Hillary Clinton and her “Basket of Deplorables”

 cnn_hillary-800x430  Hillary has driven me closer to consider voting for Trump than any argument I’ve heard from an actual Trump supporter with her elitist, snobbish, condescending rubbish dropping from her corrupt mouth.  Does anyone remember the brouhaha when Romney declared that 47% of the population wouldn’t vote for him in the last election cycle.  The media went apoplectic in the ensuing week as they colored him as an elitist oligarch who couldn’t relate to the real people of the lower classes.
Well, if you want to see a whole new level of hubris, check out what Hillary Clinton said this week-end, though you can expect the fawning leftists of the mainstream press to give her a press or even agree with her.
 
Before going further, read her comments HERE.
She has provided the public with a rare view into what she really thinks of the pehillary-angry-2ople she would aspire to “rule”.

It would serve us well to remember that when she says “homophobic” — she means someone who believes in traditional marriage between a man and a woman. When she says “racist” — she means someone who believes that cops should be respected, that all lives matter, BLM is a divisive movement and that helping people of color means more than throwing money in their general direction. When she says “misogynist” — she means those who think that a baby has a right to LIFE more than a woman has a right to kill an inconvenient infant. When she says “xenophobic” — she means people that think that borders and immigration laws should be respected. When she says “Islamaphobic” — she means those who think that coddling terrorists who practice a violent religion needs to stop. When she says “Basket of Deplorables” — she means God-fearing people who care about their country, respect traditional values, believe gun-ownership is a Constitutional right and aren’t ashamed to wave an American flag — you know, people like those who don’t protest in the streets, burn down convenience stores, didn’t attend Ivy League indoctrination centers and don’t draw their income from the Federal government.hillary-clinton-angry

 
This despicable and corrupt woman belongs in a prison cell, not in a Presidential campaign. She has accidentally
revealed her true thinking and make no mistake, if you are one of those who would fit in her “basket of deplorables” (and I am), she will not be satisfied until she has stripped you of ever opportunity to oppose the agenda of those who belong in her own “basket of depravity and delusion”.
basket
She is a menace, a danger, a criminal, a coward and an opportunist.

And that’s just what we know for sure about her.

And she’s done the one thing that I didn’t think was possible: made me consider voting for her opponent.  I never thought it was even possible.

Real Men Don’t Need Safe Spaces, They ARE Safe Spaces

Angry Girl SpaghettiRecently, I have seen a plethora of silly articles about patriarchy, cis-gendered masculinity, oppressive gender identity and the like.  Granted, men can be monsters — just like women.  Biologically, they have a predisposition to violence that is directly related to the presence of testosterone which is what causes dominance and aggressiveness.  But that does not mean that all men or even most men are Neanderthalish barbarians.  It means that we need to recognize the differences in roles between men and women and it also means we Angry Feminist On boardneed to lay off the millennial sport of bashing men and masculinity.

I believe that it is a good thing to be a man. God created men physically, chemically, biologically and spiritually to lead, protect, advance and demonstrate strength. To be otherwise is unnatural.

I believe that the role of “father” is a sacred role. Good dads aren’t insensitive louts, they aren’t lazy couch potatoes, they live passionately for their wife and children and they work hard to take good care of their family.

I believe that men ought to treat ladies with respect. They should honor them as the treasure that they are. They should watch out for them, protect them, make them feel special. Real men don’t need pornography – it is an insult to the wives, mothers and daughters to indulge in it. Real men treat the women in their life the way that they would want their daughters or mothers or sisters treated. It is tragic, to me, that so many women today have bought into a feminist mentality that precludes accepting the courteous behavior of a gentleman for the act of honor that it is.

Angry DadI believe that men can love God without being some sort of limp-wristed mama’s boy. God created man in His image. We can have His qualities as part of our character. We aren’t ashamed of our need for a Savior, our devotion to Christ, our submission to the Word of God and if we are – well, then our faith is as phony as our manhood.

