Threats to the Church & Keys to Revival

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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.

Pastor Kevin Obermeyer:  Secular worldviews, worldly attitudes, Biblical illiteracy, and ignorance.

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”

Setting the Record Straight: A Day in the Life of a Pastor

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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”

A Father to the Fatherless

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_A_Father_to_the_FatherlessOur culture seems to spend a lot of time demeaning men and undermining the importance of the role of fathers, but wonders at the staggering numbers of fatherless and troubled children. To the fathers out there who are sticking it out and standing up for their families and to the men who have stepped up to the plate to fill someone else’s shoes—thank you. You play a vital role not only in your family, but your positive impact is felt throughout society.

I hadn’t planned on posting for Father’s Day this year, but my heart kept remembering those who do not have a father in their lives or perhaps not a good relationship with them. I remember the longing and loneliness of being in school and my friends making cards for Mother’s Day while mine was overseas and I didn’t have much contact with her at the time. I know there are others who feel this emptiness because their parent has died, is not a part of their life, or is physically present but emotionally absent. So I want people to be aware that for some, Fathers Day can be hard. I’m hoping if you know of such a person, you will be encouraged to consider reaching out to them as a friend or father figure. Or perhaps you know of a dad who is not shouldering his responsibilities, or doesn’t know how to be a father and needs someone to come alongside and help him. Continue reading “A Father to the Fatherless”

A Parent’s Petition

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Sometimes as a parent your heart swells with joy, but at other times you labor in love with tears and a busted heart over your children. For those in a hard season, I thought I’d share some scriptures and re-post my poem, For the Prodigal’s Mom, in hopes of encouraging you.

Whether your child is faring well, struggles or has strayed, whether you just have the occasional hard day or more tough days than not—your work does not go unnoticed. God sees you, He feels your heart. He wants to come alongside and help and strengthen us. Jesus weeps with us and we can take joy in the shelter of Him. He cares for our children. Remember, He sets out in search of the one lost lamb.

We don’t have to walk this road or wage this war in our own strength. Jesus is the difference maker in our lack as we strive to find your footing and guide your children on the right path. We can petition Heaven and storm Hell with our prayers and partner with our Maker, the Good Father, for the needs of our children. God provides and equips for every task He calls us to.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 KJV

For the Prodigal’s Mom

Mama,

Don’t you know Jesus loves your children

Even more than you?

Pound the gates of Heaven, Mama

Pray without ceasing

Know the God of Heaven, inclines to your cry

He shares your passion for restoration of the prodigal child

So go ahead and cry Mama

But, make every tear a prayer

An offering of hope and heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart…

Those who sow in tears 
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126: 5-6

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

Suggested posts:

Letters to My Children

The Measure of a Mom

Sometimes it’s a God Thing                                      A Perfect Mothers Day Gift

© 2016, 2018 Rachael M Colby                 Tattoo It On Your Heart

#whyiteach

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I received the following messages from a friend who is a teacher. She wishes to remain anonymous.

TEACHER:   Texting you this… Need people to help remind me why I teach when I’m having bad days.

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs. You rarely ever get kudos. You mostly hear what you are doing wrong.

So, in those rare moments when the smoke clears, and you see what truly matters, and you see the little things you do, and the impact they can have, that is the gold you have to hold on to—or you will quit.

*Per request, I have re-posted this article from 2017 in honor of  #TeacherAppreciationDay and #TeacherAppreciationWeek Please take the time to encourage teachers, not just this week, but throughout the year.  

**If you are receiving this post via email, please click the title of the post to continue reading it on my website so you don’t miss content only visible on my site. 

So Far Today:

I comforted and prayed with a teacher who just had a miscarriage.

I’m standing in the hallway welcoming students, hustling the stragglers to class. Glancing in my classroom, I realize one of my boys is crying. I motion him to come into the hall and he tells me his aunt died from a stroke last night. We talk, I give him a hug and help him grieve. He gives me permission to share with the class. His friends quickly change seats and circle him. No talking or touching; they are middle school boys after all. They support him by just being there. They take out paper and write notes of encouragement—without any prompting. #proud #whyiteach

All before 9:30am.

11:20am Update

Another student running up and down the hallway screaming and crying. Counselor trying to help. He refuses… I step into the hallway, take his hands, have him take deep breaths with me to calm him down so he can talk to the counselor without screaming. #whyiteach

Teaching is never about the subject you are teaching. It’s about showing compassion, how to grieve, process anger, express joy. So much emptiness and anger in my students— they just don’t know how to handle life. Happy that I can be here to help them.

Remind me of this when I’m having a really bad day.

