Ministry hurts

I’m heavy hearted with the conversations I’ve had with ministry families whose families are falling apart. Families who on the outside seem like everything is wonderful and fine. But on the inside they are crumbling.

Ministry can suck the life out of an individual and it can wipe out a family all while satan sits back with arms crossed shaking his head in accomplished approval. I know he’s at the root of it. Tearing families apart who are striving to follow Jesus while leading others.

It’s a fierce battle. One that must be intentionally fought daily. With the Word. With prayer. With forgiveness. With grace.

There are many approaches to ministry and we must be careful in casting judgement on others when they do things differently. But this we can know – God never calls a man or woman with a family to put a church or ministry over his family. God designed the family and calls a man to lead his home. Even pastors. Especially pastors. If a ministry leader is gone the majority of the week – missing dinners at home, missing kids games, important events and clueless about his/her children’s lives and clueless to his wife’s needs they are sadly missing the mark. Sometimes we equate God with ministry. “God is first” and so ministry is the same thing as God so I’m justified in putting my family after the ministry because God called me to the ministry. And this is where families start to crumble. Men and women who think the ministry depends on them solely. It’s a scary slippery slope and before they know it they have lost their family to the ministry.

So how can we as ministry families protect against this?

A great book is Choosing to Cheat: Who Wins when Family and Work Collide? by Andy Stanley. Not just for the pastor or ministry leader but anyone struggling with balancing work and family. And don’t we all? My pastor husband read this ten years ago and it had a foundational influence on him. It laid the groundwork for how he approaches ministry and family. Randy fights hard – I think it will always be an intentional struggle – to keep his family a priority. He has no idea how much we, as his family, appreciate it. I try to communicate to him how much but I don’t think he’ll ever truly understand just how much it means to me that he fights for his family time. When I say “fight” I mean he leaves work undone at the office so he can eat dinner with his family. I mean he misses an occasional meeting because he’s on a family trip. He actually takes his day off. And so on. And the fact that we have a very supportive church for these things is huge. Of course he said it up front before we ever came to our church this was his philosophy of ministry and family so they knew what they were getting when they got Randy as a pastor. He was and is a pastor who is a family man. And that’s a gift to his family and his church.

Including kids in ministry but not forcing them. And not holding labels over their head.

Randy includes our kids in ministry activities but doesn’t force them. Hospital visits, praying for people, etc. are optional. Never a “you’re a pastor’s kid so you need to…….” Church people will put that kind of pressure on the kids. Ministry parents don’t need to. And surprisingly they are open and willing to come along and even pray over people at times. And that warms my heart. Of course there are times when these things are not optional and there are times when they’d rather stay home and watch TV. Not saying we’re always primed and ready for ministry. Ha! Nope, not what I’m saying here. But we are careful not to hold “you’re a preacher’s kid so you……” over their heads. They don’t need that.

Letting your kids see how awesome ministry is.

Not only involving our kids in ministry but pointing out the beautiful things in ministry is helpful in keeping a ministry family loving and serving God in their context. If they hear us saying, “Did you see how God worked here……and look how God provided here……and how cool that your Youth Pastor took time to take you here……..” It’s not manipulation. It’s helping our kids see the hand of God at work in their church. Our kids need us to do that sometimes for them. And soon enough we can teach them how to look for and observe the hand of God at work in the ministry they’re involved in.

Pray. Pray. And pray some more. 

Ministry family, know this one thing: satan wants your family to fail. He wants any Christian family to fall apart but he really wants the pastor’s family to crumble because of the overall fall out. A ministry family is no more important than a Christian family. I pray I’m not coming across that way in this post. But there’s a target on your family, dear ministry family. Pray every day. Don’t live in fear. But pray every single day for God’s glory to be revealed through your family.

 

 

 

 

 

Ministry Helps

If we have a relationship with Jesus then we are called to make disciples of Jesus – that means we get to bring others along with us in our walk of faith. Individuals walking out our own personal faith and bringing others alongside…..that’s ministry. As Christ followers we’re all in it. Granted some are called to a more official role of ministry than others but we are all in ministry.