I believe that men can be great husbands. We can have the character to remain faithful. We can have the passion to provide romance. We can make a commitment to stay with one woman for our entire life and keep it. We can take care of our wife, help her with the children, support her in her professional endeavors and love her without end. Real men don’t abandon their wives, they don’t hit on the women at work, they don’t ogle cheap women in real life or in advertisement or on screens and they don’t treat their wife poorly.  Real men never….as in NEVER raise a hand toward a woman, they don’t act threatening toward a woman and they understand the definition of the word “NO.”

I believe that men can keep commitments. I believe that a man will understand that a man’s word is his honor. A man who will not keep his word or who will not go to the offended when he has been unable to do so has a character problem that he needs to consider. I believe a man should consider his handshake as good as a notarized signature.

Angry Working ManI believe that men ought to be hard workers. We sweat, we smell, we work overtime, we have rough hands and we don’t quit until the job is done. Even when we play, we make it like work and usually end up hot, tired, bleeding or dirty. And almost always – hungry.

I believe real men are balanced. We can swing a sledge and cuddle a baby. We can change the oil and put a Band-Aid on a skinned knee. We can fight an enemy and shelter a family with the same arms. We can shout at the stadium or cry before God at the church. We are not one-dimensional.

I believe that men can be great dads. They teach kids how to bait hooks, throw a ball and Angry Daddyhandle the school bully. Real dad’s wrestle their kids in the living room floor until their mother about has a heart attack and when the kids get up, they are going to ask for more. Real dad’s work extra jobs to help their kids have a better life than they had. Real dad’s may gag at dirty diapers and tickle kids until they cry, but have someone threaten to harm their loved ones and you’ll see a toughness you could never imagine.

Angry GuysSo enough of the emphasis on gender fluidity.  Enough whining from triggered radical feminists who see every man as some sort of threat to their identity.  Enough of the feminization of this generations boys.  Embrace your role.  Enjoy your uniqueness.  Respect the differences.  Except your limitations and expand your strengths.  If you are a man, it’s a good thing.  And if you are woman, it is as well.

Women should not need “safe spaces” away from reasonable masculinity.  In fact, masculinity — rightly defined and executed — should BE the Safe Space for those who understand and embrace the reality that equality does not mean uniformity.

Vacation in Beautiful Lake Lure, North Carolina

front.jpgHave you put off booking a place for a lovely North Carolina mountain vacation near a beautiful lake?  Well here’s your chance!  Rent our home in gorgeous Lake Lure, NC just 5 minutes from the Lake Lure beach, marina, swimming pools, lazy river, fitness center, volleyball courts, tennis, horseshoes, mini-golf, restaurants, championship golf, hiking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, zip-lines and more.  In less than an hour, you can be at Biltmore Estates, riding the Blue Ridge Parkway, shopping, dining and exploring Asheville.  This is NOT a cabin, but a fully-equipped home with internet, satellite TV, pingpong, foosball and other games, waterview, master suite lake-lure.jpgwith King-size bed, enough room for a large family and a private setting with tons of wildlife around.  You can enjoy this entire 3 bedroom house, save money cooking at home, control your schedule and all at about the cost of a local hotel room.

For pictures, availability and rental information, click on THIS link.

Note: While this is our private home, it is under the management of a rental agency and all reservations MUST be made through them.

playroom.jpg dining-room.jpg deck.jpg bedroom-3.jpg bedroom-2.jpg backview.jpg master-bedroom.jpg living-room.jpg

 

“Safe Spaces” in Churches? Say it isn’t so…

Unless you’ve been under a rock lately, you’ve been seeing a lot about leftist college snowflakes demanding “safe spaces” which block them from hearing words or seeing images that cause themSafe Space to be “triggered” into fear, discomfort, offense or a sense of alarm.  For the majority of sane and reasonable people, this phenomenon has been an easy target for snarky diatribes, lectures about narcissism and comparisons between this generation and the one that, say….stormed the beaches of Normandy, at the same age.  Yeah, it’s all a part of the ongoing consequences of the hyper-leftist, post-modern, self-indulgent atmosphere found in the indoctrination centers known as College or University these days.

