A Tailor’s Journey With Her Taylor


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A Tailor’s Journey With Her Taylor

Before I fell in Love with music, I was a skilled tailor by trade. As a young girl, I watched my mother sew with thread and needle. I tried my hand and found I was skilled. By sixth grade, I was designing the medieval costumes for school plays and continued to take fashion and seamstress courses in high school. After graduation, to make ends meet, I tailored for various local seamstress shops and even at Abraham and Strauss.

After several years, I grew restless sitting at a sewing machine all day. I hoped for an out and got one a few months after my new job at a fine ladies dress shop. I altered very expensive clothing and was very stressed. One day, a month into my stint at a fine ladies dress shop, I was working on a suit. My mind drifted. I wasn’t paying attention to the heat of my iron. To my horror, the iron touched the lining of the suit’s sleeve and melted a noticeable hole. My supervisor discovered it the next day and I was fired.

I became very depressed and for over a year, I languished directionless and unmotivated, going to different neighborhoods for garden work and leaf raking. It was a very difficult and uncreative time, but I had to pay my rent. I prayed to God for a miracle and knew that He had something very special for me.

In 1989, I befriended a talented guitar player who asked me to front his Christian heavy metal/hard rock band. Chris liked my voice and I ended up writing lyrics for him and his drummer. We fell in love, soon discovered we had some differences and less than a year later, we broke up. The band also fell apart.

Time healed our wounds. Chris and I resumed our friendship and he has remained my long-time song-writing partner, contributing greatly to my recorded songs. he is one of the most creative lead guitarists I’ve ever worked with.

Fast forward, a few years later, a surprising and unexpected door opened! My friend and spiritual mother and I were enjoying a crisp, fall day at the Collingswood Auction flea market. We were searching the small stores for treasures. At one store, she noticed a handsome, pony-tailed guy eying something in a counter. “Mom” Winnie tapped him on the shoulder and asked him if he was a guitar player.

“I’m helping my friend find a suitable guitarist to accompany her for her gigs,” she explained.

Jeff was so gracious and asked her if I had any music he could buy. He followed us to my car where I had a copy of my first, recently printed CD, “I’ll Fly High”. Then we exchanged numbers. Imagine my surprise when I arrived home and found his message on my answering machine!

“That voice! That voice” he gloated. I called him.

“With that gorgeous voice you need to be accompanying your own self on guitar,” Jeff urged.

The next week, Jeff came over with his guitar, sat me down and showed me the fingerings of a few basic chords. He urged me to get comfortable with it and play every day.

By the end of the week, I’d fallen in love with his guitar. Two weeks later, I wrote my first song, an acoustic ballad, Receive.” A month later, I felt confident enough to play my own guitar at a church coffeehouse and a woman even accepted the Lord as her Savior at the end of the concert as we prayed together! People responded so well to my voice, that I bought a jazz chord book so I could experiment with different chords. I wrote “Basket Case” a week later!

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Jeff was so impressed that he planned to take me on a shopping spree for my own guitar. We made plans to visit Nothing New Music store, Lakehurst, NJ, Taylor guitars were advertised. When the owner, Ken Sturcke. offered to show his three Taylors he wanted to sell, Jeff’s eyes lit up. He was especially impressed by a certain model because of her rich-bodied tome and cherry wood. After playing a few more leads, Jeff smiled, “Well that settles it, Ken, Anita’s gonna take this Taylor.”

I balked at the list price, but Ken said he would give me a great deal on the Taylor.

“Your angelic voice must be accompanied by this Taylor,” Ken assured me.

I was so excited, I knew this was a God thing! Ken prayed with me that God would bless my artistry and ministry with the Taylor. I knew in my heart that we’d soon be making wonderful history.with her. When I got home, I pondered the sudden timeliness of purchasing such an expensive thing as a guitar, I knew God would make a way for me to pay for her…and He was faithful

Within a month, I had the full thousand dollars. I didn’t even have to pay for the seventy-five dollars tax because I served with a non-profit organization. Our executive director said that my singing/ministering was a part of the organization ministry.

I’ll never forget that day I walked out of Ken’s store with my exquisite Taylor. The following year, I was continually inspired to write new songs, experimenting along the way with the unique jazz chords I’d found in my book. The Taylor kept up her true tuning despite humidity and the cold. My Taylor was so well-crafted that I never suffered the embarrassment of an out-of-tune guitar at the start of my set. My Taylor continued to give me excellent, service for all my gigs as well as funeral/wake service.

