Love your pastor all year long

Why Should I Appreciate My Pastor?

Does your Church Have a Special Day for Pastor Appreciation in October?

I’m hoping that your church does remember the pastor(s) during Pastor Appreciation Month. If not, I hope that you remembered to reach out to him personally. If you haven’t, it’s not too late. The truth is, we really should love our pastor all year long. Pastors are usually far from home and family. They need you to be their family and friend.

The truth is, we really should love our pastor all year long.

Pastors are usually far from home and family. They need you to be their family and friend.

Four decades of pastoral ministry is a pretty good perspective from which to share some thoughts with you on how to love your pastor all year long. You might think, “Hey, we had pastor appreciation day. Isn’t that enough?”

Isn’t Pastor Appreciation Day Enough?

Now, anytime is a good time to express appreciation for our pastors. You and I know; however, that unless we put some things on the calendar, they just never seem to happen.

So, someone did just that by designating the month of October as the time for local churches to show their pastors that they are appreciated.

Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures today.

Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move.

They are expected to

  • have ideal families,
  • be perfect people,
  • always be available,
  • never be down and
  • of course, have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward.

Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet

most of us are disappointed when a pastor

  •  becomes overwhelmed,
  • seems depressed,
  • lets us down
  • even preaches a bad sermon or
  • subsequently, completely burns out.

That’s why God has instructed us to recognize His servants.

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”

(1 Timothy 5:17 NJKV)

It’s always a good thing when church boards plan a special day for pastors in October for the entire church.

Believe me, this means so much to pastors!

What really touches a pastor’s heart is when a family or individual cares enough to do something on their own to show their pastoral family they love them.

Here are a few meaningful ways you can Love Your Pastor All Year Long:

  1. Love his family. Remember their anniversaries and birthdays. Not only his birthday but his wife and children as well. This should include the anniversary of his arrival and other events such as his ordination.
  2. Make his family part of your family. Whenever you have something happening in your family, include the pastor’s family. Invite them to special family events. Invite them to your family reunions, graduations, etc. This is how you will build a friendship and cause them to feel loved and important.
  3. Get to know him and his family personally. Establish a real friendship. Invite them to join you for lunch or other activities. Your pastor is a person, too. He would love to just get out and play golf, or go to a ball game. Many pastoral wives and children are very lonely. They feel like they have no friends. When they are out among others, they feel separated because “They are the pastor’s wife/kid”. Try just being a friend. You might find you like them! 🙂
  4. Give words of encouragement. Send a card or make a call occasionally when you are inspired by his sermon or are impressed by something he does. It would surprise them if you just called to see how they are or just to chat.
  5. And discourage any negative talk about him. When you hear others cutting him down, stand up for him or at least stop the negative talk.
  6. Finally, and most importantly, pray for him and tell him you are praying for him. Your pastor has troubles and needs prayer just like you. Pray for him often. Pray that God will bless his studies, his preaching, but also pray for him emotionally, financially, physically, personally. He has the same issues in life that you have.

Your pastor needs to be loved throughout the year. Be sure to think of him all year long, not just in October. Put a monthly reminder on your calendar.

I would love to hear what kinds of things you do for YOUR pastor. Let us know in the comments.

Mandy Farmer

Check out this Facebook page that will send you prayer reminders.

Mentoring Resource…Adorned- Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together

I have been waiting years for a women’s mentoring resource like this.

This post was previously written in Mandy’s older blog GGMandy dot com. This is an excellent resource of which I still highly recommend.

ADORNED

Living out the Beauty of the Gospel Together

by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

{There are affiliate links on the page}

{I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review}

As a pastor’s wife, I have tried different times to encourage our ladies to live out the Titus 2 woman model. I used Bible Studies on the topic but I never seemed able to really get the point across. It wasn’t easy to explain nor or to share why we should live this kind of life. Partly, I had older women whom I respected questioning the principle. I didn’t know how to answer them. But mainly, I didn’t have the right mentoring resource to help me.

