It was a warm day in April of 2008 when I received an invitation to attend a Music workshop in Nashville, TN. I did not feel that I could afford to make the trip as it was over a thousand miles round trip, but felt that I was supposed to go nonetheless. So, long story short, I packed my car and took off through the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, just me and the Lord, and boy were those mountains beautiful.
I had previously lived in Nashville, TN for a few years and was excited to be returning after being gone for close to 20 years. When I arrived, I got settled in my hotel room and then set out to find Belmont College. I thought I remembered it being close to where I used to live and sure enough, it was right where I remembered it being. I drove down 16th Avenue (Music Row) and stopped at the Brown Stone where I used to live. As I stood in the courtyard, I could see Belmont College at the end of the street. Realizing that I was back, standing in the very same place where I once lived and served the Devil by drinking, taking drugs and living a life of promiscuity, only now, to be there serving my Lord!! This was a time of special communion between my Savior and me!! I was in great awe of how I had come full circle!!! God is AMAZING and full of MERCY!!!
I attended Seminars from 8:00 am the next morning until 6:00 pm that evening. The day was wonderful. There were about 50 people like myself there who were eager to soak up all the information that was about to be provided for us. There were many people in the Christian Music Industry who were there to share their experiences as well as tools to further our service to the Lord through music. It was a wonderful experience and I am so glad that I followed through by going. There were a few people who could not believe that I was going to take the trip alone and if I had given in to the fear they were projecting, I would have stayed at home and missed several blessings.
I especially enjoyed driving back through the mountains because it was downhill all the way and it was so much fun driving my little car (2006 SCION XB). I didn’t have to hit my brakes not even once!!!! It was like being on a ride at an amusement park!!!!
Upon returning home, I started to put the tools I had learned into motion. I started surfing the net to find Independent Radio stations. I would listen to each station to determine if they were playing my style of music or not. This way, I would know whether to contact them about airing my CD. I would always listen to one station while searching for other stations, when lo-and-behold, this song started to play on this radio station out of Washington State. I fell back in my chair and, wouldn’t you know it, it was this woman I had been searching for since my mama went to be with the Lord back in 1998! Someone had given me a copy of her music and it had been such a blessing to me during my mama’s last days. Her music had inspired me in such a way that I felt the presence of my Lord envelope me. I only had her first name and could not make out her last name on the cassette because my copy was so badly worn. I had almost given up hope that I would ever be able to get a fresh clean copy of her work. The Radio Station provided her name and her web site and now I have a wonderful, brand new CD that continues to this day to be an inspiration. Check her out at: http://www.loriwilke.com
The Title of the CD is “Here I Am”.
I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to go back to Nashville, for the realization of where I was, and where I am now, which was only made possible by His Marvelous Mercy and Grace. Also, that through this experience, He allowed me to find Lori Wilke, whose music had stirred my heart to the depth of my soul at a time when I was so weak and needed the strength of my Lord. Praise God From Whom ALL Blessings Flow!!!!!
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.