Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘True Story’ Category

Walking The Line

Cover of "Walk the Line (Widescreen Editi...

Cover of Walk the Line (Widescreen Edition)

I recently watched for the second time – the “true” story of June Carter and Johnny Cash, called “Walk The Line”.

Everyone calls it one of the greatest love stories of our time.  But to every great love story like this – there is a dark side.  Another side to the “true” story.  One that no one likes to talk about – especially due to the fact that these two, although both previously married to other people – were in love and married 35 years.

That dark side begins with other people, substance abuse, betrayal and broken vows.  The song “Walk the Line” was written for and about Johnny’s first wife, Vivian Cash in the days when they were young and in love.  It was his promise to stay faithful to her while on the road.

I did a little digging after watching the movie again.  I was curious about the woman who bore Johnny four little girls.  I was wondering what her ‘take’ was on the affair and betrayal.  What I found was a book that she had written after this movie came out explaining her side of the story.  There were letters and other information from her daughters and what they remember surrounding the events back when June started singing and touring with the band.  I thought it would be a predictable story of a jilted lover – but according to her own daughters – she never spoke a negative word about June Carter in private or public.  And what I didn’t expect – it is a very different portrayal of those same events in the movie.

I don’t have any problem with a “live and let live” attitude.  I am no man’s judge.  I leave all that up to God who makes the final decisions based on His superior knowledge of the heart of man, but it did make me realize something.  No matter how pure we think our motives – when pertaining to personal happiness – many are affected by our decisions.

I realized something else.  I have heard  one-sided stories before from those hurt in relationships and particularly from a friend who had been divorced.  It would rip my heart out – and of course this person was not to blame!  Now I know first-hand that at least some of it (if not most of it) was one-sided and untrue.  One person’s hell on earth, may be another person’s ticket to freedom.  One person’s ugly – may be another person’s something beautiful.  It is hard to think of the dark side as anything other than that – UGLY, DARK and WRONG.  But when considering that there is sometimes a light that shines out from the dark and dead place, that dark place can be a new beginning and a second chance at life and love.  I am not so quick to judge anymore.  There are so many things I cannot understand because I have not walked them.  And many things are not as they seem.

So walking my line may look a little differently than yours.  But your line is the only one you can walk.  I hope you will always choose integrity over the easy way out.   Choosing to do the right thing may feel like a huge sacrifice – but in the end it has much less maintenance.  But when talking about life and death – I choose life.

The greatest love story just may be to stay in a relationship through the ups and downs, good times and bad.  But sometimes it may be letting go of something dead and gone – and reaching out for a brand new start and a new beginning.  Whatever your personal journey I hope you will find that deep love of our heavenly Father who promises to walk that line with you.

God Bless

A City Weeps

This last week Seattle lost long time anchor woman Kathi Goertzen.  After a long battle with brain tumors and many attempts to remove them, her compromised body had had enough.    But it was pneumonia that finally took her.

Kathi Goertzen

Kathi Goertzen (Photo credit: Steve Lacey)

Those of us living in Seattle followed her story and her courage through her long battle.  She lost her smile on the outside only – her courage never wavered.  She was a role model for grace under pressure to all of us who watched with horror as the brain tumors increased with ferocious intensity.

When we learned that she was only 54 – we were stunned.  Not that she had brain cancer and had struggled for more than 12 years with this – but that she was so young.

Greg is 52 and does weddings and funerals for a living.  It is not unusual for him to perform a memorial service for young adults and those more than 10 years younger than himself.  It seems to be a growing epidemic for men and women to struggle with things like cancer and heart issues to die while only in their early forties.  On rare occasions it happens even earlier.

