Church Chat

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How Great Is Our God

How Great Is Our God : Chris Tomlin

The splendor of a King,

clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light,
and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God,

sing with me How great is our God,
and all will see How great,
how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God,
sing with me How great is our God,
and all will see How great,
how great is our God

Monday, January 30, 2006

Relaxation 101

Hi there! So, I don’t know how I did this, but I rented some movies the other day specifically for today…my day off. I rented Ned Kelly, and The Messenger. I love movies that have some truth to them, and I don’t always like real sappy movies. I do, of course, own a good number of girlie feel good movies, but that’s not exactly what I was going for. Any way, I rented these two movies not really realizing what I had done. I had rented to cultural movies that relate to my own heritage without even knowing it. I mean, I knew ‘Ned Kelly’ was about an Irishman in Australia, but not the story, and I know the story behind ‘The Messenger’. It’s a movie on Joan of Ark. Do I have to mention that she’s a French chick? Yeah, I managed to get to movies that fit my heritage, and I didn’t even realize it. Both have sad endings, but they are awesome stories about people who wouldn’t give up because of what they believed in. That is amazing. Unfortunately, like many true stories in history, the hero dies (ain’t that right, Lisa lol). You would have had to be there to get that joke.

This weekend was absolutely nuts for good reason. My church was finally able to get into our newly built and mostly finished sanctuary. It’s amazing, and I feel so blessed by God to be in there now. It’s beautiful, but it took a lot of work to get it that way. I was so nervous yesterday, and I could hardly sleep the night before. I kept waking up in the night thinking about what else I needed to do, or wondering if everything was set up on the platform properly, or wondering if everything was plugged in right. I tossed and turned all night long, and I was even nervous about being higher up than what I was in the previous sanctuary. Before when everyone stood up to sing, they couldn’t see me, and now that’s all changed. I love the new platform, it’s just going to take some getting used to. We have some sound issues that need to be worked out, but that kind of stuff we were expecting. That’s not a big deal, and I find it to be a welcomed adventure because of what God has given us. Both services, the morning and the dedication, went very well. I truly feel God had His hands on everything. My poor pastor was very nervous before the dedication because the Free Methodist Bishop from our section of the states and the Superintendent from our conference were there to help the ceremony. I couldn’t hardly get him to laugh about anything. Ah well, everyone handles stress differently I guess. My parents even came to see the first service. I was so excited to see them, and it’s been a while since I had last. They had to go home around 2 because Jack had some work to do the next day early, and I had to get back to the church any way. I had some meetings and practices to attend to. I was glad to see them, even if it was only for a short time. After all that, I had youth group. We had to finish up some stuff for Super Bowl Sunday, and so next week should be great. I can’t wait, but first I have to get through all the hurdles and hoops this week is already trying to throw at me. I won’t let it get to me, because God is good and I shouldn’t worry.

Today is Monday, and I am so relieved after this weekend. I can watch the movies I rented that I was talking about earlier, and I can read, drink tea, and relax. I love Mondays, though I know not everyone gets to enjoy them the way I do. I am thankful for the blessings I have received in my life so far, and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do next. Please pray for me this week, and I’ll pray for you, too. God bless you, and may His face shine upon you!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Brother's Day

Today was just another busy day for me. Sometimes it feels like I’m going through the motions of life without actually living in it. Does that make any sense? I’m not exactly feeling 100% like myself today, but this, too, shall pass just like gas.

I wish that I could be with my brother right now. Today is his 24th birthday, and I can’t remember the last time I actually was with him on his big day. It’s definitely been a while, but we are older now, and I guess that just happens. He’s a good kid, and I love him so much. He was there on my 25th when I got my first tattoo. It was my birthday present from him, and he actually didn’t think I’d go through with it. I proved him wrong, however, and shocked myself in the process. Now, like him, I am addicted to getting inked. He’s got 6 and is far from done. We’re a close pair, and I miss him so much. Happy birthday, my brotha!! Be have!

