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The Power Of One....Chris Janson

During our first pastorate in Perryville, Missouri, we had so many great experiences. One of those experiences was meeting a young man at t...

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Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It is new with no mistakes in it., full of GRACE!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Things I have learned!(in my eighty years)

ATMOSPHERE! I am a big advocate on setting the right atmosphere.I think it determines a lot about our lives. I had the pleasure right before Christmas to visit one of my friends. I was pleasantly surprised to meet her father-n-law.I have been in a lot of homes. This year was amazing! I love it when there is not an atmosphere of ignorance.In the middle of our downtown exertions and our nightly lovely meals.I found myself absorbing the information from a gentlemen who made it well in life.He took over certain divisions and saved them 200 Million dollars in a short time. He was an engineer in the oil industry.But that was not what he came in to say to my oldest son. Impartation was in the room. I loved every minute of it.It was an atmosphere for mentoring from a gentleman. He had a few letters of the alphabet written down.Jewels he wanted to share. His value very much appreciated. He mentored my son in "the things I have learned in life that will make you go straight to the top. SS =Self Starter,C= choices you make in life,E= enthusiasm,G= Goals, E=Education."
He set an atmosphere for his children to succeed.That's why you can have a son and his wife push through life never giving up on their dream to create a knife and have in the hands of every military possible.http://www.huttonsedge.com/ An amazing couple that inspire me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beauty in the Winter

I have had the privilege spending time with my brother hiking this winter. There is nothing like cold fresh air and nature. I was deep in the woods of Camdeton's greatest beauty HaHa Tonka state park.I could have said I don't want to walk hundreds of steps up and down on trails in the cold. I could have taken one look at the trees and been mad that they have no leaves.It was a grey gloomy rainy day. NO!I chose to borrow a jacket from my mother and tennis shoes from my niece and go along happily. I loved every minute of it. I found a mound of treasured pictures to take. Winter, besides being cold, dark, gloomy and desolate, can be a time to regain and refocus.A lot of people think winter of your life refers to the last season of your life. Today, I am talking about the seasons of your life. But it can be a time for you to have new eyes. You have to look beyond what's just in front and see the bigger picture as well as the details. It is so hard to be in the moment of where we are at. How did I get here? Am I here to learn? Is there something God is wanting me to see or.....just trust? If you are in a season where you have not seen Spring or Summer in a long time it maybe a time for you to reload. When it seems nothing is working on top and you can't see nothing happening, yet know that God is doing great things under the ground of your life.
Winter reminds me of an officer's wife who had to leave her great clothes, fine china, and all her beautiful fabrics to follow her husband to the Indian Desert reservation to live.She took on the attitude that I can't just sit and do nothing. Instead of a choosing anger to sit and steam. She said I am going to learn from the Indians and the desert.In her quest she learned every part of the desert and all it's beauty.She learned how to make baskets from the Indians.She went on to write a Pulitzer Prize Novel. There is beauty in the season of your Winter if you look for it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shepherd or a Daddy?

