Piano lessons

TRUE STORY…

At the prodding of my friends I am writing this story.  My name is Mildred Honor. I am a former elementary school Music Teacher from Des Moines, Iowa.

I have always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons . . . Something I have done for over 30 years. During those years, I found that children have many levels of musical ability, and even though I have never had the prodigy, I have taught some very talented students. However, I have also had my share of what I call “Musically Challenged Pupils.”

One such pupil being Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson.

I prefer that students (especially boys) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby.  But Robby said that it had always been his mother’s dream to hear him play the piano, so I took him as a student.

At the end of each weekly lesson he would always say, “My Mom’s going to hear me Play someday.”  But to me, it seemed hopeless, he just did not have any inborn ability. I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up.  She always waved and smiled, but never dropped in.

Then one day, Robby stopped coming for his Lessons.   I thought about calling him but assumed that because of his lack of ability he had decided to pursue something else. I was also glad that he had stopped coming. He was a bad advertisement for my teaching!

Several Weeks later, I mailed a flyer recital to the students’ homes. To my surprise, Robby (who had received a flyer) asked if he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and that because he had dropped out, he really did not qualify.

He told me that his mother had been sick and unable to take him to his piano lessons, but that he had been practicing.  “Please Miss Honor, I’ve just got to play,” he insisted. I don’t know what led me to allow him to play in the recital – perhaps it was his insistence or maybe something inside of me saying that it would be all right.

The night of the recital came, and the high school gymnasium was packed with parents, relatives and friends. I put Robby last in the program, just before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he might do would come at the end of the program, and I could always salvage his poor performance through my “Curtain Closer.”

Well, the recital went off without a hitch, the students had been practicing and it showed.  Then Robby came up on the stage. His clothes were wrinkled, and his hair looked as though he had run an egg beater through it. “Why wasn’t he dressed up like the other students?” I thought. “Why didn’t his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?’

Robby pulled out the piano bench, and I was surprised when he announced that he had chosen to play Mozart’s Concerto No.21 in C Major.  I was not prepared for what I heard next.   His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories.  He went from pianissimo to fortissimo, from allegro to virtuoso; his suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent!  Never had I heard Mozart played so well by anyone his age.

After six and a half minutes, he ended in a grand crescendo, and everyone was on their feet in wild applause!!!  Overcome and in tears, I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in joy.

“I have never heard you play like that Robby, how did you do it?”  Through the microphone, Robby explained: “Well, Miss Honor, remember I told you that my Mom was sick?  Well, she actually had cancer and passed Away this Morning. And well… she was born deaf, so tonight was the first time she had ever heard me play, and I wanted to make it special.”

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house that evening.  As people from Social Services led Robby from the stage to be placed into foster care, I noticed that even their eyes were red and puffy.  I thought to myself then how much richer my life had been for taking Robby as my pupil.

No, I have never had a prodigy, but that night I became a Prodigy . . . of Robby. He was the teacher and I was the pupil, for he had taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe even taking a chance on someone, and you didn’t know why.

Robby was killed years later in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995.

 

Every hair!

Scripture: Matthew 10:30

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” KJV

Many people ask, “Why would God care about me?” This question is usually based on Biblical doubt or suspicion that we are just an insignificant result of a big bang from a universe far – far away.

Our sun creates four-and-a-half million horsepower of energy each second. Therefore, if the sun impacted the earth, we would instantly burn up. So, God created a layer of filters to deliver less than one-tenth of one percent of the sun’s energy. Just so we could live here.

Our Milky Way Galaxy contains more than 100 billion stars. But our sun is just another star in the galaxy. The Hubble Space telescope website estimates there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. So that makes our sun and earth an insignificant grain of dust or two. Truly God’s power is awesome, and we cannot even begin to measure the energy around us — and then He ever so carefully delivers a relatively small amount of energy for me. So, does God care for me?

With this power and energy all around, it is interesting to note that God created a personal way to relate to us. He has written a unique genetic code just for each of us. If my genetic code would be printed out on paper it would take more than one million pages to describe just me. Another million to describe you! With 7.6 billion people in the world — that’s 7.6 billion separate and distinct million page — genetic codes. As you can see, we are each an encyclopedia of data that has been uniquely created by God.

The next time someone says to you, “Why would God care about me?” Answer: “Yes, He cares, and yes even your hairs are numbered — you are vitality important to Him. So important that He sent his Son to die on the cross for you and me so that when this life ends, we have a choice of spending eternity with Him.”

Prayer:

Father, thank you for caring about what I think and do down to the tiniest detail. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins so I can spend eternity with You in Heaven.

Thank You that You care so much about me, that You even know the number of hairs on my head.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I thank You,

Amen!

