Pastor’s Wife Information Archives

31 Days of Praying for Your Pastor

This was taken from Revive Our Hearts website…Take the 31 Days of Praying for Your Pastor Challenge

Day 1: Pray that your pastor will love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. Pray that God’s Spirit will work in his heart in power and that he will value and follow biblical priorities. (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 6:33)
Day 2: Pray that your pastor will cultivate strong character and uncompromising integrity. Pray that his testimony will be genuine, and that he will never do anything that he would need to hide from others. (1 Tim. 1:5, 3:7; Eph. 6:10-12)
Day 3: Pray for his personal walk with God—that his soul and spirit will be nourished and strengthened in his quiet time with God, beyond sermon preparation. Pray that he will spend more time in the Word of God. (Mark 1:35; 2 Tim. 2:15-16)
Day 4: Pray that your pastor will counsel and teach with discernment through the wise use of Scriptures and faith in God’s power to work. Pray that he will be protected from the effects of sinful or negative attitudes that he encounters as he counsels. (Mal. 2:7; James 1:5-6; John 17:15)
Day 5: Ask God to protect your pastor’s marriage and keep it strong as a model of Christ’s relationship with the Church. Pray that your pastor will tenderly cherish and lead his wife, and that she will respect and encourage her husband, submitting to his leadership. (Eph. 5:23-33)
Day 6: Pray that God will protect your pastor’s wife from bitterness when her husband is criticized. Pray that her prayer and devotional life will be consistent, and that she will guard her mind and heart. (Heb. 12:15; Prov. 4:23)
Day 7: Pray for your pastor’s children, and especially that the pressures of the ministry will not discourage or embitter them. Pray that your pastor will provide godly leadership in the home, not based on fear of what others will think, but according to scriptural truth. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:20-21)
Day 8: Ask God to protect your pastor from evil plots of Satan. Pray that he will not be corrupted as he rubs shoulders with the world in the course of the ministry. ( Isa. 54:17; 2 Cor. 2:11; 1 Pet. 3:12; Ps. 9:9,10, 91:9,10)
Day 9: Pray that God will build a hedge of protection around your pastor’s family. Pray that your pastor will guard from any improper relationships and that their family time will be protected. (Ezek. 22:30a; 2 Cor. 10:4,5; Matt. 19:6)
Day 10: Pray that your pastor will use discernment in use of emails, internet, texting, and other media sources. Ask God to protect his heart concerning the use of his free time. Pray that he will be morally pure and that he will wear the armor of God so that he will not fall to temptation. (Rom. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:16; Eph. 6:10-18; 2 Cor. 10:4)
Day 11: Pray that God will bring godly friends and encouragers to your pastor and his family, to strengthen them for the ministry and provide meaningful fellowship with times of rest. (Phil. 2:19-25)
Day 12: Pray that your pastor will be humble and authentic in his faith, not given to pride or hypocrisy. Pray that he will have pure motives and give God glory for every gain and victory. (Micah 6:8; Gal. 6:14; John 7:17,18; 1 Cor. 10-13)
Day 13: Pray that your pastor will make wise lifestyle choices in order to protect his health, especially in the areas of exercise, eating moderately, and getting sufficient rest. Pray for times of relaxation and renewal to balance the stress of ministry. (Rom. 12:1,2; 1Cor. 6:19,20; 9:27, 10:13; James 3:1,2)
Day 14: Pray that your pastor will focus on the Word of God and walk in the fear of the Lord, instead of the fear of man, as he prepares his message. Pray that he will seek to please God rather than men and pursue holiness rather than the praise of men. (Prov. 19:23; Acts 6:4; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Tim. 4:1,2; Heb. 11:6)
Day 15: Praise God for your pastor’s leadership and pray that he will make godly decisions. Pray that he will lead with a shepherd’s heart and that he will always speak the truth in love. (1 Kings 3:9; Jer. 3:15; Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Pet. 5:2)
Day 16: Pray that your pastor will be courageous in the pulpit in proclaiming Christ and confident in his use of the Word of God. Ask God to help him speak with insight, transparency, and humility. (Col. 1:28, 4:3a; Eph. 6:19)
Day 17: Pray that your pastor will be a “Great Commission Man”, committed to personal evangelism and equipping the saints to seek the lost. Pray that he will have a heart to develop a thriving missions program in his church. (Matt. 28:19,20; Luke 19:10; Rom. 10:15)
Day 18: Pray that your pastor will be a man of prayer, worship, and lead by example—teaching the congregation how to walk in a close relationship with the Father. (Matt. 4:10; Mark 1:35; Luke 22:36; Acts 1:14a; 1 Thess. 5:17)
Day 19: Pray that your pastor will use wise time management, seeking God’s perspective for his schedule, and guarding his time against unnecessary interruptions. (Ps. 90:12; John 9:4; Eph. 5:15,16; Col. 4:5)
Day 20: Pray for fresh divine anointing on your pastor’s ministry. Pray that God’s working will be powerfully evident in his personal life and the spiritual life of the congregation. (Rom. 15:18,19a; 1 Cor. 9:27; 2 Tim. 1:7)
Day 21: Pray for your pastor will not give in to discouragement. Let him deal with inevitable criticism and conflict by committing himself into the hands of God, who judges righteously. (1 Pet. 2:23)
Day 22: Let him edify the congregation with wisdom and serving with God’s “agape” love. (Luke 9:23,24, 10:43b-45; John 13:5-9; Gal. 5:13b; Phil. 2:3,4)
Day 23: Pray for spiritual unity in the church staff and among the spiritual leadership of the church. Pray that the enemy will not be allowed to create division, strife, or misunderstanding among church leaders. (Rom. 14:19; 1 Cor. 12:25)
Day 24: Pray that God will give your pastor clear, biblical vision of what your church can be and should be doing for His glory. Pray that he will communicate that vision clearly and confidently to the church. (Prov. 29:18; Mal. 3:11; John 15:16, 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:5)
Day 25: Pray that your pastor will seek God for personal revival, and for the revival in your church and community. (2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 69:32)
Day 26: Pray that your pastor will think biblically, with the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16; Eph. 4:17; Col. 2:6-8)
Day 27: Pray that he will earnestly seek God’s will and be committed to instant and complete obedience—ready for God to work powerfully in and through his ministry. (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Luke 9:23,24)
Day 28: Pray that he will strive for personal excellence and will believe God for all He wants to do in the congregation and pastor’s life. (Col. 3:23,24; 2 Pet. 1:3)
Day 29: Pray that your pastor will be a man of faith and passionate for the love of God, not given to worry, fear, or an uptight or anxious spirit. (Prov. 3:5,6; 1 John 4:18)
Day 30: Ask God to provide for the financial needs of your pastor and family. Pray that he will be a wise steward of his finances as well as the finances of the church. (Ps. 37:25; Phil. 4:19; 1 Tim. 6:11; Heb. 13:50)
Day 31: Ask God to heal any hurts that your pastor has suffered in the ministry. Pray that he will serve the Lord with gladness, and encourage the congregation to worship God with a joyful, surrendered spirit. (Is. 61:3)