I am very close to the country farms.So I hear a lot of stories about farming. We have some sheep farmers nearby. They are the most precious animals to look at. Makes me want to build a pen for them at my house.Sheep are gentle in nature and therefore an easy prey to those lurking around waiting to devour them. I wonder why Jesus referred to his children like sheep? Greek Word for Pastor: poimen = herdsman, a shepherd .... one who cares for, feeds, guides, and protects the sheepIn reality, not all people in the position of "pastor" have the gift of pastor. Some in the position of "pastor" have the gift of leadership. They are the "pastors" on the cutting edge who are constantly developing new means of ministry. They are mapping out ways to take the sheep to greener pastures. Some in the position of "pastor" have the gift of evangelism. They are the "pastors" who are very seeker-oriented. More than building up believers they are into rescuing lost sheep. Some in the position of "pastor" have the gift of administration. They are the "pastors" who tend to emphasize smooth running programs and schedules. More than relating to the sheep, they tend to look after the pasture itself, the water, and the fence to make sure everything is in good condition for the proper care of the sheep. Some in the position of "pastor" have the gift of teaching or prophecy. They are the "pastors" who concentrate on good preaching. More than caring for the sheep's total well-being, they focus on feeding. The dilemma for these "pastors" is that by gifting they do not have the ability to fulfill the complete ministry description of a shepherd yet they are called "pastors." With that title often comes the expectation of many within the body that this person do the full work of a shepherd. Elders are to help shepherd the flock as they come under the authority of the Pastor. (1 Pet. 5:1-3). The word "shepherd" (Greek word 'poimaino') in the passages referring to elders is a verb, not a title or position. Their titles are distinct Greek words from the Greek word for 'pastor.' The effects soon become evidenced in the condition of the sheep when they are not truly Shepherd:
*When always being moved to greener pastures with little other shepherding, the sheep may become anxious. *When everything is built around rescue efforts, the sheep already in the fold may feel abandoned. *When not getting fed sufficiently, the sheep may become anemic. *When constantly being warned and corrected with little nurturing, the sheep may become afraid. On this note I would like to ask the question " Are you a Shepherd or a Daddy?" Daddy likes to fix it. Dads correct. Dads are babysitters. When we took our first church, the pastor before us was a daddy pastor.
He allowed the people to barge anytime into his home and demand to be heard. He would fix the peoples toilets. He would balance their check books.There were only a handful when we got there and he was there 17 years. Those people were the most immature demanding people we had ever seen. They were very weak people by themselves. When something neg. would come it would be to hard for them to stand in faith or even stay in faith. Their roots were very shallow. They were constantly confused instead of trusting God.. Their idea of a pastor was someone telling them how to live including how to dress. Now I feel his gifting was misused. He was an incredible Sunday school minister. They loved puppets and kids.If it were not for misused politics in that denomination he would have been the best Sunday school director they ever had. It is time for the church body to GROW UP. I have seen pastors get into peoples face much like a daddy and yell at them as if they were children. I have seen them control every aspect of the church like a dictator. Come on! Really?? We need to have true Shepherds rise up and lead the sheep to growth. TEAM Shepherding takes courage and it takes a confident Shepherd be able to let go and let God do the work. The Kingdom of God is not about you.It's not your kingdom it's his. Be the loving,gentle,confident Shepherd he has called you to be. Developing leaders around you to help Shepherd so the body can be HEALTHY.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Silent Night

Ever gone through a tragedy that when you were in it you felt like you were in a dark tunnel? I remember when I was surrounded by the ministry of a very young and growing church years ago with two babies and 6yr son. My husband was facing the biggest valley of his life. CANCER is a very dreaded word. In hearing those words about his father it changed the atmosphere of our home.All the past of his childhood issues of the heart came to surface. Now they were raw and exposed for him to see.Does he fight or flight? He was stuck in a grief process at 27 years old. We really didn't know what to do. Depression filled our home. Fight=Anger and flight=depression( which is anger turned on the inside) There are three legs that hold up this table of depression. 1.FEAR 2.Unmet expectations and 3.Hopelessness and helplessness. Kick one of these legs out and your on your way to recovery. We left the only real home I had ever had to go seek help. My suggestion to you is never leave your church in the middle of a personal battle. The church at that time would have surrounded my husband and it would have built up the body.Take a sabbatical for a few months. Get some help then make your decisions. However, we left the church totally in the arms of a mother church. That pastor did his best to take care of it.Our regret is not knowing how to take a sabbatical correctly then going back to that church. God worked it all out and now we can help others. Tunnels, they are dark. They can be long. Just remember Christ is with you when you are faced with a personal battle. A Night has a morning.A tunnel has light at the end. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Old school of thought as we know there was a lot of poverty ignorance passed down." You don't need a counselor!" I agree to a point. God is the great counselor.He will lead you if you allow the healing of the Holy Spirit to take control. He also can give wisdom to great men and women of God to help see things clearer in darkness when your caught in the fog and it's hard to see. One anointed counseling session broke the whole depression off my husband.Not long after that eventually my darkness due to the domino affect ended. I do remember the dark tunnel that surrounded me and also remember the Holy Spirits gentle hand calming me and guarding my heart.I could literally fill the dark cloud pulling away and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.It was a long night.But Joy came to my morning!If you are in that same season of your life. Hold on don't give up. There is light. There is Joy after a winters SILENT NIGHT.


