We were brought together by design of God - and now we pray that He is bringing us together with YOU.
Steve and I had never met when he was a week away from saying "I do" to someone else and I was moments from doing the same with someone else.
His fiancée, and everybody else it seems, told me all about Steve and how wonderfully he played the piano and what a great guy he is but it would still be several years before he and I would meet.
After his engagement broke and the wedding cancelled, he dated a violinist for a year named, "Ellen" - but she was not me.
Meanwhile, I was praying earnestly for God to give me the 'right' husband. I vowed at this point that I wouldn't even date but would develop my relationship with Him only and trust that He would bring the love of my life to me. I almost missed it and would have except that I kept praying and even fasting. I had learned to be sensitive to the quiet voice of God and in His timing, Steve and I finally met. What I was told about him was correct! We wed after dating for a year. Soon we will celebrate 40 years of marriage.
I am authoring a Memoir of my life and soon I will write the amazing chapter about how my life with Steve almost did not happen. I see so much pain in America and much of it is because we struggle with trusting God with our life - and too often we do not. I am a true testament about the rewards that come when we 'fall back' on Him and let go of stubbornness and ignorance. We never risk with trusting God... we only gain!
Steve and I are proof that God helps and guides lives at every age... we understand now that even in conception - God's plan is in action! His Sovereignty is throughout all time!
In our years together, we have endured many 'puzzling' situations that left us feeling helpless and deserted. But gradually they proved to have the Finger Print of God all over them. When the puzzle was in pieces, scattered throughout our lives, things made little or no sense - this was true both separately, before we met and with us together. Had things gone another way, neither one of us would be where we are today. There are two credits due... one to us for seeking God and heeding His written word and the other goes to God for His Long-suffering and Faithfulness toward us! In our opinion, this section is more about GOD, His guiding, sustaining love and power than about me and Steve.
The best life is when we listen to the Voice of our Heavenly Father - and follow Him - that is what it is really all about!
Steve has no memory of asking Jesus into his heart as a child. He remembers that at home, age 9 or 10 he told his parents, "I believe". Shortly afterwards he got baptized by immersion in water with a Church of Christ congregation in Taipei Taiwan where his parents were missionaries. Years later, after graduation from High School and moving back to the U.S. he visited a church of a different denomination at the invitation of his cousin. They taught and demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit. Upon his first visit there the pastor had heard that Steve played piano and invited him to play a song. Steve played a hymn and afterwards the pastor remembered that Steve was of a denomination which believed playing instruments was not appropriate within the church so, he apologized for asking.
The next time Steve visited the same church, the preacher gave an invitation for everyone to come forward who wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Steve stepped forward and he received the manifestation right then. His Christian view expanded even more and he became aware of certain things previously blinded to him.
For instance, once his school took a field trip to a Buddhist Temple and he knew clearly that the money people left was in vain. He also felt a strong spiritual darkness there. Steve never talked openly about certain things he was sensing because he felt he would not be understood; instead he kept them hidden in his young heart. He has always embraced his salvation deeply. God has greatly blessed him for being willing, obedient and faithful to Him. When Steve speaks openly at the leading of our Father, his words carry Holy Spirit influence.
Ellen started begging for the Holy Spirit at age seven in a Pentecostal Church. Two years later by age nine, it had not happened so she became disgruntled with God, (likely out of fear because -back then -they taught a person would go to hell if they did not receive the Holy Spirit/Ghost and speak in tongues - some probably do not teach that now). According to her childish thinking, God had rejected her at the Pentecostal Church - and she was plenty upset about it! She figured that maybe the church where her uncle was deacon could help her with salvation. Now deciding that the Pentecostal Church must have it wrong - the Baptist Church was worth a try! So she went to her uncle's Southern Baptist Pastor and asked him to lead her into the prayer of Salvation. She explained that she was ready to ask Jesus into her heart.
"This pastor made it real simple! I knew I did not have to beg God here so I didn't. The pastor said it was as easy as repeating after him - and I did. Simply, I believed.
I remember almost as vividly as if it just happened, me and the pastor kneeling in his office as he led me into the 'Sinners Prayer'.
I raised to my feet feeling accepted by God. The anger melted and I left it at the cross. I knew something wonderful had happened - I felt reborn!"
That night as Ellen lay upon her bed, She experienced a personal word from the Loving Lord. She felt that He held no grudge at her for being angry and slightly rebellious. He gently whispered into her 9 year old heart, "You did good but there's more." At hearing this, her heart leaped! She knew exactly 'WHO' was speaking and she understood what He meant! Right then she slipped onto her knees at her bedside praying and praising God. Within moments the Heavenly language began flowing from her lips bringing the most amazing feeling of cleanliness and acceptance! She never wanted to walk away from that place of His Presence and the sensation of Joy unspeakable!
As Ellen glimpses back over her life, she knows Who brought her safely to now;
"As the years have come and gone, I must give total credit to God for truly saving my soul... and my life - many times!" she concludes.
Our years together as husband and wife, father and mother have brought us to this place of being prepared for a mighty work which God desires to do through us - and this work includes YOU - because Jesus had you in mind too when He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane that "those who the Father had given Him would be ONE just as He and God are One". ALL the Body of Christ functioning properly is when His Light Shines Brightest and His Love effects Greatest.
