SAN ANTONIO (BP)–Author and radio personality Nancy Leigh DeMoss addressed a sellout crowd of 1,500 at the June 12 Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in San Antonio.
Comedian Dennis Swanberg, also known as the “Minister of Encouragement, and biblical counselor June Hunt joined DeMoss on the program at the fiesta-style luncheon hosted by Debbie Brunson, wife of Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. Returning to Texas where her husband previously was pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Brunson welcomed wives to “Revive, Renew, and Rejoice.”
DeMoss hosts two syndicated radio programs, “Revive Our Hearts” and “Seeking Him,” carried by nearly 1,000 radio stations. She is the author of numerous books, including “Lies Women Believe,” “Brokenness: The Heart God Revives,” “Surrender: The Heart God Controls” and “Holiness: The Heart God Purifies.”
DeMoss, in addressing the luncheon, identified various issues that may cause ministry wives “to lose the wonder of who God is, the wonder of the Gospel and the wonder of their calling to ministry.”
Having experienced such struggles herself, DeMoss confessed, “At times I felt like I was in this fetal position just curled up in fear,” having lost her joy, her peace and her motivation and just wanting out.
Because marriage struggles, carrying burdens for others and dealing with criticism can become so crushing, DeMoss exhorted the women to meditate on Psalm 23.
“This whole concept of ‘the Lord is my Shepherd’ isn’t just something nice to put on a plaque,” DeMoss said. “It is the nitty-gritty of life.”
She reviewed the Psalm phrase by phrase, but dwelt on verse 5: “You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.”
“Oil symbolizes gladness, joy and service. I pray that I will be anointed with fresh oil and will have a cup that overflows with blessings to others. There are always more blessings than problems,” she said.
Life abounds with opportunities, with challenges and sometimes with one’s own sinfulness, but no matter what, DeMoss assured, God’s grace will flow even more.
“We’re called to have lives that overflow with Christ … so that we can be generous to others. Extreme grace leads to extreme joy, [which] leads to being extremely generous. It all goes back to Him.”
Those attending the luncheon received copies of DeMoss’s recent book, “Choosing Forgiveness” inside a colorful straw bag, handmade by women from Madagascaar participating in a WorldCrafts project through Woman’s Missionary Union.
Adding to the international look, the tables were decorated with centerpieces comprised of Thai silk pillow covers and silk table runners made by Australians of the Pacific Rim region, Vietnamese beaded purses, Laos tribal bags, turquoise Myanmar nativities, necklaces and earrings from Muslim tribal people of the Philippines and Chinese candle holders.
“Our IMB missionaries are providing absolutely incredible gifts for the centerpieces that will be sold at the conclusion of the luncheon, with proceeds going to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” Brunson earlier told Baptist Press.
“As these gifts will remind us, revival is taking place literally around the world and our Southern Baptist missionaries are in the heart of God’s movement,” Brunson said.
Following the keynote address, author and biblical counselor June Hunt offered ministry wives counsel for handling problems in family and ministry life. Real questions Hunt had received in advance from pastors’ wives included: how to say “no,” what to do when a pastor’s children don’t want to attend church, and steps to take if one’s husband is addicted to Internet pornography.
Hunt is the founder of biblical counseling ministry Hope for the Heart and a radio broadcast with the same name. She also hosts a live call-in radio program, “Hope in the Night,” that offers callers and listeners biblical hope and practical help.
In the business portion of the meeting, officers were elected for the 2009 luncheon to be held in Louisville, Ky.: Diane Strack of Orlando Fla., president; Mary Mohler of Louisville, vice president; Liliana Lewis of Austin, Texas, recording secretary-treasurer; and Karen Crowe of Laurel, Miss., correspondence secretary.
Officers for the 2008 luncheon in Indianapolis are Liz Traylor of Pensacola, Fla., president; Diana Davis of Indianapolis, vice president; Beth Robertson of Valdosta, Ga., correspondence secretary; and Eileen Sheets of Rifle, Colo., secretary/treasurer.