An important story with important truths is found in Luke 10: 38-42. I’ll include it below so you also can read and glean from it.
Luke 10:38–42 (NLT): Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.
39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.
40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!
42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I like Martha. I think she and I would have similar personality traits. Traits such as task-oriented, sometimes distracted, pursuer of excellence, and people oriented.
Jesus loved Martha (Jn 11.5). And He loved her enough to be gentle with her, to speak to her affectionately, and to remind her there are times to take intentional pauses. There are times, Jesus reminds Martha and us, that choosing to stop something good in order to pursue something better, matters. And it probably matter more than we realize!
That day in Martha’s home, Jesus extended an invitation – and permission! – for Martha to come sit at His feet and leave unimportant things behind. Jesus encouraged Martha to come and learn from Him. And though it doesn’t say this in the text, I wonder if wrapped up in Jesus’ invitation to Martha is this: Your soul needs ministering to, Martha. Come, and allow me to speak life, truth, hope, and love.
We don’t get to hear about the rest of Martha’s journey and how she continued to grow as a faithful disciple of Jesus. We don’t get to hear about her undistracted times, but I am sure she had them! We may catch glimpses of her here and there, but we don’t fully know how the encounter that day with Jesus may have transformed her. Did she sit? Did she take Jesus up on his invitation to learn and to be ministered to that day? The text doesn’t tell us, but I suspect she did!
As I think beyond the story at Martha’s house, I’m curious to know how often Martha recalled Jesus’ words then stopped what she was doing. I am curious to know her inner dialogue and how she weighed her choices. I wonder after Pentecost how often she called upon the Holy Spirit to remind her of all the things Jesus said and taught? I’m eager to know how she treasured her time at Jesus’ feet, the things she pondered in her heart, and what nuggets of truth she shared with others.
What captivates you about Martha’s interaction with Jesus? Are you a person who is easily distracted? Who needs those those loving nudges from Jesus? If so, do you hear Jesus’ invitation to discover the better thing? Do you hear His permission to choose to be undistracted? To come? To be present with Him?
Let’s today not miss the opportunity to be with Jesus. Choose intentional pausing and undistracted over mindless busy and distracted.
Saying “yes” to sitting,
The sometimes distracted Carmen.
This morning, the devotional journal I am working my way through led me to Luke 10:1-16. What a powerful passage! I’d encourage you to go an read it, taking time after to prayerfully reflect and journal.
I wrote these words in my digital bullet journal.
Those words then led to this post because it’s so easy to allow our minds to take a trip down memory lane, recounting all the mean-spirited things people have said to us or about us. We live in a digital world, so no longer are things merely said in the coffee shop or in a handwritten letter. BUT – we don’t have to live in the hurt!
There are many things Jesus has taught me these past few years, especially as it relates to others and myself. Here listed, in no particular order, are a few of those things:
We are like lambs among wolves. Some may bite harder than others. Some may pursue harder than others. Some may gather a pack around around them. Whatever the case may be, Jesus warned us. And he not only warned us, he provided Himself to us. Let’s be reminded today that Jesus is our comforter and strength. Our shield and wisdom. Our warrior and friend.
Saying a prayer for all of you who’ve been on the receiving end of hurtful words and found themselves sinking as a result. May you rise strong in the strength of Christ. May Christ’s wisdom lead you and may his love be like healing balm to your soul. May the Spirit remind you of all the promises and truths found in scripture. May your heart and mind be refocused and reminded of the call of God, and may you find your feet on the path that’s been ordered of the Lord.
I preached today here in Saskatoon at my home church, Westside Pentecostal. (The sermon can be found online here in the coming week.) And it was a timely word, a word worth turning into a blog post. And here’s why I think it’s worth turning into a blog post: We all want to know our life has a purpose and to know we can make a difference in our world – and I believe we can!
Today we focussed on answering these five questions, and for the sake of keeping this post at a reasonable length, I’m just going to use the questions as section breaks.
Um..that’s really simple to answer but oh so easy for us to forget! The bottom line is this: you can’t be shady because light was meant to illumine (give insight into; expose ). The scripture teaches us that Jesus is the light and that He came into this world to show us the way. (Jn 12: 44-46)
THE most important reason you need to shine is that Jesus said so!
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14–16, NLT)
In other supporting scriptures for this truth, we find that Jesus spoke against a lit lamp being put under a basket, bed, or bowl (Mk 4.21; Lk 8:16).
