Category Archives: Why Ministry is the Best Gig in the World

Why Ministry is the Best Gig in the World . . . Summer!

Summer is, by far, my favorite time of the whole year for several reasons.  My birthday is in summer, I get to spend more time with my kids during the summer, it stays lighter longer, we go on family vacation, and Vacation Bible School is in the summer – I always call that week “the best week of the summer!”.  This year for VBS, I got to hang out with 11 kids and experience VBS as a group leader, which was so much fun (especially as someone who has directed VBS for years).  I thoroughly enjoyed building relationships and investing in the lives of those 4th graders.

VBS 2016

Also this summer, at our church, we also put on our first youth camp.  We had 38 campers, middle school and high school.

C-AMP

My own kids were there and my husband and I got to go and be a support in a variety of ways – he set up and ran the sound for the services, and pulled kids on tubes for hours.

Mark and boat

I got to encourage the lady cabin leaders and be available for any issues they needed help with.  We also got to love on kids.

Me & Jo

In fact, I made it my goal to have a personal conversation with each and every camper, and I did it!  I learned all kinds of things about these kids.  For example, one girl had a little kitty that was very sick, another girl’s favorite candy bar was cow tales – but they’re hard to find, another guy’s family was in the process of moving, and yet another young man’s favorite music was either Celtic or Traditional hymns.  Probably my favorite conversation was with a 6th grade girl who had just started attending youth group.  She was telling me that the past year in 5th grade she was beginning to doubt if God was real or not.  Then during the singing part of one of our services, she heard someone call her name and when she looked behind her to see who it was, she heard the voice say “I love you” and she recognized it as God speaking to her.  Needless to say, she doesn’t doubt Him any longer.

It was a great week corporately; however, there were also some great things that happened for me personally.  On the first night, as we were listening to the speaker, I had a strong remembrance of being a high schooler at camp.  It was almost as if I was transported back 25 years in time.  I remembered the youth camps I attended with my sisters and friends.  I remembered the summer I felt God’s Spirit tug on my heart, calling me to serve Him in ministry and noticing that at that very moment, God was placing that same call on my friend Mark as well.  Fast forward 25 years, I am now married to Mark and God has indeed called us to serve Him as pastors of a little flock called Cheney Faith Center.

M & K C-AMP

As I sat in that service reminiscing about His goodness and faithfulness, I couldn’t help but wonder about the future of the young people in front of me.  Would any of them grow up and get married to each other?  Who would God call into the ministry?  What types of exploits, whether big or small, would these kids do for Jesus?

Josh

Another great thing that happened for me at camp was God gave me a deep personal assurance about my own kids and their relationship with Jesus.  As a parent, I often don’t see how God is working in my children’s lives and can be tempted to panic and try to grasp for control.  Yet, God again reminded me that just like Mark and I had our personal faith journey, my children do as well.  Their faith journey will look different than mine.  God, in His goodness, assured me that He is working in my children’s lives and that He can be trusted.

AJ and baby

TJ guitar

The final thing that was a real blessing to me was a brief interaction I had with a young woman who was a middle school cabin leader.  It was the last day of camp and we were packing up and cleaning up in the rain.  It had also rained most of the night before and everything was muddy.  One of the things that I don’t like is being dirty.  Yet, as I was wrapping up the power cord that gave electricity to our tent trailer, my hands got covered in wet dirt.  I was dirty and I didn’t like it.  After I was done, I walked by this cabin leader and I showed her my hands and I said, “I got dirty”.  I’m sure I had a pitiful look on my face too.  Without even hesitating, she took my dirty hands in her clean hands and began wiping the dirt away.  She said some soothing words and let go of my hands and we both went about our business.

Querida

Even now as I write this, I am moved to tears by her act of kindness and love.  She was willing to get her hands dirty to remove the dirt from mine.

Isn’t that just like what Jesus did?  He, who knew no sin, took my sin, and yours, upon Himself.

And now He calls us to take others “dirty hands” and be Jesus with skin on by loving, forgiving and accepting those He places in our path.  Just like I came across this cabin leaders’ path, Jesus puts others in our path who need us.  When they do, what choice will you make – ignore them, change the course of your path so you can avoid them, briefly interact with them or fully engage them right where they’re at.  This proved to be a profound illustration in such a small interaction.

