Women’s Ministry 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Do You Desire to Feel God’s Presence?

Exodus 33:1-3 And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.

Wow! What scary words… I will not go with you. I will give you an angel to go before you—but I will not go with you.

What is it to feel God’s presence?

Many times we are like those Israelites…we have His protection and provision, but we don’t experience His presence.

Exodus 34:6-8 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

I want to feel God’s presence in my life more than anything. As I was reading a devotion the other day, it caused me to ponder my relationship with the Lord. Am I allowing any of the same things in my life that caused God to remove His manifested presence from the Israelites’ lives. Are there areas in my life where I have disobeyed the Lord?

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

As I read the devotion, I had to honestly ask myself, “Judy, are there any known sins in your life today?”

Have I been forgiving, kind not only my words, but kind in my thoughts?
Have I been faithful with the money the Lord puts in my hand?
Have I been faithful to pray for my brothers, sisters, and missionaries who are struggling and going through trials?
Have I been faithful with my Bible reading?

I had to search my heart and pray…Lord, I don’t want to grieve Your Spirit. Show me the areas where I’m failing You. I know that if I disobey you in any area of my life, I won’t feel Your presence. Please keep me in Your presence this day.

Augustine said, “We are all men most miserable until we find our all in Thee.”

I had to ask myself, “Has my devotion to the Lord been divided? Is there anything in my life that I love, fear, serve, or trust more than the Lord? Is there anything or anyone that takes precedence over God’s will for my life? Have I been defiant in any area of my life?”

God called the Israelites a stiff-necked people. If I want to feel God’s presence and be real in my life, I can’t be stiff-necked in any area.

Many times, we don’t even realize ways we could be grieving the Holy Spirit. Ask yourself this morning…have I been stiff-necked when the Lord asked me to…

Put His Word and prayer before checking Facebook
Minister in the nursery
Be faithful to tithe and give a weekly Faith Promise offering
Forgive a sister or brother who has offended me

Psalm 51:10 Create in us clean hearts, O God; and renew right spirits within us. We want to feel Your presence today.

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The Parable of the Young Mother

The young mother placed her foot upon the path of life. “Is the way long?” she asked…and her guide said , “Yes, and the way is hard. You’ll be old before you reach the end of it, but the end is better than the beginning.”

The young mother was happy, and she just couldn’t believe anything would ever be better than these years. So she played with her children and gathered flowers with them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams. The sun shone down upon them and life was good. The young mother said, “Nothing will ever be better than this.”

But the night came…and the storm. The children shook with fear and cold. But the mother drew them to her and placed her arms around them with her coat. The children said, “Mother, we’re not afraid for you’re here and no harm can come to us.”

That night the mother looked up at the stars and said, “This is better than the brightness of the day, for I have taught my children courage.”

The next day came and there was a hill ahead. The children climbed and grew weary, and the mother became tired and weary, but she smiled and said, “A little further and we’re there.”

That night the mother said, “This day has been better than the last. My children have learned fortitude in the face of hardship. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength.”

The third day came and there were storm clouds that overshadowed the earth. Clouds of war, and hate, and evil. The children stumbled and groped along the way, but the mother said, “Look up. Lift your eyes to the Light.” The children looked and saw beyond the clouds an Everlasting Glory, and it guided them and brought them beyond the darkness.

That night the mother said, “This has been the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

The days passed, and the weeks, and the months, and the years. The mother was old and she was little and bent, but the children were tall and strong, and they walked with courage. When the way was hard, they helped their mother, and when the way was rough, they lifted her.

At last, they came to the top of the hill and in the distance they could see a shining road with Golden Gates flung wide. The mother said, “I have come to the end of my journey, and now I know the end is better that the beginning…for now my children can walk alone and their children after them.” But the children said, “Mother, you will always walk with us, even when you have passed through the gates.”

And they stood and watched as she went on alone and the gates closed after her. But the children said, “Mother is with us still; for a mother like ours is more than a memory…she is a Living Presence.”
Author Unknown

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Are You Feeling Unproductive?

Is your self-talk telling you that you are just not being productive? Over the course of our years, our energy levels change. Sometimes it is because of our age, our sleep patterns, our caffeine intake, our health, our diet, or our comparisons. (we look at others as being more productive than we are)

There will always be periods in our lives when we might not feel productive as we once did. If you begin having thoughts of being unproductive, here are few suggestions:

• Get eight hours of sleep
• Try to exercise
• Eat a healthy breakfast
• Overwhelmed…eliminate or delegate some activities
• Look at your time wasting activities: TV, your cell phone, trivial triggers…
• Avoid your self-talk, “I’m no good…nobody thinks I’m not valuable…Nothing I do is right” Studies have shown that upwards of 80% of your self-talk is negative. That number goes up as you put pressure on yourself to get more done.
• Lessen you workload
• Set time limits on your projects
• Change your scenery. If you have a flexible schedule, go to a coffee shop or work from home.
• Disconnect from the Internet…according to research, half of time spent on Internet is procrastinating
• Reward yourself after a period of time working….a cup of coffee, 15 minutes on Facebook
• Don’t distain unproductivity…“not feeling productive” is a great sign that you should step back from your work to recharge and be unproductive for a while. A break will help you recharge and reduce your negative self-talk.

