Tuesday, November 30, 2010

History of Redemption

This last Sunday our church did a sermon called History of Redemption. Which is a series of scriptures from Genesis to Revelation that were put together to tell the story of Jesus. Ronnie Smith preached this sermon to start of the advent season. It was SO powerful. He had it completely memorized (I started memorizing this awhile back as well...but I am not finished with it yet!) The Stone has also put together an illustrated book with all of the scriptures put with beautiful pictures. The book also comes with a CD of the scriptures being read and a memorization plan so that you can memorize it as well!!
You can order the book online as well as different sized prints...
Here are a few of my favorites:

**All of the proceeds go to the 100 people network which is an organization that sends people overseas to unreached people groups who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.**
You can listen to the sermon on the Stone's Website here. People were standing, clapping, cheering, crying...it was awesome! God's word is alive and active!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Love: Do You See What I See - Todd Agnew

My friend Todd Agnew has a Christmas album at Amazon for $5. You should get it.
It's called Do You See What I See? Download it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Love Me Some Sunsets

I don't know why I love sunsets so much.
I always get all giddy when I see the beautiful sky and I usually pull out my phone to try and capture it in photographs. It usually doesn't compare to seeing it's beauty in real life. But here are a few pics I took the other night...

Breakaway//LIVE Record Releases December 7th!

I'm so excited about this... the college ministry at TX A&M that Aaron's band and I lead worship for is going to be releasing a LIVE album!!! It will be released on December 7th. If you are in the area we will be having a worship night/CD Release at Breakaway on December 7th 9:00pm at Reed Arena in College Station. Make the drive...you won't want to miss it! 
I have been so blessed and humbled to be part of Breakaway over the last year and even more so being a part of this album. The Jeff Johnson Band is also on this album and they sound GREAT! Check out the website to listen to some clips of the songs and check out this video...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Music Love: Winter Song

I am going to be starting a series called "Music Love" where I will highlight a musician or a song that I love and share it with you.

The first one is a song called "Winter Song" written by Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Bareilles It is off of the album called "Hotel Cafe presents...Winter Songs" which is an album of various artists. You can get it now on Amazon for $5
Here is a video of "Winter Song":

Saturday, November 20, 2010

7in7: the 8th Day

And on the 8th day we gathered together to play a song and celebrate with a party.
It was a beautiful thing to see all these people come together, friends and some new friends.  Some who came from across town and some who drove a few hours.  It was awesome.
But...I DID NOT want to go. Everything in me wanted to stay home, but after talking with a few people who said they would be mad at me if I didn't go...I went. All the while battling lies of feeling like a failure for showing up to this party with no song to sing.
Here's the deal. I battle with my thoughts. I battle with my feelings. I can easily let the enemy of this world get me down. I was disappointed.
But I felt a peace at the same time of knowing that God is over everything and that for some reason he kept songs from me these 7 days (except for some lyrics). He wanted to give me something else instead.
Peace in Him.
Confidence in Him and what He thinks of me.
Trust in Him.
Not saying that I still don't struggle with this stuff...cause it's a constant battle...but I'm thankful for what He is teaching me.
It's hard.
But it's good.
I'm pretty sure that now that this is all over, some songs will come out of this.
I hope!
Thanks for y'all who have read all of my posts and all my rants about this process. It was good for me to journal through it and I hope that somehow it encouraged at least one of you!
Thanks for those who have encouraged me through this too. I appreciate that more than anything. More than ever it has reassured me of how important community is. Truly thankful.
Here are a couple of pics:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

7in7: Day 7

Looking over my journal at the pages marked Day 1, Day 2, Day 3....
There are lots of words and lots of scribbles.
It seems I can't make any sense of it.
Different topics, different words, different themes.
They all sort of run together but make no sense.
I get to a certain point where my mind goes blank...I can see it each day that I wrote. I would get a few lines or a verse and the rest of the page would be blank...or be filled with scribbles. 
Then the next day...same thing...a few lines or a chorus and then nothing.
UGH. frustrating.
I've wanted to give up.
I've wanted to bail on the 8th day party. (where everyone gets together to share some of their songs)
I've beat myself up.
I've been completely negative.
I've compared myself.
I've been living in funky town.
I've worried. I've panicked. I've cried.
I talked with several friends today and was reminded of how important community is.
My people keep me standing.
My people speak truth to me.
My people pray for me.
My people kick me in the booty (in a good way).
My people encourage me to not give up.
My people remind me that my worth is not in people's opinions of me.
My people remind me that to fail at something is not the end of the world...but that it means that you tried instead of doing the same comfortable thing over and over again.
My people remind me that the process of learning is hard.
My people remind me that there is purpose in all of this...even showing up to the 8th day party with no songs.
So will I go to the 8th day party tomorrow night?
Do I want to go?
um...not really.
Do I have any songs to sing?
Am I scared of feeling like a failure?
Am I a complete failure?
absolutely not.
Will I have to remind myself of this every minute?
absolutely yes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

