What confidence IS & more importantly what it’s Not

Just recently, while cleaning out a cabinet, I found a neat memory.  A piece I had written several years ago ( I did not put a date on it, but when I say several I know it has not been more than 7 years because I remember the event at my church with the ladies there & we were gathering more regularly to fellowship,worship & pray together).  I was given the assignment to speak on the topic of “Confidence”. Not something I “felt” like I had any such thing LOL. I remember As I fought why I wouldn’t speak as I was not a public speaker, I remembered a sermon about 2 kinds of Pride. There is the kind that is more obvious- the one that is puffed up and arrogant and thinks too highly of oneself.  Then there’s the Pride of thinking too lowly of yourself and worrying about what others think trying to get approval.  So, I humbly prayed to my Father AGAIN and invited Lord Jesus to rescue me from this “feeling” of inadequacy and give me HIS Take on the matter. What turned out is how well this worked out because I was struggling.  So,……here is my letter on “Confidence” from the Ladies day event years ago:

After I gave my heart to Jesus in the Spring of 1993, I memorized the verse in Hebrews 13;5-6.  It says, “Never will I leave you, Never will I forsake you, therefore we say with CONFIDENCE, the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid, what will man do to me?”.  It is awesome to know and have the “confidence” that saved us.  Many other verses encourage us as well.  Like Hebrews 10;19 it says: “We have CONFIDENCE to enter into the Holy place by the blood of Jesus”. Hebrews 11;35 says “our CONFIDENCE has a great reward” and warns us not to throw it away.

Now, there are 2 warnings about “confidence” to be aware of and we need to avoid these dangers. This is what the world thinks of “confidence” and from studying and also from practical experience I can tell you what “Confidence” is Not.  I think these 2 areas are what every Disciple of Jesus Christ does not want to do.

#1.  CONFIDENCE IS NOT CONCEITED-
Psalm 115;1 says “Not to me Lord, Not to me, but to you be the Glory because of your Love and faithfulness” and 1 Corinthians;21 says ” So then, let no one boast in men, for all things belong to you”.  Galations 6;14 says to Boast only in the cross.
What do you say when someone asks you how you managed to stay married to your husband all these years and still be in Love, or how did you bring up such wonderful children or if you have a lot of children-how you did it without going insane. Maybe you went through something traumatic- how did you get through it?
Well, I believe and I hope we all use our personal testimony of Jesus being our complete Joy and helper First thing #1, and we give Him all the Glory and credit for everything He has done in our lives!!!  I know if I did not have the Lord I would not have any of these blessings of Peace, Joy and contentment . To think that we can do anything on our own and do it better than God just like the world thinks and behaves ,….well that brings me to my second point:
#2. CONFIDENCE IS NOT RELYING ON YOURSELF OR WHAT OTHERS THINK OF U In Philippians chapter 3, Paul warns about having “confidence” in the flesh.  There is a song that Twila Paris wrote- here are the Lyrics:  “We put no Confidence in the flesh, we will trust in the Lord our God, we find our strength in Him alone, we have no greatness of our own, and we will shine like the stars in a darkened world”.

