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Archive for the ‘Pastors’ Wives’ Category

Steve was invited to speak at a youth leader’s conference in Kiev, Ukraine at the end of October.  After some last-minute planning, I was able to go with him.  When our host found out that I was coming, they asked if I would do a couple of seminars for the ladies.  It was an honor to be a part of this wonderful conference where over 200 youth leaders from all over the country of Ukraine gathered to be encouraged and equipped.  Oleg and Lena of Radooga ministries were so gracious in giving us a tour of Kiev and giving us a glimpse of their culture and ministry.  Fortunately they spoke very good English and have hosted many Americans.   They knew just what to do to help us with jet lag and get adjusted to their time zone quickly (they picked us up from the airport and kept us busy until their bedtime…..we were awake for almost 30 hours before we finally fell in the bed and slept for 12 hours!).

Steve leading a seminar w/ Sasha translating.

Steve and I had never spoken through translators before while speaking in front of a group.  We had wonderful translators, Sasha and Leysa, and they put us at ease and helped us communicate with the attendees.  I spoke twice to two different groups of ladies about serving with your husband in ministry. One group were all young single ladies who wanted to know what to look for in a godly man so we had a lot of fun discussing this topic.  I also led a seminar on Biblical motivation.  Steve spoke to all the attendees in one session and then led two seminars about family ministry and helping teens find balance.  Most of the youth leaders in Ukraine are lay leaders and have such a passion to reach students.  They were so hungry for direction in leading youth and knowing how to minister to their families.  The conference was a special time for them to fellowship and be encouraged.

Leysa was my translator.

After the conference and saying our goodbyes to our new friends, we started our 2 day journey home.  We had a layover in London so we took advantage of our time there and did a quick tour around the city.  It was already dark by the time we got there but we made the best of it.  We walked the streets and saw Big Ben, Westminster Abby, and rode the Eye of London.  It was beautiful at night with all the lights.  We had to take a taxi ride and Steve told the driver, “Take her to Harrods!”  It was amazing….I bought Christmas ornaments to remember our short trip to London and Harrods.

We were so grateful for the opportunity the Lord gave us to be a part of the conference and meet so many wonderful servants.  We will continue to pray for the people we met and their ministries.

View from the Eye of London

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A friend of mine who is a pastor’s wife sent this article to me.  I wanted to share it with you because I believe Barbara Rainey does an excellent job helping us keep focused during these difficult times.  My favorite line is at the end..the emphasis are mine.

March 9, 2009  Since the U.S. economy started its sharp slide last fall, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what this all means to me, to my family, and to our nation and world. While watching this downturn, my thoughts have gone from, “This is interesting” to “This is perplexing.” If it keeps falling, the prevailing emotions could inch nearer to frightening. For now, the word “perplexing” accurately describes my vantage point. My family has been affected in several ways. My husband, Dennis, is working harder than ever here at FamilyLife, putting in 50-hour weeks trying to find ways to cut expenses and increase revenue. I just talked to one of our sons who said they are living hand to mouth, barely making ends meet. And I know it’s true. Their pantry was bare when we visited last month. Another son and our son-in-law are both doing the same, working harder than ever trying to keep their families fed and their payments made. These are not “business as usual” days. What our country is experiencing clearly isn’t a brief downturn where things will return to normal in a few months.

What complicates it even further is that the American economy is a global issue. This leads to the question, What is God up to? While I do not have the answer, I think it’s good that we ask questions like this. We who claim to belong to God must be measuring our experience against the truth. We know that God is not passive. He is not sitting idly by just watching. That is not His character. Instead, God is intricately and intimately involved in the rise and fall of nations and in the comings and goings of all people. Yesterday in my Bible study class I heard a verse that I do not think I’ve ever noticed before. It was as if lights flashed around it, dramatically grabbing my attention. This one short phrase fits this season of our American life perfectly: “And He will be the stability of your times” (Isaiah 33:6). That’s the bottom line. No matter what God is up to in the world today, no matter what course the current economic crisis takes, no matter what the political leaders in Washington do, God is the stability of our times. It reminds me of the first line of an old hymn: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Our hope cannot be in money, a job, our house, our friends or family, and certainly our hope cannot be in Washington, D.C. All of those will disappoint.

