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Monday, November 21, 2011

THANKSGIVING SPECIAL!

Special Thanksgiving Offer!

Order 1 or more copies of "Coming Season" CD &
receive a FREE gift with your order!

Choose your gift:
1 "Ashes into Beauty" CD
or 1 "Please Keep Me" T-Shirt
or 1 pre-order "Unborn" DVD (to be released Winter 2012...including
music video & interviews/life stories)





Coming Season CD + FREE Gift





*Limited time offer only November 21-27!
*Limit 1 free gift per customer
*If choosing T-Shirt, visit www.pleasekeepme.com to see sizes/colors/styles.
Please specify SIZE, COLOR & STYLE in your order instructions.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The story behind Coming Season...

One early morning last fall, I was driving to work, lost in my usual routine. As I approached a major intersection, where I usually get stuck in traffic in the left turning lane, I looked over to my left and was so moved by the beauty of the dawn's glistening field. There's an old farm house that's been fixed up and an impressive, gnarly aging sycamore tree near the corner. The scene quieted my heart and I began jotting down lyrics in my phone as the red light seemed to last forever. Something about that moment stirred my soul and I felt like God was giving me inspiration for a new song, a new season, something coming...

Probably about two months later in mid November, I was leaving Philadelphia after a Brooke Fraser concert (cheers for Brooke, her concert was phenomenal!). I was in the back seat of a friend's car and as we were turning onto this street and that street, getting ourselves lost on the way out of Philly, the inspiration hit again. There were sparkling blue lights on a skyscraper, while a daunting dragon statue glared at me through the window from one street corner. We ended up near an isolated area with train tracks and we had some laughs. Earlier that day I had heard news from a friend that had ignited a hope in my heart. Life in that moment was filled with expectation for the future, grace for the past, and peace for the present.

A few days later I took the collage of words from my phone and began piecing together a song. (Anyone who knows me knows I have quite an attachment with my old palm centro phone. I can jot down lyrics in the memo area with a breeze and record audio song ideas into the phone to create little mp3s for myself to go back to...so handy when inspiration strikes while driving or doing another task and I don't have time to sit at the piano and write! Now, thanks to my friend Eric from New Mexico, I have his old palm centro that he sent me since mine was dying. My world of songwriting and keeping a clear calendar shall go on!) As I organized the jumbled up lyric ideas, I sat down at the beautiful baby grand at the kids' house where I nanny (I'm so grateful they love music! They sit on the piano bench with me or love to dance as I test out new tunes...) The song "Coming Season" was beginning to flow...but I let it rest for about another month, until the night before I went into Morningstar Studios to do the initial recording of songs. I scrambled and went through old journals and notes, piecing about three final songs together so I could go in and have a lot of songs to choose from for the final recording (we chose 14 songs out of 29! Hope you enjoy the 14 which made the cut!) “Coming Season” was one of those songs I finished writing that night!

So...to tie all these strings together and paint a picture of what the song is all about...it is a song of hope. A cheerful inkling of hope. The beautiful promise the Lord gave to the prophet Isaiah, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Chapter 43:18-19) Whatever is in your past, whatever you are going through right now, there remains hope for the future and a God who is there, fighting for you, making streams in the desert to refresh you.

There are days when sometimes I think there is nothing new to write about, to sing about...but that morning with the fog and mist over the farm field, I had a fresh inspiration after a dry period. The Lord breathed hope into my spirit and a vision of great expectations for the glory to come. There will be beautiful, new seasons in this life. Laughter. Getting back up after falling down. Smiles after tears. Surprises. Turns. Wins after the losses. Above all, there will be a day when death will truly stare in the face of grace, and all the tears will be dried, and the victory will be ours who are in Christ Jesus. The wisest man who ever lived remarked about our Great God, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). So I urge you, my friend, to hold onto hope for tomorrow and to hold on to the everlasting hope of the life that is to come. May the fears of your heart be settled when you come to know Jesus in an intimate way. He is the Savior who hung on the cross for you and arose from the tomb, conquering sin, death, and heartache, so that He may freely offer us forgiveness, life, and joy.

