Sunday, July 26, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

July 26, 2009

Hi All! Today singing was a pretty good day! I had a little more power. I did not really hurt singing and I was able to last throughout the whole service. I also have started thinking of my voice as a musical instrument, to be taken care of, to use different volumes and pitches, and to learn as Donald Lawrence says to pace myself. Those are all of the positives. Some of the negatives is that I still can't full voice a lot of highs and at times I do sound like a broken reed when my vocal cords do not vibrate enough. That is when I put more air into the note and the fluttering stops. Then I realize I have to build up my cardiovascular endurance to be able to sustain and adequate push to avoid using vocal muscles to get the note out. That is good I believe in my recognizing the problem. I noticed on a few songs in which I forgot to monitor myself, I started using a little throat, but at least when I realized it, I took the focus off of my throat and put it back on my diaphragm. Whew! I feel as though I am starting to learn to sing all over again. Well, now I know I have to build up my wind again. But overall, it was a good day. I was a little hoarse for a few minutes but it passed with the warmdown exercises. But overall, still a good day. Well, that's all I have to say today. There is practice tomorrow and I want to be ready for that. I think I am going to be part of a lead for a song, in fact, I know I am so I might as well get ready huh? lolol Kudos to my lovely wife! Her encouragement means more than the world to me. As always, keep your family close and God even closer. I am leaving you a little something as always at the end. Enjoy! I trust it will get in your spirit. Bye


Be the Jesus They See by Pastor Andre Butler

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. --1 John 2:6

In the verse above, the word “walk” in the Greek means to live. And if you are in Christ, God has an expectation that you will live a certain way. And realize that He is not expecting you to live a certain way just on Sundays or when things are going bad and you need Him to show up in your life. He is talking about how you live, period. God has an expectation for your lifestyle.
So those who are in Jesus, as far as God is concerned, should live their lives like Jesus did. There was a certain way Jesus operated when He was on the planet, and God is saying if you are saying you are in Jesus then ultimately you should be like Him. Most people believe that it is not really possible to live like Jesus did. I mean after all, He was Jesus. He was the son of God. Well, what are you? The Bible says you are a child of God, an heir of God, and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. You are just as much a son of God as Jesus was and is.
I want you to understand that the world needs you to be like Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus coming around the corner, Jesus working in the cubicle working next to them, Jesus in the grocery store, Jesus praying for their kids, and Jesus being in their neighborhood. The world is looking for Superman. They are looking for Jesus, and they should see Him in you. It should be that when people look at your life they get a picture of Jesus’ life. If they are seeing you, they are seeing Him, because you are just like Him.
So how do you do this? Well, all the commands that God gave us in His Word can be summed up in the Law of Love. Romans, Chapter 13 teaches us that love is the fulfilling of the law. So if you really want to know what do to be like Jesus, the answer is to walk in love. And realize that being like Jesus is fulfilling the commandment of love, because He walked in love.
Jesus gave you a model so you can imitate it. So you also should be a model and one whose conduct is worthy of imitation. That sounds like Jesus to me. Many times people do not just learn because you said something to them; they learn because they saw you do it. There is power in an example, and there is no greater example than Jesus.
So you be the Jesus they see.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

July 21, 2009

Hi All, me again. Back to let you know what is happening on the front. Last time I checked I told you all I sung with the male chorus and lasted pretty well. Well, last night I sung at practice almost every song, well every song. I just hung back on some songs. I could not go full voice in the high range so I sort of did a cross between falsetto and full voice. But I gotta tell you today, my entire throat area is tired, so tired. It feels like it is full of something and heavy. Maybe I overdid it a little but I have to push it a little to get back in shape. Maybe there is finally a light in the tunnel. I want to be able to start singing solos again. I miss it y' know? Trying so hard to use proper technique and sing up into my throat vs using throat muscles with just enough breath to get the note out and not tense up the throat. Well that's it for today. Gotta go, but keep me in your prayers. God bless and remember keep your family close and God even closer. In parting, here is a little something extra below

