Posts Tagged ‘debbye graafsma’

This song is from the God of Miracles CD.  It came as a result of losing our third baby (pregnancy), before the birth of our first daughter, Rachel, some 27 years ago.  The title is based on a book written by Jack W. Hayford, our pastor. Over the years, it has ministered to many who have experienced the short-circuiting of a child’s life, and the subsequent pain that results from that circumstance.

As always, feel free to listen, download, share and enjoy.  If you would like to use the song for profit, please contact me.




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So many of you have asked about more instrumental music.  Thank you so much for the encouragement.  These songs are all part of recording projects that are available.  This one is from our first instrumental album: “Rest in the River.”   I pray it will be a blessing to you.

This was our first instrumental… originally designed to help with background music while we were praying with people for healing, etc…. I found I couldn’t pray and play at the same time… go figure…lol 

Feel free to download, share and enjoy. As always, if you desire to use the song for profit, you will need to contact me for permission.



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Hello everyone. Here is the third post.  This song is part of a collection we did called “Healing in the River.”  If there is interest, I will post the entire collection for download somewhere…. Actually, I did a series of “in the River” instrumentals.  This cut is from the most recent one.

Feel free to copy it, share it, download it — its copyrighted, so if you choose to use it for profit, you’ll need to contact me.  Blessings, Deb

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Today, I am posting three worship songs to my blog in mp3 format…. This song is the second one.


It will not only be available here on wordpress, but also on facebook.  Feel free to listen, download, share and enjoy — if you decide to use it for profit; you’ll need to contact me…. Blessings.

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Hello everyone.  Today, I am trying an experiment. 

Today, I am posting three worship songs to my blog in mp3 format…. This song is the first one.


It will not only be available here on wordpress, but also on facebook.  Feel free to listen, download, share and enjoy — if you decide to use it for profit; you’ll need to contact me…. Blessings.

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I love my car — really.  Well, I’m thankful that I have a car.  More than being grateful for the vehicle, I guess what I should say is that I’m thankful for my hubby; indefatigable man that he is.  I know this because we have remodelled a house together, built a church together, remodelled another church,…. you get the idea.   

Well, about a year ago, he was out of town for a class; he’s a doctoral student. (I think I mentioned that somewhere.) While he was away, he delegated to me the job of purchasing a car.  I know, I know, I hear you. But it wasn’t like that.  No. Really, it wasn’t. We had looked for weeks – together.  He had done the leg work, and wanted me to look the car over.  A mechanic, who was a friend, or should I say, used to be a friend, had gleaned the best of two used Hondas and merged them together to create what we hoped would prove to be a hybrid.  It was affordable, and it was available — what could be better?  

Bill must have forgotten that I know as much about picking a car as I do about football. (I’ve watched it for years, I just don’t get it.)

Our friend had taken a car with a blown engine, and replaced it’s get-up-and-go with the motor from a Honda with a trashed frame — 121,000 on the good frame; 81,000 on the good engine.  Such a deal it was. Really it was. I keep telling myself that…

So now, here we are, a year later.  Thanks to my husband’s tenacity, and the kindness of our friends (one in particular who is an excellent mechanic — not the other guy),  I have a new car.  Not the shiny kind. ..

Maybe we’ll paint it.

The new car I refer to is my little Honda.  Yes the very same.  We now have a new air conditioning system, new brakes, new tires, new head gasket, all new hoses, a flushed radiator, a new lower control arm, new window motors and regulators, a new master cylinder, new fan motor control switch,  a working window washer unit, all new spark plugs, new shocks and struts, and the list continues….

I’ve always liked lemonade….. did I say that out loud?  I still do — it’s the south….

Not only that, but the “Cash for Klunkers” program didn’t appeal to me.  I just can’t see taking our used cars to a dealership, who then would have to destroy them; unable to sell them just to comply with the program.  It didn’t seem right to me, or to Bill, that the steel in my little Honda then be sold to Japan or China to build their steel industries, while our American car auctions see a freeze in the market….. didn’t seem right somehow.

So, I’ll drive my little Honda til the wheels fall off.  And I’ll be grateful, really grateful,  that I have a car, and no car payments.  Come to think of it, maybe the first mechanic’s idea of a secondary market wasn’t all that off, after all.  All she needed was a little love and tenacity.  Those ingredients can fix just about anything.

