Archive for the Category ◊ ministry ◊

24 Jul 2011
 |  Category: family, ministry  | 2 Comments

Tim has been working on a new blog for a few weeks now, and I get to be a co-author! I’m not sure when Tim is officially launching it, but a few people have found it already and started leaving comments and interacting. It’s focus is for people who serve in ministry. There are so many blogs we can go to get advice about how to do ministry, but we wanted to make a place that will serve people who serve.

I’m really excited about the blog for a couple reasons.

1. I haven’t been very good at keeping up with this blog with taking care of 2 babies now. When I just logged in to type this up I noticed a blog post I wrote a while ago and just saved to publish, and didn’t even get around to doing that. Now I can write posts and Tim will get them published. Maybe sometime when the kids are a little older I will “re-launch” a personal blog to keep family and friends informed.

2. I have always dreamed about writing a book about life experiences of what I have learned going up as a PK and then becoming a Pastor’s wife. The blog isn’t a book, but it’s a start for me to share my experiences and hopefully help others.

If you want to keep up with our family personally, there is a variety of places to do that… – I’ve mainly been doing my weight loss updates. I’ve been trying to get them up every Monday, so tune in soon for the newest update! I’ve lost almost 30lbs in the last 3 months! I want to start doing a second update each week about what God is doing in my life, which has been a LOT lately, and it’s been great! I have really enjoyed making the youtube videos because it’s about as lazy and quick as it can get when I just use the camera on my computer and record right into youtube. – Almost daily vlogs of our family. Just a sneak peak into what we do each day.  – And of course, our newest blog. I am really excited to see how God uses it!

Go check out and please pass it on to those you think it could bless.







06 Apr 2011 Keep on Voting!
 |  Category: family, ministry, youth  | 2 Comments

Don’t forget to vote each day through Friday for Tim in the YouTube Next Up contest.

Go here to vote.

If you see this Wednesday night make sure to put a vote in for Wednesday. And then you have 2 more days to vote. Tim needs all the votes he can get in order to make it to the next round, and then it’s out of our hands. And after Friday we’ll stop bugging everyone several times a day, and go back to our normal lives.

25 Mar 2011 God called Ezekiel
 |  Category: family, marriage, ministry, missions, Zeke  | One Comment

I have no doubt that God is going to do amazing things through Ezekiel. Right now he just has to survive the parenting that Tim and I put him through. We pray every day for wisdom in raising Hannah and Zeke to grow up as believers in Jesus Christ, living out a personal faith.

When we were pregnant with Hannah we had Ezekiel picked out for a boy name, and when we got pregnant with Zeke and found out he was a boy, there was no doubt what his name would be. We knew that picking a name as strong as Ezekiel was bold in our expectations for our son and how God will use him. If you haven’t read the book of Ezekiel, I highly recommend it. It was the middle name that took us until the lady who needed his name for the birth certificate came in asking. And luckily he got a good one .

I can look back through my life and see God working in special ways to touch my heart. My first memory of this was when I was five. And God continues to do little things to keep me in awe of his wonder and love. So how do I know he is going to use Ezekiel? …

Before we got pregnant with Zeke I was struggling with God, wanting to control how many kids we will have an when. As if I knew the best timing, more so than God. So I had to give that control issue over to God. And what do you know, it didn’t take any time at all to be carrying my second child.

While in my first trimester Tim went to Haiti and came back knowing that he needed to return. I saw an incredible change in Tim from his time in Haiti. God really worked in him. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but now I know that Tim grew in his understanding of God, being able to discern God’s voice and listen and be obedient. I have loved watching Tim grow over the last year, and leading others to do the same.

So Tim decided to go back to Haiti, and take whoever wanted to go along. I joined a team of adults and youth, some from our church, and some friends and family of ours from out of town. I was just in my second trimester while in Haiti and had no problems at all.

Later that summer, we went to Mexico with another team of adults and youth from our church for a missions trip. I was 30 weeks along in my pregnancy then, but again did well throughout our trip.

Soon after we got back from Mexico things started changing at our church and it soon became clear that our time there was coming to an end. I had my most difficult week of my pregnancy with how stressful things got. Luckily my doctor assured me that my level of stress wouldn’t effect Zeke, it just made me incredibly uncomfortable being pregnant. Then after Zeke was born I was blessed to have my mom around since Tim didn’t have time off.

