Monday, March 22, 2010

God is There


"When times are scary, God is there.

When life's uncertain, God is there.

When nightmares are true, God is there.

When there's hurt and pain, God is there.

When there's no control, God is there.

It is good to know: God is there."

By Taylor Garms, March 21st, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Little Girl's Way

Walking outside with "Pink Journal" in hand, I planned to unload millions of thoughts on a variety of subjects. I headed over to the "Jumping Logs" near our firepit and straddled one of the remaining trunks, opening my journal. I had already written down a verse from Isaiah 26:12, "Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also wrought all our works in us." (KJV) (In the ESV, this verse says, "O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.") I was thinking about peace, especially in light of trials we conforted this afternoon, and preparing to write about peace when I looked toward our neighbors' house.

There they were, our new neighbors, walking slowly along the edge of their acreage, spending a Sunday afternoon together. Daddy, mommy, child, and new baby. I was stuck at how peaceful and content they seemed, just strolling in the fields together as a family. I proceeded to write a journalistic observation about them, testing my writing skills, and then wrote a comparision of their family and ours. I determined that though we aren't nessessarily the most peaceful at the moment, we still are a family and willing to go through thick and then with each other. We still love each other.

During my writing fury, I lifted my eyes again toward the family across the acres and found an interesting scene before me. The daddy stood amongst the trees, hands outstretched, calling to his little girl who stood reluctantly by the house. He motioned, beckoning. The girl stayed, perhaps with a pout on her face (I was too far away to tell). Finally, after a while, the child toddled over to her daddy and the family continued walking.

I smiled, seeing myself in that little girl.

I wrote in my journal:
"What a picture of my Heavenly Father and I! I, the little girl, often lag behind and wander away from God, Who wants to bring me all the good things He has in store for my life. I think I know best, what will make me happy. I don't believe God will satisfy me more than my ways and 'idols.' But God beckons, calls..."

How often I have missed what God has for me and ignored what He wants me to do. I don't have the "faithsight" to see what's ahead, so I must trust God knows the way. How often have I failed the testing of my faith under temptation and trial! I stand, in the mire of my sin, stubbornly refusing to follow God all the way. Yet He still calls.

Our pastor once described sin this way: "Sin is like a nice warm, blanket on a cold, rainy day." Who wants to leave the comfort of a cozy fleece throw to step outside into the uncertainty of a dismal day? But God has a better plan, He knows the better way. Yes, the rain is wet and sometimes miserable, but it makes the flowers grow. Without it, spring would never fully come.

It's time to stop standing and start running toward God's outstretched hands. Leave the blanket behind and tear off down the road. Let's not mind if we get a little wet or even if we get soaked. The flowers will grow and the Son will shine.

"...let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." (Hebrews 12:1b)

Are you still standing in your own path? Are you trapped under a blanket of sin? Let's give our way up to God and follow Him, for He has the better way.

He knows me. I trust Him.


P.S. Visit and for new and update changes!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Day Done: My Weakness/His Strength

Good Evening!

I don't have much time to write, but let's say...Nebraska is interesting! It is almost 1:00 in the morning and the long day is done. Two concerts, lots of kids, yummy foods, tired eyes, and blessings beyond measure sum up March 12th, 2010.

There are so many stories to tell, but I do have to get some sleep. Tomorrow we get to snooze the morning away and (kind of) relax for (most) of Saturday. God has been so good and is using us to bless and encourage the body of Christ. It is one of the most fullfilling feelings in the world to know the Lord is working through you in mighty ways. Usually I pray for people who attend our concerts before we actually and during, but today I have found myself praying constantly for all who heard the music and message. We bear a heavy testimony to the Lord's work in our lives and most will not leave our concerts without considering deeply what they have seen or heard.

I pray, first of all, everyone would be uplifted and blessed by the fun and positive music; that people would leave with a song in their heart and a spring in their step. I pray our family would have encouraged people by the smiles on our faces and togetherness, giving testimony to the wonderful work of our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives. I pray God would use His Word and Dad's message to draw hearts closer to Him and to convict people of areas in their lives that need spiritual adjustment.

I know I felt very "weak" today, especially during our second concert. I am comforted, though, because when I am weak, God is strong, and His strength is made known through weakness.

One of my favorite sayings is: "There is no testimony without a test, and no message without a mess." How true! I know it has been tough for our family as we undergo trials of many kinds, but I know God will use these experiences, these weak spots, for our good and to hopefully encourage others as well.

Be inspired. God is working all things for the good of those who love Him. He will shine through your weakness and let His glory radiate through your life. Keep on keeping on. Always have a song. You can sing the old hymn "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" with confidence: "I am weak, but Thou art strong/Jesus, keep me from all wrong/I'll be satisfied as long/As I walk, dear Lord, close to Thee."

Ya'll have a good night. I have added a quick video of our family setting up last night in the gym of Trinity Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE. Enjoy it!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Notes from the Journey: Forgiveness

NOTE: We are now safely in Nebraska, so thanks be to God!

Hey Friends!

