Monday, October 27, 2008

Taking Life a Step at a Time!

As an infant we are learning, a little at a time, how to live the life He desires. I am encouraged just to know that He doesn’t expect us to be mature grownups immediately. He knows there is no way we can be strong at this time. In order to help us develop He places people in our lives to teach us.

We listen, watch, and learn by crawling first; then we take baby steps. This process is essential. It will take some time; but, during this time we are becoming stronger. Don’t become overanxious to do more than you are ready to do. It is not a good idea for you to teach or lead in any capacity right now. Be patient. You have just begun. There will be plenty of time for leading and teaching later.

If you are a woman in ministry you might be asking yourself how this relates to you. Well, think for a moment...are you new to ministry? Are you positioned in a new church? It may be that you need to sit back and "watch" a bit. There may be things God wants to talk to you about and you wouldn't be able to "hear" Him if you were busy doing some of the things you want to do at this time. God has a time for everything, as we read in Ecc. 3:1 of The Message, "There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth."

If you have been a Christian a while or in ministry a while how about being the hand that helps the infant take their first steps. Isn't that what ministry and maturity is all about?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who Are You?

Let me ask you, do you really know who you are and are you confident in what you know about God? Sometimes even women in ministry lose focus of who they are because of all their busyness.

Look with me at a few scriptures. Let’s get to know or be reminded of, who we were meant to be.

“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Ok, to start off we are God’s handiwork; His creation. Imagine a round ball of clay. It is round and fat. Who wants to look like that? Not me! After we accept Christ into our heart and surrender our life to Him He begins shaping that ball. It doesn’t need the Slim Fast Diet or Jenny Craig. His hands start to make us beautiful. We are in the infant stage of His creation.

This is all I have time to post today. Check back tomorrow for more.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Purification System of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is like a water purification system. Everything that travels through our mind is purified by the Holy Spirit. Our spirit asks the Holy Spirit for discernment and direction, which keeps us clean and on the right track. Every once in a while something gets through that shouldn’t have, but we eventually realize it and God helps us get rid of it to keep us clean and healthy.

Prayer and reading God’s word is like turning on the faucet for more water. We have the choice to open the valve as much as we want. The water can either pour or trickle. It is totally and completely up to us. I believe as we allow the water to flow freely it will fill us and pour out into others. As we are filled with this Living Water our appearance will change. Our countenance will be different. Others will take notice.

Our desire will be to know Christ more. Spending more time with Him will be on the top of our daily to do list. John and Stasi Eldridge tell us in their book “Captivating” that “The more His we become, the more ourselves we become; more our true selves.” We were created to walk with God. Isn’t that why God created Adam and Eve in the first place; to walk with Him? So, the more we give our lives over to Him we are allowing God to help us become who we were created to be – our true self.

Are we satisfied with being the same woman every day? Are we tired of looking into the mirror and seeing the same face? Becoming the woman God created us to be is not boring, nor is she satisfied. She is restless, but restless in a good way. She is thirsty for more of the One she loves and will not just sit back and watch life pass her by.

A peace is seen on her face. An excitement exuberates from her. She knows who she is and is confident of what she knows. She is a woman with a passion for God and knows He is her confidant and companion. What more could a woman want?

The following is a spiritual exercise for the woman in ministry or pastor's wife:

A woman in ministry can become so overwhelmed with ministry and family that this thirst for more of God can be drowned out by her responsibilities. Let the Holy Spirit purification system clean out the busyness and re-prioritize your life. Allow Him to cleanse the hurtful words, others have spoken to you, from your spirit. Give Him permission to fill you with His joy and renew your mind.

Spend some time reflecting on where you are in your life with Christ right now. Remember this...keep it in the forefront of our minds...don't get so inundated with ministry you fail to sense His holy presence.

I hope you join me next time as we reflect on and are reminded of who we are in Christ.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Our Future According the Living Water

In the Lord of the Rings, when Frodo and his companions stop in the elvish city, Frodo is drawn to a basin of water. Galadriel tells Frodo to look into the water. As Frodo looks into the water he sees into the future. He sees things that could happen, but it is up to him and his friends how the future turns out. The water Frodo is looking into is nothing like the living water Jesus so freely wants to give.

