On the stage and behind the scenes

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birdie bedBIRDIE –
You can literally look at my college records and see when I accepted the Lord. You see, when I had come home for Christmas that year, my dad had a “gift” for me. It was a letter, from the university, stating that I had been placed on academic probation.
It wasn’t a lack of intelligence that caused Birdie’s failing grades. It was because she didn’t care. She was out late with friends. She missed classes. She didn’t turn in her work. On top of that, she traveled a lot with the bands.
One day, I handed my World History professor an official excused-absence notice from the music department before class. 
He was a handsome tall Texan and we all had a “crush” on him.
He said: "Girl, you tell those folks in the music department that you’re gonna fail world history if you keep missing class - even if you are excused!"

But when I returned to college after Christmas break, this rebel changed! Rebecca rode back to school with me. We carried our luggage into the dorm room we shared and Rebecca leveled her eyes at me and said:

“From this point on, you won’t make anything less than a B in any class you take!”

I was right!… Again (I might add)!
Birdie went from academic probation to graduating the university with academic honors!  People! That wasn't easy! She even repeated any class she could, like biology, and turned her past failing grades into A’s. 
I changed my major to music, with a concentration in composition and conducting. My advisor had to grant permission for me to take more than the maximum-allowed, 21-hours-per-quarter in credits, so I could still graduate in the remaining two and one-half years.
Once Birdie had accepted the Lord, this Saul-turned-Paul set out to help the Lord win a dorm-full of newly-perceived heathens. One night I heard her outside the room, arguing with the girl across the hall: 
“You’re going to go straight to hell!” I reached out the door and snatched her in! “That’s not the way to do it,” I told her. … It was the blind leading the blind-er there for a while.
What about the night we went with friends to Dairy Queen! It was late - after 10PM. In the darkness, Rebecca veered off from the rest of us to a motorcycle gang sitting parked near the entrance. I thought, "What is she doing?" Then I heard her yell: “That’s a nice motorcycle you’re riding! Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” That’s exactly how she said it! Then, out of the darkness, we heard a deep growly reply: “Who?!” … “Jesus!” she said. Then she told him!
 report cardNever underestimate the power of an encouraging word!
There was one thing about Birdie that took a while to change.
I know what you're going to say... I was terrified in front of a group of people!
I’ll never forget when the time was approaching for her senior recital.
Months before the day, I became a nervous wreck!  I couldn’t sleep. I got sick to my stomach. The closer I got to recital day, the worse I got.
I tried encouraging her. I wrote scriptures and put them on the mirrors and in her pockets. I prayed for her! Ultimately, I conceded to the words of Jesus:
“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting!” 
(Matthew 17:21 KJV) 
And I wasn’t about to stop eating for a recital! 
Rebecca finally told me: “Get a grip! You have to do it to graduate!”
Birdie quickly became an extraordinary performer and leader, surely confident and perfectly at ease in front of a group.
Let that be an encouragement for anyone who says: “I could never do this or that!” … If God means it to be … oh, yes you can!
rebecca trophyBIRDIE –
Rebecca excelled. She won awards and a journalism scholarship and graduated magna cum laude! Our senior year at college, she was chosen to do a solo dramatic recital. She put together the whole project. 
Her parents traveled down to see her perform.
Mom bought me a long black dress to wear just for the occasion. It was simple, but so pretty. … You should have taken a picture! I don't have a picture of that dress. 
I didn’t have a camera!
I was sitting in the audience with her parents. Everything got quiet. Rebecca’s steps echoed as she entered the stage and stood alone with a single spotlight hitting her. It’s one of the few times I can remember seeing her in the spotlight alone. I was real proud of my little friend.
Okay! That’s enough! End of chapter!rebecca awards

rebecca deans list


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Chapter 6: All the Guys We Loved Before

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