So as we walk our faith and bring others along let’s be learning and growing constantly.

I’m sharing two resources today that will help us relate to others around us as we walk our faith out.

Randy bought this book for all the staff: Center Church by Tim Keller

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My head sort of exploded after reading the first chapter and I haven’t picked it back up yet but this week my goal is to get back in it. It’s good stuff as anything by Tim Keller is. Just be prepared to read slowly, underline and re-read. I will say this book is probably most helpful for those in pastoral or  leadership roles within the church.

Then I found these really cool Connect Cards that I’m dying to purchase soon. It can be awkward to engage in spiritual conversation sometimes. How do you go from “how’s the weather” to “what do you think about God?” with unbelievers. And even in small groups of Christ followers getting the conversation from surface to transparent is not always easy. I still believe modeling transparency is the most important practice in helping others learn to be transparent but these cards are a great additional tool to help get conversations started. I will be purchasing them soon.

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What are you learning in ministry right now? Please share – we’re all in this together. 

 

 

Our first pastoral retreat

We’ve never been on a Pastoral retreat weekend before and so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was really a neat time of praying, planning, vision casting, laughing and sharing with the church pastoral staff and a couple training in ministry.

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A family in our church opened up their lake home for us to stay for the weekend with our families. The men went up early on Friday and the wives and kids came up Friday night and we stayed through Sunday afternoon.

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The kids had a blast on Saturday afternoon because it warmed up enough for them to play outside. A huge help was having a young married couple in our church watch the kids while we had our sessions on Saturday. There were six kids in all ranging from ages 2 – 14 so it was loud at times but it worked and we wanted the families to be together.

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At meal breaks we all pitched in and grabbed our food. I have to brag on my man because he did the food planning and buying for this retreat. And he did so good. Good with the amount of food, choices, etc.

We are blessed to be among a pastoral staff who genuinely love God with all their hearts. They love their families and they love the work of the church and what God has called them to.

Ministry is a heavy weight. It’s heavy because you are loving and leading people through incredibly joyous times and also through incredibly painful times. It’s heavy because there are huge decisions to be made that can shape and direct the course of the church. Much prayer and seeking God goes into it and honestly that can be quite draining at times. There are unique burdens and responsibilites that come with it but there are amazingly rich joys and rewards. It is an honor and gift to be called into ministry. We don’t take it lightly. This weekend we were able to seek God on matters, talk with each other and pray together about the things we love most.  And we wait in expectation to see what all God has in store for our church community the next 12-18 months. We even planned out 10 years loosely knowing God has the complete right and control to trump every single thing on the “planned agenda”. It is his work not ours.

Friends, please pray for your pastor’s and their families. I can’t tell you how much it thrills my heart when someone comes up to me and tells me, “I am praying for your family. I know marriage is hard and I’m praying for your marriage and your family.” Ladies, don’t ever take it offensively when someone says they’re praying for your marriage or think in your head, “OMGosh why does she think my marriage is in need of prayer?!! I need to give off a better impression of a stronger marriage.”  No, not at all. The truth is we all stand in desperate need of prayer for our marriages, in our parenting, in our family needs. And your pastor’s home is no different. Cover them in prayer as you cover your own family in prayer.

 

 

 

 

How the church can walk beside recovering addicts

I am learning from a new friend who is serving God by showing up weekly and walking beside women recovering from various addictions. Our conversation started with a few questions about how to help those who are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. What started as a conversation ended in this blog post. Thank you, Sally, for writing this so that we can all have a better understanding of how to help others. My prayer is that God will keep using you and us to love each other well. 

Those People: How the church can walk beside recovering addicts

If it’s Wednesday, I’m in rehab.

I don’t go alone. A bookkeeper, a housekeeper, a horse trainer, and a nurse go with me. Usually we drive separately, then meet in the dark dirt lot in front of the sun-weary blue flat-roofed building so we can enter together. One of us grabs the clipboard from the nail on the wall to sign all of us in. (For some reason, we sign in, but don’t sign out.)

