Perfect Pastor’s Wife —Not Even

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I awoke with you on my mind. It was a deep, philosophical morning of thinking about years in ministry as a missionary and a pastor’s wife. We served in small places not large cities and those communities leant themselves to scrutiny and exposure. “Living in a Fish Bowl” is what I used to term it. Always wanting to draw others to Jesus Christ because He is worthy of their lives and they are so incredibly valuable to Him.

So I thought of you, my precious sister, fellow missionary who is out there today feeling forgotten, struggling and wondering “Has it been worth it all?” and to still be there again….simply living your life among the people in hopes that they will see in you the beauty of Christ, of forgiveness, joy and peace and the fulfillment that only God can bring to their hearts.

Let’s be honest. They won’t find a Perfect Pastor’s Wife, though some of them will make you feel that you should be beyond sin, mistakes, offenses, and to put it bluntly, beyond being human.

How I long to encourage you today, as one who was once in those very trenches, that the eternal rewards that await you far surpass the trials you are facing. Your present day faithfulness is all that God asks of you. Don’t pick up more burdens and responsibilities than He has asked you to carry….even though it is difficult to say, “No,” to people, you must learn to do it. I find it fascinating that Jesus set the example for us, in that He didn’t heal everybody or meet all the needs. He specifically only did what the Father told Him to do.

Please don’t burn out on the mission field. We need you in the Body of Christ and if you need to take some time today, even if it’s just a cup of tea, coffee or hot cocoa, make some time for yourself. Be good to yourself and to your family. The demands of ministry will always be there. May you have wisdom and grace to know the difference between the need and the call.

Savor the peace that you have in knowing that in Jesus you are loved, forgiven, accepted, wanted and cared for. He walks with you and the Holy Spirit is there to comfort you, even as He guides you when you speak words of comfort over others.

Don’t give up. Though the spiritual battle rages, be reminded that Jesus Christ has already conquered everything that comes against you. Find some good, safe believers and let them in on your life so that you can be mutually encouraged, prayed for and loved. We all need to be strengthened and edified—that’s why God called us to be a Body.

 

Are You Struggling?

I had another profound weekend of stimulating, thought-provoking, challenging conversation that stirred in me the desire to gather the wounded, weary, broken, angry, confused, abandoned, neglected and disillusioned young people into the circle of mentorship, friendship and camaraderie to speak hope into their lives. To Listen to ache of their hearts, to be the “spiritual mother,” if you will, the “older woman” because someone desperately needs to take the Time to care for the ones who silently suffer.

I am seeking those who struggle with “Who is God to me?” The ones who say, “I grew up in church, I know the Bible verses, maybe even I’ve gone on mission trips and been actively involved and on the outside I look really good but on the inside I am hurting…but I can’t tell anyone because then it will look like I’m a fake. Like maybe, I’m not really a believer….I mean….gosh, if I don’t really have it all together, what hope is there for the ones I’m trying and hoping to win to Christ?”

If that is what you feel and where you are today, I want to be here for you. I want to take your hand, give you a hug, and not fill your head with a bunch of worn out “clichés” but to really Listen, to bear your burden, to offer you a heart of compassion, kindness and acceptance and to tell you that together we can walk through these dark places of pain and loneliness and isolation where church for you has felt empty and lifeless and all you want to know and be assured of is that You really do matter and that Jesus Christ really is Who He says He is.

So, if I can help you to draw closer to Him today and to His amazing love and forgiveness for you, dear Friend…that is my desire.

Fresh Manna

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The children of Israel were to gather manna on a daily basis, except for the Sabbath. They had to put forth some effort to acquire the manna. Daily, they needed to arise in the morning and discover the Lord’s provision for their families. The manna was a testimony of the faithfulness of God to His people and He supplied this food for 40 years in the wilderness.

We need to make some effort to discover the Lord’s provision in our lives on a daily basis. We need to hear His voice, read and listen to His Word, and commune with Him. The manna is there but we must make the time to gather it. A living relationship is necessary to growth in our spiritual lives. We serve a Living God and He longs to be vital to our survival.

Have you been feasting on worms and moldy bread? It’s time to change and taste and see that the Lord will meet you everyday, all the time, no matter what your circumstance or situation. Be reminded that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” The very God that parted the Red Sea has time for you and longs for your company. Meditate on that truth and allow the Holy Spirit to give you an eternal perspective.

 

 

 

Preparing for a New Year

Picture 226As you prepare for another year, take some time to reflect on the specific blessings that have enriched your life. Spend time in the presence of God and let Him grant vision unto you for the coming days ahead. Know that whatever you may face on this earth, and in this life, that you are being “groomed” (actually “brided”) for the life to come. You are being prepared so that you will be pure and spotless, holy and righteous and able by His grace to stand robed in shining garments.

Prioritize and remember this season of Re-dedication. Examine your ways and consider your plans. What road are you traveling? Where will your journey end? What reward awaits you? Oh my friend, do not sell yourself short of the plans and purposes of your King!

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He delights to bless you as you walk in obedience to His Word. May I encourage you to wait on the Lord that He may show you what He desires you to be and to do as this year begins anew.

Apple of My Eye

IMG_3425What does the term “apple of the eye” mean? It is the reflection in the center of the pupil, the dark circle inside the iris. To view the “apple of one’s eye,” you must look closely into someone’s eyes. In the “apple”, you will see a minute reflection of your face. Go ahead, try it. You must get “up close and personal” to see it.

The Lord declares that we who follow Jesus are the “apple of His eye.” God desires intimacy. When He looks deep into the eyes of  His believers, He expects to see a reflection of Himself. He longs for His Bride to look into the eyes of her Bridegroom and see herself reflected there. As we embrace the privilege and joy of being Christians, we are now the Lord’s special people. May our love for our Beloved Messiah deepen as we draw closer to Him. May we long for Him to see in us a mirror image of His love and character.

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Spiritual Refreshing

DSC_0465We are often busy with work, bills, medical appointments, school, church and social activities. At times, God seems distant. He promised never to leave us, but our emotions crowd out the truth and we feel overwhelmed, forgotten and alone.

I remember being in Hawaii for our twentieth anniversary on a guided rafting trip. The day was gorgeous with tropical sunshine, turquoise water, white foam waves and salty sea spray. Breathless, I watched the dolphins dance, frolic and spin in the air. They thrilled me and I felt a greater awareness of God.  These sea creatures delighted in playing, having fun and enjoying life.

Sunset in the Alaskan Bush

Not everyone can see dolphins dance. But all of us can take time to slow down and enjoy God’s creation whether the dazzling starry skies, the glorious rainbow or the spectacular colors of the sunset.

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In these moments, God refreshes our souls, encourages our hearts and calms our fears by gently reminding us that He is always with us.