God wants us to drink of His living water. When we drink of this water we can be assured of a future that is ordained by God. We still have to make the right choices in our lives, but we will have what Frodo and his friends didn’t have; the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We tend to make the free gifts of God too complicated. All He desires of us is total surrender to Him. Ask Him into our lives. Commit our hearts to Him – all our desires, our frustrations, and our will. This is really not such a hard task if we desire to know Christ more. As we get to know Him more these tasks will become a natural part of our lives.

Let’s take a look at water for a minute. What all does it do for us?
One thing, water is cleansing. It washes away impurities. It removes the dirt in our lives. Imagine a tall glass of cool, refreshing water. You take it in your hand, lift it to your mouth, and begin drinking. As you drink you feel refreshed. It is satisfying your thirst.

But imagine it doing one more thing; cleaning out your body. When you are fasting you drink lots of water. If you drink and eat nothing else it will cleanse out your entire digestive system. It takes out all the impurities, all the junk we have eaten. I remember several years ago, when my children were small, reading a book by Stormie Omartian about fasting. I don’t remember the title, but I do remember her saying it would do us good to fast once a month, just to clean out our bodies.

This is what the Living Water from God does. It cleanses us of all the “junk” we have let accumulate in our lives. When we ask Jesus into our lives He starts cleaning out our spiritual body. It is a slow process that is not perfected overnight. In fact it is a lifelong process. We will never be finished cleaning out our spirits. It is a constant purification.

What kind of a future do you see in your spiritual eyes? Are you allowing the Living Water to cleanse you and lead you daily?

If you are a woman in ministry what have you let creep into your spiritual system that is unhealthy? Have you begun to harbor hurt feelings toward the elders in your church, because they do not trust your husband in the decisions he feels God is leading him to make? Is there a woman that is jealous in your congregation and she is making it difficult for you?

This happened to me and that affected how I ministered and how God spoke to me. It began to harden my spirit. This is not a great place to be. Guard your heart. Being in a church that has been established a while and has a lot of history is a very challenging task.

Ask God for patience, guidance, and endurance. Do not let it destroy your spirit. If you find that is happening talk to your spouse. Go to someone for spiritual guidance in your situation. It might be that you have done all you can in that ministry and God is moving you elsewhere. It might mean you need to allow the Holy Spirit to develop you more.

Everyone has a unique situation. You do not want to stay somewhere that you will eventually lose heart and give up all together.

Join me next time when we talk about the Holy Spirit being the purification system of our lives.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Check Out These Two Books by Cheryl Turnbull

"Shattering the Glass Walls of the Woman in Ministry" is a book that is great for an individual read or a group of women in ministry. It will take you through some of the author's experiences of over 25 years in ministry. Check out the website by following the link, where you will find a description and link to purchase.

"If the Shoe Fits" is for any woman desiring to find where she "fits" in the body of Christ. You will discover this by using infant shoes, the classic pump, running shoes, cast protector shoe, flip flops and more. Women love shoes, so you will enjoy the illustrations of the Christian life in this book. Again follow the links to find out more information and purchasing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Denying Self to See God More

One way to learn what it means to desperately seek God is to go away for a weekend or two to three day fast. Take plenty of water with you, but no food. Take your Bible and journal, but no other book. The purpose of getting away is to get to know God more intimately. This is done by reading the Word and praying.

One year I took our youth leaders on a fasting retreat. We spent the whole time praying and reading scripture. I took along a Passion DVD we listened to that had scriptural reading and worship. It was an awesome experience. We ended the retreat sharing communion. Those teens came away different people.

One way I helped get our teens ready for a weekend fast was helping them understand that God wants to see us give up something we enjoy or like, for Him. I enjoyed drinking Mt. Dew. I think because I worked with teens and needed the extra boost. ha I was seeking God for a specific thing at the time and I fasted Mt. Dew. I went 1 month without drinking a Mt. Dew. They learned the concept of fasting and it prepared them for the week end fast.

There is something about denying our natural desires, and things that mean a lot to us, that brings us closer to our Lord and Savior. Our body is telling us it is hungry, but we say, “No, I am hungry for God and will eat the spiritual food He has for me.” That spiritual food is His Word and His presence; talking to Him, getting to know Him. If you have never fasted I highly recommend doing it soon. It will benefit you greatly.

