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Showing posts with label Suzy Vanhoose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Suzy Vanhoose. Show all posts

30 January

Responding to Gossip With Wisdom



"Can you believe what she said about me????"

"I feel like I'm always being talked about behind my back."

"It seems like people are always judging me."

How many times have we thought--or even said--things like this?  Nothing is more hurtful than being talked about or judged!  Sometimes it seems like pastor's wives are a target of such gossip more than is their "fair share".  But what does the Bible say about being criticized like this?

One of the most unique books in the Bible is Ecclesiastes.  It is one of Solomon's books of wisdom, and it is written in a more conversational tone than Proverbs is.  It kind of feels like having a heart-to-heart chat with Solomon himself.  

Solomon, inspired by the Holy Spirit, has an interesting opinion on how we should handle gossip.  Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 says, "Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others."  It is so amazing how a Book written centuries ago can still be relevant today!  Human nature doesn't change.  Solomon is saying, "Hey--don't bother listening to everything people say, because if you do, you're probably going to hear someone say something bad about you.  But that's no reason to get upset, because you know very well that you have occasionally said disparaging things about others."  Basically, it's part of life that people are going to say negative things about other people.  There's no way around it.  You will eventually be gossiped about, if you haven't been already.  So the best way to handle it is to ignore it, and to remind ourselves that we haven't alawaysbeen gracious to others, either.

So that means we can just go ahead and gossip, as long as we don't get mad if we are the target--right?  Wrong!  Solomon has something to say about that, too.  Ecclesiastes 10:20 tells us, "Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."  (As a side note, the famous saying, "A little birdie told me," comes directly from this passage). Solomon reminds us that gossip will almost always get us in trouble.   He says we shouldn't even think something hurtful about someone else in our mind (that's a tough one!) because it will usually end up getting around to the wrong person.  How many times have we had that happen--we said something we thought was safe, and it ended up getting us into a tight situation?  It's  not fun, and it can really mess up our testimony.  


Obviously, gossip isn't something that should be allowed as a regular thing in our churches.  God hates gossip and the sowing of discord among brothers and sisters in Christ.  We should all be striving for love and unity in our churches.  However, it is inevitable that we will occasionally hear something negative being said about us.  How do we handle it?  Just ignore it.  Remember we aren't perfect, and we have done the same thing to others at some point.  In God's eyes, it is much better to be gossiped about than to be the one gossiping.  So, in 2017, remember not to listen to everything being said around you. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

About the Author:

Suzy Vanhoose is the wife of Pastor Danny Vanhoose from Grace Independent Baptist Church in the suburbs of Philadelphia. They have four sons, and have served at their church for over fourteen years.  Suzy is also a high school teacher at a local Christian school. When she isn't busy with church, school, and family, Suzy enjoys reading books, writing poetry, baking, and anything else that isn't housework.

07 December

Fellowship Idea: How to Start Your Church Ornament Collection



As a introvert, I am not always the most creative person when it comes to planning extrovert-type things.  And church can be FULL of extrovert-type things!  Even as a pastor's wife, I don't always feel equipped to host exciting parties, showers, or events in my church for the ladies.  I want them to have fun, but--what to plan?

I decided several years ago that *maybe* I could combine my God-given, introvert gifts with an extrovert activity--our annual ladies' Christmas party.  I decided that first year to take a vintage sequin ornament I had on my tree, handmade by my great-grandmother, and teach the church ladies how to replicate it.  At first I was afraid it was a total disaster, because the craft took much longer than I anticipated.  But soon I realized that the ladies were happy and relaxed, chatting and working on their ornaments.  It had been a success after all--even after three hours of crafting!

In subsequent years, I decided to make the Christmas ornament craft our special annual tradition.  (And I also tried to cut down on the assembly time!) Of course, we still have gift exchanges, games, devotionals, and other traditional things; but every year we also make a brand new ornament.  We started calling it our "Church Ornament Collection", and the ladies look forward to finding out what design we will make each year.  They love adding to their collection, and when new or visiting ladies see what we have created over the years, they get excited, too.

So far, we have made an angel sequin ball, Mary and Joseph clothespins, a glass ball cupcake, and a hymnal page snowflake.  We always make sure there are a variety of different colored supplies so the ladies can choose to create an ornament that will match their decor.  Each year, when we trim our trees with the ornaments we created together, memories rush back of the chats and laughter we shared while making them.  This year we will create our fifth annual Church Christmas ornament, but shhh--the design is still a secret!  

Why not make 2016 the first year of your "Church Ornament Collection"?

About the Author:

Suzy Vanhoose is the wife of Pastor Danny Vanhoose from Grace Independent Baptist Church in the suburbs of Philadelphia. They have four sons, and have served at their church for over fourteen years.  Suzy is also a high school teacher at a local Christian school. When she isn't busy with church, school, and family, Suzy enjoys reading books, writing poetry, baking, and anything else that isn't housework.
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