Please do not miss this truth… we were not made for here alone, we were made to live in a better country, a land that seems far off, but it is only a split second away...for in the twinkling of an eye, we will be changed and we will find ourselves beyond the curtain of this toilsome life...and only one thing will determine if we spend eternity in grace, stunning union with Christ, and fellowship with those we love, or if we will be alone, death will have the final say, and we will be void of any joy, light, or goodness...that one determining factor seems so small...but it is paramount. It is belief. I ask you, do you believe? Believe in the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved. Believe today and you have the hope of paradise. Believe now and these light and momentary troubles will fade in comparison to the glory that awaits you.
There is a beautiful account of the coming season of victory in Revelation 12. Be ready to read a wild and vivid tale...a tale that seems far too strange to be true, but it is true. There is a dragon. There is a woman. There are dark chains and there is Liberty hanging on the hinges of prophecy yet to be fulfilled. See for yourself and enjoy the snapshot of the story, of the season, that is to come.

Love & Hope!
~Caitlin Jane

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Song Journal..."Coming Season"

Hello my dear blog readers. Blogs are a funny thing...it's like taking one of my dozens of journals...those journals that are piled up in my wooden chest upstairs...the wooden chest that is missing its hinges ever since I painted it black...and did a poor job at painting it black according to my dad... it's like taking one of those journals and opening it up to the great unknown world of cyberspace and allowing countless eyeballs to read my inner thoughts and feelings. What insanity has gotten into me?! I wish I could sit down with each of you over coffee or tea or pink lemonade and chat about things instead of leaving it to computer screens for our mode of communication, but that is the age we live in, and sometimes we have to settle a little with this type of thing. Well at least I kind of have my own little bubble of friends who read this and the entire world isn't following me on twitter or something...

Now to address the twitter issue...sorry folks~ I'm not a tweeting kind of girl at this point...you may sway me if you try, but I haven't been swayed yet...The whole twit thing seems too comfortable and cozy with the vast world of strangers out there. I'd rather not tweet y'all and tell you when I'm painting my toes or taking a nap or laughing with my family about something. And honestly, I'd rather not know when you are getting coffee or you were late to work or you just took a walk. I'd like to leave a little personal space for you to enjoy your life without telling me every incident and idiosyncrasy you may have. Everyone's telling me to tweet. I just read a book that told me to tweet. My producer tells me to tweet. Friends on the east coast and west coast and in between tell me to tweet, but I smile and say something polite...and at the end of the day I've never twittered or twattled or tweetled or twangled except for maybe feeling twitterpated by someone special.

So I'm sticking to blogging, and this alone is challenging enough for me, because I love writing, but I'd rather just write a book or a song or a little paragraph in my journal or a note to a friend, or an idea on a napkin, or honestly, sometimes writing a research paper seems more normal than writing a blog, but I'm getting used to the thing, and I'm telling myself that blogging is fun and I should discipline myself! But then I update my internet and my blog gets mad at me and it freezes for days and then there's the times I write paragraph after paragraph and somehow logout without posting or saving and I lose the whole emotional entry and then sometimes I write and it won't let me change my font, which really annoys me because fonts always express the mood I'm in. In fact, I like to change my handwriting depending on my mood, or my pen, or the color of my pen, or the size and feel of the paper I'm writing on...

So all this is to say that I'm blogging, not tweeting. I "facebook" when I can. I despise myspace (ouch, sorry myspace lovers...if there are any out there) Youtube confuses me. iphones confuse me and I don't understand why everyone is going to data plans. I think they complicate life (I'll probably chew those words when I cave and get on a plan one of these days) ipods confuse me and cheers to you if you are a kind person and get my songs off of itunes and play them on your ipod~ I've never owned such an interesting little electronic device before or experienced such a personal phenomenon myself. I sometimes buy songs from itunes and make myself mix CDs that get scratched in my car as they roll back and forth in the door pocket next to my sunglasses and other little things... Speaking of i-this and i-that, the kids I take care of try to get me to play on ipads, but they scare me too! What century was I born in? I kind of feel like I don't belong!

