The smallest stage, and what we learned

“This is not the smallest stage we’ve sung on.”

Cramped church stages are grueling, but none of them compare to The Stage.

“Remember Rose City?” we’ve said to each other, maneuvering around immovable pulpits and narrow steps. As long as we compared tight spaces with the dreaded octagonal platform of Rose City Evangelical Free Church, we could survive.

It’s a tiny church in Minnesota. They hosted us twice, once in 2010, and then in 2011. We made a video of the last time we sang there. It’s still impressive that we crammed all eight of us on the small stage. (Of course, the youngest three were small themselves then.)

Six years—that was a long time ago. We have grown a good deal in six years. The Stage was a thing of the past, and not a stage after it equated the hassle in our books.

Or so we thought.

Last year a phone call came with an invitation to return to Rose City. We were beyond shocked. That night, the supper table turned into a debate forum: could we, or could we not sing at Rose City?

The majority said no. The minority said yes. Somehow the minority won.

Dad responded to the call with an affirmative—while others shook in their shoes with fear and trepidation: “Remember, this is THE STAGE we tell promotors that is teenier than their stages. Why are we doing this?”

The concert was set for April 30, 2017, the Sunday afternoon following the Twin Cities Quartet Convention. As the date drew near, we’d tell each other just for kicks: “Hey, Rose City is only ___ (months, weeks) away!”

Then the weekend came. The counting down ceased: no longer a bad joke, it was a bad dream come true.

Friday and Saturday at the Twin Cities Quartet Convention were fantastic. Ben says it was the best TCQC Convention he has experienced. We were on a high from the uplifting music and visits with an abundance of friends…that is, until Sunday morning rolled around.

Reality hit hard: We were singing at The Stage.

Minnesota’s Grumpiest Family of Southern Gospel Music pulled into the parking lot later than the projected arrival time. This made grumpy attitudes acidic. We smiled at those who greeted us, but when the church was all to ourselves, scowls and complaints abounded. (Shameful, but true.) One sibling tried to keep a bright outlook, singing a convention-style song I wrote called “Happy in Jesus”—but it didn’t have the positive effect they wanted.

But, as we set up our equipment, it didn’t seem as bad as it first looked. The tiny octagonal stage only held a couple of us, true: but the church had replaced the old tight seating with pews set further away from the platform. We also were able to remove and push aside the church’s sanctuary furnishings quite easily. This provided an open area to position Sam, Jayme, Caleb, and Dad comfortably, as well as the keyboard and drums.

Suddenly, a million other worse spaces flashed through our minds. (Like the places we have actually placed Dad inside the pulpit.) Maybe Rose City wasn’t half that bad after all…

Conviction set in and apologies were eventually made for the bad attitudes. It is humbling to think that God decimated the children of Israel for their grumbling—was not our whining just as bad? Thank the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness!

Though the positions were admittedly awkward, the concert was full of joy and the sweet presence of God. That little church was packed too! Friends attended and made the day even more special.

When the Nautilus pulled out of the small parking lot, we all admitted: Rose City wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be.

And actually…we wouldn’t mind going back.

WRITTEN BY TAYLOR

Enjoy these pictures from the concert taken by our friend Laura!

After Extended Silence…

Hello Friends!

As you have probably noticed, our family’s blog has been relatively silent – word-and-update-wise – though we have posted quite a few videos as of late.  This is mostly due to my negligence and striving to limit my computer time.  Apologies!

The Garms family has been happily enjoying life as family.  The days are filled with unexpected adventures and daily lessons, and we continue to travel day by day the journey God has placed before us.

Some of you might know that our friend Mal fell last week after coming home from a doctor’s appointment.  He has been steadily weakening, and the fall was inevitable as his shakiness has increased quickly over the past few months.  He had decided to cease the weekly Walmart trip several weeks ago because of the difficulty and weariness of walking.

Mal actually had a good appointment on Thursday and allowed Mom and I to push him in a wheelchair to the various parts of the clinic.  When we returned from the trip, he was worn out and walked unsteadily into the hallway to his room.  On the threshold of the door between the main part of the house and Mal’s room, his foot caught and – boom, BOOM! -down he went.  Dad and Jayme both saw the fall and Dad quickly raced to assist him.  I had just been debating about whether or not I should continue walking with him to his room, and was horrified to hear the crash.