Even marriages. 

How long would you drive your car down the road with all the lights on the dashboard blinking?  How far would you get if the temperature gauge pegged itself to “hot,” and steam was coming out of the engine?  And yet, many times, we think we can continue travelling blithely through life when the relationships in our lives are sending us glaring signals — yet we wait until the motor seizes to do a tune-up

If you are in such a place in any relationship in your life, let me make a suggestion to you.  Considering the American culture, and the social networks within what we call the “Christian Culture,” only one in four of those who are referred to a counselor actually follow through with seeking one out.  Of that 25%, less than half will follow through with pursuing the healing that requires personal change.  Knowing the stats on broken and blended families, what does that tell us about the emotional stability of our nation? And our level of actual spiritual maturity?

The inside is more important than the outside.  Going through the rebuilding process with my little Honda has taught me that, yet again!  It’s made me love her more. 

And most importantly? The radio works, and I can park  her anywhere!!

(C)2010 DG — awakenedtogrow.com

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Today turned into an encounter with a sinus nasty — Apparently, some kind and sharing soul left the remnants of their symptoms where I could find them.  I must have unwittingly discovered the germs; and, not being good at playing “hot potato,”  held onto the little viruses too long.  So they made contact.  The ugly things intend to “live long and prosper!”  Little aliens…..   (Can’t we just send them back to the mother-ship?)

What was it the doctor used to tell us when the girls were small?  “Wash your hands continually, and don’t touch your eyes, nose, mouth or ears.”  Sorry, Larry, I forgot, I guess. 

There is one good thing about not feeling well. Everything else has to stand in line for attention while you recover.  And, it gives you a little bit of time to rest; doing activities that  can be accomplished in a semi-sleep state…. when you’re not sleeping, that is…

So today, between naps, I was preparing a CD — lazing on the couch, with my laptop, my pillow, my blankie and my sympathetic 8-pound Maltese.  Oh, and lots of water; don’t forget the water. And the tea.  Thanks, Mom.

I’ve written a novel.  Did I tell you that already?  My brain is snowed in with Mr. Sinus…. I can’t remember.

It’s been a rather large project. One I didn’t realize I was undertaking…. At first, I was going to write a series of short stories, and give them to women who come to the Awakened to Grow retreats….  Then, I thought it might become a devotional; to which we would add the scripture reading and journaling assignments at a later date.  But now, as I sign a publishing contract, and send a CD of files off, I am realizing that Abba Father has been leading me into a discovery for a long time. 

I love to write…. really.   I love to research, and find connections.  It’s fun to watch a patchwork quilt come together; piecing the accounts into a narrative.  To discover the people…Before this project, I wrote songs — and I still love doing that — but this has touched something deeper in me…. this has been fun!   

It began as a personal Bible study.  I wanted to know more about the woman who broke the jar in the house of Simon the Pharisee. I wanted to investigate the depth of her passion in worship.  Her courage.  Jesus’ response. Not long after the Bible study began, it became a message.  Then, when I went to prepare the message for our congregation, it became a two-week teaching. Now, after eight years of research and a trip to Israel, it is a 460-page book. 

Friends who have read it in its self-published format, tell me they have experienced personal change and growth through reading. Many of them have been kind enough to write reviews for my publisher.  How did we get here, exactly?  I don’t remember ever planning to write a book.  It just sort of happened.  I think it came down to just taking the “next logical step” as the Holy Spirit made the direction clear. 

So, why am I writing today?  Just to bring you into the circle; to let you know its coming.  I’m excited.  The name of the book is Journey: A Novel. It is being published by Advantage Books (advbooks.com).  Some of you have helped me to get to this point, and I am so grateful.  Thank you.  Thank you.. Thank you….  (If you have questions about the process, you can email me at awakenedtogrow@yahoo.com).

Periodically, from this point forward, I will post excerpts from “Journey,” so you can see the kind of book it is…..  If, as you read, you have comments, I would love to have your input…

I finished the research for my second book last month; Journey Continued.  The prologue is written now; and I am beginning the process of constructing a novel about the early church — Amazing…. What I have discovered in the process is the revelation of an ancient world paralleling our own so closely, that I find myself  anticipating the end-time outpouring of the Spirit with even greater excitement. 

