What do you believe about yourself and what you want to accomplish? Do you believe you can accomplish your goals? Or do you think maybe you can? Or you just don’t know?
In order to achieve your goals, you are going to need an unwavering belief in your ability to do what you set out to do.
Who are you listening to? Are you listening to your supporters? Or are you listening to the naysayers?
Regardless of what the outside voices are saying, you have a voice deep within that you should listen to for direction and guidance. The voice within will never lead you astray. It is the voice of faith.
Oftentimes, you are too busy to stop and listen. You feel that you have to race through life so no one will catch you. And when trouble comes you quit because you were not totally committed to your goals.
Do you really, truly believe that you can achieve what you set out to do? Then don’t let others stop you.
If you really believe you are called to do something, you will find a way to make it happen. Go under, through, or around the obstacle. But make it happen.
What you believe will determine your level of success. Believe in you!
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Would he recommend Woman In The Pulpit to other pastors? “Absolutely! I have already recommended it to my pastor friends.”
He settled back for the long flight. When the plane was in the air, he opened his iPad to continue reading a novel. Glad the iPad provided cover for his book, he preferred that his reading choice not become known. He was reading the novel, Woman In The Pulpit.
Rev. Theo (who doesn’t want his last name used) is part of a growing movement of male pastors who are reading Woman In The Pulpit. “I think the sympathy lies with Rev. Thomas Haliburton. Although what he did to Grace was wrong, I can certainly understand his actions. We all know people like him who can’t let go,” said Rev. Theo when asked about his attraction to the novel.
In Woman In The Pulpit, Rev. Thomas Haliburton has a hard time adapting to a female pastor of a church. He tries to undermine everything she does. He turns against anyone who is open to a woman pastor. The result is a tragedy that is blamed on the only female pastor in town.
Margaree Mitchell, the author of Woman In The Pulpit, has heard from male pastors. “The first thing they want to know is when the next book in the series will be published. Then they want to know what happens to Rev. Haliburton,” Mitchell said. “I’m glad they care what happens to him. I wanted to make Rev. Haliburton someone who people can identify with.”
Asked why she drew Rev. Haliburton as a complex character, Mitchell said, “At first he was a character with no redeeming value. But I decided to dig deeper and show the events which lead him to the brink.”
Rev. Haliburton’s character initiates soul-searching on the part of men who read the book. “I certainly questioned how I deal with change,” Rev. Theo said. “I found I wasn’t as progressive as I positioned myself to be.”
Would he recommend Woman In The Pulpit to other pastors? “Absolutely! I have already recommended it to my pastor friends,” he said.
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“There is so much to discuss. Our class had lively talks about the role of women in ministry and about how female ministers are perceived by both men and women.”
When Kansas City resident Margaree Mitchell listened to her friends talk about their experiences as ministers she had no idea she would write a book channeling those stories.
After years of hearing story after story of the challenges her minister friends faced, Mitchell’s creative juices started working overtime. She knew she had to tell those stories. So she did.
The result is the novel, Woman In The Pulpit, which has become popular with church groups. Women’s ministry groups, cell groups, and Sunday classes are among the groups reading the book.
“I am delighted that so many women’s ministry groups are reading and discussing Woman In The Pulpit,” says Mitchell. “Women are seeing themselves and their experiences in the story. Whether they are ministers or they work as ministry leaders in their church, readers are identifying with the story.”
Mitchell has heard from ministry groups throughout the United States. Readers from Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Illinois, Utah, Colorado and others are reading Woman In The Pulpit.
“This book is very inspirational and also a page turner,” says Ivory Johnson of Lauderhill, Florida, whose women’s ministry group read the book. “There is so much to discuss. Our class had lively talks about the role of women in ministry and about how female ministers are perceived by both men and women.”
Johnson added, “The book is a must buy. I would definitely recommend it for church classes.”
Mitchell is embracing the possibilities that her book has created. Her speaking opportunities are expanding. She is used to speaking to groups about her children’s books and teen novel, but new doors are opening. “Invitations to speak to women are coming my way,” Mitchell says. “When I wrote Woman In The Pulpit I just wanted to tell a story.”
The story she has told has touched the hearts of readers and provoked heated discussions.
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If you like your novels with a healthy dose of inspiration, you will love Woman In The Pulpit!
Grace Alexander, fresh out of seminary, arrives in Piney Woods, Tennessee bent on changing things in the staid community. But Thomas Haliburton and the male Ministerial Alliance believe that women should not be pastors. They do everything in their power to make sure Grace comes to realize that she is not pastor material.
Grace, who is Boston seminary educated, is anxious to apply the new forms of ministry she learned in school. However, Haliburton is not having it. He has stopped every progressive move in town and he is determined to stop Grace.
Grace challenges the ministers and their positions. She knows she has been called to preach and to pastor. She determines that nothing will keep her from her calling, not even a tragedy that causes the church to schedule a vote to recall her as pastor.
Readers are talking about Woman In The Pulpit and saying:
“This book is great. It is engaging and will engulf you into the story. I found myself feeling for the characters and wanting to know what happened at the end.”
“Faith and hope are fundamental in Grace’s daily walk as a woman of the pulpit. Grace and Walter’s relationship had never known trouble until she arrived in Piney Woods. The author depicts the glory of God and His power to overcome evil with good.”
“Woman In The Pulpit has it all – humor, drama, love, romance, suspense, tragedy, betrayal, redemption, and some incredible spiritual insights.”
