Before You

Lord, I kneel before You now,

Everything I am before Your throne

You are sovereign over all the earth

And even the skies and stars.

Have mercy on us though we don’t deserve,

Slow the storms

Bring peace

Bring healing amd comfort to those who need

Let Your Spirit dwell in us and move us

Use us to further Your Kingdom and let others see You through us

In Your Name I pray,

Amen

Fully consecrated

“The world has yet to see what God can do with and through and in and for a man that is fully consecrated to Him”. D L Moody

With Gods help, I aim to be that person…

To consecrate oneself is to seek to make Gods interest your own interest. Lord, I’ve felt Your call on my life for some time now, and clear that calling is with music. Lord, let this not be what I want but what You want to do through me and with me.

Peel away from me all that is holding me back… give me eyes to see the vision You have for me. give me the courage to follow You with complete abandon of myself.

Provide my needs, oh Lord my provider. You have provided so much already. You alone know what I need…. Let me be in Your presence Lord! Use me in ways only You can to bring Your message of healing and salvation to a dying world, that they might know You as their Lord and Savior.

Forgive me for all that I’ve done in my life that have not honored You. As You have forgiven me, forgive others who have also sinned. By Your grace, bring us to a place of humbleness before You.. that Your work would be made complete. Help us rid ourselves of meanness and contempt and replace it with Your Holy Spirit that we would breathe LIFE into people.

Make right in me and around me all that needs to be to fully do Your will. Lord, if it’s music You want me to do, let me see a glimpse of Your vision to know Your will. Give me courage to follow.

Protect me from the evil one who wants to do harm to those who love You. Let Your sovereign Will be done here on Earth. May people come to know Your saving grace.

In Your name I pray

Amen.

Humbly I bow

Humbly I bow

Empty my soul

Pour out myself

So You make me whole

All that I am

And ever will be

Humbly I bow and

Lay at Your feet

You are my savior

you are my King

lord of my life

Over everything

Less of me, Lord

More of You

Fill me up

Faithful and true

All that I am

And ever will be

Humbly I bow

Lay at Your feet

You take my failures

You take my pain

Hear me

Father God, in the quietness of this morning we come before you humbly… quiet my restless heart and clear my scattered mind. Let me hear Your voice. Guide me now through the waters You’ve called me to step into.

You’ve heard my plea for healing, and You’ve answered so many prayers before… I kneel again at Your feet, empty myself before you, and ask once again for time…. Your graciousness abounds, Lord, and in Your mercy I see forgiveness and transformation.

You know my heart, Lord, and my desire to serve you all my days.. open the eyes of my heart, Lord, and let me see a glimpse of the path before me. Give me the courage to walk the path You have before me, knowing You are with me.

Bring healing where it is needed. Bring grace where it is needed.

In Your holt and precious name I pray

Amen

Sophia

…. shortly after opening our studio, we faced some unique challenges that made me wonder if we had done the right thing. I was completely overwhelmed with the responsibility yet felt strongly that God had put the dream of creating a music studio/coffee shop in my mind years before. During that time of uncertainty, I prayed incessantly, asking for God to show me a sign that I was following his will and doing the right thing. Inevitably, and faithfully, God would send a student to inquire about lessons at just the right time, and it gave me just enough hope to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

We survived that crisis, and actually started growing, and then Covid hit. Like so many other small businesses, we were hit hard, and lost nearly half of our students. Convinced we were doing what God has planned, I continued to pray… even bigger, I continue to pray that I will be able to work in the studio full time someday. I prayed that He would send the students who needed to see Him through us.

Yesterday, after some car trouble, one of our instructors asked if I could fill in for one of her lessons. I gratefully obliged. When I arrived, Sophia was already playing a tune for my business partner, Dan. She is a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed little girl with a lot of spunk and curiosity.

Her mother, with whom I’ve had brief encounters with, sat quietly in the lobby. In the past, I’ve tried to hold conversation with mom, but her demeanor is very withdrawn, almost cold. She would give one word answers to my open ended questions, clearly demonstrating she wasn’t interested in talking.

Sara, Sophia’s regular instructor, had asked me weeks before if I’d sit in on one of her lessons to help coach her on how to handle Sophia, who is a bit strong willed. We had agreed, but I had lesson conflicts on each of the weeks since… that is until yesterday, when Sara needed me to fill in.

The lesson with Sophia went fine, we talked a bit about what happens in her lessons with Sara and she played for me pieces she’d worked on and we learned a new one.

That evening as I was packing up my stuff, my business partner called to see how everything went at the studio that night. We got to talking about Sophia’s lesson… and he commented that he felt she didn’t get much support at home. He had had a brief conversation with Sophia’s mom, with a similar reaction that I’ve experienced, and told me he felt like she really didn’t seem to care if Sophia practiced or progressed on piano.

It struck me once again…. we are there to teach these kids (and their parents really) so much more than simply how to play an instrument. We are there to love them and coach them and teach them how to learn. Particularly with our young ones, we are there to teach them life lessons through the arts (one of our tag lines). We are there to make an impact in their life…

I pray for Sophia. And I pray for her mom. And I pray for Sara as she continues yes to teach Sophia… that she’d teach her far more about how to navigate in a cold world… and the coping/healing properties music brings… the connection that music brings … the bridges it builds between people who might otherwise not connect…

And this reminds me why we do what we do.

