Monthly Archives: April 2015

Lessons Learned the Past 10 Years, Part 1

Last week, I shared the story of our journey to Cheney 10 years ago. In some ways, it seems just like yesterday. In other ways, it seems like a lifetime ago. Time passes both like a flash of lightning and at a snail’s pace simultaneously.

There have been many ministry lessons that I have learned these past 10 years. Although what I’ve learned is in the context of serving at a church, I believe these lessons can be translated into other parts of life as well. In the next few blog posts, I will be sharing several lessons learned. I will start with the number one thing:

#1) How to Keep Family before Ministry

God’s ordained order of priority in life is #1 God, #2 family, #3 work. When you are “work”ing in ministry, sometimes the lines get blurred between God and work and then family is what suffers. My relationship with God is separate from working in the church. It is obeying Him, spending time with Him, honoring Him in my thoughts and actions.

As I keep God first, my next priority is to my family, the very people He placed in my home. I need to spend adequate time with them in order to build strong relationships with each of them – hubby and each child. I am foolish when I expect my schedule or others to make boundaries for me . . . that’s just not going to happen. If I am going to have proper boundaries, I am going to need to be the one to set them.

It can be difficult to have both mom and dad working in ministry. Yet, I am grateful that I have been able to set my schedule so that my family comes before work. This past year has been sobering for me as I realized I have 5 years left before my youngest graduates from high school and leaves home. Only 2 years for my daughter. I don’t want to have regrets that I didn’t spend as much time with them as I could because I was too busy “doing the Lord’s work”. For the past 16 years, the “Lord’s work” has been raising my kids as much as it’s been teaching His Word or discipling women or praying for others.

I have been so blessed that as I have set my boundaries for what is healthy for our family, our church leadership and congregation has gotten on board and not had unrealistic expectations of what I can do in the church. They have been a gift of God’s grace to me and I believe both our family and our church have been blessed because we are following God’s order of priorities.

How about you? Are you following God’s order? Is He first? Does He get your time? How much of your heart does he have right now? Is there anything you are placing as more important than Him?

Now what about your family? Do they have a higher priority of your time and attention than your work, or even your “ministry”? If someone asked them, would they say that you make them a priority? Do they feel loved and cared for?

Finally, your work. Whatever God has called you to do; He will give you the ability and strength to do. Rely upon Him and His strength. If you are in a busy season of life, use wisdom in how you spend your time. There is only so much you can get done in a day. There is always tomorrow. I promise you, if you keep God first and then your family next after that, God will help you with your work, whatever that may be! Take it one day at a time. Say “No” when you have to. Rely upon Him and His strength.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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10 Years in Cheney!

Ten years ago this week, my husband backed a big moving truck into our driveway and my then six year old daughter and three year old son climbed up into it before our friends began filling it up with boxes that contained our life over the past six years.

Moving truck 2005

Although we were assured of God’s plan to move to a new place to pastor a hurting little church, we were very sad to leave the people God had called us to serve.

KCC 2005

In looking at this picture, I teased my husband that he looked so young, but that I looked about the same (*smile*)!

Here is a recent family picture, and as you can see, we have ALL matured and don’t look as young as we did 10 years ago!

Easter 2015

On April 13th 2005, that big moving truck pulled into our new driveway and people we didn’t know began unloading and unpacking the same boxes that the dear people we loved and trusted had packed just a couple days before. Could we ever grow to accept, love and trust these new people like we loved those we just said goodbye to? The jury was still out, but we were willing to give it a try.

As the boxes got unpacked and we began to get settled, it became clear to us that God was indeed calling us to love the handful of families that had just walked through several months of difficulties.

In fact, on our first Sunday as my husband was closing the service, he said these words, “Always remember that Jesus loves you very much. So do Kate and I. Have a great week. We’ll see you next Sunday.” Little did we know that phrase would stick and he has been saying it now each Sunday for 10 years in a row.

I am happy to report that YES! God has grown a deep love in our heart both for the people of our church and the people of our town. My husband and I have learned and grown as leaders and over the next few blog posts, I will be sharing some of the things I have learned these past 10 years.

At times, it has been a wild ride . . . so, just for fun, let me leave you with this fun link of a couple little girls who took a wild ride themselves and lived to tell about it!

Your Friend in Ministry,1Signature

Why Do We Call it “Good” Friday?

Today is “Good” Friday. As I thought about this day, the question came to my mind, why do we call it “good”?

Is it “good” that Jesus was flogged and whipped? John 19:1

Is it “good that His brow was pierced with a crown of thorns? John 19:2

Is it “good” that they mocked Him and struck Him in the face? John 19:3

Is it “good” that He carried the weight of a giant cross? John 19:17

Is it “good” that they crucified Him? John 19:18

Is it “good” that His mother, Mary, stood at the foot of the cross watching her firstborn son die in agony? John 19:25

Is it “good” that they pierced His side and blood and water flowed? John 19:34

For those experiencing these events take place, living the drama before them, there was nothing “good” about that day. Yet, God took something that was Oh. So. “Bad”. and turned it around for “good”.

Is it “good” that the penalty that your sin demanded has been paid?

Is it “good” that by His stripes you have been healed?

Is it “good” that because they mocked Him you are given dignity?

Is it “good” that because He carried His cross, He is strong enough to help you carry the weight of yours?

Is it “good” that they brutally took His life, so He could graciously give you eternal life?

Is it “good” that He offered His mother comfort in her darkest hour so that He could send The Comforter to be with you on yours?

God is still in the business of taking the circumstances of your life: the pain, the drama, the wrong, the bad, and turning them into something “good”. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the ‘good’ of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Just like He did with Jesus, He will do for you.

Trust Him.

Surrender to Him.

Believe Him.

“Good” Friday was “bad” for Jesus, but it was Oh. So. “Good”. for you. He endured the “bad” because of His great love for you. Rest in His love on this “Good” Friday.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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