Wednesday, November 25, 2015
If you are a church goer then it is likely you have a Pastor. If you have a Pastor then it is likely that sitting in the front pew of your church (or close) is a Pastor's wife. She's probably smiling. She's probably looking all put together and calm. You may look at her and think she is a picture of perfection. The ladies of your church may put her just under the pedestal that they place her husband on each week, which is scary for her because it's a long frightening fall down off of a pedestal that high. Because guess what, she is a human person. A human person with all the feels, with the anxieties of expectations not met, with the fear of letting someone down in her humanness, walking around with the weight of the expectation that goes with her title, she is a real girl with a big calling. Can you walk with me into this for a little while? Are you loving on your Pastor's wife? Have you gotten to know her? Have you placed her on a high pedestal of unattainable expectations? Let's chat.
So, can we just love on these women girls. Can we give them safe places? So many Pastors' wives are told to live lonely lives, because people are not safe for them. Because the women in the church expect perfection from their pastors wife and will not give them safe places to be real, and let me just say, how un-biblical is that. How can we expect perfection for our members in ministry? That's not biblical at all! No one is perfect! No one can have it all together all the time. We need ugly cries and real hugs. We all have hard days, and weaknesses and imperfections of course. Guess what, our Pastor and his wife are not exempt from that. They are chasing after grace just as we are. They are called to lead but not to perfection. They are called to serve but will not always do it perfectly. Have you hugged your Pastor's wife lately? She needs a real, honest hug. One that she can sink into and breathe out the weight of perfection laid on her by the world, by the church. It's harder than you think.
Ruth Graham is maybe not a well known name in your house. Maybe you don't know anything about this woman, but she was mighty. I don't know her personally, but I've heard she was amazing. I don't know her inner self, but I've heard of her great heart in a life lived serving alongside her husband in ministry. It's funny to say serving alongside, because really she was an extremely important player in the Billy Graham ministry but she was completely behind the scenes. In order for a Pastor to serve and have a family it seems common that the Pastor's wife takes on a huge support role. Billy Graham's ministry called him out of their home with 5 children for many days, many months and many years. Ruth lived out her ministry role by running their household and supporting her husbands call to Pastor. Lives, so many lives, have been changed because of the role that she filled. It was a hard, lonely, long role at times. But she served in mighty ways.
Decision Magazine wrote these things about Ruth Bell-Graham:
Ruth’s rock-solid support of Billy’s ministry and her ability to manage their household on her own earned the respect of his Team. “There would have been no Billy Graham as we know him today had it not been for Ruth,” said Billy’s longtime assistant, T.W. Wilson. '
“What I missed!” he wrote in “Just As I Am,” his autobiography, “And what Ruth missed by not having me to help her. Whenever I did get home, I got a crash course in the agony and ecstasy of parenting. If Ruth had not been convinced that God had called her to fulfill that side of our partnership and had not resorted constantly to God’s Word for instruction and to His grace for strength, I don’t see how she could have survived.”
PS- More than 80% of Pastor's wives feel unsupported, burnt out and unappreciated by their Church. Here is a great little blog that tells you how you can support and care for your pastor's wife.
and also here is a 30 days of praying scripture for your pastor's wife:
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Did he say that? That he would give me everything I ask for. Well I mean if that's the case then lets all just start requesting all the things. I deserve to have that trip to Fiji I have desired for years! I deserve that music career I've been asking for since I was 6, I mean it's about time Lord, right? You know I packed all my stuff once. I had the idea to go to Nashville and make it big. And wouldn't you know days before I was going to run away to Nashville, my life was dramatically altered and I stayed. I had prayed, my heart desired, but it was not answered, or was it?
Trust in the Lord, and do good: dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Yes in fact he did say that, but we leave out the first section leading into the delight. TRUST in the LORD, do GOOD, DELIGHT ourselves in him. BE FAITHFUL to him.Then he will give you the desires of your heart. But guess what, after doing all this trusting and delighting and being faithful that just may change you. It just may align you with God's ways, with peace in God's ways. Matthew Henry's commentary of these verses touches on this very thing:
"He has not promised to gratify all the appetites of the body and the humorous of the fancy, but to grant all the desires of the heart, all the cravings of the renewed sanctified soul. What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know and love and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him."
