A mountain view…
The beginning of a new year….there’s something so fresh about that…a new start, a new perspective, a new opportunity…a chance to “climb to the top of the mountain” and get an arial view before realities of daily life come galloping in.
On January 1st this year as I was exercising on my elliptical machine, I listened to a song that framed my “mountain perspective” to usher in the year 2015.
As is so often true for me, I need to be reminded frequently of my Father–His character, His work, HIs truth that NOTHING is impossible with Him. Hope almost always follows on the heels of His powerful reminders breathed over me in song or word, and this was His word to me on January 1st, 2015…
This is who He is…
You hear the cry of every broken heart
You give the hopeless soul a brand new start
You lead the captive in Your freedom song
This is who you are…
And in the night when all our hope is lost
You are the one who won’t give up on us
You hold the orphan in your loving arms
This is who you are…
I know this is who You are
I believe this is who You are
A daughter of my Father, The King of Kings. This is who He is…
A piano, Poland and Grandma Bell
What in the world do a Piano, Poland and my Grandma have in common? Well, there’s a story…
I knew my Grandma Bell as a gentle, sweet and lovely woman, even though her children sometimes affectionately refer to her as the “sergeant.” She was a homemaker extraordinaire, and our childhood was filled with wonderful smells of pies, cookies and fresh or canned garden vegetables at Grandma’s house.
In addition to her culinary skills, Grandma Bell was also was an accomplished pianist and a diligent student of God’s Word. She was trained at Moody Bible Institute and up until her death in her 80’s, my Grandma used her piano and her weekly Sunday School class to disciple young students and young adults. She left her family quite a legacy.
After my Grandma went to be with Jesus, she left me her treasured piano–one of her main discipleship tools. As I was living with roommates in a smaller condo at the time, I did not have the space for her piano. So, I asked dear friends of mine, Korban and Tanya Miller, if they would like to have a piano temporarily, knowing that it would be loved and used by Korban in both playing and teaching music, as he is an accomplished musician himself and was the lead worshiper at my home church.
About ten years went by, and in an amazing turn of events, Korban and Tanya and their kids made the life-changing decision to move to Poland to be part of a movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe with an organization called Josiah Venture. Together, Korban and Tanya are leading the launch of Poland’s evangelistic and discipleship music club called Fusion.
As they were packing a container of items to be shipped to Poland, they thought about Grandma’s piano and called me. What to do…a family heirloom with lots of memories, and a group of young people in Poland who would learn about music and Jesus using Grandma Bell’s piano. After some consideration and talking with some family, I decided that Grandma’s piano needed to go to Poland as her legacy was going international!
I visited Korban and Tanya in Poland for the first time this last November, and I got to see and celebrate Grandma’s piano in action. Grandma Bell’s gentle smile must light up her face in heaven as she and Jesus celebrate the use of her piano to disciple youth in Eastern Europe. She loved Europe. I’m so grateful for our heritage of faith in Grandma Bell and the joy of one generation “declaring His works to yet another.”
There’s nothing that moves our God like the faith of His people–believing God for who He says He is and all that He says He can do. He esteems it. He requires it. It moves Him.
Hebrews 11 is legendary in celebrating some of the “heroes of faith” in the pages of God’s story.
As the Lord has sent me to different corners of the world, I have had the honor and privilege of meeting Hebrews 11 “extension” heroes–people that would definitely be included if the chapter kept going. By faith, Svonko…
In November, I was in Slovenia, a former communist country in which the Spirit of God is moving in some powerful ways today. However, there was a time, not so long ago, when Slovenia was very dark, very foggy, and almost devoid of any overt sign of spiritual life. In the midst of the overwhelming hopelessness of communism and post-communism, there was at least one man, among others, who stood in FAITH–believing God can and would change the atmosphere–do the impossible. Svonko….
I’ve known Svonko for about 14 years now, and every time I enter the church where He serves in Ljubljana, Slovenia, I breathe life–faith, hope and love. Though he and I have had very few personal conversations, I’m so grateful for his life…for the way his bold faith challenges my own. God has honored his faith. He has seen Jesus move in power and is still believing Him to do more.
I needed fresh wind for my own faith journey that day in November, and Jesus gave me “manna” through this hero of faith as he spoke words of life from Ezekiel 37, “Prophecy to these dry bones….”
As I have the privilege of meeting, hearing about and reading many stories about heroes of faith, I choose to claim my spot in that lineage–the lineage of Abraham, my Grandpa and Svonko.
By faith, Laurie…for the glory and honor of my King.