I was born in Tulsa, OK and trusted in Jesus as my Savior when I was 8 years old at Sheridan Road Baptist Church. As far as I knew, I was born in church. We were at church every time the doors were open and sometimes even when they were closed! I knew all the great hiding places in that church and it had some good ones. One Sunday I got in trouble for running in church or crawling under the pews. In order to show my unhappiness with my parents for getting on to me, I sat at the opposite end of the pew which happened to be closer to the pastor. God spoke to my heart that night and on the way home I asked my Dad questions about what it meant to trust God as my Savior. He shared with me verses like Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” That night I prayed and gave my life to Jesus. At only 8, I felt like a burden was lifted off my shoulders. I grew to understand that the burden was sin.
I’ve always had a love for music. The clarinet was my first choice. It has lots of parts to put together and a reed. But all those parts and that reed couldn’t overcome the gentle persuasion of my mom. She convinced me to give the flute a try. I’m really glad that she persuaded me, especially after I found out that the clarinet players had to suck out their spit! When my mom could recognize a song or two that I was playing, she put a hymnal in front of me and asked me to play some of her favorite hymns. After she could recognize one of those, she told our music minister and he asked me to play an offertory at church. What a trusting music minister since I was only in the 7th grade! God began to use the gift of music in my life like never before. God gave me a way to give back to Him and to express my love for Him in ways that words cannot.
During the summer of my 9th grade year, I was selected to play a flute special at Falls Creek, the largest Christian youth camp in the United States. I was also selected during my 10th through Freshman year in college to play a special at Falls Creek. I have been selected to participate in the All Region honor band during my 7th-12th grade years. I was selected as 1st chair piccolo in the All State band in the 10th grade, 1st chair flute in the 11th grade, and 1st chair flute and piccolo in the 12th grade. I was selected as Band Queen and the John Philip Sousa award winner for the Owasso Band during my senior year. I participated in the Oklahoma Baptist Symphony since its beginning in 1992 through 2009 and several of those years as principal flute. I went to the University of Oklahoma from 1992-1996 and graduated with Distinction with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. During that time I marched in the Pride of Oklahoma for 3 years and performed in the Wind Ensemble for 4 years. I was selected to be a member of the Honor Music Society of Pi Kappa Lambda.
God even used music to cause the path of my husband and I to cross. Our college pastor at FBC Moore asked Chad, who led the worship for our college group, to find this flute player from OU and ask her to play. Fortunately for me at the time, there weren’t many OU flute players going to FBC Moore! After hunting me down, Chad asked me to play. Well, I already had my eye on him thanks to the encouragement of one of FBC Moore’s youth who told me that we would make a great couple. So I asked Chad if he would accompany me, knowing that we would have to “practice” together. We did practice several times, probably a few more times than needed. After we would practice, we would usually go get dessert or something and talk. When we finally played together for the college group, we no longer had an excuse to practice together. I really had a desire to date Chad. God brought to my mind Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” I had a peace that night that if I never got to date Chad or never even marry anyone then that was ok because I knew without a shadow of doubt that God had the very best for me. He proved that by giving me His best on the cross. Chad did ask me out and our first date was to a handbell concert at OBU, one of the best I’ve ever heard. Not that I’ve heard many handbell concerts! He had to go to this for college class credit. If your first date is to a handbell concert and you continue to date, then that is the ONE! We did continue to date and on August 5, 1995 I married the man of my dreams and best friend, Chad Balthrop.
We have owned and operated a video business called Interactive Solutions which produced and directed video for Falls Creek 1997-2001. We had an evangelistic ministry called Farpoint Ministries 1995-2000. We served at FBC Harrah, OK where my husband was the minister of music 2000-2002. Currently we are serving at FBC Owasso, OK where my husband is the Executive Pastor. We began our ministry at FBC Owasso as the Minister of Christian Arts. I currently serve on our Women’s Ministry Team, participate in our Instrumental Ensemble, teach my son’s 3rd grade Sunday School class, teach in our student ministry and am a mentor/men-tee. I have had the honor of heading up several women’s events for our church. God has blessed me with 4 wonderful children, 1 girl and 3 boys. God has taught me so much through them. I have taught flute lessons for over 20 years. I have enjoyed being able to see my students grow in their love and ability to play music. At times teaching has caused me to burst into tears or laugh out loud! I have a feeling God has had the same reaction while teaching me. God is the Master Teacher of life and He longs to teach us. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19