Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Blog Up and Running!!

Hey all!

Just wanted to thank you all for reading and I wanted to let you know that I also started a new blog. I will keep this one for personal stuff. But my new one is something that I have always wanted to do. Music is a huge part of my life, and I wanted started a blog about certain songs, lyrics, or whatever that mean something to me at the moment. Music has a way of inspiring a person whether they notice or not.

Please check out and add Sing A Song to your friends!!!

Thanks, all!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All in Good Time, Mindy. All in Good Time

Is it sad of me to say that I am jealous of my friends with families? I want one so bad. All my sisters and brother are married and have kids. Most of my friends are married and have kids. And here, as one of my friends from younger years said, "Here we always thought Mindy was going to be the first to settle down with a family."

I think it really starts to get to me hard this time of year. All the cute little kids in their holiday outfits all dressed up ready to go to church then to come home to find Santa stopped by while they were out. All the babies, having no idea what they are in for when they grow up, cooing and jibbering as they crawl or waddle about from Grandma to Grandpa to Auntie to Uncle.

Reading a friends post this morning on facebook really did me in. Her mom had commented on how she is in love with all the nesting that is starting to take place at their house with the little one's arrival right around the corner. "How awesome God is."

Yes, how awesome God really is. But, come on. Can he cut me a break soon here?! I'm not getting any younger and I want to hold a little one in my arms soon. I want to start a family. I want to play in the dirt, kiss a boo-boo, hold them till they fall back to sleep and tell them it's okay-The boogey man can't hurt you.

I want that.

But when will God put that certain someone in my path. Or is he, and I haven't even opened my eyes yet. Or-maybe God still thinks I still have some things to accomplish before I settle down.

I don't know, but it's so hard to trust Him sometimes. Nevertheless, I still do. I try waiting patiently to His still small voice, but I get distracted ever so quickly. so many things flood my mind at one time.

Then I hear God calling to me- "All in good time, Mindy. All in good time. My plans for you are set. They are in motion. Trust me and you will see them through. Even when you waiver, I will guide you back on that path."

So, jealously shouldn't be what I feeling. I should be happy for them(which I am by the way...) and trust someday, maybe God has that in my plan as well. Or, maybe something bigger and better than I could ever hope or dream up!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"See the Star in the sky....Gently leading the way"

I love Christmas. I love the sights, sounds and smells. I love the home-y kind of feeling that you get when family and friends gather to share stories and sit and have dinner together.

What I love most about Christmas is the music and concerts. Yes, I celebrate Christmas all year long with remember Jesus' birth, death and resurrection, but there is something special about the time God's Son came to Earth to humble himself and become like us. And Christmas concerts do that to me.

I went on Sunday, December 6th, to see the Bethlehem Skyline with downhere, Jason Gray, and Lanae Hale. I got to help run the merch stand and meet some great new people. I got to finally meet Lanae. She is one sweet lady! I also got to meet and work Merch with Walt. He works with Centricity as well as played bass for Lanae on her set on the Skyline tour.

We had a meet and greet before the show and since I had an extra pass, I thought that I would just randomly pic 4 kids out of the crowd. I picked four very sweet little girls who seemed to enjoy every minute of it. I wanted to pick kids, because meeting "rockstars" at their ages means alot to them. One of the girls said she didn't know what to say to them! I told her just be yourself and just start talking about anything. They are all great and they love meeting their fans!

I had too many memories before and after the show to even write here. If you are on the downhere messageboards, you can see the stories there.

But the concert itself was awesome. I didn't get to see Lanae's or Jason Gray's set because I volunteered to watch the merch table so the other volunteers could go and see the show. That was alright. I could still hear the music and I was having my own little concert up at the table.

I got to head down to see downhere and the first couple songs of the show were upbeat, fun and familiar. I was bouncing around like a normal "obnoxious fan" then out of nowhere, I just sat down, closed up, and didn't sing the rest of the night. I could barely look at the guys even. I found myself focusing more on the screens with the words. Something strange happened to me.

During soundcheck early in the day, I got to hear a snippet of Silent Night, and I know the song off the How Many Kings album, so I knew what I was in for. But nothing prepared me for what happened. I tried telling myself I wasn't going to get emotional, but I couldn't help myself. Every ounce of energy I had trying to hold the walls up, broke down.

Silent Night was always my grandma's favorite song. She and I were really close when I was little and the more I grow up, the harder I am finding myself with her passing. Yes, it's been almost 20 years since she has gone, but being 9 you really don't understand what has happened. I have so many great memories with her. Every Friday I would go to her house and hang for the weekend. Our Saturday morning ritual was make scrambled eggs, I would bring her her coffee, then we would watch Gunsmoke or Bonanza, depending on what time we got up. And depending on the time of year, we would go shopping or rummage saling.

I remember when she got sick and was in the hospital. She was in a coma but she still squeezed my hand. Mom told her we would be back later that night to see her. It was about a half hour after we left, and the hospital called. Mom brought me into their bedroom and told me. I screamed. It couldn't have happened.

Every year gets harder, so I think with downhere releasing How Many Kings and putting that on there was really really hard on me. I remember listening to it with Liz on the way home from our downhomiepalooza back in July of this year. I couldn't even make it through the verse line of the song without weeping.

But I am grateful for tears. Tears of joy, tears of sorrow. I have many great memories with my Grandma. I still wish she was here. I know that she would be proud of me, but I want her there in the front row watching me perform, I want her to be the first to hear a song that I wrote. And I know she is sitting with me as I write them.

This blog has taken a completely different turn than I wanted it to. But maybe I needed it. I wanted to tell you about my wonderful experience about the Bethlehem Skyline tour. But in a sense I think I did. This tour means a lot to me. It brings back wonderful memories while making new ones with family, friends, and "rockstars" that I consider like family.

So here are a few pics from the show. You can see more of my pics at: mindyracal Flickr If you get the chance to go, please do! Check out the tour here at the Bethlehem Skyline site.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Why is it that when you wake up in the morning, you suddenly feel unmotivated? What is going on in your mind? I think I know what it is. It's the "easy" way out. I think that's why I am so far out of shape. Just the simple little thought, "Oh, I'll do that tomorrow," plays a big part. We are such procrastinators. We want everything NOW, but we always wait to do it "later". Then it never gets done.

Today I proved to myself that I could do it. I woke up this morning, feeling blah, knowing it was cold outside and didn't want to freeze my lungs. Then I made an excuse saying I w ill burn all those extra calories tomorrow at Zumba, so I won't do it. Plus, I am starting to get a nasty cough like I had at the beginning of November. I hope it goes away fast; I have a "date" with downhere, Jason Gray, and Lanae Hale coming up Sunday and I need to be in tip top shape to help run merch and be a strong supporter for them.

So, as I was preparing my morning tea, I rearranged my running/walking playlists and just decided to plop the headphones in and go. So I did. I dressed up, stretched and headed out.

I did my C25K for 20 minutes. I slowed down when I felt my lungs start to get fuzzy. I didn't run as much as I did last week, but at least I got a good amount of running in to still keep up with the schedule. AND, I still got up off my butt to run :)

I am learning every day that it takes a lot of discipline to refocus your brain. It's so easy to just not do something. But if you want results, you have to make an initiative and do something about it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Reason for the Season

It's that time of year again!!! HOLIDAYS! And I am not going to shy away to "make people happy" by saying Happy Holidays. It's Christmas time. We celebrate this time of year with the birth of Jesus.

Not Santa. Not candy. Not presents. Not little elves.

There is a reason for this season and people have slowly over the years forgotten the reason we celebrate. Retail has played a big part in everything too. Buy this!-it will make you thinner! By that!- you will make over a $100,000 in 24 hours! Crazy how we let ourselves get caught up in pleasing "us".

How can we forget that one person that humbled himself as a baby, in a feeding trough, in a barn....

Really if you think about it, even as Christians we romanticize the birth of Jesus. We think of Him as this bouncing blue-eyed smiling baby. Ponder the origin of His birth. I am pretty sure He wasn't blue-eyed and fair skin. Nor did He have a halo glimmering around His head.

He was born a normal baby, Mary with complications, like any child. But it was the best birth anyone could have.

Could you imagine being chosen to carry the Son of God? I would be like Mary. I admire her. She was so strong for such a young girl. 13! I have a niece that's 13 and I couldn't even THINK of her getting pregnant in our day and age. But at that time, it was normal.

