Sunday, May 25, 2014

Baby Girl

It was a good day. 
A day to watch my baby girl graduate 
High School and begin a new chapter in her life. 
My heart is full. Thank you Jesus for it all, every day, every breath. 
Thank you Lord.

Miriam's Graduation Brunch Celebration

Miriam's class photo

A little #selfie grad photo with the girls

 Graduation and Commencement
The end and a new beginning

 Officially A High School Graduate
Miriam Evangel Koehne-Class of 2014

 Two very happy parents

Miriam and her Daddy who has been her high school teacher and Principal 
for the last four years. What a blessing!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It Sounds Like a Little Thing, but it's not.....

A hair cut.....My husband told me he is going to get a hair cut today......a hair cut that is, unless I wanted to do it myself. I said "No, honey have fun at the Barber shop."

You see, this is the first year in our 20 year marriage where we can comfortably afford a luxury like having my husband go to the Barber-shop whenever he needs to. A little thing, I know, but I thank God that He has always provided a roof over our head, food on our table and now, He has provided a little extra!

Some history....
This is what happened one day in 2007 when I told my son we can not afford to send you to the barber shop every week to keep your hair looking good, I'm happy to cut it for you, but otherwise you will have to pay for it yourself." Well, my high school son didn't really want his mom to cut his hair anymore and he didn't want to spend money, so he went on a boycott....this was the result...and that lasted until 2012

If people wonder why my son grew his hair out, it was because we didn't have money to cut it and Mom, the Barber, didn't carry the skills to do a sweet fade.

I am thankful for my husband who works diligently and tirelessly to provide for our family. I am thankful to God for providing work for him to do and the blessings and provisions that comes out of it. We may not have much, but we have way more than we will ever need.

A haircut may not seem like a big thing, but is!

What a fine hair cut he has....
Time to leave it to the professionals, by the grace and through the blessings of God. don't even want to know the last time I was at a hair Solon...10 years, maybe, and I think it was because I got a gift certificate LOL... relaxer in a box and a pair of scissors, maybe an occasional trip to Fantastic Sams....You can take the girl out of the cheap, but you can't take the cheap out of the girl!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Backroom Prayers~To Whom Shall We Go?

On Saturday, I read from John chapter six. Jesus was teaching that He was the Bread of life and that "...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day"

At this, some of his disciples said "This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?" and some of them fell away. But Jesus said to the twelve "Do you want to go away as well?"

The response from Simon Peter reminds me of what my response should be in the face of this world, in hard situations, in matters of truth and bearing my cross daily, when I want to cower and go with the flow, when I want to quit, give up and not fight the good fight and when I feel like truth gets hammered at every corner in the media.  May I like Peter always say.....

"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."

Remembering this truth spurs me on to continue to speak the truth in love, in love for friends, for a city, for a nation who so desperately need the words of eternal life.

Today, Monday as I re-read this passage, I was able to simply sit in my back room and sing it to the Lord. Declare it for my soul, strengthen my heart and renew my mind. Join me in my backroom. #BackroomPrayers

Going to worship this past Sunday and sharing communion with my church family was powerful. My pastor preached the word of God, reminded us all that the Word, His Bible is the source for all truth. My favorite moment was when our church handed out a new Bible to everyone in the congregation and our Pastor had everyone read silently to themselves John 17. The beauty of the silence in the presence of the spirit at that moment as the Words of eternal life went through all of our hearts, renewing our minds was, in a word, AMAZING. That was the the true Fellowship of believers.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pray #BringBackOurGirls

As I kept hearing and seeing news of the Abducted Nigerian school girls and the call to action, I caught myself thinking "But, what can I do?" It was easy to go through my day, listen to the news, watch  the different social media stories and simply scroll on past it without feeling a sense of responsibility at all.

I believe my lack of sense came from an overwhelming sense of helplessness and the reality that I can't really do anything to help them anyway. Then , like He always does, the Lord reminded me that He has equipped me with the most powerful weapon in the world. PRAYER. I can pray. And I call other to pray as well.