Be the Jesus they see by Pastor Andre Butler

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. --1 John 2:6 In the verse above, the word "walk" in the Greek means to live. And if you are in Christ, God has an expectation that you will live a certain way. And realize that He is not expecting you to live a certain way just on Sundays or when things are going bad and you need Him to show up in your life. He is talking about how you live, period. God has an expectation for your lifestyle.So those who are in Jesus, as far as God is concerned, should live their lives like Jesus did. There was a certain way Jesus operated when He was on the planet, and God is saying if you are saying you are in Jesus then ultimately you should be like Him. Most people believe that it is not really possible to live like Jesus did. I mean after all, He was Jesus. He was the son of God. Well, what are you? The Bible says you are a child of God, an heir of God, and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. You are just as much a son of God as Jesus was and is. I want you to understand that the world needs you to be like Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus coming around the corner, Jesus working in the cubicle working next to them, Jesus in the grocery store, Jesus praying for their kids, and Jesus being in their neighborhood. The world is looking for Superman. They are looking for Jesus, and they should see Him in you. It should be that when people look at your life they get a picture of Jesus' life. If they are seeing you, they are seeing Him, because you are just like Him. So how do you do this? Well, all the commands that God gave us in His Word can be summed up in the Law of Love. Romans, Chapter 13 teaches us that love is the fulfilling of the law. So if you really want to know what do to be like Jesus, the answer is to walk in love. And realize that being like Jesus is fulfilling the commandment of love, because He walked in love. Jesus gave you a model so you can imitate it. So you also should be a model and one whose conduct is worthy of imitation. That sounds like Jesus to me. Many times people do not just learn because you said something to them; they learn because they saw you do it. There is power in an example, and there is no greater example than Jesus.So you be the Jesus they see.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

I am back again. lolool How is everyone doing? Well, I have been to practices and sung with the mass choir again. My voice is stronger but not the way I want it or as far along as I want it. There are just notes I cannot hit right now. There are just volume levels I cannot hit right now. I was told by my vocal therapist that is to be expected though and not to rush it. Sure, I may be a bit cautious, but I have right to be. I don't ever want to go through this surgery again. How is my throat? Well, those of you who either listen intently or know about playing a wind instrument with a reed. Remember the sound a reed makes when it is either splintered or getting ready to splinter? That flutter sound? Well that is what my vocal cord does at times. I can feel it and hear it inside my head. At times I can hear it in my speaking voice when it gets tired. It is not as pronounced as in the beginning thank God!!! I still believe I will be ready by the end of July to sing solos again. But if not, I will consider it a part of God's plan and good timing. Praise God!!!!! Well, that's the low down on that. You know what? I have even begun singing around the house a little. A little will lead to alot! lolololol Well, gotta run and as always, keep those you love close and God even closer. And as always I am leaving a little something at the end of this message. Trust it helps someone. Bye

Make Room for Your Blessings by Rev. James C. Matthews

"Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep {me} from harm that {it} may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested." 1 Chronicles 4:10 Most people today are familiar with the Prayer of Jabez and how he dared to ask God to bless him indeed. Many of us may have memorized and even recited Jabez's prayer in hopes that God would likewise respond to our prayers and bless us in a like manner.However, I believe one of the major reasons many of our prayers have not been answered is because we have forgotten or simply do not understand a principle that Jabez understood. This principle is: "God blesses those who have prepared themselves to be blessed".When Jabez asked God to bless him indeed, he was asking God do something He nor anyone around him had experienced. He asked for something out of the ordinary and supernatural. Recognizing he did not have the capacity to handle such a blessing, He petitioned God to provide him with the necessary capacity by expanding his borders. Jabez said, God bless me indeed, but don't forget to correspondingly increase my ability to handle what You are going to do. This is the key to experiencing God's abundance in your life.Many of us have asked God to do something extra ordinary in our lives but we don't have the capacity to handle or properly manage what we've asked for. We've asked God to pour out rivers of blessing upon us but only have a cups capacity. If God were to give us what we've asked for much of it would be wasted. God will never give us something that we are not ready for.There may even be some who have been preparing themselves for expansion but have forgotten God in their preparation. You can't build a barn big enough to hold what God can pour out. Only God knows the measure and integrity of the container needed to possess His blessings.When God called Abraham and told him that he was going to multiply and bless him abundantly the first thing He told him was to move. God told him to move from his family and go to a place that He would show him. God told Abraham to move for two reasons:(1) It would remove him from the pagan influences of his family and society, and(2) to make room for the blessing that He had planned to give him.Abraham disobeyed God by bring his nephew Lot with him and the first recorded quarrel they had was not over money or theological differences - but space. God had blessed Abraham to the point that the land could not hold both of them. The reason the land could not hold both of them was because the land was given in proportion to Abraham's blessing. God blessed Abraham but also gave him the means and ability to possess and care for his blessing.What have you asked God to do in your life? Do you believe that God will answer you? Are your preparations adequate and in line with what you've asked Him for? Have you included God in your preparations? I believe if Jabez were here to share with us the key to experiencing abundance in our lives he would say: First, believe that God will bless you, and second, you must be prepared for your blessing before it will comes.Have you made room for your blessing?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

