Sunday, April 22, 2007


I believe Jesus of Nazareth is the son of God. I believe He came to earth to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Through His death my debt of sin has been paid. Because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross I can have a relationship with God. I am born again, baptized into the Holy Spirit. My life is one of profound joy, hope, peace, and freedom.

There was a time when I chose to be a slave to things other than Jesus. All of that came to nothing as it brought an emptiness, loneliness and hopelessness that led to depression and suicide plans. Through repentance, the healing power of the Lord Jesus, and a full surrender of my life to Him, I have joy and healing. I have not suffered from depression or suicide thoughts for years; more than that, I have profound joy and hope beyond my wildest dream. My Lord Jesus looks after every detail of my life. That doesn’t mean there aren’t difficult things, but it does mean I never have to endure them alone and without hope.

How wonderful it is to have a Love that is not only worth dying for, but worth living for. Without God, I just occupy space. All I have and all I am belong to Him. I love Him with all my heart and am His to do with as He pleases.

May you run to Him and find the fullness of life you have longed for. No earthly food or pleasure satisfies the longing of the heart as does the Food and Water of the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise, honor and glory be to God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Source and the Fulfillment of all that has been and is to come.

So be it.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Parables in the Everyday

Two parables:

The first one came as I was observing a vocal teacher work with her student. The student had a vocal break through and made the most glorious sounds she has ever made. The teacher challenged the student to analyze the feeling so she could reproduce it. The student described the feeling as being completely out of control. The teacher responded instantly by saying, "That's exactly right. It's in trying to control the sound that we rob it of it's natural beauty. My job as a teacher is to help you to abandon control and free what is already there."

The Lord spoke to me. "Cheryl, this is what I am doing in you. I am freeing you to be what I have made you to be. Don't be afraid to abandon control. Trust me."

The second parable came as I was observing the same teacher work with a different singer. This singer was very advanced but having some new frustrations with vocal tension. The teacher quoted Pavarotti when he was asked how to handle vocal problems. Pavarotti said, "I go back to my very first singing lesson. Vocal problems can be solved by returning to the basics of singing."

The Lord spoke to me again.

Lord: Cheryl, this is for you. Remember the basics. What are they? Me: You love me. Lord: What does that love look like?" Me: Death, resurrection, victory. Lord: Yes, I love you; I died for you; I won for you. Your frustrations will dispel in the Truth of the basics.

I love that these 2 moments happened in the everyday. It was exactly what I needed to hear and He used my workplace to say it to me. Lord, make me more sensitive to you in the everyday; give me ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart of understanding.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Monarch and Thee Monarch

1John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

I have been contemplating fear in my life. What are my fears? What are the lies behind them and what are the Truths I need to abolish the fear? I've been taking my fears to the Lord in the form of questions. 'What if I get it wrong? What if I misunderstand you? What if I make a mistake?'
I was in one of these internal conversations when my eye wandered to an article by Randy Boswell in the National Post. Here is a small portion of the article:

A monarch butterfly, apparently blown thousands of kilometres off course during its fall migration from Canada to Mexico, has crossed the Atlantic Ocean and landed in the backyard green house of Britain's foremost lepidopterist.
The miracle monarch "flew into my garden last Friday," said Clive Farrell, founder of London's popular Butterfly House tourist attraction.
Described as being in "almost perfect"condition with only a slight tear to one wing, Mr. Farrell's guest is set to make entomological history.
It is believed Mr. Farrell's butterfly was part of a flock forced -- possibly by hurricane gusts --to make an exhausting, non-stop 5,000 kilometre transatlantic journey before finding a place to land.
The arrival and capture of the wayward monarch defies all odds and is a "one-in-50-year thrill"

I felt the Spirit of Jesus say to me, 'See what I did? I did it for you. I see the winds of the hurricane, the lack of food, the fatigue and the strain. Rest in me; do not be afraid and do not doubt me. I carried this butterfly through the winds of a hurricane, across a vast and dangerous ocean, and I placed him in the garden of a butterfly expert to feed and care for him. My eye is on the butterfly, how much more important are you to me than the butterfly.'
When I am afraid I will remember the monarch butterfly and The Monarch who carried him.

With skillful hands He led them. (Psalm 78:72)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weird Question for a Weird Job

There is one week left until my work schedule is back in full swing. It's the time of year I take a good look at my schedule and try to anticipate travel time between jobs, lunch breaks, coffee and basic needs.

The phone calls are flooding in and I evaluate what new stuff I want to take on and what old stuff needs to go. I also evaluate my fee schedule, my bills and how much I need to work to cover my expenses. Once these decisions are made I am stuck until the end of May.

