burdens lifted

Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary

Too often we carry our burdens around by ourselves. I heard a preacher say that we live in a DIY society and it’s true with our Christian lives as well. We try to Do it Ourself. But God says we should bear one another’s burdens.

Do you know that 2 horses can pull three times the weight of one horse? So with us, if we share our burdens with one another the weight is much much lighter.

Not only that, If we share our burdens with Jesus, the weight is even lighter for he says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Hymn of the Week: “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”

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Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.

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

Glenae Atchison

Glenae Atchison 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, and making Swedish weave blankets.

Dropping By For A Visit

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

visiting on the porch

2014 Dawson 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 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 for 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, when was the last time you had a visitor or dropped by on someone unexpectantly? When is the last time you invited 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.

Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.

How to Disciple the Nations

Disciple the nations … just how do we do this?

Matthew 28:19-20 NLT

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Besides for being part of the Great Commission, this is also part of our church mission statement. Disciple the nations. How do we do this? Barbara Hughes, in her book, Disciplines of a Godly Woman, has a very good place to start in her description of the disciple Andrew. Andrew was an ordinary man, {just like us} with an extraordinary heart {just like we can have}. Let me share my thoughts on what Barbara says.

 HAVE A HEART

1) Have a knowledgeable heart.

John 1:35-51

New Living Translation (NLT)

The First Disciples

35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.

38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.

They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus.

Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist; however, as soon as he learned that Jesus was the Messiah, he began following Jesus. He left immediately and stayed with Jesus all day. We must follow Jesus also. It’s the FIRST thing we must do. We cannot introduce him to others unless we know Him first. Not just as an acquaintance, but become a true disciple.

This means we must spend time with Him .. daily. REALLY get to know Him and His heart. Reading the scriptures and spending time in prayer is the only way to know the heart of Christ. I don’t think a quick devotional reading each day is enough for this. To me, this would be like waving hello to someone on the street as you walk by each day on the way to the office. You know who they are, but you don’t really know them.

 

2) Have a Selfless Heart

41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).

42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus.

Secondly, Andrew did go get his brother. Once, he got to know Christ, he went and told his brother, Simon, that he had found the Christ and then brought him to Christ as well. Note that he didn’t just keep Christ to himself. One might be tempted to not want to share company with anyone else. You might be tempted to think, if I bring others to him then I will have to share conversations with them and time alone with them; especially someone like his outgoing, boisterous brother who is always in the limelight. One might be tempted to say this is my chance to have something all to myself.

Note that he took the time to be away from Christ to go get others and bring them to Him. We sit in our padded pews and pray that God will bring others in, but we are commanded to GO GET THEM and bring them in ourselves. {ouch!}

3) Have an Optimistic Heart

John 6:5-9  (NLT)

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

Andrew always looked for the good. We see here at the Feeding of the Five Thousand that Phillip’s response was “we can’t do it”, but Andrew saw that they did have something. He brought up that they did have some food. We need to be looking for the positive in our life. There is enough negative in the world and a little positive can go a long way. We need to give the Lord what we have even if it seems like so little. I’m reminded of the lyrics to a song. “Little is Much, When God is in it”. If we give our “meager” talent or time or whatever it is you have to God, Wow! the possibilities are amazing!”

This is how God is glorified and others are attracted to Him because of what God does and not what we do!

Finally,

4) Have a Big Heart

John 12:20-22 (NLT)

20 Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration 21 paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” 22 Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.

Andrew had a big heart. In this case, we have non-Jews coming and asking to see Jesus. They could have sent them away because they weren’t Jews, but Andrew’s heart was big enough to welcome them and take them to Jesus.

We, too, need to have a big heart. See that Jesus loves everyone, in spite of who they are or where they have been. Look past the tattoos, the scars of sin, the ragged clothes, the smelly or diseased bodies, and the list goes on.

  • Are we willing to reach out and touch the untouchable as Christ did?
  • Are we willing to bring people into our church and homes?

God would have everyone to be saved. We need to have big hearts and reach out to these. This is how we make disciples of all nations right in our own corner of the world!

Loving You as Christ Loved you!

 

Mandy Farmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

___________________

1) Disciplines of a Godly Woman

Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.

Pastor appreciation

UNAPPRECIATED ~ Three Actions to Change Your Own Heart

A Bottle of Bath Wash.

Who doesn’t enjoy the wonderful smell and the softness obtained from using it?

But it seemed precious little payment for the hours on end that I spent learning and perfecting the wedding music chosen for this wedding and the entire weekend my husband and I gave for rehearsal, decorating, flower deliveries and, of course, the wedding itself.

Have you ever felt unappreciated?

It’s easy to fall into the trap. We work hard to do our best and no one notices, maybe they even criticize our hard work. I’ve experienced that before!

But, remember my pastor’s wife, Charlotte, who taught my so much in the beginning? She brought home the truth one day while we were talking. She did it gently by suggesting that I make the time and hard work my gift to the bride and groom.

The truth of the matter is that it was my attitude that needed adjusting.

The big question is, “Who am I serving?”

God’s Word says,

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

You see, I had my priorities upside down.

I wasn’t doing all that preparation out of love for the couple (or God). I was doing it for my glory. To receive praise or a few dollars. And when it didn’t pay off, I was upset. No wonder I felt unappreciated.

It was time for an attitude adjustment. I needed a heart transplant. My heart of self-service needed changing out for a heart of service.

As we come to the end of October (Pastor’s Appreciation Month), perhaps some of us are needing a heart transplant. Maybe we feel unappreciated this year. It is possible we feel what was given was too little and too late causing us to wonder if it was all quickly put together at the last minute.

pastor appreciation

photo credit: Canva modified by Mandy

Here are a few ways that I have found to make an attitude adjustment.

Look Up

Look up to God Realize how much He loves me and does for me. Thank Him for all the blessings He has given me even when I don’t deserve it.

Look Around

Look around at all those who are serving with me. This would include associates, widowed pastors/spouses, retired ministers, and their spouse. Send a handwritten card or note expressing your appreciation for them and what they do. Remember that joy comes in giving more than in receiving.

Look Back

Remember those who have paved the way for me. Write a note to the pastors and wives in my life that have encouraged me along the way.

Also, don’t forget the leaders above me. In our church, there is a District Superintendent that guides all the churches in our state. I’m sure he would accept a little appreciation, as well.

 

Next year, try entering the month of appreciation doing these things. I think you will find a greater feeling of joy over your situation.

 

Feeling Grateful!

Mandy Farmer

 

Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.

Love your pastor all year long

How to Love Your Pastor All Year Long

Does your Church Have a Special Day for Pastor 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 actually 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 be loving 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!

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 if needed.

Thanks!

Michael & Mandy Farmer

 

 

P.S. I’ve created some images to remind you all month to love on your pastor. Follow me on my Facebook Page to see them each day, then share the posts each day to get the word out.

 

Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.