The Pastor’ Secretary

The Spirituality of a Pastor’s Secretary

The secretary to the man of God must personally know Jesus Christ as her Savior.  She must be surrendered to the Lord’s will for her life, and be an active member of the local church where she is hired.

For any Pastor or his secretary, Satan will always be looking for ways to defeat the work of the Lord.  Because the Pastor’s Secretary will face many challenges, she must strive to live a spirit-filled life.

Since Satan has launched an all out battle for the minds of all Christians, the Pastor’s Secretary must be aware of his tactics.  Satan will attack the minds of those working closest to the Pastor. Satan will whisper all sorts of things and the secretary will begin to question the Pastor’s motives and his agenda. The secretary must always ask herself the question, “Who is controlling my thoughts?” Are these thoughts that I am having from the Lord or from Satan?

If the pastor’s secretary knows that it is God’s will for her (or him) to execute a ministry of helping the work of God by helping her pastor, then we can must accept several conclusions.

  1. The secretary must be spirit filled if she is going to work with spirit filled people.
  2. The secretary must not allow church members or friends to abuse her time.
  3. The secretary must be loyal to Christ and her pastor (boss) and do nothing to offend either of them.
  4. The secretary must be able to accomplish the jobs which she is charged with.
  5. The secretary must be an example in Godliness for she is working in a very special vocation.
  6. The secretary must be able to make her pastor appear successful, never showing him in bad light or upstaging him.
  7. The secretary must not give personal opinions about her pastor’s judgment unless he asks her for it.
  8. The secretary must take the opportunity to be one of the best friends a pastor’s family can have.
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Tips for Altar Workers

Basic Guidelines for Counseling at the Altar
1. Prepare your Bible: Highlight key verses for salvation, baptism, and other special problems you might encounter when dealing with people at the altar.
2. Prepare your heart: Pray before the invitation.
3. Privacy: Choose a place with the least amount of distractions. Some churches take those who come forward to side counseling rooms.
4. Ask this question: “Why did you come forward today?”
5. Always use the Scriptures: Let those who come forward read from your Bible when possible. Try to always give a solution to their problems from an open Bible. Give Biblical answers and solutions– not your personal opinions.
6. Take them to the next step: If a person has recently been saved, take him to the next step of baptism. If he is a mature Christian and wants to get victory in a certain area, use the Three Steps of Change found in Ephesians 4:22-24.
Explain that change can’t take place unless he follows all three steps.
A. Put off-He must put off the bad habit. This whole chapter deals with almost every sin that a person might experience. Eph. 4:22
B. Renew his mind-He must renew his mind day by day. How does he do this? By getting into God’s Word daily, by listening to sound preaching and music, by reading Godly books and testimonies of Godly men and women. (Explain Garbage in-garbage out theory)
C. Put on-He must replace the bad habit with a good one. Ask the question, “When does a man stop being a thief?” Most people say, “When he stops stealing”.  Answer him by saying, “No, look at verse 28. “When that person begins working and stops stealing, he is putting off stealing, and he is putting on working to get his money.”
7. Deal one on one if possible: One altar worker for each person coming forward.
8. Introduce yourself and fill out an altar card.  Have someone hand the card to the pastor. (If the person has come forward to be saved, to be baptized, or to join the church, the pastor will want to review the cards and announce certain decisions before the church.)
9. Give the person appropriate literature: After you have dealt with the person, give him some literature that he might take home to review. By doing this, you are helping him as he begins his new walk with the Lord and his next step of Spiritual growth.

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Mission Booster Ideas

Mission Booster Ideas

1. Have a weekly reminder for the goal that the church made at its last mission’s conference.

2. Have missionary speakers come in periodically throughout the year.

3. Read missionary letters midweek. Have Sunday school teachers read letters in their classes. The teachers could choose a certain field for their classes and have the class pray for that missionary for one month.

