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READY FOR TAKE-OFF: Into The Big Blue Sky!

When I began about a year ago to think about doing my next recording, I planned that I would work with the producer I worked with on “A Resting Place.” He was close by; I liked his work, and I was comfortable working with him. That door became shut to me when this producer was not available to work with me personally on this new project. I began checking with some other producers, and all the doors kept leading to the Nashville area. After exploring my options, God led me to work with producer Dennis Dearing of Menace Music. I could tell through talking with him on the phone, and our Skype consults that he understood my heart and my vision and was going to be the right one to produce my new music. We started working on a few songs via Skype, emails, and phone calls. The time came to work one on one, and that meant making the trip to Nashville.

My previous two trips to Nashville, I had traveled with someone else; one trip was with a friend and on the other trip, with my husband. For this trip, however, my husband could not go with me, so I decided I would try to go by myself. Now, that might not seem like a big thing to you; however, for me, it was huge. My husband, family, or friends were usually with me. If I went somewhere alone, it was usually only a few hours away. This trip was a whole new adventure for me. Since I decided to travel to Nashville on my own, I had the options of either driving to Nashville by myself or flying by myself. Neither one was something I felt comfortable with, but I knew that driving alone for that distance wasn’t something I wanted to do for this trip. That left me with the option to fly, for the first time, alone. Talk about being out of my comfort zone!

Now was my time to choose following my dream – over being comfortable. I started feeling like this trip was a turning point for me, in both my ministry and in my breaking free of more fears that were holding me back. You see, I have had dreams – ones in my heart and ones that I have seen in my sleep – of going to other countries to sing and speak and how could I do this if I didn’t break free of the fears that held me back.

Taking this step and purchasing my plane ticket felt huge to me. I had my moments of feeling nervous and some anxiousness but knew in my heart this was going to be an essential step in my life. From the beginning to the end of the entire trip, I have seen the goodness of God, the importance of moving forward and I am experiencing a new freedom I have not felt before, a new excitement also.

My dear friend, Cathy Rudolph, drove me to the Harrisburg, PA airport on a Monday afternoon. After talking it over with her, I felt she should just let me off at the drop off point. She talked me through what to expect and what I should do when I got inside. She would have come in with me, and though I was nervous and a bit afraid, I knew I needed to start this new adventure as I meant to go forward, holding on to my Abba Father’s hand and trust Him to walk with me. From that moment on, amazing things happened.

When I got into the airport and went to the check-in desk for United, the attendant was so friendly to me. I told her that this was my first time flying and that I was a little nervous. She looked at me and said I was going to do great and that because it was my first time flying, the baggage fee was going to be on her. I didn’t realize how special that was till later when my seatmate told me that doesn’t usually happen. From there, while I waited to board the plane, I got to talk to a few people who were waiting with me. I connected with a couple who told me to find them when I got off the plane, and they would help me find where I needed to go for the connecting flight when I got to Dulles airport. On the flight from Harrisburg to Dulles, I sat beside a man who was a guitar player. He and his band were on their way to Amsterdam for a gig. We talked most of the flight about music, and he would tell me the various things that were happening during our flight. I sat by the window and must have looked like a little girl because I was so excited by what I saw out my window. I kept saying things like, “this is so cool” and saying wow a lot. I felt a bit giddy and know I was acting that way. I was loving flying and seeing the beauty of the clouds and landscape beneath us. I was still nervous about the connecting flight in Dulles as there wasn’t much time between flights.

We arrived in Dulles airport, and I waited for the couple who said they would help me find where my connecting flight was. We started walking, and another woman who had been on our flight came up to us and asked what terminal I needed to get to. She had heard that this was my first flight. She said she was going right next to where I needed to be and would take me there. We got a shuttle, and she walked with me to my terminal. I made it to where the plane was boarding with only a few minutes to spare before the boarding was scheduled to end.  

I got on the plane to Nashville, again having a window seat, sat beside two wonderful ladies who were both Christians and had musicians in their families. We talked about lots of cool things like music, our relationships with Father God, and more. I again was like a little girl enjoying the view out my window. When I went to get off the plane when it landed in Nashville, Sandy, the woman who sat beside me, told me to wait for her and her husband. They both walked me to the baggage claim, and her husband got my baggage for me. They told me if I waited for them, they would walk me to the car rental place since they had to go there also. They blessed me so much. I picked up my car and drove to the place I had rented for the week.

