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WithoutFathers

Without Fathers

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now lives in you also. – 2 Timothy 1:5, NIV

Timothy was a young man that Paul mentored and discipled as a follower of Christ and also as a church leader.  There is no mention of Timothy’s father in Scripture.  It is assumed by many Bible commentators that he was a Greek/Gentile and was not a follower of Christ.  Evidently, Timothy’s faith was nurtured and grown through his mother and grandmother, the two most influential women in any young person’s life. Read More

reconsidering our expectation

Reconsidering our expectation

I was reading Jeremiah and was struck by what God speaks to him. Specifically, that Jeremiah was called before he was born to be a prophet and that he should not be afraid because God will be with him and rescue him. I found this really surprising considering Jeremiah is likely the most persecuted prophet in the Old Testament. He was imprisoned multiple times, beaten, pursued, dealt with treacherously, thrown in a dungeon, falsely accused, and tradition says he was finally stoned in Egypt.

God has an interesting view of rescue and things not to be afraid of. If I was told, “God will rescue you, do not be afraid,” I would assume this means I will be safe and little harm will come to me. Needless to say, Jeremiah’s story can be confusing, but I wonder 3 things about this odd dichotomy: Read More

EncouragingFathers

Encouraging Fathers

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! – Matthew 7:11, NIV

…children are a reward from [the Lord]…Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. – Psalm 127:3-4, NIV

Being a military family, Daddy has been gone – a lot. Whether he was home or not, he was a wonderful father. He made every effort to stay in communication and involved with our daughter. But when he was home, for ten years, he was either recovering from being gone or preparing to go. We lived life knowing that he was only temporarily home. Ten years of her growing up, having dance classes, tae kwon do, community theatre, soccer practices, church, etc. As a mom juggling parenting, homemaking, ministry, and life, in general, I had a system. So, when it came to many of the logistical, menial, parenting tasks, it was just easier to do it myself, whether he was home or not. Read More

the gift of seeing fruit

The Gift of Seeing Fruit

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

One of my favorite things about being in ministry is that God sometimes allows us little glimpses into the fruit He has harvested from our meager efforts to share Him with others. My husband and I are both teachers. I teach Elementary at a Christian international school, and he teaches primarily Old Testament courses at a Bible seminary. We both love to teach and count it a blessing to do so. But since we are not in directly evangelistic ministries, we often don’t see the fruit of our labors in the way others do. It can make us wonder if we are having any impact. Read More

to travel and see the world

To travel and see the world

I know travel is not an opportunity given to everyone in ministry. This is the beauty of living overseas in ministry. The whole earth is the heart of God, not just one tribe, one tongue, one culture – all of it breathes of who He is. The beauty of my life overseas is to see and learn and find I was not so singularly right in all I knew in my small context – that there is much much more, and it looks different than I ever thought. I am more like Jesus because I have been with people who are not like me. Read More

IncludingFathers

Including Fathers

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4, NIV

As a kid, I quickly learned to defer to my mother for anything requiring permission, due to Dad’s response to anything being, “Go ask your mother.” As a result, one incident in particular left Dad and I engaged in a two week war. He made assumptions because he didn’t have all the information and I was exasperated and took offense.

How often do your children hear the response, “Go ask your mom” or “Go ask your dad”? Don’t get me wrong, my father generally supported my mother’s decisions. But, in time, dad got left out of the communication. I circumvented all things past him straight to Mom. It wasn’t intentional, deliberate, or deceitful. It had just become habit. When he did take an interest in what I was doing, he didn’t know how to relate to me, and I took offense. I see this happen more times than I care to think about amidst parents. Good parents. Parents who love their children and want what’s best for them. But parenting was meant to be teamwork, not relegated to one person. Read More

Closing Voids

Closing Voids

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. – Titus 2:3-5, NIV

Often, I get wrapped up in my to-do list for home and ministry and I can easily lose track of time and place in the midst of completing the list. Its’s so easy to be so engrossed in what I’m doing that I allow that zeal to invade family time. Someone once told me that if we leave voids in our marriages it gives the devil a foothold to tempt our husbands to fill that void elsewhere. I would take that a step further and say the same in regards to our relationships with our children. And, well, voids affect the whole family dynamic. Read More

Care for your Flock

Care for Your Flock

“Know the state of your flock, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be secure for the next generation.”  Prov. 27:23-24 (NLT)

Please allow me to paraphrase the above verse for today’s ministry families.  “Know the state of your family and put your heart into caring for one another.  This time, this season is rich, but it doesn’t last forever.  Pray that the next generation will follow your example.”

I hesitate to write about this subject because I am so aware of many mistakes that my husband and I made.  We have been married for over forty years and have two adult children.  One of them is a committed Christ follower and, sadly, one is not.  For this article, I will share some of the positives from our many years of being a family in ministry. Read More

TheAnti-bitterness Mystery

The Anti-bitterness Mystery

We had spent the week away, at a conference for pastors and their families.  It was designed to encourage, equip, strengthen.  It had done all that and so much more!  I came home ready to reach the entire world for Christ, single – handedly if need be (Haha, ever been there?)!

“Yea, and how long did that last?” you are wondering.   Oh, about as long as it took me to walk in the door and discover what had been done to me in my absence.  It was one of those mouth wide open, chin on the floor, “Oh my goodness…. you can’t be serious!”  kind of moments. Read More

intentional discipleship

Intentional Discipleship

I was recently reminded of the importance of leadership in the role of mentoring and discipleship. Not just the mentorship that happens as we lead our young people as a group, or even in a small groups. More so, I am thinking of the one-on-one intentional pursuit of a younger individual that you pour into and are available to when they need someone with a few more years of life experience.

There were a few people in my life that mentored me, and were intentional with me. A few of whom were only for short seasons of my life, and that was okay, and I still look back and am so grateful for the time they gave. Some have spent years, and continue to spend their time and intentions listening, guiding, and being available to me. Looking back, I cannot possibly define the importance of those people in my life. Read More