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Dinner with Friends

On Tuesday, I scurried about, prepped, set the food to cooking early, and then delved into the fun part as I set the table with the finest china and silver I own. Company was coming! A missionary couple neither Jerry or I had met would be joining our dear friends the Garretts for a meal in our home here in Crestline. The night before I had prepared the Texas Bites Jerry would grill as appetizers, and had rolled the pie crusts. Now I filled them; one chocolate, one lemon.

ImageThe Garretts had taken the Schreckhises on a little tour of Crestline, all the way around tiny Lake Gregory before they pulled into our driveway, walked up the front steps and through the open door said, “We’re here.”

Missionaries to Honduras, Brother and Sister Schreckhise are here in the States to raise money for their continued support for their vital work in that country. Baby Samuel, five months old, was the star of the evening. He eyed the food on mama’s plate, and I believe from one of her fingers, he sucked off a smidgen of gravy.


ImageSuch a joy to not only entertain long-time friends, but to make new ones.


ImageWe three women and Zac gathered about the piano upstairs and sang old hymns of the church, and I heard that Lori Schreckhise had a beautiful voice, and we sang longer, and sometimes we cried because God is so beautiful, and His people are so dear, and we are so blessed.

untitled (42 of 48). . . and Holly brought flowers . . .

Christianity/Religion Music Pentecostal Photography

Tribute to Steve Richardson

You may view the image larger by going to my Flickr account.

Steve Richardson, the writer of moving, elegant music, has escaped the tether of earth, winging to that other world. It is the mysterious way of death.

Beautifully sung here by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is his best-known work, Daystar.

I did not realize until reading about him this morning that he also wrote the moving expression that follows here. These words are my heart. Often I have sung them . . . and wept, as I do


Just to walk with Him means everything to me,
Just to know He’s near, His hands are leading me,
Though the world pass me by
Go their way and let me be
Just to walk with Him means everything to me.

May the passage of Brother Richardson from this world to the other mark for us who have yet to make the transition how fleeting and inconsequential are this world’s trinkets and treasures. Surely this morning, Brother Richardson sings as never before…Just to walk with Him means everything to me.

Rest in peace with Jesus.

Noon 1/7/12 Edit

Just found this video of Brother Richardson and others singing, Daystar. I wept again as I watched it. So beautiful. So moving. so important.


From Wilma Stephens

Steve Richardson Memorial information:
Viewing: Tuesday, January 10 at 3:00 p.m.
Memorial Service: Tuesday, January 10 at 7:00 p.m.
New Life Fellowship
7849 Wabash Ave.
Terre Haute, IN 47803

Shoppers Surprised by Hallelujahs

It was October 30, 2010, when suddenly among the shoppers Hallelujahs began to sound. It was not limited to one person or two, but immediately, the spirit caught, and throughout the crowded Macy’s store in Philadelphia dozens began to lift the praise.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia was instrumental in bringing it together to perform one of the Knight Foundation’s “1000 Random Acts of Culture” which they’ll be doing over the next three years across the country. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ – the world’s largest pipe organ – the singers burst into song at exactly noon.

Source: Creative Minority Report

Isn’t that the neatest thing. I love watching the joy, the surprise, the excitement, the passion, and the sincerity of those customers on that recent day in Philadelphia. Had I been there, I too, would have sung, waved my arms, lifted my eyes skyward, thrust my baby high in the air, and joined in the thunderous applause of the grand finale.

…….for Yes!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,

King of kings, and Lord of lords,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

George Frideric Handel

Edit: Nov. 22, 2010 Another surprise Hallelujah. Hat tip to Ronda Hurst


How Sweet The Sound Finale Winners

It was only last year that I learned of the Verizon How Sweet the Sound search for the best church choir, and, with great interest, I have followed it ever since. To a sold out crowd, the finale was held in Washington D. C. on November 13. The National Final Winner was Greater Zion Church Family of the Los Angeles area and the runner up was Greater First Church of Chicago. The people’s choice, though, was a men’s group from Washington D. C, Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church, being the name of their church. They call themselves the Men of Valor.