I probably struggled with #2 more.  We were in Fall River Massachusetts for 6 years in our first ministry before God called us to HCC in Franklin NH.  For 5 of those 6 years I was trying too hard the wrong way to figure our who I was, to fit in and to figure out Ministry.  For one,….I was still a new believer- a very new disciple of Jesus Christ.  I remember being completely on Fire for Jesus, always wanting to learn more but also being so tired from raising a family.  I was pregnant every other year and homesick because my family did not live down the road.  I was lonely for friends my age as the average age of Baptist Temple church when we got there was 75.  Then to add to that, I was also being critiqued by someone who would tell me how I should dress, how to look,…all external qualities and not the internal faith that was growing.  I also got a list of Do’s and Don’ts on How to Be a Pastors wife.  Most of those expectations were unrealistic.  How many of you would like to look and be 30 years older than your actual age?  Well,..because basically the expectations this person was suggesting to me was a description of my senior Pastors wife.  Someone I had great respect for but I wasn’t going to Be her- and though I wanted to it wasn’t going to be attained overnight.  I realized Mrs. Morden was being put on a pedestal.  Actually I realized the whole Pastors Wives thing was up there on that pedestal.  I thought this is NOT what I signed up for.  When I talked to Mrs. Morden about it, she sweetly chuckled and said “Dear, they have no idea what they are talking about, do not worry, you are fine so Be yourself”.  Some of the best advice I’ve read about too!!;) So as you can see, my “confidence” was not really that great but I was also not looking at it the right way,….I was too concerned about what others peoples opinions were.  Another way I let people beat on me was each time I was pregnant, the same ladies that would critique me on everything else would say “How are you doing this again?” “Are you sure you can handle one more and do you really think you guys can afford it?” Ok…..Do you want to see an ecstatic young pregnant woman”s confidence drop in about 3 seconds?
It was the Last year we were there, God gave me this verse: Galations 1;10. It says:
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ”. There it was. That’s what I needed.  I may have read this verse before but seen it applied to me before I was saved because before Jesus in my life, I lived any way I wanted pleasing man and I didn’t care,….but then I realized,..NO, this verse is talking to Me- A Christian(Disciple) and not just to me but to any Christian(Disciple) who was stuck where I was.  Then I realized that maybe I had a little problem with Pride and I needed to surrender to God and get his help so I would stop worrying about what others wanted me to be and do and just realize my identity did not depend on peoples opinions of me, but rather on being a child of God.  He loved me for myself.
1 Timothy 4;12 says “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (ESV)
Just so you know,…when we left Fall River,….we did have young families with lots of kids and the average age dropped to 50.  God blessed me with some girlfriends too.

Before I wrap this up with a conclusion: It is important to make this next point that goes with “confidence”:  We all need to be cheerleaders- if we all are on God’s team….we need to encourage each other. 2 Corinthians 3;4-5 says: “Such is the CONFIDENCE that we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God who has made us competent”
The NAS version says “Adequate”. I like this one because when someone says they don’t think they are adequate to do a certain job,…you can say “You are right, BUT our adequacy is from GOD”- Again,..HE does it!!!  I asked my husband what came to his mind about the confidence of Christians.  He said what I was thinking is true too- we are “confident” in our own abilities (if you are good at fixing a roof or planting a garden) but not confident in the Bible or their knowledge for a ministry in the church like visitation or missions outreach or just something that would stretch them out of their comfort zone.  Again,…we need to cheer people on and also set the example of change that we want to see by getting excited.  My Husband cheered me on for 4 years when I was director for Vacation Bible School and that is something i thought I would never do.  However, I prayed and committed it to God and HE made me Adequate for it!!  He will make you adequate for anything you commit to Him if it’s His Will. Our license  plates say PSALM 37;4, 5&6 “Delight yourself in the Lord and HE will give you the desires of your heart, Commit your plans to Him, Trust in Him and HE will do this,..HE will make your righteousness shine like the dawn and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun”.  Right now I could say “I’m not adequate for this,…standing up her talking,..because I Felt that way and I know I have said this before,..I am not a Public Speaker and I’m stepping out of my comfort zone”! Well again, Praise God!  Another thing,…because of my story about the experiences I had in our first ministry I DO get very excited when I find out who is having another baby and How many this makes -there is something in the water at HCC and I Say Praise God again!!! We need to encourage and build each other up discouragement does not go with a persons confidence very well.

Wrap up:   Our CONFIDENCE is in Christ Alone and what HE did for You!!  How HE lives in You is OUR CONFIDENCE.  Boast only in the Cross so that our confidence is never conceited. Live to Please Him and not man,….This is Your Confidence.  Don’t let anyone look down on you but only set an example. Stretch your comfort Zone and try something you never thought you could do before. Philippians 4;13 says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Cheer your Co Brothers & sisters in Christ On and Pray for them. “For it is God who is at work in You, both to will and to work for his Good pleasure” Philippians 2;13

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My response to 12 reasons Pastor’s Wives are lonely. (by ThomRainer.com)

*Disclaimer: I am not complaining.

