I don't know if I mentioned before but I had entered an LMG Concert Fly Away to see Third Day. I had received a call from LMG Concerts informing me that I had not one the contest but they liked my entry and would like me to come to the concert in Langley BC. on May 11. I had mentioned in my entry that the concert would be on the Third Day before my Birthday. I received a letter with a Third Day Move CD and a signed poster and it was hand signed not machine signed. On the Letter, I saw a hand written note " p.s. and as you know, you've also been awarded tickets t meet and greet passes to the show in Langley! Happy birthday, a little early." with a drawn circle with a happy face in it. What a surprise and a blessing that they would take the care and time to do that!
I had difficulty finding anyone to go with and was eventually blessed by a women I am getting to know from my Pastorate to go with me. She decided that because the parking was free at the concert she would meet me out there.
I had asked my boss if I could get my Birthday off on Monday but that was a no go as a coworker had booked it off already do to her son is getting married on the 19th so she had taken the whole week off, But that worked out fine because I was able to book the 11 th off and that would be the day of the concert.
I was emailed by the lady from LMG Concerts and she said to arrive around 5pm, thanking God that I booked that day off or I wouldn't have been able to make it for 5pm. She gave me a phone # to call when I got there. I had arranged to meet with the woman from my Pastorate at 5 pm at gate 1.
Friday came and I would soon come to the realization as I headed home from a meeting I had first thing at the church, that this was my first vacation day from work in the last 6 yrs. that was not for a medical appointment or a crises. I have to say it felt different at first, but I think I like the feeling and could get use to it. :o)
I arrived at 4:45 pm and started looking for gate 1 and couldn't find it but I had found gate 2 and 3. I had a little panic, but then I saw Laurie from Praise 106.5, I hadn't seen her since we one the tickets to see Brian Derkson at Agri-Fair in Abbotsford .
Laurie is such a wonderful person.
We talked for a little bit before she had to run off, as she was organizing every thing for the winners from Praise 106.5.
I couldn't find my friend from Pastorate yet and figured I should call the number I was given to get things started while I waited. After a little bit, the Leslie came out from LMG concerts to meet me and show me what I needed to do. We went over to the window to show them my ID and as we were there my friend showed up. We were then given tickets and the Leslie was surprised that they had printed and given us tickets right there and she said they were better tickets than she thought we would be getting, so good! Our seats were on the floor row 9 seats 41 & 42.
I would soon find out my friend had not been to a concert for many years and this would be her first Christian Rock Concert, this would be my second as my daughter and I had gone to the Toby Mac, Winter Jam concert in Abbotsford at the end of 2009, when we were at the end of what my daughter was going through and in the middle of my sisters illness. I remember forgetting to turn off my cell phone and receiving an emergency call from my sister as she was in distress. I made sure I turned off the volume on my cell phone this time, no repeats were going to happen, nothing was going to spoil this night.
We were walked over towards the VIP line and Leslie handed my friend her wrist band and then went to hand me mine and realized my hands were full so she put it on for me and then put my friends on for her. She told us if asked just tell them you are VIP guests of LMG Concerts. Wow what a strange feeling to be called VIP's
We waited in line and talked for a bit until we finally went in. We were directed to go up these very tall stairs and when we reached the top we were directed to a room where we would wait to meet the members of Third Day. While we would waited the producer came out and spoke to us about what would be happening. We would all be given there new cd "Move" and that the members of the band would sign it for us when we met them.
What an answer to prayer and not the way you might be thinking. I had been praying for a way to afford a cd to give to a lady I know who had been asking me about God and was interested in listening to some christian music and had asked me if I could help her. I so wanted to buy her a cd but every payday would come by and I couldn't afford to but her one, but now I would have one to give to her. Thank you God!!
My friend also well we were in line past me some money and said Happy Birthday, I told her she didn't need to but she insisted.
The Producer introduced their Pastor of 12 yrs. who was from Whales. He told us about all the good work Third Day has been through their Come together Fund, in India, as they had purchased land and had built a school. They also have several children they support full time that live at the school.
Well the wait was over as the band arrived.
I don't know why but I started getting nervous and shy. I found the closer I got to my turn I started babbling and my nervous giggles kicked in.
I mentioned to my friend that I am shy and have a nervous laugh, her response you are shy?? Yes the secrets out I am tremendously shy, but if you get to know me and I get to know you that shyness leaves and I become the person far from shy. Shyness I see now as that little wall that keeps you safe until you can determine it is safe to go on the other side.
We received our CD from a lady who had over heard our conversation. She told me just to smile and say hi and that I would be amazed at the fact that many of the artists were shy as well. I walked forward my CD and couldn't say anything as I approached them and I had all these things I wanted to ask them, like was there ever a point when your faith became more than a belief, but a reality?
Ok I have to ask you my readers, would you share your faith experience with me? How did you come to know Jesus? Was there a point your faith was taken from belief to a reality? Please I would love to hear.
We finished getting our CD's signed and I have to say the band is down to earth and yes you could tell some of them are shy. We left the room and proceeded to go find our seats.
We were not that far from the stage. We took our seats and the first Act came out and it was a band called The Neverclaim, they were really good!
After them was Trevor Morgan and he played his song Psalm 23 and God was in that moment as I heard a voice say "this was where we began" and as I heard these words were spoken I had images run through my head of key moments in our journey since that moment on the freeway and God gave us Psalm 23 to now "look how far I have brought you from that moment" So much has changed from that moment long, long ago God has brought me so far, he has set me free. I am living for the first time in my life, I am able to speak freely of my experiences of my life with out fear or shame. He has given me a voice that can speak in confidence about what he has shown me and taught me about it all. My Past is what testifies to the glory of God and his mercy and grace, without my past there is no testimony.
