Can’t Get Far on Empty

Do you struggle in your daily time with God? You are not alone my friend. Satan knows your power and wisdom come from spending time with Jesus. He will purposely distract you and convince you that you don’t have time to study the Word, let alone pray.

Just like your car, when you are running on empty, you won’t get very far. I have to fill up my “tank” every morning. I like to get up and have a cup of coffee and breakfast. That gets my brain going. Now I’m ready to study my Bible and read my Bible plan on YouVersion. After that, I play soft worship music and pray. I have a prayer list that helps me stay focused. Some days I send voice prayers to whoever God puts on my heart. Sometimes I walk around my house talking to God and singing to Him. You’ll need to figure out what works best for you.

If you are already having a daily time with God, but are looking to enhance that time, I’d like to recommend a couple of books that have challenged and encouraged me:

The Jesus Hearted Woman by Jodi Detrick

Inside Out by Rich & Robyn Wilkerson

It’s easy to become legalistic when it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ. We convince ourselves that we are somehow not enough if we don’t meet a certain standard.

We can’t grow closer to Jesus without spending time with Him, but God sent His Son because He wanted a relationship with us – not for us to be slaves to a set of rules.

If you want to have wisdom and strength, spend time with Jesus daily. He will lead and guide you. I can’t think of a better way to start your day.

Feel free to watch the short video.

What do you do to keep your “tank” full?

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Amazon affiliate links have the potential to earn me a small commission. Thank you so much for your support.

Jesus Changes Everything

Have you ever felt unworthy? Sometimes our experiences make us feel we should be excluded from being used by God. However, often these are the very things God allows to prepare us to encourage and minister to others.

Julie Seals, an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, faced many tough situations. She overcame spina bifida, a 17-year addiction to crystal methamphetamine, alcoholism, the amputation of her left leg, and a life sentence in federal prison. What should have been a death sentence became a source of hope for others when Julie surrendered her life to Jesus.

Julie’s greatest desire is to share her relentless passion for seeing people set free from darkness and boldly live out the call of God upon their lives.

Julie and her husband are currently on staff at Calvary Assembly of God in Orange Park, FL as Outreach pastors. Her husband is a full-time prison chaplain and Julie ministers to female prisoners and often speaks at retreats, conferences, and church services.

In this video, Julie shares how God used her experience to encourage her husband.

For more information about Julie go to: julieseals.org

The Power of Simple Prayers

Do you ever find it difficult to teach others how to pray? Prayer is simply talking to God, but if it’s so easy, why is it so difficult at times?

Let’s talk about a few key factors for teaching others about prayer.

The devil is our biggest problem. He knows that we move the heart of God when we pray, so he’ll try to distract us. Satan will whisper negative thoughts in our minds to make us feel unworthy. He’ll even try to make us doubt God really hears and answers our prayers and try to convince us that we’re too busy. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you from praying. Make a choice to pray and just do it!

The best example Jesus gave us for praying is The Lord’s Prayer. We begin prayer with thanksgiving to God for who He is and all that He is doing. We pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and for Him to meet our needs. We pray for God to forgive us of our sins and then end our prayer with thankfulness to God.

The most important thing we can do is teach others how to grow closer to God. Don’t allow the enemy to intimidate you and make you feel that you can’t teach others. God wants to use you.

In this video, Florence shares about prayer. The first prayer she ever prayed was before she knew God and His answer came in an unexpected way.

Change Begins With Me

Kathy A. E. Jones – Guest Blogger

You’ve asked yourself a thousand times, “If the world was created by a loving God, how did it evolve into a society where we are consumed with so much racial tension?” You’ve prayed about it, tried to get answers from family members, trusted friends and even highly respected spiritual leaders. But the truth is, you cannot put the two together. Perhaps you are feeling a little disgusted with yourself and your inability to accept the fact that a loving God has allowed all this racial unrest to forcefully impact your life.

You can continue to allow your frustrations to propel you towards an unfulfilling destination where racial injustice rains down like water or you can do something about it. If you want real change, healthier relationships and leave a society that your children will find easier to live in, you should consider the following.

God is not “Color Blind.” He lovingly created each race with different skin tones. When it comes to how we treat each other, He is definitely not “Sin Blind” either. It is God’s will that we love like He loves.

The Bible says in Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you; do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets”…  In other words, the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

The journey of the Israelites under the rule of Pharaoh is another vivid example of God’s sincere concern for racial justice and how much he abhors the sin of it.

Today we’re not only having to deal with racial tension in the world, but now we must deal with it in the church.  It has been said that the most segregated hour in the world takes place on Sunday morning in the church. Tune in to “Silently Bleeding” to see how Jan and Kathy have navigated through this sensitive arena as Pastor’s wives.

