What’s In A Name?

from: http://www.lynnegolodner.com/author/lynneschreiber/
from: http://www.lynnegolodner.com/author/lynneschreiber/

When my daughter Casey sends a text I know instantly without reading it what my position is. You see when it’s business and information she starts the text out with, “Hi Mom” and proceeds with what is needed. When it’s encouragement or love that is needed she starts out the text with, “Mommy”. This week her note to me was positioned as Mommy and my posture was immediately that of refuge.

A name positions the posture you take in any given situation. You respond to the moment by the name you are called. The Lord has a name by which he responds to and it is in the posture that you have positioned Him in.

Relationship determines what name you use. My immediate family calls me Susie. No one else does and is corrected immediately because no one else has that familiarity with me. It’s a name from my childhood and reserved for those special people who were there in that time. My friends call me Susan, my given name, the one I use daily.

What is your relationship with The Lord and what do you call him? Are you like Casey who calls upon the name that is needed in the circumstance? Do you share that kind of intimacy with Him that he knows by the name you are using how he will respond to your request? My hope is that you do. It takes time to develop the relationship to get to the place where intimacy happens. There are so many characteristics of God and to call upon him in those times of need with that assuredness that he will answer brings a peace to your soul that is unimaginable.

I come running to my daughter when she calls out to her mommy. Yes, she is almost 30 years old but it invokes in me a concern and a privilege that only I hold and that I can’t describe. It invokes in my heart a necessity that can’t be filled by anyone else. How much more does Our Father come running when we call upon him in the familiar? When He is our One and Only in that given moment is when the intimacy happens, when the questions are answered, when the advice is given. Let us draw near to Him. It’s never too late to start.

Pruning

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Prune – verb

1. to cut or lop off (twigs, branches, or roots).
2.to cut or lop superfluous or undesired twigs, branches, or roots from; trim.
3.to rid or clear of (anything superfluous or undesirable).
4.to remove (anything considered superfluous or undesirable).

Over the last year I’ve allowed a pruning in my life. My blogs became fewer, my days were no longer intentionally set the way I wanted but instead often changed up in a weird, chaotic seeming to me, but divinely purposed to God way. To tell you that it was easy or that it wasn’t on some days excruciatingly painful would be a lie. I wish we could be pruned like a haircut where you feel excited at the anticipated outcome. For me, a Type A, there have been days when I want scream STOP! ENOUGH! OUCH!, only I grew up in the Central California Valley, where vineyards grow in abundance, and I know pruning is necessary for the next season. Pruning is an ugly necessary part of bearing exceptional fruit. In the Central Valley, the winter is ugly. Everything is pruned, fog sets in, money is tight because few are working, and there is this stillness, this holding pattern as we anticipate the coming of Spring and the new abundant crop and the action that comes along with it. All the while the vineyards are digging deep and baring their souls and most look away because it’s uncomfortable and desolate and a process that is completed deep within.

I remember some years ago, I was walking my father’s vineyard at winter time, and I told my dad that the vines look gloomy without leaves. He answered “They don’t look gloomy… They are showing you their soul. Looking at them you can see their essence, their strength and weakness… You can see their skeleton and help them to become in what you want them to become by encouraging their natural process through the pruning”~By Mariana Onofri The Vines of Mendoza

So quietly I went about my business and agonized over things I thought were important but The Lord said had to go. It would be simple if you got to prune yourself. If the vine could say to the vinedresser,

“Please take a little off the top, but you see that strong sturdy branch there, yes that one, please leave that one alone, I’ve cultivated a following there, and there is much fruit that came from it.”

It doesn’t work that way. Pruning takes away all of the pretty and all that is left is the stump. This is why it’s so crazy hard to do. To be stripped away of things you felt were important and worthwhile but weren’t for you in this next season. To be looked at by your peers as dropping the ball or worse no longer a team player because you weren’t showing up in uniform ready for the action and instead were taking time to sit on the bench and observe the frenzy that you once loved so much.

Baby, sometimes the season is over.

