Living Life As a Woman In Ministry

Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

The Pastor’s Wife

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When you hear the words, The Pastor’s Wife, what does she conjure up for you mentally? For so many she is the object of perfection in the church. She has it all together, her children are perfect, her responses are wonderful, and her life is one to be admired and emulated. For others of you, she is a working woman, playing the piano, leading the women’s group, feeding the homeless, and running the children’s ministry seamlessly. Yet for others, she is the epitome of judgment. She glances at you head to toe and makes a sad determination. Sadly, you’d be right with all three versions because she exists in all of these forms.

Back in the day there was the thought process that the Pastor’s Wife was to be set apart. She was not to mingle with the commoners of the church and she was to be held in high regard. Only that doesn’t really fly in the face of scripture does it? Jesus says he is gentle and lowly in heart. Jesus says he is set apart by believing and obeying his Father. It wasn’t about being set apart from the people, it was about being among the people and being set apart in action.

The question that has been stirring in my heart as I see this attitude is what false hope it gives to women in the body. To think that any life is really that perfect and the average woman cannot attain it because it’s for an elite group is just not realistic. There are no scriptures to back this thought process up. There is no elite group of  Navy Seal Christian Woman. There are women who achieve great things and who have applied godly principles of life to their everyday walk but no one’s life is pure perfection. There are Pastors Wives who silently suffer, and because they are supposed to have this perfect image, they can speak to absolutely no one about it. So they put their makeup on and hide behind a smile and because no one really looks at each other anymore they are able to pose.

The problem with that is that we are called to mentor and to love and to help. We can’t ever say we have a problem because then we have this perception that no one will think we are as perfect as we pretend to be and therefore leave the church. So we lift up this unattainable goal to woman in the church that they too can be a perfect woman in Christ and she flounders because she never can quite get there. She feels inadequate and that’s good for us because it makes us feel more powerful.

I will never forget a story I heard Ruth Graham tell. She was Billy Graham’s wife who has now gone on to be with Jesus. Because her husband was often traveling she raised her children primarily alone. She said her son Franklin Graham, who is now an evangelist himself, gave her fits on a regular basis. One day while out and about he was acting out so much that she threatened to put him in the trunk of the car if he continued his behavior. Of course Franklin continued and she pulled the car over and stuck him in the trunk and drove on. Yes, she admits not a crowning moment for her but instead a desperate mom moment. While none of us would advocate putting your kid in a trunk, we relate to the feeling.

I have learned a few things in my life as a Pastor’s wife over the years. I know that life happens to the Pastor’s Wife. She gets flat tires on the way to a meeting. She has bad hair days. She has arguments with her husband sometimes. She yells at her kids. She sometimes skips her devotional time in the morning. She blows it at work. She gets mad at people who cut her off in traffic. She has issues. Her life is just as full and as busy as the next woman. She has flaws and temptations and everything else going on in her life. She isn’t married to a calling or a church. She is married to a man and she has been called, just as any wife, to minister to her family and then the church. So pray for your Pastor’s Wife because she’s as human as every other woman but sometimes she can’t say it.

 

Judging What You Deserve

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Hater defined by Urban Dictionary: 

A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

They say things like:

Where did they get the money for THAT? 

She doesn’t deserve him. 

I would never spend money on that. 

I work so hard and I never get anything like that. Where is my promotion? 

He only got the job because he knew someone.

They never have to work for anything because their parents give them everything.  

With Social Media as prominent as it is in our culture it’s easy to see the blessings that others are given and begin to get jealous instead of being happy for our friends and acquaintances. I have been examining my aversion to “haters” as they are called. Those people in our lives who can’t be happy for others, who always have a negative, gossipy thing to say about someone else. Why does it bother me so much?

As I began to examine my feelings for shielding myself from their mindset, there are two things that stick out to me like big red flags.

1. There is this big looming unspoken question that arises in me.

Do they really think God has a shortage of blessings?

