For the longest time, I was afraid of what people would think of me if I told them the things going on in my life that are not picture perfect. Like, my 3-year-old saying dang it to everything or my 6-year-old being hard headed and not listening, even after the third time he’s been told to do something. But even more than that, I leave out the part about me and how I react to the not-so-great behaviors my kids have developed from, lets face it, me.
I’m not proud of my behavior and the way I act toward situations. Truth be told, I’m ashamed to say it out loud in fear of other’s judgment. I think as women, we feel that we have to be the “Proverbs 31 woman”. You know, the kind that has to dye the fabric and sew the dress for the every day ball. We are all guilty of putting on a front with people when our life is a mess behind close doors. But God uses our imperfections, too.
Recently, I was meeting with some ladies and they shared a little about their lives behind closed doors. By them doing so, it allowed me to open up about my life and how I act towards my family. Why is it that we are so sweet to others but we are short tempered with our own family? God has been convicting me about this for a while now and I have been pretending I just didn’t hear him. But that day, I felt a big slap-in-the-face wake-up call.
God is showing me more and more how my attitude is affecting my kids. I still fail on a daily bases but I wake up every day with the goal of defeating this hurdle I have built up. God always gives me the patience and grace I need to face the little challenges I encounter with my kids. I just have to take it up and use it.
I love that our God is so loving and caring to teach us, each day, how we can be better than the day before. What a wonderful gift that is!
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV) 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Check out the following article from KLOVE.
The Rhythm of Rush by Lysa Terkeurst
Not too long ago, I stood at the sink trying to ease the stabbing feeling of stress. I had so much pulling at me. I found myself rushing my husband in conversation. Rushing my kids out the door. Rushing to the next thing and then the next. Rushing to make dinner and then rushing my people through dinner. Exhaustion gnawed deep places in my heart, demanding me to slow down. But how? I’ve made my decisions and now my decisions have made me. Me—this shell of a woman caught in the rush of endless demands.
Ever felt like you’ve set your life to the rhythm of rush? Sometimes it takes stepping out of the rush to see things. Not too long after the day I stood at the sink drowning in life, I went to the Holy Land. It was a trip I’d longed to take for years. But as the day to leave marched closer and closer, I wished I’d scheduled it later—another time, a time when life didn’t feel so busy. But the trip was booked, so I went. And I’m forever glad I did. In the Holy Land, busy took a break from chasing me.
This trip forced me to “unrush,” and I discovered I like who I am so much better when I’m not set to the wrong rhythm. I also learned so much about Jesus. His life. His decisions. His lessons. And do you know what the most impactful lesson was for me, personally? Jesus never rushed. He set His life to the rhythm of connection and compassion. With great intentionality Jesus stayed unrushed. This is what I want.
JESUS NEVER RUSHED As I stood at my sink that day, this is what I was longing for but didn’t know it. Like Jesus, I must unrush my pace for connection and compassion to take place. As I walked many of the same places Jesus walked, I was struck so profoundly by this. He knew pressure. He knew stress. People pulled at Him everywhere He went. Crowds demanded sermons. Individuals begged for healing. The disciples wanted leadership. Friends wanted time with Him. The religious rulers wanted answers. There was an entire world to save with such limited time.
Yet, He didn’t rush. He talked with the woman at the well. He reached out His hand, making contact, and healed the leper. He felt the touch of the woman with the issue of blood and stopped for her. Do you see it? Connection and compassion were central to every interaction. And then for those with whom Jesus was the closest? That’s when He was the most unrushed.
While I was in the Holy Land, I visited the site that’s recorded in Matthew 16:13–20. In the shadow of a pagan temple hustling with unspeakable acts and human sacrifices, Jesus pointed and said, “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” He connected truth with Peter’s calling. He compassionately assured Peter that the church would prevail.
I’m sure Peter recalled this conversation many, many times. It must have given him the courage to become one of the most pivotal church leaders in history. And he had this conversation to remember, because Jesus wasn’t too busy to have it. The Lord walked three days out of His way to make one point with Peter. It would seem Jesus was unrushed so He could be incredibly intentional and laser focused on connection and compassion.
If I were reading this right now, I would probably think, That’s great you went to the Holy Land and it helped unrush you, but I can’t do that right now. I understand. So, let this truth from Jesus’ life come to you. It’s not the location that changed me. It was the revelation. Jesus didn’t rush, so neither should I. Tomorrow we’ll talk about an unrushed perspective. But for now, let’s end by praying this very simple three-word prayer: “Lord, unrush me.”
