Posts Tagged ‘minister’s’

Who Truly Came at Christmas?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

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Most people know that at Christmas we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Even though many do not thoroughly understand the importance of Christ’s birth, they are quick to tell you that is why we celebrate the day. 

Who was Jesus Christ? Who truly came at Christmas? The answer to that question may be found in the Bible by the use of some names used to describe Him. Collectively the following names give us a better idea of who Jesus was: Messiah, God’s Anointed One; The Lord; Savior; Son of God; Lamb of God; The Word; The Way, the Truth, the Life; Light of the World; Holy One; Good Shepherd; Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God; Prince of Peace, Chief Cornerstone; Alpha and Omega; Beginning and the End; King of Kings, Lord of Lords, I Am; God with Us and Emmanuel.

There are many more descriptive names but this gives us an idea of who He is. Also, it affirms to us who truly came at Christmas. It was the Lord Jesus Christ who was and is nothing less than God himself. His purpose was to save us from our sins.

To listen to wonderful Christmas carol, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Larkandspur follow the link:

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How to Support a Grieving Person

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

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There are many things associated with the pastoral ministry but perhaps there is nothing as difficult as dealing with a person who is grieving. Since individuals handle bereavement in various ways, it is also important to adapt to each person’s needs at the time. Emotions are at their peak during their distress.

When notified of the death of a church family member, member of your family or a friend, it is important to verbalize your sympathy and offer to help in any way possible. It is best to visit with the grieving loved ones one-on-one at a location of their choosing. Often the conversation will focus on the special attributes of the deceased person and the building of memories. Generally the grieving loved ones just need to talk to someone to help them work through their grief. A gentle hug can also bring solace.

Don’t worry ahead of time what you will say or do — facing the person will dictate your response. The important thing is just to be there and listen.

Make a point of scheduling regular visits with the family to see how they are doing. Mark your calendar for occasional connections to help with any bereavement issues. Find a poem or other memento that can be given to the family at the one-year anniversary of their loved one’s death. This thoughtful gesture is usually much appreciated and helps the family know their loved one is still remembered.

How a pastor handles a grieving family and memorial service tends to contribute to the future effectiveness of the pastor’s relationship with the family. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do, what to say or how to pray. Usually the loved ones will not remember these things, but just the fact you were there for comfort and care during their overwhelming loss.

Always let a grieving person know you are there for them, that you love them and that God loves them!

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Touring God’s House

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

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Most of us have taken a variety of tours during our lifetime. Have you ever considered that every time you visit a church you are taking a tour of God’s house? There is a little rhyme with hand motions that most of learned as small children:“Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people”.

Psalm 122:1Psalm 122:1
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

122 1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of Jehovah.

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states, “
I was happy when they said to me, ‘Let’s go to the house of the Lord'”.
Have you ever considered the importance of each aspect of the interior of the church?

Cross – First of all, in most Christian places of worship you will find a cross in a prominent place. The cross represents the “power of God”. As recorded in I Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Because of our redemption through Christ’s death and resurrection on the cross, we can have the power of God working in and through us.

DoorEzekiel 1:18Ezekiel 1:18
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

18 As for their rims, they were high and dreadful; and they four had their rims full of eyes round about.

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“Then he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house. And behold at the entrance to the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.” The entrance (door) of the  sanctuary allows us to join together with persons of like faith in worshipping our Savior.

Pews – Although the Bible does not directly have a reference to the word pews, there are many instances where people are directed to sit down and hear what the master teacher, Jesus Christ, had to share. Our pastor, a servant of God, invites us to come into the house of God and sit down and hear what he has been directed to share from God’s Holy Word.

Altar – In some churches the altar is a place where our monetary offerings as well as the emblems of the sacrament of communion are placed. In many churches there is also an altar at which a worshipper may bow in prayer. The altar was a prominent item in the Old Testament on which animal sacrifices were made. The altar is a very vital part of our place of worship even today.

Pulpit – The Bible tells us in Nehemiah 8:4Nehemiah 8:4
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Uriah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, [and] Meshullam.

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that Ezra, the scribe, stood at a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose of reading from the book of the law. Our book of the law is the Bible. The pulpit is the place from which the minister/pastor stands to share. The pulpit is an important fixture within our place of worship.

Choir Loft & Musicians Area – Wouldn’t you miss the singing and playing instruments in your church? There are so many references in the Bible about praising God through singing and using instruments. Even though we may not be able to sing like those in the choir, God still accepts this important act of worship. I would miss the music!

I love God’s house. It is one of the most important aspects of my life. God’s house should be reverenced at all times. What would our lives be like without a place to come to sing, praise God, pray, hear God’s Word and meet with fellow believers? Be sure and tour God’s house regularly!

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A Cup of “Love”

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

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Christmas is receiving! Certainly that is one important aspect of this glorious season but our greatest gift of all  was “giving”. It wasn’t much — just a dime store special.

