Church Chat

Monday, December 26, 2005

Dog Sitta

Christmas is over, and let me tell ya, it was a nice holiday away from everything. I really needed the time with my family more than ever this year. I really needed their presence. My mom and I sat in her hot tub twice while I was there, and this last time it was snowing. I never would have imagined that I would do that kind of thing. I used to laugh at my roomate for doing that with her family, now I have no room to talk. It was great. Also, I got to spend a fair amount of time with my brother and my dad's side of the family. My sisters and brothers are getting so big, and my step mom had a great deal to share with me. It was a very pleasant time. My pa, Jack, was a whole lot of fun, as usual. He kept my mom laughing, and made my grandma smile eventhough she had tears in her eyes most of the night. I don't know what's troubling her heart, but she's just not quite herself right now. I hope she starts to feel better. Like I said, my time with my family was wonderful, and I feel energized and ready to go back to work. Speaking of "back", I am home right now. I had to repack my bags to go dog sit for some friends. They have two big dogs that are very sweet, and their daughter's cat will also be there. It shouldn't be too bad, and I don't imagine it will be.

Well that's about it for now. Nothing profound. Nothing unusual. That's it. God bless, and may the rest of your holiday season be bright and full of family!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Holiday Blessings

Well, good afternoon and Merry Christmas to all! I hope your holiday is going as well as mine. It really is good to be home, eventhough my last blog sounded kinda sad. I wasn't feeling to happy because of things going on back in my town, but being here where I grew up and with family has made the holiday so much better. God is good and I feel a lot better. I needed time away to be with the people who love me. I miss my family when we're not together. They are so important to me. Any who, I just wanted to blog a little to say Merry Christmas to all, and God bless us, every one!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Nothing More Than Feelings

I don't really feel much like myself tonight. I don't know what my problem is, but I feel pretty terrible actually. Ministry is lonely, and usually this time of year helps with that pain, but it seems that I'm still harboring a burden somewhere deep within me. I don't like it, but I just feel like crying. I feel very tired and I don't really know how to explain myself. I know everyone hits a dark patch in their life from time to time, so I know this will go away, but I was hoping to be happy since I'm at home right now. I'm not happy. In fact, I'm quite depressed. I've had a rough year and I know that most have, so there's no use in me complaining about it, is there? Nope, not really. I don't want to complain any way. I guess I just need to put it out there that I wish that I could be happy and positive all the time, but I'm not. I still have a lot of trouble with the nasty side of ministry; the back stabbing, the name calling, the picking at every little thing a person does...I thought this was church. I thought this was the place that everyone was supposed to love you and care for you no matter what. Why do I feel like I'm back in high school when dealing with adults? It's crazy!!!! I wish I understood, but maybe it's better that I don't. I guess that I really only needed to vent a little. I feel a little better. Maybe I'll sleep now...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Home For The Holidays

It's almost Christmas and I'm so excited. It doesn't exactly feel like it should be close to Christmas, however, because of how crazy things have been lately. I guess that's normal, but it's not the way I like to spend my time before a big holiday. Ah well, God is good, and things are fine. I need to get my presents finished up for my family real soon. I'm sure that what I'm making for them will go over really well.

I guess I don't have a lot to say like normal, but that's ok. I mostly wanted to write in here to say Merry Christmas to anyone who reads this, and I hope your time with your family is very special. God bless!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Trampled Sparrows

I'm really excited about the holiday now. I wasn't, quite honestly, before. I thought my Christmas was going to consist of me, two dogs, a cat, and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, the dogs and cat at least. Christmas day falls on a Sunday this year, and so I thought I would be staying in Cedar and only calling my family to say Merry Christmas. Well, that's not the case. I get to go home after all!! My church board decided alltogether to let me spend the holidays with my family. I was so excited, I cried. The only problem was that I promised some friends of mine that I would watch their animals while they went to Colorado with their family. That wrench quickly fixed itself when a dear friend volunteered to step in and take over during Christmas eve and Christmas day. He doesn't live too far away from the place where he'll be dog-sitting, so it worked out wonderfully. I will take over on the Monday after the holidays. God is good, and He's always watching out for us. I feel so much better about everything in that respect, except I think I still have a friend mad at me. Hopefully they'll get over it soon and realize I would never intentionally do something to hurt them. God will work miracles in that arena, too.

