DEB

"That God was more interested in your heart...this hit me like a ton of bricks!"

Place of Origin:  New Orleans, Louisiana

I was born in New Orleans and at 6 weeks old moved to Stockton, California when my dad joined the engineering crew of McClatchy Broadcasting who was opening a new television station, KOVR -Channel 13. I grew up attending the local neighborhood parish church. From before I could remember (based on 8mm home movies), my 3 brothers and I were avid swimmers during the summer months. Life was pretty much like the movie “The Sandlot” as my 3 brothers and dad were very involved in Little League. Every Sunday meant mass in Latin with catechism on Wednesday. My father was very strict about this and we never missed our obligations. We grew up knowing the fear of God. My folks divorced when I was 12, and times got tough for a while. I moved to the San Jose area in 1974 living with my aunt, uncle and cousin in Cupertino when there were still orchards by the acre. Here I learned to make apricot jam and still do every season. Attending school and working full time in high tech consumed my early 20’s. By my mid 20’s I had started playing guitar and singing with local country bands. This is where I met my husband Mike. We have been playing music together ever since, and have been happily married for 34 years. We have two boys from Mike’s first marriage and a boy and a girl together. They are all grown and have blessed us with 7 grandchildren in total.

In 2004, our two youngest were in early high school and started hanging out with friends who were very active in the youth group of First Covenant Church (now New Life) in Willow Glen. Little did we know that this would lead us to the place we would call home. Mike and I had talked about getting involved in a church, but had not found the right place. This seemed to be the place. Almost overnight we found ourselves participating in youth group activities and soon were playing music during the Sunday service.

Transformative Experiences:  A few weeks after we had started attending First Covenant Church, Pastor Kevin gave a sermon on how being a “good person” was good, but not good enough. He said that God was more interested in your heart and that by following the ways of Jesus Christ, your heart would be transformed. This hit me like a ton of bricks; I realized that I was one of those “good people” and I was nowhere near having a personal relationship with God. I didn’t even know what that was. This wasn’t like the mass I knew as a child, but felt like this sermon was specifically given for me. Over the next year I began to realize and understand what a personal relationship with God meant and how desperately I needed it. New Life has helped me foster that relationship with our Lord through the loving community of people, guidance, and scriptural integrity that is practiced. Do I have it all figured out now? NO. Am I perfect? Far from it! Do I have that personal relationship with God that I was so blatantly lacking? YES! And along with it came a wonderful extended family.