Hi Fellow Pastors! Valentines Day is a day filled with romantic love. But what about those people in your church that don’t have a romantic love? When I was young I would watch my mom on Valentines Day. A day that should have been happy for her, was instead sad. My mom was a single mom and days like Valentines Day were very lonely for her. My mom was just a normal single mom, but I knew that Valentines Day was still hard. Even though she typically tried to have a smile on her face, I could tell. I could feel her sadness.
Hello, my name is Pastor Sean Teis and in the picture above I am with my wife Jackie and our three children Malachi, Titus, and Blaire. 2018 will mark ten years since we started Life Factors Ministries. Life Factors is a ministry that leads fatherless families to the Heavenly Father nationally through spreading awareness on the social effects of fatherlessness, speaking messages of hope to the fatherless, creating unique resources (books, website, mobile app - GodismyDad.com) and partnering with churches and other ministries to do fatherless ministry locally.
What does your church do for the single mom's throughout the year?This is a challenging question. Even for me. I ask it to you then I think to myself, are we doing enough? Good single mom's are incredible people. I say good single mom's because there are some out there that don't really seem to care much for their children, but even them, even the ones that seem as if they they don't care very much for their children are often still struggling. Now, I am not going to get into all of the struggles right now, that is for a different article.
In 1743, when George Washington was only eleven years old he was not only on a journey to become the first President of the United States, but during this year he also started his own fatherless journey. Washington is known for several great historical achievements, but few know that he conquered the fatherless journey as well. Despite his circumstances, he went on to become one of our nation’s greatest historical figures.
Pastor David Teis is my Uncle. He is my birth father's little brother. He is a great Christian example and role model to me and has taught me so much about life. Uncle David preached for my High School Graduation, he preached at my college on several occasions and even preached at my wedding...Below is a video that Uncle David shared with us for our Mailbox section on God is my Dad.
What a tragedy that happened in Las Vegas on October 1st, 2017 when a man opened gun-fire on a concert killing and wounding multiple people. I have many relatives in Las Vegas and in fact my birth father lives out there too. I have been out there several times and I am very fond of the city because of my family connection to it.
I feel truly called to reach this generation of confused fatherless children, teens and young adults. Maybe you are thinking, "wait, you just called the fatherless confused?" Yes, they are confused. They need guidance. I know this because I am fatherless too. My own dad left when I was around 10 months old and he never came back. Being fatherless is devastating to children and teens. If you don't believe me then just look at the statistics...
You may or may not have heard but on May 18th we are launching an awesome new website and mobile app to encourage & mentor fatherless teens and adults to walk with God on their fatherless journey. This new ministry is called God is my Dad (GodismyDad.com)!
Hello! It is Absent Parent Month at Life Factors! I am so pumped about this month to spread hope to children and teens lacking a mom, a dad, or both. To be honest, this is our primary focus year-round, but it is awesome to have a month that we can dedicate to spread awareness and create some really cool new content. Also this month we highlight our resources and have the following discounts for our store:
I went shopping that day to buy some presents for my wife. We were planning on going on a romantic date. We had the babysitter lined up. I bought my wife a new outfit. It was date night!
Then I went home. Everything was going fine. We were getting ready and then it happened.
The miscarriage happened. The little baby inside my wife's womb had died.
We prayed. We reasoned. We hoped.
But it happened.
So there I was. The husband of this beautiful woman who just had a miscarriage and little did we know how much this would rock our world.
I used to hear of people having miscarriages, but I really did not know how to relate. As a Pastor you help people in a large variety of situations and many of which you most likely will not face personally, at least you hope you won't!
After the miscarriage process I kind of shut down. I still looked normal on the outside but I was torn up on the inside. I made mistakes when dealing with this miscarriage.
People told us "oh, I have had one of those before" "it happens to most women" and they act like well just get pregnant again, but what we have found is that most people never really deal with this loss properly.
I know I didn't.
My wife and I were so excited about this new little baby coming into the world and then instantly he or she was gone. We hadn't even announced that we were pregnant yet, but we were about to.
