Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Life of a Preacher Man

When you are the Pastor of a small town church you do not have an office full of staff ready to help you do all the things that need to be done. In most cases small town church pastors are on their own. They are more than just someone who preaches on Sunday morning. They are counselors. They perform marriages. They are the ones who are called in case the marriage is falling apart. They are the ones who get a call late at night asking for a ride home from the hospital because the person doesn't have a car. And they were the one who took that person to the hospital in the first place. They get called asking for help with gas or food.  

Just in case they are needed their cell phones are never shut off. They do not work a 9-5 job. There is no time clock. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. For example: when the Preacher was working as a Youth Minister, he worked under a Senior Pastor that insisted he be in the office by 9:00 am, take a lunch break for one hour, then back in the office until 5:00 pm. This was good because the Preacher was able to answer phone calls, prepare for Junior Church, youth outings, etc. It was a bad thing because he was not able to be out in the schools or the communities, getting to know the youth and their parents. 

There are moments when this life of ministry is great. Moments when the Preacher gets to witness someone come to know the Lord and he has the honor of baptizing them. Moments when he is the host of fundraisers and he sees money being raised to promote ministries. Moments when he counsels young couples wanting to get married and he gets to watch them grow in their love for each other. Then there are the times when he is asked to do a wedding and he discovers the wedding is taking place in the mountains and he not only witnesses their marriage but also the beauty surrounding him as he performs the ceremony. Moments when he watches a young man grow up in his youth group, goes on to college, and becomes a preacher. And then getting that call from that same young man thanking the preacher for all he did in this young man's life. 

Building relationships, leading people to Jesus, being an example, these are the reasons that the Preacher does what he does. It is not for fame, for the money, or for recognition. This is the life that my Preacher chose because he loves his Savior.
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" –Isaiah 6:8

Love from the Preacher and I


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Am A Soldier's Mother

I Am A Soldier’s Mother
I am a soldier’s mother; I sometimes march alone
And yet I stand with many, trying to be strong.
You may not recognize me as you pass me on the street;
I may look like any other that you by chance might meet.
Like any mother, in a lot of ways I still remain,
But watching my son become a soldier brought a forever change.
For deep down inside where you cannot see
My own battle rages that’s as real as it can be.
It starts with feeling pride in all he has become,
But often worry creeps in before the day is done.
Then there is his absence that never will seem right –
The days without a word that causes many sleepless nights.
And at the sight of another soldier, my heart skips a beat,
For it reminds me of my own, and that face I’d love to see.
And I have a deeper sense of the sacrifices our heroes make;
I can see the hardships on the families – the loneliness, the heartache.
But in spite of all that’s raging, this mother’s love holds strong
As I’m wrapped in God’s peace and comfort and given strength to go on.
   written by © C. G.  and found on armymomstrong.com
We ask that when you go to the Lord, that you might say a little prayer for our Soldier, our son.  
Thank you from the Preacher and I

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Holding Hands

From the beginning of our relationship, the Preacher and I have held each other's hands.

I remember when we first said a prayer together as a couple and we held hands through the prayer. From that moment on we decided that whenever we would go to the Lord for praise or petition, we would hold each other's hands and go to Him together.

As we lay in bed at night watching TV, we will hold hands. While driving down the road, we will hold hands. While walking from the car to the store, we will hold hands. While sitting in a movie theater, we will hold hands. You would think that after 30 years of marriage we would have tired of doing what some might think of as something only newlyweds would do. 

We enjoy the feel of each other's hands. We enjoy knowing that we are there for each other. It feels good to know that the love of my life is willing to touch me and to love me with that small gesture.

When we were younger we would look at old people who were holding hands and say yewwhhh! Now that we are older and we see an older couple holding hands we say awwww! We know now that there is just something about that little act that tells the world, "We love each other, always have and always will!"

I hope that you are still holding hands with the one that you love. If you are not, I highly recommend it! The next time you are walking from your car to the store together, reach over and put your hand into theirs. The next time you're sitting in a movie theater, reach over and put your hand into theirs. The next time you're sitting in front of your TV, reach over and put your hand into theirs. You'll discover that it feels good to connect again, and it will remind the both of you just how much you love each other.