July 16, 2009
Fear, fear, fear. Well, I will get to that in a moment. I sung again with the mass choir. The songs we sung today was up in the top end of my register. It was tough. I got through the day but I had to falsetto alot of parts I normally would sing full voice. Kinda disappointing in that respect. I guess you can say I sung today as was needed to preserve my voice rather than how I felt like I should have sung. Like I said before though, I want to sing better than I use to sing. My voice doesn't feel strong enough yet. It sounds strange to hear my voice as well. It sounds (to me) as if my voice isn't even clearing 2 ft around me. Feels like I am not being heard. One thing I am conscious of now is not trying to outsing the instruments or people. I am starting to become voice aware. Hopefully knowing how it feels to sing at a certain level. I believe that way I will know how loud I am singing without even having to hear myself.
Now, about the fear. There are a few issues. Well for starters, I sung from the back row today vs up close to the microphone. I was afraid I would crack or hit a wrong note. Don't know if I would or not, it is what I thought. Next fear, feeling as though I wasn't singing loud enough. I probably was, but to me I wasn't but I did not want to try to sing louder because I was afraid of injuring my voice by singing to hard and loud. Next fear, there was a song that I have only sung maybe once or twice. It was on sort of a worship spot and my wife started singing the adlib. She looked back at me to get the mike and finish but I was too afraid of cracking, hitting the wrong note,and embarrassing myself. Fear, fear, fear. My confidence has gone down a little. I used to have confidence I could hit any note, sing anything without trying. Now I am unsure of myself right now. But fortunately, I know how to break out of this rut. More practice at home for one thing, singing full voice so I will feel prepared. More affirmations to myself that I can regain my status within myself. Listening to my wife tell me I can do it. But the main thing is that when I am weak, God can show Himself strong. I must remember that. And I will. It will not be without some effort but what good thing is worth not putting forth effort. I know I can come forth as pure gold after the trying time. Okay, now to rest my voice. Practice a bit later and hopefully my voice will have recovered enough to go to practice tomorrow. Until later folks, love some one, pray for some one and show the the love of Jesus. And as I am accustomed now to do, read the inspirational message at the end. See ya!!!!
Faith Report CardLatrice Pace As a preacher's kid, I grew up hearing and reading about faith. As an adult I've come to know and experience what faith is and does. FAITH: loyalty, belief and trust in God. I am a fan of Webster.com and when I typed "trust" I noticed the derivatives were, "trustability", "trustable", "truster", "trustingly", "trustingness". Nothing came up for "trusted". It may very well be a word, but not acknowledged by Webster. My point, "trust" is never past tense. It's not something you did once and it didn't work out for you. A friend once said to me, "to say you've trusted is to say life got stuck in a previous experience of failure or hurt." As believers its never a thing of the past, it's our now, our life. It's the fundamental fact of our existence."But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him." Hebrews 11:6 Amp.I, like so many others have found myself to the point of frustration and really wanting to be enlightened when it came to the subject of faith. I'd ask, What am I doing wrong?, What am I not getting? Why is my life not yielding certain results? There have been numerous Biblical testimonies of faith set before us to show us that if we get in the habit of believing (without options, without a plan b) our lives can yield the same results if not better. They stood firm, in the state of mind in which they had un-shakeable confidence and faith in God. Abraham when asked was ready to return his promised son, Isaac back to God not knowing that other provisions had already been made. Abraham didn't go to the undisclosed location with Isaac and an optional sacrifice. He knew that there was a reason God was asking for the son in which his descendants would spring forth.Now he very well could have asked a plethora of questions and refused to make a move until he understood. I'm sure nothing about this was making sense to him. However, he didn't seek to understand it, he moved and believed. God saw his heart, his desire to please Him. Therefore, He provided the ram. Noah, who was a farmer and aspiring entrepreneur. He was probably in the process or planting his very own vineyard so he could open a farm winery, but God interrupts his plans. He was asked to build an ark in the Summer's heat, if I may. The process of building a boat/ship/ark is a traditional craftsmanship which is a refined art delivered from master to apprentice. The skill is passed on by doing and often without a sketch or blueprint.In Genesis 6 and 7, God (the master) gave detailed instructions for the ark and Noah (the apprentice) obeyed. Why? He was in the habit of believing. Noah's habit affords us the opportunity to experience the brilliant beauty of the consequent rainbow today. Enoch's habit caused him to be caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not see death. SELF ANALYSIS: Is your faith failing or satisfactory?1. Like Abraham, has God ever asked you to sacrifice something he promised you with no explanation why and not knowing the end result?
2. Like Noah, has He ever wanted to interrupt your plan because He had need of you?
3. Just as Enoch did, He expects us to be "caught up". Get caught up in the habit of trusting Him, so that our faith grows increasingly faster than any giant/deathly circumstance we may face today. A firm mindset of faith influences a habit of faith. The testimonial results from that faith that will last for generations is the sum of those essential factors. Is your faith.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

