Showing posts with label Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Church. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where I'm At

I don't plan out blog posts.  Mostly because I want to be me...and I'm a procrastinator.  So whatever I'm writing about, is just me, where I'm at.  

This fall I have been teaching/leading three different areas of ministry within our little church.  We're little, which means most of the core group is serving in more than one area.  I often think maybe that's the reason some people avoid little churches...you're needed.  And life is busy, and the more I talk to people, the more I realize that each of us acknowledges each others busyness, but secretly, we think we're the busiest.  

And maybe we are.  And if that's true, then that's sad.  But busy is not the point of this post.  Digression.

Ministry is where I'm currently at.  

God has been messing with me in lots of different areas.  Which I'm planning to share with you over the next few days.  Frustrations, anger, complaining, people pleasing, fear of man...it's ugly.

Teaching spiritual stuff is so very good.  And so very hard.  And has been absolutely essential in my spiritual growth.  

It requires time.  And preparation.  And God wants me to get what I am teaching (that's where the hard part comes in.)  It requires commitment.  And prayer.  I can't decide I don't feel like going.  It requires putting other people above myself.  It requires inconvenience...which may be the very definition of servant hood.  It requires obedience.  It requires being held to a higher standard.  And for me, it's what God uses to change me, mold me.  

These three areas of ministry have not caused the "busy-ness" and hassle that you would think they should.  They're producing growth...and growth, in regard to myself, is almost always painful.  But in the end, it produces something so beautiful, not just for myself, but for those around me.  It boils down to this:  Jesus makes a difference in my life.  I want other people to know He can make a difference in theirs too.  And that makes all the requirements minuscule in comparison.

If you have never taught, or led in an area of ministry in your church:  You should.  Period.  And I don't mean greeting at the door, or working in the nursery once a month (those are great things, and still do those :) but I mean going beyond the ministry that just requires you to show up.  In fact, do it regularly.  Not constantly, but regularly.  Because in the end, what do our beliefs mean if we aren't willing to give of ourselves for His glory?

You will not learn enough, or grow enough by just showing up on Sunday or Wednesday or whatever day.  That's what your pastor wants to tell you, but can't because you're too busy telling him how busy you are.  Just kidding!...that's what his wife wants to tell you. ;)

Till tomorrow...or ten days from now.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Progress!

I like small spaces.  Small houses, small churches, small mini-vans, small cars, small towns, small groups of people.


Like Alan Jackson said in the 90's..."It's alright to be little-bitty"  


I adore little bitty.


But...I also like my personal space...I'm complicated.  :)

I think the addition to the parsonage is going to offer the best of both worlds...enough space yet cozy rooms. Sounds nice.

The addition project to the parsonage is coming along so, so well.  I can hardly believe it.  I like to stand inside of it and imagine actually having people over without hours spent rearranging furniture in order to make standing room.


When finished, the parsonage will definitely not be little bitty anymore.  We will have room to spread out...room for people.  I am excited about room for people.


Last time I  blogged about it (in June) it looked like this:






And Now...



You might notice it has two doors, right beside each other.  The plain one on the left goes straight into the laundry/mud room and a hall to the bathroom.    The door on the right, or as I call it, "The Pretty Door" (because I'm so in love with it.) will be the main entry.  With this set up, the kids will use the door to the mudroom to bring in their mud, thus keeping the other entry (into the dining/kitchen area MUCH cleaner.  YAY!































I'm super excited about this door.  I'm planning on painting them dark gray.


What amazes me most about the whole addition is the fact that it's being built by the guys in our church, who are sacrificing their time and energy to bless our family (and their wives and children are too!).  It's amazing.  And humbling.  And makes us so thankful for our church family here...not because they're building us this big house, but because their hearts and actions show such love and humility...it is truly an honor to serve with people like that.  

Monday, June 22, 2009

He's Got My Attention.

Friday I blogged that it felt like somone was messing with me.

Turns out...the messing was/is not quite over.

I find that unfortunate.

The rest of the story:

Ben's car is old and on its last leg of life...but it gets him to work and back...and it's paid for...so we heart that '91 Buick. But Saturday, the good 'ol Buick pretty much gave us fair warning that it would like to rest in peace...soon. It's timing on this...not so good.

