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God's Faithfulness Through Struggle... Who is Nancy Lamka?

By Charles Lamka

 

 

Not unlike many others, Nancy was born at a very early age but it soon became apparent that she was indeed different. Instead of standing and walking like other children, she would sit in the middle of the room and expect others to do her bidding. A born leader, or was she a victim of her circumstances? Upon close examination it was discovered that she was affected by polio which greatly affected her entire left side making all that has followed in her life an even greater miracle.

At the age of two and a half, barely able to reach the piano she reached up at Christmas and picked out Silent Night by ear. Amazed by the feat her parents enrolled her in piano lessons and for the next 15 years she earned superior ratings, winning contest after contest, as well as being offered scholarships from top schools of music.

Instead, burned out by the grueling competition, she entered the University of Puget Sound and began studies to become a grade school teacher. Full of enthusiasm and with a love for life she was loved by all, which became a problem because very shortly she had fallen in love with a young man, and with most of her friends telling her not to, they were soon engaged. Not to worry she was determined to finish school and he left for the service.

  $15.00

Nancy Lamka has finally put out an "Inspirational Classical" piano CD! It has been described as "incredibly soothing", "peaceful", "gripping", and people have been using it to "detox" after a rough day's work.

Listen to songs from the CD, find out when Nancy is playing, and be one of the first to get a copy of 'more than mauve' by visiting nancylamka.com.

Nancy Lamka - 'more than mauve'

 


For three and a half years the engagement stretched on and while wrestling with the final decision, the Lord in a still small voice told her to marry him for they would do great things in music. Strange since there had come a love hate relationship by this time with the piano. After they married the piano sat idle and Nancy poured her life into little children with as much exuberance as she had ever used to attack a piece of music.

After four years of intense battling Nancy’s life changed as well as that of her husband , and within six months the call of God became very evident. Classroom teaching changed from little children to ladies Bible studies, and Nancy began writing Christian songs on magazine covers, paper sacks, and anything that could be written upon. Even arguments between Nancy and her husband became songs for God’s glory.

After three years of faith ministry and seven years of marriage with several miscarriages, God saw fit to bring a baby into the family the hard way, Breach! A bundle of joy. Several years thereafter God brought another surprise as He rekindled her love for the piano. Before this could happen God had to deal with a few things in her life and a lot of resentment. Just three days before that final battle Nancy found herself complaining to the Lord. For several years the Lord had been pouring His teachings into her heart but no opportunity to minister His Word. Then a short time later God would Give pastor Jack Hayford or Or Roy Hicks Sr.. the same thing and she would sit and listen to them preach it. Feeling that this just wasn’t fair she told the Lord so and then said, "God, why do they get to preach it and not me ?” God’s answer was the beginning of a new direction. He simply said, "They have a humble heart.”

One night she was awakened at 3:00 a.m. and went into her prayer room. “Where do you want me to read, Lord?” “Genesis” came the answer. The end result of the confrontation was Nancy falling on her face before the Lord in repentance and telling Him she would do any thing He asked her to do.

Three days later pastor and Mrs. Coleman Phillips were coming to dinner and as Nancy was walking by the piano she was saying “I hate that thing. I’m going to get rid of it.” But God had another idea, and after dinner that night the question was put to her by her pastor, "Nancy, you play by ear don’t you?" Before she could answer and before she could say anything,, her husband answered for her. And so at the insistence of her pastor and the big mouth of her husband she found herself playing as the church pianist in a large church.

Nancy was so frightened that two days later when she went to a prayer group that she was involved in she went in tears and told the ladies that the reason she was so terrified was that after all those years of having to have everything perfect for performance and never being allowed to play by ear what would she do? She was now being asked to play any of about one hundred and twenty five songs by ear. The prayer group prayed not only that Nancy would not be afraid but that the Lord would give her back the love for the piano that she had at the age of two and a half.

God did that and much more. He increased that love and poured His anointing upon her with such volume that songs began to pour through her heart that are now reaching a world for Christ. Nothing is impossible with God. The petrifying fear that came from having only played when a piece was perfect caused her to yield to the gentle hand of the Master, and fall more deeply in love with Him.


