How to Be a Good Minister of Christ….

Do you ever wish that you could minister to others the way your pastor does? Or your neighbor? Or your best friend?

2 Corinthians 3:6 tells us that we are ALL able ministers. Here is a quick little guide to help you become the light that leads others.

First, and most important, Jesus tells us is LOVE. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34

You can’t pick and choose who you love, who you give grace to….you must love the neighbor who brought you the casserole when you got into a car accident as much as the drunk driver who hit you.

1 Timothy gives us even more direction as ministers of Christ. Let’s break down Chapter 4, verses 1-6:

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

It is sad to me to have personally seen two men of God who were instrumental in my early walk with Christ to turn their backs and God and profess Buddhism or atheism now. I don’t know what happened in their lives, but I can only pray that they see the error of their ways and come back to Christ.

What infuriates me, though, is seeing “evangelists” preach the gospel and then tell viewers they can have the same blessings if they are obedient to God and send money right away. I’m not talking about 9.99 for a book or video. I get publishing costs. I’m talking about the ones who tell you not to worry about going in debt by sending $100 or $1000 because God will wipe your credit card debt away because you were faithful. SCAM ALERT! Salvation is free. God’s blessings are free!

Minister to those freely. Give freely. Don’t be swayed by those who don’t speak the truth and don’t speak anything but truth when you talk.

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

“Do as I say and not as I do.” Yeah, right. What kid ever obeyed that? It is the same with us as ministers. We can’t act one way in church and another outside of church and expect anyone to see Christ in us.

I did business with a man for five years. He asked how the church was, asked us to put people on our prayer list, talked about God every time we placed an order. When the quarantine came and we were unable to order anything from him, his language changed considerably. The sarcasm and profanity-laden conversation completely changed my view of him. I’d always felt like I was talking to a fellow Christian. One conversation and his torch was snuffed. Now, the truth is, I don’t know if this guy was just really struggling as so many of us did during the shutdown or if the quarantine conditions caused his true colors to come out. But it didn’t matter. We found a new distributor because of it. The same will happen with you. You cannot minister to others and pop off with a bad attitude one day and expect people not to notice.

Do you have to be perfect? No. But you do have to remember there are consequences when you do not guard your words and actions around others.

3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Let’s be frank here. We are bigger than ever. The additives, the preservatives, the supersized meals…there are more fat people in America than ever. I struggle with my weight too and it’s frustrating. It’s obvious that a plant-based diet is good for the body. There’s no doubt that an Old Testament diet is good for you as well. But this is NOT a point of salvation. God gave us meat to eat. It’s not wrong to eat it; it’s not wrong to abstain from it. It’s only wrong when you make it biblical issue. Basically, you can dine with The Beverly Hillbillies’ Granny as long as you receive your roadkill with thanksgiving in your heart.

(To address the forbidding to marry part: Timothy is referring to priests who said it is better to remain alone and devoted to God than to marry. His response is that it is not biblical to forbid marriage in the priesthood.)

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

There you have it! In a nutshell, to be a good minister of Jesus Christ, you should speak the truth, let your light shine before men (even when darkness is rumbling in your mind), and don’t get caught up in religious rules that don’t affect salvation.

September Media Picks

This month we go back in time…to visit some childhood favorites. After all, September is my birthday month!

One of my favorite songs growing up was “His Name is Wonderful.” Alas, I tried to play it last Sunday night on the church piano but because my mother let me quit piano lessons after two years, it sounded more like the final round of Name That Tune. (Thanks, Mom. I think I’m the only pastor’s wife in the South who can’t play the piano!)

My grandmother loved listening to her gospel 8-tracks in her car and I remember many men’s quartets wafting through the speakers in that Oldsmobile. The Imperials were one of those groups. (If you don’t know what an 8-track is, google it or ask your parents!)