Our hope must be in Christ alone for only there will we find true stability as individuals, in our marriages and in our families. In Christ alone, and in the power of His Word, we can find the strength we need to face the challenges of today. I remain perplexed at our current state. And at the same time I am cautiously optimistic and even hesitantly excited at what God might be doing. Could this be part of the end times? It’s possible. Will our businesses and families be better for this pruning and winnowing work of God? If we cooperate with Him in this there is no question we will be better for having been pruned. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:8 that he was “perplexed, but not despairing” when he was in the midst of trials and troubles. I have found great comfort in recent seasons of suffering in that short phrase. It is okay to be confused, baffled, and even mystified at the circumstances of my life. I can be perplexed and still be found having faith. Only when I move to despair, which means hopelessness, am I not living in faith. We cannot know what tomorrow will bring but we know the One who will bring it. And that alone can keep us from despair as He brings stability to our times. © Copyright 2009 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

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The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure…” James 3:17

One of themes of the book of James is Genuine Wisdom. James contrasted two kinds of wisdom. False wisdom produces envy and selfish ambition (3:14), whereas genuine wisdom results in humility, deeds of mercy and right conduct (3:13). Wisdom helps Christians control their speech (3:1-12) and promotes peace, consideration, submission, mercy, good deeds, impartiality and sincerity (3:17).

Two Kinds of Wisdom James 3:13-18
13) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14) But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15) Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16) For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  17) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 ) Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

Based on this scripture, think about the life of a woman guided by spiritual wisdom. What are the primary evidences of a wise life? Which quality do you struggle with least? Most? How might attaining spiritual wisdom affect your life this year? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The book of Proverbs has two themes: Wisdom and Practical Living. Wisdom is a personification of God’s attribute of wisdom and ultimately stands for God himself. The truth expressed is that there can be no real wisdom apart from God. To fear God is to begin on the path of “knowledge”—understanding or insight (1:17). Knowledge is to have understanding and wisdom is the ability to apply the knowledge. Proverbs presents principles for godly living and has much to say about wealth, work, giving and matters of the heart. The range and scope of its subject matter encompass nearly every aspect of life. Proverb’s purpose is to propel us into a relationship with God so we might live out the truths He shows us in this guidebook.

Prologue: Purpose and Theme (Proverbs 1:1-7)
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and
just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning
get guidance-
6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise
wisdom and discipline.

Based on this scripture, what words did Solomon use to describe the various aspects of wisdom? (1:2&3)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What kind of wisdom do you rely upon the most—human or spiritual? How is your life affected by your choice? Do we go to God and His Word to seek wisdom before we go to others or try to find a good book with answers for us? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

The information in this devotion came from the Introduction to Proverbs and James in my Bible (NIV Archaeological Study Bible by Zondervan: 2005) and from a book study called Proverbs: Ancient Wisdom for a Postmodern World by Sue Edwards, Volume 1.

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A friend sent this video to me recently.  I thought it was a wonderful reminder of why we do what we do, even when no one seems to notice or care.  Hope you enjoy and are encouraged!

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As much as I love things of the past like traditions, memories, and my Christian heritage–I love new beginnings.  There is nothing like a new purse and wallet to organize; a new journal to write current thoughts and prayers; a new friendship to explore common interests and share a cup of coffee; and I especially love a new calendar with a clean slate of dates and goals for the year.  “New Year’s Resolutions” have gotten a bad rap over the years because most people lack discipline to fulfill those resolutions.  However, it doesn’t stop most of us from repeatedly setting new goals each year.   Traditionally, the following have been in the list of the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions: weight loss/healthy living, get out of debt/save money, get organized, enjoy life more/reduce stress, and spend more time with friends and family.  These are all such worthy goals.