Today, we have millennial women begging for direction. But the situation is worse. The older women think the younger women do not want their help. They feel the young women do not want to hear their message. But this is not true.

And I believe “Adorned” is the mentoring resource we need.

Continue reading
humankind

How to Create Space With Those Who are Different

I wanted to melt into the floor.

Once again my mouth had opened before my brain engaged and the words I said came out to be insulting. When will I learn? When will I think about what I am about to say before I say it?

Have you been there?

Too often, we think we know it all; but seldom do we know what and where another person is coming from. And then, our words can come across demeaning and cruel when maybe we didn’t mean it to be that way at all. [Of course, there is always the chance that we did mean it that way because we have held ourselves in higher esteem than we ought to.]

Ah, and there’s the key.

Humility is the toughest discipline to grasp and fully enact in our lives. I see it as the main principle for Christian living. Without humility, we are never going to “get it right”. Without humility, there won’t be kindness or understanding or compassion or any of the other traits we so desire from our Lord Jesus.

Especially in today’s culture of racial unrest, humility is needed from both sides of the fence. Ah, we don’t like to hear about humility mainly because it is a lot like the bad “S” word… SUBMISSION. It’s likely, we all think we are a little better than most people. But what does the Word of God say?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:3&4

These are hard words to swallow. But this does not mean we belittle ourselves. It is more that we “think about ourselves less and think of others first”. Life isn’t about “me” and the world does not revolve around me.

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

C.S. LEwis

And Andrew Murray suggests,

“The only humility that is really ours is … that which we carry with us in our daily conduct.”  

Andrew Murray

Humility is the beginning of kindness and compassion. With humble attitudes, we will find it natural to act in kindness towards others. So, let’s get back to how we cultivate that humility and grow kindness.

Steps before we open our mouths

STOP

Before we speak or give our “wise suggestions” to another, perhaps we ought to get to know them a little. Make sure that we understand a bit about their culture and the things they deal with on a daily basis. I’m finding you can “know” someone rather well but not REALLY know them. Try these scriptures on for size.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James 1:19-20

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 17:28

LISTEN

If we really take some time to listen to others and learn about them. We might just realize they don’t need our “suggestions”. And it could be that we don’t really have anything to offer them anyway. When we let our tongue fly, this is what brings on hurt and anger which is followed by arguing and bad-mouthing, all this is not acceptable for a follower of Christ,

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James 1:19-20

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 12:18

CONSIDER

Now that you know more about a person’s situation, consider how you would want to be treated and do likewise.

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 29:20

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

CREATE SPACE WITH LOVE AND KINDNESS

Possibly, we are a bit too close for comfort. Backing up and acting in love and kindness create the space people need to understand where you are coming from. Creating space allows both parties an opportunity to consider the aforementioned steps. If you are the one receiving ill words, give the benefit of the doubt. Think like Jesus, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Consequently, acting in kindness can make a difference for everyone. In her book, Humankindness, Ashlee Eiland states,

Kindness may be a mushy word, but it’s the dark horse of our humanity. It’s not loud or demanding, but given enough time, it wins.

Humankind - AshleeEiland on Kindness

About the book, Humankindness

create space Humankind Book

Ashlee Eiland was raised in an affluent African American home but struggled to find her place to belong. In this book, she writes about instances throughout her life that were “uncomfortable” in the least. How she handled it and how she gave space for others to learn about her culture and also about attitudes and actions that weren’t as easy to get over.

Ashlee encourages us to create space and act in kindness and “rediscover our own humanity through another lens. She shares that sometimes sacrifice is needed to create that space. She shared at one time as a small girl having a white babysitter that didn’t know how to comb her “black” hair. She was doing her best only to become frustrated, creating an even worse mess. Ashlee concluded in that chapter,

So, we have a choice. Either we can resent the fact that some people can’t give us everything and demand that they try harder, that they sacrifice even more of themselves.

Or we can sit under the comb, knowing in our hearts that the outcome might be less than desirable – but also knowing that trying is the best offering some can give.

CREATING SPACE ~ Understanding and bearing up under it.

