WELCOME!

Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at http://www.dawnfoss.tateauthor.com and http://www.dawnfoss.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Loved by God

In church tonight my pastor mentioned something about God loving us. It perked me up because I started a Loved by God Facebook page because in my trials I didn't always feel like God cared about me. The reason my pastor gave that people often feel like that was because they wonder why God would allow them to go through the trial if He loved them. That never crossed my mind, because I do realize that the question isn't "why me?" but "why not me?" We are all deserving of troubles, and it's because of the grace of God on our lives that we don't collapse under all the troubles and trials in this life. What haunted me was the thought that God cared more about the well being of everyone else except me, that I was expected to serve and serve and yet if I was hurting, I needed to pull myself up by my boot straps so I can keep serving and helping others. But that is such a lie. Of course God cares about and loves me, and He has not asked me to do more than I can do through Him. I often sacrifice more than I was called to do. I put unnecessary burdens on myself. I need to take care of myself so I can help others. Helping others makes me very happy, but does not come above keeping myself healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's kind of like when you get on a plane, they tell you to take the oxygen mask first before trying to help others. If you're hypoxic, you won't be much help. I love what I do, I love the Lord, and I love it that He truly does love me, no matter which side of the problem I stand on (helping or needing help). And when we go through the trials of life, we become like pure gold, more beautiful than ever, purified, matured, confident. Isn't that a great place to be? That deserves our thankfulness for our trials, not our complaints.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Happy Eyes


Image result for sparkly present images

Don't you just love the look on a child's face when he or she opens a gift, and it is a wonderful surprise? The anticipation was building as the child looked at a colorful, maybe even shiny or sparkly box that was meant just for him or her. Ideas may race through the mind as to what it could be. The gift may be sized up, picked up to determine the weight of it, or shaken, but when there is no idea what it could be, the gift is opened and the facial expression usually reveals what is going on inside the heart and mind of the recipient. Eyes either look down in disappointment (but hopefully thankfulness!) or widen with happiness if the prize inside is something that is truly desired, even if it wasn't on the birthday or Christmas list.

Gifts can come in packages that are not entirely physical. It could be a compliment, a kind deed, transportation, doing some research for someone, stepping in when staffing is short, or even a spiritual blessing such as wisdom, peace, joy, love, even salvation that God alone can give.

I was reading 1 Corinthians 2, and came across this wonderful verse: "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Cor. 2:9). We can get all excited and start envisioning sports cars, mansions, large fertile land masses, boats, etc. Our eyes widen like the "happy eyes" I described earlier.

But is God talking about physical lusts? Vs. 10-12 state, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."

As I read that in context, I realized that the spiritual wealth revealed by the Spirit of God through His Word and the abundant life that is a result is what is greater than man can imagine! The things of this earth are temporal, but the things of God are eternal, and are the things that really count in life.

Have you opened your spiritual gifts found in God's Word? Why not dig in today, and see if your happy eyes engage as you learn and grow and enjoy the wonderful things God has in store for you! It might even include applying those riches you have found in the Bible as you venture out in new jobs, new callings, new relationships, or just new perspectives in the same setting you are in now. Where does it all start? In loving God.


Friday, July 14, 2017

The Sonic Adventure Gang: Book 2 is now available in hard copy!



Click on the link for the hard copy of The Sonic Adventure Gang, Book 2: The Puzzled, Muzzled Lions. 

Join the Sonic Adventure Gang for another exciting adventure! As book two in the series, the gang is now enjoying the festivities of Autumn. They go on an adventure in the super sonic time machine that, as usual, sends them to somewhere they didn't intend to go! Armed this time with super powers, the gang learns to work together to protect each other, solve problems, and find their way back home.

The Sonic Adventure Gang book 2 at amazon.com

Thursday, July 6, 2017

BEST Presidential Speech in 25 years!

This is an amazing speech by our U.S. President! I was in awe listening to this, could hardly believe my ears and eyes! I was clapping my hands and giving a standing ovation in my living room over some of his statements. Praise the Lord! This is TOTALLY worth your time to watch - see it to the end. God bless America! God bless this man as he acknowledges God our Creator, our religious freedoms, our unalienable rights, our freedom of speech, and respects and honors our veterans.