© Revive Our Hearts.Used with permission.Take the 31 Days of Praying for Your Pastor Challengehttp://www.ReviveOurHearts.comInfo@ReviveOurHearts.com

Be Sociable, Share!

Jesus Christ’s perspective toward women was completely opposed to His Middle Eastern culture. Women were often treated as property. A wife couldn’t divorce her husband, but a husband could divorce his wife for any reason. Women were viewed as inferior to men. Jewish rabbis began every temple meeting with the words, “Blessed art thou, O Lord, for thou has not made me a woman.”

Remember when the religious leaders caught the woman in the act of adultery. They were hoping to get Jesus to verbally go against their law. “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What do you think?” If Jesus gave the woman mercy, it meant He overlooked adultery and their law. If He told these leaders to stone her, then everything He had been teaching about mercy and forgiveness would be of none effect.

Jesus bent down and began writing with his finger on the ground. He stood up saying, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. One by one they walked away, “beginning with the oldest” until it was only Jesus left with the woman. Jesus then asked her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? The Woman said, “No man, Lord,” Jesus then told her, “Neither do I condemn thee…Go and sin no more.”

Jesus did not come to judge but to seek and save the lost. Praise the Lord, He changes us like He changed that woman.

I love when Jesus said, “I must needs to through Samaria”. He knew exactly who He would encounter there. Jesus knew that this Samaritan woman, considered inferior with a bad reputation, would be at the well at that particular time.

Being weary from His journey, Jesus appeared and spoke to her, “Give Me a drink?” Not only was He not suppose to speak to her because He was a Jew, and she was a Samaritan, but men weren’t suppose to speak to women without their husbands being present.

Jesus knew all about the law…but He also knew that this woman needed spiritual water more than He needed physical water.

F. B. Meyer said, “I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other and that the taller we grew in Christian character the more easily we could reach them. I now find that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower.” Remember, it was Mary Magdalene—who was content to kneel at Jesus’ feet—who was also honored to be the first to see the Lord after His resurrection and share that good news with others (John 20:17).

