Church Chat

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Aloha Oy!

Ahhhhh....I feel quite tired tonight, so I plan to sit and relax with some tea before bed. Tomorrow is a busy day, like every Sunday, so I'm glad I'm so tired now. I know that sleep will actually come easy tonight. It hasn't this week because I've been so busy and because of my current loss. Slowly, but surely things will get better with time. God is good in all situations.

My teens and I hosted a Luau at our church tonight and that went very well. We even got the pastor up to hula, and that was great. I don't think many people were expecting dancing, but that's alright. They all had fun. We made sure there was plenty of games for the kids. Also, I had a few people come up to me and make a comment on my abilities as a hula dancer...I just told them it was because I've had a few lessons from our good friends from Samoa. Mahalo!! It was a good night.

Earlier on this week, I had the opportunity to go out with some of the ladies from my church. We sat in Big Boy and had coffee until about 10p.m. That's actually pretty late for them because they all have husbands and children to go home to. They wanted to cheer me up and make sure I knew I was loved. How cool are they? I do feel very loved at this church. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to sit and hang out with some women. I needed that.


I can't think of much else right now because I'm so tired. Maybe tomorrow or Monday, but right now I need sleep. Love you, and God bless!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Goodnight Elizabeth

One of my favorite songs to listen to when I'm down or just not feeling well is "Goodnight Elizabeth" by the Counting Crows. Today, my appreciation for that song is very strong. My heart has been guarded for so long and I miss the security of its walls. Sometimes things just happen when you least expect them to. I will survive eventhough right now it doesn't feel like it. This weekend was a rough one. My grandma ended up in the hospital and I didn't know what was going to happen to her. I was told to go home if I wanted her to actually know me when I saw her. I did. I left the night I got the call and Steven went with me. She wasn't doing so well that night, and I went up Saturday to see her in the hospital hoping that a good night's rest would help her some. She went home on Monday from the hospital, so that was an answer to prayer. Steve and I left late Saturday night. I was so glad that he came with me, but something was not right with him. I could feel it. Well, he broke up with me on Monday and told me that he's uncomfortable around me now, doesn't miss me when he's gone, and doesn't love me anymore. I heard the "I love you like a friend" speech, and that was just great. I felt wonderful! Not really. This is the hardest thing my heart has ever had to heal from. I loved him so much, but again, it was a one-way street. This short journal entry has taken me two days to write because I couldn't find the right words to say without breaking down again. Goodnight Elizabeth is a good song...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

One Youth at a Time

God is good. There are times when I'm just not real sure what my purpose is for God, then He gives me a gentle reminder. Those usually come in the form of a phone call from one of my youth, a letter or card from a church member, or someone approaching me after a service. I don't even have to say that I'm feeling down or alone in ministry, God always know the right time to give encouragement. God is so good. I really don't expect things to be constantly ducky. If I did then I could say that I'm in the wrong job. One of my favorite parts of my job is when my teens call me up to vent or talk to me about their day. Most of my kids are athletes and they are always on the go. It's hard getting to all their tournaments and games, but it's worth it when I can. I remember a time when youth ministry was the last thing in the world that I wanted to do, now I don't know what else I would want to do. The same goes for my music ministry. Right now, I'm running hard with both hands full with these jobs because of the time of year it is. My teens are preparing for IYC (International Youth Conference) in Colorado, and my choir is about ready to start up practicing for Easter. I know it seems early, but Easter is at the end of March this year. When the second week of August hits, I will finally have a bit of a break before I start shopping for the Christmas cantata. What fun it is, and I do mean fun. I do get tired and cranky but I love my job, and I love the people of my church and my conference. Also, I'm singing in 3 weddings and standing up in 1. That makes 4 weddings in 7 months time that I will be in, and I'm pretty thrilled about it. I know that means a lot of driving time, but I don't want to miss one of the unions. It's amazing to me how much stuff can be crammed into one year. Wow. How will all of this be accomplished? I know that it's only by God's grace and strength that anything will get done. I won't type out everything that is coming up in my planner because I don't want to overwhelm myself by looking at it, or overwhelm anyone else. Believe me, my schedule if full!! Well, I must go for now, but I will write again soon. May God's blessings shine upon your life! Love ya!!