God is God and he has this overwhelming abundance of blessings at his disposal and the great part is that he will never run out of them. There is proof of great blessing for everyone reading this today. If you have a roof over your head, food on the table, are in decent health, and have a few really good friends you are blessed beyond measure.  How much more does one need?  To be jealous of someone who got a new home, or another dog, or a new friend, or a job promotion means we think our Father in heaven is short or at least is shorting us. Our Father lacks nothing and never will. Understanding his true sincere love for us will begin to free us from the chains of jealousy. Not being able to be happy for someone’s success really stems from a place where we don’t believe God for his provision. It’s that orphan spirit rising up that tells us our Father will do it for others but not for us. It’s simply not true. Being truly happy for someone’s success is easy when we take ourself out of the picture and see things for what they truly are. And there it is in a nutshell, we have yet to discover the Father’s love and we are still not living in the spirit. Which leads me to my second point.

2. I am afraid of having those comments get into my thought process and I don’t want to be the person who begins see people in a negative light or suspiciously. Do I get everything I think I deserve? Uh, no, truthfully. I often deserve some pretty hefty traffic fines but my Father in his infinite mercy gives me a fix-it ticket. I don’t want to begin to question blessings and get into a place where I think if someone gets something that I am the judge of whether they deserve it or not. That’s the elder brother syndrome (Luke 15:25-32) and I want to avoid it. I don’t want to spend time pouring over someone’s finances or resume to see how they are cheating me out of something I deserve. I just want to be happy for others when they succeed. I want to celebrate them and I want to celebrate my Father from whom that blessing flowed to them. Go Lord!

And that’s it! When I’m spending time hating I’m really saying is God is holding out on me. He’s selective. That is not a thought I want to entertain.

 

 

Dead or Alive?

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paulaannreid.com

Luke 24: 1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

I woke up with the sentence in my head :

Why do you seek the living among the dead? 

 

Why do we seek the approval of man instead of Jesus?

Why do we uplift others opinions as fact rather than the words that Jesus spoke over us?

Why do we find our identity in who are friends are?

Why do we seek to glorify ourselves?

Why do we offer up our bodies as sacrifice to artificial love?

Why do we care more about people on Facebook than God?

Why do we care so much about our filtered image on Instagram when this flesh is just a tent?

Why do we speak death instead of life?

Why do we yoke up with worry?

Why do we yoke up with disdain?

Why do we yoke up with gossip?

Why don’t we pray when things are good?

Why don’t we care more?

Why do we not know what is going on in the world?

Why are we not concerned with the political arena?

Why do we dismiss dominion and embrace bondage?

Why do we dismiss self control and embrace victimization?

Why do we make excuses to continue to move, and breathe, and have our being in dead carcasses and not live in a breathing, moving Holy Spirit?

Why not look again into a mirror and see the reflection that can bring us a life worth living eternally?

 

As in a mirror

Why do we continue to seek the living among the dead? 

 

 

Daddy Is Home

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My mother created a culture in our home in which our family wasn’t complete until my dad came home. There was always a celebration, a feeling of security and warmth and love when my dad entered the scene. She taught us that he was important to our well-being.

She tells the story of when she was a little girl and her father had to work three jobs to make ends meet. When she would get up in the morning, her dad was already gone off to work and when she went to bed at night he was still working but she says that she always knew he had come home and that they were loved because he’d leave a treat behind. A pie, or pastry. Something to let them know that he was providing for his family.

It was these memories that have kept me thinking about Father’s Day and all of the appreciation of it. Father’s are critical to the well being of the home. A father, in his proper order, guides and leads a home with strength and character.

The latest statistic is that 43% of children are being raised in fatherless homes. Our statistics in America get dismal from there, click here to read statistics

Despite what anyone tells us as women and how we are capable of raising children alone, we simply lack something that dads bring to the table. Yes, we can clothe and feed a child, teach them manners, help them with their homework, love them beyond belief but children still know something is missing.

