits and routines fixed in place without a thought. But if we do evaluate our default patterns, we might learn what we’re doing well and where we have room for improvement. And in 30 days, we might even be able to turn ourselves around.

What are your habits saying?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sister!

Today my favorite sister turns 24. It seems like yesterday that I was bossing her around and making her eat sand. Yea, I was a really mean older sister. Once she became cool not only did our relationship with one another change drastically, but our roles reversed as well. She thankfully hasn't made me eat sand.

Sister, I am so thankful God made us sisters. There is no other female on earth I adore more than you. Your dumb jokes make me laugh. Your directness challenges me. I love you more than words could possibly express.

Hope you have a fantastic 24th birthday! 

And thank you so much for giving my another adorable niece to love!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Francis Chan Friday Challenge

"If a guy were dating my daughter but didn’t want to spend the gas money to come pick her up or refused to buy her dinner because it cost too much, I would question whether he were really in love with her. In the same way, I question whether many American churchgoers are really in love with God because they are so hesitant to do anything for Him."    -Francis Chan

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11

Today Andrew would be 17. He was one of our students who was tragically killed almost 2 years ago. I knew what this day was but have been constantly reminded as many of our students have made known via social media what today represents and how much Andrew is missed.

Since Andrew's death, we have moved forward, but haven't forgotten that cute, curly headed kid. My prayer through this devastating event has been that our students, church fellowship, his family, etc... would realize we are not guaranteed our next breath. We anticipated a fun day at the lake as a youth ministry that Saturday, not grieving with his family and friends. Please pray with me as Andrew is remembered today: 

1. our students would use this as a reminder that we aren't promised tomorrow.
2. our students will clearly see the importance of knowing Christ personally
3. our students will will see the importance of telling others about Christ
4. his family and friends will turn to Christ knowing He is our only hope here and for the hereafter

Thursday, March 7, 2013


One of my favorite ways to pray or worship in general is to think about God's character... His attributes. He is...

Holy, Merciful, Gracious, Faithful, Patient, Forgiving, Loving, Deliverer, Father, Friend, Counselor, Healer, Provider, Peace, Comforter, Power, Hope, Refuge, Strength... we could go on and on and still not be able to fully explain him.

Last night we had a couple of students who had an encounter with the Lord in ways they probably hadn't expected.

When I arrived at church last night I began a conversation with a frazzled youth leader. His daughter is in our youth. He had just gotten off the phone with his wife who was on the way to the hospital with his daughter. She had an allergic reaction to some medicine she was given earlier in the day by a doctor. We're talking, tingling, numbness, and trouble breathing. Several of us gathered together right there in the hall and were able to cry out on Becca's behalf. God is our Great Physician. We don't have to worry or panic. He is in control. He is our Healer and Peace.

Not even an hour later, D pulls me aside right before we start our service and shows me a picture. Another student was in a really bad car accident on the way to church. I gasped when I saw the picture because people don't normally walk away from accidents when the car they had been in looks like his. He crawled out of his crumpled, upside down car in a ditch without broken bones or any other serious injuries. The car that took up the country road that he had to swerve to miss didn't even stop. God is indeed our Protector.

As I sat in our service, I couldn't help but think about God's goodness to us. Becca was recovering well at the hospital and Micah was getting checked out by the EMT.  God is our Great Physician, our Protector, Healer and Peace.... and so much more! Thankfully we don't have to go through a priest, but we can boldly approach the throne and speak directly to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. What a privilege.