 Thank you for taking time to read this blog.  Thanks for your encouragement and your support.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you.  Blessings.

(C)2010 DG — awakenedtogrow.com

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You read it right, friends.  Believe it or not, it is the name of magazine: “Garden and Gun; Soul of the New South.”  As I sat waiting at a friend’s house this week, I picked it up to read. Fascinating.  I wasn’t born in the south, but I wish I was.  I’ve been eating grits, rice and gravy, okra, catfish and ribs for as long as I can remember.  Our family has gone through a gallon of sweet tea a day since Bill and I married back in the 70’s…. Am I telling my age?  Oh well.

The article that tickled my fancy in this particular issue, was called “Fetch Daddy a Drink,” by P.J. O’Rourke (I find myself wondering whether that is a man’s real name — but whatever — this is the south)….. It was the sub-title that caught my attention — “How to apply gun-dog training methods to your children.”  I was hooked.  Was Mr. O’Rourke calling my children animals? (Not that I hadn’t thought it quietly to myself once or twice when they were smaller — but to put such a thing in print?  Really now…)

In a nutshell, Mr. O’Rourke had taken the instructions of famous dog-trainer, Richard Wolters, in the book “Gun Dog” and translated them into parenting lingo.  While the hilarious outcome of his discussion was entertaining, I found several things I agree with, that I can’t resist sharing with you; logging them away here in cyberspace.

Three Rules To Train A Good Dog

1. Start ’em young — Don’t wait to train a pup until he is a year old.  Begin early.  Make solid imprintings that leave a legacy of behavior patterns. (I stopped to think; manners, habits, making the bed, even prayer….. okay.) O’Rourke says puppies who begin training at one year see a success rate of 20%, while puppies who begin such training at  5 weeks see a rate of 90%.  (In people years, that would mean waiting until my child was 7 to expect him/her to make their bed….. and looking back… potty training definitely had to happen earlier than seven…. Continue O’Rourke… I’m listening.)

2. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Keep repeating the lesson until the pup learns it, Mr O’Rourke says. (My years as a children’s pastor tell me this is true as well — I always had to remember the One Minute Window Rule.  That’s the rule that says I get one minute of undivided attention from a child for every year of their emotional development….. Hmm…. are we on to something?)

3.  Keep things concise.  “Don’t clutter a pup’s brain with useless nonsense,” quotes the author.  “Keep your commands short.” (I agreed with him up til now, so I read on…. ) The basic commands are SIT, STAY, COME, and WHOA. According to O’Rourke, his son will need to learn those rules if he wants to experience a happy marriage….

I put the magazine down.  I found myself smiling — and at the same time wondering whether the author didn’t have a good point in the midst of his bizarre approach to child rearing. 

In the 1920’s, algebra and geometry were college courses, as were foreign languages, and the lab sciences.  Back then, long division was introduced in the freshman year of high school. Music, the arts, and hands-on classes were part of the learning experience; education utilized all of the learning styles.  Now, in the twenty-first century, our schools are aimed for the 7% of the population who are visual learners. We are harried, hassled, and time compressed.  And now? Five times the amount of information the children of the 20’s and 50’s were expected to absorb, is now on the plates of our children who attend school.  We have become obsessed as a nation with seeking to make sure our children know more, do more, make more and become more than any generation before them…..

Additionally, our children’s health conditions show the results of that approach to preparing them for adult life.  They struggle with ADHD, ADD, childhood depression, behavioral disorders, OCD, obesity, anxiety, sleep disorders, to name a few.  Just last week, I read a news article about a middle schooler who had tried to end his life.  Presently, in my own counseling practice, I regularly see at least five children under the age of 12, with big-people sized problems.

What’s gone wrong with our plan?

Which brings me back to Mr. O’Rourke. There are two major elements underlying the author’s entire “gun-dog” approach to parenting; elements we all really should adhere to if we desire success in raising our children — or our grandchildren — or our employees, even, for that matter.  They are elements applying on any level of leading — whether coaching, counseling,  mentoring, teaching or parenting. 

