Ron Edmondson


Ron Edmondson

Ron Edmondson serves as the senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and has an impressive history of church planting and church growth. A nationally known Christian leader, he was raised in a Christian home and active in his home church, First Baptist Church of Clarksville, Tennessee, serving as a lay leader, deacon, Sunday School director, and teacher. After twenty years in business, including time owning an insurance agency and a small manufacturing company, Ron heard God’s call to ministry.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Ron’s strong theological background guides him to teach faithfully from Scripture. Ron identifies himself as a wisdom seeker and a teacher.

Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about

We Need a Labor Day -- Frequently

The title of the day has always confused me. It’s called Labor Day and yet it’s supposed to be a break from our labor.

And, of course, some will work today. When I was in retail this was a busy day. Thank you to our emergency personnel and hospital workers and those that keep our commerce and lifestyles going today.

But, something tells me you need the day off — or a day off — as much as I do. If there is anything Americans are not good at its rest. It might be the one command of the 10 commandments we dishonor the most.

I wonder if that’s one reason we are so tense with each other all the time — but, I’ll save that thought for another post.

I read the following in this mornings Denison report:

Americans work too much. In the U.S., 85.8 percent of men and 66.5 percent of women work more than 40 hours per week. We work 100 more hours per year than the Japanese, and 250 more hours per year than the British. What about the work-obsessed Germans? We work 500 more hours per year than they do. We take less vacation time than other nations, work longer days, and retire later. If anyone needs a Labor Day to cease from labor, it’s us.

(I highly recommend the Denison Report as a resource for pastors.)

Saddest of all — we often celebrate it as “the American Way”. We call it progress. Efficiency.

But, it may be causing more harm than good. Personally and collectively.

If I’m going to write a post like this I have to point four fingers back any direction I point one finger to others. I could easily be accused of being a workaholic.

Years ago, however, I learned a secret. It’s a secret about myself I believe is probably a secret about you. If I will shut down one day – and periodically shut down for several days – I am far more effective when I am working. It’s a key to long-term success.

When I go to long periods without resting I am more tempted towards burnout, anxiety, and even depression. I’m not as much fun to be around and I worry more than I pray. (Again, could this be a reason we are so tense with each other at times? — again, another post.)

It’s like God knew what He was doing when He issued the command.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m still very much American when it comes to my work ethic. I work far more than 40 hours a week. But, when I shut down – – I try to shut down. I’m not perfect at it (and I have to write this in case my wife still reads this blog), but I’m getting better with age.

Do you need a break? Do you need to invest in yourself?

I highly recommend the practice. Even if you have to work today – schedule your own “Labor Day” soon – and often.

And, I can’t even take credit for the idea.


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


12 Ways Christians Can be Less Mean

I wrote a post recently encouraging Christians to be less mean—especially online. It was called “When Did Christians Become So Mean?

It seems to me, we’ve lost some of our civility when it comes to what we post on social media. We are quick to blast a company that we feel has wronged us. We criticize people — right on their Facebook page. We load the comments of a blog post with crushing blows.

Surely you’ve seen it. The web has made it much easier to be a critic.

But, it’s also in public. I’ve seen Christians I know act like jerks in a restaurant or grocery store. I consistently hear of bosses who serve smiling on Sunday but are mean to employees during the week.

It all has to hurt our witness as Christians.

The post got a little attention.

Actually, some people, proved the need for the post by the way they responded. :)

Still others asked for some suggestions of how we could improve—some even wanted examples.

I decided not to share specific examples. In my opinion, that would be mean. So, you’re meanness will remain anonymous in this post. If you are mean, most likely others already know your name.

I did decide to share some ways we can be “less mean” online.

Here are a dozen suggestions:

Consider others better than yourself. (Philippians 2:3)

Forgive one another. (Ephesians 4:32)

Love one another. (John 13:34)

Be kind and compassionate to one another. (Ephesians 4:32)

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)

Treat others as you would want to be treated. (Luke 6:31)

Have the mind of Christ. (Philippians 2:5)

Remember kindness leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. (Psalm 34:13)

Honor everyone. (1 Peter 2:17)

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29)

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)

Just a few of those should improve the quality of our online involvement.

And, finally, a bonus one:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12–14)

Those are some of my suggestions.