I wish I had a heart like hers. Even being ridiculed by her peers and village, she trusted God. I want a faith like that.

So with all the hustle and bustle of buying things, take time to really sit and think why we are celebrating. Jesus came for you. He came for me. I will close with the chorus from How Many Kings written by Marc Martel the lead singer of downhere:

How many kings stepped down from their thrones
How many lords have abandoned their homes
How many greats have become the least for me
How many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that's been torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me.

Please take a listen to the song at

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Love Never Fails

Last night while journaling, I wrote this little poem based on 1 Corinthians 13:1, 3-8. It was actually part of my Bible study for church and I decided to meditate on it last night before bed. I know that love is something that I am working on. Not so much love my family and friends and such, it's the showing the love to my coworkers that irritate me and cause Satan to jab into me and make me falter. He knows my weakness and plays on them daily...and it's so hard to ignore him. Though I have noticed a change where I don't fall as easily. And I am learning to pray about the situation as it happens. Love is the greatest gift of all. I only know of one person who was willing to give His life for this wretched soul. And I thank him every day.....

1 Corinthians 13: 1, 3-8

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal.

If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices w/truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Never Fails

If the sky would crumble away
Would you doubt me?
My love never fails.
If the last note in a song was played,
Would your ears reject me?
My love never fails.
If your last breath was taken in vain
Would you curse me?
My love never fails.

For I am patient; kind
Never boastful, nigh am I envious
I shall never be proud or easily angered.

Even on the darkest day
And you despise and forsake me,
My love never failed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Not Going Down...I'm Rising Up

So....once again, my journey is through a song....

Not Going Down from Jason Gray

Not Going Down:
I'm not going down
I'm rising up....woah
I'm gonna stand my ground
and I won't give up...oh, no
And I'm not Goin' down

I have been really trying the last couple of days to stay on's really hard. Especially yesterday when they decided to rearrange the office before I got there. It took nearly four hours later to get the office back in shape where I was able to sit down and do my work. I hadn't eaten since 9am and I didn't get to eat until 6:30 That's a long time. Not good when you are trying to keep your metabolism level and eat every 3-4 hours. I was getting really cranky and whiny and I could tell my body was telling me to eat....But I didn't

And I have been trying to keep up with cardio. I HATE sweating! It's yucky and I just feel disgusting! But today I cycled for 30 minutes and every last song I would like, I'm done...I can't do this anymore. Then another one of my fave songs would come on and I would just keep going. I finally said, "That's it. 25 is good. I'm done!" then Not going down came on. I got back on the bike and said....5 more minutes, Mindy....just 5 more minutes.....

This song motivated me through the last stretch of the exercise. I focused on God and pushed through and persevered. God is amazing at pushing. No....the SPIRIT is great at pushing me. He kept whispering in my ear and saying, just a couple more can do it. I'm giving you strength.

Not only does it motivate me through my workout, it motivates me through life. This has been a song that I sing regularly to myself to help push me. Jason is a great lyricist....and it's great when you really can connect with someone's music. It makes it part of you; not just a song.

Thank you, God for pushing me to the limit. You are awesome!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Roadtrip, Rockstars and Running

As I sit here and write this, I am listening to Concerto Grosso in D Major Opus 6, No. 5:Larghetto e staccato and I am overwhelmed by all the crazy and amazing events that took place over the past seventy-two hours. My body is still completely exhausted and having a hard time keeping up, but my brain is on full throttle! But I will do my best to make an accurate account of my downhere weekend.


We started off on our roadtrip to MI at 5:30am. Getting a slightly late start, and making a last minute Walmart stop, we still made it to the venue by 4:30. I know it was really early and there were no cars there yet(except the downhere van...) so we decided to scope things out. We were walking up to the door and a gentlemen points to me and says:"Mindy?" I didn't know what to think or say since I had never seen this man before in my life. His name was Bill and somehow he figured it was one of the crazy fans from WI. I'm guessing it was due to the "Downhere Bound" writing on the back of our car :) We sat and talked for a bit. He apologized by saying he couldn't let me in, but he ran and got something for us. We got guaranteed front row seats since we were here so early and drove so far. So the downhomies would for sure be able to be in front to take pics! Yes! He also told me that I was the first person to buy tix to the show. Crazy.....

Hannah got there and I promised myself that I would behave to make up for the crazy antics I did at the Peoria show a couple months earlier. Well, when I saw Hannah I geeked out. :) What can I say, I haven't seen her in forever!! So I was allowed.

We headed inside and waited around for Gina and Liz to get there. The whole time we were there people kept coming up to us asking if we were the group from WI. Everywhere we went people looked at us. We all had our downhomie shirts on so, we were a dead giveaway that we were there for the We all had our 15 seconds of fame. I found it funny that we were as "famous" as the band was. Crazy times.

The show was awesome, complete with random dance moves, outbursts about "Pluto" and everything in between you would get from a downhomie. I have never cried at a downhere concert before and I was most effected by "How Many Kings", "A Better Way" and "Here I Am". Something about the songs that moved me so much and meant so much. I have been having a hard time with a lot of stuff I think God was speaking to me so much that night.

Plus I got to FINALLY meet Jess Lewis! Such a sweet lady! I didn't get a chance to say Hi to her at the downhomiepalooza back in July so it was great to see her.

We hung around for a bit before heading back to see the guys. We grabbed our stuff and chatted. The people there taking pics were as interested in us downhomies as they were the band. So we were in a lot of pics. Now I know what the guys go through every night when they just want to sit down and relax.

We gave Marc his birthday present and he got quite a kick out of the Frankenberry and "Freddie Mercury" shirt we made for him. (you can check out pics on my flickr account-link posted below)

We were saying our goodbyes and Jason was like, "see ya guys tomorrow!" And I randomly started singing "Tomorrow" from Annie. See, I told you my brain is slower than my mouth at times....I had forgotten where I was and just started singing. Did I really just do that!? In front of downhere? Oh goodness....

Jason came back and said "Wow. You have a really good theatre voice." *shock*

We headed to the hotel chatted for a bit, contemplated walking through the drive-thru at McDonald's right next door and went to bed. I didn't get much sleep. I was running on 3 hours of sleep the next day.


Gina, Liz, Mom and I all headed to Tim Horton's for breakfast/lunch! It was my first experience and I loved it! I think I may move to Canada just for that purpose alone.

Gina and Liz headed to run some errands and Mom and I headed to Hannah's Uncle's house to record a song I had written. I was so excited. It turned out well, even though I was still getting over a cold thing and had "concert voice". Hannah is going to take it home with her and play around with it and add some stuff! So I can't wait to hear it when it's done!

We headed to the venue to get the merch table set up. The guys were sound checking when we got there, so we had background music while getting the table ready. We got done with that and we went in to catch some soundchecking.

Martel never ceases to amaze me. He started singing "Man in the Mirror" from Michael Jackson and I think I fell in love with him. *sigh* I just sat there listening and having a great conversation with Jaclyn and Hannah. It was good to have girl time too, before we headed to "concert mode".

Everything was set and we were ready for the show to begin. We took turns literally running around the auditorium to get up to the merch stand. We would wait a couple songs and then switch guards. Once again, the show was great and there were more random outbursts, dancing, and just plain downhomieness. During "Rockstars" I had made a sign that says SPAM on it. I tried getting Marc to see it and he avoided me at all cost. So I pouted until he saw me. I think Glenn did at one point and smiled.

Marc had also made a comment about our "square dancing". We were just being complete goofballs and dancing like fools. But it got the people to come out and dance with us. For the longest time I think it was just us.....

But the night wasn't over. We had a few more things up our sleeves. On "Bleed" we pulled out our cue cards for Marc. the past few times we had seen them, Marc always forgot the words on the verses or switched them. So we helped him out a bit. When he saw them, he couldn't help but laugh into the mic. Then continued to follow the cues by reading them. We giggled and danced some more. Then came the echo of the "OOHS". I broke out my best harmony and Marc turned to our side, smiled and said, "Nice harmonies!" *shock once again* Instead of nodding and smiling, I turned around and giggled like a crazy fan girl. I mean, Marc Martel just gave me a SHOUTOUT! WOW! Then Hannah and I broke out the Tambourines for Glenn's part. We found out that he really got a kick out it.

