Music By Laurel Jean

Music By Laurel Jean
Music with a Message and a Mission

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Sharing God's Guiding Glimpses into my Life of Music and Ministry

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Very Special Gift

Laurel with friend Joyce Gresh

Here I am with my good friend, Joyce Gresh of Charleston, SC. Raised in a traditional Jewish home, Joyce converted to Christianity in her teens and has since witnessed the Christian conversion of several family members (including her mom). I am inspired by her amazing testimony and will never forget her words, “My Christianity makes my Judaism complete.”

Recently, Joyce took time out of her busy schedule to give me a precious gift. I have always been interested in Jewish history and culture and have done a lot of reading, but being blind and raised in a rather isolated rural area prevented me from really getting to experience that culture firsthand.

Laurel with items of Jewish worship and prayer

Joyce invited me into her home and allowed me to examine treasured items used in Jewish worship. I’m pictured here with the Tzitzit and Tallit, Yarmulke, Tefillin, menorahs, and the Passover Seder plate. She allowed me to wear the Tzitzit and Tallit, Yarmulke and Tefillin in order to get an idea of how they would be worn in Worship and prayer. I was especially moved by the Seder plate, which contained Hebrew writing in raised, embossed letters I could actually feel!

Laurel stirring Matzo

After examining these items, I got to make my first pot of homemade Matzo ball soup! We made the matzo balls from scratch. I will never forget the delicious smell of the matzo meal with spices as I mixed them together!

Laurel stirring matzo with hands

When the dough became very thick, Joyce told me to use my hands to stir it. Of course, that meant I had to taste the dough…Yummy!

Laurel making matzo ball

Here I am making matzo balls and adding them to the pot of soup, and what a pot of soup it was!

Laurel at table

The real treat was sitting down with my dear friend and sister in Christ for this special meal. Before we blessed the food, Joyce read the following Scripture, “Deuteronomy, 6:4-8: Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, The Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your means. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart. And you shall teach them to your children And speak of them when you sit in your home, when you walk up the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be an ornament for your head between your eyes."

Laurel tasting matzo ball soup


Ah, my first taste of the soup! There is really nothing like it! We had gefilte fish and matzo as an appetizer, also a first for me.

Before I left that day, Joyce gave me a mezuzah for my Charleston, SC headquarters (Oh yes, and the rest of that big pot of soup!). This was truly a blessed day for me, which really made me feel even closer to my Savior and His Word.

Stay tuned for more posts. Until next time, God bless you and keep His Song in your heart. Shalom!

© 2011 Laurel Jean Walden

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A Little About Me

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God continues to bless me with a busy and fulfilling life. Even after thirty-plus years, my music and ministry keep going and growing. Blind from birth, I am n avid user of Braille and the long, white cane, in addition to a variety of mainstream and access technology. While my blindness does not define me, I consider it to be a unique gift from God. With this gift comes my opportunity to serve as an advocate on behalf of my fellow members of the Blindness community, living and serving among blind and sighted folks of all ages, on all walks of life. To learn more about my music, ministry and outreach, please visit my Web site, and be sure to stay tuned to my Blog!