Oikos

I absolutely love when Holy Spirit speaks to ALL who are listening.

God started speaking to me one week ago about the Greek word Oikos. The definition in the Greek is HOUSEHOLD. But not like our current day household. Old Testament household meant blood family, in-laws, slaves, concubines, migrant workers, all of which lived in the household under the Father of the houses leadership. All were considered relatives. Related!!

Linked together like we are in relationship in the body of Christ. We are the Oikos to others. What that means is we are accountable to and responsible for others through discipleship. We are to teach, care for and be a friend to those whom God strategically placed in our Oikos-Household.

Lauren Maegerlein just texted me to tell me one of her Profs is speaking on Oikos in chapel. I’d say God is sending a message to those who will hear.

I ask you- who is in your Oikos. God has placed people strategically in your household. Identify them and get busy caring for and pouring into those God strategically placed in your life. John 13:34-35

Blessings for your day-Pastor Mel

Judge Not

The tough minded …. respect difference. Their goal is a world made safe for differences. – Ruth Fulton Benedict

Luke 6:37-38

“37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

We must stop assuming we know the answer especially when it comes to others before we ask questions and “hear” what they have to say. I have stopped counting the moments when a judgement is passed and a case is built on 1 assumption.

True compassion hears the heart of another. Do you care enough to stop and simply listen before you decide what is true or false? Are you tough minded enough to let someone be different than you? Im not talking about false doctrine- I’m referring to Christians as well.

Sure is a huge world out there. Just think what one can learn by listening instead of assuming.

(All said in love – PM)

Gratitude

Still reflecting on the smallest of blessings. Things that a person possibly doesn’t give mind to until you do without it. I just came back from a long walk with Nick and dog. What I noticed was the absence of pressure to be in bed no later than 8:30. I was still out walking at my bedtime.

While walking, I took extra time to look at my neighbors flower gardens. Some of which are very thick and hardy which speaks to the maturity of the garden. I don’t remember taking the time to stop and observe the beauty around me, in a very long time. I have been in such a rush/hurry that I’ve blindly driven right by and kept moving.

I was taking in the greatness of this community. The wealth of heritage right here in our small town. Families have stayed here for generations due to the pureness of hospitality and “brotherly/sisterly love”. This is a place where neighbors are truly neighborly.

I will go back to “work/ministry”. It’s only a matter of time. But while I’m waiting on doors to open, I’m taking in every single breath of quality rest, quality living that God is giving me. I want to follow up and say that ministry isn’t work. It’s a lifestyle-it’s a calling. I am referring to the very fast pace that seems to suck me in. I’m going to work at keeping a slower pace as I move into this next season for the goal of better total health – body, mind and spirit.

Turning negatives into positives.

There are always going to be challenges and there are always going to be people who don’t approve of you, don’t like you, see only negatively where you are concerned and rejoice in your downfalls. If you feel like the above statement applies to you, then you are in good company.

I think that loving those people is the challenge – however, Jesus loved those who persecuted him all the way to the cross. His prayer, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do” is the spoken example of His love for His persecutors.

It doesn’t make it easy even knowing Jesus loved beyond persecution, after all, we are very human beings who are striving to be like Christ and need the strength that only God gives in order to overcome. I believe It is ok to guard your heart with those who have been the accuser in your life. Forgiving them doesn’t mean giving them room or space to continue in the life sucking assault on your life. Forgiveness is the release from the chains that the persecution puts a person in. Forgiveness is freedom.

In taking this a step further, when forgiveness and freedom come, bless those who curse you. Then fill your life with those who see your potential, your call, your gifting and especially those who are willing to help cultivate and activate what the Holy has placed in you.

Just say No!

Breaking old habits is hard. I have lived my life pleasing people. Worrying that if I wasn’t found pleasing that It would mean that I wasn’t loved. To compound the issue, I sacrificed any and sometimes all self care. Self care- meaning: rest or time for anything I might find meaningful. Later, after I had given away all I had, even what I needed to maintain my health (mental, emotional and physical) I would become resentful and bottle that resentment up until another day down the road I would meltdown for the smallest reason. What a hard and HUGE lesson and difficult obstacle to overcome.