You know what else, if I'm going to really open up here and be honest with you folks...I'm totally out of touch with pop culture too...it hits home when I am practicing with my band or recording in the studio and someone says "let's play it with this vibe" or "remember such and such song?" or "did you hear so and so's song on the radio, what do you think about their new style?" and I look at them with a blank face and smile (smiling is always a good thing to do when nothing else seems to work). Sometimes I silently nod and kind of go along with it, or sometimes I just say upfront "I don't know what you are talking about, sorry!" I'm not sure how people stay up to date with technology and popular culture! It's kind of like a full time job or more!

These tangents have gone on for far too long. I'm exposing my stream-of-consciousness thought process. I jump ALL over the place ALL day long.

Conclusion: I started out this blog to say that I am going to do a series of 14 blogs over 14 weeks to share with you the stories behind the 14 songs on my new album "Coming Season". I wanted to give you, my friend, a little sneak peak into the inspiration behind the album. That's it. That's what I wanted to say. I'll catch you soon with the first entry! =)

I hope your day is filled with joy!
Caitlin

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Brand New CD "COMING SEASON"!



*Thanks to Jessica Ferraro for making this preview video! I can't wait to share the new CD with you all!*

~Caitlin

Monday, July 25, 2011

Life Prizes 2011!

You can watch the entire Life Prizes 2011 event online! See Caitlin Jane open the event for winners including Dr. Alveda King, Kristan Hawkins, Marie Smith, Jeanne Head, Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, & Douglas Johnson. See BarlowGirl's performance also!

Watch Online Here!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Free?

Who are you? Do you feel burdened by a weight you are tired of carrying around? Do you feel alone, even when you are in a crowd of smiling faces? Do you feel unworthy and unloved even if on the outside it looks like you are surrounded by people who love you? Do you carry shame? Do you carry fear? Do you carry lies? Lies you've told...or maybe it's lies that have been told to you, about you...Are there days when life seems like a never ending wheel, like you are one of those naive hampsters spinning and spinning in its cage, going nowhere...? Are you racing to get out of a cage in which you are held captive, day after day...bound by plastic walls and petty neon tunnels and caves? I'm just asking, because I think too often we pretend like that is not us. We pretend like we are free, but in actuality, it is quite obvious that we are in captivity...if we would just open our eyes.

I am realizing more than ever the significance and the saving power of what it means to be free...to live in true, authentic FREEDOM. It cannot be purchased, for it already was. This freedom cannot be found by any action of our own. We cannot run and break free. We cannot work and break free. We cannot buy and break free. We cannot hide and break free. We can only come to the Carpenter's throne, the Man who gave his very life for our freedom, and receive this freedom as a mere gift. And when we receive it by faith, that is the moment we are set free. Free at last, free indeed. Free to live and love and be loved and dream and fail and hope and die and live again. By His wounds we are healed. We have been bought at a price and been made children of freedom...we are no longer bound by flesh. We are no longer bound by sin. We are no longer bound by death. We are no longer bound by fear. We are no longer bound by law. We are no longer bound by anyone else. We are no longer bound by ourselves. WE ARE FREE, who are in CHRIST JESUS!

If you are curious about this freedom, because you are struggling and deep inside you are craving for something to save you from this captivity... If you want truth and hope and Someone to carry you into open space where you can breathe again... I encourage you to read authors like Steve Brown, Beth Moore, Neil Anderson...These are real folks who have gone through the shadows of captivity and have been led into the glorious light of freedom. You know what is even better? Read His Story, the Carpenter's story...the book that tells all the beautiful, odd, marvelous, colorful details of the great sacrifice that purchased our freedom. It's been on the best-seller list for hundreds of years...it has lots of little stories woven through it about people like you and me...people who have been hurt, who have hurt others, who have made wretched mistakes, who have been through storms and fire and drama greater than the movies...and there is a current of hope that brings all those stories together, flowing from their rivulets into the great Sea of Freedom...this Holy Bible is the source of my freedom, the source of my joy, the source of my life. If you don't know where to start...start here~Who I Am In Christ. The verses on that website are very meaningful and powerful. I dare you to look them up for yourself. Read the verses within context.

