Tuesday, September 30, 2008

God is So Good

I want to thank God for His goodness! The month of September has been an awesome month. God has blessed the ministry of Mentoring Women in Ministry. We have expanded to Facebook by forming a group and a blog that feeds to this blog. There are over 100 women who have joined the group and they are posting to the discussions and sending prayer requests for women to pray over. Women are responding and are being a tremendous blessing to each other.

I want to say thank you to all of you who have been a part of what is happening and look forward to hearing from many more of you. If you have not signed up for the e-newsletter sign up on the tab to the right. It will be coming out Oct. 1 at midnight.

When you have a vision God has placed within your heart do not give up on it because He will make it happen IN HIS TIME. It may be all at once or it may be a little at a time. The key is to just keep at it.

I want to end this post with a passage from The Message in 1 Tim. 5:18-19, where Paul is admonishing Timothy. "Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage - to do good, to be rich in helping other, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life."

So I want to admonish each of you...go after God, capture His heart, passionately pursue Him. If you need to be rekindled in your spirit or renew your passion read the book by Mark Batterson, "Wild Goose Chase." It will help you capture a vision and start dreaming again.

As you seek God He will give you an abundance of blessings; so, be generous to others in what you give of yourself, don't hold back, women need to hear your story, and see God move.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I am still here!

Just wanted to let everyone know I am still around, but working on e-newsletter scheduled to come out Oct. 1. If you have not signed up to receive it click on link at right to sign up for this next issue. There is an interview with a different woman in ministry each month and in November we will be interviewing 3 pastors and their thoughts on the woman in ministry. So sign up and come back I will be blogging again tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sometimes We Just Need an Attitude Adjustment

I have been studying Paul over the summer by reading the Book of Acts and all of Pauls' letters. The other day I was reading in 2 Tim.4:11, "...Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry." (NIV) Now, I seem to remember in Acts 15:37-38 that Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them on one of their journey's, but Paul "wasn't about to take along a quiter," Acts 15:38 Msg.

At some point in Paul's ministry he had an attitude adjustment toward Mark. The Message says that Paul was going to use Mark as his right hand man. Now, that is a complete turn around from what we saw earlier.

There will be times through out our ministries when people will come into our lives to help us, but we are not very impressed with them. They may not be as diligent in doing things as we are. They may not seem as committed. You may even wonder if they are cut out for ministry. Don't give up on them. Don't give up on your attitude toward them either.

God just may have some awesome duties for them to do...they just aren't ready at the moment. If they leave you for a while and come back, be willing to look into their heart and see if they have allowed God to change them, as Mark did. The one, or one's, you thought were not cut out for ministry, may very well be the very best ministry companions you ever dreamed of having.

Just thought I would throw that out there today. Who is working with you? What is your attitude toward them? Is there someone that has come back into your life that you are unsure of? Look closely and see if God has them in your life for a particular reason.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Marriage, Ministry, and Mentoring (Part 2)

As we discussed in the previous post, we will be a mighty force God can use, when we work together as a team. Part of that team is our children.

When we think of mentoring we may only think of mentoring others in ministry, but that should not be the first on our priority list. The first priority of mentoring should be our children. There are children who grew up in pastor's homes that are no longer attending church. There are those who want to have nothing to do with ministry because of the way ministry happened in their home.

It is very easy to get caught up in doing ministry, that we tend forget to be the mom or dad God has called us to be. A top priority should be taking time to enjoy each other and have fun. Don't bring along the cell phone, the calendar, the watch, or the internet. Just be a mom. Just be a dad. Let the kids enjoy you with your undivided attention.

If we go through our lives totally devoted to church ministry and neglect our kids; how can that glorify God?

Why not have the philosophy of bringing your kids along? Allow them to see you do ministry well, so they will have a healthy attitude toward ministry. We should be leaving a legacy our children can be proud of. Give them the opportunity to look back and say, "My mom and dad were great pastor's, but they were even greater parents."

That is hard to do in a church society that has preconceptions of what a pastor is suppose to do for their church. As pastor's it is our responsibility to train our congregations in the expectations they should have of their pastor. I know that is hard in a church that has been around a while, but it is so important. You will have your children with you for the rest of your life; don't neglect them, or you may lose them.

Allow them to follow you. Learn from you. Be a mentor to them. How do you go about mentoring those you are training on your staff or in your congregation? You spend time with them, sharing with them, and allowing them to almost shadow you, in order to glean wisdom from you. That should be how our kids react to us. As they become teenagers they are going to want to spend time with their friends. If we, as parents, have been great models for them to follow, they will also value spending time with their mom or dad.

