Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Pastor is Perfect -- Is Yours?

When I was 19, I became a pastor’s wife. He was still in school but already pastoring a church. When he preached, you knew there was a calling on his life. But Satan knew it too. 

Do you ever feel like your pastor is perfect? While we might all admit we don’t believe our pastor is perfect, we probably like to think he is. We don’t want to know that our pastor deals with temptations to sin. We don’t want to know that he struggles when making decisions. After all, he is the pastor and knows the answers. He is the one who shares those answers with us each week. Yes, let’s just leave our pastor up on the nice pedestal we have built for him, and let him be flawless. 

The truth is no one, not even our church pastor, is perfect. 

Elijah was the prophet that stood against the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. God rained down fire, and Elijah had the false prophets killed. And then depression set in after such a glorious outpouring of God’s power. How would you feel if you found out your pastor struggled with depression?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Descending the Mountain into the Valley

Last weekend we climbed the mountain from Texas to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina as I attended this year’s Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. The conference is full of education and encouragement and awesome worship. It is an experience of spending time with God on the mountain both physically and spiritually.

Mile after mile of our drive from Texas the anticipation grew, and the thrill became more intense. I met with publishers and agents pitching my current project. They expressed genuine interest and gave me advice on next steps. Friends were made and contacts were shared. Knowledge was imparted by the faculty, and God was speaking.

I sat in classes where we did writing exercises. Volunteers would read what they had written in the moment. I was amazed at some of the on-the-spot writing. I learned about blogging and consistency in theme. And then it started--those thoughts of self-doubt and worth. So many wrote with such eloquence and consistency that I considered going home to delete all my blogs and start over.

The voice of encouragement was that I have some good ideas. The voice of discouragement was can I write? There it was: the voice of comparison of which I had been warned. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The 66 Verse Challenge

Today I started a 66 verse challenge. No, this is not a memory challenge. Each day I am choosing a favorite verse from each book of the Bible. 

Some days will be harder than others for two different reasons. 

1. There are many books containing familiar promises where it will be hard to choose one.
2. There are some books giving history, names, and numbers where it may be hard to choose even one. 

Either way, they are all God’s word, so every book has something for me.  

Today I chose Genesis 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” 

This isn’t the only verse in Genesis that I love or that stands out to me, but I had to choose one. I am thankful for God’s grace. Noah found grace and was saved from the flood. We have found grace through God’s love by His sending Christ to pay the penalty for our sins. We are saved by God’s grace. 

Scripture says that God has placed great value on His word and that His word never returns void. The books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Each temptation was countered with scripture showing the importance of knowing scripture. This is why I strongly believe in knowing God’s word by placing it in our heart, our spiritual jewelry box.

Will you join me in this challenge? Today is Genesis. What’s a favorite verse of yours from this first book of the Bible?