christian

All posts tagged christian

I Don’t Wear Yoga Pants

Published October 22, 2015 by Maryanne

bullshit

Ages ago, it was really cool to be spiritual … when no one else was.

I secretly studied the works of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky with a mentor. The catch metaphysics phrase of the 1980s was “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” And sure enough, at the age of 24, I met a man twice my age (though so wise he seemed even three times my age). We studied together intensely for eight months. During this time I stopped drinking, stopped clubbing, didn’t watch television and read over 100 books about various sources of spirituality including: Teachings of the Far East, Finding of the Third Eye, The Aquarian Christ, and Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson.

Back then this knowledge was sacred. I covered my books in brown paper bags so no one would know what I was reading. I entered a journey beyond this world. It was a true blessing.

Then a few years later, I found Jesus Christ and became a Christian. Even knowing all this esoteric knowledge, I felt the strongest connection to Jesus. Nevertheless, unlike the stereotype Christian, I still drew from my knowledge of other cultures and religions and the really deep stuff like Gurdjieff. In 1989 I coined the phrase “spirit whore” meaning I was all over the place spiritually. I liked that a lot. Being non-committing and feeling safe in any place of worship.

Fast forward to the modern world. It’s no longer the 1980s and thanks to Oprah, the sacredness of spirituality has been brought to the masses. That would be fine, as it is the Age of Aquarius and people should know this stuff. HOWEVER … it’s a shame that Jesus Christ isn’t acknowledged in the mix. It’s cool to be anything but a Christian. So this is what these modern day new-agers use as a way to one-up: “I’m so worldly, I’m so spiritual, I’m better than you because you’re JUST A CHRISTIAN.”

It’s become a sad hip phrase for middle-aged women to make it KNOWN: “I’m spiritual, not religious.” It’s an ugly mantra I’ve been enduring for the past several years — said more and more frequently.

The “I’m spiritual, not religious” sing song haunts me as I try to sleep at night, so much so that I swear it must be a chant to bring satan out of hiding. It’s like chalk on a blackboard, just a pathetic way of saying, “I’m better than you.” URGH, how it makes me cringe! So much so that I’ve come up with the snarky phrase that I’m sharing all over social media:

“Spiritual not religious” gives middle-aged hipster women something else to do
… besides Whole Foods and Botox.
When something that was once beautiful has become so blown out of proportion that people are using it as a way to seem hip and condescending — I’m sorry, it’s not spiritual.
Perhaps these “spiritual” criers should seek out religion, if not for anything else, for balance.
They are too ignorant to realize that they are behaving the same as the holier than thou super-saved Christians who believe in a monstrous god who damns everyone to hell.
maryanne backI don’t wear yoga pants
But they are worse. They are disguised in designer clothing, yoga pants, botox, and hair straighteners. A new vision of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Modern new-agers are just as judgmental as super-saved Christians. And that ain’t nothing special.

 

Back After Easter!

Published April 6, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7018Enjoying!

Don’t you just love how the holidays slow everything down? Even as a self-employed person who loves what she does, it’s great to have three days to just relax and do what I want. I actually decided to extend the weekend a little bit more and hold off working until maybe noon, making calls to promote my lecture series. And tonight I’ll be meeting with an Elvis impersonator who might be part of my “Learn and Listen” series.

Anyway, the meaning of Easter is extremely important to me, so I attend service on both Good Friday and on Easter Sunday. It’s a time to reflect on rebirth, faith and miracles. I actually see them every day!

I was happy to spend some time this weekend with friends and family. It’s also been tradition that most Easter Sundays my husband and I enjoy dining at Park & Orchard: http://www.parkandorchard.com/

Then you have all the cool Bible movies to watch. One of my favorites is Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments.” Now, there is the one from the 1930s, but I love the one with Charlton Heston. It’s just so epic — the costumes, the special effects, the dramatics and all the stars — back in the day when Hollywood was mysterious!