Presidential Speech 7/1/17 at the Kennedy Center

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!

Here is a message for teens and adults alike. I heard this on the radio today and loved it: "Everyone looks for a flag to follow, a creed to believe in, and a cause to die for." Who are you following, what do you believe in, and what cause are you willing to die for? Many died for our nation to give us independence. Jesus died to free our souls from sin, death, and hell. The nation I believe in was built upon the Word of God and those principles that give life and liberty to all who believe. Happy 4th of July, and let's rejoice for what we stand for, and never take it for granted.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Music Choices

Amos 5:14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
Amos 5:23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

The word "noise" is used in other portions of Scripture like making a joyful noise unto the Lord in Psalm 100, and also in 1 Chronicles 15:28. That's similar to the word "sound." But what strikes me in Amos 5:23 is that we can offer a song to the Lord that He does not accept. Are we seeking good and not evil when it comes to our music? Whose world system are we trying to mimic and fall in line with? It humbles me, and I realize that my choices and my offerings to my Lord can be rejected or accepted. Unlike Cain, I want to bring before the Lord what pleases Him, not myself, and listen to music that edifies and draws me toward goodness, not evil. Have you thought much about your music choices?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NEW - Monthly Newsletter for Dawn Foss Christian Books and Music

I have started a monthly newsletter for Dawn Foss Christian Books and Music. June 2017 is my first one. See my website www.dawnfoss.com and click on the link for the newsletter at the top right side of the page, and if you want to be on my mailing list, click on the left and subscribe. I will then email you the monthly newsletters, and any updates.  My newsletter has a personal section, a health corner with tips from me as a nurse practitioner, updates on my releases, books and music ventures, events, etc. It will keep you updated on my ministry. I will in the future also put in a short devotional, testimonials, favorite quotes, etc. Am still molding this - would love any feedback - please let me know what is of value to you!



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Perspectives

I recently went on vacation to see some of my loved ones, and also had the opportunity to visit Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach.  As I stood at the shore and enjoyed squishing my toes into the sand while the waves repeatedly covered my feet and sank me down deeper and deeper, I thought about how beautiful and fun it is to enjoy this experience. I felt safe. I relaxed to the sound of the waves as we kept the sliding door open that night and heard the steady rhythm. My daughter and I admired the reflection of the moon on the water as we walked along the beach at night. We watched the sun rise over the water in the morning as the day dawned. Many were out along the beach already jogging.  At Virginia Beach I saw many barges afar off, three sizes that reminded me of the game Battleship!

But there was a realization that there is a whole other world underneath those waves. There are sharks and jellyfish to be cautious of. It gets very deep, and there are many creatures of the Sea, and some are slimy. There are undertows. As a personal preference, I would much rather be on the shore than in the ocean.

We can often have various perspectives of things.  To one the ocean is a means for making a living, such as deep sea fishermen. For some it’s a course for travel. To some it’s a bed of research. For some it’s a sport, such as surfing. To others it is a fearful thing full of salt and dangerous depths and hungry sharks. It all depends on what you want to get out of the experience, or what you need. What obstacles need to be overcome in order to embrace it? Do you even care or want to embrace it?

I was reading 1 Corinthians 1 this morning and came across this verse: “ For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (vs. 18). Those are two very different perspectives! It goes on to say that God will destroy the wisdom of the wise; He has made foolish the wisdom of this world. Why would He do that? Vs. 21 says, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” They couldn’t see God as long as they were relying on their so-called wisdom. The Jews required signs, and Greeks sought after wisdom, perhaps puffing themselves up to feel better about themselves rather than finding truth. “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (vs. 23-25). It goes on to say that God has chosen the foolish, base and weak things of the world to confound the wise and the mighty, things that are despised so that we cannot boast and think highly of ourselves, but rather so we can glory in the Lord and give Him the rightful glory. He gives us His wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption, not because we are worthy but because He is glorious.