How do you do life in front of them? Will your kids see ministry as a great thing; or will they want to stay as far away from ministry as they can, because of what they have seen in their own home? Our children are so important and we only have them for a short time.

These are just a very few thoughts on leaving a legacy and bringing our children with us in ministry. My goal has been to get each of us to think about how we are doing life as ministers and as parents. For those of you who are single and read this; I pray it will help you think about how you will do ministry, as a couple and parent. Be prepared to discuss it with whomever the Lord gives you as your life partner in marriage and ministry.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Marriage, Ministry, and Mentoring

This subject has been very much on my heart. Many times it is difficult for the ministry couple to get a good grasp on these three words...marriage, ministry, and mentoring. We can get them all out of order and it is hard to get them back the way God intended them in the first place.

There are going to be those women...and men, who were called to ministry before they were married. Then, there are those who were were called after they were married. It doesn't matter when you were called, you still have to keep the priorities of doing life straight and in the correct order...

1 - Marriage, before that is your own relationship with God of course.
2 - Ministry
3 - Mentoring

In this post I would like to look at point one and two. Let's take a look at the women and men who were called before they were married. Now, if you have been in ministry a while you have become accustomed to ministering as a single. You have done things on your own and not had to think about a second person. Now things are different. There are two of you and you BOTH have to think of the other person.

If you were called after marriage there are different issues to consider. For one, you both need to be listening for God's voice. This way when one is called the other is spiritually ready to join in the call.

In each of these situations BOTH people need to understand the other person's calling. Talk things over and ask the Holy Spirit to help you work the issues out, so that the decision brings glory to God. There are too many women who start sensing the call of God on their lives and put that before their marriage and children. God cannot be glorified in a messed up marriage.

When God calls the woman to ministry He will help her balance her husband, her children and her ministry. At the same time, the husband needs to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and release the woman to ministry. This will make all the difference in the world on how their relationship continues.

If your spouse is not behind your ministry it will never be what God intended it to be. When both spouses have an understanding and respect for the other one's calling, God's blessing and anointing will be unstoppable.

If we look in Acts 18, Romans 16, I Corinthians 16 and 2 Timothy 4 we read of Priscilla and Aquilla, team or co-pastors. They worked together on leading the church in their home. Most scholars will say that Priscilla was probably the prominment pastor. Now, that husband had to have really had a lot of confidence in his wife; as well as confidence in who he was in Christ, in order for him to not feel threatened by her gifts.

It is so important for each person to understand each other's calling and gifts. Be confident in who you are in Christ, knowing that He has given you both gifts to be used, to complete and strengthen the other person's calling. If we can get a grasp on this thought there would not be so much hurt and disappointment.

Some women are called to support and encourage their spouse, while others are called to support and encourage; in addition to, co-laboring as pastor's. Discuss these issues before you are married. Do you both agree on your role as wife, mother, and minister? Talk it out so you will know if there are differences, and come to an agreement before marriage. This will eliminate heated discussions and disagreements after marriage.

God can do awesome works when you are both in agreement on your giftings and callings. One thing that will hinder God's plans is the disagreement of how you both "fit" into ministry.

When God calls you both to ministry and you both work together understanding each other's role and gift you will be a mighty force for the Kingdom.

Next post will be on the subject of mentoring. Find out just who you will be mentoring by checking in tomorrow.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Didn't God Say It Was OK to Rest?

I will have to admit, I have had a very busy day and have not had a chance hardly to breath. Actually, this day was not what I had planned...so my blog entry suffered.

I did want to write something, so you all will know I am still "out there."

This weekend is a very busy weekend...so I may not be on...I will be back on Monday, so check back in.

Sorry...no spiritual insight today...just that it is ok to rest. I believe God did sanction it in the very beginning book of the Bible.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Day in the Spa of the Holy Spirit...

As I was getting ready this morning and contemplating what I wanted to encourage everyone with, I thought of resting in the Lord and Phil. 4:7 came to mind.

Women love to be pampered...at least I do, and I love to go for a massage or facial. I even like going to get my hair done just for the hair wash. Come on you all know what I'm sayin'.

Think about the reasons we like to have this done:

1. It's relaxing.
2. We forget our problems for a time.
3. It's rejuvenating.
4. It makes us feel important.

Take all four of those points and combine them with time spent with the Holy Spirit. Instead of "Calgon Take Me Away" say "Holy Spirit Take Me Away" and spend the same amount of time with the Holy Spirit, as you would in a spa, getting a massage or facial. When I get my hair done it takes two hours at least(when I have to cover my gray so no one knows I have any). So don't rush your time.

