Featured Post Chris Janson, The Power Of One

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!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Me and My Three Son's

I Love my boys! They are funny, silly and totally full of energy. We have had some amazing times together. It's been rough and difficult at times, but it's been worth it. I can't wait to see what God has in store for them. Words to describe them....

Austin: Quiet, reserved, silent leader, genius, brilliant computer programmer and filming, cinematography,musician

Spencer: Outdoors man, artist, Outgoing, Missionary, bold, dramatic and musician

Ashton: determined, strong, sporty, leader, hard worker, funny, entrepreneur and independent 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Eye Of The Storm

I love that old song, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." It reminds me of our heavenly Father who cares so much about us. He attends to each one of us meticulously in so many different ways. Not like a nurse in a hospital who has seen patient after patient and lacks the capacity to even notice the needs of the patients. She has a list of duties to attend to. She lacks energy and focus. That's humane nature.Our God is not like that. He is ever present always looking out for our good. He can know what we need before we even ask or think. Storms are a very part of our lives. We live close to Kansas, Oklahoma and Joplin so storms are something we see a lot. In history we learned that in a hurricane storm there is a quiet place.

Often, we look for joy in the morning after the dark of night, or calm after the storm passes, however, 
sometimes peace is to be had right there in the middle of the storm.
In Matthew 14:24-25, we see the disciples stuck on a boat literally in the middle of a storm. They don't 
even get an opportunity/think to call on Jesus before he is making his way out to meet them. Jesus could 
have canceled the storm from shore, but he, the Prince of Peace, went out to meet them in the middle of 
the storm
.Psalm 29:11
The LORD blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 34:14
*Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 32:17
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence for ever.
Psalm 37:37
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.
Psalm 85:8
*I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints--but let them not return to folly.
Psalm 119:165
*Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

We have been through many storms in our lives and God has always been faithful! Recently, after we took the pastorate in Carthage our church went through a transition, then the parsonage had black mold. God blessed us with what I call our "Eye in the Storm" We have found so much peace in this place. I know the Peace Maker, but he also has blessed us with a Peaceful place to rest in the midst of our storm.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Valentine's Dinner

Chef Randal did an amazing job preparing an amazing meal for us in February. It was a fun night to get together with the church in our home. My boys were so excited the whole day just watching all the preparations.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thyroid Storm

I took a nap days ago and when I woke up I had a chest cold with soreness in my lungs. The soreness went up to the upper part of the chest and I got shortness of breath. I soon started to get pain in my back.
Thinking it was bronchitis, I thought it might be asthma. The pain got worse in my chest. Soon my husband took me the emergency. Rushed to the back  they attended to me with swift care. My heart rate was at dangerous levels. I was going into congestive heart failure. My heart was enlarged. The fluid from my lungs and heart started the t cough. They were concerned about stroke. I have to remember back to when the symptoms started, in which I totally ignored. God is Great. He has brought me through this to the other side. It will be a slow process to recovery but I am thankful!
I have always had heart beat races. I just thought it was part of my make-up. In the last two years I noticed my memory was forgetting things. My heart started racing all the time. Extreme hot and cold flashes. My voice began to sound hoarse. I started to get dizzy a lot. Then, last year I suffered from anxiety for 6 months. After testing at the Dr. office my TSA levels was higher then normal.. I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism I wanted to wait for more testing till after Christmas. Time caught up! Don't let the signs be ignored.
Thyroid warning signs.


Other symptoms that can occur with this disease:

Thyroid Storm

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Thyroid storm results from untreated hyperthyroidism. It is usually brought on by a stress such as trauma or infection.


Symptoms are severe and may include:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Betrayal In The Ministry


She sat across the table from me at a local restaurant. While waiting for our lunch she began to tell me what had just happened to her. Her husband was a young associate pastor, well-liked by the people he was ministering to – effective for Christ.  For several years he had enjoyed a successful ministry.

Then the unthinkable happened, and their world crumbled. Without warning, his supervising pastor, his teammate, told him it was time to move on to another ministry. Both she and her husband were left broken, emotionally devastated.

As we talked over lunch, my mind wandered back to a similar betrayal just years earlier. I can think of no greater emotional and spiritual wound than the pain of betrayal inflicted by a ministry teammate. The wounding actions of a fellow Christian fast become wounds to the soul. The reality of it has been disheartening as I have witnessed how Christians can discard coworkers with no apparent care for them.

What’s so tough about betrayal of this nature is that it not only causes emotional pain, but often thrusts us into spiritual confusion. It’s especially difficult because we expect to be helped not hurt by people in leadership. As Ronald Enroth puts it in his book, Recovering From Churches that Abuse, “When our trust is violated by those…who have the special role as spiritual caretakers,(lying children pastors, worship leaders, deacons, and controlling families who occupy every position in the church) and shepherds of God’s flock, the pain, injury, and disillusionment can be devastating.” It can damage the central core of who we are. End quote: It's easy to blame the pastor for everything. But if there is a dominating abusive family who are bullies, then that goes for this as well. If they love eating pastor after pastor because they can't have control and are easily offended, or have their way. They are pastor abusers. A Good book Look for the Book .  " When Sheep Attack their Shepard     Statistics show there are a far greater number of Sheep abusing then the other way around. That is why a great reason why over 19,000 Pastors will quit the ministry this year.  Please read: 

Would you believe that in just a matter of a few weeks your pastor and his family could be abused, humiliated, and unemployed? In just a matter of days your parish could be split down the middle. A couple of months from now close to forty percent of the people you currently see at worship could no longer be there. Close to half of those will never again attend worship or participate in any church. Friends that you see talking and laughing this Sunday may never speak again.