We headed back to the merch table where we sold LOTS of How Many Kings, tshirts, and jewlery! I stood there and smiled and couldn't help but love God and thank Him for letting me serve him in this way. Liz and I were talking in between customers and Marc shouted something to us and was making weird hand motions. We had no clue what he was talking about. But we tried everything on Glenn and Jeremy to let us come to Denmark with

We hung with the guys for a half hour or so, gave Glenn his VERY BELATED BIRTHDAY PRESENT and chatted. It was hard saying goodbye, but I get to see them in a month again.

We headed back to Gina's house. I was extrememly tired and the fog and late night wasn't helping. Gina almost hit a cat and deer. It was soooo foggy. We made it back and talked some more nonsense about hair and other girly stuff.


Liz had to leave early on Sunday, but we still got to hang out. Gina, Hannah, mom and I had a great talk about a lot of stuff and it felt good to have a conversation like that. It was so hard to leave, but after eating lunch at Pizza Hut, we had to "peel the band-aid"

Over all, it was a great weekend and I have so many more memories bottled inside for safe keeping than I could put down here(hahahaha....downhere....)If I did, it would be a book. And I am sure that your eyes are already tired from reading this!!

God it good all the time. All the time, God is good. Thank you for friends, family, rockstars and an amazing witness to the world.

You can check out my pics from the show here:
Oxford Show, MI-November 6, 2009

Farwell Show, MI-November 7, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh These Crazy Times

Today I had a meeting with my pastor about things going on in the church. We didn’t touch much on the subject about Homosexual Pastors, but it turned into a discussion more about how our church is lacking in the “connection” department. 

And I told her how I felt less and less connected to the congregation. I felt like I was just going through the motions being on the worship team. I just haven’t felt anything and I found a place where I was accepted-not just for my musical talent either. 

She told me that I wasn’t the only one that was starting to feel that way. She said there was a lack of fellowship with people in my generation. They feel like they are disconnected from the congregation because there really isn’t any form of a ministry for them. And she was trying to find a way to rectify the dilemma. 

I told her that I felt more connected with my online “church family” than I did with my own church family. I feel like I can tell them my feelings and not be judge. And there is uplifting when I talk to them. ~thank you my downhomies! You know who you are~ 

So we talked a little more and she said that she would support my decision whatever I chose. She also mentioned  that if I wanted to get together with her to help her with ideas to get my generation more involved with the fellowship of the church, it would be great. 

Now I am at another crossroads. I don’t want to leave the church, but like Pastor Mary said, there is a long road to recovery for our church. And I don’t want to be in a place that I feel dry either. I have found a great fellowship with great ministries and learning at New Hope. 

I am praying faithfully that God leads me to the right choice. I know he will and I know he will lead me where he feels the need. And I can’t stop him. There’s no point in going against him; he will just point you where he wants you and you will end up there one way or another ☺

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ending is Beginning

Coincidence or God Speaking?

For most of you that regularly read my blog or are on the downhere boards know that I have been battling with a decision to leave my church(see previous post...).

Today at church at a wedding I sang at, there on my old music stand that I used to use every Sunday, was a single guitar pic.

I had bought Bob, our worship director, a downhere guitar pic card as a joke gift since he always picked on me about downhere.

On the music stand today was a single downhere guitar pic. I picked it up, looked at it, and choked back a couple tears that decided they wanted to form. On the pic were the downhere name and "Ending is Beginning".

I don't know if this was just a coincidence that that was there or if this was God saying, "'s okay. I am moving you in a new direction and you are ending here, but a new beginning is coming..."

I know that Ending is Beginning is also a parallel of coming to the end of myself and letting God begin again. Which is also a path that I need to consider. It's always a daily struggle to die to myself every day and let God do His thing. But I am learning as I am growing more and more in my faith to trust God and know that he is providing for me for what I need at the moment of every day.

God is great and I am trusting His plan and what he has in store for me. I know He has something big and exciting planned for me...just waiting to see what it is!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

5 Golden Rings and a Barking Dog

I have been waiting to do a review for this CD for some time now! I was one of the privileged few to receive an advanced copy of the album at our first downhomiepalooza in July. Let’s just say that I can’t stop listening to it! I can’t say anything bad about it, so I am giving every song a synopsis. Here we go!

How Many Kings~ This is the original version with a string section added to it. Still one of my favorite downhere songs.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen~ There is so much going on in this song! It changes directions through out the whole thing. But I LOVE it!!! So many different dynamics…

Angels from the Realms of Glory~ Great, great rendition of this song. One of my favorite Christmas songs and it was neat to see the making of this song. (see vid below…) I love the feel they bring to it. By starting simple, then building towards the end.

Christmas in Our Hearts~ a downhere original. A nice little reminder that even if they take "Christmas" out of every thing, Christmas will still always be in our hearts and we know that Jesus came to us that night to save us all.

Silent Night~One of my favorite versions of this song. It makes me tear every time I hear it. It also brings back many memories of my Grandma. Jason’s voice is amazing and Marc’s soaring vocals add so much emotion to this simple lullaby.

Good King Wenceslas~ "I ask you good king…Wenceslas!" Marc is so funny at the beginning of this song. It has a great groove feel to it. I feel my head bob to it all the time.

What Child is This?~ This has been and will ever be my favorite Christmas Carol of all time. Just Marc and the guitar. Marc also does a verse in French. Magnifique!

Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella~ This is a downhomie favorite and we were ever so glad to see that it made it to the record. Another great Christmas Carol

5 Golden Rings~ I thought, "Oh no…they really didn’t add 12 Days of Christmas." Not going to give anything away on this one. Has to be my favorite track on the album. True downhere style….

Glory to God~ Another downhere original. This song can be found on the Bethlehem Skyline CD where we first got a sample of what downhere can do for Christmas music.

Gift Carol~ One of my favorite downhere Christmas originals. I love the chorus: There’s a gift marked for us/By the angel chorus/ Not in sparkling paper/ But a lowly manger/ Sealed in hopeful promise/ For every Doubting Thomas/ From God with love/ To all mankind. If that doesn’t sum it up right there how much God loves us, I don’t know what will.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas~ The only thing that I could think of on this one was "Shrek the Halls"- on bonus disc that came with my Shrek video when it first came out. So picture Donkey, Shrek, and the Gingerbread Man singing. If you can find a copy of Shrek the Halls then compare with WWYAMC....

How Many Kings Re-Imagined~ Marc sang the majority of the original HMK, now Jason takes his turn on this version and as he declares it in the video below, it’s "different". But in a good way. It took me a few listens to actually get into it. And now, I think I like this version a little more than the original.

So there you have it- downhere never ceases to amaze me with their talent. I’d say for their first attempt at a Christmas album, they have succeeded past my expectations. There is a nice mix for everyone and the downhere boys bring their love, comedy, and passion to this album. Way to go guys! I look forward to the next Christmas album in ten years.

Here are some vids of the Making of How Many Kings for your viewing pleasure. For more information about downhere, please visit:
The Downhere Offical Website
Centricity Music

What Difference Do It Make?

"What Difference Do It Make?” is a wonderful read. Blending stories of other folks that read the previous book called “Same Kind of Difference As Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, it’s great to see how God is moving and working through all of us. In between chapters of Ron and Denver, are stories that were “inspired” by Denver and his struggle with homelessness. Hearing Ron and Denver’s stories helped change the lives of people and their actions that they took when doing through their daily lives. I haven’t had the chance to read “Same Kind of Difference As Me” yet, but I love how they brought snippets of the book into the new book so you could piece the stories together. I would recommend reading “What Difference Do It Make?” to anyone who is struggling in their life with anything from finance, to a loss of a loved one, to a betrayal. In the words of Jason Gray- Everything Sad is Coming Untrue. Even if you are going through a rough time in your life, there is a light on the other side that will help guide you through your trial. These stories are truly ones of healing and hope and proof that God is looking down on us and will take care of us in our need if we call out to him.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

patience is a virtue

hen Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food." Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."  "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.  "Bring them here to me," he said. ~Matthew 14: 13-18

 Patience. Compassion. Two things that I am daily still working on. I need to take a lesson from Jesus.

Even after retreating to a quiet place to rest after hearing the death of his cousin, John the Baptist, Jesus still lets the crowds come to him. He still had compassion on them and healed their sick.

And not once did he complain.

What do I have to complain about? Here is my list at the moment:
-the phone at work constantly ringing  when I am trying to get things done.
-the sales guys always bothering me with their stuff when I am trying to get things done
-slow people on the road and other cars coming the other way so I can’t pass the slow person.
-my DVR box or computer freezing on me for now apparent reason
-my cat wanting too much attention when I don’t feel like talking. 

