International womens day

So today we have people once again protesting. We have women who did not go to work today in protest. I read that some schools even had to close for the day because of this. I think the day would be better spent remembering women who made a difference. So today I am choosing to remember Esther. Here a young girl who had been an orphan being raised by her cousin is raised to the position of Queen. I  like to call it the first biblically recorded beauty pageant. She did not have to scheme or fight to win here title. She simply adorned herself and was presented before the king. A time comes when all the Jews in the land were to be executed. Her cousin sends her a request to approach the king and save her people. Now most know that if she was not called for by the king even though he was her husband she could lose her life. She had a difficult choice to make. The king did not know she was a Jew but if this execution would happen she would be found out and be executed as well. She did not approach the king with demands or outrage. She did approach him and invited the king and the man who had plotted to kill her people to dinner. She was received and the king accepted the invite. It was during the dinner that she revealed this plot and admitted to being a Jew. The king stopped the execution and the one who sought the lives of the Jews then himself was hung on the very gallows he had ordered built. A simple orphan girl grew into a woman who saved not only herself but her people as well. I have retold this story in a nutshell and I hope you will take time to read the book of Esther for yourself. This is woman is one of many in the Bible who has inspired me. Would you share a story of a woman who has inspired you?

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An Interview / A Woman, A Wife, A Mother, and A Woman of God

cheryl-9-29-2012

The life as a wife of a pastor. Cheryl Dennis

   Being a wife has its own responsibilities. Then add being a mother, their responsibilities grow. Now look at the wife of your pastor. She has responsibilities that go beyond being a wife and mother. then add to her responsibilities that of being in the ministry.

Most today have jobs of their own outside of their household duties. Due to the economy most families require both husband and wife to earn an income to meet their financial needs. So when I look at any wife of a man whose job it is to pastor a church, I see that here is a woman that carries a load much more than the average woman. Yet these women do not show the signs of the burdens they bear. They are loving and giving people, who think of the needs of others before themselves. So I would like to acknowledge these women by sharing a little about them.

The first woman who was gracious to give me some of her precious time is Cheryl Dennis. She is the wife of Pastor “Doc” Kenneth Dennis of Full Armor Fellowship. Facebook page(https://www.facebook.com/Full-Armor-Biker-Church-160663070720270/?fref=ts)

(Julie) Cheryl when you married your husband did you know that he would be involved in the ministry?

(Cheryl) Yes, when I met him, he was already involved in prison ministry. He had been with Unchained Prison Ministry for at least 14 years.  He would travel throughout the state of Texas with them for at least 35-40 weekends out of the year visiting many prisons and ministering to the inmates.  Did I know he would be called to be a Pastor and we would have a church, no.  That was something I was not really expecting.

(Julie) When he was asked to become a Pastor how did you feel?

(Cheryl)Well, it wasn’t so much a question but how God was working in our lives and on my husband, Pastor Doc.  I knew God was using him and he was just being obedient to the calling of his life.  God has done so much in his life and when he took on the position of a Pastor I believed in my heart that it was another season or step for us. I would say I was scared or anxious; it varies (haha) as this was something very new for me. 

(Julie) How did your life change after he took on such a responsible position in the church?

(Cheryl) I would say our lives changed dramatically;  lol, we went from being busy to really really busy, lol.  But mostly I would say our lives changed in a way that has been such a huge blessing to us.  The people that God has brought into our lives have become friends and family.   Our congregation is an extension of a family, diverse and wonderful.  They have touched our hearts in so many ways over the years. 

(Julie)  What new responsibilities to you take on, since as his wife you too are a part of the ministry?

(Cheryl) Being a Pastor is a huge responsibility and in the end he answers to God so I do all I can to support him in every way be it through prayer or just letting him know I’m here for him.  I am his help mate and yes, this is my ministry too so for me I am obedient to what God has called me to within the church. I help my husband minister to those in our congregation as well as I teach the kids from infants up to twelve years of age.  I don’t do it alone though, we have some wonderful ladies that have stepped up to help with the children’s ministry too. I also handle the accounting and all the other varies office duties that go with it.  I have someone that helps prepare our bulletin which is a big help to me.

(Julie)  Not only are you a wife and a minister, you are also a mother. How does your responsibilities effect the time you have for each role you fulfill?

(Cheryl)To be honest it feels over whelming at times but you have to learn to give it to God and work to balance the time the best you can.  We have a lot going on right now with working on getting our kids buildings moved to our new location in Decatur.  I know once we get some of this situated things will slow down a bit…lol

(Julie) You have both left behind working for the corporate world for working full time in the ministry, how is different?

  (Cheryl) Well my husband left his job to go full time ministry about 2 years ago which for us was a BIG step of faith when you consider that our income decreased and then about six (6) months after he went full time ministry I was laid off of the job I had.  Looking back I see God’s work at hand through those in our church family, and what blessings so many people were to us.  Since that time in our life, God has opened up job opportunities for us and those in our church.  We have a faith based transportation business set up within our church that provides transportation to doctors’ appointments with people on Medicaid/Medicare. It is a ministry first, and business second, we let God open the doors to those we transport to allow for prayer or to minister to.  It allows us to employ those within our church.

(Julie) How has the demands of being active in the ministry effected your marriage? Do you feel closer to each other?  (Cheryl) Since becoming the wife of a Pastor we have been through good times and bad, the same as any couple goes through good and rough times.  We have learned to lean more on God and on each other which I think has brought us closer together.  I don’t think we are any different than any other couple who journeys through life together, it just depends on how you choose to handle the seasons and storms that comes your way.

 

(Julie) With so many coming to you for physical and emotional needs, who do you go to for help?

(Cheryl) God, I have to go to God first when I begin to feel drained or overwhelmed. I really try to lean on God, I my husband is always there but with the many demands made on him, I try not to put any more on him than what he has.  That may or may not be the best way to handle it but I know God has everything covered and in His hands.

(Julie) Do you take time for yourself? I ask this because with all you and your husband do as pastors, I wonder how can you find time away from the needs of the people you serve?

(Cheryl) Honestly with all that we currently have going on it has been difficult to find much time for ourselves individually as well as a family and couple.  Please don’t take this as a compliant it’s just the way things are at this time, we do try to take time as we can and but we are here to serve first and know that God will open up time for us as we go along.

(Julie) Are you happy with the choices you and your husband have made?

(Cheryl)Yes, to see how God has worked through so many people and the blessings He has poured out and the lives that have been changed because of God’s work I couldn’t say anything but yes. Not only to see God’s work but to have the church family and friends that we have, that God has blessed us with is a real treasure. 

(Julie)Cheryl, I want to thank you so much for your time and your honesty. I am hoping that by sharing your story that others can have a better understanding of what it takes to be a woman with so many roles to fill. That being the wife in the ministry may not be an easy role, but how you handle all of your responsibilities without complaint, but with love. You are an excellent example to follow. I hope this helps us all appreciate the wives throughout this area who are wives in the ministry.