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Don’s first Sunday as a new pastor, was also the first day after our first child (Dan) was born! Change doesn’t adequately describe what was happening to us!

While our pastor was passing the baton to Don, I was in the hospital getting to know our little b0y and learning to care for his needs. As Daniel nestled in my arms, I should have been feeling contented. Instead a sense of apprehension seemed to be hanging over me. The doubts weren’t about raising our baby. They were concerns about the new responsibility and the challenges we would be facing. On one hand I felt honored the pastor and congregation believed in my husband and me, and on the other hand this assignment felt like a heavy weight I wasn’t quite prepared for at this point in time.

It was incredulous that our first steps into parenting were occurring at the same moment we were to start taking care of His flock! Only God could have designed such timing. It took many years of reflecting on this before I finally realized what (I’m sure) God would have loved for me to have seen at the time…

These two colliding experiences were really one lesson!

We became parents the day our baby was born, but the work of parenting our little boy would require getting to know who he was, what temperament, talents, gifts and personality God had given him and what God’s purpose and plans were for his life. With these things in mind God could then help us mold and shape him, and help move him towards the plan and purpose God had for his life.

Pastoring the people of God needed to look the same! We were to mirror these parenting aspects — Know our flock, understand them, love them, serve them and then help them step into the plans and purposes God had for them!

Funny how truth and time can make cloudy things clear!

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“Just as a nursing mother cares for her children,  so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”   I Thess. 2:7-8 NIV

11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.  I Thess. 2:10-12 NIV

 

 

Heart-to-Heart

May 17, 2011 — 2 Comments

Our dear friend Betina seated on the deck of her apartment in "The House"

We are presently traveling in Denmark and Sweden and loving it!

Copenhagen was our first stop and we found it to be a “magical” city! A beautiful old city, where people prefer to walk to work or ride their bikes, and where mothers have their babies out in strollers for at least an hour a day — rain or shine!

One afternoon we sat with our friends, Frank and Betina, above the busy streets of Copenhagen at Cafe Norden and enjoyed Danish pastries and coffee while watching the continuous movement below. As we watched we felt a great sense of wonder. Where were they going… what cheered them.. or what troubled them? We sat silently for a while pondering the continual motion of humanity below with a great awareness of God’s amazing love for every nation, tribe and tongue.

The majority of our time in Copenhagen was spent with Frank and Betina, and a group of 22 amazing believers who live together in one very large house. At 7:00 each morning they met to worship Jesus and pray together for half an hour before they left for their respective jobs and obligations. One family has a six month old baby named Esther, and even little Esther loved being in the midst of their early morning worship and prayer! No one who mentioned this early gathering spoke of it with dread or a sense of obligation, but with anticipation and a desire to start their day together with God and one another.

At the end of each day, they gathered again for the evening meal. The task of preparing the large family meal rotated from one person to another each day, until all had their turn — and then it would start over again. The family atmosphere around the table was filled with conversation and laughter! The depth of their relationships could be felt as they talked about their lives and their desire to see Jesus use them to reach their city! God has been preparing them and has been revealing His plan for this House. Before long, the work God has done in them will expand outward past the walls of the House and have a far-reaching effect in Copenhagen and beyond!

Our time with them refreshed us and at the same time, challenged us! We worshiped together, had several teaching sessions, opened our hearts and were deeply knit together with them. The best way of expressing what we experienced with them can be found in I Thessalonians 2:8.

“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”

Worshiping with our friends!