Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun....


Long time no see. 

Again, making a point to blog our adventures has failed many times over. Finding the time to do it, let alone work, eat and sleep, is impossible! We will recap what we have done since.....June? *cringing* I know that's really sad. But hey! time flies when you're having fun!

Since our last post about our anniversary trip back in June (which was taken in May), much has happened. We finished our tour with the ladies trio in August and returned to TN. It was a great experience! We traveled all the way up to Ontario, Canada and visited places that most people spend their vacations! Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls were some of the highlights but we also went to Lake Superior and Lake Huron which were beautiful as well!

Downtown Chicago 

Mackinac Island 

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island 

Niagara Falls 

North Bay, Canada 

Lake Superior in Michigan 

Contrary to what the pictures convey, traveling non-stop for 2 1/2 months was not the easiest thing in the world. We can definitely say that God taught us much! One thing is for sure is God can use us despite our failures and mistakes. We are privileged to serve the Lord not "entitled". We visited over 50 churches. Traveled over 12,000 miles. Met more people than we can count. Learned more lessons than we can remember. Sang more songs than we can sing! And made more memories than we have ever made in our lives.

We owe that to the girls (we affectionately call them) we traveled with. Bethany, the red head, Joy, the tallest child, and Caitlin, the girl that every boy falls in love with. All three very different personalities. Bethany was our comic relief and probably doesn't have a bad-attitude-bone in her body or at least didn't show it; Joy who is compassionate, tenderhearted and very talented but doesn't realize it; and Caitlin, smart and beautiful no matter what she wears and a singing voice to be envious of. We couldn't have asked for more hardworking, more dedicated, and more fun people to spend our summer with. We had our moments, of course, of disagreements or tension. Kyle and I were only 4 years older and barely married a year. We had never done this before. We made so many mistakes it's embarrassing. It was kind of like raising children, only they were not children at all. It took time but we learned what was important which was unity within our group. The girls were sort of like sisters to me, even though they called us "Mom and Dad" for fun. We didn't mind. We were a team. What they were doing, giving up their summer to minister to people, was a great responsibility and big sacrifice. We respected them and appreciated them for that. For 2 1/2 months, we became a family. Naturally, we went everywhere together, but it was more than that. We finally learned, trial and error, it was not about us. It was about serving God. It was about leading the way despite what others were doing. It was about following your leaders when you don't understand why. It was about people and loving them like Jesus would. It was about being "used up" for God.

One event that happened that still gives me goose bumps was while we were with a pastor in Canada at a restaurant, Kyle asked the waitress a question about something on the menu. The Pastor asked the waitress "Do you get a lot of hard questions?" She said, "Yeah, I suppose so", referring to the menu. The pastor, wise man that he was, turned the conversation towards the Lord by asking "I want to ask you one of the hardest questions, and that is do you know for sure you have a home in heaven?" The waitress shrugged and said "I am not really sure". The pastor said "I'm sorry, I don't want to make you uncomfortable, but I'm a pastor and I would like to leave you something that would tell you how you can know and I would love for you to read it."

We ordered our food and finished our meal not thinking much of this conversation, as I've observed and been apart of them before. The pastor then asked if we could sing something for the waitress. We did this often actually so it was not an uncommon request. The girls insisted we do "We Will Glorify" which is a song we did all together in 4 part harmony. We sang and everyone clapped. It was received well. Even the manager came out to hear us.

We left the restaurant and later we returned to America but before we crossed the border the same pastor called my husband to tell him that he received an email from that same manager of the restaurant saying she had heard the young people singing about God and she saw the information the pastor had left at the restaurant. She said in her email that she had been searching for God in her life and had many questions and wanted to meet with the Pastor. The pastor did meet with her and she accepted Christ as her Savior a week later.

If it's one thing I've learned about last summer, it's that we are but a small, small part of God's amazing plan. He had somehow placed us in that restaurant, in that city, in that country at that particular time. And not that we did anything wonderful or great, we just sang for God's glory. Not realizing that a woman needed the Lord and had been searching for Him. We were used in small way but it was refreshing to know that God DID use us. And it made me feel more in awe of our God than ever before.

We finished our summer strong, and the last two days of our summer long journey, the AC went out. PRAISE THE LORD!! (you may think I'm crazy for saying that but we just went a whole summer without a single problem and a couple hours without AC was not that bad!!) We all went our separate ways, Kyle and I returned to our jobs (which is a whole other answer to prayer- more on that later) and the girls returned home for a visit and then back to school. We have many memories from our summer. I still want to make a scrapbook of the many post cards and pictures. We reminisce with the girls whenever we see them. We may forget the laughs and memories, but never could we forget that God gave us a great summer serving Him!! 

For now, it's back to normal life in good ole Tennessee. Until the next adventure!

Monday, June 2, 2014

First Anniversary

                 We celebrated our first anniversary! Of course, we are on the road with a ladies trio but since Kyle did most of the schedualing we were able to steal away for a couple days and went to St. Louis! It was a blast! 

