I am a wife, a mother, a singer, a songwriter, and most of all, I am an adopted child of God who wants nothing less than to be His vessel to share His light and His hope, love, and joy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Taste and See...

Hello Friends and Family!

I have been hearing a lot about death lately and am once again reminded and sobered by how short life is. I have quoted this scripture before. In Ephesians 6:15-20, the Word reminds us to make the most of life and every opportunity:

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

In James 4:14 and 17, the Word again reminds us that life is short and we need to do good in our short life:

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

However, God’s is gracious, loving, and merciful!! I was so excited this morning to find out that in the end, Michael Jackson received Jesus Christ as his savior. Several weeks ago, Sandra and Andre Crouch spent some time with Michael Jackson. Michael asked them to play “It Won’t Be Long and We’ll Be Leaving Here.” Then he prayed with them and accepted Christ into his heart. How the Angels must have been rejoicing! But sadly, you won’t hear about that on TMZ or other Entertainment shows. As most of you probably know, there was a thief who was crucified with Jesus. He expressed his faith in Jesus as he was dying, and Jesus assured him he was saved! There is also a lovely parable in the Bible about how God freely gives of His mercy to those who receive it. In Matt 20:1-16:

"For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. To them he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. About the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ "They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ "He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’ When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’ "When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius. When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’ "But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen."

As you have probably guessed, this represents the people who were saved in the end versus those who were Christians for years and years. No person is more worthy of His grace than another! You just have to repent of your sins and turn your life over to God and accept His salvation!

Finally, I just wanted to share a little bit of good news. I have been participating in swagbucks.com. This is a site like Google, except you earn points when you search. Then, you can redeem points for prizes. Well, I entered some points I earned into a “swagstakes” for a little keyboard and DVD lessons to learn piano, and I won! This will not only be beneficial for my husband and I to start learning piano, but also for our kids, as the system is actually designed for children to learn piano. Praise God for giving us another desire of our heart! He is good and faithful.

Let me leave you with a final word of encouragement from Psalms 34:8-15:

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry."

God bless!


Monday, June 15, 2009

In the Studio!

Hello All!

I was really in my element yesterday, and there’s not much more exciting than that! I was asked to be a backup singer on an R&B Christian album by local artist Rob Howze. He has a youth outreach ministry called World Wide Community. My father took the day off and kept me company and made sure I didn’t get lost! It was about an hour and a half away! But it was really worth it because we had an adventurous day! It was a nice new experience and I think I took out a lot more knowledge about studio work. It really is work. You may think people are just playing and having fun singing in the studio, but it actually quite time consuming and meticulous! Fortunately, Rob sent me a rough copy of the songs weeks ago, so I was able to listen and get it into my spirit, understand how the melody and lyrics go, and start to think about how I can contribute to the songs.

Rob is pretty sharp and spontaneous in his creativity. While I like to plan and work on music for a while in my home, he can come up with things the day of recording! But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I can be a little spontaneous too, and Rob took a few of my suggestions and implemented them into the recordings. Also, I took note that I want to take a page out of Rob’s collaboration book when I record down the road. He was working with four female singers (myself included) and he had a nice balance of directing the process and listening to and responding to our input. He was also very patient with our mistakes and retakes, because it took a lot of takes to get every part done. We spent over an hour collaborating and practicing two songs, and then over three hours in the studio recording those two songs, and they weren’t even finished! He mostly got the female vocals and will do his vocals later on, and of course there’s mixing and mastering, so I don’t know when I’ll have a copy of these tracks but I’m anxious to hear it. Once I get Rob’s okay, I’ll be sure to share the recordings, probably by uploading them to my MySpace Music site. I wanted to take pictures to share but we were literally too busy for pictures. It was nonstop singing but I loved every minute of it!

Another bit of exciting news is that the guy running the studio really seemed to like what he heard. He took my business card and said he may be contacting me about backing up other artists! Please keep me in prayer to continue going through the right doors and that the Lord will close the doors that I should not enter.

Obedience is really the way! I am finding more and more over time, when I do things that God is leading me to do that I don't feel ready for or I don't know how they will work, by taking a small step of obedience and faith, He does the rest of it for me! God is good and faithful! Hallelujah!

Ephesians 6:7-8: "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he

Thanks for your support and love. God bless!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Few Updates

Hello all!

It's been a while since I have written in my blog. I have had a lot going on! Rich's family from California was in town the last couple weeks and I was busy writing Ehow articles as well. You can view my articles at the Ehow website. Among them, I have one for single women about getting a good Christian man!

I want to thank everyone who voted for my song at yourhymn.com! I missed the next round by one vote, but I do appreciate the support I received from almost 40 people!

On May 23, I visited a local church and sang and ministered for a fundraiser for Mason Dixon Youth for Christ, which is an outreach to young people in and around my area. That went pretty well and that is opening doors to sing at other events at that church. Also, I had a couple family members who have fallen away from the church, but they did make it to this function, which I was excited about!

Additionally, I previously put an ad on Craigslist to offer up my services to sing and minister at local Christian functions, churches, weddings, etc. I had someone respond, so the exciting news is that I will be a back up singer on a Christian R&B album! While this is not a paid gig, it should be a great experience and maybe even open doors down the road! I keep reminding myself of the scripture where the Lord says not to despise small beginnings! I have been doing a lot of free gigs, but I am sowing and I trust the Lord that I will reap the rewards of what I sow! Of course, the primary goal is to be a light and a witness and to shine God's glory and Word!

Another bit of exciting news is that I'm looking into other options for recording my songs. As I mentioned before, I am not yet able to afford a professional studio because it normally costs anywhere from $5,000 to tens of thousands of dollars to make an album. Therefore, I am talking to a local church worship leader who has experience with putting together original songs from scratch. He writes songs himself, plays piano and guitar, and has a private set up for recording. I am sure it is a lot more limited than a full blown recording studio, but I feel a lot more at peace about going this route to start working on my music. I am thankful that he has agreed to start working with me very soon!

Finally, I feel that the Lord has been working on a lot of things in me, and one of them is being flexible. I used to be more of a controlling person that had to have my way and have it right now! I hated when plans fell through, but if you are to be used by the Lord, you need to be flexible! I have been noticing more and more as time goes by, when plans fall through, I get over it fast, and I just make new plans! Also, I want to encourage you to be flexible to stop and do what the Lord is calling you to do in the moment, whether it be praying over yourself or someone else, having quiet time to listen to the Lord, praying or witnessing to someone, giving to someone, and agreeing to last minute plans (if you feel the Holy Spirit is leading you to), etc.

Romans 8:14 says "those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God". Galatians 5:25 says "since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit". John 16:13 says "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."

Be blessed!