A New Year: Thrive 1/14


a-new-year-thriveOk. Writing your testimony is difficult. Not because you don’t know what has happened in your life, but because life keeps going and doesn’t give you time to absorb half the things that happen.

I am the product of a woman that searched many religions and was raised in a semi-Catholic home and a Muslim man who is very close-minded. Needless to say, that relationship did not work well. I was however, loved very much by both parents. My father loved me so much. That love birthed his decision to show me his way of life by abducting me to the Middle East. After eleven months my mother was able to bring my back to the great state of Texas with the help of a church. My mother finally settled on this small Baptist church that helped to locate me as her church home. They needed her four-octave range in their choir and we needed stability. I grew up with the kind people of Oak Ridge Baptist Church in San Antonio. It was there where at the innocent age of nine, I felt the “tug at my heart.” I participated in See You at the Pole, GAs, and every VBS imaginable. My mother ran any and every committee that she could. We were at church on Mondays for visitation, Tuesdays for the benevolence closet, Wednesdays for business meetings and service, Thursdays because she said so, Friday for youth and children gatherings, Saturday for work days and Sundays for the Sabbath. I lived there. I feel safe in saying I was raised in the church.

I eventually went to summer camps where I fell in love with the green grass and quiet campus of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I decided in sixth grade UMHB was the campus for me. I would attend there a few years later where I would continue my very strict plan of earning a degree in psychology (so that I may solve the problems of the world). During my sophomore year I was told in order to be a true therapist, I would need a master’s degree. This became my new plan. I did not however, plan on meeting the man in which my dreams were made of. Of course I had to marry him and alter my plans ever so slightly. During all this planning, I tried to be strong in the loss of my mom to colon cancer. It was not until January of 2008 that I realized my mom had given me more than I could ever plan for or achieve. She had given me a wonderful example of true faith. I changed my life focus from “I” to “Him” and have been searching and striving ever since.

I have lived an eventful life in the eyes of most, but I find it simple to the greatness I have now with my beautiful boys that keep me running, as well as the voice of God I daily long to hear. I still crave to be a great therapist for the people I serve, but I want much more to be the wife, mother and friend Christ wants me to be. I am thrilled to have our church family here, building and investing in the continuing story of my life.

Nidal Pascoe



A New Year: Thrive 1/4


a-new-year-thriveMaking Plans

We spend much time planning for tomorrow. We plan trips, set goals, and strive to “reach the mark.” Planning discussions are rampant and an integral part of our professional and personal daily lives. Yet without goals and dreams, we would wander aimlessly in both arenas of life.

James, the half-brother of Jesus tells us not to boast about tomorrow when he says:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

(James 4:13-14) NKJV

 Because of the context around the verse and in other scriptures, I do not think he is telling us not to make plans. James and other biblical authors urge us to acknowledge God’s role in our planning and understand His plans for us are far greater. His plans supersede any we may have for ourselves.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

(Jeremiah 29:11-13) NKJV

 Where is God in your planning? Do you seek His Divine Wisdom as you make your plans? Are your plans aligned with His plans for your life?

Marilyn Hoeth