Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just Had to Share...

My Little Princess
(Tricia, here's the pic that Kempton showed at the camp. Thanks for asking me to post it. It's one of my faves!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What Did You Put On Today?

Firefighters know what to put on before going into a burning building.

Soldiers know what to put on before going into combat.

Police officers know what to put on before going into the line of fire.

As a believer, do you know what to put on so you will be ready for war? That is the war of the flesh and the Spirit (1 Peter 2:11, James 4:1). The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit and vice versa (Gal. 5:17, Rom. 7:22-23). It's a constant fight. We need to continuously be in the act of "putting off and putting on". Here are a couple of passages that further explain this -

Colossians 3
Put off - Sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. (v.5,8)

Put on - Compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bearing with one another, forgiving each other, and above all these put on love. (v. 12-14)

Ephesians 4
Put off - Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice.(v.31)

Put on - Kindness, tenderhearted, and forgiving one another. (v. 32)

Basically we fight the flesh and the schemes of the devil by putting on the whole armor of God (Eph 6:10-18). Are you physically fully clothed, but spiritually naked? What's the condition of your heart? God is ultimately concerned about the state of your heart because from it flow the springs of life (Prov 4:23). So each morning, be sure to "dress" your heart!

Refreshed & Rejuvenated

What a refreshing time we had at the retreat! One of the other wives said it best,

"This time is such a gift because we can do whatever we want instead of having everyone else dictate what we do."

What a gift indeed! I would suggest all churches to have a get away like this for their pastors' wives. I believe the whole church body would benefit because the wife would be rejuvenated to serve her husband and he would be helped to serve the body. What a blessed cycle of service that would be!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Signing off!

I'm signing off for a week because I'm planning to attend the Pastors' Wives Retreat. This is an annual gift that our church gives all the pastors' wives for our service and sacrifice to our husbands and the church. What a huge blessing! Thank you BBC!

This is a first!

Last week while my husband was away speaking at a Youth Camp, I received a pleasant surprise. The camp staff sent me these beautiful flowers. They expressed their gratitude to me for “lending” Kempton to them for the weekend. Kempton has been a minister throughout our entire courtship and marriage. The Lord has blessed him with the gift of speaking. So, he often gets asked to speak at various events. In all our almost 10 years of marriage, no one has sent me flowers as the speaker’s wife. That was so sweet and thoughtful of them.

Pastors’ wives often have to selflessly sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom. Our husbands’ jobs technically never end. Many women have asked me if I mind it. When we were first married, I was bothered by it because I didn’t understand my role, gifts, and service to my husband and the church. Praise God I have grown since then. Now if we see an open door for ministry that we sense God wants Kempton to do, I gladly (by God’s grace) support him because I know that when he’s at home he’s ALL here. The kids & I have his undivided time & attention. So, when it’s time for him to serve the body of Christ, our family tank is full. I thank God for that. I pray that we will continue to invest in one another first which allows us to adequately serve others.

There’s a line in the movie, “Fireproof” that says, “You should never leave your partner behind.” Ministry couples really need to be reminded of this. The husband & wife should first “outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10), “look to the interest of one another” (Phil 2:4), “lay down their lives for one another” (1 John 3:16). Each person should strive to give 100%, not 50/50. Then as one has to go and do their individual ministry, they are still on one accord and unified with their spouse. May Christ be your ultimate example as you selflessly and wholeheartedly serve and love your spouse.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Six Lessons I’ve Learned from Christian's Life

1) True Happiness doesn’t come from health.

2) True Contentment doesn’t come from a cure.

3) True Peace doesn’t come from progress.

4) True Grace doesn’t come from growth charts.

5) True Wisdom doesn’t come from words spoken.

6) True Faith doesn’t come from favorable results.

Son, our God has used you to teach mommy that ALL these things come from Him. He is the giver of all spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3). Likewise, True Joy is found in Jesus alone. Because of Him, you are one of the best joys of my life!

Happy 6th Birthday Mama’s big boy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The 6th Pic!

I got this idea from my friend, Barb. Even though I wasn't tagged, I want to do it anyway.

Since it's the 6th, I'm going to post the 6th pic of the 6th folder on my computer.

My brother, Curt, and sister-in-"love", Shelly.

This pic was taken at the Mall of America in Aug '08 when they came to visit us for the 1st time in MN. They actually were just visting us this week so Curt could attend the Pastor's Conference with Kempton. It's a honor to have both my husband and brother in full-time ministry. Not only is my brother walking with the Lord, but he has a God-glorifying wife walking hand in hand with him. Shelly is the sweetest SIL ever! I praise God for you two. It's always a joy spending time with you. Not only are we in the same earthly family, but most importantly, we are in the same eternal family. Continue to "let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One of my Heroes of the Faith

"I'd rather be in this wheelchair knowing Him than on my feet without Him."
~Joni Eareckson Tada
For over 40 years, Joni Eareckson Tada has been confined to a wheelchair. A diving accident at the age of 17 left her paralyzed from the neck down. I have never met her, but God has used her ministry through speaking, books, & family retreat to greatly encourage me. The one passage that immediately comes to mind when I think of her is 2 Cor 1:3-11. Here's why:
1) She strives to bless "the God of all comfort" at all times. (v. 3)
2) She allows God to comfort her in all her affliction. In return, she has been used to comfort millions with the same comfort that she receives. (v.4)
3) She is transparent about her suffering, difficulties, and pain. She doesn't paint a picture that life is all good and happy. But she beautifully displays a life of satisfaction and joy in Christ. She has been an example of "relying not on ourselves but on God." (v. 8-9)
4) She continues to set her hope on God and has devoted her life to telling others about this all-sufficient God of hope. (v.10)
5) She humbly asks for prayer for herself and for the ministry that God has entrusted to her. (v.11)
Thank you Joni for 30 years of ministry to people with disabilities and their families across the US and around the world! I praise God for you! You are truly a gift to the body of Christ!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Sermon For Such A Time As This

Sunday's sermon was one of the most challenging, convicting, & compelling sermons I've ever heard. Pastor John preached on "What is the Recession For?" You MUST listen to (or read) it if you haven't done so already. Below are the 5 points that were discussed.

(Some of) God’s Purposes in This Recession

1) He intends for this recession to expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing.

2) He intends to wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.

3) He intends to relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods, in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.

4) He intends to advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.

5) He intends for the church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.