Wes bought me a few books last week at the Pastors' Conference. Two of them are books of hymn arrangements, one of regular hymns and one of Christmas hymns, arranged by Cary Schmidt of Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, CA. The other book is for ladies, written by the pastor's wife of Lancaster Baptist Church, Mrs. Terrie Chappell.
This book, It's a Wonderful Life, is one of the best books I've ever read for the ministry wife. It's good even for ladies whose husbands aren't in the ministry! It is chock full of practical advice and godly counsel, from a lady who has been a pastor's wife for over 20 years. I have books by several pastors' and Christian workers' wives that have been helpful, but I don't think I've ever read one that has this much practical help in it. If you're a wife, any wife, you should get this book and read it. You can find it here, where there's also a peak inside the book, through the table of contents, the foreword, introduction, and a few pages of the first chapter.
I hope to share a few things I'm learning from it in the coming days and weeks. In fact, I'll go ahead and tell you about something that has been a blessing to me. The third chapter is about preparing for the ministry. I know, we've been in the ministry for 10 years already! But there is still some great advice in this chapter - things that anyone can begin at any stage of life. Here is Mrs. Chappell's checklist for practical preparation for the ministry, which is good advice for anyone:
~ Develop a close walk with the Lord.
~ Observe godly women in other leadership roles (one of my favorite things to do - watch other pastors' wives!).
~ Continue training (in spiritual and secular areas - counseling, writing, sign language, music lessons - never too old to learn!).
~ Set up a regular reading program (readers are leaders!).
~ Establish a filing system (for ministry ideas, decorations, lessons, themes).
~ Practice good stewardship (you can't outgive the Lord!).