Tis the season to be…
My husband and I absolutely LOVE this time of year; the cooler weather, the Christmas lights, weeks out of school, and the Christmas cheer that comes with it all. As I scroll through Pinterest, check off my gift list, read blogs, and plan lessons for my 3rd graders, I can see how easily ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ easily becomes ‘Tis the season to be stressed out’. I’m not sure whose idea it was to shower our children with EVERYTHING available for the year and outdo one another with gifts, but I’d sure like to chat with them.
The word says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” Romans 12:10. There is a HUGE differentiation in love/honor and over abundance of toys and electronics. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy giving and receiving gifts…but the attitude that drives it should be jolly, not stress.
When our oldest child was about 3 or 4 he spent the day telling everyone he couldn’t remember all that he received on Christmas morning. Tim and I were awakened to fact that we had fallen into the “trap”. We decided that Jesus received only 3 gifts, so our children could survive with 3 as well. At 14, 12, & 6, they LOVE trying to decide which 3 they want at the top of their list. They’ve never felt deprived or done without and they covet the 3 gifts they receive each year.
What’s one way you have diminished stress over the holidays?
I am a firm believer that God’s timing is PERFECT! I was searching through my emails looking for an address for someone and I came across an email from a PW from back in February. I try to stay on top of my emails but for some reason, this one slipped. I hope that this information and answer to an often asked question comes just ‘at the right time’ for someone out there reading this. PW or not, this could bless you.
Yesterday I had my monthly Virtual Small Group (with other PW’s) and one of the girls shared this. Her husband tells his congregation, “This church does not exist for you. It is for those who aren’t here yet.”
What are we doing to prepare for those who haven’t yet walked in the door?
I am convinced; the best thing we can do is cover our church body and its shepherd in prayer. I’m continuing to read and learn about the importance of praying for our Pastors. Our prayers are crucial to the ministry we are involved in and to its leader.
John Maxwell, in Partners in Prayer (Thomas Nelson, 1996), encourages people to pray for the top seven needs of a pastor:
||Rest and strength Psalm 23
||Intimacy with God 2 Corinthians 13:14
||Family Ephesians 4:32
||Ministry effectiveness Ephesians. 4:11-13
||Obedience to God Luke 9:23-24
||Leadership Romans 12:6-8
||Wisdom James 1:5
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
“Our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:12
As a PW, I can’t stress to you the importance of keeping this man lifted to Jesus. I would like to encourage you all to continue to pray for your pastor. I found these words/suggestions from others who clearly see the importance of this act. I want to take some time to share with you these words of encouragement and in following posts “how to” pray for your pastor.
“Many people often ask a pastor to give of himself and his time without offering to give of themselves. Pastors are also often expected to have super-human capabilities. This creates a distressful situation for a pastor. On one hand they are expected to be perfect and give everything they have in their life to the ministry and on the other hand they are clearly human with limited capabilities. There is good news. You can be a source of encouragement and friendship to your pastor. (The pastoral role is often very lonely.)”
“Last Sunday night, not this past one but the one before, our Pastor preached a message entitled “The pastor’s MVP”. He stressed that the most important person in the congregation is the one who prays for him. At the end, he requested for everybody that wanted to be pray for him to come forward and fill out a form and turn it in. As I was musing and deciding if I was going to do this, the Lord spoke to me, clearly as I’ve ever heard His voice. The Spirit said, “to the degree that you pray for your pastor is the degree that I bless you”. WOW! What a revelation it was to me. As I have begun to pray for him everyday, I have already noticed a greater anointing in my ministry of preaching and teaching Bible Studies. Praise God. I think it would be awesome if everybody would agree to begin to earnestly and fervently pray for their pastor everyday.”
“ABSOLUTELY!!!! On a daily basis!!! The vision of a true Pastor is part of the Divine Purpose for his life. If the members of the Church or Churches that he presides over is upholding their Pastor in prayer on a regular basis, it gives room for the vision to only grow stronger, and for God’s Will to be accomplished!”
Begin praying daily and watch in your congragation, his messages, and in your own life what the Lord will do.
What a weekend! This weekend we had out-of-town company, served with Mission Change & fed the homeless, celebrated Will’s birthday, shopped for shoes, Worshipped at Church, AND regrouped for the week (for those of you who don’t know, regroup means to clean and wash clothes).
So it shouldn’t surprise you that I forgot to get Landy Kate valentine’s to carry to school. You can imagine the panic that overcame me Monday when I woke up at 6am. Fortunately, I keep a nice stash of craft items around the house and Landy Kate only has 12 students in her class. I try to keep extra gifts and supplies on hand for last-minute emergencies. I’m always checking out sale tables for the “must haves”.
What are some “must haves” that you keep on-hand for holiday/birthday emergencies?
Be ready…and be blessed.