Musings From A Musical Mind

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Partings and Meetings

Life is full of “meetings and partings” but rarely do we get to have it the other way around. Two years ago I wrote an article: Memories And Lost Boys. If you missed it – check it out.  It is because of that article going viral that one of my “lost boys” was able to do a “google search” for his own name – and stumble upon the article I had written several months before.  This has taken all of us on a strange and wonderful adventure and ended yesterday in a “meeting” after a “parting” some 26 years before.  When you read the article you will see that the brother, William (or Bill as we knew him back when he was just 18 years old) wrote me a comment saying, “two lost boys found” and ended up in many email and Facebook communications since then.

But I must back up.  In the article it explains that Greg and I were youth pastors in Jeannette PA in 1984 and 1985.  This is where our story began with these “boys” – four of them in fact listed in the above article.  We had a special connection with them – all four boys dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ while we were there and Greg ‘baptized’ all of them as well.  Then our world was turned upside down as the church board asked our senior pastor (a man we loved and looked up to) to resign after 10 years ministry.  We had only been there a year, but it was not an option for us to remain without the pastor who had brought us to this church from where we were living in Fairbanks, Alaska.  We soon found another position in New Castle, about 2 hours drive from Jeannette.  The brothers, John and Bill came to see us while I was pregnant with Ashlee in early 1986.  After that – the boys moved to New York with their mother and the others dispersed and went on with their lives.  We lost touch.  This was in a day before internet, email and cell phones.  When you said goodbye – it was forever – there was no way to stay in touch.  Here is what everyone looked like 27 years ago.

John is on the bike – Bill in the blue shirt.

Greg and Bill above.

John, Bill and Greg above.

Some of the girls we’ve never found – John, Bill and me above.

We lived in New Castle 3 1/2 years – and when our time was up in that church we looked to the West Coast where we both were from.  Soon we settled in a little church in California where Greg was the lead and only pastor for 3 years.  From there we ended up in Fort Worth, Texas, Vero Beach Florida and then back in Seattle where we have lived since 1995.

Not a year went by that I didn’t think of those kids in the youth group and especially the boys we had been close to.  It’s funny to think of it – Greg and I were not much older than any of them – at the time it seemed HUGE!   BUT the age gap closed in as I began to think of them and wonder where they were – knowing full well that these were not “boys” anymore but grown men – probably with families of their own – like us!

Fast forward to the age of email and internet.  Opening doors for those of us who had literally lived all over the United States!!  I was able to find some people through email – if they had been good about staying in touch – with others in was near impossible – like searching for a needle in a haystack.  When internet searching became available right around the time of our first computer, back in the late 90’s – I looked every 6 months or so for those boys.  When MySpace was all the rage – I looked for them then – when Facebook was more popular I looked again – every few months.

Fast forward to 2 years ago – the time when I wrote the article above about “lost boys”. I took a chance and listed their names – just on the perchance that someone would come across it – I didn’t know how – I just did it because you never know, right?

I forgot about it – and a few months later I found the two other boys on Facebook.  We were so excited to find Randy and Todd were both on facebook by then – and had emails and Facebook conversations with them both.  We even Skyped with Randy a couple of times and it was really wonderful to catch up on all the lost years.  But still no Bill or John.  We searched, Randy even helped me – and we looked for some of the other people from the youth group – but hit a couple of dead ends.

Then OUT OF THE BLUE I got the comment left to me on the above article by Bill – telling me I had found them and explaining a little bit about he and his brother – what they were doing now etc.  That was followed up by other emails and Facebook greetings and conversations.  It seemed like a miracle to me especially because all of us lived much of life before internet.

That miracle has been such a blessing – as we met William (Bill) with his new wife, Donna in Seattle and had a wonderful dinner together and a time rejoicing over how good God is in bringing us all together again after so many years.  Bill shared with us that those lost years had been tough ones as his mother died shortly after we lost touch with them – his father had left them many years before that.  The brothers were truly on their own after that and had some rough years.  Bill said that he spent many years running from God and searching for things in all the wrong places – had a few failed relationship and was “lost” – until a man approached him in the lobby of somewhere he was passing through and told Bill, “you look lost”.  This man prayed for Bill right there – and though it took another year for Bill to really turn his life around – he finally did begin by saying to himself, “I need to find a church”.  Soon after he rededicated his life to Christ and became very involved in his local church.  He told us last night that he never forgot being baptized by Greg and the impact that had made on his life – it was his turning point for sure.  He described it “like a marriage” for him.  It was a beautiful moment in the restaurant and Donna and I were very teary.  The picture of that lost boy – (now man) coming full circle and coming back to something he had once believe so strongly in – was a miracle.