This weekend is going to be a great one. My mom is coming, my roomate is watching our favorite baby for the entirity of the weekend, I have a senior teen Christmas party to get ready for, my friend from Grayling is coming down, and it's almost Christmas. Can you tell I'm excited. God is good, and I love Him so much. I only pray that ill feelings will be disolved and the mercy of the Lord prevails over all this holiday season. He is so good, and I hope everyone gets a taste of God this Christmas! Love you!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

His Feet, Not Mine

I’ve been sitting here pondering the feet of Jesus. Pondering the idea and gift of humbleness. Right now, I pray that I am sitting at the feet of Jesus with my wounded head in His lap as He strokes my hair and tells me “everything is going to be alright, my love. It will be alright”. Sometimes reading, or just remembering scripture helps me go to that place where the Lord is holding me close and telling me just that. I’ve needed His big arms recently. Truthfully, I’ve needed His big arms ever since I went into Ministry. At the point of my accepting my calling to ministry I have needed to sit in the lap of my Lord and have him tell me “everything is going to be alright, my love. It will be alright”.

I never started out life thinking that I was going to be this great missionary/youth pastor/music minister, saving millions of lost souls wherever I could find them. No, no, I wanted to be a veterinarian, or a meteorologist, an artist, or a Country Music star in Nashville. I know, major differences in my career choices, but just follow me here. I wanted to be something amazing that was gentle, smart, sensitive, and appealing. I wanted to be sort of a “super hero” in my own right, but I could never really determine which career really suited me the most. The vet wanted to take care of and coddle, the meteorologist wanted to be smart and highly learned, the artsy side wanted to be approachable to many and kind of quirky, while the singer side wanted a great adventure with a lot of people, travel, and things that not many people get to do. Well, I must say that even though I did not become any of my original choices, I got all of the above wrapped up into one package; Ministry. Yep. Who knew that would happen. Only God. Only God could have predicted my path. Only God could see the hurt before it came and knew how to bandage the pain. Only God would know what many wonders were to lay ahead of me, and only God could love me all the way through it. Yes. I owe a lot to our Heavenly Father, and all He wants in return is me. He wants me to be open to the plans He has in store. He wants me to cuddle up close to his breast when I need a good cry. He wants me to hang on to Him when things get tough. He wants me to praise Him for the good, the bad, and the very ugly. He wants me to let Him tuck me in at night like a Father does best. Yes, I love our God. He’s amazing, and I’m learning so much from Him all the time. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for God and His amazing sacrifice of His only Son. Jesus. What a beautiful name.

