Sunday, March 23, 2014

Meaning What?

Psalm 119:15
I will meditate on your precepts (words)
And contemplate (have understanding) Your ways.

In education we stress the importance of reading for meaning....because what's the point otherwise.  This is connected to our everyday and can be looked at in four phases; (based on a Literacy Initiative)
Phase one: Before you get ready, get ready...meaning having the right mindset before you begin.  Know where you are going and be prepared to be engaged in the process.
Phase Two: Read like you mean it.  Making a connection to the text, going deeper with study verses reading letters that make up words that make a sentence.  (whats the point of that?)
Phase Three: Just because you're done reading doesn't mean you're done reading.  This is where you reflect and make personal connection from the text to your every day experiences....asking "meaning what?"  This is where I like to write on the side bar of my Bible or other resources "He spoke to me".  This is me making a connection and it sticking with me.
Phase Four: Put reading to use.  This is just basic application yet can be the most challenging.  This might you trying to figure out how to do this and how this looks in your life....meaning taking some time to really apply it.
We've got down the listening, the going through the motions of what a student looks like, but we've not practiced enough the meaning behind it.  I'm certainly guilty of this as a student and a teacher.  As a student, I've been to timid to ask a question, or allowed my mind to wander somewhere else, to get up the moment the speaker is finished and walk out of the room never looking back or taking thought of what was just taught.  So, it's a no wonder it never stayed or took root inside of me.  As a teacher, I haven't allowed time for reflection and closure or even challenged my students (or congregation) to reflect and make this personal before you walk out.  If not, it's all but gone....minutes wasted that you'll never get back.  They were just moments without purpose.
Everything we do should have meaning.  Even if it's something that you can't find can find something!  I recently went to an education conference and even though one of the sessions I found difficult to connect with I purposed in my heart to learn something of application.  So I watched each speaker and how they delivered the content.  I caught myself evaluating them and their delivery (this is important to me as a speaker myself).  I made notes of what not to do and what is effective in keeping the audiences attention.  I found meaning!

I challenge you to make everything meaningful!

The Mrs. Pastor

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Save the Date



Pastor: We need to be praying about a Mother's Day speaker.
Me: mmmm  hmmmm

Pastor: How about you? 
Me: no (confession...I don't like this holiday because it feels so stiff and religious.  I know, you can't believe I just said that.  Just keeping it real.  Those conditions are the most difficult to preach in)


Pastor: I haven't got anyone for Mother's Day.  I really think you should take it.
Me: Nope...don't you do that know...already set it up in your mind.
Pastor: I'm just saying, I think you're the one.  


Pastor: I'm gonna do Mother's Day, but it's not going to be a "Mother's Day" message.
Me: Oh, well I have a message if it doesn't have to be a "Mother's Day" message.  If I can just preach, I will take it.
Pastor: (smiling) I'll put you on the calendar tomorrow. (wink-wink)

*Is this the fruit of me praying for him to have wisdom beyond his years?  

I promise to bring you God's word, prayed up, prepared and spirit led.

You promise to leave tradition at the door before you enter and just come hungry for God's word....then you can leave and celebrate Mother's Day.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Oh the Places You'll Go

Children's literature is to my teacher walk as the Bible is to my Christian walk.  (side note: I can't wait to share this with a class at ORU that my friend teaches...thanks Jill for the opportunity!)


There is so many lessons learned and life experiences I can relate back to literature.  One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is Oh the Places You'll Go.  This book represents my life story.  You could preach a great sermon with this book to a class of children and it would be just as powerful to adults. 


These feet (of mine) have gone many places but none so important and meaningful until I met Christ.  His word says in Ephesians 3:20 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us."


I could have never imagined where the Lord has taken me.  I'm just so thankful for the opportunities that He has given me to grow:

teaching and preaching the gospel, an eye opening trip to Calcutta, India, helping at a center for women who are overcoming addictions, moments of mentorship (both given and received), great challenges with even greater opportunities to learn and better represent Christ, visiting and being deeply moved at a DHS shelter for children birth through 18yrs., speaking on a professional level, sharing my story, being the keynote speaker at the high school graduation, being inspired and moved by the history at our nations capitol and taking in the beauty of God's creation from the mountains of Colorado to the beaches of Hawaii. 


The exciting thing is there is so much more in  my story (and yours).  Unlike my eldest daughter who wants god to show her the entire plan and outcome.  I know it's unimaginable, possibly scary, if revealed before we are ready.  His ways are higher than our ways.  That's why our daily time in His Word is so crucial to your future steps.

It's your preparation, training, and revelation all wrapped in one.

Again, Dr. Seuss says, 

"the more you read the more you'll know,                                            the more you read the more places you'll go."

I have gone to a place spiritually that I'm so thankful for and it motivated me to go deeper.                                              

Oh, the places you'll go . . . with Christ.