4. Have a short conference mid-year to challenge people about their commitments and promises.

5. Display missionary maps, pictures, and posters.

6. Publish prayer requests for missionaries in Sunday bulletins.

7. Form a missionary prayer team within your church that meets once a week.

8. If you use an overhead screen on Sunday mornings, add a beautiful display of your missionaries and the countries they represent to your announcements. If you have too many missionaries to do this, use only the missionaries that your church is sending out. Please pray for (Example: Leaf family in Brazil)

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Mission Revival Helps

Disclosure: My husband and I have worked together on numerous mission conferences, and we have attended many others in various churches. Here are a few of the ideas that I have taken from hand-out papers which I have gathered from those churches.

1. All Year: Talk about the Mission’s Revival (Conference) all year. It is the biggest event of the year.

2. Two months ahead: All classes pick a theme or country for Mission’s Displays. (Classes can take special offerings or get donations from businesses to help defray the expenses with elaborate missions’ displays)

Note About Mission’s Displays: You can establish your own criteria for building class displays.  Encourage classes to use theme or ethnic music and costumes with their displays.  Before each night of the services, people can view the class displays. Classes will be judged by the missionaries. Adult classes could build their displays in the Fellowship Hall. Awards could be presented at the Mission’s Banquet on Saturday evening. Examples of  awards could be “Most Creative Award” or “Most Original Award” or “Best Decorated Class”.

3. One month ahead: First, sanctuary is decorated with large theme banner. Display small flags on pews and large flags on walls or use flag stands distributed evenly on both sides of auditorium. (If you are a small church with limited resources, display only the flags of the missionaries that you support.  After a few years, you will collect many flags) Second, print flyers about the mission’s conference and give out.

4. Three weeks ahead: First, send each family a challenging letter to encourage them to minister to the missionaries while they are with them in the conference. Second, give Faith Promise Sunday School lesson to the teachers to teach for next three weeks. (Children’s church can hear faith promise lessons and raise special missionary offerings for various projects or missionaries also)

5. One week ahead:  Classes meet in their rooms to work on decorating.  Junior Church or Teens practice for Parade of Flags or practice for skits about missions. Ladies meet to discuss details for a missionary tea or brunch. Have mission choruses and songs printed and placed in pews.  Assign someone to prepare candles for candlelight service Sunday evening service. Assign a man to be in charge of Men’s Breakfast on Saturday morning.

Don’t get overwhelmed with too many activities. Decide on the activities that would be best for your people.

Notes About Candlelight Service: Plain candles will be given to everyone 8 years and above. Candles with missionary labels will be given to heads of households.

Note About Teas or Brunches:  Assign one lady to be in charge of missionary brunch or missionary tea. This lady can enlist others to help her set up and decorate.  Assign another lady to coordinate all items to be brought in for the gifts baskets for each guest missionary wife. (Remember since most missionaries are traveling in cars and can’t carry too much with them, gifts should be small. Gift cards to Walmart make wonderful gifts)

Note About Men’s Breakfast: This could take place on Saturday morning.  Have a few men give testimonies on what Faith Promise has done for them and hear a testimony from a missionary.

Note About Parade of Flags:  This begins every evening  service of the Mission’s Conference. Students march into auditorium carrying flags of various countries as energetic mission music plays. Each student places his flag in his individual flag stand. The student stands at attention at his flag until music stops playing.

6. Two days before: Every member of your church is called to promote the revival.

7. Sunday AM Service: First, have the missionary wives give three minute testimonies. One church takes up a surprise offering just for the missionary wives right after their testimonies. Second, have the missionaries and their wives pass out Faith Promise Cards. (Not ushers for this service) Third, the missionaries are to pick up the cards also. Fourth, someone is prepared on platform to do calculations on overhead screen for congregation to see. Have each missionary read off the amounts on the cards. (This will excite the people to see how the other members are walking by Faith too!)

8. Closing Sunday night service: Have missionary bring a short message, and then go into candlelight service. To close the service, a pastor could bring each missionary family forward and hand them their love offering check reading the amount. Allow missionary to give closing remarks to show his thankfulness.

