Whether ministering to people through music or speech, Marcy Fisher starts with what God has poured into her.

“The most important thing to me is, whether I’m ministering in word or in a song, I always allow it to minister to me first,” said Fisher, a Baton Rouge gospel artist, choir director and minister. “As it ministers to me, I believe I can put myself into this and say, ‘OK, this is what God is saying.’ It helps me before I even deliver it. As I’m studying, as I’m putting it together, I’m praising God.”

Fisher, 47, has learned to sing, preach and give God praise even through the trials of life. And she has had more than a few, including the challenges of being a single parent, enduring an abusive relationship and a sometimes painful physical condition.

“It hasn’t been an easy life for me,” she said. “But when I look back over it, I now see that I had to go through that to make me who I am right now.”

Right now is a good place for Fisher, an accountant at her alma mater, LSU. She also is a minister of music at Greater New Bethel Full Gospel Baptist Church and is involved in many other music activities, including heading her own group, Highly Favored, with her daughter. She has been directing choirs for more than 20 years.

“We have grown up together, and we have both been in music together,” she said.

The journey to a life of contentment was a long one for Fisher, who grew up in church and around music. At 13, she started singing with the Fisher Cavaliers, a well-known gospel group led her father, the Rev. Charlie Fisher.

About seven years later, Fisher had her daughter. She struggled as a single mother.

“So many people look at you now and don’t realize what it took to get where you are. … They just don’t know the struggle it was,” she said. “I’ve been to where I didn’t have electricity. I didn’t have water. I’ve been to where I lost the house. I’ve been through all of that. Family and friends had deserted me. There’s been times where I felt there was nobody.”

But Fisher later went back to school while working full time and took nine years to earn a degree in accounting from LSU in 2001.

“That was such an accomplishment for me. That was something I wanted to do. That was a goal I set for myself, and I attained it,” said Fisher, whose daughter, now 27, graduated from Southern University last year.

Fisher said she was inspired by her faith and her longtime favorite Scripture: Romans 8:28 — “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

God called Fisher for another purpose: the preaching ministry. She was reticent for years before receiving confirmation and prompting from others, including an elderly deaconess in her church.

“She would tell me just about every Sunday, ‘You need to stop running. You’re singing, but you’re supposed to be in ministry,’ ” Fisher said. “It was like God had just spoken to me through her. And I just felt it all over and I said, ‘OK, Lord.’ ”

She was consecrated as a minister under the leadership of Overseer Melvin L. Carter in 2010.

“It has been rewarding,” she said. “It challenges me to dig deeper into the Scripture. As I’m studying, I’m able to reflect on life, the things that I’ve been through, even the challenges I may face in the future.”

Fisher faced a physical challenge in January 2014 when she was diagnosed with dystonia, a disorder in which a person’s muscles contract and twist uncontrollably.

That’s when Fisher turned again to Romans 8:28.

“The condition started to affect me really bad that there were times where I could not direct because I was in so much pain,” she said. “But God kept telling me it’s working, it’s working for your good.”

Fisher is receiving treatment for the condition that she said affects 300,000 people worldwide and is incurable.

“I claim my healing. … When you go to the website and see that there’s no cure, there’s going to be a time when you’re going to go to website and see my face and say, ‘She was the one that was cured.’ ”

‘Suffer or Sue?’

The legal system and the filing of lawsuits is not “anti-Christian,” and the Bible backs that belief, a prominent Baton Rouge attorney says in his book “A Christian Dilemma: Suffer or Sue?” (Lawyers Marketing Associates Inc.).

Gordon McKernan offers research, opinions and biblical considerations of the justice system to help Christians who may be struggling with the potential moral or spiritual dilemma regarding what the Bible says about lawsuits. It is “permissible” to pursue legal action or recover damages against a person who causes injury to another, McKernan says.

“After an injury, a person is faced not only with physical injuries and recovery, but also emotional and financial challenges,” McKernan writes. “Many Christians who are injured in accidents believe that they are not permitted by God to sue, and, therefore, must suffer and absorb the emotional, physical and financial ordeals alone. It is not anti-Christian to recover compensation for your injuries.”

McKernan’s first major point is challenging the idea that the legal system is inherently evil or a threat to society.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he writes. “It was created, sustained and approved by God, and it remains a person’s avenue to pursue justice and demand accountability.”

He adds, “All legal systems are administered by people who are subject to sin and corruption. Therefore, there can be results of the system that are unjust. However, the main point is that God set up the general parameters of how we as humans should administer earthly justice, and that resulted in His creation of the legal system.”

McKernan, 48, cautions that he’s not allowed to give specific legal advice in the book, but he does provide some valuable information. He discusses topics such as who, where, when and how to sue; what types of damages can be recovered; and three things to never do.

McKernan is a member of a member of Christ Covenant Church and owner of Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. He is a graduate of LSU and Loyola University New Orleans School of Law and has practiced personal injury law since 1992.

“A Christian Dilemma” is McKernan’s third book. Others were “McKernan’s Personal Injury Reporter” and “Who is Your Lawyer?”

For a free copy of the book, email pam@getgordon.com with subject “Free dilemma book,” your name and address or go to getgordon.com/free-book.

Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Terry Robinson can be reached at (225) 388-0238 or by email to trobinson@theadvocate.com.