Opening for Highway 9, STONE PONY

Fast forward again, a few years later, I had to make an impromptu visit to a friend who was dying of cancer. I’d just came home from grocery shopping and had left my Taylor outside, next to the rear of my car. After dusk, I hurried to start my car and proceeded to back out. Each time I tried to go in reverse, the car would stop. Something was caught by the wheel. As I tried backing out the third time, I suddenly remembered I’d left my Taylor outside. When I got out of my car, I shrieked in horror. The top part of the Taylor’s case was mangled! I almost passed as I bent down to take a closer look. I felt weak with shock as I gingerly opened the case to inspect the damage. The upper neck was in bad shape. Tears fell from my eyes as I ran back to my apartment to call my boyfriend about the terrible news. He calmed me down and then I called my pastor. He prayed with me that the Taylor was not so badly damaged that she couldn’t be played again.

I called Ken, told him what had happened with my Taylor. He suggested a friend who owned a luthier shop in Toms River. I brought the Taylor to Paul Unkert and he said the Taylor was repairable. He couldn’t guarantee that she’d stay in tune, but he would do the best he could. It turned out that the truss rod had not been damaged.

My Taylor had another accident again, about three years ago. She was in her case, standing vertical. The case just fell over, slamming violently to the floor. Again, the upper neck came apart. Again, Paul Unkert came to rescue and again, Amazingly, The Taylor still kept her tune!

Soon after the Taylor’s second accident and repair, I fell ill with a mysterious condition which affected my neurological system. Fearful, my husband and I saw a doctor who diagnosed me with Dystonia. He had no idea what caused it nor a cure to give me relief. My neck & throat muscles pulled and twitched violently. I made strange-looking facial grimaces and was exhausted by mid-day. I lost all interest in socializing, my hobbies, eating, song-writing and gigging. The Dystonia also affected my mouth, teeth and tongue. I felt like a freak. I was always anxious that at any moment, my teeth would comp down hard on my tongue and I’d be a bleeding mess.I was miserable!

Anita strummin' fall 2009
I forced myself to leave the house and make something of my life. I ended up visiting the elderly, ailing and handicapped seniors at Buttonwood Hospital. I found when I made the sacrifice, I was so rewarded giving joy and music to those suffering more than me! Amazingly, when I sang with her, my tremors lessened!

Dystonia has been vicious to me, often robbing me of creativity, motivation and joy BUT God…has always provided me with strength and hope each day as I continue to seek a cure and restore my former life. There’s no room for bitterness or resentment when I see people in worse shape. God is my strength and I live moment by moment, one day at a time.

Playing Christmas Hymms on my guitar with Pastor Matt

As I continued struggling with my symptoms, the beautiful Taylor seems to take on her own voice. Often, I’m in such distress I can’t stop crying. I’d suddenly stop as lyrics flowed through my mind. I grabbed my Taylor and wrote beautiful laments-songs, sometimes within 15 minutes! From this painful year came enough material for a my first worship Psalms CD, “The Anointing.”

“I’ve Come Here To Worship” is one such song that unendurable;e pain inspired me to write. Weeping is always followed by praise and worship when I acquiesce to His presence and get out of my self! Many more songs have come from this place of suffering.

My Taylor possesses another special quality: a magnetic attraction to nature and wildlife. One such episode was when I stopped to relax on a park bench in Marine Park, Red Bank, NJ for some solitude.I faced the undulating, peaceful Navesink river, The skies were blue with puffy white clouds. I noticed a school of fish congregating to where I was. At first, I thought it was coincidence that they lingered right there in front of me. Every time I stopped playing to take a short break, they swan away. As soon as they heard the strains of my voice and guitar, they floated back towards me. It was pretty amazing! I felt like the Pied Piper. Birds and dragon flies are also prone to linger whenever I play and sing.

The most transcendent episode with my Taylor though, has been when I had to minister at a funeral service. She accompanied me at the bedside of a my husband’s best friend’s dying father. I sang amazing Grace and my Psalm 91 and encouraged him not to be afraid of where he was going. I felt like Monica of “Touched By an Angel’

“Do you know how much God loves you,” I tenderly whispered to Claude’s father as I held his hand.

He died a few days later and I was asked to sing a song for his memorial service. I sang Psalm 91 again.

When my husband and I arrived at the Catholic church, we were surprised to find out the cantor had not even expected me to sing. Nonetheless, God gave me favor and the cantor told me where I would be in the program. As I walked to the podium to sing my solo. I noticed the sublime ambiance of the stain-glassed surroundings of the church. My pristine soprano reverberated and I felt like an angel singing glory to God. After the service, family and friends met at the banquet hall nearby. When I went to the ladies room, I noticed a woman pulling my husband aside. When I met him at our table, he told me the woman was an old family friend and had to tell him something.