However, as one who has been in ministry leadership now going into my fourth decade, I would point out something that will make some of my dear readers feel a mite uncomfortable.  It has struck me as no small inconsistency that the majority of those howling about the precious petals of tolerance who demand exclusion from intolerant bullies spouting ideas which they don’t affirm or with which they simply disagree are conservative….wait for it….CHRISTIANS (at least on my social media outlets.)

Now why is that a big deal?  Because for years, I’ve seen whiny church goers react exactly the same in the church du jours with amazing frequency.  “How so”, you might ask.  Let me give you a few examples…

  • I watched a family (of the fundamentalist variety) huff out of a church service never to return when I quoted (in honest context) a person they considered too liberal – John MacArthur (insert absurd laughter here.)
  • A lady once approached me to request that I notify her anytime abortion was going to be discussed at church as it made her feel “uncomfortable.”
  • There was the time someone left the church because we did not make announcements that no one should wear cologne, perfume or scented deodorant in a 2,500 seat auditorium because it made them sneeze.
  • I was once chewed out by a regular attender because he had to walk from the back of the parking lot because we had reserved a row of parking for guests.  (I invited him to find another place to worship and he obliged me…that very morning.)
  • We once had five families with loyalties to a particular conservative fundy institution of higher “learning” leave the church simultaneously when we introduced percussion instruments to the church orchestra.  (Though the same instrument had been featured frequently in pre-recorded music at that church for years.)
  • I’ve known of people who left their church due to Bible version disputes, because someone who spoke was not emphatically “young Earth” and stated that there were other valid interpretations of Genesis 1, when praise team members were allowed to hold microphones (it apparently reminded them of a night club…I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been to a night club), because of the type of tracts made available in the church tract rack, because a politician was allowed to greet the congregation, when a woman was allowed to lead in prayer, because someone raised their hands in worship, because people clapped after a special song, when their child did not win an AWANA award, because they did not get a special number in the annual Christmas production, because they didn’t allow a petition drive about a certain moral issue to be conducted in the lobby, because they didn’t approve of a book that the pastor read, because the pastor cited a Catholic theologian, because a mixed race couple was baptized, due to the discontinuation of a particular ministry (one in which they did not volunteer even), as a result of not receiving a hospital visit (they told no one they were going to be in the hospital), due to a line-item in the budget that they did not like, and honestly….I’m just getting warmed up.

In other words, at the first offense….they would run to their “safe spot” which was anywhere AA025799but at that awful church that had dared do, say, feature, stop, start, highlight, quote or some other action with which they disagreed.  But in those cases, they weren’t being spoiled narcissists with consumer-Christianity mentalities, they were simply showing “discernment” or “taking a stand”.  There’s a theological term of ancient origins that describes those attitudes — Childish.

Are there reasons to be “offended” enough to leave a church.  Yes, but they are not myriad.  In fact, the fast majority should be attached to a major Bible doctrine.  Yeah, deny the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection of Christ, the Blood Atonement, Sola Scriptura/Fide/Gracia/Christos and a handful of others and I’m heading for the exit.  But seriously, the offense meter of too many in the Body of Believers is set way over on the “over-sensitive” side.

Unity, Harmony, Peace — are not natural conditions of a fallen creation.  If they are to exist, it requires effort.  If we put as much effort at fighting for unity as we do in demanding that everything be up to our acceptance levels, we’d have far fewer churches and far healthier ones as well.  Scriptures tells us that we are to live peaceably with each other wherever/whenever possible and that was written to believers.

If you don’t disagree with something your pastor or the elders or your Bible Study leader says or does every so often, you probably aren’t listening closely enough or watching them much.  Shoot, I look back over my decades of ministry and there are multiple things that I’ve said or done that in hindsight I would do differently, better, more carefully or not at all.  Most of the wisdom I currently possess (which isn’t all that much) is primarily due to stupid things I’ve believed or done in the past.  NO one is always right (yes, that includes YOU, Donald Trump.)

