Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why Preacher's Kids Are Sometimes the Worse Kids on the Block


Many times ministers tend to be stricter on their own children compared to the congregation’s children. As far as I was listening to this radio commentary on Moody and a minister called in and said how disappointed he was in his son. His son wanted him to perform the ceremony for him to marry a woman who had two children and she was a single mother never married.

The minister said to the other minister: “Don’t look at him as your son that you are disappointed in – look at them as any regular couple out there and this will be an in-road into your new daughter-in-law’s heart. How you treat them will determine if you are able to minister to them in the future. If you blow it by not marrying them, then you can blow an opportunity for an in-road into their hearts for a lifetime.”

The Bible says that “marriage is honorable in every way.” Hebrews 13:4

I find that many times it’s easier to mend other people’s fences. My sister’s husband was a mechanic and for some reason he fixed other people’s car, but rarely wanted to fix his own car. Same with a nurse I worked with whose husband was a psychologist and she said that she wished he followed his own relationship advice at home. My spouse was a “Mr. Fix it” but it was a lot easier for friends to get him to do things for them, compared to getting him to do things around our house. Pastors are notorious for fixing everyone’s problems, but at times they seem to “neglect” to keep their own fences mended.

I sort of got a “kick” out of this song that goes – "The only one that could ever teach me – was the son of a preacher man, the only one that could ever reach me, was the son of a preacher man."

Not all preacher's kids necessary rebel, I've seen some like Lester Sumrall's and Paul Crouch’s son that follow in their father’s footsteps, but I can offer some reasons why we hear stories like Greg Laurie who is a popular evangelist said that both of his son’s rebelled.

Sin is very enticing and when someone is raised with totally a straight and narrow focus where there is no life outside of church – where day in and day out we are spending every waking hour at church then life can become a drudgery after awhile.

That person has no outside interests – they have no hobbies they have no other outlet, but all their focus is on going to church. I have to take “breaks” at times and get way from ministering to people. I really admire pastors because although some go on sabbatical, I can’t imagine the pressure on their lives. The Bible says they deserve “double” honor.

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17

But, some dads don’t take the time to even go to their children’s sporting events or find interests that their child wants to do. It’s cramming a life style down their throats of what they want them to do rather than letting them find their own way.

How many of us were raised with fathers that forced their own political views and opinions on us? Both my former spouse and I were. Rather than us finding our own path, we were put on this path that our father thought we should go on. My spouse followed in his father’s footsteps in being an engineer, and my brother pretty much followed in my dad’s footsteps, but my sister and I rebelled. Same with my sister-in-law she rebelled.

The father in the Bible actually “let” his son (the prodigal) go his own way and even handed him his inheritance a head of time.

Some kids their dads were so strict they were not allowed to go to prom. My youngest daughter chose to go to Covenant Christian High School and they had an “alternative” type prom.

I have to admit when I went to my one and only prom in life, it did not go very well. I was 16 years old a sophomore who went with a junior and I still had my “innocence” and the guy I went out with thought since he spent all that money. he was going to get a reward. I actually broke up with him that night, because I did not have those types of feelings or maturity.

There is a scripture we can stand on as parents:

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Friday, November 21, 2014

Defending the Rights of the Underdog

God tells us to defend the rights of the underdogs. The widows, the orphans and the poor. There are some attorneys that go into pro-bono work . When I was a little girl, I always liked that cartoon, "Underdog."

Our society of capitalism and free enterprise does not always lend itself to "looking out for the interests of others" like the Bible says and the New Testament church, but neither does giving free handouts. It tells us if a person does not work, he should not eat. Widows were taken care of by family or by the church, not by the government.

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat." 2 Thess. 3:10

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philips 2:4

There was no disparity in the NT because if people had an extra vacation property, they sold and they gave to the church. Jesus told the rich man to sell his goods and give to the poor. We know that Jesus gave regularly to the poor and this was the purpose of the money bag, although Judas was a kleptomaniac he was stealing from the money bag.

Jesus was not born of an affluent family: His mother became a widow.

He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD. Jeremiah 22:16

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3

The theme of the Bible is not about how much we give, but the size of our heart, Jesus praised a widow who gave two mites into the offering, he said "how they gave out of their abundance, but she gave all her living."