Inside the room to left  are two sets of  bunk beds. A menagerie of bedding and personal items clutter the space. (But, the rules state to keep personal space clean and tidy, or something like that.) There’s another sleeping room, then on the right is the meeting room, or the Black Sofa Room, as I call it. Six 8-foot long sink-in-deep black pleather (plastic leather) couches surround the room, like they’re guarding the walls. They’re cold in the winter and slippery in the summer.

There’s no carpet.

Sometimes, when we enter the “sofa room”, women are gathered in the room already. Sometimes, we sit alone, waiting to see who will join us. Through the picture frame windows we watch the people traffic pass by and by. Will they come in?

In time, the door will open. One will come in. Another will follow. Another will follow.

Introductions.

Handshakes.

Hugs.

They’re hungry and thirsty, so we start.

But, first we open in a thanksgiving prayer to Jesus for making a way for my friends and I to bring a study of God’s Word into this house, to nourish those who come to be fed.

I Don’t Know What to Do Either

Wednesday night is Bible Study Night in this home to women residing here temporarily while they work to overcome their addictions to drugs and/or alcohol. Some come here from jail. Some are brought here. Some walk many miles to get here. All are here by choice. They have a lot on the line: their lives, their children, their marriages, their jobs, their homes….That perspective makes it pretty easy for my ministry partners and I to give an hour or two of our time each week to bring hope to those who are searching for it. What we do is not a big deal, really. But, I’ve learned some people (Christians, mostly) think it is.

My ears have caught cast-out comments like:

“I wouldn’t know what to do,”

“That’s quite a ministry you have” and

“I’m glad you are reaching out to those people,”

Is there an invisible barrier between “us and them”? I wonder, is there a wall that separates “Christians” from “those people”?

Those People

Those people? Naively, I never considered the women (and young children) living at the home as different from me. I never considered that stepping into their lives would draw attention–or not. All I knew when I joined 3 other women was that those struggling to overcome addictions are

Someone’s daughter

Someone’s mother

Someone’s wife

Someone’s sister

Someone’s granddaughter

Someone’s friend

They’re hurting

They’re lonely

They’re scared

They’re lost

That’s about all we know when we show up on Wednesday night. That’s really all I need to know because God knows and He says He equips us for what He calls us to. I believe that. Do you?

My only hope in writing this post is that I am able to give you just enough courage to reach out to women just like you who got hurt, then got lost. This is not a how-to post; it’s more about bringing some understanding to who “those people” are so you can ask God what, if anything, He asks of you.

Let me share insights I’ve gleaned over the years of walking beside women in recovery, working to overcome addictions:

Be A Safe Person

Trust is earned and addicts trust slowly because they’ve been burned by so many. Remember we’re all wounded; some of us just show it more than others. Maybe you can relate. But, you do not need to know what to do or say in every situation. Just let them know (by showing not telling) that you’re a safe person so they can be honest with you.

Practice listening and reserve judgement.

Be Available.

This doesn’t mean you need to meet every single request yourself. (Read ahead to the part about boundaries.) A little goes a long way. There are several little things you can do to help women in recovery build a bridge back into mainstream life:

  • Invite her to church, if she doesn’t have transportation or doesn’t want to go alone. Encourage her into a safe body of believers where she can enter into a supportive community and find fellowship. (We all need that.)
  • Invite her to an event.
  • Ask casually if she needs anything. (Anything practical!)
  • Always pray with her and for her.

Walk with Her

Bringing a new friend with you to church or an event attracts attention. Trust me. People are curious and they want to know who’s with you. When asked, I try to help her protect her privacy by simply saying “this is my friend so-and-so (first name only).” I think it’s important that each woman is seen as my “friend” and not labeled as a resident of the local drug and alcohol recovery facility. If they want to volunteer that information, they can.