The goodness of God to me was so prominent during this entire journey. So many times in the past I’ve doubted that my Abba Father has been there with me, that He genuinely cares about me, that He will be with me through everything. My fears have stopped me often in the past from doing things. I’ve seen through this adventure that my Father God is with me through everything, taking care of me. Even when I am afraid and doubting, He is still beside me, and if I will just go forth, trusting Him to hold my hand, I can push past fears and doubts to greater and new exciting things. The whole recording experience was another example of pushing through doubts and fears to greater and new exciting things. Find out about that on the next part of this series “Ready For Take-Off” on Wednesday, July 31, when I talk about “The Recording Adventure.”

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READY FOR TAKE-OFF: To New Adventures

To New Adventures

Stepping into new adventures can be exciting, a challenge, and at times, even daunting.

I have found this to be the case for new things I am stepping into in my life. Over the past few years, I’ve come to realize how much I have not liked change in my life. Some kinds of change I like, such as moving the furniture around in my house, which I do quite often. However, if you asked me to make changes in other areas in my life, I would be uncomfortable and reluctant to do so.

Change, however, is essential to moving forward! If we stay in the same place in our life, we are going to miss something ahead of us that could be amazing, that could open doors to wonderful new exciting things that we haven’t experienced yet. I’ve come to realize that in my life, I have often chosen comfort over change, complacency over pursuing my dreams. When I become more committed to being in my comfort zone than being committed to pursuing the dreams Father God placed in me and walking them out, I miss out on the things that Abba Father has planned specifically to be part of my life.

The time for letting go of fears and stepping into new adventures in my life had been calling out to me!

Over the past few years, Abba Father has been stripping off many things in my life that have held me back from moving into all I knew deep down in the depths of my soul He wanted me to step into. Fear and insecurity was a huge barrier for me and kept me doing many things.

It has been several years since I recorded my last full album. During those years, I had been writing new music, and last year, I began to feel it was time to record a new album. My previous album was recorded locally, which fit into my comfort zone. I didn’t have to travel far to record it, and I liked and felt comfortable working with that producer. I remember a few years ago going to Nashville to record two Christmas songs with a producer down there. I had been to Nashville previously for a conference. Musicians usually love the whole Nashville scene, but for me, I was so uncomfortable. I remember calling one of my friends back home and telling her, “I feel like a little pea in a pot of soup down here.” My fears and insecurities were drowning out the great experiences and the joys of this excellent opportunity that God had opened up for me. Though I was able to partake of many things from this opportunity, I also missed some things due to my fears and insecurities.

Over the past few years, fears and insecurities have been falling off, and I’ve been moving more and more out of my comfort zone. In a previous blog, I told the story of how Abba Father freed me from my fears of being in mountains, going on bridges and going through tunnels. Gaining this freedom was a huge thing, but He wasn’t finished with stripping away more fears. I had a fear of flying and traveling long distances by myself. I can now say that those are fears that have been conquered! I recently started working on a new recording project, in guess where – you got it -Nashville. Not only that, but I also flew there, ALONE, and stayed by myself for the seven days I was there. The story I have to tell about that whole trip and adventure is a sure testament of the favor and goodness of my Abba Father and how amazingly He took care of me. Check out the next part of this series “Ready For Take-Off” on Friday, July 19 when I tell you all about it on “Into The Big Blue Sky.”

baby in a manger, Christian Music, Christmas, hope, New Songs, Praise and Worship, Songwriting

The Hope of the World

Is it important to have hope? Where do I find hope?

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Today, more than ever we must find the source of where our hope comes from.  Our world is filled with many things that can bring us down if we don’t have hope or know who our hope is in.  It can even cause us to become physically ill. Proverbs 13:12 says this:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

So, where does our hope come from?

Our hope comes through the promises our Abba Father gave us, and there are many given to us throughout the Bible. Hope comes from knowing His son Jesus, and that all the amazing things He has done and continues to do for us, is because of His great love He has for each one of us.  Our hope does not come from the things that we have around us, nor riches we may gain, nor is it in who our friends or family are—it is in ALL that God has promised to us through His Word.  I really love how the Message Bible describes why we can hope in this.

