Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Wisdom of Saul

Not only did God choose the best when He chose Saul as king, he also gave him wisdom.

As I stated before, Saul did not pay attention to the negative talk of those who did not want to follow his leadership. He went about his business. While going on about his own business he heard about an enemy threatening his people.

The Message tells us in I Samuel 11:6 that, "The Spirit of God came on Saul when he heard the report and he flew into a rage." He was angry that someone was trying to scare his people and destroy them. He had the confidence of God. He butchered the oxen and sent messengers throughout Israel warning the people that if they did not join with him their oxen would end up like his.

The Bible says the "terror of God" seized the people and they joined him. Saul took command and sent word that, "Help is on the way." God was with Saul and his men and they were victorious. After seeing the victory God had given them through Saul's leadership the people told Samuel to hand the men, who were against Saul, over them and they would kill them. Saul did not want this to happen. He wanted to celebrate the day and consecrate the kingship.

When God calls us He will give us the power, the courage, and the confidence to go into battle and conquer whatever is attacking us. As women in ministry we need to keep this in the forefront of our mind and spirit. The devil, our enemy, will try his best to keep us from what God has called us to; whether using circumstances in our family's life, our own life, or the life of our church.

I believe we need to stand as confident as Saul and get angry at the devil. Let him know who is in control here - definitely not him. As we take a stand the people around us will be strengthened and encouraged by our example. They will be proud to stand at our side and help us fight the battle. We can then celebrate the victory God has given. Victory may not happen over night, but hang in there, God will come through.

If you feel as if you are ready to "throw in the towel," don't do it! God is right there to be your support and strength.

If you are ready to give up on your marriage, don't do it! God will get you through. Ask Him to give you a new love for your spouse and refresh your marriage.

If you want to end ministry because it is too hurtful, don't do it! God will carry you. If your children are causing you discouragement, don't give up! God will give your family stability and get your children through the difficult circumstances.

Remember, you are special. God has called you and He will not let you down. He will not give up on you - so do not give up on Him.

Monday, May 12, 2008

God Chooses the Best!

I have recently been studying I Samuel. The story of God choosing Saul as king caught my attention. We often hear sermons on David, his great leadership and being a "man after God's own heart," and are reminded of the bad leadership of Saul.

As I was reading I Samuel 9 - 15 Saul stood out to me and I felt the lessons I am learning would be an encouragement to those just starting in ministry as well as those who have been at ministry a while.

The passages I will be quoting are from The Message Bible.

In chapters 9 and 10 Samuel obeys God and anoints Saul as king. In chapter 10:24 Samuel addresses the people and says, "Take a good look at whom God has chosen: the best! No one like him in the whole country!" At this time there were people who accepted Saul as king and followed him, but there were those who just could not grasp the idea that the Saul they knew was to lead them. They went off complaining, saying "don't make me laugh," refusing to congratulate him.

Many times when God calls us there will be those who just can't believe it! They know us too well and just can't comprehend that God would want to use us. They go off talking behind our backs with the idea they are not going to listen to anything we have to say. Remember though, God chooses the best. People around us do not see the potential God sees in us. All we need to do is remember it is God who does the calling, not our friends and family.

Look at what Saul did: "He paid them no mind." (10:27) When you know in your heart God has called you, that is all that matters. He is the one who has anointed you, not the complainers, and those who want to try to tear the calling from you.

There may be those who do not understand why the pastor's wife feels she is called to minister alongside her husband, in the forefront, and not in the background. There will be those who think the pastor's wife should have a particular ministry, just not the one you know God has called you to. Especially in a traditional church setting there will be those who just don't understand.

I want to admonish you to keep your head up and pay them no mind. God has called you! GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE! So, hang in there woman of God. You are special and designed for great things.

There is more I am learning from Saul, so stay tuned. I hope you will be encouraged also. By the way check out my website: and sign up for the monthly e-newseletter. You can view back issues by clicking on e-newsletters on the left of the screen.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day is special to all. During this time we think about our mom and what she has meant to us through the years. I know I am thankful that mom (as well as my dad) encouraged me to pursue the ministry God put in my heart.

There will always be "ups and downs" in ministry life, that is normal. There will always be disappointment and hurt, that's a given. There will be the stress of trying to do what God desires of you as well as trying to meet the needs of the people within your care.

The one constant that is to be our stablizing force and strength is God. His grace and mercy will always be right at our fingertips, whether we feel them or not.

When you are called into ministry and God has placed that desire to serve in your heart, you will not be happy doing anything else. I have tried to do other things when it seemed ministry was too tough, and there was an empty hole inside.

I thank God for a mom that sensed in her heart God's calling upon my life and encouraged me. She still encourages me when I get discouraged and upset.

My prayer is that I will be that kind of a mom to my children. I trust we will all keep in the forefront of our mind that our children are not to be sacrificed for the "call." They are more important than anyone in our congregation. If we don't take care of our own children then we have our priorities all wrong.

A wise woman in ministry one time said that she and her pastor husband thought it was important for them to attend their children's events, even if it conflicted with a Wednesday night or another night of the week. That was so freeing! I remember going to my son's baseball games and cross country events and not feeling guilty. As youth pastor I even became creative and planned for our youth to attend some of the sports events with me. We would have a study, relating to the sport we were going to attend, and then take vans to the event. It went over very well and the teens grasped the teaching so much better because the scripture was related to a sport.

Ask God to help you be creative in ways to encourage your children and guide them, in being sensitive to what God's plan is for their life. That should be our main goal in life, next to pleasing our husband of course.

If any of you wonderful moms read this before Mother's Day have a wonderful day and be blessed by the Lord and your family!