July 9, 2009
At choir practice tonight did it seem easier? Well, it did as compared to the other nights. The notes came a little easier and I did not really feel the strain until I started getting a little tired. All I did today was concentrate on my breathing from low in my belly. Not just with my diaphragm but deep down in my lower stomach more than anything and I also concentrating on keeping less tension as possible in my throat area. I was visualizing how my larnyx was moving as well as making sure I had just enough breath to finish the phrase without all that backpressure tension in the throat. I was also remembering how to back off the volume. I had to remember that not everything needs to be song at high volume for all its worth. In other words to pace myself and also since I am not the only tenor up there, to use the other voices and that I did not have to try to outsing anyone. I also practiced on shutting up when I needed to as well. Also I remembered to do a warmdown which is just as important as a warmup such as lip trills or tongue trills in my case. I don't do lip trills very well. All these things helped me. My voice isn't cracky. I don't feel particularly hoarse. No pain. This was my best practice as of yet. So to all those contemplating the surgery, it does get better. Slow but better. Well gotta go. As always love somebody hug somebody and see I love you to God always. And as always check out the tidbit at the end of this message. Hope it is beneficial. See ya!

Make Room For Your Blessing Rev. James C. Matthews "Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep {me} from harm that {it} may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested." 1 Chronicles 4:10 Most people today are familiar with the Prayer of Jabez and how he dared to ask God to bless him indeed. Many of us may have memorized and even recited Jabez's prayer in hopes that God would likewise respond to our prayers and bless us in a like manner.However, I believe one of the major reasons many of our prayers have not been answered is because we have forgotten or simply do not understand a principle that Jabez understood. This principle is: "God blesses those who have prepared themselves to be blessed".When Jabez asked God to bless him indeed, he was asking God do something He nor anyone around him had experienced. He asked for something out of the ordinary and supernatural. Recognizing he did not have the capacity to handle such a blessing, He petitioned God to provide him with the necessary capacity by expanding his borders. Jabez said, God bless me indeed, but don't forget to correspondingly increase my ability to handle what You are going to do. This is the key to experiencing God's abundance in your life.Many of us have asked God to do something extra ordinary in our lives but we don't have the capacity to handle or properly manage what we've asked for. We've asked God to pour out rivers of blessing upon us but only have a cups capacity. If God were to give us what we've asked for much of it would be wasted. God will never give us something that we are not ready for.There may even be some who have been preparing themselves for expansion but have forgotten God in their preparation. You can't build a barn big enough to hold what God can pour out. Only God knows the measure and integrity of the container needed to possess His blessings.When God called Abraham and told him that he was going to multiply and bless him abundantly the first thing He told him was to move. God told him to move from his family and go to a place that He would show him. God told Abraham to move for two reasons:(1) It would remove him from the pagan influences of his family and society, and(2) to make room for the blessing that He had planned to give him.Abraham disobeyed God by bring his nephew Lot with him and the first recorded quarrel they had was not over money or theological differences - but space. God had blessed Abraham to the point that the land could not hold both of them. The reason the land could not hold both of them was because the land was given in proportion to Abraham's blessing. God blessed Abraham but also gave him the means and ability to possess and care for his blessing.What have you asked God to do in your life? Do you believe that God will answer you? Are your preparations adequate and in line with what you've asked Him for? Have you included God in your preparations? I believe if Jabez were here to share with us the key to experiencing abundance in our lives he would say: First, believe that God will bless you, and second, you must be prepared for your blessing before it will comes.Have you made room for your blessing?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

July 6, 2009
Hi all, sorry again for being so late and not blogging every day. I sang with the mass choir again. Some songs were easier. Some songs up in my register not so easy. It is like there is a block right now in my throat that prevents me from singing with more volume. Maybe this is normal I think. I can almost feel my vocal cords not vibrating at a high enough speed to compensate. You ever heard someone playing the clarinet or sax and it sounds like their reed is splintering or flayed? Now that flutter sound you hear? Right now that is what it sounds and feels like my vocal cords are doing right now. But I must admit, it is much better than just after my first week of not saying anything and attempting to make a note. So I am heading in the right direction. I had said now that is was July I would try to make 2 practices a week trying to get ready for our choir day except now it looks like we are not going to have choir day. Now my plans have changed. I don't have that goal to look forward to now. But there is something else on the horizon, a concert we will be involved in but it isn't until August. So what do I do now? Do I continue with 1 day a week practices until the middle of July or start with 2 practices now? Do I practice every weekend with the ensemble or every other week? Decisions, decisions. But I know this, I don't have no other choice but to depend on God first to encourage and to heal, then my wife second for encouragement. Well that is the latest update. Hold God close people. C ya but before I go, let me encourage you all with a post I found. Hope it is helpful!