In the Ancient Near East (ANE), light was understood in the following ways:
You see, as followers of Christ we are bringing Jesus with us wherever we go. John R. Stott would say “we are not to conceal the truth we know or the truth of what we are. We are not to pretend to be other than we are, but be willing for our Christianity to be visible to all.”1
1. Get to know Jesus. How? By regularly reading the Bible and by being in a community where the people of God gather. Jesus said “for where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” And Paul also teaches us that we are not to forsake the gathering together. (Mt 18:20; Heb 10:25)
2. Pay attention to what you allow your eyes to see. (Lk 11:33-36)
3. Pay attention to the motives of your heart. Ask yourself, Am I focussed on shining Christ? What messages am I sending with the decisions I’m making?
“Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.” (Psalm 26:2, NLT)
4. Get to know TRUTH. And when you receive it, live it. Knowing the truth will allow you to stand firm, no matter what. God want you to have his strength! (Ephesians)
5. Let Christ transform your character. Reflect also on 2 Peter 1: 3-10.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Galatians 5:22–25, NLT)
6. Believe Jesus at HIS Word. Jesus declared that if we remained in him and He in us that fruit would be born. (Jn 15:5)
Powerful truths listed in that scriptures below!
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16, NLT)
“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9, NLT)
Do you see that? When we are doing our own special work it helps the whole body to grow. That thought blows my mind a little! Also, priests had opportunities to intercede for people and to teach people about holy living.
TODAY! You are a light that is needed! Remember, in the ANE, light served a necessary and vital purpose.
Wanna know something cool? Well maybe you already know this, but I just came across this in my recent studies. Jesus NEVER called himself the salt of the earth; he only referred to us in that way. Salt, you see, was meant to preserve something and we as Christians are expected to preserve and share the gospel truth so the path to Jesus can be lit up and made visible to others.
Will you commit yourself to not being shady and to allowing your life to shine?
You, my friend, you were meant to shine!
Our worship leaders led us in signing the song This Little Light of Mine, I’ve been humming it ever since.
It was a little over a year ago that I announced on my blog that I was stepping out to officially launch LEAD Women. ( If you’re curious about that, you can read that post here). And with the pilot season and now a full year behind me, I am as confident as ever that God has called me to dedicate my life to encouraging and investing in the lives of leaders.
This past LEAD Women season was one of hearing the deep longings of fellow leaders, meeting new people and cultivating more authentic community. It was also a season of co-leading a monthly leadership gathering with a fantastic local woman, Betty Mutwiri, and a season of being inspired by the way God is working in others and creating space for others to shine. It also held new opportunities for me to teach, preach, and lead. Plus, I got ordained! I’m sincerely humbled by the things God has allowed me to witness and participate in. And I am thankful for the ordination journey and the affirmation of my call to Christian ministry.
I especially love the leadership development and engagement of women leaders. LEAD stands for leadership engagement and development, and the mission of LEAD Women is Empowering Christian Women to Lead with Confidence. How the ministry of LEAD Women works in practice is this: it’s varied. From a monthly gathering this past season to two weekly development opportunities in 2018-2019; to increased speaking engagements; to awareness of professional development opportunities; to one-on-ones in the local coffee shop; to coming alongside other women leaders in transformative seasons. LEAD Women is not just one thing. It’s one mission lived out in a variety of expressions. It’s the call on my life that I’m stewarding.
And though I am privileged to minister in a variety of contexts, seeing women thrive in their gifts and calling is a passion that continues to grow in my own heart.
I’m growing into the LEAD Women call. I’m comfortable with not fully knowing at this time what LEAD Women will evolve into. God has called each one of us to be faithful in every season – living fully into that season’s calling and not running ahead of the Spirit’s leading. Do I have dreams and goals? Sure I do. Have I sketched out some long-term goals for life? Sure I have. But those do no trump the responsibility I have to live faithfully and presently in the here and now based on what God has revealed for this season.
I’m living my best life, and I hope you are too! If you’re curious about some of the LEAD Women opportunities, see here. I’ll update more opportunities as I can. I don’t have a promotional strategist or someone who updates my website or someone who creates all my posts and graphics, so I do my best to update and keep you informed. Also, feel free to follow me on twitter @carmenkampman or on Facebook. And, of course, sign up to follow my blog!