Today we’re having another gorgeous spring day in New Jersey and I’m always happy to stop in The Squirrel and The Bee (http://www.squirrelandthebee.com/) — a grainless, gluten free, dairy free bake shop. In one of my lectures, “Lose Weight with Paleo” I spread the good word about this awesome place! My next lecture on paleo will be at the Washington Township Library in Long Valley on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. For more information on my lectures available for libraries, senior groups, rotary clubs, etc., visit my site: www.peartreeenterprises.com

And on a final note, while many people stick to their own beliefs and that’s that, I embrace hearing about other religions. Two young Jehovah Witnesses just knocked on my door. Instead of ignoring, I always talk to them and take the literature. I share that I read the Bible too. Over the years I always enjoyed reading the Watchtower magazine they give out for free. Free and positive — you can’t beat that!

This particular issue of Watchtower has an article about using digital technology wisely. Several weeks ago I got rid of my Face Book account. One of the reasons was I felt it wasn’t helping me grow spiritually. I was getting angry about things people complained about — and all I had to read in order to keep up with everyone I friended. I learned the hard way that unfriending people is insulting to them. So for me, it was best to just deactivate my account, as it was a lot less pressure for me. Since then I’ve connected with people more in “real time” emails, lunch dates, phone calls. This is what mattered more to me, that one on one connection. My husband said since I left Face Book I’ve been a lot more creative. And blog followers may notice I’m blogging more.

So life is just so amazing and no longer at a standstill because of extreme cold weather. It feels to good to work in my home office barefoot, without socks and slippers!

Dancing in the Rain

Published May 24, 2014 by Maryanne

Rain

I must be the luckiest person in the world.

Yesterday, I spent the second half of the day writing my second book and decided to go for a bike ride since it was so gorgeous out. Well, I got half way around the park and it started drizzling. I thought I’d be able to make it home, but then suddenly it was torrential, almost blinding and I was stuck.

I had no cell phone with me. It was just me and my bike. So there I was, out in the middle of a park, about to enter a wooded area. I was stranded and helpless.

I had no choice but to knock on the door of a random home for shelter and to ask if I could use the phone to call my husband Dennis.

In this day and age, I don’t make it a habit of knocking on random doors, but we live in a lovely area and I heard children, so I figured it was safe.

The children answered the door and I asked, “Can I speak to your Mom and Dad? I need to use the phone.”

The dad came out and said “Sure.”

Then the mom came out and she screamed, “MARYANNE!”

She knew me! Then I recognized her from church! She invited me in. Her husband let me use his cell to call my husband. Dennis wasn’t home yet, so the husband was nice enough to give me a ride home! The wife offered me a glass of wine or tea, but I was soaking wet and said I’d prefer the ride. (Plus, I didn’t want Dennis to worry about me). They were so nice they said they’d keep my bike in their garage until I was able to pick it up!

Of all the homes I could have knocked on the door, what are the chances of me picking out a random home that turned out to be the home of someone I knew from church? If you’re not a believer of God or a higher power, this story will definitely make you a believer!

When I got home, safe, to my husband, we had such a laugh over this. I was drenched and couldn’t wait to get changed, but we both just stood there laughing and laughing at how funny and cool this story was! A definite dance in the rain!

Tommy James & Shondalls/Jefferson Starship, Ocean Grove Auditorium

Published July 21, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1690Tommy James and The Shondells

My husband Dennis treated me to a most wonderful evening, seeing Tommy James and The Shondells, at Ocean Grove Auditorium, which is actually a huge church!

This was our third time seeing Tommy James. It was amazing, as always! He opened up with “Draggin the Line,” followed by my favorite “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” Also did “Ball of Fire,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Crimson and Clover” (which was electrifying when they put the special effects on his vocal!) “Hanky Panky” … during “Mony Mony” he jumped into the audience and shook hands and met fans. He was out there about 15 minutes while the band played, trying to meet as many people as possible. He was so awesome for doing that. He ended the show with “Sweet Cherry Wine” and told the audience that “Jesus is Coming!” (as he’s done before, it’s no secret that Tommy James is a Christian!)