Not much a real “urgency” kind of list, eh? I didn’t have to bear the weight of the world on my shoulders. I didn’t have to hang on a cross for all sin while the people mocked me. One person only had to do that.

Don’t you think that Jesus should have at one time had a tantrum? He had people mobbing him left and right, wanting to be healed. He had to let these same people turn on him and send him to his death.

I think my complaints look like mere trifles next to his. Instead of complaining about everything, I need to learn how to do everything I do in worship to God. Instead of rolling my eyes at the phone when it rings, I should be thankful that I still have a job and people are calling. Instead of nagging on the sales guys, I should let them see Christ working through me. Instead of fuming and throwing a fit when my computer starts to spazz out, I should take that time and focus on God while waiting for it to calm down.

We need to be Jesus’ hands and feet. And every action is being watched. Even the slightest little slip could give people another reason to not trust a follower of Christ. And we become the hypocrite we try so hard not to be.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Homosexuality in the Church *Viewer Discretion is Advised*

I just recently found out that my Synod(ELCA) is going to/or has allow(ed) gay minsters in the church. I know this is a very touchy social subject and opinions will be made and argued.

But I am at a loss. I don't know what to think. My mind has been swirling with thoughts for the past few weeks since I found out about this. I don't know whether to agree with this, ignore it, or do something about it. This is going to be a no-win situation for everyone.

I have always been the one to say "if there is a problem in the church, instead of taking the coward way out and leaving-pray about it." But since I heard this startling news, I am ready to run 90 MPH in the complete opposite direction and be no part of it. But yet, something inside wants me to stay too and not sound like a racial biggot.

I have some gay friends. Though I do not agree with their lifestyle, they are still humans and have feelings and I will remain friends with them. But when it comes to the church, the Bible clearly is against homosexuality:

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is destestable.~ Leviticus 18:22

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do no be decieved: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolator nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ~1 Corinthians 6:9-10

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for the lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and pejurers-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. ~1 Timothy 1:8-11

Were we not instructed to live by the laws in the Bible? And not switch them around to make them how we want them to fit into our lives? I was just reading one of the footnotes for 1 Timothy and it says that the entire Bible call homosexual behavior a sin. We must be careful, however, to condemn only the practice, and not the people. They can still be forgiven.

And that is what I said before: I will love the person, but I don't have to agree with their lifestyle choice.

But now, here we enter the touchy subject. We were also always taught to love one another regardless of our faults. We were taught to live like Jesus. Consider the people that he hung around with: Thiefs, tax collectors, prostitutes, etc. I wonder if there was a homosexual amongst them at one point. Do you think that Jesus befriended him? Of course. But Jesus did not allow homosexuality.

"Haven't you heard," he replied, " that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' he said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate."~Matthew 19:4-6

I am at a loss. I don't know what to do. I believe everything the Bible says, but yet, I don't want to turn my back on someone just because of their beliefs. It would go against everything that I have learned growing up. Not just as a Christian, but also as a human being as well.

I am curious to what others reading this will think. I am praying earnestly about this. I am trying to listen to God and hoping that it's not the devil planting something in my head. Please feel free to respond to this; I await your comments.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I may have been wrong

Regarding the last post I made, I may have been a little wrong on some things. After a little chat with my friend and a nice chat with God, I had my eyes opened.

 I was making the music all about me and what I wanted. I was trying to make radio the way I wanted it. I didn’t take into consideration that God will use whatever he can to bring people to His kingdom. And though the songs didn’t reach out to me in some way, they may make an impact on someone else and their walk. 

It brings me back once again to a line in the song “1000 Miles Apart” from downhere:

 You stay there, and I'll stay here, into our corners we disappear
And we don’t ever have to talk, 'cause you like hiphop and I like rock
But sometimes thoughts hurt just as bad as striking cheeks with hands
It’s less our homes and more our hearts 1000 miles apart 

Now, someone may not like downhere or my choices of music and I can’t shove them down their throats trying to persuade someone why I think downhere is the best band ever. It’s just going to push them further away. 

Me, me, me. “It’s just not moving me anymore” “I am not connecting with what they are saying; it’s just words.” When am I ever going to learn that it’s not about me and ALL about Jesus? You would think that I would have learned this by now. I am thinking I am going to need to have a little prayer walk with God.

 And a sabbatical from the worship team for some time. I need to reconnect with God and I can’t do that trying to get my ducks in a row. Will I miss being up on the worship stand? Of course. But I have been making it a chore to go instead of letting God move me and speak to me. 

This just makes me think of the book I am using a Bible Study at the moment. A Mary Heart in a Martha World. Martha thought all about herself and the preparation for the Lord instead of stopping what she was doing and sitting at Jesus’ feet. I don’t want to be like Martha. I want to be like Mary and give everything I have to Jesus and just sit there and let him speak to me.

Please pray for me while I am on this journey.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Maybe You Think That We Sugar Coat It"

I have come to the conclusion that alot of the music that I have been hearing on the radio the past few months just isn't doing it for me. And I am not talking about the secular or country music genres either. I am talking about Christian music. To me, it seems lately that the music is just there to be there. To make someone famous by throwing it in the Christian music genre because it wouldn't get enough airplay on secular radio.

Yes, I know there is a meaning behind the songs, and no, I know not all Christian songs have to say the words "Jesus" "God" or "Love" in them, but too many that I have been hearing just seem too sugar coated. They are fun to sing, there isn't enough depth to them for me anymore.

Same thing goes with worship music. Some songs, after you have sung them for them for the millionth time, just seem to have lost all meaning. You try and find something in it and they just become words on a page.

Maybe that's why I haven't been really feeling anything while I am on the worship stand trying to lead worship.

Some songs, though, just resonate through the years and no matter how many times you have heard it, you still get choked up when hearing it. Like Amazing Grace, for example. It never fails me to bring me to tears when I hear multitudes of people singing it together, pouring their hearts out. Wow.

I like songs that have a meaning. That have some body to it. And I am not finding that on the radio lately. I like having a story behind a song. Maybe that's why I gravitate towards the Centricity Artists so much. Their label pushes them to dig deep, push the line and find a meaning. Downhere, Lanae Hale and Jason Gray are my favorites off that label(although I LOVE them all). I love the stories behind the songs. And they all have a passion for Christ. They are not just writing songs to write songs.

I don't know what's on other Christians artists hearts and I do not have the right to judge them. But just in my opinion, there are alot of songs that are just, for me, lacking something. Are we really watering down our faith just to have a hit song on the radio? I hope not. We should be bold about it, not be ashamed of what we believe, and stand firm. Don't water it down. Don't sugar coat it. Just live it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Again I Say: Rejoice!!

Philippians 4:4-6

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Wow. I couldn’t have read a better verse today! One thing that I have been struggling with for years is prayer. I never know what to say. I don’t want to sound greedy. Sometimes I feel stupid just talking to the air. But over the past couple of months I have learned to take everything to God in prayer. And he will provide. I am living proof of that. I love my job at Russ Darrow, and I have been part time for the past year since I started. And I was struggling every day to find a way to make ends meet. I was always looking for other part time jobs to fill in the hours that I didn’t work there, but nothing came up. And news last week came that our normal full time girl, due to personal reasons, was going down to part time and I would get the full time position. WHAT? Really? So, I sent my blessings up to God. Then today, I word that I will be getting a raise on my next check! I can’t tell you how much God has blessed me in the past couple of weeks. All the trails and pain that I have gone through only equip me to be a stronger person in my walk with God. And I have learned to pray earnestly and continuously. He will provide for you when you need it. And when you least expect it!

I have also become more open with my faith and not being ashamed to pray in public. I still struggle at times, but I am getting better at it. I have a problem with sitting and listening for God, though. I always have things running through my brain and I get distracted easily. Sometimes things are good, other times not so much. Sometimes I am running down my “to do” list and I lose sight of why I am bowing my head. There is a song called “Let the Waters Rise” from Mikeschair that has been my prayer the past couple months since I first heard it. I remember crying. I actually heard it again last night having a “worry” moment and it came at the right time and brought me to my knees in surrender.