As a minister’s family we were truly blessed to receive many tokens of appreciation during the holiday season. These presents did much to uplift our spirits. However, we were not always materially able to give as we would like to others.

What inexpensive gift could we give of meaning to someone else? At my husband’s suggestion, we decided to visit a 93-year-old visually impaired shut-in lady from our congregation.

At a local dime store we purchased an oversized cup (mug) with a beautiful decal of a bluebird on it. Total value was one dollar and sixty-six cents. Little did we know that to this precious senior citizen its’ worth would not be measured by nickels and dimes.

On Christmas Eve we visited this wonderful lady at her home. We took along this gaily wrapped package and a plateful of well-chosen holiday goodies. She graciously accepted these material gifts. My husband read the Christmas story, I read a Christmas poem and our seven-year-old daughter (at that time) sang a song. Together we rejoiced with a few Christmas carols and prayer.

She was pleasantly touched but the greatest “touch” of all came to our hearts at the thrill of seeing her tear-filled eyes sparkle. In trying to give to someone else we were given one of the greatest gifts of all – “the gift of giving”. Our eyes became clouded with tears as well.

We were so blessed by this experience we have decided to make an annual custom of sharing our Christmas Eve, whenever possible, with someone who needs love. It is truly more blessed to “give” than to “receive”.

The gift of love does not always cost a fortune – a little time and perhaps one dollar and sixty-six cents.

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Crisis in the Ministry

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

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Even with your best intentions in your service to the Lord, there will be those times when unexpected crisis situations will arise to test your faith. Even in the face of these circumstances that that appear to offer no positive outcome, you need to continue to express your faith and trust in God.

The following passage of scripture will offer you some encouragement. Acts 27:25Acts 27:25
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even so as it hath been spoken unto me.

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: “Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God, that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.” These words spoken by Paul exemplify faith-building words for us in how we should feel at such a time.

What steps did Paul follow in order to rise above the circumstances?

  • He thanked God in the midst of the storm.
  • He did not neglect his physical needs.
  • He ministered to others.
  • He received help and support from other Christians.
  • He kept his purposes in focus.

It may be hard to be thankful during difficult times but we must do so. Continue to eat, sleep and other things needed to take care of your own physical needs. You are no good to anyone else if you have not renewed both your body as well as your spirit.

Part of overcoming difficult circumstances is to minister to others in ways directed by God. Also, do not feel less “spiritual” by accepting help and support from other fellow Christians. We should encourage each other.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to stay focused on where you are going, steps to get there and the ultimate outcome desired. In other words, keep your eyes on the spiritual prize. God will lead the way through the crisis.

Scripture References:

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Is Ministry Worth It Anyway?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

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As soon as your minister husband completes his education and enters his first pastorate, the excitement of what you plan to accomplish begins to be your center focus.

I Peter 5:2 admonishes us to “Shepherd the flock of God among you, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness.” You diligently work day after day, month after month, year after year to do your best to shepherd your congregation. Mark that one off. You have accomplished that!

As I Peter 5:3 states “nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.” You strive to be a good example of Godly living in your interaction with your church family and your own family. Mark that one off, too. You have set the standards high!

Soon the reality sets in. Does anyone notice what you have done? Has anyone taken the time to express gratitude and appreciation? You begin to wonder, “Does anyone care?” Discouragement begins to set in. The big question running through your mind consumes your every thought, “Is ministry worth it anyway?” I have been in that wondering state of mind myself.

Oh, what a revelation in I Peter 5:4, “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” You may not receive the type of earthly recognition you believe you deserve but you will receive a crown of glory. God will be giving you the greatest honor and admiration for doing this valuable work for His kingdom. You will be victorious at last. What could be more important than the Chief Shepherd himself recognizing your faith, faithfulness and fervor in doing His work?

Yes, you determine. The ministry is worth it!

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Verbal Vitamins

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

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As many of you may know, a “verbal vitamin” is a compliment and is very important to give.  We should strive to seek out the best in every person. This allows us the opportunity to consistently give generous doses of “verbal vitamins”.  Thankfully, no prescription is required.

Proverbs 25:11Proverbs 25:11
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

11 A word fitly spoken Is [like] apples of gold in network of silver.

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NAS states:  “Like apples of gold in settings of silver, is a word spoken in right circumstances.”

These words spoken in right circumstances are valuable.  My journey as a pastor’s wife has placed me in many settings to give an encouraging word.  I believe in letting an individual know when they have done something that deserves special attention.  It will not take long to discover each person exhibits some noteworthy action or behavior at some point in time.  A “verbal vitamin” can even untangle the negative attitude of a very difficult person. Surely there is something to compliment them for!