This goes both ways

Do we subject others to our own standards? In middle school, my family moved from a medium-sized town in Ohio to a very small town in Wisconsin. My original school had a dress code and the girls still wore dresses in most cases. The school in Wisconsin had no dress code. I still chose to wear a dress because I was most comfortable in a dress. After the first few questions, it became more my signature because I gave them space and they gave me space.

I see this same type of thing in The Church. A stranger comes to visit but they aren’t wearing the right clothing, they are too loud or outspoken. God forbid, they sit in “your pew”. These things shouldn’t matter to us. We should reach out in love and friendship and if there are things that need changing, God will do that work.”.

create space Humankind Quote

Ashlee says,

Our work is to learn how to stand in awe of each created being without making modifications or trying to bring out something that’s not ours to call forth.

We need to be cautious when what’s true for us isn’t true of someone else’s life, avoiding the conclusion that it’s not just that we differ or respectfully disagree but that their choice makes them unrelatable.

Unrelatable can become unworthy, or inferior if we aren’t careful. It all comes back to humility and creating space for each other. With this attitude, we can go far.


Making space. this is what true friendship is about and also how we learn about cultural differences and help each other learn and understand

Will you create space with me?

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Your Turn

legacy link-ups

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sometimes we link up with others at these places…

Finding a spiritual Friend

Five Factors for Choosing a Spiritual Friend

Friends.

We all have them but do we have a spiritual friend?

spiritual friends
images created in Canva

-That someone we sit down with from time to time who challenges us in our faith? Someone whom we trust with our secret thoughts and even goals – someone who will pray for us and check up on us to see if we have made any progress in our spiritual life.

“Accountability breeds response-ability.”

 — Stephen Covey

The best way to ensure that we continue to mature in Christ is to have someone that we are accountable to. Then when we begin to slip, there is someone there to steer us back in the right direction. I have found that when I tell someone my plans, it keeps me working toward that goal whether or not they ever challenge me on my actions.

We see many in the Bible that had someone guiding their lives. Paul was this for many, even for us today, but he was especially a mentor to Timothy. He reminded him to live the life taught to him by his mother and grandmother.

Many of us have had a grandmother that would always speak to us about spiritual things. Ii hope and pray that we are doing the same for those following after us.

Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine and learn from those who follow our example.

Apostle Paul, Philippians 4:17
1 Corinthians 11:1

We were made for fellowship, especially a fellowship that encourages and gives us accountability. This is the definition of a true helper that God spoke about for Adam. (Genesis 2) My daily read in the disciplines encourages me to find these types of people in my life and possibly BE this type of person as well.

Begin to pray that God will lead you to someone with whom you can be open and prayerful about both the efforts and progress in spiritual life. For someone with whom you can begin to be mutually accountable for each other’s journey in faith.

Bob Benson, Disciplines for the Inner Life

Here are a few qualities you might look for in a spiritual friend.

Age

Maturity is an important characteristic here. Possibly, one would not look specifically for physical age here but for someone who is spiritually more mature. When I was young, I would sit right up close in the sanctuary. There were many reasons I did this, but mainly, I wanted to be near those saints that always seemed to get blessed. Yes, I wanted to get near the spout where the glory comes out.

Get close to the spout where the glory comes out. #spiritualexample Click To Tweet

Sex

There could be times when someone of the opposite sex would be a great fit for you; however, it is typically better for your accountability person to be of the same sex. This removes any temptation for attraction to fall into the mix. I would suggest that unless this person is your spouse, choose someone of the same sex.

Experience

Seek out someone who is confident in experience yet humble in it. The confidence will free you to relax and be vulnerable. The humility will give you room for letting your own confidence rise; you won’t be intimidated by your own sense of spiritual distance. Their humility should display a gentleness and subtly in advising you. Your friend should be a listener, one who can draw the light of the Spirit out of you in your discussions.

pattern your lives after me #spiritualfriends

Personality

This is a place where opposites attract. Having a spiritual friend with complementary traits will help you both grow in grace. If you want to get really serious in this area take a personality test. There are several free ones online, such as the enneagram.

