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A Peek From My Porch – God’s Gift of the Church

How thankful I am for the Lord’s gift to us of the local church. I’m not referring to a building, but the group of believers that gather there. These Christians come together all day on Sunday and again on Wednesday to worship, praise, study, pray, fellowship, encourage and serve.  God knew we would need the church.   It’s not merely another bullet on our “to-do” list, or the obligatory task we fulfill.  The Church is alive because We are the church!I

I recently heard a young college-age man say,

“I’ve realized recently how much I need other believers.’

If we all don’t come to that conclusion, we are missing out on so much!  Let me illustrate:

Last Sunday was Friend Day at my church.  It was such a sweet time!  People were buzzing in the auditorium before the service like happy shoppers in the candy aisle the day after Easter! Our church is such a warm, Spirit-filled group of people and it was evidenced as I witnessed new friends being greeted and welcomed, coffee  being poured and offered, and smiles shared. That’s what the church does!

Then the service time began. I was so blessed to witness a touching scene when my husband asked our men to come and gather in the choir.  The man on the left (Fain) in the picture below is seated in a wheelchair.

Friend Day 001

As the rest of the men went up and gathered in the choir loft, these three joined Fain on the floor and stayed with him and shared his “platform of uniqueness.”  Rather than going up where they would be less visible, in love, they seated themselves beside Fain so that they might encourage and share in his burden.  How kind is that?!  I pulled my phone out and snapped a picture because it touched my heart so much. That’s what the church does!

We had a picnic lunch out on our church lawn after the service.  There was enough food there for the multitude Jesus fed (well, kind of).  People set up tables, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs in the hot sun, sat with our guests, washed dishes, took down tables and chairs, and picked up trash afterwards.  So many served!  That’s what the church does!

Friend Day 003

Then at 5:30, we met back at the church for the evening service where we sang, heard from God’s Word and then shared testimonies of how God has answered prayer.  We encouraged one another all day long!  That’s what the church does!

There’s no ballgame, family gathering, vacation attraction, boat ride, concert, or television program that can do for me what The Church can do!  I am so thankful for my Boones Creek Bible Church family.  I love each member and thank the Lord for them.  That’s what the church does!

Are you fully entrenched in a Bible-believing church?  Christ gave His life for The Church!  He has a great purpose for it in your life!  Don’t miss out on all the blessings you’ll only find in The Church!

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A Broken Tooth

As juicy and delicious as Tootsie Roll Pops are, I haven’t had one in about twenty years.  My reason?  One day I was enjoying my favorite flavor (chocolate) and I had gotten past the hard sucker part and was enjoying the Tootsie Roll in the middle when I felt something give way in my mouth.  It was part of my tooth!  I literally got sick to my stomach.  Curious, my tongue felt the area of the strangeness and realized that I had just successfully pulled the crown off my tooth with the sticky candy.

I made an appointment at the dentist to have it repaired, but up until that time, that tooth was a source of much discomfort.  When I ate, I had to chew on the other side of my mouth since that back tooth was now useless.  I tried to keep any kind of food from floating to the broken tooth, to avoid any more decay or trouble.  I totally overused the other teeth, just trying to avoid the one that was out of commission.  I was so relieved after it got repaired and I could use it once again!  However, my personal rule is –  NO MORE TOOTSIE ROLL POPS!

When I recently read Proverbs 25:19, I was made to think back to my injured tooth incident.  The verse reads,

Confidence in an unfaithful man (or woman) is like a broken tooth…

Why?

  • An unfaithful woman brings discomfort to others because she can’t be counted on.  Things that should be done are left lacking, causing difficulty for everyone else.
  • An unfaithful woman can’t be used.  She’s not trustworthy.  She’s not ready.
  • An unfaithful woman is avoided.  Why call and ask her to serve in a ministry or lead this or help with that…it’s better to find someone else.  She’s made a name for herself.

But, like my tooth, an unfaithful woman can be “fixed!”  Simply by seeing her sin of unfaithfulness, and confessing that to the Lord, God can equip and use her once again.  Her life can be steady and sure, bringing eternal rewards One day at the Bema Seat!

I’m proud to say, that I know a woman who is NOT a broken tooth, but a faithful, solid trustworthy servant of the Lord.  We just recently honored her at church; her name is Reva.  She has served in our church nursery for over 45 years!  You could count on her to be there!  You could be sure she would let someone know if she was going to be out due to sickness or vacation.  You could trust her to be a loving worker and doting on those babies.  You could bank on her week in and week out!

She is moving away, and she will be missed greatly at Boones Creek Bible Church, but I know that wherever she attends church, she will carry her faithfulness with her!  We love you, Reva!  May your tribe of faithful women increase!!!

Are you considered faithful, or more like a broken tooth?  It’s a question we all need to ask ourselves and our Savior.

With love,

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Don’t Zone Out – Tune In!

I just got back from a trip to town.  Things I saw have gotten me to thinking about how we all tend to “zone out.”  We’re so busy, so frantic, that when whenever we can, we find our way to check out on life.  Here’s how I’ve seen it recently:

  • People in their cars, talking on their phone while trying to make a left turn onto a very busy road.  They’re oblivious to the fact that they’re blocking both turn lanes.  Zoned out.
  • Shoppers push their cart out into the middle of the aisle without ever considering that someone might have to come to an immediate halt to keep from hitting their buggy.  It’s okay; they never see anyone else, never acknowledge that someone else is in the store. A believer misses the opportunity to serve others or to speak or encourage with a word or smile.
  • Parents are caught up in conversation or their phone, or a ballgame and miss seeing what their child is doing or what they may be up to.  The child speaks and the parents hears, but isn’t listening.
  • Christians sit in church “listening” during a service,  all the while thinking of a hundred other things during the announcements or message. Afterwards there’s no memory of what was said or of the Lord speaking to their heart.  They’re also out of the loop about what’s coming up on the church calendar.
  • Spouses don’t take time for one another to have an eyeball to eyeball conversation.  They give “air kisses” as they part in the morning or return at the end of the day.  They miss details of the other’s life because they’re zone out.

