Welcome to Part 2 of 2 of A Conversation with United Army Chaplain, Special Needs Parent, and Writer Brad Lee. In this video segment Chaplain Lee is joined by his wife, Lori and they share more about life as a military family with six children, one of whom has Downs Syndrome and Autism. Lori gives insights on how we can support military wives and parents of special needs children and more.Continue reading “Part 2: A Conversation with U.S. Army Chaplain, Special Needs Parent and Writer Brad Lee”
It is my honor to introduce you to United States Army Chaplain, Brad Lee. Chaplain Lee is a husband and father of six, and a writer with a forthcoming book inspired by his journey with his young son who has Downs Syndrome and Autism.
In Part 1 of this two part conversation, Chaplain Lee shares the road that led him to become a chaplain in the U.S. Army, some of the adventures, challenges, and opportunities he encounters as he serves our country and our soldiers, as well as some powerful thoughts on and wise counsel to our nation.Continue reading “Part 1: A Conversation with U.S. Army Chaplain, Special Needs Parent and Writer Brad Lee”
There’s only one explanation for Robin—Jesus. And also for her sons Miles and Jake. Robin and Jake are nurses currently caring for Covid19 patients. Miles serves as a teacher in Malaysia. Robin is also an award winning author, speaker, and leader of Higher Ground Outreach ministry for incarcerated women. What an honor to interview them during Teacher and Nurse Appreciation Week and in time for Mother’s Day, and to share their timely and timeless, inspiring and joy filled stories with you in these two videos and the article that follows.Continue reading “#FaithOverFear from the Perspective of a Mom, Nurse, and Teacher”
The highest place you’ll ever step is down to serve another who has nothing to give back—except maybe their heart and a changed life because you invested in them.
Teachers spend their lives investing in the future of others. They deserve our support and listening ear. It is my honor to host these eleven teachers from five states.
Why did you become a teacher?
Jeff Fauver, Physical Education Teacher and Coach, Marion, Illinois: I became a teacher largely because my father was a teacher/ coach. I saw the impact and influence he had on young men’s lives. They would come by and visit years after they had graduated. I’ve taught and coached for over 30 years—elementary, middle and high school.
Doctor Laura Seabury, Professor of nursing at Cape Cod Community College:
When my kids started school, I wanted to take courses at college. I chose nursing and I loved it. I never thought I would be a nurse or teacher when I was young. So whatever led me on this road was the right road. I have my Doctorate in nursing education and I’ve been teaching since 1997.
I was a nurse before a teacher. I graduated from this program at Cape Cod Community College and knew as a student that I wanted to be a teacher here. I worked at several hospitals, such as Massachusetts General and Jordan Hospital in Boston. When I got my Masters degree I returned to work as a clinical instructor at Cape Cod Community College full time teaching at the lab. Three years ago I became a lecturer and I teach clinical also.
Clinical involves teaching students caring for patients in the hospital setting, a medical surgical unit, two days a week. Each student takes care of one to two patients.
I noticed the sticker on your door: “Save a life. Be a nurse.” 🙂 It’s also Nurse Appreciation Week and you are both a nurse and a teacher, so I’m thrilled to have you participate in this interview, Dr. Seabury. Thank you for answering the call to a combination of two of the toughest professions.
Elementary School Special Education Paraprofessional, Cape Cod Massachusetts: I love, love, love my job as an assistant teacher. I’ve worked with children from kindergarten to fourth grade for 20 years. This year I’m one on one with a second grader with significant special needs and I don’t have a minute to spare.
Social Studies Teacher, Fort Worth Texas, 6 1/2 years teaching: To build a better future for a generation that’s lost its drive to go further.
Steve Perkins, High School Latin Teacher, Author and Speaker, Indiana Teacher of the Year 2014: God called me to teaching when I was a high school junior. This is my 28th year of teaching Latin. I have taught in Missouri, Texas, and Indiana at the middle school, high school, community college, and university levels.
Middle School Math Teacher, Texas. (17 years teaching high school and middle school math and science.): I became a teacher because I really loved school and saw it as a chance to make a difference in lives.
Middle School English Teacher, Massachusetts: Because it’s important for the youth to be educated; they are the future.
Special Education Teacher currently for 3rd and 4th Grade, Massachusetts: Different careers interested me as I grew up such as lawyer and nurse. In high school I took a class that included exploration of careers and spent a day on the pediatric floor of a hospital. It was a heart wrenching experience. I realized that day that I wanted to work with children, but I did not have the gifting to be a nurse. It was at that point that I directed my attention to becoming a teacher.
