Category Archives: God

New Look!

The site is getting a facelift…

…about time!

With some help from a Facebook friend, cropped-Mailchimp.1.pngNoelle Mena, I enjoy coming here once again! She was so incredibly helpful, and patient, and creative! I love the new look!

Only a few more steps to go, and the new CD campaign will be up and running on Kickstarter. I will keep you all posted and thank you in advance for your help! This has been a dream for quite a long time…30 years!

Songs to sing and music to play

It’s gonna be a wonderful day!

One more thing to say..

I’ll ask for you to pray!

Sharing with you the gift of music is coming to the forefront of my mind more and more. Since the magic age of 65 is right around the corner, I feel a push to get out the door and just do it! I have two ideas in mind. Both involve travel. Which I love to do.

First idea: A trip to play and share that would involve Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. I have friends and family in many cities, so a swing around that area would really be fun. To coordinate a time and set that up…welllllll….that’s on my to do list to figure out how to do a schedule like that! Anyone with experience, I’d accept the help gladly.

Second Idea: When I go to Ft. Wayne Indiana to record, I could do several stops, as well. My sister has one in the works in southeastern Nebraska. Going, or coming…would be great! Again, I do not know when this will be, but it’s floating around in my brain.

Third Idea: I know I only said I had two Ideas, but I just got another one! I’d like to go to Churches, and play…do spiritual meditations…talk…pray….on any topic….God will inspire us. So, any chances that could happen here in Kansas, or in connection with ideas #1 and #2 would be awesome.

That’s all for now. Have a great March!

Patrice

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Prison

“While I was in prison, you visited me.”
Dublin Prisonphoto © 2005 Tony Hisgett | more info (via: Wylio)

 

But I never did. I would drive by the correctional facility and not even think of who was there-or why-or their stories. I’d see the wild horse farm, and wonder about that a bit. But zoom on by to get to the mall-that’s what I did.

All that changed, and when I’ve been asked why I was there at the prison yesterday..except for God.

Inmates from another facility have an outreach program. Once a year for the last  4 years or so, a group of them from their Spiritual Life Center visit our Parish. They present, with skits, songs, and testimony, their stories to encourage all of us to not go down the paths they chose to follow. Recently, a gentleman from my Parish, has informed us that a dinner theater presented by the inmates, featuring the play Arsenic and Old Lace, was coming up soon. I thought about this, but have not arranged to go.

Several weeks ago, an elderly lady from my Parish told me about a visit she made to that same facility. She was touched by the gentleness of the inmate assigned to escort her around in a wheel chair. He would get down at eye level to talk to her. She noticed the eyes of the men upon her as they passed by….seeking a glance from her, hungrily, desiring recognition of them…I am a person…see me….! She told the young inmate that she appreciated his kindness, that she could see he had a good heart. She didn’t know what he’d done to get there, but she said she would pray for him every day. She asked him to pray for her, too. And he promised he would. When she returned home that evening, she told me she could not sleep. She kept seeing those boys…who’d made mistakes…and were sorry.

She opened the eyes to my heart…to see past the walls.
25 of 52photo © 2010 Mr Seb | more info (via: Wylio)

 

Then, thanks to Facebook, I spotted a link to the Spiritual Life Center in Hutchinson, KS. I followed their page for a while, and then decided perhaps I could volunteer to play the piano for them, which evolved into playing for Mass. I had to submit my information for a background check. Several weeks later, a date was set…a Thursday afternoon. Yesterday was the day.

I arrived early, found the gate house, where you check in. I had to wait quite a while for an officer to escort me in since I wasn’t an official volunteer yet…I did not have my own badge. As I waited, I watched staff, guards, and volunteers come and go in a steady pace. Eventually I was escorted in by the Chaplain. They are remodeling the auditorium for their Spiritual Life Center, so temporarily they have offices and meet for Mass in the educational area. I learned that the prison is like a city. It has it’s own hospital. The inmates have jobs there. Everything. Except freedom. Conciergerie Prisonphoto © 2006 MsAnthea | more info (via: Wylio)
The photo is similar to the open area we walked through…with pillars. No one was there..empty, even though there are 1800 inmates incarcerated in that place.

When we arrived to the room, several young inmates were preparing for Mass. The altar was being set up, chairs, missals passed out. When I arrived, they were confused for a while. I told them I had come to play for Mass, and I’ll never forget the expressions on their faces! These young men did everything they could to get the keyboard set up. They didn’t even know there was one! We had to tape it to a small table  to it wouldn’t tip over when I set the accompaniment books on the stand. They found the song books. I was told it was the first time anyone had ever played for their Mass.

