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Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Sunday afternoon, since it was the second Sunday, I went to take part in the prison ministry church service that Knox Presbyterian leads for women.  I opted to bring my journal so that I could share a few stories about myself.  I normally sing, however, I wanted to share a few things about my life with the ladies.

When I went to check in, there was a newer guard who was still learning the ropes.  Apparently, he didn’t know that I was not allowed to bring in a journal (full of my personal experiences) into the prison, and we lost about 45 minutes waiting for the request to bring my journal in, which was later denied.  Suffice it to say, I was discouraged, and I was ready not to say anything to the women because we were already behind schedule.

When we got through security into the general population, I had no idea what God was doing with me there.  I didn’t want to sing, I didn’t know what to share, I was just going to sit there and read prayer requests that the women fill out before each church service in order for people to pray for them.  When we entered the room, I sat on the stage with the rest of the team, like a lump, and didn’t know why, but I asked for the guitar.  I didn’t know what I was going to sing, I didn’t know what I was going to share.  I ended up telling them the truth of what I had planned, and found myself singing ‘I Could Sing of Your Love Forever’.  While Pastor Mike was giving the sermon, I started reading the prayer requests.  There was a random stack of loose papers handed to me, and the second one I read was this one:

Sharon

I knew exactly who it was from, and I remembered that I had not written her lately.  I didn’t know what God was doing, but I knew that His spirit was speaking.  If you want to know more about the story behind the above note, please read this and this.  Pastor Mike left me just enough time to sing one more song, acapella.  Some of the lyrics included “I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing it’s another.  Caught up in words, tangled in lies.  But You are a Savior and You take brokenness aside and make it beautiful, beautiful.”

As I left the prison, I still didn’t know what He was doing, but He caused me to sing what was in my heart to share that day.  For that, I’m grateful that the Spirit Spoke and I am reminded that He still speaks for me.


With every breath I breathe

With every song I sing
I wanna shout it out, Lord I am listening
To every word You speak
I’ll go where You will lead
To love the least of these
Is my greatest offering
(All Sons and Daughters)

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Well, overnight, my area of Michigan got quite a bit of very heavy snow.  I know that just about every person in the area has a story about today or last night.  At the current time, I am watching ‘Chocolat’, preparing for a solo gig, and also preparing for my trip to Austin, Texas to attend SXSW.  I am so pumped about this trip; we have awesome sponsors, a killer Michigan band lineup, and I actually have a place to lay my head EVERY NIGHT…in the same location! Maybe one day, I’ll share last year’s exploits….maybe.

Friends of mine, that I have had the honor of knowing for about four years now have been working on a pretty sweet music project since 2011.  They have an instrumental side, however, there is a singer/guitarist/drummer friend that pretty much stole my heart from the first time I heard him.  He has released a song called ‘My Love’ and I think it’s pretty perfect for today entry.  He’s funny, and you should definitely check out his work and the video…

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Wow.  I feel like so much has happened all in one day.  I am so very thankful for this amazing group of women that I have been able to call friends.  They have shared some things that are very close to their hearts, and have shared shortcomings that they wish to change with the help of the Father.  It’s so humbling and so very exciting to be able to take part in their weekend of refreshing by leading them in worship…IT’S SUCH A PRIVILEGE to be a part of their lives for just one weekend.  I am full of joy.

I’ve had a lot of moments to think about the love that blossoms from relationships, namely friendships.  I have come to value so many different relationships that I have in my life, I fear that sometimes I take them for granted, and sometimes do not give them the time, effort, and energy that they deserve.  For others, I feel like I may smother them and therefore suffocate.  The relationships that I long to smother and suffocate are the ones that are usually feeding me the most nourishment that my soul needs, however, sometimes I think that I have become a glutton with regard to how much I feed off of that relationship.  Does that make sense?  I overly long for/crave more and more of that relationship.

