Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not my possession...

"Most pastors would do well to remember that their ordination is not their possession. It is an authority that the church has loaned to them as a trust to be held with reverence and great humility. Because pastors are permitted, by virtue of their role, very privileged access into people's lives, their intentions must be honorable, their speech and actions respectful. Pastors hold the safety and well-being of the church and its members and are called to make themselves into safe harbors, worthy of the confidence others place in them."

~ Christina Braudaway-Bauman

It is very difficult for me to explain what I have been going through over the past five weeks in my Pastoral Leadership class. It's not so much the class that has disturbed me, as much as the timing of class with what is going on in my life and my church. God has used the class to open my eyes to deal with the reality that I have been avoiding as best as I can for over a year. It has forced me to realize and admit that things have not been right, and not just recently but for a really long time. It has caused me to rehash conversations, moments, actions and discussions in a new light: what a pastor is supposed to be and how she/he is supposed to act/behave.

I sit down to do my class work and I cannot finish it without balling my eyes out for many reasons: for not seeing the reality, for not speaking up about the things that I did see as wrong, for allowing a dear-to-my-heart friendship to be severely damaged, if not lost to protect others, for trusting and just following when red flags were flying left and right, for opening up to people who just really were not who they said they were. I cry for the unknown that lies ahead and I cry because I don't see how God could ever use me to in some way help to mend everything that has been broken. Except to remember that my calling is not my possession it is His and He will be faithful to complete it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Survived

Well, I survived the week and weekend! This past week I started back to work. Last Sunday, I worked in the afternoon. I then worked Wednesday through Sunday every night on top of school and the kids and the dog show and praise team on Sunday. And to top it off Rob was also on 2nd shift so I had to find sitters for each night. It was just a very busy week! And I survived!!! Training is done and now I can go to my Friday/Saturday schedule.

Funny thing happened yesterday. As I was waiting in my car for a few minutes before heading into work. I was facing the marina and a really neat raked out chopper, white with red flames turns into the condo drive. The guy was wearing all black and the woman on the back white leather pants and a jacket with a white bandana. There was a Ford F-150 on their butt, probably within 15 feet of the bike. The girl looks back and then looks forward and slowly lifts the back of her jacket. Only to display her bare behind. Her leather pants were in fact, white leather chaps that she chose to sport with only a white thong!!!!

I immediately called Rob and said, I am kidding you not, you are not gonna believe what I just saw. This is at Catawba Island Club - ritzy, straight talk yacht club and she's sportin' a bare butt on a bike. It was quite hilarious. I thought maybe they didn't live there and were just Sunday driving, however, Krissy (co-worker) says she sees the bike all the time back in the condos. Funny! Funny! Now everytime I see a skinny woman in the club, I'm gonna wonder if it was her!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fourth Place

Visit www.moblyng.com to make your own!

Today, Mia participated in the All-Breed Dog Show hosted by the Monroe Kennel Club, Inc. at the Monroe County Fairgrounds! My friends, Erin and Tom helped me out today by going with and handling Mia for us, since we had never done this before. Erin has a Gordon Setter and a Weim. She didn't show either today. She showed her friends Gordon Setter, who took best in breed. And I believe she was showing her dad, Tom's Spumoni.

Disclaimer: In this post you will see the word bitch. However, I am referring to a female dog. Mia was exhibited in the Open Bitch Class and took home 4th place. (Nevermind that there were only four in the open bitch class.) And besides they could have disqualified her and they didn't which means she really did earn 4th place! YEAH!!!!!

If she wants to win, she is going to have to beef up a little bit and grow some more hair. I learned that if I bathe her daily and blow dry her hair it will grow faster and thicker. Hmmm! Learn something new everyday!

She did very well. We thought she would be much more apprehensive. However, once in the ring she trotted around like a little pony (baited by a little bit a liver! YUCK!) On the table she wasn't too fond of being fondled in the hindquarters but she dealt with it. So we'll work on that too!