Got any others?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 Things You Need to Know about Your Husband

I recently wrote a post about 7 things you may not know about your wife. It was a popular post and I committed to write a companion post for the wives.

Here are 7 things wives need to know — but may not know — about your husband:

His ego is more fragile than you imagined. I know, you’re probably tired of hearing about the male ego. I get it. But it hasn’t gone away, and, frankly, the world isn’t too kind on our ego. We see the jokes on every sitcom and commercial about how inadequate we are at times. But there’s not a man with a soul that’s alive that doesn’t want to be admired by the woman in his life. Not one.

He is very visual. Very. More than you are probably thinking. You see his eyes roam. That’s a natural reaction for him. Now, he has responsibility over his eyes—not the girl who attracted them—but if there’s a pretty girl around, he probably saw her long before you did. And he likely battles staring more than you will ever understand.

He doesn’t want you to be his mother. You can say “ouch!” if you need to, but men want a wife, not a mom. I hear this from men frequently—especially young men. If you’re a mom they want you to be a great mom—just not theirs. I know we need mothering sometimes. All of us do. We may even act like big babies at times. But mothering a husband never works. Ever. Be our partner. Our best friend. Not our mother.

When you correct him you hurt him. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t need correcting. He might. But the way you do this is huge. Your respect for him is huge for him. His greatest emotional need. That could be in how he fixes the bed—or the fact that he doesn’t—or for things far worse. If he senses you are talking down to him—not respecting him—he may comply with your wishes in actions (or not), but inside his heart will be growing colder towards you.

He loves you uniquely. He probably won’t love you all the ways you expect him to love. And, frankly, he won’t be all the love you need him to be. He may not always feel love as an emotion as strongly as you do. Your heart is capable of much more than he can fill completely. There will be times—hopefully even seasons when he does—but no man will meet every need of your heart. (Other than the man Jesus.)

What he does really is who he is many times. It’s his identity. If it’s golf, his career, fishing, antique cars or his extensive comic book collection—that’s a part of him. When you miss that or don’t value it, he may feel like less of a man.

He probably thinks you’re more wonderful than you think he does. And he has a strong desire to protect you because of it. He sees all you are capable of doing. He wonders how you keep up with everyone and everything as you do. He may even envy that about you. He respects you—probably more than he knows how to communicate to you.

Guys, anything you would add?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


7 Things You Need to Know about Your Wife

Guys, can I be honest with you? Marriage can be hard.

Did you know that already?

Sometimes you do the wrong thing before you even knew you did the wrong thing. You try to figure out the one you love the most, but the more you try the more confused you get. I get it. I understand.

Men and women are different. (You can tweet that.)

We don’t always think and respond to life the same way.

And likely there are some things about your wife you just didn’t know.

Over the years, through counseling training and actual counseling—and learning from my wife—I’ve observed some things. And I’ve realized some men simply don’t know them—or don’t realize how important they are to their wife.

Here are 7 things you may not know but you need to know about your wife:

You step on her feelings more than you know.

You just do. And you don’t even mean to—or know that you are most of the time. She may think you do, but you don’t. You’re just not as aware of how she’s wired emotionally. And most of the time she overlooks it. She knows it wasn’t intentional. But it hurts. And the more you do it the more it hurts. So, be careful with your words.

And that leads to the next one.

Your words are heavier than you think they are.

You need to know that. When she asks you how she looks, for example—yes, it is a quandary on how to respond, and there are plenty of jokes around about that dilemma—but your response matters. Probably more than any other response of her day. It’s a small question to you but big question for her. And you communicate things to her continually through how you say what you say and the body language you combine with your words. And they weigh a ton to her. A ton.

She wants you to take the lead.

At least occasionally. I know all the women’s rights issues cloud this for you. It can be confusing, but there’s likely something in your wife just waiting for you to make a decision. She values your input, and she wants you to lead in the home as well as she sees that you can lead elsewhere. And speaking on behalf of men, I know you don’t always want to be the leader. She’s better at making many of the decisions than you are. Still, she’s waiting—hoping, that you’ll step up where you need to lead.

She doesn’t want to be like her mother.

Or to be compared to her mother. And these type jokes aren’t funny. Ever. Trust me. In fact, she doesn’t want to be like any other woman either. She wants to be seen for the unique wonder she is—which, by the way, was God-designed.