There will be some within your church family that will only need a single dose occasionally but other people thrive on receiving a double dose regularly.  You will soon learn each person and how large a dose they will need and how often it needs to  be administered.

“Verbal vitamins” should be shared from the heart.  If not administered properly, the individual may continue to struggle with low self-esteem and unworthiness because they will detect that the compliment was not genuine.

Remember, this is one vitamin that cannot be given too often or too generously.

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Prayer of a Minister’s Wife

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

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During my early years as a pastor’s wife, I was at one of many conferences just for minister’s wives. The speaker was excellent and shared many encouraging words about our role as a pastor’s wife. Although most generally you will find that everything runs smoothly in that important role, there will be times when you will be compelled to cry out to God in desperation. You will be as David was in Psalm 142 crying out for help.

In fact, this particular speaker referred to Psalm 142 as the “Prayer of a Minister’s Wife”. Not only did David pray but it states that he cried aloud. Many times I have prayed fervently to God with elevated voice and most generally tears. We can pour out our complaints to God as there really is no one else we can share with.

Verse three says “they have hidden a trap for me” followed by verse four that indicates “there is no escape and no one cares for my soul”. Have you ever felt that way? I have. It seems as if no one understands you and your role as a pastor’s wife or sometimes you wonder if they really care.

After we have poured out our soul to God, verse seven indicates that we are at the point to give thanks to His name. We will then be surrounded by the righteous and God will deal bountifully with us. What a promise!

I have printed Psalm 142 in its entirety from the New American Standard version. If you feel all alone as David did, you can read this psalm to bring assurance of God’s love and care. Let this be a prayer just for you, the “Prayer of a Minister’s Wife”.

1.  I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord, I make supplication with my voice to the Lord,

2.  I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him.

3.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Thou didst know my path.  In the way where I walk, They have hidden a trap for me.

4.  Look to the right and see; For there is no on who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul.

5.  I cried out to Thee, O Lord; I said, “Thou art my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.

6.  Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me.

7.  Bring my soul out of prison.  So that I may give thanks to Thy name; The righteous will surround me, For Thou wilt deal bountifully with me.”

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Are You a Panhandler?

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

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Panhandling is to request a donation in a supplicating manner. Panhandlers are commonly found in public places such as street corners or public transportation, where they request money, most commonly in the form of spare change.  They use cups, boxes, hats or any type of container to collect their donations.

Our local newspaper recently had an article on the problems occurring with panhandlers at our interstate interchange.  The fact is that many of these people are not even indigent.  It is a career for them to take advantage of other people.  Many have jobs in their own community and only accept loose change and will not even accept food from one of the fast food establishments if offered to them.  These individuals really prey on our generosity and willingness to help.  Most carry signs stating such things as: “Help me get home to my kids”, “help me feed my dog”, or “don’t be greedy, help the needy”.

Some panhandlers are legitimate, but the majority are exemplifying an extreme example of deception.  Deception means a falsehood, misrepresentation, fabrication, dishonesty or fraud.  It made me wonder if there are any individuals who are panhandlers for Jesus. Do you pretend to be a Christian?

Although we do not carry visible signs, do we try to present ourselves as something we are not in Christ?  Does our deception take on the form of constantly having to verbalize to others how “spiritual” we are?  If we consistently have to talk about our righteousness in Christ, we probably are not.  Your life should be a true testimony – you should not have to carry any signs letting people know you are a follower of Christ.

Peter said in John 21:17John 21:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 He saith unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

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(b): “Lord, you know all things, you know I love you.”  God already knows our thoughts and actions.  He knows if he is number one in our life.  You may try to fool others, but don’t try to deceive God.

Although our local town had to pass a new ordinance about panhandling in public places, I am sure there will still be some who will try to bend the rules and make excuses.

Are we panhandling or are we genuine?  God knows!

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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

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It is sometimes hard for a person to accept the fact they are getting older.  Contemplating our advancing years has an impact on us because it makes us reflect on our lives to determine if we have accomplished anything of real value.  I have struggled in recent months with making certain my service to the Lord throughout the years has been fruitful.  I feel I have done my best in whatever I have tried to do but the following poem helped drive home to me the importance of living in the present.  We can’t change the past, we must live in the the present and look forward to the future.

The following poem by Marjorie Cooney so adequately expresses my thoughts on how to live victoriously in Christ on a daily basis.

Yesterday is past, its steps imprinted,

Upon time’s changing, ever shifting sands.

The PAST is fore’er a page of memory

It’s joys, its sorrows are within His hands.

Today is yours, NOW is your golden hour

For yesterday is gone – a transient dream.

Live each moment then, serene amid life’s changes,

With peace and inward trust life’s daily theme.

Tomorrow never dawns on life’s horizon,

For when the morning breaks it is TODAY.

Walk then in faith – your hand in His outstretched one,

Who is himself the truth, the life, the way.

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