Overall, she wasn't the smallest. There were others her size. Second place in breed was maybe a little shorter than her. She wasn't the most hairless in her class. There were others with shorter hair and less hair. And while she finished fourth in her class, she now has the experience under her belt and we can work on getting her ready for her next show!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Born with Sin

Oh yes, I know that we are born with sin. But we do learn behaviors. We are socialized by our surroundings. We are taught by those around us how to sin in different ways or for that matter how to not sin. Innately, we can and will figure out alot of the stuff on our own, but a lot of our sinful behaviors are plain and simple taught to us.

Now, I am reinforcing with my children that what mom and dad says goes, no matter what anyone else says. In any circumstance, my children should say "No my mom told me to be here" or "No my mom and dad don't want me to watch this." But they are children and they are definitely not perfect. They are great though and for the most part are the best kids around (I may be a little biased!) But, like all kids, they do have their days that they must think I am wearing a sign that says "Drive mommy crazy today! She really likes it!"

Like Charlene, this undermining of parents is something that happens almost daily in the public school system and I am seeing it happen more and more in other arenas.

I remember when Jourdyn was littler and even Nadine had done this, when something comes on TV that they aren't allowed to watch, they will say "no, I'm not allowed to watch this." And who ever the host is will usually change it with an "okay, we better obey mommy!" And this isn't the issue now. Because they have always been really good at doing this.

Anyways, to agree with Julie, we are all born into sin because of what Adam and Eve chose to do. However, I would add that we are also socialized to learn certain behavioral sins. We learn to get drunk or not to get drunk by the examples of those in our lives. We learn to lie or not to lie by the examples that our in our lives. If this wasn't so, God would have never took the time to right out a book that teaches us how to live holy lives for Him. We are learning creations. We learn the good, the bad and the ugly.

Parenting Pet Peeve #1

I have entitled this post "Parenting Pet Peeve #1" because I may just have others that I'd like to share in later posts.

God has given me a gift, well three of them. However, these gifts are not toys I can just say "yeah I got the latest greatest thing" play with them for a while and then never play with them again. These gifts come with the biggest responsbility in the world. It is my responsbility to raise them, to feed them, to train them, to cloth them, to teach them about God, well just to everything. This is a task that I take with all seriousness and it is a neverending job.

Parenting Pet Peeve #1 - adults who think that their word/judgment in my childs life precedes mine.

When I tell my children to do something, like for example which class to go into on Sunday morning at church, what I say goes. Why does it never fail that some other adult will tell my child, "No honey, you go wherever you want to go." Or why is it, when I tell my kids that they are to always be truthful and honest, an adult will tell them, "Don't worry I won't tell your mom, if you just do it even though she said not to." Now granted the last part of that sentence my never be verbalized, but it is completely realized by my children when the words "I won't tell your mom" are involved.

The adults that I want my children to be around are adults who will reinforce what our choices and rules are, not adults who tear down not only my rules and choices but also the trust and relationship between my children and I.

Each time this pet peeve of mine is perpetrated, my children learn to doubt my judgment. They learn to outright disobey me. They learn that my choices are not important. They learn how to sin.

Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."

Colossians 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."

Each time that an adult does this they are causing my child to stumble. No matter what their intentions are. They are driving a wedge between me and my children giving Satan ample room to wiggle his way in.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Rowan has an early pneumonia in his left lower lobe of his lung. He also has an ear infection his left ear and his right has fluid. So the doctor has put him Zithromax for 5 days for the ears. He isn't going to start him on a steriod for the pneumonia yet. He wants to see if Rowan can clear it all out on his own since it is still mobile in the lungs. He is coughing really good still, so we'll see.

Jourdyn has swimmer's ear so she has ear drops. And imagine that she hasn't even swam lately. But it's just a tenderness and irritation of the canal.

Nadine is developing the same cough that Rowan has, and since we are supposed to Rowan away from kids for 48 hours, I'm gonna assume that we most likely will be treating Nadine for pneumonia soon as well.

So our house is just sick! Which means grumpy kids and a grumpy mom!

ANd to top it off - Jourdyn's mid-term came home and she is grounded from the computer until her grade card comes home with all A's. She isn't doing her homework or forgetting or turning it in late. Anyways, she's very intelligent and there is no reason that she should have a C and two B's on her mid-term. She is just not doing her work. Therefore, she's grounded!!!! No email, no webkins, no internet, no computer...and if she doesn't start bringing home homework and studying at home than she will lose her mp3 player and her phone privileges.

