What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Stretching My Love

"Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left..." Isaiah 54:2-3a  
Illustration showing the successive stages in the erection of a tent.  The tent would be made of goatshair cloth.
(Ralph Gower, The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times)

In this morning's devotional reading at home before breakfast I read the following verse from Luke 13:29:

"They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, 
and sit down in the kingdom of God."

And after that my husband had the opportunity to preach at a little country church not too far from our home with the possibility that he may be extended a call to become their pastor.  It's been a few years since he has served in that capacity; as a matter of fact, it has been so long that his favorite suit did not fit when he tried to get into it this morning...and I didn't even have a pair of pantyhose without runs in them, so we went "casual"...which was actually fine, since everyone else was "casual" as well. Do you know that some stores don't even carry pantyhose anymore? Whatever happened to the racks of  "L'eggs" in every store? And when did they stop putting them in those neat little egg shell containers?
Remember them? I don't wear dresses very often these days, and I don't have the kind of legs that should be seen bare in church. When you work indoors all the time and don't get out in the sun much, people have to put on sunglasses to look at my white legs. But, I digress...this is not sounding very spiritual for a potential pastor's wife.

In thinking about this possibility of entering back into the arena of full time ministry, I do so with some concern and "trepidation".  Not fear so much as careful consideration. There are many things to consider. It is a commitment of time, energy, and love.  Yes, love.  If you don't have love for the people you are serving, it will be a very difficult place to be. I know that not everyone is always easy to love. Sometimes, believe it or not dear friends, even I am not easy to love! Just ask my family. If they are honest, they will say that's true.  (Okay, hubby and kids, you don't have to be so quick to agree!)  But I want to be honest myself...I know that I do not always love others the way I should. There are times that I can be too quick to judge by appearance or circumstances and think unlovely thoughts about others. I can be selfish with my time and my energies and gifts. I can withhold my acts of involvement because I just don't want to get involved...or I am too tired, too busy, or too "I just don't want to do that today".  I am human. I need God's help to be all that HE wants me to be.

Guess what?  I believe God just wants me to be me.  I really don't have to perform a certain way or do things that I really am not qualified or trained to do. But I do have to let God love through me. If He has called me to this place...He will give me the grace and strength and energy I need to do whatever it is He asks me to do. I just have to learn to listen to HIS VOICE...and know when it is God calling me as opposed to when it is the expectation of others calling me.  I will need a lot of discernment...and love.

The closing "prayer" of the little devotional I was reading this morning was actually written by a "Sister" Melannie Svoboda...yes, a "Sister" as in a "Nun", one who has committed her life to service for Christ. (No, I am not a Catholic, but that doesn't matter. We are sisters in Christ.) This is what she prayed:

"Inclusive God, stretch my loving beyond where it is today."

I like that. I need that. Even if we don't receive the call to serve in this ministry, I still need to learn to "stretch my loving beyond where it is today."  Trust me, I really do need that.  I need to be prepared to "Enlarge the place of my tent..." because things just might be getting busier and fuller in the days to come. And I need to get a new pair of "L'eggs" really soon.

How about you? What might God be calling YOU to do today?
For more about our history in the ministry click here


  1. May your loving be stretched beyond where it is today, Pam! I dare say that I could say the same for myself...not because I have the possible opportunity before me that you do in full time ministry, but rather because I am a full time Christian. Some days I can't see my love being stretched any further than the end of my nose...but I know that I love only because He first loved me. I've been praying for a while now that He would love others through me...especially those who are "DIFFERENT" from me. Never fails...every time I pray He answers by putting the "DIFFERENT" in front of me. BUT where I see the biggest difference in the way I relate to them now as opposed to a year or two ago is that I can just strike up conversation with them, give them a smile (at the very least), and just be me! Just as you said! Isn't that such a liberating thing, Pam? He's given us the freedom to be us and puts the very people in front of us whom He wants to love through us? What an AWESOME God we serve! Hugs to you!

    1. Yes, no matter what we do in life, if we are in Christ, we have this mission to love one another regardless of the differences. Only God can help us to do that...we really can't do it in our own strength. And yes, it is liberating to be exactly who God created us to be. Sadly, sometimes it takes a lifetime to figure out just who that is, unfortunately! I know I need the Lord to show me the way every day.
      Blessings to you today.

  2. LOVE this word from Sister Melannies Svoboda. Stretch my loving. Every day, I need this, God.

    1. Yes, me too! Something to write on the frontlets of our eyes.

  3. Pam: Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts with us. If God wants you and your husband to go back into full-time ministry, He will lead you through the perceived challenges that you will have to deal with. I will add your name to my prayer list.

    1. Thank you "quietspirit". You have helped to "quiet" MY spirit today with your words. We are praying and evaluating and "counting the cost" (literally and figuratively) of making such a "move", should it even be offered. Some things need to be only considered with much prayer and fasting. This is one of those things. Thank you for your prayers. They are needed and appreciated.


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