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Episode 6, Act 1 “Preachin’ it and Teachin’ it”

Welcome back to the Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom.  In our last episode we met two women who literally gave of themselves for the goodness of another.  They both gave a kidney to a total stranger and gave them the gift of life.

In keeping with the idea of giving oneself to another I want to introduce you to Pastor Dawn  and Pastor Karli. Dawn is not a stranger to my Heartfelt Ramblings page.  She was my first guest writer when I kicked my page off in the fall of 2013.

Now let me start by saying I know these women personally and God has used them in very big ways in my life. So may I have your undivided attention, insert drum roll… Welcome to Episode 6 “Preachin’ it and Teachin’ it”

Did you catch what I said at the beginning?  They are PASTORS. These two women have been called to give of themselves to serve others. Now we are all called to give of ourselves yes however, some people are called to be pastors. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Cor 12:4-6

579189_438861032830506_512536406_nDim the lights and ready on set….Enter Pastor Dawn.

Those of you that know Dawn, will agree with me, dynamite comes in small packages.  I have been blessed to listen to Dawn speak and she may not be much taller than the pulpit but when she speaks you know that God is using her in a mighty way.

Dawn told me that she knew she wanted to be a pastor from the age of 8 but that in His timing He would grow her with marriage and motherhood first.  Along the way God would also walk with Dawn as she faced some tragedies.  It was not until she was in her mid-30’s that she would get to start her studies.  I met Dawn, as she was finishing up her schooling in 2002.  Dawn was one of the women that God used over weekend retreat where I would give my life to Him.

As I type this I can’t help but smile when I read Dawn’s favorite verse. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  I am smiling because thankfully God had some big plans for me the weekend I meet Dawn.  His plans for me have truly given me hope for my future and Dawn says that the verse 
reminds her, “He is always with me and it is my go to verse”.

Dawn is a commissioned pastor and she did her studying through the Christian Church/DOC through their Licensing/Commissioning Committee in the Northwest Region. That process took her 3 years before she was granted a license. On top of that there were readings and reports to do. Dawn currently lives in the Midwest and in the Midwest Area/Mid America Region she has monthly mentor meetings. Currently Dawn is enrolled in classes through Grand Canyon University and through Mid America School of Religion.

If I were to pick a song to describe Dawn it would be

“Hands and Feet” by Audio Adrenaline

I want to be your hands

I want to be your feet

I’ll go where you send me

After being commissioned she was an Associate Pastor at Kennewick First Christian for 2 years, then moved to Ephrata, Washington to Memorial Christian Church for 7 years as solo pastor/youth pastor/secretary and then moved to Missouri to pastor 2 yoked congregations. Dawn is now the solo pastor with a staff of a secretary and janitors

I asked her what she has learned as a pastor and challenged her to sum it up in 1 paragraph and we can all learn from what she said.

“He never gives up on us no matter where we are in our lives. Don’t fear to share your story and be transparent. Through tragedy, death, fear and triumph, joy and hope, He is my all in all, my Abba.”

Dawn’s sence of humor can been seen when she talks about her family. She calls them the “mix n match crew” She has a 
38-year-old stepdaughter in Nampa, ID
 and 27-year-old son who is a Staff Sgt in the Army National Guard and has seen 3 tours. He just recently transferred as a guard to the Airway Heights Prison in Spokane. 
Next in line from oldest to youngest is her 26-year-old son who works in Calgary as a project manner for an oil company
 and her 23-year-old foster daughter who lives in Everett, Washington. 
We are only getting started here folks.  Her mix and match crew also consists of a 22-year-old foster son in MO (He is not living in their home now) a 12-year-old adopted son and a 
9-year-old, soon to be adopted girl.  Dawn’s heart for children is over flowing with love and because of that her and her husband have also opened there home to a 13-year-old foster daughter and a 
4-year-old foster son.  In the last 4 years they have had 15 kids come and go through their home.

At the young age of 48 Dawn is also a grandma of seven foster, step and biological grandchildren ages: 19, 17, 16, 13, 11, 4 and 2. This midlife domestic goddess is exhausted just typing that.  Now just imagine if you had to balance your job, and a huge family like the mix and match crew but you had to do it with a body that had it’s own challenges.  This amazing housewife of God’s Kingdom is faced daily with that issue. Dawn wakes up each day with a body that has lots of healing to do after experiencing two strokes to the brain stem.