Closing Candlelight Service

Pastor: We believe in prayer. Our church needs to know how important prayer is to the missionary. Money may supply his needs, but it will never supply the spiritual strength needed to minister in the regions beyond.

Narrator: We place a large candle in front of the Church to represent the Light of the Truth of God that goes forth from the pulpit of this local church. This LIGHT is to go into all the world. Someone must take it. Our missionaries are willing to do just that. From this light, we will send more light.

(Turn out all lights. Pastor lights large candle)

Narrator: As we call the name of each missionary family that we support, the head of the family representing that particular missionary will come forward with his family to light his candle. By coming forward with your family, you and your family are promising to pray for this missionary family.  Who will pray for____? (Give Name and Country: Example: Santino Family to Romania)

All those remaining, please come forward and light your candle.

Song: Have someone sing Thank You for Giving to the Lord

Narrator: At this time–every other person, please blow out your candle! Wait a few minutes. See what happens when we become disobedient and apathetic. When we stop praying and giving to our commitments to get the Gospel out…We somehow believe that our light will not make any difference.

Narrator: Now, blow out all remaining candles…This represents what will happen when there is light here at home but nowhere else. Unless we go, give and pray, there will be no hope to a world left in total darkness.

Let’s all begin this new Missionary Year by each family kneeling in prayer and praying for their missionary family.

Lights go on low. After prayer everyone stands and joins hands singing “Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul”.

Special Notes:
1. Ushers hand each head of the family a candle with a labeled ring of a particular missionary on it and hands other family members (8 years and older) a plain candle. Families should sit together for the candlelight service.
2. The head of the family will be the only one getting  fire from the pastor’s candle. After he lights his candle, he and his family walk left or right to form a circle around the auditorium.  After everyone is in place, the heads of the families may light each of their family members’ candles. This saves too many walking around carrying melted wax.
3. Instruct 1st and 2nd families to keep moving as the globe is formed.

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Mission Conference Songs

A Million Homes
Tune: Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

A million homes a crying
For Christ the Living Bread,
But no one seems to hear them
And yet they must be fed;
The Printed Word will reach them
If we but give and pray
Then led us take it to them,
Before they pass away.

The night is fast approaching
And soon ‘Twill be too late,
O Church of God awaken
And save them from their fate;
God’s Word says, “Every Creature”
Then go from door to door,
As we take the message
Our Lord will go before.

We may not go in person
But we will give and pray,
Our Lord said, “Whosoever,”
Then let us speed away;
The Printed Word can reach them
And win them to the fold
Then let us take the Message
The story must be told

How Can They Know?
Tune: How Great Thou Art

Oh, when I think of all the heathen millions,
Who’ve never heard the sound of Thy sweet same
Who’ve never known the miracle of Calvary
Who never can Thy great salvation claim
Unless we give until the victory’s won
How can they know? How can they know?

But when they hear that Jesus died to save them
And when they know the Grace He doth impart
When Jesus shines His love divine within them.
He will transform their sinful heathen heart.
Then they shall sing, “My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art.”

Hark, The Master Calleth
Tune: Onward Christian Soldiers

Hark, the Master calleth: Who for me will go?
Some from ev’ry nation must the Savior know;
Other sheep are waiting for the Gospel call,
Ev’ry tongue must praise Him
Jesus died for all

Chorus
Hasten, then, oh, hasten, to the lands of night;
Farther and still farther, with the Gospel Light.

Harvest fields are bending soon ‘twill be too late
Reapers now are needed, lo, ‘tis death to wait;
Who will take the Gospel, over land and sea
Who will answer gladly, “Here am I send me?”

Chorus
Hasten, then, oh, hasten, to the lands of night;
Farther and still farther, with the Gospel Light.

All may share the glory; some can give and pray
Others at His bidding quickly speed away;
Life must be invested none for self may live;
Who will heed the challenge, all to Jesus give?

Chorus
Hasten, then, oh, hasten, to the lands of night;
Farther and still farther, with the Gospel Light.

