An Angel in Pink

I first met Melissa when she peaked into the room I had been speaking in for two days at a LifeWay “You Lead” conference held on the lower level of the Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. Hubby and I were packing up my book table and speaking props.

Everyone had cleared out quickly when the conference ended, but suddenly, there was this sweet woman in a pink t-shirt asking, “Do you need any help?”

“We’re just packing up,” I said. “But do you know where the freight elevator is?”

The previous day, we had made numerous trips lugging book boxes and speaking gear down a long steep ramp to the meeting rooms in the basement, and I knew there was no way we could lug them back up the ramp.

She replied, “Yes, I know right where it is, and I can get you a flatbed cart. My name is Melissa and I just helped the LifeWay Store lady take boxes of books up to her car. I’ll go get the cart for you.”

A few minutes later, Melissa returned with a huge flatbed cart and started helping Dave put all our boxes on it while I cleaned up the room and folded tablecloths from the booktable. Melissa told me that she and her children work in a ministry where they learned to fold clothes neatly. She seemed in no hurry as it took me many tries to get the tablecloths back in their wrappers ready for the next book table, and Dave figured out the best way to load everything on the cart.

When all the “stuff” was on the flatbed cart, we asked where the freight elevator was and Melissa offered, “I’ll take the cart up the elevator while Dave goes to get the car. I’ll meet you outside.” And off she went with the heavy-laden cart. She shrugged off our protests that one of us should help her, “No problem! I just helped the LifeWay bookstore lady do the same thing.”

Dave hurried up the ramp to get the car and I finished tidying up the room. Then I headed off to find Melissa who was standing outside guarding our cart, waiting for Dave. When Dave arrived with the car, she insisted on helping us load the car!

We couldn’t stop thanking and praising Melissa for all her help. I told her she was our angel . . . we were both tired after two days of wonderful serving, and it would have taken us many trips using our little carts. I asked if she was going to see Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live event that night. She said yes, and remarked how surprised she was that women were already lining up at 3:00 when it didn’t start until 7 pm!

We both gave Melissa hugs and thanked her profusely, but she thanked us for coming to speak! Then, our angel in the pretty pink T-shirt was gone. Dave and I drove away still marveling at Melissa’s servant’s heart and God’s timing in bringing us a helping angel.

I have thought a lot about Melissa this week and wondered . . .

  • Would I have stuck around to be sure that everyone who needed help received it?
  • Would I have rationalized that I had already helped the LifeWay Bookstore lady and that was enough lugging books for one day?
  • Would I have just told Dave where the cart and freight elevator were, instead of obtaining the cart, helping load it, pushing it to the elevator, and waiting with it?
  • Would I have been impatient with us taking so long to get everything packed up just right, knowing that women were already lining up to get in to see Beth Moore and she could have gotten a good spot in line?
  • Would I have expected nothing in return for my efforts but the joy of serving?

I’d like to think so. How about you?

“Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” Mark 9:35
Return to top of page

Sisters in Christ

My husband, Dave, and I have just returned from a three-week road trip to California and Oregon. The purpose of our trip was for me to speak at the Christian Ministries Training Association’s annual conference in Pasadena, CA, and at LifeWay’s You Lead event in Eugene, OR. Along the way, we visited with friends and family.

When Dave and I were first married, we prayed for God to bring us Christian friends we could enjoy together as a couple. We each came from divorce and it’s often uncomfortable being around couples that were friends with your former spouse. God has continued to answer our prayer over our twenty years of marriage and we have a multitude of Christian friends in both California and Idaho. What we have noticed is how these friendships traverse time and distance. When we return to California we pick up right where we left off . . . almost as if we never left.

In the family of God, we share a common bond that binds us together across the miles and over the years.

When I speak to groups of Christian women, that same bond is evident. It’s as if there is an unspoken sisterhood. We share a common love for Jesus and reach out to each other with that love. I’m always welcomed with gratitude for the time I’ve spent preparing and the energy I put into presenting. I take a personal interest in helping each woman work on her ministry and relationship with Jesus.

