Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s the Position, not the Person

This past week, it happened again.  Only this time, it didn’t hurt like it has in the past.  I was teaching at our Community-wide Bible Study and it was time to go to our “Encouragement Groups” where we discuss the questions that I have written to go along with the lesson.  This time, I decided to be a part of a group on the other side of the room that I have not been in before.  As I joined the group, the facilitator made several comments about me being in the group and how much pressure she would now feel to do a good job.  I graciously assured her that I knew she would do a good job and that I was there to discuss the questions along with everyone else, not evaluate her performance.

For leaders, these types of comments can be regular occurrences.  I remember several years ago, after church one Sunday, our family went out to eat and ran into two other families who were already seated and eating.  As we walked over to greet them, they said, “Now we have to be good since the pastors are here.”  Those words stung, because we were going to greet them as people, not pastors.  We weren’t there as the morality police, just a family wanting to join others for a meal together.

In the past, hurt feelings were common for me in these types of situations, especially since I have made a concerted effort to be approachable and friendly with everyone I come in contact with.  I then realized that “It’s the position, not the person” that people are intimidated by.  I can be as down to earth as anyone, yet because there is a position of authority associated with me that position gets in the way, and can cause a feeling of discomfort for others.  Once I came to that realization, I was able to not take comments as personally.  Therefore, when my friend said what she did when I joined her group at Bible Study, I was able to remind myself that it’s my position as a leader that she was commenting upon, not who I am as a person.

For me, half the battle of being successful in the ministry God has called me to has been accepting my role and position.  I did not ask for this position, but God called me to fill it.  When I walk in obedience to His calling, there is great blessing that comes as a result.  I don’t have to apologize or feel bad because he has called me to be a leader.  As I have learned to accept the authority that comes with what He has called me to do, I can graciously respond to any comment that is made, reassuring people of my belief in them and the role God has called them to fill.  I then get to focus on becoming a genuinely kind and loving person who just happens to have a position as well.

Heavenly Father, thank You that You have called me to be a leader.  Even though leaders are often misunderstood, help me to be genuine and approachable.  When comments are made about me, help me to remember that people are commenting on my position, not who I am as a person.  I re-commit myself to serving you by serving others.  In Jesus’ Name and for His sake, Amen.

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

Overflowing with Hope

A couple of mornings ago, as I was cleaning the bathroom I flushed the toilet and instead of the water going down, it slowly began to rise.  I needed the plunger, and quick!  I happened to be in the upstairs bathroom and the plunger was way downstairs in the basement.  I ran down the stairs as fast as my middle-age legs could carry me, grabbed the plunger and then ran back up the stairs (not quite as fast as on the way down -smile-).  Thankfully I was able to unplug the toilet right before it began to overflow.  Pfewww, disaster averted!  This brought back memory of a time when one of my children (who shall remain nameless) was about three years old and decided to see how much toilet paper they could flush down the toilet.  I didn’t realize what had happened until it was too late.  I could not get that water to stop gushing until it had completely soaked the carpet out into the hallway.  When something is overflowing, it’s hard to get it to stop!

The thought of an overflowing toilet always reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses, Romans 15:13.  I especially love it in the Amplified Version.

Romans 15  13

We serve a God of hope!  In His eyes, there is no hopeless person, there is no hopeless situation, and there is nothing hopeless about the place where you may find yourself right now!  God’s hope is what fills us with both joy and peace as we put our faith in Him alone!  As we trust in Him, the Holy Spirit does an amazing thing in us, He allows our souls to overflow, bubble over with hope.  Hope in God perpetuates itself and leads to an overflow of hope that won’t stop gushing out of us.  When something is overflowing, it’s hard to get it to stop.  This is true of toilets and it is true of us!