“I must tell you that your wife has a beautiful voice… the voice of an angel My gift is seeing into the supernatural realm. As your wife was singing,I saw cherubim gathered around her shoulder. They were dancing gleefully and celebrating!”

I was very surpassed to hear that from my husband but it made sense in light of the precious way, the Taylor and music entered my life. It was so extra-ordinary, no one could deny God’s hand in this magical and sublime gift. My Taylor and I were a mesmerizing pair! Another amazing thing is that no one in my family was a musician or had a calling for ministry.

Performing at Buttonwood
At present I am without my Taylor. This spring’s unusual humidity caused my Taylor’s neck to come apart again, so she is waiting for a miracle. I’ve been performing and ministering with Jeff’s guitar and though she is wonderful sounding, nothing compares to my Taylor.

I’m praying to continue ministering at the hospitals, finish the recording of my “Anointing” Cd and to be ready when there is a need for people to come into God’s presence. I know I’m called to continue recording and performing the exquisite psalms my heavenly Father inspires me to write. I wait expectantly to see the next miracle with my Taylor!

You Are God’s Treasure


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Today is your day. Today is the day to wake up to your greatness, the greatness that Father God has pre-ordained since before the world’s creation.  Brother’s and sisters, come now and receive the revelation of who you are and what your destiny is!

As I quieted myself to come into Abba Father’s presence a few weeks ago, I felt impressed to open my Bible to the book of Ephesians. I’d read Ephesians  hundreds of time in 30 years, but this time, I felt a quickening, an illumination that I’d never experienced before. As I began reading the first verses, a sweet understanding opened in my mind like the petals of a flower.  I’m often exhilarated  when I delve into  Father’s word and am never disappointed when Holy Spirit starts to illuminate the passages, which brings me deeper in my love and knowledge of Him. And there are days where I feel empty and malnourished because I neglected to spend quality time in His word. and in His presence.meditating on His word has became my daily bread and expands my spirit and helps me to make sense of this crazy world.  His precious word settle my soul and stabilizes my footsteps, His reality and the inaccuracy of own fleshy perspective.  If I open that Bible and there is no expansion  or expectation in my mind, I might as well not bother. But, Father is so faithful and He helps me to soar to the next spiritual level..

For over two weeks, I’ve been stirred up and meditating about  Paul’s first and second chapter(letter) to  the Ephesians.  The description of our inheritance got me so  excited that I wondered why former  pastors in my life didn’t teach and elaborate on these precious promises  and inheritance of the saints. We are in dark times and many brothers and sisters are fearful and have spiritually “shut down. ” Many  have been attacked in their bodies by terrible chronic illness and emotional afflictions. Satan has increased the assignments against our health so we are worn down and apathetic to God’s things. He knows that if he can get us to be tired by our sickness we won’t pick up our Bibles and pray.

Here is where all of us have a responsibility to remind our brethren constantly of God’s promises and to pray and stir up their gifts and callings when they are weak or feeling physical attacks. unis meant to wear down the saints to wear we are unmotivated to read. declare God’s word and  energetically wield our spiritual weapons.

Pastors need to reevaluate their teaching and preaching molds through Holy Spirit’s guidance.  They  must learn to redouble their efforts to strengthen their flock by corporate prayer, fasting and koinonia fellowship. When wounded brethren are left alone and without loving fellowship, here is where satan has them under his grip of depression. The body must pray for discernment so that we are sensitive and know how and when to restore our precious wounded brethren.  When we walk in love, all the promises of Christ will make us more content,  victorious and having expectation of victory! We msut be diligent to pray fervently for each other, carrying each others burdens and seeking the “rootedness and groundedness” of our brothers and sisters.. Saints, we must be people of devout, fervent prayer,. Our prayers are so powerful all heaven and hell are shaken.

Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

before we continue exploring, I wish to remind you all that, though we rae guarantied our divine blessings, satan’s Mo is to steal, kill and destroy. Don”t think that because we are God’s children that our inheritance and standing is to be maintained without a fight!Jude tell us in jude 1:3

I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.