Taking a break from being productive every once in a while will help you become much more productive.

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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.

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Are We Living Intentionally?

Whether we are old or young, we all have to deal with our own character defects. It might be our bitterness, our selfishness, or our pride. When we were young, we tried to cover up those character defects with our makeup and clothes, our natural abilities, or our personalities. As we get older, those outward things fade away. If we have not sanctified those defects in our younger years, those defects will become more pronounced and visible during our senior years.

There are days when I see my own short comings, temptations, and struggles and wonder to myself…will I make it to the end of my life more sanctified than when I started?

I look around and see other pastors’ wives and Christian leaders who gave up living the Christian life. Because of selfishness, greed, and thoughts, “I deserve better than this.” They start searching outside their marriages, families, and ministries for easier and more prosperous lives…ultimately these women lose their ministries and testimonies.

Although I have my own temptations and struggles, what a joy it is to watch older pastors’ wives and Christian leaders who have stayed faithful into their senior years. Listening to their testimonies and seeing them stay faithful to the Lord all the way to the end is such an encouragement to me.

Ladies, if we don’t live intentionally, our days become weeks, our weeks become months, our months become years, and our years become decades…then before you know it…our lives are over.

We have all watched Christian women, who over the course of their lives, fail to get more spiritual. They become more narrow, more bitter, more selfish, more whiny, more fearful, and more petty. But Praise the Lord, I’ve seen other women, who over the course of their lives, become more mature, more godly, more gracious, more dependent on the Lord and His blessing on their lives.

This morning, let’s determine to live our lives intentionally. Let’s set our eyes on Christ and press on to become more like Him.

Our prayer today should be…“Lord, by Your grace, help us to be more godly and gracious as the years go by. Help us to be the kind of women that encourage others as we grow older. We don’t want to just drift through our Christian lives. Help us live intentional about the way to the end for You. Although there are days in all of of our lives when we have things to do; places to go; people to check on, lessons to prepare, work to do, cards to send, emails and texts to answer… help us live the remainder of our years intentionally for You. Help us to become more gracious and kind to everyone all the way to the end.”

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Making Our Time and Talents Count

 Until the Lord returns, each day holds within it exciting unique opportunities for us to serve the Lord! Let me encourage you to begin each day with prayer! Take time every day to spend some time alone with God, read your Bible and pray about the activities before you.  Give God the opportunity to guide your thoughts and your actions, to align them with His Divine purposes.  When we consecrate our time and talents to the Lord, He is able to show us how to redeem the time.

Colossians 4:5: . . . walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Ephesians 5:16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Art Demoss, the insurance executive, was a great soul-winner. When he died, hundreds of people attended his funeral. During that service, the pastor asked the audience, “If you have come to know the Lord as your Savior as a result of Art Demoss, would you please stand.” Over 500 people stood up that day at his funeral. What a testimony to a man who used his time and talents for the Lord.

Think about this! If we invest 30 minutes a day each month in the Lord’s work, we are investing 15 hours a month. If we take 15 hours times the number of years we have left to live—there is no telling what we can accomplish for the Lord!

Whatever our position may be…whether we are a homemaker, a musician, a teacher, a speaker, or a cook, God has entrusted each of us with special gifts and talents. When we commit our hearts to serve him, He is able to use our personalities, interests, and life experiences to transform us into His image. His purpose for our lives is for us to use our gifts and talents to accomplish His will while we are on this earth.

On days when you are unsure of what you should be doing…stop and pray. Allow the Lord to guide you ‘step by step’ ‘minute by minute’ throughout your day.  I guarantee you, by the end of the day as you reflect and give thanks, it will amaze you what the Lord was able to accomplish through you by being obedient to His leading.

God did not give us time and talent to just serve ourselves.  He tells us in Revelation 4:11 that He created us to bring glory to Him. He guides us and gives us discernment to know what His perfect will is for us.  For some of you, the Lord may be guiding you to learn a new language so that you can communicate your faith with more people. For others, He may be guiding you to learn new ways of organizing your lives so that you will have more time to minister.

Remember Satan is our ever-present enemy, and he wants us to get our eyes off the Lord. God’s desire for our lives is for us to grow into a deeper relationship with Him and to have a greater understanding of His ways.  It is only when we begin to understand this principle, that we will begin to experience true fulfillment, joy, and peace.

Let me encourage you to:

  • Not be weary in well doing, for in due season you shall reap if you faint not!’
  • Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you opportunities to bless and encourage others with your gifts and talents.
  • Be assured that a day is coming when you will rejoice and be glad for those times that you sacrificed your will for His.
  • Join me in redeeming the time before our Lord returns.
  • Proclaim as Jesus did: “nevertheless, not my will, but Thy will be done!”

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

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