She is likely with you even when she’s not.

At least in her mind. Our wives are very relational. So, if she asks about your calendar, now you know. She’s not trying to be difficult or suspicious. She’s trying to be with the one she loves.

It’s okay just to hold her hand.

And, also, to occasionally be romantic. You may have established a long time ago that you’re not the romantic type. She may realize she married funny—or serious—or dedicated—more than romantic. But every woman needs a little romance occasionally. It makes her feel special—especially when it comes from you.

The way her world looks is often how her heart feels.

All her world. The house, for example, you think it doesn’t matter, but to her it reflects her—not you. She’s also conscious of what others think of her appearance. She carries this burden heavier than she wants to sometimes. Don’t diminish this to her. Understand it.

In a future post, I’ll share the companion post for wives to understand.


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


10 Ideas for Raising Children to Become Generous Adults

I have had conflict most of my life between what I think I want and what I really need.

Most people share this conflict with me.

That conflict also appears in our children as well.

We don’t have to teach children to struggle with determining between wants and needs. It’s a natural response to life. And, if they need any help doing so—they can easily learn the struggle from us.

As parents we are the primary shapers of our children’s attitudes towards money, things, and desires. Our children will either be “givers” or “takers” in society, and that will be greatly influenced by the life they live in our home.

How do we raise generous children?

How do we help our children (and ultimately ourselves) be people who genuinely enjoy living sacrificial lives—considering the interest of others—being givers rather than takers as the Bible commands us to do?

Here are 10 tips which we tried to practice in our own home. It has been amazing to watch our boys, now young adults on their own, having developed generous hearts towards others. They are far more generous than I was at their age.

And let me be clear. The fact that they turned out that way is all grace. God has blessed us greatly. But we have been intentional to live out Biblical principles—and we have learned that they work when applied “generously”.

Here are 10 ideas for raising children to be generous adults:

Have fun and be generous parents.

The story is told of Jesus and the disciples attending a wedding. The party had been going for a while when something tragic happened. They ran out of wine. That was a serious problem to the host of the party. It was a huge cultural embarrassment to run out of food or wine. Jesus took some big barrels of water and turned them into the best wine the people had that night. The people were overwhelmed.

The Bible says that was the very first miracle Jesus ever did. As culturally important as weddings were in those days, it still sounds like God met a want, rather than a need.

It is very clear that God is not trying to keep us from having what we want or from having fun in life. God is not opposed to blessing us with things we want, but may not even need. We should not be afraid to do the same with our children. If we can afford to, and if our children are living within the boundaries set for our home, we should not be afraid to give them gifts they simply want, but may not even need. (I thought I would start with an easy one first.)

Help children understand the difference between a need and a want.

It is understandable why it is difficult to raise children who understand the difference between a need and a want when we as parents struggle with the same issues. This will take a lifetime of teaching.

As much as God wants to bless us with wants, if we study the Bible, God seems far more interested in helping fulfill our needs than He does in giving us everything we want. In fact, God never promises to provide our want list, yet He does promise to meet all our needs (Philippians 4:19). Granted there are some that take verses like this out of context and teach that God gives us everything we ask for, but that doesn’t line up with the rest of Scripture.

The problem from a Biblical perspective is that we have a messed up system of determining need versus want. That thing inside us that chooses good over evil, better or best, need versus wants, is broken.

When we apply Biblical understanding, most actual needs go beyond just enjoyment for today or even just for me. For something to fall into the category of need, it should provide some lasting value to society or at least to my own character. Needs, beyond basics such as food and water, become things like righteousness—and love, and joy, and peace, and contentment.

We can even ask ourselves, does this “thing” benefit someone more than just me? Does it add value to someone’s life or to my own character? A true need, in this context, almost becomes something that money cannot buy.

We should consistently invest Biblical principles into our children—helping them understand the things that matter to God. Helping children develop a hunger for things they need—as much as, or even more—than things they want.

Provide needs. Bless with wants.

It is important that parents consider their system of meeting needs versus wants. Of course, that begins with a proper understanding ourselves of needs versus wants.

Consider this question: Which gets more attention in your home?

Does having the latest technology take a bigger role than teaching children to be good citizens and to generously love others?

Does being the best on the traveling soccer or dance team have a higher priority than finding ways to serve others?

