Category Archives: Pastor’s Page

From the desk of Pastor Jan . . . Victory in Surrender

As I was searching for a picture that shows Victory in Surrender, I found this copy of Renae Zanella’s painting entitled Surrender. Her write up about this painting is what I have in mind about the topic. Here is the excerpt of her testimony (

“I planned to paint this outside to celebrate my 4-year sobriety anniversary. I got to start the piece outside but then the wind started whipping. My paint was drying instantly as it touched the canvas. I couldn’t see half the time cuz my hair was in my face. Then the farmer across the road pulled up with a few tractors and semis to harvest. Which was just hilarious to have so much going on for this painting I’m calling “Surrender”! But with what felt like chaos surrounding me it turned out to be the greatest example of how we need to surrender and go with the flow. It’s not our plan but Gods! …

I painted a silhouette of a person in a surrender pose down on their knees forehead down with their arms stretched out straight in front of them on the ground. Then I painted light starting to come up behind the silhouette of the person that looks like people pulling each other up. They represent all the people alive and in heaven that help us and guide us. The overall image at this point also represents a fire that is burning inside my heart and soul for God. “  <!–split–>

The black lines that drip from underneath the person represent the pain from the past that grips us and the temptation of the future that tries to keep us stuck in the past by making the same choices. Then I start to paint water over and through those black lines to represent the Holy Spirit working through us to free us from everything. Then I painted the blue sky to represent a new day where there is hope, progress and growth. Every day is a clean slate where we can start again and try to do better. It’s a choice every day who you’re going to serve the Light or the Dark. I was inspired to paint bubbles being released from the person into the sky to represent all the things that we need to let go of. “Surrender” is the path to peace, joy and contentment. And that path is paved with prayers and gratitude. Through it all I have learned that surrendering every day, sometimes all day long is good for my heart, mind and soul. Some days are more challenging but then there is growth. Let go.

Trust in God. God uses everything for his good. Trust in God with all of your heart and do not lean onto your own understanding.   Proverbs 3:5-6

From the desk of Pastor Jan . . .

This is the time of the year that I miss my Papa Sonnie more, the time of the year when I usually think of a gift to surprise him, the time of the year we honor our fathers. This is the fourth year after he has gone home with God, that I no longer see him smile, hear his voice, receive his tight hugs. I miss Papa big time on Father’s Day. In times like these, I would recall the best moments we had together: the ride on his bike in the middle of rice paddies; helping me memorize a poem while he was washing clothes; taking me to school for a month on my first year in college; discussion on theology and pastoral counseling. But most of all, I playback in my mind all the times that I will curl up under his arms as we watch TV shows or take a nap together. I am blessed to have Papa Sonnie as my father. <!–split–>

I wonder what a family be like without a father. I came across this funny poem by Harrison Beslow.

A World With No Dads

In a world with no dads, things would be a big mess,

The plumbing would break, leaving us quite stressed.

Planes wouldn’t fly, buildings would fall,

The grass would grow tall, and weeds would cover all.

Rain would come through the roof, and the cars would break,

The power would go out, leaving us in the dark with no escape.

Robbers would roam free, with no one to stop their crime,

And we’d have to face the monsters, with no dad to make it fine.

Who would fix a flat tire, or check for noises at night?

Who would scare the monsters, and make everything all right?

Who would make our days sunny, and chase our fears away?

Without dads, our world would be dull and gray.

But hey, there might be some benefits, to this world without dads,

No more awkward hugs, or cheesy jokes that make us mad.

No more lectures on how to clean, or take out the trash,

No more uncomfortable talks, or dad’s corny gags.

We might even get to wear our PJs all day,

Without dad’s nagging, or relentless displays.

But let’s face it, we need our dads, for all their quirks and charms,

For without them, we’d be lost, and life would be full of harms.

So let’s appreciate our dads, and honor them each day,

For all their love and care, that never fades away.

~ Harrison Beslow

We thank God for giving us fathers whose love never fades. May God continue to bless and strengthen all fathers who continue to give the best they can to their love ones!

Happy Father’s Day!

From the desk of Pastor Jan . . . Precious Moments

I grew up liking Precious Moments Arts. It gives tender, sweet, caring, and heavenly messages. This picture about mothers reminds me of Mama Pat creating precious moments with us.

She was a Preschool teacher and a Diaconal Minister at the same time. And so, most often Saturday is our family day. I look forward to Saturday dinners because she will prepare something special. I was in first grade when she made this salad with purple cabbage. I was fascinated with its color, my first time seeing one. (Maybe that’s how I love purple) She likes to turn simple recipes into better and wonderful meals. When I turned 40ish, she redecorated the cake she bought me. It was a Black Forest Cake (one of my favorites). She added more peaches and cherries. She totally knew our favorites.  <!–split–>

Nowadays, she likes watching cooking shows on YouTube, then tries to make some. One of her love languages is service, in the form of cooking special meals for us. This is just one of the many ways Mama Pat creates precious moments with us.

I believe that every mother has her own way of creating precious moments with her family. My family is blessed having Mama Pat. In Young Sheldon’s words: There are 5 billion people in the world, what are the odds that we have Mama Pat to be our mother? I believe, God made it happen! Thank you, Lord, for giving us Mama Pat! I would like to honor Mama Pat and all mothers (biological and spiritual) who create Precious Moments with their family. We appreciate all the efforts you made to express your love to us. Truly, you are a woman after God’s heart. These verses are for you:

Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:  “Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!”                                – Proverbs 31:28-29

Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for holding our hands and hearts!