I'm such a mean mom!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Put In Bay 5k Run

A couple of weeks ago, Rob came home and asked me to go register him online for a 5k run at Put In Bay. I was quite flabbergasted! One of the guys that he works with, Jeff, runs in these races all the time, and talked him into trying it. So I registered him and yesterday, we were off to Put In Bay for the run.

Julie came over to watch the little ones while we were gone in the morning. (Thanks bunches!!!)Rob and I had a little mis-communication and subsequently were late. We didn't make the 7:30 ferry with everyone else. We caught the 8 am. The run started at 9:30 am. Jeff, Rob & Scot all ran and Darlene walked. Scot also works with Rob and has a 2 1/2 pack a day smoking habit. Everyone on their ferry was calling him "weezy." He really thought that this was going to kill him. But he finished in 28:55 seconds, which is great for a first ever race.

I am so proud of Rob for doing this! And I believe he has found a new healthy hobby. If he isn't working he is going to run in the Apple Festival 5k in 5 weeks. I might run too but it depends if I work or not.

Click to play Put In Bay 5k
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Celtic Thunder

My sister, Julie came over this evening and we watched Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey. And I must say that he has definitely redeemed himself from roles like that in Can't Buy Me Love and Loverboy! And he's an excellent romantic actor.

Afterwards we watched Celtic Thunder. They are a group that she really loves and I had never heard before. They are well, awesome! I really like Keith Harkin! This is a video of him singing. He's extremely talented and very cute! Jourdyn really likes him.

Dances, Haircuts and hormones...

Okay, so it's 6th grade! What part of these three things do not fit in...apparently all of them do!

Let's start with the haircut. I thought that cutting your own hair was a phase that ended at like 7 years old. However, when I awoke this morning Jourdyn was acting quite strange. She was walking around the house holding her hair forward as if she was cousin it. She went to put in earrings and did it faced in a corner so I couldn't see her face. Well, she couldn't get them in. So I had to help and when I did...what should I discover but her bangs being less than an inch long.

It's not the first time...she does this whenever they get to long and she can't stand them. Instead of asking me to cut them because I would willingly. In fact, it's quite often on of my threats, "Jourdyn get your hair out of your face or I am going to cut it!" So now for a month or two she will be walking around with insanely short bangs and when they grow out, she will be getting her hair cut into a short style.

So on to dances: When we were in Junior High there were no dances. Dances were a privilege of being in high school. Freshman homecoming was the biggest event ever until prom. But nowadays, sixth grade has dances. Tonight would have been her first. However, she isn't going she has an ear infection or something so we are heading to the doctors. But I told Rob yesterday that she would not be attending these dances unless I was chaperoning them. He was a little taken back and said, "Honey, what's gonna happen. If it's anything like our dances, the girls will be on one side of the gym and the boys on the other."

Here's the thing: IT IS NOTHING LIKE OUR DANCES!!! It is almost nothing to walk into a Junior High and find a pregnant girl...if not pregnant at least sexually active or seriously contemplating becoming so. Our world has completely changed and all values are out the window. Kids today don't see anything wrong with having sex or making out with boys. It's the cool thing to do. When I was that age, we at least were subconscious about it...we knew it was wrong. Today, not the case, girls are having boyfriends, like dating so young. Not just the pass notes in class boyfriend. There are big things to be scared about with school dances. We can't just keep thinking that things were the same as when we grew up because they aren't!!!

And onto hormones!!! I don't think I need to say more than it is hormones that are raging in Jourdyn and of course giving her the attitude from hell about anything I have to say these days! And she's only 11!!! God help me!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Today, I had orientation at Catawba Island Club. I will start work this Sunday with training for a couple of hours. But this coming Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will have to work. Rob will be on second shift so I will have to use my super-mom powers to make this happen smoothly. After this week I will just work Fridays and Saturdays. We just have to get through the training time.

It's quite scary! I haven't worked since right before Nadine was born. I am really praying that God give me the strength to be able to do everything I need to do, especially with school and the kids.

We had some missionaries come to church tonight from Papua New Guinnea, Jeff & Suzanne Myers. They were very encouraging and seem to be on fire for God. I am going to add their blog to my list at the right.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More pastoral insight...