That missing element is Relationship; personal contact and consistent communication.  To put it in “gun-dog” lingo: When an owner trains a pup, he is personally involved, on every level, for each stage.  He learns to anticipate what the pup will do. He spends time observing; learning how his dog thinks.  It’s how obedience happens.  It’s how loyalty is nurtured.

With personal time.

As parents, we teach our children not only by what we say, but by what they see us doing; day in and day out.  Our actions and attitudes do more to teach than any lecture.  Thank you Mr. O’Rourke for your insight, and your humor….

I know I needed your advice. And the laughs.

But I don’t think I will ever be able to look at one of my children with a palm raised like a stop sign and utter, “Sit and stay.”  (I’d like to raise their personal value level a little higher than that, I think.)

(C)2010 DG– awakenedtogrow.com

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About a year ago, I was working on materials for a retreat.  The theme was “The Value of A Woman.”  In the process of preparing materials, I kept coming across references that described God’s attitude towards us as His children.  As I personalized them, the following list emerged.  I hope it will encourage you as much as it did me. 

  • I look on the heart. I know your heart.    
  • I am kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving.            
  • I am the God who sees you.                 
  • I am rich in mercy.                
  • I made you alive, when you were dead.       
  • I have forgiven you for your past life and mistakes
  • I want you to sit with me in heavenly places
  • I want to pull you up to see things like I see them.
  • I want to show you the exceeding riches of my  grace and my kindness.
  • You can’t earn this. Its my gift to you.
  • I have prepared good things for you.
  • I have prepared a good path for you to walk on
  • I have a design in mind for your life.
  • I am your refuge.
  • I want you to pour your heart out to me.
  • I hear you when you call me.
  • I am leaning over with my hand behind my ear so  I can hear you
  • I am full of grace. 
  • I do the right thing.
  • When you are in your lowest place, I will save you.
  • I will deal bountifully with you.
  • You are mine.
  • I save your tears in a bottle.
  • I want to wipe them from your eyes.
  • Your tears are precious to me.
  • I want to help you walk well in your life.
  • I want to deliver you from anything that would take life from you in any area.
  • I have only good news for you
  • I want to heal every place where your heart is broken.
  • I want to set you free in every place where you are all tied up.
  • I will show you the things you can’t see.
  • I will heal your blind-spots
  • If you can’t see, I will give you the ability to see.
  • I am the one who takes oppression off of you.
  • I want you to be free.
  • I want to bind up your wounds so you can heal.
  • I like to talk to you. 
  • I want to help your reasoning powers to understand how I can wash you.
  • I am watching over you, to protect you, all the time.
  • I will never leave you alone. 
  • I know that you believe in me. 
  • You are my friend.
  • I have always loved you.
  • My love for you will never end.
  • I pour out kindnesses on you, in order to draw you close to me. 
  • I love spending time with you.
  • I search your heart. 
  • I understand the motives of what you feel.
  • I know you inside and out. 
  • I planned you before I planned the earth.
  • I designed you. 
  • I want you to be here – at this time – in this generation.
  • I have knit you together — with skill and purpose.
  • I have put gifts in you. 
  • I have placed calling on you. 
  • I have given you dignity.
  • You can stand up and not be afraid, because I am with you. 
  • I go before you, and I’ve got your back.
  • You are in the middle of an inner circle with me.  You are my Beloved. 
  • You are accepted.
  • I like you. You are my treasure.
  • I do not deal with you based on your mistakes.
  • I don’t look at your tendencies to sin.
  • I want to heal you.
  • I don’t keep record of your failings.
  • When you bring your mistakes and your failings to me, I put them so far from each other, they will never even see each other again.
  • When you call me, I will come to you
  • When you are overwhelmed, I will come to you
  • I will rescue you
  • I will ride the wind, and come in smoke and fire.  I will thunder at the enemy who wants to destroy you.
  • I will draw you to myself, to a safe place. 
  • I will hold you there.
  • I will support you. 
  • I will breathe life into you.
  • I will put you in a broad place.
  • I delight in you.
  • I dance over you.
  • I sing over you.
  • I have placed a banner over you called “loved one.”  That’s my label on your life – “Loved one.”
  •  I am never too busy to spend time with you.
  • I have given you a new name
  • I want you to know what I am doing in your life.
  • You are not my slave, or my servant. You are my friend.
  • I have laid down my life for you.
  • I love you. You are precious to me.
  • I chose you before the foundation of the world.
  • You are holy and blameless when I look at you.
  • You are mine. No one can steal you from me. 
  • There is no one more powerful than me.
  • I have blessed you with every spiritual blessing in Jesus.
  • You are my treasure.
  • Your value has been determined by the price paid.
  • I paid it all.  ALL.
  • You are mine.
  • I want you to be with me forever.
  • I want you to have a good life.
  • I have good plans for you.
  • You are mine.
  • You are my favorite.
  • You are mine.

