Words of a Song

Often the words of a song are exactly what the heart needs to hear.  When I was still hurting from a bike accident three weeks later, these words of a chorus were wonderful to hear:

He knows my name.

He knows my every thought.

He sees each tear that falls

And hears me when I call.

–Francesca Battistelli

There are so many great choruses and hymns.  I’ve been writing many of the individual lyrics into my journals this year:

O God, our Help in ages past,

Our Hope for years to come.

Be Thou my Guide while life shall last

And our eternal Home

–Isaac Watts

What have I to dread?  What have I to fear?

Leaning on the everlasting arms!

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms!

–Elisha A. Hoffman

Israel’s strength and consolation,

Hope of all the earth Thou art.

Dear, desire of every nation,

Joy of every longing heart.

–Charles Wesley



Costa Rica

Our next stop on the cruise was beautiful Costa Rica.  We started the day with salmon eggs benedict on the ship and watched our arrival at Puerto Limon.

As we disembarked we could hear music off the deck of the boat, and it was a welcoming marimba duo that was wonderful!

Once again, we had a driver to take us to various places for the day and he was very nice and helpful in many ways.

First we went snorkeling and saw some wonderful fish and corral.

Before leaving the area, Oscar pointed out a sloth in the tree.

It was a great start to our day!



One Word: Worship

My Word of the Year has been “Worship,” as you may recall.  I’ve certainly been learning to worship God in any and every situation, not only at church services, and not only when things are going well.

Today’s quote says it all — these lyrics of a song by Danny Oertli, a dear Compassion friend.  He certainly learned to worship God through his tears when his first wife died of cancer.  His music has always been a huge encouragement to me.  This is truly what worship is all about — trusting God in all situations; knowing He’s still on the throne, and certain that He can be trusted fully.  This is why we worship Him.

You know when I rise

You know when I sleep

You know that I need you desperately.

I pour out my soul, O Lord,

I worship You with tears.

I am broken.

I have nothing to give.

I fall at your feet

And worship You will tears.

I worship You will tears.

–Danny Oertli



While in Nairobi we also got to meet some young men that Chris knew from a previous trip.  Patrick and Freddie are members of a Christian band called “BMF” — or “Be My Faithful.”  They are very well known in Kenya, and other places, and we were privileged to have dinner with them.  This is Freddie on the left and Patrick on the right.


Our dinner was delicious:2016-07-04-19-44-20_500

We heard some of their stories and asked a lot of questions about various ministries.  Patrick works with a ministry called “Dusty Feet,” which is working to rescue children from slave labor (check out their website here!.  These guys have a heart of gold, and it was a pleasure to meet them!


Here is a You Tube video of “BMF” performing:

Future Music

People ask me what I’m planning to do, now that I’m retired from BHS as the accompanist.  Well, I won’t be playing 200 pieces of music per year, but I’ll still be involved in some way.  I’ve been studying jazz at Sheridan College and hope to continue playing with the ensembles there.  I also hope to play with jazz combos here in Buffalo, and will certainly be playing for worship services from time to time.  As I said earlier, I can sit at the piano and play only for myself and the Lord for hours at a time.  The piano won’t be completely silent, and hopefully someone better than me will be playing this one.

2016-05-22 18.00.40_500

I’ve always been interested in jazz music.  Years ago, on a cruise with my parents and husband, I was practicing in a lounge during the day and didn’t realize one of the members of the professional jazz band was listening.  He asked me to join their set that evening and I did.  We had a blast.

2016-05-08 17.59.13_500

Here are some recent pics of moments with local jazz musicians.

Jazz band 4_500


I even ended up in the news with the Sheridan College Jazz Band.  Let’s keep this going, friends!




Jazz Festivals

In all the years that I did travel with the Balladiers, we performed on various stages and nearly always received a “I” rating.  In fact, I don’t know that we ever got below a “I.”  They were always outstanding, and looked great on stage, going clear back to some of the best groups we had under the direction of Jeff Young.  We performed some very difficult music through the years, but they were always up for the challenge.  In the final two photos you’ll see one of the highlights during the years that the Rose brothers directed the groups — performing with M-Pact here at our own auditorium.  They also performed with the New York Voices in a Master Class at a jazz festival.  Another great opportunity was having a piece composed for our group by Kerry Marsh — “Centerpiece.”  Those were the highlights, and here are just a few photos through the years:




2012-06-20 05.30.49_500





Hanging Out

I must say that it was always fun hanging out with the kids from the BHS music department.  I particularly enjoyed traveling with the Balladiers and jazz band to various jazz festivals.   It was deeply disappointing not being able to travel with them the last few years of my employment, because they performed without piano accompaniment.  To this day, nearly all these kids still come to share a big hug when I see them.





Photo Apr 20, 11 18 41 AM_500