"The era of the 'promised land' is over for the mainline church in America.
Because we have not been faithful, we find ourselves again in the wilderness, or
perhaps in exile. In either case the establishment is collapsing and with
it the predictability, security, and comfort that has allowed us to be at
ease in Zion for several generations. The model of the 'king' is no longer
appropriate for leadership in today's church. We need leadership more akin
to the 'judges' of ancient Israel who arose out of the community in crisis to
lead by the consent of and in concert with the community. And those judges were
selected not because of their caste or class, but their demonstrating the
authenticity and therefore the authority that comes from having attended to the
inward journey with God."

~ Edward A. White, taken from "What Kind of Pastor Will Most Likely Empower Laity?"

Monday, September 15, 2008


Today, we headed over to Costco to find Jourdyn some new specs!!! After much deliberation and fanfare we decided on two pairs! And it was a bonus since the lenses were on sale!!! The little ones love looking at glasses. Rowan doesn't look half bad, but we pray Nadine never has to have glasses. We were unsuccessful on finding any that flattered her. It could be the ones she was picking out!

Jourdyn is excited! She has to wait 10-15 days before they come in. So the anticipation is going to build. Of course, she will probably forget about them before then.

just an update on my fireworks damage: We have been talking to the manager at the Mudhens and he has been responsive but has passed it off to the fireworks company, who have yet to call us. So we called our insurance and filed a claim. We have been getting rain lately and the burn holes are beginning to rust. Anyways, they have to repaint the hood and the entire roof. They are going to try to buff the sulfer stains off the sides of the car but if they are unsuccessful then they will have to repaint the entire car. The estimate only includes buffing the sides and it was $1000. If they have to repaint the whole thing it will probably be $2000. We have a $100 comprehensive deductible that we will have to pay. Then we will have to fight with the fireworks company to get that back. However, I doubt that we will ever see a penny. And I am kinda disappointed in the Mudhens for not doing something to rectify the damage. I was prepared for the fact that a baseball might damage my car....I never expected fireworks to burn the paint off of it.

The Revolve All Access Tour

Friday, Jourdyn and I, along with 45 other girls and women headed out of Columbus, Ohio for the Revolve All Access Tour. We were so blessed to have been able to take Mandi, Evalee's daughter with us. She was definitely a treasure there.

This is a conference for middle school and high school girls. They basically learn about the importance of loving themselves and feeling comfortable in their own jeans and about having all access to God and giving Him all access to them. It was a great weekend.

We stopped once we got down there at Easton Town Center...the biggest mall type thing I've ever seen. I say "mall type thing" because it has an indoor mall like Franklin Park but it also has an outside part like Fallen Timbers but about 10 times bigger. It was awesome. Unfortunately we only had about an hour to spend there. So we hit Hot Topic, Limited too and the smoothie shop, oh and Sbarro for a slice of the pizza.

Then the 15 of us who rode in the van all piled back in and headed to the hotel. So we could off-load our stuff and walk to the conference at Nationwide Arena.

Friday night was basically a preview night for what was in store on Saturday. The whole weekend we saw Hawk Nelson, Natalie Grant, Krystal Meyers, Group 1 Crew and lots of speakers.

After the conference on Friday 24 of us hit the Cheesecake factory! Yummy!!!!

Click to play Revolve
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It was a tremendous weekend! I really felt God there! And I know that He was speaking to me, as well as the girls there. I know that I have walked away understanding my daughter just a little better, not because I learned something new, but because I was reminded what it was like to be her age and a teenager. And I have to say that I am now more terrified than ever for the years to come! But Robin Sneed today said that she's made it to 9th grade so she knows I'll make it that far but she'll have to get back to me on after that, or maybe she won't be alive to! She's very funny!

On top of this great weekend. I also had to write two papers for school. I wrote one on the way down to Columbus. All the girls and women made fun of me but I got it done. The last one I wrote this evening.

Oh, and on Friday I hit a garage sale before we left. I purchased an antique dresser for Jourdyn, a purse, some Christmas ornaments...yes Christmas ornaments...can u believe Christmas is only a couple of months away. I can't.