Seek freedom, for those who seek shall find.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Brand New CD "COMING SEASON" available in a few weeks!



*Thanks to Jessica Ferraro for making this preview video! I can't wait to share the new CD with you all!*

~Caitlin

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

caught up in worship...

Holy Lord Jesus,
We come with open hands.
We come with tear stained cheeks.
We come with shivering, starving souls.
We come with deep longing.
We come with all our imperfections.
We come in chaotic disarray.
We come to plea the blood.
We come to beg for mercy.
We come to find rest in our weariness.
We come to laugh in Your joyful presence.
We come to shout with praises on our chapped, war-torn lips.
We come to let You wash our feet.
We come to sing a song of simplicity.
We come to adore You.
We come to fall face down before Your golden throne.
We come to glorify you and magnify You, O Great God of Heaven.
We come to pour out love on you, because You loved us first with the fullest love.
We come to find forgiveness and freedom.
We come to taste the truth.
We come to see with open eyes, as You heal our blindness by touching us with spit and dirt.
We come to drink from the well of living water, so we will never thirst again.
We come to worship, to worship, to worship...
Let praises be always flowing from our tongues. Let the light of the glory of Christ shine in our eyes. Let our hearts burst with exceedingly lavish love. Let our feet walk in faith along the narrow way until we reach Heaven's tide... Let us always see the shadow of the cross before us, that we may never forget the cost- for You died to give us life. You overcame the grave so that we can overcome sin and death. Jesus, precious Jesus. You are life. We await the day when we see you face to face. Until then, Spirit lead us in all power and unity and passion. We come to worship.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Deep joy of forever...

Almost 2 weeks ago my Grandpop passed from this world into the next. His earthly body had his last day here and he went home into eternity...the family has had moments of tears and moments of laughter remembering times we had with him...and my heart has been moved deeply thinking of heaven...and how death is truly the only assurance we have here in life. But death has no sting if we are in Christ! Death has been swallowed up in victory! The grave shall not consume us- rather, we will be in radiant wonder of the all-consuming glory of the King of Kings!

Wake up, o sleepers, wake up. Open your eyes and open your hearts. We do not have long. We do not have forever...Are you ready to meet your Maker? Are you ready to see the face of Jesus? Do you know where you are going? As surely as heaven exists, all the more there is a reality and it is called hell. When we die, we do not "rest in peace"- we move from one existence into the next, with new bodies, new experiences, a new and everlasting eternal story...where will yours take place? Will it be in the presence and perfection of our Great God, as we go on from glory to glory and we laugh, feast, play and love in a home suited just for us...or will it be void of all hope, all relationships, all light, all love for the rest of your days, that go on forever and ever.

I'm not kidding here. I'd love to paint pretty pictures of life and make hearts glad, but I cannot do that at the expense of eternal loss and suffering. I want hearts to be glad forever and ever. I want hearts to know the truth that sets them free. I want your life to find meaning in the One who made you! I want you to spend eternity in the presence of all-surpassing joy! I want you to sing with angels and run on the shores of that greater country for which we were designed. We are strangers here for a short while...this is not home. Home is calling. Please, please, do not wait another day to find salvation and freedom you've been longing for.

