Last week one of my friends on Facebook had a picture of Pig Pen from the Charlie Brown comics with these words “Be You. The World Will Adjust. I thought it was a great picture I put it on my Facebook page. This is a thought process that I have struggled with as a pastor’s wife/pastor the past twenty years. The struggle is we have had people who want to change us to fit into their mold of how pastors and their family should look and act. Two week ago, I was talking to pastor, who is our age about this struggle. I did not think that would still tell me how to dress when I has fifty-four years old. During this conversation, I had an epiphany what the true problem involved. Dale and I have been the first non-baby boomer pastors in all our churches. We were born in the gap between Baby Boomers and Gen X which 1961-1966. People who were born in those years usually related to one or the other. In our case we tend to identify more with the Gen X generation than the Baby Boomer generation. We also like to hang out will Gen X’ers or Millennials. One because when Dale went to college for the second time, he hung out with the Gen X generation, because they were going to school at this time. Our oldest two daughters are part of the generation before Millennials and our son is a Millennial. We have spent a great deal of time trying to connect and identify with these generations. Perhaps because we see these generations are missing in so many churches.
I know that when we were growing up we heard a great deal about the “generation gap.” In many ways this gap has only widened over the succeeding decades. Perhaps this is why the picture on Facebook spoke to me. We expect people to form into our image of what we think they should be, rather than let them be themselves. We do need to celebrate our differences because God made us all different. He made us all different. That way we can relate to different people. I love the fact that each one of us can relate to different people because we are different. After all if we were all the same, where would the fun be? If we were all the same, let’s face it, some of us would be unnecessary.
It is important to be you…because there is no one else like you. AND…it is important to let others be themselves. God is using them in unique ways. Does someone not fit into your mold of the way you think they should behave – or any number of things — like the car they drive, the shoes they wear, the foods they eat, the clothes they wear, the books they read, they way they decorate their house? God uses each one of us in our uniqueness to minister to people – to different types of people – so that we can take the Good News to the world around us.
I have hit a milestone…
I have been on a journey since January 2014 making a list of thinks I am thankful for in my life. It started when I read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Occasionally, I write a blog about it is a way I can be accountable and keep on the journey. Last week I hit a milestone of two hundred things I was thankful for and I even went passed that milestone. To some it may not seem like something big to make a big deal but when you are on a journey milestone should be celebrated. Here are the news things to make the list.
- Dale go a second job
- A large gift of food
- finding a lost cell phone
- Money for a hair cut
- we do not have to cut wood to heat our house
- My Yankee candle to cover the bad smell of the house
- The black cat that hangs out in our back yard
- The sun after a couple of dark days
- A surprise gift
- One of the children I had in Jr church in my last church went on a mission trip
- Anna subbing teaching on a regular bases
- Someone who helps plow us out
- Life goes on when it snows
- A warm home
- running water
- The female pastor who plowed the path for me so I could be a pastor
- Clean water
- A great husband
- The beauty of winter
- A new grand daughter
- Warm weather
- Bird singing
- Green grass
- Anna is teaching
- lots of times Dale can drive bus
- Warm weather (it has been our first northern winter in a long time)
- time with all my family
- A new doctor (since we moved we had a hard time finding a doctor here)
- Friends to wish me a Happy Birthday
- Spending time with other pastor couples
- A great DS and his wife
- Kids showing up at church.
Lent is around the corner and there are many people who are making a list of things they will give up for Lent. Maybe instead of giving up something for Lent, you put something in your life. Lent would be a great time to bring the Bible back in your life. You should take time to look for a great Lent devotional like Finding Life: From Eden to Gethsemane – The Garden Restored by Jane Rubietta. I read this book a couple of years ago, for Lent. I remember how it moved me but I do not remember much of the book. This year Dale and I will be reading it again. Or you can go on the internet see if you can find a great Lenten Bible reading list. It would be great to fill your life this Lent with getting closer with Christ.
I have spent the past couple of months trying to think of what I will be teaching on for Lent this year. All the children at our church are preschoolers or young elementary, so I need a topic that they would understand. Most of the topic I use during Lent the kids would not understand. I came up with the topic and using the verse from Psalms 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
After I came up with this topic I heard a conversation between Dale and Anna. It went something like this:
Dale: Anna what is this new thing about snowflakes?
Anna: It is way of people telling other people that they are different.
Dale: Is it a good thing or not?
Anna: No, people do not want other people to be different.
Dale: Is being different a bad thing? So what you are saying is that people really want us all to be the same. Talk about “1984.” It seems we have reached the dystopian society that George Orwell has described – everyone has to be the same – if you are not the same, you are thought as a rebel.
[This is Dale – It really is hard to believe that we have reached a point where everyone has to think the same thing – very dangerous.]
This where the title for this blog came from, we are to be made to be different. God has made us all different because he really does not us all alike. Like the Psalmist has told us, we are wonderfully made by God. So am glad that God made me different and I am not like you.
This whole snow flake is very dangerous for our children. They need to be taught that need to be unique, just the way God made them. They need to learn to express the way they are unique in a positive way. Riot and burning down things is not a positive way. So take the time to teach the children around you to shine in their own way!
This is a great article that was shared several weeks ago. It is a reminder of how important discipleship is in the lives of our youth and children. The link to the article is below the picture.