Sometimes you’re the star quarterback who thinks they have a season left. It doesn’t mean life is over. It just means the chapter is finished and it’s time to start a new one.

When your definition is your title, there will be pruning. Truth be told we’ll be in denial over this. We’ll proclaim to anyone who listens that our title isn’t what defines us because we’re richer than that but the fact remains that we cry out: THIS IS MY CAUSE! THIS IS MY PASSION! Yes, that is what the vineyard says to the vinedresser. The vineyard who also professes to be a surrendered soul.

Our cause and our passion belong to the Master

or is that simply a statement made for those who choose to listen to us and the lie we tell our heart as we pilgrim forward on the way to the things that are meaningful to us? Just something to think about.

 

 

This Heart Of Mine

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Free people.

Free people.

Free people.

I don’t get to control how free people behave. I don’t get to control how free people respond. I don’t get to judge whether their response is reasonable or not. I don’t live in their head. I live in mine. They get to tell their truth. I get to tell my truth. We don’t always have to agree. We don’t always have to walk together. The response we have to free people shows our heart. It also shows our respect for others and ourselves.

That being said, it doesn’t give someone the right to trample on you. I’ve seen some pretty crazy relationships in the name of respect. Different doesn’t mean it’s good. In fact, it could be bad only you get to line it up with the word of God and decide. Where the line is drawn however is when we march off backbiting because the person didn’t agree with us or didn’t allow us to emotionally hijack them. Taking our ball and going home mad is fine when we’re 12, but it’s immature at 20, and looks ridiculous at 40.

Will we decide to keep score or will we forgive? One looks like flesh and one looks like Jesus. Our choice. Our account.

 

 

The Art of Bouncing Back

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

As a woman in ministry there is a big target on your back and you can fall prey to the haters if you aren’t careful. I want to speak to the wife of a Pastor today because she is especially vulnerable to the arrows that hit her blindside.

It’s not about going around trying to stir up trouble. As long as you are honest and you articulate what you believe to be true, somebody somewhere will become your enemy whether you like it or not. ~Criss Jami

I am watching two very different women in ministry. A young Pastor’s wife, we’ll name her Jane, with a heart for the Lord who is being torn apart by unrealistic expectations, and a Pastor’s wife, Chris, who is being slaughtered by those who profess to wear the banner of love. It’s painful even from a distance.

In both cases you have women who love the Lord and are actively involved in their church. They are there at every event and they are there to serve. They pray. They seek the Lord. They speak words of revelation and life and yet they are lonely. They want to be a part of something that they have not been invited to.

So what’s the problem? Young Pastor’s wife Jane is an intercessor. She’s friendly but introverted. She will be at the church praying on any given day once her children are off to school, however Jane doesn’t lead a ministry. Jane has prayed over me powerfully but if I ask her to speak at our women’s conference Jane politely declines and says, “but I’ll help you serve food and I’ll help you at the altar”. Her church feels she needs to step it up. Only who decides that? I read the bible and there is this ministry called Helps and it is very necessary in the church.

Then there is Chris she is prophetic and a powerhouse speaker. Her church would like for her to stand down based on a misconception of a biblical view of women that are to be seen and not heard. Man! If only we could switch churches for them maybe their congregations would be happy. Unfortunately, their husbands were called to their place.

The biggest difference between leaders of large organizations and small organizations isn’t their location, the size of their building, the scope of their vision, the number of staff members, or their talent. In fact, some of the best leaders I’ve met have small organizations. But in all of my consulting and conferences, I’ve seen a single factor: leaders of larger organizations have proven they can handle more pain. ~ Sam Chand

So let’s do away with the expectation of a pastor’s wife. She may be called to lead a ministry or support it. She may be called to be a pastor or not. I can promise you one thing is for sure, she will fail someone at some point because no one is perfect. From a biblical view I don’t think the church gets to decide who she is to be. I think God does and I think he’s pretty sure about his expectations, and I would bet money on the fact that we’re supposed to trust Him. Let’s show a little mercy. The art of bouncing back becomes a little more difficult each time.