He met Donna at that church after recommitting his life back to Christ and they were married a year ago last February.  She is a wonderful lady – so perfect for Bill and we are so happy for them both.

Here are some pictures of our very joyful reunion last night with Bill who is not 18 anymore – but 46!!!  How can this be???


Greg, me and Bill


Bill and Donna


Greg and Bill


Bill and Donna

I am hoping you will be encouraged by what has happened to Greg and me the last couple of years – and that you will know for sure that God orders our steps and allows us to make the impact on lives for His purpose and in His great timing.  Never be weary in well doing – for in time you will reap a great harvest if you don’t give up.  Those you touch and influence for His glory – will never be in vain.

God Bless

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Reinventing Me!

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I am on a journey.  I am a child of the sixties who lived a whole lifetime before I met my husband in college – and have live a whole lifetime since then.  I have always found it easy to go through changes and adapt easily to new ideas.  It was never an adjustment for me to get married or to move around so much because of the career path my husband chose.  Leaving friends behind was always harder for me than a major move – and frankly I had more trouble leaving Canada when I was 8 because of a friendship – than I ever did moving so much when I was an adult.

When I was young most everybody had one television in their home – usually black and white and if you were really rich – you had a color set in addition to the black and white.  There was no such thing as VCR’s for recording programs that you missed – if you were gone (like church) you just simply missed it.  Being a child of the 60’s and 70’s was not fun for that reason.  Transistor radios and tape recorders were popular then – and I remember getting my own tape recorder when I was 10.  I would record myself talking and singing – it was great fun!

When I was in Junior High and High School – record albums were in vogue – and I had many vinyls – like Michael Jackson, Carpenter’s, Barry Manilow,  Elton John, Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire.  Cd’s were starting to become popular in the early 80’s and did not catch on with us until later than that.  We owned many cassette tapes and it was expensive to switch over – but switch over we did!  And I remember when people were first getting Cd players in their cars – so expensive!

Our first computer in the mid 80’s was a 286 – long before the world-wide web was popular in homes.  This computer was more like a word processor and I remember being at a job in Alaska where it was a big deal to train on one of these to make the office more efficient.  I even worked as a manager for a cable place in Fairbanks, Alaska – and they used microfiche – and it was usually a week behind.

Our first taste of the internet was when Greg was given a computer for his 40th birthday – 11 years ago.  We were a little slow getting with the program 🙂

I did have a cell phone back in the day.  I used to be a sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics and would have long commutes to and from church on Wednesday – when I would drive down from our home to choir practice with 2 children in the car and it wasn’t against the law to talk on a cell phone yet.  I would make my business calls while traveling.  This was about 15 years ago.  Cell phones and computers have come a long way since then.

I have always loved each new change – I had a  LG flip phone for a couple of years – when it was new it was really great – but like any technology it soon got left in the dust – to be replaced by newer and more efficient models.  I now use an iPhone – not the newest one – but it’s still an iphone 🙂

When my daughter was a teenager I joined MySpace.  Facebook wasn’t even invented yet.  I liked MySpace – could put my favorite music on there – and was considered to be a pretty ‘hip’ Mom for joining in and being a part of the younger people’s world.

When Facebook started to make some noise – and when my friend, Nat Holland told me she liked it better than MySpace because it was international – I thought I would check it out.  I was ahead of my time because this was about 5 years ago – when NO ONE my age was on it yet.  After that everyone began to join – even the ones that swore up and down that they would NEVER do it.  🙂  I have connected with hundreds of people from our ministry life all around the world because of this vehicle.

Two years ago I started a blog site and have been writing ever since.  My husband says that I’ve always been a little bit ahead of the curve – fearless about starting something new – and though not reinventing the wheel – I’m really reinventing myself – through all the changes in technology and how people relate in social media available today.  My life has taken on new meaning by doing this – I get numerous emails from my blog and have been able to develop and minister to many hurting people as a result.  I love my blogging buddies!  And I’m just a newbie – but I have actually encouraged and helped MANY people start blog sites of their own.  It’s been a great experience for me.

My latest reinvention – twitter.  I joined a couple of years ago – but could never get the hang of it – until…my pastor and friend, Stephen suggested that it might be good for connecting with others in business.  I took him at his word and have put myself out there a little more and have searched and FOUND many music teachers like myself – who just need a little encouragement.  Twitter is a quick way to stay involved and see what others are doing in the music community – and for them to see what I do as well.  When you’re a private teacher – you need all the help and encouragement you can get!

Here’s to you as you reinvent yourself in this fast paced technology of today’s world.  It’s your choice – learn something new – or get left behind.  I choose to keep learning as I age.

 

God Bless

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