Hello to all from Hot Springs, SD!! I've started my tour and am enjoying fellowship at my first destination, Joy Community Fellowship Church. It's been great to have this time together with Pastor Bill and Pat, whom Warren and I have known 15 years or so. Every time I come here I just feel "life"! So, if ya in the Hot Springs, SD area, do visit! Their Sunday services are at 11 am.
I'll be doing a lot more traveling. In a week I'll be hooking up with songwriters at the InspireSong songwriter conference, learning, playing music and possibly doing some songwriting.
Then as I go on, I'll be doing a few concerts, visiting friends and family on this trip, going from SD to CO to NM to TX and then through OK and IA on my way home. Keep this trip in prayer please, for safety, provision and more open doors for music opportunities.
So....I got some bad news today from the studio.... which I'm praying will turn into good news the Lord willing.
As many of you know I was supposed to go into the studio in Albuquerque, NM recording at a friend's studio to release my next album... Due to short notice on finding a cajon player (as my producer friend assumed Warren would be with) and him not feeling peace from God about all this, he decided to cancel this session and maybe plan for a better time frame. I'm always for having peace and if that is absent then there's no need nor reason to do something which may not be God's perfect plan.
Although I'm very sad and had SO hoped for a new album, this means it'll be a while longer before it'll be recorded. How long that depends upon the Lord's timeline and provisions. It'll either be at the studio with my friend at a later time, or.... this could be a God sized adventure, believing Him for that which is impossible for me to do - namely financing a project in Nashville. I have a producer there willing to work with me.... :)
So I'm excited to see what God will do in these next coming days, weeks, months.....
Since I'll be attending InspireSong 2018 in Aspen next week, I need to also be open to what connections might be made there, thus it's best to leave it all in the capable hands of the very One who gave the music in the first place.
Having patience is the difficult part when you want something so bad.... yet, we must wait and trust.
UPCOMING EVENTS on the road:
Event: Live Music in the dining room
Place: The Brookside Apartments
201 South River Street
Town: Hot Springs, SD
Come enjoy some live music in the dining room. Open to all in Hot Springs who would like to come.
I'll be sharing a lot of my original songs, sharing some stories and playing worship songs.
Time: 11 am
Place: Joy Community Fellowship Church
309 Canton Ave.
Town: Hot Springs, SD
I'm SO thrilled to be able to be back at my favorite lil' church in South Dakota and visiting with our pastor friends, family and church family there! I feel part of this place, this people and am always honored when I can serve in the service with the gifts and talents God bestowed to me.
Event: InspireSong 2018 Songwriter Conference
Place: Crossroads Church
726 W. Francis Street
Town: Aspen, CO
This is the third year that I'll be attending this wonderful conference. Looking forward to seeing old friends from the past conferences and meeting new ones who are coming this year for the first time.
Hoping to play some songs at the open mic times during the conference.
OPEN DATES available:
Sunday, May 19 - Tuesday May 22
for music/worship or NotesNBling gatherings (music and jewelry "party")
Wednesday, May 23 - Friday Jun 1
for music/worship or NotesNBling gatherings (music and jewelry "party")
Time: 6:30 pm
Event: Concert Nite
Place: First Christian Church
1700 N. Main
Town: Clovis, NM
Excited to be back at the church hubby Warren attended before we got married and I got to join him to be part of the congregation there before we moved away. Truly miss the pastor and his wife and the folks there. So excited to be able to be back and bring the blessing of music into the house of worship!
Time: 10:30 am
Place: First Christian Church
1700 N. Main
Town: Clovis, NM
I'll be "special music" during Sunday's worship serving there with my gifts.
More dates later on in June....which will be updated in the next newsletter.
In April Warren and I played for Empty Bowls, a fundraiser event for Place of Hope, to raise awareness that there's someone in our country and in the world who's bowl is always empty. Warren and I have participated in this event ever since we moved into the area pretty much. Warren has helped out with the soups, distributing, warming up, organizing and delegating and I've participated as a vendor and playing music, donating a percentage of my sales to Place of Hope.