Spiritual Path

What area is God calling you into? What are your spiritual gifts? Find someone that will have knowledge and wisdom in this area. Someone for whom you can be an apprentice. They will be attuned to where you should be directing your life and keep your eyes on the goal.

You can have more than one!

You don’t have to find someone that fits all these characteristics. It’s even better to have more than one. Just find them and tap into what they can offer you.

Your Spiritual Friend!

Mandy Farmer

The above post was inspired by the reading of Bob Benson’s Disciplines for the Inner Life and Tikden Edwards’ Spiritual Friend.



And don’t forget to pay it forward.

Look behind you and see who is following you. Then get alongside them and do some encouraging yourself.

You might find a spiritual partner in some authors.

C.S. Lewis

Susie Larson

Tilden Edwards

Elizabeth Elliot

The Preaching of Greg Laurie

joyful worhip

Worship with Kids Steps Toward a Joyful Sunday

Let’s Get Ready for Easter

With Easter coming up, I thought I might share a few tips on how I made it through Sundays with children. Regardless of how often you make it to church, Sunday worship with kids can be a challenge. Sometimes it can make you wonder why you bother going to church at all. Check out why regular worship is important here.

The day is completely different from any other day of the week and likely the night before was different as well. I remember Sundays when we arrived at church a bit frazzled just from getting ready for church.

Keep Reading even if you have no children, some of these steps all of us can take to improve our worship time.

Start Preparing Early in the Week

  • Check with the church office to see if anything is going to be different this week.
  • Will there be Children’s Church or Nursery Attendants available for your child?
  • Do the children remain in the service for a portion of the service?
  • What are the service times? Some churches change the time on special days.

Saturday Preparations for Worship with Kids

  • Plan a simple breakfast that is easy to serve and clean up. For us, muffins and milk or orange juice usually did the trick.
  • If you have babies or toddlers, clean out and re-stock the diaper bag.
  • Decide what everyone is wearing. Our daughter, by 4 years of age, was pretty obstinate about what she would wear. But we found that if we planned this with her the night before, there wasn’t a fight on Sunday morning.
  • Is everything clean and pressed; down to the shoes. Avoid having to find socks and shoes (or shoelaces) and hairbows at the last minute. When everything is laid out and ready to put on, it takes much less time and aggravation to get everyone dressed and in the car.
  • Lay out everything you need to take with you (Bibles, lesson books, etc) Have them ready to grab as you walk out the door.
  • Get your bath and hair washed. For as many as possible, do this Saturday evening. Especially with large families and/or few bathrooms.
  • Keep Saturday evening sacred. In the Jewish faith, the Sabbath begins at sundown, the day before. I see a lot of good in this because it keeps us from staying out late and being too tired for worship in the morning. So we tried to stick to the rule that everyone gets home by dark. It’s not always possible, but this definitely helps the whole mindset of preparing for worship the next morning.

Sunday Morning Schedule

  • Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. This keeps you on time even if something goes awry. Children do much better if they are not being rushed. This also give you a few minutes to visit with friends or just get your mind focused on worship.
  • Arise early and enjoy a cup of coffee before you start getting the kids going. Typically, worship starts later than the start of school or work days. Why not rise at the same time to make the morning more enjoyable?
  • Turn on some upbeat worship music. In one home we lived in, we had an intercom. I piped the music through the house. This was everyone’s wake up call or at least notification that I would be coming around to get them out of bed.
  • Breakfast for the children. If you cook something, such as bacon, this could be another way to get them rolling out of bed. I know it works for teenagers. 🙂
  • Get dressed. I never figured out which was better.. dress the kids first or myself. I’ve had that fail either way. LOL! Maybe get dressed and put on an apron! 🙂
  • Assign others to help with the littles. You’ve laid out the clothes so this shouldn’t be difficult.
  • Give a 10-minute “Time to get in the car” call. Start looking over everyone to be sure they are fully dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, etc.
  • Again, leave 15-20 minutes earlier than needed.
Worship with kids
image credt free on Pixabay.com Modified by Mandy

