When the Mud begins to Fly

If you want to increase activity on your FB page, just write something in favor of either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump. It’s also a great way to put a love test out there for the body of Christ. When the mud begins to fly…well, it’s not very Christian.
It’s one thing to voice one’s opinion, but insults and verbal attacks are an entirely different scenario.
“Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself”-Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27.
“And we have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must love his brother as well”- 1 John 4:21.
Pamela Koefoed

The Culture of Honor

loveletterI’m fascinated by the way some nations honor those who are worthy of honor. For instance, when my friends ministered in Pakistan, the sponsoring pastors placed several white flowery wreaths around their necks. Then as they entered the sanctuary, the congregation sprinkled rose pedals on the floor before their feet.

And I know of a minister who serves a congregation on the African continent whose wife went out of country for several weeks to receive cancer treatments. Upon her return, a large company of people greeted her at the airport and ushered she and her husband to a party held to praise the Lord for bringing her safely home–that party was a grand celebration of her return with food, music and joyous dancing.

I’m not suggesting that we Americans make a rose pedal walkway for visiting ministers or drape leas around the necks of guest preachers, nor am I intimating that elaborate parties be held for ministers of the Gospel upon their return to us from long absences.

But here’s what i think…

We can learn much from other cultures about honor, respect and appreciation.

Yes, it may seem like the examples I used here are over the top, but can you imagine how my friends and that pastor’s wife felt? The point of honoring is to demonstrate esteem in a way that greatly blesses the recipient. The Pakistani pastors and the African congregation did a great job of doing just that.

Quite some time ago, it came to my attention that in the United States we show honor to certain members of society whom we deem especially worthy, but in many other scenarios we are poorly lacking.

As Gods children, we should be golden in this whole area of esteeming one another. It’s one of the values of God’s Kingdom. But I’m not so sure that we do this very well.

Furthermore, the Bible instructs, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17).

What does “double honor” look like in the American Church culture? And how can we in the Body of Christ improve the way that we esteem one another?

Honoring one another and giving “double honor” to preachers and teachers is important to the Lord. This is a big deal in the Kingdom. Therefore, for several months I’ve sought for greater understanding and an application of these truths.

Last week, an answer to my questions concerning this came through a total contradiction to 1 Timothy 5:17. What happened to me, an experience which was the complete opposite of honor, shocked me clear out of the water. It came from left field and caught me off guard. It rattled my senses and brought me to tears.

But a blessing came from that heartbreak; I gained greater understanding and a stronger determination to honor and esteem those worthy of respect.

Tonight, as I share this with you, I hope that you will glean from my words. The vocabulary I used here isn’t especially creative and this note to you isn’t polished, but it’s from my heart.

Let’s esteem one another and give “double honor” to those who serve among us. Let’s get really good at this and make it something for which we’re known. As we do so, we will impact our culture in a transformative and wonderful way.

Blessings to you,

Pamela Koefoed

Another Opportunity to Trust Him for What I don’t See

climbing paradise glacierHow do we know where we are in our faith in the Lord if there’s never difficulties to press through or mountains to climb? We are matured in the furnace, as well as in the high points along our individual journeys. Life with all its joys also has tribulation.

Jesus said, “You believe (trust) in God. Believe (trust) also in Me.”

During the hardest days and longest nights, trusting Him for what we can’t see and don’t know is that anchor which keeps our souls in Him and motivates us to move forward, breaking through into a brighter day. Over the past several years, like many of you, I’ve had faith testings, personal suffering, and grief. But dispersed throughout the weeks and months and years, I’ve also had many mountain top experiences. Believe you me, I’m grateful for those happy times when all seemed perfect in my world, but without the challenges my walk would have little substance.

The Lord causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him, for those who are called according to His purpose–Romans 8:28

From pain and hardship and the testing of our faith, when we love the Lord, He brings about a purpose which is beneficial in some way.

Without the valleys, there would be no mountains.

I’m encouraging you this morning to believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. Read the Bible, especially the Gospels, Romans 8, and I John. By doing so, your faith will be enriched. Trust the Lord for what you can’t see. That hope which comes from trusting Him, will anchor you, making you unshakable during stormy seas. Yes there are valleys in your journey, but keep moving forward because in Him you will break free into the light of day.

Many blessings to each of you~ Pamela Koefoed