Well, I don’t really feel like saying much more than what I already have. Like I said, I’m not feeling up to par, so I’m gonna go now. God bless, and buh bye!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Peanut Butter and Jelly Kind of Day

It’s a beautiful Wednesday morning, and I’ve missed actually writing out my blogs. Sometimes, you have to share the songs that have been playing in your head, or playing on the radio because they’re so good. I know that not everyone is a Pat Benatar fan, but hey, she’s awesome, and even more rockin’ in concert! So, yeah, I love 80’s girl bands along with Barry Manilow. I’m an eclectic. Any way, today should be absolutely lovely because I not only have work, but I have to go hang out with the Young Teens and the CLCers (that’s Awana for all my groovy Baptist friends) and have a fantabulous time with them goofing around. Sounds like a blast? Yes, yes it is.

I realize that I didn’t write about my awesome weekend in my last blogs because I was caught up in the music. Well, here goes. I had the opportunity to go to Port Huron, which is about 3 hours from where I’m at now, and hang out with some very special people. My friend Suella, from Canada, and my friend Michelle and I had a great time enjoying a symphonic evening of Celtic music and Tim Horton’s coffee. Yeah, that’s my kind of night. The next day we went shopping at the Port Huron mall. While there, we called my parents because they had their anniversary, and we sang to them over the phone. We didn’t know it, but we had an audience and were told we should record. It was pretty cool. The rest of our time together, we tried to sing in the ladies room because we missed singing together. We used to do that all the time back at SAU, so it’s kind of a treat when we get the chance to do it now. We ended up singing in Sue’s car and praying before we left each other’s side. It was a wonderful trip, and I know I needed to see them desperately.

The Sunday service was good. I had a lot to do being the only musician that day, but it was alright. I love playing my guitar, so it didn’t feel like a lot until the evening was over. Youth went well, because we ended up painting a banner and the gym room floor. It’s ok, because the carpet was being laid the very next day, so our names are under there forever…or at least until they tear it up and sand again. My evening was a good one with my kiddos, and I love hanging out with them. They rock

Monday was my day off, so nothing too eventful there. I just cleaned house a bit, journaled a lot, and had my alone time that I needed. I love my Mondays alone. They rock my world.


Tuesday was a full day. The piano I ordered for the church came and that was so exciting. I got to play around on that for a good long time. Then, my friend Nick came and we did his voice lesson, and talked camp for a good 2 hours. Then I had another meeting with the church planning committee and that went faster than I thought it would. Yay! Exciting times, really. I came home around 7:30pm and talked with my roommate until she went to bed, and then I got online and chatted up a storm with a new friend. It was a good evening. I know, none of my work schedule probably seems all that exciting to blog about, but it’s my day, and I felt real good about it all. God is good, and it was awesome how he revealed himself through my work. That’s one of my highlights in church work. You never know how God is going to bless you.

Well, that’s about all for now. God bless, and I’ll talk to you soon! Buh bye!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Angry Girl Bands Rock

Go By: Pat Benatar

You say you'll always be there
But I know you won't
You say you love me, you swear
But I know you don't

[Chorus]
I got better things I can do ya know
Than waste all of my time on you
Why don't you just go

You say I got it all wrong
That everything's changed
But I know where I belong
It's far, far away

[Chorus]
Pick yourself up, get yourself moving
Don't turn around, just keep on going
There's nothing you can say
To change my mind todayT
here's only one thing left to do
I guess you'll have to go

You say you're a different man
But you know that's a lie
The truth is gonna set you
Free and so am I

[Chorus 2x]

This song rocks, and it makes me drive a little too fast! Hee hee!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Smile

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

Friday, January 20, 2006

Girls Night Out!

