Friday, September 30, 2005

are we in ministry too busy?

i remember reading in the Elijah List last year that this would be a year of distractions.


i see so many distractions in the lives of those i counsel, especially those in full time ministry. i see them in the students at the Bible College. i see them in my own life. things are happening all around them (us) and if they (we) are not careful, the distractions exhaust and walking in the Spirit becomes even more difficult.

does anyone know what i mean?

when we are walking in the flesh (our mind, will, emotions and body according to a recent study of the hebrew and greek) we are being led by the flesh. but when we walk in the Spirit ...

Galatians 5:-17: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would
i wonder how those without Christ keep their sanity sometimes. i just don't know what i would do if i could not snuggle up against the feet of Christ and receive the rest He gives.
even then, i realize that it is becoming a daily struggle to keep my peace when the trials of life, ministry, parenting, marriage, friendship, keep pounding against me and there seems a constant outflow of energy. i know the Lord is greater than anything i struggle with and He will give peace and strength when i press into Him.
that's the point i'm trying to make.
this is what He is showing me.
He is allowing all these things to cause me to press further and further into Him for my strength. not to my training, not to my flesh, not to other people ... but firmly into His strength, anointing, being. and oh, how the flesh screams! the flesh really does want to do it all.
think of the old testament circumcision. cutting off the flesh. hmmmmm. crucifying the flesh ...
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
so the distractions, they are in the flesh. they are meant to expose how much we are still walking in the flesh. they are a good thing. actually, a gift from the Lord. after all, He is more interested in our growth toward Christ - who fought the flesh, and crucified it in a way that few if none of us will ever have to do. What an example. What a great God!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

blogging personality

i found this on blog, who got it from
Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate

You're a well liked, though underrated, blogger.
You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.
You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!
A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.

no drama for me? tell that to robby's girlfriend! lol.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

his first paycheque

i should have taken a picture ... of the cheque ... and of his face.

robby has a job.

he's working with a duct cleaning firm. Mighty Ducts i'm not kidding. lol

he worked hard this week, only a couple of days, but hard because the hours were so long. he had to take the transit bus from one end of Toronto out to our little town ... a two hour trip and about $10.00 one way. but he did it.

and he was so proud of himself. look ma, he says, my first cheque. isn't it neat?

the beauty of this job is that his boss knows everything about him ... his past ... his future, everything. he will work around robby's school schedule as it changes and will give him Sundays off for church. it is right from the Hand of God.

sometimes i am so thankful for God's mercy and grace. for His sustaining, guiding Hand. once i settled down with the bail restrictions, everything has been so sweet. robby's really making it.

that's what he said tonight.

ma, i feel like i'm living a completely different life. i'm so thankful for where i am and your unconditional love for me. thanks so much for letting me stumble around and just loving me in the process.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

i pinched this from penni's blog, who took it by way of ukok's blog - the 23:5 Meme (who found it via alica...)


1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to it).
3. Find the 5th sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these

He's a body guard or security guard, one of the two, I'm not sure.

wow, that was a good day. it was the first *sighting* of the prodigal, robby.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

up in the night

can't sleep tonight. the Lord has been dealing with me, my husband, my son, his girlfriend... how i thank Him for His grace and mercy when we are stumbling along our walk.

i've been reading other blogs tonight of Christians who like me are struggling with this walk. i want nothing more than to glorify Him in my life. in the minstry, we are under a microscope. not to be judged, but to be followed. paul said ... follow me as i follow Christ.

i had a long meeting with my senior pastor today. what an awesome man of God he is and how i thank God i am under his ministry. it truly is a place of safety and anointing. we've loved each other as brother and sister (sometimes spiritual father and daughter, even though i am almost a decade older than him).

how we have learned amazing lessons over the last several months.

over the last few days, bill and i have been agonizing about what to do with these kids. we know that milly needs to be back home ... we know that we were to open the door to her ... it's been so difficult to iinclude another person in our lives after five years, let alone two.