In the midst of everything I thought that my pregnancy with Zeke was the worst timing ever. At one point close to delivery not only were we dealing with things at church, but also the question of Tim’s grandfather surviving some difficult health issues. (He’s still around and doing great!) I was so stressed, but gave it all over to God, because there was nothing I could do but trust.

I have come to find that Zeke and Hannah both have been a source of great joy during this season of life. We have been so blessed by our two adorable children, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Zeke has a special place in my heart with everything he has gone through with me before he was even born. And now we look forward to what God is going to do with what he is teaching us and taking us through. I’m not surprised to see this time of trial after how much Tim’s faith has grown last year, and us together as a married couple by sharing in the amazing experiences that drew us closer to God at the same time. I’m not exactly thrilled to be going through this time, but I do look forward to the fruit that will come from it.

14 Mar 2011 God doesn’t give up
 |  Category: ministry  | 2 Comments

I am so glad that I have a God that doesn’t give up on me. He loves me. He wants a personal relationship with me. And he hasn’t stopped showing me how much he loves and cares about me. There have been little things all through my life that show glimpses of God blessing me and giving me little “love notes” to show me how much he cares.

Throughout the time of Tim being unemployed God has really stepped it up. God has been providing for us financially in some unexpected ways. Some anonymous, some not. All of which have come as an unexpected surprise, and I cry every time in awe of how much God is taking care of our family. You’d think I wouldn’t be surprised that God is taking care of us. Matthew 6:26 says, Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” But yet, in my little faith, I am still delightfully surprised when God proves his scripture is true.

We have also been bathed in prayer, and I am so thankful for family and friends who are covering us in prayer. And even people who we haven’t even met, or just met recently have been praying.

I have to admit that I have really been struggling and almost fighting with God to allow what happened in our last church to happen. The last two weekends while in Chicago for the Simply Youth Ministry conference and in Minneapolis for the Dare2Share youth conference God has sent people into my life to speak. I have been so self focused and pouting that I haven’t been allowing God to teach me through this valley.

This world wasn’t made to please Dana. The world doesn’t revolve around me. Christ didn’t call us to live a safe and easy going life. When we answer a call to ministry it’s going to be dirty. Ministry is rocky. Ministry is not about myself.

I have a long ways to go with learning what God is doing in myself and my family. I’m glad Christ has come before us as an example. I’ve just recently opened myself up to embrace what God is doing and be willing to learn.

09 Mar 2011 Sewing my Heart back Together
 |  Category: health, marriage, ministry, youth  | One Comment


Lately I have come to realize how important it is for me to do something I enjoy. Since Tim and I set up our weekly family schedule I have felt a lot healthier mentally with getting a break to enjoy something just for myself. Granted what I am sewing right now is Easter baskets for the kids, I enjoy my little project.

This past weekend we were in Chicago for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference and I brought my baskets to the seminars to give me something to fidgit with so I could better listen to the speakers. We had a wonderful time learning and connecting. Tim and I don’t spend a lot of time together througout the weekend with our individual busy schedules, which is okay, I do really look forward to our time afterwards. This year both kids came as well as Tim’s sister Grace to babysit for us. That worked out much better than last year, but I am still looking forward to the time we go alone, leaving the kids with someone at home.

My absolute favorite part of the conference was going to the “Married to Youth Pastor” connect group. I have been longing for some girl time and for some reason I have found that youth worker conferences are the only place other than in my house with my little family that I can totally be myself. I don’t worry about what others think of me because we all have a similar passion and can relate to one another.

Over the last 7 months since things started changing at our last church and 3 months of being out of that church I have been learning a lot about myself and ministry. I think we’re getting closer to me being able to share my struggles and joys that we have had through this process that isn’t over yet.

God showed me his love so much this last weekend with prayers and support coming from places I wouldn’t have expected.

25 Jan 2011 Life in Student Ministry
 |  Category: ministry  | Comments off

Since I vlogged about some books I’m excited to be reading, I figured now would be appropriate to talk about another book I’m looking forward to reading when it comes out…

On Tuesday Zondervan mailed Tim some covers of his first book being published. It really never sunk in to me that Tim is going to be a published author until I was holding one of the covers in my hands. Now I am very excited for him and can’t wait to have my very own copy of Life in Student Ministry! You can already pre-order one of his books on Amazon too. It was fun to hear one of our students who graduated last year and is going to school for youth ministry now; tell us that she is very excited that she already pre-ordered Tim’s book.