Church Arrival & Worship with Children

  • Use the restroom. Non-negotiable rule. This keeps them from having to get up during the service to use the restroom. This is a no-no in our family. If you must take them out because they are disruptive, do so and get them calmed down. Then return to the service. If you don’t they will learn that you will take them out if they get disruptive. Children CAN learn to be quiet and respectful in church.
  • If you are a regular, watch for newcomers and greet them.
  • Find a seat. I suggest in the front half of the sanctuary. There are fewer distractions. Sit as a family. Another non-negotiable.
  • Prepare your heart for worship. Pray silently. Read some scriptures. The bulletin may have the pastors’ text. Go ahead and read it over to begin thinking about it. If the bulletin has the scheduled songs, meditate on the words of these songs.
  • Instruct your children during worship. They should learn to sing/sit/stand/pray along with the congregation. No toys or coloring during this part of the service.
  • Smaller children can have non-distractive toys or a book/coloring book. Save that container of Cheerios for the last few moments of the service when they are getting restless and the pastor is making his final point or call for decision.
  • Encourage your school-age children to take notes. You could even set up rewards for doing so. As a children’s minister, I created a small booklet for the children to take notes on days we stayed in the service. Such as this one. I gave them a small prize after church if they showed me their work.

After Worship Activities

  • Don’t rush out. Greet those around you, especially newcomers. Go straight to the ones you don’t know. They will leave quickly, especially if no one speaks to them. Your friends will be around and you know how to contact them anyway. If you need to speak with them, give them a quick, “Don’t leave before I talk with you.” greeting and then head to the visitors. If you are a visitor. Wait around a bit. Give people a chance to find you. Or just go ahead and speak to someone near you.
  • Clean up around you. Pick up bulletins, papers and anything you brought with you. Most churches have volunteers that do the cleaning. No one gets paid to do this, so help out and clean up your own mess.

Hope Your Sunday Worship is Joyful

Mandy Farmer
The Rest of God

Book Review: The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

the rest of god

A book everyone should read … probably more than once to be reminded of the importance of rest.

Buchanan took a sabbatical to research the subject of the rest of God. And found so much that pricked his own heart about taking too little rest. He noticed that “the harder he worked, the less he accomplished.” and he realized that “the Sabbath was a form of mending”.  There is some renewal that only comes from resting in the Lord and being still.

Continue reading

keeping the faith

4 Building Blocks to Growing Our Faith


I Praise God for His Salvation

I thank Him daily for loving us (me) so much that He sent His Son to earth to live a perfect life, to suffer the cruel death on a crimnal’s cross, but then rise again just to save us all from our sins. Praise His beautiful name! [Read my testimony of faith on my memoirs blog.] But I want to know Him more. I want to grow closer and closer to Him.

Salvation Goes Beyond the Altar

But it doesn’t stop there. Our salvation goes beyond the day that you kneel at an altar and confess your sins to God.

Yes, I believe that we are saved by grace, it is not of works lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8). Yes, I believe that we are made into a new creation. The old is gone and the new is here! 2 Corinthians Praise the Lord!

We are saved by grace, not of works @ggmandy Click To Tweet

We are Called to Grow in Grace

But we are also called to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18). If we gave birth to a baby and that child remained a baby forever, we would be saddened. It would break our hearts if the child never learned to walk and talk and live a productive life. Yes, we would still love him but we would desire so much more for him.

The very next verse in Ephesians 2 says,
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Salvation Leads Us into Service

So our salvation should lead us into service for God .. living a life that glorifies Him and leads others to Him. ie. growing in grace

2 Peter 3 says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “

And the Apostle Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 4:1-6 (AMP),
So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love. Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful]. There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation]— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all.


Live a Life Worthy of the Call

So, I too, encourage you to live the life worthy of His calling. We need to work to live holy lives to the glory and honor of God and also, to be a light in the darkness so that others can find the way to Christ.