Jacquie Johnson

419 Fund Team member

 

 

Words

Thoughts to Words:
Take care of our thoughts for they become words
Take care of your words for they become your behavior
Take care of your behavior for they become your character
Take care of your character for it becomes your destiny
Talmund

God says in Matthew 12:34-37:

34  O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

35  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

36  But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment.

37  For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.

Words are very important!  With words, we can either built up or tear down. Which are you doing today?

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times.” Let’s show others love by the words we use.

Letter from Prison

January 8, 2019

Dear Precious Friends,

“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory for beyond all comparison, while we look not at the tings which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” II Corinthians 4:17-18

“. . . Who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, your also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many.” II Corinthians 1:10-11

I sincerely echo Paul’s sentiments and thankfulness to God for each one of you, for your prayers, support, encouragement and activism on my behalf.

I apologize I never made time to write to each of the 350 or so individuals who wrote letters on my behalf to Judge Arcara before my sentencing. I believe God miraculously used your letters to soften Judy Arcara’s heart to grant me bail, allowing me to be free pending my appeal to the Second Circuit. Plus, he set the fine at a mere $200 while the minimum recommendation in the guidelines was a $50,000 fine – with a maximum of $500,000! I was he first person he has allowed to walk out of his courtroom free on bail, I was told in a career that spanned nearly 40 years. It truly was a miracle. Thank you so much for your part!

Yet, here I am now in prison. I was ordered to self-surrender by Judge Arcara on December 5th of Ashland Federal Correctional Institution in Kentucky, once the Second Circuit District Court refused to overturn my conviction. I won’t go into the injustice of the decision. My lawyers are requesting certiori with the Supreme Court. [Denied January 10, 2019]

I know God has a purpose, and He is on our side. Kathie and I praise Him anyway, and we count it all joy, even though it is difficult – particularly for my dear wife, who I’ve never been apart from in our nearly 38 years of marriage for more than two nights.

The biggest blessing about being here in prison, however, is I have time to delve into God’s Word as never before. I am learning so very much!

One thing that has never really dawned on me to the [extent] I’m realizing now, is that we as believers are to anticipate with eagerness suffering for Christ’s sake. Jesus Himself said you and I must, when we desire to follow Him, take up our own cross.

In Matthew 24, Jesus promises to us that we will be delivered up to tribulation and even death . . . hated by nations for His name’s sake. Matthew 24:9-13

But there is a true blessing that comes from this (Luke 6:22-23). Se we as true believers are to embrace suffering for His name’s sale with all eagerness!

Indeed, suffering, is one of the main themes of he entire New Testament!  It is subject, expectation and realization that is constantly repeated over and over and over again!

God has truly answered many prayers!

Since December 5 was a Federal holiday due to President Bush’s funeral, the first 18 hours in prison I spent in the “shoe” – where they shut up all of the trouble makers. That was torturous for me. And also it was an entire week till I was allowed to communicate with my family.

But the next morning at 9:30, they transferred to me my permanent unit, which reminds me of a stark college dorm – without comfort or amenities. The only bars are on the outside windows.

God gave me what other inmates claim is the best cell in the unit, with only one of three (out of more than 50in our unit) “spring” bunk beds, in the best unit on the compound – the only one with air conditioning. He gave me a terrific cellmate who looks out for me, and three men to disciple. We’ve begun a prayer time every evening and will soon begin a Bible Study. Pray I may have God’s wisdom and insight. I feel very unqualified.

As a matter of fact, my cellmate told me shortly after he came to this prison, God gave him a vision that God would bring a cellmate who would be the catalyst for a new direction for his life.

So please, continue to pray for me regularly, for whatever might be my ministry here. And for Kathie, whatever ministry God is giving her while I am gone.

I thank God for you nearly every day!

Also, I’ve been writing a daily journal that should soon be available on line.  You’ll read my experiences and the observations God is revealing to me.

Please also pray for my son, William, who is suddenly responsible for running the business I began 40 years ago.

I am still expecting, in God’s perfect timing, to be released miraculously from prison. But it’ll be in a way in which God gets all the glory!  Please pray with us it will be sooner, rather than later.  Pray that in the meantime we will have peace, joy, patience and endurance!

This is a very difficult ordeal for all – especially for Kathie and William, and my other family.  Pray for Kathie’s health. She’s been in a lot of pain and is only sleeping two or three hours a night.

If you would like to send me a note of encouragement, make sure it’s on white paper with black or blue ink only, and in a white envelope.  Thank you everyone who has already written me.  Send them to:

Mr. Philip Zodhiates  18649-084

FCI Ashland

Federal Correctional Institution

P.O. Box 6001

Ashland, KY 41105

 

Kathie and William

PO Box 1842

Waynesboro, VA 22980

Again, you are very special to me. Thank you!

In His Service,

Philip

 

Last Call

Can you help Janalyn reach her goal of $6,000? She will be teaching English as a Second Language in South Asia next semester, and time is running out to get her support together.