She says she feels blessed to have survived and to be whom and what she is today. The strokes have made her a different person. Just getting dressed can be a challenge and there are struggles to walk and use her left side and arm. “God does have a sense of humor as he has left me with the gift of speech. I think my husband might have enjoyed a few more months of quiet” says Dawn.

We all have many identities we go by. Many titles we answer too. The titles I carry are wife, mother, 972755_10151769818418992_2021631322_ndaughter, sister, pastor, child of God and the latest title stroke survivor. Some I enjoy, some I am called to be, and others carry a weight. Taken from Dawn’s Guest post, “My Identity, His Glory”

As I said earlier, Dynamite comes in small packages and Dawn if one powerful explosion of God’s strength within someone. As we bring Act 1, “Pastor Dawn” to an end I want to leave you with this quote from her.

“I am just me. I was chosen by God to speak His word. It is scary and terrifying at times. I am disliked by some, judged, ridiculed to be a woman in ministry. I have received hate mail. I don’t argue with those who disagree with that viewpoint, as they don’t want their viewpoint changed. I just love God, love people and try to show the Christ in me.”

Dawn is just one more amazing “Real housewife of God’s Kingdom” to learn more about her and her inspiring story as a two-time stroke survivor, check out her guest post “My identity, His glory”

I hope to see you back tomorrow for Act 2 with Pastor Karli 🙂

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My identity, His Glory

I am so excited to have Dawn as our first guest writer.  This midlife domestic goddess is so excited for you to her amazing words.

I guess introductions are in order; I am Dawn Marie Turner and I have been a pastor of 13 years. For the last four years I have been at two churches in Missouri. Before that I worked with youth and had been employed at the family’s funeral home. Eastern Washington is where I have called home for 44 of my 48 years. We have a total of seven children that we have raised; ages are 39, 28, 26, 22, 20, 12 and 8 that have blessed our lives. It is a “his, mine, foster and adopted-kind of family”. We now only have two living in our home. I am married to a great man of God who has stood with by my side in so many ways and this December we will celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary.

We all have many identities we go by. Many titles we answer too. The titles I carry are wife, mother, daughter, sister, pastor, child of God and the latest title stroke survivor. Some I enjoy, some I am called to be, and others carry a weight.

My latest title has been stroke survivor. I had two strokes to my brain stem. One on June 28 and the other July 5. I am blessed to have survived and to be whom and what I am. The strokes have made me a different person than I was in June. There are struggles to walk and use my left side and arm. God does have a sense of humor as he has left me with the gift of speech. I think my husband might have enjoyed a few more months of quiet.972755_10151769818418992_2021631322_n

It has been a struggle, as I have had to learn how to redress myself. I have a new sport I play called bra aerobics. I don’t often win at it and get stuck in some precarious positions. Recently I had to pack away 3 bins of gorgeous high heels. Anyone who knows me knows how painful that was, for a while part of my identity was wrapped in being the pastor who wore the great shoes and boots. I now am the Converse queen.

I have had to learn different ways to parent. Sometimes letting the small stuff go and picking my battles. I have had to learn different ways to work and make sure that my 60 hour work weeks became 20 to 25 hour work weeks plus Sunday. I have had to look at which nonprofits I feel called to serve with and cut back on some. There has been a learning process to not be ashamed to ask for prayers for myself. And there is power in prayer. Let that be repeated.  There is power in prayer!!

One of the things I have had to learn is that my identity as a wife was not wrapped around cooking, cleaning and laundry. Also, I had to learn I don’t have to be the strong one and it is okay to ask for help. My husband can make a meal, sweep the floor and put the laundry in the washing machine and the dryer. Those are a few other things learned. Not one of us have died of food poisoning or had our clothes turn pink.

I have learned to laugh; when finding myself on the floor or finding the invible cracks that make me stumble, when my body tightens up on one side, when there is involuntary spasms and twitches at Walmart in the frozen food aisle, when stuck in the bathtub and hollering for help, or when trying to cut that apple and it goes all over the place.  I have learned to laugh at the situations instead of crying. Don’t get me wrong there are times when it is necessary to have good, cleansing, cry fest. The times of laughter are greater however.

I am learning a lot. Learning or re-learning to rest in God’s grace and to use all I am and all I have become to His glory.  Learning that I am a new creation and as I heal more and more that I am being reformed into His creation. I have learned all things and I do mean ALL things can be used for His glory.  I will hold onto that truth and onto his word always.

But God shows undeserved kindness to everyone. That’s why he appointed Christ Jesus to choose you to share in his eternal glory. You will suffer for a while, but God will make you complete, steady, strong, and firm. 1 Peter 5:10

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