Come and Hear, Go and Tell
Tune: Jesus Saves 

If  you want to do your part,
Come and hear, go and tell.
Hear the Word within your heart,
Come and hear, go and tell.
Send the Good News far and wide,
Sing of Heaven, warn of  Hell,
Bring the lost to Jesus’ side,
Come and hear, go and tell.

Get a vision for the world,
Come and hear, go and tell.
Let God’s banner be unfurled,
Come and hear, go and tell.
It depends on you and me,
Work for Christ, we must do well.
He will give the victory,
Come and hear, go and tell.

Ye Are the Light of the World
Tune: Showers of Blessing

Millions in sin are abiding,
Satan has blinded their sight,
Good news from them we are hiding,
If we don’t show them the light.

Chorus
Shine in the darkness,
Carry His banner unfurled;
Giving and showing them Jesus.
Ye are the light of the world.

Let your light shine all about you,
Take the good news everywhere;
Though some may scoff and may doubt you,
You can show them that you care.

We must go out in the highways;
Compel them to come in and hear,
While others go out to the byways,
Taking the message of cheer.

Night Cometh
Tune: Redeemed, How I Love To Proclaim It

The darkness of sin is increasing,
As the end of the ages draws nigh;
Unrighteousness grows without ceasing,
The power of God they deny.

Chorus:
Awake, awake, the harvest is ready to store;
Awake, awake, night cometh when man works no more.

Night cometh, our labors are ending,
The Good News no longer we’ll share;
Today is the time to be sending,
The message of Christ everywhere.

 The fields are now white unto harvest,
It’s time to arise from our sleep;
By giving and going and praying,
A harvest of souls we can reap.

 

He Has Called Us
Tune: Face to Face

Face to face with Christ my Savior,
Face to face, what will it be?
When I answer to my Master,
Jesus Christ Who died for me.

Chorus:
Face ti face I shall behold Him
On His glorious judgment seat.
What a shame, if at that meeting,
I  lay nothing at His feet.

He has called us to the reaping,
Urgently sent out the call.
What a shame, if at His coming,
We have brought no sheaves at all!

Face to face, what tragic moment,
When with sorrow in His eyes,
All my works burned in a moment,
What a woeful paradise!

 

If They Never See the Light
Tune: At the Cross

Praise God, and since my Savior bled,
And since my Sovereign died,
I’ll go and do what Jesus said,
And take Him as my Guide.

Chorus:
Oh, what loss, Oh, what loss,
If they never see the Light,
And if no one takes their burdens all away.
If the heathen die, in the gloom of sinful night,
If they never know a single happy day.

See, then, it’s written in His Word,
The workers are so few.
Why do we call the Savior, “Lord”,
But fail His work to do?

It is now my daily task,
To seek His work to do?
How can it be too much to ask,
When laborers are so few?

 

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Do You Serve by Sacrifice or Love?

Do You Serve by Sacrifice or by Love?

 Matthew 22:37…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all  thy mind.

When you truly love a person, you will want to serve that person with joy and energy because of  your love for him.  You will want to do things for that person that will make that person feel loved.

Luke 10:38-42 …Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered her and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

God’s word tells us  in Romans 12:7 that if  a person has the gift of ministry, let him wait on his ministering.  Many times a person who has a servant’s heart is often in a hurry to serve, but he must learn to wait for the promptings of the Lord  to lead him serve.

Here is an example of two women who used their ministries of serving. Mary and Martha both loved to serve. Mary knew when she should stop serving and sit and the feet of Jesus. Martha was cumbered about with serving. She was overwhelmed and overloaded with her work. She was stressed out because she was serving without the Spirit’s leading. Martha wanted to do the right thing and serve the Lord by preparing a meal, but she was more focused on her sacrificial service than loving the Lord with all her heart, soul, and mind. There are many Christians today who are more focused on the activity of serving than they are on loving the Lord.

The older I get the more I realize that I must serve others out of a deep love for the Lord instead of obligation or sacrifice.

