Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Thank you for keeping the nursery

Is keeping the church nursery just a menial task for those with no significant functions in the church? Take another look at this important ministry and its impact on evangelism!

Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me'” (Matthew 19:14).

Thank You for Keeping the Nursery

Mama left me in the church nursery.
She said, “You can stay here and play.”
I was very afraid, but you comforted me,
And Mama found Christ that day.

At least once a month in the nursery,
You served God by caring for me
So Mama could attend church and learn to make
Our home everything it should be.

There were those who said, “I’m too busy,”
Or, “I don’t want to miss church today;
I’m too young; I’m too old; I’ve done my part —
The nursery? Please, don’t ask me to stay.”

But you said, “No, I’m not too busy.
I’m just the right age I know.
I could never do enough for the King that I serve.
When you need me in the nursery I’ll go.”

My life might have been so different
If you had not answered God’s plea
For workers to serve where the need is so great,
To care for little people like me.

Thank you for keeping the nursery.
Mama taught me to follow Christ, too.
Many people had a part, but the most special one
To me will always be you.

I’ve had many requests to reprint this poem since I wrote and placed it on my website in the late 1990’s. Permission is granted to reprint Thank You for Keeping the Nursery in printed format for use in your local church or Christian group. Please include the following copyright notice and link information: “Permission is granted to reprint Thank You for Keeping the Nursery, courtesy, in printed flyers, bulletins, newsletters, etc. for use in your local church or Christian group. All other rights reserved.” Publication online, for commercial use, or for any use other than specifically granted above, is forbidden without written permission. Please contact Lois to request permission for any other use.

Difference between men and women

I found this piece fascinating when I first read it quite a few years ago. Though it is meant to be humorous, it is filled with truth. It helped me understand the difference in how men and women think. I hope it helps you, also.

Let’s say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time.

A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while, neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

Then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”

And then there is silence in the car…. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Gee, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Roger is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward. I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Roger is thinking: So that means it was ..let’s see …February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means…lemme check the odometer. Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Elaine is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed-even before I sensed it-that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.

And Roger is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Elaine is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.

And Roger is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty. Scumbags!

And Elaine is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, school girl romantic fantasy.

And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a warranty. I’ll take their warranty and tell them what they can do with it!!

“Roger,” Elaine says aloud.

“What?” says Roger, startled.

“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have… Oh boy, I feel so…” (She breaks down, sobbing.)

“What?” says Roger.

“I’m such a fool,” Elaine sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”

“There’s no horse?” says Roger.

“You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Elaine says.

“No!” says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.

“It’s just that… it’s that I… I need some time,” Elaine says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.) “Yes,” he says.

(Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.) “Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?” she says.

“What way?” says Roger.

“That way about time,” says Elaine.

“Oh,” says Roger. “Yes.”

(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

“Thank you, Roger,” she says.

“Thank you,” says Roger.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn.

Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.

The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say, “Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?”

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the difference between men and women!

This piece has been around the internet quite a bit and is often published without author’s name or copyright, but it is generally attributed to Dave Barry.

What we believe about submission

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1 NIV).

Submission guidelines for our Hope in a House Divided email group

1. Truths we believe about submission
We will not debate whether or not submission to our husbands is what the Bible teaches

  1. Our first responsibility is to God.  God is supreme.
  2. Our second responsibility is to our husbands.
  3. God’s Word teaches that we are to be submissive to our husbands.   Anything short of submission to our husbands is rebellion against God.
  4. Differences:
  • We may find differences in our individual situations of how that submission is to be applied, and we can discuss them here.
  • We may find differences in our understandings of how far that submission is to go, and we can discuss that here.
  • We will not challenge the fact that God’s Word teaches that our husbands are appointed by God to the role of leadership and we are appointed by God to be submissive to that leadership.

2. What is submission?
A Biblical concept of submission

  • Submission is meekness.  Jesus demonstrated meekness
  • Meekness is not a doormat.  Meekness is in control.  Doormats are stepped on and have no choice.  They don’t like their plight, yet they know of no other way.  They submit begrudgingly and resignedly.
  • Meekness says, “I am able to make my own decisions.  I know some better ways to do things.  I can choose how I wish to handle this.  My choice is to be obedient to God in submission to my husband.  My choice is to give up the better ways I know and trust God’s better ways.”
  • Submission is not disobedience to God’s Word.
  • Submission is not committing adultery, doing drugs, lying, stealing, or breaking any of God’s other black and white laws. Submission is not putting yourself or your children in physical danger.
  • Submission is not catering to your husband’s every whim.
  • Submission sometimes stands up for itself in a loving but firm manner.  (An example of when this might be needed is in the following situation:  A husband is indecisive and wants to play back and forth on leadership, giving the wife opposing commands so that either way she goes he can blame the results on her.  He is not really wanting to be the leader.  He is wanting his wife to lead, yet he wants to step in and insist on his way when it is convenient.)
  • We do not mean by this that we should commit overt sin.  We believe that, if we look hard and pray, God will make a way out so we don’t have to do that.  But, we do not tell any woman to commit overt sin because her husband commands it.

