Tuesday, May 11, 2010

women's ministry

My mind has been a whirlwind lately of thoughts about Women's Ministry.  So much so that I am wishing I had a degree in Women's Ministry from SEBTS and not just Biblical Counseling!  I'm having to remind myself that God is in control and knows exactly how to reach the women in and outside of our church.  We collected almost 50 surveys from women on Sunday and I spent almost all of Sunday evening collecting data and making charts of what the women in our church want.  (Remember my comments about organization yesterday...yeah).

Bottom line, I know that women are busy.  Whether they work at home or outside of the home. Whether they have young kids or grown kids.  We women seem to have trouble saying "no" I have realized, and that can almost leave no time for "extra" stuff.  Unfortunately, church can sometimes get put in that "extra" category.  I know I'm a little bit different because as a minister's wife, I sometimes feel that church is our only category!  (And I'm ok with that!)  I guess because church can sometimes feel like it is my "only category" I am so eager to spend time with women at church, but I realize that not everyone else is that flexible.

Why am I writing about this?  Well, I need your help!  I have heard from the women in our church.  Now I want to hear from you!  What elements of women's ministry at your church are most relevant to you?  What Bible studies have you most enjoyed?  What is the most important element of a women's ministry?  What aspect of an event, study, or program makes you look at your busy schedule and decide it is worth your time?  What element would you love for your church to include in a women's ministry?

I know what I think - and it would take a ton of posts to fill you in on what's going on in my head write now about Women's ministry ideas.  So I would love to know what you think!  If you can, please take a moment to share your ideas.  Thanks!

Monday, May 10, 2010

musical monday

As you can probably tell from my blog (that seems to only be active on Mondays!), in my mind, Monday is a day for me to start fresh each week.  No matter how crazy messy my house got over the weekend, no matter how much paper I have accumulated into (numerous) piles, no matter what I failed to accomplish the week before as the hours got away from me - Monday is the day that I just start all over.  I always seem to have a motivation to get my house cleaned, catch up on laundry, cook well for my family, etc, etc.  (Of course my motivation could be that I know I have piano students coming to my house for the next 3 days and want it somewhat presentable - whatever works!)

Same goes for blogging.  I know that Mondays call for a Musical Monday and it causes me to think about what song spoke the most to me last week or the previous day in worship.  Sometimes I just think I'm so quirky.  I like to be organized, but honestly that has equated to an organized plan (for almost everything in my life from coupons, to recipes, to closets, to schedules), but not always an organized existence.  I guess I just like the thought of organization, but it's not always my reality.  Oh, that it would be!  ...To take my intentions and be intentional!

Now to be even more honest!  The songs that I share on Mondays are songs that have spoken to me in a unique way.  Usually, they are songs that point us to a great Savior, hopefully causing us to worship Him in a new way.  Unfortunately, these songs are kind of like my organizational methods - I like the idea of them and the way they make me think, but sometimes that's as far as I let the songs take me.  Too often I end up appreciating the musicality or the writing of the composers, not surrendering in worship to the One whom they have written about.  In other words, I like the thoughts that the song introduces or evokes in me, but I don't always make it my reality!

I love organizing.  But what good is it if I don't use organization to make better use of the time God has given me?  I love music.  But what good is it if I don't allow music to bring me closer to the God who inspires the music?

The following song is one that has been in my head the last few weeks and one that I found myself praying to God in praise this morning.  We sang it yesterday in church and last week in our worship service in the park.  It's powerful.  Allow God to use this song to draw you closer to Him today.  What a reminder of our Savior who sacrificed His life for us. May it become a reality in all that you do today.

Blessed Redeemer
    I just looked up the lyrics for you and realized the words were written in 1920 to a little bit of a different tune - love it!  So here are the original lyrics.  But if you haven't heard Casting Crowns sing it yet, you need to!

  1. Up Calv’ry’s mountain, one dreadful morn,
    Walked Christ my Savior, weary and worn;
    Facing for sinners death on the cross,
    That He might save them from endless loss.
    • Refrain:
      Blessed Redeemer! Precious Redeemer!
      Seems now I see Him on Calvary’s tree;
      Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading,
      Blind and unheeding—dying for me!
  2. “Father forgive them!” thus did He pray,
    E’en while His lifeblood flowed fast away;
    Praying for sinners while in such woe—
    No one but Jesus ever loved so.
  3. Oh, how I love Him, Savior and Friend,
    How can my praises ever find end!
    Through years unnumbered on heaven’s shore,
    My tongue shall praise Him forevermore.