Saturday was my nephew, Brodie's 18th birthday! We went today after church to take him and Julie out to lunch. We went to Frisch's which was nice because I haven't been to Frisch's for a really long time. It was nice to visit with them. I really wish I could have done a lot more for him. Happy Birthday Bro!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Meet Me In The Stairwell


You say you will never forget where you were when
You heard the news On September 11, 2001 .
Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room
With a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I
Held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the
Peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it
Is OK..I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed
Breakfast to their children. I held her up as she
Tried to understand his words and as she realized
He wasn 't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a
Woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been
Knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said.
'Of course I will show you the way home - only
Believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest
Ministering to the injured and devastated souls.
I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He
Heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat,
With every prayer. I was with the crew as they
Were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the
Believers there, comforting and assuring them that their
Faith has saved them.

I was in Texas , Virginia , California , Michigan , Afghanistan ..
I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.
Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew
Every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me
For the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath.
Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the
Smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... This way... Take
My hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.
But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You
May not know why, but I do. However, if you were
There in that explosive moment in time, would you have
Reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001 , was not the end of the journey
For you. But someday your journey will end. And I
Will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may
Be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are
'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

I didn't write this! It was in an email that was sent to me! But it has touched me! I am not ashamed of my faith for the very reasons mentioned in this poem! God is there with us in every moment whether we know it or not and whether we accept it or not! He's there and He knows and He's calling your name! If you don't know Him yet. Don't waste time. Because there may not be tomorrow. And don't waste time because you want to get your life in order first. Give your life to Him and He will order it in ways you never thought imaginable! I'm not saying life is perfect after you become a Christ follower. Look at mine! But I am saying that there's a big difference in going through the motions of life alone because you aren't listening to God and going through life knowing that no matter what God is there carrying you and sustaining you! It makes the hardest days somehow bearable. It's an amazing thing to realize that He is control and He has a plan for you. And His plan won't harm you, His plans are meant to change us, to be in relationship with us, to give us hope and to give us the purpose we have been looking for all of our lives.

I added a button on the side of this blog - it says "Ready?" If you're "Ready" click it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I have a JOB!!!

Tomorrow, Jourdyn and I, along with Amanda C. and 44 other gals will be heading down to Columbus tomorrow for the RevolveTour! We are excited!!!! Jourdyn gets out of school early! And gets a "mom and me" weekend!

I have never heard anything back from the company that I had interviewed with a while back. But Rob and I decided that I should just go back to work part time at a previous employer. So I am going to return to work at Catawba Island Club (CIC). Just part time. I loved working there before and the money was good. Several people that work their commute from Oregon because the money is good enough to do that. So I am going to try it and see how it goes.

I haven't had paid position for 4 1/2 years. Now that the reality is sitting in that I'm going back to work...it is really weird. Rob says I'm bummed because my endless summer has ended! Not so, really. I have school and everything I do voluntary. So I haven't been doing nothing for 4 years. Plus I did squeeze out two kids in that time frame. :)

Still Remember and Praying I never forget

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Exciting stuff...

..well at least for me!

First off, I finally got my scruffy hair fixed today!

Jayme cut off a lot of hair. The other girls in the salon just stood their staring because it was a dramatic difference and a lot of hair on the ground! But I love it!!!

This evening we had some ministry meetings at church. There are lots of exciting things happening because of our new building and some changes in leadership. And the BIG NEWS is that I am going to be teaching a Young Adult Sunday School class starting in October. Exciting! But also scary!!! I'll keep you posted on this! We have not had a young adult class for a really long time. So I am hoping to reach people my age-ish and younger! There are lots of us in the church!!!


My dad watched the kids for me on Saturday during the Rummage Sale. These are some pics that he took with them out at Maumee Bay. Jourdyn came to the church to help out where she could and play with her friend Katie.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monroe Kennel Club

Well, today I entered Mia into her very first dog show. It is Saturday, September 27th in Monroe, Michigan. It is put on by the Monroe Kennel Club. I won't have more info until later this month. But my friend, Sandi's husband, Tom is going to handler her for us. We are hoping to make connections with people to get Jourdyn involved in showing her later.

So wish her luck!!! I have to get her out everyday for walks on a leash! She's not really into the whole leash thing! She'll walk but only after you drag her for a few feet. We are very excited!!!