7in7: Day 6

Is it normal to have the feeling of wanting to give up non-stop.
Surely that can't be good.
I don't know what it is but everything in me is going crazy and I can't sort through any of it. This whole 7in7 thing has pretty much messed me up.
I fear that at the end of this thing I will have nothing. No songs. Just a lot of random lyrics that are pieced together all messy like. That might happen. At this point...it's looking pretty good.
How have I gone from being excited and inspired to feeling completely hopeless...to thinking, "ok...maybe this isn't bad." right back to feeling completely hopeless. I feel like the "ok...maybe this isn't bad." part was just a false hope. Now being back in this hopeless stage feels even more hopeless.
Drama. sorry!
Just being real. Because for the past 6 days I've tried, I've pushed through, I've cried, I've thrown the towel, I've kicked myself in the booty, I've encouraged myself, I've beat myself down, I've slept, I've not slept, I've read, I've listened, I've written, I've watched, I've spoken truth to myself.
But I still find myself tonight just heavy with this pressure I've put on myself that is just ridiculous.
Some may read this and think...this girl is crazy. Or...she has crossed the line of being overly dramatic. Or...she needs to be on medication.
Whatever you are thinking...is probably true.
What I have to keep coming back to is truth. Bringing it back to simple and the fact that I'm making a bigger deal about this and about me...than I need to.
I'm messed up and I'm seeing this more and more. I'm seeing my need for Jesus more and more. I'm seeing how incapable I am of living apart from Him.
It all comes down to the fact that I need more of Him. He is all I need, just Him. No one else. Nothing else. No song. No lyrics. No melodies. Just HIM.

I would also like to point out that I have gone from Day 1 looking cute to Day 6 looking NOT so cute with my sweats and sweater and my blue balled slippers.
The end.

7in7: Day 5

This is all I have to say about today.
Is this over yet?

Monday, November 15, 2010

7in7: Day 4

Day 4 was Sunday & I led worship for 4 services, 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening.
Sundays are both amazing and really hard. I never realized how much energy it takes to lead 4 services until I started doing it every Sunday.
Yesterday was a hard day. I was already exhausted and was not feeling well...and also just emotionally tired. I felt like my mind and my heart were all over the place.  So it was a hard day to lead. BUT...I love when God gives me these days because all the more do I realize my need for Him. How dependent I have to be on Him and how He doesn't need me. No matter what state I'm in...He still does His thing...He's still God. He still uses me somehow...in my imperfectness.
I did not write a song Day 4...but I did write. I prayed. This is some of what I wrote in my journal...I'm getting vulnerable...here you go...
God...take my heart today. I'm restless. I don't feel good. I'm tired. My heart is not settled in You.  Help me to set everything aside and worship You fully.  Forgive me for not worshiping you in the Spirit. Forgive me for my distracted mind and my scattered heart.  Your glory is not dependent on the condition of my heart. Your glory remains the same. You are still God and You deserve all worship. You know every part of me. Help me. Help me to humble myself before You. Help me worship You in the Spirit. Help me be like You. Help me proclaim Your name before mine and before anything else. I just want You. Just You.
He is still God even if I don't finish 7 songs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

7in7: Day 3

I am considering today an accomplishment.
I finished a song...lyrically. Now I just need to figure out the music...which is the most intimidating part. This is when I just want someone to come in and do the music for me.
But I will put it down for a bit and come back to it.
Sooo...Here are the lyrics: (deep breath)

I'm looking all around me
Fighting constantly
Unsettled with this skin I'm in
Uncertain of this life I live

Waiting to be...someone else
Just wanting to be you
Anybody else but me just someone else like...

The girl with the long flowing hair
The guy with the songs & the cold dark stare
The girl with the tiny frame
The guy with the wall of shame

Still believing lies about me
Fighting constantly
Not willing to remain the same
How about another name?

Waiting til that day...for something new
Just wanting to be you
Anybody else but me just someone else like...

The girl with the long flowing hair
The guy with the songs and the cold dark stare
The girl with the tiny frame
The guy with the wall of shame

This fight, this fight
Trying to be someone
But all I need is You...

Who knows the number of each hair
Who gives me His songs with His sweet love stare
Who made & formed my frame
Who takes away my shame

7in7 Day 2

I'm a mess.
I've cried every day of 7in7 and it's...day 2.
This is hard. I put entirely way too much pressure on myself and it's ridiculous.
Yesterday I got a verse and part of a chorus. No music or melodies...every time I tried I would get so frustrated.
I realized that I wasn't letting myself write a bad song. I wanted it to be perfect and amazing.  I put these standards on myself that are completely ridiculous...I expect way too much and I just need to give myself grace.
So I'm gonna try and shake it off...let God teach me what He wants through this process...because I'm pretty sure that is what is going to be the biggest accomplishment, more than coming up with some songs, it will be how He is teaching me how to die...to a lot. He's showing me my heart and to be honest, it's ugly.
I've believed lies about myself, I've completely disregarded how God has created me and I've wanted to give up about 777 times.
Today I spent most of the day in College Station with Aaron and the guys for Donna Stuart's CD Release Concert/Worship night. Both Aaron and Donna said things that I needed to hear tonight. So thankful for them.
So I'm going to choose to not give up. I'm going to give myself grace. I'm going to write some really bad songs. I'm going to start over tomorrow.
I'm also going to get some inspiration from the fact that Christmas has overtaken our house. Surely a Christmas song will come out of this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

7in7 Day 1

So I've agreed to do this 7in7 thing.
It's where you write 7 songs in 7 days.
Today is day 1 and I'm wearing a cute outfit. I've somehow convinced myself that by wearing a cute outfit...it will help.
So far...I've managed to get nothing down...but I look cute. 
Point proven that looking cute will not get me 7 songs in 7 days.
I started reading through some blogs to get some inspiration and came across this blog of a couple who has documented their life after losing their son right after he was born. I was drawn into this story and found myself filled with all kinds of emotions and feel compelled to write about it. So...we'll see what comes out.
I'm praying. I don't want these 7 days to be about me and what I can do and how I can write a song. But I want to be led and I want these songs to not be from me.
Oh pray with me!
I may or may not be posting songs on here. We'll see how vulnerable I feel!