Well, I'm off to Port Huron for an evening of friends and celtic music. I'll talk to you all later, and God bless!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

G.I. Shannon; The Rock Opera

Maybe I’m being silly, but as I was drifting off to sleep last night, I was thinking about movies. That doesn’t sound so ridiculous, but why I was thinking about them really is. I was thinking about which movies I would compare to my life right now. What I came up with was G. I. Jane, minus the nudity, cussing, premarital sex, and the ‘R’ rating. Then, I realized that I also had to add music, but not just any kind of music. I took 5 years of voice lessons in college, sang country music since the tender age of 6 and rock since 3, and I love classic rock. I did a lot of opera in college, and someday I would love to be in one. So, the conclusion was an actual Militant Rock Opera set as a motion picture. Broadway wasn’t big enough for me. This has to be an epic film. I would have to include lots of travel going cross-country, Ireland, Canada, and Mexico, adding in the traditions of each country. Sounds like a pretty mixed up movie: more of a comedy than a drama, but that’s what makes it interesting. The drama comes from the war clips where the young and brave G.I. tangles with her Master Chief simply because she’s female and less experienced than what desired in a soldier. The G.I. pulls through determined to overcome and find Truth in the why of her being in the current situations she finds herself in. The musical portions are her emotions being poured out in many forms from the country, the traditional Irish folk, the opera, all the way to the classic rock, which gives her steam. Sounds like a prize-winning movie to me. The opera portion comes in when she, the young G.I. finds herself secluded in pure devotion to the Lord. She is journaling and devoting precious time only to the Lord above and receives her strength to carry on when the pursuit feels worthless. The young and determined G.I. finds herself moving forward in God’s army for the pursuit of Truth for His kingdom to prevail. It’s awesome! Yeah, I know it all sounds strange to you, the reader, but when I’m drifting off to dreamland, this is what you get. I credit my military fantasizing to my dads and brother who all served in some branch of the military and gave me my “Army Brat” status. I may not have served in the U.S. Army, but I am in God’s army, and I serve proudly. Oooh Rah! I’m a roughneck for Jesus!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fat n' Wet Snowflakes

So, it’s finally doing what it’s supposed to be doing this time of year in Michigan…yep, it’s snowing. I think it’s pretty, but the kind it is today is dangerous. It’s heavy and very wet because it was raining earlier. Freezing rain! I almost didn’t go into work today because I was afraid of all the bad drivers out there. I think we’re gonna get a good amount of snow today…for once. Not that I’m complaining. I have really enjoyed the time off from the snow this year. We don’t get that too often.

This week is going to get crazy from this point on. Tomorrow, I have to find my way to a church in another town that I’ve not been to before to pick up some music that we’re borrowing. Then, CLC and young teens meet later on in the evening. On Thursday, I get to go to the mall to a piano store (Keyboard World) to look for a new electronic/digital piano. I’m pretty stoked about that. Also, I’m trying, and have been trying, to find a new pianist for our church, but the pursuit has proven to be difficult. Piano music in churches is becoming less and less common, and is practically being phased out for room for guitar. Not everyone in my church is ready to accept that, nor are they willing to really listen to me on this subject. There are so many hoops I have to go through to get anything accomplished, and that drives me nuts. I know that there is a reason we are short one pianist, and I truly believe God is trying to teach my church something. He’s trying to teach us all a little something, and I know it’s not going to be an easy lesson for some. Please pray for my church/congregation. God is good in all situations…He triumphs in everything!

This Friday and Saturday should be a blast. I’m going over to Port Huron for an evening of Celtic music and catching up with old college friends. We are going to see “Sounds of Erin”, and stay in a hotel overnight. It’s kinda funny that it’s this Friday, because there is the playoffs for the UHL going on that same night, so hotel bookings were hard to come by. I thought it was hilarious since I spent so much time in my High school years practically worshipping the Flint Generals and watching the movie “Slapshot”. Not exactly a family movie, but it was about roughneck hockey, and that’s what I liked. Now, I’m going to be in Port Huron for the playoffs and I won’t even get to see them. How funny!!

Well, the snow seems to have stopped for the moment, so I have a feeling that more weather hazards are on their way. I’m going to go and make things cozy in my home and get some other work done. God bless, and may His peace be upon you today.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sunday Morning Sunrise

Sunday Morning Sunrise

Today was just gorgeous. I got to see the sunrise, and normally that isn’t something I’m all that happy about. It was so beautiful and it started my day off just right. The air was crisp, the birds were singing, and the colors in the sky were perfect. Creation was singing God’s praises. What a great way to start a Sunday morning service! The whole service was great, too. I felt God’s hand on every part of it, and I know the congregation did, too. It was evident that God had something to say to each one of us and He wasn’t holding anything back. It was quite encouraging to be in that room and quite an honor just the same. To feel completely empty of myself after leading worship is an experience that I have no words that could even try to express properly. I can only use “phenomenal” and that doesn’t do it justice.