Just like it appears that many “Millennials” are looking for reasons to have their feelings hurt on college campuses, many within the church are also creating controversies and offense where none really need to exist.  It’s OK to disagree with others over minor issues, style, non-doctrinal matters of theology, etc…  For pete’s sake, don’t be a child and take your ball (tithe money, attendance, volunteer support or whatever) and bail every time you don’t agree or get your way or the call doesn’t come your direction.  Such an attitude of self-absorption and entitlement corrodes and weakens.  In as much as our families are strengthened by diversity and through difficulties, so would our churches (and our college campuses and country) if we sort through these issues like grown-ups and quit demanding vacuum-sealed bubbles of faux harmony where we experience the echo-chamber of own personal nonsense.  Such actions create intellectually-spindly thinking and a lack of rigorous growth that comes with adversity, dialogue and challenge.

 

Thirteen Stats You Need to Know About Planned Parenthood

Margaret-Sanger
Source: Aaron Earls, Facts and Trends Magazine; www.thewardrobedoor.com

    The latest undercover video shows a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the ways their lawyers have developed layers to keep them from being caught selling aborted fetal parts. As they pick through remains of an aborted fetus, the doctor says, ‘It’s a baby.’ Later, a medical assistant exclaims, ‘Another boy!’  Those are not problems of ‘tone’ as Cecile Richards, president of the abortion provider stated earlier, those are admissions of truth. They acknowledge the reality that they work so hard to hide.  As pressure continues to mount over the content of undercover videos (not to mention a lawsuit claiming they aided a sexual predator in obtaining an abortion for a 13-year-old girl), Planned Parenthood and abortion proponents have resorted to several tactics to survive.

“They’ve threatened/begged journalists not to show the videos. StemExpress, a company mentioned in the videos as one who buys the aborted fetal parts, has sued to block the release of the videos.  Yesterday, Planned Parenthood took its website down after it claimed to be hacked. Except, their source coding referred to the landing page as a ‘campaign,’ which makes sense since the hackers kindly left their fund-raising page up and operational. While a group of hackers did claim to get into the site earlier this week, they said they were unable to do anything to the site because it was so ‘terribly configured.’ 
    “Regardless of where this leads from here on out, here are 13 facts to keep in mind during the discussion concerning Planned Parenthood and abortion.

1).  More than 57 million — Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States, there have been almost 60 million human lives intentionally ended in the womb.
2).  $1,303,400,000 — In 2014, Planned Parenthood earned over $1.3 billion in revenue, more than $528 million of that was from taxpayer dollars.
3).  62% — In 2013, around 6 in 10 Americans know that Roe v. Wade dealt with the issue of abortion. However, only 44 percent of 18-29 year olds could correctly say it was the Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion.
4).  Around 9 — David Daleiden, one of individuals behind the videos, says they have around nine more videos to release from the 300 hours of undercover footage they have. He says they heard Planned Parenthood officials repeatedly say “they make money off of selling the parts of aborted babies and have a profit motive in doing so.”
5).  21 seconds — Less than half a minute after releasing the edited version of their initial video, CMP released the full, unedited video on YouTube. Despite many news reports concentrating on the edited videos, CMP has released the full version of all the videos up to this point.
6).  1/174 — For every adoption referral last year, Planned Parenthood performed 174 abortions. Their adoption referrals, contraceptive services, cancer prevention services, and contraceptive services all declined, while abortions rose. In 2013, abortions made up 94 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services.
7).  0 — Number of mammograms Planned Parenthood does, despite repeated claims by them and their supporters. A Washington Post fact check says, “The problem here is that Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms or even possess the necessary equipment to do so.”
8).  50% — For the first time since 2008, a full half of Americans self-identify as pro-choice. But more Americans, especially the pro-life, view abortion as non-negotiable item when considering a politician. Now, 21 percent of Americans will not vote for someone who disagrees with them on abortion—the highest number ever. These surveys from Gallup were conducted in May, prior to the release of these videos, so some numbers may have shifted.
9).  8 — In 2009, the most recent year for which data is available, the Center for Disease Control confirmed eight abortion-related deaths. Possible abortion-related deaths that occurred during 2010-2013 are under investigation.
10).  Nearly 3 in 10 — About half of American women will have an unintended pregnancy, and nearly 3 in 10 will have an abortion, according to the Guttmacher institute, a research group that supports abortion.
11).  34% — Prior to the videos being released, 34 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the current abortion policies—the lowest number since Gallup began asking the question in 2001. The drop has come from Republicans. Only 21 percent are satisfied, the lowest number yet and down 22 points from 2008. In the last two years, satisfaction among independents fell to its lowest—48 to 36 percent. Among those who are dissatisfied, twice as many want stricter abortion laws.
12).  0 — Pew surveyed individuals in 40 nations, in none of them did a majority of people say abortion is morally acceptable. In 26 of the countries, the majority felt the practice was morally unacceptable. Slightly less than half (49 percent) of Americans believe abortion is morally unacceptable, 17 percent say it is acceptable, and 23 percent believe it’s not a moral issue.
13).  7 — Out of 198 countries in the world, only seven allow abortions after 20 weeks: Canada, China, Netherlands, North Korea,  Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.”margaret-sanger-quotes-colored-people-are-like-human-weeds-a-politics-1413320876
Dan back for a word of commentary — I cannot imagine how someone can claim to have any sense of morality, any claim to humanity, any identity with compassion, any semblance of Christianity and support abortion and/or Planned Parenthood once the view the videos being discussed.  If you haven’t viewed them because you are afraid they will change your view of Planned Parenthood or abortion, they you are not only a coward, but a fool.  To willfully remain ignorant of such an atrocity is akin to listening to the screams of the tortured and those being gassed outside of Auschwitz and whistling a cheery tune as you stroll into the distance.  Those who support abortion are on the wrong side of Truth, morality, philosophy, ethics, faith,  humanity and history.  You are no better than slave owners, sex traffickers and ISIS members.  You have no claim to any high ground; particularly moral superiority, regardless of your rationale or justification.  In short, you should be ashamed of your silence.  Those who participate in the industry should be tried and convicted of crimes against humanity.  I pray that someday they will be.

