Sunday, May 18, 2008

minister's wife

Does your minister's wife feel loved and appreciated or neglected and misused?

One of our ministers' wives was recently asked if she was being looked after by our church. The older woman was perhaps surprised and pleased when this fresh, young minister's wife piped up that she had never felt so loved and looked after as she has over the last few months. She has been bathed in prayer. Her children have been loved by her sisters at church. And she does not doubt that others in the church respect and understand the immense and wonderful responsibility of being a godly mother to her two little girls.

If you would like to bless your pastor's wife, I recommend the following:

1. Commit to praying for her. Over the past 31 days, I have been praying for the above wife of our new pastor. Each day I sent her a card in the mail with Scripture written inside and a prayer I'd written for her based on the Bible passage. The blessings I received by doing this for her were small in comparison to the joy and gratitude I see in her eyes. Many times as I wrote out my prayers for her, the Scripture had so convicted me that I also lifted up prayers for myself. If you'd like to commit to praying for your pastor's wife, click here to take part in the 31 day challenge.

2. Also, click here for 25 Insightful Ways to Encourage your Pastor's Wife.


Saturday is the wrap up of our women's Bible study on the topic of sanctification. We're hosting a mini-retreat at which the women of the church are invited to join us for our last study. We will also share with them what God has taught us and how God has changed us over the past three months.

P came up to me after church to share what she has learned.

1. My sin is horrendous in the eyes of God.

2. God's grace is truly amazing and glorious and very much at work in me.

3. My church community is precious to me. I now see the importance of forming deep, meaningful relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ ... allowing God to use them to change me and letting God use me to change them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

USS Tarrawa

Monday morning a small group of just from Jane Franklin enjoyed a VIP tour on board the USS Tarrawa. Just as we boarded the ship I was met with the familiar plaque of pictures of commanding officers. The men and women in the pictures were not familiar to me, but my father and mother's faces once hung in similar plaques. There in the bay were all sorts of military vehicles that I was familiar with ... the smell ... the sights ... all reminded me of my childhood. Tanks, helicopters, HumVs, the slight aroma of grease and sweat, men and women in uniform ... nostalgia.

The group from Jane Franklin Hall.

My favorite man.

can I be both pro-life AND pro-Obama?

Frank Schaeffer thinks so.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Laura's here

She's moved here ... she just doesn't know it yet.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

loving our mothers

Our women's Bible study at church has been working through the How People Change (or How Christ Changes Us by His Grace) curriculum. During one study we began contemplating ways that we could show the mums in our church how much we loved them and valued them. It's understandable that mums can often feel left out of the loop or depressed that they cannot give the church what they once could before children came along. But we wanted to show them that we understand that they are in a phase of life of performing unmeasurable amounts of concentrated blessing on their young ones. So we determined to show them God's love in practical ways.

First, the women in the church who do not have children and were keen to participate decided to adopt a mum as their sister. The purpose was not to enter their sister's home and make her feel guilty and lecture her on how to be a better parent. Instead, we wanted to be at their service. If a new mum just needed someone to hold her baby for 30 minutes so she could take a shower ... consider it done! If she'd really like some adult company or someone to read the Bible and pray with her ... done! If she just wants to feel like a woman again and go out to a movie with friends and indulge in some ice cream afterwards ... done! There is only one rule for the mums--they are not allowed to clean their home before their sister comes over. ; ) In turn, we have received a huge blessing from ministering to and loving our sisters.

Second, our Bible study made mother's day cards and gift bags for our sisters. Inside each bag we tucked away our cards, a bar of fair trade chocolate, a CD of Remember Me (Prayer of Hannah) by Jamie Barnes, a prayer for mothers (written by Laura Roberts), and an invite to our Bible study's wrap-up mini-retreat. I showed my friends Nick and Kate Jamie's song and they decided to bless the mums at Crossroads House this morning by performing it. Everyone was blessed.

Prayer for Our Mothers
by Laura Roberts
Heavenly Father,

It was your eternal purpose to give all people life through mothers,
And to send your Son in flesh through a mother’s womb.

Bless our mothers as they follow you,
And guide them as they seek you.

Give them wisdom, that they may instruct their children faithfully.

Grant them discernment as they pray for their children;
Shape their hearts that they might desire the gospel to shine forth in their children’s lives.

Lord, you know what we need even before we ask.
We earnestly seek your perfect will for our mothers,
So that they might raise up children whose lives declare the gospel
Of your Son, by whose sinless life, perfect death, and glorious resurrection
We come before you with our requests.