Strack strives to be ‘living sacrifice’
Published April 23, 2009
ORLANDO (BP)—Diane Strack lay on the operating table, watching doctors perform an emergency procedure on her heart.
“I asked to be kept awake, so I could watch the catheterization and see what was hap≠pening to my heart,” Strack said. “I actually saw my artery kinked and closed.”
She heard the nurse gasp: “Look at all that disease!” “I glanced up and saw on the monitor what looked like a shriveled green bean,” Strack said. “An overwhelming fear came over me that this could be my last breath.”
In the face of that horrifying thought, however, Strack encountered the Living God.
“In that moment, I had an amazing experience with the Lord,” she said. “I knew I had just been given another chance to live. He spoke to me and said, ‘If you will present yourself to me, if you will be a living sacrifice, I will take you through.’ It was a magnificent and awesome experience.”
The Lord spoke to Strack, who is president of the SBC Ministers’ Wives Conference, through Romans 12:1, which urges believers “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (NASB) Out of that experience came Quiet Influence: The Romans 12:1 Woman -which is both a Bible study and the theme of this year’s Ministers’ Wives Luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention, June 23 in Louisville, Ky.
Strack wants the Louisville gathering to minister to ministers’ wives in a powerful way.
“With the economy the way it is, with things in the world the way they are, it’s so easy for pastors’ wives to feel very overwhelmed. We hear complaints and fear at every turn and this is then expressed to the minister and his wife,” Strack said. “We want to give ministers’ wives a sense of understanding that, no matter what their situation, God can use you in people’s lives, year after year and generation after generation, when you present yourself to Him in holy surrender.”
Each minister’s wife attending the meeting will be given a free copy of the Bible study, which has been published by NavPress and includes chapters written by Debbie Brunson, Jeana Floyd, Donna Gaines, Susie Hawkins and Lisa Young, as well as Strack.
Brunson is wife of Mac Brunson at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville; Jeana Floyd is wife of Ronnie Floyd, First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark.; Gaines is wife of Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn.; Hawkins is wife of O.S. Hawkins, president and CEO of GuidesSone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Young is wife of Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church in Dallas.
The luncheon will give pastors’ wives an opportunity to hear real experiences and stories about how other ministers’ wives have faced struggles and found God carried them through, Strack said.
“You can gain so much from hearing somebody say, ‘I went through breast cancer and God’s brought me through it’ or ‘My son walked away from the Lord and as a pastor’s wife that was the hardest thing I ever went through,’” she said. “That’s powerful for a woman who’s out there struggling. She might feel alone and embarrassed because you publicly are living out your son walking away. You take all the pressure on yourself.”
The study is designed to encourage and inspire women by showing how great women of the Bible and church history have made a tremendous impact on people’s lives by exerting quiet influence, Strack said.
“We’re highlighting that, even if they aren’t up there on the stage or in a large church, God wants to use you,” she explained. “It’s all about presenting yourself and trusting Him to do the rest with your life.”
In addition to the authors giving a preview of the Bible study, the program also will feature a segment called “The View from the Pew,” in which the panelists will relive some of their most embarrassing ministry moments. “We think that will be fun,” Strack said, “helping other ministers’ wives understand that you can make mistakes and still live on.”
A new feature for this year’s luncheon will be a Women’s Expo both before and after the luncheon, Strack said. The doors to that event will open at 10:30 a.m. and will feature resources for women’s ministry and personal growth. Door prizes will be awarded every 10 to 15 minutes the various booths will offer giveaways as well. In addition, every woman attending the luncheon will receive gifts and favors.
Free tickets to the luncheon are being given to the wives of seminary students, Strack said. In addition, all future proceeds from sales of the Quiet Influence study will be donated to the Ministers’ Wives Conference fund.
Strack is also the founder and author of New Start for Single Moms, featured in the 2006 Florida Baptist Witness focus on godly women. She has been involved in women’s ministry for 30 years as a speaker, writer, and teacher.
With her husband, Jay, Strack co-founded the Student Leadership University, a global comprehensive leadership training program for students. Diane is the co-author of the experience Scripture study guides published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, including Worship in the Storm and a contributor to the Impact Bible. She is the mom of two daughters, Missy and Christina, who both serve in ministry, mother-in-law to Brent Crowe, and grandmother to Charis, Gabriel, and Mercy.
Information about the program is available at dianestrack.com. Tickets for the event can be purchased there or by calling 512-258-9021.
Copyright © 2001-2008, Florida Baptist Witness,