I added a widget on the side bar of my blog for you to easily order “Life in Student Ministry” also. Or you can just click here to order one.

17 Jan 2011 For Richer or Poorer, For Better or Worst
 |  Category: marriage, ministry  | 3 Comments

Growing up I was impressed with how great of a pastor’s wife my mom is. With the example my mom set I felt like I too could be a good pastor’s wife. But I didn’t want to be a senior pastor’s wife, I’d rather be a youth pastor’s wife, because that would be easier. Ha! Recently I have learned that being a youth pastor’s wife does not make the fact of being a pastor’s wife any easier. And I have laughed at my previous thought many times!

Over the last couple years I have met some wonderful youth pastor’s wives and have had the blessing to keep in touch with them. And I have also received some emails from some special ladies who have found my blog through their husbands following Tim’s blog. Lately I have been praying about what I should do with this. How can God use me to benefit others who have married a man totally devoted to Christ and following a call to minister vocationally? I’m not promising regular blogs about being a youth pastor’s wife. There are some moments when times get tough and personal, like lately. And I know that in the moment it is better for me to hold my tongue, and wait until I can see more of what God is doing in my life through my current situation.

For those of you who may be coming to see how I am doing through Tim’s termination because you are going through the same thing and need some encouragement, this is for you… You will make it through this. It’s okay to cry and let your emotions out. Continue to read Scripture, or get your Bible back in your hands. Let your husband know how you are doing. God loves you and is in control. God has great plans for you, which includes taking you through a time of trial to make you an even stronger woman so that you can serve Him even more.

I feel like I’m giving myself a pep talk, because I have fought and fought to stifle my emotions and not deal with what is going on. Almost 2 months later I still have moments where I break down, because I have slowly let myself work through our situation. It wasn’t until last Sunday that I finally grabbed my Bible in over a month and started studying Scripture again. I have been battling my mind over and over, especially since I started reading Scripture again and am trying to put total trust in God with our situation. I know in my head that God is in control, but my actions and thoughts have not been proving my faith. I haven’t once gotten mad at God for Tim’s termination. I have over and over tried to figure out what God is going to do next with and through our family. I don’t have any answers, and that’s okay.

I’m hoping that through this process I can be an encouragement to other pastor’s wives. That God will use this time of trial to reach others. And hopefully piece by piece I can share our story of how amazing God was to Tim and I during 2010. We had very high highs, and very low lows.

01 Jan 2011 New Years Retreat
 |  Category: family, ministry  | One Comment


This weekend we are at a camp where Tim is speaking to young adults. I brought all our winter gear and borrowed a sled from a friend so we could have fun playing in the snow.
Well, I checked the weather for today and it looks like all our snow gear will be used as survival to get from the dining hall and back throughout the weekend. The high today is 11, and the ground is covered in snow so our stroller is useless outside. Glad I have a sling to carry Zeke and the sled to pull Hannah! I did figure out the stroller will be good for laying Zeke while in the dining hall. Just have to figure out how Tim and I will haul what we need for the morning, the kids, and the stroller over there.
Pray for our health while out here. We are all already congested, but luckily Zeke doesn’t have a fever anymore. Poor kids, what were we thinking?

23 Nov 2010 What is consuming your time … and life?
 |  Category: ministry, youth  | One Comment

“Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.” — Acts 14:19-20

Last week at our Monday night Sr. High small group the girls challenged each other to read our Bibles as much as we do whatever takes up our most time in our days. For all but one of us it was Facebook. When we got back from Haiti I started studying scripture in depth, but since Zeke has been born and it’s hard for me to spend some quality time with my study Bible I have neglected to read scripture as much as I would like. I confessed to the girls that I had been spending more time of Facebook than anything else. With having the Facebook app on my iPod touch it is really easy to spend hours a day on it because for hours a day I am sitting and feeding Zeke, and Facebook is right there in my hand.

Then one girl asked, “Don’t you have a Bible app on your iPod?” Ouch! Yes, I do.

