Oct 21, 2009

A variety of things ...

Ok so again I have been super busy and to be quite honest just not in the mood to write. Sorta been over whelmed with activities, family things and just stuff with the kids. But I wanted to post this link

And give you all some great links to Pastor Deanna Shrodes site. She is continuing the "Just Say It" Series and I want you to read it. I meant to post what she had written last week but never got around to it. So instead I am going to give you links to each topic. Make sure you check them out, there is so great stuff there!

Just Say It Series :

Honoring Your Pastor
Before and After Church Bombardment
How to Help Your Pastor when they are Bombarded
People will be held Accountable for How They Treat the Pastor's Children

Deanna is continuing the series so keep checking her blog. I will try to keep links to them coming your way. For now I have a house that is screaming in pain because it needs to be cleaned! So I am off of her for now.

Oct 9, 2009

Just Say It Series - "Are You A Trash Can?"

Pastor Deanna Shrodes has hit the nail on the head today! WOW! I hope you "hear" what she is saying today. I am dealing with the "trash talk" this week! Let me say this right now just to get it off my chest...I AM NOT PERFECT! Let me say that again, "I AM NOT PERFECT!" Wow imagine that, the Pastor's wife is not perfect! Hmmm now I feel a little better. I was told a few hurtful things this week that someone has said about me, I wish this person had stopped the conversation but instead she gave a 'listening ear" and then shared it with me. How is that supporting your pastors I don't know! But this is another blog for another time. Just read what PD has to say about this! Pastor Deanna I love your honesty and openness!


"Are You a Trash Can?"

If you listen to people talk about your pastor in a negative fashion, you are not special.

Please realize this. Even if you don't respond to the trash talk and you are just "giving a listening ear", you are not being trusted with the information because you are respected, or revered. The truth is, the person gossiping about your pastor admires you as much as they do a trash can.

Sometimes people in the church will come to the pastor and say, "You know Pastor, Sally said some things to me the other day that were on her heart about you and about the church, and she trusted me with her feelings on all of this. She feels comfortable in sharing with me out of concern and asked me to pray about it, because I've been here at the church for a while, and well, she trusts me. I just feel that it would be a good idea for me to tell you all of her complaints and see if you can change things so she'll be happy."

The truth is, Sally doesn't look to you as a trusted leader -- she looks to you as a trash receptacle. If I go to Busch Gardens and eat cotton candy and drink a soda and then take my trash to a stranger in the park and say, "excuse me, can I ask you to hold this for me?" does that mean I trust or respect them? No, it takes absolutely no trust in someone to hand them your rubbish. You don't even have to really know them. All you need to have is a person willing to stand there and take it. It takes no brains or wisdom to be a trash can. All you have to do is stand there.

Please, please, please realize that by listening to all of these complaints you are NOT bringing yourself to any level of greater esteem in the congregation, you are just showing your pastor your true colors. When you dump a bunch of this on your pastor, they aren't appreciative of it -- they have huge red flags about you. But most likely they aren't going to look at you and say, "Jenny, I've got your number..." (Hey, that could be a song...) But let me tell you, they DO have your number. When you keep regurgitating other people's junk back to your pastor they start to be extremely careful around you. Most of them wish they could tell you, they really do. But most likely they are not up for another power struggle, and they are way too exhausted. So let me let you in on this secret.

When anyone comes to me all the time with negative information that people in the church are saying, it doesn't signal to me that they are smart or respected or "in the know"...it signals to me that they have a problem. It signals to me that if they are not in leadership I should probably never put them there barring a complete transformation of the Holy Ghost. When someone constantly spits out bad things that others are saying about me or my husband, I realize they must be giving off vibes or even outright statements to others in the church that they can come to them and talk about us. What about them makes others so comfortable to pour out their trash to them? A trash can usually has a sign on it that signals to passersby that it is indeed a waste can. Many times it will just say, "WASTE" or TRASH". Are you wearing such a sign spiritually? Does everyone in your church know that they can come to you anytime and throw in their verbal trash?

Your pastor is not just anyone -- they are God's gift to the church! Before you think I'm just puffed up in the head or making up stuff please go read your Bibles. Turn to Ephesians 4:11. It says right there plain as day that the pastor is a gift to God's church. Some of you have treated your pastor as anything but a gift and in fact others of you have returned the gift back to where it came from. Some of you reading this have been part of a forced resignation at some point, I guarantee it. For shame. Please do not think you are trusted, special or esteemed in any way among men because you have chosen to listen to rubbish about the gift of God. Some of you don't verbally say it but you read emails or facebook comments that people write about your leaders. You may not post about it and chime in, but neither do you correct it. Edmund Burke once said, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." What do you do when people trash talk your pastor in person, on the phone, or on facebook? I'll tell you what you should do -- boldly confront the person and demand that they stop. Tell them that you will not just sit there and let them continue this evil unchallenged. I talked to a pastor and his precious wife the other day that deleted their facebooks because some former members were trashing them. I am telling you as sure as I'm standing here that if you are doing this and keep up the behavior you will split hell wide open some day.