It is too sad when we think we are wasting time sitting that long in the presence of the Lord. The reality is, we should want the time with the Lord more, in order to keep our lives and spirits going in His direction. If we can pamper ourselves physically I believe we can pamper ourselves spiritually. We NEED BOTH.

So...try to come up with a time each month you can spend pampering your spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to relax you in His presence...forget the problems you are dealing with. I am thinking of one woman in ministry right now that is dealing with some tough circumstances in their church. Just let Jesus drench you with His Spirit of peace.

After you have allowed the Holy Spirit to relax you and take the thoughts of those problems away, let Him rejuvenate your spirit. Be inspired by His goodness and mercy in your life. Dwell on good things, as Phil. 4:8 tells us.

Once you have been rejuvenated you will feel like taking on the world. Why? Because the Holy Spirit spent time with you...just you...and He let you know He cares for you, and loves you, and is concerned about every aspect of your life.

Isn't it good that we are so important to God that He would want to spend time with us? That excites me just writing about it.

Now, go on your way today with this thought in mind..."What day and time can I plan my Day Spa with the Holy Spirit."

You are all awesome and deserve that very special time....ENJOY!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When God Closes a Door He Opens the World!

When we set out to make plans we have great intentions of doing God's will. God may like all your well planned arrangements, but He may have something better.

Let's take a look at Paul on one of his journeys. Now Paul had great intentions and he planned his routes the way he felt God was directing him. In Acts 16:6-8 he was headed to Asia, because he thought that was where he could spread the gospel more effectively. The Holy Spirit blocked Paul's way. So, Paul chose to go to Bithynia...the Holy Spirit didn't like that direction for Paul either.

What was Paul to do? He just turned around and traveled to Troas. He now didn't know where he was going. He was just following the leading of the Holy Spirit. It was in Troas that Paul had the dream of Macedonia. He now had clear direction and you know what? Because of this change of direction the gospel was now going to Europe. The world was opening up to the gospel.

If Paul had said he was doing what he wanted and continued on to Asia; not taking the blocks of the Holy Spirit as God led, he would have missed a tremendous God opportunity.

That so spoke to me when I read that passage. How many times do we read over scripture and at one point a nugget stands out? Kathy Troccoli calls them "kisses from the King." Well, that is a kiss from the King. Too many times we have the tendency to think blocks are from Satan, trying to keep us from God's will, when in reality they might just be blocks from the Holy Spirit wanting to open up bigger and broader doors, we never thought possible.

So as you plan your day today and your future look for the blocks and be attentive to the Holy Spirit. Are the blocks God blocks or Satan's attacks. Seek direction, because God may be wanting to direct you to bigger and better opportunities than you can even imagine in the plans you had.

Be ready to change your plans...change your direction...and see God's World open up!

Check out this awesome website for more great blogs.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Expect the Unexpected...

So many times we just get up in the morning and do our same routine. It is good to have systems and plans, but where does God fit into our routine?

Depending on what personality you are determines whether you like surprises or spur of the moment occurances. Sometimes God wants to do something in our life or through us, but He wants us to go at that moment. When that happens are we ready to go, or do we think, "I can't do this now I am in the middle of my routine."

If you read in Exodus 13 where the Israelites are following the cloud by day and the pilar of fire by night you notice the two just up and move when God is ready. I heard a sermon yesterday that illustrated this so well.

In essence, you have to stay close to the cloud or fire (God's presence) and be ready when He is ready. If you are not ready to move then you will be left behind. We have to learn to grow past our weaknesses of our personalities to allow the Holy Spirit to move us. If we do not we will miss out on some awesome spirit opportunities.

Do not be so organized we can't move when God wants. Make sure we are not too busy enjoying what we are doing, that we can not stop to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit telling us to slow down and encourage someone today.

So today I would like to challenge each of us to look for the "unexpected" in our lives...it could be the cloud of the Holy Spirit taking us to places we never thought we would go.

Expect the Unexpected. Write and tell me how God is working in your life. I look forward to hearing.

By the way I received the Assemblies of God B.O.W Award. Go to the following link to check it out.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

lipstick wearers unite!

I saw this on a blog I read and thought we would enjoy the pics.
Oh, the power of lipstick...and don't forget the liner!
You can check the blog out at The Lyla Blog

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where There's a Will...

This morning my daughter informed me 15 min. before she had to leave for school that her ride was not going to first block. Now she doesn't have her own car and her sister spent the night with a friend, husband worked all night at hospital due to woman delivering a stillborn baby at 28 weeks, and the nurse for my son was not on time.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do because I needed my car. I called my 87 year old father in law, got him out of bed and he came over and sat in the house with Daniel while I took Catherine to school. Thank goodness they only live 5 minutes away.