Don't know where to begin
It's like my world's caving in
And I tried but i can't control my fear
Where do I go from here

Sometimes it's so hard to pray
You feel so far away
I am willing to go where You want me to
God I trust You

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knee
So let the waters rise

If you want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You

God will never put anything in front of you that you can’t handle. He’s just a prayer away when you feel like falling. He’ll pick you up when He knows you are ready. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Yet another wonderful book from Max Lucado. I decided to use this as my Bible Study for the past couple weeks and I am glad that I did. Not only did I learn more about myself, but I also learned the different fears holding me back from fully living my life in Christ. Max has a wonderful blend of stories and explanation of fear. He brought other stories in to mix with the Biblical truths. It was great to relate my fears with those that have faced something in their past. It made understanding my fears so much easier. And one of my favorite things about Max’s books is the Study Guide in each of them at the back of the book. I love how even though I have read the same scripture passages time and time again, by reading one of his books, I find a new meaning to it and they stick better with me. At the end of each study guide, there is a little challenge for you. I found those helpful each day to help focus on my walk with Jesus. And each chapter is dedicated to a fear that keeps us from entering full surrender to Christ. Breaking them down like that, helped recognized the areas in my life that need a lot more help and prayerful thought. Fearless is a great addition to the Max Lucado library and I highly recommend picking it up. For more information, check out: Max website here or Thomas Nelson website here.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Earth is my womb

So hear me out. This is a nice little passage I read today from Max Lucado's Fearless.

I know you don't rememeber this prenatal season, so let me remind you what happened during it. Every gestation day equipped you for your earthly life. Your bones solidified, your eyes developed, the umbilical cord transported nutrients into your growing frame...for what reason? So you might remain enwombed? Quite the contrary. Womb time equipped you for earth time, suited you up for your postpartum exsistence.

Some prenatal features went unused before birth. YOu grew a nose but didn't breathe. Eyes developed, but could you see? Your tongue, toenails and crop of hair served no function in your mother's belly. But aren't you glad you have them now?

Certain chapters in this life seem so unneccessary; like nostrils on the preborn. Suffering. Lonlieness. Disease. Holocausts. Matyrdom. Monsoons. If we assume this world exsists just for pregrave happiness, these atrocities disqualify it from doing so. But what if this earth is the womb? Might these challenges, severe as they may be, serve to prepare us, equip us for the world to come?

This little passage made me open my eyes wider and really think about the things going on around me. Yes, I know they are trials and help me grow stronger in my faith. But I like the way Max put it about being in the womb. Like the nutrients coming from the umblilical cord, these things we face nourish us one way or the other. They strenghthen us and help us draw closer to God. So, I'm going to live like I am in the womb. Take everything that is thrown, no-given, to me and use to strengthen me more. Cuz when I leave this earthly womb, I will have everything I need to live my life at the feet of Jesus. And I will have no fear of exiting this life and making passage into the next.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Jason Gray: Everything Sad is Coming Untrue

Now, I try not to be one that is biased, but I have been waiting (im)patiently for the new Jason Gray album “Everything Sad is Coming Untrue”. I have been a strong supporter of his music for some time now, and Centricity Music has not let me down yet.

Nor did they or Jason let me down this time either.

“Everything Sad is Coming Untrue” is a wonderful blend of pop, praise, folk, and everything else in between. Jason is a gifted songwriter and knows how to wrap God’s word around your heart.

If you are curious as to where Jason came up with the title, it’s a passage in Tolkein’s “The Lord of the Rings” where Sam wakes after the darkest day of his life to find those he thought dead were alive and that all was well: “’Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?’ ‘A great shadow has departed,’ said Gandalf, and then he laughed, and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land…”

I can’t say that I have a favorite, because all the songs have some form of meaning to me. But I think that one of my favorite lines is from “More Like Falling in Love”, the first track on the album: “Cause all religion ever made of me, was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet. It never set me free.” I think it’s true that we focus sometimes why our “religion” is better than the other person’s, and we could debate out this all day long, but this is an album review, so let’s carry on!

Jason is a great storyteller and is not afraid tackle tough subjects like battling deception on “The Golden Boy and the Prodigal”, and not letting worship get watered down or fluffed up like in the song “Fade With Our Voices”. This album is a true testament of what it means to confess and fall at Jesus’ feet and offer ourselves completely.

If you are looking for some good hearty music that needs to pull at your heartstrings, then “Everything Sad is Coming Untrue” should do the trick.

More information can be found at Jason’s newly updated (and really cool!) website or at Centricity Music’s website.

I encourage you to pick up the album. I am telling you now that you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meet Jacob Black

Well...I am not going to lie when I say that I am a Twilighter. Not to the point some people are, but I do enjoy the series and I am starting to get hyped for the new movie. Once I have seen it, it will phase off till the release of the DVD. Then I will get the DVD, and it will once again phase off.

They just came out with the new New Moon Trailer called "Meet Jacob Black". I didn't really want to see it since I am part of Team Edward(at least until the 3rd book.....he gets all mushy lovey in it, blech......). I never was a fan of Jake. As the story went on, I thought that he was a pompous prat. Hopefully, things will change my view once I see the movies.....I did sort of like him in the end. *KEY WORDS: sort of*

The new trailer does look great and I think the acting will be MUCH better now that they have a new director. I was excited to see the wolves.....

So, check out the new trailer: "Meet Jacob Black"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Position Lost; Purpose Regained

I started a new Bible study yesterday called "Follow Me: Becoming a Lifestyle Prayerwalker" by Randy Sprinkle. Today had a really great story and I thought that I would share it here:

Cameron's story of the Titanic also missed what was perhaps the greatest human story of the tragedy. Fourtantely it was not lost to history. And the story is greatest because of its tie to the greatest story ever told.

On board the Titanic was a widowed Scottish minister named John Harper and his 6 year old daughter. When the ship began to sink, Harper, traveling second class, handed his daughter to an officer on an upper deck who put her in a lifeboat. He then began helping those on his deck. Others were doing this as well, but Harper's assisatance was unique because of his instructions, hear over and over during the chaos.

"Women and children and the unsaved into the lifeboats first. Women and children and the unsaved into the lifeboats first."

John Harper recognized the moment as the threshold of eterenity. He was ready to face God, but he knew that many on board were not.

As a minister, Harper's lips had often declared God's love for the lost. Now his life declared it in a ultimate act. When he came upon a man without a lifejacket, John Harper took off his own and putit on the man.

Later, floating in the emptiness of the dark chilling waters, a survivor came within sight of a man struggling to stay afloat. It was John Harper. Rather than asking for help, Harper called out to the man, "Are you saved?"

"No," came the answer.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

The man's reply was one o silence and they drifted out of sight of one another.A little later, the man spied Harper again and again Harper called out to him.

"Are you saved now?"

Again the answer , "No, I can't honestly say that I am."

And again the refrain, weaker but still clear, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Then there was a silence as John Harper slipped below the surface- and into the arms of God.

Later in a meeting in Ontario, Canada, the survivor stood, telling this story and closing with these words: "Shortly after he went down; and there, alone in the night, with two miles of water under me, I believed."

Romans 5:6~You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

This story is a remarkable reminder that we should have no fear in death. Jesus' arms are always surrounding us. Holding us. Comforting us. Renewing us. Even in the darkest times of our lives, there is hope and truth that Jesus gave us. He died for all of us.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

IN REVIEW: Matt Papa~Your Kingdom Come

Just when I thought that the Centricity Music people had gone and done it great with their last newest artist Lanae’ Hale, here they come around the corner once again with another great new up and comer. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I heard that Matt Papa was going to be releasing an album. But since I am a fan of all of Centricity’s work, I couldn’t wait to plop the headphones in.

When the first piano phrasings ripped into full blown in-your-face worship on “Hallelujah, Our God Reigns”, I was completely drawn in. I bobbed my head and found myself instantly singing along with the second chorus. The music is easily addicting and easily singable.

There is something for everyone. The guitar driven worship is great for those that want to rock it out for God. The more worshipful pieces, like “Open Hands”, are great for those looking for a prayer to strengthen their souls. Matt has a wonderful blend of praise and uplifting. Then he completely turns it around with “Woe to You”. Nothing like throwing in a little hit-you-in –the-stomach truth. Something this world really needs. I know that I was impacted by the lyrical plea for us to change our ways of religion and put God first in our lives instead of trying to bend the rules and make His word fit comfortably in our lives.

I highly recommend this album to everyone! I rarely find an album that smoothly flows into the next song or draws me in right away. I definitely have my favorite pieces that are on constant replay (“Hallelujah, Our God Reigns”, “Open Hands”, “Trinity”, “You Can Do Anything” “We Will Shine”, “117”). If you like the stylings of Third Day, Jeremy Camp, StellarKart, Jars of Clay, and Michael W. Smith, then you will enjoy Matt Papa’s newest endeavor.