Some other exciting things that I am involved in in 2018-2019 (remember that varied expression) are the following:
It’s going to be an exciting year!
I pray for you to be brave, to embrace the call of God on your life, and to live it fully!
If you’re like me – a result-oriented person and lover of ticking off that task that’s been scheduled in my bullet journal – then you’re likely to understand this tension. It’s the tension of there is lots to do today AND I need to spend time alone seeking and hearing God.
Henri Nouwen said this:
Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life.
If you were to google the question What does it mean to live a spiritual life? you’d get a variety of opinions. For me, I think living a spiritual life is a couple of things. First, it’s the yes response to Jesus’ invitation to come and follow Him. Second, it’s a way of life (habits and practices and beliefs and choices) that we learn about through our interaction with the Scriptures (Bible) and by being in a Christian community. Third, it’s attentiveness to our living relationship with Jesus Christ. And fourth, it’s attentiveness to our soul and its needs.
Jesus modelled the need to create space for time alone with the Father.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NIV)
I find it fascinating that Jesus got up before the crack of dawn, the typical time the entire household would awake, and he left the house, going off to a solitary place. Isn’t it interesting that he had to leave the house and go off to a solitary place? Was that because the house was full of people and distractions? We don’t really know why he chose to the leave the house. I feel fortunate to have spaces within my home where in the colder months I can retreat to. But in the summer, I love to sit on the deck in my backyard. I especially like to be up watching the sunrise in the summer months.
But wherever that “go to” place is, it’s important for us to find it and to be intentional to prioritize time alone with our loving Heavenly Father – the one who “speaks peace to his faithful people” (Ps 85:8). The one from whom our joy and strength and refreshing springs come (Ps 84:5).
Curiously, the text in Mark does not tell us what Jesus’ prayers comprised of that day or what the Father may have communicated to him or how the fellowship in that time was within the Triune God. Oh, how sweet and hard those times must have been. We can only imagine!
Now if Nouwen is right, and I think he is, if we do not have a practice of Solitude in our life, it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life. And if you find yourself longing for more and have been unable to put your finger on what’s missing, perhaps this is it.
So I would invite you to spend some time reflecting on and answering the following questions:
When making adjustments in our life, it can be challenging. Hence the reason to just start and start small. I would suggest that you set up a goal for yourself for the next six weeks (that should be doable by us all!). Pick your start and end date. And as part of this small change you’ll be making, make it a practice to weekly review your commitment to the goal and make adjustments as needed to keep you on track. If you’re a tracker like me, make it a daily practice to tick the box!
And if you want to learn more about Solitude, there are a number of authors that write on it. Authors such as Henri Nouwen, Ruth Haley Barton, and Richard Foster, to name a few.
Wishing you a day in which Solitude is a sweet part,
For a couple of weeks now the album Blackout by Steffany Gretzinger has been playing on repeat. It’s been one of those in season albums for me as every song on this album has had some sort of meaning and ministered to me.
And just today, as I was putting together an Ikea nightstand that’s been sitting in the box for about two months just waiting until I had time, I was listening to the album mentioned above and her song Blackout was just another Aha moment for me – hence today’s blog post.
This is the song’s description from her website:
Blackout heralds the message that even when circumstances bend towards chaos, light that shines from the inside out cannot be dimmed. 1
The last few months have been hard as I have journeyed through dealing with a person who was out to do me reputational harm. He likes to focus his energy on doing everything he can to harass me, including using passive aggressive behaviours, bullying tactics and name calling. And because I believe God has called me to take a stand and to endure in this volunteer position, I am staying the course and will continue to do so. (No, not in an abusive way!)
Staying the course has taught and reminded me of many things. It has taught me to be patient and to continue to cultivate a deep reliance on God. When someone falsely says something about you, I think our natural tendency is to want to fight back, to want justice – Now! But I’ve remained remarkably calm during these last few months- that’s a God thing! In addition to that, I have asked the Lord to reveal to me any areas that my heart needs to change and any lessons I need to learn during this season. I don’t want this opportunity wasted if I can grow in and through it, especially as God continues to call me to deeper refining and deeper levels of trust.
I’ve been reminded once again that God is my righteousness and His righteousness cannot be taken away. The throne room is always open to those longing to connect with God. I can’t tell you how many times I have leaned into that sacred space and asked God to be my victor and to expose those things that are not in accordance with His will. The Psalms have been particularly meaningful in this season. David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), and time and time again we find him calling out to God for justice and waiting for God to act.