Several posts have talked about getting to know God and being thirsty for Him. I would like for us to take time right now to look at our lives.

Are we too busy?

Are there things in our lives we need to change in order to be able to spend time desperately seeking?

Ask God to meet with you right where you are? Ask Him to give you a drink of His living water. Write down what God is speaking to you about and what you need to change over the next week, in order to meet with Him.

I would love to hear how God is moving in your life. Feel free to take time and share.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm Back after a Week of Celebrating 26 Years of Marriage!

My husband and I had a great time celebrating 26 years of marriage this past week. This post is going to be reflecting on how to get to 26 years and tomorrow we'll be back on track with "Desparately Seeking God."

* remember to always keep God and the other person in the forefront of your mind.
* don't allow ministry to overtake all your thinking.
* love each other unconditionally.
* respect each other for who they are and how God has made them.
* respect what God desires to do in both of your lives.
* remember God created the man and woman to complete each other,not compete(you can each enhance each other's ministry when you remember this thought.)
* go out of your way to do things for the other person (believe me the longer you are together the more you take each other for granted.)
* suprise the other person with unexpected gifts, dinner at home without the kids, a day trip away with just the two of you.

The list could go on. The main point is to THINK OF THE OTHER PERSON ABOVE YOURSELF. Isn't that scriptural?

I am not here to say it is easy and we have been perfect...the truth is we had to learn this the hard way. God in His grace and mercy helped us understand this and has given us a love for each other that is amazing.
One thing that is true in any aspect of life is that you have to work at living life. It doesn't "just happen." Well, it could just happen, but what a mess. God allows circumstances in EVERY ASPECT of our lives to occur. We have the great opportunity to allow them to let us grow stronger in our relationships or destroy us. The choice is up to us.

We can make or break our lives. That is what is so awesome about God. He doesn't make us do anything, He gives us the freedom to do what we think is best. If we choose His way He will be right there helping us get through the tough times. He will always be there, even when we make the wrong decision, but He will have to wait to help us until we acknowledge our need for His help.

Our next post will get back to our previous subject of seeking God, but for now it would be great for those of you who are married to think of your relationship with your spouse. Is it where it should be? Are you loving and respecting each other? Are you enhancing each other's ministry and lives?

It would be great to hear some examples of where you have been and where God is taking you in your relationships...let us know.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I am working on my "look" so bare with me. I am not a computer it takes me a while...and then I still don't know what I'm doing. ha

Thanks for your patience though.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Being the Bucket God Uses to Pour Living Water on Others

Scripture talks about drinking the water that comes from Jesus in The Gospel of John. Water is essential for our survival. We need it to live. When Jesus was speaking to the Samaritan woman in John chapter four He told her of living water; a “spring of water welling up to eternal life”. In order to have this living water we must first drink.

“…if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whosoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:37

We have to drink in order to be filled. Unless we are thirsty it will not mean much to us. Imagine running a 5k race. By the end of the race runners are desperate for water or an energy drink.

This is what the psalmist was talking about when the deer was used as an illustration, that was written about in the previous post. Do we pant for God? Do we long for God? Does our soul thirst for God? Do we yearn for the living God? Are we ready to meet with Him?

Just like water is essential for our physical body, God and His presence are essential for our spiritual body. If we do not drink of Him daily we will die spiritually. We have to be on our guard to not let the busyness of our lives drown out the thirst for God.

When busyness takes us away from God and thirsting after Him we run into a problem. One way we can allow God to pour into our lives is by attending church or minister's meetings. By doing this we are building a support system around us for the times of struggle when we do not want to be alone; nor should we be. Look to the Book of Acts as a guideline. Luke tells us several times the believers met together regularly.

The woman in ministry needs to ask herself the question, "how often do I meet with other women in ministry?" It is important for the woman in ministry to have a support system of other women in ministry. These women can be a support for her when she feels like she is all alone. They can understand "where she's coming from" because they are in similar shoes. It is great to have other women as friends, but there is nothing as supportive as another woman who has "been there, done that."

So you see, we not only drink of the well of living water when we accept Christ, we can also drink of living water when He places people within our lives to refresh us. We are drinking of God's goodness by allowing other women in ministry to speak into our lives.

