Thursday, January 28, 2010

Marriage and Ministry

Bobby and I will celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary in July. We have been pastoring for 30 years! WOW! How time flies when you are having fun!!! Seriously, time has passed so quickly. Our children are grown, married and now we are grandparents. We have pastored our current church for 11 years. We are definitely in a new season of life.

Marriage in the ministry is a tough assignment and if someone tells you otherwise I am not certain they are being completely honest about the journey or else they are still on their honeymoon!

Bobby and I were married very young. We were high school sweethearts and married a month after I graduated from high school. The following month we left to attend Bible College in another state. Those were extremely challenging years. Not only were we young and immature, but we were trying to adjust to ministry, marriage, college and living in another state away from all our family!

Just because two Christians decide to marry doesn't mean you will be exempt from challenges, stress and heartache. Life happens and Christians are faced with trials just like anyone else. The one significant difference in our lives which is definitely our anchor - we have Jesus.

If I have to identify a "surprise" about our marriage it would have to be the fact that I had absolutely no idea ministry would be so difficult. I wasn't raised in a Christian home. Many times the stress of ministry overwhelmed both of us and it created so much stress in the early years of our marriage. As a young pastor's wife my life was full of insecurites and intimidation which hindered my walk with Christ and my role as a pastor's wife. But as the years passed we have learned to be a support for one another and that is extremely important. Ladies, our husbands, as pastors, deal with many challenging issues and they need someone who will listen to them standy by them and support them. If we are not that person they may find someone else who will. There are women out there who are attracted to our husbands and we need to protect what God has given us.

I am very involved in our ministry and Bobby and I confide in one another. Friday nights are our "date night" and we try very hard to keep that as a sacred time together. Life gets very hectic and you need time to simply enjoy each other's company and reconnect after a busy week of events.

There are many challenges that come along with ministry but through the years those challenges have made our marriage stronger. We have learned to trust God in all circumstances. Praying together and allowing God to guide our next step has certainly been the answer to many situations we have faced.

The one thing I realize after all these years is that I love my husband more today than the day I married him. As we grow older, the wrinkles increase and the hair changes color but my love for Bobby grows even stronger. He is my best friend, an awesome father to our children, an incredible grandfather and the love of my life. I thank God everyday for giving him to me and calling both of us into the ministry! I can't imagine my life any other way.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Effective Christian Leadership Is Not An Event

For anyone who serves in a leadership position, you have an awesome responsibility to consistently develop and mature spiritually. Effective leadership in churches is a product of spiritually mature Christian leaders. This is a process which demands hard work, commitment and time. There is never a quick fix to spiritual growth.

Leadership is a broad term. Women are leaders and many often fail to recognize that concept. Just think about all the multi-tasking which is required of you daily. You take care of your children, grandchildren, hubby, home, finances, etc. Many women are SAHM but many also work outside the home. And still many women are care-givers for their parents. Do you teach Sunday School, Missionettes or Children's Church? If so, you are serving in a leadership role and impact lives weekly. Multiple responsibilities and numerous leadership opportunities are at your finger tips.

How do you remain sane and effective in your role? How do you determine that you will not become stagnant in your Christian walk? How do you determine that you will continue to cultivate and grow to attain spiritual maturity? What steps do you take to make certain you do not burn out, stress out or lose out spiritually in the ministry?

Setting aside quality time each day for you and God is a requirement. You will not be a success in your role as a leader if the relationship between you and God is not cultivated and nurtured daily. Paul compares spiritual maturity to a plant in Colossians 2. We don't just place a seed in dirt, add water and expect a plant the next day. In order for that plant to develop into its purpose, cultivation of the soil, sunshine and rain are requirements. Without these elements it will simply remain a seed and rot in the ground. Without spiritual maturity you will wither and die. Spiritual growth is a requirement in order for you to develop and bloom as God has planned for your life.

Sounds simple doesn't it? We know better! Satan will discourage you in your journey as you commit time to read your Bible and pray but God is your source, strength and the answer to all of life's challenges. If you are determined to be effective as a leader and a Christian, God will provide the tools for your success. Spiritual growth is not an event - it is a lifelong process.

Blessings friends!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Good Morning Girlfriends! I pray that your Sunday will be off the charts! God has been speaking to me this morning and I feel that there are some of you who are really struggling with finances today. I want to encourage you this morning. I know that financial issues can overburden us and at times consume us but remember that God is still in control and He will provide even when there just doesn't seem to be an answer. Remain faithful and steadfast. No matter what it is you may be facing today, health issues, job issues, depression, finances, family matters, God is still in control. I pray a very special blessing over you, your family and ministry today. May you feel God's power and presence in a very special way. He does love you and cares very much about you. Trust Him and allow Him to do an incredible work in your life.

Love you and appreciate you. YOU are a blessing to me!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Discouragement - A Tool of the Enemy

The devil, according to legend, once advertised his tools for sale at public auction. When the prospective buyers assembled, there was one oddly shaped tool, which was labeled "Not for sale." Asked to explain why this was, the devil answered, "I can spare my other tools, but I cannot spare this one. It is the most useful implement that I have. It is called Discouragement, and with it I can work my way into hearts otherwise inaccessible. When I get this tool into a man's heart, the way is open to plant anything there I may desire."

If there is one thing all of us experience it is discouragement. While the devil is busy doing his thing in order to discourage Christians, God is also at work encouraging us to be all we can be for His Kingdom. When the devil beats us down, God lifts us up. While the devil is convincing us to throw in the towel and give it up, God is cheering us on to finish the race!

Life can be discouraging at times. Waiting on God to open the right door or patiently waiting for the right ministry opportunity to come our way is not always an easy task. Most of us are very impatient folks and we want results yesterday. Life isn't that way and God often uses this time to prepare, shape and mold us into the persons we need to be to complete the work He has called us to do. I am thankful today that God controls my future.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Good Morning Girlfriends! God has blessed us with a new year filled to overflowing with new opportunities. I pray that you, your family and your ministry will be blessed beyond measure. I pray that you will be refreshed and renewed today as you seek God for those new possibilities this year. I pray that God will bless you as you minister to others and speak into their lives. Don't forget that we serve a great big God and nothing is impossible with Him! Don't allow the devil to discourage you. God is bigger than anything he can throw in our path.

Thank you for being a part of Mentoring Pastor's Wives and for encouraging me throughout 2009. You are a blessing in my life. We truly need one another and I sincerely appreciate you and what you do for the Kingdom of God.

I pray abundant blessings upon you today. I love and appreciate you. You are very special and God loves you and has an awesome plan for your life.