In my walk through scripture today, I came across Isaiah 30:15 (NIV) – “in repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”

I also came across Job 13:15-16 (MSG) – “Because even if he killed me, I’d keep on hoping.  I’d defend my innocence to the very end.  Just wait, this is going to work out for the best—my salvation!”

Lastly, my life verses are Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV) – “Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

The first two verses seemingly have no relation to one another, however, for me, they speak volumes with regard to my walk as of late.  You see, I have been fighting to do more, to be more, to just be everything I want, in order to find peace of mind. No, I haven’t stomped on people’s dreams or said spiteful things, but I have stopped caring, really caring, about a person’s soul and how important it is to God.  I have not taken the time to remember how faithful the Lord is with our hearts; how wonderful He is in remembering the needs of His people.  I haven’t taken the time to really say ‘sorry’ to the Lord, to be quiet in Him; still (Psalm 46:10).  Because of this, I truly am weakened because I have not spent that needed time just listening and waiting.

When I really think about it, the second and third verses reference do go hand in hand in my eyes.  I really do realize that I have nothing else besides God and His love.  There is nothing else left, and there is no where else that I could go.  He is my hope and stay, and nothing can take me away from Him.

So why do I do things apart from Him?  Why have I been taking my own life and wasting it away, for lack of a better description?   I don’t have a really great answer, however, I get the feeling that it is wrapped up in being very impatient regarding God’s timing.  I crave an answer from Him, however, I want it a certain way; I want it in one amazing moment, an amazing sign, a beautiful tribute.  The problem is, that is a very ‘me’ mentality, and the Lord ain’t havin’ it.

I have been talking about loving well for about 20 days and how I strive for it, but I can’t even love and trust my God well enough to let that love from Him flow into me to flow out to others.  I am realizing that the problem I have begins with me and not with how to do it unto others.  I was sitting in one of the sessions, listening to my mentor, and just remembered some of the conversations from the first night.  I was so moved by these ladies sharing their hearts, praying over us, just being servants to Him.  I then realized that there was an amazing amount of trust going on…but it wasn’t necessarily them trusting me with hearing some of these sensitive topics, it was the trust that they had in the Father that allowed them the freedom to share.  I am always so fearful of sharing my life with others sometimes, that I miss the opportunities to love and befriend people.

I have a long way to go….and it’s time for me to close my eyes and sleep tonight, but yes, it’s that time of realization that faith and trust in the Father go such a long way in dealing with earthly relationships.

PSALM 146:3 – “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save.”

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As we approach the end of the month, I find myself wondering if I will actually keep up writing in my blog with the daily news and things that I have been learning.  I haven’t actually fully made that decision, however, I think it would be good to at least do something at least 2-3 times per month.  We’ll see 🙂

This past month,  I’ve had the joy of seeing that people actually like my posts! It’s very humbling.  I have no idea who the majority of you are, however, I have been visiting some of your blog sites and am honored that some of you have actually subscribed to my blog.  Thank you so very much.

Tonight, I am mentally preparing to go on a women’s retreat that starts tomorrow afternoon on the west side of my state.  I have been looking forward to the trip somewhat, and yet it sometimes just makes me nervous.  It’s mainly because, as someone who has done about six women’s retreats to date, there are sometimes groups of women that I don’t know.  I don’t know what their humor is like, if they will like the style of worship that I lead, if they will like the message that my mentor will be bringing, etc.  At a certain point, I just give up and know that everything really is not in my control.  I just wish that I would get to that point earlier.

My difficulty this weekend will be loving the women that I come into contact with, with the love of Christ and everything that He would like to speak to their hearts.  I really want for them to experience his joy and peace and refreshing during this weekend getaway, and the conference center seems pretty amazing, so all I can do is wait for Him to give me an opportunity to love well.

I often wonder how many people worry about the odd details that I do, but I think that once my worry is turned over to God and I start getting excited for everything that He is going to teach me/us, I begin to find the peace and can prepare my heart.  OK…now I’m getting really excited for the weekend.  You may see some interesting posts this weekend!