“The boundary Lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance” NLT. Psalm 16:6

ThomRainer.com is a great encouragement for Pastors, Pastors wives and Christian leaders. He has written 3 blogs in the past year on the subject of Pastors wives and in This article , the #1 challenge she faces, he focuses on her Loneliness.
In response to the article,….here are my thoughts. Another disclaimer: I will share things on my heart and give examples and events that took place in ministry but it is not directed to one church in particular we have ministered in, it could be our first one where we spent 6 years at, or where we spent in between to the current one where my husband has been the lead pastor for 13 years.
One more thing, God has done amazing things to me to help me Like being a Pastors wife. I LOVE my husband though. God is my ROCK and I count everything all Joy and a blessing and I feel grateful and humbled that he has been so good to me.

#1. SUPERFICIAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THE CHURCH-“No one ever sees me as my own person. I am the Pastor’s wife. No one tries to get close to me”.

Marisa: I DO NOT feel that way now. But I did. There are more friends I have in the church NOW who are down to earth ( like I hope I am) and are real with me and let me be ME. Not so many unrealistic expectations. I remember one lady asking me to lunch only to tell me she did not think it was appropriate for the Pastors wife to go to “Soulfest” because I can’t worship jumping up and down on a ski mountain and to the wrong music. Well, anyone who knows me, knows I like all kinds of music (Christian) and I also have restraint to not get carried away but if I want to be like Tim Hawkins and make fun of myself-(LOL)-Yes, I at least raise my hands and I Praise my God -and Yes On a Mountain!:-) It also cracks me up STILL when I hear the title Pastors wife,.. honestly. Seriously, introduce me first as Marisa,… Your friend,…. she is also my Pastors wife. 🙂

#2. A BUSY PASTOR/HUSBAND. “My Husband is on 24/7 call all the time. I just get leftovers.

Marisa: When the kids were really babies, this was the only time it was hard on me. Glen was also learning about guarding his own time carving out his schedule to make it a “family” priority to be home enough to see us. Rarely did I feel like leftovers and if things got so busy crazy over a week we would catch up eventually and make up for it. One compliment that I get a lot is about my husband in that he makes it a point to have a family night in the middle of the week where he shuts off his phone and Nothing will get in the way unless it is a catastrophic reason.

#3. MEAN CHURCH MEMBERS. “I guess i’ve isolated myself to some extent. I just don’t want to keep hearing those awful things they say about my husband and me”.

Marisa: YES. Unfortunately. This has been in both ministries. I have to really pray about this one a lot as when I start to put my guard up from getting hurt, I realize I am not being fair (to everyone else). You can definitely Pray for me here on this one. The struggle is this: Pouring your energy and Life into relationships and then you find out it was really conditional and only one way- it ends so abruptly because they are mad or whatever reason (they are really mad at God but they take it out on you) but they are still talking to everyone else, being friendly & sweet so people don’t understand why they stop coming to church, and some talk behind our back and not to us, and so it has to be the Pastors fault 😦 I hesitate to call church members mean though,..I would say some are just plain rude and others are selfish, they don’t see what they are doing. Those are the ones I have more compassion for and I cry about a lot.

#4. A CONDUIT FOR COMPLAINTS ABOUT HER HUSBAND. “Last week someone told me their family was leaving the church because my husband is a lousy preacher. Do they have any idea how that makes me feel?”

Marisa: That example right there would go for the Rude church member who just spoke in haste and not think through what they said that would hurt the wife. Yes, I had heard about this happening -that she will be the sounding board for problems in the church but I could not believe it until I became the punching bag for my husband (more than once). This is where Jesus totally steps into the scene for me every time and fills me with Grace while my mind is numb and my mouth cannot speak- IT’S BEAUTIFUL actually, that I have NEVER lashed out in defense- it’s SO a GOD thing and I am amazed at how well I am okay at the time- so calm (i think it’s the shock though),…..until I get home,…..until I realize what I just heard………until I think about it a bit….and then the waterworks explode.
I said I was keeping this positive right? I am. God is Soooooooo GOOD!!!!

#5. BROKEN CONFIDENCES. “I’ve given up trying to get close to church members. I thought I had a close friend until I found out she was sharing everything I told her. That killed me emotionally”.