As I serve others, I should not serve them because of my selfish ambition or vain conceit, but I must serve them with humility and with a Christ-like attitude that considers another person’s welfare more important than my own.

Philippians 2:3-5 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

When we serve others, we must serve them with a sincere love. This is a love that is without hypocrisy or deception. I should hate those things that are evil and cling to those things that are good. I must be devoted to serving others by honoring them above myself.

Romans 12:9-10 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another.

God’s word tells me that when I attend to the needs of another,  I am doing this as a service for Christ.

Matthew 25:35-40 For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me, I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then the righteous answer Him saying, Lord, when saw we an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, 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.

My desire to please others through my service must not be self-centered.  As I see others who are discouraged, I should do all I can to build them up and encourage them.

Romans 15:1-2 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.

I shouldn’t complain when I use whatever gift God has given me to serve others. I should use my gift God with His grace. If I use my gift to speak, I should speak the very words of God. If I use my gift to serve others, I should serve  them with all the strength that the Lord gives me.  As I begin to use my gifts with the Spirit’s leading,  I bring glory, power, and praise to God through Jesus Christ.

I Peter 4: 9-11 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God, if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

In Mark chapter 14, Mary of Bethany served the Lord not only with sacrifice, but also with all of her heart, soul, and mind. When she broke the alabaster box and poured the ointment on His head, she was condemned by all those around her. Jesus told the others, “Let her alone; why trouble her? she hath wrought a good work on me.” In verse 9, Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”

 Lord, let me do the little things

Which may fall to my lot:

Those little inconspicuous ones

By others oft forgot

If, like the Master, I can give

Myself for those I love,

Rich joy and peace shall come to me,

Sweet rest in heaven above.

I know not when the day shall close;

But when life’s curfew rings.

I want my Lord to find me then

Still doing little things.—Unknown.

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Personal Organization

Personal Organization

The most important part of personal organization is to keep important information at your fingertips. After crashing two computers, I have learned to backup all my data in three places. I save everything on a thumb drive and a portable hard drive, plus I continue to save hard copies of new addresses and business cards.

A few years ago, I purchased four black 6″x10″metal boxes at Staples. I keep these boxes on a shelf by my desk.

The first box is for addresses and business cards. When I receive a card or letter with a new address, I cut off the return address and tape it to an index card and file it alphabetically. I file family information such as social security cards, health information, immunization dates, doctors, emergency information, credit card and bank information. I have a section labeled “beauty” for pictures of hairstyles I like and business cards for various services.

The second box is for label makers and its cartridges.

The third box is for checks, deposit slips, and rubber stamps that I use for business transactions.

The fourth box is for receipts that I need.

Here are a few hints for organizing your personal life.

If you have the habit of losing your keys, purchase a large hook for your keys and clip them to the outside of your handbag. You should not have to search for keys every time you need them.

If you are attending a special event or meeting the next morning, have your clothing ready the night before. Make sure there are no spots, no buttons missing, or other problems. When you have limited time, there is nothing more stressful than searching for something to wear and not being able to find it.

Have a designated place for everything. Good organization means that you can locate everything quickly—you should not have to race up and down the stairs searching for something when your husband asks for it.

Organize seasonal items by months or topics. I have file boxes in the basement for seasonal items. I have labeled the months and contents of each box.

Here is an example of labeling for boxes, but use your own needs for labeling.
1. January-February (winter decorations)
2. March-June (spring decorations)
3. July-August (Patriotic decorations)
4. September-October (autumn decorations)
5. November (Thanksgiving decorations)
6. December (Christmas decorations)
7. Birthday decorations and small gifts for unexpected birthdays, anniversaries, or showers. (It is good to purchase small gifts when they are on sale. Next time you have an event, you will not have to scurry around to locate something.
8. Since I host a few Tea Parties through the year, I label one of my boxes Tea Items.

Organizing this way not only makes locating items easier and less stressful to find, but you are able to decorate for any occasion at a moment’s notice.

If you have a large family, color code your children’s items. (Blue toothbrushes, blue towels, blue file folders, etc.)