I was drawn to the hurting and needy, wanting to make a difference in the world somehow. Special education was a new field of study when I entered college. Supporting students with learning disabilities piqued my desire to make a difference in the lives of children. I’ve been a special educator for over 25 years and I can say for certain that I made the right choice.
Leshil Holder, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, Tennessee: I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. My main goal is to glorify God in my classroom. I will begin my 10th year of teaching in the 2019-2020 school year.
Angela Georgantas, 12th Grade English Teacher, Writer and affiliate with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at her school, Texas: English was always my favorite subject, but I didn’t want to be a teacher. I majored in marketing but only worked for two years before I became a stay at home mom for a decade. When my kids went to school, I subbed to make money. I tried elementary school for 2 weeks and made a second grader cry. I tried junior high for one day and ran screaming from the building, (metaphorically). I tried high school, and it was like the gears of the universe clicked: God had called me to teach, and I was home. Within two months, I was back at school to get my teaching certificate, and I have loved it ever since. I have taught for 14 years.
Professor Patricia Allen, Professor of English, Cape Cod Community College: I teach because I was the kid who dropped out, the kid who hit the wall of hopelessness. I teach to keep other kids from hitting that wall. I have been teaching for 22 years.
I dropped out of high school when I was 16, I got my GED and found my way to community college when I was a thirty year old mom with five kids and an injured husband. Amazing teachers kindled a fire to learn inside me and I transferred to Wellesley College, then Harvard for grad school. Now I am back to the community college where I was taught, trying to kindle fires in my own students.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
What is your greatest challenge as a teacher?
Missionaries upend and sometimes risk their lives to serve the Gospel in restricted nations. They are often bold in the face of opposition, while many people in America display passivity in the face of peace, and take for granted our freedoms rather than being grateful for them. American Christianity is uncomfortable with inconvenience. I pray these messages from missionaries who left the comforts and security of their homeland to proclaim the message of Jesus’ love, deliverance, and salvation, will stir your heart.
Anonymous Former Missionary to China: Sharing the Gospel wherever you are is all about leaving the comfortable whether it’s leaving our home or going beyond ourselves. Compassion and caring for people can awaken anyone to go beyond intimidation and our own limitations. We were missionaries in China for four years—that was our commitment. We had a house church, although a lot of our missionary friends had their church in a building. Continue reading “Messages from Missionaries”
The onset of the year is a good time to acknowledge the challenges we face, the changes needed, and to look to Jesus through whom we are more than conquerors. The last two articles in my 2018 series of interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives—have bled over into 2019. So, please, grab your favorite hot cup of comfort, pull up a chair, and let us listen to the words of wisdom offered by these mighty ministers.
How do you feel about the spiritual and cultural climate where you are pastoring?
Pastor Kevin Obermeyer: I think there is a huge spiritual battle going on, and Christians are losing ground rapidly.
Pastor’s Wife, Janet Foley: I feel like the Gospel is often misunderstood and disrespected. I feel a bit intimidated here to share the gospel, more than other places. There is a lot of witchcraft, new age religion and political correctness here. A lot of ex-Christians, a lot of drugs too. Pot has been legal here for a few years so many people are hooked on it as well as methamphetamine. There’s also a lot of spouse-swapping, (married people who exchange for fun), which really freaks me out. Ugh.
Pastor Pablo Catala: I think it has been diluted and stained with perversion and sin unimaginable.
Pastor’s wife, Sophie Foley: It’s a breath of fresh air where we are pioneering. This is such a culturally diverse area, that most people have either not been exposed to Christ and so have no formed opinions and are open. Others have been raised with a respect for church so they are receptive and respectful of both the church and the role of the pastor.
What do you see as the biggest threat to the church today?
Anonymous Pastor, Kathmandu, Nepal: Complacency.
Pastor Tim Schmoyer: Consumerism is the biggest threat. Seeing church involvement as one of the many choices in the buffet of life.
Janet Foley: Political correctness, compromise, complacency. Too much activity without true relationship with Jesus.
Sophie Foley: Emotional indulgence. People are so very fragile now, and when it comes time to speak a bit of caution or direction, the confrontation of it is no longer acceptable and they leave for churches that never confront.