Okay, so we’ve all seen it and DONE IT! Right? I certainly have! What’s the remedy?  How about following the principle Jim Elliott is quoted in saying,

Wherever you are, be all there.  Live to the hilt any situation you believe to be the will of God!

When you’re driving, put the phone down.  Be a present driver!

When you’re at the store, keep your head and eyes up.  Be a present shopper/witness!

When you’re with your children, listen to them.  Inspect what you asked them to do.  Have a consistent, watchful eye on them. Be a present parent!

While sitting in the church service, keep your notebook out.  Write down the announcements the pertain to you!  Write down any questions you may have if you didn’t understand the details.  Take notes about what God is saying to you during the message.  Be a present church member!

Be intentional about spending time with your spouse when you see one another.  Greet him at the door.  Mark out ten minutes just to talk with him about his day and things he needs to hear. Be a present wife!

Zoning out involves thinking about one person – ME.  Tuning in involves everyone around me. Life is a greater blessing when we stay tuned in to others around us!  Let’s tune in to others and zone out to self!

Are there other scenarios in which you find yourself zoning out?

With love,

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A Peek From My Porch

A Peek Into My Life This Week

20150303_120036 I spend a lot of time with my husband as he makes hospital calls. When I was a child,  I dreamed of walking the hospital halls as a nurse.  The Lord had other plans, and now for all these years, instead of being called “nurse,”  He’s given me the title of “Pastor’s wife.”  I get to stand alongside my husband as he enters room after room to comfort and encourage. I have learned to love these times at the hospital for so many different reasons. One of those is that we always go to be a blessing, but we always come away having received a far greater one.

Yesterday was one of those busy days visiting at the med center.  One of our visits included the former pastor of our church; a dear man who loves the Lord, His Word and His work.  As I stood at the foot of the bed and listened to my husband minister to this former pastor, the Lord revealed three important truths to me.

  1. I thought about how at one time this patient was the one standing beside the bed giving the comfort.  Now instead, he is listening, drinking in and receiving the encouragement from God’s Word.Time to serve God is short.

  2. I sensed this man’s keen knowledge of God’s Word as, even in his weakened condition, he made a connection from the passage my husband read in the psalms to one in Revelation.  Time in God’s Word is evident.

  3. I thought about his wife, at home, unable to be at his side because of her own physical limitations.  I’m sure she had ministered with him in years past, just as I was doing now.  Is she wondering where he is?  Is she calling for him when he cannot come? Time with our spouse is a privilege not to be taken for granted.

So while some folks loathe visiting the hospital, the Lord has given me a joy – not in other’s sickness – but in what they always teach me. What a wonderful privilege is mine to be called “The pastor’s wife.”   I pray I will serve as faithfully as this dear man and his wife did. Then when the Lord sets me aside and I can no longer serve in this capacity, I pray that I will encourage others who visit with me as much as I was encouraged yesterday!  If I take these lessons to heart that will be far more likely.

Of the three truths the Lord showed me, which one strikes a chord in your own heart?  Listen to what the Lord wants to say to you through this faithful former pastor!

With love from my country porch,

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Family life · Husband

People Are More Important

After a two-day trip away, my husband returned home.  It was a snowy, wet night, and because the garage was full with two cars inside –  mine and our daughter’s, he parked in the slushy driveway and stepped inside.  His shoes dripped with the remains of the winter weather, so he stepped across the hardwood floor onto the dining room rug…the “pretty” rug meant for covering the floor, but not necessarily for wiping wet feet.  I inwardly cringed, then asked,

“Could you not step on the dining room rug, but please leave your shoes on the mat by the door?  I can throw the mat in the washer, but not the dining room rug.”

Immediately I knew I had said the wrong thing.  He did as I’d asked, but the air was tense.

I thought through my words and realized I’d only said a brief welcoming statement and given a kiss before I’d made my housekeeping request.  My timing wasn’t good.  I asked him how I could’ve handled it differently, but the real truth came when I asked the Lord the same question in my quiet time the next morning. The Holy Spirit spoke this truth in my heart…

People are more important than things.

Okay, the rug got soiled; it’s a thing.  It can be scrubbed or replaced.  People cannot be replaced.  What if my husband hadn’t made it back home?  What if he had been one of the casualties of the winter weather?  Would I care about the rug then?  No.  A herd of elephants could trample over it, and my aching heart wouldn’t have even noticed.

Getting up from my Quiet Place, I found my husband and told him I was wrong and asked him to forgive me.  He did, of course and the issue was ended.  But the lesson on my part was a worthy one.  All people are more important than any thing.

Your children are more important than your good china, your unmarked walls or your straightened up living room.

Your neighbors are more important than your beautiful yard, your privacy or your down-time.

Your family is more important than your job, position or salary.

And yes, your husband is more important than your clean rug.  It’s good for each of us to take a reality check and make sure our priorities are where they need to be.

Why?  Because Jesus died for people – not things.

Do you find yourself making things more important than the people in your life?  Ask the Lord to give you a right perspective and He will!

With love,

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