My First Sermon

Written October 22, 2012

It was a lovely Sabbath afternoon. My brother and I were out hiking with some church friends in the beautiful Oregon countryside. Most of the group was enjoying the walk and scenery with Mrs. Witcombe, our Pastor’s wife, but Jonathon and I had opted for walking faster and enjoying pleasant conversation with the Pastor. Pastor Witcombe decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to stop and rest awhile so that the rest of the group could catch up a bit. Well, as we stood there Pastor mentioned that he would like Jonathon to do a sermon at our church sometime. This was an okay conversation–I agreed, he should! As the group caught up that specific subject was dropped, but as we started walking again Pastor said “You should do it too, Samantha!” Ummm…bad turn of events! In my mind, I was thinking “NO WAY!”

Fast forward about a year. I’m spending time on my knees Sabbath morning, my 16th birthday. This really is a long story, but I’ll summarize it for you. (Watch the video linked to at the end of this post for the whole story. 😉 ) For a couple years now I’ve struggled with the subject of music. This specific morning I’d been battling with God as He prompted me to destroy the last bits of it that were still in my life. When, at last, I surrendered I was at such peace that I told God that there was nothing that could keep me from sharing it. Ummm…remember the story this post started with???

So, I gave in and wrote my first sermon. After a couple weeks of “Am I sure I want to do this???” I wrote an email to my Pastor asking if he still wanted me to do that. Silly question. His response? “Yes indeed!” 🙂

He got me put into the schedule and last week I shared my first sermon. I was nervous at first, but by the time I stood up-God had put His peace in my heart. He always blesses when we submit our lives to Him and follow His guidance! What an awesome God we serve!

If you’re interested in listening to the message, it’s on YouTube.

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An exciting new DVD series!

For the last couple years Shepherd’s Call Ministry has been working on producing a DVD seminar entitled “The Distraction Dilemma”…and for the last year and a half I’ve been eagerly awaiting, and praying for, it’s success! 🙂

Here’s a basic outline of the story as I know it…

In November of 2010 I attended the seminar which was first put on and recorded in Grants Pass, Oregon.  Well, I thought it was awesome (it was also the first time I’d seen the Berdahl’s or even heard of Shepherd’s Call) so I found them online, signed up for their free message of the month CDs (more like message of the 6 months LOL), and also found Christian on FB.  If all went as planned the DVDs would be available somewhere near the beginning of 2011…If all goes well…

I’m not sure when and I’m not even sure where, but at some point I heard from Christian that the video footage was not high enough quality or the audio was not lining up with the picture (I’m not too media savvy, I just watch it so I’m not sure which).  Anyway, the footage was not going to work and so the seminar would have to be re-taped.  I think we were all disappointed…I know Christian, his family, and many others were!

Well, the devil might be able to delay God’s work-but he certainly can’t stop it!  In October 2011 (I think-maybe Nov.) the seminar was re-taped in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Three Angels Seventh-day Adventist church.  And another thing: the Refiner’s fire only purifies us (and apparently seminars)!  Having already presented the seminar Christian was able to get feedback on it and ask what should be added or taken out to make it even better!

The night that the seminar was to start-and be broadcasted via live-stream to as many as would watch-they were having difficulty, upon difficulty, upon difficulty!  The live-stream wasn’t working properly and Christian is the main guy in most of SCM’s media adventures (I believe)–so I was rather amazed at his “cool, calm and collected” attitude when he finally got started at the advertised time!  This time the DVDs would be released near the beginning of 2012…If all went well…

Praise God!   Even though the devil got his way once he didn’t get it twice!! The DVDs are now available on the Shepherd’s Call Ministry website and as far as I can see they are awesome! (I haven’t watched them all yet…)

The seminar is all about music–its impact on our minds, characters, and future. Here are the links to a couple YouTube videos to explain them a bit better (since Christian knows about it better than I do 😉 ): Distraction Dilemma Promo Short, Distraction Dilemma Promo W/Testimonies, and the Distraction Dilemma Preview.

I’m so excited I just HAD to share! 🙂  May God bless and keep you!

–Samantha

P.S. If you’ve read the other posts on my blog you might remember that I wrote in another post that I might later write about “the Autumn in which I learned the answer to many of the “why” questions about music”…This is the seminar that answered those questions. I challenge you to consider buying the DVDs and watch them all the way through even if you don’t have music questions–the topics are interesting and Christian is an energetic and captivating speaker! You’re bound to learn something new! 🙂 And when you do…

…Why not share what you learn with me?  I love to get feedback in the comments!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Arranged

My personal favorite (which also seems to be a favorite with my family) of the songs I've written--"Heaven's Majesty"...

I have to say that as soon as I saw the topic of this week’s photo challenge I immediately thought of the struggle of figuring out a nice arrangement for accompaniment music for songs I’ve written.  I finally figured out an arrangement that I like for “Heaven’s Majesty” a song that talks about our wonderful Savior, who was indeed, Heaven’s Majesty!  The music will include violin, piano, and flute…(I don’t have a clue about the flute arrangements-Jonathon plays by ear and all I know is that it sounds very pretty!) 🙂

My next job is to figure out the copyright laws, something I was hoping would never come…Anyway, maybe I’ll be able to share some of my music online soon. That would be awesome! (Or so I say…) 😉

Favorite Music Genres and Performers

Having a musical blog I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to write a post about music! Would it? 🙂

I’ve always loved music-at least for as long as I can remember.  Even when I was quite young I loved to record cassette tapes of my singing and sometimes playing silly “instruments” of rubber-bands pulled over cups (or banging on my little sister’s musical toys).  I still have a tape of songs that I made up as I sang them-I was pretty good with rhymes!

Practicing my violin-Jonathon took this picture

I LOVE music!

Obviously I don’t still play rubber-band covered cups or toddler’s toys, but I still love music. (I just play more grown-up style instruments…)  Still, rather than sing or play sometimes in my busy life it’s easier to simply listen to someone else’s music (I’m still not sure how anyone could enjoy listening to themselves…). I own an MP3 player like many people do these days, and it is filled with LOTS of music. Just to give you an idea of the music I love–music like: Christian Berdahl’s albums (The Narrow Way and A Vision of Heaven), Sarah Draget (Last Chance), Sean Nebblett (My Prayer), The Nebblett Family (To Live is Christ), Fernando Ortega (Hymns and Meditations), Valley View Quartet (Homesick for Heaven), Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”, Fur Elise, and other misc. songs.   I try to make sure that the music I listen to is uplifting and follows my music convictions. (That’s a whole other post if I ever get to it–maybe some day I’ll write about the Autumn in which I learned the answer to many of the “why” questions about music. If you ask me to I’ll try to write it out…If nobody does then I might get to it someday. 🙂 ) I enjoy music from lots of different genres. My favorites are bluegrass and country but it’s hard to find music in those styles that I’d be okay with listening to. 😦

At other times it really doesn’t matter if you’re busy.  It doesn’t seem to matter what time it is. Or if you should have been sleeping 3 hours ago (or for another 3 hours).  There are times when I have a song or poem ringing in my head and all I can think about is putting it on paper.

Maybe I ought to share one of the songs I’ve written…someday.

But for now I’m not sure if I want to. I don’t want to lose the opportunity to officially copyright them (though I do own the copyright to everything in this blog-it’s unofficial.)

So now you know what music I listen to, I’m interested in what music you listen to!

What genre (style) of music do you enjoy? 

Do you have any specific singers or instrumentalists that you really like?

I’d love to hear your answers in the comments!