Jefferson Starship was the warm-up act. Original founder Paul Kantner is still in the group and Cathy Richardson takes on the role of Grace Slick. Richardson’s voice was powerful and she was a true rock ‘n’ roller. This was my second time seeing Jefferson Starship. (The first time was around 2002, I think). My favorites were “White Rabbit,” “Somebody to Love,” and “Runaway.”

It was another super hot night in New Jersey. I danced so much and really worked up a sweat!

During intermission we ran into Tommy James’ manager Carol and chatted with her. Also ran into our friends Glen and Gina. After the show we caught up with them again, all walked the boardwalk together and then had a beer.

The Specials also played at Stone Pony last night. The four of us were considering that show, but Gina found out it was over already. We had so much fun though regardless. Lots of laughs and music chats.

It was a fantastic, five-star evening! I am so high!

 

Kindness From a Stranger

Published July 19, 2013 by Maryanne

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted, Aesop

We’re having a massive heatwave in New Jersey — like 101 degrees for several days now.

Yesterday I went to church and to the health food store. As I got back to my car my battery died.

Since I’m my own boss, no worries under normal circumstances, I could have just called roadside assistance, but who wants to wait in 101 degrees? If it was a gorgeous spring day, I would have went for a walk or gone shopping.

Well, luckily a Good Samaritan from the local hardware store decided to help me out.

While he was getting his car situated, idiots were blowing their horns, being impatient. I even yelled at them, “He’s trying to help me — SHUT UP!”

Finally the car got started! I offered him $10.

He declined my offer.

So I went into the hardware store and gave the money to his wife.

She declined too.

I said, “I insist!” and left the money on the counter and ran out of the store.

When I came home, I contacted several newspapers to let them know how kind this business owner was — that he stopped everything just to help me! And in this HOT WEATHER!

One of the newspapers published my letter and I’m so happy because CRANFORD PAINT & HARDWARE, Cranford, New Jersey, deserves much recognition. In this day and age you rarely hear stories like this. So if anyone from New Jersey, in the Cranford area, is reading this, please go out of your way to give this man and his wife business — they deserve it!

Here is my letter to the editor: http://www.nj.com/cranford/index.ssf/2013/07/letter_to_the_editor_thank_you_1.html

And coincidentally, the message of church yesterday was about strangers helping each other!

Head Over Heels Love Exists – And Lasts! (So Don’t Settle!)

Published July 11, 2013 by Maryanne

love-retro_00413641

It always breaks my heart when I read articles that try to steer people away from head over heels type love, saying it won’t last or that you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment, that emotional love isn’t good, blah, blah, blah …

Even some of my friends have tried to fall in love with someone they aren’t that attracted to or have seen as just a friend and figured they’d try it because “he’s a nice guy.”

No. Don’t go there. It won’t work.

Take it from me, happily married almost two years to a guy I’ve been with almost eight, and crushed on when I was a teenager. I was head over heels from our first official date and still am. The good news is, so is he!

To me, I’ve always believed in intense chemistry. I feel that God puts that chemistry there for a reason. If you’re not feeling the rockets, don’t go there as you’ll only set yourself up for future disappointment as one or the other will find excuses to get out. If you’re not feeling the rockets, it’s God’s way of saying he/she isn’t the right one.

Not only am I super attracted to my husband, he’s a great guy too. When I think of “best friend” he is it. Eight years into this relationship and I’m still seeing stars and fireworks. He still surprises me with gifts, is supportive of my career, does great things around the home … and best of all, stops me from doing whatever I’m doing so we can take a minute or two for a slow dance!

This is what love is and how life should be lived.

So, please, ladies (and guys), no matter how old you are or what you’ve been through in life, do not follow the advice of having to settle. You CAN find someone you think is super attractive (who feels the same way about you), adores you, can be your best friend, and love will continue to grow as you age, not fizzle.

