And Out of Season

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Sunday morning I did a very bad thing.

It was the final keynote address to the teens gathered at the Watson conference and I introduced Pastor Joseph Gilchrist as the speaker.

Why is that so bad?

Because he found out he was speaking as I introduced him.

While Joseph is a dear friend and brother in the Lord, he’s also someone I mentor. And as such putting him in safe but precarious situations is part of my job.

There is no teacher like experience.

We can prepare, practice, and plan all we want, but we as humans learn things faster and more deeply in moments of real-world, first-time pressure than we do in any classroom.

God understands this too. That’s why we normally don’t get a heads up when testing comes. It simply arrives. And how we respond under pressure is who we really are. (Thanks to Joseph’s dad, Pastor Kirk Gilchrist, for burning that one into my head).

God is after our authentic response and our genuine growth. He’s not into the superficial, the temporary, or the transient. He wants long-term development enough that he’s willing to risk short-term setbacks.

So how did Joseph handle it? After a minute of humorous shock – which he played very well – and a brief moment of strategizing, he pulled it off in style and shared a powerful message on one of his trademark themes “Going Public” for Jesus. Everyone was inspired and challenged to resist the fleshly urge to remain selfish with the Gospel.

I’m very proud of him and believe he’ll make a better Youth Pastor than I ever was.

Be on your guard, you’re probably “out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2) in some area that’s about to get called on. ch:

Situational Maturity

Eva lost her 3rd tooth in a week last night. The first popped out while going up the stairs; the second popped out at a 4th of July fiesta on the driveway.

But this one was different. After wrestling with indecision and blood for 30 minutes, she finally pulled it out herself.

(Which is amazing because not even I had the nerve to pull it for her).

Growth happens. Whether we want it to or not, life makes room for its next stages. We can either complain about the circumstances, or embrace the inevitable and get a dollar under our pillow sooner.

Mature with your season instead of seeing your circumstances as the enemy. ch:

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Four Seasons!

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No I’m not talking about the four seasons hotel, although it sounds nice right about now. For those of you who are involved in ministry, you know that the holidays tend to pile a lot on your plate.  I’m not talking about turkey and pumpkin pie, but work!  I don’t think we have yet recuperated from all the time and effort we put into the last two months of the year. So far January has been slow paced, but as soon as I say that, I take a deep breath and BAM there is something big waiting around the corner!
I’ve been ask so many times, “Jerah, how do you balance marriage, kids and ministry?”  First I kind of chuckle because I immediately think about the times my kids are screaming because they have to wake up at the crack of dawn so that mommy and daddy can get to church for sound check or when my husband and I are talking more on twitter than in real life because of the demands of life pulling us in other directions. After those flash backs, I simply answer, “There is no balance”. I would drive myself insane if I were constantly making sure everything was getting the same and fair amount of attention. The bottom line is that ministry is unpredictable and so is life. We can’t put those things in a box. I think of it as putting God in a box and we all know we should never do that. Just go with the flow.
The best way for me to describe it would be in seasons. Spring tends to be at a medium pace for me. I love planting flowers and getting my house reorganized, deep cleaning and the subsiding of ministry demands.  Summer is kind of a lazy time with vacationing, laying around the pool and longer days. I call this the” resting period”. Then fall comes along bringing the excitement of pumpkins, candy, good food, church festivals and being with family. It seems you start to get the taste of what’s to come. I call this the “get your rear in gear” season. Before you know it, it’s the season to be jolly which is ironic considering you are running around like a crazy person trying to buy gifts, going to Christmas production rehearsals and Christmas party after Christmas party. I call this the “does anybody recognize me?” season. Now I know there is a lot more of life involved than what I listed but I was just scratching the surface. I’m sure for some of you these seasons even mix together. I know at times mine do.
What ever season you find yourself in, welcome it with open arms. For instance, the next time spring comes chirping in, get excited about things that are to come and don’t be afraid to “spring clean” your life a little.  In those summer seasons learn to rest in the Lord and be ok with your empty plate. Or when the fall season starts off taunting you with a huge to do list, look to Jesus and remember this is all for His glory. As for the season to be jolly? Well, do just that; find the joy of the Lord in all the craziness and business of your life and always remember that God will never give you more than you can bare.

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Christ follower, wife to an incredible worship leader Brandon Divine, mother to 3 crazy but sweet boys and worship leader/songwritter.  I love people, talking, playing games of any kind and sushi is something I could eat everyday. My husband says I talk to much but I have a lot to share.