The brilliant C.S. Lewis put it into a child's fairy story, because we seem to not grasp it in real life...picture this with me, even if you are only slightly familiar with the Chronicles of Narnia. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the children meet Aslan (the Christ) once again, and here is their dialogue:

“Please, Lamb,” said Lucy, “is this the way to Aslan's country?”
“Not for you,” said the Lamb. “For you the door into Aslan's country is from your own world.”
“What!” said Edmund. “Is there a way into Aslan's country from our world too?”
“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the Lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself, towering above them and scattering light from his mane.
“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?”
“I shall be telling you all the time,” said Aslan. “But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder…"

...“And how can we live, never meeting you?” [sobbed Lucy]
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”


Oh my friends, the very reason we were brought here to this beautiful, tragic, complex, frail earth was to know our God for a little while, so we might know Him better when we go home. This here is only a glimpse of what is to come. Here, we know in part...there we shall know fully and be fully known. Here we seek answers and intimacy and art and adventure...there we shall find out the unlocked mysteries, we shall have perfect union at the wedding feast of the Lamb, we shall see the most stunning sunrise and watch the Maker's hand paint glory for all of time, we shall be on the wildest of all rides, experiencing challenge and victory, the very quintessence of life as it was meant to be.

Let God give you life. Let the blood of Jesus on the cross, this Holy season, wash your sins and sanctify your very being so you can be whole and well and fully come alive in Christ. Take off the grave-clothes and be clothed in the glory of salvation. Truth is not and cannot be relevant. Truth is absolute and when it touches you, it pierces you through the Word of God, and absolutely transforms you. Even when we do not understand the truth, we can believe it in faith. The Risen Lord, who overcame the grave, grants us eteral victory so we may never sleep, but be changed in a moment when this life kisses the next... we will dance and breathe and eat and walk in our new bodies, made pure and righteous and holy before the Throne...not because of what we've done, but because of what Jesus Christ, God in flesh, has done for us. His passion is our saving grace.

He has won the battle and has conquered the enemy- there is nothing for us to do but to believe. SO BELIEVE and be of good cheer! Today the angels long to rejoice over one more soul being set on the everlasting road of paradise! You are forgiven and you are made new by the One who makes all things new and forgives as far as the East is from the West! You are now a royal heir of the throne of Christ. You are a son, a daughter, of the King! You have nothing to fear, so sing your song of joy and lift your head. The Holy Spirit's power and love is at work in your life. Celebrate LIFE this day!

Want to read a good book about Heaven? Check out Randy Alcorn's writings...I've been reading lately one he authored called In Light of Eternity and it is simply amazing!

And to wrap this up with a simple song to Jesus, get a sneak preview (thanks to my friends at Oxon Hill) of the song "Deeper Still" which will be on the next album. I had the honor and privilege of singing this at my dear friend's dad's memorial service as well as my Grandpop's service. Holocaust survivor, Corrie ten Boom, who endured torture and literally witnessed hell on earth while her entire family perished at the hand of evil, declared boldly "There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still." Do we believe that? Do we believe that even in the valley of the shadow of death, there is no evil we need to fear? Do we cling to Jesus like that? For those who are in Christ, there is nothing to fear! Amen!



Do not close your eyes tonight before praying to Jesus...don't let one more day pass before you find the Truth. "Tomorrow is not a promise, but a chance"- Rachel Joy Scott. Today is yours. Seize this day with urgency, because we never know when we will pass from this life to the next. There is no guarantee on the number of hours we have left. Let the God of the universe enter into your heart right now and change your life forever.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

poignant words from Henri Nouwen...and longing for eternity

Let these words soak into your soul, all you who are thirsty and longing, loving and aching, hoping and mourning, believing and doubting...

"Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our life. It seems that there is no such thing as a clear-cut pure joy, but that even in the most happy moments of our existence we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And, in all forms of light, there is the knowledge of surrounding darkness....But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched with a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy no one shall take away from us." -Henri J. M. Nouwen

I can't get enough of Nouwen's beautiful words...they describe the human heart with intense and real reflection. If you haven't picked up any of his books before, find a bookstore this weekend and get your hands on one. You won't regret it!

