Encouragement, God’s plan, Uncategorized

I Don’t Want to be a Ministers Wife

So your husband is called by God to preach the Word. From stories I’ve heard, wives have several different reactions. Maybe you’re going through or have been through one of these three reactions.

1. No way. You didn’t sign up for this and it can’t be. I don’t want to be a ministers wife. Nope, not happening.

If this is you, don’t worry. Just pray and keep listening because God will confirm it for you too. He knows who your husband is married too and if you have children. He will guide and comfort all of you just don’t let your will take precedence over Gods will.

2. You know God did indeed call him to preach but you’ve decided to go with your plans. You don’t how to be a pastors wife and you don’t have time to learn. You have mapped out your life and it doesn’t go against the Bible so you figure you will stay with what you know.

Maybe this is you. Again keep praying and listening because I promise Gods plan is better than your plans. You will be unsettled and anxious until you accept His will.

3. You are extra excited. It will be an adventure and you are looking forward to whatever God has in store. You’re not worried and can’t wait for the next step.

Let’s be honest. This last reaction doesn’t happen as often as the others. Ministry is a serious matter. I was excited and knew the call was real but at the same time, I didn’t know what that meant for me and my family. I think I experienced a little from all three of these reactions. Let me share how we begin this journey.

I woke up in the middle of the night several times with my husband (Larry) missing from the bed. I usually found him walking around outside by himself talking to God.

He explained that he had been having dreams that woke him up at 2 am every morning and he couldn’t go back to sleep. He thought he was going crazy, literally. He dreamt he was in overalls preaching in a small church. He didn’t understand at first but this went on for around 2 weeks.

Then one night it all became clear and confirmed. We were sitting in our vehicle after church waiting for our oldest son to get done with choir practice. Our home pastor came walking by and Larry stopped him to explain his dream and asked him to pray for understanding from God. Our home pastor asked if Larry could come to his house and of course, he agreed.

What happened next will never cease to amaze me about God, who He is and how He works in our lives.

He pulled up bible study notes on his computer and ask Larry to read a statement he had typed while studying.

The statement read:

God has impressed upon my heart that Larry Stapleton and his family will pastor a church planted from this church.

He let us know that God had impressed this upon his heart the week before but he felt he shouldn’t mention it unless Larry came to him. We knew in our hearts that this was confirmation from God.

Like I said, I was excited but that meant a lot for our entire family. We sold as much as possible including our land. We moved to a place we had never seen so Larry could attend college. We left behind all our friends, a 6 figure job, church family, and what we knew as our life.

Those sound like bad things but looking back I realize those where good things. It reminds me not to hold on to the things of this world. I couldn’t imagine a life different than the one I’m living right now. We still get choked up when we think about it.

What if we had run from the call?

I think about that question sometimes and wonder how many others are running from it due to fear, the unknown.

Let me offer you some encouragement.

God has provided for us every step of the way. He is always on time. A bill was due, the pantry was very low, books for college were needed, the kids outgrew their clothes and like a miracle, God took care of it. I won’t lie, I worried sometimes and still do. But God always showed up. He has never failed to provide the things He knows we need. There have been ups and downs that were needed to grow but please remember He knows the plans He has for you. (Jer. 29:11)

I would love to hear your story or answer your questions. If you have a similar story please share it with us. Did you have a different reaction than what we discussed today? Share that with us too! You can comment under the post or contact me through the contact me page. I can’t wait to hear about how God is working.

Being Transformed, Encouragement, God’s plan, Uncategorized

Confession

Praise God for His conviction!

Conviction from God lets us know that He is actively working in our lives. It shows us that He cares and does indeed want to transform our lives from the inside out.

“Choose you this day whom ye will serve”(Joshua 24:15, KJV)

This piece of scripture kept coming to my mind.

I saw it everywhere on Facebook posts, a sermon, signs, and radio. It is something we have all heard and quoted a few times. One night around 2 or so, I awoke from sleep, sat straight up in the bed and quoted it. It was weighing on me but I did not understand why.

I would say I knew the scripture well but did I really?