I’m so very grateful God has given me an opportunity to make a difference. I continue to pray for all the Anna’s and Sophia’s amd Sara’s in the world… may they find Jesus! Lord, may we humbly ask to have some small part in their journey!

Be blessed today, my friends, as I have been

SB

Kyle the second

Our paths are often crossed by people with chance encounters… or are they?

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by a young man who expressed interest in becoming an instructor at the studio. I made an appointment for him to come by to meet us and show us his skill, which included finger picking guitar. I noticed that we had some mutual connections on social media so I talked with those folks a bit about him so if felt prepared for our meeting.

When he arrived, he was visibly nervous, so I did all I could to make him feel at ease. My business partner was also there, but we had not talked much about this meeting prior to Kyle entering.

He came in with his guitar strapped on his back, and nervously looked around. I offered him a coffee, he asked if we had water instead. I handed him a bottle as he put his guitar case down. I asked him to tell us a bit a bit himself.

With very polite words and tone, he said he didn’t want to sound like a “woe is me” but that life hasn’t been easy (whose is?). His dad is a heroine addict and he lived with his very strict grandmother until recently when he came to live with his mom. when he was in high school, a history teacher took an interest in him and showed him a few chords on a guitar. This was a hinge-point in his life and he began to learn to pick. He told us that he found healing in music, and a way to cope with his life. Since graduating from high school, he’s had a couple of jobs that haven’t worked out well, and is currently unemployed but wants to fill his life with music.

Sensing his nervousness continued as his story unfolded, I shared with him a bit of mine… and how I found healing in music as well after losing my dad to cancer at a very young age. I gave him the cliff notes version of how the studio came to be… and how our vision is that the studio be used as a catalyst for people to develop themselves into what Gods intended.

He got his guitar out to show use what he could play amd as he did, he said he’d have to remove his glasses because they were broken and they’d fall off as he looked down toward his guitar. When he took them off, the right stem simply dangled as if barely holding on by a thread. What a symbolic moment.

Kyle played a few tunes and pics for us, and demonstrated his passion for music. It was clear he did not have much confidence in himself and he kept apologizing for what he called “messed up”. I thought about how hard his life must be and my heart broke for him.

Dan shared a bit of his musical history and his part in the studio as well and we asked him to demonstrate more of how he’d teach people. It became obvious that he didn’t know a lot about music but could play by ear what he’s learned. We talked as but about how he could actually benefit from taking some lessons to learn more so he’d be equipped to answer questions if a student asked. He sheepishly said he couldn’t afford lessons, so Dan asked him to let us talk over how we could make it work. He agreed and we exchanged goodbyes.

A while later, I got a text from Dan saying he’s feeling led to pray about mentoring Kyle. he asked me for his contact information and made an appointment with Kyle for this Tuesday evening at the studio.

I sit back to reflect all the good that God has done and is doing… and it affirms the reason I’ve been so passionate about the music studio… what happened this weekend is an example of why we’re there. I firmly believe that God has orchestrated every bit of the story of the 12th Octave studio … for His glory alone ! I’ve prayed for a long time that God would allow me to be part of His story, changing lives… through music amd creativity

The common friend that Kyle and I shared on social media is a pastor of a nearby church that I know casually. When I inquired about Kyle, he said he couldn’t speak to his musical ability but that he had been baptized a few years ago before moving away. He said he was a nice young man. When I mentioned to Kyle this connection, he told me he hadn’t been to church “in a minute” but that he should go again.

I don’t know who Mr Best is, but I can tell you he’s made quite an impact on Kyle. Wherever he is, I hope he knows that he did a good things for Kyle, showing him the cathartic process of music.

I am praying not only for Kyle, but for Dan as he continues to pursue what God has laid before him. I pray they will both continue to grow in grace that comes from God the father alone… and I pray God will continue to use the studio to change lives.

This Kyle reminded me of another Kyle I met a few years ago, who was also impacted my music at what I believe to be a crucial time in life.

I continue to pray for all of the Kyle’s in the world… and all those searching for healing… may they find it through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May you be blessed today and every day.

SB

Tunnel

I fumble through the darkness

Toward the light that now I see

Getting closer by the day,

Thankful, Lord, for Thee

I feel the evil presence

of the past I leave behind

Reminding of my failures,

Bringing every one to mind

Demons beckon backward

To darkness filled with loss

But I must continue forward

In my journey toward the Cross

I see the light before me

And all it represents

The new life I can have

If only I repent

Give me courage, Lord, to follow

Leaving demons far behind,

Enjoy new life You have promised

Renewing of my mind

This tunnel’s not so scary

Now that I can see the Light

I pray I will continue,

Seeking wisdom, God, and might

Guide me and protect me, Lord,

Forgive me when I doubt

Love me when I stumble

Help me find my way out

Onward toward the cross I go

To the light that now I see

Keep me safe and guide me, Lord

For all eternity.

Blessed desperation

In my hopeless desperation

I thrust my face into my hands

Overwhelmed by life’s demands

Sinking in the sand

I could not feel the presence

Of the Father’s loving hand

Surrounding me in silence

Til I have the strength to stand

He’s patient til I remember

He is with me all the while

To guide me and direct me

As I go through countless trials

He brings to mind remembrance

As I face uncertain times

That He’s my loving Father

And I His blessed Child