When I got back and sat down for some quiet time I thought about the morning. I could have told Catherine she would just have to wait until someone got to our house and then I would take her, but she needed to go to class. Although my mind was groggy I thought it through and made things happen the way they needed to happen.

So I thought, too often when obstacles come against us; when we are trying to fulfil something God has commissioned us to do, we just say, "I'll wait 'til someone else can do it with me." When we do that we often miss the opportunity to be blessed by God.

I was reminded to not make excuses and "make it happen." I will not miss the blessing God has for me and I will not give the devil the satisfaction of me giving up.

Thank you God for helping me be quiet enough to hear what You're teaching me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Are You Headed...Where Are You Going?

This question is so important. If not careful we can get bogged down with life. Ask yourself the question, "How am I doing life?"

How are we doing life? Do we have the tendency to just get up in the morning and "go with the flow?" That is ok to do some of the time...we all need a break from scheduled routines, but it is not ok to live every day that way. Why? Because God has so much more for us to do.

We should have dreams. We should have plans. Where are they? Have they been covered with everyday living, ie laundry, meetings at work, kids activities... We definitely have to keep up with all of those things in our lives, but what about the call, the tug at your heart that was put there by God.

He has definite plans for your spiritual life, for ministry, in addition to family and friends.

Are you fulfilling them?

Take time today to contemplate where you are in your calling. See if you put your calling on hold and ask God if it is time to take up the call and press on to fulfill it at this time in your life. If God has placed it there He will give you the stamina and courage to "go for it." It helps to write them down and make a plan. Stop putting it off, remember God is right there with you. You are not alone...

Doesn't Phil. 4:13 say, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength."

What has God called you to?

Have you been discouraged?

Then take that scripture to heart, look at the example set before you and go after it with all your heart with God at your side!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bring Your Pillow; Let's Go

Last night my youngest daughter; who usually sleeps on the floor at the foot of our bed when something is disturbing her, comes in, taps me on the shoulder, and asks me to sleep in her room. I told her to bring her stuff and sleep on the floor, but she didn't want to sleep on the floor. Now, she is 17 and rarely does this, but for some reason she couldn't sleep, so I took my pillow and headed to her room for the night. She went right to sleep.

I was barely awake, but thought about our relationship with God. There are times when we feel uneasy and unsettled and we, hopefully, ask God to help us through "the night." I am so thankful He doesn't roll over and say I am too tired to deal with you right now; but gladly comes to the place we need Him and is our support and comfort.

We can even take it to our relationship with others. I hope I never get too busy, when someone is crying out for encouragement and support, to stop what I am doing to really hear what they are crying out for and be there for them.

As I go throughout my day today that is going to be in the forefront of my mind. I want to "hear" when people are talking to me.

I thank God that He is always there to listen to me.

Blessings on your day!

Monday, September 8, 2008

God is Still God...Especially in the Midst of Disappointments!

I have been waiting for an answer from someone regarding a decision they were making. The decision was not what was expected, but God is still in control.

There are many times we anticipate and expect God to do things and come through in situations for us. When we do not get the answer we desire how do we react? We have two options...get upset and feel sorry for ourself, or see the answer as an opportunity to seek the face of God more for direction.

I like what The Message says in Proverbs 3:5-7,

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God."

I like to try to figure things out, so this verse is good for me. It reminds me to trust God. The pressure is not on me to know why things happen the way they do. The pressure is on me to seek God and trust Him from the very depths of my being. When I do that I will be much happier and more at peace with everything around me.

It is important to constantly keep our spirit and attitude in check. I find I do that quite often. For some reason I had been letting little things get to me, like people cutting me in lines whether in the car or in the store, tellers taking forever to cash checks, and other things like that. I find myself checking my attitude and telling myself to lighten up and not take things so seriously.

That is not me. As you can tell from my previous posts I love to enjoy life. It seems as if the devil trys his best to steal my joy. So today when I received the email regarding an answer to something I had been waiting for, I had a tendancy to have a bad attitude and had to check my spirit once again.

God has my best interests at heart. He has your best interests at heart. So, remember to trust Him from the bottom of your heart and see Him do great things. Do not look at your circumstances. Look to Him, He will keep you on track and take you where He wants you to go.

I know we have all heard this many times, but it is good to be reminded of it from time to time. So, run to God, trust Him and expect great things in your future!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Part 2 - I'll Take One in Every Color!

Have you ever gone to your closet and looked at what you have to wear and thought, “I think I’ll wear yellow today?” I have done this a few times. If you do this ask yourself why you want to wear the color you chose? Did you choose yellow because it is like the sunshine? If so then make a note to self to spread a little sunshine wherever you go during the day.