Staying the course has taught me in an even greater measure that my confidence to lead and do what’s right is not dependent on what another person thinks of me – it’s part of stewarding the call. At the very end of his letter to the Colossians, Paul also sends a message directly to Archippus. Paul says to him, “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.” (Co 4:17)
I wonder if Archippus was dealing with other leaders who were trying to cause him harm? We’re not told what is happening, but whatever it was, it warranted a reminder from Paul for Archippus to stay the course and complete the ministry that had been entrusted to him.
During this season it has been critical for me to remember that we fight not against flesh and blood – this is a crucial perspective if you want to continue to show up in life and lead with integrity. Behaviours may be evil (we can judge fruit), but every single person is God’s workmanship that God is seeking to draw unto himself and to transform from the inside out.
I absolutely love who we are in Christ and that Christ in us cannot be taken away or dimmed! How amazing is that?! So the next time you have to show up in the midst of the hard, ask God to continue to shine in and through you.
“You can’t turn out a light shining from the inside.”
If this post speaks to you today, take some time to remind yourself of the things that Jesus has given you – new mercy, His peace, His abiding presence in you, a hope, a future, etc., that cannot be taken away. Let your heart, mind, and spirit be strengthened by His truth about you and the things He’s given you, which no one can take away!
It’s been a fruitful journey of learning these last few years. A journey in which I have had to lean into corrective measures and where I have intentionally sought out feedback on how I’m doing. And one thing I have tried to avoid is making these excuses: It wasn’t my intention to do that, or it’s not my fault that happened.
And truthfully, sometimes it wasn’t, but I had to be willing to listen to what my choices did and how they affected others. And then, based on that clarity, I had to intentionally make different decisions based on the lessons I was learning. I leaned in and learnt new behaviours.
And choosing to change your behaviours requires incredible vulnerability. It requires self-discipline to journey through the parts of yourself that we most often want to avoid. It means that there is a bridge that I must cross, and that bridge is leading to a new, transformed me. But the choice is mine. I’m responsible for taking that step of obedience in the right direction. Sometimes it’s scary, especially if behaviours are entrenched in us.
Good intentions don’t excuse bad behaviour – ever.
As I cross from one place of transformation to another, sometimes agonizingly so, I learn lessons. Lessons such as don’t react to everything. Don’t read everything. When I make a mistake, own it, don’t look for excuses for the bad behaviour. Ask for forgiveness when and where appropriate.
It’s so essential for any leader to be mindful that what they do and how they do it affects others – and it touches and transforms their own soul. It’s vital in leadership to learn new skills and to mine the depths of our souls, seeking to learn who we are and the hurts that we need to leave at the cross, never to be picked up again.
Always remember that your identity is in Christ. Let His truth be the loudest.
Embrace it. Cling to it. Daily remind yourself of it. Meditate on it. Be still in it, allowing it to reach every corner of your soul.
I have loved this Hillsong song in recent months.
Another of my big lessons from these past five years has been this: the ones whom I journey with, the ones who are companions and friends on the journey, must be chosen wisely. Why? For they will influence who I become as I seek to live receptive to feedback and transformation. I want not to be around toxic people and behaviours. I don’t surround myself with those who make excuses for bad behaviour. I pick the wise, the loving, the kind, the ones filled with grace AND truth because, at the end of each day, their presence in my life makes me a better human being.
We face our greatest leadership challenge every morning in the mirror. – Andy Stanley
Are you stuck in patterns that you know aren’t working? Are your good intentions really just excuses for bad behaviour? When you connect the dots in your life, are you where you are based on the choices you’ve made or not made? Are you an excuse maker? A blame shifter?
Here’s the good news friend, Christ came so that we could have new life! We don’t have to stay where we are. I don’t have to stay where I am, and neither do you. The choices (or excuses) we make today do not have to be the ones we make tomorrow!
Jesus said the following:
“I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness.” (John 12:46, AMP)
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10, AMP)
New life is ours to live! “His grace runs deep.” I choose life. What do you want?
If you’ve been tracking with me for any length of time, you know that I’ve been on a passionate roll to bring some clarity in the area of board governance, especially since taking a board governance class (master’s level) this past year.