I started this off with a title about the feet of Jesus. Kind of interesting, eh? Why yes it is. I am very much amazed by what He did and the road He walked. I am still learning about the humbleness that He walked with. Just thinking about trying to comprehend the humbleness of Jesus is mind-blowing. I don’t think any of us will ever truly grasp or understand it. I’ve dealt with some things in recent times that haven’t made any sense to me whatsoever. One person completely took something out of context and accused me of being unprofessional in my handling of a situation with them. Well, to say the very least it was untrue. This person decided that because I and another party involved didn’t like something they had worked on made us unprofessional. I tried to explain the true situation, but it didn’t seem to help at all. The other party (who just so happens to be male and the irritated person is female) said the exact same thing that I did, and they calmed down but had no apology to give for their “unprofessionalism” (I don’t really think that word is an “ism”, but we’ll pretend for now). That made me so angry and all I could think of doing was seriously injuring that person. I knew that wasn’t the right approach by far, so I secluded myself and began to journal. I let it all out on my pad of paper. Then, I started to think about Jesus. How did He handle situations like these? I knew the answer immediately, and began to pray for my forgiveness and for my heart not to be hardened towards this person and they’re ways of thinking. I needed to forgive even if they didn’t ask for it. I need to do that daily until I am free of this burden. You see, Jesus forgave people who spat on Him, beat Him, called Him names, called Him a blasphemer, and so much more. His response was to “turn the other cheek” because He loved us ALL, and then He died. He died for US. All of us! We may think that because someone treats us badly, or does something to someone else that they are undeserving of His grace. It’s funny how grace and humbleness go hand in hand. This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with something like this, so you’d figure I’d be good at this and my first response would be, “it’s ok if you want to be like that, and I forgive you even if you don’t know what you are doing”, but it’s far from that. I need just as much work as the rest of this world. I may not have been totally wrong or innocent in any of this, but Jesus lived a life of example, and we all need to follow it and get through the trying times no matter how hard they come at you. Times like that are when it’s very necessary to rest your head in the lap of Jesus and let Hold you until the rain goes away. He’ll calm the storm. He’s done it before, so why not trust Him this time. Jeremiah 29:11. More scripture that helps me through times that require an extra dose of deep humbleness like Jesus is Philippians 2: 1-11. The title/heading over that is “Imitating Christ’s Humility” in my NIV. You should look it up if you don’t know it already. Very powerful stuff.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Caroling With My Youth?

It's really a very beautiful day today. I've been up since 7:15 this morning because I had to go visit some of my kids at their school for a band concert. They did a fantastic job, let me tell you! I was very proud of them. The funny thing about it was that they were hosting this concert for the Elementary Schools of their area, so I got to sit with over 200 little ones. It was kind of neat because they really got into the Christmas music the band was playing. They even made the band director laugh a few times. I promised my girls that if they called me with the time of their performance, I would go. You see, I missed their actual Christmas concert by accident. I thought it was next week and not this current week, but I was mistaken. All Sunday night they ragged on me, so I told them that the next concert they played, I would be there. Well wouldn't you know it, it was this morning at 9:30am. I tell you what, that is early for a youth pastor to be up on a weekday. :o) I never heard from them on Monday night as to when their concert was going to be performed, so I got up extra early to call the school in case it was an extremely early concert. When they saw me sitting on the bleachers, their faces lit up and they immediately apologized for not calling me. I got a kick out of it. I love my kids, and I'm so glad I got to do this today. I wasn't sure if there was even going to be school because the weather man was calling for a lot of snow overnight and more today, but our area only got a small portion of the "dumping on". The sun is shining today, which makes it extremely bright outside. The snow is reflecting beautiful diamonds of God's glorious joy today. It's radiant out there!

My weekend was also very good. I got to hang out with a new and special friend on Friday. We had fun trying to figure out what to do on the fly. First, we went to one of my most favorite restaurants, Bennigans, then we went to Skeletones. That's where the evening got interesting. Tones is under new management, and so the atmosphere is very different now. Anyone who is not a teenager, or doesn't smoke, or doesn't dress "punk" wouldn't feel very comfortable anymore. It's definitely changed, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. After we ordered coffees and stood around for a little bit, we decided to explore the city a bit more. We watched ice skaters, then tried to go to the museum because we saw it open...or so we thought. It wasn't. There was an office party there that night. Oops. We left and headed back for our hometown to rent movies and end the night like that. It was about 2am when we finally called it a night. She and I are both "old" now, so 2am wasn't the most appealing time, but it was great. I'm sure we'll do it again.