My book pick is a NEW book based on an OLD favorite! I loved the stories of Brother and Sister Bear by Stan and Jan Berenstain growing up. The Berenstain Bears have entertained and guided children for generations and now Mike Berenstain has created a devotional based on the beloved characters his parents created.

Find it on Amazon or in your local bookstore.

For my featured movie, I chose a movie from my kids’ school days. Dale and I were both teaching at Grace Christian School and because it was a K-12 school, we had all four of the kids with us. That was a special year and one I will always remember fondly. We had a schoolwide movie showing that year of “Facing the Giants”, a movie that had football (for the boys), relationships (for the girls), and an inspirational message (for everyone)! It was a great movie and if you missed it, watch it now!!

I hope you enjoy September’s picks!!

An update in bullet points

Since every single blog post I’ve started in the last month is still sitting in the Drafts folder unfinished, I thought I’d check in with bullet points and give an update on all that’s going on…

Well, scratch that…I THOUGHT I would. I’ve been reverting to the classic editor of this blog host bc the new one is too confusing but even that’s not an option anymore.

99 choices and bulleting ain’t one…

So I guess I’ll do numbers. Will you let me do numbers, Word Press?

  1. We are having a mixture of live and online services. So far this week Dale has done 8 sermons.
  2. Two of those services came with big meals (think: cooking for about 60 people) so I’ve been in the kitchen a great deal.
  3. Our benefits continue- Kristi’s cake online auction was a great success and we’re back to do bbq and fish fry fundraisers locally. The needs are so great.
  4. The brick business we manage is booming at the moment. Which is great and not even a coincidence that the extra work (and tithe from it) came as the church’s A/C unit went out.
  5. Our ladies Bible study started back up last month as well. We are doing a study from the Jesus Calling series. I didn’t realize how much I needed that female fellowship. I may be leading the study, but I feel lifted up in this group as well.
  6. I’ve been teaching ESL classes for about nine months to kids in China on Friday and Saturday nights. I love it. I miss teaching and this just happens to be the company I went to Seattle to teach foreign language camps for a few years ago. I’ve also been approved to teach with an American company called Outschool- your curriculum, your hours, Zoom-based…I just haven’t found the time yet! But it’s nice to have that option. I get more requests to tutor in person but I really want to focus on 7 below so I am currently having to limit my free tutoring hours.
  7. My writing is at an all-time high (in notebooks) and low (on computer). UGH….I need two weeks alone to finish up some projects. Of course that will never happen but a girl can dream!

Here are the books on the horizon and their status:

*Gumbo Goes Camping (publisher in process of printing; out late 2020, cover art not available)

*Pruning With Proverbs (I’ve decided to self-publish. I was not crazy about the price the publisher wanted to set and decided not to sign the contract. I promised the Lord years ago if he used me to share his Word in ANY way, I would not charge people. I want to cover costs only.)

*God, Am I Doing this MOM Thing Wrong? (Inspirational essays on motherhood, January 2021)

*God, Am I Doing this MINISTRY Thing Wrong? (Inspirational essays for those in ministry, February 2021)

*God, Am I Doing this Life Thing Wrong? (Inspirational essays for women, December 2020)

Now that I’m looking at these, I think I’d rather they say “Am I doing…right?” instead of…wrong?

*Devotional for Anxiety (title tba later, February 2021)

*Using Sidewalk Chalk Along the Pathways of Life (humorous inspirational essays with scriptural tie-ins, October 2020, cover art coming soon)

*How-to Help For Homeschool/Virtual Moms (title tba later, asap)

*America Stepped Up (current essays on how communities rallied around people in need, tba)

*Zee, the Amazing Circus Performer (juvenile or picture book biography of a fascinating woman I know who worked for “Old Man Ringling” as she called him, searching for publisher)

*Miss Selena the Giant Librarian (holding out for a publisher)

*The Day Cody Got 11 Time-Outs (an attempt at self-publishing a children’s book, tbd, temporary cover)

September Media Picks Coming Soon….

along with another dozen or so half-finished posts 🙂