Keep Clearly Defined Boundaries

Just so you know, addicts usually don’t have clear boundaries, particularly if they were born into a family of addicts where there were no boundaries. So you need to establish a few, in love. There’s nothing fancy needed here, simply “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Keep roles and responsibilities defined. You’re the grown up in the relationship. It’s OK to say no.

One word of caution: If you’re a people-pleaser, rescuer, co-dependent or enabler personality, you may want to support a recovering addict from a distance. The path in and out of addiction is often writhe with lies and manipulation. If you have trouble with boundaries you might get tangled in a web of manipulation while thinking you’re just being helpful. Know thyself.

Speak the Truth in Love

No matter the conversation or situation, love conquerors all. Speak the truth in love. Addicts have lived a life of lies. They need Truth and they need Love. Just like all of us. Bring strength, not pity. Bring encouragement, not condemnation. Be supportive, not enabling.

Keep It Simple

Our human nature is to complicate things. But, God’s way is simple

In the Book of Matthew, Jesus said: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)]

I know God cares deeply for the the lost and hurting and He rejoices when we care too. So, as you’re praying about what God is calling you to do, please pray about:

Who is God to you?

How does God see “those people”?

Then you will know what to do.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends.

Disclaimer: I am a layperson. I do not have a formal theological degree or training, I’m not a counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or ‘ologist of any kind. I am not a specialist or have any formal training about drug and alcohol addiction. This post is written from my personal experience and insights. Nothing more.

Sally Olson is a writer, blogger, wife, and battle-­proven homeschooling mom to sons. God, good words, good coffee and honest country living refresh her soul. She blogs about apples and country life at Garden Valley Homestead.

 

31 Days: Day 25 and I’m about to die – somebody reach out to me!!!!

Ha Ha! I’m half way kidding but not really. I’m about to die here with this daily writing gig but it’s been a good challenge for me personally. With two days notice for this challenge and it falling during an incredibly busy time I’ve had to prayerfully wing it. But thanks for hanging in there with me – all one of you. My hubs maybe. Ha! Ha!

I wanted to share a few pictures today of my brother who came through this weekend while on his way to visit a friend who had cancer surgery in Baltimore. He drove 12 hours (our house was half way) to sit in a waiting room for a few hours to be with the family, pray with them and then head back the next day. Now that’s a ministry of presence. The man he went to see is in his discipleship group from church and they are a close knit group.

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John was able to watch Sophie run in the fund run at school and made Mitchell a bike ramp. The kids love him so much. He’s a fun Uncle and we enjoyed the time with him.

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Love those hats guys!

31 Days: Day 9 – When the mundane turns divine

When you’re entrenched in churchy activities where you’re constantly surrounded by other Christians it means we need to be that much more prayerfully aware of our surroundings in the world through the little things. Our trips to the bank, the grocery store, the office at work, fill in the ___________. It means the mundane becomes the divine and sometimes when we least expect it and in ways we never would’ve dreamed. I’ll never forget an experience I had like that.

I was looking out the kitchen window as I prepared chicken salad sandwiches for me and Randy. I happened to notice an older black gentleman sitting on the steps down the sidewalk from our house. The scene was familiar. Old man with an old bike parked in the same spot and he was resting in the shade. We had never spoken but I’d seen him at this same resting spot before. I very much sensed in my heart that God was telling me to share a few of these sandwiches with that man. I said, “You have got to be kidding, God! That is a man and I’m a woman and you really want me to walk down two sandwiches to him?”

And He would not let up.

I argued for at least 20 minutes but couldn’t get away from it. So here I go walking down Main St. at Noon to give this elderly man a sandwich. I hid the sandwiches in my Grandmother’s egg basket in case someone thought I was a nut case. When I got to him I was rather shocked by his piercing blue eyes and said, “Sir, please don’t think this is weird because I know it really is but would you like a homemade chicken salad sandwich and a bottle of water?” He said, “I aint got no money.” I was so taken back by that and said, “Oh No,Sir, it’s free!” He started laughing and told me his name and said, “You made that for me?” I said, “Well, not really Sir but I want you to have them if you’d like.”