Place of Hope helps the homeless, provides meals and a warm place to stay and also has a program for recovery for men and women who want to change their lives and come out of darkness to walk in the light of hope.... and with the Lord.
One of the events we totally enjoy is the BURN (Central MN 12-hour BURN). It's a 12 hour prayer and worship event which takes place in the St. Cloud area either bi-monthly or every 3 months at different churches. It begins at 9 am and goes until 9 pm. Worship slots are two hours and is lead by different musicians or worship leaders throughout that time. We love taking part and just playing worship, sharing scriptures and soaking in the presence of the Lord. We come early before our set and staying after, soaking in the peace that is present in the room. If you've never come to a BURN, do! You don't have to stay the 12 hours! Come when you can, stay as long as you feel led to be there. It's really awesome!
Although I heard disappointing news, I need to share with you all before I sign off, that the bible studies I attended through Joy Community Fellowship today were total preparation for the news from the studio which would come later in the day! God is so good.
Now even though the recording is not happening, that doesn't mean it never will or be put off indefinitely, because it's going to happen, but in His timeline.
The first study this morning was titled: The Crisis of Belief. Basically what we talked about today was that if God gave you a directive of something He wants you do, what you do in response to that, reveals what you truly believe about God.
For example, if God gives you something God-sized to do and you believe that it's something that you can't do it because you don't have the resources, that's the crisis of belief. You still go towards that direction, no matter what it may look like, because you will trust and believe that God will bring about what He told you to do.
So....to translate that into my situation, instead of me getting down and discouraged and giving up on the recording of my next project, if I believe God and trust that He will provide, I can actually believe Him for what I TRULY want - which is recording with producer Dan Needham in Nashville - which is certainly a HUGE GOD-SIZED project only God can bring to pass.
What might be YOUR God-sized project you are trusting Him for? Share that with me!
Thank you all for your prayers and also keep Warren in prayer as he is working hard at home.
Until June..... Love y'all.
Spring has sprung.....it's sprung SNOW in Minnesota! Crazy right? Hubby is out plowing snow for his accounts at the moment while I'm typing up my monthly update.... and I'll be shoveling our walkway....
Although it is white outside, that's not going to stop us from enjoying the first Spring events. Middle March I was downtown in St. Cloud for the Art Crawl, set up as a featured artist at The Rusty Pick with my NotesNBling jewelry. The event was well visited and the snow in the forecast for that day held out until late at night after the event was over! Was cool to see some of my friends stop by to say "hi" and got to meet a lot of folks as they lingered at my table to look and chat.
We got to enjoy a wonderful time with our friends from the Barnabas Christian Coffeehouse in Chippewa Falls, WI in March. They are such a fun bunch of people! We joked with everyone, had fun chats and comments, they always mess with us....and it's such fun! Yet in all this we enjoyed the presence of God, the fellowship with one another in Christ, prayed for people and lifted our voices in worship and were strengthened through songs of encouragement. Always a great time!
Event: Spring Boutique Crafts & Vendor Event
Place: Main Street Church
6500 Main Street
Town: North Branch, MN
This coming Saturday I will be set up as a vendor with my NotesNBling jewelry.
So if you are in the area, come by and visit!
Event Time: 11a-7p
Sam's Live Music Slot: 2-3p
Event: Empty Bowls
Annual Fundraiser for Place Of Hope Ministries
Place: *City Hope Church *NEW Location this year!!!
413 Franklin Ave. NE
Town: St. Cloud, MN
This year's Empty Bowls event will be at Place Of Hope's second church location City Hope Church.
In the past years the event had been at Calvary Community Church, but now Place of Hope is able to host this event at their own location.
There will be soups (and other goodies too) - all you can eat - you get to take home a hand painted bowl and purchase other items from the vendors/crafters who will be set up. Live music will be at two stages, the smaller one for singer/songwriters and the bigger one for bands. It'll be a great time!