Continue reading “The Hope of the World”

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Letting Go and Moving On

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In our lives, we have times of transition. Some of these transitions can cause upheaval and propel us to walk down a path we are not really wanting to walk down.

This has been the direction my life has been taking the past few years. A little over three years ago, my husband and I felt God directing us to sell our home. We spent a lot of time praying over this and let me tell you, this was an extremely difficult thing for me. I absolutely loved that house and location. It was my dream home. It was at the bottom of the mountain with an amazing view and I did not want to give up that home. I wept a lot of tears over giving up what I felt like was a dream come true for me. This was the second house my husband and I had bought in our over thirty years of marriage. We lived in our first home for twenty-three of those years and in my “dream home” which we bought, for the next eleven years. My childhood and teen years we lived pretty close to poverty level and from the time I was 15 till I got married at 21, my mom moved us seven times. That evened out to once a year for six of those years and twice for the seven year.

I have always had a difficult time with change. Growing up, my life was extremely chaotic, stressful, and the complete opposite of a place of rest and peace. Because of that, when I felt I had settled into a place that brought me a measure of peace and contentment, any changes left me feeling uneasy and anxious. Continue reading “Letting Go and Moving On”

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Mountains, Tunnels, ​and Bridges….OH NO!!

When you think of going up into a mountain, going through a tunnel or seeing a big, beautiful bridge, what comes to mind?  Are you excited, enjoying it, or are you holding your breath, not because of excitement, but because you are full of fear?  For most of my life, when I came to a tunnel, bridge or went up or down a mountain, my thoughts were, “Oh, no, just stay calm Sharon, it will soon be over”. My breathing would get faster, my heart rate would go up, my palms would get sweaty and I couldn’t think or talk past my fear.  I couldn’t see the beauty of the mountains around me or the wonders of the ocean, rivers or valleys I could view from the bridge I was on.

Over the years as I have been healing from the childhood abuse of my past, I have been overcoming many fears. This particular fear, however, seemed to be one that was harder for me to overcome.  I continued to pray about it, about what was behind this fear, and how to have victory over it.

Psalm 34:4 – For I cried to him and he answered me! He freed me from all my fears. Continue reading “Mountains, Tunnels, ​and Bridges….OH NO!!”

God's plan for you, life changes, Making a choice, Puzzle pieces

IS YOUR LIFE LIKE A PUZZLE… PIECES EVERYWHERE?

side look, rocks

Have you ever felt like your life resembles a puzzle? Random pieces scattered everywhere. There are odd shaped pieces with only a tiny snippet of the big picture on the box.

I love to do puzzles! These days I do them mostly on my computer. From Sudoku and word puzzles, to jigsaw puzzles, I love them all.

 As I was doing a jigsaw puzzle on my computer one night, God began speaking to me. He wanted to teach me some lessons about life through my puzzle adventures.

Maker:S,Date:2017-11-23,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-YThe jigsaw puzzle app I have on my computer has a neat feature that I love. When a piece is in the correct position, it clicks into place and you can’t move it. Almost as if to announce, this is the place I was designed to go.  As I am working on the puzzles, I often try to position a piece where I am positive it should go. An example of this is the puzzle picture on the left.  The piece on the outside of the puzzle was the one I was having trouble getting to fit where I thought it should go. I had placed the adjoining pieces to the right, top and bottom of where I was confident it would fit, but it did not click in. However, when I put the other remaining piece to the left of that spot, the final piece clicked right into place and the picture was completed! Continue reading “IS YOUR LIFE LIKE A PUZZLE… PIECES EVERYWHERE?”

baby in a manger, Christian Music, Christmas, Embrace life, hope, King of kings, life changes, New Songs, Praise and Worship, Songwriting, The Story Behind The Songs, who is Jesus

Who Is This Jesus

Who is This KingRecently I was flipping through the channels on my TV looking for something interesting to watch when I came across someone explaining to someone about Christmas.  She made the comment: “Oh yeah, and we celebrate a baby who was born 2,000 years ago”. She said it with a laugh and in such a way,  you could tell it did not make any sense to her whatsoever.

This got me to thinking about how people look at that baby whose birth we celebrate.  There are many who probably hear the Christmas carols and have no idea what they mean.  To them perhaps it is like singing a song about someone they know simply as a historical figure.  To many, Jesus as the Son of God is not real to them. Continue reading “Who Is This Jesus”