Meanwhile...two different people in our tiny church suffered small heart attacks, both are ok, but recovery is long...

Sunday evening we were at church and Ben was preaching a particularly great sermon when the tornado sirens went off in tiny town. Our church has no basement. When I heard the deacon announce "everyone to the parsonage basement" I had to laugh...because my 100 year old basement/toy room is, quite frankly, a messy pit. I quickly replayed the conversation I'd had with myself just a couple days prior. It went something like this:

This basement is a pit. I should really pick up all the toys. Nah...the boys will just mess it up again and besides...no one ever sees it.

Famous last words.

So, everyone at church filed down into my basement. And oddly enough...I didn't even really care that they saw the big mess. I have three boys. I have bigger problems to worry about.

Hello. My name is Sarah...and I have a messy basement (and garage.)

The weather cleared enough for all but one family to go home. Pete and his three boys were able to hang out for awhile till the storm passed. Pete's wife is taking a class and working right now, and he shared that it had been a long day and he'd gotten inside and thought to himself that it would really be easier to stay home tonight rather than driving (the half hour) to church. But he figured if it was going to storm, he'd rather be at church than at home.

Ben and I were so thankful he had. God used him to encourage us...when we didn't even realize we needed encouragement. Pete shared some things he was praying about for us and our church...big things...and I laughed.

Remember another Sarah that laughed at God's big plans? Yeah.

Pete said to me, you laugh...but God can do it.

And he is right. God can do it. I never fail to believe that God can do big things. But I so often fail to believe that He will do big things. Because I feel I don't deserve for Him to do such things.

And then He reminds me it's not about being deserving. He's given me above and beyond what I deserve. And at the same time spared me some horrible consequences, that naturally speaking...I totally deserved.

This week has brought me to my knees...in a good way. God's got my attention, and right now I'm almost giddy with anticipation to see what He's got planned.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Nothing On My Own...

Bullet points two days in a row may be a very good indicator of my current mental capabilities.

There's so much swirling around in my head I can't narrow it down to any one thing thus I'll just regurgitate it all into bullets. OK?
  • 7pm last night: Bible Club. 52 kids. FIFTY TWO KIDS! 52 precious lives. This ministry exists in order to share the life-changing power of Jesus...the hope and forgiveness we have through Him...it's an honor to minister to these kids.

  • Ben was able to deliver a check from our church to a family in tinytown that attends Bible Club and were caught in both the tornado and flood. She didn't open the envelope while Ben was there, but thanked him graciously and shared some of her financial burdens since these disasters. I pray that after Ben was gone, and she opened that envelope, she felt the love of a Savior that wants more than anything to be her provider, to give her new life.

  • As Ben and I sat in awe of last night, I sobbed...completely humbled. I could give you a list two miles long of all our inadequacies in our ministry here...but a line from a Casting Crowns song called In Me (which has been our theme song since moving to tinytown), keeps playing over and over in my head..."How refreshing to know you don't need me, how amazing to find that you want me."

  • We then turned the TV on to watch the debate that we had dvr'd...what a terrible idea. In the past debates I've been giving Ben a hard time about his interaction with the TV...apparently last night was my turn. At one point, Eli said to the TV, "Stop lieing, you're freaking my mom out." *smiles* You are correct Eli...one particular candidates back-pedaling and out-right lies on his stance/voting record regarding abortion freaks mommy out...I may need to move to Canada after election day...I will miss you tiny town ;)

  • Woke up this morning at 7:38 AM...yeah, that's a tad bit late. Spent the next 20 minutes rushing around getting the kids ready for school.

  • Then realized the carpet cleaners come today and we forgot to empty the living/dining rooms, which means I now have to do it myself...bummer.

  • Made coffee.

  • Now blogging instead of 1)emptying living/dining room 2) showering.

  • Thinking that I can't leave ya today without a video of that song...

  • Enjoy bloggy friends :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Smallness...

I like small.

Small towns, small churches, small cars and believe it or not, I love small houses. I like the intimacy of it. The cuteness...