REST Do you really know how to rest? When Anthony and I took a 5 year sabbatical from full-time ministry we focused on getting through life, learning how to really rest was a tough thing to learn. You see doing a bunch of stuff does not equal rest. We have pastors who call in and ask "Do you have a retreat in Branson? We would like to take a vacation with our family there." I instantly say we have one but its occupied for pastors who want to rest. We turn down vacations. Why? Vacation is not REST. Sitting in a hotel room flipping through t.v. channels, shopping, playing games, getting busy and spending family time does not equal time off. Your mind is still busy. In this generation where we have to be connected to cell phones, internet, or our touch pads has gotten us to hooked up we can't seem to unplug.Most pastors seem ADD anyway and can't focus on one conversation let alone be STILL.
REST can be almost anywhere if you learn how.Your home can be a sanctuary for your soul.Just taking the time away alone with God is often better for most pastors.Also allow your leaders to rest.We told our leaders during the Christmas Holiday for a week we don't want to see them, go and rest. We canceled all the mid-week services.For just that reason. Conferences are needed to be filled.But we can't equate that with REST.Years ago we would attend a conference every year and spend all day and all night hearing one sermon after another.I agree our spiritual man needs importations.However, I am talking about a dreaded word that most pastors cringe at "SILENCE". Just being in the presence of God. Sometimes you don't even have to talk. JUST BE. Nature.. water.. There are times we need to be still and know GOD. Hear God. There are times we don't even need to think about ministry at all. Nothing spiritual. That's a shock! Sometimes all some pastors need is good quality SLEEP!
You need to get away for a new perspective,spiritual renewal,rest, education, renewed passion. Ways to take a sabbatical. Write, get alone time, go to another country and visit a missionary,seek ministry counseling, Retreat to a cabin, totally unplug.We always like to say unplug so you can plug into God's REST. Disconnect so you can connect. Let the light of peace help you be still so you can refill.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Wafers

In our church we are blessed to have several of our people work at Shriber Cheese factory. I call it pure GOLD! For I am a cheese lover. Our beloved Jackie Whitely brings me huge bags of cheese at least once a month. I am not talking about any old cheese. He brings all the variety available to us and I dance around in my kitchen as if I had won the lottery. God's people are so amazing in so many ways. Just today I totally enjoyed being in the hospital visiting Sis. Smalley. I believe we have the most beautiful hospital ever! There is a park garden with a huge water creek, including small falls inside of our hospital. All the rooms on the side and back side has lake right next to the rooms. AMAZING!!!!! We sang songs today and just got to talk. This year my attempt at something new and adventurous is Cranberry Pecan Cheese Wafers with warm Pecan crusted Brie cheese.
1 1/2 cups of roasted chopped pecans, 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped sweetened cranberries,2 cups softened butter, 4 coups freshly shredded extra sharp cheddar,1 1/2 tsp salt,1 1/2tsp red pepper, 4 cups of All-purpose flour 350 preheat,soak cranberries in boiling water to soften this chop, in a bowl beat butter,cheese,pepper and salt until blended,gradually add flour until combined, stir in pecans and cranberries, shape into log chill for 8 hours and then cut into 1/4inch slices, bake on parchment paper for 13 to 15 min or until slightly browned, cool

