Stat Counter

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Matters Most

Do you know what really matters most in your life? If I said, "Quick! Name the top five  things that matter most to you!" What would they be? If you are a Christian perhaps you would most likely start with God (knowing that you are lumping the whole Trinity together). You would probably move onto family, and then perhaps your extended family, then church, and then work. Your list may look a bit different, but usually most of these are in there somewhere.

What if you had to take one away and only had a top four list? What would yours be then? What if something was taken away and it wasn't even in your top five... you thought? That is what I experienced this week. My back went out on Friday. For four pain filled days I have stared at the ceiling in my room. It is a very humbling thing to not have your health. My role as super mom was greatly effected. No longer was I faster than a speeding juice spill, or able to fold tall piles of clothes in a single bound. My mini van was on hiatus. I was hurt. It was my family that had to care for me. My husband and children had to help me with almost everything. It was frustrating. Something that would only take minutes now took a lot more time. I had to ask for simple things. I had to wait or place a value on asking at all. As I laid there I took stock of my mortality, and the gift of health that has eluded me this week.

It was also humbling and touching having friends like Roxanne who taught extra BA KIDZ classes (and Clarinda and John too), or Shawn who shopped for me, or Kathy who picked up my son, or Lori who brought dinner by just because, and the many friends and family that called to pray or touch base.

These past four days I struggled between living in my pain and feeling honored to have such great people in my life. Beth Moore said in a Bible Study that she had gone through a hard time. She said she feared what the outcome might be. Her husband asked what if "such and so" happened. She replied then "this would." Then he asked if "this would" happen and she answered  back then "that would." She says her husband had her strip her problem to its worst possible outcome, and Beth Moore's final answer to her husband was, "then there is God."

Hard times can come when we least expect them, and in some ways we might never imagine. Note what Christ says in John 10:10

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV)

Please don't loose sight of that word "ONLY." Satin is on a mission that ONLY leads to destruction, He is focused on your demise... period. Christ on the other hand wants you to live life to its FULL. I've said it before, this ain't heaven. Our top five can move and change and be pushed aside by things we take for granted. How can Christ give life to its full when your top five, plus one you didn't even think of are not full but less than? I was less than myself this week. I looked into my older years (if I am allowed them) and I prayed I would never hurt like that again.

So I think my thought for today is that this ain't heaven, but heaven in all of its fullness awaits. No more tears, no more want, and no more pain. We are given a life beyond the boundaries of this lifetime. My prayer is simple. I pray you and I have a life to its full here on earth. But more than that I hope you and I know that you and I will be given a life to its full for eternity. God loves us. I believe he has ultimate good for his children. These pit stops of pain are not our destination. We can proclaim Jesus is Lord.

What matters most to you today? Please take time to thank God for what you have before you, and don't focus on what you don't. You may find the steps toward the fullness God promises are easier when praise and not panic lead the way. You may not have the perfect life you desire. You do however have a perfect God who does. Ask God what are his top five for your life and you will find life to its full is easier to find.

(the following is from
You may be asking, How can I trust God with my Hope?

1. Hebrews 6:18-19 reads, "God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence. This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God's inner sanctuary."

2. Hebrews 10:23 reads, "Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Opposite Sex and and Your Husband the Minister

The other day I did the dumbest thing! A while ago, my husband and I had some work done at our home. The man who did the work goes to our church. I told my husband we needed to pay the man. My husband said, "You need to make sure we pay him." It was Saturday, and I knew we would see him at church on Sunday. I didn't want to exchange money at church so I texted him to see if I could stop by, with my son, and pay him later on Sunday afternoon. Here is how the texting (all from me) went down:

Text #1: Hey "friend", I would like to come by late tomorrow and pat you. Would 4ish be a good time? - Deb

Text #2: Oh my gosh! Pay you, not pat you. Ugh!

Text #3: Pay, pay, pay!!!