As I sit here writing this, there are three and a half weeks left before school starts and the summer season comes to an end.  Since summer is my favorite season, it’s hard to let it go.  Yet, just like in life, there is good in each and every season.

Thank you, Jesus, for the fruit of this summer season, may it be lasting and good.

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

Why Ministry is the Best Gig in the World . . . Answered Prayers!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog sharing one of the reasons why I love ministry, but on Sunday me and Jesus had a moment and it is one I want to share with you.

This past weekend was full of activity – adorable house guests,

Tj and baby

 

an epic EWU football game with a win in OT,

EWU game

 

introducing an assistant pastor to our Cheney Faith Center family,

new pastor

 

Our small group discipleship time with our interns, (I don’t have a picture, but will share more about this another time),

 

and then no school on Monday, so we had a pumpkin party with different friends coming over for pumpkin carving, carmel apples, pizza and fun.

pumpkin carving

Aj and pumpkin

Tj and friends

 

Full weekends like this one are exciting and enjoyable for most of the members of my family who like to be around people. For those of us who need some solitude, weekends like this can be a challenge, but we just make sure said person/s get some alone time in the midst of the chaos!

I like how God brings people into your life. Some people he brings for a lifetime, some for a season, and some for the briefest of moments. The people God brings into my life inevitably work their way into my tender heart, especially the longer they stick around. Once they have worked their way into my heart, I can’t help but love them, and as I’ve said before, the best way to love someone is to pray for them . . . which leads me to my Jesus moment on Sunday.

I was standing in our Auditorium during the second service. It was Worship time and as we were singing I realized that I was both holding a little miracle and standing next to a miracle as well.  The miracle I was holding was a dear friend’s five month old baby. For about 7 years, I prayed with and for this friend to find a husband. But, it couldn’t be just any man, he had to be Godly, and he had to be at least six feet. Talk about a tall order (pun intended *smile*). Well after many years of faithful prayer, God moved this friend away from our town, much to my heart’s sadness, and sure enough, she met her husband. They got married last July and had a baby nine months and two weeks later. This was the precious baby I was holding in my arms. Looking down into her sweet little face, I was overcome with emotion as I thanked God for His goodness and faithfulness to send my friend a husband and then bless her with a little baby girl. All babies are miracles, but this one especially so, since I had been so invested through praying for her mama.

Then, I realized that not only was I holding a miracle, I was standing next to one as well. Another dear friend is just now able to attend church after her leukemia diagnosis in November, 2013. What a loooong two years it has been as she underwent chemotherapy, was put on the wait list for a bone marrow donor, went through the bone marrow transplant and now is still recovering from the toll all of that took on her body. As soon as she was diagnosed, I knew she would need intense and regular prayer, so we assembled a seven woman prayer team and each lady chose a day of the week to pray over our sister, so that she got daily prayer covering. We prayed and encouraged our sister through this most difficult time of her life. To be able to stand next to this friend and hear her singing God’s praises in her beautiful singing voice brought me to tears as I recognized God’s goodness and faithfulness in keeping her alive.

When your life is full of people, whether you serve in full-time ministry or not, your life becomes intertwined with theirs. Their joys fill your heart with joy and your heart becomes connected with their hurt. As you pray and support them through their hurt, you get to witness miracles, both big and small. These miracles allow your faith to grow as you continue to pray for the miracles you’ve yet to see, such as healing for a friend, or another child for a couple you love, or hope in a troubled marriage.

Let’s be people who embrace those God puts in our life. Let’s love them well and allow our hearts to become connected to theirs. Let’s pray big and bold prayers for them. As we do, we get the blessing of being a part of the miracles God works in their lives!

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

 

Why Ministry is the Best Gig in the World – Reason 3, Grad Parties!

Each May, like clock-work, the graduation announcements start rolling in.  When you serve in the ministry, you get invited to a lot of graduation parties.  This was a record breaking year.  We were invited to nine parties.  Nine, count ‘em!  We were able to attend all but one.  Although, we had to divide and conquer in order to do it.  Below are pictures of our fun day!

2014 Grad gifts

Journals for all the Graduates

Carson

Jacob

 feet

I’ve known this kid since  he was a lil’ guy.  He’s not so lil’ anymore!

Kinsie

 Peter

What a great day spending time with each of these special grads.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about their plans after graduation and encouraging them.  (Plus all the great food too!)  When you serve in ministry, you’re placed in the privileged position of celebrating people’s special moments in life.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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