The Mrs. Pastor

Sunday, March 9, 2014

confessions of a "real" pastor's wife

I've had several people, over the last three years of Steve and I being the lead pastors, express how "real" we both are.  Someone recently expressed this same statement again.  She had to admit that I didn't fall into the same mold as what she was accustomed to as a "pastor's wife".  It wasn't a put down or even a put up, just something different.  So I've thought....what would my confessions be to explain who I am...
First, I think this journey we call "life" prepares us for each tomorrow.  Your experiences help develop and even define who you are.  For me, growing up unchurched and lost, I have a sensitive spirit to the world and it's ways.  This has played a pivotal part in my spiritual philosophy: BUILD a relationship, SHOW them Christ in your life, THEN find the opportunity to SHARE what Christ has done for you.
Next, is our approach on ministry.  The name of this blog says it all, "The Mrs. Pastor".  We view ministry as a team.  I'm not just his wife, or his sidekick, or the mother of his kids.  I'm his partner, with the same vision, leadership and calling.  We are called to shepherd the people.  We don't view ourselves at any level above anyone.  The foot of the cross is level for all.  We count it a huge responsibility to teach, train, equip, encourage, and even correct when needed, God's people.
Finally, we have the same daily routines and challenges as everyone else.  We walk the same streets and have to make choices daily.  We have challenges at our jobs (yes, steve too) and we still have to walk in wisdom or choose the flesh.  We have kids that we have to train, discipline, love and encourage.  Our kids know, that we have raised them in who we are in Christ and not because their dad is the "pastor".  When people call our girls "preacher kids", they quickly correct them.  "We are pastor's kids".  What's the difference?  A huge difference.  We don't just get up once or twice a week and preach.  We build a staff of people underneath us that have our vision and are willing to see that come forth.  We are responsible for teaching ministries, community ministries, and outreaches.  We are supporters and active in missions work, both local and around the world.  We pray with people, we counsel people, we deal with offenses and making things right.  We have to watch people leave and we get to watch people come.  We marry people, we bury people, we baptize people, we dedicate their babies.  We cry with people when they are hurting and we celebrate with people when they are rejoicing.  We see the most hopeless situation turn around and we see our Lord receive all the glory.

Why am I so "real"?  We see the good and bad in ministry and we continue to walk in God's love.  We have to.  We were called to this.  We hear from God and operate our ministry by his leading....not the people.  Sometimes this goes over well and sometimes not,  but Steve and I that have to be accountable to God.  Just as everyone else.  This is a continual work in progress.  We want all to be happy but we have to hope that our people trust and respect us enough to support our leadership.  We live in a rural community of hard working citizens.  God knew what two people He needed for this time and at this place.  He knew what Steve and I would bring to the table and where we would take this church.

So, here's to all the "real" christians out their in the world...just making it a better place.  Showing people Jesus.  Telling your story.  Being outward focused rather than self-focused!

-the mrs. pastor

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

a heart to heart

When someone has a "heart to heart" talk, there is honesty given.  This is what happens with me everyday when I talk with God.  Sometimes it's easy to receive, sometimes not, sometimes you agree and sometimes you're not sure where He's taking you.  Sometimes you don't get it at all but you talk it out until there is understanding.  There is no shame in that.  He gets you, He created you. 

I love the words of Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest:
"Just because I have listened carefully and intently to one thing from God does not  mean that I will listen to everything He says.  I show God my lack of love and respect of Him by the insensitivity of my heart and mind toward what He says.  If I love my friend (being honest), I will instinctively understand what he wants.  And Jesus said, "You are My friends...(John 15:14).. But most of us show incredible disrespect to God because we don't even hear Him.  He might as well never have spoken to us."

A very honest statement!  I study the children of Israel I'm so baffled!  I try so intently to learn from their mistakes....It says in Psalms 78 that He was giving them opportunity after opportunity to listen and obey His ways.  It says they flattered Him with their mouth (think about that one a minute...) but it says their heart was not steadfast with Him....yet He, being full of compassion forgave them.  But it also says....He gave them over to their own desires.  He could not compete with their carved images (think about that one too....I'm honestly going to preach on that soon). 

So here's my heart to heart....bottom line, "they did not remember His power" (vs 42)  You must keep every element of prayer (your talk with Him) strong in your daily life or you too will forget.  You won't hear the voice of the Good Shepherd or if you do, you won't try to understand and obey.  It sounds very elementary yet the most fundamental. 
1. Praise, you've got to be a thankful people. 
2. Repent, You've got to be willing to see sin and be convicted
3. Request, You've got to be specific with your needs and it needs to be lined up with the word
4. Interceed, You've got to be a people who see's the bigger picture.  The needs around you.
5. Meditate, You've got to stop talking in order to hear His voice. 
6. Worship, You've got to exalt Him for His benefit, but also for you. This will help you never forget!

Israel missed God's best for them.  Let Him not say of our generation "So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsel" (81:12)   Instead, we will be a generation that is Blessed! Psalm 89:15-16
"Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!  They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.  In Your name they rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness they are exalted."

May He show me confirmation this week that I'm hearing His voice! 

-The Mrs. Pastor