Parakaleo

Does God Really Use Our Brokenness?

“Everything is broken. That’s how the light gets in.”  Leonard Cohen

John and I are often surprised that God delights in working through us. Yet like most humans, we are still bent towards the belief that God only uses our gifts and abilities.  So last night’s dinner conversation was especially encouraging.

New York City is full of beautiful old church buildings that serve a handful of congregants at best and that’s only if the church is still used [...]

By |November 22nd, 2017|Shari Thomas|1 Comment|

Who Is The Woman Married To Your Pastor?

The Top Ten Things the Woman Married to Your Pastor Wants You to Know:

10. She’s her own person. She is not  an appendage of the pastor. She might even have differing political, social and biblical views than her spouse. She is in a position where sharing those views could negatively effect her husband’s job. You might be surprised and delighted to discover how different she may be from what you previously thought.

9. She has a [...]

The End of the Rope

I picked up my Bible and hurled it out the tiny window of our basement apartment. The thin pages wrinkled. The leather cover folded.  But there it hung, caught between the iron bars of our city window. “I can’t succeed at anything, I thought, not even throwing my Bible away.”

I was at the end of my rope. Finished. Disillusioned. We were church planters in a foreign country, in a global city, in a language [...]

By |September 28th, 2017|Shari Thomas|21 Comments|

Living With Stress?

 

At one of Parakaleo’s early training events, we came up with a mnemonic device to help us remember some components of healthy living for a profession that can suck us dry. Obviously, we could add more, but when living with stress we need simple. So here you have it. Our Five S’s that can be listed on one hand.

Sun

While you might enjoy a good tan, we’re referring to the effects of light. Are you [...]

Our Top Training Tips

My dad, Allen Thompson, a gifted trainer by nature, taught me to sail as a young teen. On a 12ft somewhat battered catamaran, he showed me the basics in Key Biscayne Bay before handing me the tiller. I don’t recall if it was that first day or our second time out when he asked about my greatest fear on the water. At that time it was capsizing. You can guess the next lesson.  Once [...]

Too Much….

This summer I began writing on a life-long interest, survival and resiliency, only to discover that my friend Penny Freeman was doing the same. Here are her thoughts:

I am learning about resiliency for my new life stage (sixth decade of life, fourth decade of marriage, having less energy, a weaker body, and grandchildren who expand my heart and my desire to run until I am dead).  Resiliency fascinates me because I am staring down [...]

Longing for the Perfect World

September 2001 was the beginning of another church calendar year, school year, car pool schedule, fall sports, children’s church, new member lunches and the revolving door of people who came through our home. We were heading into the fourth year of our church plant drawing a unique group of skeptics, de-churched and addicts. Visiting families didn’t usually come back. Our struggling children’s ministry experienced more kids leaving then joining.

And I? I was the frantic [...]

By |September 12th, 2016|Shari Thomas|1 Comment|

Where Is the Manual for Pastors’ Wives?

“Where is the manual for pastors’ wives?” a young woman asked our Parakaleo group last week.

Just hearing the question, I knew a hard story would follow. It did, and confirmed my sense that her question couldn’t be answered in a how-to book.

I recognized the desire behind her question. It’s my desire and I imagine it’s yours, too. We want an instruction guide we can follow, something we can do that ensures a pain-free life. [...]