On Saturday, I got up early to get ready for a Pastor's Christmas party for my district (that's a FM thing, I'll explain if you ask me later J ). It was a great time of food, fellowship, and a bit of role playing/acting. I never win anything when I enter a drawing, but wouldn't you know it, my name got picked for that. It was great, though. I haven't got to act in a long time, and so it actually felt pretty good. It was a nice afternoon with my pastor and his wife. Also, I was working on camp stuff. I had to write a letter to my publicity director about a poster that I received only recently in my email that fit our theme for the 2006 camp. I was pretty excited about it and hoped that she would be, too.

On Sunday, the service was focused on the Advent season, of course. It was beautiful. We lit the candles, hung the wreaths, put the poinsettias on the platforms, and sang Christmas carols. Right after the service, the choir and I practiced for next Sunday; the Christmas Cantata Service. They did, and are doing, a fantastic job. I think that because we practice before eating lunch keeps everyone on task and focused so we get out at a good time. I know I appreciate it, and I work up quite the appetite after waving my arms around for an hour or more. J Sunday night was great, too. We had our “Family Christmas Tree” service in which everyone got to decorate some of the Christmas trees we have in our sanctuary. We sang more carols focused on the adoration of our Heavenly Father, and just had a magnificent time together. When the service was over, we had a finger food fellowship time. There were so many different kinds of goodies and treats, and no one could walk away hungry. In fact, it was even more of a possibility to walk away with a stomachache! After the evening was over, I went back home and checked my email and felt a burden on my heart. I knew that my camp pub director was not happy about what I had to say at all, and in fact, they felt that I had wronged them by considering another poster over theirs. That wasn’t the case at all. I saw the person online, and we debated for almost an hour before going to sleep a bit more at ease than when I first sat down. My excitement was quickly extinguished in one moment’s time. I pray that this will resolve soon and the truth will be recognized.

On Monday, I pondered this situation further, even though I tried to concentrate on my personal “Sabbath”. I was successful in my relaxation, but I still needed to talk to someone. I got a hold of my best friend and hashed out my feelings with her. She’s such a great listener and friend. She’s more than a thousand miles away from me, but I know I can count on her to talk about anything. I miss her terribly, but I know that with God in our hearts, and our cell phones, we will always be closer than what distances elude us to believe.

I feel that this entry says it all for me right now. I had a great weekend with a bit of a snag, but I know it will be mended soon. God loves you, and I hope you realize that. I love you, too, and be good. Treat everyone you meet with love and respect, all right? All right. Bye for now!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Night Special

Hey, it's me again. I wanted to thank everyone who posted a comment on my blog/xanga sites recently. I was feeling a bit crabby, so thanks for not noticing that part. :o) Also, thanks for ignoring all the grammar problems I was having then, too. I was just not myself.

I'm actually going out tonight. I haven't been out on a Friday evening in a long time. My gal pal Randi Jo decided it was time we hung out together. We've been getting to know eachother since the beginning of CLC this year, and let me tell ya, she's a crack up. I think we're going to have a great time together tonight. It's been a while since the last time I went out with just girls/adults and no teens. I love going places with my kids, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I need to be with people my own age. I think we're going to go have dinner, coffee, and maybe a movie...we'll see where the night takes us. I doubt we will be out too late, since we are no longer college students, and we've entered into the busy adult world of working long hours and going to bed early. I never thought I'd do that, but ah well. It's crazy what time does to you!

I can't believe it's already the Advent season. It didn't quite feel like it just a week ago...or maybe a bit longer, because there was no snow. I don't know how a person can survive without snow for Christmas. I know, I know, people south of Michigan (and the equator) do it all the time. I guess I just prefer a "White Christmas".

I've already begun planning stuff out for next year's youth group. We stop all youth group meetings, small groups, and so on for the Advent evening services. My church wants as much participation as possible, and quite honestly, it's nice. We all get to be together as one big family, and pastor and I get ahead on our plans. It all works out quite well.

Well, I guess I'm out of things to say at the moment. Maybe I'll type more tomorrow after I get back from the "Pastor's Christmas Party". Fun stuff! Any who, God bless, and bye for now.