If it wasn’t for my husband, trust me, I’d be ALONE and happy at that. I would never waste my time with anyone if I wasn’t head over heels (and if he didn’t feel the same way as I did).

And just as head over heels love exists, so does equality. When I took sex education in high school the teacher said in all relationships there is one partner that seems more caring than the other. I will say, that is not true! In a good, genuine, true love relationship, it can and will be definitely be EQUAL! No tits for tats. It will be THAT close.

Old fashioned, over the top love is still in vogue!

Which reminds me of this great song by Japan, from the 1980s, telling us that love is in vogue, while the couple in the song sets themselves up for heartbreak. Reminds me of people who try to make it work when it ain’t working. Don’t let that be you, because it CAN work! Find the person to make it work with. Don’t waste time when it’s not happening. But worse of all — don’t settle!

 

 

 

Jesus Comments Accepted and Welcome Here!

Published June 24, 2013 by Maryanne

Jesus

I just stopped following a blog I regularly follow because the person was putting down Christianity and I defended my religion. Sad to say, my moderated comment was never accepted.

Second time this week, mind you.

I think it’s beyond pathetic how people like to keep Jesus in the closet because they feel that it’s not “cool” to be a Christian. It’s A-OK  to be a Jew, or a Buddhist, or a pagan, or an atheist or a satanist … but God forbid you talk about God or Jesus!

Well, let me enlighten you. Nothing is cool. Cool is OUT. So you can all re-think your mission of keeping Jesus in the closet. Because even though you never accepted my moderated comment, it’s not going to stop me from posting about my Savior here.

SO WHAT DID MY UNACCEPTED MODERATED COMMENT SAY?

That NOT ALL CHRISTIANS  judge people!

That the pastor at my church does a lot of interfaith work.

That on Martin Luther King Day, our church joined with another church to give a service. My pastor spoke. So did a rabbi. So did a priest. The good word, is the good word, no matter who delivers it!

That there are cars parked in front of my church that have pagan “co-exist” bumper stickers on them and that is FINE because my church welcomes EVERYONE!

That I — A CHRISTIAN — have done more for gay/bisexual/transgender rights than any other straight person or Buddhist or athetist or fill-in-the-blank new-age hipster of the momenteer that I know!

What have YOU done for anyone lately?!

But I can talk until I’m blue in the face because people have to have their silly, ultra-ridiculous Christian stereotypes embedded in their pea brains because they need something to poke fun of to make themselves feel better about themselves. Ain’t that always the way. And of course we live in a “me, me, me” world, so people can’t have anyone say anything about anything unless it isn’t directly about THEM.

“Oh, not my religion, let me make sure everyone knows that!”

“Oh, I’m not religious at all … gotta get that out there … don’t want anyone to mistake I might be Christian.”

“Oh, it’s not hip to be Christian. No, can’t have that. No, I’m cool! I’m cool!”

“I’m not religious. I’m spiritual.”

WHATEVER! I’ve heard it ALL!

How many posts I wrote about my positive experiences in church and people just have to share that Christianity ISN’T their religion. It’s like they can’t press “like” and be happy for me without also expressing that is NOT their religion. Maybe if they fail to do so the world will combust and they will die tomorrow or something. Who knows?!

But this anti-Christian trend has to stop. It’s annoying. We, as Americans, put down people for being racists, so let’s do the same for religion-ists who hate Christians!

People fear Christianity because they see it as some sort of judging religion, when here they all are, the pots calling the kettles black by being ever so haughty themselves with their condescending put downs towards Christianity.

Well, with this post, I’m taking Jesus out of the closet! I don’t moderate comments about Jesus. Fellow Christians, feel free to share your positive stories here.

With 500+ people clicking on my blog each day, I think the word will be spread pretty quickly.

YEAH!

Someone had to say it, guess it was me!

I-love-God

 

cool-chris2t

 

Happiness Now!