Are New Year’s Resolutions a waste of time if we don’t succeed in keeping them?  I don’t think so.  It is always good idea to reflect on the past year and to reevaluate our priorities.  This helps us move forward to the new year.   Ultimately, our goals usually center around wanting to be a better person and be better managers of our time, finances, and talent.  As Christians, our focus should be glorifying God in all that we do…pointing others to Christ.  Do others see God’s grace in our lives?  Do they see us treasuring Christ? Do they see us giving our best to God and His work?  When we do succeed, do others see us pointing our success to Christ or do we take the credit?  When we fail, do others see us looking to Christ for direction or do they see us searching for someone or something to blame?

In closing, go ahead and list those new resolutions, goals, and priorities (even if it is the same list as previous years).  Here are a few suggestions that may help you stick to them: 1) Carefully consider them–pray about them, 2) Write them down, 3) Set short and long range goals, 4) Have a way to track progress–have some type of accountability, 5) Truly commit yourself to change but don’t expect perfection 6) Prepare for obstacles and know how you will handle problems that arise, and 7) Remember to keep Christ at the center of all we do and give Him the glory for all that is accomplished!

Happy 2009!!  It’s time for a new beginning…

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Moving on to Christmas

Living Room Decorations Completed

Living Room Decorations Completed

The day we returned from GA after the Thanksgiving holidays….the Suburban was unpacked and laundry started, and the Christmas decorations were brought down from the attic.  There is nothing like planning a party on December 3rd to force you to complete your decorating quickly and get your house in order for the holidays.  Needless to say, it has been a crazy past few days.  Did I mention that I got up at 4 am on Black Friday, shopped for 3 hours, went home to wake up my crew, packed the car and we were on the road home at 9:04 am?

Saturday and Sunday were spent decorating with a little to do on Monday.  Tuesday was spent ordering party trays and grocery shopping for the party (with work and a basketball game in there somewhere).  Before I finished shopping and could get home to put the groceries away, I received a phone call that the anticipated time had come for my dear friend, Amber, to have her baby!!  I was told I needed to come to the hospital right away if I was going to make it for the birth.  I hurried and checked out, went through McDonald’s drive-thru to get a nutritious meal 🙂 for my family at 9:00 pm, drove home to leave the Suburban for Steve and the kids to unload while I hopped in Steve’s truck to head to the hospital.

After a quick and successful delivery, it was announced at 11:30 pm that Baby Boy #4 had arrived (yes, that is 4 boys under the age of 4).  After ooohing and awing over how cute he was and how incredible Amber looked after just having given birth, I took Amber’s mom back to their house and fell in my bed about 2:30 am.  The alarm went off at 6:20 am and it was time to get the kids moving for school.  I did sneak back to bed for a few minutes while they were supposed to be getting ready.  Fortunately, I didn’t fall back into a deep sleep due to sleep deprivation and got back up to do a second wake up call 15 minutes before they were supposed to leave.  This time I had to stay awake to start the final preparations for our first Christmas party of the season.  We had about 15 guests at our party with lots of food and our traditional white elephant gift exchange.

Today I enjoyed a Christmas brunch with some of my most special friends–the pastors’ wives from our church, Providence Baptist.  Our senior pastor’s wife hosts a Christmas brunch each year for us.  We always enjoy delicious food, sweet fellowship, an ornament gift exchange, and prayer time.  We have 17 pastors’ wives, and we are all grateful for the precious fellowship we enjoy with each other; as well as the incredible support and encouragement our husbands receive from one another.  Because we do not see each other on a regular basis at church like the guys do, the wives enjoy monthly fellowships that we take turns planning.  We usually meet for lunch or dinner and share our praises and prayer requests.  This is really highlight for us each month.

My next two Christmas projects are getting our family picture made and preparing our annual Christmas letter, which I hope to accomplish this weekend!  Thanksgiving has come and gone….so we are moving on to Christmas!

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