Don’t Question God’s Calling

textI have to admit, there are times while I’m subbing for music teachers, that an old ache fills my heart.  I love teaching music, and I would have enjoyed making that my career.  I believe I would have been successful.

I just finished a very hectic day for an awesome teacher.  She’s great and has wonderful plans, visuals, and equipment.  It’s so fun to put it all together–adding a steady tempo on the Orff instruments to the accompanying omnichord (for you “oldies” that’s the electronic version of an autoharp!) while the students sing. I LOVE IT!  You may ask, “Then why aren’t you teaching music?”  Because God called me elsewhere.

Back in 1983, just a year and a half after we were married, I interviewed for what I would have called the perfect job: high school choir and elementary music.  I got the job, but that same week I was asked to teach kindergarten in our Christian school.  I chose the kindergarten class, having a desire to get into Christian education.  I still remember the first morning we had devotions together as teachers.  I nearly cried.  It was such a joy to my heart to be able to teach biblical truths straight from the Bible while teaching the standard curriculum.  In fact, after leaving Christian education and subbing in the public schools, I nearly started class with prayer several times! Wouldn’t that have raised a ruckus!

When God calls, don’t look back!  Yes, it would have been more lucrative; yes, there were lots of perks, but that wasn’t what God made me to do.  I’m supposed to be a pastor’s wife, and I’m supposed to teach about God and care for His people, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!

However, in some ways, it would have been easier to teach music:

  1. Your day has a start and finish.
  2. You can see when you are being successful: The concert is a success; the student progresses, etc.
  3. The year has a beginning and an end
  4. You have the summers off!
  5. You are guaranteed to have a crowd!

Do you see that the opposite is often true of the ministry?

  1. There is no clock.  A pastor and his family never clock out.
  2. At times, sometimes for years on end, you see no progress.  Lives do not change, truths are not applied or embraced, etc.
  3. Yes, there is a new start to every year, but it seems like there’s no beginning or ending.
  4. Summers mean VBS, summer camps, and often extra activities.
  5. We work with a volunteer army!  They may be here, but then again, they may not be!

All this said, the greatest difference is eternity.  Sadly, I cannot say much in the public school concerning Jesus Christ or the Bible.  Yes, I can be a good example.  I can “shine” for Jesus, but one of the most difficult things for me is to see this great mass of students and know I am not allowed to “preach” to them.  And I understand the reasoning–it’s just hard for this pastor’s wife to be silent!

What’s the point of this rambling?  Bloom where you are planted.  Do the job which God has called you to do.  Be faithful.  We are all in the Lord’s army, and God has given each of us a mandate to carry out His work.

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water

only in the name of a disciple,

verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Matthew 10:42

And if you want to make your pastor, pastor’s wife, youth leader, Sunday school teacher, or any other church worker’s life easier–show up, volunteer, be an active part of your church–be faithful.   Your talents are invaluable, and what better way to use them than for our Lord and Savior? And besides all that, the benefits are out of this world!! A

Strong Children – No Greater Joy!

No Greater Joy Ministries's photo.

PARENTS – if you are looking for great articles for parenting, check out No Greater Joy.  You may be tempted to discount them at first glance, but there is MUCH truth in what they say.  Just apply one of my pastor’s favorite quotes: Eat the fish and spit out the bones, although, when it comes to biblical truths, there aren’t many bones in this one!

It is not a tough exterior that God desires or that people admire; it is a tough spirit, an overcoming spirit, a spirit of service, caring not for the sparse thanks, nor flinching at misunderstanding.

The world is a giant, confidence-eating cud chewer. It seeks our defeat. Whatever path we choose in life will be littered with signs that say, “Closed to you; you can’t do it; this is for people more talented or advantaged; you can’t make a difference.” And when you believe the signs and stop to ponder, you will hear voices that say, “You are not important; no one cares; it is not worth it; quit now.” The weak go no further. They settle down and accept the lot that is handed to them and spend the rest of their lives unhappy and unfulfilled. The tough don’t believe the signs and never slow down to listen to the voices. They are the doers, the precedent setters, the pioneers. Their accomplishments may never win Nobel prizes or be recognized with applause at a banquet; but they will know in their hearts that they have run the course and overcome the hardships to conquer, even in the little areas that may only matter to a quiet few. But they were not quitters, slackers, or buck passers. At the end of life, they will have tasted of the sweetness, heard the music, and worn the crown of victory, even if it is simply a paper crown given by a thankful grandchild or an appreciative spouse. The tough will earn the admiration and appreciation of the few or the many. But, in the end, they will be able to say, “I have lived, and it was good…very, very good.”
Read the rest of the article here: http://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/sissy-sensitive-son/

Dancing in the Sun

IMG_7616Once again, I’ve purchased a solar-powered dancing flower.  I really love these things, and they make great souvenirs.  Every time I see it dancing in the sunlight, I picture it in the window on vacation! (I couldn’t resist capturing my roses in the photo as well.  They may not dance, but they sure are beautiful!!  The gift that keeps on giving!  Thanks, kids!)

The sun has been hit and miss for the past few weeks, and I’ve noticed something else about my flower.  When it’s cloudy, it will still dance like crazy, but if I move it, and the sunlight is waning, it has a hard time starting up again.  It’s as though it has enough power to keep moving if it’s in motion, but not enough to start going again!  I’m sure one of Newton’s Laws of Motion also has something to do with it.

But the lesson for me was this: I will only get so far in my own strength.

When I stray from the Lord, i.e.—start missing church services, lose the habit of personal Bible devotions—it won’t be long before I’m stymied.  I may be able to “put on a good front” by keeping in motion for a while, but when the trial hits my path, I’m done, and I can’t get up… alone!

Who do we think we’re kidding?  What strength do we have of our own when it comes to battling our enemies: the world, our flesh, and the devil? If we don’t stay in the Son, we’ll never be able to “dance in the Son.”  What a joy to see that little flower just going crazy!  It makes me laugh, and it reminds me of how I want to be!!!  It’s as though it’s saying, “Hey!  Look at me!  Isn’t this fun?  I’m all fired up because my tank is full.  I’ve been in the sun!”

Fanny Crosby put it this way:

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Refrain:
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

Jesus put it this way:

 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…  James 4:8