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Showing posts from February, 2013

I've Seen It All

I’ve been in student ministry year-round, non-stop since June 2004.  Before that, I did three summers of student ministry.  Back then it was known as “youth ministry.”  In many careers nine years would not be substantial.  But in student ministry, I’m getting close to “dinosaur” status.  (Then, of course, I’ll be my paleontologist-wannabe-son’s hero.)
For many pastors, student ministry is a necessary first step, a building block to a career in “real” ministry.  The dramatic, confusing, scary, intimidating, unknown, rebellious, exhausting, LOUD, LOUD, LOUD world of teenagers is a world that must be endured, suffered through, until a church deems you mature enough to teach, preach, plan, and pray for people over the age of 18.  So, lots of young pastors do student ministry for 3-4 years and move on.  This means most students have more than one student pastor during their 6-7 years in “student ministry.”  It also means students often feel like the stepping stones they are.
So, while I’m on…

Two Powerful Words

The idea that the words “thank you” are powerful is not new…at all.  But, recently that power has stopped time for me, stopped my frantic feet and thoughts, enabling me to see and to hear the beauty and love around me.
One day last week, I worked my eight hours and went home, like lots of other people.  I initiated the evening workout routine:  feed the kids a quick and easy dinner, get dressed for the gym while they’re eating, gather the coats, diaper bag, and iPOD, workout, come home and do bedtime.  
(I recently overheard some non-mom girls in their 20’s--one a full-time student and one a part-time employee--sarcastically talking, making fun of people like me, “Oh my gosh!  You worked today AND fed your family dinner AND made it to the gym?!  Wow.  You deserve a prize.”  I restrained myself from addressing these unmarried, non-mom girls, deciding to let them enjoy their ignorant self-righteousness for the next ten years.)
I plopped the plate in front of my four-year-old and moved towa…

Faith and Faithfulness

I recently read this in a book by an acclaimed pastor, “We determined that faith is what grows in a growing relationship.  Specifically, a person’s confidence in God.  Confidence that God is who he says he is and that he will do what he has promised to do.  Faith, or trust, is at the center of every healthy relationship…A break in trust signals a break in the relationship.”
I agree that faith, or trust, is at the center of every healthy relationship.  And, this is probably splitting hairs with semantics, but I’m advocating that faithfulness is equally important.
The two words clearly go together—faith and faithfulness.  In relationships with other people and with God, there should be both faith and faithfulness.  But, that’s not always reality.  And, I have to say, I want faithfulness as much as I want faith.
I became married to the idea of faithfulness in a seminary class, Basic Pastoral Care.  Dr. Bagby proposed that a presupposition to pastoral care is faithfulness.  The idea is that …

Valentine's Day

I’m a hopeless romantic.  Valentine’s Day is this week.  I like Valentine’s Day.  That puts my husband in a difficult position.
But, he planned January’s date, and he’s already planned March’s date.  So, he asked me to plan February’s date.  I said, “Yes; I’d love to plan our Valentine’s date.”
He replied, “I can’t do that; I can’t let my wife plan the Valentine’s date.  What kind of husband would I be?”
I won:) 
I planned the Valentine’s date, and I enjoyed planning the Valentine’s date.  Since I’m the one who likes Valentine’s so much, it makes sense for me to plan it.  A couple years ago a woman told me that women had too many holidays; that we should make Valentine’s for the men.  First, can women or men or anybody have too many holidays?  Can we ever have too many “excuses” to lavish love, appreciation, and kindness on the important people in our lives?  Second, I don’t think Valentine’s is a holiday for women.  I don’t think it needs to be for men either.  It’s for everyone.  Everyo…