Marisa: At the point of saying you will not get close to church members is the point where you might as well say What’s the Point then in staying in ministry- LOL. Really- because it’s all about Relationships!!!. What I have learned over the past 20 years has been MORE DISCERNMENT. I feel like I have VERY good Close friends in my church FAMILY (Family, not members-not a club) What I share I have learned over time to use discretion and only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen- Ephesians 4;29. For example,….when I was a young believer and in just the first 2 years of ministry, I shared my entire testimony with everyone. I have since learned that the best time that God is going to use my story is going to be for certain circumstances where I should share. I haven’t been afraid since then.

#6. FREQUENT MOVES. “I’m scared to get close to anybody now. Every time I develop a close relationship, we move again.

Marisa: That hasn’t been the scenario in our case. I miss family friends in Fall River but it is very neat that since we left, we/they seem closer to us even though distance wise we’re not.

#7. VIEWED AS A SECOND-CLASS PERSON. “One church member introduced me to a guest visiting the church by saying I’m “Just the Pastor’s wife”.

Marisa: Hahahaha- See #1. Sounds so funny- It’s the only description that gets a name for her husbands job…. and would I go around introducing my friends as the “Furnace guys wife, the prison guards wife , the milkman’s wife, the trucker/plow drivers wife, the Fireman’s wife, the Technicians wife, the computer guys wife, The Chevy dealers wife- ETC.. (lol- these are all my sisters in my church family-what their husbands do)
The 2nd class idea though, not really

#8. LACK OF SUPPORT GROUPS. “I’ve heard that some wives have support groups that really help. I’ve never been able to find one.

Marisa: This has been a huge frustrating void in my life until recently, even trying to start one as soon as we moved back to NH- I am a big adamant supporter of Pastors wives needing each other and that has not always worked out. In defense, I understand why it has been hard as most other Pastors wives I know are completely over the top busy but I am completely over the top crazy about the fellowship because those ladies are going to KNOW each other right away and how to pray for our husbands and our churches- that I clear my schedule whenever I hear about one,.and now we have a local one,…where I finally have a dearest confidant and friend Kim who is also in ministry (Danbury-next door) and works well alongside our friend Craig-her husband/pastor and make a great team with us Glen/I

#9. NO DATE NIGHTS. “I can’t remember the last time my husband and I had a date night together”.

Marisa: Not true! 🙂 Thankfully.

#10. COMPLAINTS ABOUT CHILDREN. “I really don’t try to get close to church members anymore. I’m tired of so many of them telling me how perfect our children should be”.

Marisa: In our first year of ministry we got an anonymous letter in the mail- it was a short newspaper clipping giving criticism (not in love) about how children should behave in public. In pen,…it was written by the individual who had the problem, “Especially for Pastors kids”. Again, my jaw dropped and I could have swallowed a hundred flies- couldn’t believe it. Glen addressed the “Coward” (for not saying who it was from) during the next morning sermon and just made it clear from the pulpit that this action was not appropriate and not from God but from the devil and must stop. It didn’t happen again.
I am pretty sure that We have said so many times to every family that has stepped foot in the door, we welcome your crying children, the nursery is there but we love them Here and that will never bother us. I will (lovingly) say we have a nice playground for that, if they jump over the pews 🙂 but I usually wait for parents to do their job and that does well. I say this because I remember a lady scolding one of our small children right in front of us and I was like “excuse me” (and she used the your the pastors kid, you should know better….and Glen spoke right up and corrected that)
And I hope our children have never felt the PK spotlight in such a way as to dread it as we have tried to protect them.

#11. HUSBAND DOES NOT GIVE WIFE PRIORITY. “Frankly, the church is like a mistress to my husband. He has abandoned me for someone else.

Marisa: Praise God NO. Yes he gives me Priority, I am in the right order,…2nd after God.
Sadly,..and one of the reasons why support groups are necessary, ministry wives have been abandoned and there has been too much infidelity- something very overlooked and not given enough attention to.

#12. FINANCIAL STRUGGLES. “My husband makes less money than most of the members. I just can’t afford to do the things they do socially.

Marisa: The few times I worry about money is no more abnormal than everyone else I feel, balancing their checks-sometimes feeling the pinch etc. God has definitely provided for us in SO many blessings, not just financial. I don’t worry about what we make compared to others and what others do and I can’t relate. I obviously had a clue even if i didn’t fully know marrying a Pastor doesn’t make you Paper money Rich ( I look forward to being Rich in His Kingdom) and don’t get me started on I those mega churches that pay the pastor on t.v. millions- Nope, that’s not ordinary.