How about red? If this is a color you chose then your note to self could be reminding you to be bold about your faith throughout the day.

Now if you chose black, which is the formal business look, make sure your note to self is a reminder to not take yourself too serious on that day. It will free you to be open to God’s presence allowing the Holy Spirit an opportunity to use you in a special way that day.

I can not say this enough – ENJOY LIFE! This is very hard to do, especially when going through tough times. Those are the times you need to lighten up the most. In today’s society we have a tendency to be too serious. We are in competition to do better than the next person and the only way to relax and have a little fun is by drinking it away with alcohol. That is so sad.

We should be able to forget our problems by giving them over to God, not drowning them out. Doesn’t Paul admonish us in I Peter 5:7 of The Message? “Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” The NIV says it this way, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Before you dive into a milkshake, eat a second helping, or whatever you do when you are stressed, try feeding your spirit with the Word of God. Your body is not what needs the extra food, your spirit is crying out for more of God. If a person has just accepted Christ and they have been use to going out for a drink after work to “clear their head” have them try listening to some good worship music or preaching CD. They need to build up their faith and there is no better way to do it than by dwelling on spiritual things.

Now think back to when there was less stress in your life. What crazy things did you do? Did you play pranks? Did you just, on the spur of the moment, decide to go on a short trip? Think hard now.

I love to sneak up on people. I did this as a teenager and I have been known to have done this to my children when they were just kids. You may think this is mean of a mom to do, but we all had fun. After the kids had gone to bed I would get down on my hands and knees and creep into their room and jump up at them. Now if they were afraid of the dark I would not have done that, but they weren’t...so I did.

Now, I will wait just inside a door if I know they are coming through. I even like to jump out at my husband and get him good. I get so much pleasure out of seeing him jump. I can’t help chuckling as I think about it as I write. You know what? Even though I love life I have to remind myself to enjoy life. I can get just as serious as the next person and I have to remember my own teaching.

Life is tough, but you can…

Now go think of something out of the ordinary to do and do it! Maybe buy some red shoes!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'll Take One in Every Color

A few years back my teenage girls and I went crazy on buying flip flops. There was such a great deal going on in one of the stores we could not resist getting a pair in every color! You know we had to coordinate the color of the flip flop with the different summer outfits we had. My husband thought we were crazy. We probably were, but we had fun. It was a mom and daughter memory. Jesus tells us in John 10:10, “I came so they can have a real and eternal life, a more and better life than they ever dreamed of,” The Message.

We need those times with our children; moments of just being crazy. Many times we become too serious, forgetting to enjoy our daughters while they are young and impressionable. Our children need to see us when we are having fun and doing things out of the ordinary. That is when they realize we are real and not some person that is untouchable.

I will admit there are times when I act too crazy, or should I say stupid, and my girls look at me with the look only girls can make and say, “Mom, please,” or just "Mom." Throughout the years I have learned not to take things so seriously. There are times I have to remind myself to chill and enjoy life because I do not want to miss out on the fun times with my family.

We are only going to go through this life once, so why not enjoy it while you can. Sure there are the pressures of making ends meet, but when we lighten up a bit we forget about our worries for at least a moment, and realize we can have fun in the middle of struggles. There may have been a woman in the congregation that hurt your feelings or it may seem as if the little ones will never grow up.

Don't rush through circumstances. There are joys to capture and lessons to learn...if we take our time to enjoy life.

In the next post I will bring out how we can add color to our life. Until

then...take someone with you and have fun with life!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"For Such A Time As This"

Ok, I will admit. I am excited about what is happening in the Presidential nominations.

I have seen come across facebook, myspace or somewhere where people are using the phrase from the Book of Esther, "For Such a Time as This" to describe where Sarah Palin is right now. This may very well be, I don't know, but I do want to address this.

From where I am sitting I do not know whether Sarah Palin ever expected to be in the position she is in today or not. One thing I have seen, over the past few days, is a woman who realized her city and government was not leading and making decisions she thought were right. Instead of sitting back and letting decisions be made she did not think correct, she did something about it...she became the leader.

As leaders we may not have thought we would ever be in the place we are in, at this point in our lives, but God has placed us in the position we are in...are we sitting back, or are we making a difference, and changing lives?

Let's be inspired by what is transpiring in the political world. If this conservative woman who has traditional, moral values can reach the place she has; we, women within the church, can help inspire the people within our care to strive to become all that God desires of each of them. Do not ever let anyone tell you you cannot achieve great things. If we are Christians we have all the more ability to succeed because Paul tells us, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phil. 4:13 NIV...more later