Some days I long for heaven, and my chest seems to pound with a beat that does not fit with the tune here...the melody is playing elsewhere in a far-off land...a land with a King who is pure light and whose glory is unfading. There is something I yearn for that nothing in this gorgeous earth can satisfy...that something is the glory of eternity, and trying to see it is like trying to look through the fog in an autumn morning field where you have not been before...you just know there is something beyond that awaits, but you cannot put your finger on it, or even try to comprehend its existence. My mortal body with all its imperfections and silly aches just knows that one day all things will be made new, and there will be this wedding feast, this dance, this song, this consumation of all eternal joy...and my heart almost skips a beat trying to imagine this incredible reality!

So we long, we wait, we hope, we expect, we doubt, we believe, we press on, we hold on, we walk, we imagine, we live in the light of grace until that day we are ushered into His glorious presence...

and in the meantime? There are wars, and rumors of wars. There are earthquakes and orphans. There are tides flooding and widows mourning. There are conflicts and abuses. There are corruptions and masks. There are lies and blows that we do not want to deal with...but we have to deal with them. We are left with few options, but let's face it: We can try to ignore and shut out our world. We can embrace our world. Or we can somehow paradoxically live in the world, but be not of the world. Option number three is the one Jesus calls us to choose...

The other day I was recording a song I wrote called "Between the Lines" and as I sang this one part of a verse, my mind raced to scenes of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Uganda, Nepal, China and elsewhere...and even here in the United States...yes, even here. To give a little background, the song is about leaving a legacy in this life, as we live in the light of eternity. Our lives are short, fragile, and unpredictable. Every day we have the choice to love, to live fully, to give ourselves up because Christ gave himself for us...I believe we who are in Christ are called as the Ecclesia to leave fingerprints of joy and radical love everywhere we go, on every person we meet and touch. The song is a reminder- a call to wake up, for we know not when our final hour may be. And when we are gone, what will they say? What will people remember? My prayer is that it is not my name that will be remembered, but it will be the holy, marvelous, saving Name of Jesus Christ that will be engraved on human hearts after I am gone...May my brief moment here on earth leave a legacy that doesn't just touch our planet, but has eternal ramification on lives. I want to celebrate at that wedding feast with all the beautiful faces and hearts that I embraced on earth. I want not one to be missing. I cry prayerfully for every soul to know the saving power of Jesus Christ...that you, my friend, might know the victory and eternal weight of glory that awaits!

Back to the song...there's a line that goes "We walk forlorn just hoping for something more...no longer just for here and now the city streets are full of crowds expectant of a landmark royal scene. We watch and wait and push and shove, we make some names for ourselves that come to no meaning in the end..." Nations are in turmoil, they are in uprising...you can see it on TV every day you turn on the news, or read it in the papers...the mobs are growing... they really are! And yet, there is nothing new under the sun. Mobs have always been and forever will continue...until that day. That marvelous day when peace shall inhabit the hearts of all men, and we will be free in the presence of our Maker, our King, our One and only Hope. The unrest of this world, the calamities of our hearts will find rest and be calm in Him. Jesus- we long for Jesus. Even when we do not admit it, there is only One who can answer our lonely cries at night, only One who can make sense of the chaotic rush of the mornings, only One who can bind in Mercy our troubled, broken pasts. The lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. The Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. The resurrected King of glory.

Can you feel the beat? Is your heart pounding? Ohh, how I ache and cry for that day! And as I wait, I pray that each and every day here will be filled with beautiful, simple offerings given to Christ. Little touches of love that I might I reach out to my fellow journeyers on this unpredictable road. I want to offer my life as a living sacrifice, because there is a far-surpassing glory that awaits in comparison to the light and momentary afflictions of this conflicting world. When the books are opened and when they are read- the accounts of our lives for all of eternity to see- may the stories be filled with glimmers of love and sacrifice. May it be that our hands have reached out to those in need with the grace of Jesus. Between the lines of the paragraphs in those books, may there be a mysterious love that binds all the pages together by the Triune God.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Attic...Sweet Liberty

I was blessed to sing @ The Attic Coffeehouse this weekend in Hagerstown, MD. I met some awesome people there & reconnected with dear friends! Thanks to the guys at the Attic for posting this video. Hope you enjoy "Sweet Liberty"...a sneak preview before the song is on my next album :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby PALA, oh what a miracle!