Do you need some hope?  Are you placing your hope in a desired outcome, a person, your own plans?  Placing hope in anyone or anything other than God clogs the overflowing hope of Christ, because that kind of hope leads to disappointment.  However, if you place your hope in God, you will never be disappointed!  No matter what life (or ministry) throws at ya, you can get through it with the overflowing (bubbling over) hope of Christ!

May you bubble over with hope today!

Thank you, Father, that you are a God of hope!  Please help me to re-direct any misplaced hope and place my hope in You alone.  Because of Jesus, there is no hopeless person, place or thing.  May I trust in You.  As I do, Your promise is that I will overflow with hope!  In Jesus’ Name and for His sake, Amen

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

Celebrating Your Kid’s Birthdays

Last week my son turned 12.  Birthdays are kinda a big deal at the Posthuma house.  Always have been always will be.  In fact, I remember our oldest daughter’s first birthday.  My husband and I planned a great party for her.  That first birthday started the tradition of mom and dad working together to make birthdays special and it is something we LOVE to do together.

This year was no different.  In fact, this year my son had three separate occasions to be celebrated (this doesn’t always happen).  First family and family-friends dinner, second his actual birthday and finally a sleepover with his best friend.

There are many ways you can celebrate a person.  One of the most effective ways is by using the Five Love Languages:

1)      Words of affirmation

2)      Quality time

3)      Acts of service

4)      Physical touch

5)      Gifts

Most people have 1 or 2 primary languages in which they receive love.  However, research shows they aren’t determined in children until after age eight.  Therefore, kids need to be shown love in all of the above.  What better way to make sure your child feels loved than by incorporating each of these into their birthday celebration?

This is how we celebrated our son using all five love languages:

1)      Words of affirmation – each year at the family/family-friends dinner (birthday boy or girl gets to choose the meal) we set aside time to share what we appreciate about the birthday boy or girl and how we have seen them grow over the past year.  Anyone who wants to share is invited to.  Some of the things shared for our son this year were, “You have made your faith your own”, “You are such a gentleman that likes to help”, “You have good manners and handle yourself well when talking on the phone”, “You are maturing and taking on more responsibilities”.

tj bday

2)      Quality time – no matter how old kids get, they need lots and lots of quality time with their parents.  My son’s birthday was on a Thursday this year, which is a very busy day for my husband.  However, he cancelled both his early morning and evening appointments to be home to spend the morning and evening with my son.  Our daughter went to youth group that night, but he got to stay home and spend quality time with just his mom and dad.  Part of the quality time spent included an act of service.

3)      Acts of service – this year one of our gifts to our son was spending over two hours working with him to clean his room.  This was no small task.  In fact, this was quite a big deal for me, because usually I can’t stay in his room too long before I feel like I am going to have a mild panic attack.  However, 5 big black trash bags later that were donated or tossed in the trash, we helped him get his room in great shape.  Even though the gift of cleaning his room didn’t seem like a great gift to begin with, he greatly appreciated the time and service we gave him.  In fact, when we were done, my son literally presented me with a medal because I had survived a major room clean with my patience intact.

Medal of Honor

4)      Physical touch – there is lots of physical touch in our family.  On birthday mornings, we go into the birthday boy or girl’s room and wake them up by singing them “Happy Birthday” and giving them hugs and kisses.

5)      Gifts – birthday gifts are a given!  However, it is amazing to me how they can become of secondary importance.  What is remembered, isn’t the gifts, it’s how special they felt and the presence of important people in their life that gets remembered.

Birthdays are an important part of our family traditions.  We make a big deal about birthdays because it’s a way to show how happy we are that our children were born, that we love them and are so grateful they are a part of our family.  This lets them know that their life has value and importance.  Also, it allows them to be the main focus for a few days.  This shows them that even with parents who both serve in ministry, they are our first and greatest priority.

The next time one of your kid’s birthday rolls around I encourage you to make it a big deal with your own family traditions (or borrow one of ours).  Our children are one of God’s greatest gifts to us and that is something to be celebrated!

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3