If you’re new to my blog and journey, here is a recap of my Governance Series to date:
Boards, if they are responsible for a large number of things, will need assistance. Usually, administrative aid comes to the board via the hiring of a Board Assistant. On some boards this may be a volunteer position while on others it is a paid position. Whichever the case, here are some important things to know.
Board Assistants should sign and be bound by both a Confidentiality Agreement and a Code of Conduct. Why does this matter? It matters because they are privy to confidential information and they are associated with (seen as a part of) the particular board they are assisting. And for an assistant, it is important to note that a signed Confidentiality Agreement endures past your time of employment (whether you quit or your position was terminated).
So how does that play out? It means that while you are and were functioning as the Board Assistant, any information you had access to is still off limits to your friends or other members of the moral ownership. How you behave post your term as a Board Assistant, or on any committee for that matter, will be noticed by others and may have damaging effects for you if you are found to be of questionable character, careless with your words, and are misusing confidential information.
Of critical importance is that the assistant should understand that they are there to assist. They are there to provide much-needed support to the board as a whole. Their role is super, super important in helping a board maintain effective and efficient rhythms.
Some of the ways they assist the board are by ensuring communication is sent out in a timely fashion, regularly updating the Board Policy Manual and seeing to it that the directors continually have access to the most currently approved policies, attentiveness in recording board meeting minutes, preparing documents for the board and any necessary documents that need to be signed by the Chair, and reminding the board executive of important deadlines. In some active boards, the Board Assistant also helps plan a Chair’s schedule. Here is an example job description.
Now, what are they not there to do? They are not there to push the agenda of one or more individuals either on the board or as part of the moral ownership. They are not there to direct the board or question their decisions. They may ask clarifying questions to accurately understand and record the conclusions the board has just arrived at or the information they want to be communicated, but they are not the Chair or Chief Governing Officer of the board. Therefore, just like board members are to be carefully selected, so, too, should a Board Assistant.
Several years ago I had the privilege of working with a highly competent Board Assistant. She knew her role well. And not only did she know her role well, she also had a tremendous institutional memory as she and her family had been part of the founding families of the non-profit organization. In addition to that, she had four essential characteristics that made her stand out for me. She was humble, knowledgeable, teachable, and resilient. Given the complex nature of her role, she was able to work collaboratively with the board, was able to engage with the diverse personalities of the board, and was able to add value in tremendous ways because she had a good handle on policy governance and how she could assist the board in achieving its goals.
If you ever have any questions about board governance or have some insightful resources you’re willing to share, please let me know.
Wishing you a healthy board experience!
The Reverend Carmen Kampman
What a glorious long weekend it was here in Saskatoon, SK. I got to be home on my farm, spend time with my hubby and the kids that were around, write my research proposal for my major research project required to successfully complete a MALM, and had loads and loads of time to read my Bible and reflect.
I’m currently working my way through the Bible chronologically, and I’ve recently started using this app. It’s.so.good. I highly recommend it.
Anyways, I was reflecting on Psalm 24 where we are reminded of the fact that the whole world belongs to the Lord – that he established the work and all who live in it. Then the psalmist goes on to ask the question, Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? The psalmist then lists for us some requirements:
Yikes, those are some important things we need to pay attention to! But what really caught my attending was the statement of not trusting idols. In my Bible, at least the one I am currently using, the footnote states this, ‘does not trust. This expression means to “nurse and appetite for” for something.” 1 Whoa, did you get that? It means to be active in doing things that cause our appetite for idols to grow!
This had me asking myself, are there any areas that I am currently nursing an appetite for and what would that look like?
In my journal I wrote these reflection questions:
Prayer: Lord, I want your goodness and mercy to follow me all the days of my life, please reveal to me any areas in my life that I might be nursing an appetite for anything other than you, especially any idols. I love you Lord and I choose you.
Rev. Carmen Kampman
This is to add to my other board series posts, and it’s an important one. As a board member you have a voice, and it is imperative that you know how to use it wisely and appropriately.
It is always important to remember that no one board member has more power than another; all members have an equal voice. It is true, however, that members may have different role responsibilities. An example of this would be the Chair (AKA Chief Governing Officer) or the Vice-Chair or the Secretary. The Chair has a role description, and because of the importance of this role (I talk about that here), it’s essential for the board to hold able and responsible the Chair. The Chair has, after all, committed themselves to delivering specific outcomes to the board. And effective Chair helps the board thrive, an ineffective Chair actually diminishes the board’s effectiveness – which, if left unchecked can derail a board entirely, sometimes for years.
