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Faithfulness Through Struggle... Who is Nancy 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.
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
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
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
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!
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
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.
to Joy Music! 1999-2005. All rights reserved.