As a husband I think to myself about all of the other husbands out there and how they have handled, are handling or will handle this situation with their spouse. So I write this to spread hope to them. I write this to encourage them. I write this as a guide to them.
3 Regrets from the husband of a miscarriage:
1. TRYING to be Strong
When the miscarriage happened I took the road of little to no emotion. I thought to myself that I needed to be strong for my wife. In hindsight I should have just mourned with her instead of trying to be her knight in shining armor. She didn't need a knight. She needed her husband. She needed to grieve this loss with her husband. She needed to see my tears, my sadness so that we could heal together.
I am a Pastor; I am supposed to be a Shepherd. Shepherds are supposed to be strong. Shepherds are not supposed to be weak. In the process of trying to be strong I grew hardened. I did not plan it this way. It just happened. If I would have just grieved and mourned this loss with my wife I think that it would have made it much easier.
If your wife recently had a miscarriage do not do what I did. Mourn and grieve this loss with your wife. I do not believe that I had the same level of sadness that my wife did because she physically felt the loss, but my sadness was still there.
Regardless of how manly you are it's ok to sometimes let that guard down. It is especially ok to let that guard down if your wife needs you to.
I can honestly say that I would not take this strong man route again.
2. Hiding our situation
My wife and I decided to hide our miscarriage.
We did not necessarily do this on purpose. Like, "let's hide this thing so no one will ever know."
It was more of the fact that we hadn't announced the pregnancy yet and in regards to miscarriages it's an unspoken rule to kind of just keep it to yourself.
That is so ridiculous.
This is against Scripture:
Romans 12:15 "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
How could people weep with us, encourage us, or comfort us if they did not even know what we were going through.
I believe that Satan wants us to hide our struggles from others because he wants us to feel like we are all alone and that no one cares about us. This opens up doors for self-pity, anger, bitterness, etc.
If you are the husband of a miscarriage do not hide your situation. Share it with others. Share it in your Church. Share it with your family. You do not have to live on an island during this miscarriage. Plus, the chances are there are dozens of other people in your church who can empathize with you. You would be amazed how many people in your circles of influence have gone through a miscarriage and you sharing your story may open up a door for them to share theirs.
Christianity is not meant to be an island. We are a body of believers. During a miscarriage share your struggles with the body!
3. letting fear REIGN
After the miscarriage I got scared. I began to believe these lies from Satan that if I did not live a perfect Christian life then something else like this might happen.
I remember when I was a teenager and had a car wreck. After the wreck I thought to myself "I had a wreck because of the music I was listening to while I was driving." Ok, maybe I shouldn't have been listening to that music, but that is not why I had the wreck. I had the wreck because of a lapse of judgment in my driving and a lapse of judgment in the lady that hit the side of the car I was driving.
After the miscarriage a similar fear crept into my life.
This fear overcame me for a long time.
I believe it was a stronghold in my life by the devil.
I struggled with having joy and peace in my life because I was focusing so hard on making sure that I was completely right with God at all times, because I did not want anything else bad to happen to me, my family, our ministry, etc.
So I began to overthink everything, apologize to everyone for everything, worry about everything.
I was trying to be this super perfect person instead of just resting in the Grace of God.
I was becoming super religious instead of super close to my Heavenly Father like I should have.
I was trying to do works instead of resting in the arms of my Heavenly Father.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
This verse has really been helping me to break this cycle I was in of trying to live perfect. I am saved by Grace through faith and it is by nothing I have done or can do, I just have to accept the gift of Jesus. I am God's workmanship and because He saved me and loves my I have a desire to do good works. Not out of duty but out of my love for Him.
When you go through a miscarriage or anything for that matter it is not necessarily because God is chastising you.
Some things just happen because God wants them to happen.
As humans we are never going to have all of the answers.
We just have to trust in God during the good and bad times.
If you are a husband of a miscarriage don't make the same mistakes I did.
Mourn/Grieve with your wife. Tell others and be encouraged by them. Don't be fearful.
If you have never been saved or do not have a personal relationship with Jesus you can find out more about how to here: True Hope.
