I’m a Christian; student of the Bible; wife; mom of 3 girls – one adult and two teens; podcaster/blogger; and “connoisseur” of coffee, dark chocolate & lobster rolls! I enjoy reading, learning, studying, and teaching. And I enjoy spending time in the kitchen cooking, baking, meal planning, and grocery shopping. I’m so glad you stopped by and I hope you’ll join me in reflecting God’s light in our lives and to the world.
God has done a transforming work in my life, and continues on in sanctification. I was “saved” at the age of four! I had a genuine understanding of the Gospel message and a work of the Holy Spirit in my heart. God has held and kept me, even when I struggle with sin or have not been completely faithful to Him. His love and faithfulness have also taught me lessons when there have been hard circumstances in life and going through the sanctification process.
The most notable thing that happened to me, which shook me to the core, and caused a “Great Awakening” of sorts in my life, was when my husband and I suffered three consecutive miscarriages in 2003. There are several other large events, good and bad, that have happened since then, all refining my faith in different ways. None of us (believers) will ever reach perfection this side of heaven, but our circumstances are used by God to shape us and grow us closer to Him.
My husband and I have been married for 25 years. Over those years, we have moved around quite a bit – leaving our home state of PA – living places from Mississippi to Ohio to Maine, coming back to PA between some of those moves, and finally now settled into central PA for the last four years. We told our kids we were going to stay here at the very least until all of them graduate high school. The first graduation will be next year!
“Who is the man who fears the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence and worships Him with submissive wonder]? He will teach him [through His word] in the way he should choose.” Psalm 25:12 (AMP)
My Faith Journey:
Over my lifetime, I’ve been a part of a United Methodist church, an Evangelical Free church, three different congregations of the Church of God (Anderson), a Vineyard USA church, an inter-denominational charismatic church, a non-denominational Calvinistic gospel-focused church, attended a Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) for about six months, a Bible Fellowship Church (BFC), (which is a hybrid of Reformed Baptist with Presbyterian-type of church structure/government), and back to an Evangelical Free church.
Over the years, I have served in many areas of ministry: nursery duty, teaching Sunday School and Children’s Church, VBS, been on the youth leadership, led a young adults ministry with my husband, led a regular small group with my husband, was on the PowerPoint team, was a greeter, was on the counting team (those who count up the tithes and offerings), was on steering teams for some different MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups, led a women’s Bible study, and was on staff as Administrative Assistant at a Church of God.
The majority of that time, I was without a theological clue. We would look for larger churches wherever we landed, (as we moved around quite a bit). When I first started looking up theological questions, I identified with the Arminian camp. When I read what Calvinism means, I immediately thought it sounded unfair and rejected it. Later, after I had gone and run after hyper-charismaticism and realized some of it’s errors, I ended up “over-correcting” to trying to become Reformed. I studied church history and the traditional creeds, confessions, and catechisms that make up the historic orthodox church. I embraced most of the doctrines of grace, thus identifying with the Calvinistic camp. It was five years of reading, studying, and attending Reformed or semi-Reformed churches, and deep down feeling unsettled and wrestling with some of the Reformed/Calvinistic points that I couldn’t reconcile.
The PCA wasn’t a fit for my family, and as I tried to conform to being Reformed, I found a new type of pride creeping in, being more judgmental, less compassionate, and more distant in my relationship with Jesus – maybe even a stifling of the work of the Holy Spirit in my own heart. And there were some points, traditions, and ideals in the Reformed world that I couldn’t get past and accept.
I immensely enjoy reading and studying, so in addition to the Bible, I began devouring books on theology and listening to podcasts on theology and apologetics. However, I realized that in my hunger to study and learn, I was quite focused inwardly and not on loving and serving others. I haven’t done a lot to put my faith into action, at least outside of my house in several years. In addition, I haven’t served in any church capacity since trying to become Reformed.
It’s time to reach out, so this blog and podcast will be an extension of that reaching.
As a family, we decided to change churches from the semi-Reformed one we were attending. I have been going through a “deconstruction” of sorts of Reformed theology. I consider that I’ve also “deconstructed” hyper-charismatic beliefs. Not to worry, I’m not deconstructing my entire faith – I can’t fathom that. It’s just these off-shoots that I’ve explored. I’m settling back to being a “plain vanilla” Bible-based born-again evangelical Christian.
I’ve been reading books and listening to podcasts lately by people who are historically Bible-based in their beliefs and foundations, but are not “Reformed”. They are people like Alisa Childers, Natasha Crain, Melissa Dougherty, Amy Hall, Krista Bontrager, Jen Wilkin, Mike Winger, Sean McDowell, Becket Cook, John Cooper, Frank Turek, Greg Koukl, J. Warner Wallace, and Alistair Begg. Also reading authors like Nancy Pearcey, Rebecca McLaughlin, J.I. Packer, Os Guinness, Sheila Wray Gregoire, Beth Allison Barr, and Dr. Juli Slattery. These people hearken back to my faith roots and work through our current cultural issues in a Biblical worldview, which I greatly appreciate.
This has been my Christian faith journey to this point. I have been a pendulum that has swung from the middle (“plain vanilla Christian”), to one side (“charismania”), to the other side (“Reformed”), and settled back to the middle ground, but wiser, with more discernment and compassion, knowing what I believe and why, although still learning and growing. Our relationship with Jesus will always be a journey until we are finally glorified in the new heavens and new earth with Him.
Whether you’re charismatic, Reformed, “plain vanilla” Christian, or seeking answers or for absolute Truth, you’re welcome here. I encourage interaction and would love to build community, just remember to be kind and love your neighbor here.
Keep reading your Bibles, ask questions, learn, study, and pray.
I pray this podcast and blog will reflect Jesus Christ and the Gospel, edify my sisters and brothers in Christ, and glorify Jesus as our Prophet, Priest, and King.