A Brief Thought on the State of Evangelicals and their Fear of Being Labeled “Activists”

If Isaiah, Jonah, Jeremiah or Habakkuk were to show up today in the United States preaching their prophetic messages of repentance, rejection of wickedness and transformative action, 90% of the evangelicals would reject them for being divisive, criticize them for being judgmental or harsh or willfully choose to be identified with those they were condemning so as not to be associated with them. With few exceptions, prophetic voices who stand against sin are shouted down by Christians in the United States. We look for more reasons to disagree with them, than agree with their message. We are so desperate to avoid the labels of intolerance or “hatred”, that we are quite willing to remain silent or even join in with the bashing. We give the wicked the benefit of the doubt and rarely do the same for those who are actually in the Family of God. No wonder we have no impact, no influence, no respect and no virtue. The salt has lost its savor.

And another one bites the dust….

Sometimes I hate to be right.

A decade ago, I wrote a series of articles on my blog (don’t look for them now, I took them down some time ago) on the problems facing the Christian Colleges largely supported by Independent Baptists. (I was still ensconced in that identity at the time.) It was a serious of 3-4 articles wherein I very pointedly named about a dozen things they would need to change if they were to survive in the coming decade. It created a firestorm. The articles got 10′s of thousands of hits — particularly in cities like Pensacola, Tampa/Clearwater, Greenville, Chattanooga, Springfield, MO, etc… I was informed I was no longer welcome on the campus of one of my alma maters for daring to publicly challenge them. Another one banned faculty and students from accessing my blog. (Such childish reactions, ftr.) Others accused me of being a rabble rouser.

