Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Music and Song Blessings

Last weekend our little church fellowship was challenged, refreshed and blessed by Stephen Atkins . Do click on his name to go to his website and have a taste - mind you it is only a "taste" - of his great voice and songs.
His songs are played on local radio stations at different times and his goes on tour, speaking and singing messages in song with accompanying Power Point images to churches big -and small like us - as well as many other venues. He presents the news of our Christ of the Cross so very, very well.

For some reason, over the years songs have always ministered to me personally in very special ways. Okay, perhaps it is my creative nature that God uses to create stories, perhaps it is the fact when we were growing up we had a piano in our house. The piano had belonged to my grandparents but neither Mum nor Dad could play it. Living on a farm a long way from music teachers in the city, the only way I could learn to play was work out for myself what the notes on the music meant. The first music I ever played was the old hymn, "Throw out the lifeline across the dark sea..." I only realised years later that it sounded "right" when my one finger played it because it had neither sharps nor flats and was all played on those beautiful white ivory keys. But the words of many, many old songs and hymns from those days are still deep within me.

What a feast of music and song we enjoyed first of all at a dinner concert on the Friday evening, then a concert Saturday and a "musical" service with challenging talks on Sunday.

All the songs Stephen Atkins has written himself brought me to praise and prayer. We joined Stephen in singing Amazing Grace - the extra "My chains fell off" version. Perhaps the song that challenged and blessed me the most was the song he sings on his on his Mercy CD, "He Raised Me Up." They both reminded me of all God has done for me in Jesus, and all He continues to do in my life today with my writing efforts. Only HE could have given me this wonderful, wonderful life of joy and love I enjoy. Only HE could have opened the doors for my books to be published - to even be a finalist in the CALEB awards!

I've been so busy these last weeks preparing for speaking appointments at the Word Writers Fair next Saturday in Queensland, reading manuscripts ready to tutor writers of them at a mentorship programme organised by Omega Writers . Then of course, there is my talk too at the Toowoomba Library at 10am on Saturday, November 13th.
This is going to be very much a "working holiday." When my first book was published, little did I dream how God would open doors as He has these past years. With all my "busyness" lately, I really needed to be reminded that God IS in control, and what He has done and continues to do in my life! How thankful I am that from a very young age I started to get to know the God and Father who loves me, who continues to "raise me up, set me on mountains."
Do go to Stephen Atkins website. One of his songs starts playing straight away. He is also on Facebook and I have just become one of his "friends" there.
If you too can share incidents when God blesses you through praise and worship songs, do tell us about it by commenting here.

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