but what a lesson it has been!

my busy schedule has not allowed for much interaction. i have had to come home to listen to bill's complaints, robby's complaints, milly's complaints. i've talked to the Lord and other friends, ad nauseum, about mine. we've learned to love and tolerate and flail (is that a word??) around searching for the boundaries we are beginning to wonder are long gone.

once again, i had to consecrate this boy ... to realize that in asking milly to leave, i might be losing my son as well. i had to realize - the Lord is sometimes not so tender with his shepherds as He is with His sheep - that i had been agreeing with fear and not with Him.

ouch. ouch. ouch.

robby has been learning the lessons a pastor needs to learn. how it has hurt to watch him, knowing i have to stand back and let him struggle with the Lord to work out his own salvation and fight his own demons.

*sigh* being a mama ... being a counsellor ... being a pastor. i'm so thankful that the Lord is leading us down this narrow hallway. there is something coming ... we must be prepared.

Friday, September 16, 2005

rattle, rattle. bang, bang.

here i am again, Lord. i'm standing outside a door in this doorway rattling the doorknob, yelling, and knocking.

i thought You told me to go to this door? am i not hearing Your voice correctly?

Lord, i want nothing more than to do Your perfect Will in my life and to lead Robby as You have called me to do. again, in the early hours, i come to You and again, i consecrate this journey to You knowing that You will lead us tiny step by tiny step.

i know that You long to be glorified in our lives. Lord, please, anoint me to show Your love and the fruit of the Spirit in my everyday disappointments.

hmmmmmmmm. robby and i went to court yesterday morning at 9:00. we were told that if we were there that within an hour or so that the bail restrictions would be changed and the transfer of surety from nancy to me would be complete.

then robby could start school and his life.


it didn't happen. why did it not happen? at 2:00, they still had not found robby's file! the file which includes charges, the 'victim's' disclosure that she lied (old girlfriend, breakup, false charge of domestic abuse, yadda, yadda). these are charges which will be dropped in due time, but due time must be due.

Lord, what are you teaching us? me? robby?

at 2:00 the duty crown, bless her heart - she worked so hard for us, told us to go ... that was great because my first client of 6(!!) was in half an hour. so we 'wasted' a day waiting in the court.

or did we?

we had a great day. we had breakfast together, we had lunch together, we went outside so he could have a smoke, we went inside and sat on hard wooden benches and talked, we went outside for him to have a smoke. we went to a local store and got a great deal on some excellent quality pants for him to return to school. he sure does 'look' like a pastor even if at this point he doesn't act like ... nor can he go to school to learn to be ... a pastor.

i think i'm starting to see something ...

the lessons. he's learning valuable lessons.

they rebooked his court date for october 6th. that pretty well settles his school. he will have missed three weeks of classes. that is almost impossible - outside of God's strong anointing - for him to catch up with the classes. if, that is, the registrar will even consider enrolling him.


me thinks we have been rattling door handles that the Lord does not want us to open.

i get this picture in my mind of me ... did you catch that? me ... not robby of whom this story is supposed to be all about ... hmmmmm ... me ... rattling the door handle and the Lord standing on the other side. he's got His big Hand up against the door preventing me from getting that d.a.n.g.e.d.t.h.i.n.g. opened. rattle, rattle, bang, bang. sigh.
ya think maybe i'm not getting it???


oh, Lord. thank You for leading us. please, continue to lead us. i'll listen, really i will. thank You for the lessons we are both learning. i love you so!

as we are walking out the door, pastor robby says to me ...

"mom, He has to have a reason for this. He has promised to lead us tiny step by tiny step. His perfect Will ... it will be done. we just need to trust Him."

ahhhhhhhh, a lesson from God through pastor robby to pastor carolyn. don't you love it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

it is a narrow hallway

i cannot believe the journey we are on.