TD Jakes said in his message Crash Course in Fatherhood, “Anything a man loves he will take care of it, protect it, provide for it.”

Here’s the truth women. You don’t wait until a man loves you and marries you to have his baby. In fact, you’ll have two or three in the hopes he will marry you. Beloved, if he didn’t do it before babies, what makes you think he’ll do it after? Do you think love is sustained by a forced marriage? We all scream about arranged marriages, yet we have no problem backing up our sisters with the cry of ‘do the right thing’ to a man. How about looking her in the eye and speaking the truth in love? Although she may not need a man to help her financially raise a child, like it or not, she needs a man to help her raise a whole child.

I know I know!! This isn’t a popular message. I become a hater to society who says we must do things our own way but could it be that we, woman, are not embracing the biblical principles set before us, and setting up a house where life is complete when daddy is home? Where a man leaves security for his children on his way to making ends meet?

TD Jakes also said, “When a man has no authority, he has no potency. So when you shout, ‘I am woman hear me roar’, you may be roaring alone.”

We weren’t meant to do this alone. Wait for Part 2, ’cause I’m not done yet.

Despite It All

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Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.

I read a post on Facebook recently how happy posts were fake because people chose to post that their lives were good despite the fact that they had real problems. It made me think about how you can still be happy and positive despite difficulties, or you can judge others in your unhappiness. Not everything in life has to be a major catastrophe to your well-being.

I am in a really happy place right now. I’m sure my life, speech, and yes, Facebook posts show that. It took me a long time to get here and I am relishing in it. I was a pregnant teen who raised children to the age of 48. I had never had an adult life where it was just me. I had never written out a monthly budget that didn’t include children’s lunch or field trip money, a college fund savings, or a extensive food budget. I can leave home on a moment’s notice and not worry about babysitters or dinner. I can clean my kitchen spotless and know when I get up in the morning it’s going to be exactly how I left it. I can turn the music on as loud as I want to and dance without fear of someone saying, “Mom! Stop! It’s so embarrassing when you act like a kid.” I can buy tickets to a concert or a play and not worry about what is being taken out of the budget.

I have a man who loves me beyond measure and is close by my side. We like the same things and we very rarely even argue these days. It’s a peaceful season in our life. My job is going well. I have a lot to do but I’m no longer so driven towards it. I am enjoying the work that I do at a new level. I have a dog that I think is incredible, she is pure love and she is a total spas, who I think has the Young’s A.D.D. problem.

Do I have problems? OF COURSE I DO!! Everyone does. My problems big and small have always been there, not the same ones but isn’t there always something? I’d be lying if I said I don’t sometimes miss being a mommy. Sure, I like the freedom, but there are those days I want to watch Sleeping Beauty with the Princess Casey. The great thing is my age and life experiences have put them in perspective. They no longer rule my every thought. I’ve learned to be content. If you want to learn to be happy, click here for an article I found profoundly useful.

Here’s the problem with judging the heart of someone and determining their motives; you aren’t always right. A person can be happy in the midst of pain. A person can be upbeat even in the midst of chaos. Happiness is a choice. Be depressed, angry, resentful, or petty, if you choose to be, but don’t expect that everyone else will be. It’s entirely up to you. As for me, I’m going to live out this last little bit of life in happiness, I’m going to let go and plunge into the deep things of life and experience freedom, despite it all.

Look Up

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When you can’t see another horizon you settle for current conditions. ~ Rick Hawkins

Why dear one are you starving? Lost in your depressed living under circumstances you were never born to be under? Have you forgotten the will of your Father that you are more than a conqueror, that you command angels who ascend and descend with prayers and petitions and answers and responses upon Jacob’s ladder, the one and only Jesus Christ?

Why are you beneath your circumstances once again oh Church of the Most High King, when Jesus clearly stated that the gates of hell would never prevail against His church? Yes, you were told that you would be persecuted and suffer but what has got you down? Did you forget that you are told you would never be abandoned? Have you forgotten the words of your Father?