We went up 615 ft. into the Gateway to the West! 

Went to The Hill, an Italian district, to eat at a nice resteraunt. 

It was a beautiful place! 

That night, we went on a carriage ride. 

The next day, we went to the St. Louis Zoo. So much fun!!! 

It has been quite a year. We've very much enjoyed our first year of marriage. We have learned much about each other but the wonder of marriage is one never learns everything about their spouse. Every day, I've learned somehing new or different about my husband. One thing I have learned is that it's not so much about "being in love" but about *choosing to love* regardless of your feelings. When they say "Marriage is a commitment", they ain't kidding! 

It's wonderful to know I have not only committed my life to Kyle, but we both have committed our lives to God together. 

Ephesians 3:17-19

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that he, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Midwest Trio

We are on the road! We are currently in London, Kentucky and will be singing at Sunshine Hill Baptist Church, pastored by Mr. Michael Casada. This past week has been a lot of preparing, training, rehearsing and getting ready to leave. We are already having a good time!

These are the girls in our group! There's Bethany -the redhead- Joy -top left- and Caitlin -standing next to Kristy-. They are all such great girls and we're praying the Lord will use them and their voices this summer to be a blessing to many churches. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

He done graduated again!

We are proud to announce that Kyle has completed his Master's of Ministry degree in Seminary! It has always been his goal, his decision since freshman year to accomplish this. It took a little longer than originally planned but God knows best. It is a major achievement and was only accomplished with the Lord's help. It is Jesus Christ that allows us to attain success, even in formal education.

Kyle and I are so thankful that God has allowed us both to attend and graduate from Crown College. Not only have we been challenged academically but spiritually and in many other ways. Pastor Sexton and the staff/faculty of Crown College have influenced us in a wonderful and amazing way. There are no words to express what this place has meant to us, especially in the last year. It has become home. Our church, our jobs, our life. We can only thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity, however short it may be, to be here and have a small part in what is going on here. God is working! And He gets all the glory for it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Seize the Opportunity

Life is a series of opportunities and decisions. They say, "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." (Milton Berle) The hard part is making the right decisions when those opportunities arise. We know that our time here on earth is only temporary but making the most of our time here is truly important. We are grateful for the work God has done in both of our lives, especially in this past year. But just as soon as we get comfortable, God begins breaking up the nest and moving us forward. It's up to us to open the door!

All that to say this.............. we have been given the opportunity to travel to a different part of the county this summer to represent our school, Crown College. We will be taking a ladies trio with us and Kristy will be playing the piano for them while Kyle will be speaking/preaching. We are so excited! What an opportunity. Not only do we get to use the things God has called us to do (using music to minster and preaching), we get to be together!

At first, when this was presented to us, we were sort of unsure if this was something God wanted us to do. It was going to take a step of faith and require all kinds of change to come into our lives. Kristy would have to quit her job and we were not exactly sure what would become of us in the fall. There were a few facts we always had to come back to when we doubted this decision.

1. God has prepared us.
God allowed us both to attend Crown College. We both had a desire to serve the Lord and God brought us together. He then let us graduate and get married. God has allowed these things come to pass for a reason. There is no doubt he has prepared us and is still preparing us even now.

2. We will not know all the answers.
No matter how hard we try, we won't have all the answers to every situation that comes into our life. Faith is essential to living the Christian life. Instead of trying to figure everything out, we've decided to do what we do know to do and leave the rest to the Lord.

3. We would regret it if we didn't do it.
How many times have we let fear and uncertainty rule our lives? Surprisingly, discomfort is really the only thing that will force one to grow. If we went through the entire summer and had even an inkling of regret that we decided not to take this opportunity, that would be worse than going and not enjoying it. “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” –Elbert Hubbard

Not that any of this is inspiring or even worthy of repeating, it's something we wanted to share in hopes that it might help someone who has to make a decision about the future. God always has a plan and he is orchestrating events and circumstances to fulfill His will in our lives. We are just glad to be used!

If you would, please pray for safety as we travel and that God would make us a blessing. The majority of the people we will be with are in churches. His people. And also pray for the girls we are taking. We will post more about our travels and adventures throughout the summer.