I heard someone say recently, "It's not the size of the church its the size of the church's heart." I spoke to a man who lost his wife on Christian Mingle and he said he goes to the "Caring Church" he said how many women reached out to him when he lost his wife at church. I thought that was sweet that he goes to a church like that. At times it's hard to get married couples to reach out without one of the partner's getting jealous.

Another widow and I have encountered pastors that are very serving and she has one who lives next door to her that comes over and mows her grass. She was telling me how there were moles digging holes in everyone's yards.. She said it was rather miraculous but the moles bypassed his yard that was in the middle of everyone's yards!

I've been to small churches and I've been to mega churches and I agree it's not how many people go, but it's the spirit of the church or the Bible study and if they have a loving and caring (accepting) heart.

As the scripture quotes it talks about "pure religion in the site of God" and to keep our self unspotted or corrupted from the world. I was born a mistake (unplanned). This was back during rhythm method before birth control. My parents had a girl and boy and then I came and sort of "rocked the boat" in not being planned being born late in life.

I can remember having this dream I was adopted and it was so real. My mother had to convince me I was not adopted. I think it was because I was not planned. I have a friend who met her daughter she gave up for adoption (her first baby) and the couple who adopted her thanked her for giving them her precious daughter.

There are so many people who can't have children and want to have children. Choosing life is giving another person the precious opportunity to be blessed. Many adopted children suffer at times from a complex of being unwanted.

My late husband adopted his son and he was very protective of his son after the loss of a child. It sort of reminds me of that Star Wars episode when Luke Skywalker is talking about R2-D2 and he says, "I've never seen such devotion in a droid." I've never met a man more devoted to his son than my late spouse. He told me once he would go sleep in a rescue shelter before his son would.

There seems to be a correlation of choosing to adopt a child and that is what God did for us as Gentiles, he chose us.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

I may have been a mistake, but according to God, I was chosen before the foundation of the world. It says he chose us "in love."

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love Ephesians 1:4

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Don't Be a Spiritual Cameleon

One of the big problems I had in my 20's is I realized what a "people pleaser" I had become. I was listening to James Dobson and he talked about especially women are raised to be more pleasant and have people pleasing traits. I can remember in high school having a fear of "what people think of me." The Bible tells us that the "fear of man brings a snare."

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. Proverbs 29:25

We see this with Aaron in the Bible where the Hebrews in the wilderness he claimed "forced him to make the golden calf."

No one really forces us to do anything, but at times we become a product of our environment. For me it was growing up with an older brother and boys in the neighborhood where I did not want to be a "tattle tale" so I "covered" what they did many times to the point of lying. I find that men want to lie all the time and at times
I've caught myself falling into that behavior.

The Lord spoke to me a few years ago and said an "oppression' was over my boat and that is the why we had to fix it so many times because my husband told a half-truth. I had to break that oppression over it. It was really a stupid thing and I don't know why he did that, but we are told that "Satan is the father of lies."

The only justified lying I can see n the Bible is to save a life. For instance as far as Corrie ten Boom hid the Jews during the time of Hitler. If Rahab had to lie about hiding the spies in Jericho or I have some qualms about Abraham lying to save his own skin about Sarah being his sister, but that is the only time I see lying can be justified. But in the case of both Abraham and his son Issac lying, the heathen king rebuked him for lying.

I have this tendency "not to rock the boat" at times, because I did not want my brother or the boys in my neighborhood to "get the belt" from their father. I tended to carry this behavior over especially in marriage in going along with people even if it was wrong. It's like making excuses for a person who is an alcoholic. I made excuses for a spouse's wrong behavior. I've seen other women do this all the time. "I'm sorry he got angry at the dinner party, he was in a bad mood." I did it for many years so it's easy to recognize the same behavior.

There is a "reckoning" day like accounting and it came a couple of years after I was widowed. I was warned by an older widow that if I went to single groups with divorced people that they tend to bash their ex-spouses. I told her I was not worried about that because I was previously divorced. I was going to several single socials where this was happening and even laughing when a woman was talking about drawing devil horns on her ex-spouse pictures. But when men started doing it in front of me, I started getting grieved.