For some extra goodies, you can download the chords for "Open Hands" here and have Matt teach you the chords here:

And you can check out more Matt Papa goodies here at his youTube.

For more information check out:

Your Kingdom Come will be releases August 18th!

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Defense Mechanisms

I have come to learn that when faced with hard times, my dreams seem to know how to calm my spirit and give me peace.

Last night I dreamt of: Johnny Depp

I never dream of him. I usually dream of Jack Sparrow(though he did make a cameo last But something must have set off a trigger to dream of him.

So, onward, ho!

I was in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie(go figure.....) and I had to play one of the women Jack was talking too. I had to wear this peachy/pinky frilly dress and had to fight for his attention with another woman. Needless to say, he chose both of us, but I was the one that got to wrapp my arms around his waist.

As we exited off the scene, the director yelled cut, but Johnny(Jack), the other girl and I just kept walking to the dressing rooms. We hung out with a bunch of people and unwound.

I thanked Johnny for his patience with my lack of acting skills and he said that I did great for never having a gig before, not to mention my favorite pirate. I asked him how he knew that- he pointed to my dressing room. It wasn't hard to figure out. Ha.

Later that night, I headed to some festival where a friend of mine was doing karaoke. I had to travel through this large crowd and go past a band to get to the tent where she was. I finally made it and she through me up for "No One Else on Earth" from Wynonna Judd. I hadn't done that song in so long, but she said I would know it once I jumped in. I started in , and the crowd gathered round. They hooped and hollered as the song ended and wanted more. Dorri told them they would have to wait a song or two till I got up again. So they hung around.

I chatted with a couple people and a line of people came walking past. I recognized Johnny right away and called out his nickname he let me give him so I wouldn't give him away. I didn't want him to get hurt from screaming fans nor did he. "JD!" I yelled. He turned and looked my way.

He headed over and I quickly made stride with him to block him from curious eyes. Good. No one had seen him. I sat and talked with him and told him that I was going to be singing and he would get to see me in my confort zone. He was excited and then my name got called. I gave him a smile and he asked if I was nervous cuz he was there. "Pffft" I said, waving my hand to him, "Honey, this is like bread and butter." I got up and headed in front of the screen.

"Whatcha got me going?" I asked Dorri. My eyes grew wide in terror. "I can't sing this! I have never done it before!" She told me to relax, and it will come to me.

"At last...." I began to sang and the crowd turned and wooed. "Bear with me, I have never done this one before," I rattled out in the short 4 beat measure. "My loooovvve has come along...."

I smiled when I saw Johnny nod and sit at attention. I focused all my attention on him and made it through the song with ease.

I walked over to him and he got up and pulled me in an embrace and pulled me out on the dance floor. I laid my head on his shoulder and placed my hand over his heart, where he placed his over mine. "Won't Van be upset if she sees you like this with me?" I questioned. "No," he whispered. "I talk about you all the time like you are my little sister and from what she has heard, she loves you and can't wait to meet you." I looked up to him, smiled and placed my head back on his shoulder.

Then I woke up.

Dreams have a way of comforting you in times of trouble and need. This dream prepared me for watching my parents St. Bernard pass on today. I have great memories of him, but I have comfort knowing that he will be well and he will be out of pain. It's going to be hard the first couple days, but the happy memories will soon take over.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Great Are You

There are no words to express the wonderful time and uplifting experience I had last weekend in Nashville.

For those of you who don't/didn't know, I headed down to Nashville to meet up with a bunch of amazing people! The downhomies, AKA extreme fans of the band downwhere. downhere is a Christian Band (you should check them out at and we had our first Downhomie Gathering in Nashville which we dubbed downhomiepalooza. Yah, it's a mouthful, but there was never a dull moment!

I couldn't wait to finally meet the people that I "talk" to daily on the boards. We met Thursday night, hung out and played Apples to Apples. After the first 20 minutes of awkwardness, you couldn't shut us up or separate us the rest of the weekend!

Friday morning, we headed over to Feed the Children to do some service work. I was expecting it to be like Feed the Starving Children where you stand in a line and put your little scoop of food in a bag and it gets shipped all over the world. This was different. We boxed up lots and lots of Crocs shoes and prepared boxes for the next group to fill. Jeremy and Glenn from the band came and helped and I was surprised on our break to see Jason and Marc! It was such a great time. I am sure that they were scared to be meeting up with 20-something "fans". But I hope we proved them wrong and showed them that we really do know how to control our "fan-isms".

Later that night we headed to the Centricity Music building and got to speak with Steve Ford who is the Marketing Manager and John Mays who is the Vice Prez of the Record label. Centricity is the label of downhere. We were asked numerous marketing questions and basically were told that we are now part of the Marketing/Street Team. YAY!

We headed to dinner with the band and the Centricity Staff. I wanted to chat with MArc, since I don't get to talk to him much and I wanted to get to know him more. I ended up chatting and sitting across from Jason and John Mays and I am grateful for that. I had great time chatting with them.

After dinner, we headed back to Centricity and ate THE MOST delectable cupcakes on the face of the planet from Ivey's Cakes. It was like heaven on earth! Once situated, we got a private showing from downhere with a bunch of songs that WE requested. It was awesome!

Then, we were surprised with an armful of goodies!
1. A photo album to write our "yearbook" letters in from Gina.
2. A lovely tote from Jess Lewis who is the owner of
3. A notebook with the Centricity logo from the Centricity people
4. A prerelease of Matt Papa's new CD (which is AWESOME!)
5. Annnnnnddd.....downhere's new Christmas CD!!!!! We have been trying to get the guys talk all day about it, but most were pretty

Needless to say, our cool, calm collected selves turned into fangirls. It was awesome. It was hard to go to bed that night and we hung out til 1am

Saturday was "us" day. We hung out all day long, explored Franklin, then headed to Opry Mills Mall and did a scavenger hunt that was crazy good!! And then back to the hotel for more fun. Poor Carson was stuck with Emily, Hannah, Kate and I and downhere Karaoke the whole weekend. Though, I think he was enjoying it immensly!

Sunday we had church in our room and it was hard to say goodbye. I love these people so much like my extended family, I would do anything for them. It was great to finally get to meet them all and hang and I can't wait to do it again. It was an experience I will never forget.

God was moving through all of us and I am grateful that he brought us all together to experience it. We all had one thing in common: downhere, but we left knowing each other better than we could have imagined. And only God could have helped plan something this good. It was awesome to see God in all of us. Thanks to Gina for putting this all together. You ROCK, girl!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wow. Inspiring.....

So I got this fun little Twitter from Glenn Lavender(follow him on twitter: glennlavender) about Marc Martel singing. I was like....uh oh, here comes another "In the Van with Marc" moment. I thought I was going to be watching Marc chew gum for a minute and a half hoping for soemthing exciting to happen.

Let me just say that I was in awe. I had goosebumps. I felt tears well in my eyes. This man never ceases to amaze me with his talent. And I am looking forward to telling him that in person in July.

I have always been a fan of opera....

I don't want to give too much away...just watch the vid. You will be glad you did. It is awesome!!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Romans 10:10~"For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Believing. We believe in many things: dreams, hopes, fears. Aliens. They are all part of our life somehow. But what if we kept everything to ourselves?

Think of it this way: You found a great product that you believed was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Would you keep all that excitement bottled inside? Don’t think so. I know that when I am really excited about something, I tell everyone I come in contact with. I want to tell them all the great things about that product, band, song, etc. Without advertisement of a great product, how would people buy it?

The same should be with Christ’s love for us. We believe in our hearts the great things he did for us, but why are we so afraid to proclaim it? Why do we always want to keep that excitement hidden?

Too often we share that excitement of Christ’s life with only those that know and understand it. That’s all and well sharing it with them, but wouldn’t you rather proclaim this great “product” like we do with everything else? I’m not saying that we should go waltzing around walking up to people saying “Jesus loves you”. (You can if you want, I do it on occasion!) Showing Christ in our actions is just as strong. “It is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Sharing His love can be shown in the words coming from your mouth. We can believe, but confessing with your mouth, heart, mind, soul, and body is much stronger than holding it in.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New Drawing

I felt inspired. I wanted to try something new other than my Johnny Depp characters. So, I decided to do Lanae Hale. She's one of Centricity Music's newest artists (check her out at:

This one only took me about an hour and a half to do. Normally it takes me longer. I am working on some ideas for a trip I'm going on in July too. Plus I still need to work on an idead for my friend. She has this idea, but I just can't seem to put it to paper. I can see it in my head, but.....