                            Sincerely, 

                           Kathy A. E. Jones

Check out Kathy’s website:
kaedj.com

Book by Kathy Jones: Kathy’s Depression Concession Stand
https://amzn.to/2A4TtjQ

Recommended books on Racial Reconciliation:
Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison (Kindle version)
https://amzn.to/2zb4Fef

Oneness Embraced: Reconciliation, the Kingdom, and How We are Stronger Together by Tony Evans
https://amzn.to/3eUg0OS

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Amazon affiliate links have the potential to earn me a small commission which is what helps to keep the channel running and helps me have the opportunity to continue making videos such as this one. Thank you so much for your support.

“Those People”

Have you ever caught yourself referring to a different race or people group as “Those People?” I was born and raised in the deep south and I heard that phrase often. As a child, I didn’t think anything of it.

I grew up in a town where you rarely saw African Americans and whites spending time together. There was the white side of town and the black side of town. I thought black people were poor and dirty. I was a product of my home town.

During college, Tim and I went to see the movie Joni. After the movie, I made a few comments about it. One such comment was, “How could that white girl wash that black girl’s hair with her bare hands?” Tim looked at me and said, “Jan, you are prejudiced!” Of course I responded with, “No, I love everybody.” But I was blinded to myself.

Sometimes prejudice is obvious; out in the open for all to see. But sometimes it’s hidden deep behind the secret walls of our heart. Watch this video for more on the subject of racism and be challenged to carry each others burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Recommended books on Racial Reconciliation:
Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison (Kindle version)
https://amzn.to/2zb4Fef

Oneness Embraced: Reconciliation, the Kingdom, and How We are Stronger Together by Tony Evans
https://amzn.to/3eUg0OS

——-DISCLAIMER——-
Amazon affiliate links have the potential to earn me a small commission which is what helps to keep the channel running and helps me have the opportunity to continue making videos such as this one. Thank you so much for your support.

The Waiting Room

Have you ever been in a waiting room and it seemed like time was standing still? Sometimes it feels that way when we are waiting to hear from God. You wonder if he is ever going to answer you. Deep down, you know he is listening, but seriously…when will he answer?

One of my go to scriptures is Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.” I am so grateful that I can trust God to lead, guide, and direct me.

God doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to. But the good news is, he always answers according to what is best for us. Sometimes he says “yes” to our prayers. Sometimes he says “no.” Sometimes he says, “I will if you will…” And sometimes he says “wait.”

Several years ago, we were preparing to move to Springfield, Missouri for my husband to attend graduate school. A precious friend took me out to lunch and said she had a word from the Lord for me. Mary Ann told me that God had a great job for me in Springfield. I was to apply for jobs and then enjoy time with my family. She said it would probably be around three weeks before I would hear about a job. I knew Mary Ann well and I knew she wasn’t one to say I’ve got a word from the Lord if it wasn’t true.

I had a promise from God, but I had to wait. Mary Ann was right. Right around three weeks after we moved I was offered a good paying job. I wish everything was that easy, but it’s not. Sometimes we pray and we don’t get an answer for years.

Waiting isn’t fun. We live in a fast-paced world and we want everything right now. One thing I’ve learned: God’s timing is not my timing. That’s when we have to remember Proverbs 3:5,6. Don’t just remember it. Believe it! Act on it!

In this video, you can listen in as I chat for a few minutes about waiting on God. Watch and learn how waiting can actually be an action.

What is your “Waiting Room” story where God came through?

When Enough is Enough

Have you ever said, “I can’t do this any more?” If you have been in the ministry for very long, the chances are, you have. Maybe you haven’t vocalized the words, but you’ve thought them.

Pain is something we all face. The old saying, “Hurting people hurt people” is so true. Our church is a gathering place for the hurting and the broken. No wonder we’ve all been the brunt of a hurting person’s words or actions.

Many times people will take their hurt out on you. It’s not because you are a bad pastor’s wife, it’s simply because you are there. I used to say, “I think I wear a flashing sign on my forehead that says, ‘Tell me what you really think.'” If we are going to be pastors’ wives that don’t fall apart emotionally every time someone says or does something hurtful, then we’ve got to put on our big girl pants and refuse to own their pain.

So how do we do that? First, make sure you are staying close to Jesus through prayer and studying the Word, because that’s where we gain wisdom and strength. Second, find another pastor’s wife or close godly friend that you trust and share your thoughts and feelings with her. Make sure it’s someone who will be able to encourage you and help you see the bigger picture and preferably someone who isn’t in your church.

You are not a door mat for everyone to wipe their feet on. Don’t allow people to walk all over you. I’ve often said, “We teach people how to treat us.” I don’t know who originated this saying, but I’ve found it to be true. Did you notice a couple of paragraphs above I stated “How I use to say”? Well…I don’t expect people to tell me off any more. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen again, but I don’t walk around expecting it now.