Trevor Morgan at the end of his set said he would be wandering the halls after the concert and he would like to get to know his fans. I had a thought, my friend drove herself, I had nothing stopping me from stay after and sharing what his song had done.
When Trevor was done it was Matt Maher's turn. I so remember listening to his song Hold Us Together when everything around me was falling apart and God used this song along with many others to help me keep putting one foot in front of the other. He played it at the concert!
Third Day followed Matt Maher and it was to funny as Mac Powell told us all to get to our feet and clap our hands, the funny part is he would point to someone put his hands in his pockets and pull them out and point back at the person then clap his hands together and he picked on a several people until we were all clapping.
They left the stage at the end of the show and nobody moved except to clap their hands in hope that they would do an encore and they did two extra songs and
ended the show with the song Gone, so suiting and they waved goodbye while everyone waved back.
Earlier in the show they mentioned that they would have the live audio stream on their website for the Langley show and they do on the right side of the link under Langley.
We left from the floor of the Event Centre back up to the hallways. I asked my friend if she had parked close to the door and she said she could see her vehicle from the door, so I asked if she minded if I stayed. She told me to email her to let her know I was home safe and we said goodbye.
Mom had given me some spending money for dinner and extra, so between the money she gave me and my friend gave me I could afford to buy a CD from each of the performers that night, I though by the time I was able to get to The Neverclaim they had packed up.
I ended up seeing Trevor Morgan and Matt Maher standing not to far apart and there was a line up to speak to each of them so I stood in line for Trevor first and watched as people had their pictures taken with them, I don't know I couldn't do that to Third Day and I could not do that to Trevor or Matt as I felt for me it was to invasive into their space. I reached Trevor and started to thank him for playing Psalm 23 and told him what it meant to me. I felt my speech starting to pick up speed as my nerves started to take over. He thanked me for sharing. I then moved over to Matt's line and the young couple before me asked if I could take their picture with Matt Maher and I said I could try. I snapped the picture and it appeared to turn out and I was going to take another one for good measure and his battery light came on..oops. I took my turn talking to Matt and he reached out to shake my hand, by then my nerves took over and got the best of me as I thanked him for sharing the gift God had given him and told him how God would use his music to encourage me to take one more step and I told him a section of what we had gone through. He put his hand out to collect the CD to sign like Trevor had and instead of handing him the CD my hand went back out to shake...duh mode kicked in.
I left the concert feeling God had a reason for me being there, holding three signed CD's for the night. I was so pumped to continue Praising God all the way home!
Saturday came along and we had made reservations to take my mom for lunch for Mothers Day at her favorite restaurant, Greek Islands that we normally couldn't go to but I had enough overtime to treat her to something special for Mother's Day. We arrived at the restaurant and Mom told the waitress it was a mix Mother's Day/Birthday Lunch, it wasn't my birthday till Monday and until this year had been a best kept secret. We enjoyed our lunch as usual as they serve awesome food. I said to Mom I am going to be a bad girl, because I can't get it any where else as good as there and I new it would be a long time before we returned. I would order Baklava. I saw the waitress heading our way with my desert and I saw what was coming and I had done it to myself by ordering desert. I normally do it to everyone else but manage to avoid it when it comes to myself, well not this time as the waitress was followed by the owner and all the rest of the staff. The Plate had my Baklava on it and a fancy fluted pile of whip cream with a single candle burning bright. The Sounds of Happy Birthday being sung echoing through the restaurant. I have never felt so much heat coming off of my cheeks, as my face turned red.
When we were done we headed over to Home Depot to see if they would meet the price of Walmart's red bark mulch so that I could go home and finish reclaiming the second garden in our backyard. I have to say that they didn't just meet the price they beat it by 10 %, My Mom decided that she was buying me bark mulch for my birthday present. We loaded up 8 bags of bark mulch into the van to add to the three we had at home. I thought it would take 12 bags for this garden once I weeded it.
Well, I was wrong! After removing 3 garbage cans of weeds and 2 buckets of rocks, I laid out the bark mulch, and as you can see in the pictures below I was short bark mulch,
so close but so far away...
You might be asking, " Reclaiming Garden?"
Well over the last three years our home was neglected while we went through everything and then the time it took to start breathing and healing.
I still have several gardens to go and my motivation is my Mom is stuck at home now and it would be nice if she had something cheery to look at when she looked out the window instead of all of this:
I will take more pictures and post the before and afters as they come.
Sunday came around and church is still on the PG13 Birds Bees and the Bible I am struggling with this and I don't know if it is because of my past but I am noticing that a whole section of people are being left out, the singles again. I also am finding it very male focused in one area, but as I said it could be because of my experiences.
Monday was the day, the day I try to not be noticed, not going to happen this time. I got to work and made it from the parking lot to almost the time clock when I passed my boss and she said in a loud voice " Happy Birthday Nicki!!" and of course we were not alone, secrets out. She was so sweet she bought me a hot chocolate from Timmies. She said it wasn't much, but she was wrong as it took thinking of me, taking time to get it and then give it ti me, it meant allot!! Especially for someone who is grieving a loss, please pray for her and her family( God knows the details ).
I ended the day with an invite to my girlfriends place for desert and a drink. She had made cheese cake and it was so good and she bought me a beautiful card and a bouquet of cut flowers.
Well that is all for now, what an awesome four days!!
PS. Don't forget to let me know your story of coming to Jesus and/or when your faith became more than something you just believed in. Thank you!