Just as I could miss all the beauty and wealth of the underworld of the Sea, thinking that my perspective of the ocean is all there is, or is all that is important, so people can miss the beauty and wealth of Scripture to make one truly wise. It saves souls from the destruction that is clearly warned of in its pages, and instructs for success and coping, as well as health and well being. It is the power of God!

What is your perspective on God, the Bible, and preaching? How do you view church? Is it something foolish, perhaps something you see as not good enough for you? Do you have a hard time humbling yourself in order to do things God’s way? He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). It’s confirmed in Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Just like “the last shall be first and the first shall be last” doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, especially those who work hard to climb the corporate ladder, those who know God realize that humility is the key to success, putting others first as a servant leader, which will in the end promote you and give honor to you. To those who know God, it is power.

What is your perspective? Have you taken the time to consider the wealth of knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word, and most of all the power to save, heal, and forward throttle your life based on the philosophy of Jesus Christ? Step one is to believe, but that’s not enough, as even the devils believe. You must accept and trust it by repenting of your sin and accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior, as the One who loves you more than anyone else, and who paid the price for your sin debt so you can be free and safe from eternal punishment. What will you choose? Choose wisely.


Romans 10:13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Now on Jango Radio

My songs are now on Jango online radio, delivering to you rich lyrics and truths from God's Word in beautifully orchestrated arrangements. I am a unique artist with a heart for making a positive impact in our world. I have paid to have these available to you because I believe we need to put good things into our sensory gates, such as listening to good, edifying music, watching uplifting movies, and reading encouraging, educational and inspirational books. See also my website at www.dawnfoss.com. http://www.jango.com/music/Dawn+Foss/_full_bio


Evil Against Good

Unbelievable! I am just now watching tonight's news, and am hearing about this madman who shot Republican members of congress at a baseball game! My Christian brothers and sisters, this is a war, not of democrats vs. republicans, conservatives vs. liberals, but EVIL against good. We cannot be passive. All of us in our corner of the world MUST do what we can in our individual ministries and interactions to promote Christ, because He alone is the authority behind good, and He is the One to trust. We do right not because of the sake of goodness, but because of the authority behind those commands. It is not enough to do right, but to promote the author of righteousness, the hope for the world, the Savior for the lost and dying. I am burdened that I am not doing enough for this cause. I want to shout upon the mountain tops that Jesus Christ is Lord, He is STILL the answer, and the hope for all of mankind. Trust Him today - don't wait because we are not promised another day. "...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2). We promote a lot of things in our lives, but nothing matches the importance of this. God help us.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

NEW RELEASE! The Sonic Adventure Gang 2

NEW RELEASE! Kindle eBook: The Sonic Adventure Gang 2: The Puzzled, Muzzled Lions. 

Join the Sonic Adventure Gang for another exciting adventure! As book two in the series, the gang is now enjoying the festivities of Autumn. They go on an adventure in the super sonic time machine that, as usual, sends them to somewhere they didn't intend to go! Armed this time with super powers, the gang learns to work together to protect each other, solve problems, and find their way home.

Hard copy print on demand will be available soon from Create Space. It's a color book. Best bargain is the Kindle version ($2.99). If interested in checking it out, click on this link:

 

Link to amazon.com to check out The Sonic Adventure Gang book 2

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Five vocal tips

I was sent this article, and I thought it was a good one, so I'm going to share it with you.  These are five quick tips that can help improve your vocals right away, written by an expert vocal coach.  I hope they are a help to you.  I know I will be practicing them more!

Five Vocal Tips article


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Entitlement...or Empowerment?

I heard a discussion today on the radio program, "Discover the Word" about entitlement, and how instead of thinking "I deserve", think, "I am responsible to..." Instead of I deserve a living, I am responsible to work hard and get an education so I can do the work I love. Instead of I deserve to be happy, I am responsible to do the things that will accomplish my goals so that I feel happy. The burden doesn't lie on others; that is disempowering. What is empowering is to realize that you are responsible for the things that pertain to yourself, and you can make a difference. Yes, with God's help and God's grace, but seek Him and His will and then DO it...don't wait for things to happen to you, because that is no one's responsibility except your own.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Is Fear Bad?

