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When You Don't Fit the Mold

Most people can think of a time in their lives when they felt like they didn't fit in.  For whatever reason, you didn't live up to someone's expectations.
I have often felt out of place as a pastor's wife.  I can be loud, sarcastic and I don't thrive on tradition or the "way things have always been done."  Likewise my husband, although equipped with clear spiritual gifts of a pastor, has been scolded for being too silly, scattered, not authoritative enough and not having a large enough college degree.
I struggled a lot with not fitting the mold particularly at our first church.  I was 21, fresh out of bible school and gung-ho to serve the Lord. The church itself from the outside, was a picture perfect white chapel in a beautiful country setting, complete with steeple and cross at the top.  But inside were people who all could've easily been my parents or even my grandparents.  It quickly made me feel insufficient and under qualified to complete any t…
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Tradition: is it helping or hindering the church?

An often highly regarded word that makes you think of heart warming family traditions: decorating the tree, making homemade apple pie, exchanging gifts and stories ... It ignites feelings of safety and comfort.  The holidays are a great place to have traditions.  One place, however, where they should be held in far less regard is the church.

Have you ever shared an idea and were met with this response, "we've never done it that way before"...?  It's typically followed by an abrupt end of conversation that leaves you wondering what you said that was so offensive.  God may have even laid that idea on your heart which makes the quick dismissal even harder to swallow.

After 13 years in the ministry, I've seen this happen over and over and it got me wondering, what does the Bible say about "religious" traditions?

Mark 7:1-9
Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate wit…

The Ministry of Every Believer

I've been contemplating the word MINISTRY lately.

If you've been following my personal journey you know that my husband was recently hired to Pastor a bible church full time after searching for 10 years.  However, even when he wasn't hired full time we've always considered ourselves to be in ministry.  To us, ministry is not a calling or even a choice but rather an obligation, one that every believer is Jesus Christ has.  Ministry is not reserved only for pastors, missionaries and evangelists.

So what is this ministry?

2 Corinthians 4:1
"Therefore, since through Gods's mercy we have this ministry..."

First, whenever you see a "therefore" in scripture you must ask yourself, what is the therefore there for?

We need to re-winded  to the beginning of chapter 3 (I promise this will all tie in) which begins by comparing the Law (the 10 commandments) to the Spirit, the Holy Spirit.  For me it was easiest to just list the differences laid out in these…

My Personal Story of Waiting Upon the Lord

Many of you know personally or have read here on the blog, of my struggle waiting upon the Lord for a full time ministry position for my husband and our family.  If this your first time reading my blog, now would be a great time to read my previous post entitled "When God Says No, He's Saying I Love You."  In it I share more details then I'll go into here. 
To put it in a nutshell, we've been waiting 9.5 years to find it.  9.5 years of praying, waiting, dreaming, crying, desiring and persevering.  Approximately 100 resumes printed and sent.  Countless pastor finder google searches.  Many phone calls from friends and family with ministry suggestions.  And a ridiculous amount of "what if's"...
After all of this, God has said YES!
Yesterday my husband accepted the call to pastor a small, independent Bible church just an hour north of my home town here in Wisconsin.  Here's the amazing story of God's perfect timing...
For the past 9 years on the ver…

When God says No, He's saying I Love You

We've been conditioned to believe that getting what we want from someone is the equivalent of them saying, "I love you".  A quote from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride:  Buttercup: Farm boy, polish my horse’s saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning. Westley: As you wish. Grandpa: “As you wish” was all he ever said to her. Buttercup: Farm boy, fill these with water - please. Westley: As you wish. Grandpa: That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.”  However romantic this notion is, the idea that hearing "yes" also means "I love you", is a very dangerous lie!  Why?  Because when desiring something for our lives, God often answers "no" yet his love for us is infinite and unchanging!
Have you ever wanted something so bad, you thought about it every day?  You hoped and dreamed for it?  You prayed for it? You begged God for it? You even purposely arranged your life…

How to Pray Like a Pro Part 2: The Lord's Prayer

As you can see from the title, this post is part 2 on the subject of prayer.  If you haven't yet read part 1 you may want to as it covers the verses leading up to the Lord's Prayer.
As promised, it's time to break down a portion of scripture known as the Lord's Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13.
Jesus starts out in vs 9a:"this then is how you should pray." He's literally giving an outline as to how to structure a prayer.  We must remember that before Jesus came, people did not pray to God on their own.  They had to go to the temple and have a priest pray for them.  Why?  Because Jesus' perfect sacrifice on the cross gave us the right to boldly approach the throne of God, something the Old Testament saints did not have.  This concept of approaching God, was unheard of for the common man and would have been considered blasphemy.  Remember the Holy of Holies in the temple?  It was where the Shekinah Glory dwelt, or the very presence of God.  Only the high priest coul…

How To Pray Like A Pro: Part 1

Prayer has always fascinated me.  To think that we have the ability to actually talk to God!  The same God that took dirt from the ground and made a living, breathing man, the same God that protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego in a blazing fiery furnace, the same God that stitched me together in my mother's whom, made DNA and knows every hair on my head...I could go on and on!  I've often tried to grasp the concept of talking to God but I find it's like trying to grasp the concept of eternity, impossible.

I've experienced both highs and lows in prayer.  The high?  When God answers a specific prayer in very specific way.  The low?  When you pray for something for so long and never see it answered.  Have you ever been so discouraged that you don't even know what to pray for?  I love this verse in Romans chapter 8; "the spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groa…