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oak Assembly

Oak Assembly
Years ago we had heard a message by a minister on how he got planted in the right soil and the ministry God had given him just flourished. My husband and I just looked at each other. Both knowing we needed to be planted in the soil that was meant for us. So, we began to pray for that.God you know where we would fit the best. You know how we were raised and what will bring out the best in us. Well, I am here to tell you it did not happen over night! There was much stretching and growing before we were able to be planted. Now we are in the exact place for a great HARVEST. Oak Assembly! When we first got there those precious people in a very large family were so discouraged and beat down by past mistakes. They needed LOVE and someone to believe in them. We started out with 45-50 people, mostly all family. The church was known as a troubled church. The district had years of past notes from this churches history.One pastor even told us before we took it that we don't want to go there. He continued to say that it was not much of a church. I am so glad we don't listen to people! We asked God that if it was his will for us to be there then let there be a 100% vote. There was so much to tell in the miracle of the whole process. Let's just say it was God alone that sent us to Oak ST. Assembly. The first night as pastor God spoke to me and said these people need love and consistency. God just restored his people with LOVE. I will not began to tell you it was us in anyway. God has orchestrated everything to be exactly on time. We were set up by God to help show those people there is a better way. My husband was used in so many ways to help many new comers as well as restore many marriages through this. They did fine for awhile. We really thought that they had learned their lesson on following a Shepherd and not their own ideas. It looked like God brought us in to pronounce judgment and stop the madness of years of pain and hurt. During the process we learned so much.
We were not in a big hurry to change a thing. We just wanted to take each family and build a relationship with them. The more love God gave the more they were at the bits to change. We have been there 2 years and Yes we have packed in a lot. The first thing we did was identify what kind of people we were reaching. It was good common wholesome country people from factories to farming. They love barns, horses, and fields for farming. So we went with a lodge feel to the outside of the church.The second thing we did was make sure that we built a powerful praying team. TEAM is a word you hear a lot. Now I can't even finish without having to write a book on all the things God has spoken for us to do that fits the church in leadership, worship, spiritually and much fellowship. I love what pastor is always saying." What does God have for Oak St. that fits us. We can't be a copy cat and snip and clip. Some ideas are fine but does it fit what God is doing here" So I will just give you some of the ideas we did within the first 2 years physically. When I say we I mean all of Oak St. TEAM. We painted the out side of the building. Installed a coffee cafe area. Made the auditorium more modern and up to date.We hired the local art team to come and paint the hallways down stairs to look like a Paris market. We know you always have to do the best with what you have, in EXCELLENCE, in order to receive more. I can't pin point and tell you all that has happened to make Oak. St. Grow. BUT It's all God. His spirit moves freely and lives are being saved and forever changed! If his plan is to give one last chance before he closes it down then that has to be done. He is God and he is the one who knows what is best for his church.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Test for Ministry

I was reading on a blog filled with many opinions about if young ministers should have the right to test his girlfriend to see if she qualifies for ministry.
Mrs. Barbra answered that she was glad that the young lady had seen the light and broke up with this insensitive man! She goes on to say that the Holy Spirit will do the work and that we all serve unfinished with flaws. That we do not need to go through a future pastors wife Bootcamp.

Although I see her point I don't agree! Ministry is a serious step and quite frankly not everyone is cut out to be in ministry not even part-time. Let me give you the examples of "Ministers wives and pastors wives I grew up with!" I will call the first pastors wife I knew as a child Susan. Susan was a young pastors wife in her 20's. She was extremely insecure and very jealous. She was into her two kids and hated people barging in on her "family Time". She would often blurt out hateful regrets and thus forcing her poor husband to resign. Eventually, through self absorbency and lack of spiritual desire, they ended in a divorce! Next, is a Youth Pastors wife I will call her Beth. Raised in a two child household. Her mother and father doted on her and had money to do it. So you could say she was a little spoiled.  She was Very self absorbed. Her husband had a great chance at ministry. He would cry and be moved by the Holy-spirit so much that you will always remember some of the messages he preached. Beth had to have everything extremely nice.She had to have the best of everything. She was either shopping or designing her new outfit. Life on credit was costly. There is nothing wrong with having excellence. I think that is important, but when it is out of balance and costing your family financially then it is out of balance. Although she probable didn't mean to, her personality was extremely Flirty! She said what ever came to the top of her mind without a filter. She did struggle to have children. Her unhappiness ate her alive. They ended up in divorce! Next pastors wife I will call Nancy. She loved the lord. She had great potential to be good pastors wife but she lacked confidence. She hated being a pastors wife. She would often come to church mad and hateful. I remember one time as a little girl telling her When I grow up I want to be a pastors wife. I will never forget her words. It didn't change me though, I was CALLED.She looked down at me and said "No you don't! Believe me you would NEVER want to be a pastors wife!"She said it with such hate. I know there were a lot of factors involved in this situation that made her choose her opinion. She was totally better off not being a pastors wife. They too ended in divorce.I could go on in this object lesson but I hope you get the point.