Why do we oppose fear? Fear is not necessarily a bad thing. Fear of falling will keep us safe on a ladder. Fear of dangerous animals will keep our hands free from their mouths and claws. Fear of sin will keep us appropriate around one another. Fear of rejection will cause us to use discretion in our speech. Fear of punishment will help us make wise choices to behave well. Fear of God will cause us to obey His Word and live an abundant life. So why does the Bible say in 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind"? And then it says in Ecclesiastes 12:13: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Should we fear or not fear? A healthy fear keeps us from harm's way. An unhealthy fear keeps us from doing what's right, such as in fearing what man can do unto us. Another example of an unhealthy fear is a phobia that keeps one from functioning normally throughout the day. Fear the right things and let that motivate you to do the hard things and live well.
My initial thought was about people accusing Christians of being "homophobic." We have consciences for a reason. Whether it's adultery, fornication, dangerous acts, risky behaviors, addictions with marijuana and other drugs - fear of consequences and slippery slopes are God-given for SELF PRESERVATION. That is extremely important, and when we deny ourselves of these safety checks, we become fools.



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Spread That Light!

We are in a spiritual warfare. As we come up against it with light, the darkness will be threatened and will seek to overcome us. But silly darkness! Darkness cannot overcome light by being more present, but can only try to blow out the candles, unplug the electrical source, convince the light that it is not needed or shouldn't be wasted. No, we who carry the light of the Gospel, which let's face it - that is the hope of mankind - MUST spread it in order to keep the darkness away and show people their need for Christ, for salvation, for forgiveness, and for healing. Here are some encouraging words a friend sent me today, and I want to share with you as you spread the light.

Psalm 5:3,11,12: "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield."

Here is another encouraging quote I saw today on a friend's email signature: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose."
Jim Elliot, 1949

Matthew 16:26: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

I encourage you to do what you can, in your corner of the world, as we serve and labor together for the cause of Christ. What a blessing. Go spread that light!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hello, Mr. Bee!

I was amazed this early evening as I sat on my deck and enjoyed reading a book while hearing the water stream down the brook, soft music playing inside my home, birds chirping, the sun coming out and the wind blowing after a very hot and humid morning.  I felt like I was on vacation!  I noticed a couple big, fat, plump bumble bees.  I wondered if there was a hive nearby.  I saw them earlier as they actually hovered outside my sliding door.  And yes, this bee continued to do so.  He faced inside like he was looking into my living room.  "Hello, Mr. Bee!"  I said from my seat.  I felt oddly fond of this big bee, and not afraid.  He would hover a bit near me as well, as if to check me out.  I enjoyed his company.  He seemed to mean me no harm.  

I was in awe of his large body and small wings, remembering things I learned about bees, and how amazing it is that their wings can carry such a huge body around.  I began to whistle, "Mary Had a Little Lamb," because I thought I remembered learning that they enjoyed to hear people whistle.  As I heard the beautiful music coming from inside my living room, and sensing that the bee was attracted to my home because he kept coming back and hovered while he looked inside, I thought how love dwells here.  Could this bee sense it?  I don't know, but I liked to think so.  He may have been attracted to the beautiful music as well.  I've learned that plants grow toward classical music and away from rock music.  Maybe bugs can sense music vibes also.

I watched his wings go so incredibly fast as he hovered.  Then he darted off, going in one direction, and then quickly changing courses.  At one point the two bees collided, which startled me, but then they dove or fell downward.  I didn't see them again, so hopefully they didn't kill each other.  I took pictures of my deck to try to give you a sense of what this moment was like.  No bees, but it was cooling down for the evening so maybe their gallivanting was over.