I will be having a table with my NotesNBling jewelry set up, as well as play music for one hour from 2-3 pm. Hope to see you there!!
Event: Outdoor Market
Place: Dwell Furniture & Home Decor
3192 St. Croix Trail S.
Town: Afton, MN
This will be a first time event for me at the Dwell Furniture & Home Decor Outdoor Market. This will be the first of 3 events they hold every year. We are looking into the September one as well.
There are several stores who participate and vendors set up outside in tents. Warren and I will be the only jewelry vendor at this event with my NotesNBling jewelry. I'm so grateful for hubby to help me with this adventure! If you live in the Cities, come see us! It's located in the East St. Paul region.
SPRING TOUR 2018! I will be heading West and South in May/June 2018.
You will find me in South Dakota for music events, Colorado for InspireSong Songwriter Conference & concerts, on to New Mexico for studio (recording my 5th CD project) and music events there as well and then on to Texas for whatever doors the Lord will open! One thing I'm looking forward to in Texas is seeing my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids!
Time: 3 pm
Event: Concert at The Brookside
Place: The Bookside Apartments
201 South River Street
Town: Hot Springs, SD
This will be very cool to play at an apartment complex! First time I've done that! Always those exciting firsts and getting to be a blessing to new folks.
Time: 10 am
Place: Joy Community Fellowship Church
309 Canton Ave.
Town: Hot Springs, SD
I'm SO thrilled to be able to be back at my favorite lil' church in South Dakota and visiting with our pastor friends, family and church family there! I'm honored they plugged in for Sunday's worship service!
MORE EVENTS see my "Tour Dates" page! I'll post all the May/June events in next month's update!
The next few weeks before my trip will be major busy with getting everything ready for on the road. Merch, Books, CDs....n all that.
Plus there's my March events almost every weekend now. Whew!! Raising funds is crazy biznizz!!
Yet in all this busyness....reflection. Last Sunday we celebrated Resurrection Day. Focusing on Christ brings everything into perspective for me. In all this....I need to rest in Him.
Sunday's sermon title was: Jesus Is Greater Than Religion. Hebrews 3:1-6.
The question was asked: What is religion? It is man made. Religion says "do", Jesus says "done". Religion says "slave", Jesus says "son". Religion says " bondage", Jesus says "free". Religion makes you work harder but Jesus extends grace. Jesus restored our relationship with God. He is the answer for all our problems.
He is our apostle. We don't get to choose what we want of Jesus and what not. (for example: I'll accept Him as a great teacher but won't believe that He is God). The thing is....you don't get to choose one thing about Him without accepting for who He is.
He is our high priest. Jesus is the creator of the universe. Jesus is God (John 1:1-3)....I wrote a song about that called "On the Wings Of A Dove" which will be on this upcoming album being recorded in New Mexico in May.
Moses brought the temporary plan, Jesus is the ultimate plan, the permanent plan, He is the plan. Moses was a servant. Jesus is the Son!
Therefore He has to be Lord in all aspects of my life. So many things come to mind I'm yet to totally surrender to Him. Yet He is my Lord, He is my Savior, He is my Redeemer for I cannot save myself. Sin put a divide between man and God and only Jesus through His own sacrifice could bridge the gap, a perfect, blameless, holy and sinless bridge. A sacrifice.... All have sinned....yet by the shedding of His blood Christ brought about once and for all redemption to all who recognize that they need a Savior, come to Him in repentance and seek forgiveness at His cross.
Tetelesti! It is finished!
Here it's almost middle March.....and I'm just now getting with it to posting my monthly blog/update. Things have been so crazy lately. With a surprise trip to central Illinois in February and then catching up back home with laundry, paperwork for hubby and taxes, kept me hopping!
I'm excited that I got the videos of my songs recorded for Eddie B. who will be my producer when I go to his studio recording at the end of May. Soooo..... I'm going to keep this short and sweet!