Either answer is your choice—you’re the parent, but if a goal is raising future generous adults—you may have to consider some of the places you spend your energies and resources. When it comes to encouraging generosity, consideration should be given to use of time and money.

Our boys never did without basics needs. And by needs here I’m even referring to housing, clothing, food, etc. They had plenty. But there were probably things they wanted that they didn’t have. In how they spent their time, we let them choose what they enjoyed doing, but we also limited the number of outside activities our boys could participate in at one time.

And we looked for opportunities where we could give back to others. We prioritized our time. And we prioritized our “stuff.” We didn’t try to keep up with everyone else in terms of the “toys” they had. Having to wait until a birthday or Christmas for something they really wanted wasn’t unusual to them.

Help children make wise choices with their own money.

One of the primary reasons children should have access to their own money is so they can learn the value of it. Our children were always more careful spending “their” money than they are spending ours.

Talk with them about how they should spend their allowance, birthday, or even money they have earned on their own. Help them learn what the terms budget—and savings—and investment. And tithe is still not a bad word either. Ultimately, they should give some to God, save some, and spend some for things they need or want (based on the system you have for meeting these in your home).

We also freely discussed our own finances in front of our boys. We allowed them to know things like when things were tight financially and when we were giving to others.

Consider the “big picture” of your child’s life.

As a parent, we are a primary molder of our children. The choices they make in life—what they desire most—will largely be impacted by us early in their life. Their desires in life will be greatly shaped by the life they live in our home. (That’s a scary thought—isn’t it?)

I heard a statistic once that children these days get 90% of everything they want in life. That doesn’t seem like the statistic for most of our adult want lists, does it? I can’t verify the statistic, but it sounds about right for most children I know—probably even for our own. The problem this creates is that somewhere children are going to face a stark reality in adulthood—when we seldom have all that we “want.”

We have all heard stories of children of privilege who got everything they wanted in life, but who cannot seem to stay out of trouble as adults. They have no real sense of direction—no set of values to guide them—because they got everything they wanted in life, but nothing that they really needed!

We kept these principles in mind as we parented. We were raising them to be adults. That one thought changed our paradigm many times.

Spend more time, energy, and attention meeting needs than wants.

At Christmas time, birthdays, and other special occasions we ask children what they “want.” There is nothing wrong with that.

Most of the time we already know what they need. We don’t have to ask them if they need to be honest people. We don’t have to ask them if they need to have character, love others, or be generous. We do not need to ask them if they need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We know they need those things.

We need to ask ourselves if we are spending as much time and energy helping them get what they need as we are trying to buy them what they want. Let’s be honest, providing for a want is more fun sometimes. But we must be willing to sacrifice even what makes us feel good as parents in order to do what is best for our children long-term. We need to give them what they need.

It’s much more fun to give them wants, but it is far more valuable to give them needs.

Model healthy personal choices between needs and wants.

I think we teach our children to value the need more than the want by first modeling it for them.

We cannot ask children to do something we are not willing to do ourselves. Children are smarter than that. Today’s generation is far more interested in truth and integrity than earlier generations. This generation despises hypocrisy.

If children see parents saying one thing and doing another, they will reject that as being truth. We need to model and teach our children the proper concepts concerning money. Ultimately teach them that we are to be responsible with what God has allowed us to have. (When we had to use our credit card for purchases, for example, we usually explained to them why and that we would be paying it off quickly.)

Children need to see their parents giving sacrificially of their time and resources. Volunteering at a soup kitchen may be a better activity for an upcoming special occasion than opening a bunch of gifts.

Keep children properly grounded in a material world.

Children need to know that the universe does not revolve around them. Our world as their parents may revolve around them, but the rest of the world thinks otherwise. Children need to have created times in their life where they have to wait for something they want. Teach and model for children a life that puts others needs and wants ahead of their own.

Don’t give children everything; even if you can afford it.

If children are encouraged by example to have a love of money—a love of stuff—chances are they will never have enough possessions in this world to be satisfied. (Read Ecclesiastes 5:10.)

Plant within them a love of God, a love of people and a love of life and they will want to bless others—and the joy of their life will be much greater.

Regardless of how wealthy a family is, children should not be so “privileged” that there are no longer any items on their “want” list. When this happens the child has a hard time developing a heart of giving, because they are often too consumed with acquiring more “stuff.”