Published June 1, 2013 by Maryanne

Happiness

While I always have so many exciting things going on in my life, it’s also important not to overlook the little things that make me happy from day to day. So here’s a little list of the “little” things that have been going on the past few days … in no particular order.

1. I think it’s so great that several people who aren’t on WordPress have created accounts to comment on my blogs (and some from several months back, which is so super cool to know someone likes your blog enough to go back and read previous months!) YEAH, go me!

2. Yesterday I was in a boutique and found a great outfit, including shoes and earrings, for a wedding on Sunday. I love boutiques — not malls. I love the personal touch. I love how in a boutique the owners will run around for you, scouting out the perfect shoe for your outfit. It makes you feel like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” every time!

3. Twice this week I was told — in person (not on the internet) that I  look younger than I am. Once I heard 29 (from a woman around my age) Another time I heard 35 (from a teenage girl). I am 49! So good health habits definitely pay off!

4. I FINALLY got around to learning how to give communion to the home bound. So — YAY — I am now officially part of the Caring Ministry! I also offered to make phone calls to the home bound who may be lonely.

5. MY CAT BILLY IS GETTING HEALTHY AGAIN! I am so happy!! Billy who is 19 was not doing too well. But thanks to some medication recommended by the vet, he is walking better, eating more and no longer hiding! This cat will definitely live to see 20. I am beyond psyched!!

6. I was so inspired by a 15-year-old girl who came to our door selling cookies and candles last night. She had a top notch personality to begin with and she seemed to really like my husband and I because she kept talking to us. One thing she said really touched my heart and soul. She said that she gave a free box of cookies to a mother of an autistic child and paid for it out of her own pocket. She said, “I know how hard life can be.” She also had asthma but was working so hard in the heat. She was such a little doll and so good hearted, I just wanted to adopt her right then and there. At the end of our conversation, I said, “I HAVE to give you a hug!” and I hugged her. Kids like that are the best!

7. I’ve said it before, and I have to say it again — my husband is just the best! It’s such a blessing to have someone constantly on your side, doing so much to make your life happy. He’s just too good! We never take each other for granted. We always call and email each other during the day and send each other pictures of cute animals, make up silly songs for each other. My heart still races when he comes home from work! I LOVE YOU DENNIS!

8. May 2013 was the best money-making “May” since I started my business in 2009! And 80 percent doing what I love best, WRITING! (The other 20 percent of my money was made managing my entertainers and one author). And the beauty of it all is, I’m not busting my ass either. I’ve had many days off, sometimes even four days in a row (not including the holiday weekends) which gave me some extra time to visit church and go to bible studies during the week. NICE!

I love all the editors I am currently working with and all my musical clients and the author. Life is just so perfect when you can work with people you love and respect, even when during times it’s not perfect.

9. Last night I dreamed my grandmother was alive again! She went to a scary movie that I recommended and thanked me for the recommendation. (The movie dream was so scary it woke me up — but then I was able to get up and do some work at 5 a.m. and I love the early mornings!)

10. It’s June and I have at least FOUR concerts to look forward to this month, starting with Jay & the Americans at the IZOD tonite!

There are a lot more, but I’ll stop here because the sun is shining so brightly in my office window and I want to get this wonderful day started!

 

Jesus as a Mother Hen

Published May 17, 2013 by Maryanne

mother hen jesusBeautiful picture swiped from Google

(Note: there’s a copyright in the center if you look closely)

Today was the first day I got to go to the women’s bible study at my church. They have them every third Friday of the month, which is hard because some days I have assignments on Fridays but today I was free all day! It was definitely a day off and felt so good.

The theme today was “Beneath Her Wings,” a bible study article written by Audrey West and published in the March edition of Gather magazine.

When Jesus (in the Gospel of Luke) is on his way to meet his end in Jerusalem and he offers shelter, he refers to himself as a mother hen, to those who remain close to him.