Anyone who becomes a teacher because they want kids to learn a subject is missing a huge piece of teaching. I went into teaching because I want to teach children how to successfully live their lives, process emotion, and become productive people. The subject I teach has so little to do with what I really do.

“When will I use this?” they say.  (Algebra, science, etc..)

The answer is: “Who really cares? Will you remember that I taught you compassion when your classmate’s aunt died, that I held your hands when you just couldn’t take another step, that I told you I care about you?”

And yes, of course, I’ll give you another chance when you screw up yet again in my class, because this is #whyiteach.

Update 1:00 pm

Two boys try to fight in my classroom. Calmed them down and talked to them. One of the boys tells me he’s not really mad at the other kid. He just watched his dad get arrested and he’s really upset… Sigh.  #whyIteach

At lunch, the boy whose aunt died comes up to me. “I’m doing better,” he says quietly, and dashes away.

Last Block:

The boy who was crying and screaming in the hallway comes to class. He’s smiling now, and we’re just figuring it all out. It’s a good day. #whyiteach

I know I could get a job in a better district. My family asks me why I stay all the time.

“Who’s going to teach them if I don’t?” I reply.

“Someone will,” they say.

“But will they care about them? Will they pray over their desks? Will they cry over them? Will they love them?”

I can’t walk away from these kids. Many of them don’t have adults that truly care. They are used to being thrown away, adults not sticking with them. I can’t be one of those people. Teaching is a calling, not a job. I have to teach them how to be cared for and to care for one another, to create community in the classroom. Once I’ve done this, and only then, can I actually teach them any academic content with success. This usually takes a few months to establish.

I have to teach them, I don’t know if someone else will care for them like I do. #whyiteach

A Few Weeks Later:

TEACHER:  Why do I teach again? My head hurts, my neck aches…

RACHAEL:  Because it matters—maybe for eternity for some of your students. Even though you don’t see it now.

Because they need you even when they don’t want you.

Because you may be the only love, the only Jesus, some will see today and over the next few months.

Because you have to. It’s your calling.  #makeadifference   #youmatter

Because it costs more to quit than to carry on. #whyyouteach

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NKJV

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strengthTattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Heroes_Among_Us
is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2nd Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

 © 2017 Rachael M Colby       Tattoo It On your Heart

Important Announcement 

Dear reader,

It has come to my attention that those who read my post entitled, Herald, and also, What #BillyGraham Meant to Me, and perhaps prior postsin their emails rather than on my website, may not have realized that several of what appeared to be still photos are actually videos. If you click out from the email to read my posts on my actual website, there are arrows on the photos, which indicate that they are videos. Apparently that doesn’t show in emails. I am so sorry I didn’t catch this sooner.

Also, the black box that says, Tattoo It On Your Heart, mid way through Herald, is a podcast, (audio with music and sound effects and me reading my poem, He is Risen). 

In my Billy Graham post, there was no text with the link in the videos listed under, Resources, so some may have mistook those for still photos as as well. I did include a text link for the videos included in my actual Billy Graham story, as I usually do in all my posts, but I did not under Resources. Hopefully those who read my post in their emails noticed the links to those videos and all the others in prior posts.

To avoid issues like this in the future and so you don’t miss out on any announcements, promotions, or updates to posts, or content in the sidebar and other pages on my website, I will be changing the settings for posts received via email. In the future when you receive my posts by email, they will only include an excerpt of the post with a request that you. “Click here to continue reading this post.” This will take you out to my site which will give you access to the most updated version of my post and site and to resources on the other pages. I plan to add a Q&A and a Resources feature to my site soon.

Until I make these changes, please click the title of my posts in your email as that will also take you out of the email to my site to read posts.

*If you read my prior post, What #BillyGraham Meant to me, you may have noticed my whopper of a typo. If so, sorry about that. I’ve corrected it. Must be that staying up writing until 3 o’clock in the morning makes for a fuzzy brain. If you didn’t catch my error—whew! 😉

**If you haven’t yet read my Billy Graham post, or you missed out on some of the videos, please click here to link to:  What #BillyGraham Meant to Me

***If you haven’t yet read Herald, or if you missed the videos and podcast in it, please click here to link to:  Herald.  

Thank you for being a part of my writing journey. God bless you. You are in my prayers.

Rachael

Fathomless

Tattoo-It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_FathomlessWhy do we let our finite problems eclipse our infinite God?

Why do we limit the possibilities

When we  have access to a limitless God?

He is unsearchable

Yet He calls us to know Him

The more I know Him

The less I feel I know

There is always more

He is fathomless

All encompassing goodness and grace

I have tasted of the wine of His Word and will

And I want more of Him

Nothing else satisfies

Nothing ever will

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Drunk_on_You

Morning Song

Jesus,
You captivate me.

Your love overwhelms me.