Happy Valentine's Day from the Preacher and I

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Few Things We Have Learned While Being in the Ministry

The Preacher and I had a date-day last week. We enjoy going out and finding a nice restaurant, asking the hostess to sit us in a quiet spot, and then we "catch up" with each other. You would think that living and working side by side you wouldn't have to do this, but yes we do!

On our date we began talking about the things that we have learned over the last 30 years of being in the ministry. Here is a combination of his list and mine. 

(They are not listed in any kind of order of importance.)

You don't have to be right.
Being right means that someone is wrong. Sometimes we believe that our opinions are the right opinions. That we somehow have the market on being right. The Preacher and I have found that it's okay to disagree but not disagreeable. We must choose our battles. Sometimes the battle isn't worth the end result.

You never stop learning and you grow in seasons.
We have to remember that even though we have been in this work for a long time, we can't stop learning and growing. If you are willing, God will help you to find the things that you need just when you need them.

The Bible is more of a personal adventure, not just a historical adventure.
We both have read our Bibles many times, but we always find the new ways that God is using these scriptures to mold us. We may look at a book, a chapter, or a verse and think, I know that scripture or that story, but God opens our eyes to show us something new and fresh every time.

You have to get away. (If I was putting these in order of priority, this would be my number 1.)
The Preacher and I try to get out of town once a week. We minister in a small town and, unlike bigger cities, people know when you're home or in the office. It's a time to unwind, have the day all to ourselves. After a long week of ministering this is a must. We recommend this practice to all married couples, no matter what profession you are in. Take the time to connect and remember who the most important person is.

You have to see the community as your church.
The Preacher has always been community minded. It was a little harder to do this when we lived in a large city, but he has always wanted to be a part of the people in his town. Getting out and knowing the people, helping them, communicating with them, this is how they get to know you and in turn how they get to know your God. You don't know how many times people will call the Preacher in a time of need because they have seen and heard just how much he cares for people.

Don't be motivated by guilt.
"We love because He first loved us." Guilt may get you to do better things for awhile, but love makes you a better person. 

Don't motivate others with guilt.
When we want something done and we can't get anyone to do it, we sometimes pull out the "guilt card", to try to get it done. Well, maybe that something isn't that important right now or maybe it's not what God wants done at this time. Love and a calling gets the best out of others. Communities of grace are healthy, joyful and creative places to be. 

Don't use the word shame.
Conviction comes from the inside as the Spirit reveals better ways to life. Shame only leads to darkness and less life.
If there is no one to do it, it doesn't have to be done.
Have you ever had a person come to you and say, for example, "I think the church ought to host this program", or "I think we need to have a new children's class."? Sometimes when they say these sort of things they they want the Preacher to organize it and get it done. If it is important to God someone will step up and do it.

It's okay to be vulnerable.
Everyone thinks the Preacher and I are immune to all the things of the world. Well we're not, but we don't want to let people down. We're here telling you right now we're not perfect. There are days when we just have to let go and ask for prayers because things just get you down and the world closes in. It is refreshing to us when people understand we are vulnerable just like everyone else.

People can find God through different avenues.
Our paths to Jesus are very different. We have learned that there are a lot of people out there who love the Lord just as much as we do, but they are not of our denomination. We as Christians get bogged down with our "doctrines" and we forget to see people as Jesus sees them. Everyone is His child and He loves them all no matter what church they attend.

Find friends who make you feel like you are not working.
You would think this was easy, but it's not. I'm sure doctors, dentist, and other professional people get asked sometimes, outside of their office, if he or she could "take a look" to see if something was wrong. Sometimes it is a little that way in ministry. It's nice to have friends who understand you need that quiet evening just to laugh and enjoy good conversation. To those friends we are so grateful. 

Well there they are, just a few of the things we think we have learned over the last 30 years. I'm sure there are a lot more but we felt like these 12 encompassed a lot of things. I think it's like the scripture where John says that Jesus did many other things but....  I'm sure you would like to hear more stories about Jesus, but if we were to tell you more you may just get bored.

Thanks for visiting and reading. Remember us in your prayers.

Love from the Preacher and I