A few weeks back I was talking with a dear friend of mine who is a teen mom. She has a bright smile and hope for her little baby. She has a heart filled with love, even in the midst of challenges, trials, and pain. I see life in her eyes, and I see beauty in the life of her sweet little girl.
She called me aside after an evening of fellowship and shared with me something I will never forget. This is a testimony about God's glory and greatness. It is still hard for me to fully comprehend the great picture of what she told me that night. She has a friend who had an abortion when she was very young, 13 or 14 years old. This friend was pregnant again and had her mind set on abortion, the only rational choice she thought she had (women are highly at risk for abortion after already having one). My friend pleaded with her to keep her baby. Then she showed her the Unborn Music Video. This young girl wept and wept and made a choice that day to keep her baby girl. To protect her privacy, I will call her baby "Pala," which is the Hebrew word for miracle, wonders, extraordinary, marvelous (Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"). Little Pala is 4 months old today. A beautiful, miraculous life!
Is her life going to be easy? Most likely not. Like all our lives, there will be challenges, pain, hardships...Was this the easy choice? Not at all. Yet, who are we to choose who deserves to live and who deserves to die, and how in the world could troubling circumstances dictate those decisions? Where have the hearts of this generation turned? If you are going through a hardship, or if you had a childhood that was filled with physical or emotional pain, does that lessen the value of your life? Were you meant to have life taken away from you, just because it has been hard? No, every life is intrinsically valuable and filled with worth, because we are created and formed in the image of the Holy God. It is sad that we, as a society, pressure a woman into denying her child life, if her own life seems to have struggles. A child will never be born into a perfect situation or perfect world. Who has lived a life without struggle? When has it been convenient for a woman to carry a baby for nine months inside of her? Since the dawn of time, there has never been a perfectly planned pregnancy, labor, & circumstance in which to raise a child. We have fed this generation of girls and women a lie- and now so many are paying the price with pain and scars inside that only Jesus can heal.
Baby Pala is alive today because a young mom made the sacrificial, incredible choice of LIFE. May God be glorified in Pala's life, and may she thrive and live abundantly and know the eternal love of her Heavenly Father always. I praise you Jesus, because you used this piece of art, this simple music video, to touch one heart and save one life. Only YOU could do this, Lord. You take our offerings and use them beyond what we imagine, for Your kingdom and Your glory! Thank you for treasuring life more than any of us. You know the worth of life better than we could ever understand. Thank you for creating us and using us for Your story, Father. We are Your children and because of that we are blessed beyond measure.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Uganda Highlight Video!

Thanks to Jessie Ferraro, awesome friend & video editor, the video footage from last October's Compassion trip to Uganda is finally up! I hope this video offers you a glimpse into the beautiful country of Uganda and all that God is doing there among His people. In a land of poverty, filled with a history of war and sadness, there is great joy and hope. There is a contagious faith that is sweeping through the land, and Jesus Christ is bringing glory to His church, especially through the lives of the children. Please keep Uganda in your prayers. The Ugandan people taught me so much and touched my heart in a way in which I will be forever changed!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Discipleship...the whole of life