God gave me a vision this week of walking down a very narrow hallway. there are doors all along the walls. robby and i are walking and trying the doorknobs. on the doors that the Lord wants us to open, the doors open before we approach the door. at the doors where we try and they are not God's plan for robby's life, we are rattling the doorknobs.

He showed me rattling and shaking a couple of doorknobs and then explained that He would make it 100% sure that i knew this was a door we were not to go through. all the rattling and skaking and knocking would not open that door no matter how loud we yelled and knocked.

i realized He was telling me that He was going to lead us moment by moment, step by step.

we've been trying to get robby in Toronto to go to school, to do his community service hours, to go to church, and we've been stopped by the lawyer since the end of June. we need to have his bail surety removed from nancy to me and have met with delay after delay. we've been calling, leaving messages, getting other people to call, and this lawyer will not even return the calls. i've been crying to the Lord, i don't understand.

finally, with the help of a duty counsel (who is also a sister), we will be able to have what we need done on thursday. it means that robby will miss the first week of school, but that's ok.

it has been a powerful object lesson from the Lord.

He deals with me a lot in this way. it has been a powerful tool for me to use in counselling as i can quote a Scripture, but to express it in real life 'drama', it makes so much more impact.

The Lord is showing me. He's been leading us ... step by step. in HIS time, not in ours. His guiding Hand opened the doors before we knew they needed to be opened and held closed the ones we thought we were supposed to go into.

when we ask Him to lead us, He takes that seriously and if we are but ready to walk a small step at a time, we'll hear His voice and see His light on the path before us ...

what a relief!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

closed doors, opened doors, God's direction

have you ever wondered why certain things appear to be good to go and yet they do not materialize. and ... you have perfect peace in the process, but just don't understand why?

this seems to be our lives lately. in retrospect, i see God's powerful Hand closing doors all around us and directing us.

robby went today to register for grade 12 - to finish his highschool and ease himself into life again. we thought it was a great idea until all of the doors closed. we thought everything was good to go, but yet, they told him he was too old to come back, and that he would be better suited for 'alternative learning' (read rebellious kids hidden away 'cause they're going to fail anyhoo), but that 'alternative learning' was not available to him because it was full. then he was told he could go 30 minutes east to another town for another - even worse - school.

we didn't want to accept that.

robby went back to the principal after a couple of hours and said ... listen, all i want to do is learn. i don't care if i am 2 years older than anyone else. i've wasted five years and i only want to learn. please give me a chance.

she said ok.

go to a guidance counsellor and register.

the guidance counsellor says to robby .. you know what? you're smart and you're mature, i think you would be better suited to go to college or college prep instead of spending the two years it is going to take you to catch up your grade 12.

when he asked robby what he intended on going - trade school - or whatever? robby told him Bible College and then told him which one ...

the guy says - i know that college! oh, by all means ... go! this from a secular guidance counsellor.

we expected another year, but it appears to me that God has closed all of the doors to us except this one. the college does have a high school attached, so robby might go there for the last year, or he might go to college, we don't know.

we have an appointment later this week.

i'm starting to understand why we have gone through the sleeping arrangement thing like we have. he has to come to the place where he obeys because it is our rule and God's rule, and he wants to be obedient because he chooses to be, not because he has to be.

Matthew 21:28-32 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

how can a future Christian counsellor or Youth Pastor possibly do his job if he is obeying the Lord because he has to? he won't last a minute like that. all of us in ministry know that it is a continual, constant crucifying of the flesh to stay afloat. how dear robby is learning this lesson first hand.

interesting huh?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

your comments please

i am going to open up something without giving you the solution that we have arrived at for this problem. i may end up with my pastorly butt in flames, but i want your thoughts and opinions anyway. all opinions respected and considered.

problem one:
it has become necessary for our milly to leave her home. i alluded to it earlier and i do not feel that i can share all of the details, but i will share that she has no other family, she was not even living with her parents, but her mother's cousin and there was a good deal of abuse and other activity involved which left her with nowhere else to go but to our home.

we could have sent her to a shelter, but i've been in one and i know it would be out of the question for her. she's street smart in some ways, but broken in others.

problem two:
robby wants milly to sleep in his room with him. they have both assured me that they have chosen not to have sexual relations, and that they fully intend upon getting married in a few years. i certainly concur, they are made for each other.

of course, bill and i disagree with them sleeping in the same room. morally ... because i am a pastor ... and for their own good.

i have tried to explain that when i accepted the ordination, i took all the curtains off my home. i must live to a moral standard that is above reproach for the sake of the people God has put under my care.

