We fasted. We believed in faith. On April 6, , we stood at the gates to Laguna Hills High School and waited nervously, hoping and praying that at least a few people would try our new church. They came! First one car, then three, then a dozen, then more. People of all ages — families, singles, old, young, and everything in between — began pouring out of the cars, quickly filling the parking lot. Rick and I enthusiastically greeted them all — hardly able to take in the truth that all our wild hopes were coming true. This is going to work! A church was born that day.
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In the nearly four decades since, we have had front-row seats to witness thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children experience the grace of God to change their lives. This is their spiritual home, and we are family. These amazing people live sacrificially and give sacrificially so that others can know Jesus Christ as they do. These amazing people have taken the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every country in the world. I have loved every second. Yes, the cost has been high. Not only has our family paid a price in ministry, we have been tested by breast cancer, melanoma, mental illness, chronic and debilitating illness, a brain tumor, suicide, catastrophic loss.
Trouble, disappointment, and sorrow have grown a resilient soul. How can you develop resilience? What does it look like to stay in ministry when the wheels come off the bus? Is it really possible to not only survive but thrive? How do we release the God-given gifts and abilities to bless and grow the church?
Is there such a thing as loving a life in ministry? April 16, , is coming — our 38 th Easter. Posts Website Twitter Facebook. Thank you very much for sharing your story Kay. I pray that the insights would encourage women in ministry all over the world. I look forward to this book.
Something else that I have found to be true is that the women in our churches will respect us more and feel vulnerable themselves when we let them see us vulnerable and weak and in need of prayer. I have felt supported and held up by the very women who I minister to. THAT is a gift I will never take for granted. Dear Kay — Thank you so much! Such was the case in this story. The Lord answered that they were to wait in Israel and trust Him to provide for them. Because they did not agree with him. Rarely do we honestly seek direction from God, unless we see no path at all then we might humble ourselves and honestly beg for help.
Do not be surprised if someone comes to you with a problem, and when you offer a solution they refuse the Lord gets that response often. Do not be surprised to see Christians completely ignore the Bible so they might do as they wish all of the prophets have dealt with that exact scenario. The choices that followed were sad. These people who determined to flee to Egypt were not content to leave the will of God alone, they forcibly brought the others, including Jeremiah.
Egypt is a picture of the world. We are not to run to the world for help but to God. The very thing they feared followed them. If they had listened and obeyed, they would have been safe in their own land.
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Sadly, the choices that Christians make will often take them far from the Bible and the truth; they seek the same path the world takes and the same security the world seeks — the end of that path is always bad. As Jeremiah, your nearness to God and logical answers will not always be heeded, and your heart will break as you see people travel the path to more suffering.
God has seen this scenario over and over since the time of Adam and Eve. May we at least seek to keep our own path surrendered to the Lord. If we hope to honor the cross and glorify God, we must reach the next generation. The need for safe zones on American college campuses to protect wimpy young adults is a result of lousy schools and no youth department. I have mentioned this before, but it was common for children in my youth to hear teachers say, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Sorry educators also removed any punishment for crime, and they did their best to remove winners and losers from games.
Diplomas for attendance were given; trophies for participation were awarded, and soon strength, courage, and determination were removed. A government-dependent culture was created in which young people were content to share homes with parents for years with no intention of moving out on their own because it was simply TOO HARD. Those same protected young people become thin-skinned, soft, shallow adults, and when they face injustice or harm, they cry like babies.
A part of life is facing the times when even the best of us accidentally say things we should not; learning to deal with the mean people is a whole other issue. A good Christian school and a good youth department will help much in the development of a young person. The bus ministry not only gives bus riders access to the youth department and Sunday school but also provides a place of service for teens. When teens in our church reach ninth grade they begin serving on bus routes. We train our youth to understand that life is not about being entertained by the church, but the church is to provide a place of service and opportunity to minister to others.
Any coach or drill instructor will assure you that hardship is a wonderful teacher. Jesus assured us that life will be filled with tribulation. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
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No safe zone there. Teens are put in front of a bus full of children to teach them, to preach, to lead songs, and to share the love of Christ with the needy of their community. Definitely not a safe zone. Our bus ministry does more for our teen workers than it does for the riders. When adults organize, drive, mechanic, and finance the bus ministry they give the teenagers a terrific opportunity to become mature Christians. Overly protective parents and ministry leaders are a giant hindrance to developing successful Christian young people.
Young people need to step out of their comfort zones, forget themselves, and serve others even when it is difficult. Too many churches are simply entertainment ministries in which young people are trained to think that life is all about themselves. When the band or sensuous music does not please them, they will drift off to another church or secular place that makes them feel good.
Church youth departments have failed in raising servants, and Jesus has said the greatest person is the servant of all. I am constantly amazed at the jobs our former teens find. The young people who went through our ministry are managers in the retail world, the defense industry, and in many other areas.
They are earning their own way through college without safe zones or government loans. Cry-baby young adults are nothing but evidence of the failure of schools, colleges, churches, and parenting skills. A wise parent will prayerfully seek daily activities in which young people will have to face "hard knocks" and learn to deal with each situation.
We, as parents will not be there forever protecting our children, they must immediately begin learning to face hardship, mean people, and struggles. No one needs to look far to see the dramatic differences in our personalities and skills. Most of us are going to have relationships with others. Most of us will marry. Most of those who marry will have children.
Our relationship to those people with whom we live is so vitally important to life. The way you work and interact with those within your life matters incredibly. Different words are needed for different times; it takes God to teach us how to talk. A fact established by God is that kind words will cause people to learn more than harsh words.
Some people walk into a room and observe only negative information, the-cup-is-half-empty sort of person. These kinds of people do not notice the picture in the frame, but rather the fact that the pictures are not balanced or straight in their arrangement. Honestly, how often do we truly do our BEST?