He snatched those two sandwiches up and grabbed my arm to pull me closer and that’s when I said real fast, “Hope you enjoy!” and I ran ALL the way home. Yeah, I mean ALLLLL the way home I ran.

And I still have no idea why God had me do that. But I know He put it on my heart. And I trust He had a reason even if it was just to see if I’d obey Him. I don’t always respond in obedience. Many times I don’t. But my deepest desire is to venture into the awkward, or whatever it is He calls me to, for the sake of loving others like He loves me. And I’ll leave the results up to Him.

So I say all that to say…..as we pray and ask God to show us how He wants us to serve and love others expect Him to do it. And be prepared that often times it’s not in a nice, tidy package like we have pictured in our heads. It can seem awkward, uncomfortable and maybe even weird. But I want to challenge all of us to dare to ask God to speak into our hearts and then to follow through with what He tells us. It will be a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ working in such a way that we say, “Oh, that had to be God!”

Looking back on this now that its been a long time I see things differently. At the time I was mortified, argumentative and scared to death. I don’t claim to have handled the situation perfectly or with ease. I was more annoyed by the simple calling than grateful. But I’m in a different place now. I look back on the sandwich man scenario and see that God spoke to me in the midst of the mundane. It was just a regular day in the kitchen at lunch time. And He spoke into my heart. What makes this divine is not necessarily the gift of the sandwiches because I have no idea what those sandwiches meant for that man. But the communion between a girl interested in her own agenda for the day being interrupted by God is what’s divine. God using us when we don’t have anything to offer except what He does in and through us is divine.

I pray that this post doesn’t seem arrogant. God knows my heart in this and it’s to praise Him for giving us chances to show His love. For equipping us to do what He has called us to do even when we think it’s impossible. To praise Him for answering prayer and for giving courage that isn’t within us. That is my heart in this post. It’s to encourage us all to listen to Him and to respond and to look back at the grace involved in Him using us. And what about Him still using us as even after we stumble the entire way down the street out of pure awkwardness? Yeah, I’d call that something divine.

Just when I was starting to stress about how many church and  Christian school things I’m doing and how I don’t have time to be with the people in my community that need to know God, God brings the sandwich man to mind. And He whispers to me, “Keep doing the church stuff and keep listening and be ready for the next mundane turned divine.”

And I’m left wondering if next time I’ll not run away from sandwich man but instead use more words to communicate the love of Christ.

Linking with Barbie today

When prayer makes us feel “needy”

Our church is learning about prayer. Like God really wants to teach us about this because he lined up so many different platforms for us to soak up what he has on this topic through things like: The War Room Movie, An event on prayer for our women, A sermon series on prayer, etc. All these things had been planned long ago but all fell at the same time. So cool.

Part of our learning about prayer has led our church to a prayer project. We (all attenders interested) are talking to leaders in our community and asking four questions:

  1. From your perspective of service, what are the greatest needs or challenges facing our community?
  2. What major project or obstacle will you be dealing with this quarter
  3. What dream do you have for our city that seems so large or hard that only an act of God would change it?
  4. How can we specifically pray for you as you serve our community?

We are meeting with city officials, principals, Social Services, Emergency Personnel, Domestic Violence Leaders and so much more.

Why are we asking these questions of these community leaders?

Because they see things we can’t possibly see and understand. And because we believe prayer changes things. No matter how great we’re doing as a people and a community we will always stand in need of prayer.

So if you’re local and you see these signs around town in yards…..

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Know it’s a positive thing. We love our city and we believe God works through prayer. We are committing to finding out how we can pray specifically and we’re trusting God to work. We don’t think we’re better than anyone else. We don’t think our city is going to hell in a hand basket. We just know our own need for prayer and we know our God is faithful to help us. So who are we to withhold that kind of goodness from others. May He bless our little town that we are growing to love more and more.