Today, I heard that Clearwater Christian College is closing. This follows recent announcements from Tennessee Temple that this was their last year and they were “merging” with Piedmont (which has largely become an “online” institution) and also Northland International closed its doors. Prior to that, Calvary in Lansdale, PA had closed, as had Spurgeon Baptist Bible and Atlantic Coast Baptist. (Piedmont hoovered up their assets as the last two were closing.) Baptist University died. BJU has been hemorrhaging students in recent years as has Hyles — largely due to various scandals — and most other extreme right institutions affiliated with churches are barely functioning with the possible exceptions of Crown and West Coast which are both church-based colleges which will likely disappear when their founders die off or retire.. There are a handful of tiny ones run by churches, but they have never been credible. Cedarville does well, but they have moved more mainstream with excellent academics and a recent alignment with the SBC. Pensacola can afford to give away its education due to Beka Books, but otherwise would be struggling as they still don’t have credible accreditation. BBC/Clark Summit has changed its name as they struggle to find their niche and BBC/Springfield is on life support and I predict they’ll be one of the next 2-3 to close. Boston Baptist and Davis are about as small as a school can get before it collapses without outside support. Liberty has sucked the life out of most evangelical schools as they have developed a world-class campus and a national student body base with nearly 100,000 students. Ironically, some of these schools once had robust student bodies numbers in the thousands at their peak. (BJU/TTU/BBC-Springfield had 4,000+, HAC had nearly 3,000. BBC/CS had around 1,000.)

Years ago, I noted that if these schools wanted to survive they had to start thinking regionally, instead of nationally as Liberty and Cedarville took over the national market. I wrote that the right-wing schools had to get over the fixations with music styles, Bible versions, affiliations/associations, the hyper restrictive dating and dress rules, the lack of academic freedom, the incestuous over-hiring of alumni and over-control by alumni. They had to stop their foolish disparaging of any form of accreditation or their students would leave for more credible institutions. I was right. They refused. Called me a liberal and compromiser. They disparaged my ministry — PCC refused to allow us to recruit faculty from them and the Sword of the Lord magazine did a two-part series trashing my church, me and a conference we hosted.

I wish they had listened. Now it’s too late. As has been the case with many fundamentalists I know, if they can’t control something, they’d prefer to kill it. In their mind, they won by losing. It’s really sad, if not pathetic. I was right. I wish this time I hadn’t been.

I’ll probably write more on this in a few days.  Stay tuned.

Consider the Pastor’s Wife — thoughts from Dr. Charles Wood

This post is a reprint of an article by Dr. Charles Wood of South Bend, IN.  He has been my friend, mentor, father figure and confidant for many years.  His wisdom gained from a long life well lived is a constant inspiration to me.  You can get a daily missive from him by writing him at LORCHUCK@aol.com and asking to be on his mailing list.  You’ll be blessed if you do it!

Pastorswife “We’re all vulnerable.  Everyone who walks in the church door can be helped or hurt in what happens during the next hour. Whether saint or sinner, preacher or pew-sitter, old-timer or newcomer, child or geezer, everyone is vulnerable and should be treated respectfully, faithfully, carefully.  No one, however, in the church family is more vulnerable than the pastor’s wife.  She is the key figure in the life of the pastor and plays the biggest role in his success or failure….And yet, many churches treat her as an unpaid employee, an uncalled assistant pastor, an always-available office volunteer, a biblical expert and a psychological whiz.  She is almost always a reliable helper as well as an under-appreciated servant.  You might not think so, but she is the most vulnerable person in the building. That is to say, she is the single most likely person to become the victim of malicious gossip, sneaky innuendo, impossible expectations and pastoral frustrations.