Would you donate $25.00?  If 250 people would step up, we can help her reach her goal.

Janalyn is a junior at Liberty University, a Champion for Christ, who wants to make a difference in the lives of the people of South Asia.

Donate here: https://419fund.com/projects/tesl-internship/

Call to Prayer

1069 DAYS AND COUNTING DOWN!

Philip Zodhiates has appealed to the Supreme Court, and a conference is set for Friday, January 4, 2019. Please pray that the justices will accept his case and will stay his prison sentence and have him released from prison while his appeal is being heard.

Philip’s “crime” – acting with Christian love by giving Lisa Miller and her daughter a ride from Virginia to New York.

Facts:

1. Isabella was being physically and emotionally abused by Janet Jenkins.

2. Lisa was a concerned mother.

3. Lisa had full custody of Isabella, and a Virginia judge had ruled that she was Isabella’s only mother.

4. Lisa had no travel restrictions.

5. Both Lisa and Isabella had unrestricted current passports.

A Christian has been imprisoned for acting as Christ would!

James 5:16b: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

To donate: https://419fund.com/projects/philip-zodhiates/

YEAR-END DONATION CHALLENGE!

Dear Friends and “Likes”:

We would like to challenge you to give just $25.00 to your favorite Funding Opportunity on https://419fund.com.

Legal Fees:  Philip Zodhiates

https://419fund.com/projects/philip-zodhiates/

Medical:  The Miethe Family

https://419fund.com/projects/miethe-family/

Missions:

Scriptures for Iran ($6.00/Bible in Persian language)

https://419fund.com/projects/scriptures-for-iran/

Stories of Glory

https://419fund.com/projects/stories-of-glory/

Teaching English as Second Language (TESL)

https://419fund.com/projects/tesl-internship/

Support:  Isabella Miller – for her return to the US in 2020 at age 18.

https://419fund.com/projects/isabella-miller/

YOUR GRATEFUL 419 FUND TEAM

Bibles to Iran

This month, 419 Fund sent $160.00 to Elam Ministries for Bibles and received a thank you letter in return. Message from Elam: “It is a joy to partner with you to bring the hope of the Gospel to the people of Iran and beyond.”

This story was part of the thank you:

“Mona, a middle-aged Iranian woman, wanted meaning for her life. One day, she met a Christian, Reza, who shared the Gospel with her. Afterwards, Monda had a dream about Jesus. She went back to Reza to learn more and gave her life to Christ. She began telling others about Jesus. Since being saved, Mona has seen God save her daughter and youngest son. She continues to witness to her  husband and other son. Mona recently attended a conference with Elam. She now courageously distributes New Testaments inside Iran. Through her evangelism, seven women have come to Jesus and she continues to disciple them.”

Update:

Elam Ministries is in the process of printing 395,000 Farsi (Persian) Scriptures this month. Please pray for us.

The Church in Iran is the fastest growing in the world. The Church is indigenous – Persian-speakers are reaching and disciplining their own people.

The harvest is truly plentiful! The cost to put a New Testament into the hands of an Iranian evangelist is $6.00.

Scriptures for the Persian-speaking world

These are significant days for ministry to the Persian-speaking world. To make the most of the unprecedented opportunities to reach and disciple Persian-speakers, more New Testaments are needed.

The Word of God changes nations – and it is having a powerful impact in the Muslim world. As Scripture gets into the hands of Persian-speakers, many hearts and minds are being transformed by the love of Christ. We believe this will result in a growing house church movement inside Iran, increased ministry in Turkey, and tens of thousands of refugees coming to Christ in Europe. Our desire is to never have to say “no” to someone who requests a Bible for a lack of supply.

This $6,000 project will send 1,000 Persian New Testaments, which cost $6.00 each, into Iran. We are grateful for your prayers and partnership in reaching and disciplining Iranians.

Donate here to reach more Persian-speaking people:

https://419fund.com/projects/scriptures-for-iran/

Thank you!

419 Fund wishes to thank all our donors.

Sending you daisies and love.  Without you, we would not exist. And, without you, our Funding Opportunities would go unfunded.

Thank you for liking us on Facebook, and sharing our posts with your friends. The broader our audience, the more people we can help.

419 Fund Team

Philippians 4:19: “For my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Merry Christmas!

Philippians 2:6-8 sets forth the reason for Christ’s entrance into this world as a tiny baby:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man; 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death even the death of he cross.

Christ became our Kinsman Redeemer as described in the Book of Ruth. All those who come to Him, He redeems from sin, death and hell; He redeems their life so they can live for Him and become more Christ-like every day.

He humbled himself, how can we do anything less – humble ourselves and acknowledge we are sinners in need of a Savior.

II Peter 3:9 says: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Will you humble yourself and accept Jesus as your personal savior before it is too late?

God made you for relationship; and He wants a personal relationship with you!