Hello, internet world! Welcome to DomesticMinister.com! My name is Raylene, and I am the human on the other side of the screen here.
I am also as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs and clueless. No, I’m serious. I really have no clue as to how to set up this blog site! Sure, I know how to write and how to type, but all this other computer and internet stuff is beyond me right now.
But I can’t let that stop me. God has gifted me with a lot of insight into His Word as well as a strong desire to provide effective help to people. Because I believe the Bible is the ultimate source of helpful information for practical living—a wealth of help that has not been fully mined, the combination of these two gifts compels me to share with others what God has so generously shared with me. My current life circumstances are not the most conducive for sharing this Good News through the traditional venues one thinks of for a minister, so this blog site is to be my venue. I can no longer keep to myself that which will help another! So, despite my lack of computer and internet savvy, I have to step out in faith—doing what I believe God has told me to do even though I do not know all the details.
Fortunately, I am in good company when it comes to exercising my faith. While the Scripture is crammed with the stories of people exercising faith (Hebrews 11), I am thinking of one in particular. In 2 Kings 4:1-7 is a succinct illustration of this obeying without fully knowing. A widow was left with such a tremendous debt that her two sons were in danger of being forced into slavery to pay the debt (that’s the way they did it back then). The prophet, Elisha, asked her what she had in the way of resources (verse 2). At first, she replied that she had nothing at all but then remembered that she had a little bit of oil. The implication is that the oil she had didn’t even fill the jar it was in. Regardless, the man of God instructed her to collect as many empty jars as possible from her neighbors. He specifically said, “Don’t borrow just a few containers” (v. 3, WEB [World English Bible]). (That was a “go big or go home” statement!) The only other thing he said was a little further instruction: “Go in and shut the door on you and on your sons, and pour oil into all those containers; and set aside those which are full” (v.4). Okay, and then what? Where’s the explanation of how a less-than-full jar of oil is going to somehow fill to max capacity even one jar much less a whole house full of jars? And what’s to be done once said jars are filled? Was she and her boys supposed to keep them, sell them, or use up all that oil on themselves? If I had been this lady, these are the questions I would most likely have asked because I want to know as much as possible (read: “everything”) before I get started on anything. Fortunately for me, this woman provided me with a good example of faith; she went and did what she had been told to do despite the instructions sounding crazy and not covering every detail (verses 5-6).
So here I am, in my own version of 2 Kings 4:2-6. I have assessed my current situation and determined that my best and least restricted ministry option is to utilize a blog. I don’t fully understand all the details or know all the steps this path will take. Oh, I have grand visions of what I think could happen and what all this blog site could someday turn in to; but for all the little that I know about the technical side, I could be fantasizing of more than is capable for this platform. Still, I’m here acting on what I believe to be God’s instructions to me. I am at least doing what I have been told thus far to do, trusting that further instructions will be provided later as needed.
“Alright, then,” my reader says, “so you feel called by God to write and share it with the world. What can we expect to find here? Who is your target audience? And what is the story behind ‘Domestic Minister’?”
Thank you for asking (and for sticking around long enough to find out)! I’d like to answer those questions in reverse.
Domestic Minister is a play on words with multiple meanings. I am an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and have done just about every type of ministry that can be done in the church setting, including being a co-senior pastor with my husband, sharing the preaching responsibility. I have also been a US Navy Reserve chaplain, where I became comfortable with doing ministry “outside the box.” So “minister” at this point means exactly what you are most likely thinking—clergy. A training injury (from which I recovered) cut short my military service, leaving me to ponder what to do next and where and how to do it. Since my husband was an active duty chaplain, I couldn’t plug into any local church long enough to fully exercise my abilities as a vocational minister before moving again. I did what I could, working out of my home. This is where “domestic” comes in. So far, then, “domestic minister” means a clergy person working out of their home.
This phrase is also a spin-off of a description Roseanne Barr used to describe herself at one point. If I’m remembering correctly, in her comedy TV show she didn’t want to be called a housewife, preferring the title of “domestic goddess.” I certainly appreciate her attempt to elevate the status of the stay-at-home wife and mom, but “goddess” might be a bit extreme. Now, as any good Bible-college student should be able to tell you, our English word “minister” is used as the translation for the Greek word for “servant” in the Bible. To make a long story short, a minister is a servant-leader: a leader who serves—that is, takes care of others, seeks to help others achieve their best by doing even the lowest, menial task if necessary. And to me, that is a better description than either “housewife” or “domestic goddess” of what a wife/mom does; she is a leader in the family who gladly and willingly serves (does whatever needs to be done to help her husband and children thrive). As a stay-at-home wife/mom for the past several years, I am… not a housewife or a domestic goddess; I am a domestic minister.
This second layer of meaning segues nicely into both the third level of meaning and my target audience. This third level is a marriage of aspects from the first and second. In short, I am a minister (clergy) specializing in the domestic (home life) realm. And while I will gladly and willingly minister (serve, help) to anyone (man or woman) in any way that I am competent to do, my target audience here is especially to women, helping them with their roles of wife and/or mom.
My goal is to provide both spiritual and practical help through this blog and website. These two areas are not as segregated as they may first appear, for many of the practical problems we face in our lives today are strangely but strongly connected to our spiritual life and vice versa. Unfortunately, even Christianity itself has a history of separating the two, as if one never touches the other. Consequently, we end up with people who “go to church, they love the Lord, they want to go to heaven when they die, but they still do not see Christ as the answer to the practical issues they face” (T.D. Jakes, “Press Toward Your Miracle,” SpiritLed Woman (Dec/Jan 2000), p. 60; emphasis added).
What, then, can you expect to find at this blog? Well, without getting into all the fanciful visions of the future that I hope for, you will find—especially here at first—what basically amounts to the private journals of my own personal God Time. I’ve been hand-writing and typing them up for quite a while now, so you will see not only the date of when I post it here, but within the actual blog itself you will see the date of when I discovered the treasure I seek to share. Eventually, a post date will be close to the discovery date, but in the meanwhile, some of these posts, then, will actually be very old. I trust, though, that I have not held on to this oil so long that it has outlived its rich flavor before I share it. Although, if I’ve truly written down God’s eternal truths, then these posts will be timeless. You, my reader, are my customer, so I look forward to your feedback.
I share these not just to “preach” through writing but to also be an example of how rich a devotional life can be. Every sermon should be conceived from the intimate encounter of the messenger and God, but sermons don’t necessarily reveal how they came to be born. I hope to give you a peek into what is going on in the privacy of a personal time with God that yields such amazing and life-changing insights, so that you can learn how to personally experience it as well.
Oh, have you read this far searching for a conclusion to what happened to the lady, her sons and the jars of oil? Well, honestly, the Bible doesn’t say specifically what happened to them. All we are told is that after the woman filled the last available jar with oil (and yes, a partial jar of oil filled a houseful of jars!)—that is, after she had obeyed the instructions she had been given—she went back to the prophet, reporting the tasks as done. At that point, Elisha gave her more instructions: “Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest” (v.7). End of story. It’s left for us to conclude that the woman also obeyed these instructions and was able to keep her sons with her and had sufficient wealth for the end of her days. Did she? Did she follow through and put the abundance that she had received out there for others to enjoy? I have faith that she did. And I am now trying to do the same.
Thanks for reading!