Saturday, November 19, 2011

Daring to Be.....

I have decided that I have no other choice than to be daring for Christ. Be bold for Christ. I was created to worship Him and spread the Gospel to others.

I'm waving goodbye to my pretty little life 
Taking your hand and crossing that line
 Daring to leave the old me
 Shout it out loud, I'm not ashamed
 Diving in now, and so not afraid
 Hello to all that You see
 And everything You made me I'm daring to be 

I am fortunate enough to be a part of Joyful Noize women's prison ministry now. This is not something I would have been comfortable doing in the past, but God has given me a passion for it now. So excited to start this new adventure. 

I am daring to be.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Times They Are A-Changin'

My amazing husband of over 21 years went to be with his Savior April 17. He was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer and passed away due to complications from his surgery. To say things have changed would be a gross understatement. He was the love of my life, and I miss him every moment of every day. When he received his cancer diagnosis, he made me promise two things: Don't lose your faith and don't stop singing!

In July, I lost my job to a nationwide downsizing. Instead of freaking out, I had a peace that God was clearing a way for me to do what he has called me to do! ‎"I have set before you an open door" Revelation 3:8

So here I sit at the airport, 4 months later, heading to San Francisco. God is taking me out of my comfort zone for sure! I have an audition for The Voice tomorrow.  God has certainly started opening doors since Doug passed away, and I have to walk through them. Sometimes it takes everything I have to do so, but He can't guide me unless I let Him. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

When I get back, I will be creating letters of presentation to send out to churches and women's conferences, which has been my calling since 2004. Step back in time with me for just a moment ~~

I was at the Women of Faith Conference "Irrepressible Hope" and listened to Tammy Trent tell the story about losing the love of her life and how God got her through it all. I was touched by her story and the reaction of all of the women in the audience as she shared and sang. When I got home I cried for three days solid. My husband was perplexed. I had just come home from a wonderful women's conference! I was to be renewed and rejuvenated! When he asked me why I was crying, I told him that the women speaking and singing at the conference were doing what I should be doing! That is my calling! He smiled and said "It will happen when it is supposed to happen" :)

Back to 2011. We were at Barnes Hospital. The week of Doug's surgery I was reading a book called "The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules" by Carolyn Custus James. God was preparing me for what was to come.

At a christian songwriting conference a couple of months ago in Brentwood Tennessee, I spoke with some people to find out how to go about speaking at women's conferences. I was told to contact Vicky Beeching.  On the way home, I was thumbing through the magazine I was given at the conference, and opened to an article written by Vicky Beeching entitled "Ruth and Naomi". Wow. There He is again, letting me know my path is true!! When I get back from California I will be drafting a letter to Vicky, asking for guidance. What an amazing God we have to constantly provide for us, even through the most difficult times in our lives!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Can You Feel It?

to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion

 In my life I have sung many different kinds of music. As a singer in a secular band, we play blues, classic rock, etc. But the music of my heart is worship music. When I am singing with the band, I am aware of the audience and feed off of their energy. It is a push-pull concept. When I am worshiping, I am only aware of Jesus. I lose everything around me ~ it becomes obsolete. It is as if I have been transported to the throne. The feeling of being fully engulfed in worship is the most amazing, satisfying, humbling... there are not enough words to describe the emotions.  My idea of heaven is singing to The Father 24/7, 365. There is nothing like it. It is raw emotion and submission. My goal is to live my entire life the way I feel when I am worshiping Him. 

I am a bit of a control freak. Not really bad, but I could use some work. My prayer is that I can fully and completely submit to His will, lay it all down and go where He leads me. Don't ever let anyone tell you this is easy. If they tell you that, they are not being truthful. As humans, we have free will. He gave us choice. I choose to follow Christ and worship Him with all of my heart and soul. The song below has special meaning for me, and for those of you that follow my blog, you know that music is an integral part of my being. But in this stage of my life, I need to remember that with God, all things are possible. All things. Are possible.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Getting Stronger

I know that a large part of this business is rejection. Paying your dues. Blah blah blah. It is so hard to be rejected. Sometimes it makes me question if this is the right path for me. But then I remember that it is not in my time, but His.

Sometimes God has bigger things in mind. Mandisa didn't win American Idol, but now she is an amazing CCM artist. Michael Jordan didn't make his high school basketball team his sophomore year. Babe Ruth struck out more times than he hit home runs. So who am I to question anything? Whatever His plans are for me, God will lead me to them. If they turn out to be what I desire, great! If not, I am sure they will be much better than I can even imagine!