Your majesty is brighter than the noonday sun.

Your splendor outshines the stars.

I am undone.

You are my everything, my all in all.

My Savior. My friend,

My God.

 

Did you miss last year’s Valentine’s post? Or perhaps you need to be reminded of some of it again. I do. Often. Here it is:

rachael_m_colby_tattoo_it_on_your_heart_moon_rise_romanceBuilt to Last Not a Hollywood Romance

The plan was for me to read the scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, at my brother’s wedding, and sit back down. But that’s not what happened…Sometimes this is what happens when I put pen to paper and God starts speaking. Sometimes this is what happens when you give me a microphone…

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NLT)

You will notice the scripture doesn’t say, “love is a feeling.” That’s because it isn’t. Love has feelings, but it is a choice and an action. Love is first a proper noun, because God is love. But then Love became a verb, an action…

 

“So, are you the romantic type?” someone asked me recently. Romance, for me, may look a little different than the picture culture and Hollywood paints…

 A Story

The fury of the snowy night downed power lines and enveloped all. They settled into the couch as the story played across the screen. Winter’s icy fingers pressed against the window panes… Continued here: Built to Last Not a Hollywood Romance

Speaking of romance, Here’s some more:

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Romancing the Rock

Imagine a date where you showed up, tossed a list of what you wanted from your date at them, and then left without even partaking of the meal.

Do you know what “I’m busy right now, God,” means? It’s saying “There is something more important right now than receiving what you have to say to me, God.” And there isn’t. Ever. We need… Continued Here: Romancing the Rock

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

Do you know my Jesus?

© 2016 – 2018 Rachael M Colby                                  Tattoo It On Your Heart

Prior Post: I Hate Commitment, (or is it Failure I Fear?) 

gofundme_aleks_battle_against-lymesDear reader,

I’d like to invite you to read about our young friend, Alek’s, battle against Lymes disease. Please consider sharing on your social media and with friends, family and co-workers.

*Matching funds on new donations from February 1st- February 14th! Link to read his story or donate toward his ongoing treatment. the information on Lymes disease in this article by his mom is a good education on the disease and may be helpful to others battling it or with undiagnosed similar symptoms:

Click to read or donate here:  https://www.gofundme.com/aleks-battle-against-lymes

Can We Talk?

 

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Can_We_TalkI believe Christians ought to be able to consider another’s view, amicably agree to disagree on some things, and still appreciate each other.

I don’t believe in just tossing relationships because of disagreements, nor only having discussions with those we agree with. There is a give and take in relationship and it should be especially so in the Church.

Sometimes we will be right, and sometimes wrong.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. Ephesians 2:2-4 NLT

Some things we won’t know for sure until we get to Heaven. What’s crucial and clear is that we adhere to the Bible’s instructions which dictate the road to salvation and share those with the lost and dying world.

Some issues are worthy of debate, and some aren’t. But even when they are, scripture admonishes us that there is a time to be silent and a time to speak.

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NASB)

If we do speak, let this govern us:

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)

Regardless, we don’t need to take it as a personal assault or be offended because others have a different view. Neither should we be offensive.

But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness. 2 Timothy 2:16 (HCSB)

 

“Do you just want to be right, or do you want to be effective?” -Pastor Artie Aragon

 

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

Someone’s passionate adherence to their belief is not necessarily a persecution of another’s. If our heart is to pursue truth and persuade others of it, then we ought not be offended with others’ attempt to proclaim their position, but rather, be patient and open to learn from and teach each other as the situation dictates. We can choose to use opposition  as an opportunity to strengthen our beliefs by further study.

Reading is crucial to personal growth and gaining understanding of others and the world. We can’t effectively engage others and present truth if we don’t know where they are. What they believe is the starting point to reach them.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

Do not be hasty to close the door on relationships because of differences and lose the chance to influence others with truth. 

My desire is to glorify God, to share the Gospel with the lost and encourage other believers.

“Lord help me to be faithful to Your call, to present Truth with grace and love. Help us to be quick to forgive each other when we fall short. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

The real issue isn’t which translation of the Bible Christians choose to read. The problem is people aren’t reading the Bible more—or at all.

May our discourse push us to study, to seek truth, strengthen our faith and pursue Jesus’ heart.

Now go find a lost soul to preach the Gospel to.

 

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NASB)

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 (HCSB)

And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

 

Colossians 3:12 (KJV)

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:12 (NKJV)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12 (NASB)

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

Colossians 3:12 (HCSB)

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,

 

John 13:35 (KJV)

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 13:35 (NKJV)

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:35 (NIV)

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:35 (NLT)

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

John 13:35 (NASB)

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:35 (HCSB)

By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

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Peace.

© 2018  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart