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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thoughts on Applying 1 Thessalonians to Parenting By Janel Thompson

My daughter-in-law, Janel Thompson, sent the family an email sharing what God revealed to her about parenting while studying the Book of 1 Thessalonians in the Bible. Read 1 Thessalonians yourself and then enjoy and reflect on what God might be telling you about your parenting or grandparenting. I would love to hear your comments. Janel writes:

I've been reading 1 Thessalonians with a different perspective. In the past, I've read it as Paul's letter to the church. I've also read it as if I were part of the church Paul was writing to and how I could apply his words to my life. But this time, I read it with the eyes of a parent writing it to our kids, and it took on a whole new meaning. I don't intend to change what Scripture says or make it say something it doesn't, but I believe the Bible is living and active and God speaks to us in different ways at different times to teach us what we need at different seasons.

I want to share this with you because it was so fresh to me: encouraging, inspiring, and humbling. Oh my, I can truly say like Paul that I have not obtained any of these things, but I have a vision into what the future as a parent can be like.

Starting in 1 Thessalonians 1, it struck me that Paul wrote this letter to the church as both a "brother in Christ" and a parent. Parents all hope to be, "brothers in Christ" with our kids, but we’ve walked ahead of them in life and are called to lead and guide them to a personal relationship and walk with God. As Christians, I believe parenthood becomes our ministry and mission for the rest of our lives. The way we guide and influence our kids changes, but our call to love, encourage, guide, and care for them never goes away. They will move away, but like Paul, we’re never without an important role in their lives.

The following verses and thoughts came to mind as I read the first 3 chapters of 1 Thessalonians. I hope that you are encouraged and inspired as I was.

The parallel between Paul’s writing and parenting started with reading the end of 1:5 and the beginning of vs. 6, "We lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord." The word imitators made me think of how kids pick up many behaviors and attitudes from their parents. I find myself doing things my mom did and I see our kids mimic ways of coping and acting that my husband and I do. It's scary that our kids imitate us! When I read this verse, I thought, God, please allow our kids to imitate only what will draw them closer to You. I know they’ll pick up many of our bad habits and attitudes, but by God's grace may we also be able to model for them ways to live that please the Lord.

As my mind turned to our kids, I went back and read vs. 4, For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you.” I thought: We need to cement in our kids’ minds that they are loved and chosen by God! We love them, but God's love is perfect; and when our kids feel let down and disappointed by us, they can know that God's love is perfect.

Paul continues talking to the church about the things they watched Paul, and the others with him, go through. Paul lived with the people of the church for a time so they saw how he dealt with struggles, which provided a model for coping with their own struggles. Again, I saw the way this parallels parenthood. We can't hide our struggles from our kids. Even though they may not know the details, they see how we react to stress. As our kids get older and mature, we should be open with them, because they’ll face "adult" decisions and struggles, and by talking to them about how we’re seeking God's direction and wisdom processing through decisions, we can equip them to not be surprised by struggles they’ll face as adults.

Chapter 2:4 says Paul and the others were "men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel." As parents, it’s empowering and humbling to think that we as a couple are approved by God and entrusted to parent our kids and guide them to Christ. In verses 7,8,11,12, Paul says they loved the church so much they enjoyed sharing their lives together. They were gentle as a mother caring for a young child and dealt with them as a father. They encouraged, comforted, and urged the people to live lives worthy of God who calls them.

Then I came to two different verses that I pray can be true about each of our kids.
"We also thank God continually because when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe" (1 Thess. 2:13). "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy" (1 Thess. 2:19-20).

Chapter 3 talks about a time when Paul was no longer with the church, but he still cared about their wellbeing and sent Timothy to "strengthen and encourage" them in their faith (vs. 2). This is similar to when our kids are no longer home all the time with us: in sports, school, Sunday school, and youth group. Even though we aren't the only input in our kids’ lives, we still can influence who impacts them and expose them to other kids with a strong faith, so they can learn from others as well.

Paul expresses such intense feelings for the people he is writing to. "How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?" (1Thess. 3:9). This is just the kind of thing we would want to say about our adult children. My husband and I went through a class at church that talked about having a "deparenting plan". A plan as to how we will slowly help our kids become adults so they need less and less of our "parenting" and can rely more and more on their relationship with God to help them make wise decisions. This verse expresses how we will feel to see our kids as growing adults wise and walking with God.

Then I love the last verses in chapter 3 because as a mom, I never want to lose touch with our kids. I never want them to be out of touch with them. Paul had these same feelings for the church when he wrote. "Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you" (1 Thess. 3:10-11).

In closing, Paul's prayer in verse 13 is a prayer I will pray for each one of our kids, "May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones."

We are far from being perfect parents—we scream and lose our minds and screw up—but reading these verses gave me a vision for how it can be as parents of grown children, as well as prayers to pray for God's grace and guidance.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christian Book Previews - The Team that Jesus Built by Janet Thompson




Here's a great review and summary

Review:

In Janet Thompson’s The Team that Jesus Built, readers are introduced to business management, street smarts, and biblical wisdom. When it comes to women’s ministry and female leadership advice, the market is bursting with brightly lit advertisements guaranteeing answers for any and all problems. Yet, in a world overloaded with frivolous information, there are still people who dare to give advice in a godly, honest way.

Janet Thompson, founder of Saddleback Church’s Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry, has established herself as a qualified author, with a MA in Christian Leadership and an MBA. After authoring numerous books, she now takes a serious look at female leadership and team building. Written for female leaders, Thompson’s The Team that Jesus Built delves into team development, while exposing problems and proposing solutions.

Reminding her readers that any team is always God’s possession and never theirs, Thompson reveals a formula for team development that centers on Jesus’ attitude and strategy in choosing his disciples. By studying Jesus’ interaction with his followers, Thompson teaches that a well-built team never comes from a leader caught up in self glory. Instead, a leader garners team success in displaying strong spirituality and godly motives.

Thompson reaches out to women leaders through personal experience. She shares her struggles and victories as she shows readers how to be successful, godly leaders. Although The Team that Jesus Built seems, at times, categorized and organized to the point of confusion, it’s an essential tool for any woman hoping to lead her team, whether big or small, as Jesus led his. – Angelina Burkholder, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Book Jacket:

Jesus built strong teams. You can too.

Get His methods, answers, and more for team-building challenges most leaders encounter:

  • How do you motivate people to serve selflessly?
  • How do you equip people to be new leaders?
  • How do you “let go” as a leader?

Through personal observations, step-by-step instructions, and simple how-to applications of Jesus’ leadership principles, The Team That Jesus Built equips laywomen—regardless of church location, denomination, size—to cultivate leadership skills and create teams for the glory of God.

Based on the author’s experience building a women’s ministry at Saddleback Church, under the leadership of pastor Rick Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life), Thompson provides ministry leaders with tools, direction, guidance, and encouragement to build teams that equip leaders to build teams.


Christian Book Previews - The Team that Jesus Built by Janet Thompson

Friday, November 4, 2011

Interview Today with Writer's Voices

Listen live today 11/4 from 1:00-2:00  pm CT for discussion of Dear God, Why Can' I Have a Baby?
http://www.kruufm.com/node/11856 and KRUU LP 100.1FM.

If you miss today's interview it will be rebroadcast at 8:00 am CT Monday 11/7 and available for download or listening both at the kruufm.com archives and as a podcast on http://www.writersvoices.com/

Linda Young will also be interviewed on her book Hope for Familes of Children with Cancer.

If you listen, I would love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

This month I'll be talking allot about breast cancer awareness and sharing stories from brave breast-cancer sisters. Read the hope that Wanda has in her breast cancer journey.

Testimony of Wanda's Battle
The canvas of the sky was a clear, bright and beautiful blue.
Clouds few and Spring was covering the atmosphere.
I had gone in for a routine mammogram. I had to start at the age of 27 because my mother had breast cancer and I’ve never missed an annual appointment in twenty something years.

After chatting with the technician for a while about our weekend, I made the following statement to her near the end of my exam when she returned to the exam room: "Oh by the way, would you try to get an image of this knot right here."
What an unorthodox way of disclosing that one had found a knot or lump where one shouldn't be. I had discovered the lump earlier in the previous month.

Upon returning to the exam room, the technician told me that the image was captured. She immediately asked if I could stay so that they could perform other tests. “ Sure, I said. I have nothing else that I want to do on a beautiful day like this.” After that I made a telephone call to submit an request for immediate prayer.

Then while waiting to get worked into the schedule to complete three other tests to confirm the initial finding on the routine mammogram, I sat alone wrapped up in warmed blankets from neck to toes because I had gotten so cold, sipping hot tea and glancing through a couple of magazines.
COURAGEOUS OR COMPLETELY COO-COO (HMMM?)
As I reflect on that day, I think that it was God letting me know that He had my back.
That day was the beginning of an incredible journey as I know it.
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, mind, and spirit and he will give you a peace that surpasses ALL understanding. The Lord will not give you more than you can handle AND he will provide you with a way of escape.
********************************************************************
On June 10, 2009, I had a successful lumpectomy. In July, I began chemotherapy treatment and by early August, my head was BALD. Soon afterward eyebrows and lashes disappeared. Six months later when the new year arrived and chemotherapy treatment was just ending, the hair had started to sprout on my head. Two months later I completed radiation in March 2010.
April 6, 2011, two years later, I'm STILL STANDING after a diagnosis of Stage IIA, ER/PR elevated, HER2+ invasive ductal carcinoma, surgery, chemo, radiation and continuing therapy ONLY by the GRACE OF MY ALMIGHTY GOD who is JEHOVAH RAPHA.
It is only God who knows that I can handle this tailor-made journey of breast cancer. Now just why he chose me - I don't know YET. What I do know is that it isn’t about me.
My continued prayer since all of this started is that no matter what, that people would see Him and not me.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, your soul and your mind
And
HE WILL SEE YOU THROUGH!

To give the gift of encouragement and hope to a breast cancer survivor go to http://www.womantowomanmentoring.com/cancersite/index.html or http://www.amazon.com/Dear-God-They-Say-Cancer/dp/1582295751/sr=8-1/qid=1161276234/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-3142787-1281655?ie=UTF8

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kathi "Easy Writer" Macias: The Team that Jesus Built

Kathi "Easy Writer" Macias: The Team that Jesus Built: "Jesus built strong teams. You can too! In The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and commission a Women's Ministry Team find..."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Held: On The Journey With You


For an excerpt from my book Dear God, Why Can't I Have a Baby? and also to be blessed by a new Hannah's Hope Prayer blog go to:
Held: On The Journey With You: "“Janet, you’ll never have a baby. Your ovaries look like those of a ninety-year-old woman.” Sitting on the doctor’s exam table, extending ..."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Women’s Ministry: Changing Views

Women’s Ministry: Changing Views

Any thoughts or comments on this article?

What’s Happening with Women’s Ministry?

What’s Happening with Women’s Ministry? is a great artilce. I'm currently writing an article on the changing face of Women's Ministry and how to reach more women in today's ever changing culture. Please leave me comments about what's happening in your church.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Live Interview on Prodigals

Tuesday, May 10 at 10:00 AM (EST) I'll be interviewing and giving hope and encouragement to parents struggling with wayward daughters. Tune in live and ask your questions and also have an opportunity to win a free autographed copy of my book Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter.
The interview will also be available on their website later in the day.

Tune in http://http://www.toginet.com/shows/theparentsplate

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ten Ways To Survive the Holidays When You're Infertile




Adapted for Mother's Day from Laura Christenson, a Mommy-in-Waiting with her story in Dear God, Why Can't I Have a Baby? and author of The Adoption Decision.


If the mere thought of babies being handled by fawning relatives or the celebration of mothers is enough to make you burst into tears and run for cover, try the following alternatives. You’ll not only survive Mother's Day; you may even celebrate it joyfully and triumphantly.

1. Take charge. Organize a party for the childless couples and singles in your church. Have a potluck at one of your homes.

2. Just say “No.” Graciously decline invitations to child-oriented events. Send a note or gift to the hosts, letting them know how much you appreciate them.


3. Pray. If you plan to share the day with extended family or friends, pray for patience, wisdom and strength. Contact a trusted family member before your arrival and schedule a leisurely walk together during the party.


4. Send cards from Kitty. Send cards to your mom's from you both and your cat, dog, cockatoo or hamster.


5. Run away from home. Take a mini vacation with your spouse to a romantic bed and breakfast inn. Make your marriage – not your baby quest – top priority during this time. Remind each other that it doesn’t take a child to make a family; you and your spouse are a family already.

6. Learn a sport together. Go for a long bike-ride, take a walk together, go to a movie, or indulge in a sport you like to do together like tennis or golf or work in the garden.


7. Get crafty. Create handmade greeting cards, design jewelry or make flower arrangements. Give them to all the moms and grandmothers in nursing homes.

8. Serve selflessly. Focus on serving your own moms, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, mother-in-laws, and sister-in-laws.


9. Wax poetic. Compose a romantic song or poem for your spouse.

10. Write a love letter to God. Thank Him for giving you life, and for loving you more than you can comprehend. Ask Him to guide you through this difficult time. God is always there to listen, and He understands.

Adapted from page 269 in Dear God, Why Can't I Have a Baby? A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Perfect Gift for Mommies-in-Waiting on Mother's Day


Mother's Day is torture for a mommy-in-waiting. Dear God, Why Can't I Have a Baby? A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey is a gift of hope and encouragement for these women. To read my daughter Kim's journal on Mother's Day the year before she became a mommy, and also for tips to surviving any holiday while waiting on God's plan for parenthood, go to pages 140 and 269. Or "Look Inside" on Amazon.

Mommies-in-Waiting feel left out and overlooked on a day that honors those of us who are mothers. Don't ignore or minimize the pain an infertile woman is feeling. Let her know you care with a gift that is a "walk-along-beside-you," and "I-understand-because I've-been-in your-shoes" book.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Team That Jesus Built Press Release




Former Saddleback Leader Offers Practical Steps to Building a Successful Women’s Ministry

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.)—April 19, 2011—Former Saddleback Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry leader Janet Thompson, in her new release The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and Commission a Women’s Ministry Team (ISBN 978-1-59669-300-5, $16.99), offers practical tips to women’s ministry leaders. Drawing on years of experience and lay-ministerial success, Thompson passionately encourages women’s ministry teams to continuously and systematically groom others.

“Most churches have a list of ministries that started with a bang and then fizzled—not for lack of people needing the benefits of the ministry, but often because the leader left without having an equipped team in place,” writes Thompson.

When God called her to start the mentoring ministry at Saddleback Church, she looked for resources to assist her, but found none. Instead, through years of experience she has now written her own. Using sound biblical principles, also incorporated by large international Bible studies, Thompson uses the training relationship of Jesus with the disciples as the basic outline for the book.

Chris Adams, senior lead women’s ministry specialist, LifeWay Christian Resources, recognizes the tools this book contains for effective team-building and offers positive words about the authors’ credibility.

“Janet Thompson has a heart for the Lord and a heart for raising up women who have a heart for Him,” endorses Adams. “She has given us many tools to mentor women and to grow together as women. As a leader herself, she has developed effective and multiplying teams.”

What distinguishes this book from so many others is that she takes the principles of Jesus and puts them in practical terms for women’s ministry. The book addresses getting started and organized, recruitment, informal interviews, key communication elements, conflict resolution, and a host of other topics that arise in ministry regardless of church size or denomination.

“In The Team That Jesus Built, Janet Thompson offers practical, step-by-step advice for building, remodeling, or rejuvenating a ministry team,” endorses Kathy Howard, minister of adult education at Fannin Terrace Baptist Church and author of Before His Throne, God’s Truth Revealed, and Unshakeable Faith.

About the Author
Janet Thompson, founder and director of About His Work Ministries, is an author and speaker on topics relevant to today’s Christian woman. She developed the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church, where she and her husband, Dave, were members. Janet served as a lay minister for 12 years, leading Saddleback’s Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry. Passionate about mentoring others, she is also the author of the “Face-to-Face” Bible study series. A new resident to Idaho, she continues to share the blessings of mentoring by training churches around the world.

About New Hope Publishers
Representing more than 50 authors and more than 100 individual works, the mission of New Hope Publishers is to provide books that challenge readers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God. New Hope Publishers is the general trade publishing imprint for WMU, a missions auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. New Hope Publishers is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

For more information about New Hope Publishers, visit www.newhopepublishers.com.

The Team That Jesus Built press release

Monday, April 18, 2011

Marriage, Obligations, and Service

Marriage, Obligations, and Service. Wondering how to balance it all. Priscilla and Aquila have the answers!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Press release for Priscilla and Aquila



Gain Blessings from Serving with Your Spouse



(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.)—January 27, 2011—Priscilla and Aquila made an impact on those they served. So much so they were mentioned numerous times by the Apostle Paul in his writings as examples of servant leadership in the early church. Sadly today many couples serve apart from one another in the church—if they serve at all. By not serving together, those couples miss out on blessings that can only be received through investing in kingdom work as a couple.



Face-to-Face with Priscilla and Aquila (978-1-59669-295-4, N114132, $8.99) explores the importance of serving together and leading together within the context of both the church and everyday life.



“Priscilla and Aquila had their priorities and their house in order and their biblical story can mentor us today in how to graciously serve God and each other,” says Janet Thompson. “God blessed their business, their marriage, and their ministry—and He’ll do the same for anyone who puts the work of God first in their life and relationships.”



Face-to-Face with Priscilla and Aquila is a five-week study that can be used individually, as a couple, or as a small group. It includes content on service and leadership as well as real-life short stories and testimonies.



About the Author


Janet Thompson, founder and director of About His Work Ministries, is an author and speaker on topics relevant to today’s Christian. Janet discovered her purpose when God called her to “feed My sheep.” Janet answered that call by developing the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church, where she and her husband, Dave, have been members since 1987. Janet served as a lay minister for 12 years, leading Saddleback’s Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry, and she continues to share the blessings of mentoring by training in churches around the world. Janet’s previous New Hope works include the “Face-to-Face” series.


Dave and Janet have four married children and love being Grammie and Grampa to 11 beautiful grandchildren. They make their home in Lake Forest, California.



About New Hope Publishers


Representing more than 50 authors and more than 100 individual works, the mission of New Hope Publishers is to provide books that challenge readers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God. New Hope Publishers is the general trade publishing imprint for WMU, a missions auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. New Hope Publishers is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).



For more information about Janet Thompson or New Hope Publishers, visit www.newhopepublishers.com. Copies of books may be purchased online at http://www.amazon.com/, www.christianbook.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ or by calling 1-800-968-7301.