Steve and I are also musicians, song-writers, arrangers of music and singers. We had one plan with our music, but as we gained more understanding about Not Divided™, we began to see our music being directed in a different way! We have accepted His call gladly - and we know that the word of God does not come back to Him without accomplishing what He has spoken, therefore if we fail to accept and follow His Plan, He will give another this privilege. As each passing day brings us closer to the October tenth Event, our understanding grows clearer that this must be a move of the Holy Spirit and not something that we contrive and control. So as scripture instructs, we "... labor to enter into the rest that God has for His people, ceasing from our own works... to allow ... the Lord of the Sabbath to work... because that is where He works - in our place of 'Resting in Him".
What this refers to is PRAYER, INTERCESSION and SURRENDER to the leading of the Holy Spirit for surely God MOVES in and through His Willing and Obedient children/people. We are not to strive nor demand but to "let" Him have His way so that His Spirit can produce Life.
Steve and I have had many years of learning how to fine tune to His voice and to prove Him. Like anyone, we sometimes do not know if we have really heard God and that is when we keep seeking Him and in some instances, we go ahead and take FAITH STEPS. Without faith, we know we cannot please God. He delights in our willingness to trust Him with our lives!
Although Steve was raised in Taiwan and myself in Southern Texas, we met and married in Memphis TN, my birth city and state. I had returned there for only a short time and the same was true with him! Except for God, our paths never would have crossed. This fact and so many more have shown us the Divine Hand of God over His Creation. He is always working His Master Plan.
I sought all my life for that perfect place of belonging and doing but never felt I had found it until - Not Divided™ was revealed to me, then to Steve, and again to me, the second time a more complete picture of the call appeared.
We know now, it is clear that God is doing this work, using us... and YOU if you will accept His Call; together, Let's do this!
A skilled and anointed Pianist. Song writer, Arranger, Singer/Psalmist; Ordained Minister. He masters the piano and plays another keyboard in Ministry Performances as well.
Devoted and loving husband, father of a daughter and son and Loves the Lord, dedicating his life To The Call, whether in music or obedience to God in other ways.
Steve started playing piano when he was 15 years old. He was raised in a Church of Christ with missionary parents who dedicated their lives to missions in Taiwan. There was no piano in their home when he took an interest in playing but it didn't stop him. Months came and went while Steve walked up the road to a house of friends who had a piano - they allowed him to practice daily. Faithful, as God is, this family needed to return to the U.S. so they moved their piano into Steve's parents house for a year. When they returned, another family did the same, leaving their piano for a year also while returning to the States!
After that, Steve was ready for college and desired to major in Piano Performance. Back in the U.S. following his High School Graduation, he would have a piano placed with him which belonged to his mom and had been left in the care of a family member.
Steve has since played piano for VIP's ranging among Music Icons, Movie Stars and Governmental Officials on all levels.
His highest achievement is playing in the audience of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ!
Wife, mother of a daughter and son and Music Ministry partner with Steve; Song writer, Arranger, Singer/Psalmist; Ordained Minister. Ellen skillfully plays two 88-key keyboards and together with Steve, they play four keyboards while allowing the "True Master" to take control of them! They sound like a band and orchestra coming alive as they allow the Holy Spirit to rise up and do HIS thing.
Ellen came from a broken home which led to many hardships in her life. Her daddy's sister and brother-in-law took Ellen from Memphis TN, at only six years old to the "Dow Chemical" area of southern Texas and raised her for eight years as their daughter - miles apart from father, mother, sisters and brothers. There she grew up as an only child. Without this move in her life, she would not have learned to play the piano which prepared her for the music call of God with her husband, Steve. She would possibly not have learned about God and developed the close relationship she came to have with Him after accepting Jesus into her heart at nine years of age.
Ellen grew up attending a Southern Baptist Church on Sunday mornings with her deacon uncle and a United Pentecostal Church on Sunday nights with her aunt. Though certain beliefs were strictly preached in conflict with each other from one church to the other, she never felt confused about Truth. The hand of God was upon her in a powerful way and in her early twenties she began to reject certain man-made doctrines and simply embraced scripture in it's pure form. Over the years she would do this more often and find the Savior of souls to be more loving and compassionate than harsh teachings had once led her to believe. She does believe that God will one day judge everyone for their deeds but until then His hand of correction works in lives with compassion and grace brought by Jesus Christ. Coming to this understanding was vital to her emotional healing after many years of emotional scars. Rejection would try to dominate and ruin her unfortunate broken life but the Shining Light and Strong Love of God broke through and turned everything around positioning her to help many others who suffer as she had!
Ellen has a powerfully moving Testimony which has aired on tv and seen by, not a few, and is living proof that there is no circumstance too big or complicated for God to resolve and that He does lift the ill effects of one's past, replacing unpleasant memories with beautiful ones as if nothing painful ever happened!
However, healing is a process and apart from a miracle, it takes time. Ellen lived many years and loads of heartaches before she would comprehend the Love God freely gives - she finally did! People have found refreshing and healing through the understanding Ellen offers. Having experienced much difficulty and finding God's solutions, she gladly shares with anyone wanting to hear while believing fully that they too can find their way out of the maze that life sometimes throws them into.
"There is a kind of peace and understanding that only comes from walking through dark valleys with the Lord by your side... and conquering over life's struggles with Him."
P.O. Bx 3, Rockwell, NC 28138, US
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"Not by Might nor by Power but by My Spirit..."