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Today wasn't as cold as yesterday, and I'm soooo glad! The sun wasn't out, but I didn't mind. My morning started off funny when I had to walk up my steep and snowy driveway to meet my pastor because he wouldn't drive down. He was afraid that he was going to get stuck. My short legs had lotsa fun going through the drifted snowy drive. I don't have an inhailer anymore but I think I'm going to change that soon. I had forgotten how hard it was to breathe when the air is that icy. My lungs hurt for a very long time, but I recovered. The last of the leadership conference was today and that went very well. I have a lot of free knowlegde to go back over and use, and I am very thankful. God is so very good. I feel a bit better from the other day. Thank you for praying for me, it really has helped a lot more than you can imagine. I've had some strange dreams, that at the time felt terrible, but now seem stupid, but they upset me tremendously. I talked with Steve about them and he made me feel better. Thank you, love! Tomorrow is going to be quite busy for me with all the catch up work I have to do, but I can't wait to do it! It's going to be great, and I miss my little office and my beautiful guitar and Dawn's hot chocolate! Mmmmm! It's going to be great. I'm afraid that I could get disconnected at any time, so I'm going to end this here. I love you all and you are in my thoughts and prayers! Many blessings!!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Revelations

God has been speaking to me in the silences. I have felt, for a while, that something was covering me; a cloud of doubt and deception has scaled the eyes of my heart. I couldn't figure it out. What's wrong with me? Well, revelation is starting to move in and take over. The storm is coming, so Lord, let it rain. Open the flood gates of heaven, and let it rain, Lord! Please be the One to release me from my fears and from myself. Set me free, Lord! I am Yours, and I am ready for what is to come. Lord, here I am. I know that to all of you that read my posts have no idea what I'm talking about, but that's ok. I don't want to post too much because it's personal, but I do want you to know that I need prayer and support. I've been in ministry for about a year and a half now, and I am learning so much. Good, bad, and everything in between has been brought to me in this time, and it can be quite overwelming. God's grace and love is sufficent for me and for you. Today, I went to the first day of a minister's conference, and it was great! It was at a charismatic church in Grand Rapids, and it is what I have needed so far. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend this. I have learned so much already and I can't wait until tomorrow. Tonight I plan on reflecting on this day and praying for the next one to be just as good if not better. Thanks, all, for reading and praying. You are so beautiful to me!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Dry Hands, Soft Heart

It's a beautiful and sunny Saturday afternoon. I've already cleaned the house a bit, gone to town, and had a shower (not in that order) all before 2:00 p.m. That's pretty amazing for me. I'm expecting tomorrow to be a full day. The conference Super is going to be preaching, there's going to be a fellowship dinner, I have choir practice, youth group to follow directly after, and then my small group meets. I have to do the reading for my group. When it comes to my personal study and small group stuff, it always seems to get the short straw. I usually have a lot to do for a regular Sunday, and I tend to forget my assignments from my leader. Very depressing. I'm trying to work on that. A cup half full cannot overflow. I hope, also, to at least hear from Steven today. He's been busy working and helping his friends in Greenville. It's not easy having him gone all the time, but I have faith that things will change soon. It really is a beautiful day out there in the big world. I guess it's really not that big anymore. We've kind of changed that, haven't we? I hope that someday I will get to see more of it. I'm starting to get a bit dreamy, so I'm going to end here. I love you all and may God bless you today.

Dream Weaver...

I slept in late today. I forgot to set my alarm clock and time just slipped by. I didn't wake up until 11:30 this morning and now I feel like some of my day is wasted and gone. I never used to say that. My mom always did and I could never understand why. She loves mornings still. Ah well, I will be able to stay awake later this evening I guess. Yesterday I tried to type a post 2 different times and my internet kept kicking off. I decided not to write because it wasn't worth the hassle anymore.
Tonight I got a phone call from someone I haven't heard from in a very long time. Mrs. Emily Davidson gave me a call! It was great. We talked for almost an hour and laughed about funny things from our past and silly things that have happened since we've been apart. It was a blessing from above. I feel very lucky to have the kind of friends that I have. Without you guys and gals, I would be lost!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Worry Causes Fat Bottoms