I want to say thanks to my good friends that have been encouraging me lately. You haven’t a clue as to how much I’ve needed it lately. I’ve been down, but I wasn’t sure as to why. I realized today that it had/has so much to do with the fact that I miss having someone close by that I can relate to at all times. I miss my best friend so much that it hurts, and I didn’t know how bad it was affecting me until now. I knew I missed her, but it became even clearer to me recently. I miss having her near by when I need council, or when she needs someone to listen. I miss bashing men and eating chocolate afterwards while watching some sappy crappy movie and wishing we had one of those men we were just tearing apart. I just miss her so much and it hurts that she’s so far away. She’s like my twin sister in some ways. I’m also lonely for my future husband, but I know he’s out there around the corner somewhere. I also know right where my best friend is, and that’s hard because I can’t go and be where she is because it’s too expensive to jump on a plane every time I need a hug. I’ve needed a lot of hugs lately, and she always knows. Another wonderful person that’s good at that is my mom, and I haven’t heard from her in a while either. I’m not ashamed to say that I miss my mommy, dang it!!! Any who, that’s a lot of it. I know things will get better, and I know that God is right there with me through it all. I have His joy even when I’m sad. I’m not really sad right now, I just think I’ve hit another “spiritual growth spurt” and I’m feeling the pains. I actually feel quite good about things.

I spent a lot of time journaling this evening after I finished up with my youth. I came home, but decided that I really needed some time to reflect on the evening before going home. I knew I wouldn’t do any of it if I stayed in my house, so I went to a restaurant that I knew would be open late and I journaled 4 pages worth. It felt great. I feel ready to rest now. I’ve still got some things I need to work through, but I know I’m not alone in this. I know I have good friends, family, and church all given to me by God. In my pursuit of answers, I would ask if anyone who reads this would pray for me. Mom, I don’t want you to worry about me, cause I know you do. I’m more than alright, I just am digging deep within myself right now and I know things will be ok. God is good all the time, and all the time, GOD IS GOOD!!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

So Complicated...

So Complicated…

Ah, it’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon, don’t you think? I do. I haven’t done the online journal since my poem because I’ve been so busy. That poem was so necessary to write and it helped a ton. I’m just tired of some stuff, and that poem really made me release a lot of emotion that I was hanging on to.


Any who, not all things are a strain right now. My church is still looking for a second pianist, which is a bit of a strain, but I have a wonderful friend who came over last night from far away and she agreed to fill in on piano this week. We’ve been having so much fun goofing around and practicing with each other. I only wish that she could be permanent in the rotation for the entire year. Everyone loves her already and we work so well together. I love it when she’s here.
If I had to give my mood/emotions a rating for today, I think I would give myself a 6. 1 being poor and 10 being awesome. I’m happy, but there’s still something missing. I know it’s just a touch of loneliness, and that will go away with time. I don’t always feel this way, so I know that this, too, shall pass. I should go for now, but I’ll probably blog it up a bit more this week. Bye for now, and God bless!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Poem

Fair-Weather Friend By: Shannon Marcou

Fair-weather friend
Why do you dance
Inside my head?
Fair-weather friend
Why do always
Take the lead?
It seems to me
You don’t really care
It seems to me
You’re not really there
Fair-weather friend
Why do dance in my head?

Fair-weather friend
You’ve just cheated against
My heart once again.
Fair-weather friend
You’ve done your best
To forget everything
It seems to me
It’s your insecurities
That take the place
Of what really matters
O, fair-weather friend
You’ve just cheated again.