Through prayer, sometimes even on the fly, God has shown me how to deal with rude or hurtful comments such as, “You walked right passed me and didn’t even speak to me.” I simply respond in a sweet voice, “Oh my goodness, when I walked passed you, you didn’t speak to me?” It’s amazing the response I’ve gotten when I say this. Usually it’s a little chuckle, and then I say, “Oh sweet friend, I would never purposely ignore you, but it goes both ways, doesn’t it?”

I love the last part of the old saying, “Hurting people hurt people, but healed people heal people.”

If you are still carrying past hurts and need healing, strongly consider seeking godly counsel. The best way we can be a healer is to be healed ourselves. Going to a Christian therapist can help you deal with the pain in your past so that you can be that amazing woman of God you are called to be.

In this video, Carol shares about a time in her life when she felt enough was enough. She tells about why she and her husband walked away from the ministry and how God brought healing and wholeness to their family.

Encouragement from God’s Word: Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

What advice would you give a pastor’s wife that’s been hurt by a church member?

In the first interview with Carol we talked about the book Toxic Soul. This book helped to bring healing to Carol and Jay. I have personally read the book and highly recommend it to all ministry couples.

Toxic Soul can be found here:

https://amzn.to/3dAef8N

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Prodigal Returns

Do you have a prodigal child or know of someone that does? It’s so painful when your child walks away from God. Never give up on him or her. They are never too far gone for God to reach.

No matter what your child is doing with their life, love them. Our kids need to know we love them right where they are. Find common interests to talk with them about. By all means, don’t preach to them. They grew up learning about God and they know what you believe. The last thing they want is to hear another sermon. Now, if God tells you specifically something to share, by all means do it.

Be careful not to quench any hint of openness to spiritual things. For example, if your son calls to inform you that he has a doctor’s appointment at 2:00 P.M. tomorrow afternoon, don’t ask him, “Are you telling me this because you want me to pray?” Instead you could respond with, “Okay son, thanks for letting me know.” You and I both know you are going to pray. Your son is very possibly asking for prayer without outright asking.

In my opinion, the best way to reach a prodigal is through loving them and praying for them. In faith, begin to praise God for your prodigal’s return. That is what I am doing.

Feel free to watch this video where my friend Carol shares about her prodigal daughter’s return. You will be encouraged by her story.

Do you have suggestions for parents with prodigal children?

Toxic Soul can be purchased here:

https://amzn.to/3dAef8N

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What We All Face

Do you ever feel like no one quite understands what it’s like to be a pastor’s wife? We have to be “on” whether we feel like it or not. You know what it’s like to plant a smile on your face even when you just feel like holding your head down and crying. Some of us feel the pressure of keeping our house spotless no matter what.

I remember my mom telling me, “We have to keep the house clean at all times because you never know when someone might stop by.” We lived in a parsonage right beside the church and Mom was right. There were many times people would stop by unannounced.

Here’s the good news: as a pastor’s wife you don’t have to be perfect. In fact what the world around us needs is for us to be real. We don’t need to be rude, however, there is nothing wrong with admitting when we’re having a bad day.

I’ll never forget getting out of the car at church only to be greeted with a rude comment from one of the church ladies. “You look like you just lost your best friend!” “I did, today,” I responded. Just that day my best friend told me we could no longer be friends and I was devastated. To my surprise, this same church lady brought us dinner the next day.

On a side note, after seven years of no contact, my best friend and I got back in touch. I am happy to tell you that she is now one of my most dearest friends and we have a much healthier relationship.

Just a few months ago I had the amazing privilege of going to Thailand. One of the main things I did there was spend one-on-one time with Thai pastors’ wives and female pastors. Hearing their stories was eye opening. The things we had in common were far greater than what we didn’t. One thing that rang clear to me: we are the same. No matter where you are in ministry, no matter the size of your church, we pastors’ wives struggle with many of the same issues. Being encouraged today my friend, you are not alone.

In this video, missionaries Chris Hosack and Tammy Brown briefly share about our time in Thailand as we reached out to the precious pastors’ wives and female pastors. I think you will be encouraged as you listen in.

What are some of the struggles you face as a pastor’s wife?

The Comparison Game

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? Me too! I am doing a lot better than I used to, but I still fall into that trap at times. As a matter of fact, even working on this blog I find myself feeling less than.

If only I could write as good as…

If only I was as talented as…

If only I was as smart as…

You know the routine. We all struggle at times. Can we ever truly be free from this crazy mind game? Hmmm, I really don’t know if that will happen this side of heaven. But what I do know, you can work on becoming the best you that you can possibly be.

God has called you for such a time as this. Instead of wishing you were more like “her,” start thanking God for the gifts He has given you. You are more than enough in Christ Jesus. Be free to be you!

Watch this video for more encouraging words on this subject.