As I write this, we are crusing toward Lincoln, NE all snug in our cozy van. We are surrounded by a thick fog as we drive through the flat land of Iowa. This my dad's home state, so this is my heritage. Farm land, corn, and ice cream (Blue Bunny ice cream is made here in Iowa)!

Thanks for your prayers. So far our trip has been safe and peaceful, except for the hail storm in Minnesota (read my article about shelter at my family's blog). We are pretty healthy, still mending though. Mal is taken care of, so are the cats, at home.

I always pack WAY too much stuff to do on the trip! Oh well. At least I can't complain of being bored! I have spent most of the day reading, looking out the window, and doing computer stuff. The book I have started reading is "Mountains of Spices," sequel to "Hind's Feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard. I loved the first book and I enjoying the second one. You find yourself relating to Much-Afraid/Grace and Glory throughout her journey with the Shepherd. You also cannot help wondering what your name would be if you were placed in Hunard's allegory.

As I read the story of Grace and Glory's relationship with the Shepherd, I can't help but long for a better relationship with my Lord and Savior. I want to grasp hold of the forgiveness offered to me, but I feel so underserving of His love and grace. How can such a holy God want me, a stumbling sinner bound to fall again, for His own child?

I remember a while ago I had not honored my mom and felt pretty rotten about my actions and words. I spent the evening trying to avoid anyone because of my guilt. Sitting in the library on the couch all by myself, I was full of shame. Mom called from the family room, inviting me to join the family. As I grudgingly entered the room, Mom said some kind comments to me, nothing about the situation an hour or so before, no hint of anger in her tone. I almost burst into tears. How could she speak so nicely to me? I didn't deserve to even be in the room!

I shared my disbelief and unworthiness with her and us older ones discussed the subject of forgiveness for a while. Whenever I have done something wrong, I have thought I become unlovable. But Mom shared that nothing I would do can take away her love for me. I haven't understand the unconditional love that my family has for me. But I am beginning to see the depth of their love and God's love. I just need to say to myself, "I am loved. God loves me. My family loves me."

In Isaiah 43, I am reminded of God's love and care for me through verses 1-3:

"But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
And again, the Lord says specifically in verse 4, " are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you..."

Dear Lord, help me to fall into Your tender arms of love and grace and rest in the peace found in You. Take my shame and throw it into the sea of forgetfulness. Immerse me the well of forgiveness and drench me in showers of mercy. Cleanse me from the sin that so easiy entangles and give me a single heart. Thank You for all You have done for me and enable to accept Your all-surpassing love. Amen.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Great Adventure Ministry Update: Prayer Requests

March 5th, 2010 - From the Garms' computer desk
Dear Friends,
How quickly March has come upon us!  With the snow melting in the front
yard and the sound of birds outside, spring is just around the corner.
With March has come a wonderful opportunity for the Great Adventure
Gospel Band: a trip to Nebraska!  Our friends, Merv and Melanie
Dehning, have invited our band to minister in the Corn Husker State and
we are very excited to share our music down there.  We will be
leaving the morning of March 11th for Lincoln, NE and hopefully arrive
late in the afternoon.  We will sing at Trinity Lutheran School on
Friday morning and then at Messiah Lutheran School at 2:00 p.m.  After
losing another hour of sleep with the time change, Sunday finds us
singing for two worship services at Trinity Lutheran Church and
providing a family concert between services.  Then we'll head home to
Minnesota. How
As we look forward to this journey, we ask for your support and prayers: 
* First, pray for a safe trip for our family.  Ask for peace, patience,
and protection as we make our way to Lincoln.  Pray for good weather,
good roads, and wisdom for Dad as he drives the van and trailer. 

* Second, pray for Mal (
and his safety here in Minnesota.  Pray we would be able to find
someone to check in with him while we are gone.

* Third, pray for quick healing and a speedy recovery from colds and
fevers that have affected our family, especially the younger three and
our lead singer, Leesha.  Pray for strong voices and able bodies
to accomplish what the Lord has given us to do.

* Fourth, pray for the Lord's message to touch the hearts of those who
hear our music and words.  Pray we would be ambassadors (Ephesians
6:19-20) for Jesus Christ and we would be light in a dark world
(Matthew 5:14-16).

* Fifth, pray for our spiritual and physical protection as we have been
undergoing intense and horrific trials in our life as a family and
individually.  Pray we would be protected from Satan (1st Peter
5:8) and nothing would come to us that wasn't intended for our
journey.  Ask God to give us strength and hope to keep going on. 

Let me share with you some verses from 1st Peter, chapter 5, that are
very comforting during this time in our lives:  
"Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in
your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being
experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you
have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you
to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm,
strengthen, and establish you.  To Him be the dominion forever and
ever.  Amen."  (1st Peter 5:8-11 ESV)

What a comforting passage!  I pray it strengthens you as much as it
brings hope to us.
Thank you for your friendship and support in the Lord.  We know God has
given us the best "pit crew" ever through you and we thank God for you.
We'll keep you updated and let you know the praise reports!
Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for the Garms Crew
Great Adventure Gospel Band  
P.S.  Be sure to check out all the new concerts
( ahead for Great
Adventure!  Also, visit our Photo Album
( page to view some of
our most recent "scrapbook" editions!