We have to model simple living sometimes for our children. IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO TO YOUR CHILD! In fact, that may sometimes be the exact thing we need to say. Every trip to the mall should not produce a new toy! (Okay, I know number 9 hurts!)

Teach and model a love for God.

Above all else, perhaps the greatest thing a parent can do to help children be generous people is to help them desire the things of God more than the things of this world. God is a generous God. The more we know and love Him, the more generous we become.

Parenting is hard. And we all make mistakes. Here’s a prayer your way. Be intentional. We need great parents. We need generous people.


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


10 Indications a Church is Making Disciples

I’ve often heard people say you can’t measure discipleship. I don’t know if that’s true.

It is true that you can’t necessarily put a number or percentage on discipleship growth, but you can tell—over time—if it has happened or is happening.

Here are 10 indications a church is making disciples:

Those who have been in the church the longest complain the least. – Do everything without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14

The leaders of the church are most likely to give up “their” seats, park farther from the building, or do whatever is necessary to help the Body. – The greatest among you must be a servant. Matthew 23:11

The church celebrates most when those far from faith come to faith. In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! Luke 15:7

Members care that others needs are met more than their own. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4

The church is willing to make sacrifices to attract the lost – And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Acts 15:19

There is joy even during suffering – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2

The teaching is a balance of truth and grace. Jesus came full of grace and truth. John 1:17

The financial needs of the church are funded, with people willingly sacrificing. No one begs for money. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

There are no petty disputes and grudges among the people of the church. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The church takes care of each other well. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. Acts 4:34

Let’s keep this going. These are a few that come to my mind. There are others. Prayer. Forgiveness. I’d love to post again — maybe “21 Indications a Church is Making Disciples”. Add one of your own in the comments. (And, give your Bible reference.)


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


5 Suggestions for Teaching Children Honesty

When our boys were in middle school, we did not allow them to roam the mall on their own without an adult in the building. I know; call us bad parents, but we believed their safety was more important than their coolness with other children.

Once, when our school system was closed because of snow, one of our boys spent the night with another boy his age. He told us they were going to a gym and would be home afterwards, but before he returned home, we received a call from another friend that had seen him at the mall. He was BUSTED! What was worse for him was when he found out that we would have been fine with him going to the mall because the parent was going also. That was a huge lesson for him in honesty. Years later, when this same son had another situation that required honesty, he told the whole truth and nothing but the truths… so help him, God. As an adult now, I would “honestly” say that honesty is one of his best qualities.

Scripture is very clear for the believer about how we are to approach honesty. We are told to “let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Honesty is a value, however, that is shared by believers and non-believers. It’s sort of a baseline moral standard of expectation of society. Raising our children to be honest, therefore, is an important part of our parenting.

With that desire in mind, that is the purpose of this post.

5 suggestions to encourage your children to be honest:

Model it – If your children see you being dishonest, even on the telephone with the telemarketer or with your employer as to why you are not going to work, they are learning bad habits. Be honest with your words and your time.

Teach it – The Bible is full of great stories about honesty. Spend time reading and discussing them with your children. A few suggestions are stories such as Joseph and his brothers, Esther and her situation with Haman, and the story of Jacob and Esau. Obviously, you will need to study them first so you can discuss them with your children. Ask questions to see if they understand and what their values are towards the issue of honesty.

Enforce it – There are some issues that should be handled more strongly than others in parenting. Enforcing honesty is one of them. If you allow even little actions of dishonesty to go unchecked, you are building a negative principle into your child’s life that you will one day see again and regret. Of course, the punishment should always fit the age and the severity of the wrong, but the issue of honesty is one area where zero tolerance should be a part of your disciple plan.

Encourage it – Honesty should become an aspired value in your home. Find examples of honesty around you and talk about them with your children. When you see good news of this value being demonstrated, whether in the news, the church, or community, make sure your children are made aware of the positive effects of honesty. Again, ask questions to make sure they understand the importance of being honest.

Reward it – When your children are found being honest, reward them. Our boys were told consistently that if they told us the truth we would respond much differently than if we had to figure out the truth on our own. Make being honest a big deal to them, even something to celebrate.