Oh, I know what ails you today. Judah plows the ground in which the seed of promise is sown. You’ve not worshiped with anointing and intensity. You’ve not sought out your deliverer. You say you know where your help comes from, yet you persist to try to make it work by your own hand. Some things are better fought through the praise of the present help in times of trouble.

Look up dear one, there is provision coming. It will look like a battle but don’t grow weary because you will succeed.

Numbers 23:24 Look, a people rises like a lioness, And lifts itself up like a lion; It shall not lie down until it devours the prey, And drinks the blood of the slain.”

A lioness works in a team, with eyes that light up the darkest night and she successfully devours her prey and brings the spoils home to her den. Sometimes when it seems as if there is no provision it is merely lurking in the tall grass. Stop grasping at what you think should be coming your way and free your hands, still your mind, and look out into the darkness for provision is coming but you will have to move from your current state of depression.

Deuteronomy 20:3 And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; 4 for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’

You are made strong in your weakness when you have decided to relinquish what you thought you’d captured on your own because you see, it has merely captured you. A mirage, it looked like an answer in the middle of the desert, but it only proved to ensnare you in the trap of a gerbil wheel.

Look up to the horizon. It is fresh everyday and with it comes new challenges, yes, but also new blessings. Free yourself of the entanglement that the world tells you need and refuse to settle for anything less that what has been promised. Awaken from your deep slumber, awaken and look around. There is much awaiting you. Although right now it looks like a little cloud off in the distance that will not yield much, it is more than enough to water the seed of praise in your heart and to break every chain of bondage over your life.

2 Corinthians 4: 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed–

We will prevail.

 

 

Rights and Responsibilities

Luke 17: 21 nor will

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.” —John Milton

John Milton was on to something with this thought process. So often in our attempt to control and manipulate we think we know what we really don’t know. This is nothing new, it’s been this way since the beginning of time.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

You were made in the image of God so why are you struggling with the opinion of man? I never see God struggle with the opinion of man. God knows he’s God. You were created in His image. You are the manifestation of that image on the earth. We are kings of a King.

Yet, there is this allowance of opinion that infiltrates our mind, causing such an uproar to our lives. Often times, religious types are quick to judge that which they haven’t yet accepted authority over as a fact in their own life, thereby projecting their fear on us. Only we must remember that we were made in the image of God. I don’t see where God worried, or feared anything. Instead he took charge over it. Hell was not ever breaking loose in God’s realm and neither does it have authority in our realm. Unless we give it room to play. Why do we believe the opinion of man when it doesn’t mirror the opinion of God? Because we haven’t yet consulted our owner’s manual to find out how things work.

If you live for the approval of others you will die by their rejection. ~ Rick Warren

The kingdom of Heaven is not something that we are waiting for. It is something within you that is creating positive changes in your environment. It should be bearing fruit. So often there are hearers of the word of God who run around telling others how to live their lives but because they lack the ability to be doers of the word, there is nothing solid on which to build a foundation. When you listen to a voice who tells you are doing things wrong, first check to see if their lives are bearing the fruit of the word?

I know people who say they are followers of Christ but they have a bad reputation among the people. My husband is from Louisiana so he’s says things in a southern way, he says, “broke, busted, and can’t be trusted.” They talk a good game but it avails them nothing as there is no fruit that is worth eating on their tree. They are in violation of the third commandment of taking the Lord’s name in vain. Yet, they project their fears and ungodly opinions on others. What makes us take their word as having any value at all?

I know others who quietly live out their faith in little acts of authority and obedience that produce great results of winning others to God. They took their commission seriously and are making disciples. Want to know their secret? They are disciples. You can’t lead someone to discipleship if you refuse to be a disciple.

So what are your rights and responsibilities as kings of a King? You have a right to live freely among men and you have a responsibility to represent your King admirably, allowing his definition of you be the last word. You have a right to bind those things on earth that are not of God and you have a responsibility to loose those things on earth that produce kingdom results.

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