Church Chat

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Death Is Nothing At All

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well."

Henry Scott Holland

Friday, March 03, 2006

Why Not Be Excited???

Lately, I’ve been just a bit frustrated. I can’t understand why more people aren’t excited about Christ. I don’t understand why some of the people I know don’t understand the greatness of God, and I don’t know why they aren’t living the life they were meant to live. From what I can tell, too many people are drifting through life waiting for something to happen. From where I stand, this relaxed effort to either know Christ or not know Him is just not aggressive enough. I get annoyed, and at the same time filled with passion, by these people that choose drifting instead of running full-force into the arms and path of Christ. I mean, seriously, what’s the deal? What is it you don’t understand? Is it that someone could love you enough to die for you? Is it that you can’t get past yourself and move into the view God has for you? It could be that you hear a voice telling you that it’s impossible for someone to care about you that much and find you to be the most breathtakingly beautiful thing on this planet. I mean, I was once there. I didn’t think I could believe it to be true, nor did I find myself to be all that great. I’m not, and that’s the thing. God still finds me breathtaking with my flaws hanging on me. He never said to wait and run to Him when I was good and ready, He wanted me to run full force just as I am, with a sprained ankle n’ all. I don’t physically have a sprain, but emotionally or spiritually, I could have. Right now, my desire to see more lost souls found is exceedingly great. My skin crawls when I think of someone I love not going to heaven because of unbelief or not really knowing what to believe. Why does it seem like faith is so hard for some, but not for others? The truth is that faith is hard for every person, it’s just looked at in a different light by all who try it. You don’t need much faith to believe in Christ, but once you harness that mustard seed of faith, you really soar beyond limits you never fathomed possible. Jesus is so worth experiencing a little faith. I get so excited when I think of my Savior. He fills me beyond human limits and my cup runneth over! Imagine a life full of hope, possibilities, blessings, and love. You are constantly filled with God’s joy no matter what crosses the path you’re running on. The worst of the worst could happen, but it doesn’t matter because you know that God is always there. He always comforts, always has hope, He never fails! Now, imagine a life without that. It’s pretty dark and I don’t even want to be there. Why would anyone else want to hold on to nothing like that? What is so attractive about nothing? That’s just it. The illusion of nothing is quite gripping and deceiving. Sometimes I can’t wait for heaven because earth is frustrating! I want to be used to help make a difference in people’s lives, and I know that He is using me. I also know that patience is NOT one of my strong points. I want people saved NOW!!! I need to always hang on to the joy and hope of the Lord and realize that His glory is His own, and His timing is just that, too. Ah, I know I’ll get to be a part of His plans, cause I already am. I just get so frustrated with people because He is so good, and I have a hard time with accepting that some choose the nothing over Him. It’s a harsh reality, but I also know that I cannot accept it or let it defeat me. God wins this whole thing, and I know that. He is glory and majesty, and someday ALL will see that!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Why Can't I Fix It??

Sometimes I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all the problems of this world go away. First off, I went in to work at 8 am to fix the monitor set up for the praise and worship band so that everyone could hear each other more clearly. Well, it started out fine, and then it went downhill during practice. I don’t know what went wrong first, but from that point on, I couldn’t get the reins back. I cried in the bathroom at the church for most of my Pastor’s message. I couldn’t control myself, so I had to leave the sanctuary. I wasn’t finding it to be a place of rest and serenity at all, so I walked out. I didn’t leave permanently, just temporarily to wipe away the tears and cool off my reddened face and bloodshot eyes. I was so overwhelmed today and I couldn’t help myself. I had a huge burden on my heart and the only thing that was going to help at that particular time was to cry. So, after the music team and I finished our set and sat down, I walked down the side isle and went into the ladies room for sanctuary. When I got there, Leslie, my French horn player, was already in there, so I grabbed a tissue and headed into a stall. Well, she waited for me to come out to see what was wrong. At first, I didn’t know what to tell her, but then I couldn’t hold it back any longer. I told her how frustrated I was with myself for not being able to fix things right away, for causing a miscommunication this morning, for feeling like a terrible leader, and I know she saw how alone I was feeling at that moment. She really came through, or should I say, God really came through her. She hugged me and told me some things I didn’t even know she thought about me and about this whole church. There are so many positive things that are about to happen here, and she can sense it just as I can. She also made me feel better about my leadership, and she apologized for not holding me up as her leader the way she should. That blew me out of the water. I didn’t know she felt that way at all. I didn’t know any one felt that way about me. That’s probably not good, but ministry is really tough sometimes. Like I said before, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything better, but that’s not the way ministry, nor the way God works. We have to sort through these problems and ALWAYS give them over to Him. If we try to handle them ourselves or listen to Satan when trying to be perfect, we end up in the ladies (or men’s) room during the sermon (which happened to be on revival…yeah, go figure!). Also today, I felt this huge burden come over me during the praise and worship set while singing for someone in the congregation. I don’t know who or what’s going on, but they really need to turn some major things over to the Lord now! I couldn’t help but cry when I stopped singing to say what was being placed on my heart. That’s what really started the crying fest in the bathroom, but it was the last straw. One more thing to cap off the night, a good friend of mine is burdened with what seems to be huge weights on her heart. I’m worried about her, and again, I wish I could have that stinkin’ wand to wave over her and heal the whole situation, but I have to turn her over to God and trust that He knows specifically how to handle the situation. I trust He will, and I know He keeps His promises. God is so good, little sis, and I know He has your heart safely in His hands. Remember that, and trust. He won’t ever forsake you in this! Any who, that is how this day started and ended. I’m very tired and I really need a shoulder massage. Anyone available??? Help??? LOL. May God bless you continually through all your trials, errors, successes, and of course blessings!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Mardi Gras Band