     “The pastor’s wife can be hurt in a hundred ways – through attacks on her husband, her children, herself. Her pain is magnified by one great reality: She cannot fight back.  She cannot give a certain member a piece of her mind for criticizing the pastor’s children, cannot straighten out the deacon who is making life miserable for her husband, cannot stand up to the finance committee who, once again, failed to approve a needed raise, or the building and grounds committee that postponed repair work on the pastorium [Does anyone have a “parsonage” anymore?].  She has to take it in silence, most of the time.  It takes the best Christian in the church to be a pastor’s wife and pull it off. And that’s the problem: In most cases, she’s pretty much the same kind of Christian as everyone else. When the enemy attacks, she bleeds.  The pastor’s wife has no say-so in how the church is run and receives no pay, yet she has a lot to do with whether her husband gets called to that church and succeeds once he arrives.  That’s why I counsel pastors to include with their resume a photo of their family. The search committee will want to see the entire family, particularly the pastor’s wife, and will try to envision whether they would “fit” in “our” church.
     “The pastor’s wife occupies no official position, was not the object of a church vote, and gives no regular reports to the congregation on anything. And yet, no one person in the church is more influential in making the pastor a success—or a resounding failure—than she. She is the object of a world of expectations …She is expected to dress modestly and attractively, well enough but not overly ornate.  She is expected to be the perfect mother, raising disciplined children who are models of well-behaved offspring for the other families, to be her husband’s biggest supporter and prayer warrior, and to attend all the church functions faithfully and, of course, bring a great casserole.  Since her husband is subject to being called away from home at all hours, she is expected to understand this and have worked it out with the Lord from the time of her marriage – if not from the moment of her salvation – and to have no problem with it. If she complains about his being called out, she can expect no sympathy from the members. If she does voice her frustrations, what she hears is, ‘This is why we pay him the big salary,’ and ‘Well, you married a preacher; what did you expect?’  She is expected to run her household well on the limited funds the church can pay and keep her family looking like a million bucks.  And those are just for starters!  The pastor’s children likewise suffer in silence as they share their daddy with hundreds of church members, each of whom feel they own a piece of him, and can do little about it. (But, that’s another article.)
     What do we owe to the pastor’s wife …
1. We owe her the right to be herself.
  She is our sister in Christ and accountable to Him.  My wife was blessed to have followed pastors’ wives who cut their own path. So, in some churches, Margaret taught Sunday School and came to the woman’s missionary meetings. In other churches, she directed the drama team and ran television cameras. A few times, she held weekday jobs while raising three pretty terrific kids.  And, as far as I know, the churches were always supportive and understanding. We were blessed.  
Allow the pastor’s wife to serve in whatever areas she’s gifted in. Allow her to try different things, and to grow. But do not put your expectations on her, if at all possible.  Do not try to tell her how to raise her children. Do not try to get to her husband through her with your messages or (ahem) helpful suggestions.
2. We owe her our love and gratitude.  She has a one-of-a-kind role in the congregation, which makes her essential to the church’s well-being.  Recently, as I was finishing a weekend of ministry at a church in central Alabama and about to drive the 300 miles back home, a member said, ‘Please thank your wife for sharing you with us this weekend. I know your leaving is hard on her.’  How sensitive – and how true, I thought. That person had no idea that my wife underwent surgery two weeks earlier, and I had been her nurse ever since, and that in my absence, my son and his family were taking care of her, and that I was now about to rush home to relieve them.  Church members have no clue – and no way of knowing – regarding the pressures inside the pastor’s family, and should not investigate to find out.  What they should do is love the wife and children and show them appreciation at every opportunity.
3. We owe her our love and prayers.  While the Father alone knows her heart, the pastor may be the only human who knows her burdens.  Pray for her by name on a regular basis. Then, leave it to the Lord to answer those prayers however He chooses.  If we believe that the Living God is our Lord and Savior and that He hears our prayers, we should be lifting to Him these whose lives are given in service for Him.  Ask the Father for His protection upon the pastor’s wife and children – for their health, for their safety from all harm, and for Him to shield them from evil people.  Pray for His provisions for all their needs, and for the church to do well in providing for them.  Pray for the pastor’s relationship with his wife. If their private life is healthy, the congregation’s shepherd is far better prepared for everything he will be asked to do.
4. We owe her our responsible care.  What does she need?  Do they need a babysitter for a date night? Do they need some finances for an upcoming trip? If they are attending the state assembly or the annual meeting of the denomination, are the funds provided by the church budget adequate or do they need more? Is the wife going with the pastor? (She should be encouraged to do so, if possible.)  Ask the Holy Spirit what the pastor’s wife (and/or the pastor’s entire family) needs, and if it’s something you an do, do it. If it’s too huge, rally the troops.
5. We owe it to the pastor and his wife to speak up.  Sometimes, they need a friend to take their side.  If your pastor’s wife has a ministry in the church, look for people to criticize her for: a) dominating others, b) neglecting her home or c) running the whole show. To some, she cannot do anything right.  You be the one to voice appreciation for her talents and abilities, her love for the Lord, and her particular skills that make this ministry work.  Imagine yourself standing in a church business meeting to mention something the pastor’s wife did that blessed someone, that made a difference, that glorified the Lord.  Imagine yourself planning in advance what you will say, asking the moderator (who is frequently the pastor) for a moment for ‘a personal privilege,’ without telling him in advance.   And, imagine yourself informing a couple of your best friends what you are planning to do, so they can be prepared to stand up ‘spontaneously’ and begin the ovation. (Hey, sometimes our people have to be taught to do these things!)  The typical reaction most church members give when someone is criticizing the pastor’s wife is silence. But you speak up. Take up for her.  Praise God for her willingness to get involved, to not sit at home in silence, but to support her husband and bless the church.
6. We owe them protection for the pastor’s off-days and vacations.  After my third pastorate, I joined the staff of the great First Baptist Church of Jackson, Miss., and quickly made an outstanding discovery. The personnel policies stipulated that the church office would be closed on Saturdays and the ministers were expected to enjoy the day with their families.  Furthermore, when the church gave a minister several weeks of vacation, it was understood at least two full weeks of it would be spent with the family in rest and recreation and not in ministry somewhere. As one who took off-days reluctantly and would not allow myself to relax and rest during vacations, I needed this to be spelled out in official policy.  When a pastor is being interviewed for the position and when he is new, he should make plain that his off-days are sacred. The ministerial and office staffs can see that he is protected.  The lay leadership can make sure the congregation knows this time is just as holy to the Lord as the time he spends in the office, the hospitals or even the pulpit.
7. We owe them the same thing we owe the Lord: faithful obedience to Christ.  Pastors will tell you in a heartbeat that the best gift anyone can give them is just to live the Christian life faithfully.   When our members do that – when they live like Jesus and strive to know Him better, to love one another, to pray and give and serve – ten thousand problems in relationships disappear.
     “Finally, a word to the pastor’s wife …It’s my observation that most wives of ministers feel inadequate. They want to do the right thing, to manage their households well and support their husbands, keep a clean house, sometimes accompany him on his ministries, and such, but there are only so many hours in a day and so much strength in this young woman. She feels guilty for being tired, and worries that she is inadequate.  The Apostle Paul may have had pastors’ wives in mind when he said, ‘Not that we are adequate to think anything of ourselves, but our adequacy is of God.’ We are inadequate. None of us is worthy or capable of this incredible calling from God.  We must abide in Him or nothing about our lives will go right.  One thing more, pastor’s wife: Find other wives of ministers and encourage them. The young ones in particular have a hard time of it, with the children, the young husband, the demanding congregation and sometimes, Lord help us, even an outside job.  Invite a couple of these women for tea or coffee. Have no agenda other than getting to know one another.  See what happens.”