Wait a minute,  you protest, I didn’t know it would be a battle to  hold on to our faith! Yes, We will have to fight continually to stay close to god, to grow in His knowledge and to stand in victory every day. We are in war and unless we are vigilant and serially  determined to abide in eh vine, there will be great casualties on the spirituous battlefield! but take heart, for Jesus said, “I have overcome the world!”j

Continuing to explore the opening chapters of Ephesians, I found glorious things to meditate and embrace. and so full of spiritual nourishment! Paul tells us in Eph 1:3 that Jesus has blessed us in the heavenly realm with all spiritual blessings!  No  demon in hell can deny our inheritance., as long as we are in covenant with Father and Jesus. When we seek Him with all our hearts and delight to be in His presence daily, every blessing is ours!  If we are living sloppy agape lives, though, satan will entice us to walk in carnality, strife and  self-centeredness.

Precious brethren, I remind you of the wonderful blessings you are entitled to as a Child of the MOST High God!.  Study to show yourselves approved,

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15

Once you embrace God’s word and  allow its seed of truth to become  a part of you,  you’ll never be the same again and you will glow with the luminescence of His glory that all should see and believe in the Glory of God!

Blessings

1. You are sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise. Eph 1:13

2. …and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength Eph 1:19

We are given power! That is very exciting for those of us who were fearful, timid and cowardly. we can now walk in Holy Boldness against our enemy and evil.

3.  We have wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. Eph. 1:17

4. We receive Spiritual illumination Eph 1:18
5. Our spirits are quickened ( made alive and “activated). Wow, imagine, we are like a charged battery ready to go and move mountains.

6. We are elevated  and seated upward to Christ’s place .  Eph 2:6 We are no longer enslaved by the material, earthly or carnal.  Christ has positioned us to a new  nobility. We are kings and priest Rev 1:6 and one day we will judge Angels!. 1 Cor 6:3

7.  We are lavished with incomparable riches of exceeding grace! Eph 2:7  No matter how many times we fall or struggle with sin, Jesus mediates on our behalf, continually… Rom 8 35-39 tells us ..”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

  “For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord… in my case not even these tremors and shaking can alienated me from my Father great love!! I do NOT have to afraid that he will be fed up with me. And when I stumble or sin and ask His forgiveness, He wants me to “come right ” and enjoy fellowship with Him again! That is how much our Heavenly Father delights in us. There is nothing more He desires than us  seeking his presence! One of my favorite Christian female artist, Margaret Becker,  wrote and recorded the most wonderful song about god’s great love for us and how He doesn’t want our sins to keep us away from him.

8.  We are His workmanship! (His artistry) created in Christ to do good works, Eh 2:19  Imagine we are a piece of clay and Father God molds us and shapes us on His potters wheel, so we can be used for His glory!!

9. He is our peace.,. Eph 2:14 In these precarious times of impending war, political, social and spiritual turmoil, we know that He stabilizes us. We do not have to fear losing our jobs, struggling with a catastrophic illness or agonizing over the  death of a loved on. No matter what, when  we look to him and ask for help, he will gentle our stormy spirits! Glory to God!

10.  He gave gifts to men, (for the perfecting of the saints ). Wow! Imagine that. Every person born into God’s kingdom now has gifts.  They are not just for him to enjoy but will (like a tapestry) weave in with other saints gifts for the edifying of the Body of Christ.  We are all important  and fitly joined together (Eph 4:16) and with Christ as the cornerstone!.( Eph 2  19-22).

I wonder of most of God’s children realize this wonderful truth: that we are ALL building stones in the glorious, spiritual house of God. would we all want to be part of this heavenly building?  So many are ignorant of the importance of their part in God’s tapestry! So, do not be anxious about what is happening in the middle east, the flailing economy, your lost loved-ones or your illness. .Look to Him, lift up your hands to Him and Thank Him with all your heart. He inhabits your praise. Things will change when you learn that worship is the entrance into His fullness, peace and  contentment!   Jesus is seeking a Bride who is awaiting Him with expectation!  Look not on the temporal and physical, for they are temporary and pale in comparison to the glories that await us in eternity! get excited, beloved. People get ready. Get on Board. The King is coming!!!

Prayer,

    Abba Father, I thank You for illuminating my precious brothers and sisters that they know they Your treasure in earthen vessels. Though they may be frail, ailing and/or  struggling with sin, Your glorious mystery, (their adoption as Your beloved children, inheritance and glorious transformation in the age to come, is there’s no ifs ands or buts!  Holy spirit, remind us daily how to receive and keep your glorious truth in our hearts. Help us to stay excited about being a part of your spiritual house.

I thank You, Father for Your astounding workmanship in my brethren today, in Jesus name, amen!