Father, you know what our city needs more than we do. Would you open our eyes to know how to pray, how to love and how to serve our city. Be the God of our city. Let us be your hands and feet. Let us serve you well and love others the way you do. We all stand in great need of you and you are exactly what we need. In your name, Amen.

 

Financial Peace for Kids – Awesome curriculum!

I love Dave Ramsey and all he has to say about money and managing it God’s way. I’m serving on a team of people that are teaching the Financial Peace Bible Study for Kids this Fall and it’s been really neat.  The curriculum is downloadable so there’s a lot of copying involved and planning but it’s so worth it.

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What we love about this study is that it is action packed and it moves fast. Every week there is a main point that is emphasized through a story about Junior, a Bible story, one large group game and two small group activities and then a closing activity to help the kids memorize the verse that the lesson is built on. It’s really quite awesome and we see the kids responding to it.

This is a 6 week course that can be stretched into 10 weeks which is what we’re doing. It is designed to accompany the adult study but our church has already done the adult study so it’s standing alone. The cost of the curriculum is $75 and it’s worth every penny. (No, I’m not getting paid to say all this – just think it’s too awesome to not share with others)

There is a Financial Peace Junior Kit that is sold separately that is designed for parents to help their kids with chores and understanding the basic principles of giving, saving and spending. We chose to make this kit a part of the registration fee for the class. So we charged what it would cost to purchase the kit plus a few dollars for a pizza party at the end of the study. The kit is really a great tool for parents and kids. Although the kids do not bring their kits to class there will be one Wednesday night that they bring their “envelopes” and calculators as we have a working session of how to calculate 10%, 20%, etc. and talk about what they are saving up for.

The age range for this study is K5-6th grade. Most of our kids are 3-5th graders. Breaking into smaller groups helps if you have younger kids. Our team consists of 8 leaders. We divided up with 2 storytellers, 2 gamers, 3 small groupers, 1 banker (we give the kids a fake dollar bill when they come and say their verse. Later all the bills will be put in a jar and draw for a piggy bank filled with cash). Of course you could do this with less people if you needed to but I love having this many people on a team because it makes it flow so well. And it’s awesome to see the gifts and talents at work in these specific areas of leadership.

So the main topics taught in this series are:

  • God owns it all
  • Work
  • Give
  • Save
  • Spend
  • Contentment

*We are inserting a service project for a local school that has a backpack program for kids that need food over the weekend. All the kids have been collecting non-perishable food items and we will pack them up on one of our nights and pray over these items and for the kids receiving them.

**Will end our time with a pizza party where the group has to work (hard and without complaining)  for their money to purchase their pizza. They will receive fake money and will have choices of how to spend it with pizza options.

Okay, well that’s about all I have on FPJr. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

Mugs & Muffins 2015

Mugs & Muffins – it’s a ladies outreach event we put on annually where you bring your own mug and $5 at the door and we fill your cup with coffee and provide lots of muffins. If you’re looking for a simple women’s event this is the way to go.

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This year I was so blessed to work with the Mom’s In Prayer group that I pray with weekly. They joined our church in planning and working on this event since our theme was on prayer. Our speaker was Joy Moreau the Appalachian Area Coordinator for MIP. Our team has had the privilege of sitting under her encouragement before and we wanted to extend the reach and have her speak at Mugs & Muffins. She is a precious woman of God and she led us through several stages of prayer and showed us how simple praying with one other person can be. We also got to hear an awesome testimony from Anna Keck, a teacher at our school and Mom’s In Prayer chik. She shared a great story and encouraged women to accept the call to pray even if they feel like they stumble through their words and aren’t totally comfortable praying out loud which was her story a few years ago as a new believer in Christ.

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I personally loved the time we had at our tables this year to interact with the other women we sat with. We talked about the things we wanted to praise God for and thank him for. And then we spent time interceding on behalf of someone we know that needs to know the truth of who God is.

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This year the decorations and centerpieces flowed so well. It just came together as people added their touch to things. A very talented iron and woodworker in our church cut the wood discs for us to use and we turned the mason jars into cutey-patootey centerpieces with fresh flowers.