The group is awesome, and I believe you will enjoy hearing and seeing them. Their presentation, though passionate, is tasteful and contained, their sound smooth and lyrical. It is interesting to me that there is one lone Caucasian in the group. What joy he must achieve by singing with this (other than himself) all black men’s group. Another person I want to point out, is the quite bent, elderly gentleman on our far right.. I am so touched when I watch him sing, surely offering up worship to the Lord. One more thing; I love their bow ties. 🙂


Andrea Bocelli’s Mother Advised to Abort Him

From across the room this morning, as he read from Sunday’s LA Times, Jerry said, “Andrea Bocelli will be at Staples Center on December 10th.”

My heart leaped. “How much are the seats?” I asked. He didn’t know, so I quickly found the information on the internet. My heart sank; cheapest seat (last row in highest balcony) is $138.00, far beyond our budget for such an entertainment. Most expensive individual seat $1299.00, with a suite offered for $5960.00! Then, as my consolation prize because I am so fond of Andrea Bocelli, I went to YouTube and listened to a couple of pieces, with plans to later play some of his music here in our own home. (You may recall that when my son Michael gave me a Christmas gift of a Bocelli DVD last year, I posted about it and raised the subject of how a person would respond if being forced to choose between blindness or deafness. Interesting comments resulted.)

This is one of my favorites. Soaring, brilliant music.

While I was browsing his pieces, I came across the remarkable short video in which Andrea Bocelli tells of his mother being advised to abort him. Please view this unusual plea for LIFE. Please think anew of the terror of abortion, the agony, the loss.

Christianity/Religion Music

Hugh Rose Passes Into the Glory World

Tonight, just after 9:00 pm Hugh Rose moved to Heaven.

Music video

God’s Eye On His World

Raw talent from an incredible child. A powerful message from the Word of God.

This dynamic song was written by Civilla Martin in 1905. As timely and moving today as ever was.

  1. Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
    Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
    When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    • Refrain:
      I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
      For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  2. “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
    And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
    Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  3. Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
    When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
    I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
America California Christianity/Religion Culture Goodness of man Life Music Pentecostal Religion

God’s Ordinary Extraordinary People

There are some wonderful people in this world. One of them is Lisa, who for several months now–at her own expense–has, almost every Sunday, flown from San Jose to San Diego to be in service with Andrew at his church, and to take care of all n1448440305_9123the music. I’m not exactly sure of everything she does, but I know she works with the praise singers, teaches new songs, gives piano lessons and plays the keyboard for the worship service. Flies down Sunday morning, and back home Sunday evening. Is that not the most unselfish, awesome thing.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had occasion to think of people who work so hard for God, and who often get little recognition. Now I understand that when we sincerely work for God it is not to gather the applause of men, nor to have our names blazed across newspapers or scribed on magazine covers or beamed over the internet. But I don’t think it hurts to consider those who on a consistent basis live sacrificial lives that serve to propagate the Gospel…and to benefit mankind in general.

I’ve learned of a little known preacher, who will probably never grace the platform of a general conference, nor is one who flies cross-country on a regular basis, nor one who is likely to preach at his district camp meeting, who in the past few days was directly led by God to minister to another pastor and to another church. As he prayed in his own church, God spoke to him: “Go to ___________.” The service was in progress at the church where the minister was directed to go, and that frustrated pastor strongly felt to wait–just wait. Do nothing. He waited in silence, the entire congregation merely sitting still. Then the auditorium door opened and the first minister walked in…and ministered to the pastor and to the entire congregation.

Their names may never be known, their deeds little published, but God has a mighty arsenal of ordinary, extraordinary people. Thank you.