I found out what songs they did sing, and chose Immaculate Mary for the entrance hymn and Amazing Grace for the closing. In addition we sang God Has Chosen Me for the preparation of the gifts and while they came forward for Communion, I sang, I Have Loved You. I offered to sing the Psalm and the Alleluia, as well.

I’m telling you, I’ve never been to a more reverent Mass. They were on their knees, on the floor. They sang. They prayed. They did the passing of the peace…did they ever! Everyone shook Everyone Else’s hand. I was told this was a miracle in itself, given the fact of gangs in the prison. True Peace was in that room.

Before we started, I asked if I could speak to the men. I was allowed to do so. I can’t tell you exactly what I said…but this is close. I was crying, and could barely speak. I told them that God had sent me to visit them. I had already been so touched by the faith of these men. I told them that we on the outside pass by and never think of them. They did not exist, for the most part, in my mind, anyway. I told them it was an honor to be there to worship with them. I told them about working in the pregnancy center for years, and that those girls had babies with men, men like them, perhaps. I told them, that if they were a daddy, to be a good daddy. And that the only way to learn that, was to let God be their Daddy, and learn from Him. I told them to please sing with me!

After the Mass, several of the men came to me to thank me for coming. I can’t put words to most of how I was feeling.

I will go back. It may not be every week, because of the distance and expense of getting there.

But, they are all my “boys” now. Just as the “girls” I dealt with at the center became close to me, so have these men.

I’ve been warned not to get too close. That prisoners are cons…they will tell you what you want to hear to get what they want to get.

Be that as it may, I received a gift yesterday..more brothers in the Lord. When we feel we are all alone, God is there with us.

Whether our path is inside the walls,Moon-Walk

or outside the walls,

we walk in Faith, together.photo © 2010 Hartwig HKD | more info (via: Wylio)
Amen.

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God Has Chosen Me

Goodness Golly!  For those of you a bit skeptical about the power of prayer, about the power of God to take the suffering you experience and change it into a beautiful and lovely Blessing….this one is for you!!

Sheila Wray-Gregoire has a ministry helping Christian women to build and develop their speaking ministries.

Shelly Brown

I was skimming the discussion board today, and found this prayer request from Shelly Brown. It was posted 3 months ago, so I asked for a report..so to speak. I know God is All-Knowing, but sometimes a little peek into how He actually operates in our lives is uplifting. A thank you to Lee Ann for praying. With Shelly’s permission, I present to you Shelly’s, “The Rest of the Story!” To you Shelly, I say, God Has Chosen YOU! which is one of my Favorite Songs!!

Shelly Brown
I’m speaking at a Ladies’ Retreat in Daytona Beach, Florida next weekend (Nov 5-6). For any who read this, will you pray with/for me? 

This will be my first “official” ministry opportunity (outside of my church and partnering with local friend’s churches) in over 2 years. What’s significant about that is, just over 2 years ago, through a series of very difficult circumstances, it seemed quite obvious to me that God was “freeing” me up to pursue my ladies’ speaking ministry on a full time basis. (I had been doing it part-time for about 5 years). Little did I know that not only was God not going to “burst open wide” my ministry, but it would become virtually non-existent. Even my part-time opportunities dried up. It was as if God put me on a shelf. It was hands-down, the most agonizing period of my adult life. Dealing with all the difficult circumstances while wondering how I had missed the mark by so much. Wondering at times how I could ever have thought that God would really use ME. Telling myself, “who do you think you are?” more times than I care to admit.

I spent those 2 years seeking God’s face like I’d never done before. I wrestled with Him and there were some days that the only prayer I could muster was Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.” Finally … God brought me to a place I never expected in a million years … and now it all began to make sense as to why He put me on a shelf …

He put me on a shelf so that (when I was ready), He could empty me of myself and pour all of Himself into me, so that the story of my life that I had shared dozens and dozens of times, would no longer be “my” story, but His story. (Example: when I lost my mom at 5 years of age, I was told to stop crying and talking about her and was disciplined if I was caught crying or talking about her. So … here I am, 42 years old and I had never grieved my mom’s death). I had so much brokenness in my life that I had no idea existed. I really thought I had it all together. I handled my past with great ease. But, apparently God wanted me to deal with all this brokenness as the Holy Spirit brought it to light in my life. And putting me on a shelf was what He needed to do to get me to come into His healing presence. He brought me to the end of myself, and now, it’s HIS powerful story.

And … I share all of this with you so that you can pray more effectively as next weekend is the first time I’ll be sharing my story (God’s story) from an entirely different dimension than ever before. My prayer is that not one woman leaves that retreat the same as when she arrived, that God would transform hearts and minds and that they will never be the same again.