It's another weird weather day in Michigan. It's supposed to rain today but snow the rest of the week. That's going to make driving fun, I'm sure. I didn't wake up in the best mood today, and I'm not exactly sure why. I got plenty of sleep last night. I read until I couldn't keep my eyes open so that I didn't have another night of continuous thought hindering me from sleeping. Maybe I don't feel as joyous because of the weather. It's rainy and gross, making slush from the once beautiful snow. Tonight, I'm supposed to go to Ionia Michigan to watch my boyfriend perform in a Mo-Town tribute he's been working on for a long time now. That should be fun. Also, I have a meeting today with my pastor (my boss). It's our weekly meeting that we always hold on Wednesdays. I'm a bit apprehensive because tomorrow I have a meeting with my Music Committee, and honestly, I hate meeting with that committee. I never go away from them feeling very good about anything. That's probably driving my mood. Ah well, hopefully things will be ok there. God help me have a more positive attitude towards tomorrow. It's tomorrow and I already dread it. I shouldn't be doing that to myself...worrying about tomorrow. Hmmm. I used to have Matt 6:34 posted where I could see it at all times. Maybe I should do that again. It says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." I might not have worded it completely right, but that's the gist. Well, I have to go get ready for work. This is the contemplative Crazy Church Lady signing out. Peace be unto you, my brothers and sisters, and may my mind be full of peace as well!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Simple Line = Profound Thought

Art, like everything else, starts off with a simple line and continues to grow as the artist grows. You're probably wondering what I'm talking about. Well, I was thinking about drawing before I went to sleep last night and this thought came to me. A good friend of mine, while in college (Drew), said something like that to me once. I was struggling with a pencil drawing and he came in the room and watched over my shoulder. I told him that I was getting quite frustrated with it and he said, "Shannon, it's just a simple line, that's all". As you can see, that has stuck with me. A simple line. Everything has a start and it is simple. A baby in a mother's womb starts off as a one-celled organism, and relationships often start off with a simple "hi" or "hello". Where am I going with all of this...I'm wondering myself. Last night when I was lying awake pondering simple line and form, God reminded me of the simplicities in life that move into complex. We take things from the simple, and as time passes and we are ready, we move things further on into a more complex structure. God gave us all a start in our friendships that were simple, but as time and love grew He slowly moved up the level of complexities to where we could handle them. God is so good. Art starts off with a simple line and continues to grow as the artist grows. Wow. I think now that the mental block I once had with simple line is gone, thanks to God's enlightning power on Drew's 3-year old statement. I think that if we all think about simple line and the course of time many mental blocks we have concerning life will be gone. I know I think of odd things when falling asleep, but sometimes that's the best time for the profound to empower. Thank You, Lord for the profound simple line!

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Monday full of cleaning supplies...

Ah, it's my day off work and so far it's everything I had hoped it would be. I'm cleaning house, enjoying the winter weather from the inside, and listening to the local classic rock station on my stereo. Sounds like heaven, eh? Well, yes it is. I've been told many times that I'm a weird one because I enjoy days like this (days full of cleaning, that is). I like to feel as though I have accomplished something in my own personal space. Not too many people enjoy Mondays the way I do because they don't have the same work schedule that I have. Very few occupations can actually celebrate a Monday with relaxation. I am one of the few, the humbled, a pastor. I am a Youth Pastor and a Music Pastor, so when a Monday comes along, sleep is usually one of my best friends. Today is a different story, however. There is so much I would like to accomplish with my day. I'm also planning on finishing a book my boyfriend gave me to read a while ago. He thinks that I'm taking a long time, but he doesn't realize I had to stop reading it during the holidays because I had very little time. I picked it back up just recently and now I'm almost done with it. It's a very good book. Sad, but very good. If you haven't read "My Name Is Asher Lev", I highly recommend you go out and get it sometime. Well, I'm going to end this here. I know that this isn't really a very deep post, but it will do fine for my first one. God bless you all, and this is the Crazy Church Lady signing out. Bye for now, but not forever!! :o)