Arizona Christianity/Religion Church Friends God Honor Lake Havasu Music My Family Pentecostal Photography

And So Went the 2nd Anniversary Services

It is Sunday evening, the dedication festivities are over, all the company is gone, and Jerry and I are alone here in the motor home. If all was not perfect, it was so close as to never be remembered otherwise.

…except that for the opening service on Friday evening we had carpet in only half the building…then at 5:00 on Saturday morning, Ken, the carpet layer, let himself in the building, and by 5 minutes before 10:00, had the job finished. It is beautiful.

More beautiful was the quality of every service, the visitation of God, our wonderful visitors–family, friends and new people from Lake Havasu. Guest singers blessed us, Brother Keyes’ preaching was outstanding as usual, Brother Branks’ testimony was striking, Rebecca baked and brought over from her home in California 300 cookies, and she and Rosalinda served them after church. It was a marvelous time.

The best part? Five people received the Holy Ghost!

Our son Andrew opened the service with a time of worship.


Denae Abbott joined her parents in uplifting music. At 15, Denae just dsc_00162released her first CD. She wrote 6 of the songs on the project.

Charley Branks spent most of his adult life in prison, and finally had been sentenced to over 200 years in the penitentiary. During his time of incarceration, he began seeking God; God revealed His word to Brother Branks and filled him with the Holy Ghost. He was dsc_00331baptized in Jesus name, then miraculously received a full parole. He is now a successful businessman, who has been serving God for more than 30 years–a unique, dynamic testimony.

Randy Keyes ministered dsc_00391in a powerful, anointed way.

Dale received dsc_0057the Holy Ghost!

Andrea received dsc_0051the Holy Ghost!

Dustin received the dsc_00301Holy Ghost!

George received dsc_0017the Holy Ghost!

Numerous ministers honored us by attending all or part of our three-day dedication/anniversary services. Among those were Gary Hogan, superintendent of the Arizona district, Robert Allen, secretary of the Arizona District, and Rick Faulkner, regional director of Spirit of Freedom. With his wife and three small sons, our grandson Joel drove all the way from Carson City, Nevada, a 10-hour drive, to be with us on Friday night. Early Saturday morning, they drove back for their own services on Sunday.

To everyone who contributed in any way, we say thank you. It was a tremendous time of worship, ministry and of fellowship.

Art/Architecture Music video

Quartet at Inauguration Both Live and Recorded

On one of my columns recently, where much inauguration controversy was raging, my blogging friend Rob wisely commented:

Not going to touch some of the controversy, but I did want to say that the highlight of the event for me was the instrumental quartet that performed in the middle of the inauguration.

What a gathering — the best violinist and cellist of our modern day, a rising star of a clarinetist, and the pianist to whose concert I once took a group of my piano students.

It was unexpected and beautiful. I had not expected anything in the inauguration to move me to tears, but that song was just so beautiful, I couldn’t help but thank God for inventing music and giving these people such gifts to share with the world.

I agreed with his assessment, and this morning was interested to learn that what most people heard was not live music, rather a recording. The report is that the extreme cold was feared to have made it impossible for the instruments to stay in tune. As I understand it, the quartet played live, also, matching note for note the recording.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriella Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill made the decision a day before Tuesday’s inauguration after a sound check to use a previously recorded audio tape for the broadcast of the ceremonies.
From AP

Please listen to this hauntingly beautiful performance, a stellar component of the inauguration of President Obama.

EDIT Friday Jan. 23: Now it seems there is a flap over this being done. Yahoo News reports:

NEW YORK – To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, here we go again.

The revelation that millions of people who saw the inauguration of President Barack Obama were actually listening to recorded music instead of the actual performance of the Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman-led quartet has led to comparisons of lip-synching (though, in this case, might the correct term be hand-synching?) and drawn comparisons to other infamous cases, including Ashlee Simpson’s “Saturday Night Live” debacle and perhaps music’s most famous pantomimes, Milli Vanilli.

More details here.