I am reminded of what the Bible says in James 4: 13-14

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Our bodies are temporary and meant to break down and eventually die.  The body is not who we are and we cannot be defined by it.  Our real self is much deeper than just our body and will live on past this life.  I am grateful for this, as I have had people I love already pass on into the next life.  And it is especially comforting to read in Romans 6:23:

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A gift from God.  No matter what happens to me while I’m here on earth.  No matter what battles physically I have to fight.  A place where there will be no more fighting.  No more long battles with things like cancer and heart disease.  No more sickness of any kind.  No more loss.  No more weeping.

I am taking many long moments of reflection in this last week to truly be thankful and live in the moment.  Because we are not promised tomorrow – any of us, it is important to stay in the present and live in an eternal state of contentment and thankfulness.

My prayer for you and your family is this:  That you may stop and reflect today on the many reasons you have to be thankful.  For contentment and courage in all your present circumstances.  And for the love of Jesus to be an ever-present compass as you embrace your life and others around you.

God Bless

Going About My Business

Today I am in what seems like the most crowded and popular Starbucks in my little corner of the world. It is located in an obscure little town called Enumclaw – which I am assuming, just like Seattle – is named for an Indian tribe or person from that tribe. Since I came in about 30 minutes ago – the line to the register has reached to the outside door and I feel very lucky to have found a little table in the corner that vacated just as I was about to order. Because my plan was to secure a table for writing – and ordering coffee and a breakfast sandwich was secondary – I grabbed the table and ordered later.

This place is a constant buzz of activity – and if you love observing people like I do – you would enjoy my very unique vantage point. Normally I can put my earphones in my ears and “zone out” listening to my tunes – but because of the activity and noise – I can not. As I write this the line is so thick with people – they are actually 2 deep in some spots and have come back as far as the table from which I am writing – near the window.

I was just interrupted by a boy, who came up to my table with only one word. “Lucky!” He was referring to my iPad 2 and my wireless keyboard – as well as my iPhone sitting beside both of those on my little table. I laughed, stopped typing and looked up to see this very inquisitive and bright eyed boy 11 years old – who was quick to show me (after quite a little struggle getting out of his front jeans pocket) his iPod – which ‘does not work right now’ he explained. I asked his name – which is “Bryce” and guessed that he was going into the 6th grade – NAILED IT! I’m very good at guessing children’s ages and grades as I have had much experience teaching and coaching children throughout my years. He knew much about the iPad 2 and 3 and told me about the graphics and memory on both. He also asked me what kind of insurance I had on them – telling me he had insurance on his iPod – because his Dad insisted. I also learned that this is the week for “Creation Fest” the annual Christian outdoor week long festival held each year here in Enumclaw and then said out loud to Bryce, “no WONDER this place is so crowded today!!” It was a delightful conversation – and I learned Bryce and his family are from Springfield. I just LOVE talking with children – especially young boys. They are excited about everything at that age – especially gadgets!

As I look around me – the crowds are thinning out – many who have walked over from the festival – are returning now. The skies are gray and it looks like it could rain again. I hope not – especially for those on foot and those camping out this week. But instead of feeling a little down because of the weather and lack of summertime even in July – my heart is warmed, and I enjoyed the interruption even in just going about my business…

My prayer for you today: May you too have a blessed little interruption that warms your heart and makes you smile.

God Bless

Partings and Meetings

Life is full of “meetings and partings” but rarely do we get to have it the other way around. Two years ago I wrote an article: Memories And Lost Boys. If you missed it – check it out.  It is because of that article going viral that one of my “lost boys” was able to do a “google search” for his own name – and stumble upon the article I had written several months before.  This has taken all of us on a strange and wonderful adventure and ended yesterday in a “meeting” after a “parting” some 26 years before.  When you read the article you will see that the brother, William (or Bill as we knew him back when he was just 18 years old) wrote me a comment saying, “two lost boys found” and ended up in many email and Facebook communications since then.

