Saturday, January 16, 2016

Looking Ahead

Dear Reader,

I wish that you could come spend time in my cozy living room at this moment. My house is so warm and inviting, I just made coffee (thank you Carolyn and Jimmy for the Beehouse! It has changed my life), and it's quietly snowing outside. One step out of my door and I think I'm living in fairy land :)  What a week this has been! Monday marked the first day of classes, post-Christmas. Seeing the students again was great, although they weren't so excited to be back in class. We have one more day of class, then four days of exams, and then at last we get to start a whole new semester. I'm anticipating a lot of things in the coming weeks, including more piano class students, even more private lessons tackling challenging repertoire, and playing the piano to perform and accompany more than ever. I'm also looking forward to sweet times with my small group girls - they make me laugh!

That being said, I'm sad to end this term with the students I've been privileged to teach. In both Piano 2 and Music Appreciation, the students I get to interact with a bright and eager to tackle whatever I put before them. Piano 2 is just about ready to give a final performance and presentation, and Music Appreciation is talking brilliantly about music from Bach to Brahms to Schoenberg. The amount of growth that can happen in four months never ceases to amaze me.  I'm inspired by their perspectives, determination, and steady work ethic, and I learn from the way they think. Thanks, guys for an amazing semester!

Most of all, I want to dive deeper into the Word. In order to love well, I need to remain close to the One Who loves me. The reality that God is always at work, in and around me, has been made very clear to me in the last month or so. He continues to manifest Himself in conversations, relationships, and quiet time delving into His Word and talking to Him. I am so quick to believe things that are not true, in spite of the command to "think on things that are true."  So much is changing in the world. Each day, new unfamiliar faces appear in Kandern. Some are passing through, some stay. All are seeking refuge. Many people from our community are involved efforts that reach out to refugees. It is easy to hide behind my fear. But I am not called to fear. We are to be strong and courageous. We cannot always choose who we encounter in a day, but we can choose to love them and show them Christ. What are we to do in a world where change, fear, and so many other unknowns are facts of life? I would ask, on what are we allowing our minds to dwell? Where do our thoughts go while we are walking or driving through our busy lives? Dear friends, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear brings insecurity, rather than trust in the reality of God's sovereignty. But when I continually recall to my mind the truth that God is bigger, stronger, and more powerful than any of the chaos in me and around me, my heart becomes fixed on Him. He is our Rock, our Shield, our Defender, our Stronghold. The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6). May we not walk in fear, but with confidence in the One Who holds all things in His hands.

Thank you for checking in and allowing me to share my thoughts with you! I am so grateful for so many of you who are faithfully partnering with me in prayer and financial support. May God bless you richly for your help and love in my ministry here at BFA!

Blessings,

Lauren





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