October was declared as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. In his declaration he stated:
"When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them."
So what exactly is pregnancy and infant loss?
Well let’s look at it a little further:
MISCARRIAGES (stats from healthline.com):
Your doctor will classify your condition as a:
- blighted ovum (a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but fetal development never begins)
- complete miscarriage (where the products of conception are expelled from the body)
- ectopic miscarriage (egg implants in places other than the uterus, most often the fallopian tubes)
- incomplete miscarriage (rupture of the membranes with dilation or thinning of the cervix)
- missed miscarriage (the embryo dies without your knowledge, and does not deliver)
- recurrent miscarriage (the third or more consecutive, 1st trimester miscarriages)
- threatened miscarriage (where bleeding and cramps point to a possible upcoming SAB)
STILLBIRTHS (stats from empowher.com):
- According to the World Health Organization, 4.5 million stillbirths occur each year worldwide.
- The Lancet reported that more than 7300 babies are stillborn every day.
- Approximately 1.2 million stillbirths happen during birth, usually because of delivery complications.
- 1.4 million stillbirths happen before birth, usually because of maternal infections or fetal growth abnormalities.
INFANT LOSS (stats & graphic from nwsids.org):
- Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) encompasses all types of death where an infant dies suddenly and unexpectedly. SIDS is one type of SUID. The graph below shows the relationship between the two:
- According to the March of Dimes, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage -- most often before a woman misses a menstrual period or even knows she is pregnant.
- About 15% of recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.
As you can see this month is a big deal.
What we have found is that these issues are regularly neglected leaving individuals left to deal with it on their own.
We want to change this.
This is a life factor that can make or break an individual.
My wife and I had a miscarriage last year and it was one of the hardest things that both of us have ever faced in our lives.
There are millions of others out there that have struggled with pregnancy or infant loss, but these situations are not hopeless!
This month we will be spreading hope and awareness on this issue to the individuals all over the world that need strengthened and encouraged with these life factors through:
- Stories - This month my wife and I will share our story of having a miscarriage to encourage others that have gone through it or will go through it in the future. In addition, we will seek out inspirational stories from others and share them on our site or podcast.
- Awareness - We will spread awareness about these topics.
- We will highlight resources, speakers, authors, etc. that are working to spread hope on these topics.
What is your story? Have you gone through a pregnancy or infant loss? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to share in the comments below or send us a note.
We hope you will be inspired to overcome and succeed regardless of what you are going through.
Sean & Jackie Teis
I love to wear Steelers clothing. From the awesome hat my wife bought me for Father's Day to the sweet Steelers jersey my in-laws gave me for my birthday I enjoy representing my favorite sports team.
In fact, I have found that this is a great way to witness to strangers.
What? Yes, I said that it is a great way to witness.
The world is filled with sports fans. All throughout your city there are people with the same favorite team as you regardless of where you live.
I live in Florida but my favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. You would be amazed how many fellow Steelers fans are down here in my small town in Florida.
When I see someone else wearing Steelers clothing, or one of my other favorite teams from a different sport or division I say "Go Steelers" or "Go Penguins" etc to them. Sometimes I just get a smile or sometimes it turns into a conversation.
Other times when I am the one wearing the clothing people will say to me "Go Steelers" or make a reference to whatever team I am representing.
You might even get a conversation started with someone that doesn't like your team, in my case a Patriots or Ravens fan! Nevertheless, there is still an opportunity there too.
People find community in sports. As Christians we can use this for good.
The other day I was at Publix (a grocery store) with my youngest son and he had a Steelers hoodie on. An elderly lady said to my son "are you a Steelers fan". This opened up a conversation between us and allowed me to give her a tract and invite her to our Church.
So, how can you use your favorite sports to be a witness:
- Wear your favorite sports team or look for others wearing your favorite sports team(s)
- Make sure to carry Gospel tracts in your purse, pocket, etc. You will probably be able to get these from your Church, but if not go to the local Christian bookstore.
- Look and pray for opportunities for conversation starters with others.