Fulfill God's Plan For Your MarriageGary & Barbara Rosberg
Are you lacking spiritual intimacy in your marriage? Not sure? Take a look at some of the signs spiritual intimacy may be missing from your relationship:
To link to this article from your blog, copy and paste the url below into your blog or homepage. Using this link will ensure access to the article, even after it becomes part of the 316 archive.
1. You may experience conflict in many areas.2. You may feel incomplete.3. You may lack a firm foundation for your marriage commitment.4. You may lack boundaries for guarding your marriage.
Spiritual intimacy occurs when you as husband and wife surrender your lives and relationship to the Lord. You grow together spiritually when you live out your marriage relationship according to God's ways and aim to please him in all things.
But spiritual intimacy isn't available to just anyone. Spiritual intimacy is an ingredient available only to those who have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and who live to please him. When you are joined with another Christian in marriage, you have the wonderful privilege of seeking spiritual intimacy in your marriage. When husbands and wives are growing in their vertical relationships (individually with God), their horizontal relationship (between the two of them) comes together as well.
Spiritual growth is the job of both husbands and wives as individuals. But spiritual intimacy happens when you experience God together and share what you have learned. So what's stopping you and your mate from growing together spiritually? You may be experiencing one of these roadblocks to spiritual intimacy:
* "I don't have time for spiritual things. We have more pressing issues right now."* "I'm afraid God will expect more than we can do."* "My spouse isn't interested in spiritual matters."
You may not realize the power spiritual intimacy can have on your relationship with your spouse. We often describe it this way: Emotional and physical intimacy ignite the rocket in your marriage, but spiritual intimacy fires the afterburners and gets you into orbit! Emotional and physical attraction is what drew you together, but the spiritual connection is what keeps you together. Just take a look at some of the benefits of spiritual intimacy in a marriage:
* It empowers celebrating love.* It allows you to connect at the deepest level.* It links you with God's purposes and plans for you.* It allows you to bless each other with God's love.* It brings your deepest values and desires into agreement.* It opens the door to the deepest levels of communication.* It empowers your marriage to survive.* It connects you to a supportive body of fellow disciples.
So how can you and your mate begin to grow spiritually as a couple?
Here are some of our recommendations:
Schedule daily times to read God's Word. Make an appointment with God, and keep it.
Share the Word. Talk together about what God is teaching you.
Pray aloud together. You can't get any more intimate than praying together as a couple. If you haven't prayed with your spouse before, start slowly - but start today.
Hold hands and pray. Joining your hands as well as your hearts and voices as you pray is a great way to draw close.
Study together. Do a Bible study or a devotional book together, or work through a study independently and then discuss it together. Our book Renewing Your Love is a thirty-day devotional designed to help couples study a passage together, reflect on its meaning for their marriages, pray together, and practice ways to love each other more deeply.
