“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” - Hebrews 12:1
2006 proved to be an interesting mix of challenges, changes, and wild rides. Saddle up and ride with me as I take you through 2006!
Things went zippin’ along after I quit my job in 2005 and hit the road with the Ministry full time. It was an exciting time of Ministry, fun and faith-building (as you can read in 2005). I was looking forward to what the Lord had for my Ministry in 2006. My songs were being played all over the world by the radio Djs. “What a Friend We Have In Jesus” took the No. 1 spot several times on the charts. I had been given many prophesies over the Ministry that were sooo exciting, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen.
By the way, food for thought. If the Lord is giving you a prophesy or a word through someone, or if he just speaks directly to your heart on something, I encourage you to write it down. Also, write down the result or manifestation of that word. I am SO thankful that I did. I have gone back to my Journal so many times when I felt doubt or needed encouragement. It’s amazing how reading the thoughts of the Lord revs you up again! When that word is manifested or you see the results ….oooooohhhh! That’s totally exciting!! Manifestation is SO cool!
Anyway, about the time your mind is heading in one direction…….urrrrrrrrrr (car tires screeching)……CHANGE happens. And, you stand there wondering…o.k.….what’s going to happen now. The Calvary Cowboys suddenly disbanded in March because of the decision of another. I was still rockin’ and rollin’ in my Ministry, but Bruce (my husband-the other part of the Duo) and I had a decision to make. We both, together, got with the Lord and asked Him what now? Well, quite frankly, I’m sure the Lord was smiling when He said “no brainer”. You two are a new Duo… (and yes, as I look back at the prophesies of my own Ministry…God knew what was going to happen….they all were to be a part of this new Ministry).
Soooo, a bit of work on my part with learning harmonies on the Calvary Cowboys songs and Bruce practicing the Electric Guitar and harmonies on mine….and we were off. We finished out the dates the Calvary Cowboys had booked, I finished out mine and we quickly became comfortable with each other as a newly formed Duo. Boy, are we havin’ a blast!
Changes are what they are, but thank the Lord, nothing takes God by surprise and, if we look to Him, He will always be there with His answers and to walk us through. Jeremiah 29:11-13
Oh, by the way, in the “2005” Trail Tails, I mentioned our stepping out in Faith as akin to riding for the Pony Express. Little did I know at that time that the Lord, a few months later, was going to give me that name for our new Duo. Cool, huh?
Anyway, we continued to tour all over the place. We even were able to visit my relatives up in Illinois. I hadn’t seen them since I was 13. We had a great time catching up.
I need to mention at this point that the Lord has been so gracious to not only provide for our needs in the Ministry, but He also (according to His will), provides for our “wants” too. Every year my family takes a houseboat trip on Lake Powell. The Lake holds special meaning for me, as well as just being able to spend time with my family who I only see about twice a year. The Word says that “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
When I first stepped out in full time Ministry, I knew that, financially, the Lord would have to miraculously “make it happen”. My jobs always paid for the trip, but now I was really stepping out into the unknown. Praise God, we have not missed a trip yet. In fact, the Lord made it possible this year to not only go for one week, but for two. The second week was all expenses paid without us having to spend a cent. Bruce and I were able to spend, not only time with my Dad, but also time with some good friends of ours…Ru and Jason Hargrove and Dub and Deb Shelton.
The Lord, again, showed even more of His Grace when He allowed us perfect weather and a chance to see wildlife that we’d been waiting to see for years (i.e. the ringtail cats and wild donkeys!) It was awesome!! James 1:17
O.K., now for the “come to Jesus meeting” part of the story. We were invited to go to a revival church meeting up in Odessa, Texas. Now, usually, I’m not real comfortable in a situation where there seems to be a lot of hype and emotionalism in a church service. In fact, the whole thing usually just ticks me off. I don’t like being manipulated via the emotionalism and I can’t stand fakes. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many fakes and, unfortunately again, had become jaded. Not good. I love my Lord with all my heart and I know that speaking in tongues is very real and also “falling out” in the Spirit is too. I prayed during that meeting “Lord, if this is the real deal…no faking…show me”.