God has been awakening my heart recently to His heart for discipleship. Being a believer in Jesus Christ does not stop there. A relationship with Jesus Christ cannot take place in a vacuum. It is simply not static. It is a dynamic, ongoing daily walk that takes place within a community of growing, moving, and unified children of God. Discipleship is not just about learning- it is about becoming more and more like Christ, being His image-bearers and truth-carriers. Discipleship is not an option for Christians- it is the actual whole of our being. Discipleship is a life-long refining walk of transformation, as the mystery of the fellowship of Christ's Kingdom is being unveiled to our souls. Following Christ is not something you can check off your life list...it is something that calls your very essence into surrender and passion. We must daily take up our cross and follow. We must daily be accountable to the body of Christ. We must daily worship and gaze in awe at the glory of God. We must daily turn to Jesus and fall into His magnificent grace. Becoming a disciple is a process that isn't finished until we reached the final finish line...when our earthly journey is over and we meet our Maker face to face. Becoming a disciple cannot be done with our egocentric, independent leanings. Disciples humbly learn from fellow disciples and go out into the world inspiring and leading through serving new disciples. Discipleship can only be done with Pauls, and Timothys, and Barnabases by one's side. We must have mentors, mentees, and running buddies along the way. Christ's beloved church and body is comprised of the most beautifully woven patchwork of sinners saved by amazing grace, who are in desperate, daily need of the Lord and of one another.

Will you ponder this with me...

"Disciple-making...
The radiant evidence of the love of God in our lives should inspire.
Humility and joyful self-sacrifice should mystify.
Forgiveness should unravel the skeptic, and purpose-filled hope should be a magnet drawing those without hope into a life-revolutionizing discovery.
Our abiding in the vine, our bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and our living in the life that is truly life creates the inspiring draw upon the souls of those without Christ.
Disciples make disciples...they cannot help but do so."
-from the book Relentless Hope by Budijanto, Todd & Yeadon

May we take up our crosses and follow Him. May we exchange our burdens and transgressions for His grace. May we adore our Savior more and more each day. This journey with God never ceases to amaze...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gift of Life

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it." -Mother Teresa

I want to dwell on the last two points this saint and servant of God made in her sweet poem. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it. We are told by Jesus in John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." There is a battle raging between life and death. Our culture denies it. Media mocks it. However, we cannot ignore it. This battle is "not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12).

This is not a battle by the sword, this is a battle where we must get on our knees and beg for mercy and hope from heaven. God's most precious creation- his sons and daughters made in the likeness of his own image- are being put to death every day in our nation and around the world. All because the enemy has used deception and placed a death trap at our door by twisting the word "choice."

This month, 38 years ago, our courts & judges decided they would take law-making in their hands, and they decided it was ok to put innocent children to death in America if they are unwanted for any reason. Unwanted. Inconvenient. Unplanned. At Risk. Financial Burden. Mistake. Problem. Embarrassment...the list goes on. And here today we are living in a generation of genocide...silent, unseen genocide.

My heart cries out, Lord Jesus. I plead your blood over the sins of my nation, over the sins of my generation. We are so far from you, O Lord. Please send healing, send revival, send forgiveness. Jesus, we can only find life in You. Give us vision for life, a passion for life, a love for life, but more than that, Lord, a love for You. You are our Creator, our Sustainer, our Redeemer, our Lover. Awaken our hearts to the truth of life, and bring to light the deception we have fallen under for years. Let the enemy's message be buried and bound under the ringing truth that YOU HAVE COME TO GRANT US LIFE ABUNDANT. Let us cherish how sacred your gift is, and let us never give up in this fight for innocent lives.

Amen.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pray for Sudan

Today is a milestone in history. Sudan is voting on the referendum that will determine whether or not South Sudan will secede. Please pray for our brothers & sisters in Sudan & those refugees scattered throughout the world. There have been millions slaughtered and enslaved for years now. Innocent sons & daughters, mothers & fathers, orphans & widows...These people were created with dignity and worth. They are children of the living God, and no one should be allowed to take away that identity from them. They have suffered for too long under violence and terror. It is time for them to find peace and freedom. It is time for hope to be on the horizon, so they can sing & dance with joy, they can praise their Maker without fear or persecution, they can farm their land and send their children to school and live their lives with great zeal, proud of their tribal heritage and culture. It is time for the slaves to be released and for us to stand with them as a voice advocating for freedom.

Let us pray with the Psalmist (Ch. 126) ~

"When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.'
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."
Amen.

Find out more by reading Francis Bok's book, Escape from Slavery, & visit: http://www.thefrancisbokfoundation.org/