Usually, I’ve never met these women, but by the end of my session or sessions or retreat or conference, I’ve made new friends. During my time with them, I’ll point out that we are all sisters in Christ with the same heavenly Father, and I’ll have them turn to each other and say: “Hey sis, did you know we have the same Father?” It makes them smile and laugh, but it also brings home the point that Christians are all in the family of God.

Dawn Stephenson, a LifeWay trainer and women’s ministry director who was also a trainer at You Lead with me in Eugene, explains it like this: “Amazing how God weaves our relationships together for our good and His glory!”

In my Bible study Face-to-Face with Mary and Martha: Sisters in Christ I point out that:

In spite of the scene in Luke 10:38-42, Mary and Martha were very much a part of each other’s lives, and perhaps were friends as well as sisters: the Scriptures always mention them together. Like Mary and Martha and the sisters in this Bible study, sisters who share a family heritage often remain close throughout life. However, sisters also can go separate ways as adults. But sisters in Christ have a spiritual heritage that is often stronger than blood ties.

I’d love to hear about your sisters in Christ and the role they play in your life. I wish I had a closer relationship with my blood sister, but I’m so grateful that I share with so many sisters in Christ the love for Jesus who shed His blood for each of us.

 

PS I’m writing a new book with a working title of How Good is God? I Can’t Remember . . . 10 Ways to Never Forget God’s Faithfulness. If you have a story of forgetting God’s goodness (and don’t we all) or ways that help you remember God’s faithfulness, I’d love to see your story for consideration in the book. You can reach me from the website or leave a comment here.

Return to top of page

Woman to Woman Mentoring Interview

Listen to me interview with MentorMarnie this Thursday at 1:00 PT 3:00 CT or 4:00 ET. I’ll be talking about the 5 W’s of STarting a Mentoring Ministry. You can call 646-727-2510 or go to http://www.leadershipattitudes.com/. You’ll find a free handout at the website. Please share this opportunity with anyone you know in Women’s Ministry.
Return to top of page

Woman to Woman Mentoring Web Training

Recently, I have received inquires as to how you can receive training in Woman to Woman Mentoring if you do not live near a training I am conducting.
On LifeWay’s website you can purchase, for a very small fee, a training course that I recorded live in their studios. Go to www.lifeway.com Training Online How to start a Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry in your church Woman to Woman Mentoring By Janet Thompson.
Here is a LifeWay description that explains what you will find there:

Have you heard about spiritual mentoring and know it would benefit the women in your church but didn’t know how to implement a mentoring ministry? Join us for the online training where author and speaker Janet Thompson will walk you through the steps that she outlines in her LifeWay resource Woman to Woman Mentoring How To Start, Grow, and Maintain a Mentoring Ministry.

Participants can access it by clicking the “add to cart” button and purchasing through the online catalog at http://www.lifeway.com/.
Return to top of page

Off to the Big Sky State

First let me say I am sorry that the picture of my new grandbaby did not go in the blog. But she is so cute. I’ll try again with this one.

I have been busy working on a 2 book deadline so have not posted since I returned from Idaho, but I wanted to ask for your help. My husband and I will be taking a 2 week vacation to Montana and Idaho with thoughts of maybe moving there some day. If any of you have any suggestions for what we should see and do or know of great places to live please leave a comment or email me.

I want a view–every writer needs that. Preferably of water and mountains and a cabin type setting. I don’t ask for much!

We just sent out our monthly newsletter and I would love to hear from you if you are enjoying it. We will not have one in Sept while on vacation. It’s been a busy summer for me. I will be in San Antonio next week speak for LifeWay at Max Lucado’s church. If you live in the area and would like to come go to http://www.lifeway.com/ women’s events, Fully Loaded is the name of the event. Hope to see some of you there….on the 21-22. I will be teaching Woman to Woman Mentoring and The Team That Jesus Built.

About His Work,

Janet
Return to top of page