Now, I’m not being disrespectful in any way as I’m telling you this story. I’m being straight out honest. We all need to be honest with each other.
Well, let me tell ya, He showed up! At the time of my prayer, a man we had picked up on the way to the meeting was standing up talking to the Evangelist. The man used a cane and could hardly walk due to a debilitating disease. The Evangelist laid hands on him, said a few words, and to my amazement…the man began to dance!
Unknown to me, Bruce was praying the same “real deal” prayer I was (we compared notes later). His prayer was answered when the Evangelist looked right at Bruce and said “You, come on up here”. I thought, “whoa, what’s goin’ on here?” I thought I was off the hook until he asked Bruce if I was with him…..I, too, suddenly found myself “called to the front”. Now, I don’t mind singing in front of hundreds of people because you know what you’re there for. Standing in front of hundreds, not knowing what in the world (or out of this world) is going to happen…is a whole other deal.
The Evangelist started out asking us what we did. We started to tell him and then he started saying some things that, frankly, I can’t remember because it all happened so fast. I remember thinking…”nothing’s happening…oh, man, I’m beginning to like this Evangelist and I really don’t want him to be embarrassed if I don’t “feel anything”…and then, “oh, man, if I don’t “feel anything”, I hope there’s nothing wrong with me”. About that time, something like an electric current went through me and I went down so fast that the big ol’ boy behind me that was standing there to catch me…missed and I landed flat on my hind end. I looked up at that Evangelist with saucers for eyes and blurted out “whooaaaa!!” He smiled and promptly said “You’re in the Ministry. This should not be a surprise to you”. O.K. that one stung. Me landing on my hind end didn’t hurt, but that comment did. But, he was right. How much are we missing of God’s greatness, revelations and knowledge because we’re jaded, offended, ignorant or just plain self-righteous? Truly, we all need to drop the blinders.
The same thing, only more intense, happened to Bruce and we left that night awed and changed. God is here. He’s real and He wants to show us mighty things....if we’ll only put ourselves aside.
So, on that note, little did I know that I would need my Faith in a big way very shortly. In October, I received a call from my brother. My Dad was very ill. He was diagnosed with a disease that attacks the muscles. His eyes and throat were affected. He was in a dangerous position. He was at home at the time my brother called, so I called and talked to my Mom. While on the phone with her, my Dad suddenly motioned to her to call 9-1-1. That was only the beginning.
I flew out to California to run his construction business and to help my Mom. My week and a half planned stay turned into two months. I finally just quit booking flights home because I kept having to cancel them. My Dad would get treated at the hospital, then be released. A few days later I’d either be calling the ambulance or rushing him to the hospital myself.
It was a very trying and scary time. My Dad is a very strong, resilient man and I had only seen him really ill probably once in my entire life. It was beyond hard to see him in a hospital bed with a bunch of tubes hooked to him. I want to share with you a couple of the many times that the Lord let me know that He was not only there right beside us, but that He was in control.
The first was when I had to rush my Dad to the hospital. I was sitting next to him in the ER room while he was hooked up to a breather. Now if any of you have ever been in an emergency room, it’s not a very fun place. It can be chaotic and it adds to the stress of having to be there with your loved one and not knowing what’s going to happen next. Praise God, I had brought my Bible in my bag. And, as I sat there, scared and feeling very alone, I reached out to the Person I knew would be there. All I could say to Him was “Jesus, help me”.
Literally, I just opened my Bible and numbly, randomly just started flipping. On my second “flip” it opened, miraculously, to 1 Corinthians 2:5 – “that your Faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God”. I flipped one more time and again, miraculously, the pages fell open to 2 Corinthians 5:7 – “for we walk by Faith, not by sight”. The Lord knew that I would need these two verses that night and throughout the entire two months. I grabbed a hold of those two verses with a white-knuckled grip.
