FUN FRIDAY – THE ALPHABET POTLUCK

                                                                                 

Last weekend I spoke at a conference at Grace Community Church in Newton, Kansas (outside Wichita). After the conference was over, we went out to eat with some of the staff members and they mentioned a unique potluck dinner they had had. No one was specifically assigned what to bring except whatever it was had to start with the first letter of their first name.

So, Kris brings key lime pie and Dave brings Delicious Doritos, Sue brings salad and Bob brings barbeque.

Sounds like a fun thing to try.

 

WHAT TO SAY (AND NOT TO SAY) IN THE HOSPITAL

A constant in a pastor’s life are hospital visits. I know Ken had been to the hospital so many times, he could even tell you all about the doctors – which ones were good and which ones weren’t so good. 

If a person was having an operation, Ken would try to get to the hospital before he/she went into the operating room. He would pray with the patient and often wait with the family, especially if the operation were serious or the family member didn’t have anyone to wait with him.

So what do you say at a hospital visit?

1. Learn the rules of the hospital. Many allow “clergy” in at all times, but not “clergy” wives. However, if it’s a friend or someone you’re close to (and you know your visit would be welcomed by the patient), you might be able to walk in with your husband without being questioned.

2. Make your visit brief (yes, there might be exceptions, but that’s the rule.)

3. (As Kristy commented) If the patient is on a special diet, don’t talk about the steak you’re having after you leave.

4. Don’t tell the patient about your Great Uncle Fred who had the same disease the patient had and died! Or Cousin Ethel who had the same operation and the doctor left the scalpel INSIDE of her. Just be quiet with your horror stories.

5. Don’t pass on information about some alternative cure you’ve heard about – the patient is under the doctor’s care and doesn’t need your advice. (Unless you personally know five people who were instantly cured using it.)

6. Take a notepad and pen (or help your husband get in the habit of taking one), so if the patient is sleeping or out of the room for tests – you can leave a note saying you were there and sorry you missed him.

7. Share a verse and pray.

8. If appropriate, say “hello” to the person in the other bed. They may not have many visitors and your friendliness can mean a lot.

9. Don’t make comments about the hospital food – even if it’s being left to wilt on the tray. (The doctor may be encouraging the patient to eat – don’t discourage her.)

10. Don’t announce at church what is wrong with the patient (unless the patient asks you to). There are some extremely strict rules now about breaking confidences.

Seriously, do not write down a person’s diagnosis on a prayer sheet. The laws are called HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and protect a patient’s privacy. (Check out the link, but don’t worry about reading the whole thing – just know you can’t talk.)

SITTING ON THE SOFA

One more post (for now) for those times you’re with someone who is facing a tough time.

Sometimes you get in a situation when you visit a family after they’ve received news of a death or a relative’s been diagnosed with a serious illness. 

You’re sitting on the sofa, wondering what to say.

I have found that asking questions helps. Many times the family wants to talk about what happened, so questions help them stay focused on the facts and not break down emotionally. (Although, allow the person to cry if that happens.)

Questions can be things such as:

*How long was he in the hospital?

*What hospital?

*Where will the funeral be?

*Will your family all be able to come?

YOU CAN EVEN GO BACK TO THE FAMILY’S HISTORY.

*When did you start attending our church?

*How did you meet? (If a married couple.)

*Where did he/she work? What was his job?

*Is there anything I can do for you? Can I notify anyone at church or any of your friends? 

MAYBE THE PERSON WOULD LIKE TO SIT QUIETLY. THAT’S OK, TOO.

Remember, we’re to weep with those who weep. So, sincerely care and you’ll do OK, no matter what you say.

MONDAY MORNING MOTIVATOR

Maybe this hasn’t been the greatest week for you. Maybe a family has left the church (deciding to go to the mega-church down the street), or four people told you they’ve changed their minds about working in children’s ministry this fall or a young girl in youth group has been diagnosed with leukemia. Whatever it is, you’re not feeling particulaly peaceful right now.

Here’s a great verse:Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

I like that verse – but a thought went through my mind. What is perfect peace? Can you really have imperfect peace? I mean would you really have peace if peace isn’t perfect?

I got out the Hebrew interlinear Bible and looked up the word peace. My discovery was surprising. The word translated “perfect” is the exact same Hebrew word as the one translated “peace.”  The verse literally says ” You will keep him in peace peace him whose mind is steadfast …”

Now I was curious, what did “steadfast” mean?” The Hebrew concept in that verse is “propped up.” 

Remember back when people actually hung their clothes on a line in the backyard? Moms would put a “prop” pole in the middle of the line to hold it up. Steel beams built into the foundations of buildings prop up the floors above. I physically prop up my head by leaning my chin on my hand.

Think about it. So often when we’re discouraged or sad or overwhelmed, we put our head down. But God is there and we can lean on Him. He is literally propping up our minds. He is spiritually propping up our heads. It’s almost as if God is saying, “Chin up.”

So, if you’re feeling the day-after-Sunday, Monday-morning-blues, remember that God promises to prop up your mind and give you peace.

Rest in Him.

WHAT TO SAY WEDNESDAY

Here’s something that will happen to every pastor’s wife at one time or another and probably a whole billion amount of times. Someone will ask you a question about someone else and YOU WILL KNOW THE ANSWER, but the information is confidential.

For instance, Church Lady Ida comes up to you after church and asks, “Is Young Church Lady Megan pregnant?”

OK, you KNOW that YCLM IS pregnant because she TOLD you she was, but she also told you to keep it a secret. (Pastor’s wives get to know lots of secrets.)

If you say, “I don’t know,” you aren’t telling the truth.

If you say, “no,” you also aren’t telling the truth.

If you say “I can’t tell you,” you’re admitting that she is because if she wasn’t, you’d just say “no” or “I don’t know.”

Once again, questions can be your friend. Put your innocent pastor’s wife face on and say, “Why are you asking? Did you hear that she was?”  Hopefully Church Lady Ida will go off on why she thinks YCLM IS pregnant and you haven’t said a word.

Or if Church Lady Ida asks you if Mr. Davis lost his job (and you know that he did), ask “Oh, did you hear that from someone?” 

Of if Church Lady Ida asks you if the Jones are moving (and you know that they are) ask, “Why do you think that?”

In other words, you are taking the focus off your answer and asking them to answer YOUR question.

So, HAVE any of you been asked those kinds of questions?

FUN FRIDAY

 

 
Today's guest blogger is my daughter-in-law (who is 
also a pastor's wife) Cindy.  She's right - this is the appliance 
every pastor's wife must have - a crepe maker. 
Over the years I've made crepes with a staid women's group, high school kids and any time
we had company who
didn't know each other well. (Oh, and sometimes just to have fun!) Making crepes 
always, always gets people talking and laughing.  
Thanks to Cindy and the Northern Munchkin Cooking Show Crew.

 MAKING CREPES

Due to having a pastor's wife for a mother-in-law, I got a lot of good ideas for fun entertaining.  One of my favorites is having people over to make crepes. 
(And for a bonus, Linda bought me a crepe maker and cookbook for Christmas!)
Whether you invite a few people or 30 people, making crepes is an informal way
to have a gathering at your house.  Each person makes his or her own crepe, and
you can even ask everyone to bring a favorite dessert topping, creating quite a
variety of choices.  

Here's how to make a basic dessert crepe:

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs butter, melted, plus 2 to 3 tsps for coating the pan


 
Toppings:  chocolate or strawberry sauce, candy (like M&M's, whoppers, peanut
butter cups, Andes candies, etc), fruit (strawberries, blueberries, bananas,
etc), maple syrup, jams, honey, nuts, whipped creme. . . .

Mix the ingrediants together, whisking until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for 
at least 2 hours.  When you are ready to cook the crepes, thoroughly stir the
batter again.  Heat the crepe maker, butter the top, and then dip the crepe
maker into the batter. Set it back down on the counter, and wait about 1 minute,
or until the edges are turning brown.  With a spatula, slide the crepe onto a
plate.  


 Now comes the fun part.  Fill the crepe with ice cream and roll it up. (My kids
didn't take the time to roll the crepe--they just wanted to eat it.) Top the
crepe off with whatever kind of toppings you like.  

Even though only one person can make a crepe at a time, eveybody else is
talking, playing games, or watching the crepe making.  It's fun, easy on the
hostess, and everybody gets to make a great dessert.