Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Joy of Christmas

On Christmas morn in manger bed

How sweetly lies the Babe!

The Son of God, come down to earth

man's sinful race to save.

And as He grows, that sinless Babe

Becomes a sinless Man

To bear our punishment for sin.

Fulfilling redemption's plan.

Upon a cross, with crown of thorns

Upon His head, He dies.

Then placed within a cold, dark tomb,

How silently He lies!

Yet, from His cold, dark tomb, from death

Behold Him now arise!

He conquered death, and rose in life

To win us for His prize!

May you be blessed this Christmas by the reminder of all Christ gave for you.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Doing What You're Told...

This week I met the sixteen young students with whom I will be spending my schoolyear. I enjoy working with the little ones, but with sixteen (instead of last year's twelve) it has been a challenging week.

As I thought over my day, trying to figure out better ways of working with those who were struggling, a thought came to mind:

If they would just do what I tell them, their time in school would be so much more pleasant for them!

As soon as I thought the above, I realized that my students aren't the only ones who make life harder for themselves by disobeying!

So often I find myself inwardly rebelling against some small thing that I'm supposed to do. For example, I have been described as having "phonaphobia". I do not like calling people.

In orientation, I was reminded that each teacher was supposed to call the parents of thier students sometime during the first two weeks. Immediately, I had to fight against my natural propensity to fuss inwardly. I had reasons other than my "phobia" for not wanting to make the calls, but I knew that I needed to submit to authority and do as I had been told.

This was the day I had that convicting thought. I knew that this had not been about phone calls. God was showing me that I have not conquered my rebellious nature. It is still lurking in the background, waiting to make trouble.

I knew then that I needed to make those calls. It was too late to do so at that point, but I planned to make my calls the next evening.

Long story short, the Lord worked out a different way for me to accomplish the same thing as the phone calls, but only after I submitted to making them.

--Obedience is really better after all! : )

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


The door is closed, yet on my lips

Are clinging words unspoken yet.

The thought to speak the words was there,

And lips had formed their shape, but e'er

The voice and lips the thought had met

The moment vanished; silent stood the air.

Oh Lord, help my thoughts and words to meld

Inseperably with Thy will.

May, when Thy Spirit gives a thought,

That very instant the deed be wrought.

That when life is over I find not still

Thy words unspoken past the doorway brought.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

God's Perfect Plan

In sorting through some boxes of music recently, my mom discovered a song that someone had written for me when I was born. We have been unable to unravel the mystery of who wrote it, but one phrase that was repeated through the song struck me.

"God has a plan for you."

When I was born, my parents decided that I should be an organist. You see, I was born on J.S. Bach's birthday, and had long spindly fingers and restless feet. My parents started my brother and I with piano lessons when I was about 8, and no matter how I complained and pleaded to quit, they would not let me give up. When I was about 13, I switched to a different teacher, who helped me to play well enough that I actually enjoyed playing. After about two years of lessons with her, she suggested that I begin teacher training. Now, I had long thought that I would like to teach, and when my mom came home from meeting with my teacher and told me her suggestion, it was as if a light dawned and I suddenly realized that teaching was what I was supposed to do, even though it had not been part of my plans.

After I had been teaching for several years, God reminded me of one of His plans for me that I had resisted for many years. My parents had gotten the idea "somewhere" that I was going to be a church pianist (playing for church services, choir practices, etc.) The church we were in did not present many opportunities for this, and I was surprised when Daddy started telling people that I was going to be a church pianist. This was also not in my plans, and I protested that I was a teacher, not an accompanist.

Then, God's plan moved my family to our present church, and soon after we settled there I was put on the offertory schedule. From there, I learned how to play for congregational singing, and now am not only playing for congregational on Wednesday nights, but I am also accompanying the teen choir!

Then, two years ago, God once again reminded me of another long-resisted plan. In talking with a friend at church, the subject of the organ came up, and my friend asked if I had ever considered playing the organ. Just as when I realized that God wanted me to teach, it seemed as if a light had dawned, and I suddenly thought that yes, I could do that! We "happened" to have a small organ in our house, and my piano teacher "happened" to have majored in organ at college. The church I was teaching at had a beautiful organ that I was allowed to practice on for hours on end, and soon I played for church for the first time.

Then our church's organ died, and through that God provided a beautiful new Rodgers organ --but our primary organist had moved away, so now I find myself playing the organ every Sunday --just as God had planned before I was even born!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Day My Daddy Saved My Life...

It was a chilly winter day, and a clear, thick coating of ice covered everything in sight. I was standing on the front porch, looking a little anxiously at the slippery steps. --I was never the type of child who enjoyed dangerous things, unlike my brother, who that moment commanded my attention by whooping delightedly while taking a running start at the giant slide that was our steep driveway. As I watched him shoot down surfer-style towards the street, I could not help but wonder how he could not be afraid of falling.

Daddy came out of the house just then, bearing two trekking poles. He offered one to me, and kept the other for himself, since my brother had loudly proclaimed that he neither wanted nor needed one.

So, off we set down the icy sidewalk. I don't remember now where we were going that day, but there were only a handful of places we liked to walk to when there was snow or ice, and from the little bit I remember, it seems to me that we must have been headed to the harp shop.

We made our way down the glazed sidewalk of the busy street, with cars zooming by in what seemed to me a most reckless fashion. Daddy and I slid a little once or twice, but otherwise our trip to the store was uneventful. On the way home, however, we had to hurry to cross a busy street (trying not to fall over in the process). In that particular part of the city the "wheelchair ramps" for the crosswalks were abnormally steep, and as I stepped onto the curb I lost my footing and fell, sliding rapidly toward the line of traffic zooming past! Thankfully, Daddy had his trekking pole, which he drove into the ice by my hand just in time for me to catch it, saving me from almost certain death. (Or so it seemed to me.)

My brother still can't figure out how I managed to fall...