I wanted to let you know something today…our church is growing. And when you have a church that is growing, you must make decisions based not only on the now but what you expect the future will hold. So, with much prayer and discussion the leadership moves forward to what we believe is most important.
Recently we have hired new staff and discussed when to start our new building, along with mission giving. The following article is from a great resource, Tony Morgan. I love reading his stuff. I hope you do as well.
10 Competing Choices for Growing Churches
Sometimes we don’t like the choices we face, but growing a church requires us to choose.
From an early age my son, Jacob, has been a big fan of the game “Would you rather?” He’ll come up with bizarre scenarios and then force you to choose one of them. For example, Jacob might ask, “Would you rather have no elbows or no kneecaps?” (I’d choose no kneecaps.) Or he might ask, “Would you rather be 3′ 10″ or 8′ 10″ tall?” (I’d choose 8′ 10″ tall. That might offset my lack of speed or jump-shot on the basketball court.)
Jacob’s little game got me thinking about “would you rathers” that churches might face. Here’s what I would select if forced to make a choice between the two options:
- I’d rather plug someone into a serving team than into a small group.People in serving teams tend to be more outsider- or others-focused. Groups tend to get insular over time. In fact, our research shows people who volunteer are more likely to eventually get into a group than people who are in a group are likely to eventually volunteer.
- I’d rather clarify the goals and expectations for a position than use performance evaluations.For the most part, performance evaluations don’t work. Rather than trying to judge someone’s past performance, I’d rather clarify the win moving forward. Once the expectations are clear, then it’s easier to implement coaching and accountability around that. Our recent research shows this is the way other healthy staff teams do this as well.
- I’d rather hire a leader who can build teams than a faithful servant who tries to get things done on their own.This is about people we hire—the folks we actually pay. We certainly need many, many faithful servants in our ministries in volunteer capacities. The people we pay, though, need to get ministry done through others.
- I’d rather have four services in a sanctuary that’s too small than have one service in a sanctuary that accommodates the entire congregation. The more services you have, the more options you give people to attend. Attendance will almost always go up with more options. You also give more people the opportunity to volunteer. More volunteer engagement also builds healthier churches.
- I’d rather hire a children’s pastor than a student pastor.I’ve seen several churches reach hundreds of students by simply engaging them in worship services, serving and participating in a home group. It’s difficult to engage kids, though, unless you create an age-specific environment for them. That usually takes leadership.
- I’d rather have a manageable amount of debt that is used to fund future vision than have no debt and unfunded vision.Just as it’s possible to be financially healthy on the homefront and carry a mortgage, it’s possible for a church to be financially healthy and carry debt. In fact, I’ve probably seen more financially healthy churches with debt than I’ve seen financially healthy churches without debt. Financial health has more to do with cash flow and cash reserves.
- I’d rather have a welcoming church than a friendly church. The welcoming church is always thinking guests first. They expect new people to show up every week. They are intentional about how they greet and welcome those guests. They are intentional about how they communicate, worship and teach with guests in their services. Friendly churches, on the other hand, can be some of the most unwelcoming places in the world, because the focus is on people who already are part of the church.
- I’d rather hear a message that’s too short and leaves me wanting more than a message that’s too long and loses my attention.Ted Talks are only 18 minutes long, and yet they are some of the most compelling messages I’ve ever heard. A great message grabs attention, presents biblical truth and then motivates people to take a next step. The longer a message gets, the harder it becomes to accomplish all three.
- I’d rather people join a home group than a Sunday School class.It’s much harder to reach people outside the church when optimal service times on Sunday morning compete with Sunday School. It’s much harder to get people to volunteer when serving opportunities compete with Sunday School. Churches with home groups, by nature, tend to be more outward-focused than churches with Sunday School classes. With limited resources, Sunday School ends up competing with other weekend environments for space, leadership and volunteer engagement.
- I’d rather a church have high-impact Sunday services and no outreach ministries than have Sunday services that are insider-focused and multiple outreach ministries. From my experience working with hundreds of churches, “outreach ministries” at best typically end up being gatherings for people who already attend the church or attend other churches (Think Trunk or Treat, Vacation Bible School, sports leagues, Easter egg hunts, Christmas programs, etc.). In most communities across America, the Sunday service, if done effectively, is still the best opportunity for outreach.
Of course, you may not be in a position where you have to face either/or choices. That said, this list is certainly a reflection of where I’d encourage churches to invest their focus and limited resources.