GLAD YOU TOOK THE TIME TO READ MY REPLY. Thom.Rainer asked to hear from us- he makes it very intentional just to pray for Pastors wives. I think so 🙂

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“Oh Happy Day”…Saturday May 18th I celebrate 20 years!

If you are reading this,….you are reading my testimony.  If you don’t know my story and how Jesus radically came into my life and/or wonder what happened if I wasn’t the same when you knew me 20 years ago,…Here you go, enjoy!  I decided to blog this because this week is an important Year and milestone in my life,….because 20 years ago in 1993 I was born again.  I celebrate my 20 year old Spiritual Birthday on Saturday, May 18th. 

It doesn’t take a lot for my eyes to get wet and to be on the verge of tears (if I’m not all ready) to the amazing things of God in my life as he has changed my heart and totally turned my life around.  This morning in church we sang “Oh Happy Day” and the joy to sing these words flooded my heart as it did 20 years ago, May 18th 1993 to finally release,repent, surrender control and give my life to the King of kings- My ALL & ALL, My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“The greatest day in History, death is beaten you have rescued me, sing it out- Jesus is alive-the empty cross the empty grave, Life eternal, you have won the day, shout it out Jesus is alive-He’s alive- (Chorus)- Oh Happy Day, Happy Day, you washed my sins away-I’ll never be the same Forever I am changed”- ……Oh Happy Day May 18th 1993.

It starts when I am a little girl.  In my roots is my grandfather who was a Methodist Pastor and loved the Lord. My parents also, who took me to church when I was young were a major influence on me.  I went to Camp Maranatha, when I was 10 and 11 years old for a week of summer camp.  At that camp on August 10th 1981, my counselor, Penn Virgin sat me down and prayed for me- I remember asking Jesus into my heart as she prayed it though, I remember a theme started in my life as I stayed at “Hope” cottage and stood up at an evening service to the song “my HOPE is in the Lord”.  Whether not it was then I was really changed,…because I did not fully understand the commitment or the responsibility and the RELATIONSHIP instead of “okay, Jesus loves me, I’m a sinner, He forgives me- I have my Hell insurance card”,….the eternal and significant impact that the people in my life then (The Edmunds family) were making me strive to want to know this Jesus more and they planted a huge seed. 

I started Junior high right after that summer and that was when the trouble began.  I was actually previously embarrassed because a friend had seen me praying and thought that was strange- instead of explaining myself, I recoiled.  In junior high,…I let peer pressure and wanting to be popular and fit in be the focus in school.  I had friends but I was nerdy in 7th grade and when I made the cheerleading squad and got picked on for not fitting the stereotype, I knew that had to change.  In 8th grade I just had to have the boyfriends.  If I compared myself then, I would say I was doing pretty good,..I wasn’t breaking my parents hearts too much,..I was still “being good”.

I heard it once said and I believe it from the wise counsel of a Godly Christian, “God does not expect or want us to give the most intimate details of our lives with everyone so you don’t have to share more than what he tells you and if the opportunity should arise it would be in an isolated situation that would only benefit that listener”,…..so I spare the details of my high school years.The only important thing to remember there is that I was walking further and further away from the Lord and my heritage. I became VERY disrespectful to my parents and if you didn’t know that I use to go to church, it didn’t matter because I acted like an enemy of God.  I was a regular teenager who partied, messed up and joined the crowd in everything….if my friends would smoke a joint, i would.  So,….what really was the heartache of high school was that Out of High school and into my first year of college I was pregnant from the boyfriend I dated for 2 years which ended hard and my world came crashing down.  I was 19, a single mom unmarried, when my beautiful daughter, Amanda, came into the world.

