Friday, June 19, 2009

Testimony Part Four

Until one day… the call started knocking on my heart again. I tried for several weeks to ignore the call. Well, I didn’t really ignore it, I just made excuses to keep from doing what I knew God called me to do. I lied to myself mostly. I told myself that a "good mom" wouldn’t take time away from her kids. Choir practice and all the responsibilities that go with leading worship would take too much time away from the boys and David. But like I said…it was a lie. I put my family before everything…even God. But still, I couldn’t shake ‘the call’.

It seemed like every time Pastor preached a sermon, or taught a Sunday School lesson it was all about me. Now, I knew that Pastor wasn’t intentionally ‘speaking to me’, but God was using him to get to me. After a few Sundays, everything started sinking in and I knew I couldn’t keep going the same way. I started praying, my husband started praying. It was the first time I was completely honest with him and myself. I told him everything. Up until this point the didn’t know I felt a call to the choir. I don’t know why but I expected him to be shocked and maybe even tell me I couldn’t direct the choir. I couldn’t read music, couldn’t play an instrument, and I didn’t know one thing about directing a choir. But he didn’t. He was so understanding and supportive. He told me that if God called me then He would make a way. He promised he’d be praying for me.

So after a couple of weeks of prayer and fasting, I made an appointment with the Pastor. The closer the appointment time came, the more nervous I became. The devil tried everything to get me to cancel and change my mind. But I was tired of living out of God’s will.
I remember the day I was to meet with Brother Dallas. It was pouring rain. There was a tornado warning/watch all morning, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me. All week I tried to come up with a good speech of how to say all that I wanted to say but I just couldn’t get my thoughts together. Finally I just decided to spit it all out however it came and hope that it made sense. And that’s just what I did. Pastor seemed very excited and very happy that I was ready.

So over the next several weeks I began to prepare myself. I began reading my bible and praying more. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. But still, I had to fight Satan. Still he tried to get me to back out and to give up. I'll be really was pretty tempting, but I knew that if my God called me, then He would make a way. He would equip me, He would send the right people into my life to teach me.

It's been a couple of months since that meeting with Pastor. I'm happy to say that I'm on my way to be the full time worship leader at my church. In time, I will also be the choir director. I've been leading the worship service for the past few weeks on Sunday nights, and in July I'll have my first Sunday morning service. It's so exciting. Still scary, but I know I'm doing what God has called me to do.

Please keep me in your prayers as I learn and grow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Testimony Part Three


... When I went to meet with Pastor Dallas, I was really nervous and maybe a little anxious because I didn’t know exactly what he would say, if anything.

I started from the very beginning. I told him when I first felt the call all the way up until the night before during the service. At times (not always), Pastor can be easy to read, and by the smile on his face, I could tell that he was pleased with what I had to say. I expressed to him my fears and the things that had held me back. Mainly, lack of knowledge and experience. Well, he assured me that if God had called me that He would equip me in whatever way needed.

When I left Pastor’s office, I was on cloud nine and I stayed that way for the next few months. Pastor ordered me a book about worship for me to study. I started selecting all the songs to be sung during the morning and evening services. I even started leading the worship services occasionally on Sunday nights. Pastor said he wanted to ease me into the position. He didn’t want to through me in and me wind up getting overwhelmed. I liked the thought of that. I wasn’t so nervous anymore. Not about the position anyway. I was still really nervous every time I picked up a microphone.

Things were going great or so I thought until one Wednesday night after service, Pastor called me and the pianist (who happens to be my mom-in-law) into a Sunday school room for a private meeting. He informed us that the church would be voting the following week to hire a part time Music Minister. But it wasn’t me. I was stunned…shocked…shaken…confused…etc. What did I do wrong?? Was I not doing a good job? I didn’t think so. I always prayed about the songs I selected and to be quite honest, we were having awesome worship services. I prayed and sought God every week on what He would have us to sing. If I didn’t feel a peace about a certain song I had jotted down, we didn’t sing it. I thought I was doing everything right. What was the problem? Well then Pastor explained that the person they wanted to hire would be there to teach me and help me learn and grow. Okay…I can deal with this. But hire him?!?!? When I’m willing to do it for free??!?!! I didn’t know what to think.

