A few months ago a representative from a local organization called me. She was very interested in having me perform for one of their events. She expressed how she was touched by my story in a recent edition of Christian Living Magazine. Our conversation ended with her wishing “Blessings!” upon me. Little did I know what road those good intentions would take me on. Watch your words got real. (more…)
This song was written for our God-daughter, Maria, who lives in Norway with her parents, Katie & Kjell Møgster, and three big brothers. Back in 2006, the Møgsters called us from Mali, Africa (during their missionary years) and asked us to be her God-Family. They invited us to meet them in Norway to attend Maria’s baptism. Well, of course, we said “yes!” with great enthusiasm and immediately started the process of obtaining tickets that would eventually have us arrive in Ålesund, Norway.
Now, a baptism is always a special event. But in Norway, it is a HUGE event. Many hours of preparation were put into decorating the house, setting up tables, making centerpieces, organizing name tags, and preparing group games. Oh yes, then there is the never-ending supply of food!
The morning of the baptism was spent preparing for the special baptismal worship service. The worship experience was amazing! I couldn’t understand a word of it, but the rhythm of the liturgy and prayers felt familiar, especially the Lord’s Prayer.
There was only one part of the service that was in English, the part when I got up and sang. The Møgsters had informed me that it is often a tradition for the God-parents to have one of their gifts be a poem or song. So, I happily wrote Maria a song, in the weeks before our Norwegian odyssey. The words of the chorus were projected onto the screen and I invited everyone to sing along during the last time through…which they did, in their conservative Norwegian way of doing things.
After worship, we drove back to Kjell’s mothers home with the family. Immediately, their friends and family started arriving for the festivities. There must have been about 40 people there, each with a name tag showing them where they were going to sit. We heard Norwegian songs, ate Norwegian food, played group games and learned a lot about … Norwegians!! The last visitors (who weren’t going to be sleeping at the house) finally left around 8pm that night. Finally, it was down to just the…15 of us. This included 7 children, 5 of them young elementary school boys!
The whole trip was an amazing adventure. Being immersed in another culture for 2 1/2 weeks gave me a much bigger understanding of our world. My family and I didn’t want to leave!
In June, 2011, during one of our reunions with the Møgsters, here in the States, Maria asked me to sing her song. I happily agreed. Maria was 5 at this time, so I could look her in the eyes as I sang. She would blush and turn away, but soon I found her looking at me again. It was a precious moment. Clearly she felt very special about having her own song.
I am so glad that my song touched Maria’s heart. It clearly made her feel loved and cherished.
Has anyone done something extra special in your life while growing up? Have you ever told them what it meant to you? If not, think about doing that. It would mean a lot to them.
Drive is a song I co-wrote with my friend, Jeff Lowery, awhile ago. We met through a youth ministers’ local support group in Yakima, Washington. When Jeff told me he had written songs before and was open to trying out writing together, I just about jumped out of my skin! The week after I “retired” from youth ministry we started writing together.
Working with Jeff helped me find the confidence I needed to trust my own songwriting abilities. He would play the guitar and we would write together. After awhile we would take turns presenting an idea of a potential song and then together we would finish it.
Our time writing and singing together was truly a great gift to me. If you are out there in Facebook-land, thanks, Jeff!
The song “Drive” was our first song. The first verse starts off with,
Drivin’ down the road is an easy thing to do,
just jump in, turn it on and let it go.
It gets a little harder when a fork comes in the road,
to the left or to the right, how do I know?
Life As A Journey
We often don’t know what is around the bend as we journey through life. All we can do is pray and try to make good choices. Sometimes our decisions take us further down the road we were on but other times the fork takes us on a wild goose chase.
The words to the chorus, “God is always with you, no matter where you go” I find very comforting. Knowing that no matter who I am, what I believe or what I do, doesn’t change the fact that God is always with me! That’s pretty cool!
You can know that throughout your journey here on earth, God is right there with you.
There is an excellent dialogue in the movie, The Stand written by Steven King that takes place between Mother Abigail and Nick, that goes like this. “What if I don’t believe in God?” In response to Nick’s question Mother Abigail gives out a hearty laugh and says, “It don’t matter whether you believe in God. God believes in you!”
If it doesn’t feel like God is with you, maybe there is a reason for that. Have you given God a chance to be in on your life or have you kept Him at a distance? Have you stopped your busyness for a moment and tried listening? Could you possibly not have received the answer you wanted, so subconsciously you are angry at God? Perhaps you have withdrawn?
No matter how we feel about God it makes no impact on the reality that He is right there with you.
Spin on these ideas and see what you come up with. It’s worth it. Laughter returns. Joy bubbles. And you’ll find yourself able to “drive” again.
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