My trip down to Central Illinois was a blessing, especially when you get to see your friend and new friends you've made since the one friend moved there :) During this trip I also brought some NotesNBling Aroma Bracelets and Necklaces to The Mercantile store in Monticello, IL, who will also be carrying my jewelry. It's just a small display, but a great start sitting next to DoTerra Essential Oils. I love The Mercantile store! Cool stuff in there like unique decorating items, clothing, essential oils and jewelry. Love the people who work there and always look forward to visiting again!
While in Monticello I had the opportunity to play for a very neat group of women my friend teaches! They are eager to learn and grow in God's Word and they are a lot of fun. Discovered another artist in the group who also makes jewelry! We had a LOT to talk about!!
One big blessing was to meet up with my singer friend Erisa Rei again. She's so gifted and so real, I love that about her! I wish we had more time, because this time we didn't get to play music together.
Once back home Warren and I were booked to lead worship at South Santiago Lutheran Church in Clear Lake, MN. Our date got moved up one week due to a schedule conflict with the person who was originally scheduled, so it was a good thing that I got home 3 days earlier!!
The Wednesday night service began with a soup supper....and you guys, those soups were SO amazingly good! We had a couple bowls and I have to admit I wish they had carry out, because I would have packed in a few more samples for hubby and I during the week, haha! :D
The service was really fun as a lot of the youth group kids participated and we cracked up at their opening song. The song was so cool and fun! We played for about 30 minutes sharing all my original songs, as they totally fit into the theme of that night's service! Pretty cool!
Time: 7 pm
Event: Wednesday Night Worship Service
Place: South Santiago Lutheran Church
Town: Clear Lake, MN
Although this event is already over (it was supposed to happen on the 14th instead of the 7th but due to the schedule change it ended up being a week earlier). Still wanted to list it here.
Time: 7 pm
Place: Barnabas Christian Coffeehouse
Town: Chippewa Falls, WI
We are back again at the Barnabas!! We are so looking forward to seeing our friends from that area and....hope to make new ones! Always like coming home when we go there. Talk about people who get into the music! It'll be a fun night and a night of worship/fellowship as well. See you all there this weekend!
Time: 5-9 pm
Event: Art Crawl in Historic Downtown St. Cloud
Place: The Rusty Pick
707 W. St. Germain
Town: St. Cloud
I'm excited I made it in!! So I'll be set up at this cutest antiques & collectibles store downtown St. Cloud that day. So come on out, visit the stores, see the artists and hang out with me and browse the cool stuff at The Rusty Pick! See you there!s
Time: 2-3 pm (Event time 11 am - 7 pm)
Event: Empty Bowls (Annual Fundraiser for Place of Hope
Place: City Hope Church *NEW location this year
413 Franklin Ave NE
Town: St. Cloud, MN
This year the Empty Bowls Soup Feed Benefit for Place of Hope is at a new location: their second church location at City Hope Church. Also our music time slot has moved to a new time from 2-3 pm (so that Warren is able to join me as he will be volunteering with the soups at Place of Hope). I will also be set up with my table of jewelry, CDs and books. So come see me!
So mark your calendars to note the new month/date, location and time slots if you'd like to hear us play. See you there!
Well, that's about the news for this month, keeping it brief as I'm having to heavily dive into the paperwork. Once I get that done I can go on with more creative things like making jewelry, playing and writing music and getting ready for recording in New Mexico and all the activities/concerts on my trip/tour in May/June this year!
Also please check out hubby Warren's GoFundMe page as he continues to plan and work towards his goal of getting his Warren's BBQ Bus Cafe.
I'm excited about this dream and possibility to finally get off the ground so to speak and no longer deal with adverse weather conditions in tents. We are praying for God's provision and guidance with this project.....and some crowd funding to bring it into reality. Warren's Go-Fund-Me page has all the details of his plan laid out if you like to see.
