Monday, November 24, 2014

Get to the Table

     With this being the week of Thanksgiving, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about this particular holiday.  So, in short, my blog will not be about music or worship.  So, if that’s what you are looking for you can stop now.  According to Webster’s dictionary, Thanksgiving Day is “A national holiday set apart for giving thanks to God, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and on the second Monday of October in Canada”.   To begin with I didn’t even know that Canada celebrated Thanksgiving on a different day, who knew?  O Well I have learned something for the day.  Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks to God, shouldn’t that be every day?  I am so blessed that I don’t know where to begin, but I often fail to give God the thanks for the things in my life.  Every day we wake up we are blessed and we should thank God for the opportunity to live another day.  Colossians 3:17 says “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him.” No matter what we do every day it is because God allows us to do it, so give Him thanks! 
     What are you thankful for and do we really realize how much we are blessed by God.  As Americans we are spoiled and often confuse our wants with our needs.  The majority of us have our needs met, we have warm homes, plenty of food and the list goes on and on.  The problem is that society tells us that we should have what we want.  So, now Thanksgiving is becoming a time not to be with family but yet another day to begin the frenzy of shopping for Christmas.  Can’t we just slow down!  Thinking back on my childhood, the stores were not even open on Sunday’s much less Thanksgiving Day.  Thanksgiving Day used to be a day where families gathered together to enjoy each other and reflect on how blessed they were.  I remember my Grandfather “Pop” loved to eat, not just at Thanksgiving but every day, he really enjoyed good food and being with family.  Anytime my Grandmother “Grammy” would have a meal ready he would yell out “Get to the table”, that meant that it was time to eat and he was going to eat with our without you because he was hungry.  Those are great memories and I love to “Get to the table” myself.   Pop also loved the Lord and another great memory that I have of him is seeing him read the Bible.  Reading the Bible was not as easy as eating for him though, because Pop struggled in his ability to read.  But that didn’t stop him because he was still “hungry” and he was going to fill that desire to be filled.  Pop knew how to slow down and spend time on the important things.  During this Thanksgiving week ask yourself the question: am I hungry?  Not hungry for physical food but for spiritual food, it’s time that we all “Get to the table”.   I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Greater Still

A couple of weeks ago, Justin's blog post was about our new
Praise Team CD "Greater Still".  Well, I'm happy to say that it is currently off being printed and duplicated and will hopefully be here and available by Sunday, December 14th.  I thought with this week's post I would give everyone a little bit of a sneak peak (or listen as it were) to the project.  So, the link below is a medley of some of the songs.  I hope you like it!

"Greater Still Medley"
Worship Big!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Music & Emotions

    "Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul, it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us." - Martin Luther

    I don't know about you, but music "feeds my soul" quite often.  No matter what my emotions are at the time, I can almost guarantee that I can find a song to tell you how I am feeling.  When I was in high school, music got me through some tough, dark times.  I distinctly remember times that the only way I could make it through was listening to songs from K-love or 106.9.  Though I sadly admit during these hard times in my life I should been reading scripture and praying more than I was, music was my outlet.  It was my comfort during these times because talking about my problems was not something that I did.  Now, I'm obviously not here only because of music, because I eventually got to the point where I thought, "What's the use?  No one needs me."  God and His perfect placement of music in my life was my saving grace.  

    By this time, I had already been singing since the 1st grade, where I won the award of "best singer" in my class :)  It was a great accomplishment for me at the time.  (Don't judge)  My experiences in high school only grew my passion for music and even more specifically, singing.  During these trying times, I chose to use my gifts for His glory alone; and have been doing so ever since.  I say all that to say this: God gives people specific gifts, so don't be afraid to share those gifts with others.  God orchestrates and ordains things in our lives that we can't begin to fathom.  You never know when your gifts are meant to be a blessing to other people.

Blessings to all,


Monday, November 3, 2014

Never Let Go of Your Talents

I often get asked, “How long have you been playing guitar?” Truth is, I’m not sure exactly. It all started when my sister got the first guitar in the house. It was a junior sized Oscar Schmidt (by Washburn) acoustic guitar.  I don’t think I really even wanted to play guitar, I just got curious as to how it worked. Lauren, my sister, showed me the tabs of guitar chords and I just started playing around with it. It wasn’t long before I started learning more chords and I found myself enjoying taking the time to learn new techniques. I was currently playing the trumpet in middle school, so I had a good understanding of time and tempo of music, so I already knew how to keep time.  Counting back to sometime around that moment, I believe this to be around 11+ years ago, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been playing that long, since I wasn’t always playing guitar throughout that time period.

After learning that I really enjoyed playing guitar, I got my first guitar, a Fender Squier electric guitar. I started learning songs by ear and picked up some electric guitar techniques. I began playing in our youth band at church and became comfortable with playing rhythm guitar.  I grew fond of the Les Paul body style of guitars, so for Christmas one year I received an Epiphone Les Paul. I played with that guitar for a while, until we no longer had the youth band at church, and it wasn’t long until I stopped playing guitar for a good while.

Maybe a year or so later, we began attending Mt. Pleasant. I don’t remember what the occasion was, but my dad began talking with Brad and mentioned that I played guitar, and it wasn’t long before I found myself auditioning to be on the Praise Team. It was at that time I noticed how much of the guitar information I had learned, was lost in all the time I spent not playing. There were many times that I found myself having to re-learn things that I had previously known, even some chords and where they were on the fretboard. When I think about this today, I’m not sure I would even be playing guitar had my dad not said anything.

So, I say all of this to say, never let go of the talents you have. Find something that God will allow you to use those talents for his glory. Don’t let them go to waste, keep them active.