Well the church voted the guy in and by this time I was beginning to be okay with it. I had prayed about it and I had accepted it. After all, I was pregnant again and would be taking time off from the choir/music anyway due to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to breathe deep enough let alone lead the music.

So time rocked on and after only 5 months, the guy the church hired to be Music Minister resigned. He said that he and his family felt lead to be Senior Pastors elsewhere. So that left me a little stung. I had already stepped down for a break from choir until after I had the baby. I knew I couldn’t lead the worship, I could barely breathe just carrying on a normal conversation, not to mention sing. (At this time I was 8 months pregnant) So Pastor lead some and another man in the church lead some. And that’s the way it stayed for several months.

Until one day… To be continued...again...

Okay ladies, this is the last time I'll keep you waiting to hear the rest. The next "testimony post" will be the "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say.

Let me say thank you again to everyone for all the wonderful comments I've been getting. I really appreciate the encouragement you all give. You all really bless my heart. Also... please note that "the guy" I'm referring to is an awesome man of God. I've known he and his wife for several years. I do not nor have I ever had any hard feelings against him. (I just want to make that clear :-) )

Friday, June 12, 2009

Testimony Part Two

Continued from Testimony Part One

A day or so later I was having lunch with Tammy. We were talking about all sorts of things and what do you know if the subject of our Music Department came up in the conversation. So, I let her in on my struggle. I asked her to pray about it. She promised that she would. And in the days to follow, I knew that she did.
This very week, we were having revival at our church. Randy Ruiz from California (I think) was preaching. Our pastor had told us how he met him in an airport waiting for a flight to land, or take off (I can’t remember). Anyway, Pastor said that there was just something about him that made him want to learn about him. So here we are now with this preacher from the airport in revival. To say that he was/is anointed is an understatement. The services were awesome!!! This is the time in my life when I felt the presence of God more real than ever before. It was the second night of the revival and time for the preaching to come to a close. It was as if the Precious Holy Spirit softly, quietly came through the back doors of the church and swept over the congregation. There was a hush across the sanctuary. Brother Ruiz began his alter call. All heads were bowed, eyes closed.
I was sitting alone (David was at work) on "our pew" with my head resting on my arms on the back of the pew in front of me. I was quietly praying. Then right in the middle of the alter call Bro. Ruiz stopped speaking very suddenly. He came across the church right to where I was sitting and placed his hand upon my head and began praying for me and speaking to me. I don’t remember all that he said, but I do remember the most important thing. He said "In the name of Jesus, let the fear and the doubt be released". He called our Pastor’s wife, Pam, to come and begin praying for fear and doubt to be released. Another lady in our church joined Pam and started praying "Lord she’s able and willing, if you will equip her". HELLO… is this not the reason I had been pushing this call away so hard? Because I didn’t have the knowledge or experience to do these things??? I just had myself a time in the Lord that night. Never in my life has the Holy Spirit been so real to me than that night.
Needless to say, I scheduled a meeting with the Pastor for the very next day. ...To be continued again...
Sorry, I can only do so much at the time. My boys require much of my attention.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I am the way that I am

I am the way that I am because of these four women. They are not just "women". They are Women of God! My mother, Angie, my Aunt Aimee, my Aunt Wanda, and my Grandleria. All of these women had a hand in molding me into the woman I am today. No, I'm not where I need to be or where I'd like to be, but aren't we all striving every day to be closer to Him?

I know everyone struggles, but sometimes I feel like I'm all alone. I was brought up in church and in a Godly home. I know that God is with you everywhere, but still there are days when I feel 100 miles from where I need to be. Do you ever feel that way?

I received an email not too long ago about thorns. It was a pretty long email so I'm not going to write the whole story, but the jist of it is that we need to thank God for the thorns. It is so easy to praise Him and worship Him when we are going through good times, aka "blooms". And it is also so easy not to praise and worhsip Him when the hard times (thorns) come. But as James 1:2-3 says

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

I've pondered on this quite a bit today. I've challenged myself to Praise Him no matter what. If I'm happy, I'll praise Him. If I'm sad or don't feel good, I'm still going to praise Him. No matter what, I will praise Him. Will you?

Shout out to my Mama!

