October is coming, and the question is, “Have you thought about your pastor, youth minister and deacons’ appreciation for the service they do for your church?” We shouldn’t just wait until one time of the year, but we should show appreciation often for the service they give to your church.
"Often pastors feel like they're in a NASCAR race, It's hard to manage it all. You hit the gas and you just go, go, go."
I want you to know that I know being a pastor or church staff member is the most difficult job in the world. While it has unbelievable high, we know leading volunteer armies and facing an enemy (Satan and his demons) we may or may not encounter on a regular basis. Pastors have given their lives to serve people only a daily basis. Two of the most important words that we can ever say is "thank you."
1. Thank you for going to God on our behalf and praying for us daily.
2. Thank you for studying God's Word and communicating its truths to us in a compelling fashion.
3. Thank you and your family for being willing to live in a fishbowl.
4. Thank you for demonstrating grace, love and patience when people question your motives and competency. Sheep may be dumb, but they bite. And they have a taste for pastors and church staff.
5. Thank you for putting in countless hours.
6. Thank you for being men of impeccable character and integrity.
7. Thank you to your spouses and children for their willingness to share you with us.
8. Thank you for challenging and then helping us live a life of meaning and purpose.
9. Thank you for presiding over the landmark moments of our lives—baptisms, weddings and funerals.
10. Thank you for having the courage to tell us about the sin in our lives and our need for repentance and a Savior.
11. Thank you for walking with us through tragedy, marital troubles, raising children and life's great challenges.
12. Thank you for the periodic phone calls, texts and emails just to see how we are doing.
13. And most of all, thank you for not quitting each Monday.
In conclusion, we will thank you every day of eternity for serving us, the church and our Lord so well. "Thank you" is not nearly enough, but I hope these two words encourage you today.
Churches need to recognize the hard work that the pastor and his staff accomplish for the church and the Lord. How to do this? Gift cards, handwritten notes, a money tree, a vacation package, detail their cars, baby sit their kids for a night out to eat, old fashion pounding (for those who don’t know what this is—it is staple foods given by members called a pounding), a new suit, but the best gift is your faithful attendance to church services.
NWMA 1st Vice President
In the Potter’s hand… When we look at the pottery we just see beauty and perfection. Only the potter and the piece know what each one had to go through to get to that point. I am not a potter but I can imagine that some pieces form with ease. The material is moldable and forms into the perfect piece with little coaxing. Then there are THOSE pieces, pieces that are more stubborn, pieces that have to be squished and reformed, pieces that have a flaw and no matter what the potter does it just keeps reoccurring, pieces that began as one thing and just never quite made it. They are still useful but the potter never got it exactly like he wanted it, but the pottery still has a purpose, still have a use.
From the pottery’s point of view the process can be quite intense. The forming, the constant pressure, reshaping, and refining. Then the firing. Each piece has to go through this process, has to be fired or it is useless.
If we apply this to our lives the firing comes in many shapes and sizes and the heat is hotter for some than others, but we each have our firing process to go through. For some of us, multiple firing processes are needed. But in the end the Master Potter looks at the pottery and sees perfection and beauty. Often the piece, or those humans looking at the piece, see the cracks, the bumps, the dents, the lopsided lip, but the Potter smiles and says “This is MY piece! I created it just the way I wanted it to be, I love it, and it has a purpose only it can fill, a purpose that it is perfect for.”
So when the process seems to be too much. When you feel that you can’t go on because the fire is to hot, remember the Potter NEVER leaves the piece, he is always checking in on it, always caressing the pottery, and enjoying the pottery. After all he is the creator. And when you create something you put some of yourself in it and you never forget it because IT IS YOURS!!
Thank you God for caring enough to create beauty out of clay. Thank you for loving the creation and for firing the creation, because only then can our true purpose be reached. The fire is hot but the outcome is worth it, please remind us daily (and some days, moment by moment) that you are checking on us and caressing us and loving us. We need you, oh we need you! AmenType your paragraph here.
Them ‘Ole Yellow Weeds
I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but spring is coming on strong in East Texas. There are so many things blooming and buzzing, it is a great time of year. However, with all the good comes some not so good; and one of these is yellow weeds. I am sure they have a real name, but I am also sure I don’t know what it is. I just know they are everywhere, they are ugly, they are useless and did I mention they are everywhere?
