Skip to main content

True Church Stories - #16

Some people have no understanding of the fact that those in the ministry are just human with the same limitations as everyone else.

Fortunately for me, my weakness went undetected in this situation.  Until now when I'm telling everyone on the internet.  Again this is one of those things I'm not going to win any "pastor of the year" awards over, but since I'm lettin' it all hang out here goes...

Years ago there was a lady in the church we'll call Janet (not her real name) who would call me and talk almost without coming up for air - for the longest time.  Sometimes hours.  It was never an emergency -- just the  normal ups and downs of life.

Late one night I got out of the shower and had just put on my robe and put  my hair up in a towel.  I was sleepy, and all warm and cozy and getting ready to have some herbal tea, get in my nightgown and go to sleep.  My husband came in and told me, "Um, babe...I know you're getting ready to go to sleep but Janet is on the phone for you."  I said, "what does she want?"  And he said, "I don't think it's an emergency, but you know she tends to think everything is urgent..."

My heart sunk because it was already 11 pm and I was absolutely exhausted.  I took a deep breath, picked up the phone anyway and began listening.  Here's the truth -- no matter what other education pastor's wives have, I'm here to tell you they should ALL have a degree in listening!   Most if not all have earned it.

As Janet talked, I cradled the phone to my ear and made my cup of tea, and then went and got comfortable  on the sofa.    As I sat there and listened for about an hour the clock soon struck midnight and as Janet talked on, I had laid down on the sofa and gotten really relaxed and before long I was asleep.  The phone was still cradled at my ear while I laid there asleep...for another hour!  As my eyes fluttered open  I glanced over at the clock and realized what had happened and I was even more shocked to realize that Janet was STILL TALKING for two hours straight, and never noticed that I was asleep!!!

Never doubt that some people CAN have a conversation all by themselves.  The other day someone said to me, "you know, it takes two to have a conversation" and I wanted to say, "you're not in the ministry, are you?"  Ministers know what it is to have "conversations" where only one person is doing the talking.

Now, something that could have been the most embarrassing thing in the world is that about a minute after I woke up, Janet said to me, "So, Pastor Deanna, what are your thoughts on all this?"  Please keep in mind that I hadn't been listening for the second hour while she talked...I was sound asleep.  And now she finally wanted me to actually SAY something and give her advice.

Fortunately for me I had the perfect answer.  I said, "Janet, my thought is that you should give this entire thing over to God." 

"Really?" she said.  "Just give it to God?"

"Yep," I responded, "just give it to God.  That's what you need to do."

And when I said that it was as if I'd given her a million dollars.  I mean, she was elated!  

Truthfully, I didn't know what the heck she had said for the past hour but whatever it was I knew it was safe to tell her to give it all over to God because truthfully He IS the person with the solution.

"Thank you SO much for being there tonight, PD.  Your advice to give it all over to God was just what I needed."

Mmm hhhmmm.

Finally at the 1:15 am mark we hung up and I went in  my room to put my nightie on and go to sleep and my husband says, "what in the world did Janet want this late at night?" and I said, "you know Larry she just needed to be reminded to give it all over to God."

"Really?"

"Yep."

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hilarious!! More people need to "just give it to God." Happy Thanksgivng!
Melissa said…
Giving it to God is all we ever need to do! Love you

Popular posts from this blog

What To Do First to Make a Profit

Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said:

It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way.
Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory!

I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started investing and training and all of that, seeking God for his blessing and…

I'm Just Being Transparent...

This year at the Stronger Conference, a young minister stopped me as I was walking out of the room at the conclusion of a workshop and she said, "I want to tell you something..." (I was all ears.) She said, "Do you notice how many of the speakers this weekend are saying, "Now, I'm just being transparent when I tell you..." or "I'm just keepin' it real..." I nodded yes. In fact, I mentioned that I was one of those speakers. I think I probably said a few times in both my keynote message and my workshop that I was just "keepin' it real."

After I affirmed that yes, I had noticed that -- she said, "Do you know why they have to do that? They do it...and you do it, because so many people don't keep it real. So many in leadership aren't transparent, Deanna. That's why all these people speaking here feel an urge to declare their transparency.." I let her know that usually when I say, "I'm just keeping …

Why You Should Never Hijack a Comment Thread
Social media etiquette 101

One surefire way to kill your influence in social media and wear out your welcome fast is to become involved in derailing somebody’s comment thread with your own agenda. Networking and hijacking aren’t the same thing. It’s surprising how many people don’t understand that this is a guarantee for tearing down a platform as quickly as you build it.


Passion is good, even necessary. I appreciate people's zeal for their personal core values. What is not appreciated is the attempt at a redirection of a comment thread when the comment has little or nothing to do with an original post or is twisted at best.

Social media provides ample opportunity for all of us to share what’s important to us on our own platform. Eliciting others’ responses and developing connections largely depends on our ability to communicate and compel. Some people are open to receiving private communication from others although they aren’t always able to answer personally or at length. But hijacking a comment thread no…