Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rev Gals Friday Five: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Yesterday the Rev Gal Blog Pals celebrated their second year of web ring existence. With that in mind, Sally from Eternal Echoes shares this week's Friday Five.

When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new.And so with that in mind alongside yesterdays celebrations I bring you Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward..
1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith.
There have been many. Here is a strange one. I had been struggling with my calling to the pastorate for some time. Many times I was ready to quit, seeing no hope that anything would change or that I'd ever find a church (within driving distance of my husband's workplace) that was willing to give a woman preacher a chance. I was completely and utterly discouraged, feeling I had missed God's voice and taken a wrong turn and that's all there was to it. Around that time I took a short vacation to visit my sister in another state, and I went with her to her church, a place I'd never been. At the end of the service, the pastor said to me, "Are you a minister?" I replied "Yes, did my sister tell you?" "No" the pastor replied (she was new to the church) "but I have been noticing you since you came in and just knew you were a minister, and I'm to tell you not to give up." Do you think he had my attention? I later asked my sister who confirmed that she'd only just met him and had never had a conversation about me. I also discovered his wife was a minister and they were co-pastors of the church.
2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?
Yes. I have many. I don't want to share them right at the moment though, because I am in the middle of trying to discern which are God and which are me.
3.Money is no object and so you will.....
Travel! Part will be for fun. I'll visit Europe and traipse around old buildings and historical sites and castles and theatres and lovely spots. Oooh, England, Scotland, Ireland, then Italy and Spain....Then maybe Australia to see my friend Bronwen, then maybe Peru....who knows. But since money is no object I will go LOTS of places. Not all travel will be for fun. Most will be for ministry. I'll do short-term teaching in many of our Assemblies of God pastor's school in various locations like Africa, India and South America. I will give money to all the ministries I long to give to, and lots of it. I'll do things that make a difference for individuals, right now, and I'll plan for the future so that I will give gifts that keep giving.
4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?
When I was a child my mother had a rather tacky wall hanging that read,
Only one life,
'Twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ
Will last.
It wasn't beautiful poetry, but it stuck--the idea that this life was temporary and I could spend my time on transitory things or I could try to focus on eternal realities and invest in people. People last forever. When I want to quit and do something easier, I remind myself that I was meant to do something that has eternal realities. I also just keep going. Some days a person just has to put one foot in front of the other and do what is right, because it is right and that's it.
5. How important are your roots?
I wish they were important. I grew up in California and the rest of the family, both sides, was in Texas. We loved them dearly, but we rarely saw them. In my 30 plus years of marriage I have lived all over the place, and that tended to make me pretty detached from "home" and family. I envy those around me who have lots of family close by, but I never did. I don't much care where I live as long as my husband is there with me and I can see my children (and now Trinity) fairly often. As for church roots....the Baptists kinda disowned me...and the Assemblies might if they really knew of that!
6. Bonus= what would you like to add ?
I try to keep the "looking back" mostly to looking back to recall the times God has been faithful. Other things in my past are not so pleasant and would also tend to make me fearful, discouraged, dependent and lonely. So I'm with St. Paul in saying I "press on" to gain the prize at the end of race the where the Savior waits for me.


Hot Cup Lutheran said...

what a way cool thing that the pastor listened to the spirit & spoke up! awesome.

And yeah HubHC & I can travel with you... Rome. Scottland. Ireland. I'm thinking Iceland would be neat too... but we better bundle up!

Unknown said...

Ah Owl, this is beautiful. What a God moment you experienced. So glad you had that.

I said I wanted to travel too. How about that.

Great bonus too. I can see you pressing on....

Diane M. Roth said...

I like your wallhanging. I have a little placque from my grandma that says "Jesus never fails." Yeah.

Iris said...

I'm glad that God through this pastor grabbed your attention! God knew that much was at stake for you and that the church needed you. Great play!

Rev SS said...

Beautiful .. love how God used that pastor at your sister's church ... and sure wish I'd answered #4 and #6 the way you did!

Lori said...

Got goosebumps from the pastor delivering God's message to you not to give up.

Anonymous said...

Wow Mom! Don't you just love it when a complete stranger gives you direct words from the mouth of God!?!?
It only takes that one time of God speaking straight to you for you to know that He is there and hasn't forgotten you.
Remember mine? "God why did you give me this heart? Why does it hurt all the time? I don't want this heart." Then a stranger walking up to me and saying "God says that He gave you this heart for a purpose. That you are going to love like He loves and hurt for people like He does."
Yeah, can't really ignore that. :-]

Anonymous said...

#! has encouraged me this morning...what a great experience!

chartreuseova said...

"discern which are God and which are me"

That's me too!

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

There was more that he said...and it astounded me, but it's kind of personal. :-) I later heard his wife preach, and she reminded me so much of me it was weird. Not her personality, but it was the way she spoke, pulpit manner, even the sermon itself. When I talked with her, she was not like me at all. But in the pulpit she sure was. Odd.

Anonymous said...

You brought tears to my eyes. I love your responses to the Friday Five's. You are SUCH a blessing Dorcas!! love, Maureen

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Maureen, I am SO glad to know that. I needed that, actually. I love you, sis, and I hope some day we can meet in person.

Rochelle said...

I love your story about encoragement (#1)--that is truly powerful. God works in mysterious and wonderful ways =)

Rochelle said...

Thanks for stopping my blog too =). Christian Church (DOC) is relatively small, but we have many women clergy (yea=)...unlike our distant cousins in the Church of Christ. I see you are a mom too? I have a 3 year old. Between work and family that keeps me pretty busy...sure it is the same for you. Blessings to you today.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Yeah, I know the CofC would not have women in the pulpit, among other things. But I had a some close friends back in my high school days that attended the church down the block. I want to First Baptist and they went to Valley Christian. Several of us went to the same Baptist high school, so there was a lot of interaction between the two youth groups. I almost went to Pacific Christian College. But my impression was that they were mostly pretty much like my Southern Baptist Church except for a slightly different view on baptism. I had no idea they had women clergy. Maybe they didn't back in the sixties? Anyway, I'm glad to know they do now. I had an annoying conversation yesterday with two older middle aged (heck, I am older middle aged I guess...they were late 60s) women. We were serving together in a prayer ministry at an inner city outreach.

I'll back up. The fist irritation, which I asked God to use to keep me from pride, was that every pastor's name badge except mine said, Pastor John, Pastor Anderew, etc. Later, when it came up in conversation at the prayer area that I was a pastor, the two women looked incredulous. I should be used to it, but I never am. And then said, "Are>? I reply, "huh?" and the response is, "ARe you alone in the pastorate? Are you an associate pastor? Is your husband the pastor?" Me, sweetly batting eyelashes, "Nope. Just me." They say, in unision, "I had no idea we had women senior pastors in Wisconsin." Me, "Yes, we have seven." They say, with unbelief, "Where are they?" We were distracted at that moment by someone coming for prayer. Just as well!

Don't know why I said all that. Just venting, I guess. HA!

Rochelle said...

I share your frustration. I was at my brother's wedding two weeks ago in Houston--Church of Christ. Several people asked me what I do and when I said I was a minister, that killed the lady actually walked away. I guess we won't ever get used to that.

I'm wondering if the church you had an experience with in the sixties was an independent Christian Church. There are several strands of churches that grew out of the Stone Campbell movement and they vary in theological temperment. Our General Minister and President is a woman! Praise God =)

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

I don't think so, but don't know. It was a long time ago. :-)

Sally said...

what can I add, but thank you :-)

CaptainQuick said...

:-) Singing Owl, you put a smile on my face today (and my face really needs a smile this week). I wish you were coming to Australia to visit me too! Hmmm...I can promise unlimited ice cream if you do come one of these days!