As of now, I am aware of the importance of self care and the word NO. I am a work in progress in that it’s getting easier to say NO when I know I need to do self care. It’s funny how I’ve told the teams that I have led in ministry that we must minister out of our overflow. What that means is we must look at ourselves as a vessel. We fill ourselves with what we need to be our best self (Holy Spirit) and give away to others the overflow of our well. An empty vessel isn’t good for anyone. Little did I realize that I wasn’t practicing my preaching. I was giving away consistently what I needed to be healthy to everyone else.

I’m sitting here right now feeling tension inside my heart because I had to say no to a few things this weekend and even the upcoming week. I am exercising self care because I have been non stop for 368 solid days until today. I know that breaking this old habit is a process. I am rewriting the narrative in my brain from “if I don’t please “others” they won’t love me – to – “I am worthy of love and giving love, and I must be healthy to do it!”

A CPE moment – Pastor Mel.

The 3 P’s

My faith has increased considerably in my recent season of life. Thankfully – just in time for me to trust God with a certain roller coaster situation.

God is the only truly reliable person that anyone can count on. I know I will never stop giving people chances because that’s who I am. It’s also just what I do. But sometimes I want to stop giving the chance. I want to not extend opportunity to others. All one very large cycle. I know I must always extend the chance or opportunity even if I know deep down inside, they won’t follow through. It’s a form or teaching and learning and ultimately growing.

I have been through the mill on certain levels. Much injury and pain in my lifetime. I just never let anything stop me. I showed up to my post and took my place despite negative odds at times. There I stood anyway. It seems like that quality is rare anymore. No reliability or accountability anymore or at least of much account.

So what’s next – pause, ponder and pray. Wait upon the Lord to renew my strength – and He will. Always! Trust only Him who has Always! Moved on my behalf. He has always shown me favor. He has always provided for me regardless of the need.

I do think there is a time for change though. I welcome change. I like change and I embrace change. Asking God for change in this season. God knows the need, concern and want.

If you want to pray in agreement with me- by all means. Gods will be done. In Jesus name.

Both And

Something on my mind – nothing new right? 🤪

So most recently I was “caught” in a conversation with a few others who I admire, respect and love. But sometimes, even with those “special” people you can get “caught” in a conversation that causes you to wrinkle your nose if you understand what I mean.

The way the conversation went- (I’m holding a cup of much needed coffee) a person says to me, oh- I could use a cup of coffee! Do you guys have coffee here? (We didn’t- I bought mine at local restaurant) I reply, no we don’t, but if I had have known you wanted a cup, I would have gladly bought you one. The reply back to me was – or it’s ok to say that “I’d bought you a cup but I just didn’t think of you to do it”. I know I wrinkled my nose and possibly my forehead too. I’m thinking even now why is it that what I said wasn’t an acceptable answer to the other person? It was my honest answer. I think the moral of what is on my mind is that much of the time it’s not an either/or – or right/wrong concrete answer. What if it’s a both/and or right/right?

I think it’s a deeper issue of the having to always be right epidemic. If others don’t say or do it the way you think they should or it’s somehow different than you, then it’s wrong or not right. People have commonalities but most of the time, people won’t do things exactly the same way – thankfully that creates uniqueness and sets people apart. When will people accept the difference as something of beauty and learn from the difference – by listening to the heart behind what is said or done.

These kinds of things have my full attention right now. God certainly meant for people to find unity through crossing cultural boundaries and learn from each other while doing so. Just because our learned behaviors and culturally formed ways of doing or saying things become a part of our nature, it doesn’t make our way the only right way to do it or say it.

Alright – I need to quit thinking for the night. It’s been a very long day. Lord give me good rest. 😘 love you all.

Please Who?