Submission is the putting of oneself under the authority of another. It is an act of humility, something that both men and women in our churches should practice. Although Paul taught that women ought to submit to the authority of men in the church, this must never be an excuse to promote the idea that women are inferior and are not as valuable as men. Christ submitted to the Father, yet He is equal to the Father in worth and essence. Therefore, submission is about order, not value!

During Jesus time, most of the pagan religions had women priests, yet there is not a single example in Scripture of a woman being ordained as a priest, pastor, or elder. Even though in Jesus culture and time women were not valued, that was not Jesus’ idea of women.

Today marketing and television portray it attractive to exalt women as leaders over men. Religious leaders are ordaining women to the ministry. Even though this is where our culture is going, there is a great problem with this concept in Scripture. If we are going to reject these politically correct teachings of the world, we must also teach women the clear teachings of Christ about women’s role as leaders.

Jesus spoke with women (John 8:10–11), He served women (John 2:1–11), He healed women (Mark 5:21–43), and He praised women (Luke 21:1–4).

Ways to promote and encourage women to be leaders in our churches

• Encourage other women by teaching them the principles of God’s Word. Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
• Equip them to study the Bible for themselves.
• Lead them to read good books and have those books available for them.
• Take your women to Ladies Seminars and conferences where they can grow spiritually.
• Pray for the women of your church.
• Provide childcare so that moms can attend Bible studies and events.
• Protect women and children within your church from abusive situations. Partner with ministries that serve women who are facing crisis pregnancies or are victims of sex trafficking or domestic abuse.
• In your church, “adopt” a widow or single mom to care for. Help her with lawn care, snow removal, and home maintenance projects.
• Invite a single woman to join your family for dinner.
• Host a brunch where single moms or widows can give and receive encouragement.
• When you talk about abortion, speak with love and grace. The post-abortive woman needs to know forgiveness is possible at the cross.
• Actively seek out women to teach or lead in biblically appropriate situations.
• When serving in your church, value your sisters in Christ…their intellect… their gifts…and their talents.
• Thank your pastor’s wife for her help and sacrifice.
• Write a note encouraging a mom who is faithfully serving the church by caring for her family.
• Give honor to women by publicly recognizing their contributions to the church.

Be Sociable, Share!

Here are a few ideas for making centerpieces:
• Make luminaries for the tables. Fill white paper bags ¼ way with white sand. Place candles in small jars and place jars in bag.
• Since real flowers are very expensive, use fake flowers. They are less expensive and look great.
• Use helium balloons with fancy ribbons tied to small decorative sandbags.
• Consider decorating seasonal potted flowering plants with foil or pretty paper. Before everyone arrives, place a number under one of the plates on each table. At the end of your meeting, the person with the number takes the plant home.
• Use themes Stepping Up To (volunteer, mission, bus, etc.) or In Their/His/Her Steps. Collect shoes from friends (men’s and women’s) or thrift stores. Spray paint the shoes gold or silver or your theme color. Then arrange the shoes in the center of the tables and slip flowers and candles.
• Use tissue to wrap canning, recycled mayo, or pickle jars. Tie ribbon that matches the tissue paper around the neck of the jar. Place inexpensive flowers in jar.
• For fall or winter centerpieces use free items and natural items such as pinecones, wild berries, acorns or wild nuts or anything native to your area. Use spray paint, empty cans, glue gun, and put items together for a beautiful nature centerpiece. Examples: Hollow out a small pumpkin and place a pot of marigolds or garden mums and place in a small basket with the pumpkin lid leaning against the arrangement.
• For Christmas or winter banquets, purchase a package Chinette plates. Turn plates upside down and hot glue pinecones around the outer edge of the plates. Take a bunch of the pine branches and pine needles and glue them to the plate. In the center of the plate, place a glass votive candle holder w/candle. Spray the entire plate with fake snow to make it look like it’s just had a light dusting of snowfall.
• For fall, make “scare-crow” centerpieces. Use old children’s clothing, some stuffing, and hay. Find tiny sized jeans and little flannel shirts at yard sales or thrift stores. Allow some bits of hay to stick out of the arm and leg openings. Stuff the body with old rags or even newspaper until they are as plump. Hot glue the openings shut. Make the head out of an old tan sock with features drawn on and hay or yarn glued on for hair. Place a hat on its head. Place a scarecrow on each table sitting among fall vegetables or pumpkins. Your scarecrow will probably need to lean against something unless you put him on a stick for support.
• For an elegant centerpiece at Christmas, gather long, thin sticks about 2or 3 feet long. Spray paint them white. Add a bit of glitter. Place iridescent streamers into an old, clear florists’ holder. Arrange Christmas flowers and several of the painted branches into the holder. If you can’t find clear containers, try using any kind of container (large coffee cans, anything) and wrap the containers with pretty tissue (kind of like florists wrap their pots, just bunch the paper up around the container, tie with ribbon. To dress up the area under the “arrangement”, scatter fake snow or confetti.

