Tag Archives: the church

Sunday Stillness – How struggles happen in churches

Sunday Stillness – How struggles happen in churches

How-struggles-happen

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This week I am studying Titus 1:6 using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study. It is truly amazing how Scripture can speak to my heart, mind and soul. As usual I prayed before I started to study.

S – Say the passage aloud.

An elder must be blameless, a husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient (Titus 1:6, NIV).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Titus is charged with appointing elders in every town. Paul lays down specific instructions for those elders. Similar instructions were given to Timothy. (1 Timothy 3:1-7, NIV).

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

Our world has changed drastically. Women are not only Elders in some denominations but also Pastors. I am not going to debate that. I think the whole idea rests upon the word – blameless.

Whoever is an Elder MUST be blameless.

That is a very important statement.

And families of Elders  – that is important too. How do the children conduct themselves? I think we can assume that children who have left the home are no longer under the control of the parent. But little ones see how parents react and act accordingly.

And I agree that an Elder needs to be a very responsible person – not just a warm body to fill a vacancy.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

I certainly agree that if an Elder has a family conflict that person is not going to be in a good position to make church decisions or be shepherds to their flock. I have attended churches in the past where divisions start from power struggles in the Elders’ group. I have gone through trials and tribulations caused by Elders NOT remaining blameless.

And Elder needs to be a committed Christian who is capable of being a good role model for his/her family. And Pastors need to be on the lookout for any weaknesses in their Elders – before a crisis occurs.

Be victorious in the home, and you are victorious everywhere (Dr. E. Stanley Jones, quoted in Ed Hird’s book, Restoring Health, page 35).

This also means that an Elder’s marriage must be blameless too. That is a big challenge in our world today as well as in the time of Titus.

One of the greatest challenges for the Cretan ex-pirates was how to develop healthy marriages, built on harmony and tenderness… God used biblical marriage to transform the relational chaos of the pirate island of Crete. Healthy leaders need healthy marriages.

What might happen if our North American society realized that God’s Church as the key to marital stability and satisfaction? (Restoring Health, Ed Hird, page 35)

How can this apply to me? I think prayer has to be my answer. Putting each of our Elders up for prayer is the way to keep Satan away and God watching over this group of people. We need to pray for all our leaders in the church and their families. Will you join me?

Do you pray for the leaders in your church?

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, in our churches I ask you to watch over the leaders, their families, their children. As we need strong churches we need strong faith-filled leaders who are protected through prayer. Help our churches – Your church – to grow strong, stable and fruit-filled. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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Janis Cox

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Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

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UNABLE TO TRUST

Unable to Trust

by T. L Wiens

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”    Matthew 5:43-48

Be perfect. Now that is a high place that I can’t say I’ve attained.

Loving our enemies is hard. But what do you do when the “enemy” is the church? Our local church has shunned me, asked our family not to return and spread awful rumours about us. Before this, I spent more time in ministry activities than our pastor and I did it without a monetary incentive. Why do these people hate me and how am I supposed to love them?

My prayers start out with good intentions but often take a turn towards begging God for justice. Then I must ask for forgiveness and the circle keeps going round and round.

Then I changed my prayer—I stopped trying to pray for them and asked God just to let me love them. Even though there are still a lot of raw emotions, my heart is starting to change. I’m a long way from perfection but I am on my way.

There are many people who have been crushed by the church. Men hungry for power, church governing rules that come ahead of the word of God and protecting those in leadership at any cost are just a few of the things that have sidetracked the church from loving. Please pray for those of us that have been pushed aside and discarded. We are broken and hurting. Some have abandoned the faith all together while others struggle to trust any church because of the actions of one body. And Jesus weeps.

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit her website for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.