3. Mutual submission
Submit to one another

  • The Bible teaches mutual submission. It teaches that the husband is to respect the wife’s desires and what is best for her. We are to seek to please one another.
  • Even the most “mutual” of marriages has to have someone designated to make the final decision if the two can’t agree on the issue. Otherwise it will become “unmutual” and there will be constant pulling in opposite directions until some sort of truce is reached.
  • We cannot change our husbands.
  • We can and are responsible before God to change ourselves to follow God’s role for us in our marriages.

See also Lois’ Daughters of Sarah Bible study.

Email support group guidelines

“But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

1. Group Privacy Issues: Our goal is to provide a comfortable place for women to share.

We will try to focus less on our husbands shortcomings, and more on what God wants US to be. However, our husbands weaknesses will come up from time to time as we deal with the issues that divide our homes.

There is the potential that a husband could read e mail in a joint account. If this is a concern, we recommend that you go to Hotmail or Yahoo and secure an email address for use in the group. Email can then be read and responded to from the web. You should be aware that anyone else, including husbands, can join the group under an assumed name and read group messages.

Because of the way our system is set up, you must post with the email address you used to join the group. If you wish to post with a serperate address, you must join the group with that email address as well.

2. Confidential Information Issues: Personal information shared by members of this group is not to be shared outside the group under any circumstances.

We deal with sensitive issues here. Some of the ladies may not want others to know they are members of this group. Please respect everyones privacy and do not divulge the names of group members outside of the group.

From time to time we may create group material as we work together to develop a list of resources for common needs. The completed material will be edited in such a way as to minister to many people, and may be placed on the Hope in a House Divided website. At no time will we include names, locations, or any other information that could betray the confidence of situaions or individuals. The purpose of such material would be to provide a resource to which we can refer.

3. Women Only Issues: Our email group is limited to women only.

We recognize that many men face the same situations, and may have some of the same needs, that we face. Men may request help for their needs by writing to the Director of our Men’s Ministry here. We realize that input from men could be beneficial to us, and vice versa. However, we are also very aware that thier roles, and thier struggles, are very different from ours. We feel that limiting our group to women only will provide a more comfortable atmosphere for discussing our needs.

Members should be aware that, since anyone can join the group under a fictitious name, there is no way to absolutely guarantee that there are no men in the group.

4. Conduct and Courtesy Issues: Members are to conduct themselves with courtesy and respect toward each other.

At no time will rudeness or unkindness toward another individual be tolerated. Anyone displaying such behaviour will be removed from the group.

Please do not write in all caps. This is sometimes considered “screaming” when used in internet communications. Please reply in plain text only. Some email programs have difficulty downloading anything else.

Please remember to delete all but the last letter to which you are replying. In some countries, internet service is paid for by the minute. We can keep costs down for our members in these countries by deleting unnecessary posts and using only plain text.

5. Group Theme and Mass Mailings/Copyright Use: The theme of our group is Hope In a House Divided. We seek to emphasize the Biblical principles that will help us to be the women God would have us to be despite physical, emotional, or spiritual division in our homes.

Poems or short readings in keeping with this theme will be permitted. We ask that members not submit email chain letters, mass mailings, or items not related to the theme of our group. No political mailings of any kind will be permitted.

We ask that our members consider very carefully sharing anything with the group that is copyrighted. Quotes from books or any other copyrighted source must be brief, and full credit to the author/publisher must be given.

6. Prayer Requests: You may send prayer requests for personal needs, and for your immediate family.

For prayer requests for other needs, we suggest submitting them to a group that has prayer as its main focus.

7. Doctrinal Issues: Any instruction or teaching, including devotionals, should be submitted only by designated group leaders all of whom have agreed to abide by our Statement of Faith.

We discourage doctrinal discussions as such, except as it relates to our topic of Hope in a House Divided.

However, if someone has a genuine question about how to know Christ, we will always take time to share Christ openly.

Without Christ, there is no hope. Any attempts to lead others to Christ must be consistent with our Statement of Faith.

8. Group Structure: Our group operates as a main discussion group and a Leadership Team The Leadership Team moderates and attends to Administrative matters, they also support the main group through prayer, devotionals, Bible studies, and new member help.

The role of our Leadership Team is vital to the overall operation of our group. The team consists of individuals whom take on various roles which aid in determining and implementing group policy, moderating posts and dealing with administrative matters as they arise.

It is our policy to moderate all new members for a time. This means that all posts from new members must be read and approved by a Leadership Team Moderator before being posted to the group.

It is our prayer that each new member of our group will find in Christ Jesus, the only true hope for a divided home.

In His Service,
House of Hope Leadership Team