It was other worse choices I was making,..pretty much ruining my life because I was angry and didn’t like myself, didn’t care- I know I was depressed.  At the same time,…i was getting sick of myself,..I wanted what i saw at this church I started going to in Contoocook when I was almost 2 months pregnant.  This would become the turning point but I was “playing the game” for a while longer trying everything else under the sun to make me happy instead.  I would have never gone back to a church as well, except, one day at my community college, soon after I found out I was pregnant, I walked up to Tracy and just spilled my guts out not realizing who I was talking with- I call this a GOD thing.  Tracy, a true believer in Christ,….she just automatically stopped me in my tracks and invited me to spend Sunday with her church and meet her family. It meant a lot to me that someone would listen and care but not just someone,….she had something very special and I knew it from the moment we met. I was also so scared because I had not told my parents yet.  The Carenet Pregnancy center in Concord helped me out a lot here.  Carenet in general helped me with a lot of counseling I needed- I am forever grateful for this ministry.

Because the church in Contoocook never gave up on me after all the beatings that I took on them (What I mean by this because now I understand the ministry being married to a Pastor and the hours and emotional energy it takes helping people that drain the life out you) they always prayed for me, sending me clothes and gifts for Amanda, writing me cards (before computers, e-mail) even when I took another stupid turn and abandoned all the people who cared for me and left for Florida for 8 months with Amanda, they NEVER gave up.  NEITHER DID MY PARENTS.  It was something my mom said to me right when I was going to make another bad choice- she said “It may be the devils call this time Marisa”- That really scared me very much!……Tracy said things to me constantly that I remember very distinctly “But HE died for you” and the one I hated to hear and knew she was right “Marisa you change your mind like New England weather”.   I had another caring Christian, Fay, who used an illustration on how easy Satan can pull you down by having me stand on a table,…she took my hand and I almost fell on the floor- I got it!!  The note I got from Pastor Dave when I was in Florida was exactly the right timing for me. God was getting my attention through other factors down there and me studying his word and the scriptures jumping off the page in my face!  In Revelation as Jesus addresses  the church of Laodacia (sp?)  and tells them because they are neither Hot nor Cold they are lukewarm -He was going to spit them out,….it ocured to me, that I was doing just that!  There were many more verses and signs/ red flags that I was getting.  I was getting more miserable down there. I didn’t leave for good reasons,….I’m torn and not happy,…even with the church I started going to in Cape Coral. (my group there was the same friends who partied in High school,…..nothing different that made them distinctly “christian”). I felt like a hypocrite.  It was time to make a choice.  Tired of walking the fence and playing the game.  I mean, what is so ridiculous about this is right before I left for Florida I would get baptised by the church that believed I had made a real decision.

May 15 1993. 2 days before Amanda is 2 years old. My parents sent airline tickets for us to come home to visit.  When I step off the plane,…everything feels different, familiar,…GOOD.  I see my NH church the next day on Sunday -they are loving and it’s like I am HOME again.  Mom and Dad look tired, worn & weary for me……..we celebrate Amanda’s Birthday on Monday. I remember asking myself on that Tuesday, May 18th as I was catching up with old friends and they were drinking,……”WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING” and the last cigarette at that point that i threw on the ground and said in my mind I am Stopping now- God Help me!  I don’t want all of the world anymore,…..GIVE ME JESUS.  It was in that moment,……I asked Jesus to SAVE ME and I Knew what that meant.

I don’t pretend to be perfect. I know I am not. I don’t think I’m better.  I’m just forgiven…a sinner saved by grace. AMAZING GRACE that saved a wretch like me. I am the wretch that song sings about.  When I give my testimony I am not boasting…..that is for the cross!  Thank You Jesus for my Life- Oh,………I was saying that HOPE theme…….well here’s the rest:

HOPE cottage Maranatha- my HOPE is in the lord- Jeremiah 29;11 became my Life verse- it is a verse Glen also highlighted for me in the first Bible I owned “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to help you and not to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future”.  HOPE street is the house we lived in when we moved to Fall River Ma for the first ministry- and today,..and for the last 11 years, we have been @ HOPE community chapel in Franklin NH. 

I have SO many people to thank,….it is SUCH a big list- I do start with JESUS of course!!!!!!!  My adoring and wonderful Husband, Glen- Thank you for marrying the piece of work I was- your patience and love and understanding are as unconditional as the Love Jesus is!!   My Awesome Parents, Mom and Dad….my mentors for Life who put up with EVERYTHING. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!  Tracy and the Gnann family……..It never would have happened!!THANK YOU for giving to the Lord for I am a life that is Changed!!!!  Pastor Dave/Sharon and the Church in Contoocook- Fay, Suzie- for the kick in the butt, my boss at Claires Botique, Coreena Neumire who’s words and wisdom wowed me, and I may have left one or 2 off,…..but you know who you are if you were part of this amazing story!!  THANK YOU!

