Repentance to Redemption (Part 3: The Work of Restoration)

Repentance to Redemption (Part 3: The Work of Restoration)
A while back, when I was a volunteer at a ministry, I was faced with the need to take a step back from serving the church in order to allow some sanctifying and healing work to be done in my life. I was going through an extremely low season that led to my making poor choices left and right. Consequently, my pastor at that time recommended that I step down from my serving position to go through a “year of restoration.”
If I were to go back, I would have asked him to clarify what a “year of restoration” actually entailed. To me, it sounded like time-out, a probationary period where I held the responsibility to earn my “good girl” status again. And although this pastor most definitely did not intend it to be so, this placed me on a year’s journey of attempting to rebuild my life through my own striving. During that season, I did anything I could to fix myself, and I definitely failed. If anything, the attempt just left me more burnt out and jaded.  
Most Christians desire to be holy in character and pure in heart. Most would desire to be in good standing with the church community and their pastors. Yet, once the choice to repent is made, one still faces the challenge of rebuilding what’s been broken. This part can be hard.
Restoration is work.
But, it’s important to know that it’s God’s work.

Continue reading “Repentance to Redemption (Part 3: The Work of Restoration)”

Repentance to Redemption (Part 2: Reclaiming Your Identity)

Repentance to Redemption (Part 2: Reclaiming Your Identity)
God is an excellent Creator. His intentions for humankind were nothing less than spectacular. After Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden, they were not commissioned to just survive and eat their way through existence. They were created to thrive, conquer, and expand their lot. Life was supposed to be about victories and progress, never-ending fruitfulness and unadulterated peace (Genesis 1).
In other words, you were created to be amazing, which makes sense because we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Continue reading “Repentance to Redemption (Part 2: Reclaiming Your Identity)”

Repentance to Redemption (Part I: Trying to Change)

Repentance to Redemption (Part I: Trying to Change)

What if you just can’t change?

If the need to change wasn’t an issue, then Christianity would be a cinch. Free ticket to heaven? Great! Jesus loves me? Amen! He has a hope and future for me? That’s what I want too!
But, I shouldn’t be conformed to the patterns of this world?
I need to repent?
Put off my old self?
That’s much more difficult to embrace.

Continue reading “Repentance to Redemption (Part I: Trying to Change)”

How I Find Strength…

How I Find Strength…
I frequently get asked, “How do you do it?”
“It” being how I juggle being a wife, mother, pastor, and pastor’s wife.
In a certain season in my life, I was a full-time youth pastor, full-time grad school student, and a full-time mother, all the while trying to also be a supportive wife to a pastor with his own ministry as well. I was also pregnant for the majority of those years.  Admittedly, it was a lot of hats to wear for one person.
But contrary to popular belief, I’m not very strong.
Continue reading “How I Find Strength…”

Is it well with your soul?

Is it well with your soul?
I’ve been a bit numb these days. I think we all have that in our spiritual walk time to time.
I think at this point in the game, I know what to do when I’m not “feeling it.” I just try harder. I shift my mindset. I make the right choices. I die to myself and take up my cross daily.
We are constantly taught that the spiritual way of life is one of peace and joy. But, let’s be real… sometimes it’s just easier to be indifferent. Perhaps, it’s because being indifferent is one step more acceptable than being angry, discouraged, or anxious.
Continue reading “Is it well with your soul?”

When Choosing Sacrifice…

When Choosing Sacrifice…
I don’t like pain.
I’m the type that would avoid any level of discomfort at all costs.
So, when I initially chose the life of ministry, I feared that the losses would be too heavy. Indeed, this included a fear that the humble circumstances would be too much to bear.
Nevertheless, I’ve been relatively spared up until now. Compared to the strife endured by the persecuted church around the world, I live a simple and easy life. We have a home. My children are receiving an excellent education. Both my husband and I have a steady paycheck, and we live the average, middle-class lifestyle in the suburbs of New Jersey. We get the occasional Starbucks drink.
Certainly, there is a cross to bear on a daily basis. Nothing comes easy in ministry. Yet, I haven’t quite fought to the literal point of bloodshed just yet. And to be honest, I did not want to. The idea of shaking things up was the last thing on my mind. Continue reading “When Choosing Sacrifice…”

What Christian Women Need…

What Christian Women Need…
Most women do not particularly enjoy talking about the female cause in the church. It almost feels petty. Women in ministry, in particular, understand that it is a touchy subject, and some try to avoid the topic altogether in fear of coming off as an angry feminist.
Society tells women that we can do anything. We can pursue degrees and choose careers. We can be politicians, CEOs, directors, creators. Unfortunately, this leaves many women confused within the church context, because what we can do for God feels so limited.
Continue reading “What Christian Women Need…”