You Can’t Want It More Than They Do

341bbd270d4cc542b67fff7ca2a1987c   This is a quote my husband often says when I begin a sentence with, “Well I think they should….” “You can’t want it more than they do.” He’s right. How often do we get entangled in someone else’s problem when they aren’t ready to fix it? I was reminded of this throughout football season as I cheered on my favorite team the San Francisco 49ers and they kept failing to close the deal. I arm-chaired quarterbacked my way through each game mainly frustrated. My opinion and a quarter would get me absolutely nothing but there I was week after week with my opinion. This would be no problem if this was the extent of my meddling in the things that aren’t mine to fix but it isn’t. I have an opinion on virtually anything but I can’t want it more than they do. So this past year I practiced minding my own business. In some ways I was successful and in other ways it was a fail. I continue to work on it. So where do you keep meddling in places that are none of your business? Where do you keep trying to push the vision from behind when the person up front is unwilling to pull? When you realize your opinion isn’t wanted. I had a person in my life who I tried to mentor for years. Each time in meetings they said everything I wanted to hear then they’d leave and do the exact opposite or nothing at all and wind up at square one. Both of us were frustrated. Until I realized the obvious.

I Can’t Want It More Than They Do

I was able to let them move on to their future and I was able to move on to mine. No hard feelings no more frustrations. Just honoring the fact that everyone is allowed to do what is best for them regardless of what others think. That’s living free.

And about the SF 49ers. I don’t think I’m ready to quit advising from my family room  quite yet. Like I said, I’m working on it.

You’re Supposed To Be The Church

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Here are some things I am thinking about today as I was told I am not a Christian and I am a liar because I chose to believe in our staff and our store policy.

Sometimes love say no.

Sometimes love has discipline.

Sometimes love has boundaries.

Sometimes love doesn’t allow the trampling of a soul.

Sometimes love points out wrongs.

People have this misconception about church that we are supposed to do everything anyone asks because we’re supposed to love. So we get these crazy asks sometimes. Take for example our thrift store. The conversation goes something like this:

“I’m sorry we won’t be able to take your couch, it has to be usable and without the cushions it isn’t usable.”

“Well, don’t you people help poor people? Beggars can’t be choosy. My dogs tore up the cushions but it’s still good for the homeless.”

Alright so at this point in the conversation I’m not thinking nice things, in fact my thoughts are quite sarcastic and this I realize is why I will never hold political office. My thoughts are going in the direction of why would we donate a couch to a homeless person? Sleeping bags, clothes, food, blankets, tents, yes but a couch? Not so much buddy. Not even on my radar. I know, I can’t say these things and maintain customer service as much as I would like to. These are thoughts though and I gather myself together and get back on track.

“Yes we do help people in need but this couch doesn’t help them. They can’t sit on it like this.”

“Well what I am supposed to do with it?”

“Well you can take it to the local dump.”

“WHAT? DO YOU KNOW THAT COSTS MONEY? I THOUGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THE CHURCH?” Huff, puff, slam and yell, “SO YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT? YOU GUYS DON’T HELP PEOPLE.”

“I understand the dump is expensive. It would cost us $20 to take the couch to the dump. We don’t get a Christian break or anything and we run on a very tight margin here. If you’d like us to take it to the dump for you, we can but you’ll have to pay the $20.”

He elects not to do that.

Whenever I hear the phrase, “I thought you were supposed to be the church.” or “I thought you were Christians.”, what I hear is, “You’re not doing what I want.”

I know your next question. What are some things we’ve been asked to do because we are the church? Mostly things that are wrong or unwise to us.

Cashing checks for people we’ve never seen before. 

Making exceptions to policy when it will ultimately hurt us. 

Writing letters of reference for people we don’t know. 

Loaning our vehicles to people without a license. 

Doing things that compromise our moral belief. 

Where do we get this idea that Christians are weenies who should do everything that is asked even when it’s contrary to their belief system thus saying no means they are hateful or not Christian? Jesus didn’t do everything asked of him and he asked people to make some very tough choices for the betterment of their life. Yet he was Christ. Not everything goes our way nor should it.

Oh and by the way, the guy came by and dumped the couch on our property after hours. Guess he showed us! So pray for me as I work through the nonsense of a thought process that I don’t understand and learn to let it go and move on.

 

The Pastor’s Wife’s Calling

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The Church often thinks when they select the man to shepherd their church they get his wife for free. During the interview process they interview the Pastor’s wife. I don’t see this done in any other career field and I’m mixed on it. I see the reasoning, I mean she’s hopefully going to be visiting his work often. If she is crispy fried over ministry issues it will play out in the role her husband plays in the ministry, there is nothing like the bitter Pastor’s wife who looks at life through the eyes of suspicion, because she will manifest her own betrayal. If she is helpful then the church has gained a saint but that doesn’t mean they’ve gained ministry help.

There is this thing that the church seems to miss and it’s a big thing.

Calling

Has she been called to ministry? Her husband’s call isn’t hers. One would argue that if she is saved and converted then she is called to win the lost, and it is right to think so, but being a disciple of Jesus and called to ministry are two different things. Calling comes with its own special set of parameters that the rest of the elect, that’s bible speak for those called to salvation, aren’t expected to live up to in the same way. I have met the Pastor’s wife who is the worship leader and awesome at it. I have met the Pastor’s wife who attends a different church and is lovely. I have met the Pastor’s wife who is raising little ones and is blessed to get to church with only one of her little children missing a shoe and she’s loving. Calling is a distinct thing and sometimes it’s seasonal too. Often I hear the cry from the church leaders who say she knew the expectation when she married a pastor (insert my jaw dropping here). What about the Pastor’s wife who met and married the business man who later became a Pastor? Did she sign up to lead a church or did she sign up to minister to her husband?

Let’s as people of God in the community of faith take a step back and cut the Pastor’s Wife some slack. Let’s quit being so quick to judge her ability to lead the Children’s Ministry and allow her to serve where she feels God is calling her to serve. Let’s quit looking for her to have an opinion on the direction of the annual Ladies Tea and see if she is even remotely interested in speaking to the group. She isn’t called to make decisions in her husband’s department of ministry yet so often we throw her in there and ask for her opinion and then criticize that opinion. She is the woman God has called as the partner to her husband. She hasn’t necessarily been called to ministry and maybe, just maybe, the horror stories of the horrible pastor’s wife is because she is in a role not suited to her gifting. Maybe she is bowing to the pleasure of man and isn’t called by God.

Maybe just maybe she is controlling and doesn’t fit the role. Maybe she has an opinion that doesn’t fit the vision of the church. Maybe she does feel the need to be “in” on every aspect of her husband’s ministry. Can we agree that it is  her husband’s to deal with, and the leadership of the church to deal with, and we, as the church, are simply called to pray?  Because if that isn’t the case then we are no better.