If you plan on lighting the candles you are placing in your centerpieces, always use candles that are enclosed in glass or metal holders.

Be Sociable, Share!

Help! I’m the Church Secretary

Thom Rainer wrote a blog June 29, 2016, entitled Seven Reasons the Church Secretary Position Is Disappearing. In that blog, he stated, “Many of the responsibilities of Church Secretaries are being replaced with technology. For the traditional church secretary, it means dealing with telephone calls, letters, dictation, and filing in an appropriate and confidential manner. But look at those items I just listed. They have been, or they are being, replaced with technology. There are not many letters these days, but there are a lot of emails. Assistants are replacing the role of a secretary. Church leaders are desiring assistants who can navigate the world of blogs and social media strategically. Some church secretaries can make the transition; many cannot.”

I have to agree with Mr. Rainer when he says, “Many of the responsibilities of church secretaries have changed because of technology.”

Even the small church we are ministering, we use two virtual assistants. One of our assistants uses an online church management system to record membership, visitors, and giving data from her home. The other assistant prepares our church bulletins from her home.

I agree with Thom Rainer concerning times are changing, but I still think there is a definite need for Church Secretaries.

In the beginning of our ministry in Rhode Island, my husband used volunteers. These women were not computer “savvy”, but my husband took time to train them on the computer to do church business.

As these women gained basic computing skills, the church began to pay them small salaries. When their skills developed, two of his secretaries left working in the church office to work for secular employers who could pay them higher wages.

Although it is hard to find those who truly understand about sacrificing their time for the Lord’s service, I have known of smaller churches where the Pastor and Church Secretary remained in their churches for many years without large financial compensations. They considered the Lord’s work more of a ministry than a job.

In smaller churches, many pastors’ wives usually end up being the church secretary. Sometimes this is not an easy task being secretary to a pastor who is also her husband. I remember many years ago when I was working for my husband, and he didn’t see things exactly the way I wanted him to see them…I would say, “But honey.” One day he was getting tired of my…”But honeys” and said, “OUT!” Don’t, “But honey, me!”

For any Pastor or his secretary, Satan will always look for ways to defeat the work of the Lord, especially if the pastor is working with his wife as his secretary. Satan will do anything he can to get you to divide your loyalty and question your husband’s actions and motives. The following are some tips to help you if you are the church secretary in your church.

• Be spirit- filled.
• Be loyal to Christ and your pastor.
• Complete the jobs your pastor assigns you.
• Be an example of godliness in your attitude and dress.
• Make your pastor appear successful. Never try to make him look ignorant through your actions or remarks.
• Don’t give personal opinions about your pastor’s judgment unless he asks you for them.
• Don’t assume too much authority or make decisions that only the pastor should make.

Since people make first impressions with the first things they see, your dress is important. How you dress sends a message to others of how well you take care of details. If you dress sloppy, people will assume that you’re not qualified and that you have a poor intellect. Not only does your dress show others that you can be trusted, but it also shows them that you know what you are doing.

A few tips about your dress:
• Avoid wearing wrinkled clothes.
• Avoid wearing dresses that are low cut, tight fitting, or too short.
• Avoid wearing big jewelry that might be distracting.
• Avoid wearing strong perfume that could be offensive.
• Avoid wearing so much eye makeup that it draws too much attention.

Depending on the size of your church, your responsibilities might be different than a larger church.
• If your church does not have a receptionist, you must be able to greet and assist visitors and members as they enter the building during the week.
• Answer the phone, check voice mail, and communicate messages to pastor and staff.
• Keep a current list of missionaries the church supports and send monthly support. (Some churches have a mission’s secretary that handles this responsibility)
• Post members’ weekly contributions and send out yearly individual giving records.
• Maintain office equipment by cleaning equipment regularly and recommending needs for the office.
• In smaller churches, the church secretary must also perform legal functions of the church clerk.
• The church clerk usually maintains church membership records, sends for church letters, records received letters, takes minutes at business meetings, writes out different certificates such as baptism, baby dedication, and wedding.
• Maintain a weekly list of the addresses and phone numbers of first-time visitors.
• Send letters to first-time visitors.
• Prepare weekly visitation lists for hospital calls, deaths, absentees, and first-time visitors. Since members appreciate phone calls and cards as much as visits, be sure to include phone numbers on the lists.
• Prepare weekly bulletins or newsletters.
• Keep an up-to-date master calendar of events and gather information about members for weekly bulletins. This includes information such as hospital stays, recent deaths, bridal showers, and weddings.
• Keep an up-to-date master list of address labels for special mailings.
• Supervise all computer-related procedures by updating software and anti-virus programs and backing up church data on a regular basis.
• Pay bills
• Generate reports for pastor and other staff as needed.
• Keep updates for church website current. Although most churches have someone in the church that does the website, the church secretary must supply him with current data.
• Maintain office files by filing them in an orderly system, so that others can locate files quickly.
• Organize key box, supply keys to personnel, maintain a master list of person, key, and issue date of the key.
• Maintain a petty cash fund, replenishing in a timely manner to ensure that funds are available when needed.
• Pick up, sort, and deliver mail daily to staff.
• Maintain an inventory of office supplies and make materials available to staff and members as needed.
• Maintain church calendars with current events.