- they both agree that this is not the 'way it should be'. she should be home with her family.
- they both agree that the Word of God is clearly against premarital sex and even the appearance of evil.
- they both agree that the church would not approve.
- they both agree that they need to obey the rules of our house and our morals.
- she knows that she wouldn't have been able to do this at her home, and they were not christians, nor in full time ministry.

they believe they are not doing anything wrong because they are not having sex.

they really have grown up in a completely different world. we wouldn't dream of bringing this up to our parents. this generation thinks nothing of it. society thinks nothing of it.

bear in mind, robby knows he will be a pastor one day, but his relationship with the Lord (i want to say 'obviously' but have a check about it) is not what it will be. he says it is much better than it 'was', but not what it will be. i believe that it is Holy Spirit's job to convict them of sin, not mine.

there are other issues involving my husband that robby brings up. he has done it privately because he does not feel that he should intrude or judge what bill is doing, but he has a point. bill has some besetting sins that are as bad or worse than the issue at hand. i have discussed the difference between a parent and a child. but robby really is not a child any longer. he believes that bill is being hypocritical by doing this and not dealing with his own issues.

*ducking the flame thrower*

problem three, and probably more the root of the situation:
- i'm afraid i will lose robby if i am hardnosed about this
- he is afraid he will lose her
- she feels she has caused way too much trouble at our home
- we are all afraid that this will cause irrepable harm to my marriage because bill is dead set against her living in the home for a moment longer than necessary.

my struggle:
- i want to honour my husband, but feel he is being very hardnosed and not dealing in love with this.
- as a pastor, i know i should be dead set against this, but i have such peace that we will come to a compromise that will work for us all and that getting legalistic and hardnosed about this is not the solution.

have i lost it?

we have come to a solution, not everyone is happy about it, but it is one that we can all live with for the moment. we have agreed to come back together in one week and discuss how we feel.

we have agreed that bill and i meet with our senior pastor - my boss - and talk about our feelings.

they have agreed to meet with senior pastor and talk about their feelings.

is there a glaring issue i am not seeing?
mothers really cannot counsel their own family.
what do you think?

just sharing my thankfuls

he looks snarky here, but he didn't have his contacts in and was squinting. it's his 'tough' look. lol

seeing things through different eyes

robby is going back to school next week. he decided that he would return to the local highschool and complete his grade twelve diploma before going on to Bible college. i think this is a very good decision and i applaud his maturity and courage to do so.

as he is still not working, i took him out to make sure he had some nice clothes to return back to school. you would have to know this dear man's heart to realize how difficult it is to be without money when he had spent several years in the drug and gang arena. there was always money available and his wardrobe was high end.

now he is buying $20.00 wallmart track pants.

today we decided that it would be a mom and robby day and so we went out to lunch alone and then off to wallmart. his stash of four pants and three sweat shirt cost $85.00. his shoes are falling apart and since we couldn't find size 14's (!!!!) there, we went to the local mall. i knew that i would probably have to pay as much for one pair of runners (i remember 5 years ago well) as i did for all the clothes.

we found some runners and they were having a sale at the store for 1/2 price for another pair, so i bought him two. then i saw his eyes light up when he saw a basketball suit. he didn't know that i saw him and he went off to look at the t-shirts. i went over and found that the suit (white, no less) was on sale for 1/2 off again (it was a really good sale) and that i could get this $200.00 suit for $100.00.

