Monday, April 30, 2012


As I opened my Bible this morning to read my five psalms that I start my devotions with, I was a little disappointed that Psalm 119 (with its 176 verses) was included in them. Now I'm ashamed to admit it, but it takes such a long time to read that whole Psalm - not really, but it seems like it in comparison to the others. 

So I took my Bible outside and was reading it, but was sidetracked by a phone call. Then other things distracted me from reading the Bible. As I was piddling around the house, I turned on the TV and heard a man talk about being prepared for God's work. (It is so weird, but every time we turn on our TV, it comes up to this religious channel.) 

Well, I listened as he mentioned that we would all probably say we are prepared for God's work, but if we aren't daily disciplining ourselves...then we really aren't. He gave the example of a boy who wanted to play basketball with them, but after five minutes of playing was sick on the sidelines because he REALLY wasn't prepared. He had not been daily disciplining himself by playing/practicing and he couldn't take it. 

Conviction set in and I realized that I can be TOO haphazard about God's Word. Then I went back to Psalm 119 and one of the first verses I read was verse 36a: "Give me an EAGERNESS for your laws." 

Oh, how I need that! 

I'm not writing this to make you feel guilty (as if we need MORE things to make us feel guilty), but I want to encourage you to daily prepare yourself. Walking with God in His Word daily can make us strong and we can be ready for whatever comes our way.  

Give me an EAGERNESS for your laws, God. Yes, I really need that!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Encouraging Your Husband

What do you do when the pastor is discouraged and you just happened to be married to him?

I interviewed some church planters' wives and asked them some questions about ministry. I asked this question and I'd like to share some of their thoughts with you.

Judy Puckett, veteran church planting wife, said that recognizing discouragement is important - it often displays itself as irritability and being short with you or the kids for no apparent reason. In reading the stories of Moses, Elijah, and Jonah, we see that even the strongest Christians experienced times of discouragement. She said that no one is immune from discouragement and offered some great ideas:

Be sensitive and listen (more than you speak). “You seem to be on edge (or worried). Is something bothering you today?” Often, just allowing him to verbalize his frustration will solve the problem.

Encourage him to do things he really enjoys doing, like a hobby, or watch a favorite TV program. Something that takes his mind off his problems may help him to de-stress.

Keep quiet about other issues, needs, chores, and problems until a better time.

Meet his physical needs. Be loving by giving him a back rub or some other physical touch. Make his favorite foods. A little comfort food goes a long way.

Enlist help if the discouragement persists.

Brenda Lewis, another veteran church planting wife agreed and shared that increasing her prayers for her husband seems to help. She even prays that God will help her know what to do and direct her to scriptures that might help. She agrees that being together (they drink a lot of coffee together) and just talking helps. She's found that when one is down, the other is up and can often encourage the other.

There are many ups and downs when planting a church. Inevitably, our church planting husbands will get down - sometimes after a big victory. A little extra TLC can be just what they need!