One church secretary shared these ideas with me about her responsibilities in her local church.
• I assist in counting offerings. I always follow two safe accounting principles. 1st two people take the money (ushers) to the office. 2nd two people count the money.
• I do the quarterly payroll taxes using Form 941. Our church accountant cuts the 1099’s and W-2’s.
• I do monthly auditing and reconciling of church books. I compare church paid receipts and deposits against bank statements to ensure that church books are correct with bank records.
• I prepare the prophet’s chamber and prepare baskets for guests.

If a pastor wants the church secretary to assist with bookkeeping, it would be helpful for her to take a basic course of accounting or church bookkeeping.

Be Sociable, Share!

Pray for Your Pastor and His Family

If I were the devil, I would devise a scheme to destroy churches. My number one target would be to attack the pastor. How would I do that? Knowing that his family has the area of greatest vulnerability, I would seek to destroy the church by attacking his family. Paul uses clear battle imagery to describe the challenges and issues we face as Christians because of Satan and his demons.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Some church members might be thinking, “I would never allow Satan to use me to destroy our church.”

All church families are under attack, but particularly pastors’ families.

Below are some ways you might be involved in battles that are taking place in your churches, and you don’t even realize it.

Many churches have unreasonable expectations of the family members of pastors. Because pastors’ children and spouses often feel pressure to live up to the expectations of some church members, it often creates resentment toward the church, their husband, and their father. As we were raising our children, one man in the church would tell his boys, “I don’t care what the Pastor allows his son to do…you’re not doing it.” It’s ironic that today sons don’t want to have anything to do with church…yet our son is a pastor.

Many pastors put church members’ needs before his family. The pastor’s family should have a high priority in his ministry. Some pastors get so busy ministering to the needs of others that they neglect their own families. I truly believe a pastor’s family is his greatest disciples. He is training them to be the future leaders of the church.

Many church members are critical of the pastor’s spouse. I just heard this last week, of a pastor who had to leave his church because of his wife. This pastor’s wife had been criticized and hurt so much by the women in the church that she could no longer endure to stay in the church.

Many pastors’ children rebel. The reason many pastors’ children rebel could be related to the criticisms or expectations of church members. Whatever the reason for their rebellion…this is a great distraction for pastors.

Many pastors get too involved with women in the church. A woman will come to a pastor and think that he is more compassionate and more understanding than her husband. As the pastor begins to counsel, it can lead to unplanned circumstances that eventually lead to the pastor’s ruin.

Many pastors’ low finances put stress on his family. Most church members don’t realize it, but usually pastors are the largest givers in the churches. Jealousy among church members is one of the reasons some church members don’t want their pastors to prosper. Someone once told me that he overheard another member say, “I lived in the nicest house in the church, until that pastor moved into that place.”

Church members do everything you can to protect your pastor’s family. Above all, pray for him and his family every day.

Be Sociable, Share!

Importance of Developing Godly Friends

Friendships are a gift from God. Good friends can help us grow in many different areas. Developing lasting friendships takes time and sacrifice.

Develop a friendship with a missionary, a pastor, or an evangelist: One good way to develop a lasting friendship is to open your home to God’s servants. Some of our greatest friends are missionaries. At different times in our home, my husband and I have enjoyed Korean and Filipino meals, and we have learned many different customs by hosting missionary friends. At other times, we have gained valuable advice from pastors and evangelists we’ve had in our home.

Develop a friendship with a child: Sometimes we forget how valuable our influence can be in a child’s life. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:33…evil communications (companionships) corrupt good manners. Today many children are growing up in families without any moral direction. When you develop a friendship with a child, you might be the very person God will use to sow seeds of faith and encouragement into the heart of a future pastor, pastor’s wife, or missionary wife.