It's because the "shoe was now on my foot." A man was making fun of his two ex-wives gaining 40 lbs in marriage and I told him, "Gee I'm glad my husband did not divorce me over gaining 40 lbs. in marriage."
My day of reckoning came when the Lord spoke to my spirit, "I want you to correct them about this behavior.' I was like Jonah, I argued with God for three days that I did not want to do it. I knew it would not be received well. God also spoke to my spirit and said, "You are a Pharisee, you dress up in your nice clothes on Sunday (nice robes) and you want the praises of man over the praises of God. "Hello sister Mary."

How can you believe since you accept glory (praise) from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? John 5:44

Finally, I emailed a group and the scripture the Lord gave me in Hebrews that we fail the grace of God when we allow bitterness in our life and that is also corrupts/contaminates others like Ebola. God does rebuke whom he loves.

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15

I finally gave the scripture and I was correct, some received it and some did not. A man who was making fun of his two ex-wives had two strokes right after this incident.

Forgiveness is a strong theme of the Bible and I really like the example of Joseph. He tested his brothers to see if they had repented to see if he could trust him, but it says that "he remembered the dream" He remembered the dream of them bowing before him. Instead of remembering the pit he was thrown into and their betrayal. It's good to remember how Jesus has forgiven us.

It does not mean that we can continue to trust them, but forgiveness is an act of our will, it's like love. "I choose to forgive like I choose to love a person no matter what." When Peter asked how many times we should forgive he said, "seventy times seven."

When Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. "When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. Matthew 10:21-25

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trample Down Giants Part I

David did not sit around and talk about Goliath, a giant, or his problems like his brothers, and all the army of Israel and Saul. The whole army of Saul and Saul himself would not face Goliath. They were all afraid focusing on the giant. David was the sole person who believed his God was bigger than Goliath. David was a loner.

When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. 1 Samuel 17:11

There is a time to “confess our faults” it says one to another and pray for one another that we may be healed, When I hear about what I’m not doing right all the time, I get focused on myself and then those giants they call out my name.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16

It’s hearing about the greater one is inside of us by the Holy Spirit. It’s getting the focus off of self (deny self and pick up our cross).

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4

Paul talked about a sentence of death and I determined the same thing. I determined that my spouse had high blood pressure and cholesterol which he passed away in two months and I was next to go. I had high blood pressure and cholesterol too. My blood pressure was 155/ I can’t remember the other number but it probably was some medicine I was on that had an ill affect on me. There are some problems I can control and other problems I can't.

In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 2 Cor. 1:9

Through God’s grace, I lost a lot of extra weight. We have this one body (or temple) on earth that God can use. No point in asking God “why” when we put a bunch of bad food in our body all day long. We pray over our food and eat our food in faith. There are some things I find very hard to eat “in faith.”

Some of us started the race well now we need “finishing grace.” It may be to eat better at our age, exercise, “do” certain things and most of all trust God.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

David had a “momentum” going, he killed a bear and a lion and to him Goliath was just like another animal.
Goliath felt insulted that they sent David (Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?).

David said, “By my God I can run through a troop and leap over a wall.” Psalm 18:29, 2 Samuel 22:30
Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philip 4:13
Jesus said, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

God's Prosperity

I’ve heard some ministers call certain teachings a “false prosperity” message.  I believe it’s best to say that God is provisional.  I go into that more in a later blog.  I like to tell people on their birthday, “Live long and prosper.” That is because I heard this message that Spock on Star Trek when they were making the Vulcan sign, he used a sign very close to a Rabbi blessing since he is Jewish.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2

The above verse seems to imply that as our soul is prospering then it filters down to our health and wealth.  Too many focus on things rather than prosperity being a result of worship.  That we are worshiping God with our giving.  Is Jesus worth my spare change or is God worth my whole life? 

A woman poured out the whole bottle of ointment  (a year’s wages) on Jesus feet.  A widow gave two mites which was all her living.   What we give represents our life work.  Jesus poured out his blood on the cross.

I had a dream about two years ago that an evil man was stabbing me with a sword and trying to steal money out of my right hand.  I knew that meant that I was going to lose my job and there was going to be an attack on my finances.  That I had to let go of the money (my job) I was holding on to it.

