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Last night I had the special privilege and honor of providing the musical program for "The Well" event at FUMC-Grapevine. "The Well" is a bi-monthly gathering of women for fellowship, a great meal, followed by programs from noted women's authors and speakers.

Ann Hailey had asked me if I could provide a musical program of Christmas carols for the event. I initially planned to decline. I had not accepted any invitation to sing since my 2nd throat surgery in early October. Between a fluctuating energy level and vocal problems, I just hadn't felt comfortable singing in public in front of an audience. After thinking and considering the invitation for a couple of hours, I felt compelled to accept. i replied back to Ann and suggested a Christmas Carol sing-a-long to help compensate for my voice not being at full strength. Ann thought it was a great idea, and we confirmed I would be there.

This week was a good week energy wise. I worked a good full-time week with no problems. However, my Thursdays usually start at 5:30 AM and usually end with my getting home at 9 PM, so I was a little worried about my energy level and my voice. Yesterday, after taking an hour break away from the office, I started rehearsing about 2 hours before the event, working on different keys for each song until I found my comfort zone. I used my new Taylor T-5 through the PA, and it worked just great. I am getting more and more pleased with that guitar every time I play it.

I took another break as dinner was served, and went up to my office to finish sipping through a Diet Sprite from Sonic, and to just relax for a bit. Perhaps I was also praying, I don't remember. I got up to head downstairs to tune up, and I had this calm sense of peace that it would all be OK. Many of the ladies attending know me or about me, so it wasn't a hostile crowd.

After Ann's very precious introduction, I started into a little Jamaican rhythm version of "Silver Bells" with the ladies joining me on the chorus. Then a slow version (is there any other way?) of "White Christmas." The 3rd song was a long time personal favorite, "Do You Hear What I Hear." Half-way through, I felt a warm wave of peace and assurance ... I almost started crying, but kept singing. I knew right then, and finally accepted for myself, that I was going to be OK, that the worry of the past 3 months of dealing with thyroid cancer and voice issues was coming to an end.

Vocally, I was doing pretty well through each song. It felt like I was getting stronger with each song. I was projecting with no strain, and controlling my voice with little effort or thought. In other words, I was getting comfortable. My throat felt relaxed and I was enjoying myself.

The final song was "Mary Did You Know," my favorite contemporary Christmas song. And, to quote a friend, " I just let it rip." Afterwards, as I thanked the ladies for their applause and participation, I knew and accepted that my voice was going to be ok. In fact, it may even be a little better!!! Given time and some re-training, I really believe I'm going to have a better voice.

It was good then, and is good today to feel at peace about it all!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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Would you life to share share about your favorite musical instrument?

What is your favorite guitar or other musical instrument?  Please let me know.  I'd like to interview you about your relationship with your favorite instrument.

I am interested in talking with, and getting to know, everyday people who make music.  That's the kind of person I am.  I'm an everyday kind of guy, and I love to sing and play guitar for everyday people. 

Although I have too many guitars, several ukes, a couple of old banjo's, a bunch of harmonicas and several Native American flutes, I am interested in stories about other instruments as well.  I have it in my mind that this blog will probably feature more stories about guitars and singer-songwriters.  However, I am open to stories about people and their love for other instruments.  So, if you play the accordion, piano, pennywhistle, drums . . . or can crack your knuckles in time to music . . . I want to hear your story.

All inquiries from interested, or from the curious as well, can be sent to revrickmang@gm…