The substance of this book is based on twenty-five clergy and congregations that have lived through that very scenario. The clergy were bullied and then attacked by a small group of antagonists in their congregations. The antagonists successfully “removed them.” Thriving and growing congregations under their leadership were left with diminished attendance, membership and financial resources.

This book explains how it happened. It identifies the toxic elements in the congregational system that allowed the antagonists to succeed. It explores what could have been done to stop them. And finally, the author suggests measures that clergy and congregations can put in place to make sure that it doesn’t happen to them.

This is a must read for clergy and lay leaders. Discussion questions are included at the end of each chapter. It is perfect for a vestry or board retreat or to be utilized as a study before each meeting.

Very important message on how pastors are hurting today all across the World.

Start quote: Isaiah 53:3 says, “He (Christ) was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” We are not alone in our pain. One of the sorrows Jesus experienced was the sorrow of betrayal. Judas, one of His closest teammates, eventually betrayed Him with a kiss. This was a man who had been a close companion of Jesus for over three years. He had ministered with Jesus.

What did Christ do when Judas betrayed Him? In Matthew 26:50 He called him “friend.” In the very act of betrayal Jesus called His betrayer “friend.” In 1 Corinthians 11:23 we read, “…The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed…” What did He do? He instituted the Lord’s Supper. I don’t believe the phrase, “on the night He was betrayed” was just thrown in there. I believe there is great significance in its inclusion. Even though Jesus’ heart hurt, there was no time for bitterness, for hate, for retaliation, there was kingdom work still to be done. In the midst of betrayal Jesus had to get on with it.

His response got me thinking, “What have I instituted as a result of the betrayal in my own life?” Have I been able to call my betrayer “friend”? If I’m honest with myself I’d have to admit that “on the night I was betrayed” I was too busy wiping my tears and feeling sorry for myself to be able to see God’s greater purpose in it.

Having had time to heal and many years to process a ministry betrayal, God has shown me five things we can institute in the midst of this kind of pain:

1. Forgiveness – God can use our ministry betrayals as opportunities for forgiveness. How easy it is to hold on to our hurt and institute bitterness instead of forgiveness. But that is not what we’re called to do. We need to forgive the people or person who has hurt us. You may even need to “forgive” God. I know for a while I was angry at God. I said, “I love You and I have served You. How could You allow this to happen to us?” And then God turned my attention to the cross. Who am I to think I will be exempt from the very kind of treatment Christ received?

Perhaps the hardest part about forgiving my betrayer was the fact that there was never an apology. Nevertheless, I am called to forgive. Lewis B. Smedes said, “Forgiving is a journey, sometimes a long one, and we may need some time before we get to the station of complete healing, but the nice thing is that we are being healed en route. When we genuinely forgive, we set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner we set free was us.”

2. Grace – It’s easy to think the worst of our betrayers instead of trying to see them as God sees them. Do these people intend to inflict hurt? In most cases, probably not. Often leaders are unaware of the wounds they are inflicting on others. Many, blindly, become so focused on their own personal agendas that they lose sight of the person. Over time as God’s grace helps us to heal, we become more ready to give grace to others. By extending grace we can come to the place of someday calling our betrayer “friend”.

3. Let God Deal with Your Betrayer – It’s hard to leave injustices and wrongful treatment in the hands of God, but we must. Christ didn’t do anything about His own suffering although He could have. Instead, He allowed Himself to be beaten, betrayed, spit upon, and finally crucified. Jesus commanded His disciples to absorb the wrong done to them and to do good instead (Matthew 5:38-48). They were to overcome evil by doing good, leaving justice to God (Romans 12:17-21).

4. Make Peace with the Sovereignty of God – Either God is in control or He’s not. He uses the circumstances of our everyday lives to transform us if we let Him. We must learn to trust God even when there seems no reason to do so. One of the verses God gave us during that time was Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” As I have been able to recognize God’s hand of deliverance, I have been able to see the good and grow – and that growth has helped me to be able to call the experience a “friend.”

5. Let God Use Your Betrayal – I could understand and empathize with the young ministry wife who shared her story with me because I knew too well what she was going through. God has a purpose for everything and one of those purposes is to use our pain to help others. He will use all of our experiences, all of our pain – if we let Him. Not one is wasted.

Maybe the betrayal you’ve experienced hasn’t come from a ministry partner, but from a friend, spouse, or child. Injustice of any kind hurts. The crucifixion of Christ was a terrible injustice. But God used betrayal – a kiss no less – to accomplish the salvation of the world. What does He desire to institute through your betrayal?   By Shelly Esser