Fair-weather friend
I think it’s time to go.
Fair-weather friend
Time has lapsed
And you should know
My love was given to you
With all that I had,
But fair-weather friend
I know you can’t be true.
So, fair-weather friend
I’ll say goodbye now,
And I’ll always love you.
Be true to someone someday.
My fair-weather friend, my dear
Fair-weather friend, goodbye.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Confrontation, Racism, Conviction

Racism Awareness = Education

God is truly amazing in how He works. Last night, during youth group, we were talking about confrontation and the topic went to racism. That wasn’t something I was expecting to happen, but it did, and I’m very glad. I have a youth group that consists of small town white kids who don’t experience a lot of racism personally, so it was quite interesting to me to hear their thoughts on the topic, especially since they brought it up. I asked the question, ‘Are you racist?’, and the answers were very candid and honest. Many said yes, but not on purpose. They came to the conclusion that the reason for any kind of racism in them was because they don’t experience it on a regular basis and they don’t have an incredible amount of education on the topic. To be that honest on a very touchy topic is good. God really convicted me with that response. I have to take my teens to an area of GR where they do experience racism daily. I have to take them to a place where they get their hands dirty and help the persecuted. These kids want to know and understand different culture groups, and they want to be put out of their small town comfort zones. I’m very impressed with the ways these teens desire growth in their personal lives. It humbles me and amazes me.

God is so amazing in how he works. My cup runneth over. I may not always feel so great, but I know God is and He’s watching over me. I can honestly admit that yesterday, despite all of it’s great things (like my youth), I was a bit depressed. We had a wonderful music ministry come in and share with us, I had coffee with friends afterwards, youth group was phenomenal, and I said goodbye to my old small group to move on to another, but my mood internally was not that great. I had a wonderful day, yet there was something inside bothering me. I didn’t talk to anyone about it because I didn’t know what to share with them. I recently read a post of a good aquaintance of mine, and I think that his words were something I needed to hear. I felt a humble conviction in his words about his personal God experiences, and I realized that my sadness could be contributed to my business and lack of communication with God. I pray and journal, but listening is something I haven’t done a whole lot of recently. I’ve been hurt, and when that happens, I sometimes forget to listen to the gentle voice of God. I’m just flesh and blood, a wanderer in the desert, like everyone else. My pains when I don’t listen come from a lack of personal time alone with God. The holidays tend to do that I guess. I haven’t had much time to meditate on anything. I know that I need to get my heart focused on Him and continue to deepen my relationship in the Lord. My time alone with God is where I get a lot of my strength for life. It’s my “Carpe Diem”. It’s just me and my Dad taking the time to step away from life for a moment to reflect, share, devote, love, and rest. Physically, when you don’t take time out to rest, you feel it later. Well, the same thing happens in your Spiritual life, too. If you don’t take time out to “rest” you’ll feel it later. Don’t wander in the desert alone. It’s not worth it.

Well, I’m gonna go for now. God bless and may His peace shelter you today.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Blue Eyes...

In the twilight glow i see her
Blue eyes crying in the rain
When we kissed goodbye and parted
I knew we'd never meet again

Love is like a dying ember
And only memories remain
And through the ages i'll remember
Blue eyes crying in the rain.

Someday when we meet up yonder
We'll stroll hand in hand again
In the land that knows no parting
For blue eyes crying in the rain.

~Willie Nelson

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Me and My Shadow

Well, I must say that Youth Ministry has proven to be the hardest job I've ever had in my life so far. It's definately not a job that I can leave at my office and have a separate life from...oh no. I wouldn't want that normally any way. I really don't want to get into what has happened recently, but I can say that it's no good. I can also say that I'm sick and tired of miscommunication and of people afraid of telling me when they feel something is not working. I want people to be honest with me, and I don't want to feel like I'm a conditional part of their lives. 2005 was one of my most difficult years in life...not the most difficult, but it's in the top ten for sure. It started rough, and ended just as bumpy. I'm very thankful that God gave me comfort through everything and that I was able to lean on Him in everything. I've discovered how unconditional some people are when it comes to loving me, and I can see how unconditional I am with some. 2005 has been a year of growth in many ways for me in the emotional, and spiritual. I wouldn't trade it because of that. I know I'm a better person because of the tests and trials God carried me through. I'm excited for the new year because of its possibilities. They are endless! Any who, I hope this all makse some sense to you when you read it. I'm just writing what my heart is feeling right now. God bless you all, and may His peace rest on your hearts tonight.