I remember my a…

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:19-24

Regardless of our past, our situation, or the terrible things that are happening to us we have hope in the Lord. He is faithful and full of love.

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Welcome to 2014

Happy New Year’s!

I hope you got to party (safely) and enjoy the coming of this new year while being reminded of all the blessings you received and trials you overcame in 2013. I personally celebrated the new year with my family watching The Office and drinking sparkling grape juice. Now the wonderful season is gone and school/work can painfully lurk around the corner. But for now, we have this.

Resolutions: I’m not a big advocate. Frankly, it’s because I’ve never been able to faithfully keep one for a whole year, and thus, don’t like to make them. I also think you don’t need to wait for the end of the year to do something constructive, but this year I’m actually making one which I’m really excited about! I recently read a blog from Jon Acuff about an idea he is launching. He has emptied out one of his book shelves because he wants to fill them with books he reads throughout the year. Now this is something I can do! It’s visual, constructive, and will give me a reason to take time to read the books I really want to.

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If you don’t know me, I love to make lists just so I can check something off when I’m done, and this is like that, but on crack.

So I’m not sure what your New Year’s Resolution(s) is/are going to be, but trust me, if you make it something that you will enjoy doing and that can be visual for personal accountability in some way you’ll go much farther. I’ll keep you updated on how my Resolution goes.

Now I’m off to New York City! See you when I’m back.

“New York, New York. City so nice they named it twice. Manhattan is the other name.” – Michael Scott

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Merry Be-lated Christmas!

I hope you all had a splendid holiday! I wish I could sit with each of you over coffee and share Christmas stories. Here’s a belated Christmas photo and “Merry Christmas” from Forrest and I:

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When it comes to Christmas, I’m a regular Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I get really excited about the presents, traditions, decorations, music, church services, and family. The ‘inner child’ definitely shows herself. And this year was one of my favorite Christmases. It was the first time celebrating Christmas at Brentwood, in Lynchburg, and our new home. I missed the normalcy of having a Christmas Eve Service (especially one to perform in), but I got to sing and play at Brentwood’s Christmas Sunday, which was so much fun. We have a real fire place here where stockings were hung by the chimney with care which gave it that extra Christmas cheer (see what I did there?). My favorite part was opening presents with my family. I think I enjoy watching people open presents that I got for them more than opening my own. My favorite gift I received was actually one I knew about in advance. My mom opened up an itinerary, broadway tickets, and a hotel reservation in NY city. We both are going for five days to explore and see the sights of New York which neither of us have seen before. I spent today planning with her and I’m so giddy it’s stupid. Be expecting a later post updating you on the sights and experiences I will have there! This small town girl gets to finally see the big city life!

Did you have a favorite present you got to open? If you did, I would love to hear about it in the comments. I hope your Christmas was full of everything you love and hold dear to you. Most of all, I hope it was filled with Jesus and the reminder of his undeniable love for you. Only 359 days till next Christmas! (Gah)

 

Kevin: “Why did you get it so big?”

Michael Scott: “A. That’s what she said, and B. I wanted it to be impressive. Biggest day of the year deserves the biggest tree of the year.”    -The Office

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Living Water

This is a worship song I wrote with Forrest Knight for a worship event that is happening in January. I was able to present this in my Songwriting Showcase. John 4 talks of the Samaritan woman meeting Jesus at the well. Jesus says that his living water will make us never thirst again. The things in this world will never last and make us thirsty again, but it’s only through Jesus that we can have eternal life.
Matt Morrisey played piano, Katelyn Grant sang harmonies, Zack Arp-Barnett played cajon and sang harmonies, Kalley Long played violin, and I am singing lead vocals.

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Who Am I Foolin’?

I recently had my first Songwriting Showcase where I got to share two of the songs I’ve written in my private lessons this semester. This song has been changed and re-written so many times, but because of that I’m really proud of it.
This world tries to tell us to be something, so we tend to hide behind a façade. This song is putting that mask in the light and challenging us to live as we are.
I was blessed to have some of my closest friends bring this song to life with their unique talents. Kalley Long is playing violin, Zack Arp-Barnett is playing cajon, and I am playing piano and singing.

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My Dad’s Tears

Once upon a time, there was a grown man who cried in musicals, songs, gripping stories, great sound systems, and touching accomplishments and moments by his children. He was captured so much by the sound and/or the story that his emotions overtook his senses in the form of tears. Now this man would try to hide it, but his betraying red eyes would show the truth every time.

This man is my father. He literally cried when he got his Rav 4 a few years ago because he finally had a car with a great sound system where he could actually hear the music. When I was the lead of Aida in high school, all I had to do was walk on stage and he started balling. I hadn’t even said or sang a word, and the water works started flowing.

I promise I’m not making fun of him because the truth is I inherited this same emotional handicap, but to a whole other level. Not only will I cry in amazing moments, but I get obsessively connected to the characters, story, and/or music. Let me give you some embarrassing examples:

1. Twilight Saga

Before you freak out or tell me this story is stupid, I understand. I’m not saying it’s the best piece of literature that I’ve ever read, because it’s most definitely not. If you know the tale it’s a very sappy love story of vampires, werewolves, human/vampire hybrids, and a frail girl. Now when I first read these books I was in high school, tenth grade to be exact. I finished them in 2 weeks – all four humongous books – and this is why: I fell in love with the characters and their story. Yes, I’m a romantic, so I wanted to see how they would end up. To be completely honest, I’ve read the books at least 12 times, and even have certain parts bookmarked. Not only that, but I have a playlist of Twilight movie songs for when I read the books and own all five movies. I’m not as obsessed anymore, but I still get caught in the magic of the story whenever I read them.

2. David Phelps

This incredible man is a tenor in the Bill Gaither Vocal Band. They came to Liberty for a concert a week ago and to speak to our School of Music. I didn’t know David Phelps existed until a day before this concert, and man was I missing out. I would get giddy every moment he stepped up to sing a solo. I would literally start tearing up if I could hear just his perfect harmonies when singing background vocals. I immediately downloaded his solo albums as soon as I got home and still get those same chills and quick heartbeat when I hear his voice. I swear this isn’t a constant occurrence every time I hear a great singer, but this man’s voice hits me deep in the soul. If you asked me who I thought was the best male vocalist, I would undoubtedly say David Phelps.

3. Once Upon A Time In Wonderland

So this show is brand-new and stems from the show “Once Upon A Time.” The Disney movie we know as “Alice in Wonderland” is played with in this T.V. show. Alice is now grown up and falls in love with the Genie from what we know as “Aladdin.” Just yesterday I watched this show was instantly concerned for the characters. I’m on the edge of my seat to see what will happen. Not to mention the actor who played Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) in Lost is playing Jaffar in this series.

If I could somehow make watching T.V. shows, movies, and reading books a job, I would jump on that train in a heartbeat. Call me crazy, but their my dad’s tears.

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When I’m happy,…

When I’m happy, when I’m enjoying life, I’m home, I’m surfing, I’m spending time with my wife, my friends, and maybe we’re playing cover tunes – we’re playing Tom Petty or The Band, or we’re covering Bob Dylan, and I’m not thinking about the pain. And then the moment I encounter something that feels difficult, I feel like that’s when, for me, I turn to writing and thinking and maybe a song comes from that. – Jon Foreman (Lead singer/songwriter of Switchfoot)

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