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

It's Not About Me

It's Not About Me~Max Lucado


1. It's Not About Me~We should be like the moon. She doesn't complain that she doesn't shine or that she is the center of attention. She is happy to reflect the sun's light to the rest of the world. So should we be happy reflecting Jesus' light.

2. Show Me Your Glory~ We need God to show us his glory. Moses didn't believe that he was worthy enough to be used by God and asked for Him to show his glory.

3.Divine Self Promotion~ God's Glory is is God's Priority. God uses us as a self promotion. By us using our talents, strengths, abilities, etc, or his good, we are showing his Glory to the world. Free advertisement for him. No better way to do it than through his children.

4. Holy Different~There is no one like God. God is holy, holy, holy. Not just Holy. Or holy, holy. There is no one like him. "To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?"(Isaiah 40:25)

5. Just A Moment~ There is no time with God. But we as humans measure everything. We are in a rush to get from point A to point B. We never take the time to take "just a moment" and listen to God. God is God. God is Light. God is everywhere.

6. His Unchanging Hand~ "Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever."(Hebrews 13:8) We may perish and the world will change on a daily basis, but God never changes. His love will always remain the same. His love for US will always remain the same.

7. God's Great Love~ Because God loves us so much, he sent his ONLY son for us. Jesus died for us. He gave everything he had for us.


8. God's Mirrors~ Each one of us are God's mirrors. We reflect him in everything that we do. When people look at us, they remember what we say or do. We are to reflect God in our daily chores.

9. My Message Is About Him~ We think so much of ourselves, that we forget to promote God. We are always worrying about what other people think and not what God thinks of us. We are to be Christ's Hands and Feet. We are God's messengers in this world.

10. My Salvation is About Him~ The work of Christ is like your bungee cord. We fall constantly-daily- but with Christ's love, we can be pulled back to to source. The tie is never severed. We can lose all this world has for us because nothing in comparison of gaining the greatness of knowing Christ as Lord.

11. My Body is About Him~ Your body is not your own. It belongs to God. It is his temple and should be treated as such. It is not meant for sexual immorality. Don't offer parts of your body to sin, but rather to God. Use them for instruments of righteousness.

12. My Struggles Are About Him~ Don't think that God isn't a loving God. He is. And we can use our struggles to draw closer to him. Without them, we would grow accustomed to living a daily life free of sin, and never truly feel his love for us. The more we give our problems to God instead of hanging on to them and proclaiming them to the world, drawing attention to ourselves, the more we find closer and peace in the arms of Christ.

13. My Success Is About Him~ God gives and takes away. He has given me my talents and they should be used to glorify his name, and not my own. Too many times we put all the focus on us. We have become a "me, me, me" generation. And we think too much of our good instead of what God has done.

14. Upward Thinking~ The more that we pray and use what we have to glorify God, the more we see him in our daily lives. I can't wait to here him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Seeing those words today, made me cry. I don't know if they were tears of joy or sadness. I know that in my walk, I haven't given God the glory that He deserves. I have fallen into the "it's all about me" category more times than not. But going through this study has opened my eyes. I'm not saying that it's going to be easy. But I am willing to turn my heart around and focus all my attention on God. He made me. He loves me. And he wants the best for me. And until I reach that day when I get to hear those six precious words, I will let the world see Him in my daily life. I want others to see that God is a great God and he does care for you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Amazing, Amazing, Amazing!

"What a man desires in unfailing love" Proverbs 19:22a

Top 10 things I love:
1. Family/Friends
2. The Holy Trinity
3. Music
4. Culver's
5. Starbucks
6. The band downhere
7. Music
8. Reading
9. Dancing(but I'm not very
10. Writing

Let's reevaluate this~ Where is God? Shouldn't this be my first priority? I put Family and Friends first, but that's what came to mind first. Not that that is a bad thing, mind you. But wouldn't you think that the God who created unfailing love would be the first thing up there? The God that, no matter what I do, he still unconditionally seeks me and holds me? Don't you think that that should be the most important?

It still amazes me after centuries of people turning their backs on him, he still loves them. Now, where else can you find that? I can't think of anywhere. Because even the most loving person in the world could get mad at you for something.

God loved us so much that he gave his ONLY son for us. (going to quote some downhere, be prepared! LOL) He came down to us, to know what it's like, to know what it's like to hurt. To be us. To be one with the dust.

I am glad that he loves me enough to save me even though I daily turn my back on him. It's not something I am proud of. But speaking with him daily has brought me closer to him and opened my eyes to his love. And humor. Man, does he have a good sense of humor,too.

Another great verse from my devos this morning to ponder on:

Romans 8:37-38, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The next time you feel alone, or hurt, or even happy for that matter, remember there is a GOD that has unfailing love for you. He's always there with open arms, waiting, paitiently for you to return to him.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Soft Spoken Words

I have been bumming the past couple of days. I am struggling on how to let go and let God do his thing while I worry about my bills and what I am going to do with my life. Will I ever get out of debt? Will I ever meet anyone to spend the rest of my life with? Then this little verse came along yesterday in the Word on the Way from my local radio Station:

"Give all your worries and cares to God; for he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

I love how God comes at just the right time when you need Him. I mean, I know he's always there watching over me, but yet sometimes I feel broken and alone. But then simple words like those above come along and remind me that I am not alone and that he is watching over me and will provide for me.

People always think that if God was such a loving God that he wouldn't let bad things happen to people. The more I grow in Christ, the more I remember John 15:18-"If the world hates, keep in mind that they first hated me."

I retrospect, I have it good compared to some people. They are dying for their faith or not able to have the comforts that I have. I am rich comapared to others. And sometimes it's hard not to think about me, me, me. I am continually learning to turn my focus off me and onto Christ. Becuase I am free through Him. He saved me and gave me the things that I have. And through my temptations and trials, I can grow stronger through Him and allow the Spririt to work in me.

God is good~all the time. All the time~God is good.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was a blast. We spent the day with family and friends and grilled out. I made fruit salsa and cinnamon chips which everyone loved (recipe will be at the bottom of post). I'm glad I didn't have much to take home with me!

We played two two-hour games of croquet. That's what happens when you have 12 people playing and crazy courses set up. I mean, there was a hoop set up by the legs of the swing, we had to play up numerous hills and so forth. It was fun. We play a game called Poison. you go through the course, then head back to start, and then you are Poison. Once poison you can go and attack anyone without going through the hoops. I won the first game; that was exhilarating! I beat the top player in the family. YESSSS!

We had a alot of stuff to eat and I totally ruined my diet. huh. Glad it was only a one day thing.

Now it's back to the normal. Or what you call normal.


1 pund strawberries, diced
1 package rasberries
2 apples peeled and diced
2 kiwi, diced
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP brown sugar
3 TBSP fruit perserves(jam)
cilantro and cayenne pepper to taste

10 10-in torillas
butter cooking spray
2 CUPS Cinnamon sugar mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray torillas with butter spray, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix. Spray again. Cut into wedges and place on cookies sheet in single layer. Bake for 7-10 min. Remove from cookie sheet and cool.

In a bowl, mix all the fruits in a bowl with the sugars and preserves. Add a sprinkle of dried or fresh cilantro to taste. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper for a kick. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Crazy Dream

I had this crazy dream last night about Ryan and the crew from Paranormal State from A&E.

It started out at some restaurant/house and I was busy putting stuff away and handing out applications to a couple girls. The line slowly went away and in walked Ryan and Aerie(pronounce AIR-ee, don't ask me who he was....he's not part of the real crew.)

They started chatting with one of the guys I was working with and setting up the recording booth in the living room part of the house. They came to record some stuff for the show and I had no idea they were coming. I got all flustered when I saw them (in real life and in my dream I think Ryan is a cutie.)Lindsey the girl that I worked with came in and started talking to me and Bob the guy that was going to be handling the recording came over to talk to me and asked if I would set up the other mic over where I was standing since there wasn't going to be enough room in the booth for both guys. I said sure as soon as Ryan smiled and looked at me. I felt like I had turned fifteen shades of red. We talked, well he talked while I listened and nodded and shyly answered him back. I told him that I had to get some stuff in the back room. Lindsey came around and I pointed at my stomach to signal to her to look behind me-that was Ryan.

