"LOOK WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE!!!!!"

Remember that old song?  It's one of my Pastor's favorites!  And my best friend says that when the Lord brings my forever love to me, she's gonna run laps around the church singing it at my wedding!!!  LOL.  

But wow -- do I ever have exciting news to share!!!  If you've been following my ministry for any time, you know that for soooooooo many years, my dad played piano for me when I sang, and for a few years we were blessed with the "Something To Believe In" band who traveled with us.  Since Daddy's "relocation" to Heaven in '05, I've been goin' it solo with accompaniment tracks.  Sure -- I've dreamed about having a band.  It's ALWAYS nicer to sing with live musicians.  It's sweet when you can allow the Holy Spirit to flow and not have to end a song just because the track ended.  And it's WAY easier to "share" in between songs when you have some soft music playing in the background, rather than that awful, awkward silence!  LOL.  But.  There's that word.  But.  I was fearful (there's THAT word again!) of many things -- dealing with various personalities, schedules, etc.  I just figured I'd stay in my safe little "comfort zone" forever. After all -- it's worked!  And then . . .

This past October, I was leading worship at Trinity Assembly of God in Chuluota, FL, while their regular worship leader was at home with the flu.  After the service, a kind gentleman with a big smile on his face approached me and introduced himself.  "Hi, I'm Ray," he said in his very Southern accent.  He told me, "You really ought to pray about forming a band to play for you.  I'll be the first person to join."  I was flattered and I was encouraged.  But one musician does not a band make!  I later discovered that RAY MANN is an accomplished guitarist from Nashville who has played for the likes of George Jones, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and Keith Urban.  WHAT?!  And now he was playing for Jesus, and wanted to play for me, too?!  < GULP. >  

Since October, Ray and his beautiful wife, Susan, have become tremendous friends and supporters of this ministry.
 

RAY MANN (Rhythm Guitar)


Two months passed.  After a Sunday morning service at my home church (shout out to The Praise Place in Winter Park!), one of the musicians on our worship team approached me and said ALMOST WORD-FOR-WORD the very same thing that Ray had said to me in October -- except the accent was very different. MARCELLO GIL is a multi-talented musician AND minister of the gospel.  He and his family moved here from Brazil just a year or so ago and have the biggest hearts for Jesus!  Knowing Marcello's reputation in the Christian music industry in Brazil, I was blown away that he would OFFER to play for me.  Again, I was flattered and encouraged.  But two musicians does not a band make!
 

MARCELLO GIL (Lead Guitar)


On Easter Sunday of this year, Marcello approached me again, with his very heavy Portuguese accent:  "So -- when do we begin rehearsals?"  LOL.  I said, "You're serious, aren't you?!"  He was very serious when he replied, "YES!"  So I began to get serious myself.  Okay, God -- what are You trying to tell me???

I started praying and seeking God.  Lord, if this is from You, then YOU are going to have to bring me the remaining musicians!  Like He wasn't already on it.

I posted on Facebook that I was looking for musicians.  I asked my friend, Tanya (who is also the keyboard player at TPP), if she'd be interested in playing keys for me.  She hadn't seen the Facebook post, but immediately said, "yes!"  TANYA McHALE (whose last name will be changing on June 6, by the way!) is an incredibly anointed and talented keyboard player and singer in her own right.  When she leads worship, you know you're in the presence of the Almighty.  Wow -- this thing is coming together.  

Ray, Marcello, Tanya and I decided we would begin rehearsals, with or without anyone else.  But God wasn't finished.
 

TANYA McHALE (Keys)


The night before our first scheduled rehearsal, I got a Facebook message from a friend I'd only known for a few months, saying, "My hubby is a drummer and is willing to help -- and He loves Jesus!"  Before the night was over, BRANDON WOODHOUSE and I had texted back and forth a dozen or so times and I think we were sold on each other instantly!  LOL.  After watching a few YouTube videos and more texting with this former biker and former Marine, I knew this guy was going to be a tremendous blessing.  Aside from being a phenomenal drummer, he's also quite the techie, which is gonna come in VERY handy!  LOL.
 

BRANDON WOODHOUSE (Drums) - better pic to come, we promise!


One of my dad's most popular sermons was called, 'The Last Minute Belongs to God'.  So here we were, the day of our first rehearsal, scheduled for 7 p.m.  The band was coming together, but we were still missing a bass player.  At 3:50 p.m., I got a Facebook message from Jack.  'Hey, this is Jack from True Gain.  Got word that you're looking for a bass player.  I'm available.'  I'd known and become friends with True Gain over the past couple of years, traveling and ministering in some of the same Christian music circles.  JACK COUNELIS is an incredible bass player!  How can he be available?!?!  I learned that True Gain was taking a one-year sabbatical.  While they'd be continuing to write music together, they wouldn't be 'playing out' for that time.  So he was available.  Wow.

 JACK COUNELIS (bass)

To say I was floored at how God pulled this whole thing together is an understatement.  I'm always ashamed when God answers prayer and I act like I'm shocked.  LOL!!!  Oh, our flesh can be so ridiculous.  

So there ya have it!!!  LOOK WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE!!!  No more 'buts'.  BUT GOD!!!

 

 

4 comments

  • Naomi (friend of Tanya)

    Naomi (friend of Tanya) Davie, Fl.

    What a wonderful Testimony Donna!!! God is sooo good!!!! Congratulations Tanya!! I am so happy for you how that the Lord is bringing everything together for you to His Glory.... Praise God!!! Also for you Donna!!!

    What a wonderful Testimony Donna!!! God is sooo good!!!! Congratulations Tanya!! I am so happy for you how that the Lord is bringing everything together for you to His Glory.... Praise God!!! Also for you Donna!!!

  • Donna Leigh

    Donna Leigh

    God bless you, Naomi! Thank you for your prayers as we move into this new adventure together! =)

    God bless you, Naomi! Thank you for your prayers as we move into this new adventure together! =)

  • Greitchy

    Greitchy Hollywood, Fl

    INcredible God deserves an INCREDIBLE PRAISE! BLESSINGS TO YOU DONNA!

    INcredible God deserves an INCREDIBLE PRAISE! BLESSINGS TO YOU DONNA!

  • Donna Leigh

    Donna Leigh

    Ahhhhhh, thank you Greitchy! =)

    Ahhhhhh, thank you Greitchy! =)

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