Photo credit: free at Canva.com; Modified by Mandy

In order to “leave a legacy” for our children and those around us we must first grow ourselves. And how to do we grow? First, we study the Bible. We fill our minds and saturate our lives with His Word.


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Growth through Bible Reading

Bible reading and study teach us how to live for Him. It corrects us when we are wrong, encourages our faith and keeps us on the narrow way. And because we need this encouragement in a moments notice, we should memorize the scriptures. King David said, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”-Psalm 119:15. If David needed it, so do we.

If King David Needed it, so do we! Click To Tweet

Growth Thru Prayer

Secondly, we must communicate with God. Yes, pray to God and practice His presence every day. Communicating with God includes worship and adoration, repenting of sin, interceding for others, and yes even petition for our needs.

Growth Through Fellowship

Thirdly, we need fellowship with other believers. We are not an island. Without faith and encouragement of others, we would fall too easily. Solomon declared that “two are better than one because if one falls the other can help him up. Three are even better! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) God promises that whenever we gather together even in a group of 2 or 3, that He will be in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20) Realistically, we need each other so don’t neglect the meeting together of believers.

Growth Through Sharing

And finally, we need to share the Gospel. We are not blessed with salvation so that we can keep it to ourselves. We are commanded to “go and make disciples of all nations”. Even without this command from Jesus, sharing our faith helps us (Matthew 28:19) stronger in it. It confirms in us our belief in Christ.

Let’s do this, friends!

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more thoughts on these four growth factors. I have searched out some fellow bloggers who can so eloquently speak on these things and I have asked them to write encouragement to us to help us grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Join me here on the blog every Monday to be instructed and encouraged. Have you subscribed to receive our updates? You can do so just below in the blue bar. Just add your email address and click submit!

Growing in Grace;

Mandy Farmer

The following our affiliate links. See disclaimer on the menu to the right.





lonely

A Random Note at My Door

When I read this article, I could so relate to the loneliness Laurie felt. I, too, was very lonely when I first left for college. I asked Laurie if I could reprint her article here on the blog and she graciously accepted.

A Random Note at My Door

Laurie Rambo, guest contributor

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
 my fortress where I will not be shaken.

My victory and honor come from God alone.

He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him
for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8 NLT

Off to College Far, Far Away

With a state college just a mile from my home, it seemed a bit random to choose a college in Kentucky when I had never really left my home in New Jersey. But I had heard men like Dennis Kinlaw, Frank Stanger, Victor Hamilton, and Roy Lauter preach at Delanco Camp Meeting and it left me hungering for more- more teaching, more understanding, more of Jesus. And so I went to Asbury, leaving behind my family, the love of my young life, my friends and all that was familiar.

Lonely Arrives

While I made some friends and many acquaintances, I found myself desperately lonely. When I thought I could not bear it any longer and wanted nothing more than to pack up and go home, our Resident Director left a little note at my door with verse 8 from Psalm 62 at the bottom.

Reading that note was if God had written that verse just for me in that moment rather than thousands of years ago through the psalmist. I grabbed my Bible and rushed to my prayer closet (also known as a storage room) and read the rest of the Psalm. Sobbing, I did just what it said, poured out my heart to Jesus in a way I had never quite experienced before. With a clear understanding that He was my refuge; my shelter. And I could trust Him- trust Him to take my fear, my loneliness, my longing to be home, and work in that to draw me closer to Him.

Jesus Arrives

It was in that loneliness that Jesus met me and helped me understand who He is and how He was shaping me even in the depths of loneliness. It was through those hard days of being away that I learned to sit quietly before Him and trust Him, to stand upon Him as my Rock. I treasure that time of desperation because in it I found what I wanted at Asbury- more of Jesus. The lessons I learned in those years were foundational to my faith and shaped me into who I am today in Him.

In ALL Our Moments Jesus comes

There have been so many times over the years, at points of deep pain, that I have gone back to what Jesus taught me in those moments of desperation and to the “love note” of Psalm 62. When I can do nothing about circumstances I can count on Him implicitly. He alone is my Hope in whom I trust, my Rock and Salvation, the One who holds my heart when I pour out my pain; He is my refuge.