When you have doctors telling you all kinds of distressing stuff and you’re seeing things that could give you nightmares, God’s Word saved me. God’s Word in more ways than one, saved my Dad.
One powerful instance happened one night as I was sitting there with him in the hospital. All of a sudden, for no reason, his blood pressure shot up way past 200. In fact, as I recall, in the high 200’s. The Lord grabbed a hold of my heart with His Voice and told me to start reading His Word….out loud! My Dad’s face by this time was beet-red. I looked at his face, looked up at the monitor, looked down at my Bible and started reading. As I read, a nurse came in with a shot. I remember praying…Lord, no! No more medications for my Dad. I felt in my spirit that shot was the wrong thing to do. Now, I’m not a doctor or a nurse and I couldn’t have told you why, but I was close to a panic as the nurse stood there with the needle poised. All I could do was sit there, read and pray. But, curiously, the nurse wasn’t moving. She quietly watched the monitor and I kept reading the Word. As suddenly as the blood pressure rose, it started to drop. I sat there in amazement as my Dad’s blood pressure recovered and he was safe.
The nurse said “good, I really didn’t want to give him this”. She also told me something very interesting. She said that she felt quite sure that when I started reading the Word, that’s what brought the blood pressure down. She said she had seen powerful things happen when someone would start reading the Bible to a patient. In fact, in all her years in that hospital, she had seen a marked difference between the patients who got the Word read to them and the ones who didn’t. Isn’t that something? The Word of God, as it says, is life. John 1:1-5; Hebrews 4:12
Today, my Dad is recovering very well. In fact, his doctor says that “it’s a miracle”. She called the Mayo Clinic and other big name outfits that have dealt with this disease and my Dad is the first person that they have ever heard of who has recovered this quickly. Praise God!...”Don’t rest on the wisdom of men, but the Power of God” and walk by Faith, not by sight”! Hallelujah!!!! Romans 15:13
The last comment I want to make about this situation is this. I grew up a lot spiritually during this time. But, I also was taught a very important lesson. Yes, I was called to be a singer/songwriter/evangelist. That is how the Lord is using me to reach others for Him. But, we have to remember that is our main goal…reaching, encouraging and helping others in their time of need. The talent is just a means to get there. Sometimes the Lord will call you to do something that doesn’t require “the stage” or the physical talent you were given. It requires a simple willingness to serve, no matter what the venue is….. Hebrews 3:13; 10:23-25
The Lord released me to come back to Texas on December 16th, just in time to rest a bit, pack up, and “hit the road” again. Our first stop was God’s Learning Channel (GLC) out of Midland, TX. We’ve been blessed to sing on that program several times in the past, but this time (December 21st) the Lord “took it up a notch” and opened up an awesome door of Ministry.
We were only supposed to sing that night, as they had a speaker already scheduled. At the last minute, the speaker cancelled and we were given the entire two hour program. We were interviewed at great length as well as being able to sing. We were able to give our personal testimonies as well as present what our Ministry, Pony Express, is all about. The show airs several times after the original live show. Little did we know, the Holy Spirit was waking up an Apache pastor in the middle of the night during one of these re-airs. He turned on the TV and GLC was on. He heard us sing one song, then heard part of our interview. The Holy Spirit spoke to him and said “These are the two people I want to come to the Reservation for your church revival. Not a minute later, Bruce, during the interview, said that we wanted to go to the Indian Reservations with our music and Ministry. Confirmation! We received a phone call a couple days later, inviting us to the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in February, 2007. My heart has always been for the Native American (First Nations) People. We were thrilled!! You can read about our exciting time on the Reservation in “Trail Tails-2007”). John 16:13-15
Well, we’ve pulled off the saddle and gear for 2006. And, we’re rounding up “fresh horses” for 2007. Come ride with us again and share the adventures of the Pony Express!