God’s Will For Your Wait: Right now, right here, in your personal life or ministry, there is some way, perhaps many ways, in which God is calling you to wait. How well are you waiting? Paul Tripp has some godly suggestions for those of us who struggle with waiting. Read his Biblical insights about waiting here.
The Dead Sea Scrolls and Google: Who would have ever expected to see that headline? But in our techno age it should probably come as no surprise to hear that the Israel Museum and Google have partnered to give anyone access to the oldest known Biblical manuscripts in existence, the Dead Sea Scrolls. Watch a short video here or see the Dead Sea Scrolls website here.
The Distracted Church: Where is Satan making the most inroads? Is it in those countries where believers are persecuted or countries like ours where we are free to worship–and free to be distracted? In this article, Doug Carlson travels to a Central Asian country where believers are persecuted, and he comes away with a new perspective and some insights that all evangelicals need to ponder. Read the article here.
A Tribute To My Husband Upon His Retirement From Bethel
You chose obedience to Him,
Coming to this place unknown,
Lifting up your eyes to see,
Not gain or fame or glory
His hand, His place.
You pledged covenant with Him,
Promising prayer and study,
Time and effort,
Building not a church your own,
His church, His people.
You made sacrifice for Him,
Purposing to give or wait or
Take a stand or pledge,
Knowing not your future plans
His plans, His ways.
You left this church for Him,
Affirming bonds of hope, of grace,
Of mercy and compassion,
Believing not His work was done
His work, His new beginning.
A conversation I had with a young woman in one of the first churches where my husband was pastor came to my mind today. I’m sure it’s because I’m about to leave my role as “the pastor’s wife” when my husband retires from our church this month. She asked me, “How can you survive as a pastor’s wife?” If I recall correctly, we were standing in the foyer just before the church was to vote on a controversial topic, and she knew several church members were against my husband’s stand on the subject. What I don’t remember is my answer.
How would I answer that question today after 45 years of being a pastor’s wife? The question itself implies my role is a difficult one. While I can only speak for myself and my own experiences, being the wife of a minister has never seemed an impossibly tough and demanding way of life that I had to survive. I am not so naïve, however, not to realize how many ministers’ wives chafe and struggle under this mantle, hating the scrutiny, the pressures, and the expectations.
Whether it was because I transitioned from being a preacher’s daughter to a pastor’s wife in one single day when I was 18 years old and said “I do,” or whether it was because I felt the call of God upon my life to some type of Christian service when I was a teenager, (and I suspect it was a combination of both) I walked into our first church loving both the title and the responsibilities of my role.
During the years that followed that first pastorate, I’ve continued to enjoy serving my Lord as the wife of a pastor. I can think of at least four reasons why I’ve lived in this role so easily. First, I love the pastor. I believe the Lord called James to be His spokesman, and He created love in my heart for him, and thus also created a love for the task He gave to James. I’m proud and happy to be the wife of the pastor, because I’m proud of him and happy with him.
Secondly, I accept the person God made me to be. I am not a children’s worker, a choir director, a women’s coordinator; nor am I called to serve in the myriad of other necessary positions in the church. While I am able to function fairly well in many different capacities, I have discovered my calling is to adults, specifically teaching the Bible to adults. I also know the limitations of my personality. I feel emotionally and physically drained after working with people, while some people seem supernaturally energized as they work with others. Knowing the other gifts and traits the Lord has given me, enables me to function joyfully as a pastor’s wife.
Thirdly, I seek the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. While teaching is one of my spiritual gifts, I am more introvert than I am an extrovert. It takes the power and strength of His Spirit to enable me not only to use the gifts I’ve been given, but also to display the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
And, lastly, I spend time daily in His Word. I listed this reason last because I believe it is the foundational stone on which the other reasons are built. I could not love my husband, know myself or be filled with His Spirit, if I were not reading His Word and praying that Word back to Him on a daily basis.
While these reasons answer the question of how I have thrived as a pastor’s wife instead of just surviving, my prayer is that in everything I have brought Him glory. (Colossians 3:17)
This video reminds me of my adventures in setting up our Skype account.
Several years ago I stopped saying, “have a nice day” to those people I encountered in everyday situations. Instead, I began to use “have a blessed day” as I paid the check, picked up the cleaning or engaged in a conversation with a store clerk. I thought perhaps this phrase would be a kind of witness, a reminder to me and to them that the blessings of all our days come from God. In effect, I hoped these words would turn hearts toward God if only for a brief moment or two.
A simple word like “bless” bears a powerful message because it contains the concept of God’s favor. That God is the author of blessings first appears in Genesis 12:2 when God says to Abram, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great.”
God blesses us, but did you know you are also to bless others–that is, verbally pronounce a blessing from God to others? The Lord told Aaron to bless the people and this blessing, found in Numbers 6:22-27, is often used today by pastors as the Sunday worship service is ending. 1 Peter 3:8-9 speaks of how believers are to treat each other and ends by saying, “giving a blessing.”
There are numerous passages in the New Testament which can be prayed or spoken as blessings upon others (Acts 20:32; Romans 15:13; Hebrews 13:21; 2 John 1:3), but my favorite is 1 Thessalonians 5: 23: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Have a blessed day!