Make Sundays relaxed. Plan ahead so that going to church is not a hectic event. Replace the race to church with relaxation and heart preparation. If you have children, you and your spouse can share the responsibility for getting them ready and in their classes before you sit down for worship.
Be accountable to each other. Your spiritual relationship will grow deep if you allow yourselves to share and receive correction from each other.
Encourage accountability to others. Help each other find an accountability group - men for him, women for her - that will serve as a sounding board and spiritual support. Choose groups that will ultimately strengthen your commitment to each other, not weaken it.
Spend time with other couples. Choose wisely. Link up with couples who are intent on developing strong marriages and have boundaries.
Find mentors. Ask a mature Christian couple with a healthy marriage to mentor you as a couple.
Speak up. When you see your spouse take steps of spiritual growth, compliment him or her about it. Cheer your spouse son to more of the same.
Seek God's will for your life. Start by telling God that you want to do life his way. Read Scripture, and heed the advice of more mature Christians in discovering what it means to live out God's will.
Teach your children to follow God. One of the greatest responsibilities of your shared commitment to Christ is passing on your faith to your children. Strategize together about how to make faith vital for each of them, and act on your plans.
Count your blessings. Set aside time to thank God of everything he has done for you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

July 1, 2009
Well, peeps, it has been more than a week since I have blogged here. Let's see. Let's play catchup. Since then and I may have mentioned this, I have sung with the male chorus, and have participated in a few practices. That kinda sums it up. I wasn't too proud of those times but I have to keep reminded myself it takes time to regain what was lost especially the way we practice. Have to push some, but not too hard at one time. I have sung with the ensemble group. I had forgotten how high some if not most of the songs could be. Did well on a few songs. Some songs I could tell the voice wasn't quite there. I literally squawked on one song and my bro beside me used a hand gestures to tell me to back off trying to hit the high note. Actually hitting the high note wasn't the problem. It was the staying up there in the highs constantly that was the problem. I think I hid my disappointment well except from my wife. She said things will come and I have to believe that. I have to admit something though. My , well, my range is pretty good before all this happened. I could sing some low soprano, alto, high tenor as well as low tenor, and some high bass. Got to thinking I was something special after being held down so long at the other church I was at who would not let me sing like that. Maybe that is why all this happened to tone me down some. If that is the case, I am glad it happened for that purpose, not for the layoff. Now I seek to regain that with the purpose of singing in what ever key is needed at the time for a song. I am coming back but it is slow. Missing the power and some highs. Now I am gearing up to go to choir prac tomorrow. It will be the mass choir first then men afterwards. I will govern myself accordingly. May not want to do men because men may not sing until sometime in the middle or last of July. We will see. Well time for me to prac a little bit on my vocal exercises. C ya and as always love somebody teach somebody hug somebody in the name of Jesus!