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This year was the first year my sweet girl came with me. Here’s how that happened: “Sophie, would you like to go to a gun show with Dad and Mitchell or pray for two hours?” I was sort of kidding about the pray for two hours but I wanted her to know it wasn’t just eating muffins for two hours straight so she wouldn’t be disappointed. She whole heartedly agreed that praying for two hours would be much better than attending a gun show. Ha! So she came with me and was such a sweet hard worker. I know I’m her Mama and all but the girl worked hard and it was a sweet moment for me to realize we were serving together.

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A few questions people have asked about Mugs & Muffins:

  • How do you plan if you don’t sell tickets?

Wellllll that’s the tricky part. We’ve never had an idea of how many people would come to this event. We’ve just planned on anywhere from 40-60. This year we had 75 ladies and over 22 churches represented. That was so exciting for us! The only problem is that we did run out of regular coffee towards the end. That’s not great when the main thing you’re serving is coffee and muffins but sometimes you just have to roll with it and move on. So that’s what we did. Next year we will be better prepared in the coffee department.

  • How do you get the word out?

We used fliers, email and Facebook. I happen to be married to a man who is very creative and really good at designing fliers. He made the flier below for us to post away. Not just on Facebook & Twitter but in town – restaurants, hair salons, etc. Also because our MIP team is made up of women from different churches they put the word out to their churches.

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  • How do you get all your muffins and coffee?

We made our own coffee the first year and then decided it would benefit us to cater that part out. So we used a local coffee shop in town this year and made some of our own as well. The Ladies Missionary Fellowship and other ladies in our church provide the muffins every year. They drop them off on Friday and we warm them on Saturday morning.
Linking with Kelly, Laura, Jen, and Mom2Mom

 

 

Ministry Happenings

It’s the beginning of school and a million things are going on. I’m finding myself busier than ever but still making time to sit on the front porch, visit with neighbors and have my quiet time. Not something I was doing BBLC – “Before the Broken Leg Chronicles”. Somehow it’s all working out as I let go of my agenda. God knows my heart and is helping me be still in the midst of lots of movement.

School got off to a great start and both kids have reported great days since starting. We have a 3rd and 8th grader at a Christian school in our small town in North Carolina. Our school is growing in so many different ways and it’s really exciting to be a part of the change.

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Our church has had some awesome things going on lately. The youth and adult mission trip to NYC was incredible. The team took the service on Sunday and shared all that God did and it was really amazing. God is moving in our Youth group and it’s just awesome to see these kids growing in their faith. One of the adults that went is new in his own faith (almost 2 years) and he came back so on fire. I’m excited for my son to be a part of such an active and growing Youth program. Our youth pastor is very evangelistic and I see his influence on the kids in this way. Really awesome stuff.

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We’re dropping Awana this year at our church (we’re still saved I promise! we’re keeping Cubbies as proof) and starting up Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior for 1st-5th graders. I’m really excited about this program for our kids. Such a great tool.

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Mugs & Muffins is another event we have coming up. You bring your mug and $5 and we fill it with coffee and have tons of muffins. Our speaker is with Mom’s In Prayer International– something I’m very passionate about. She will be talking about the power of prayer. This falls on the heels of The War Room movie that comes out on August 28th. Our church will be selling tickets and taking a group to see it. So.excited.about.this!!!

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We’re also gearing up for Prayer Walks in our community next Saturday. All the public schools in our community will have a group of people walking the campus praying over the teachers and students. Our church adopted a school near us and will have the opportunity to go inside the school and pray over classrooms and students by name. Isn’t this so cool?! We’ve never done this before because a lot of our focus is on our own school which it should be. But we have the same burden for students and teachers in our community outside of our own walls. So one way we’re showing our support is by showing up and praying over another school besides our own.

Well that’s what’s going on in our neck of the woods.

Everyone is busy these days but lets keep our focus and eyes on Jesus. He is the best leader and personal trainer we could ever have. Listening to Him is key.