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Chapter 11: The NarroWay Mindset

 

birdie clown costumeI Corinthians 9:22: "I have WILL become all things to all men, that by all means I might save some." This is one of Birdie's and Rebecca's life principles which became part of the NarroWay mindset.REBECCA –
We headed back to Kentucky to become what we said we never wanted to be: church staff!

Birdie was Music & Youth. I was Education & Youth.

BIRDIE –
My first priority was to build the music program. At my first rehearsal I had 12 choir members.

REBECCA –
And I was one of them!

 

 

BIRDIE –
So I say: OK! Give me the names of people who ought to be in choir.
At first everyone was a bit reluctant to tattle - except Loraine.
Loraine was the undercover church boss who, by day, disguised herself as a church secretary.

church staff photo

REBECCA –
Loraine knew everybody who was in the church,
everybody who had quit the church,
everybody who was talking about joining the church
and everybody that nobody wanted in the church!

BIRDIE –
But I don’t know anybody.
I’m trying to make a good impression. Everyone is shouting names and phone numbers. I thought, “This is working!”
Then a soprano yells out: “JOHN SMITH!”

REBECCA –
Birdie didn’t look up from her writing. “And let’s ask Pocahontas, too!” Then she LAUGHED!

Now... I was sitting amongst them. I, too, coughed out a nice little church chuckle - until I saw that Loraine wasn’t laughing. I didn’t know much, but I did know to watch Loraine!

BIRDIE –
Then the soprano grinned: “That’s my daddy.”

john smith daughterJohn Smith's Daughter

REBECCA –
That was Wednesday.

BIRDIE –
Sunday came. That’s when we were to meet the youth.

REBECCA –
Seven! ...Four teens and three adults. ...ohhhhhhhkay.... So we share an inspiring vision of how great things are going to be and how we are going to write a musical and go on tour .....and...

BIRDIE –
Now I was eye-balling a dark-headed trouble maker on the back row who would not shut up or quit elbowing the two beside him.

dark haired boyREBECCA –
He hadn’t yet learned the Martin & Clark stank-eye.

Suddenly Birdie let loose on that boy! When she finished with him, all seven were leaning back in their grey metal church chairs. And he looked like he had just seen the Loch Ness Monster!

BIRDIE –
We finished what we had to say to the less-than-enthusiastic group and dismissed! I put my hand on the shoulder of one of the adults. “Do you think I was too hard on that boy?”
“Absolutely not!” she said. “He deserved everything you said!

Then she walked past me, took hold of the boy’s arm and said, “C’mon son!”

...She was his momma!

REBECCA –
But that dark-haired boy (who, by the way, is now in the ministry) and the others were listening because the news spread that there were some new ladies at the church and they were going to write a play and it was going to be cool and everyone was going to the beach to perform it.

BIRDIE –
Four turned into fourteen, into twenty-four, into forty and... well, it grew!

Sondaze Youth Team 1986

REBECCA –
Now, when we were hired, a few leaders refused to call our positions “Minister of ‘whatever,’” even though we held the same degree as the men who preceded us, who held that title.
So they called us "DIRECTOR."
Little did they realize that God was preparing us for the title He knew we would someday cherish.

BIRDIE –
Our salaries were half that of our male predecessor - $13,000 each, before taxes.

REBECCA –
On top of that, the IRS required us to pay outrageously high self-employment taxes and social security because we weren’t “ordained ministers” of the church.

BIRDIE –
Titles do matter in this world.

REBECCA –
Right then we decided to stop caring about what people called us and turned our attention to the fact that GOD had called us.

BIRDIE –
Next, a nice man who prepared our tax returns made a mistake that was intended to help us. Instead it got us both audited. We had to take out a loan to pay more taxes plus penalties.

REBECCA –
I remember the day. We laid our heads down on his desk and cried.
I got so stressed. I started complaining to anyone who would listen. Then one day the Lord clearly said to me: “Shut up about this.”
So, I did.

BIRDIE –
In these formative years we began to develop certain life principles that became part of what we call the NarroWay mindset.

REBECCA –
The list is random. But, maybe it will help someone, so that’s how we’ll finish this chapter.

BIRDIE –
The first life principle: I will become all things to all men that I might by all means save some! (1 Corinthians 9:22b)

REBECCA –
Another one - there are extremely talented people everywhere you go.

BIRIDE –
Set your standards higher than you can reach.

REBECCA –
Difficulties, hardships, not having what you need – these are incubators for a creative mind.

BIRDIE –
Don’t jump ship just because something seems impossible. You need a better reason.

REBECCA –
Together we can do greater things than we could ever do alone.

BIRDIE –
There is no hierarchy on a great team.

REBECCA –
God never meant for people to be bored by His word.

BIRDIE –
People feel best about themselves when they make a difference in someone else.

REBECCA –
And finally ...
God wants and deserves excellence!
Note Matthew 25:21 - God will say “Well done!”
Not, “Bless your heart. That was sweet!”

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Comments 5

Guest - Jennifer Stansberry Isaacs on Wednesday, 22 June 2016 13:35

So many great memories flood my mind as I read your blog! Blessings, really fabulous blessings! Lots of fun, but besides that building a Spiritual foundation to prepare us for times ahead. Thanks so much!

So many great memories flood my mind as I read your blog! Blessings, really fabulous blessings! Lots of fun, but besides that building a Spiritual foundation to prepare us for times ahead. Thanks so much!
Guest - Clay Mullins on Wednesday, 22 June 2016 15:44

It's funny what one does and does not remember. I can't say that I remember this specific event. But what I can remember is never lacking any less than a metric ton of respect for you both. Love y'all dearly!

It's funny what one does and does not remember. I can't say that I remember this specific event. But what I can remember is never lacking any less than a metric ton of respect for you both. Love y'all dearly!
Guest - Patricia Bentley on Thursday, 23 June 2016 15:37

Love all the memories!!! You two were such a blessing to so many here!!!!! Love you all dearly!!!!

Love all the memories!!! You two were such a blessing to so many here!!!!! Love you all dearly!!!!
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Chapter 12: The Footprints of God
Chapter 10: Entering the Hold


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