Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Ultimate Mentorship

I have learned a tough lesson in the last couple of months but can not express the gratefulness of my Savior and the gentleness He chooses to use to mentor me (and others who call Him Lord and Savior).
I have been like the children of Israel and Judah....His servant and yet so blind!  I'm the person who has read in Isaiah and thought to myself, "How could they be so close to God and see so little?" And our ever so patient mentor says:
"Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one committed to me, blind like the servant of The Lord? You have seen many things, but paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing." Isaiah 42: 19-20

Man....such a downer Mrs. Pastor!   PLEASE, stay with me.  I promise not to leave you on this note.  be patient and walk through this lesson my mentor was so gentle in walking with me.
I had what we call "partial blindess".  We see but we don't take the time to understand.  That word "understand"  is huge.  If anyone is in Proverbs long enough you read it often.  Understanding takes time, energy, and outside our little brain.  It is possibly seeing things differently like you never have before or connecting pieces from other sources.  I am speaking from a teacher now.  I encounter little brains everyday that must challenge their minds to understand.  Sometimes understanding comes easy and often it's a challenge.  I often pray my students will hang with me and not give up but the reality is that some do give up.....and THIS IS WHERE MY LESSON COMES IN.

In my 22 years of ministry and 15 years in education I have taken ownership of my work and efforts. I have used passion, hard work, and committment to help define who I am.  I have taken the product and have made it a reflection of me.  If the product fails, I have failed.  If the soul turns away from Christ, I have failed.  If the student doesn't excel on every level, I have failed.  If the marriage doesn't work that we have helped, I have failed.  PATHETIC isn't it?  How could I be so blinded?  Why did I feel like I needed to take on such responsibility? I have only hurt myself and others along the way.  Some of this I know goes way back to childhood.  The hurt that I had to cover up as a child as a victim of a word I still cannot type out.  Then shortly after my world turns even more upside down, my parents divorce, and I move halfway across the country.  I was "determined" to be someone successful and yet I was still so lost.

BUT my mentor had plans for me.  He would be patient with me, teaching, guiding, and whispering to my heart even at the age of 44.  He continues to place people in my path and is hoping and cheering for me every step.  Today, I stand on this scripture (and hope you will do the same):
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice (the right things in the right way) to the nations (His people).  He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets (do it in his own way and take it on himself) .....

This is what God The Lord says- he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk in it; (He's reminding you who He is ) I, The Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand (meaning He doesn't expect you to take on the outcome...just be His servant) I will keep you (you are safe) and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles (you will show people Jesus) to open the eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness."  Isaiah 42: 1-7

I'm so regretful of situations I could have handled differently, but so thankful at the same time for the love, grace, and patient kindness of my mentor Jesus.  I will go into this new year with a lighter step and joy in my heart.  I will follow the example of my mentor in order to mentor others.  I will stay connected to His word and in prayer and intercession listen to His voice.  I will seek to understand, which will require things of me I'm not familiar with or comfortable.  I will go to another level spirituually in order to accomplish His purpose in my life.  I will seek compassion on a level I have never known before.

praying for you all to have a mentoring moment!
The Mrs. Pastor

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Have a Question.....

If I had to make a top 10 list of the biggest struggles in our world, #1 would obviously be sin but a close #2 would have to be personality conflict.
So I have a question....How is it that we were all created in God's image, can have faith to move mountains, have compassion for the lost and hurting, go to other countries on a missions trip and yet we butt heads with our neighbors, co-workers, family and extended family.  Don't get defensive, I'm talking to myself as well.

This is a topic I would like to do a deep study on and teach.  So for now, the scripture I go to is this:
Psalms 139:23-24
"Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

I am responsible for me.  Nobody else but me.  We all know this but it doesn't make it any easier. Lately I've been put in situations that have been difficult for this mrs. pastor.  It's so ironic that God had this path for a little girl that struggles with social skills.  I've used my silence most of my life to protect myself and yet it backfires and comes across in a negative, unapproachable way.  So, I pray to God to give me the strength to break this pattern that can be offensive to others.  Then there is my high expectations regarding work ethic.  I expect this from my own children and my students at school.  This comes from being raised in a single parent home and being on my own since 17.  I wasn't going to get anywhere sitting around and making excuses or blaming others.  If I wanted to be successful then it was up to hard work.  Then I became a Christian and learned that it was in His word to work as unto the Lord, to let your light shine so others could see your good works and glorify your father in heaven, to be trusted with little and God would give you much more.  But, this isn't always taken well either.  ugh!  conflict.

I know there was personality conflict in the bible.....paul and barnabas decided to part ways on their missionary journey.  Both godly men.  We know it happens and can happen peaceably but sometimes not and we have to be ok with that too.  I have to be ok with me, and be completely open to an honest evaluation from the Holy Spirit....not the critics because there will always be critics (even loved ones).  We need to be careful not to  become critics ourselves.  BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ME.  
Hebrews 12:14-15
vs. 14 "Make every effort to live in peace (only you know if you're putting effort) with all men (did you get the "all" part?) and to be holy (that means like jesus); without holiness no one will see The Lord  (no excuses, you either are or you aren't). "

Now wait for it.....

vs. 15 "See to it that no one misses the grace of God (hmmmm misses?) and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (hmmm defile?)"

So it isn't that easy.  It takes much effort and digesting of God's word.  It's the only way.

make every effort,
the mrs. pastor