We are thankful and grateful to each and everyone of you who support us with prayer, with words of encouragement, friendships, fellowship, get-together's, coming to our concerts or jewelry events or inviting us to come play at your location, church, group, event.....coffeehouses..... You guys all are amazing and we are tremendously blessed to have met so many wonderful folks!
You all have a great rest of March, hopefully spring will arrive in the northern regions here soon and - we will catch you in April!
The sum total of your life is your thoughts..... said a wise minister friend in one of her teachings! That stuck with me ever since. It's profound and extremely TRUE! I'm so grateful for her to impart this tidbit of wisdom unto me, because it made me more aware of that I was and also what I was thinking about, dwelling on, worrying and fretting over!
As I'm typing this the following scripture came to mind: Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
So what is your mind dwelling on this month? Are you worried about something? Are you down on yourself? What is your self-talk like? Is what you are thinking about leaving you disturbed, anxious, fretful, without hope, without trust in God? ...or is what you are thinking about giving you this deep peace of knowing that you can trust God with whatever it is that rose itself up against your faith to disturb your life, occupy your mind and capture your thoughts.
To live in constant anxiety is not how our heavenly Father wants His children to live. Romans 8:6 - For the mind set on the flesh is death but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. You know.....I'd rather have life and peace, that's for sure! But there are times where it seems all I can focus on are the issues in front of me. We so forget that God, through Christ's divine power, has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3). Key word is EVERYTHING. We already have what it takes to press in to Christ in trust and in faith. Exercise God's divine nature in you...you already got it! (Read on in 2 Peter 1:4-8)...when you apply moral excellence with knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love and these qualities are increasing, they don't render you useless nor unfruitful. Then you won't ask "should I do this?" or "should I not?".... It'll be either 'yes' or 'no' as you exercise spiritual intuition.
....and which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span? Luke 12:25. ... The sum total of your life....is ..... your thoughts.
Well, the above was the first thing I could think of to begin writing on this month's music notes update. Maybe it's for someone who needs to read this, be encouraged and know God's got this!
I know I need this reminder sometimes daily. I need to remember what I think about and how this affects the outcome of my life. What I think comes out of my mouth, what comes out of my mouth turns into action.....and my actions chart the course of my life..... unless I allow GOD to chart it all the way. We so often think we know best, but really we don't, we just sometimes don't know how to simply trust. We are doers, makers and shakers....in other words we like to control outcomes. Hard to give up control. However, do we know the character of God and do we truly trust Him?
NotesNBling is gaining some more popularity and I'm super excited! Past December I visited with a few store/boutique owners in Central Illinois. Three of them were excited to carry my jewelry. Two stores will just have one small display of RockNStone Aroma bracelets and LeatherNLink Aroma necklaces, while The General Store in Arthur, IL went all out carrying quite a bit of my jewelry. See the picture on the left of the NotesNBling jewelry display there!
Doesn't that look cool?! If you are ever in Arthur, please tell Timmy the store owner that you saw this picture on my website and how cool it looks!
Over the last month (January) I've been creating a lot of new jewelry pieces and expanding my essential oil aroma bracelet and necklaces line. Also Sterling Silver jewelry is making it's debut with "StoneNSterling" earrings. bracelets are next, followed by necklace designs.
To see some of the new jewelry, I now have a page on FaceBook dedicated to just NotesNBling. Just click the button below and it'll get you there!
What's also pretty cool is that hubby Warren made some awesome displays for me to go along with the new designs and this will make my table at events look so much more professional and less cluttered. Customers now can see the pieces better and it'll also take up less room than my self-made displays from before. Hubby knows what he's doing and I love the new look!
Time: 2 pm
Event: Daughters Of The King Women's Event
Place: Jo Jo's Rise & Wine Coffee Bar & Restaurant
Town: Burnsville, MN
Although this event just happened this past Saturday, I still wanted to list it under the February events. It was an amazing time with the ladies down in Burnsville, seeing good friends and re-connecting. Pictures to follow next month.