After landing squarely on the floor, God spared Mal from any broken bones and major injury.  He only experience minor bruising on his nose, a cut on his forehead, a hurt finger, and soreness.  Just minutes before, I had been praying for God to put a bubble of protection around him, and God certainly did that!  Praise the Lord!

We are firmly in the midst of “birthday season” now, with Ben’s 21st birthday speedily approaching and Sam’s 12th birthday yesterday.  How the time flies…

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of our “Great Adventure”!  If you’ve never read the (simplified) story, check out this link.  We have begun to watch footage from that special season of our lives and have been finding “memorabilia” (like the Olympic torch drawings and the subsequent letter from Dr. James Dobson, but that’s part of the story that isn’t mentioned in the “simplified” version you’ll read online!).  What amazing memories!  It is so wonderful to see the hand of God so intricately involved in our lives.

The calls are beginning to come in for 2012 and our concert schedule is beginning to fill up.  If you’d like Great Adventure Gospel Band to come to your church or event, get in contact with us; we’d love to talk with you!  We are looking forward to our fourth year of ministry and what the Lord has in store!

We pray you all are well.  We encourage you this new year to delve into God’s Word daily and wholeheartedly love and serve Him in all areas of your life, as we also strive to do.

Blessings and Joy in the Journey with Jesus!
Taylor for the Garms Family        

The Chronicles of Sightings: Riding “No-Handed”

Earlier this summer, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb challenged me to try riding bike without holding on to the handlebars: “no-handed”, as they call it. Mustering up my courage and relying on the fact I can ride bike with only one hand, I took up their challenge. After several near crashes and wimpy attempts, I finally succeeded in riding “no-handed” for more than five seconds, using all the balance tricks I could think of and riding very slow! My little siblings applauded me, and then showed off how long they could ride with “no hands”! 🙂
Thinking of that experience brings my mind back to September 27th, 2010. I was at our home church uploading Caleb’s first “Legacy Six” video when I got the call from Dad: he lost his job. A great fear gripped my heart as Dad told me the news. To be certain, we’ve always dreamed of Dad being home with us, but it seemed so sudden, and it definitely wasn’t our timing. If it had been our will, the band would have been so busy that Dad would have to quit his job and we could easily transition into full-time ministry and concentrate fully on expanding it. But God had other plans.
You see, throughout this year of unemployment for Dad (and even without unemployment supplements!), we have learned to trust in the Lord, to lean on Him, and rely on Him for all of our needs. We have been riding on faith, “no-handed”, you could say, as we let go of our plans and expectations and lay ourselves in God’s gracious Hand. Have things been scary and uncertain at times? Yes, no doubt! But, time after time, we have watched God provide for all of our needs. We have not missed a single house payment or bill, we’ve never been hungry, and have even been blessed above our expectations. Time after time we have spotted “sightings” of God’s Hand of provision working in our lives.
Let me give just one testimony of God’s amazing provision: last week, bill time rolled around, and Dad and Mom wondered how they were going to cover the bills. The day bills were due, an envelope came in the mail with a sweet note of encouragement from someone who attended a recent concert…and enclosed was a check for the amount needed to cover our shortage! What a precious gift it was, and did we praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Yes, this has been a “no-handed” ride of faith, a journey of joy, and we are looking forward to what’s ahead! Thank you for all of your prayers, and remember to praise God for His wonderful provision.
As a close to this post, here is a song we sang this last Friday in Baxter, MN, which has come alive to us through this season of trusting:
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF

Legacy Six Returns!

Yep, y’all: Legacy Six returned this Friday (September 23rd, 2011)!

Trey Ivey called Caleb up on stage during Legacy Five’s encore, and Gus Gaches shared the last note on “Somebody Sing” with Caleb – “it was a hoot!”
If you haven’t seen the first Legacy Six video (or just want to see it again), here it is:
More coverage from our time at Baxter soon to come. 🙂
Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for TGF