Wow, am I ever exhausted! I had a women’s retreat this weekend, and that does not mean relaxing…lol. You get 77 women all in one hotel, and try to relax. It just doesn’t happen! It was so much fun, and I loved it. My mom was able to come over and be a part of it too, and that makes everything that much better. Plus, my Lisa came and played piano for our little worship band. Yeah, I had to lead the music while there, and that was too fun as well. I love doing that kind of stuff. The only trouble there was packing all the equipment in the vehicles. Try putting an upright keyboard in a Monte Carlo and a Ford Focus. It rode in both cars in two pieces! We got it all to work and that’s good. Lisa and I had to give ourselves some kind of creative name for our little 2-man band, but we couldn’t think of anything. The pastor’s wife, Pat, took one look at us and called us the Mardi Gras band. You may think that’s kind of weird, but if you would have saw us, you would understand. Lisa had on a purple princess crown with feathers, I was wearing a bright pink cowboy hat with a necklace of blinking clovers, and we had a disco spin ball behind us lighting up the room in multi colors. Yeah, the name fit us well, and it kinda fits my personality. It’s too bad I didn’t think of it before the whole retreat. I would have brought my feather boa! It would have been perfect, but I know I would have gotten feathers all over the place. Any who, the time of worship was so good, the speakers really touched everyone in phenomenal ways, and the whole experience was just so wonderfully needed. Even though it was busy, I still feel refreshed. I’m gonna go to bed kinda early tonight so that I have an early start on tomorrow. I think I’m going to need it. Sundays are pretty action packed, and so good rest, physical rest, is very necessary. I think that covers my weekend so far. Lisa and I really should think about taking the Mardi Gras band out on the road. We need a drummer, and maybe a bass player, and a lead guitar, but that’s all…lol.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Island Dreaming

Slow motion daydreaming
A beach towel on hot white sand
The sound of the ocean crashing and palm trees swaying
A warm breeze comforts my skin
The sun is warmer than any winter blanket and more soothing
Dark sunglasses
My favorite book
My bikini
SPF 75 to cover my porcelain white skin
The beach is quiet except for nature’s song

My vacation is getting close, and I can’t wait. It won’t be on a warm beach with hot white sands, but it will be very close to paradise because I get to go home and see my parents. That’s exciting enough. They have a hot tub, so I can pretend that I’m basking in 80 degree weather. If I really want to make it real, I could lay in my mom’s tanning bed. I just might for the rays, but not for the tan. My skin doesn’t do that, hence the mention of spf 75. I can’t wait for my week off. I’m going to a hockey game, I’m gonna relax, I’m gonna catch up on some reading, and I’m not going to do any type of church work. I’ll be too far away any way. It’s going to be a huge blessing and I’m thankful.

Friday, February 17, 2006

What A Week!!!

