Friday, January 27, 2006

Newsletter update minus pictures. I don't have time to upload them as I'm in a parking lot on some hotel's wireless.


Short version: Still on the road, met some online acquaintances (the Kochers), discovered my trumpet was broken, prayed about getting a replacement and someone gave us a cornet within an hour of discovering it was broken, went to the Constitution Center (and got invited to sing there with the Kochers), and spent time with the Kochers.

Read on for long version...

Day 2, January 22

Our concert last night (Gardner, MA), the first of the 25 or so that we'll be doing during the next six weeks. It went great! I really like the new material we have added over the past few months - When I Survey The Wondrous Cross, Since Jesus Came Into My Heart, and Give The World a Happy Smile, to name a few of them. During the that concert I kept thinking to myself 'this is it, we're sleeping on the bus tonight!' We are all excited to be on the road again.
Tonight I'm thanking God for the peace that he's given us through faith in his Son. It's amazing, when you think about it. You can have plenty of money, plenty of friends, plenty of social status, and that doesn't necessarily bring you peace, yet you can be in the middle of a crisis with everything seemingly going wrong and still have God's peace in just knowing that He's in control.

Day 3, January 23

Yesterday we sang in the morning at a church in Media, PA, met the Kocher family they have 10 children, homeschool, and we share a lot of similarities with them (read next entry for more).
We did a concert at night in Laurel Springs, NJ. At the concert we did a brass ensemble piece. Now I have been struggling lately with my trumpet playing. It just hasn't felt right the past few weeks. When I started playing I noticed it sounded really bad. While I was playing my mind was on quitting. It was the proverbial last straw. Not only did it sound bad tonewise, but there was a terrible buzz coming from somewhere. This struck me as odd, and I reached up and grabbed the leadpipe and the buzz quieted down. As soon as the piece was over, I looked down and there was a crack an inch long in it! I had an odd feeling reminiscent of looking down and seeing you've cut yourself really bad. I looked at it later while listening to Carol sing later on in the concert and I saw another crack, even worse, on the other side of the leadpipe. I couldn't believe it was broken, but I was so relieved that it was the trumpet and not my lip causing the problem! At this point I realized I had two options - either worry about it and not do any good, or just trust God to supply what we needed. It was even possible that I wouldn't do any trumpet playing at any of the rest of our concerts. Maybe I really didn't even need it. I figured it couldn't do any good to worry about it, and I knew God knows better than I do (!), so I decided to forget about it and not worry.
Later on, we came to the solo that I sing, and as Dad fixed something on the sound system, I looked back at Mom and she gave me that 'Go ahead' look. I usually say a short little thing before my song, but this evening I just didn't feel like saying anything. I kept giving her the "Not this time" look. She was just about to play the first few chords when a loud buzz came through our sound system and we stopped. I went up to the mic and said "I guess I'm being told I'm supposed to say something!" I told briefly about how God has proven to always work things out, and of how thankful I was that my trumpet was broken and not me, and then went on with the song.
A little while after the concert was over, a woman came up to me and asked if I was the one with the broken trumpet. She asked if I needed one, and I started to make up some kind of stuff about how I thought we might be able to find someone somewhere and I realized I wasn't answering the question. I stopped mid sentence and just said "Yes." She asked how long we were going to be around and said she was coming back with a trumpet I might be able to use, saying "it doesn't look like much, but maybe you can use it". She came back with a beautiful cornet! It looks nice, it plays nice, and it's just what we needed!
Today I'm thanking God for his PROVISION!

Day 4, January 24

Yesterday we spent the day with the Kochers, the family we met in Media. We ate breakfast with them, they took us to a museum, we got back and ate supper together with some of their extended family and a friend of theirs. Afterwards we all played music together and finally said goodbye around midnight. It was so fun! It would take many, many paragraphs to detail all of the things we did.
After we had visited the museum in the Constitution Center, we sat in the lobby waiting for Dad with the bus. The girls started singing quietly, and eventually all of the boys joined and Mrs. Kocher directed us in some patriotic songs and hymns. It was so fun! The acoustics in the lobby were GREAT, and it was fun to see the expressions of the people walking through.
When we were just about to leave, a guy in a suit walked over and handed us a business card and said he enjoyed our singing so much, they would like us to contact them to sing there sometime! I was so shocked. What an opportunity to spread the Gospel. In the movie we saw there, the only credit I heard them give to God for the freedoms of America, and of us as his creation was one brief mention of a 'creator'. We hope to be able to go back and sing with the Kochers there in April, as well as see the Lewis Family perform in Media, PA.
Today I'm thanking God for wonderful friends :)

Day 7, January 27

Today I am sitting in the bus in a beach parking lot (Jacksonville, FL) freewheeling on the wireless from the hotel across the street. The weather is cold and windy, but warmer than home, no less. The weather report for home just popped up and it's 35 there :p It's about 60 here now. We sang at a great church in Wilmington, NC, on Wednesday, and spent some time with our great aunt. We've all come down with colds. Hopefully we will be able to sing tomorrow at the nursing home in the afternoon in Jacksonville.

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