The next time you feel distance in your relationship with Abba Father, read this list to yourself — perhaps out loud.  I promise, it will lift your heart. 

(c) 2009 DG — awakenedtogrow.com — No duplication without permission

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Don’t you just love the AT&T commercials about the mother who wants her family to realize the value of their rollover minutes?  I think my favorite part of the whole thing is watching the facial expressions of those around her; her sons, her husband…. Body language says it all, friends.

(If you haven’t seen the series, I include a youtube link here.)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFepU_hcZ0s&feature=PlayList&p=23F1FDE8BDDDEBA1&index=3 

Which brings me to yesterday’s funny moment. Believe it or not, a lot of them happen in counseling…. Anyway, one of the couples I see in Inner Life Development, was sitting in my office. The three of us are in the midst of discovering how they can best communciate with each other.  Even though they have been married awhile, this man and his wife can go days without indepth touch or connection.  Some days they don’t even speak to each other. 

They never learned how…. How can you do something you never were taught to do, or even saw occur? 

You can’t. It’s impossible to give away what we haven’t received…..

Sadly, each of us have areas in our lives where that question could be applied… Each of us must discover our own need for conflict and change.  And by change, I mean growth. 

The element to lift us from our melee? A healthy response. Our response when we become personally aware of our ignorance;  that response is telling in our development of character.  It is the key to the Holy-Spirit-provided door to unlock our Personhood. Most especially, our response shows our capacity for relationship; not only with others, but with God as well.  How do we respond?  Do we become angry? Withdraw? Defend ourselves?  Or, do we open our lives to others, ask a question, apply the answer, and continue towards emotional health; then spiritual maturity?

One cannot happen without the other.

Currently, I see four couples; each of whom has developed discontenment with the normal “non-talk” in their day-to-day.  Rather, they have chosen to live on a learning curve; bravely stepping into the unknown; learning to speak a new language; to invest themselves; to leap with their eyes open.  As such, they are in the 8% of those in our culture who are willing to actively seek healthy change and pursue it. 

These couples are learning to bond in their marriages where they have not been vulnerable to anyone else before; ever.  And, as they make discoveries, I am gaining  fresh understanding as well.  As we go, we are creating Learning Steps for the process of bonding.  The steps eventually will come in the form of worksheets; then a workbook I hope to make available on a larger scale; “Bonding: How To Do Relationships.”   As we go, each of the couples has agreed to let me share parts of their stories as part of the learning process we will make available for others.

Which brings me back to yesterday, (with permission, of course.)

At the end of our session, this precious couple was discussing with me, the week’s realizations.  I was explaining the worksheet packet they were taking away as part of their homework for the next week.  I said, “I would like you to set aside time to speak with each other for ten minutes each day.  This needs to be purposeful time. You are going to share your hopes, your experiences and your fears. You can even talk about what you are learning as you work through the worksheets I have given you. The time you share together has to go deeper than just the facts of the day. Please sit at a table together to talk. Don’t be distracted when you share. Set a timer, if you have to.  Here is the rule: You don’t stop communicating until the timer goes off, but if you go past the ten minutes; that’s a good thing.”

The husband looked at me.  For a moment, he was quiet. Bear in mind, he is learning the value of communicating and vulnerability.  He asked, “If we go over our ten minutes on one day, can we count those minutes on the assignment for the next day?”

After a few seconds of silence, I laughed out loud.  I couldn’t help it.  “No,” I answered. “That doesn’t work! We don’t rollover minutes on communication!”

It opened an entirely new door of learning.  Right then.

Which makes me think once again of the AT&T mom — and I wonder … How many couples out there are holding bowls of unused minutes, saving them for later? 

After all, leftovers never are quite as good……

(C)2010 DG — awakenedtogrow.com

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