I met the new pastor’s wife  a couple weeks ago (and again last night).

And someone hinted to me that he wondered what I was thinking as I was introduced to  the person who “took my place.”

But “taking my place” is not what I was thinking at all.

Because the new pastor’s wife isn’t taking MY place. My “place” was Ken’s wife. He was the pastor. I was his wife. So, someone who is another pastor’s wife isn’t taking my place.  Without my pastor (Ken), I have no desire to be the pastor’s wife.

So, actually this is what I was thinking.

Oh, here is the new pastor’s wife. How great to meet her. I like meeting new people and learning about them. Wow, she’s at a great church and I wish her all the best. I’ll be praying for her. I hope she realizes that I’m not a threat of any kind. I’m just me. I’m sure I’ll be seeing her many more times, too. Because I live here and I consider these people my friends.

And that was it.


I think the main goal of those who take ministry seriously is to introduce people to Christ – and to disciple young Christians who may be making wrong life choices.

Ministry people talk to those young Christians and help them and do everything for them from listening to them talk for hours and hours and even more hours, bringing them food, weeding their lawns, taking them out to dinner … and of course, sharing God’s Word.

And so often … what happens is … nothing.

Last week my niece Beth and I went to see The Soloist. (I recently read the book and reported it on my blog earlier this year.)

If you don’t know the story, The Soloist is about a newspaper reporter who, while going to work one day, hears beautiful music – a homeless man playing the violin. To make a long story short, Steve (the reporter) begins investigating the man (Nathaniel) and discovers that he studied at Julliard. Because of mental illness, however, he dropped out and now lives on the street. Over the course of several months, Steve did everything possible to make life better for Nathaniel – getting him a cello, getting him an apartment at a mission, etc.  Some of Steve’s plans worked, but a lot of them didn’t.   In the end, Steve realizes that he can’t change Nathaniel, but he did learn a lot himself.

The movie was not a feel good, come-out- floating-on-top-of-the-world experience, because it is a true story and this is the way life happens (or doesn’t happen). The movie is raw because life is raw.

The movie also doesn’t factor in the spiritual aspect of life – which we do in ministry.

The thing is, just as Steve did everything possible for Nathaniel only to have Nathaniel turn on him – so it is in ministry. We help people and give them answers from God’s word – but unless they (with the help of the Holy Spirit) want the change themselves, it won’t happen.

But the Lord knows our heart.

He understands our efforts.

And He tells us to keep on reaching out to people.

And in doing so,  we like Steve in the movie, can come out stronger people ourselves.


dsc_0188dsc_0198dsc_0230dsc_0195dsc_0249Just a few more points –

This place will not be all that entertaining to anyone above the age of seven or eight.

However, the 5yo was impressed.

Also, I will say that the staff was extremely kid-oriented and friendly – mostly older high school and college kids who have obviously been well trained. Three of them told me that they had worked there in previous summers which I thought said something about the place.

The place is expensive – $15.00 for anyone over the age of two. However, last night when I was on the site getting last-minute directions, I noticed (that at least for May) a grandparent with a grandchild got in free.

Which was nice. Also, when you get your tickets, you get a free pass for another visit. So there are ways of getting in fairly reasonably.

A steak house ia attached – the 5yo had a child-sized pizza which he gobbled down and I had a very good hamburger.

So, if you’re looking to go west with a 5yo – here’s your opportunity.


dsc_0174dsc_0234dsc_0220Well, the 5yo and I enjoyed the beautiful day by going on a date to the far west (well, a little bit west anyhow).

dsc_0176We left after church and were there in time for the Wild West Show – an interesting show, to say the least. Having been to many of these staged shows in my life (including the one at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona the town where the Erp brothers reigned), this one was truly unique.  Actually, the cowboys did some fairly fancy rope and gun tricks. One made a loop so large he stepped into it and then with his other hand, made a smaller loop inside. The gun twirling was also impressive. But the audience had to repeat that we would not play with guns nor would we jump off roofs. The only thing actually shot and hit – was a coke can. A lot of it was showing how actors jumped off roofs, shot with blanks (which still can hurt) and had a fight. The fight scene was kind of funny. They showed the kids how they did it, then did it slower and then in very slow motion (clever). The 5yo’s comment?  “That was awesome.”

dsc_0185After the show, the 5yo  gleefully and  fully participated in many other activities: canoe riding, pony riding, hand-cart riding, train riding and goat feeding –

dsc_0183dsc_0202Then he learned how to rope a horse, shoot a cork gun, shoot a bow and arrow and a slingshot.


I liked panning for gold myself – it wasn’t all that easy to find, but it wasn’t super difficult either – we found about 12 tiny little pieces.

Afterwards we went to the restaurant which is decorated in antiques and had a roaring fire.


dsc_0004 I don’t know of any missionaries who read my blog, but perhaps …

And even if you aren’t a missionary, maybe this is an idea you could suggest to a child-friendly missionary your church supports.

I know missionaries are busy, but this is a great idea from a missionary.

A missionary couple would not only send regular newsletters to their supporting churches and families, but would also send a kids’ newsletter. The letter wasn’t long, but gave interesting facts, recipes, cultural trivia, etc. to kids.

What better way to interest a child in missions?

In fact, the reason I know about it is because the missionary who did this – just heard that one of the little girls who received the kids newsletters over the years, is now a missionary herself.