Deborah is a woman called of God who is passionately in love with God and is an “all your heart” kind of woman. I have known Deb (sorry, had to shorten it!) since I first arrived at Horizon College and Seminary in 2009, and I was so powerfully moved by what I witnessed this past Monday evening that I just had to share it with you. And the funny thing is Deb asked me in recent days if I was going to do a blog post and I told her “yes,” but she had no idea its was going to be about her, nor did I until I saw Deb performing in the Elim Tabernacle Christmas Concert.
Before I get into what captivated me this week, let me share with you a bit about my friend Deb. She is one of the biggest encouragers of others I have ever met. You will never hear her complain! She is one of the most optimistic and faith-filled women I have met. And she has memorized the Scriptures like no one I have ever met in my life! Deb is the kind of person where, if you are going through a struggle, she wants to know about it and she WILL be praying for you. She will write you notes of encouragement or leave candies in your box. Oh, and let me not forget, she makes a sinfully delicious birthday cake too! I had the privilege of being at the receiving end of her baking this past November when she took great delight in making me a cake, despite the fact that I’d told her I just wanted to let this one slip by. (Being 44 was not high on my priority list of celebrating!) She would have none of that nonsense. Why? Because Deborah loves to celebrate others and to let them know that she cares.
One of Deb’s many loves is singing, or so I had heard over the years, but I had never witnessed her “in action” so to speak. She would often invite me (and others!) to come to her churches’ Christmas event, but for whatever reason I had never made it over the years. For several weeks leading up to each year’s event, I would hear the excitement in Deb’s voice as she shared about the joy of going to rehearsal. As opening day approached her joy seemed only to intensify. Now I know why: Deb is a worshipper of the living God.
As I sat in my seat waiting for the choir to enter and ascend on the bleachers, I noticed Deb right away. I suppose it would be hard not to notice her as she was the first one to enter, but it was more than that, Deb had this beautiful smile on her face that melted my heart. She oozed delight and exuded joy simply by the way she walked. And as she took her place at the end of the top bleacher she turned to the audience and smiled. In that moment, I felt joy in a way that I have not experienced in some time, and I felt this sense of rising pride and excitement for my friend, who knew we were all there, somewhere in the audience, to experience and share this evening with her. And I have to tell you she sung with passion, joy and exuberance, causing me to offer silent words of praise to God for Deb and her example to us all.
Deb, may your heart always be set upon the Lord. You brought new meaning for me to the scripture that says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Deut. 4:9) And, let me write out this verse for you because it is my prayer for you. “But let all who take refuge in you [the Lord] rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult you.” (Ps 5:11)
Merry Christmas Deb. Thank you for being you!
The Reverend Carmen Kampman is a woman on the road of leadership. Ordained with the PAOC, she is a steward of God’s call to women in ministry. She is on staff at Horizon College & Seminary and a graduate student in the Masters of Leadership program at Briercrest Seminary.