Friendships are very important to our lives: My daughter and son-in-law moved to Texas a few years ago. After living in New England all their lives, it took some time for them to make friends in a new area. Recently, they found a church where they made some wonderful new friends. These new friends relieved their loneliness and gave them a new sense of belonging and purpose. One great thing about friends is that they can spur us onto good works. In fact, it was a good friend who inspired me to write my first book.

Someone once did a survey asking several different people of various ages to write a brief description of a good friend. Here are a few of those descriptions:

“Someone you can bare your soul to and not be afraid it will get around.”
“Someone who has ‘tactful truth’ and is not afraid to tell you.”
“One who knows you well, but still loves you.”
“A person, who understands you, appreciates your view and is loyal to you.
“Someone who enjoys being around you, accepts you for who you are, and is faithful to you when the chips are down.”

…But the definition I like the best is: A friend is a trusted confident to whom I am mutually drawn as a companion and an ally, whose love for me is not dependent on my performance, and whose influence draws me closer to God.

Consider the friendships you have developed through the years:

Casual friends: We all have casual friends. These are people that we have met at different times in our lives, but we didn’t develop lasting friendships with them.

Close Friends: Someone once said, “You only make a few close friends in your lifetime. Our close friends are the friends we have developed through ministry or work, and we desire to stay close to them because of a special bond we’ve experienced. It is these friends that we feel safe enough to share our deepest feelings. Although we don’t see them often, we always look forward to spending time with them.

Counseling Friends: Maybe there was a time in your life that you went through a deep trial or suffering, and you had a friend who counseled you and guided you through your crisis. This friend will always be special to you.

What Does It Take to Develop Lasting Friendships?

First, it takes time and patience: Developing lasting friendships can take months or years. Some people want to make temporary friends with people who have money, position, or power. Friendships built on those criterions will eventually dissolve through time.

Proverbs 19:4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor.

Second, it takes love and sacrifice: Sacrificial love means giving up important things for things that are less important. A person who sacrifices his time and resources to develop a friendship is a person who truly loves. Sacrifices may be as small as sending an email, texting a message, or mailing card.

I read an illustration about a man who lost a good paying job. He was able to get a new job, but it paid much less than his previous one. At the end of the month, this man found it difficult to pay his bills. He reconnected with an old friend who had once been a missionary. This man’s friend, now a pastor of a growing church, realized his friend’s predicament and gave him money to pay his rent. This pastor’s generosity so moved this man, that he remembered thinking at the time, “I have just seen Jesus.”

Matthew 25:40 …Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Third, it takes listening and acceptance: Being a good listener is the largest part of acceptance. Proverbs 18:13 tells us that we must not answer a matter before we truly listen to what others have to say. If a friend is struggling in a certain area, he should feel safe enough with a friend to voice his thoughts without negative criticism or a judgmental opinion.

A good friend can be cheaper than therapy: A judgmental attitude slams the door shut to a friend sharing a problem. It is important not to give a friend advice before hearing all the facts of his situation. I just heard a saying this week, “Unasked for advice is seldom taken.” We all have a tendency to give our “opinions” without fully listening to a person’s problem or circumstance. There are times when our friends just need someone to listen to them without judging them or giving them advice.

One of the first verses I first learned in my counseling training was: Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

John 8 gives us a wonderful example of this in the story of the woman taken in adultery. Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.” Jesus does not expect us to accept or approve of sin; but like Him, we must show His love to our friends without condemning them.

Fourth, it takes encouragement and spiritual edification: Friends either drive us away from the Lord or draw us into a deeper walk with Him.

God’s goal for our lives after we first get saved is our spiritual growth and sanctification. As God begins to mold and transform us, He may begin to take away our old friends because He doesn’t want us to have friends who will be a negative influence in our lives. Many times, it is our old friends who will try to hinder us in our spiritual walk with the Lord.

We need to make friends with other Christians who are godly and Spirit-filled. These are the friends who will help us grow in the Lord.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Be Sociable, Share!

1. Admit to the offended person that there is a problem.
2. Always focus on the problem…not the person.
3. Admit to being part of the problem. You could say, “I realize that you have a problem with me. Can we talk about it?”
4. Don’t assume that you are innocent in the problem.
5. Point out the goodness and value in the offended person.
6. Try to resolve problem by seeing the offended person’s point of view.
7. Ask the offended person’s forgiveness for your part in the problem.
8. Divide the problem into areas where you both agree.
9. Satan’s tactic is to escalate a problem. If the offended person says something to aggravate the problem, keep a calm and relaxed voice and good eye contact. Don’t retaliate with your words. You could say, “Would you give me time to think about this and process it in my mind?”
10. Don’t be so full of pride that you that you can’t learn anything from the offended person.