- Let God lead you. In the middle of the conversation or at the end say something to the effect of "it was great to meet you! I attend or I am a Pastor at ________Church and would love for you to come visit us sometime."
Yes, it is that simple.
God wants us all to be witnesses wherever we go and I have found that my favorite sports team(s) open up conversations all over the place. You would not believe how many people comment on my teams.
You never know, it could turn into an opportunity to lead someone to Christ right then and there. God can do anything.
This is just a simple way for anyone to begin witnessing.
Let me know how things go!
A few weeks ago I started a facebook group called Strong Pastor and then I went into several of the Pastors groups that I belong to on facebook and I asked fellow-pastors if they wanted to join me in this group for our first program called "Finish the Year Strong' which is a a weight-loss challenge/competition that lasts for 16 weeks.
This is the first in several "programs" we will offer to help Pastors with the following struggles:
I started this Facebook Group because as of late I have been burdened for my fellow-pastors around the globe.
Well check out some of these number cited on 9marks.org:
- Hours and Pay
- 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
- 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
- 70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
- Training and Preparedness
- 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
- 90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they
thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.
- Health and Well-Being
- 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
- 50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if
they could, but have no other way of making a living.
- Marriage and Family
- 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
- 80% of spouses feel the pastor is overworked.
- 80% spouses feel left out and under-appreciated by church members.
- Church Relationships
- 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
- 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
- #1 reason pastors leave the ministry — Church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastors believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow or change.
- 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
- 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.
- 4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close.
- Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
- Over 1,300 pastors were terminated by the local church each month, many without cause.
- Over 3,500 people a day left the church last year.
Hopefully these statistics did not depress you.
Don't get down or defeated because the same God that called you or your Pastor into ministry is the same God that can help you fulfill His calling on your life.
We can all agree that it is not easy to be in the ministry, but through God all things are possible.
One of my favorite verses in regards to my ministry calling is 1 Thes. 5:24 "Faithful is He that calleth you who also will do it!" Can I get an AMEN!
God is faithful and He can and will bring you through the good and the bad times in your ministry if you will let Him!
From one Pastor to another I want to say that I understand and that through Life Factors Ministries we want to encourage you on your journey.
Some of the things we will be doing through Strong Pastor:
- We will post regularly about this topic with helpful ideas and encouragement.
- We will continue with our first program through our facebook Group.
- We will watch to see where else God leads us with this ministry.
If you are a Pastor please check out our Podcast and other resources for additional inspiration on your journey.
Also, please contact us and let us know of anything you need help with.
We want to help and encourage you on your pastoral journey!
Hello, my name is Sean Teis and I am a stress eater.
Now that we are acquainted let me ask you, can you relate?
Stress eating is pretty common in our stress-filled world today!
Here are some statistics from the American Physiological Association:
Thirty-eight percent of adults say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress. Half of these adults (49 percent) report engaging in these behaviors weekly or more.
Thirty-three percent of adults who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say they do so because it helps distract them from stress.
Twenty-seven percent of adults say they eat to manage stress and 34 percent of those who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say this behavior is a habit.
As you may be able to relate, I stress eat with the best of them. So over the past few years when a problem arose, I arose and went to find some food. Sadly, this is how I responded. Food was my comfort. Food soothed my soul. I am sure there are those of you reading this that can relate. Some Generic Examples:
- Financial Fears = A big bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt!
- People Problems = Why not some outback cheese fries!
- Work Worries = Some pizza sounds like a plan!
These are just some silly examples of a stress eater’s pattern. It is sick I know. But it is true. And the result is not pretty. You end up still stressed but now you are more unhealthy, heavier, and more stressed because you ate your way through your stress.
BUT, we must learn to handle stress in a better way! We must rely on God for my comfort, not food. Sounds simple, but in our weight loss or our health journey, this is a must! Here are three ways we can overcome stress eating:
- Scripture - When we get the urge to stress eat we can cling to verses such as: Psalm 16:8-9 "I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope."
- Prayer - Strive daily to pray to God for strength to resist eating poorly! Only through God's strength can we overcome stress eating!
