WHAT TO SAY WEDNESDAY

Ok, this is your opportunity.

Your turn to say something.

I’m collecting your favorite recipes for quick, Sunday, after church meals.

I know some of you that read this blog aren’t pastor’s wives, but you still go to church on Sunday mornings – so send me your recipes, too.

I’ll do a week on quick, simple, get-it-on-the-table-as-fast-as-you-can meals.

Doesn’t matter if you know me or not – just send them in.

Tell me your first name and what state you’re from — and if you want, we could give your church a plug!

Just put it on comment. I’ll copy the receipe for a future post – but will not show the comment.

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU …

One thing you’ll learn as a pastor’s wife is that God created an unusual variety of people (and we’d probably have to agree that we’re a little weird, too).

As pastor’s wives, we get to meet many of those people.

I remember a lady attending our church who had a humor deficiency – to put it in politically correct terms. 🙂

Being someone who takes life extremely seriously, but also enjoys joking around, much of what I said literally went flying over her head.

I was working with some of the teens in our church to do a summer kids’ ministry which resulted in the children earning points for the end-of-the-summer trip to the zoo. We made a huge grid with hundreds of little squares – each representing a point. Each Wednesday night I would go over to church early and color in dozens of those little squares with markers.

I was doing this one night when this lady walked up beside me and quietly watched what I was doing.

“You do that well,” she said. (Now, remember, I was coloring in point squares.”

“Yes,” I said sarcastially,  “This is my spiritual gift.”

“Oh,” she said clearly awed. “God has blessed you with a wonderful talent.”

Again, I WAS COLORING IN SQUARES.

I had no idea how to respond. I was glad she was impressed.

MONDAY MORNING MOTIVATOR

It started with the conversation about the pie. We were sitting in Applebees wondering about the origins of key lime pie and I said, “Key West. In fact, there’s a restaurant down there – the giraffe something or other … and key lime is their specialty.” The other people at the table were interested, but I couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant.

So that started me going back into old diaries and posts to see if I could find the name because I had been there.

In my nostalgic search, I came upon something that I had written a long time ago. I wrote about someone at church who was upset with … oh, something or other … and how upsettable that was to us. (Us – being Ken and me.)

See, the truth is. I don’t even remember what happened. Even though on that day when I wrote those words, that incident seemed like the worse thing that could ever happen, I can’t even REMEMBER what it was. 

This is hard to fathom when you’re climbing up church mountains (as in mountains out of molehills), but it came to pass. 

What a great thought from our Heavenly Father. In fact, those words are in the KJV 497 times.  Yes, at the moment that the kitchen ladies are upset because someone in the youth group left out a half-eaten pizza and Mr. Church Man says he’s never coming back because some kids were goofing off in the back row and he couldn’t even hear the sermon – life does get discouraging. (And you’d like to say – “Well, I’m sure staying home will help you hear the sermon SO MUCH better,” but of course, you’d never, ever actually SAY that.)

But remember – it came to pass.

And the name of the restaurant is The Blonde Giraffe.

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FUN FRIDAY – THE ALPHABET POTLUCK

                                                                                 

Last weekend I spoke at a conference at Grace Community Church in Newton, Kansas (outside Wichita). After the conference was over, we went out to eat with some of the staff members and they mentioned a unique potluck dinner they had had. No one was specifically assigned what to bring except whatever it was had to start with the first letter of their first name.

So, Kris brings key lime pie and Dave brings Delicious Doritos, Sue brings salad and Bob brings barbeque.

Sounds like a fun thing to try.

 

WHAT TO SAY (AND NOT TO SAY) IN THE HOSPITAL

A constant in a pastor’s life are hospital visits. I know Ken had been to the hospital so many times, he could even tell you all about the doctors – which ones were good and which ones weren’t so good. 

If a person was having an operation, Ken would try to get to the hospital before he/she went into the operating room. He would pray with the patient and often wait with the family, especially if the operation were serious or the family member didn’t have anyone to wait with him.

So what do you say at a hospital visit?

1. Learn the rules of the hospital. Many allow “clergy” in at all times, but not “clergy” wives. However, if it’s a friend or someone you’re close to (and you know your visit would be welcomed by the patient), you might be able to walk in with your husband without being questioned.

2. Make your visit brief (yes, there might be exceptions, but that’s the rule.)

3. (As Kristy commented) If the patient is on a special diet, don’t talk about the steak you’re having after you leave.

4. Don’t tell the patient about your Great Uncle Fred who had the same disease the patient had and died! Or Cousin Ethel who had the same operation and the doctor left the scalpel INSIDE of her. Just be quiet with your horror stories.

5. Don’t pass on information about some alternative cure you’ve heard about – the patient is under the doctor’s care and doesn’t need your advice. (Unless you personally know five people who were instantly cured using it.)

6. Take a notepad and pen (or help your husband get in the habit of taking one), so if the patient is sleeping or out of the room for tests – you can leave a note saying you were there and sorry you missed him.

7. Share a verse and pray.

8. If appropriate, say “hello” to the person in the other bed. They may not have many visitors and your friendliness can mean a lot.

9. Don’t make comments about the hospital food – even if it’s being left to wilt on the tray. (The doctor may be encouraging the patient to eat – don’t discourage her.)

10. Don’t announce at church what is wrong with the patient (unless the patient asks you to). There are some extremely strict rules now about breaking confidences.

Seriously, do not write down a person’s diagnosis on a prayer sheet. The laws are called HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and protect a patient’s privacy. (Check out the link, but don’t worry about reading the whole thing – just know you can’t talk.)

SITTING ON THE SOFA

One more post (for now) for those times you’re with someone who is facing a tough time.

Sometimes you get in a situation when you visit a family after they’ve received news of a death or a relative’s been diagnosed with a serious illness. 

You’re sitting on the sofa, wondering what to say.

I have found that asking questions helps. Many times the family wants to talk about what happened, so questions help them stay focused on the facts and not break down emotionally. (Although, allow the person to cry if that happens.)

Questions can be things such as:

*How long was he in the hospital?

*What hospital?

*Where will the funeral be?

*Will your family all be able to come?

YOU CAN EVEN GO BACK TO THE FAMILY’S HISTORY.

*When did you start attending our church?

*How did you meet? (If a married couple.)

*Where did he/she work? What was his job?

*Is there anything I can do for you? Can I notify anyone at church or any of your friends? 

MAYBE THE PERSON WOULD LIKE TO SIT QUIETLY. THAT’S OK, TOO.

Remember, we’re to weep with those who weep. So, sincerely care and you’ll do OK, no matter what you say.