ONE LOVE.

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This is the blog entry that I have kind of been dreading.  Now remember, I am not necessarily offering the absolute correct answer.

I know that all of us have had people in our lives that have done wrong to us and that we have done wrong to.  I know that sometimes the wrongs done to us can be almost unbearable to the point where we feel that we can never talk to that party again.  And for a while, it really seems like we never will again, however, there are times when I believe our spirits soften toward them, if only for a moment.  When that happens, I would hope that each one of us would consider the act of forgiveness.

Last year, I went through a time that I never thought would happen.  I cannot go into extreme details, but it resulted in me settling for something temporary and something that wasn’t right.  I’m pretty sure that reveals more than I intended, however, as a result of my misstep, I ended up having to cut someone out of my life.  I am having a problem forgiving them for what they did, and while I know they still love me, I feel that I was taken advantage of.  These things are now being shared to perhaps benefit those that may be going through something similar.  Because I feel like I was taken advantage of, I am having a hard time loving this person through the hurt I am going through.

I don’t know what will happen next, but I do know that God has been ever present during my misstep, during the after-affects and consequences of my sin, and during my healing and moving forward.  I know that at some point, I will let this person back into my life as an acquaintance and not a friend, and I know that while the relationship may be strained at times, it can still be one that honors God.  These aren’t necessarily the best answers, however, I know the Lord desires that we do live at peace with one another.  He knows that we are not perfect like Him, but I believe that’s why He gives us Himself so that we have the Perfect One to lean on and trust in.  The Lord has never taken my heart for granted, He has never sent me in the wrong direction, and He has always loved me perfectly.  I’m the one that comprised and chose the wrong path, but at least He made a way for me to get back to the right one.  I have to confess, truly, it is SUCH AN AMAZING THING when we let the Lord take hold of the reins of our lives and He guides us through.  It brings an intense joy and a wonderful peace, and it has made me glad that I could return to Him.

How do I love the person that hurt me?  I can’t.  I can’t love the person with the love that I have; it’s just not good enough.  The extension of the Father’s love will have to cover it all since I cannot fully love this person any longer.  This might not be the world’s greatest entry about love and forgiveness, but it’s the honest one.  Sometimes sin does considerable damage.  The Lord can restore, though, and miracles can happen.

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I am learning so much about love this month.  I learning about how difficult it is, how beautiful it is, how wonderful it is, and how painful it can be.  I kind of want to pool the group reading this blog to ask how it is that they are able to continuing loving people with God’s love.

I almost forgot to blog today because I have been scheduling my days so tightly.  I normally blog in the early morning, however, I wanted a morning off to watch a tv show and sleep in a little bit.  I have found my own spirit a little less-driven to read His word and pray, however, I can almost feel the prayers of those who are thinking of and praying for me daily; I’ve felt it since I left my house on Monday morning. That’s love for the Lord and dedication to His kingdom.  For those of you who have been praying for me and thinking of me, thank you, I really have felt you.

This will be a short post, but I have a free evening this evening to go over some things and so I hope to have something more put together for tomorrow.

Love and Light.

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Today is a day I am tapped out.  I normally have a topic that I really wish to share, however, this morning I am finding nothing of love that I wish to discuss.  Know that the rest of my entries this month may not always be like this, however, after taking the time to attend my small group last night and having them take the time to pray over me, there are other things on my heart and mind today.

I wish for everyone who reads this entry today to learn to trust a group of people with the struggles in your life.  If it can’t be a group, tell someone.  We all know that life isn’t a cakewalk, but we cannot go about thinking that other people can’t identify with our struggles.  As I learned yesterday while someone was praying over me…they knew EXACTLY the kind of pressure I was under and prayed to God on my behalf.  Allow people to know you, keep you accountable, and keep you ever striving to be more like Christ.  I guess in a way this post is about love.  🙂

Numbers 6:24-26

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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