The word of God says that “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” Colossians 3:23

So wherever we are, whatever we are doing, consider it a work that will glorify the Lord. The difficulty that comes with the great honor of doing all things unto the Lord is pleasing others. We will never be able to please everyone. It’s just not possible. Paul gives great instruction in

I Corinthians 9:19-23 and It reads-

“19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

Still, we must remember that adversity will come. I have personally felt like a pinball at times being pinged around a board scoring points as I go. It can be exhausting. Galatians 6:9 then says “9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

What must a person do to stay healthy? Focus and refocus! It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to be you. It’s ok to take a break. It’s VERY ok to set healthy boundaries. It’s imperative to rest and do self care. A person has to remember though that the only way to renew the mind and stay healthy is through Gods word. Garbage in, garbage out. Healthy food in, good fruit produced. If I am not at my healthiest, no amount of doing all things unto the Lord will keep me from growing weary. Strength, endurance – or as Galatians 5:22 says to be Long-suffering (fruit of the spirit) is a result of “being in Christ” and “walking by the spirit” (also Galatians 5)

You cannot let the opinions, words or thoughts of others steer your course. Even when you are being “all things to all men” you must stay focused on what is true and what is healthy. That very thing is found only in Christ and He will bring you strength.

I love you all – PMel ♥️

Whom then shall I hear?

One of the most difficult lessons of my life has been following the voice of the Lord which my heart confirms to be true.

It’s difficult because my personality is to be a people pleaser/or needs affirmation – caretaker. (If you are familiar with the Enneagram, I am a 2. If you aren’t familiar, look it up. Extremely accurate personality assessment.)

The tension has stretched me painfully beyond my control. What people think of me has mattered so deeply to me that I’ve allowed the thoughts and opinions of others overrule what I’ve heard from God or where I thought He was leading Nick and I – Until lately.

We’ve been learning to implement healthy boundaries and have narrowed in who we will give audience to when it comes to our lives and ministry. Do I think pastors need a pastor? Absolutely. We need people to speak into our lives as deeply as we want to speak into the lives of others. We have simply readjusted our listening. It’s heightened our ability to hear God and to know truth from another person who has earned the right to speak into our lives. Earning the right to speak is key. A trusted source. Someone who has shown honor or respect.

Why am I sharing this? Because there are so many voices in this world. Many of which are not Gods voice or are not close to Godly. Much of what is released in the media is spun in a direction with specific agendas. We must narrow in our field of listening and become so familiar with what is absolute truth so we also know counterfeit when we hear it. No more will I allow the voices of others who would like to influence my life away from Gods will or plan, control my thinking or emotions.

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”

JESUS has my full attention

John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

If someone wants to speak into your life, make sure you know they are speaking of God and not of themselves.

2 Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Much love to you all. PMel.

This scripture has been rolling around in my heart for over a month now. I can think of several things happening around me that it would apply to. What really leaps out at me is the statement of peace being a gift that Jesus is leaving with us. There is no other source capable of giving us the kind of peace that Jesus is speaking of because it’s solely given and left by Him.

The World gives us counterfeit and temporary forms of peace and I’m sure you know it’s fleeting. It’s taken a long while for me to truly learn and grasp the lesson that the only trustworthy person is Jesus himself. Psalm 118:8 says “It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man.” Trusting in man is temporal and the only thing eternal comes through Christ.

A second thought Process I’m having lately is the question “Are you fully living?” Or are you “living fooly?” Yes a play on words. But isn’t it the truth? We can be living but not be Fully living and that’s because the living isn’t in the abundance of life that Christ promises. Jesus says “I came so that you might have life and more abundantly!” Again, peace, fullness of life and abundance are solely found in Christ. No other source known to man can accomplish these things.

You are given a choice! Who then shall you serve? Luke 4:8 says “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'”

Choose Jesus! Who gives peace, fullness of life and abundance. Nothing else will and nothing else can.

Love you all – Pastor Mel.