Sorry to have been so lengthy, but THANK YOU for taking a few seconds to lift me up …

Thank you!
Shelly Brown 
www.shellybrown.com

Lee Ann Gardin Wofford
Oh Shelly–I will be praying for you!! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us! What a wonderful illustration of just how good our God is! He is so wonderful to take all of us and all of “our stuff” and gently pry our hands and hearts open until we relinquish all of it to him…and then it becomes his stuff! 

I will be praying!

Lee Ann

Shelly Brown
Thank you SO much Lee Ann. 😉
Sheila Wray Gregoire’s Speaker Training
Shelly, I’ll add you to the prayer list for this week!
Shelly Brown
Thank you Sheila!
Patrice Egging
I just found this. How was your speaking engagement, Shelly? Share a God Story, if you would, please?
When God leads us to the desert, He has plans. I just pray that we all learn at that moment, and not despair and say “Enough, God! No More!”
Blessings..
Patrice
Shelly Brown
Hi Patrice!
Thank you SO much for asking and boy do I have some God stories! I’ll share a brief one with you … 

During my 2nd main session message I shared the process that God took me through to forgive my adopted mom, Brenda. She chose me to be her daughter when I was 7 years old, only to reject and abuse me for the next 5 years of my life. I shared the process of how through intensive prayer, I released Brenda from any judgment I’ve held over her throughout the years and forgave her for the insurmountable pain that she inflicted on my life. I shared how at the very moment I released her, God redeemed that area of my life (freeing me) as I realized that Jesus didn’t just die for me, and Jesus didn’t just love me. He died for Brenda and He loves her just as much as He loves me. As Lewis Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.” Then …

Before moving onto the next part of my message, I asked this question to the ladies, “Do you have a Brenda in your life? Someone you need to release and forgive?”

After the session one of the Retreat Organizers walked up to me with tears streaming down her face. She went on to describe some horrible events from the last 2 years and how she had been betrayed and used. She said, “Every day I become more bitter and angry at her.” And then she said, “Guess what her name is? Her name is Brenda. YES! I have a Brenda in my life that I have to release and forgive.”

Anyway … thanks again for asking Patrice. I love sharing God stories! 😉 After all, it is all about Him and Him alone.

Many blessings to you!
Shelly

Patrice Egging
That God of Ours!!! He is so sneaky! To have you, your message, in the right place and the right time to heal one particular person so dramatically! Can I share this??? It is all so awesome and so HIM!!
Shelly Brown
Wonderfully sneaky indeed! 😉 Absolutely, feel free to share. ;-))
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Spiritual Gifts

I personally think there is some confusion concerning spiritual gifts…what they are and whether or not we should have them. Earlier in my life, at least, all this was a real mystery and a topic not really discussed. I believed in God and Jesus and could sing “Jesus Loves Me” from a very early age. But the Holy Spirit was not real..not really.

A “gift” was something more easily connected to Santa Claus.

I had a dream recently that was rather humorous.  But I knew it had something to do with the Holy Spirit and His gifts so I remembered this dream, which rarely happens. Here’s the dream.

Santa and his helpers were busy loading the sleigh with gifts. There among the helpers was a son-in-law of a friend of mine. The friend is a rather ornery guy, outspoken, but has a generous spirit. His son-in-law was taking the gifts and changing all of the name tags to his father-in-law’s name. That’s the dream.

I KNEW there was a message there. I could not quite make the connection. My friend Marsha helped me to connect the dots.

God (Santa) is the giver of all gifts.

He gave us the Best Gift, Jesus.

The Holy Spirit (the son-in-law) is also a gift, from God and Jesus. The Holy Spirit continues to give us gifts.

I am wondering why the name tags were being changed…. (I know, it’s just a dream..but I can wonder)

God offers us ALL the whole list of spiritual gifts..but we have to ask.   Have you made a list of gifts you’d like to receive from God? From the Holy Spirit?

Ask and it will be given to you….Matthew 7:7-11

Another consideration: are we naughty or nice? We need to be “nice”, to be in communion with God, to be following His ways, or the spiritual life will not be there for us. We cut it off ourselves. We choose to turn away from God and His gifts. James has a lot to say about this in Chapter 4. We should not presume we will get any gifts.

Perhaps the name tags were being changed….to give more to the one using the gifts (talents) to help the poor and not burying them in the sand. Matthew 25:14-46

This New Year brings many new days …offering many opportunities to

ask

receive

use

the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

Lord, I pray for your Gifts. I pray that I use them for Your Glory, to bring forth Your Kingdom.

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Side-tracked from Worry

ShareNews for the Day… New photos for the blog. My daughter took some photos and I did some Photo Shop experimenting. Playing the piano, with the grandchildren around is always exciting. I had to crop and do some other things that I can’t remember what they are called…oh, yeah. One was a clone tool. That’s… Continue Reading

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