Dates: 2/7, 14, 21, 28/18
Time: 1 pm
Event: Ladies Bible-Gathering
Place: Liquid Assets
Town: Sartell, MN
Every week a few of us ladies from previous meetings/bible studies have gathered once again to encourage each other in the Word of God and in fellowship. I'm bringing the music as we share a few songs at the end.
Although January and February are not very busy concert wise, January was a super busy month for me in stocking up my NotesNBling inventory! I had left a lot of pieces behind at The General Store in Arthur, IL and some pieces at the Barnyard Boutique in Deland, IL. After sales and events I was pretty much depleted on items on hand. That's a good thing, right? February might still have some events coming up as I'm also looking into jewelry events. For the jewelry, be sure you 'like' my NotesNBling Facebook page.
For music events added later, check 'tour dates' here or on my Facebook Music Page (Sam Scales Music) which you can click through via the little emblem on the top left. If you have 'liked' the page you should get updates.
If you are signed up with "TRACK" (that's the button up top through BandsInTown) you will get notification via e-mail if I'm playing in your area. (on cell phones this all may be way on the bottom below - keep scrolling)
Hubby Warren continues to plan and work towards his goal of getting his Warren's BBQ Bus Cafe.
I'm excited about this dream and possibility to finally get off the ground so to speak and no longer deal with adverse weather conditions in tents. We are praying for God's provision and guidance to bring it into reality. Warren has a Go-Fund-Me page with all the details of his plan if you like to see.
May you have a wonderful February, stay warm if you are in MN. We are all looking forward to spring and some above 30's temperatures! Hopefully I will get to see you at one of our next events!
Grace and peace,
Happy New Year you guys!!
Hope everyone had an awesome Christmas and New Years holidays. Our prayer is that everyone is healthy, have a roof over their heads, warmth, food to eat and people around to call family and friends. Some of you had to work hard during the holidays, others could take it easy, go on vacation, spend time with family or friends.
We missed our family and being with friends during the holidays, but I got to do some visiting beforehand on my music trip, which was nice. So thankful for my hubby, his love, care and friendship, we hang out good together, haha.
It's so weird, every year we plan on being somewhere for Christmas and we always end up staying home... sigh. Since he does snow plowing and the threat of snowfall was looming, we needed to stay put pretty much. Well, maybe......next year....haha.
While we were home and hubby was on break from bus driving we did a few repairs around the house, including our basement toilet.... yeah, that was interesting to say the least. Instead of just being able to buy a kit to fix the leak in the tank, we had to buy a whole new one, because none of the repair kits fit the old toilet....we tried several... So off we went in -17 degrees to Menards.... burr!!
So, y'all, that pretty much was the excitement for us around the holidays :D
So now we are looking forward to see what the year brings us in personal, music and business adventures.
Warren's dream this year is to get his Bus Cafe going. This would not only make it much easier for setup, but also gives him more opportunity and versatility - and we could use it for ministry as well.
Here are his plans he drew up. Back of the bus would be the kitchen, front of the bus would be seating. He also felt led to start a GoFundMe account to raise funds for his Bus Cafe.
Event: Empty Bowls / Fundraiser for Place of Hope
Time: 11-6 (We will play at 1 pm)
Place: Calvary Community Church
Town: St. Cloud, MN
January/February are months that I'll be looking into booking events, but also for me events come my way on a short notice, so either sign up with the "Track" Button up top to receive updates when I'm in your area, or keep checking back on my FaceBook page....
December was another busy month for me, being in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
It started off with a great ministry time in Wisconsin....although it was a NotesNBling Jewelry Christmas Show/Ladies Nite Out, which includes music, it ended up being a very cool ministry time LIVE via Facebook filmed at the Overflowing Cup in Beloit, WI where my friend and host Diana held the event. So here are a few photos I took off the live-feed from the concert/ladies nite. By the way the live-feed is on my FaceBook Music Page (Sam Scales Music) under the November 30, 2017 date.
