Saturday, February 17, 2007


In light of the upcoming events for the women at JPBC I wanted to repost this blog on mentoring.

I have been in ministry for 26 years. I'm going to confess that for all those years I have seen very little of Titus II operating within the local church. I haven't seen older men teaching and encouraging the younger men in the ways of LORD nor have I seen younger women teaching and training younger women. I can only count one who sought to mentor me intentionally, an older woman whose name was Carolyn Badry. One of the greatest things she ever did for me was to challenge me to read. What Happens When Women Pray, by Evelyn Christensen. She even loaned me her copy! At another time, maybe I'll share how that alone impacted my life and created miraculous events that still awe me to this day. I'm not saying that there weren't others that I learned from. There were a few, but what I learned from them I learned at a distance, by watching.

I personally didn't grow up in a Christian home. I was completely clueless when it cam to parenting and marriage in general much less in the ways of God. I fumbled and stumbled throughout. I learned too much the hard way. Oh, how I longed for someone to come along and walk with me, teaching, training and encouraging me. Listen, I know now that there was no one that would have had all the answers or would have been perfect. That wasn't what I needed or even wanted. I needed someone who loved the LORD and His Word so that it overflowed to me. Someone who knew Him longer and deeper than myself and who would share a few tips along the journey.

I wonder how many other women were looking for the same things. I also wonder if the ways of God had been practiced within the Church, if we'd have the problems we have today reaching out to the younger generations. I wonder if the divorce rate would be what it is today in the Church if Titus II were applied. What I have seen in most churches is a caretaker mentality, (just take care of ME!) Not at all the picture Christ gave us for the Church.

Ephes. 4:15-16 (NKJV)

…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Every one of us must be doing our share in edifying the body of Christ. A lot of the talking I’ve heard has been full of everything but love; critical, slanderous, malicious or empty and shallow. We are all called to continue to grow in Christ; and to do our part in helping others grow in Christ.

We have seen that we are all called to love the Church through edifying the Body. We have also seen that God specifically has told us to whom and what we women are to speak in love. We share Woman to Woman and Man to Man. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out the wisdom in doing this God’s way. God also gave us some starting points:

Titus 2:3-5 (NKJV)

…teachers of good things -- that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands…

The question that comes next is how. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with love for the Lord that I can’t contain myself. I love how He loves me. I love how He knows me. As I was reading Titus II again He whispered two different verses to me. At first I responded with, “okay, Lord I will look at those later.” Then I realized He was still teaching me about Titus II. Read the following passages and then I’ll share what the Lord was saying to me.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen

Deut. 6:6-9; 20-25 (NKJV)

"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

"When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?' then you shall say to your son: 'We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the Lord showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.'

The Lord was saying that we make things much harder than they need to be. In the great commission He says that we are to, “Go.” Now a more accurate translation is, as you go. As we go we are to make disciples and teach them how to obey. As we go we are to intentionally share our faith and then continue to share our faith in discipling. In the Deuteronomy passage we see it in reference to parenting, in our case think spiritual parenting or mentoring if you prefer. We intentionally look for the opportunity to share with love as we are sitting, walking, etc. My mentor Carolyn Badry didn’t walk up to me one day and say, “I want to mentor you” or, “I want to teach you a few things.” She invited me into her home and just talked. She shared books with me that had meant something to her and helped her to grow in the Lord. She prayed with me when she knew there was a need. She encouraged me to exercise my gift that I didn’t even know I had; by asking me to teach her class. She edified me and I am forever grateful.

I see three steps in Deuteronomy. Step one: We love the Lord and His Word so much that we become one with Him and His Word that it over flows from us so that others notice it. We can’t share opinions or lead in wrong paths we must know, live and share His truth. Step Two: We intentionally look for the opportunities to share with younger women and we do so diligently. Step Three: When we are asked questions we willingly share our own experiences and encounters with the Lord, the victories and the failures. All we do, we do out of sincere and genuine love for them and our precious Lord and Savior Jesus the LORD’S Christ.

I have challenged the older to seek out the younger but you who are young in the ways of LORD, newly married or a young parent can seek out the older, wiser woman. I recently had a young woman who God has challenged to lead the women of her church to email me and ask me to mentor her and give her guidance. How thrilling for me!

I would love to hear your thoughts on Titus II. Maybe those of you who have mentored would like to share ways you have intentionally mentored others.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lessons from Clay

Jon (P-Paw) and I (MeMaw) had the joy and delight to spend a week with our grandson Clay. He is the most adorable and charming 2-year old. If you question me just ask those who had him in nursery. I believe he stole the show or maybe controlled the show. When we walked into the nursery room, Clay was looking up at Madison and pointed to her and then a chair and said, “Sit.” To my surprise Madison sat. Clay then backed up and began tossing the ball to Madison. Definitely a “D” personality. Donna told me that he would just begin to laugh and Kendra would ask him, “What is so funny?” His response, “I do not know.” Sometimes we just need to rejoice with laughter.

Clay loves to pray! At first he didn’t want to hold hands and pray at the table…it wasn’t the praying he objected to just the holding of hands. He soon caught on though and would hold out his hands and say, “Pray now.” This happened numerous times during our meals. Now what do you say to that, “No Clay, we have already prayed?” Of course not so we prayed often during our meals. What caught my attention was how often his mind would think of praying and how often mine didn’t. I want God to be on my mind like praying was on Clays.

One day while traveling in the car I was entertaining Clay by playing with his feet. To my surprise he grabbed my hand and said, “Pray.” I prayed. Then Clay said, “No MeMaw, P-Paw pray.” P-Paw prayed. Then as I continued to play with his feet, he said, “MeMaw pray for Clay’s feet.” So MeMaw prayed for Clay’s feet, “God guide His steps and keep him from going places that could be harmful, God keep them physically safe from stings, and hurtful objects, Guide His steps to You, Lord. A while later, Clay continued to chatter away and I sarcastically said, I think we need to pray for Clay’s mouth. Clay with great excitement held out his hand and said, “MeMaw pray for Clay’s mouth.” With humility and shame I prayed, “God please give Clay wisdom to say words that are kind and helpful to people and not hurtful. Help Clay to speak with kindness; saying ‘thank-you’, ‘your welcome’ and ‘excuse me’ (like he did at Chic-Fil-A to the cow that bumped his chair); Amen.” Clay excitedly responds, “AMEN.”

How often moms are you praying for your children and grandchildren? Are you praying for their feet, eyes, mouths and hands? What kind of blessing would be placed on your children to hear your prayers for them. Take a lesson from Clay, pray often. Also, remember Deut. 6 and intentionally seek out opportunities to pray for all things.