Be Sociable, Share!

God’s Timing Is Always Perfect

Have you ever felt as if God was not answering your prayers the way you told Him to and at the exact time that you told Him to answer them?

God promises to give us the desires of our hearts but not always according to our time table. We must not rush God and leave the timing with Him. We must remember that God’s timing is perfect.

Psalms 18:30 tells us As for God, his way is perfect. From the time we are born until the moment we die, God is accomplishing His divine purposes on this earth.

Waiting on God’s perfect timing is not always easy. Human nature makes waiting for God’s timing a difficult thing to do. Because we live in a microwave society, even Christians find it difficult to wait for anything or anyone…they want what they want…and they want it right now. Psalm 37:7a Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.

When we wait on the Lord, it reveals our trust in the Lord and His timing. As mature Christians, we understand that God operates according to His perfect and foreordained schedule, not ours. Our heavenly Father knows exactly where we are in our lives at every moment. Remember, everything that happens in our lives is for our good and for His glory. God often uses our trials to strengthen our patience. It is our patience which allows our Christian faith to mature and become complete.

God has a plan for each one of us as His children, and He wants what’s best for us. He always answers our prayers in three ways…No…Yes…and…Not at this time. Sometimes we must wait before He gives us the desires of our hearts. Even though it is in our nature to want to rush things up for God and do things in our own strength, the following story is a great illustration about waiting:

One day a little boy was playing outdoors and found a caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. His mother agreed he could keep it if he promised to take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar, placed plants in it for the caterpillar to eat, and put a stick in it for the caterpillar to attach itself. Every day the boy watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed on the stick and started acting strangely. The boy anxiously called his mother. She watched the caterpillar for a minute and then explained to her son that the caterpillar was making a cocoon, and it was going through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly.

The boy watched the changes of the caterpillar with amazement. Thinking it was taking too long and too much of a struggle for the butterfly to emerge, the boy took a pair of scissors and snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger. The butterfly quickly came out of its cocoon, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings and had to spend the rest of its life crawling around like this, and it was never able to fly.

Sadly, the boy learned that it was necessary for the butterfly to struggle to get out of its cocoon. It was during this struggling process that the butterfly pushed fluid out of its body and into its wings. If the butterfly didn’t go through that struggle, it would never be able to fly. This boy’s intentions were good, but his helping hurt the butterfly.

Consider Joseph and how God worked in his life. Every step of the way in Joseph’s life God was with him. He was with him in the pit…He was with him in the prison, and He was with him in Potipher’s palace. God was working out His perfect will. God needed a man in place to accomplish His perfect will at His perfect time. Think about Esther…God put her in a position of influence at the exact time to save her people.

Many times we want things in our lives that might hurt us. Because God knows us and knows what’s best for us at the exact time, we must be patient and wait for His perfect timing. We must give God a chance to work and to work by His exact timing. When we wait on the Lord, we will see miraculous things happen. Why? Because it’s God’s timing and not ours.

Be Sociable, Share!

Hospitality Tips When Preparing for Guests

Since many of you will be having guests during the holidays, I thought these hints might be helpful. These were taken from my book Given to Hospitality Church or Home.

Being a good hostess does not require a formal education, but it is helpful to know a few basic tips. Some of the following tips I have learned by trial and error.

Several years ago, my husband and I became stewards of a large home. After we moved in, I was so excited about having the room to entertain, I invited twelve pastors and their wives over for dinner. Since I had moved from a house that had one bathroom to a house that had five bathrooms, I did not bother to check the supplies in each bathroom. During the evening, a distinguished pastor sheepishly had to come to me to ask for toilet paper…number 1 rule…make sure all your bathrooms have plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, and air freshener.

• Supply feminine products to guests by putting them in a pretty box or bag and place on the back of toilet.
• Clean house before guests arrive. Don’t rush around cleaning the house while guests are there.
• Chill drinks and make extra ice.
• Arrange furniture to maximize seating for everyone.
• Make sure table is set before guests arrive.

Overnight Guests

Overnight guests can sometimes feel uncomfortable being in an unfamiliar room. Try to make your guest room as comfortable as possible.