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It’s like losing that earing!

Ever wonder why Life is so hard and  it takes you so long to learn a lesson?  about 5 times today,…the backing of one earing kept coming off and I heard my earing clink on the floor.  5 times I picked it back up and put it back into my same ear it kept falling out of and each time after the first I thought to myself,….remember it fell out before, maybe there is something wrong with it and maybe I need to take it out so it isn’t lost.

In the last hour, I was upset about something.  Nothing I could do about a situation that is out of my control and is not my problem but I stressed about it before I turned it to the Lord and prayed about it!  To myself, I thought again,…wish we (speaking in general) could learn before we do something we don’t want to and have it backfire,…maybe that is why it happened. 

So,…I have been busy,…frantically searching the floor in my bedroom now for the past 15 minutes realizing WOW and OOPS and You DumbDumb….why didn’t you take the earing out when it fell out the 4th time and now 5 times…..IT IS LOST.  (Didn’t I remind myself that earlier….did I think it really couldn’t happen again?). 

I’m thinking,….how ironic.  I can get mad at my own Genes,…..the ones God helped me make but gave a brain to use Just like Me,….when I get frustrated that my child has not listened, been stubborn or learned anything,……..HOW am I different.  Maybe the earing is not a good analogy but it made me think that I am not so different,….and I need to change.

LIFE.

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What the church needs:

Philippians 2:

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of Love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any affection or mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself, let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others”

I have been spending a lot of time in my daily devotions on the book & especially the chapter of Philippians 2.  For some reason God has put this on my heart, I have been stuck here for weeks pondering on this message.  As I have encountered several issues I see in a church family & hear from people, listen and pray for other fellow believers/followers of Jesus Christ  around me,…the problem is really truly universal & if we want revival in our churches we need to read & DO & become Philippians chapter 2. But we have a pride problem and we are selfishly about ourselves when we think we are okay & don’t think we are the ones with any issues. Sometimes we are too busy to notice others needs (maybe we didn’t read the bulletin again or follow through on something we signed up & commited to because oops we forgot…but we wouldn’t do that to our paid job-but to Jesus & the church), distracted with what we think we have to do & yes it’s in every congregation..and I guess I knew this but I am more burdened and aware than before.  Like if we were to really apply these verses,……..well, let’s look at it:  How many of us need to be encouraged in our walk??  ME,…So.. ” If there is any consolation in Christ, any comfort of Love, any Fellowship of the spirit-have you noticed?? STOP,…..fellowship,…why do some people feel like they can be surrounded in a room full of people but still feel lonely? I am not talking about the person who doesn’t try but maybe I am- there are some who isolate themselves and blame the church for not being friendly enough and that is a real problem that belongs to that person. “Be Like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”.  Selfish ambition or conceit brings discord.  Sometimes we have our own agenda that we want to push.  It could be that Rock music (just how many music wars get started in church) without considering another group of people it will affect & push away instead of coming in the middle,…or it could be a different view point/philosophy that we cannot stop pushing that won’t effect the outcome of ones salvation, therefore not essential to argue about but you still have to disagree with the Pastor and be loud enough for everyone else to know, “but in lowliness of mind”Humility”Let each esteem others better than himself, Let each of you look not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others”.

It goes on to say we should have a servants attitude,.giving up our rights just as Jesus Christ was humbled. vs 5; Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.  Continuing in Philippians we see how Jesus was humbled to the point of death & highly exalted that vs 10 “at the name of jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father”.

LOL,…I love how this verse gets popped right in here vs 14: Do all things without complaining and disputing”.  & one more section of verses that have really touched my heart are about Timothy- vs 19-21; “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state, For I have no one Like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state, for all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus”.

Nothing compares to Christ! Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Think about it,…. Our sin problem which manifests itself through our selfish pride, attitude and appetites starts to destroy me by making me critical & then destroys the church & God’s Glory.

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now & then part 2- remodeled dining room

now & then part 2- remodeled dining room

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Then & Now

Then & Now

dining room/kitchen before and after

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