Working to establish honesty in your children early will help ensure they live honest lives as adults. Even though honesty is a shared value, most of us would agree, our level of trust in others has diminished in recent years. As parents, we play a large role in raising the level of honesty in our society, one family at a time.

What tips do you have for teaching children honesty?


The Beautiful Truth about the Season You’re In

As I write this, we are approaching spring on the calendar, but today is a cold day that follows two warm, very nice days. A couple weeks ago we had 17 inches of snow on the ground. A couple days ago I was able to run outside in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Warmer days are predicted later this week.

Like the saying goes in my part of the world, “If you don’t like the weather now—stick around—it will change.”

Seasons. They come and they go. Sometimes quickly.

Life is like that.

Life happens in seasons.

Ecclesiastes says there’s a time for everything. Everything has a season.

Good seasons. Bad seasons.

Productive seasons. Growth seasons. And seasons of decline.

Seasons of mourning. Grief. Seasons of laughter. Jubilee.

Seasons where there are more obstacles than opportunities. Often followed by seasons where we can’t seem to find time for all the opportunities.

There are seasons of stretching, where God seems to shape something new in our hearts. And we often don’t know what that new is until we enter another season.

Seasons of passionate, growing love. And tough seasons, where love is tested.

Seasons you’re more the leader and seasons where you’re more being led.

Seasons of blessings. And seasons of wondering where are all those blessings others seem to be experiencing.

There are seasons of discovery and seasons where we get to invest what we have discovered in others—while we keep discovering something new.

As parents we have lots of seasons. The seasons where we never seem to have a break and you can’t get everything done and the kids are driving you crazy some days and you just need one good night’s rest. And then seasons where the house seems empty and you long for a cluttered floor of toys again.

Seasons. Life happens in seasons.

What’s your current season?

It’s important to understand that seasons occur and to know what season in which you are currently living.

When we don’t understand this concept of seasons—especially in the bad seasons—we can begin to believe that seasons never change. We may stop trusting. Stop dreaming. Stop taking risks.

But life comes in seasons. Seasons do change. Sometimes quickly. And sometimes seasons overlap each other.

When we find ourselves in a good season—especially an extended good season—we can start to take the season for granted. We may even forget that seasons change. Sometimes quickly. And so we aren’t prepared.

Take a minute and reflect: What season of life you are currently experiencing?

Review your life by how the seasons have molded you. God never wastes a season. Ask God to place in your heart what He wants you to learn during this specific season of your life. Invite God to speak into your seasons.

Life happens in seasons.


7 Ways to Tell if This is a “God Thing”

And without faith it is impossible to please God… Hebrews 11:6

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you. 2 Chronicles 20:12

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27

God calls people to seemingly impossible tasks. It gives Him glory when I can’t do something, but He can. I can do “all things through Christ who strengthen me,” but often what He calls me to do can seem foolish to attempt (at least to others—and sometimes me) at the time. Imagine what the friends of Abraham, Moses, and Noah must have thought when God called them to what appeared to be impossible assignments. God calls people to walk by faith into the unknown.

If you know God has called you to something, don’t be dismayed if others can’t quickly identify with your calling. In my experience, God is often raising up others with the same heartbeat, but you can’t always see them at the time; so there may be periods when you have to stand alone on God’s calling. That may be for a season, but at times it could be for years. (Consider the case of Noah.)

With that in mind, what are some indicators what you are experiencing might just be of God.

Here are 7 ways to tell it may be a God thing:

  • Everyone says it can’t be done. There’s no way. It’s never been done before.
  • You feel you aren’t qualified. You don’t have what it takes. You’re scared. Overwhelmed. Under-prepared.
  • There aren’t enough resources available. Not enough money. Not enough people (or so it seems). You don’t have the building, or the location or the perfectly mapped-out strategy.
  • It makes no rational sense. Seriously, who in their right mind would do this?
  • People are questioning your intelligence. Or asking if you are “sure you know what you are doing.”
  • Accomplishing it would give God all the glory. There would be no other explanation.
  • It honors God and is true to His Word.

I’m not saying this post confirms what you are attempting is from God. It might. It might not.

What I am saying is that you should not dismiss the call you believe God has placed on your life because it doesn’t make sense to others around you—or to yourself at times. God things seldom do. Read a few Bible stories if you need some inspiration—or confirmation of what I’m saying.

Are you in the midst of a God-calling?