I generally know who my closest supporters and loyal friends are in the church. They are those who tell me that no one ever dares tell them anything negative about me or my family. They would be too scared of the reaction from those who love me dearly, as well they should be. I'm telling you, when it comes to my dearest friends, no one in the world can tell me a bad thing about them. Not a thing. My hand would be up in two seconds flat silencing them and saying, "Whoa, whoa, whoa...hold on there...you're talking about one of my dearest friends and I simply can't stand here and listen to you say these things..." The last thing I would do is listen for even a minute to anyone run down a friend of mine. I refuse to be anyone's waste basket. I'm not a trash can, I'm a daughter of God. As a daughter of God, I'm not a trash receptacle for junk -- on the contrary, I'm a pure vessel set apart for Him. I don't want any junk going in, or coming out.

Again some of you reading this probably wonder what my church people think who are reading this. The answer to that is, they've heard it all before straight from the pulpit, and this is pretty mild in comparison to many things I've said to our church along these lines. Many pastors will not be bold enough to tell you that if you listen to this stuff you are not special and in fact you are greatly deceived and in fact headed for destruction if you don't stop. But I have the nerve. So if you are trash talking your pastor or their spouse or kids, consider yourself informed and accountable for what you've just heard.

* I'll pick up this blog series this coming Monday-Thursday, and will be posting some other things Saturday and Sunday.

Oct 8, 2009

Just Say It Series

I was planning to post every part of the series that Deanna is doing about what Pastors want to say and think but I have decided I am just going to post links to it. I may post the entire blog a few times like I did yesterday but if you are really interested in what she has to say as I am go check her out over here.

Oct 7, 2009

"Just Say It!!!" ~ Guest Speaker, Deanna Shrodes

Ok here goes - My dear friend Deanna Shrodes is starting a new series and it's great! I wanted to share it with you and so each posting on this series she will be doing I will be posting on my blog. She is a wonderful minister and friend. I hope you enjoy, are challenged and that your eyes are open and have ears to hear on this subject!

"Just Say It!!"

Writing a series of posts on this topic has been on my heart for a while but I was just pushed over the proverbial edge last week to do something about it, so here goes. Recently we ministered at a wonderful church and the service went great and afterwards the pastors said to us, "Thank you so much for coming in and saying what we can't say." I hear that all the time when I preach at places. I hear it from America, to Africa, from small towns to large ones. Now, let me say I totally understand. This is how I lived for all of our years in ministry until we came to Florida. And I don't look down on people nor blame them for feeling that way or running the church that way. Pastors who wait for a guest speaker to come in and say what they evidently can't say are in abundance and are also in a very tough situation. Let me tell you, church people have NO IDEA what pastors go through. Did you know a survey was done of the most stressful jobs in America and pastor came in at #2. [The number one spot went to dentists. Evidently a lot of them even commit suicide or have breakdowns. The reason given was because most people hate going to the dentist and so they are used to people dreading coming to see them. Also, they are doing tedious work in a small space - people's mouths - all day long.] Over the coming weeks, I am going to do some posts about what your pastor wishes they could just bring out in the open and tell you, but some fear to. I want to share with you the ins and outs of what makes some of them very stressed out and what you can do to help them. In our previous pastorate, we would go through difficult situations of various kinds, just as all pastors do. A few times a year we would have a guest speaker and although we wouldn't tell them the problems beforehand or ask them to address certain things, Larry and I would pray out hearts out that the visiting minister would come in and "say what we couldn't say." (Translation: say what we would say if we didn't have the threat of World War III breaking out in the church, or being forced to resign because we simply laid the issues honestly on the table.) I remember at a previous pastorate how we prayed and fasted for a season, believing for God to speak to a guest evangelist to deal with some things that were current problems in the church. One lady had been giving us serious issues for some time. There were even times she would inappropriately interrupt the service. One time she had the gall to approach the pulpit when my husband was ministering and said, "The Lord has told me to take this service in a different direction." Of course he didn't put up with that and told her to sit down. She did but she would push the envelope constantly and it was so draining to deal with. We prayed that the evangelist would get a Word from God and deal with this lady. Lo and behold he called her out right there in the service and dealt with her! He gave her a word of knowledge and said, "you are out from under the authority of the pastors and have a critical spirit and need to submit to the pastors and he leadership of this church." We hadn't told the evangelist anything. This was a total God thing. And, the service where this happened the lady said NOTHING to show her true colors-- she was just quietly sitting in her seat. When all this was happening I was playing the keyboard in the background as he ministered and it was everything I could do to not show emotions as all this happened. I kept a poker face, and just stood there and played when the evangelist corrected her but afterwards when we went home, I jumped up and down and was leaping and praising God. So, why didn't I just deal with her? We were in a political hornet's nest. We feared for our ministry, our family, our livelihood. It's the place where way too many pastors find themselves. So, when I moved to Florida I said, "never again." I am NOT going go all year long with unaddressed situations, afraid to say it like it is, just praying that a guest comes in and "says something I can't." I thought, "I'll say it like it is plain and simple, and if they don't like it, I'll resign and go be a greeter at Walmart and hand out smiley stickers." Seriously. I am NOT kidding. And that's how I've lived for the last 7+ years! Occasionally we have speakers come in who will say things in our church here like, "Now, I'm telling you folks this...your pastor would probably like to tell you this but he/she can't do that..." and our people look puzzled as if to say, "what are you talking about? There's really not much if anything that our pastors would not dare to say." I do realize that many pastors are understandably afraid.. They aren't ready to pack their U-Haul and start passing out the smiley stickers and go on government assistance and then explain to their kids that they have no money for school clothes or supplies simply because Daddy or Mommy had to speak the truth about something in church. I get it...really I do. But I'm not afraid anymore and haven't been for a long time. So here's what's up. I'm writing a series of posts coming up..."what your pastor wants to say but can't." This is going to be so fun. Because a lot of people who are church folks across the nation and beyond read this blog and hopefully it will open some eyes as to what your pastor really thinks but might not ever dare to tell you. For those who wonder what my church people are going to think reading these posts, not to worry...they've heard all this already -- and more. And, they seem to want to keep me around for a really long time despite it. Or maybe even because of it...