Our pastor spoke of this before in a previous sermon. I like the idea of Jesus as a mother hen because it is a metaphor for someone soft and gentle, yet strong and protective — showing the feminine side of our savior Jesus Christ. With all the other biblical metaphors Jesus could have chosen — a lion, an eagle, a bear — he chose the hen, a mother who loves her chicks so much that she gives them shelter under her wings.

Another soft reference for Jesus is as the lamb of God, my person favorite imagery of Jesus.

One of the questions we discussed was what keeps people from desiring to be gathered beneath Christ’s wings … what gets in the way of our own acceptance of God’s shelter?

My answer was that people may not be rejecting Jesus, but rather how the church is viewed. Remember a few months ago when Pastor Bell didn’t want to tip a waitress and wrote a nasty note to her that read, “I give God 10 percent, why should I give you 18?” I blogged about it here: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/pastor-bell-do-the-math/

Ridiculous things like this can turn people off to church. So it’s best, as Christians, to be more careful and not do silly things like this. It’s very hard to be sin free and perfect (I am the first to say because I can get very mean when provoked), but I feel that those in high places in the church have a responsibility to their flock and need to be on their best behavior when out in the public eye.

I also said that people may fear going to church because they could fear being judged. Unlike our church where people are so accepting. I shared that I felt comfortable from the get-go. Others in the church had tattoos like myself. Everyone is down to earth. I truly get so much comfort and joy going there because I can be myself. If this is how God loves me, so should everyone else — and I get that impression that I am very loved in my church, as I love everyone there too. Even if I wasn’t Christian, I can honestly say we really do have a good group of people who are positive, cheerful, polite, smart, fun, funny, joyous, happy, good hearted, kind and giving. (And I’m a fussy person who doesn’t take much to people — trust me on that!)

As June, who ran the bible study, said, “We have saints and sinners here alike … and you can’t beat that!” Not sure if those were her exact words, but that’s the gist of it, meaning no one is perfect and that’s fine!

Young girls in our church wear pretty dresses, some are short and that is fine. No one judges. I’ll never forget when I was young and I was wearing a short skirt. I got out of my car to go the bank and an old biddy yelled at me, “You have a Billy Graham bumper sticker on your car, but you are dressed like a hooker!” That was so mean. And I will never be that judging to another person, as long as I have my wits about me.

Another positive thing I learned about my church was that back in the 1960s the pastor who was at my church did a lot for the civil rights movement, which was absolutely great.

Being with this group of senior ladies for just a few hours really made my day. It takes me back to when I was just 18 and working my first job at Scribner Book Company. All the older ladies looked after me, like mother hens. Now I have this wonderful group of church ladies to converse with and share and grow with.

Perhaps this is a way Jesus manifests through other people … another way to interpret the “mother hen” reference.

Yeah, God is good that way … showing that He’s near in many creative ways and knows which way you personally will resonate most with.

 

Hoppy Thursday Inspiration!

Published May 16, 2013 by Maryanne

?????????????????????Bunnies (photo swiped from Google search)

This morning I had to interview students in a theater class and ended up parking several blocks away from the school on a side street. Going back to my car it was so cute, I saw four bunnies chasing each other and two chipmunks. So adorable. It was a perfect morning, cool and pleasant and a little overcast.

I wrote one story, was all caught up and able to go to mid week service.

I was totally honored when the pastor asked me to assist in communion!

As I said before, I love the Thursday service because it’s more personal. It’s only about 15 people, all seniors, and we get to share stories that relate to the service, which reminds me of a Bible Study.

Thursday’s service always reflects on what Sunday’s service was about. Since Sunday was Mother’s Day the pastor was asking us about a story where we felt our mother comforted us as a child.

Since my grandmother raised me, it popped into my head just one of the things she did to show unconditional love.

When I was little I was so shy and so attached to my Grandmother I didn’t want to be separated from her. Not even to go to school — which I loved as a little girl.

So she would wait on line with me until it was time to go into the school. I loved that. It was sweet and comforting. I’m so happy I remembered that today and had a moment to remember my Grandmother’s love.