Items Needed for a Guest Room

1. A clean bed with extra bedding
2. An iron and ironing board
3. A comfortable reading chair
4. A good lamp and good selection of books
5. A good mirror
6. A clock
7. A box of tissue
8. A small sewing kit
9. A small trash can
10. A good supply of plastic hangers in the closet
11. A writing desk with pens, pencils, paper, scissors, and envelopes
12. A power strip for guests to plug in cell phones and other electronic devices
13. An index card with the code for wireless internet placed in desk drawer.
14. A welcome packet with information about the area
15. A folding luggage rack (this makes a convenient place for a guest to put his suitcase)

Tips to Make Overnight Guests Feel Special

• Leave a welcome gift and note.
• Leave two Hershey kisses or Mint Patties on pillows.
• Have a basket of fresh fruit, two stemmed glasses, and two bottles of water.
• Keep a snack tray available in the kitchen. This tray could include microwave popcorn, oatmeal bars, and individual bags of peanuts, hot chocolate mixes, and herbal teas.
• If your guest room is large enough, keep a compact fridge and stock it with waters, sodas, juices, and other snack items.
• If your guests have to share a bathroom, you might keep large terrycloth bathrobes in the closet.
• Place a TV with a DVD player and inspirational DVDs in guest room.
• Place a stuffed animal on a child’s bed to make him feel more secure.

Tips for Supplying a Guest Bath

When preparing for a guest bath, think about things that you might find in a nice hotel or an upscale Bed and Breakfast. You find nice plump towels, great toiletries, and fresh, clean smells.

Items Needed for a Guest Bath

1. Towels and washcloths
2. Extra toilet paper and tissues
3. Disposable cups
4. Fresh soap
5. Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste
6. Body lotion and moisturizer
7. Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray
8. Deodorant
9. New toothbrushes ,toothpaste, mouthwash
10. Waste basket
11. Air freshener
12. Razors
13. Bubble bath or bath oil (always a special treat)
14. Plunger under the sink
15. Night light

Consider keeping common medicines such as aspirin, anti-diarrhea pills, acid reducers, and a first-aid kit in your guest bath.

Be Sociable, Share!

Points for a Pastor’s Wife

A Pastor’s Wife Should…

1. Be able to think quickly. The pastor’s wife must learn to think through various situations in a moment. She has to realize that the reputation of her husband and future of the church is always at stake.

Special Note: If you’re a pastor’s wife and attend church business meetings, remain silent. Many pastors’ wives have destroyed their testimonies by speaking out in anger during business meetings.

2. Be able to remain strong during difficult times. The pastor’s wife must learn to stay strong when it looks like everyone else is running away from problems. During controversies and trials, she needs to stay calm. In the church, finances might be low one year and high the next. Her husband and the women of the church look to her for stability.

3. Be able to keep confidences. The pastor’s wife usually knows things that aren’t yet ready to be released or talked about publicly. She must learn to answer questions and address issues of importance to people without giving out confidential information.

4. Be able to release control and delegate. The pastor’s wife usually wears many hats. Some pastors want their wives to oversee many different areas of the ministry…office, nursery, children’s classes, ladies’ ministries, or if she has small children, he may want her to stay home and raise their children. If she is going to be a good leader, she must be able to delegate. In order to see other ministries grow, the pastor’s wife must trust other women and take risks with them.

5. Be able to see the spiritual gifts in women and help them find places to serve in the church. The pastor’s wife can’t always just focus on her own agenda of ministry. She must balance all the needs of the church. Since the church is built with many gifted people, she should look for opportunities to use them.

Review the following gifts and look for women in your churches who might be gifted in particular areas to serve:

• Gift of Prophecy-she is someone who is able to boldly proclaim God’s Word.
• Gift of Serving-she is someone who sees jobs in the church not getting done, and she uses available resources to get those jobs done.
• Gift of Teaching-she is someone who has the ability to communicate God’s Word so that women understand His precepts and begin to grow spiritually.
• Gift of Exhorting-she is someone who is a real encourager. She is able to comfort and help others be all that God wants them to be.
• Gift of Ruling and Leading-she is someone who stands before other women by motivating them to get involved in serving.
• Gift of Giving-she is someone who shares liberally and cheerfully the resources God has given her…whether it’s her time or money.
• Gift of Mercy-she is one who is sensitive toward those who are suffering…physically, mentally, or emotionally. She is able to feel genuine sympathy with their misery.

6. Be able to make unpopular decisions. The pastor will undoubtedly make decisions that are unpopular. When these decisions are made, some members take it out on the pastor’s wife, causing her to experience feelings of loneliness.

7. Be able to handle conflicts in the church. The pastor’s wife can’t hide under the bed and wish that all the problems would go away. Sometimes conflicts are healthy and bring about spiritual changes in the lives of their members.

Be Sociable, Share!
 Page 1 of 11  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »