Six-degrees-of-separation

Degrees of Separation

The six-degrees-of-separation concept posits that any two people on earth are only six or fewer acquaintance links apart. At this point in my parenting journey, I thought there would never be more than one degree of separation between me and my children. After all, I can text them whenever I want. I can and should be able to get to them in the blink of an eye or by a tap on my smartphone. Yet the text I sent my younger son two days ago remains unanswered. He’s busy. He’s working. He’s helping his older brother and his wife move. He’s living his life—apart from me.

My mother always said, “Be careful what you wish for,” and she was right. I wished for my children to be able to live lives that mattered, to be able to take care of themselves and others—to be independent. And they are. They live two thousand miles away from me, and I have to remember—I’m the one who moved!

But this independence thing may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful that at this point we are no longer supporting our children financially. That, my friends, is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Sometimes, though, it’s other types of support I miss. Where there was fellowship, emotional caretaking, and spiritual navigation, there’s now a void. And the fact that I now have to watch The Walking Dead alone doesn’t help.

When I think back to how this state of independence came to be, I see it didn’t just happen. My husband, Chip, and I planned it. We put this in motion when we encouraged our firstborn to wait ten more minutes before we picked him up out of his crib and he slept through the night. I guess it probably happened even sooner than that. After all, we did cut the umbilical cord after birth. The first degree of separation between mother and child is natural and life-giving.

Be careful what you wish for? Yes, definitely, because it certainly might come true. For example, we want our child to sleep through the night, so we encourage him to do so, and then he doesn’t need us to sleep through the night. He is able to sleep through the night because we wanted him to. See how that works? It’s important to remember that you are still connected even if it takes a child three days to answer his mother’s text.

Just the two of US!

Just the two of US!

Whether you’re a pastor’s wife, the children’s ministry director, the administrative assistant or the founder of a non-profit, we can all become guilty of being effective merely by association. We can be tempted to ride our husbands’ or our ministries’ spiritual coattails. But God wants more for us than that.

If you’re in leadership, you’ve probably been guilty of “effective by association” at some point in your walk with Christ. As believers, we are meant to be profoundly effective, profoundly fruit-bearing in our personal lives, not simply because we’re part of a healthy, growing church. Not because we’re married to a pastor. We must all ask ourselves this question: Have I been living life only effective by association?

We can fall into a trap of depending on our husbands’ faith, our pastor’s guidance, or our ministry leader’s vision. The leadership, vision, and faith of those people is of vital importance, but their faith can’t be your faith. You have to know who YOU are in Christ. Just because you’re under great leadership or married to an amazing pastor, their walk with Christ be your walk with Christ. Their relationship with God cannot replace your relationship with God. Your effectiveness cannot be measured by the effectiveness of your organization, but rather what you are doing to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

We love the way our friend, Holly Furtick, Senior Pastor’s Wife at Elevation Church, described it:

In our line of work, it is easy to fall into the trap of depending on my husband’s faith. His vision, his purpose, and dangerously, his relationship with God. It’s a hard line to balance. He is my husband; we are one. His vision should be my vision, his purpose mine. And he is my spiritual leader, his relationship with God directly affects mine. But his relationship with God cannot replace my own relationship with God. I also cannot ride the spiritual coat tails of our church. It is such a privilege to be a part of a move of God. There’s nothing like hearing the testimonies and seeing the hands raised (yes, I peek). But if I don’t allow God to speak to me each week, change me, seeing God move in others will only last me so long.

Before you get in the truck: Today, do something – anything – that is only about Jesus and you. You and Jesus. That’s It.

John 15:By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

I AM…

I AM…

Let’s go back to the basics. Back to the very reason you are serving God in your role. Take a moment, and let this question roll around in the corners of your mind:

Am I God commissioned?

Some of you feel strongly called to leadership and ministry. You can remember the details and circumstances preceding the acceptance of God’s call on your life. Others find yourselves in leadership by default. You married an accountant turned pastor and are now knee deep in leadership you never envisioned. Maybe you said you’d never marry someone in ministry, yet here you are … leading by default. Some knew you were marrying into a life of ministry. You were excited about your role as a pastor’s wife. However, you’re well aware you don’t possess the gift of leadership, yet you’re married to a very gifted leader. You find yourself in a position of leadership and influence into people’s lives. You feel misplaced and confused by what ministry looks like for you.

No matter how you found yourself in your role, we believe you were God commissioned.

None of us were called into ministry by popular vote. Take a stroll through our Facebook feeds or Google our names or ministries and you’ll find people not sending their votes our way. Whether they are giving your church a one star rating online, spreading gossip about your family, or launching a full-scale attack campaign, we are crystal clear that popular vote didn’t get us where we are today.

We didn’t jump into ministry by our own appointment. We could fill journals with lists of personal weaknesses and could easily drum up one hundred and one shortcomings. We didn’t appoint ourselves to these roles because we know us. We doubt ourselves. And if we are gut-level honest, we doubt God’s ability to use us.

Not by popular vote. Not by our own appointment. We are God commissioned. He chose us for these positions. He carefully placed us as pastors’ wives, ministry leaders, and influencers. If He commissions us, then He will surely equip us.

There is incredible joy found in the calling that comes directly from Jesus. Hang on to that today.