I know the Holy Spirit will lead. If we let him! You get some guy who knows he is called and spiritually, emotionally immature will often choose his partner for other reasons other than God ideas. They are often not lead by the Holy-Spirit. If you are called and you want to know if your loved one will stand the test of ministry then start praying! The most important step in your ministry is choosing the RIGHT mate. Don't be blinded by position, beauty,and talent.

I am only speaking to those who are looking for a mate in ministry.
The biggest test is.....IS She CALLED? Does she absolutely love God with all her heart? Is she willing to walk on the water if that what it takes? Is she self-centered? Is she a leader? Does she get excited about the dream God has put in your heart for what he has called you to do? Will she support you? Does her personality weaknesses stump her spiritual growth? Does she have a gift in hospitality and can she share you with other people? Does she love people? Is there a hole in her heart from past issues that can never be filled? Does she have strengths where you have weaknesses? Is she called! You have the right to test. If you see major red flags then seriously seek God. A woman can either MAKE or BREAK your ministry. Allow the Holy-Spirit to lead you and give you the power to say no if that what it takes. Be wise. There should not be a ceiling on your ministry due to selfishness on her part. Most of ALL remember is she CALLED?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry Christmas!


A cup of Coffee or Tea

I love both Coffee and hot tea. We are cutting coffee drinking in our home by half. However, when I get alone time and can work on my blog or just write. I go to the coffee maker and do that hard decision is it Coffee or tea? I want to recommend a brand to you today. It's new and I love the bold flavor of this Hot Tea. This brand of Tea has so many flavors to choose from. I personally love the Orange Jasmine. We had all these teas out at the island in all the rooms. Enjoy!

The Open Door

I have to tell you the small version of how God opened up the door for us to Pastor in the same town where he called us and to the miracle of Tour of Life Island.
I was walking out on the front lawn of my new home. I loved it even though it was hard to keep up. God spoke to me as clear as anything and said" Would you trade your dream for mine?" I looked back at our new home and said " Yes I would. In my heart I always know God's ways are so much more than we could ever even imagine. "He will do abundantly above all....." We had prayed some prayers in Lebanon at that small duplex about where Anthony was to pastor and what we were to do with Tour of Life. You will have to read more details of that in my book coming out this spring. It's an amazing journey! (We were made fun of by old denominational people. They laughed under their breath and gossip is what they had for breakfast. While Anthony's father was passing away there was the ignorance of one saying "God must be trying to get your attention to come back to God." We had gone non-denominational 10 years ago with the blessings of God and are now happily in the AG. But since we don't look like the old denomination we were considered lost. Only we found what GRACE really means. Although we love them and there are some very good people there, God has called us out to a bigger body of Christ.)

It wasn't but a short time my father was diagnosed with cancer. Toward the end when he could still walk my mother called me on the phone and said "Let's go to Precious Moments" It was there that at the door when we were about to leave God opened up a door so wide it's still shocking for us to this day. Tour of Life started in 2005 after Anthony and I had taken a sabbatical from pastoring in Perryville MO. I heard God speak to me that shook my world. I wanted to design a place for pastors to come and rest. If they need professional counseling then that would be there too.

We started praying for pastors and their spouses. Whenever we heard of someone hurting they either received phone call or a dinner invitation. I would show up at pastors homes and churches and just bring them a basket. That's all I could do. Eventually we went on the web radio and started interviewing pastors. We just did those along with a lot of ground work for 4 years.
Back to Precious Moments. The lady at the door found out about TOL and took a card. Shortly after that we got a call from the President. When we went to visit the island it was like a dream because that place was so majestic. After 600 volunteers and a lot of elbow grease we restored the island. During this time Oak Street Assembly came open through God's hand we were voted into pastor there.
My father did pass away. Our home in Bolivar flooded and God moved us to Carthage. Tour of Life has ministered to over 250 pastors INDIVIDUALLY in the last 6 years. After a year of the Grand-Opening we have ministered to 61 pastors. Only 14 stayed at the house. It was such a struggle to get pastors to a Victorian home, pink carpet and lace. I was so disappointed. God always has a plan. We would have never even looked at Carthage if not for God's open door. Oak Assembly is growing and in great revival. Lives have been changed. Thank God for open doors