Text #4: Rumors! :)

Are you laughing? I am too... now! I keep thinking, "What if I hadn't reread my text and discovered the wrong word?" He could have gotten that text and thought crazy stuff about me. I would be chasing him around church trying to get an answer and he would be running away for, what he thought, was his life. Of course I quickly told my husband, and he told me that friend doesn't receive texts... thank you Jesus!

Randy and I have been in ministry for over 20 years. 18 of those years have been as a married couple. I really appreciate Randy. Together we have developed some non-negotiables in our ministry and marriage when it comes to the opposite sex. Here are some things we seek to maintain.

1. He never counsels a woman alone. He always brings in another woman, or he has another woman mentor her. If a lady does come to his office, he makes sure other staff are around. Otherwise, the lady has to come back, or they talk outside and he works to refer her to another woman. He keeps his door open if a woman comes in the room.
2. If a lady is on staff and it is just he and she working, he switches the time he is there with her time. If they have to be there at the same time he leaves all the doors open in the building (except the outside door of course). He also calls me.
3. He never hugs a person from the front. If he does hug them, it is a side hug.
4. We have a filter on our home computer, and we have a pass word that I know.
5. He doesn't eat out with just one person of the opposite sex. I either come along, or he has another person with him.
... all of these apply to me as well.

Our friends used to tease us about Randy's "rigidness" until one day a mutual pastor friend was accused of impropriety. Whether or not it happened, our friend opened himself up to scrutiny because he had not taken steps to protect himself. Mutual friends called Randy and said they understood why he was like that now. People of the opposite sex have to work together. Mama's and Daddy's have to pay bills. You may need to talk about what works best for you in your work environments as well as your personal life. A friend of mine doesn't accept men on her face book page.

Randy doesn't keep these standards because I, his wife, am a raging lune. Randy does this because he chooses to honor me and honor our marriage. In all honesty, he came up with these standards. Because he is like that, I trust him. It gives peace in an area that should promote peace.

I was at a pastor's wives' retreat one time. A very brave woman stood up and shared her husband had not honored her. He had become addicted to porn. He had to step down from his ministry. They were working it out. I hope they did. God is the ultimate physician and can heal all wounds. Another pastor's wife at another time asked me if I thought it was okay that her husband was counseling this woman who was going through a divorce? The pastor's wife asked him to stop, because he was going to the other woman's home a lot, and at all times of the day. It wasn't that it was wrong for the pastor to minister to someone who was hurting. It was where and how he was going about it. Every man and woman are important in the church. Pastors need to find a way to minister to all. At times that means with or through others. The pastor can often be the first contact for anyone hurting, but he doesn't have to be the last. We are a church, a BODY of Christ. His wife had a bad vibe, and he basically said to her that he didn't care and he was going to go to that lady's home anyway. What do you think I said? My answer started with no, and ended with "get another pastor in your church to talk to him." I knew a pastor's wife who ran away with another man. Both people in a relationship need to guard their marriage.

Sometimes other women look at the pastor and think they are HOT!
He is always smiling
Oh so Godly
These traits put him, for some, at the top of the emotional food chain. By the way, pastor's wives can be perceived as HOT too...
Hold their tounge (never says a mean thing)
Open and helpful
Takes care of others
Hopefully both are HOT, but pastor families are also human. That is why it is so important to have standards in any marriage when interacting with the opposite sex.

Finally, you need standards in your love life. Standards like:
1-I will go on dates my spouse.
2- I will go to 4th base with my spouse, often!
3- We will be brave enough to talk about our needs, and seek to meet them.
4- We will seek to give words that affirm each other.
5- Mainly, we will let God lead the marriage so when 1 through 4 is less than perfect we can seek God for answers and obey his call to love, and serve each other.

There are some great books out there for marriage:
His Needs Her needs
The Five Love Languages
The Song of Solomon (book by Tommy Nelson)
Every  Man's Battle also Every Woman's Battle

Marriage takes effort. Setting standards with the opposite sex makes marriage and ministry so much better. Having God in charge of your marriage brings grace, forgiveness, love, and a desire to honor. Seek a great marriage, and you will find one.

Titus 1:6 "An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife..." (NLT)