Before you get in the truck: Take time today to praise God for His calling on your life. Soak in the truth that you are God-commissioned.

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead

Praise God OnPurpose!

Overwhelmed?

Overwhelmed?

At the end of a long day and a long ministry week, a Texas pastor’s wife finished dinner with her family and hopped in her truck heading to Walmart. The florescent lights, smiley-faced price-cuts, and kind front door greeters of that Walmart were the last to see her that Friday night. She disappeared. Two days later, she was found in a motel in Fort Worth.

Her husband issued the following statement after the return of his wife: “My wife became overwhelmed from the pressures we carry for so many. This was my failing for paying so much attention to the needs of others and not noticing the signals in my own home.”

And our hearts were broken for her. Broken because we, too, had been overwhelmed by the expectations of many, and criticism had worn us paper thin. Broken because loneliness had gnawed away at us, and because we were weary of every-watchful eyes. Broken because, while we had never hopped in the truck, we had certainly had plenty of moments in our years of ministry that some time of escape had sounded like a great option. Broken.

Being a pastor’s wife or a woman in leadership is a privilege and honor. But let’s be honest for a moment, there are so many challenges that can suck the joy right out of our ministry calling. So many difficulties that, if we don’t learn how to navigate them well, they will make us want to hop in the truck and escape.

Over the next ten days, we are going to look at some of the joy stealers we face when we are in ministry. We will have daily action steps that will move us closer to the joy God holds out for us in this calling and move us further from those trucks that tempt us to jump on in and escape.

Before you get in the truck: Evaluate where you are right now. Are you lacking joy? Are you on the verge of a breakdown? Ask God to breathe new life into your soul as you take this journey with us.

Matthew 11: 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Leading OnPurpose!

I Have Trouble Being Happy

I Have Trouble Being Happy

As life goes on, sometimes it drags on, doesn’t it? Our gait slows, our heads droop. Saggy faces see only the ground, the dust, the litter, and garbage. When we look and think only about our own little worlds, the ones we’ve constructed, our lives can seem small and cramped and brittle. Things break. People let us down. Things we’ve woven unravel. Things we’ve built soften and erode like sand castles at the beach.

“Lift up your heads,” the Bible tells us. See things from God’s point of view, God’s intent, God’s design. See where you fit in both in this world and the next: “[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

The poorest person in the world can enjoy a fiery sunset for free–how long has it been since you sat still and just gawked at God’s celestial paintbrush? or got out of town and stood in silent wonder beneath the stars on a cloudless night? or watched the surf ceaselessly smash into a rocky coastline?

Even better–how long has it been since you savored the Bible’s descriptions of how beautiful heaven will be? God put eternity in your heart for a reason.

THANK YOU LORD, THANK YOU LORD, THANK YOU LORD, I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU LORD!

(Galatians 5:22-23) But the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I once heard a preacher say, “you can tell the root, by it’s fruit.” What is inside (the heart) will show on the outside (by our actions).
These character traits are the by-product of our full acceptance of God through Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.
These are the qualities of Jesus! Now, some may try to force themselves to practice or pretend these qualities, but we can’t “truly” “have” them until we “truly” let Him “have” us.
By letting Him have total control, by letting His Spirit live in us, He bestows us with these spiritual gifts. These are the qualities in which we utilize to fulfill the true intended purpose of the law — to love God and our neighbors while being obedient to His will.
God’s gifts are abundant and overflowing to His Children.
Are you one of His own?

I AM…On purpose
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“Heavenly Father, make my heart one with You and Your Son, so that I may bear fruit that brings you glory and honor.”
Amen!!!

Inspired by: “Elaine”

Coffee break with Ms. Kim…

coffee break

You know God is so good in spite of all of the trials we face in this life.

I am learning to watch the words that come out of my life as they surely have power.

The enemy is roaring like a lion, trying to rob, kill and destroy…but he is a liar and a fool because he is already defeated.

My God is ALL powerful and there Is no trial without a test and all of this is based on my faith and trust in ABBA Father.  He is the only way!!  The truth and life is only in HIM not the tangible things I see smell taste and touch.

Victory is already won for true believers and repentance is a daily act that must be done.

We are truly winners in everything if only We believe.

Well that sums it up for me this fine day.  And for you my anointed sister,  continue to follow HIS will for your life.  You are a blessing to the body of Christ and I am so grateful our paths have crossed.

God is so good He hooks us up with like kind for His glory and for our preparation for His kingdom…  Love you, Ms. Kim

James 1:2-3 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness…

Written by: Ms. Kim

Pray this prayer with me:

Let me meditate all day long upon your love, upon your righteousness, and upon your sure judgments.  I am battered and beaten as I walk this narrow road, but in you I find strength, courage, and a sure hand reaching down to help me.  When I am distracted by the world, instill in me the desire to take a break from the rush and crush of life and think about you.
When I am faced with difficulties too big for me to handle, remind me to think about you rather than myself.  When worries and doubts infect my thinking, remind me to take just a moment and think about your power flowing through every moment.
When I get caught up in myself, in my life, in my goals, in my issues, in my job, in my pain, in my joy, and in all the selfishness of the moment…help me stop and think for just a short time about your grandeur, your love, your compassion, and your presence in my life.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.  I love you, O Lord.  I adore you, Precious One.  AMEN!!

Counting it ALL joy…OnPurpose