Monday, December 29, 2014

Time to Hit Restart....Again.

In the world of computers, when all else fails – you hit the restart button, right?  For whatever reason, the programmed brain of a computer often sets itself aright by that one simple click.  Or maybe just a simple “refresh” will untangle all the multitasking and put her back on the right track.

Back to real life though, is anyone else tiring of hitting “restart” over and over and over again?  Is it possible to just hop on the steady incline toward a life of consistency with only a few minor, easily-surmountable bumps on the way?  Can we all just stop getting so excited for the clock to hit midnight on January 1st so that FINALLY we can start a new way of living that will ensure a consistently victorious life in 2015?  A year is just too long to have a mess-up in the middle of March.

Fortunately, amid my longings to ease the battle and settle into spiritual steadiness, I was met with a very familiar passage of Scripture.  The Lord gently reminded me that “renewal” is simply par for the course on our spiritual journey and that HE would provide all the strength, motivation, “wind under my wings”, needed to run, walk, and fly unwearied.  He would even give me that starter boost to “mount up” on each new start.  And the one simple requirement: to humbly, actively wait on the Lord.

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NKJV) is so precious to me:

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Our compassionate Creator never forgets the day he formed us.  Taking the simplest substance, He created man and infused HIS breath, life, and power into it.  A few thousand years later, nothing has changed about our feeble make-up OR the power needed to turn a bit of dust into something, someone, that can fulfill our Creator's purpose for our lives.  We forget, we faint, we even utterly fall.  Yet, His promise of renewed power and spiritual vigor still stands for every failure, every mess-up mid-March, every dejected spirit that longs for stability and strength.

Don't be discouraged if you find yourself needing to hit “restart” a good handful of times this year.  Our Good Shepherd is in the business of restoring our souls (Psalm 23:3) and renewing our strength (Isaiah 40:31)!  May you embark 2015 “in the strength of the Lord God” (Psalm 71:16)!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lyric Posting - "A Timeless Cause for Joy"

Thankfully, up to this point, the Christmas season at the Schopf Pad has been relatively non-stressful.  With a few more gifts to purchase, one string of lights to replace the ornery one at the top of my Christmas tree, three non-putzy-yet-equally-as-yummy side dishes to prepare, and a few bed sheets to change for the anticipated out-of-town family caravan, we are set!  While I could benefit from a deeper appreciation for holidays (aka, "holy" days, right?), my tendency is to embrace normalcy, with an eye toward a steady "life of worship".  I think I'm reacting to the up and down emotions of my childhood/teen years. Wait, scratch that.  I'm still on that roller coaster.  Hence, the reason I embrace simplicity and efficiency.  With young ones, marriage, ministry, and a passion for our music ministry, there's enough excitement even on a "normal" day.  What I'm rejoicing in today is found in the very last stanza of the song below.  The hope of freedom from sin's bondage, joy in my Father's sovereignty, and peace that surrounds and guards my heart and mind -- these are not just gifts availed to us at Christmas time.  They are forever blessings for those whom Jesus calls His own.  So, let your celebration be deep and rich in Christ this Christmas!  And let the celebration continue on December 26th.  His mercies are new every morning....         

"A Timeless Cause For Joy"

Jingle, jingle, feelings tingle inside an eager soul;
Christmas looms, while filling rooms with presents wall to wall.
Candles lit more frequently help set the Yuletide scene,
And countless dozen fancy treats are frosted red and green.

Social functions, food consumption delight the festive one,
Fuss and fury, haste and hurry, always on the run.
Christmas concerts here and there, with parties in between,
Towering trees and lighted wreathes have set the Christmas scene.

Seasons come and seasons go, and soon we say goodbye
To happy holiday feelings, and scrumptious holiday pie;
A time when glittering Christmas cards are simply in the way,
And extra Christmas money has vanished all away.

Vacation time, while all sublime, expires once again,
And making holiday memories has soon come to an end.
What will linger then, my friend, when the tinsel must come down?
What happy feeling will help sustain your spirit all year round?

A life abiding deep in Christ will bring unnumbered joys
Not sourced in yearly holidays or fleeting earthly toys.
No happy rush of feelings will deliver constant cheer
For ringing Christmas silver bells are heard but once a year.

Jesus Christ, the Christmas Babe, was born that blessed night
With quiet celebration and dim the lantern light.
Though hushed was His arrival, to mankind He would bring
A timeless cause for inward joy and endless cause to sing.

It's freedom from our sinfulness that Jesus came to give;
It's peace amid our worldly cares that on the Earth He lived.
It's inward joy in resting in the Father's wise control,
And trusting that the Christmas Babe is Keeper of my soul.

MP3 and Sheet Music can be found HERE. (Aside from our newest ones at the top, the songs are listed in alphabetical order.)

Sunday, December 21, 2014


When we officially began the Forever Be Sure Music Ministry at the beginning of 2008, the easiest and recommended way to organize our company was as an LLC (Limited Liability Company). In the eyes of the state, we were “for profit” (though we, along with most beginning entrepreneurs, chuckle at that description!). Wage or no wage, that's not the engine driving why we produce music and we pray it will never be! Frankly, we are overwhelmed that God has graciously given us a platform from which we can share the music that has become so dear to our hearts. Whether it ever puts bread on the table, we have been given priceless opportunities to share timeless truths about our unchangeable God. Our hearts have been filled a thousand times over.

All that to say, for a few years we've been itching to be in the eyes of the state what for all practical purposes we are – a Non-Profit Ministry. Finally a few months ago, some wheels were set in motion toward this direction.  With the right people in the right place at the right time, God paved our way and today we are excited to announce that our status as a non-profit ministry is official!

We at FBS are in no rush to move ahead of the Lord and are content to pursue a quiet heart before Him, even in light of our passion and excitement for Forever Be Sure.  We know God works out His will in His time through a limitless variety of means. That said, we wanted to share some of our hopes for further enhancement, should the Lord allow:

Travel Plans.  We desire to travel more frequently for fewer days at a time.  It is easier for mothers or those who hold full-time jobs to sneak away for an extended weekend, rather than for a 10-day tour.  That said, we still hope to maintain our Spring Ladies Tour and our Fall Family Tour.

Recording Improvements.   We hope to speed up CD production and increase the quality of our orchestrations.  This will likely include soliciting outside help, more “live” instrumentalists, and additional software.  

Educational Pursuits.  Heidi Fuller and Heather Schopf had the awesome privilege to attend a Composer Symposium this past October, with the view toward further publication opportunities and the need to deepen/expand our knowledge of music composition.  Suffice it to say that a) we will never write a song the same again and b) we were both convinced that these symposiums were a MUST each year (if not twice a year!).  

There you have it – our exciting news!  In all our endeavors, we long to live out the admonition of Romans 12:11,  “not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”  If God should move in your heart to partner with us in these efforts, we would be humbled and blessed by a year-end contribution to further the ministry of Forever Be Sure.  

We praise HIM that we have something to sing about!

The Forever Be Sure Team
CLICK HERE to view our  DONATION PACKAGES website page!