I came inside and read from 1 Corinthians 1, and it caused me to think about the bee.  In verses 27-31, it says, 

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
We may be just ordinary people, but God will use us for His honor and glory.  What a privilege!  We don't have to be sad when we aren't great and mighty in the world's eyes.  We can just shine His love to those around us, and draw people to Christ.  When there is less of us, then there is more of Him.  John the Baptist said, " He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30).
God created the bee, and it still amazes me when I see one.  Seems like an insignificant creation, but it does much for the world.  So can we.





Sunday, April 23, 2017

I Will Stand ch27 Are You Sure About Heaven





Are you sure you are going to heaven?  This final recording of my book, "I Will Stand" will show you how you can know for sure you are going to heaven.

I Will Stand ch26 Conclusion





Click on the link to hear the conclusion to my book, "I Will Stand."  I hope you are blessed and encouraged by it!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I Will Stand ch25 What if I Fail





What if you fail while trying to do what is right?  One of the final chapters of my book deals with this topic, and offers encouragement to get back up if you fail, staying faithful to the Lord in your perseverance.

I Will Stand ch24 What if I Get Scared





In trying to do what is right, what if you get scared or tired of doing it?   Join me as I read this chapter, nearing the end of the book but offering encouragement to keep on keeping on toward the goal of strong character.

Happy Easter!

What a wonderful day to celebrate today. It's Easter! It's Resurrection Day! I was thinking this morning about all the evil and unrest in the word. I thought about all the refugees from Syria and the millions in North Korea who this morning sit in a concentration camp. I thought those were done with Hitler, but they're not. That grieves me. Then I opened up my devotional book, and guess what the verse was? "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21). I shared my gospel testimony on a site I was on this morning. The best way to overcome evil is to share the love of Jesus with others. I challenge you to try today or at least this week to share it with someone. That is their hope!

If you don't know Christ as your Savior, He is your hope. It is through Jesus and Jesus alone that we can be reconciled to God. When Jesus was born and the angel said, "Peace on earth, good will toward men," that was a spiritual peace, not military. We can have peace with God, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life - that starts right now! Repent (say you're sorry) of your sins, trust Jesus as the One who died for your sins in your place, conquered death and the grave by rising again, and now sits on the right hand of God the Father making intercession for us. Ask Him to save you and forgive you of your sins, and then thank Him for saving you. It's an easy prayer, but a hard humility. It takes faith, but this is what He said we must do to have salvation from hell and spiritual death and life that will never end. I hope you trust Him today! If you already have, then share it! God bless you, and have a very happy Easter!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

I Will Stand ch23 Faithfulness





Join me as I read the next chapter of my book, which is on faithfulness and dependability.

I Will Stand ch22 Righteousness





Do you think about the word "righteousness"?  What does it mean to you?  Do you love it?  Come join me as I read the next chapter in my book, "I Will Stand for Righteousness."

I Will Stand ch21 Honoring Authority





Join me for another chapter in my book, I Will Stand: I will stand for honoring my parents and those in authority over me.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

I Will Stand ch20 Thankfulness





Are you thankful and content?  Come join me in my reading room as I read the next chapter from my I Will Stand book on thankfulness and contentment.

I Will Stand ch19 Generosity





I am enjoying reading from my book, I Will Stand.  Sit back and enjoy as I read the chapter on generosity.

I Will Stand ch18 Life





Join me as I read from my book, I Will Stand.  This chapter is on standing up for life.  It is sacred and precious, and is worth defending!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

How Should We View Money?

When it comes to money, make sure it is serving you and not the other way around. Money is a TOOL. Use it wisely, and remember that it makes no promises. It's hard to earn, easy to spend, and makes no guarantees. But use it for your life, to help meet your goals, to allow you to give or minister where you deem fit, and to provide some security for a rainy day or unforeseen circumstances. Money can easily become a god, in which you are afraid to spend it, it looks down on you with angry eyes trying to cause fear. Flip that around and instruct it in what to do, because you are the boss of it. It is inanimate, and yet it can control our lives if we let it.

Invest, not just for earthly gain, but eternal. Those dividends cannot be taken away and come with them promises from God.


Luke 6:38: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."


Malachi 3:10: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."