De-junk! Give away clothes that are not worn, broken toys, etc. It is much easier to clean without a lot of clutter.

If you have limited space to store videos and books, instead of purchasing them; use the library or rent them!

Keep a file drawer or box in the kitchen with each person’s name on a file folder. Put coloring papers, notes from school, future homework assignments, etc.

Keep a file folder marked “To Read”  in a convenient place. File periodicals and articles that you would like to read, but you don’t have time at the moment. Grap that folder next time you are going on a trip or going to the doctor/dentist  office.

Do two things at one time. Take your organizer with you to your appointments and get caught up on correspondence.

Open mail near a wastebasket in order to throw out junk mail.

Don’t confuse neatness with organization. You might have a neat desk, but forgot to send your mother a birthday card, pay an important bill, or locate last year’s tax papers.

Decorate a shoe box or buy a pretty box and label it “Joy” boxThis is a good place to store small mementos that you collect such as birthday cards, invitations, ticket stubs to theme parks, zoos, plays, or ball games. You can use these items later to scrapbook or just to let children browse through.

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A Missionary Who Got Angry at God

A Missionary Who Got Angry at God
Back in 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son from Sweden to the heart of Africa-to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction. In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to go out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area.

This was a huge step of faith. At the village of N’dolera they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his town for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts.

They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. The only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week. Svea Flood-a tiny woman of only four feet, eight inches tall-decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, she succeeded. But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea Flood remained near N’dolera to go on alone.

Then, of all things, Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth, the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina. The delivery, however, was exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. She lasted only another seventeen days.

Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. He dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife, and then took his children back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he snarled, “I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife, and I obviously can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life.” With that, he headed for the port, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself.

Within eight months both the Ericksons were stricken with a mysterious malady and died within days of each other. The baby was then turned over to some American missionaries, who adjusted her Swedish name to “Aggie” and eventually brought her back to the United States at age three. This family loved the little girl and was afraid that if they tried to return to Africa, some legal obstacle might separate her from them. So they decided to stay in their home country and switch from missionary work to pastoral ministry.  And that is how Aggie grew up in South Dakota. As a young woman, she attended North Central Bible College in Minneapolis. There she met and married a young man named Dewey Hurst.

Years passed. The Hursts enjoyed a fruitful ministry. Aggie gave birth first to a daughter, then a son. In time her husband became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area, and Aggie was intrigued to find so much Scandinavian heritage there.

One day a Swedish religious magazine appeared in her mailbox. She had no idea who had sent it, and of course she couldn’t read the words. But as she turned the pages, all of a sudden a photo stopped her cold. There in a primitive setting was a grave with a white cross-and on the cross were the words SVEA FLOOD.

Aggie jumped in her car and went straight to a college faculty member who, she knew, could translate the article. “What does this say?” she demanded. The instructor summarized the story: It was about missionaries who had come to N’dolera long ago…the birth of a white baby… the death of the young mother…the one little African boy who had been led to Christ…and how, after the whites had all left, the boy had grown up and finally persuaded the chief to let him build a school in the village. The article said that gradually he won all his students to Christ…the children led their parents to Christ…even the chief had become a Christian. Today there were six hundred Christian believers in that one village… All because of the sacrifice of David and Svea Flood.

For the Hursts’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the college presented them with the gift of a vacation to Sweden. There Aggie sought to find her real father. An old man now, David Flood had remarried, fathered four more children, and generally dissipated his life with alcohol. He had recently suffered a stroke.  Still bitter, he had one rule in his family: “Never mention the name of God-because God took everything from me.”

After an emotional reunion with her half brothers and half sister, Aggie brought up the subject of seeing her father. The others hesitated. “You can talk to him,” they replied, “even though he’s very ill now. But you need to know that whenever he hears the name of God, he flies into a rage.”

Aggie was not to be deterred. She walked into the squalid apartment, with liquor bottles everywhere, and approached the seventy-three-year-old man lying in a rumpled bed.