Next, I headed down to Illinois to have some fellowship time with a friend and participate with music in her Christmas Ladies Event. We had an awesome lesson on 'Living With Joy' and WHO our joy is. We also talked about taking a different look at snow... especially for us who live in the colder regions of the States where we sometimes wish the snow would go away, it was really a great way to have more appreciation for the intricacy God created within each individual flake that falls. One of my favorite verses in the bible is Psalms 51:7 - Purify me with hyssop and I shall be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. There is another scripture we talked about, but I'll have that at the end....
After the event I opened up my NotesNBling Jewelry Christmas Shoppe where the ladies were able to pick some cool Christmas gifts for loved ones.
Then came the "big" concert in Indianapolis, IN - sharing the stage with my songwriter friend from Green Bay, WI Steven Billings and Petra's Co-Founding Member, guitarist, singer and songwriter Greg Hough for the 2nd annual CCRPS (Classic Christian Rock Preservation Society) Christmas Party.
It was a blast! Not only did we have great food prepared by my friends June Pugh and Rob Pugh who hosted the event, we also had an amazing time meeting old and new friends, having fellowship and the most wonderful concert time. The music ranged from my style of Organic Folk & Christmas Songs to Contemporary/Christmas by Steven and highlighted by Greg Hough singing a mix of songs between genres of Rock, Jazz and Christmas! It was way cool!
My highlight of the event was getting to sing with Greg and Steven, using Greg's guitar amp and afterwards getting to spend time with my friends Rob, June and Sam at their house as I spent the night before heading back to Illinois.
So as you can see December was actually pretty full of exciting times. In Indy I had the chance to have a good talk with a friend who's going through a rough time, those moments are always precious when we can encourage someone.
On my way back it was cool to be able to visit with my daughter who lives in the Chicago area. This time I was so excited to be in the area when my grand-daughter Hannah had a concert with her choir from school! Yey! The kids were awesome and there were even some cool funny parts during their performances. Hannah has a really good voice! So cool to get to hear and discover that. She got a piano for Christmas and I'm excited to see and hear what develops as she discovers music and her voice!
I also got to meet my new grand-dog Jessie who's a new addition to the family. They are pretty excited to have a new puppy-girl after losing their two fur babies within this past year. My attention had to be equally divided between grand-cat Hobbes and now Jessie... however Hobbes knows how to get a better vantage point since he can get up on the desk.
After hanging with my daughter for almost a week I decided to go up north to visit my friend Sue since she couldn't make it to Indianapolis because she had a dog show with her dog Raji that same weekend. So us girls had a couple days to hang together with her mom and with our friend Elo from Mexico before I headed back to MN. Hubby sure was glad to see me!!
I want to leave you with one more thought. Earlier I had mentioned another one of my favorite bible verses. At my friend's event as we talked about God's design, even for snow, this scripture was a part of the message as well. Snow is mentioned in the bible for cleansing as well as here for bringing about sustenance. As the snow melts it waters and water brings life. but so does also the Word of God. Psalms 55:10-11. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
You know, we may not always understand what is happening, or understand and know why God does things a certain way, but we do know this for certain, He knows what He is doing. His Word is truth, it is deliverance, it is freedom, it is hope, encouragement, discipline, healing, strengthening, giving wisdom, giving guidance, pointing to Christ who is our Salvation and redemption, forgiveness and eternal life. As it says in John 1:1-5 & 14 - In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.
vs. 14 - and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father full of grace and truth.
Today I'm so grateful to reflect upon this truth and after our message in church this morning about the River of Life in Revelation 22:1-2: Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of it's street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.....
It just all ties together..... Jesus, our life-giver and healer of all....
Oh may we not reject Him, may we cling to Him and seek Him and walk with Him! He is life and life eternal. Therein is our hope and our destination. Thank You Jesus for Your offering so we might live....
Have a Happy New Year everyone and may you be blessed, nourished and filled with joy by the grace of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christian Organic Folk Singer/Songwriter & Author
based in Minnesota
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Psalm 100 Scripture
1 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
3 Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.