Oct 6, 2009

Just a few pictures

So here are a few pictures to show what I have been up to!
So one project was to repaint the bathroom. Top is before.
This is the after picture. It has totally brightened up this small bathroom!
I have started on a quilt. No I did not make this a friend gave me the top and bottom but I have started the process of putting the pieces together and can't wait till I have more time to set aside to put it together. Once I do I will be painting my bedroom a light green. I will post pics of that in the future.
One of the other projects was to take this material and make my new curtains for my dining room. I love them and think they are great!
This I painted for our church bulletin board. I really do love painting. Then there is always the newborn I am being momma too. Took these precious pics tonight. Mouse will be 2 weeks old tomorrow. His left eye is starting to open. YAY!

Yes he sucks his thumb!

Here I am!

Wow...I can't believe the time is flying by! I seriously thought I would have all kinds of time once the kids are in school. I know I have said this alot lately but seriously! So what's going on lately...hmmm well I am bottle feeding this precious little baby.

This is Mouse. A neighborhood cat gave birth and abandoned him. ( A long story about that so lets just keep it simple this morning!) Sara brought him in after 3 hours of no momma. Begging me to save him. "Please Mommy, save him. God doesn't want him to die!" So I have a new born in the house again. He is now two weeks old. Is precious and as much as I have tried I have fallen in love with him. He still does not have his eyes open but soon I believe. He was 2 ounces at birth and now weighs 6 ounces. So he is doing well. I on the other hand am exhausted most of the time. But it's worth it...I think!

Changes....yep changes are happening all around us. Fall is here, leaves are slowly starting to flip and the air is definitely crisp! I have began a journey that I am bound and determined to finish this time...losing weight. I have joined a women's fitness club and have been working out a few days a week. My goal is to work up to 5 days a week. I am taking it slow because I want my knee to adjust. OH THAT IS A HUGE PRAISE REPORT! The MRI I had in Sept showed NO NEW DAMAGE! Doctor can't explain why I had such terrible pain except that maybe I was over doing it on the exercise bike, so I am to keep it at no more than 5 miles a day and am to add weight lifting or resistance training. Of course I am excited about that! I am pushing forward, I realize this is a battle and ya know what its the one thing in my life that I have struggled with since I was 8 years old. No I am not kidding. But I will succeed. One day at a time one moment at a time...I will succeed! With God's strength!

This month is full of activity! We have nonstop events taking place at church. From cleaning the church from top to bottom, a wedding in our church, the fall festival for the kids, Fall Gathering (picnic at the lake -yes its cold but its fun to hanging around a bomb fire and sing praise to our Lord!!), and then comes Thanksgiving All Church Dinner, and follows with Christmas events. I am exhausted just thinking about it! I will be stopping in periodically to post what is going on with the kids and such. But there are so many things I need to be doing daily that I am having a hard time motivating myself to writing. We are taking the kids to a pumpkin patch in the next week or so and I will do my best to post pics. I know my family loves seeing new pictures of the kids.

Until next time!