In 1987, J. Gordon Kingsley, president of William Jewell College wrote that the real work of the president is to learn the story of the college in order to tell its story--to help others find their place in that story, so that they can become participants in writing the college's next chapter.

If we change the role from president to pastor and college to church, I have discovered the quintessential job description of a pastor.

"The real work of the pastor is to learn the story of the church in order
to tell its story--to help others find their place in that story, so that they
can become participants in writing the church's next chapter."

Gil Rendle hits the name on the head when he says, "Leadership happens when the leader tells a story sufficiently healthy, authentic, and purposeful for others to feel connection, respond with resonance, and find greater meaning. Connection happens when people are able to say to themselves, 'I see myself in that story.'"

These are just a couple of the thoughts that I have taken to heart so far this week in my studies. Soak them in and think about it. It makes perfect sense to me.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sales and New Beginnings

It has been a long couple of days. Wednesday and Thursday I spent the day with some girlfriends setting up for our Women's Ministries Rummage Sale and the new Minsitry Center. We had lots of work to do. And it was particularly hard because we were supposed to have already been in the building and we weren't. This Sunday was our first day. So several people were none to happy with us and we were a complete inconvenience to many of the workers. But God was faithful and He blessed our sale!

Yesterday was the first Sunday in our new Ministry Center. It was an awesome day! Our pastor is on sabbatical, so Tim Jordan was our guest speaker for the day. We had a huge praise team, more like a praise choir. And our parking lot was full! I think our seats were too!!! Praise God!! We had several women from the Rummage Sale stop by for service! How exciting is that!!! God used our sale to bring people!!!

Here are a couple of pictures of yesterday.
The view when you come in the doors:
The Hope Cafe: Looking from the Hope Cafe towards the Auditorium/Sanctuary: The stage of the Auditorium/sanctuary: I do not believe the cross stays. It's our teens. I think it is temporary until we get one. From the foyer looking back towards the entrance.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stuck Somewhere Between Jesus and John Maxwell

Well, my Pastoral Leadership class is off to a great start! Like the title suggests we are discussing what it means to be a Pastor/Leader/Presider of a congregation. Pastoral Leadership should be leading from the bottom up. It should be that our Pastors are not micromanagers but instead leaders that lead people through empowerment and encouragement to do the things that God has called them to do. The power should not rest at the top of the pyramid. Pastors are not the only ones called to share the gospel, we ALL are! Pastors are called to equip the congregation to fulfill that call. And that means that Pastors most of the time have to take the back seat and allow Jesus to drive the car by prompting the congregation to serve in the ways that He has gifted them.

One of the pastors in my cohort by the name of Rich Hadley wrote this yesterday.

"Too often we hear the voice of Christ calling us to be the presiding disciple in a group of disciples in a working conversation faciliated by the Holy Spirit. Only to go home and see how badly our kids need their teeth straightened and to open the P&B/Fidelity envelope to read the news that when you retire you will still need a full-time job to pay for medicine and lot rent for the trailer you will be living in. So, we race back to the sweet siren call of Stan Toler and the North American business management seminars for Christianity-- hoping to grow a church that will pay a livable wage with pension supplement...only to realize that to invest in the hungry souls who want more of Jesus, you can't adminstrate behind a desk...Jesus beckons us to the hillside where we listen for hours and digest for days and make His words the protein that builds the muscle of servitude and holy attitude.

Back and forth we strain, torn between Jesus and John Maxwell...desirous to believe we are "successful" in our chosen career field; desperate to make a means of living by it... And all the while knowing deep in our souls that to do so, we must abandon everything powerful and beautiful that Christ taught us about the spirit-filled life as a citizen in the Kingdom of heaven.

It is so refreshing to be in a classroom discussion on leadership where the emphasis is on developing disciples rather than building buildings! "

Have you ever just wondered what it would be like to be part of the body of Christ that doesn't whine and complain about everything, that doesn't argue and bicker about every decision to be made, that doesn't hinder it's leaders but supports and encourages them...to part of the body of Christ that sees a need and just fills it without question and delay, that is just out their being Christ....