Stay tuned!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Grandma Thursa Talbert
Born July 15, 1924
Died Janurary 27th, 2014
Some may or may not know, but my grandmother past away a little over a month ago. It was not a surprise as her health had been failing for a number of years. Still, it was difficult to believe she was really gone. Sadly, I did not know or appreciate her as much as I would like to say. She is my father's mother, on which that side of family I am have not always been that close to.  Though, I will always remember her as a strong willed and spunky lady. I went to visit her when I was a little girl and she loved plants and flowers. She had a front screened-in porch and would water her plants and sit in her rocker every morning. When she went to live with my aunt and uncle, she always sent me nice cards or made me jewelry from her beads. She was extremely independent and stuborn, but always so giving. She was a strong woman, a mother of eight children, a grandmother of eleven and great grandmother of one.  I miss her. Everyone says I favor her, which I am honored if I do. I'm so glad she is in heaven now.
Recently, a very young family in our church lost a sister, wife and mother. She was young and had two young children, 3 & 6 years old. They are not sure of a cause of death except that she was given a cordorzone shot and it basically shut down all her major organs. We cannot be sure why these things happen but we cling to the truth that God is soverign and in control. I hurt for the family, especially the husband and children. Only God's grace will bring them through this heartbreaking event. We do have faith and believe that she is in heaven. A much happier place. A much better place.
Death can be scary but for those who know the Lord and have accepted him as their Savior and believe in Him, know that this world is not our home. There is a place the Lord has prepared for us and He is waiting there. (John 14:3) Some live a long full life like my grandmother and some the Lord takes sooner like this young woman. But God's ways are not our ways, they are much higher than ours. (Is. 55) I cannot for one second imagine my life without my loved ones, especially my husband. That's why not only has it become more important to me to make sure I tell my husband and family I love them but it has also become so important for me to pray for the family that don't have the assurance of heaven.  I have a home in heaven, for that I am grateful. All it required of me was to bow my head and ask the Lord Jesus to forgive me of my sins and thank Him for paying the price for me on the cross.
At my grandmother's funeral, I was not amazed at the number of people there, nor the wonderful things that were said about her, but at how many people sat as far back as they could. I'm sure some were trying to be curtious of the family but it also seemed there were so many that did not want to face death. My own cousin starred at the casket in hopelessness. What would my life be like if I could not face death with certainty? It not because I am not scared of death but because I know my life is in the Lord's hands and that is the safest place it will ever be. Some are afraid to trust in Jesus because it would require they give up a certain lifestyle or are afraid because they cannot "see" for sure what will happen to them. This is why we are required to walk by faith and not by sight. And let me tell you, there is nothing sweeter than allowing faith to take over. It would be better to place your life in the everlasting arms of Christ, than to face uncertainty for the rest of your life.
There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore
We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore
To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore
For those who are reading this and do not know they have a home in heaven, please make a decision. You will either reject or accept Christ. There is no middle ground. He wants you to accept him. Read Luke 19:10.
Please pray for the Botts family. This is the family I spoke about above. Pray that God will give them comfort, grace and peace that only He can give. (Phil. 4:7) 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Timeless Gift

Kristy here. I want to tell everyone about my latest and newest job. Small it may be, but it's not the quantity but the quality. First let me just talk about my expereince in college as a student and how I decided this was what I wanted to do. Teach piano. Sounds easy doesn't it? You play it, you can teach right? Well, it's a little more complicated than that. Just like some people say "I like music, so I'll just become a music major." Good luck! Wait until Theory III comes around and you're beating you're head against the $100 theory book. Anyway, my dream had always been to write music. I realize that sounds a little vague but my intentions were "If I ever want to write music, I need to understand it more".  I didn't realize how little I knew, how ineppt I was, how illequipped and unprepared I was for the next 3 1/2 years of studying and being taught all over again to play this instrument called the piano. 

Just for some background on the situation, I never tooks lessons when I was younger. I began becoming interested in playing the piano as I watched my mom play growing up. It wasn't until I was around 12 years old my oldest brother dared me to play "It is well with my soul" and he would give me $1. Okay, it wasn't for $1, it was because he didn't think I could do it! So long story short,  I was mostly self taught. My mom did help, but I learned to read music and play by ear for the most part on my own. Needless to say, it was quite different taking private lessons at a college level. I was in over my head. But you'll be glad to hear I made it through college as a music major. I learned much, but not all. And I have not given up that dream to write music. 

 I did realize that God had given me something and not passing it down to someone else would be a shame. In fact, after learning so much as a student and learning to appreciate the teachers that invested so much in me, I figured out that I wanted to do the same thing.  Teach. I graduated with a Bachelors in Music Ministry and I was thankful to receive a teaching certification from Crown Music Conservatory. And just this past semester, I was given the opportunity to teach for them. I was so excited! What an honor! And what a privilege! I have four whopping students! Sure, it's not much but it was a start.

Obviously, I've only been at this a short time and I am STILL learning, but this opportunity has been a joy. It is challenging. It is rewarding. It is stressful at times. It is also a lot of fun! I hope to be a help and an encouragement to my students. "My students". It's not a prideful thing, but to say those words made me feel...just so teacher-ish. It's a good feeling. I'm looking forward to teaching more as I get more expereience. The most wonderful thing about it is that it's a timeless gift. You teach someone to play piano and the goal would be so they can use it for the rest of their life, even when their 80 years old. And that brings me to "the name" of my the works.

~Timeless Harmony~

You may think it sounds cheesy but it was the name of my demo studio for a class I took in college and I guess it just kind of stuck.