As I am looking at my week days I catch myself asking how many consecutive hours can I realistically sit in a backless chair? Who asks themselves a question like this? Have you ever had to consider how many hours you can realistically sit in a backless chair? Let me tell you, this question is REALLY important.

I have endured 12 hour work days in a backless chair. If I have 2 of those days in a row I lose all the feeling in my hands and can't play without pain for days. The older I get, the less amount of consecutive hours I can spend in a backless chair.

I admit, sitting with my legs crossed at the piano probably puts undue pressure on my back. I like the feeling of being at home when I am at work; so I cross my legs. Pilates helps me compensate for my Glenn Gould posture. Even still...

How many consecutive hours could you sit in a backless chair?

Sunday, August 20, 2006


1994 began my 10 years of music ministry in the church. Most of those years were happy ones as my church was a place for healing and connecting with others who walked with God.

Spring of 2004, God began to awaken my creativity in a way that motivated me to work harder than ever. He expanded my accompanying jobs to include greater challenge and I learned to understand music deeper; I craved more.

Fall of 2004 the choir did a production of Handel’s ‘Messiah’. Rehearsals were unproductive; the choristers were undisciplined, unfocused, lazy and rude. They would talk through rehearsal and didn’t retain what was asked of them. Come performance time, I was so embarrassed for them and for me to be a part of such shoddy workmanship (and people paid admission!). My standard had changed and they were the same choir they had always been.

I was leaving rehearsals angry and knew that I needed some space to sort out my emotions before they escalated beyond my ability to blow off. I requested a sabbatical of 1 month after the annual Christmas production and was denied. My embarrassment and anger grew. I felt like I was being a fraud. I was offering something to the Lord that I was ashamed of and I had no control to change it. My attempts to sort it out were met with disdain; I was blown off as being moody and selfish (there's truth to that). Needless to say, by the time the end of the season arrived, my emotion and anger was beyond anything rational and I resigned my position of chorus accompanist.

My desire to participate in church anywhere was long gone. I didn’t have clarity about the correctness of my decision; I just knew I couldn’t commit to another year with my heart the way it was. I believed that I needed to be involved in service as part of the Body of Christ. I believed that God had gifted me musically to contribute to the Body of Christ. I was confused.

Fall of 2005 I asked God for permission to not attend church for a season. I felt His approval in my spirit with the condition that Sunday was His and I was to spend it with Him in solitude. OKAY!!! In addition, God opened up an opportunity with the Calgary Philharmonic to accompany their chorus. I auditioned and was offered the position on the spot. Every week I would go to CPO rehearsal and play the finest music history had to offer with the finest musicians in the city. The work ethic was in line with my own and they pushed me beyond what I believed myself capable.

My Sundays with God were amazing. He spoke to my heart; He gave me rest from a busy week and He taught me Himself. I learned what the word Sabbath meant and He revealed my inability to earn His love; I already had it. He blessed me at a time when I thought He would punish me. He loved me when I felt I was a disappointment to Him. He affirmed me when I felt I had failed Him. He taught me that He cared more about me than getting the job done.

Spring 2006 I found myself missing church. I attended a service and the music drove me nuts. I heard bad vowels and tuning; poor color choices and diction and on top of all that…it was amplified. There are some things I just don’t want to hear through a microphone! However, I knew in my spirit it was time for me to return; and I did return. I returned every Sunday just late enough to miss the music.

God has been convicting me of my anger towards the church. He never said they were right; He just said ‘forgive’. I have repented of my anger and continue to repent of my anger, a process I will continue until my anger is completely gone. I have asked Him to replace my anger with compassion and understanding, love and patience.

Today, I was on time for church. I didn’t love it, but I love the people. Yes, I am still distracted by wonky vowels and disparity in color, but it didn’t make me want to run out of the room screaming (progress!). The message was great and I was surrounded by people who loved God. I enjoyed their presence and I can honestly say that I love them. God is changing and healing my heart.

I do believe we, as the Body, have much work to do. I want to be beautiful for my Lord Jesus. I want Him to have the very best Bride. I have a longing for the Body to experience excellence. I long for the highest standard of music that was written by the Body of Christ, to be on display in the Body of Christ, for the Body of Christ. The finest music history has to offer came from the Body of Christ. I long to use my skill in the context it was designed for; I long to come home! I am home; but not all of me.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


May the Lord give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant ALL your requests. Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; He answers him from His holy heaven with the saving power of His right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
(Psalm 20:4-8)

Happy Birthday Mom.
I love you.

Friday, August 18, 2006


John, may your year be full of attentive, hard-working, cheerful, respectful teenagers; may those teenagers sing with greater accuracy and sense of pitch; may you be protected from the perpetual PITA; may you spoil your niece/nephew rotten; may you know love and hope and joy in a way that is new to you and may you be kissed by God.

Happy Birthday!
Love you!