 It is only human to be disappointed when you do not reach a goal, or get rejected in the process. This song by Mandisa is so fitting for me right now;

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
Things can only get better
Believe me this is gonna make you
Gonna make you stronger 

What great words of comfort and hope! I am so grateful that I have a God that will allow me to fail because it will make me stronger in the end. I can choose to give up, or try even harder. That is my choice. But He is always there with me, every step of the way. I think I am gonna keep trying, in His name.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Peace ..... and Quiet

I long for peace. I am looking outside at the new fallen snow. It is so beautiful. As long as I am inside looking out. Once I have to be out on the roads it becomes ugly. That is because driving in the snow I find no peace. I am anxious and afraid. It is difficult for me to find peace in that situation. But then I think of this verse:

I have learned to quash my anxiety by being still and letting Him drive. Yes, I still have physical control of the car, however, He calms my heart and makes the trip much more peaceful. It is in that moment that I learn what peace can be.

I need to be still and listen more often. Sometimes I get caught up doing all the praying and forgetting to listen for an answer. When I get stuck on a lyric for a song I sit there and wrack my brain, when maybe I should just shut up and sit in silence for a little while. It is He who is giving me these songs anyway, right?

And so I am back to staring out the window at the new fallen snow. And I realize how still and quiet it is out there. Even the earth listens for God to speak. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Amazing Grace

I love the words to this hymn

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

 What a wonderful God  we have that accepts us the way we are and loves us anyway! Grace is a real gift from the Father that loves us. We didn't do anything to deserve it, and He paid for it so we didn't have to.

Webster's Dictionary defines grace as

  unmerited divine assistance given humans 
for their regeneration or sanctification 

It makes me think about  the gifts we give each other. Sometimes we go crazy buying gifts to show people how much we love them. But the real gifts we can give each other are far better and much less pricey! Patience, understanding, unconditional love, hope, support, compassion, encouraging words... I could go on and on. All of these gifts are much needed by everyone. It is surprising the reactions you will get when you give them freely. 
Then there are the gifts we think we are giving, but will end up  at the return desk. 
Unasked for advice, guilt,  control... you get the picture. 

So what are the differences, and how do we know which ones we are giving?

One word.

All of the "return desk" gifts are spontaneous. We give them NOW with not a lot of thought. We have good intentions, we think we are doing/saying the right thing. 

All of  the needed gifts are  filled with patience. The same patience God our Father uses with us daily.  He could easily jump right in and tell us what we are doing wrong, but He is waiting for us to realize what we are doing and ask for His help. And He is always there. ALWAYS! Even when you don't think He is, He IS.

The gift of grace is often overlooked and forgotten.  Make sure you always remember that He has given you the ultimate gift. Make sure the gifts you give are unforgettable, too. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Am A Rock, I Am An Island

Right now I am searching for God's infinite wisdom and guidance. Oh, and a little peace would be wonderful!

I am so grateful for the people God has put into my life to support and pray for me. People I have know for a lifetime, and people I have never personally met. That alone floors me. Wow. I have always been someone who prays for others, but knowing that people you don't even know are praying for you is quite a humbling experience. Amazing, and inspiring, but humbling.

It is so funny, because I have been in the marketing business most of my life, and have been told I am quite good at it. But when it comes to marketing myself I fall short. I am not a boastful person, and I feel that if I am telling everyone about ME it is bragging.  How do I send off a CD to a record label? Is it offputting to send a CCM artist a request online? (not in front of everyone)

I know that if this is what He wants me to do, it will happen, but I also know I can't just sit around and wait for it. Can I?

I have been listening for God's voice, but I think I am getting in the way.  Please pray that I can get out of the way and let Him do His work.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Can I Do

I wanted to share my new video with you. One more step in the process :) I wrote and recorded this song, and am working on a new song as well.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's All About You

Life is hard sometimes, but take a moment and think.... who am I doing all of this for? It's not about me - it is about my journey and my relationship with my Savior. What I have here on earth will not matter to me when I am gone. Who I have impacted will matter. Who I have loved will matter. Who I have shared God with will matter. I have come to the realization that my first priority every day should be my time with God, cultivating our relationship. He is always there, waiting to spend time with me. It is I who chooses to do other things, get caught up in Life.

I long to be more like a child. Loving, trusting, knowing all my needs will be fulfilled by those who love me. No worries, no stress... but Jesus says I need to be more like a child.

 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 18:3

Trust is an issue for me.  How can I tithe when I don't have enough money to pay my bills? How can I stop worrying about my adult children? What if something happens to them?

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! ~ Luke 12:24

 “Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient." ~  Matthew 6: 31-34

God tells me that He will always take care of me and my family. That is all I need to know.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let Go of What You Think You Know

Have you ever given someone advice and then realized that you were telling yourself what you really needed to hear? A friend of mine is trying to lose weight, and someone that he respected told him how he was going to fail and why. I told him that he will do what he desires, and that there will always be people who will try to drag him down. I told him not to give those people the power to do that.

