Church Chat

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!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Where Do I Begin?

This is so tough. I’m writing this with a heavy heart that can only be lifted by the hands of God. I’ve been asking a lot of friends and family for prayer, and I know that’s helping. I’m not being over dramatic about my cold, something much more terrible has happened that I don’t care to reveal online. There has been a tragedy in my family that I never thought would happen, but I know this world is a mess. I can’t fix it. I can only pray and hope God will heal. I know He will, and I have comfort just because of the knowledge of God and His power in ALL things. I know He will mend this whole situation with time and His care. I pray, also, that the party involved does not lose faith. I hope and pray that because of this, they don’t find themselves secluded within and stay in their pain. I hurt for my family member. I wish I could fix it or make it so they never would have had to experience this kind of trauma. My heart aches. I know some of their pain simply because I’ve been there, too. No, not to the full extent, but I know how it feels to be used and mistreated by someone you should be able to trust. It’s devastating and dirty. I cannot pretend to know exactly how my family member feels. I don’t even want to try. What I do want to do is be there whenever I’m needed. I want to pray hard and see the healing. I want to forgive, even though I know that’s probably the hardest thing anyone could think of doing right now. Forgiveness. What a word! How painful! To be utterly humiliated and torn apart by another person is hard enough to take, but to then forgive them for their actions? I know it’s right, and I know it’s what Jesus would/did do for all of us. How humbling! Jesus took on so much humiliation and pain for our benefit, and yet, He still loved and forgave us! One of my favorite pieces of scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, which says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. It wasn’t in God’s plans for my family member to be treated so poorly, but it happened. I don’t know why, and I will not pretend to know the answers. I am afraid the questions will come up as to why God allowed it to happen, and I know how to answer it. It may not be a huge comfort at first, but I know, down the road, it may help. I was reading in Romans 12 today for a student devotion I’m leading tomorrow morning, and that chapter not only gave me comfort, but it smacked me across the face. Romans 12:9-21 talks about love in difficult situations. This particular scripture talks about the kind of love Jesus shows to us when times are hard, when being persecuted, and when afflicted. The last verse is what hit me the hardest. It says (vs. 21) “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. I started to cry as I stared at that verse in the solitude of my church office. So badly, I wanted to hurt the person that afflicted pain on my family. So badly, I wanted to take matters into my own hands. So badly, my human nature wanted to take over. God, once again, came in and took over my heart and began the healing process for me. I don’t know where He needs to begin with my family member, but I’m more than sure He has. I know that by prayer, fasting, reading of the scripture, I can find comfort. I pray, they too, find comfort in God’s always-open arms. The thing that I am most afraid of is the loss of faith. I don’t want that to happen. I pray that it doesn’t happen. God knows more than me, so I shouldn’t worry…Matthew 6:34 “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. That has been my life verse since the beginning of my life with the Lord. Crazy, it keeps reappearing!! I know that not everyone knows about what I’m talking about in this blog, but please know that prayer is the support I and my family desperately need right now. God bless you, and may His comfort be upon you and yours.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sick, But Still Kickin'

Hey, it’s just me again. I still have a sinus infection and chest cold, but I’m alright. I stayed at my parent’s house yesterday so that I didn’t get anyone here, back in Cedar Springs, sick. It was nice to be with my parents one more day than originally planned, but it’s also good to be home. Last night, we watched Over Hauling and Miami Ink on TLC and that’s actually kind of funny. Everyone in my house is kind of a gear head, and we all have at least one tat and are itching to get new ones. Yeah, it’s a family affair. I think I know what I want for my next one, but I had better start saving for it now. I don’t really have a ton to talk about since I haven’t done a whole lot being sick. So, I guess that this is going to have to end here. God bless, and I’ll write more later!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Wonderful Weekend, and Soon-to-be-Monday

It’s been a little while that I’ve actually written anything in my blogs about what’s going on, so here goes a lot. I’ve been diving in a lot of poetry and other people’s songs, so now it’s time to fill this page up with what’s happenin’! Woo hoo! Ok then. For starters, this weekend was Winterfest for my youth. What that means is that my youth, along with all the youth from the North Michigan FM conference went on a retreat/lock in/ overnighter to Ferris State University and had a blast together. There was inflatable games, basket ball, swimming, hot tubing, rock wall climbing, and my favorite…karaoke! The whole evening was so much fun, and it was hard to know where all my teens were at all times, but it was alright. Like I said, it was a lock in. I got back to my house around 8:30am this morning and went to bed as soon as I could get myself there. I didn’t wake up until 4:30pm when my new sweetheart of a friend, Troy, sent me a funny text message. It was cool. During my slumber, someone called from my church to ask me a question about a song, but I can’t remember the whole conversation. He felt bad for waking me up, but it was kinda funny at the same time. I don’t normally sleep that late, but in the sake of fairness, It was early for me. LOL Any who, tomorrow makes me a little nervous because I’m down one musician, but I know it will be just fine. Also, my teens have their Super Bowl party and then I get to go home to see my family and meet up with some friends for breakfast on Monday morning. I’m pretty excited for that. It’s gonna be a real nice weekend and a real nice break from everything. I told my pastor that come Sunday night, I’m getting out of Dodge!! He just laughed and told me he was taking off Friday with his family, so we had the same idea in mind all along. It will be so good to get home to just relax, and to meet a new friend and catch up with an old one. Well, that’s about it for now. I’m still not running at 100%, but I wasn’t expecting to today. God bless, and may His peace be with you today!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Secluded By: Shannon Marcou

Sitting in seclusion, I stare out in wonder
What is to happen to me?
Hanging on the railing of time, I consider
God must have something on His mind.
Why else would I be in the place I am?
Why else would I have the cares that I do?
Sitting in seclusion, I stare out in wonder
What else am I supposed to do?

Daydreaming by a faux fireside
Elevated in my thoughts
Screaming at the top of my lungs
But the silence is just too much
I’m back inside of me
Claiming what is left to receive
I let go of me…
I hang on to Him…
I’m here, but nowhere at all.

Sitting in seclusion, I wonder
What is to become of me?
Who is out there to love me?
Who is out there to tear me apart?
Sometimes it seems the closer you get
The further down you fall
Why is it always so trivial?
Why don’t we see Truth, when we hear it call?

Sitting in seclusion, I take a deeper look
Past all the insecurities I possess
Parting all the waters that tarnish the soul
And get to what needs rest
God is reaching out to you
He is reaching out to me
Hold up your shield of Faith
And guard not your heart from Him.

It’s amazing to think of all the wonders
It’s an honor to think of why you’re here
God has put you in the lives of these people
Not for you but for Him.