The next 20 years brought heartache and miracles. There was a second miracle birth of a second son, seven years after the first, as well as life on the mission field. And what a life that turned out to be! For eight years we lived in the bush of Canada (nearest neighbor=5 miles away!) in a little 600 square foot cabin, no running water, no electricity , outdoor plumbing with winter temperatures averaging -20 to -40 degrees below zero. Snows began as early as September and spring would come on May 15th as the 61 mile long lake would pick that day year after year to break up and begin its ice flow. Bears, wolves, and moose were constant companions and friends who became like family. There was also the German Shepherd who saved our lives on numerous occasions, goats, pigs and chickens and the many friends from the surrounding villages who truly were our family.

It was in this remote setting that God birthed hundreds of songs, which became thousands. It was also here that the vision for Steps To Joy was born.

Sixteen years after its birth, a complete piano curriculum was completed with eight levels, from beginning to classical, using over 480 original God breathed songs. Plus there were two levels of teaching syllabi, tapes and CD’s, and children's musicals.

A large number of the students to date that have completed the curriculum are now worship leaders or pianists in their churches and God’s music continues to flow. Nancy has been honored in Who's Who in American Educators as well as Who's Who in the West just to mention a couple of places. Oh yes, and those two sons, both are blessed with the musical talent and anointing that God blessed Nancy with, and be assured God isn’t finished yet.


It has been amazing to see how it has all fit together, for the books and musicals are a result of God’s planning, not Nancy’s, and as we look back at it all we can only shake our heads and say:
“THANK YOU JESUS AND THANK YOU NANCY!”

May the Lord be glorified in all we do!

Write to Nancy!

 

Short Form Bio:

Nancy Lamka holds a BS in education from the University of Puget Sound, and graduate hours from Portland State University. She received her Washington state certification in June of 1966 and her Oregon certification in December of 1966.
Her piano studies began with Mary Froh, and she also studied with Nelly Thoelen as well as Herbert Renaissance of Lake Oswego. She participated in Oregon federation of music club’s festivals, earning many years of superior rating in piano solo (at the regional level), duo, and duet.


Nancy has composed Sunday school music and curriculums in the United States and Canada, where she and her family were missionaries. She wrote two musicals which were performed in 1979 at Evergreen Christian Center, and at the State Prisons. “A New Song,” and E.A.S.T.E.R. In 1979 she was chosen “The composer to perform her own song,” “Sunshine” for representing the songwriters convention at Warner Pacific College. In 1984 she formally founded Steps To Joy Music Company. (www.stepstojoy.com) She composed the music for scripture tapes at Living Hope School from 1988 to 1992. Her music was used on KPDQ, for the radio program Abide In The Vine in 1976. She composed the theme song “Desert Hart” for the same program in 1996.


Her song “The Lord Shall Reign Forever” has been performed worldwide, as have many others. Her biography is included in Marquis “Who’s Who Of American Women: 1992, 1993, 1994, and has been selected for the addition of Who’s Who Historical Society, 2002-2003. She has also been selected for the 57th addition of Who’s Who. Her song “Most High God” was recently selected and performed at the OGA State level competition.


She has been active in her church and was pianist at Zion Chapel, Fort St. James, BC, pianist for city wide crusade 1978-1979, did worship and accompanied 25 voice choir at Beaverton Foursquare(1989-1992) where she has been a worship leader in some department since 1987. She has performed her work in Ghana, (West Africa), Europe, Nepal, and Canada.
In 1984-94 she wrote a piano pedagogy curriculum of over 450 sacred songs and continues to compose to this day. 1989 she wrote her first concerto “Of Glory and Splendor,” with the second movement being performed at a local high school Christmas 2000 on piano and violin.
From 1999-2000 she completed 2 musicals and three music teaching tapes writing compositions and instrumentals. One of her ballets was performed in the Portland area in different schools. She has done music workshops in Washington and Oregon and December 26th ‘02 through Jan. 16th ‘03 she will be doing workshops in the Philippines.


A teacher of piano, voice, composition, keyboard, and improvisation, Nancy has an active studio in Portland, Oregon. She has created a program to train students to be pianists in their local churches. She presents workshops for students called Composers Corner monthly. She enjoys composing and has written many sacred piano solos, sonatinas, concertos, piano curriculum duets, songs for handbell choirs, chamber music, and ensembles, as well as compositions for academic areas such as science instruction. She is courespondent secretary for OMTA and is enjoying the different opportunities it presents for her students.


She and her husband Chuck have two grown sons. She enjoys gardening, hiking, water sports, and creating recipes.

Write to Nancy!

 

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