i grabbed it off the rack and gave it to the salesperson. robby was almost in tears. i couldn't decide if it was shame, thankfulness, or what it was. all along he was sad because i had to purchase these things. i, on the other hand, was having a great time! it is a joy to buy him anything because he appreciates it soo much.

i was kidding him about just being thankful because to not be would be to steal my joy and my blessing. we joked about it on and off all day.

well, the bill rang up to just over $300.00. The girl looked over at robby and she said ... i guess you'll have a lot of dish duty to do for this, huh?

robby, poked me and said, 'nope, i'm not going to steal my mom's joy.'


when he was walking out of the store, he said he was going to go over to look at something in another store. the sales girl remarked how lucky he was.

i told her that when she has other mothers or fathers who complain about having to spend money on their kid's back to school clothing that she has permission to tell all about the mom who paid $300.00 with tears of gratefulness in her eyes because she had a son alive who could wear them.

i know it impacted upon her.

i pray that others will be blessed. i love to share the blessing of what i am living right now ... i sure wouldn't want anyone to steal the blessing that could be received from his story.

for all the stuff we're dealing with and all the uncertainty, i am reminded of the incredible honour it is to be the parent of any child. robby is giving me more joy than i can even begin to express just by being himself and being alive.

God is surely a good God.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


how does so much time go by and i do not have time to post on this thing? *sigh*

life is heating up here. nothing like what our dear neighbours to the south are living through, i cannot imagine how they are holding up in the south. thank God there are kind hearted souls who are rushing to their aid. from up here in canada all i can do is send some money and pray, pray, pray, but ... as my dear friend penni says, i digress ....

my precious son and his girlfriend are just so much fun to be around. i wish i had a picture to post of them but neither of us stick around long enough for the camera to be of any use! *wink*

edited ... i now have some pictures ...

i will not share the details of milly's trials because that is her story to tell, but ... she has moved in with us due to issues at her home which just could not be resolved. we have been trying for over two months to mediate and bring unity there, and unfortunately, it was not successful.

last night, this dear one moved into our home. i wish you could see the downstairs of our house and even more so, my precious husband's face! just imagine what an almost 18 year old girl would bring when she moves in! i don't have that much stuff myself at almost 50! bless her little heart.

so, with all the crisis going on, i kept calling it 'drama'. it sure seemed like that to me. i could write a soap opera on the stuff that has been going on in her family. finally, i got a little frustrated with robby because he has been very distracted by the goings on and told him that the 'drama had to stop' and he had to get his mind and his actions focused on his future. now is the time and milly's crisis will go on and on and on, so he may as well get some of his own life on the right track.

well, it was not well received. it was actually kind of funny to be bickering with my son. can you imagine? a mother saying that she enjoys bickering with her son?

i should have called penni before i started to talk with them because she understands this generation's language more than i do.

it was the 'drama'. you see, a drama queen is one who causes lots of trouble everywhere she goes and loves it. a girl who cannot have a normal life because it is not fun and she makes sure that everyone else's life is all wrapped up in her life so that she can feel worthy or needed or whatever. hmmmmmm.

he was not impressed i was using that term. hmmmmmm. is there any truth there?

i didn't mean it in an unkind manner at all. i love this girl like she is my own daughter. truth be told, she reminds me of me so much when i was that age. she has been living in the most impossible situation all of her life and deserves an opportunity to put her life on track and show the wonderful things God can do through her.

but i'm not supposed to call her a 'drama queen'. which i did not do, well, maybe once, but not with the nasty intention. funny. i love how he supports her and loves her. it's cute.

things are fine now. i apologized to her and explained my understanding of 'drama'. just stuff that doesn't end and is not fun, you know?

so .. what do i call the stuff that is going on in my house? is it drama? is it stuff? all i know is i went from a nice quiet home to a home full of kids and stuff and music and love. that part is so great. bill's not impressed, but he'll move over eventually and get used to it. maybe he's the drama queen??? it wouldn't be me???