I began as a minister for “The First Church of United Fellowship” and now an ordained minister with “The Church of Interfaith Christians “. I have been a minister for 7 years, a member of the choir at “Saint Andrews Lutheran Church”. My earliest interests began as a professional vocalist and emcee in a wedding band for over 20 years I sang in the ceremonies and the receptions (over a thousand) finally awaking one day to realize my calling for God as a minister was to unite people in marriage. I am so happy and blessed that I can be a part of officiating the wedding vows and the relationship commitment since I have learned through personal experience both failing and succeeding ina marriage.
I am a strong advocate of NOT judging other people by their beliefs, religion or sexual preference. By raising 3 children into adults, I have learned to cherish this belief. There are fundamental components that can make a marriage work and each partner must choose to draw strength and fortitude during the good as well as tough times. Whether the balance comes from each other, a supreme being or an internal compass, it is through compassion and love that we derive the most positive solutions in our lives. Remember that Marriage is not 50-50! It is Divorce that is 50-50! Marriage is giving 100-100 percent each.
By the way, your ceremony can be religious, or non-religious, as most importantly to me is the “love” between each couple.
My Personal Religion
I am a passionate follower of the Christian faith and I totally accept you even if you are not, as I respect you as a person or couple. It is my personal belief and you may have yours. Hence, I am not judgmental and will not not “push” my religion on you, as some ministers might do.
That was not always the case for me. Growing up, I was raised and went to both grade and high schools as a Catholic. I remember learning that I was to love God and love other people. I married as a teenager, was divorced in six months and of course according to the church I could not be a Catholic anymore. I met some beautiful people in a local Baptist and Lutheran church’s and pursued my belief in God and personally accepted it. I read somewhere in a Bible that said Jesus the God’s son, came to earth to die for my sins so that even I could know God personally and somehow it stuck with me.
Since then, I have been part a few other “interfaith” churches that my heart felt more comfortable with and they did not have a lot of “dos and don’t” rules as you might find in some others. I struggled with the fact that my original church said, “If you don’t believe exactly what the church teaches, you will not go to heaven” I thought Geez, “would the God I know, not let me into heaven because I broke a couple of rules?” My relationship with Him did not allow me to believe that “No Way!”
After I finished college in the late 70’s, I worked as a musician and I continued to be of my faith. Sometimes I back slided with various relationships and did not truly let God guide me. Finally at some point in my 40’s I figured out to ask God to forgive me and make Him the “helmsman” in my life. I didn’t get struck by lightning. Nothing bad happened but rather I just just felt better about who I was on this earth. A few days later when I went to a church service with some friends I “listened” harder to the teachings of the Bible and realized that it was full of good information! It all made sense. Everything seemed to come together in my spiritual beliefs and I found that by having a spiritual belief, it was so relevant to my life. I started to understand that it is not only by my “good works” but by believing in something that I would have peace in my heart. When I consider the “standard” God set for us, I realize each day that I am nowhere near it, but I try each day. For me it was all about accepting my imperfections and accepting His gift of love for us. I learned the following:
God loves you and offers you a wonderful plan for your life if you listen.
All Men are sinful and separated from God. Therefore, we cannot know fully experience God’s love and plan for his life until we accept His love.
God has made provisions to forgive our sins. Through Him you can know and experience this “real love” along with His plan for your life.
To be a Christian we must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
I believe that we should not judge other people based on religious or lack of belief. I expect that also a “person” should not physically impose his/her beliefs onto someone else who is not asking for it. “I am me and you are you”, so all religions or spiritual attitudes are OK with me as long as they are not being pushy or in any way harmful.
I believe that when you ask God for forgiveness for something that you know was wrong, He has already forgiven you.
So this is what I personally believe and that what is in the Bible is true (King James version my favorite). I believe that a person can be made right with God by trusting in His one and only son, Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again. I accept and feel His love so now, I do things out of “Love” hoping to please God out of gratitude for the forgiveness he has given me by my faith. It is a life for me of freedom and purpose.
After making some life mistakes and failing at marriage it wasn’t until I entered my 50’s that I became spiritually stronger and even better prepared to give advice (when asked) on what a good relationship is made. It’s is about “Love” and having a core foundation of what is good. I have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren. What possibly more can I ask God to bless me with and to leave me feeling so content?
Now I am committed to my wedding ministry “Two Hearts One Love” and if you say that you are in love with another person, I am unconditionally “in your corner” as “Love” is the essence of any spiritual belief. Whether you are practicing some religion or not, I recognize and respect your commitment to love.Edit