Some of the ways you can empower yourself as a board member is by reading about the basic rules of governance and motions. Here is a helpful link for that. Many boards operate without using all the motions listed in the article and several often conduct business in a relaxed manner, but it’s still essential that you do your own homework. This enables you to use your voice.
I want to talk specifically about some behaviours that every board member should avoid as it erodes trust on the board and with the stakeholders:
Board members owe it to the stakeholders to do whatever it takes to keep the board healthy! This is why board self-evaluation, evaluation of board members by other members (at the board table), and a checkup with a consultant are valuable processes.
One of the highest qualifications for a board member is that of humility because all board members must submit their preferences to the preferences of the group. 1
But good leadership always begins with leading ourselves well. If we are a board member, we must take that responsibility and journey seriously, ensuring we educate ourselves on what is required of us and how our voice should be used at the board meetings. You have a voice, use it constructively.
Reverend Carmen Kampman
I love this quote:
Be the kind of leader you want to follow.
What kind of leader do you want to be? That’s an important question, don’t you think?
This question, when faced with it this morning, reminded me of the following:
The kind of leader I want to follow is humble, self-reflective, wise, God-honouring, people-honouring, a seeker of the best in people, accountable, transparent, inspires other to become more, brings clarity to the current rally cry, encourages, invites people to lead in their area of strengths, doesn’t abuse positional authority, seeks diversity in team for the betterment of where the team is serving, doesn’t gossip or leak important information, doesn’t use others in a self-serving way, is not afraid to stand for truth and what is right, and is not afraid to stand and lead forward in turbulent times.
What kind of leader do you want to follow?
Reverend Carmen Kampman
It’s been two weeks since my ordination to Christian Ministry in the PAOC; since I went from becoming a licensed minister to a Reverend. It’s still surreal, but I know things have shifted deep in my own soul and for others. For example, just this morning at church a gentleman came up to me and said, “Good morning Reverend, I’m Lawrence.” I replied, “Good morning, I’m Carmen.”
You see, I’ve not forgotten that I’m still Carmen. But the day of my ordination, I took on a new responsibility, that of Reverend. I have thought many times in the last two weeks about that ordination service. For me, it was a day in which I committed my life to the Body of Christ. To its service. And it wasn’t just a private declaration, it was very, very public. Public in my home church. Public with the blessing of the ordained ministers present that day. Public with the laying on of hands and a prayer of blessing and sanctification. I was publically set apart for Christian Ministry. It was a public affirmation of the call on my life. And it felt like coming home. For many, many years I had wondered where I fit. Why the pull in my heart to pursue this path. Now I know. Do I know all that is yet to come? No. But I know this: God called. And I followed.
It was a day surrounded by family and friends. One of those present was my long-time friend, Yvonne. She and I have quite a history. I mean how can you not when you’ve been friends since Grade 8! We’ve journeyed through high school graduations, weddings, child birth, the death of her first husband, Peter, operations, teenagers, her marriage to a fantastic guy named Doug, to name a few. I thank God for the richness of that length of friendship. And I have another friend, Karin. We’ve only been friends for a few years, but it feels like longer. She made the two delicious cakes for the small luncheon after the ordination service. She and I often walk together, laugh at goofy things, and challenge one another in our daily walk with God. Then there was my brother, Vince, and my in laws, John and Teresa, who came from BC, not to mention all of the local friends who came. And there was my tribe, my hubby and kids who came. And my hubby, Albert, he was a rock star that day. He stood on stage (no small things for extreme extroverts!) with me as I answered the questions, publically committing my life to the service of Christ’s Church.
The closest I can come to describing that day is like this: It was the day I covenanted my life in service to God and His Church. As long as I am in my right mind, I will not forget my promise. And if there be a day that my mind no longer works as it should, my soul, because God is its shepherd and guardian, will never forget.
It’s a new day and a new season of ministry and service, Reverend Carmen Kampman has stepped into her calling.
Thank you to everyone that has been a part of my journey. Thank you for the cards and gifts, they were totally unexpected blessings. In future days I will read them again to savor their truths and the words of encouragement contained within. And on the days or months when it’s hard, I will pull them out and allow them to serve as reminders of April, 22, 2018.
It would be my prayer for you that you, too, would hear the call of God and follow.
Reverend Carmen Kampman