My Endorsements for Election 2014

VoteIn order to avoid having to answer a bunch of private emails and questions in public about whom I’m supporting for this election, I am posting my endorsements here.  Please note that these are my private endorsements and may or may not the opinions of my employers, associates, family or friends.  They are mine alone.  I’m not super enthusiastic about some of these choices, but have taken in a variety of factors in making my list.  Feel free to distribute, use or ignore.

North Carolina Endorsements

US Senate

Tillis (A vote for Haugh equals a vote for Hagan)

US House of Representatives

District 6 — Neither Candidate
District 8 — Hudson
District 9 — Pittenger
District 12 — Coakley

NC State Senate

District 41 — Tarte

NC State House of Representatives

District 98 — Bradford
District 104 — Dan Bishop

Mecklenburg District Attorney

Andrew Murray

Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners

At-Large — Carlisle and Zuyus
District 1 – Puckett
District 5 – Ridenhour
District 6 – James

Clerk of Superior Court

Martha Efird

Sheriff

Chris Hailey

NC Supreme Court Chief Justice

Mark Martin

NC Supreme Court Associate Justices

Bob Hunter
Eric Levinson
Mike Robinson

NC Court of Appeals Judges

John Tyson
Biiill Southern
Donna Stroud
Paul Holcombe

NC Superior Court 26B

Lisa Bell
John Bowers

NC Superior Court 26

Matt Osman
Sean Smith
Casey Viser

Mecklenburg Tax Referendum

NO