There is power in the name of Jesus. I believe this. I know this. I believe that there is no other than by which we are saved, eternally and temporarily.

I believe that that God hears the cries of His people and can save. I believe that as we cry out in the name of Jesus, he hears and responds. Pray.....Pray....Pray!!

"So Lord in Your mercy, Hear our prayer. Lord, Save those girls and all those who are in danger there in Nigeria. May their eyes be turned to you, Jesus the one and only. Comfort the mothers, comfort the fathers, comfort the families of all who are suffering. Bring healing to Nigeria. Heal their land in the name of Jesus. Amen and Amen!!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I have Two Elbows

I have two elbows and chances are that you do to. Let me tell you a little about my elbows......

Recently I was on a photo shoot with a friend and brother in Christ that I admire. No matter what, I can always count on him. For instance, I was suppose to meet with a photographer early one morning and because of certain circumstances he had to cancel 60 minutes after we were suppose to start. Well, I was showered, dressed, make up on and hair done. I was still good to go! Naturally, not wanting to waste a good hair day, I called my buddy, Randy, and he packed up his gear, scouted out areas with me and we shot at four locations.

At the last location he asked if I had any CD's to give to the people whose space and property we LITERALLY invaded (in fact we did that at all three sites, but that's how we roll) and I said "No, I don't have any, I normally have them, but....." As I continued to explain to him the reason He said "Mia, those are just excuses. Excuses are like elbows everybody's got two of 'em." That shut me up. He was right. I was unprepared. For all the times I pack my CD's just in case I have an opportunity to share them with someone, I failed. I was NOT prepared and what I needed to do was NOT make excuses.

But, now, every-time I walk out of the house I think a bit more quickly to myself about grabbing some spare CD's in case the lady at the grocery store tells me she likes music and I am able to just give her a CD. When people speak the truth to me, I may pout my lip for a moment, but my heart hears, receives and becomes all the wiser and more aware.

Some people thrive on affirmation, I thrive on loving reproof. I thrive on people pointing out my weaknesses so I can be better. Several years ago I was at a place in my life, music and ministry where I desired so deeply to have someone who would just tell me the truth and stop telling me everything I did was good. By the grace of God, He sent those people in my life...... people that recognized I needed help, guidance, direction, honest feedback and a swift kick in the butt.

Some of it came from my friend, Mark, who is a gifted songwriter. He saw that I needed stronger songs to sing. And so He allowed me to sing my heart through his music. He offered to work with me on songs I was writing to make them better. My ministry needed someone like him and I am so grateful.

Some of it came from my producer who worked with me on the last two Tree Hill Collective Recordings. OK, he may have made me cry, but that's mostly because He speaks so much truth, pushes me harder than I have ever been pushed, challenges me on the words and notes that I sing and does not let me slack. He tells me to deal and accept certain things and face others things head on. He does not let me cower.

I thrive on that. Last week as I was leading worship at a church. I could hear His voice in my head "Why are you singing that song" "What does that mean" "Who are you singing to" "You sound like you don't care" "Did you just belch in the microphone?" Having him speak truth in my life challenges me everyday to stay focused on why I do what I do and who I am doing it for. It keeps my eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfector.

I am a better worship leader, piano player, singer, writer and leader because of what the people in my life have dared to do for me....speaking truth in love, the hard not so fun truth. I love it. I need it. Do I accept it easily all the time? No, sometimes I pout my lip, sometimes I walk out, sometimes I cry, (my husband, Bob, knows this best as He is my biggest truth-giver) but just about every time, I come back a whole lot stronger and a whole lot wiser than I was when I first started.

For that I thank these brothers in Christ. I could not walk this road without you!

So it leads me to this. If I appreciate truth so much and the fact that people dare to give it to me, am I loving people the same way by speaking truth to them? For me the answer lately has been yes, but it has been hard. And when it is difficult, I just remember how much I desire truth and desire to do the same for others as God leads me. #LoveGodLoveOthers

Who loves you in truth and who are you loving the same way?