Many of God’s people have been under spiritual attack.  I heard a missionary talk about how they closed the church down for six months to focus on helping people in their country because the whole town was under attack – the whole town was under flood waters.  

I started meditating on the fact that the money was in my right hand and I started to think about God’s right hand. I remember singing a Psalm, You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

What is at God’s right hand?

You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great.  Psalm 18:35

Your right hand, O LORD, is glorious in power. Your right hand, O LORD, smashes the enemy. Exodus 15:6

The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! Psalm 118:16

Jesus sat down at the right hand of God.

But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, Hebrews 10:12
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19
Jesus has been made our wisdom….

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 1 Cor. 1:30

It says that if God gave his only son, how much more will he freely give us all things along with
Jesus!

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

I was teasing my roommate how it would be neat if money grew on trees and how my children would tell when they were small, “Mom just write a check.“  Of course, we have to have money in our bank account.

When I get money I don’t eat the seed.  I plant the seed so I have a harvest in my spiritual bank account to make withdrawals.  It’s sort of like when I got married there were these love deposits my husband made into the love account as far as I began to trust him and count on him.   He built a history of love deposits in dating that carried over in marriage in the love bank.

When I get to heaven, I don’t want Jesus looking at me and say, “Hey Mary I’ve got all these blank checks up here with my name on it so why did you not cash them in?"

Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.  John 14:13-14

I've been building up my heavenly bank account and I want to make withdrawals now.  The only difference is I want to see my money to believe it where we are to believe and we see it.

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."  Matthew 21:22   

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ministry to God's Leftovers

I’ve had this “glamorous” calling to those people who feel they are outcasts of society.    It started as a street ministry when I was 17 years old from reading David Wilkerson’s “Cross and the Switchblade” and being involved with other people who did the same for several years, next it was teen prison ministries and lately it has been single, widow’s and homeless ministries.  I see it transitioning into nursing home ministries in the future.  I’m having my 18th single social coming up this weekend.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 2 Peter 1:10

I’ve had these jobs starting in my 20’s with lawyers for about three years, next with physicians for ten years and then educators for twenty years that have a high income and I was married to a professional civil engineer. 

What is strange though, is I’ve always had a leading that I was called to minister at church to lower level income people.   My former spouse felt the same way, he liked working with Boy Scouts and boys of single parent families.

We tend to abandon those we consider less successful or weak in life.   It can be those with mental, emotional or even physically handicapped.

It’s really opposite to what God wants.  God tells us rather than abandoning the weak, we are supposed to give special grace to our lesser body parts.

On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 1 Cor. 12:23

We hear about Jesus blessing and feeding the five thousand men which was probably about 20,000 with women and children through the disciples with the five loaves and two fish, but we don’t know what Jesus did with the leftovers.  One single woman has been using her garden to feed the homeless.

HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? AND HAVING EARS, DO YOU NOT HEAR? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?" They said to Him, "Twelve." "When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?" And they said to Him, "Seven."… Mark 8:19

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gaining Ground

Is life like a blow out football game? Or is it more like we are gaining ground through rushing the football, not a large passing game.

At times, I get very aggravated at life and it seems very slow at times. Then I look back and I remember where I came from. It's like Joyce Meyer said, "I'm not where I should be, but thank God I'm not where I came from."

I can remember at 16 years old I swore/cussed like some sailors. Not everything that comes out of my mouth is 100% positive, but I can remember the "f" word was continual out of my mouth. Another one was controlling my temper at times. It tells us that a person who does not control his temper is like a city without walls. The list goes on and on and just in dealing with grief the last seven years, I've made some strides although progress has been slow.

There is an example in the Bible of a Canaanite woman who her daughter was demon possessed. She had to by-pass the disciples to get to Jesus and even Jesus said it was not God's timing to help her because he was only called to the Jews.

The Canaanite woman was persistent in getting her child set free. It's very sad that the very gift of a child (blessed is the fruit of the womb) became a curse in her life. She was living with the devil . I've spoken to many people who have had sort of a "black sheep" in the family.

Sometimes what we love can become a curse in our lives (he that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.) Sometimes a marriage or a loved one is like a curse. Because of her faith, she got her daughter well, even going outside of God's time table.

And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed."But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us." Matthew 15: 22-23

But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once. 24-28