11th November 2023

'The Blog of Penny Lyon'



Thoughts And Words From Out Of The Ashes Front Woman

He had given me the very desire of my heart.
And in doing so, he gave me my life's work.

So what has given me this heart for running a gospel choir and getting people to sing? I'll tell you.

I come from one of those hatchings, matchings and dispatchings of families.
You know the kind? It's ok to write'Church of England' on application forms, but for heaven's sake don't talk about it or get involved.

Well, in spite of my mum's reservations, when I was sixteen I started going regularly to one of those other kinds of churches with a school friend.
This was my first real experience of what most people would have described as a 'happy clappy' church, where people talked about Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, but my mother remained tight-lipped. I loved it.

One night about six of us were crammed in a car, travelling home after the service and I realised that my friends in the car were discussing a rehearsal for a band.
I asked what they were talking about and was told that they were planning to start a band playing Christian music.

Now... understand this, I was sixteen, and gawky with a gummy grin.
Not a girl with street credibility - and this sounded so cool!

Well, the only instrument I'd ever played was the violin, which I'd had to give up because those that loved me couldn't stand the dreadful noise I made when I practised; my brother and sisters had always assured me that I couldn't sing - so - well, not exactly excellent qualifications. Anyway, I muscled my way in with my eye on the spot of backing vocalist - I had plans on the back row, boogie a bit and no real responsibility - thus achieving a level of cool in my own eyes that I'd never hoped to see in my whole life.

That is until the first rehearsal - when my lack of talent became abundantly clear to all of us.

The rest of the band - bless them - probably felt quite a degree of responsibility for what might happen to my spiritual well-being if they gave me the sack, and they were clearly in an uncomfortable dilemma.

Should they get rid of me and lose the dreadful noise in the back row?
Or should they give me a tambourine, take away the microphone and reduce my impact on the sound as much as possible? Looking back, I feel for them.

I remember how I felt, and I promise you, it was painful. I knew what the situation demanded - I needed to admit my shortcomings and leave the band graciously; but that would mean admitting to all my other school friends the truth about my lack of ability - The gawky sixteen-year-old had just achieved some small level of cool and now I was about to lose it again.

I needed help desperately.

So I prayed as I'd never prayed before, asking God to help me;
It never occurred to me to pray to be able to sing, it never crossed my mind that it might be on the 'shopping list' so to speak;
instead, I prayed for courage, humility, honesty.

All the things I didn't have and knew I needed.
I realised that my only way through this maze was to hand it over to God completely.
To let everything go.

So, for the first time in my life, I experienced that amazing release that can only be found when you completely lay something at Jesus' feet.

During the following week, I didn't sing once, I just prayed and handed over, again, and again, and again.

And God worked.
First of all, He showed me that His plan is paramount.
In accepting His plan, I was accepting something that was made just for me; a plan not to harm me, but to prosper me.
A plan for which I was perfectly and wonderfully made.
It was a life-changing lesson.

The next rehearsal found me sitting in an armchair, watching my friends practice, without feeling any of the familiar resentment that accompanied the thwarted desire to take part myself.
I felt joyfully grateful, completely in His hands, completely in His will. Peaceful.

Later on in the evening, there was an interruption in the rehearsal, resulting in only a few people being left in the room.

It seemed that the leader of the band suddenly became aware of my presence and in that brief moment of 'nothing to do,' he took the opportunity to hear some of the songs I'd been writing.

"Come on ..." he said, "let's hear what you've been up to..."

I sang through a couple of ditties I'd put together.
He looked at me quizzically. "Sing this," he said, giving me one of the songs the band had been working on.
And then "sing this", and then again "how about this one?".

There was no other way of looking at it.
My voice had changed so much as to be beyond recognition.
God, given my complete submission to His will, had given me not only what I had asked for...

I am reminded of Abraham, who asked to put the precious sum of all his loves, hopes and ambitions, in the form of Isaac, onto an altar of stones for sacrifice to God, and was prepared to do so, thus giving God the trust that enabled the birth of a nation.

He had given me the very desire of my heart.
And in doing so, he gave me so much more than I could ever have dreamed.

Well! This is the private page for Out of the Ashes.. the saying goes 'keep your friends close', and, well, you are our friends, so we want to keep you close.
Here we will keep you up to date with what we're up to, up-coming dates for your diary, new songs and albums, videos, stuff to entertain you and even occasionally to challenge you.
This is where you can give opinions, get involved and be part of the act! (Copied from Facebok)


  Contact the Rector
  The Revd.Nic.Edwards
  The Rectory,
  Church Lane,
  NN7 3PB

  Land Line: 01604 - 815496
  (Can be accessed from the mobile device)
  Mobile: .....
  thebeneficeofbhkandr at gmail dot com

  Contact the Benefice Office
  Sunday School Rooms, Church Lane,
  BUGBROOKE, Northampton, NN7 3PB
  Land Line: 01604 830373
  thebeneficeofbhkandr at gmail dot com
  Mon., Tues., Wed,, Thur., Fri.
  9:00am to 11:30am
Picture of the Sunday School

  For Baptism bookings  (Christenings)
  to arrange an appointment please contact the
  Benefice Office.
  For Wedding bookings:
  please contact the Benefice Office to arrange
  an appointment.

  Who Made This?
  Seeing as you asked, if you can give helpful
  advice or report factual corrections and
  'deliberate mistakes',email
  regparker3 at gmail dot com

Email addresses shown using words in an attempt to avoid 'spam', Type the email address replacing 'at' with '@', and 'dot' with '.'