“Papa?” she said tentatively. He turned and began to cry. “Aina,” he said, “I never meant to give you away.”

“It’s all right Papa,” she replied, taking him gently in her arms. “God took care of me.”

The man instantly stiffened. The tears stopped.

“God forgot all of us. Our lives have been like this because of Him.” He turned his face back to the wall.

Aggie stroked his face and then continued, undaunted. “Papa, I’ve got a little story to tell you, and it’s a true one. You didn’t go to Africa in vain. Mama didn’t die in vain. The little boy you won to the Lord grew up to win that whole village to Jesus Christ. The one seed you planted just kept growing and growing. Today there are six hundred African people serving the Lord because you were faithful to the call of God in your life… “Papa, Jesus loves you. He has never hated you.”

The old man turned back to look into his daughter’s eyes. His body relaxed.  He began to talk. And by the end of the afternoon, he had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades.

Over the next few days, father and daughter enjoyed warm moments together.
Aggie and her husband soon had to return to America-and within a few weeks, David Flood had gone into eternity.

A few years later, the Hursts were attending a high-level evangelism conference in London, England, where a report was given from the nation of Zaire (the former Belgian Congo). The superintendent of the national church, representing some 110,000 baptized believers, spoke eloquently of the gospel’s spread in his nation. Aggie could not help going to ask him afterward if he had ever heard of David and Svea Flood.

“Yes, madam,” the man replied in French, his words then being translated into English. “It was Svea Flood who led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. In fact, to this day your mother’s grave and her memory are honored by all of us.” He embraced her in a long, sobbing hug. Then he continued, “You must come to Africa to see, because your mother is the most famous person in our history.”

In time that is exactly what Aggie Hurst and her husband did. They were welcomed by cheering throngs of villagers. She even met the man who had been hired by her father many years before to carry her back down the mountain in a hammock-cradle.

The most dramatic moment, of course, was when the pastor escorted Aggie to see her mother’s white cross for herself. She knelt in the soil to pray and give thanks. Later that day, in the church, the pastor read from John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He then followed with Psalm 126:5: They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

(An excerpt from Aggie Hurst, Aggie: The Inspiring Story of A Girl Without A Country [Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986].)

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A Balm in Gilead

      A Balm in Gilead

Is there no balm in Gilead?

Is there no physician there?

O yes, my friend there is a healing balm

For those who have worry, pain, and care.

You ask, “Is there no balm in Gilead?”

Oh yes, There is a healing balm.

I feel so hurt and alone, you say;

Can I receive comfort in this gloom, today?

Don’t be afraid, He’ll see you through

There are so many things He can do.

Come to this physician above

And He will fill you with His love.

He will lift your burdens; for He is strong

He will give you new strength and His strength

will become your song.

Is there no balm in Gilead?

Oh yes, there is a healing balm.

Fierce as the storms of life may be;

He’ll always be there to comfort thee.

Written by Judy Lewis

July 1991

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Your Thought Life

Your Daily Thoughts
Build your days on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. Think on things that are true, honest, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praise worthy. Phil 4:8

Don’t let your mind brood over your mistakes and failures.  Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Remind yourself daily that you are a creation of God and thank Him for the way He made you.

Take control of fearful thoughts—those “What If Thoughts”.  What if I get cancer? What if my husband dies? What if my husband has an affair? What if my children rebel? What if I don’t have enough money when I get old? What if, what if, what if? The list could go on forever. We must moment by moment take those thoughts captive and bring them into obedience to Christ-centered thoughts. II Corin 10:5

God-centered thoughts are thoughts that focus on God’s principles and His guidance. These are thoughts that bring peace and joy.

Wrong thoughts are thoughts that focus on “How I feel”. These are self-centered thoughts. These are thoughts that  cause our emotions to feel  pride, bitterness, doubt, low-self esteem, anger, etc.

Right thoughts are thoughts that focus on serving others. I Peter 4:9-10 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister (serve, assist, help) the same one to another…

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