It's just part of who I am.

It was three years ago this month that my husband accepted the call to pastor his first church. Small town, small church...we couldn't have been more excited. We knew that God had made us small-lovin' people, and we knew He had prepared us for this place...and were praying that He had prepared them for us!

About six months into my role as Pastor's wife, a group of ladies from my church and I went to bigger-town for a Ladies State Meeting (or something like that.) It was held at a rather large church that also runs a Christian school. It was my first "outing" with them as their Pastor's wife and I felt like an idiot to say the least. Not only was I one of the youngest Pastor's wives, (and not wearing panty-hose) I was the newbie. It got even better when they made all the pastor's wives stand up front to introduce ourselves and then have the ladies pray over us.

Before they prayed, the Pastor's wife of the large church said something that struck me that day. She said something to the affect that they were so happy to have each of us there and that no matter how small our church was, our ministry was just as important as the large churches.

And I thought to myself, "hmmm...I had never thought it wasn't until right now."

I've thought a lot about her words over the past few years. I know her intentions were most likely to encourage us smaller pastor's wives that our ministry was significant. What I wonder though...is it the small churches who struggle with their significance or is it the big churches who struggle to see the importance of the small church?

My husband gets a magazine in the mail called Leadership. It's for pastors...but I will pretty much read anything in magazine form :) Yesterday, as I flipped through the latest issue, I found an amazing article.

A man named David Gibbons started a multi-ethnic mega church in California in the early 90's. It is still there, and thriving. In it's bigness though, he found something lacking. This pastor talks about his journey to his new ministry which is planting smaller churches, from 30-300 people each. He talks of the benefits of the smaller church, but admits to now having to help support his family with other outside jobs. He says, "I'm a better pastor because I have other occupations. My jobs change; my calling remains the same."

God used this little article to so encourage and affirm our little ministry yesterday. To think that this man, David Gibbons, had what many see to be the successful church, and yet decided to go make smaller ones...it really blew me away.

All size churches that are preaching the gospel are important...and all sized ministries are equally important. When I look at Jesus, there is no doubt in my mind that He would have gone upon that cross for the sins of just a few...

I am amazed at what God is doing here...in the small things. And I'm praying today, that I never lose sight of that.

Bigger is not always better...for oh-so-many areas. Just reminding myself of that today.

Happy Monday Bloggy friends!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Realness...

Oh friends...a bloggy make-over is coming my way...FINALLY! I can't tell you the details, except that Shauna is working on it and I know I am gonna L-O-V-E it. I will try to stop talking/thinking about it now, but it. is. hard.


On a completely different subject: I do have a little secret that I need to share with you. I hope it won't cause you to look down on this little lowly Pastor's wife (*wink, wink*) but you deserve the truth....straight from the horse's mouth (we say things like that around here.)



It is VBS week, here at our church in tiny town.


The secret: VBS is not my first love. *Gasp* I know. I KNOW! JUST what you want your Pastor's wife to tell you...(now would be a good time to hit your knees and thank Him that I am not your PW...unless I actually am...then you should REALLY hit your knees ;)


VBS is exhausting. And I'm not even the one that organizes it. (God bless our sweet church friends that do...I can't thank them enough...but there is an excessive amount of pleading, on my part, that they never stop doing it. EVER.)


I am teaching the 3 & 4 year olds this year. By the way, I almost just heard you laugh. Since my arrival in tiny-town, I have been avoiding this age group like the plague. Mostly because this was the age group my own children were in...and frankly, I was already worn out from my own, why would I want to teach MORE?!? Last year I even volunteered for crafts, just to avoid them. I am not crafty my friends.


This is where the miracle comes in. This year, I wanted to teach them. Granted, my oldest two are now not in that class anymore...but still! I am actually really looking forward to it. God is seriously amazing! Because that did not happen all by itself!


Because of the flooding, we're not quite sure how many kids will be able to come, but the numbers do not matter...the hearts of the children do. I'm praying that each child that comes through our doors will leave knowing who God is, how much He loves them, and why that matters. Because it SO matters.