So for the last week I have been reading through the book of Acts. And verses 19 and 20 in chapter 14 really stood out to me. I had been reading about all the persecution the disciples were going through for standing up for Christ and not letting anyone hold them back from preaching the Good News. And then these two verses struck me. Paul was stoned to the point of the people thinking that he was dead. I can’t imagine the pain he went through and how much pain he was in after they stopped. How bad did he look for them to quit stoning him and drag him out of town still thinking he was dead. How exhausted did he feel? And I wouldn’t be surprised if the thought of giving up and giving in came across his mind for even a split second. And that didn’t stop him!

“…he got up and went back into the town.” First of all, he got up. Being left so beat up, he got up! He mustered the strength and didn’t give himself a pity party, he got up. And second, he went back into the town! Seriously? These people just stoned you and dragged you out thinking you were dead, and you go back? Who does that? The person who does that is sold out for Christ and follows the Spirit and does not let anything stand in their way of doing God’s will. Not to say we are all to go back into a bad situation, but we go where God is leading us, no matter what.

Paul didn’t do this in his own strength. He had God and other believers to lean on. “But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town.” “But as the believers gathered around him…” It is so important to surround yourself with other believers. People who are sold out for Christ and support you in living a life that does not waiver because of what others say or do.

I made a mistake of this in college, cutting off my ties to my strong Christian friends who were trying to look after me, but I selfishly and ignorantly thought I was strong enough to stand on my own. I have learned from this mistake and know how important it is to keep a crowd of believers around me. Not only for support, but for accountability. It is so easy to let things of this world come in the way of our faith…even small things like Facebook that don’t seem evil, but can be if that is what we are giving all of our time to.

*The picture used today is of the ground in the compound where we stayed in Haiti. While praying in Haiti I kept my eyes open, wanting to take in as much as I could while God was moving in incredible ways. I spent a lot of time looking at these rocks, never wanting to forget.

12 Oct 2010 The Damage of Gossip
 |  Category: ministry  | Comments off

I signed up for Home Word’s daily devos while pregnant with Hannah, and read them all the time while adjusting to life as a mom. I’ve started reading them more often again since Zeke was born. This one stood out to me enough, I figured I’d share it.


By Jim Liebelt

A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

Proverbs 16:28


Once upon a time, there was a person who repeated gossip – some rumor about a neighbor. Soon, the whole community had heard the rumor. Later, the person who spread the gossip learned that the rumor was untrue. The person was very sorry and went to an elder in the community who had a reputation for great wisdom to seek advice. The elder told the person, “Go to your home and take a feather pillow outside. Rip it open and scatter the feathers, then return to me tomorrow.” The person did as the elder had instructed.

The next day, the person visited the elder. The elder said, “Go and collect the feathers you scattered yesterday and bring them back to me.” The person went home and searched for the feathers, but the wind had carried them all away. The person returned to the elder and said, “I could find none of the feathers I scattered yesterday.” “You see,” said the elder, “it’s easy to scatter the feathers but impossible to get them back.” So it is with gossip; it doesn’t take much to spread hurtful words, but once you do, you can never completely undo the damage.

Gossip is one of those areas of the Christian life that is so important for us to work to restrain—because of the potential damage it causes—but so difficult for so many of us to get under control. It is so easy for us within the Christian community to gossip about others, often within our own community of faith, because we do so under the guise of “sharing.” We “share” with others about a friend’s “problem” because we want others to pray for them. (Wink. Wink.) The reality is, however, that it’s just plain gossip. Gossip feels good. It feels good to know something about someone else and to share that something with another. Yet, even under the best of motives, “sharing” easily turns into “gossip” and we do damage that like the proverb points out—we can’t completely undo.

Nothing is more deadly to relationships than spreading false rumors and gossip. The wise person keeps their tongue in check. The next time you are tempted to gossip remember the proverb of the feathers—and how your words, once they do damage, may never be completely undone. Ask God to give you the wisdom and strength you need to resist the urge to gossip.


1. Have you hurt someone recently by gossiping about them (even under the context of “sharing”)? If so, are you willing to ask for their forgiveness?

2. What can you do to help keep yourself from gossiping about others today?


Leviticus 19:16, Psalm 15:2-4, Proverbs 10:19, James 3:1-12


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