Remember who owns the cattle on a thousand hills - Ps. 50:10: "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills."


God cares for you - 1 Peter 5:7: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."


Be a good steward - 1 Cor. 4:2: "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."


Trust the Lord; renew that trust daily because His compassion is new every morning, and He is faithful, money is not. Lamentations 3:22-23: "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."


Do you find yourself in great fear when it comes to your security and your money?  Pray for God's leading with your spending.  Use it wisely, and try to have a healthy view of money, creating good things with it, not indulging in your own greed, or hoarding because you refuse to trust God, but utilizing it where it can be of good use for you, your family and others you care about.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Little Is Much...when God is in it!

I just got home from playing the piano and singing at a funeral.  It was an honor to be there, and to serve with the small talents I have.  But something occurred to me today.  I realized how blessed I am, how mightily blessed I have been over the years because I gave my talent to the Lord.

You would not believe it!  I hardly believe it.  I am a child who was a reject in my school.  No one wanted to be my friend, and yes, there was a sad day when my very last friend decided to turn away from me because it was not popular to be friends with the "four-eyed freak."  I was under the care of a psychiatrist for facial ticks and anxiety from watching my mother attempt to kill herself, and then watching her leave my living room on a stretcher, followed by months of being taken away from my parents and begging for the day I would one day be reunited with them.  I was finally picked up by my parents, but not too long after that my parents divorced and I lived with my mother as a wanderer, no real home, not at one place for long.   I eventually went back to live with my father and my brother.

I'm a kid who got a second chance in life by having the opportunity - the privilege, not a right - to attend a Christian school in its infancy when I was in 5th grade, and later graduated from that same school.  I taught myself how to play the piano in 7th grade because I wanted to do it so much and my dad couldn't afford for me to take lessons.  I started playing the notes as 1-2-3-4-5 rather than C-D-E-F-G because that was all I knew, but then applied some of the things I learned in music class in school.  Our beloved church pianist taught me a few basics to help get me started, and I practiced and practiced until I could finally play an offertory, messing up royally but improving and improving until I was accompanying special music groups and soloists.  My dad was embarrassed for me to get up and play, but that only made me more determined to succeed.  It wasn't long before he was proud of me.

I determined I was going to use my talents for the Lord.  I am in awe over the opportunities that came my way, such as playing for specials and then for the congregational singing, and then later with a church band.  I started writing songs in the 1990's, but put it aside when I had children.  I've picked it up again now that they are grown, and I have published 45 songs. I teach music to 1st-8th graders, and believe it or not, I actually teach piano lessons now.  I have played in a small orchestra.  I helped arrange some of our band music and would sing with our group while simultaneously playing challenging parts on two keyboards.  I create background accompaniment tracks for special music. I have played the piano in weddings, funerals, regularly in church, and in restaurants to do Christmas caroling, I've done some hymn sings in nursing homes, have brought the doctors, nurses and secretaries I work with, as well as my church family, to nursing homes and other venues to do Christmas caroling, I have been able to use this talent to work with choirs (both children and adults), I have sung and played the piano at Christian coffee houses, I've helped out other churches, I've played for school programs and kindergarten graduations, and now I have opportunities to play in my own living room for pleasure with my first ever full sized keyboard.

God has opened WIDE the gates of opportunities, and it's such a huge blessing to my soul.  Here I am, not a wildly talented musician, but one who loves to serve, and has had blessings poured out onto me to do just that.  I say this with humility, because honestly it is my availability and not my ability that stands out.  There are so many singers and pianists that far exceed my actual talent, and yet God keeps giving me opportunity after opportunity to use it!  I'm so happy!