But I must back up.  In the article it explains that Greg and I were youth pastors in Jeannette PA in 1984 and 1985.  This is where our story began with these “boys” – four of them in fact listed in the above article.  We had a special connection with them – all four boys dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ while we were there and Greg ‘baptized’ all of them as well.  Then our world was turned upside down as the church board asked our senior pastor (a man we loved and looked up to) to resign after 10 years ministry.  We had only been there a year, but it was not an option for us to remain without the pastor who had brought us to this church from where we were living in Fairbanks, Alaska.  We soon found another position in New Castle, about 2 hours drive from Jeannette.  The brothers, John and Bill came to see us while I was pregnant with Ashlee in early 1986.  After that – the boys moved to New York with their mother and the others dispersed and went on with their lives.  We lost touch.  This was in a day before internet, email and cell phones.  When you said goodbye – it was forever – there was no way to stay in touch.  Here is what everyone looked like 27 years ago.

John is on the bike – Bill in the blue shirt.

Greg and Bill above.

John, Bill and Greg above.

Some of the girls we’ve never found – John, Bill and me above.

We lived in New Castle 3 1/2 years – and when our time was up in that church we looked to the West Coast where we both were from.  Soon we settled in a little church in California where Greg was the lead and only pastor for 3 years.  From there we ended up in Fort Worth, Texas, Vero Beach Florida and then back in Seattle where we have lived since 1995.

Not a year went by that I didn’t think of those kids in the youth group and especially the boys we had been close to.  It’s funny to think of it – Greg and I were not much older than any of them – at the time it seemed HUGE!   BUT the age gap closed in as I began to think of them and wonder where they were – knowing full well that these were not “boys” anymore but grown men – probably with families of their own – like us!

Fast forward to the age of email and internet.  Opening doors for those of us who had literally lived all over the United States!!  I was able to find some people through email – if they had been good about staying in touch – with others in was near impossible – like searching for a needle in a haystack.  When internet searching became available right around the time of our first computer, back in the late 90’s – I looked every 6 months or so for those boys.  When MySpace was all the rage – I looked for them then – when Facebook was more popular I looked again – every few months.

Fast forward to 2 years ago – the time when I wrote the article above about “lost boys”. I took a chance and listed their names – just on the perchance that someone would come across it – I didn’t know how – I just did it because you never know, right?

I forgot about it – and a few months later I found the two other boys on Facebook.  We were so excited to find Randy and Todd were both on facebook by then – and had emails and Facebook conversations with them both.  We even Skyped with Randy a couple of times and it was really wonderful to catch up on all the lost years.  But still no Bill or John.  We searched, Randy even helped me – and we looked for some of the other people from the youth group – but hit a couple of dead ends.

Then OUT OF THE BLUE I got the comment left to me on the above article by Bill – telling me I had found them and explaining a little bit about he and his brother – what they were doing now etc.  That was followed up by other emails and Facebook greetings and conversations.  It seemed like a miracle to me especially because all of us lived much of life before internet.

That miracle has been such a blessing – as we met William (Bill) with his new wife, Donna in Seattle and had a wonderful dinner together and a time rejoicing over how good God is in bringing us all together again after so many years.  Bill shared with us that those lost years had been tough ones as his mother died shortly after we lost touch with them – his father had left them many years before that.  The brothers were truly on their own after that and had some rough years.  Bill said that he spent many years running from God and searching for things in all the wrong places – had a few failed relationship and was “lost” – until a man approached him in the lobby of somewhere he was passing through and told Bill, “you look lost”.  This man prayed for Bill right there – and though it took another year for Bill to really turn his life around – he finally did begin by saying to himself, “I need to find a church”.  Soon after he rededicated his life to Christ and became very involved in his local church.  He told us last night that he never forgot being baptized by Greg and the impact that had made on his life – it was his turning point for sure.  He described it “like a marriage” for him.  It was a beautiful moment in the restaurant and Donna and I were very teary.  The picture of that lost boy – (now man) coming full circle and coming back to something he had once believe so strongly in – was a miracle.

He met Donna at that church after recommitting his life back to Christ and they were married a year ago last February.  She is a wonderful lady – so perfect for Bill and we are so happy for them both.