Last night as I was going over the Sunday school lesson I felt strong conviction from God.

Our lesson was on Nehemiah 5:1-13. We’ve been in Nehemiah for several weeks now just working our way through the book.

Last week we discussed how they faced opposition from the outside as they worked to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 4, KJV) This week in chapter five we learn that they faced opposition from the inside. The Jews were taking advantage of their poorer brothers and sisters.

It got me to thinking about the church. We do face opposition from the outside and we team together to fight against the threat. But we also face opposition on the inside with each other. Division starts and the willingness to admit and repent is the farthest thing from our minds. The ungodly actions grow and the gossip spreads. And forgiveness is just a word we no longer allow in.

This is my confession!

I am guilty of causing division.

We cannot separate who we are from what we do.

Who am I?

I am a child of the One True King.

I am a daughter of the Most High God.

I am forgiven.

I am redeemed.

And I should be transformed.

What does it mean for me to separate who I am from what I do?

  • If I tell others how much I love them on Sunday but talk badly about another on Monday, I am separating who I am from what I do.
  • If I know someone is in need but don’t help them, I am separating who I am from what I do.

I have been upset with someone for doing something to me that I have actually done to someone else at one time.

I have seen a need and looked away and my excuse was I only have 20 dollars left until payday. But I’ll spend it on a honey bun and Pepsi a few days later.

I’ve been looking out for myself instead of others.

Conviction is a wonderful thing.

We should be able to confess and repent to one another. We should be able to forgive.

Who am I?

I am a child of the One True King – then act like it

I am a daughter of the Most High God – then act like it

I am forgiven – then act like it

I am redeemed – then act like it

Be transformed.

Conclusion

Where do I go from here?

  • Admit and repent
  • Ask for forgiveness
  • Be intentional – “Choose you this day whom ye will serve”
  • Never cause division among others
  • Esteem others higher than myself – serve
  • There is joy in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ!
God’s plan

What is Your Message?

CBC40CD1-6E56-4095-81E8-AE06A2E70278God has a message for each of us. God’s plan is for the whole world, everybody. He had a message for Jonah. It was an eight-word message. Jonah ran and God could have used someone else but He didn’t. It was Jonah’s message to give and it was meant to be heard by a whole city. From the least to the greatest heard and responded to the message by repenting. God gave these messages because it all fits together into a bigger plan. Like a puzzle. He is piecing it all together. Have you ever put a puzzle together just to find pieces missing? You don’t display that puzzle until all the pieces fit together. We are all ordained by God with a message. In John 15:16, the Bible says when the Lord called you to Himself and you accepted the free gift of salvation that you are not only chosen by Him but ordained.

John 15:16a (KJV)

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.

Isn’t that powerful?

The Bible also says you are His workmanship.

Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Do you know your personal message? Everybody has one that will reach the world. Your world may be your neighbor or maybe its to reach hundreds or thousands. Either way, it’s your message given to you by God. No matter if it’s for one or thousands it needs to be said. Each message is important. We are made by God for God and His glory.

Isaiah 43:7 (KJV)

[Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

God gave Peter a message to the Gentiles.

Acts 15:7 (KJV)

And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. God showed him a vision.

Read about it in Acts 10.

You might be thinking, How do I know my message? I would say first and foremost, pray and ask. What is on your mind most of the time? What do you struggle with yourselves? We know that God allows us to go through certain things to help us grow and learn. So it could be that you struggled with something in your life and God brought you through it and now that’s your message. It could be you lost a child, divorce, little faith, addiction of any kind, total surrender or anything God helped you through. A lot of times we need to live it, feel it, and see it to understand it.

God gave me a message. It’s a short message, but a powerful one. Over the years I have tried to relay this message. It’s something I struggled with and honestly, I’m still working on it. My message is “There is joy in Jesus”. No matter what we are going through on this earth, joy can be found in Jesus. That is where our joy comes from. It’s a real joy that nobody can take away. Finding joy in Jesus is my message from God to you. Pray that God will reveal your message. Give it some thought.

Remember, if you have found your joy in Jesus don’t forget to share it!