They recorded the stuff, packed up the equipment and lounged in the living room. There were about ten people there and I headed to the couch. Aerie was sitting next to me. I wasn't really talking; I was more taking in the whole scene. Ryan had just walked in the room, looked at me, and walked over to talk to someone. I felt my heart sink. I thought he was going to sit next to me. Oh well. After a little bit, he said nothing and sat right on my legs that I had curled next to me. I felt the butterflies. For a little bit, he didn't say anything. Then he turned to me, played with a piece of my hair and I shyly pulled my head to my shoulder. He said something to me and I can't remember what he said. We started talking, then he said something that must have upset me. I got up and walked out the room.

I thought for sure he was going to follow me, but it was Aerie that slowed me down with his hands on my shoulders. I didn't need to turn around to know it was him. We talked and I told him that I didn't want Ryan to come looking for me right now. I know he was going to, but I didn't want to talk to him. We made it over to the bleachers across the street from the house and sat down. I heard voices and told him I think Ryan is coming. So we hid below the bleachers. But the voices kept getting louder. And they didn't sound like Ryan-at first.

I decided to peek out and see what was going on and where all these people had come from, when seconds ago it was just Aerie and I. I looked out and there were a bunch of teenagers and adults looking around the bleachers. Aerie asked what I was doing. I told him I was checking out what the people were doing. He told me there wasn't anyone there. I insisted that there were about twenty people hunting for something. Then it hit me. I wasn't seeing people. I was seeing spirits. Aerie came out from under the bleachers and I blurted out that we need to go and get Ryan.

Before I could explain, Ryan came around the corner. I told him we needed him and he was like, "Why? Guess Aerie's company is more important than mine. I thought you liked me." I told him this isn't about us right now. There are people searching for something and we need to help. At first he thought I was crazy and we started arguing. Then he finally listened when I told him I was seeing spirits. They are looking for something and I don't know what it was. We needed to get the crew here right now.

Aerie went and got the rest of the people while Ryan stared at me. He finally came out of his trance and asked me what was going on. I couldn't fully tell him so I tried to mingle with them. When the rest of the crew came, I found my "abilities" were getting stronger. I ran my hands in front of the dumpsters that were by the bleachers. I frantically putzed with the lock on the bright yellow one. "In there. She's in there," I finally mustered. They were looking for Hannah, a dark-haired cheerleader that disappeared. I stepped back and told them that I wasn't going to be able to open it; I would pass out at the smell and dicomposed body.

It was starting to look like it was going to rain, so Katrina and I decided to head over to the church that was next door. We couldn't get the lock to open, so we headed back over to the crew. They had all started walking back, and for some reason, a powerline had fallen, and everytime I tried to get away from it, it kept blcoking me and moving in front of me. I heard Ryan yell my name, but before I could do anything, the powerline hit me and I went flying back. All I remember is Ryan brushing my hair and calling my name as I slowly faded to black.

Then I woke up.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Funny, Funny

God has a sense of humor. A very dry, British sense of humor, if you will.

Today at church I sang one of my songs that I wrote on Friday. There was a wedding yesterday and they had moved the piano way over so I had to roll it back. I decided that I was going to play on a couple of the other songs for worship and we practiced them.

Well, a little bit into my song, I thought that I was feeling things. I couldn't tell if the piano was moving or not. Strange, I know. The piano is on a piano cart thingy and when you step on the sustain pedal, you can feel the piano "push" sliightly forward and then back again when you let off. Well, this time, if felt like it was rolling. Sure enough, it was. I had forgotten to turn the wheel to keep it in place. I turned around and looked at the worhsip team and two of the guys were smirking and I ended up giggling a little through my what was supposed to be serious song. I kept pulling it back, grasping the sustain pedal with my toes(I like to not wear shoes on the worship stand or when I play piano). And not once did I miss a word or beat.

Bob came up to me and was like "That takes real talent to pull that off."

I think it was God testing me in someway. I don't know how. Maybe it was to see if I could handle a goof in the middle of a "show" and not think twice about it. I wasn't embarrassed or anything. I thought it was hilarious. I looked up and shook my head and rolled my eyes thinking, "You have one sick sense of humor, G-O-D." I'm sure the congregation got a kick too.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is it really worth it?

As I was flipping through my 500 emails this morning, I was wondering why I have all these devotions/studies I do a day. I mean, I have my daily morning email devotion, I do my big Bible Study sometime in the day, and then at night, I try to throw in my nightly devos. I was starting to think that that was too much "study time". But really, it's not. I am glad that God wants to work through me by pushing me to read and meditate on His word continually on a daily basis. And believe me~I need it.

Lately my focus has been on trying to steer away from gossip, judgement, and not letting what others think of me. You know? It's really hard. All around me there is gossip. I try not to get caught up in it and I still do. I tend to judge others before they even get to speak to me. And you know what? It's not my job to judge. I'm no better than the other person sitting next to me. I kinda makes me feel dirty just thinking about what I think to myself when I see someone. Not very Christ-like, is it? And as for letting go of what others think of me~in today's society, it's hard. You are always having people size you up: how big your house or car is, what kind of brand of clothes you wear, how flashy your cell phone is, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I have come to the realization that God doesn't care about those things. He only wants you. Only you. He's happy with just that. And the more you mirror Him, the happier he is. That means, letting the Obstacles of Grace such as Gossip and Judgement, go and be open to God and what he is whispering in your ear.

Let go. Let GOD.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My thoughts

From what little I actually watched last night-Youtube and Photoshop claimed most of my time...- I actually think Kris is going to win. Don't forget, you don't have to have eyes to watch American Idol. My right ear was tuned into the whole show.

Don't get me wrong. I have always loved Adam through the whole competition, but last night, from what I did see, he seemed cocky and sure he was going to win. Like this was just another theatrical show for him.

Kris has always been in the back of my mind. I was surprised that he made it this far, and he beat out Danny(my choice) last week. But last night when he did, "Ain't No Sunshine" I saw the real Kris. I love the fact of how humble he is. You can really tell how much he wants this.

Danny had always been my pick. Adam second. And I didn't care who was going to win or lose that way. But last night, I think Kris has a good chance.

The song that Kara wrote for them suited Kris sooooo much better. I didn't like Adam's at all. That was the turning point, I think, that turned me off.

It's going to be a very close night tonight. Let's see if my predicitions are right. I'm going to guess Kris.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Well Worth the Wait!

From the moment I heard Lanae’ Hale on the Bethlehem Skyline Tour last year in Waukesha, WI, I couldn’t wait for her full length album to arrive.

It has been long awaited, but well worth the wait. From the driving beat in Back and Forth to the bubblegum Pop of “Let’s Grow Old Together” to the simple peace of the bonus track “Quiet Place”, Lanae’ has a well rounded debut album.

The first time that I heard the title track “Back and Forth”, I think I played it over and over. I forgot there were twelve other tracks that needed to be discovered.

With a wonderful blend of pop, worship, and rock, Lanae’ has captured the struggle of living in a world of me versus a world of letting go and giving in to God. With songs like “Here’s My Heart”, surrendering just seems a little easier realizing that God knows us and can change us, but without the surrender of ourselves, we can never be whole again. Then you go and feel your foot tapping and your head bobbing to the happy beats of “Beautiful Things”, “Burning Heartbeats”, and “Let’s Grow Old Together”.

And as a bonus, Lanae’ added “Quiet Place” from her previously released EP to finish off the album. Like a cool down from a workout, “Quiet Place” encourages you just be still, relax, and meditate.

I definitely have my favorites that are played over and over. A couple tracks took me a little to get into. But overall, Lanae’’s debut album is a hit in my book. I highly recommend it. If you enjoy unique voices in the stylings of Jewel, then Back and Forth is the album for you. Pick it up. Now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I haven't blogged alot on here....I'm usually over at Xanga. Even on there I get in my moods where I don't feel like blogging. But lately, I have been trying to keep up with it. So much has gone on in my life and I need to spill about it. Even if its to an imaginary world in cyber land. Still feels good to get it off your shoulders.

More to come......

Ahoy! Thanks for stopping by. Sometimes life should be an open book and here you will find that true. My mind is always on full speed and I will be heading over many waves. I hope this journey is as much of an adventure for you as it is for me~ ~Mindy