Author: connie

An ex-pastors conversation with her psychic-loving friend about peace

Thank you for joining me on my journey through advent.  I probably didn’t go in order.  I’ve always been a little unorthodox… I had a friend call me recently asking me to pray for him.  His psychic told him he was spiritually off centre.  This left him disturbed, as he felt he was doing ok; mediating every morning, chakra’s functioning, in fact, he felt like he was in a great space.  This brought much confusion.  I prayed for him and told him what so many in our world seem to need to hear: It is finished.  And you can’t finish it any more than it’s already finished. What’s finished?  Let me get to that in a moment, but first another story.  Over coffee another friend shares with me that no matter how much she does for God, she never feels good enough; never secure in her faith. She is scared to death of God’s judgment and being sent strait to hell for never getting this “Jesus thing” right.  I told her the exact same thing I told my energy-loving friend: It is finished.  And you can’t finish it any more than it’s already finished. Both my friends responded the same: there must be something I have to do in order to make myself right.  As I would call it, some hoop to jump through.  The ultimate test of faith...

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An broken woman’s issue with Joy – the ex-pastor’s advent series continues

Most of the time I feel more broken than I do whole, more pain than joy.  My problem isn’t with suffering, my problem is with happiness.  Happiness reminds me of all that is missing, and no matter how hard I try, it always seems to be just out of reach.  I’m talking about the brokenness that feels like the dark; fear, aching, hellish dark. How does joy fit into fear, aching, hellish dark?  When all you can think is, “I’m not enough for this”. I know how to avoid joy.  I’m an expert. Joy requires being known, and the last thing I want when I feel the depths of despair is to be seen, let alone known.  Because to be known requires revealing.  It takes admitting my deep rooted pain and no one wants to see that.  What do we do with pain?  We hide it, we medicate it, we attach to anything that can save us from it.  I’ll never forget the days my son in the pit of his depression was threatening to kill himself.  I drank myself to sleep every night for a year.  The temptation is to put the makeup on, pretend it’s not there, and for the love of God don’t admit weakness.  We form our gods out of our coping mechanisms. Yet to be known means your shame and guilt come into the...

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An ex-pastors thought on advent part 2: hope

One time I was a pastor, but now I’m a rebel; a rebel a part of a great rebellion.  “Rebellions are built on hope.” – Star Wars Rogue One. When Jesus was born, a revolution started.  An uprising that looked much different than the people were expecting.  It was a dark day where Rome ruled a captive people desiring freedom.  They were expecting a hero from God to come save them from the clutches of the Roman’s rule.  One starry night, their Victor was born not in grandeur, but in secret, in the quiet.  Their king arrived not in a palace, but a barn, and no one knew except some shepherds who were awake.  Hope always arrives to the awake first, and reveals to those who lay down their own agenda of expectation.  The nation had an agenda – to see God show his power like he did when they were captive in Egypt, but this time God had a different plan.  Only those awake would see it. Today, the rebellion continues, but not in the way we expect it as well.  We too, have an agenda of how we expect God to work in our world, yet we don’t see it manifest.  Where is hope?  Where is the rescue from pain and suffering? Those “awake” today know that the Jesus of hope is not interested in merely being...

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Advent thoughts from an ex-pastor: love

Yes I was once a pastor.  I may be a rebel, but my faith remains my foundation. I’m not Catholic, but my youngest attends a catholic school where they learn advent.  I was moved by the themes of the candles.  Christmas is a beautiful time of year, but many have questions of what it is truly about; a baby in a barn? Really? And how does Santa fit into that? What I find most interesting about faith, especially Christian faith, is that many feel they know what it’s about without knowing a lot about it.  For example, the concept of God’s love.  We’ve heard about it enough, we think we have the low down on it, but the older I get the more I discover how mysterious God’s love is. The problem with “knowing” about God is we become obsessed with getting him right and ourselves right. Then when we feel the need to get others right.  We will never “get” him, at least not in this life.  No matter how many boxes we put him in, he breaks out of them all.  We only know God as we believe him to be, yet Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, then you’ve seen God”.  So, what’s your perception of Jesus then? Jesus is my favourite.  If he’s what God is like, then God is a fav of mine too....

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The five barriers to courage you can overcome

Courage is something everyone wants.  It’s a sacred desire we all have in common; whether we wish to be courageous to make our marriages last, raise healthy children, overcome anxiety or to step out of our comfort zone to take a risk.  But if courage is something we all desire, why don’t we see everyone experiencing it? I remember walking into my first hip hop class at the age of twenty two. I was overweight and tired of living under the label I’d be carrying since grade 7 that my class gave me, “Connie Chunk”.  I was 22, and very insecure.  For 10 years I had been teased for my weight, pushed aside, and sometimes even physically bullied.  Walking into that hip hop class was scary, but I really wanted to try.  I struggled with knowing if I would end up feeling like a failure and not get the moves, but hip hop was always something that intrigued me to try. Week after week I showed up and battled through my insecurity of not only feeling awkward for my lack of groove, but being in a room full of beautiful, thin girls.  The first time the class formed a dance circle, I almost cried.  The last place I wanted to be was alone in the middle of a circle. What if they laughed at me?  Judged me?  I went in...

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