Has God called you to things which made no sense at the time?

What would you add to my list?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


12 Words of Encouragement for Pastors

I love pastors. Each week, through this blog and my personal ministry, God allows me to partner with dozens of pastors, helping them think through life and ministry issues. I’ve learned that many pastors struggle to find people who will invest in them and help them grow as individuals, leaders and pastors.

Recently I had a pastor ask me for my “best advice” for other pastors. Wow! That’s hard to say. I’ve learned so much through the pastors who have invested in me and by experience. It’s hard to summarize all that I’ve learned. It could probably fill a book or two…but at least more than one blog post!

I put some thought into the question and decided to come up with a list of encouragement, one that I would give to all pastors, to answer his question. I’m sure there’s more (and you can help by adding yours), but this post is at least a start. Of course, wisdom is transferable to other fields, so change a few words around and I’d give this advice to any leader…some of them perhaps to any person.

Here are 12 words of encouragement for pastors:

Choose your friends wisely… but choose friends. Don’t attempt to lead alone. Too many pastors avoid close friendships because they’ve been hurt. They trusted someone with information who used it against them. Finding friends you can trust and be real with means you’ll sometimes get injured, but the reward is worth it.

The church can never love your family as much as you do. Your family needs you more than the church does. They can get another pastor. Your family doesn’t want another you. You’ll have to learn to say “no,” learn how to balance and prioritize your time, and be willing to delegate to others in the church....

If you protect your Sabbath day, your Sabbath day can better protect you. You’ll wear out quickly without a day a week to rejuvenate. God designed us this way. Take advantage of His provision. Take time to rest. You may not rest like everyone else… for me rest doesn’t mean doing nothing… but you need time away from the demands of ministry regularly. Lead your church to understand you can’t be everywhere every time. You owe it to yourself, your family, your church and your God.

You have influence… use it well. The pastorate comes with tremendous power and responsibility. It’s easy to abuse or take for granted. Don’t. Humility welcomes the hand of God on your ministry.

No amount of accountability or structure will keep you from temptation if you’re heart is impure. Above all else, guard your heart. (Proverbs 4:23) Avoid any hint of temptation. Look for the warning signs your heart is drifting. Keep your heart saturated with God’s Word and in prayer.

Let God lead. You can do some things well. God can do the impossible. Whom do you think should ultimately be leading the church? You’ll be surprised how much more effective your leadership will be when it’s according to His will and not yours.

If you can dream it, God can dream it bigger. Don’t dismiss the seemingly ridiculous things God calls you to do. They won’t always make sense to others or meet their immediate approval, but God’s ways will prove best every time.

Keep Jesus the center of focus in the church. You’ll never have a money problem, a people problem, or a growth problem if people are one with Jesus.

Your personal health affects the health of the church. Take care of yourself relationally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This, too, requires discipline, balance, and prioritizing, but if, to the best of your ability, you strive to be healthy in every area of your life, as a good shepherd, your people will be more likely to follow your example.

The people in your church deserve authenticity. Not only will be honest about who you are help keep you from trying to meet unreal expectations, but it will help the people in your church be transparent with you and others. Don’t be someone you’re not. Be someone worthy to follow, but make sure you’re living it… not just teaching it.

You’ll never make everyone happy. If you try, you’ll be very unhappy… and very unproductive.

Your calling is to a person… Jesus. That means you are working for Jesus. You ultimately report to Jesus. It is the pleasure of Jesus you are seeking. There will be days your calling is challenged by others. You’ll be tempted to cave in to the pressure of those with the loudest voices. Don’t forget who holds the title to your life.

What word of encouragement do you have for pastors (or other leaders)?


25 Life-Giving Statements Jesus Made

I only read one statement of Jesus, but I couldn’t go any further in my reading.

It was a statement I had read hundreds of times before, but this time it hit me differently. Deeper. More impacting.

I love when that happens.

I realized I often take a statement like that from Jesus for granted.

Jesus—the Son of God—said something. Something so profound, so life-giving, and yet it has become so familiar to me that I almost gloss over it when I read.

This time I stopped.

I stopped and thought about the many other truths Jesus shared—often in a single sentence—which are life-changing.

Perhaps some of these will be meaningful to you.

