Friday, December 18, 2009

Rush of LIfe

Today, I am feeling the rush of life. I have just completed another class in my masters work for education. The house is freezing waiting for the repair man to come to fix the heater. More then a week without good heat in the house can create some good missionary training moments. ;)
We just received news last night that my husbands dear uncle has passed away. The holidays will have just a bit of sorrow mixed in this year.
Life just seems to rush on whether or not we are ready.
I thank God that he is there to walk us through every mountain and valley. I am thankful that I have his strong arms around me to hold me up and carry me through when I am feeling overwhelmed. I pray for his grace and mercy and for a good Christmas season.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Other Peoples Expectations

Today I thought I would take a moment to write about something that was a struggle for me as a PK and sometimes as a Pastor's wife.

As a child, I felt that I had to live with the constant watchful eye of other people in the church who expected me to live up to their expectations of how a preachers kid should act.
Thankfully, I had parents that were not afraid to stand for me when it was needed.
Then I married a preacher, yes I did this knowing what I was getting in to. I then realized that in the church people expect the pastor's wife to do certain things, or have certain abilities that she may not have. So is the struggle of wondering if you are called to do this or not because we just can not live up to other people's expectations of us.

So what is the solution to this conundrum. Well, I have learned over the years that a good sense of humor and tactful honesty can go a long way. I also learned from the scriptures how I am to live my life. These I will share with you now.

Paul shared in I Corinthians 10 that his authority came only from Christ and no other.
In Vs. 12- he says "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise." Now ladies, I have been praying for years for the Lord to please help me to be wise in all that I do. So in this case, we as pastor's wives, are not to compare ourselves to others, we are not to worry about "their expectations" we are only to compare ourselves to a holy God.
Of course, we do not measure up to him and frankly neither do the ones in the church that expect us to live up to "their expectations". You see, once I realized that I only need serve where the Lord has truly gifted me to serve and when I realized that I was ultimately only responsible to my Lord. This was a freeing moment for me. I found that when other's were not so pleased with how I acted or reacted then I had to say "ok, did I act out of selfish flesh?" If the answer was yes, then I had a responsibility to make it right. But, if the person was critical because I somehow did not measure up to "their expectations" and I knew before God that I had acted as I should before the Lord, then I listen and say "ok" but I let it roll off my back because I know that I have done as I should before God and he is the one I am to answer to for my actions.

All I can say is just be sure that you are living your life as God would have you to live it and when misunderstandings come and they will. Correct what needs to be corrected and the rest just leave it in the Lord's hands because He knows the heart.

Holiness- I Peter 1:13-16

These verses in I Peter are a wonderful reminder of how we need to live out our lives in this world. Holiness is a topic that so few want to talk about today. We live in a world that says anything goes, there are no limits, do what you feel like doing, and we forget that our Lord calls us to live holy lives.

I like how Peter starts out in vs. 13 reminding us to prepare our minds for action. You see, the battle for holiness begins in the mind and heart of every person. What we think about many times will end up being what we do in action. So our minds need to be filled with the truths of God's Word so when we are faced with a decision we can act according to his perfect will.

The next part of vs. 13 says to be self-controlled. How many times have we made mistakes because we were not acting with self-control. Self-control means we are disciplined in the way we act, talk and how we judge a situation. This self-control also means setting our hope or desires on what is pleasing to the Lord while we wait for his return.

In vs. 14 we are also reminded to be obedient followers of Christ and not conform to the ways of this world. He speaks of how before salvation one lives in ignorance (agnoia) this means living in moral blindness, having a lack of knowledge of God. But now that we are saved we are to no longer live an unholy life but one that is pleasing to the Lord.

Vs. 15-16 are important for us to memorize.
"But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy."

Remember that these believers were under persecution and yet they chose to live lives that stood apart from what was around them. How often are we willing to stand apart from the world influences and be holy before the Lord. Perhaps our light would stand out in the darkness of this world if we chose holiness over our own desires.

Lord, help me today to live a life of holiness. Don't let me be afraid to stand apart from the crowd. Help me to seek only you in everything I do.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I :Peter 1:10-12

Peter speaks in vs. 10 about how the prophets searched intently to understand the salvation that they recorded. The prophecies of a coming Messiah were written about in Isaiah 9:6-7, 51:11, Joel 2:28-32, Jeremiah 31:31-34, and Zechariah 3:1-10. (Women's Evangelical Commentary, p. 814). It is amazing to me how the scriptures in the Old Testament all point to the coming Saviour Jesus in the New Testament. In vs. 11, Peter shows how the scriptures were written by the Holy Spirits guidance in the lives of the prophets when he says "to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." In vs. 12, he continues to speak of the message of salvation that they preached to them that was revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. He speaks of how the angels even have an interest in the work of salvation. The angels are only able to watch and delight in God's work of salvation and they rejoice when someone comes to know Christ as Saviour.
So in summary of these verses in the beginning of I Peter we see that we are to have joy in our salvation and we are to rejoice in the fulfillment of the prophecies that fortold the coming of Jesus and how his salvation is readily available to all who will receive him.
Especially with the Christmas season coming soon, may we be mindful of all that Jesus has done for us and how the coming of Jesus as a baby made a way for us to have salvation from our sins.
Praise the name of the Lord.

Catching up

It has been a busy week for me. We visited with family over the Thanksgiving holiday and traveled a lot. My son was able to get his deer and we played a little football in Charlottesville. I have been working on papers for school and assignments to complete before going to New Mexico with my husband for a few days. I am writing now from NM. It has been good to get away with him for a few days. I have also enjoyed the sweet fellowship with other ladies who are serving with their husbands in a similar ministry context as we. I have needed to get back to our study of I Peter so I wanted to take a few minutes to see what we have next to study.
I hope you all have a chance to spend good quality time with your husbands soon. It is so needed to keep our marriages fresh and to stay connected to one another.