In your quiet time today think about how thirsty you are for God. Is your spirit aching for more of God? Are you drinking from the well God has provided for you? Are you allowing other women in ministry to speak into your life? If you have, then think of the wonderful women in ministry who are your friends. Send them an email, a post on facebook, or a card in the mail thanking them for their friendship. I'm sure that would mean a lot to them.

By doing this you are being the bucket that is pouring "living water" into another woman in ministry. It may be just what she needs to hear...a word of encouragement from a friend.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Soul Desperately Thirsting For God.

Over the years I have pondered and wondered why we were not seeing God do more in the lives of believers. Jesus tells us, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these.” John 14: 12

When I read my Bible I see Jesus raising the dead, healing the sick, and casting out demons. He changed the lives of people. I believe we are doing some of these things, but not greater things like He suggested. Why not? What is the problem? Are we too busy to get to know God as He desires? Are we satisfied with quick devotions, fast prayers, and speedy sermons?

In the e-newsletter I send out monthly I have a section called PTO (Personal Time Out) in which various ways of spending time with God are discussed. So I am going to suggest during your time of seeking God you find a place that is all your own...away from activity, so you can totally focus on getting to know God.

Find a special place that is relaxing and quiet; a place that is your refuge, your sanctuary, your safe haven, or retreat. In my house my "retreat" is a comfy chair, pink cushiony lap blanket, oversized pillow, a small table, and a lamp that reflects me. Everyone in my house knows it is mine.

Have you found your place yet? If you need a cup of tea, coffee, or soft drink get it and let’s start our journey into the unknown; a place where few have dared to travel.

Let’s begin with Psalm 42:1-2,
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

Are we really thirsty for God?

Does our soul ache for Him?

I began my soul aching and thirst for God when I was a teenager in the 70’s. I couldn’t get enough of God’s word. I wanted to be in church whenever it was open. Like most teenagers I had my struggles. During my senior year of high school I wanted to apply to a state college and major in music so I could eventually train for some Broadway production.

My parents helped me stay on the path God laid for me. They “strongly encouraged” me to go to a Christian college of my choice or they would not help me financially. So with their help I stayed on the right path. I went to a Christian college, majored in music and married a pastor.

My soul still thirsted for more of God and I wanted to do whatever I could to help others get to know Christ. Instead of using my gift of music on Broadway I was able to use it in church directing dramas and leading worship. I was still desperately seeking God in these endeavors. The productions and worship services I led were saturated with what I was learning, in my desperate search for more of God. In desperately seeking Him I learned of the importance of drinking from living water He provided.

For this post I want us to ask ourselves if we are truly desperate for more of God. Are we "panting" after God like the illustration the psalmist uses? How desperate are we to get to know God?

Have we let the routine of family life or church responsibilities crowd out the desire for more of God? I don't mean the desire isn't has just been crowded out by doing life. Have we been so comsumed with "doing" we have forgotten the responsibility of "being?"

I am going to suggest for your quiet time to look up the words desperate, search, seek, and pant. After reading the descriptions look into your own spirit and be honest with yourself. Are the descriptions of these words descriptions you could use for your description of seeking God? To be honest. I fall very short in this area. My heart is there, but my actions have not been on the same level.

Spend some time with God and I look forward to sharing with you next time.

God bless you are you desperately seek Him.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Satisfied or Thirsty?

We become quite comfortable in our daily routines; going to work, taking care of our children, making every effort to make our husbands happy, and going to church weekly. Our lives are comfortable.

Living in the United States has left us basically without need of anything. If we would say we were desperate for anything it would possibly be another car; as our children become teenagers with drivers license, more money (to purchase the extra vehicle), or more time in the day.

I remember when my first child received his drivers license I was so excited. Now I know most parents, mothers especially, dread it when their children are able to drive on their own. Not me! I was ready to let mine drive to youth group and sports activities. That meant I was free to do something else besides driving him around.

As long as we have most everything we need right at our finger tips it is easy to become comfortable; or, dare I say, complacent. We become satisfied and don’t see the need for a more devoted prayer time. We think that praying on the go is great because at least we are praying. Isn’t that what it means to pray without ceasing?

My heart is desperate to know God more. I desire to know Him more intimately than I have ever known Him before. The next few posts are going to be on the topic of "Desperate" a study in seeking God. I hope you join me.