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When I arrived in Piney Woods I didn’t know that I was the subject of meetings of the Ministerial Alliance. In fact, I didn’t even know about the Ministerial Alliance. No one invited me to meetings.
A luncheon meeting of the local Ministerial Alliance was in progress. Forty ministers gathered in the private dining room of Gladys’ Country Kitchen for their monthly meeting. Rev. Thomas Haliburton sat at the head table. A tall man in his seventies, with a commanding presence and almond skin, like polished oak furniture. His snow-white hair crowned his head and gave him a distinguished air. He had been pastor of Morning Star Church for fifty years. Joining him at the head table were his two top lieutenants, fifty-year-old Rev. Cecil Jones, a stout man with long bushy sideburns, and thirty-four year old Rev. Clyde Williams, a man of average height and weight. The three of them represented the broad array of ministers serving the area.
“Clearly, we can’t allow this,” Rev. Haliburton said evenly.
Forks stopped clattering against plates. The ministers listened attentively to what Rev. Haliburton was saying. Heads nodded in agreement.
As secretary of the Alliance, Cecil wrote rapidly. It was his job to accurately take notes of each meeting and transcribe them. This usually meant that he did not participate in the discussions unless he was specifically asked a question. But today words tumbled from his mouth.
“It’s too late now,” he said.
“Where is your faith, Cecil?” Rev. Haliburton set his jaw in strong resolve. “The Bible says that women should be silent. They should not teach or have authority over a man.”
A man of strong convictions, Rev. Haliburton looked out over the men gathered in the room. Men who looked to him to lead them in the right way. They were all ages. Some he had known since they were babies. They all viewed him as their spiritual leader. He cleared his throat before continuing.
“Besides, I have a plan.”
“Can you share your plan with us?” asked Cecil. “If ever we needed a miracle, it is now.”
“She won’t be here long, Cecil,” said Rev. Haliburton. “I can guarantee you that.”
Clyde, trying to be the voice of reason, added his opinion. “The church has voted. Her appointment cannot be undone.”
“Watch me,” Rev. Haliburton said.
“What’s the big deal anyway,” asked Clyde.
Rev. Haliburton glared at him.
“You have a lot to learn,” said Cecil, whispering.
Rev. Haliburton resumed eating his meal. So did everyone else.
“She is misguided. That’s what schooling up North will do.” Rev. Haliburton pushed his dessert dish away and opened the meeting.
“Isn’t she from here?” asked Clyde.
“Her father was pastor of Greenwood before you. He was well-respected in these parts. He would roll over in his grave if he knew his little girl was up to this.”
“Sarah Alexander’s daughter?”
“Exactly. She should have stayed up North,” said Cecil. “Whoever heard of a woman pastor?”
His words reverberated throughout the room. No one replied. There was no need. All agreed with him.
Finally, Rev. Haliburton spoke. “It is ungodly. And it simply will not stand in Piney Woods!”
“But it’s a done deal,” said Cecil.
“Like I said, I have a plan. I left word over at Hopewell for her to come see me the minute she gets to town. Her father and I were friends. She will listen to me.”
“And turn back around and leave town?” asked Clyde. “That seems too easy.”
“I’ll take her under my wing and gently guide her to see that being pastor of Hopewell is not for her.
“She believes in the Bible,” Rev. Haliburton continued. “We will have weekly discussions where I will point out the Biblical way and what the Bible says about women being over men. There’s no telling what she learned in that seminary. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t even study the Bible.
“But I need your support in this, gentlemen. Cecil, take a vote.”
Cecil flipped the pages to the roll in his notebook. “Rev. Ambrose?”
In deep thought, he does not answer.
“Calling Rev. Anderson.”
“What about the ministries on television where a lot of the pastors have wives who are also preachers?” Rev. Victor Anderson asked. “The wives act as co-pastors.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” asked Rev. Haliburton.
“Doesn’t that show that churches are accepting women preachers?”
“So what? It is your responsibility to teach your people that the Bible says that it’s wrong! You can’t go around doing what everybody else does. That don’t make it right.”
“We can vote and agree that a woman shouldn’t be pastor of a church,” Victor said, “But we all know that we are going to lose some members to Hopewell. People like to flock to the new thing in town. When Clyde came to town we all lost members.”
“If we do a good job of teaching our members what the Bible says about women in the pulpit that won’t happen,” said Rev. Haliburton. “Besides, this is different. Clyde is a man. I don’t see any defections from our churches in this case. If anything, people from Hopewell will be coming to us.”
Cecil cleared his throat. “I repeat, Rev. Anderson?”
Reluctantly, Victor said, “Aye.”
“But this is not progressive thinking,” Rev. Don Baskins said.
“Progressive thinking? We are going by Bible doctrine,” said Rev. Haliburton.
“All I’m saying is we need to think about this situation. Grace might be the first but she is certainly not going to be the last woman in Piney Woods that is going to call herself a preacher.”
“What’s the matter, Don?” asked Rev. Haliburton. “Don’t you know your Bible?”
Don was aware that all eyes were on him waiting for his response. This was not an issue he was willing to fight about. Grace was not coming to his church.
In the silence, Cecil spoke, “Rev. Baskins?”
Cecil continued down the list calling names. Receiving no other objections he placed a check besides each name. He reached the end of the list. “Rev. Williams?”
Rev. Haliburton, expecting no less, was pleased with the vote.
“Gentlemen, we are all in agreement.”
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