Read through the list—memorize a few of them (you probably already have many of them). But don’t read them as familiar quotes that are usually written in red. Let them soak deep into your heart and mind. Let them add life to you. Be better with truth.

25 life-giving statements Jesus made:

“Take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37)

“Go and learn what this means ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice'” (Matthew 9:13)

“Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2)

“Ask and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7)

“If the Son has set you free you are free indeed” (John 8:36)

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30)

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14)

“Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)

“The greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11)

“Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)

“I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7)

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

“If you love me you will obey what I command” (John 14:15)

“Your give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37)

“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit” (Matthew 7:18)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8)

“This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me.” (Mark 7:6)

“You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8)

“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink…” (Matthew 6:25)

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do to them” (Matthew 7:12)

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:29)

“It is finished.” (John 19:30)

I realize some of these can be misunderstood if out of context, so feel free to read the context of each of them. But the fact is these are things Jesus said.

The Son of God—who is God—said them. Spoke them. Revealed truth to us.

And every word He said has life-changing value.

I wonder, if we really understood the magnitude of these words of Jesus and believed them—if they would change the way we lived our life? The confidence we have? The assurance in which we find hope?

Which of these do you most need to apply to your life today?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about


10 Tips to Resolve Conflict in a Healthy Way

Where life involves people—whether among family, friends or co-workers—there will be potential for conflict.

Any disagreement there?

Want to fight about it? :)

In fact, if relationships are normal, conflict is inevitable.

But conflict doesn’t have to destroy relationships. It can actually be used to make relationships better. That takes intentionality, practice—and a whole lot of grace.

In an organizational sense, conflict is certainly a huge part of a leader’s life. Even in a pastor’s life.

It seems to reason that learning to deal with conflict successfully should be one of our goal as leaders.

Here are 10 suggestions to effectively handle conflict:

Understand the battle. Make sure you understand the real source of the conflict. Many times we address symptoms, but we really aren’t even addressing with the real issue. That wastes time, frustrates people, and makes the conflict linger longer. It’s usually a heart issue that is controlling everything being said (Proverbs 4:23). Discovering that is key. Make sure you ask lots of questions and attempt to clarify the root issue of the conflict. (This is where third party help is often needed.)

Find the right time and place When emotions are high is not good timing for dealing with conflict. Personal conflict should not be handled in public. Don’t be afraid to schedule a time to address the conflict.

Examine yourself first. Sometimes the issue is personal to you, and you are only blaming others for your problem. That’s not fair, nor does it provide a healthy resolution to conflict. Look carefully at the “plank” in your own eye (Matthew 7:3–5).

Consider the other side of the conflict. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider their viewpoint (Philippians 2:4). Why would they think the way they think? Is it a difference in personal values or a misunderstanding? What if I were in their situation—how would I respond?

Do not overreact to the issue or overload on emotion. Stick to the issue at hand. When emotions are exaggerated it disarms the other party and a healthy resolution is harder to attain. Control yourself from extremity or absolutes. Avoid phrases like “You always…” (Proverbs 25:28).

Do not dance around or sugarcoat the issue or disguise it in false kindness. Sometimes we fail to address the conflict because we are afraid of how the other person may respond or we are afraid of hurting feelings. The avoidance usually will cause more conflict eventually. Be kind, but make sure you are clear, direct, and helpful (Proverbs 27:5).

Do not allow the small disagreements to become big disagreements. The way to keep most huge conflict (the kind that destroys relationships) from occurring is by confronting the small conflict along the way. Minor conflict is always easier to handle than major conflict.

Be firm, but gentle. Learn the balance between the two. It’s critical in dealing with conflict. (Consider Jesus’ approach in John 4.)

Work towards a solution. Never waste conflict. Use it to make the organization and/or the relationship better. Everyone wants a win-win situation, and sometimes that’s possible. Getting to the right decision should always be the ultimate goal (Proverbs 21:3).

Grant forgiveness easily. Healthy conflict makes relationships stronger, but to get there we must not hold a grudge or seek revenge. That never moves conflict forward towards resolution. Learn the art of grace and forgiveness. It’s a keeper of healthy relationships (Ephesians 4:32).

Conflict is a part of relationships. All relationships. As leaders, we shouldn’t shy away from conflict. We should learn it’s value and how to navigate conflict for the overall good of the team.

What would you add?


Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about