Here are some pictures of our very joyful reunion last night with Bill who is not 18 anymore – but 46!!!  How can this be???


Greg, me and Bill


Bill and Donna


Greg and Bill


Bill and Donna

I am hoping you will be encouraged by what has happened to Greg and me the last couple of years – and that you will know for sure that God orders our steps and allows us to make the impact on lives for His purpose and in His great timing.  Never be weary in well doing – for in time you will reap a great harvest if you don’t give up.  Those you touch and influence for His glory – will never be in vain.

God Bless

Tiny Dancer

Those of you that grow up in the 60's and 70's will remember and appreciate the early days of Elton John's career with famous hits like “Your Song” and “Bennie and the Jets” – along with “Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me” and “Daniel”. The song “Tiny Dancer” is one of my all time favorites (along with the song “The One” and “Your Song”) and brings back many wonderful memories of my youth.

Bernie Taupin, friend and lyricist songwriting partner to Elton's amazing melodies and piano arrangements is said to have written these words for his wife, Maxine – who really was a ballerina and seamstress traveling with their band. Bernie would see her dancing on the side of the stage and he was inspired to pen these very famous lyrics. They were married in 1971 and Elton was best man. It is also in 1971 that Elton recorded the live performance below.

No matter what your personal opinion is of Elton John, who will have to admit that he was and still is a very talented and accomplished writer and musician – spanning a career of some 45 years. He is also responsible for writing the beautiful musical scores to many Disney animated movies such as “Lion King” which are poignant and timeless.

If you grew up when I did – you will love this “acoustic” performance of the very well known hit. What is your favorite Elton John song? What memories do you have when you hear it played now?

Enjoy this special recording of “Tiny Dancer” – it always makes me smile :)

God Bless

 

Crossing Paths

English: Crossing of paths, Gwydyr Forest The ...

English: Crossing of paths, Gwydyr Forest The waymarked walk taking in Llyn y Parc is crossed by a singletrack section of the Marin Mountain Bike trail. Walkers should watch out for speeding bikers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every once in a while the many tracks of our lives intersect.  The subtle joining of like interests and purpose combine into one timeless moment.

My journey and purpose that God has uniquely designed for me sometimes crosses the path of my past life and career, my music legacy, sometimes through writing, sometimes through people sometimes through specific events  – leaving me feeling  humbled and reflective.

The last week I have been organizing my music studio/office in my home – plus gathering video and pictures for my website, which just went up for the first time this last Monday.  If you missed it – you can visit me on my website at  Cindy’s Music Studio  It is my first attempt to duplicate what happens in my studio and in person – to an equal experience online.

In the process of trying to break down and ‘capture’ all the special moments of my music teaching career over the last 15+ years in this one area alone – it has been a daunting but also given me many thrilling moments looking at many past recital performances and pictures over the years.  The growth and development in each one – and the happy glow of pride and sense of accomplishment – the feeling of joy and resolution in choosing the path of teaching that I chose many years ago instead of a sales career teaching and training women about skin care.

This too has crossed my path again recently as my daughter (who was a little girl at the time when I was with Mary Kay) has decided to join the ranks of the many sales representatives and sell this great product as well as continue to do hair styling and color in her own home studio.  It is all very surreal to me and brings back many memories of my 5 years spent with that company – 2 years as a sales director.

Sometimes our lives intertwine into areas that we never dream we will cross again.  We do not simply just “wave good-bye” and then never see them again – sometimes they comes back in ways we least expect.  It is the same with my music teaching and my writing – the two are different and yet – sometimes they cross.  The things we are passionate about in this life – the unique and God-given talents and abilities we are given –  have the potential of crossing and interjecting every day – through people, events and circumstances – and yes – even our own children.

History and Story behind the Words to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

God Bless America

God Bless America (Photo credit: wstera2)

My favorite.

Enjoy this great story by the great Orson Wells.

Happy 4th and God Bless!

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