I decided to write this post because I want to encourage you, whether young or old, to just use what the Lord has given you.  Stop making excuses that you are not good enough.  He doesn't care.  He wants a good attitude, a servant's heart, and a humble spirit.  Then just get out there and DO IT!  You will be so entirely glad you did, and will feel like your life is sweet.  I know that is how I feel right now, and I thank the Lord for it.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Author Interview - the end of my beloved publisher

The sudden going out of business of my publisher has been a heartbreaking experience for me. It has been heartbreaking for many authors.  Heather D. Nelson is a wife, mom, and faith-filled writer.  She believes words have power and she strives to always use them with wisdom.  As a fellow Tate author she is trying to give us all a voice, and she was happy to interview me.  Several Christian publishers have done this to authors, closing suddenly and leaving thousands of authors like a boat without oars in the middle of a lake. Click on the link to read my story.

Author-Interview---Dawn-Foss

There is a post interview conversation I would like to add.  This is not published anywhere except here on this blog.  But I was asked the question later by Heather D. Nelson, who interviewed me: "Given how much you visited Tate Publishing's building...meeting the people face to face, shaking hands, even speaking with Ryan Tate directly, how do you think you missed the signs that the company wasn't legitimate?  This is not a criticism of you, but I am curious as to how they presented themselves to you that made them appear more legitimate?  This is versus the 'email and web only' interface so many of us had."

My reply: "That's what sold me is how sweet everyone was. I published books and albums through them.  I loved having everything through one company.  However, once I was so discouraged by my perceived lack of vocal talent that I was truly struggling about whether or not I should move on to do a second album that I really had on my heart to publish.  One of the acquisition staff called me on her cell phone and talked to me about following my call, which she knew I had from talking with me in the past.  She told me a testimony of an older woman who put out an album, a woman whom I will probably never hear of, but she used it to reach the elderly.  Many souls were saved as a result of her songs and her ministry.  She said that we cannot measure on this earth our success when we are doing the Lord's work; we'll only know in heaven.  She said if she were just doing this for money, it wouldn't be worth it.  It's the eternal value that really counts.  That meant so much to me, and she was right.  She was sincere, and I reminded her of our conversation when I saw her for a subsequent trip to Oklahoma, when I was recording my third album.

"When I went to Oklahoma, these were real people, pregnant people, kind people.  They would hug me, greet me warmly, and made me feel special.  They gave my daughters and I a tour.  They let me take my picture with them.  They talked of the Lord, and I really believe they were sincere.  I had trouble with some of my books with editing, printing problems, etc. but in the end they always did right by me.  I changed my mind about the pictures and cover for my Christmas book  AFTER it was released, and they gave me a good deal, saving me a lot of money compared to what the contract said it would cost me to redo them.  They sent me the wrong books after I placed my order, but allowed me to keep them, so I gave a Christmas Love book to the children at our local children's hospital on Christmas eve.  I put a label inside each one wishing them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me and also from Tate Publishing.

"I think a lot of problems occurred when they decided to go overseas, as there was a disconnect with our marketing directors and author representatives.  Every time I went they had fewer and fewer employees stateside.  Customer service was really great in 2012 when I first signed on.  I saw complaints on the internet, but they had an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, and I had seen first hand that they were such nice people.  I loved the staff page that had their pictures on it.  I felt connected.  

"I was happy with my products, and that I had so much say and owned the rights to my books and albums.  They believed in me, and gave me a chance that traditional publishers would not give.  It opened up opportunities for me to minister that would have never been possible otherwise.  I had audio books, book trailers, music videos, a website, hard copy books and albums, and I was making blogs and video journals of my songs.  I was speaking and singing my songs at various places, attending fairs and festivals around the state as an author/singer/songwriter, developing an online presence, going to stores and restaurants for book signings, etc. This was an exciting time!

"Then when we recorded the music videos and did the photo shoots, I had such a blast!  I also loved getting a tour of the printing area.  It was legit!  They had a section for the CD's, and the books had several machines, and they had a new one, too.  I got to see the whole process.  The shipping people were sweet, and everyone seemed dedicated to their jobs.  I saw the behind the scenes.  They were a good sized publisher. I believed in THEM, so it was easy to overlook a lot of the other problems.  

