I love the new year. I like a new month, a new week or even just a new day. I consider each of them precious gift. The bible tells us in Isaiah 43:18 -19, Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
I’m hoping that growing a more intimate relationship with the Lord is the highest on you priority list for 2016. How about beginning with a commitment to daily prayer and bible reading? Take advantage of women’s events in your church such as bible studies, retreats and fellowships. Then allow yourself to encourage and be encouraged and uplifted by other women.
No matter what this past year may have brought your way, you get to start over. And He wants you to. He wants you to look forward and move past your past. What was best for you last year may not be best this year. Take a minute and re access. Ask God for daily guidance. Then move ahead trusting the God of forgiveness and new beginnings as you never have before.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek HIM.
Once again, this verse has proven true in my life. I had the opportunity to attend a women’s retreat this past weekend with some of the ladies in my church. In talking with some of these ladies in anticipation of this upcoming event, I found that each of them was attending with the same purpose in mind. That purpose was to hear the individual message that God had for us. And He definitely did not disappoint. I loved hearing these ladies walk away saying that God had spoken to them in a personal way and that the message they received was powerful.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that if we diligently seek to hear from HIM, He will speak. However, life can so easily get in the way. To our shame, distractions have become a way of life for us and time to really seek the heart of God just isn’t a priority.
Let me encourage you today to do something powerful. Set aside some time to listen to the voice of God. Start with praise and worship. Follow with a heartfelt prayer that includes a plea to draw you closer to Him. Ask Him to allow you to see more of Him. I have never been disappointed or found the words of this Hebrews scripture to be untrue. Start with just a few minutes spent each day in your prayer closet. You won’t be disappointed.
“Come thy fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy praise.”
I have always loved this song. But just like many of the older hymns, I don’t always stop and meditate on the words. But a newer version of this song came on the radio the other morning and the words touched me in a way they never had before. We should be asking God for a fount of blessings on our lives. But those blessings should always result in a heart of praise. I’m not always completely happy with the blessings He chooses for me so my heart definitely needs to be tuned to do so.
“Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.”
I forget that sometimes. I take his blessings and His gifts for granted and react with an attitude of ingratitude. Bottom line is, every time I breathe in I am breathing in His grace. Therefore, every time I breathe out I should be breathing out His praise. To do any less exposes my ungrateful heart.
But seeing, and I mean really choosing to see His blessings as gifts being unwrapped before my very eyes gets me a little closer to a heart that is consciously aware of all He gives.
Grace. A beautiful word isn’t it? I remember as a little girl I would often hear my pastor define this word. He would say, “Grace is unmerited favor”. More specifically he was referring to God’s unmerited favor. But I don’t think I really grasped the full meaning of what he was saying. Even now, can any of us really comprehend how God could show favor to us, the undeserving disobedient followers that we are? And yet, He does.
You can almost read the mind of the songwriter who writes a beautiful song about grace but adds an adjective that so perfectly describes this grace. He calls it, “amazing”, and that it is.
This “amazing grace” is never so evident to us as when we see ourselves in comparison to our almighty creator. We look at Him, see what He has made and what He has done, and eventually grow in our understanding of His attributes. Then we see how truly amazing it is that He would grant us favor.
Today, I will think on the grace so amazing and see it, and I mean really see it for just that. I will see each moment and each blessing given in this day as a gift. I will see these gifts for what they really are. God’s deliberate and amazing grace being poured into each and every precious moment of my day.
I was recently asked the question, “So how do you like being a pastor’s wife?” My reply, “It wouldn’t have been what I chose for myself but it is what God chose for me.” I could pretend it’s all wonderful but honestly, it’s really hard. I don’t hear a lot of honesty on this subject and at first I thought I was the only one who felt this way. You see, for some reason we are not supposed to talk about the difficulties we face. I happen to think it’s time to be honest. If people don’t know what hurts you and why it hurts you, how can they know to do better?
I’ll begin by saying that coming into and then accomplishing anything in a church where the former pastor was there for 30 years sometimes seems like an impossible task. The new pastor comes in with the idea that the church wants to see changes due to the fact that it has seen a decline in the previous years. But he soon finds out that this decline needs to be turned around but it must be done without any changes. He also soon finds out that Satan’s opposition isn’t necessary because the members will provide plenty of that. Any ideas he has are quickly halted by those who feel it can only be done the “way it’s always been done.”
My intention is not to be hurtful but just to be honest. When we spend a great deal of our time fighting against the grumbling and complaining that trickle through the church, it’s becomes exhausting. It begins to feel as though we are walking on treadmill. Like we are working, working, working and getting no where.
All I’m saying is, give the guy a chance. At some point just let go and give him a chance. You might be surprised at what God can do through him if you do. I am so thankful for those who choose to be an encouragement to us as the pastors family. Believe me, we need it. Those encouragers make it worth it. You know who you are. You have been a lifeline for me. You are being used by God in a way you might not realize. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone was? Which one are you?
Read the original posts with comments here.
I think that after several months of not blogging I will take advantage of the fact that this is Pastor Appreciation Month. I plan to re-post a few of my posts that pertain to ministry.
I think it is wonderful that so many Pastor’s Wives are being honest about the issues they face in the ministry today. When I was a young PW I was expected to suffer in silence and then feel guilty about it. I don’t claim that my attitudes were always right, just that they were honest.
My prayer is that these posts will be a help to some dear one who might be struggling in their ministry.
I got news last night that me mom was about to be taken to emergency surgery for a condition that came up suddenly. She has had several health issues that have resulted in hospitalization in the last 5 and a half years since we have been in WV. I spent much of last night as well as this morning just trying to figure out how I can keep up with the responsibilities I have here as well a be able to get down to SC to be with her.
What a great oppurtinity for the enemy to come around and assure me that this is proof that God has chosen to take a hands off approach in MY life. He might work in the lives of others but not in my own.
I had been encouraged in my bible study this weeks to look for the times when God was working in my life. Now I know that I could easily over look those times but I believe they do happen. So my prayer for this week was that He would gently remind me. So, as I am driving this morning and feeling a little neglected, this song comes on the radio.
Wow! I almost missed it. The reminder that no matter what, He Holds Everything. And then that still small voice reminds me, “That’s was God.”