So yesterday, as many days in past springs, I set out to rid a certain area of all those pesky weeds. As I was pulling them a thought came to my mind. These weeds could be a metaphor for sin in my life. First of all, I don’t know where the weeds come from, much like the sins I commit. They just pop up: “Did I say that?” “Where did that thought come from?” “When did that become a part of my life?”
Also, the weeds are on display for all to see. In a few weeks, passersby will see a field of yellow in the pasture, and probably yard, surrounding our house. But you know what? I will see them in others’ pastures too, and I cannot judge them because we suffer from the same issue, those “ole yellow weeds”. Just like sin, everyone has them, and if I am busy trying to devoid my property of them, I do not have time to speculate about what other people should do for theirs.
So as I set out to pull these weeds there was another similarity to sin I noticed: some just pulled right up and some were more stubborn, some I just pulled roots and all and tossed to the side, others broke off at the ground, only to return another day. HMM, just like the sins I have. Some are just pesky and I can quickly identify them and toss them aside, but others run deeper, are harder to let go of, the roots are just stronger. These are the sins that are more difficult to get rid of in my life. These are the sins I enjoy. Yes, I said enjoy: the gossip in the breakroom (it doesn’t hurt anyone, just sharing), the little bit too much pride I have when recognized for a job well done. These deep sins are sometimes the ones no one but God and I know about, the sins that rear their ugly “yellow” heads in my mind. These are the sins I have tried to pull up but just broken off. God knows what they are, I know what they are.
You know what, if I really want to get rid of those stubborn ones I could go get the hoe, dig the roots up, and they would be finished. However, that would mean going to the shed and finding the hoe, remembering where that weed was… just too much effort. So I break it off and know it will return again for me to deal with. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it happens in our lives as well as in our yards.
So I pulled those weeds up for about 30 mins (well really only about 10, but it seemed longer) and you know what? When I returned to that spot today there were more weeds. Some that had just shown their heads today, but some that were there yesterday and I just didn’t notice. Just like sin, they keep coming back. That is human nature, which is what Satan uses against us. But we can’t give up. There will come a point in time when those weeds will just get the best of me and I will give up. We can’t do that with sin. We have to keep on keeping on.
I hope each person reading this has a blessed Spring and wish you lots of luck with the weeds in your yard and the weeds in your heart.
I John 1:9 “For if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Cindy Allen, Texas WMA President
If you are a WMA lady, you probably love WMA. You love the Lord, studying HIs Word, and sharing the gospel message. You also love to work with the children and youth in your church. Often we don't understand why every other woman in our church doesn't share that same love.
The truth is, they probably do, but the women you may be thinking of could be feeling overwhelmed with life. I know I felt that way for a while: three kids in school; schoolwork every night; preparing three meals a day; grocery shopping; finding the money for new jeans and tennis shoes (even before cell phone bills); a full-time job.
Let's consider some ways we might enlist these ladies in WMA (or maybe, church).
Encourage. Paul said, in Romans 1, he was anticipating mutual encouragement because of "each other's faith, both yours and mine." Pray that God will show them our faith, as we pray for them, asking God to show us their faith. What a great way to show encouragement - praying for our mutual faith.
Notice. In Exodus, God took notice of the plight of the people of Israel. (His chosen people) while they were in Egypt. In our mission to let Christ live through us, we should be noticing what His children are going through. God had a plan for the children of Israel, and He has a plan for His children today. Shouldn't we pray that God will use us and the we would wholeheartedly participate in His plan?
Love. Between the letters of John and James, we know that we are supposed to be showing our love to our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we do not visibly love fellow believers, then our belief comes into question. Let's pray for opportunities to demonstrate God's Love, allowing it to flow through us.
Include. Sometimes there is nothing more hurtful to an already fragile personality than to think that you've been left out. Make every effort to include all the ladies, whether they attend or not, in activties of the WMA or ladies' group. Communication is so very important. Keep everyone informed.
Stand. No matter what, stand firm in belief, conviction, and the teaching of the Word of God. Remember, we are examples to the world (and our fellow believers). We are to exhibit maturity in Christ. What an admonition for us to be what Christ expects of us to be!
Teach. The book of Titus tells us that we are to teach the younger ladies, and tells us what to teach, "so that the Word of God may not be reviled." Fellow WMA ladies, we need to be teaching our younger ladies, even if we have to step outside the walls of the church to do so. Again, pray that God will grant us opportunities.
Texas WMA 1st Vice President, Johnnie Ross P.O. Box 1046, Gilmer, TX 75644
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