*UPDATE* Shauna finished my layout (super fast by the way) and I couldn't love it more!!! YAY! If you're in need of a new do, go check her out (little square on my side-bar.) With just a little info she totally figured out what I wanted...I think she may be a mind reader :) Thank-you Shauna!!!!



Happy Monday Friends!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Life Today...

Remember this post? Notice the date...since then we've had a EF5 tornado, and now the rain will not stop, meaning another flood. In that picture, the flood stage crested at 13.1 feet...today, they've announced that they expect it to crest at 14.5 feet by tomorrow afternoon...yikes. Rain is in the forecast all week long.


Are ya'll wondering why any of us live in tiny-town?!? *smiles* I have the reason...but I'm afraid it's a secret just shared amongst tiny-town citizens...if it gets out, then every ones gonna wanna come, and then I wouldn't be able to call it tiny-town anymore...and then everything would just be....ruined :) No worries tiny-town, your secret is safe with me ;)


Because of the flooding, most people were not able to make it into town for church, including two of our Sunday school teachers. As Pastor's wife, I'm a perfect fill-in...just give me a devotional book, old VBS coloring sheets, and pipe cleaners and I'm totally good to go.


As the kids were creating masterpieces with their pipe cleaners, I asked my son Eli, what he was making.


Here's our very spiritual conversation:


Me: "Hey Eli, whatcha making?


Eli: "A gun."


Me: "I'd rather you not make a gun in Sunday school"


Eli: "A gun for God?" Pause..."to fight Satan?"


Me: I figure that if he's witty enough to come up with THAT...then by all means, fire away my dear boy, fire away :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You're Gonna Wanna Come...

God sometimes gives me great revelations or breakthoughs...in the bathtub. It may have something to do with the fact that it's one of the only rooms that I can LOCK everyone else OUT. Here's what happened last night...


I've mentioned before that I happen to love my tiny town...and the tiny-towns folks. I was thinking about all the different faces I'd seen today...wondering what was really going on in their lives...wondering how many of them need hope, or a friend to talk to. Praying for God to bring them across my path, and for the courage and discernment to know what to say and how to say it.

Ben and I spend lot's of time wondering how to get people through the doors of our tiny church. We know, ultimately, it's God who brings them...what I mean, is figuring out what it is God wants us to do in His plan for bringing them. Much of our first two years here has been spent just getting to know people...and trying to show them we're not as weird as they may think we are (ok, we are weird...but ya know what I mean.) The more I get to know people...the more I love this tiny town...and the more I want them to come to our church...not for the mere fact of attending church...but because I know they'll encounter Jesus...and I know how He changed my life...and how He can change theirs. That's all.


All of this, led me to the "Top 10 Reasons" people in my tiny town should come to our church...be prepared, these are highly spiritual reasons.


10 - We have orange pews. Who else has orange pews?!? They're quite comfy, and I'm pretty sure, eventually, that particular shade of orange is going to be a rockin color again.

9 - We have "First" in the name of our church...which means we were first, and obviously, First implies best. *wink, wink*


8 - If you live in tiny-town....we are totally within walking distance from every.single. house.


7 - We are the only church in town with a parking lot.


6 - You are free to drink coffee or pop or whatever (non-alcoholic) drink you would like to during Sunday School.


5 - If you even have a smidgen of musical talent, you will be the super-star of our worship team...ok, so we don't really have a "worship team" yet because we need some more people who can sing...but still...


4 - You can sit in the same pew & same spot every Sunday. Consistency people, consistency.


3 - The Pastor is very attractive. Ok, scratch that one...that one's just for me ;)


2 - There are so many kids, that your children being naughty in church will not even be noticed!


1 - Those of us already there, consider ourselves to be "the chief of sinners," saved by His grace...I promise you'll fit.


Seriously, I should have made it a top 20 list, because there's so much more! HA! Love this little church...love the people in it, and love this tiny-town!






It seems that my mind is totally preoccupied with the terrible loss that Steven Curtis Chapman and his family are experiencing. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around. It does remind me that life is so full of great joy and terrible pain...and time is no guarantee...I need to love those around me today, because I don't know what tomorrow holds.