Also, media. We are a generation so connected to our devices, and yet we are steeped with loneliness and depression, which causes us to withdraw and avoid dealing with the social interaction of church services. We have several people who want to come but are easily distracted, or too emotionally distraught, so they stay home and binge movies, and then feel terrible and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Pastor Pablo Catala: The biggest threats to the church today are dead religion and homosexuality. Why do I say this? Continue reading “Threats to the Church & Keys to Revival”
It is my honor to feature Pastor Chad and Mindy who currently pastor New Hope Church, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pastor Chad is the founder of Of the Word Ministries, a new ministry to pastors. Pastor Chad and Mindy have been married and pastoring for 22 years and they have eight children ranging in age from 6 to 21 years old. Five of their children are adopted privately from places such as the Ukraine and California. Two have Down Syndrome. Pastor Chad and Mindy have been homeschooling for 19 years. In addition, they have worked with 29 more children over the years in foster care. Oh, and did I mention that Mindy and their daughters Lizzie and Gracie are volunteer firefighters? Continue reading “Fire Fighters, Fire Keepers, Heart Healers”
I have heard people say “The pastor has it so easy, he doesn’t have to go to work. What does he do all day? All he has to do is write a few sermons a week.” So, the following few questions are aimed at setting the record straight. —What does a day in the life of a pastor, or a pastor’s wife, look like?
Anonymous Pastor, Kathmandu, Nepal: Actually I had the same thought when I was a teenager, manual labor is hard work, being a pastor would be easier. I would liken that comment to a child saying, “I can’t wait til I grow up and can work a job and not go to school anymore.”
I’m sure each pastor and city will vary, but being a missionary has changed my daily tasks quite a bit. A daily task, that in America would be a simple errand, can take hours. This is hard to explain, but in short America is very efficient country. Continue reading “Setting the Record Straight: A Day in the Life of a Pastor”
Pastor Schmoyer, were you raised in a Christian home and why did you become a Pastor?
Pastor Tim Schmoyer: Yes, I am very thankful that both my parents love Jesus and raised me to love Jesus, too. I’ve been a Christian for 33 years.
I was 17 when I took a trip with other teen Christians to Israel. We were in the desert at night when the youth leader asked us to surrender something to the Lord. So I thought, I could spend the rest of my life giving up this or that to the Lord. But I needed to give him everything. I didn’t know what that meant until the following week when my youth minister took me to visit a Bible college and while I was sitting in a class, the Lord reminded me of my promise to give everything to Him. Continue reading “The Preacher and the Writer”
What kind of challenges do you face raising preacher’s kids?
It’s hard to remember that they are kids and they are not as far along in their spiritual growth a I am. I need to take the time to train them in the Lord at home intentionally and prayerfully. —Rachel Schmoyer
Having people understand that salvation is personal and individual. And people don’t look at our kids as normal kids. So we have to navigate our children and encourage them on a different scale because they face different challenges than other kids. —Pastor Pablo Catala
Being criticized by others for your kids not being perfect, and having your own feelings of frustration for your kids not being perfect. —Pastor Kevin Obermeyer
The expectations put on my children to behave and act a certain way by people in the church was quite a burden to me—honestly one of the hardest things for me to face entering the ministry. Leaving a home church where my kids had family to love on them for who they were and not expect them to act like angels but allowed them to be kids—to a church where adults would yell at them or try to correct them, even if I was right there and had a situation under control, was a total shock. The church we took over pastoring had no small children for quite a while before we came, so they were not used to children being children. I learned to talk to women privately, and my husband to the men, and we explained that our children were our responsibility and that we were accountable to God for how we raised them. That they did not need that burden on themselves, and God will not hold them responsible for our children.
Over time this became much better and as new converts and their children began attending, the church learned to have more grace and realized our kids were actually quite well behaved. I also would like to say that people’s expectations do not mean a pastor or pastor’s wife, or any parent for that matter, need to change to please people’s expectations, but aim to please God. We will give an account to God, not men. Having a little grace toward all the children in the church and treating them the same regardless of their parent’s position would help pastor’s kids to not be resentful later on in life toward the ministry or people. —Anonymous, Missionaries to Kathmandu, Nepal
People expect perfection and have no idea the price that preacher’s kids pay—sharing their parents, their homes, their lives, with the people of the church. They feel they must follow in their parents footsteps and find it hard to be individuals. To be unique. To think independently. People expect them to be clones and to mimic the “party line!” Ha! Oh I could tell you stories . . . —Janet Foley
A Preacher’s Kid Speaks~Pastor John Foley
What was it like being raised as the preacher’s kid, (PK)? What are some the pros and cons?
Pastor John Foley: I was into it. I liked knowing my dad/parents and our family were doing something important with our lives. I enjoyed getting to meet all the pastors and speakers. They were always pretty fascinating people.
The con may be that your dad doesn’t get to clock out and you can end up moving around a lot. Continue reading “A Preacher’s Kid Speaks”