Are you needing to pour out your heart to Jesus today, to draw close and rest in Him alone? He will meet you wherever you are, even at this moment. His faithfulness will not fail you!

Laurie Rambo

Laurie has been married to David, the “young love of her life,” for nearly 39 years. Together they have raised four children and have 10 grandchildren. When not caring for grandchildren, she serves Jesus in her local church, through Delanco Camp Meeting and by producing the Titus Women’s e-news at the Francis Asbury Society in Wilmore, KY

pray for believers

Pray for the Believers

Introducing Glenae Atchison

May I introduce my college friend, Glenae Atchison as a contributor to this website. You may recognize her name if you have been to my Facebook page, Leaving a Legacy. She posts there on a regular basis.

Glenae AtchisonGlenae is a native of Indiana and a long time resident of Mississippi. She graduated from Asbury College in 1983 with a BS in Music Education. She and her husband, Skip have been married for over thirty years. They have two married children and three grandchildren. Glenae is active in choir, two group Bible studies, United Methodist Women, and is a certified lay servant in the United Methodist Church. Her favorite activities include singing and playing the piano, sewing, quilting, making Swedish weave blankets, and, of course, spending time with her grandchildren.

As you will see she is ‘made from the same cloth” as I. And now her first post on the subject of prayer. Continue reading

Come by for a visit

Dropping By For A Visit

Don’t you miss the days when people would visit and sit for a spell?

family reunion
cousin, aunt,sousin, me, my husband, my daughter
2014 Dawson (my) family reunion

I do. I think that is why I want a front porch so badly. I miss the days of sitting on the porch with friends and family just resting and sharing time together.

These days we never drop in on people and thus our lives remain lonely and we never learn from one another. No one is a close friend anymore. We are all just acquaintances.

Remember When?

Even our families no longer stop by for a visit. I remember going for a drive and stopping in on my mom’s aunt and uncle. I don’t know how she did it. But my Aunt Mary must have had a 6th sense that someone was coming by because it seemed about 5-10 minutes after we arrived, she presented a delicious cake. Besides the delicious cake and good conversation, we gained the chance to actually know our cousins. If we had not stopped in occasionally, I would never have known my mother’s cousins, nor my second cousins.

I remember that our family friends would take turns having everyone over after the football games. These were all high school friends of my parents. Of course, they all had kids the same age as my siblings and me. Boy, did we have a grand time together?

As an adult, many of us would head out to a restaurant after Sunday Evening Worship. We seldom to that either.

We Are Too Busy

The truth is, we have become so busy that we never slow down long enough to just visit with anyone. The Bible instructs us to practice hospitality. The Book of Hebrews suggests that we should not forsake meeting together.  This scripture is usually used to encourage church attendance, but the early church met together in homes also sharing meals and encouraging one another. This is where we really get to know one another and share in each other’s lives. We can attend church, come in and go out, without truly interacting with people. But meeting in our homes and eating together, that is when we become more than acquaintances.

Here’s the Challenge

So, have you had a visitor or drop by on someone unexpectantly? When did you last invite someone into your home? We may need to make a concerted effort to fellowship together.

Meeting Around the Table

A few years ago, a new Women’s conference erupted into the scene called IF Gathering. They have developed the idea that encouragement comes from around the table. They encourage us to have a once a month meeting around the table. Invite 5 or 6 people to share a simple meal and have a real conversation.

They feel that this is so important that they provide menu ideas and questions to ask each other. It’s called IF: Table. You can Check it out here.

Table games are an excellent way to increase comradery. Try this awesome game with some friends called Life Stories. You will have a great time learning new things about one another.

You can learn more about mentoring around the table with this book written by a friend. Coming Alongside: Blessed to be a Blessing

I’m ready for a visit. Come on by! I’ll make a pound cake.

Mandy Farmer

I participating in Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Fridays where we take a prompt and write for five minutes.

Come by for a visit and sit a spell. #mentoring #visit Click To Tweet