Let me just say that I love my mama! Mama, since you are the only one I know who reads this, (which is totally fine by me), I want you to know that I love you and I am praying for you. I think I know exactly what you are going through. I went through something very similar. I will be lifting you up in prayer. I love you more than you'll ever know. Thank you for being such a good Chrisitan example. I've always admired you, not just because you are my mother, but because you are such a strong person. God will bring you out! God said you're gonna make it, don't worry over thunder, you're NOT going under because God said you're gonna make it.

I love you!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Testimony Part One

Okay, Here is the first part of my testimony. I'll be posting more later.

It was April, 2006. I was 5 months pregnant with my first baby and I was attending a Conference in Springfield, Missouri. The conference was for Children’s Pastors/leaders/workers. My husband (David) and I have worked in Children’s Ministry (as well as Youth) since shortly after we were married; so roughly 5 1/2 years now. Anyway, back to the conference…I was with the Children’s Pastor for our church, Tammy Smith. Her husband (Chris) and David were not able to get off work to attend the conference, as it was for one week. Chris is a farmer, cows and crops, and David had not long worked with the Sheriff’s Department and did not have enough leave time built yet. Tammy and I split up and attended different classes so that we could get as much out of the conference as possible. Later each night in our hotel room, we would talk about the classes we attended and what we learned. At night there would be “General Session” in the main sanctuary and we would have worship along with preaching. Pat Holland was the guest speaker for one night in particular. Pat is well known all across the United States as an Anointed, Spirit Filled, On Fire Children’s Ministry Speaker/Teacher/Preacher…etc...etc. This was my first time hearing or seeing her speak. It was powerful! The anointing was dripping off of her. The presence of God was so real. Probably the strongest I had felt in a service up to that point of my life. Since then I have felt it stronger…but I’ll get to that later. She had a very good sermon and I really felt touched by it. At the end of her sermon, during the “alter call” she called everyone that would come to kneel/stand/sit at the alters and seek God for what his desires were for our Children’s Ministry. Easy enough right?…WRONG! I found a spot on the steps to the far left side of the sanctuary leading up to the balcony. I was the only one over there and I began to pray. But for some reason, it felt like my prayers weren’t going anywhere. I was trying really hard to be “in the moment”, but it felt as if I was just going through the motions. I began to weep before the Lord and cry for Him to speak to me. I wouldn’t say I heard an audible voice, because I didn’t. But in my mind and in my Spirit something was playing over and over and over again. Music… I was so confused. “God what are you saying?” I thought, and prayed. But I knew what he meant. It was then, that I knew that He had placed a call on my life to music. Worship leading…Choir…MUSIC! And it scared me. You see, I am not a musician. I can not read music. Sure I took piano lessons as a child, but I never made it past the “beginner” book. All I can do is sing. I’ve sung in church for as long as I can remember. My parents always encouraged me to sing. I remember starting very young, probably the 3rd or 4th grade singing a special in church. But leading/directing music?…HA! Surely God is just kidding right?? I couldn’t shake it. Every time I prayed and even when I wasn’t praying, I felt the tug on my heart. But I was afraid. Really afraid. So I thought it best not to say anything to anyone. Not even David. So eventually the tug wasn’t so strong. Yeah, it was there, but it was ignorable. A few short months later I became a Mommy! My baby was everything to me. Everything I did was for him. To be quite honest, I let my family move up on the list of priorities and God moved down. I’m ashamed to admit it…but it’s true. Time rocked on and eventually the tug started coming back, stronger. I wasn’t able to ignore it anymore. So, I started praying. I prayed for about two weeks. Then one day I decided, I couldn’t take it any longer I had to get it off my chest. So I told David. He wasn’t really sure what to say. He just said he’d pray about it too. And so we prayed… To be continued…

For your enjoyment, here is a picture of my boys. In this picture Cy is 2 and Jake is about 6 months. (The picture is a couple of months old.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Well, hello. I'm new to the blogging world. My mother sort of got me into it. But I really think I'm going to enjoy it. Even if I'm the only one that reads it, I think it will be good for me. Thanks for taking time to see my page. If you have any advice, please give it. I'd appreciate it. Oh, by the way, My name is April. My mother and daddy started calling me Weezie when I was little and it has just sort of "stuck". Anyway... Hope you enjoy.