"I believed they would eventually improve their customer service, and hopefully their accounting inaccuracies, once they came stateside, which I believed would happen if Donald Trump became president.  He promised to help small businesses, and encourage employment in the U.S.A.  I saw Ryan Tate on Fox News, so I knew he cared about his company and the financial burdens to small businesses under the Obama Administration.  And sure enough, after President Trump was in office, I received an email that they were coming stateside.  Unfortunately, soon thereafter I received another notification that they were in transition, and that ended the communication with them. 

"This whole experience was more meaningful to me for other reasons as well.  They were making my dreams come true, and these trips with my daughters were very special to me, especially during a tough time in my life.  I will miss visiting Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group.  My heart truly breaks for all those affected by this closing of what I believe was once a great publishing company, with both book and album publishing capabilities. But in speaking with other Tate Publishing authors, there was dishonesty there, and unfortunately a large collective loss of money due the hard working, dreamy-eyed authors like myself who were called by God to write and minister grace and help to our readers and listeners."

To read more articles and more author interviews by Heather D. Nelson, see her website at www.heatherdnelson.com.




















Friday, March 24, 2017

I Will Stand ch15 Joy





Come join me in my reading room for another chapter in my book, I Will Stand.  This chapter focuses on joy.

I Will Stand ch14 Love





Come join me in my reading room for another chapter in my book, I Will Stand.  This chapter focuses on love.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Yes or No?

Genesis 2:15-17: "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

I'm reading a book, Setting Boundaries with Difficult People. This is a great book, whether you have difficulty with discipline as a parent, a teacher, a coach, a spouse,a boss or an employee. I am quickly realizing that it is not the difficult people in our lives that are the problem; it's that we don't have healthy boundaries, and people know how to push the right buttons. According to this book by Allison Bottke, we tend to feel boundaries are a sign of rejection, are selfish, sinful, disrespectful, and dishonoring, when in reality they are healthy, necessary, biblical, respectful, and loving.

In Genesis 2:15-17 God gave boundaries to Adam and Eve in a perfect, loving paradise. There wasn't sin yet in the world, and yet God saw fit to draw a line that should not be crossed.  It was not the line that was evil, or the intent of the Maker of that line that was evil, but was rather a sign of love and security.  It was also a gift of free will.  God made everything acceptable to Adam and Eve but that one thing, and even perfect people could not resist taking it.  Did God change His mind and say, "Well, OK - now you know I am serious.  That's one mistake; if you do it again, there will be consequences!"  No, they clearly knew what the line was, they crossed it, and sin led to spiritual death.  While God had mercy on them and made the promise of redemption, He meant what He said and the consequences were real.  He still loved them and could comfort them and accompany them in their trials, but they still had to face the curses that followed.

In Matthew 5:37 and James 5:12, we are to mean what we say when we say yes or no. Otherwise it can lead to condemnation or evil doing. Being wishy washy without clear boundaries is not wise, so we each need to figure out what our own boundaries are, set them, and enforce them.  When children know where the line is drawn, they often will test the boundaries.  When it is clear what the consequences are and those consequences are enforced, they will learn self discipline in order to avoid those negative consequences and condemnation, and it will keep them from more evil doing.  

The same applies to relationships.  People will often take advantage of you if you do not set clear boundaries of what is acceptable vs. inappropriate.  This will lead you to fall into condemnation and perhaps poor health emotionally, spiritually, and/or physically. It can also bring negative consequences to you when you are not a man or woman of your word, and people will not trust or respect you.

How are you doing?  When you say "yes" do you mean it, and when you say "no" do people respect it?  If not, improve on your enforcement of the consequences you set forth.  It's not selfish but rather an act of love, as it teaches them respect and self discipline, and will relieve stress, anxiety and anguish for you.

Matthew 5:37: "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

James 5:12: "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."


Friday, March 10, 2017

I Will Stand ch10 Courage Against Evil





Join author Dawn Foss in her reading room as she continues in her I Will Stand series, reading from her book a short chapter at a time to help you become a champion of character!

I Will Stand ch9 Hard Work and Excellence





Join author Dawn Foss in her reading room as she continues in her I Will Stand series, reading from her book a short chapter at a time to help you become a champion of character!