What else can we take from God's words:
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Read it again, HIM WHO WORKS ALL THINGS according to his plan. His plan, not mine. For his glorification not mine. You see ladies, I prayed my guts out, they were overly exposed laying out for all to see but that's doesn't mean I get to dictate the path that life goes. If I am TRUSTING in our GOOD FATHER, if I am DELIGHTING myself in him, if I stay here in FAITHFULNESS he will make it ok. Ok in my heart, ok in my walk, ok in my life. He will heal the part of my heart that is broken and he will make straight a path that I could not see before for all the crookedness.
Tonight I close my computer saying out loud and truly knowing, he is still good. His plans and ways are not my ways but I know from experience that his path is better than mine. When I wanted to leave for Nashville there were 2 lines on a pregnancy test and so I stayed, a life forever changed. I prayed though, that I would have a music career. I prayed hard that someone would discover me, that I would get to go be a famous country singer and leave behind all the things, start over. My life was forever altered because of those two lines that stood in the way of my so called prayers. An unanswered prayed I am thankful for today. Our God is greater and does more than I could ever imagine.So tonight I say it is well Lord, it is well.
Are you praying your guts out for something right now? I am praying for you in this process. My girls this life here is hard, but we pray to the mighty creator of this spinning world. He is still on his throne and he is still good. Our prayers come into the throne room like a sweet aroma this week, they are answered in alignment with God's will in a masterful plan that we could never ever imagine. Just as you are a part of this plan FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY MADE in his caring, loving, kind image. Sending all my love to you for all of your hard places.
I leave you with this amazing song by All Son's and Daughters, thank you Lord for music.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
The Bible is not meant for beating on. The Bible is not meant to be a step stool for us to stand on so we can look down on those around us. The Bible is not meant for what so many use it for, self-righteousness and hurt. For lashing out on, for judgment and agendas. This sweet book, the Holy Bible, is meant as a guidebook for the lost. Think of it as a map, a treasure map. Right now there is suffering in this life. Right now today my family is hurting and confused and so am I. So today, I go to The Holy Bible, and start back down the path for treasure. Let us run, not walk, to the treasure of the word of the Lord.
PS- I know there is so much more on this topic, we could go deeper and deeper. There's so much theology here and so many more words. Maybe someday we will study this topic together. Today these are the words God gave me, for someone out there that needs to here just this.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Monday, November 2, 2015
Ya'll I am a sucker for 80's & 90's music. Oh my gosh, I just love it so much. I mean they don't make it like that anymore (for the sake of sounding really old). I mean old school Whitney, Janet, NKOTB you know who you are out there. You're about to go dust off your favorite mix tape and jam to the good stuff. Go on girl, I'm not gonna judge. Well, 1984 brought one of my fav's in, Let's Hear it For the Boy off the hit movie Footloose. I mean if that doesn't get your toes tappin', you're dead! So what does this have to do with the final installment of our Ruth study. Start by reading Ruth chapter 4 if you haven't already. We have journeyed with our two gals Ruth and Naomi to the end. We have seen them loose their family and make a scary, lonely trek to Bethlehem. Ruth began to provide for herself and her mother-in-law by working in the fields where she caught the eye of Boaz. At the leading of Naomi, Ruth went to Boaz to present herself and her estate to be redeemed by either him or the other guy in line. (see the chapter 3 post) Now we are caught up!
So, we close the Book of Ruth with a great ending, redemption has happened and we are setting up for the coming of Christ. It all points to OUR need for redemption OUR need for a Savior. The first time I read the book of Ruth it blew me away, this time it blew me away again! Go back and read books of the Bible you haven't read in a while, you will see them in a different light and learn new things each time I PROMISE!
For now, have a wonderful week following hard after God. My prayer for myself is Lord increase my Faith, feel free to join me in that adventure! This week don't' forget you are a daughter to the King BEAUTIFULLY, FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY MADE! Redeemed in grace and love!
PS- Let's here it for the boy (I couldn't resist!):