I long for this and pray for this daily...I just wish that those of us who did would stand up and say enough's enough...these things are happening all over the body of Christ not just one church. The only way that the Church today is going to change the world is through Jesus not our leaders. Our pastors/presiders/leaders have to take a break from their ego and let the people step up and do what they feel lead to do. We all have different callings. Pastors have to find that calling in each person of our congregations and nurture it. The hardest part is letting go of ourselves and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to flow from upward through the Church, instead of downward through us!

What is so great about this is what I am learning so far is a conformation of what God has laid on my heart since I began obeying His call. I can't do it all. I am not Wonder Woman or Super Girl. I am simply a sinner (and a pretty bad one) saved by grace who is called to help others realize who they are through and in Christ. My job as a pastor/leader is to encourage, equip and train up disciples for their call, which is probably greater than mine!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monsoon Lagoon

Labor day we went to Monsoon Lagoon in Port Clinton. We took Jourdyn's friend Katie along for the ride. The day wasn't too long. The little ones needed naps and of course, wouldn't take them there. It was also just HOT!

After Roaring Springs in Idaho, Monsoon Lagoon seems much like a baby pool. It's the same with amusement parks and fairs, after you've been to Cedar Point everything else is like the Jr. Gemini. But the kids had fun. And it did get us out of the house!

I also have a problem with their food! Like any other place, they have the market cornered so they charge $22 for a large pizza that tastes like cardboard. Why? because you have no other choice but to buy it from them. You could leave the park and come back. But they know darn well that you aren't gonna do that because that's a huge process in and of itself.

Also, do me a huge favor! Pray with me about something. I can't tell you what, not on here, but I ask that you just pray that God would give Rob and I guidance, or rather clearer guidance so we can know for certain what we are supposed to do about this particular issue. It's big thing and a big decision that would change a lot for our family. We've asked for signs and for understanding. But mostly we just need to know what God's will is so we can follow it. So please just pray that God reveal Himself in this issue in a very clear way.

Monday, September 1, 2008


My new class is starting off with a bang! 100 pages to read by tomorrow! The first article I am reading is about the decline in church leadership. It's good so far and I can say that this research has definitely hit the nail on the head. It was published in Sept. 2001.

From "The Leadership Situation Facing American Congregations: An Alban Institute Special Report" by James P. Wind and Gil Rendle

"A further clue to the state of leadership in congregations is to be found in
the presence and place of ordained women in congregations and systems that claim
to welcome them...Beginning with a couple of troubling denominational statistics
('nearly one-third of United Methodist clergywomen in full connection were not
serving local churches five years ago' and 'women are leaving local church
ministry at a ten percent higher rate than male clergy') the researchers set out
to discover why their colleagues were exiting parish ministry...The study
concluded with this single sentence: 'They leave the local church primarily due
to lack of support from teh hierarchical system, a difficulty to maintain their
integrity in the current system, family responsibilities, and rejection from
their congregations.' Through this project the 1388 women who completed the
survey and the 123 who agreed to be interviewed, sent out a strong message about
a system that they did not trust and that caused them pain. Most painful in the
report are the firsthand accounts of mistreatment--by congregations that cut
salaries, clergy colleagues who called the clergywomen 'little helpers,' bishops
who misrepresented congregations to the women clergy and the clergy to the
congregations they were called to serve...painful accounts of women who were
told by parishioners that going on the youth ski trip counted as personal
vacation time or whose personal lives were mercilessly scrutinized by church

The article is about the decline in clergy numbers and about the retention of the clergy that churches have. Sadly, I am not even paid clergy yet and I have experienced at some level a lot of what is written above. Reading this in many ways made me feel better about my experiences. I am not alone! This is happening to women everywhere. And to be fair also to men. Something in our system is not right. It's hard to pinpoint the exacts but I can say that Satan is attacking the Church head on. He knows his days are numbered and he wants to take as many with him as possible.

Even with all of the disappointment I count it all joy to serve God and remember daily that this is not about me but about Him!

Happy Labor Day

We are taking Jourdyn and her friend, Katie to Monsoon Lagoon today. Last weekend, Nadine won the coloring contest at the Brush Picnic. Her prize was four tickets to Monsoon Lagoon. So we are heading out this afternoon. It's supposed to be really hot today!

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