When I was hired as church secretary I thought it was the best job in the world. I loved it – I loved creating publications, communicating, and editing. I prayed over each bulletin as I folded it, I prayed in the Sanctuary walking up and down the aisles. I was eager for Sunday, eager for worship, eager for God’s people to gather together under His Word.
But there was a part that I wasn’t prepared for.
Although I really liked people, I didn’t realize they would come to me to talk about their problems.
I have to confess that I did a terrible job in this area. I wanted to comfort, I wanted to help, but too often what happened was gossip. I thought I was helpful in allowing someone to “vent”, but the truth is, far more damage was done. Oh, I didn’t tell others what was said to me, but there is more than one kind of gossip. Instead of lovingly pointing a woman to Scripture to bring healing truth and the hope of reconciliation, I would let her talk and affirm her pain.
In turn, I talked about my pain too. Until a precious sister in Christ boldly spoke God’s Truth to me. Not lovingly, not gently, but firmly. “You are in sin,” she told me when I tried to ‘vent’. She reminded me, “God doesn’t talk about His children that way. Why are you? This is wicked!”
Thought it startled me at first, but I am so grateful she was firm with me. The only place she left open to me was repentance.
She gave me the “Peacemaking Woman” book by Tara Barthel & Judy Dabler. Desperate to heal, to learn, and wanting to make things right, I completed the book in a week. Everything changed.
Since that experience five years ago, I’ve spent immeasurable hours spent studying the Word, praying with and for women, days encouraging women through the Word and being trained to become a Biblical Counselor. The morning I was to receive my Biblical Counseling Certification Letter, I woke up with tears streaming down my face. We were in Grapevine Texas for the 2018 ACBC Light in the Darkness Conference, and today I was the day.
It was the reason I woke up crying. Because our God is so good, so forgiving, so powerful to allow me this day. I knew this wasn’t my accomplishment alone – all the time in His sacred and living Scripture was illuminated by the Spirit. Every time I sat with a woman and opened His Word, it was His work that freed her. I simply had the privilege of watching.
I thought about the community who had brought me to this moment through prayer, encouragement, and exhortation. Pastor Frank, the Elders who hired me as a Biblical Counselor, the Deacons who gave me the time off to attend the training's, my sweet women friends who kept telling me not to give up, my fellow biblical counselors who were in the arena and cheering, my parents, my sister, and my son. This moment was not just for me, it was for all of us to marvel at God’s graciousness and power to take a foolish woman and exchange her foolishness for Holy Spirit Word filled wisdom to encourage and equip others as they have me.
Why did I become a Biblical Counselor? So that I could lead others to Christ’s truths, just as my friend did with me five years ago. Because I KNOW there is hope for you! I don’t know His plans for you, but I KNOW He has them and I want to encourage you with it. Because I KNOW He can do crazy things, things that we never expect and bring beauty out of mourning. Because I KNOW deep pain and that His healing love is the balm that is necessary and I want that for you! Just as others have wanted that for me.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Biblical Counselor consider attending the upcoming One-to-One Conference on where we will discuss biblical counseling and discipleship. Click here to register and learn more.
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The One to One Soul Care Conference will be held at MCC November 9-10. Are you interested in biblical counseling? Do you feel you want some training on how to walk with a brother or sister in their dark seasons? Please join us! Click here to register at or contact Elizabeth for more information.
Please note - the Sponsorship Training for the Wood Ministry will be rescheduled for a later date. Please contact Don & Ann Moore with questions.
Pull out your mixers and aprons! SHINE is looking for people who can donate cakes, or other desserts, for A. Montoya’s Fall Festival! Cakes can be dropped off at the church foyer Friday, October 26 between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Questions? Click here to sign up to bring a cake!MCC is gearing up for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox drive! The mission of OCC is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Last year MCC collected 230 shoe boxes to be gifted to children around the world! Boxes will be available this Sunday, October 21st, in the foyer and the final drop-off date is November 11th! It is a great time to start gathering items to bless children around the world!
Shine also has a unique food pantry at A. Montoya! Kids often go to bed without dinner, come to school too late for breakfast, and aren't sure if there will be dinner that night. We have been asked to create a small food pantry at the school that would contain items like tuna packets, apples, macaroni and cheese, Ensure or Boost, peanut butter crackers, nuts, and the like. The children could keep these items in their backpacks so that they would always have something to keep them going. We are working on putting together a list of items, including gluten-free ones, that we would like to stock the pantry with. Please pray about whether you would like to donate items or money to help keep the pantry stocked year-round!