So, things have been tough all the way around lately. I can’t complain, because I know God has everything under control, but my oh my, things have been tough. I really just want to sleep in a nice warm place after a nice hot bath, just before a nice long massage. Sound good? Oh yes. So any way, this is what has happened. I’ve been on the upside of being sick, and that’s great. At the beginning of the week, I still sounded like a baritone, but slowly I went from that to tenor, all the way back up to my 3 and a half octave range. Yaya!!! So, after that is when it got rough. I’ve been reading this book called “Do You Think I’m Beautiful”, by Angela Thomas. It’s wonderful, and it’s more than an encouragement kind of book. It’s a book that will tear you apart, throw you around, beat you until you’re black n’ blue, and then tell you what you’ve needed to hear all your life. There’s a part in there that I am kind of stuck on right now. It goes a little something like this…

Will You Rescue Me?
…We (women) are applauded for enduring great difficulty alone. We call women who don’t need help “superwomen” and set them apart as inspirational. …As for many of us it seems to make sense to just do it yourself. A few relational disappointments can teach us painfully and quickly that no one is coming to the rescue. Oh, they may show up but then not stay. Or they may show up and stay but make you wish they would hurry up and leave. So get tough. Try not to depend on anyone or long for someone to carry you away. Heroes that save the girl are for adventure stories and blockbuster movies. Stop daydreaming and learn how to save yourself. Yeah, it makes sense sometimes, especially if your heart is numb.

Do you remember the day when you realized that you have to be the grown-up? I still catch myself thinking, how did this happen? …I have to remember to have the oil changed in the car. No one else is going to clean out the gutters except me. I have to be the grown-up. No one is coming to rescue me.

Grown-up women may be tough and able, but I don’t know a woman who underneath the steel veneer wouldn’t love to be fought for…rescued…swept away…safe…protected. Psalm 34

Wow, let me tell you, that didn’t hit me until last night how true that really is. You see, the power went out in my house due to a massive ice thunderstorm that blew through. Kari and I immediately started lighting every candle we could find, we brought in the kerosene heater from the porch after filling it, and we bundled up. Today, we managed to get some water-filled bottles to bring home to flush toilets, and do dishes. We managed to make sure our house didn’t freeze up, and we had a plan for the pipes under the house and in the pump house to prevent them from freezing. Before this ice storm, she and I both managed very well as single women living in a house in the woods with no real problems. I haul wood from the woods, cut the grass, I know how to listen to a vehicle to tell if something’s wrong and I usually know what that something is. I can survive on my own with no problems. It’s really a cool thing, and I know my parents are very proud of me (and so is Kari’s parents because she and I are a lot alike in this way). It’s great that we are so self sufficient, but sometimes it’s hard at the same time. That section of that book that I typed out was kind of tough to take because I am so that. I’m tough and very independent. Other women have asked why I would even think about wanting to marry or even date if I can do so much on my own. Why is that so hard for anyone to understand? I am just as soft as those other gals that feel flirting and playing the “damsel in distress” is the only way to meet men. I don’t feel that’s necessary. I can flirt, there’s no problem there at all, but I don’t go overboard with it. Ah, I don’t know. Today I cried to myself when I found out the power had returned to our house. I was so relieved and thankful to God that He gave me this answer. I know He rescued me and He always does. I came to him in my time of distress, true distress, and He lightened the load tremendously. Someday, I know I will be pursued, but the wait can get so irritatingly frustrating! Any way, that’s what I’ve been feeling; kind of stuck, alone with no help, but God rescues. I also know that someday my husband to be will come out of hiding and chase after me, but until then, I’m alright. I’m more than alright. God is good, and He is my rescue.

Monday, February 13, 2006

God Is So Good

It’s a new day and a new adventure. I wanted to say, first of all, thank you to all who have been praying for my family and I. We greatly appreciate it, and you have no idea the impact you’ve had/are having. God bless you!! He is good, and I know you know it!! Now, moving on to this new adventure, it’s Monday. Today is my day of rest, and I need it, once again. I’m still sick, but not as bad as I once was. I sound worse than what I actually feel. I had a frustrating day yesterday because of it. I couldn’t sing, and so I had to turn that portion of my work day over to someone else. I played my guitar and coached from behind, but talking and singing was out of the question. The other person and the team did great, but it was still hard for me. But, God is good, and He knew I needed that. I needed the opportunity to hit the altar during the prayer hymn because I had a heavy heart for my family. I had a lot of people surrounding me, and some of them were my youth. That was awesome. Like I said, God is so good. Choir practice was really quick because I can’t really direct without my voice, but that wasn’t a big deal. It was the first one anyway. Also, I got to come home and take a nap before youth group. I have good kids that are patient, so they just listened when I tried to read the lesson to them. It was a good day altogether and it ended with an hour and a half 0ne-on-one with one of my girls. She really needed to talk to me, and I was so glad she did. I love it when they come to me. I have some real good kids in my youth group, and I feel blessed. God knew what He could do with me and through me yesterday with no voice of my own. I was still used for His good purposes. That’s so cool!! Today, I’m just going to take it easy and relax in His arms. I doubt I’ll go anywhere or do anything that requires a lot of energy. I may clean house a bit, devo a lot, watch movies, just fun stuff that relaxes me. Well, that’s about it for now. God bless!!