Wow!  Hello??? Did I just say that? I truly meant what I said to him, but my own words resonated in my brain. God will decide what will happen in my life. I just have to do what I can on my end. If it is meant to be, He will make it happen ~ but I can't sit around waiting for something wonderful to happen. I have to be proactive. Yes, God opens doors, but I am the one who has to walk through it. I have to be paying attention! I have to work hard, let go of what I think I know, and let God work in my life, and not give other people the power to make me question what I truly want to do and feel is my calling.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What If.....

What if......

I had more money?

I was thinner?

I had more confidence?

I had a nicer house?

I looked younger?

When something doesn't go my way, I assume that either I have failed or it's not what God wants for me. Usually the first one. I am personally competitive.  But as I look back through my life, I see that God has put me in different places and with different people for a reason.  At the time I had no idea that where I was at that moment was where I was supposed to be, to travel where God is leading me.

It is difficult, as a human, not to ask "what if" in so many situations in our lives. People have spent years of their lives dwelling on the "what ifs". It does no good to do that. It is not productive, and we waste precious time thinking about things in the past. I really don't think God wants us to look back. I think He wants us to live today, because He tells us that He will take care of tomorrow. It is alright to have wonderful memories, but we needn't dwell on things we cannot change. Take each day as the gift that it is, and instead of burying yourself in the past, use that time to spend more time with God.

What if.....

We truly Let Go and Let God?

We saw each day as a day closer to God?

We loved everyone?

We could really forgive?

We saw each milestone as a step closer to what He wants?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

While I'm Waiting

I know that this is going to be a long journey. It won't be easy. There will be a lot of rejection. I am gathering material to send out. That process alone makes my heart pound just thinking about it. But I know that He is with me throughout this whole adventure. This is such a huge step for me, but He is with me ~ while I'm waiting.

Now, let me tell you. I am probably one of the most impatient people I know.  I am not road-rage-y or anything like that. I am just not good at waiting for things. So this is a test of epic proportions for me. It's probably a really good thing I wasn't born during the Old Testament times. I would not have wandered through the desert for 40 years. I would have gone off on my own and died, not realizing that God was taking care of His people. It is so difficult for me to let go and let Him control my life. I know I am supposed to, and my life would be so much easier if I did. I guess putting it out here helps hold me accountable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Will Not Be Moved

One of my favorite Christian artists is Natalie Grant. I have loved her music since the beginning, and have sang many of her songs at church. Her passion for Jesus spills out in each song, and every one seems to be speaking directly to me. I chose "I Will Not Be Moved" as the title to this post, because this song to me is an anthem every Christian should take to heart.

I will stumble
I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes
I will face heartaches
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

If I am going to take this journey, this needs to be my guide ~ to always remember that He is there with me, and as long as I stand on His Word, I will be okay, no matter where life takes me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It Is Well

Music has always been an enormous part of my life. As a child I would play my parents albums over and over and over again and write down all the lyrics. My musical background is quite eclectic. I grew up listening to Sly and the Family Stone, The Animals, Neil Diamond, Carly Simon, James Taylor, The Doors, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jesus Christ Superstar. A song can take me back to a time and place in my life - good or bad - and I feel propelled, like an invisible time machine. I can tell you exactly where I was in the adventure of life when I hear certain songs. I can feel summer in the middle of January when I hear anything by the Go-Go's, or despair and loneliness when I hear "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by YES.

I sang as a child, and as I grew, I knew it was something I was called to do. I have no vision of being a superstar. My dream is to travel and lead people in worship, like on the Women of Faith tour. The last time I came home from a Women of Faith event I cried for 3 days. My husband was baffled. The time with other women was supposed to refresh me, renew me. Not leave me in a puddle. He asked me why I was so upset. When I could finally speak, I said, "because those women are doing what I am supposed to be doing!" I long to sing "It is Well With My Soul" and help hundreds of women come to know Jesus.

I got a taste of leading worship a few years ago when I was interim worship leader at my church. For over 8 months I led my church family in worship. It was difficult, it was amazing, it was trying, it was awesome.

I still sing with a local band who sings secular music in local establishments. Our show is family friendly, with no swearing or bad lyrics. It is so much fun, but it is not what I was called to do. So why am I not doing what I am called to do?


Ok. That's it. Nuff said. I am a 46 year old grandmother who wants to sing for Jesus and I am scared to death to try it. It won't be easy. I have written a song or two, I have material to send out, but that haunting voice "you're not good enough" still stings my ears.

I know in my heart that God will decide, but Satan is sitting on my shoulder whispering and chiding. "You're not young enough - you're not pretty enough - you're not good enough"

So I sing. I listen to the music of the Lord that feeds my soul, and pray that I can gather the guts to actually try and do what I have been called to do.