Thursday, November 27, 2008

Backseat on the Bus: Serving and Sacrificing

On each "Backseat on the Bus" blog, I will write about our family's journeys and learning experiences as the Great Adventure Gospel Band.


Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a singer.

I grew up listening to Christian contemporary music and dreaming of microphones and radio singles. As the years have gone by and musical abilities have flourished, the dream of becoming a "singer" has become true. Our family has started a music group with its own instruments and sound system, and we have begun singing at some venues over the course of the year.
But I wasn't born a singer.

My parents have been blessed with wonderful music abilities: my mom has a beautiful alto voice-right on pitch usually-and my dad sings and plays guitar extremely well. My brother Ben was in the Minnesota Boychoir for several years, and my older sister sang a few solos in church and had been playing violin. But I was not gifted with an ear for the correct pitch when I was a child. Let me give an example: one day I was singing to the radio in my room when Mom walked by. She called my dad over to listen. After listening a while, Mom and Dad looked at each other and said,"Oh dear, let's hope she doesn't want to become a singer; this girl can't sing." You see, I could not carry a melody and sing the tune as it was being sung. Now of course, I did not realize this and continued to sing.

Our family particpated in our first jam this summer.


Over the last year or so, God has, well, opened up my ears to music. I now can sing pretty much on the correct pitch-though this is hard to do-and I have learned several instruments.

It is a blessing to be able to sing as a family! Leesha, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb (my younger siblings) have wonderful voices and can sing on pitch pretty well, we all play instruments, and there is nothing that beats the family harmony.

But being a minister of music, so to speak, is not easy. Ministering through music requires time and energy. You must be devoted to your work or you will not succeed in anything. This is true in music. First we have to practice, practice, practice to create a song that is pleasing to the ear, to keep our voices and playing warmed up, and to keep ourselves familiar with all our songs. Generally before a concert, we try to practice every night of the previous week to keep in top shape. Of course this is time-consuming and we sacrifice numerous things to accomplish this practicing. Second, ministering at concerts can be wearisome. To be honest with you, although it is fun to travel and sing, this often leaves our family worn out. We arrive, we set up, we sing, we listen and talk, we tear down, and we leave.

The Garms family at King of Glory Lutheran in MN, October 2008

Music ministry is a serving ministry: you really don't get a lot for yourself, you give a lot to others. It is our purpose to encourage people and to minister to them through music and message. I enjoy listening and talking to new people (even though I am sometimes shy) and it is great to hear that the Lord has used us for His work. Those families and individuals out there who minister through music know exactly what I'm talking about.
It is a blessing to be an ambassador for Christ through Great Adventure Gospel Band; I hope you didn't get the impression I don't love this ministry, I do! I'm just sharing some of the unique struggles of this calling. If you know of any singers ministering in your community, don't forget to thank them for what they do and keep them in your prayers: Satan tries to dicourage those doing the work of Christ and all ministers need the support of fellow Christians.

Thank you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving?

How this year has flown by! I never cease to be amazed at how swiftly the time slips through my fingers. There never seems to be enough time in the day, yet I have the same hours that Thomas Edison, Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein and others had. What good spenders of their time!

Anyway, Thanksgiving is upon us (we may even have snow for the holiday)-that means there is much cleaning to be done around the house and food preparation to be completed before the 27th. It will be a busy weekend for our family. Thanksgiving we are having my grandma and aunt and her family over, then on Friday comes decorating for Christmas, and on Saturday we sing for at a Christmas Tea in Crown, MN. Full weekend! Oh yes, we also need to clean our church sometime then and squeeze some practice in some where, plus showers and getting ready. I don't mean to burden you, but it's reality for our family. Hopefully next week will be a bit more laid-back. :)

I should concentrate on the good things this weekend.

First, I am grateful that we have a home to prepare nd decorate for guests to come over, that we have family to invite and share good company with, that we'll have good food. What a honor it is to be asked to sing for an event and what a witnessing opportunity our family has! It is wonderful to be in a musical family and to encourage people through our music and message. It is exciting to hear people say that the Lord has blessed them through us. I am thankful that I can learn to be grateful now instead of when it's too late to be grateful for what I had.

I really must be signing off for the night. I hope to post more soon about life in a singing family and what I have been learning over the past weeks. Please check back soon!

Blessings, and be ye thankful!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

No, I have not caught the Asian flu, I've just been tagged by Miss Kathryn and R.J. TWICE TAGGED! It must mean I pretty popular! :)

According to the rules, I have to list six random things about myself.

Here I go!
  1. I have blonde hair and blue eyes, but I am not 5 feet 2 inches. Last we measured everyone I believe I was 5 feet 6 inches (with a brother over six feet tall, you should expect great height in my family!).
  2. I love Southern Gospel Music! On Saturday afternoons, I listen (when I can)to my favorite program called the Gospel Greats with Paul Heil, I possess numerous SGM CDs and I hope to grow that collection, my favorite periodical is THE SINGING NEWS which is devoted to you see, I'm hooked!
  3. My most common hairstyle is a ponytail, but I working on leaving my hair down or in a clip (as my hair is damaged from too many ponytails). I also just recently got my hair layered (but not very noticeably layered).
  4. I love words! I enjoy writing poetry, stories, articles, blogs, songs-you name it! My favorite subjects in school are related to words and grammer. I would find reading a dictionary enjoyable, I just haven't done it yet.
  5. I am very goofy and silly. I label myself "crazy," but in a good sense. I have been known to chew on metal pans and break my teeth on them (this happened when I was 15), take bites out of raw onions (and survive!), be ridiculous in front of guests and family, tell corny jokes, etc., etc. Bad reputation!
  6. I give lengthy answers to questions that deserve brief replies. Oh dear!

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Write six random things about yourself.

4. Tag sixish people at the end of your post.

5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Here is who I tag:

Joy in the Journey

Grace Notes

The Hope Chest

Among the Flowers

and as soon as I find some more blogs I enjoy reading, I will add them!

In His Love,

Miss Taylor

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Surrendering My All

Perhaps you'll recognize these words:
"All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all. All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender, humbly at His feet I bow; worldly pleasures all forsaken, take me Jesus take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender, Lord I give myself to thee; fill me with Thy love and power, let Thy blessing fall on me."

These are the words of my favorite hymn: "I Surrender All".

On this blog, I desire to share how God continues to lead me onto His path and into His ways. It is not easy to follow Jesus; I intend to share my struggles and how God draws me closer to Himself through them.
We all must learn to surrender our all to Him who gave HIS all for us.

I surrender all, I surrender all. All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.