- Substitutions - Whether you stress eat in the morning, during work hours, at night or whenever. Recognize that time of weakness and try to replace those urges or snacks with healthy substitutions. For example, stress eating for me happens a lot at night so I try to have a lower calorie snack readily available.
Do you stress eat? Please share in the comments below how you will overcome it?
You can overcome stress eating!
I have been working on this since earlier this year and I am proud to say that I have lost 30+ pounds and am on a journey to get down to a healthy weight! I still have more weight I want I want to lose, but with changes like this I can reach the goal I am striving for!
Say it with me "I will no longer be a stress eater and I can overcome stress eating through God!"
You can do this!
Have you stress ate in the past and overcame it? Please share in the comments below how you overcame it?
Have a great day!
Like most people, I love Duck Dynasty. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Phil Robertson. But did you know that this whole dynasty almost never happened?
I was reading a book by Phil Robertson (The dad on Duck Dynasty) called: Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander. As I read through this book I couldn’t put it down. This story of rags to riches is very impressive. This family is set financially for the rest of their lives. From the outside looking in this family has got it all.
But, it almost never happened.
The Duck Commander almost was never created.
Phil almost completely lost everything for good, including his wife and children.
Alan, Jase, and Willie almost became additions to the fatherless statistics.
Miss Kay almost was a single mom for the rest of her life.
Before Duck Dynasty was ever thought of the Robertson family was a mess, but not unlike many typical American families today. Due to Phil’s partying selfish drunken lifestyle he pushed his family away and forced Miss Kay to leave. Miss Kay did what any loving mother would do and took action. She got an apartment. She worked to provide. She struggled. She did her best to make sure her boys would be provided for.
Good for you Miss Kay, good for you! Miss Kay had to embrace the Single Mom Journey. The boys had to come to grips with being fatherless. Phil would be haunted the rest of his life for the destruction he put on his family.
Then something amazing happened. This family got back together. Phil quit his wicked ways. This family was forever changed.
This is very unusual. Guys like Phil usually stay drunks. Children like Alan, Jase, and Willie usually stay fatherless and according to the statistics they often end up following in the steps of their parents. Women like Miss Kay usually become that single mom and stay the course.
So what was the game changer in the Robertson story? How did Alan, Jase, and Willie go from being fatherless to fathered and by their birth dad? How did Miss Kay get her happily ever after? How did Phil Robertson go from drunk to Duck Dynasty? Are you ready for it?
IT WAS GOD.
Again, it was God. After the Robertson’s let Him, God took over this family and amazing things happened. During Miss Kay’s stint as a single mother she accepted Christ as her personal Savior and it changed her life. One day Phil became completely broken and tried to come back to Miss Kay. After a series of events he realized that he needed Jesus too and so he trusted Christ as His Savior too. This family was forever changed. Only through a relationship with Jesus can a messed up family become reunited. It happened here.
As I read the Robertson story I couldn’t help but think of my own dad. My dad was and still is an alcoholic. I wonder what my family would be like today if my dad would have given his life to God and then reunited with my family. How would my family be different? How would I be different?
What about all of the other hurting families out there? Imagine if they could reunite through God. Imagine if the many selfish moms and dads would stop their wicked ways, turn their lives around, and serve God. There are approximately 101 million fatherless children in our world today and about 34 million motherless children. Many of these children are motherless and fatherless due to selfish acts of their parents. Imagine the possibilities if these parents would be like Phil Robertson and come to their need for a Savior. What a different place our world would be. What a difference this made in the Duck Dynasty.
Are you a single parent? God cares about you.
Are you a hurting child or teen? God cares about you.
Are you a grandparent raising your grandchildren? God cares about you.
Are you a parent that walked away from your family? God cares about you.
Are you a person that is searching for your purpose in life? God cares about you.
As an individual, God cares about you!
Only through God can you find true hope. Only through God can you overcome anything. Through God you can overcome anything.
To learn more about our resources for single mom’s and fatherless children click here: Real hope for fatherless families.
Do you want a dynasty? Do you want to leave a legacy? It is only possible through Jesus.