.................................................................................................................

"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Just Because I Need to Say This . . .


Maybe it's just me,

But I have a hard time sometimes

Remembering that people on stages,

People writing words,

People doing amazing things,

Are people -

Just people.

I know,

I really do,

That they are -

That they're just as sinful and messed-up as I am,

But it looks so much like they've got it all together,

So much like they're so much better than I am,

So much like they're, well, pretty much perfect.

In some ways, that encourages and inspires me to be better myself;

In others, it makes me almost idolize people.


Maybe you know, too,

How people are always saying things about you

That you don't feel you deserve?

And I'm not talking about the bad things,

But the good ones -

Compliments,

Glimpses of how others see you,

That you are so appreciative of,

But you feel that what they're saying is wrong

Because they can't see your heart.


So, I know you already know this,

But, maybe just a reminder?

Because I need to be honest with you.

I need you to know that I am such a mess,

And that all this good you're seeing?

It's not really me.


You see, I know that you weren't there this weekend

Watching me yell at my brother for not listening to me,

Ignore my sister's tears.

I know that you weren't in the room

When I spent hours on my computer

Instead of being with my family.

I know that you might never imagine

The ugly thoughts that go through my head

And that, sometimes, I cling to the very things I ought to be trying to kill.

I know that you might never realize

That sometimes I can be so selfish

And desire attention I shouldn't have.


I know that you don't see me

When I fall asleep praying,

Or cut back on prayer time to catch a few more minutes of rest.

I know that you're not listening

To the things I say out loud I never should've,

The things I say to God I know aren't true.

I know you're not keeping track

Of how many days you can see my joy in Christ

And how many days you can't.

I know the ratio probably looks a lot worse than you think it does.


I know you see the good in me -

The things I often struggle to see

As I wrestle with the state of my heart.

I know you say such nice things,

Like, "such a heart for Jesus",

And, "so humble and such a tender spirit".

I know that you mean them,

And I am so grateful,

So honored to know you see something in me I don't see in myself,

So inspired to strive all the harder to become what you're seeing.

I also know that the heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately sick,

And I may not be able to understand my heart,

The depths of wickedness rooted in my soul,

But I've seen some,

And it's ugly,

And most times I hate it,

But sometimes I don't.

And I need you to know that.

Really, really know that.

Because I'm not perfect.

Not even close.


I know you already know this,

But all this good you're seeing?

It's Him.

Always, only Him,

Doing His work,

Making me into something I could never be on my own.

So I hope that, when you say these things about me,

As I try to do when I say these things about you,

You have in the front of your mind that I'm a person, just like you are,

And God is the One who has done these things,

So all of the Glory goes to Him -

The only Perfect One.

You do.

I know you do.

But I needed to say this,

Because I needed to remind myself.

It's Him.

Always, only, all Him.


I didn't intend to use this as an example,

But I don't have any reasons to share with you today,

Because, quite honestly, I've been so busy with school that I forgot.

But maybe you have some to share with me?

I always appreciate reading what others are learning about God!

It teaches me so much!

(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>

Counting in community:


Also linking up over here,

Because maybe this really is radical?

I think the world would call it radical,

Crazy,

To say that I'm not and He is,

Crazy to confess to a watching world

That I am an absolute wreck,

And everything good in me is Him.

So, the practice of radical?

I'm going down,

Because down is up.

(Or, at least, I'm going to try.)


Would you take time to read some of the other posts?

It'll mean the world to those bloggers if you'd read,

Maybe even comment?

Thank you so much!


   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Learning to Trust


I've been hiding.

For a year, now, I've been hiding.

I've hidden behind excuses

And thoughts that I am not good enough,

That no one would ever want to listen,

Would ever care what I had to say.

Those aren't the real reasons I've been hiding, though.

I've been hiding because I've been afraid.

Ever since I started out on this crazy journey,

Then He led me to pursue,

To share,

I've been saying, "God will get me where He wants me."

The problem is, I haven't been living it.

I've been living like I had to do this whole, crazy, risky thing all by myself.


I came quietly, shyly, last week,

Letting people know that I'd released a new album,

Asking people to help.

I never, ever would've expected the response I got.

People whose blogs I'd never visited before that day traced comments back to mine,

Said words like these,

(And did she add the "really" because she knew I'd be tempted to disbelieve her?

She was right.)

On, and this - and this!

(Did they know I needed to know I wasn't alone?)

And I really could link to every single comment.

There were so many -

More than I've ever had before -

And they were all so encouraging!


The willingness of complete strangers to share -

Even those who didn't even get to listen to the CD -

Was just incredible!

(Did you see those words there?

I can't believe someone would say those words about me!

God really must use the small and weak in amazing ways,

Because I'm sure there's nothing in me apart from Him that would be worthy of any of that.)


15 "like"s on my new Facebook page,

Eager friends asking me to post links to my music on their walls so they can listen,

Six people downloading my CD from NoiseTrade in response to these tiny steps I've been taking,

One even giving me my first-ever tip,

The first four dollars and twenty cents I've made as an independent artist.

It sounds so small,

But it really means so, so, so much to me!


I was driving home in my car one day last week

When a song on the CD I'd gotten for Christmas came on,

And I heard words that I knew described where I was at exactly:

"You've shown me my man of Macedonia.
You're calling me further on,
And I'm tired of saying, 'It's a nice idea,
I wish it could be done.'"
(from "Past the Wishing" by Sara Groves)
I've been spending all this time hiding.

I finally took a few small steps of faith,

And God rained down more blessings than I could have ever imagined!

It was His way of saying, "It's time to get past the 'nice idea' phase.

It's time for you to go!"

And, honestly, I don't know where I'm going.

I don't know what will happen next.

But I feel Him telling me to do this,

And so I'm going to do it.


It just utterly amazes me!

I am so small and so incapable and so messed-up,

And I often wonder how anyone can understand what I'm saying

Without also having the ability to read my mind.

And, somehow, God takes my imperfect words

And my imperfect songs

And all the missed notes

And all the times my voice was off-pitch

And uses it to reach into people's hearts.

That just blows my mind!

That He would ordain that I could enjoy creating something and others could enjoy listening?

That He would use even an amateur attempt at a record?

I am so amazed,

And just utterly in awe of who He is.

And I'm even more amazed at the fact

That I've been such an idiot - hiding here when I knew better,

And I'll probably end up doing the same thing again (unwittingly, I hope),

But I'm going to try -

I've got to try -

To learn to trust Him.

Really trust Him.

No matter what.

Because He can do anything.

Absolutely anything.


Reasons 2862-2885 today,

Trying to make a habit of trusting Him,


Because He is Faithful,

So Faithful:

  1. He is right in His verdict (Psalm 51:4)
  2. He is justified when He judges (Psalm 51:4)
  3. He desires faithfulness even in the womb (Psalm 51:6)
  4. He teaches His people wisdom in the secret place of the womb (Psalm 51:6)
  5. Those whom He cleanses with hyssop will be clean (Psalm 51:7)
  6. Those whom He washes will be whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7)
  7. He crushes bones (Psalm 51:8)
  8. He does not delight in sacrifice (Psalm 51:16)
  9. He does not take pleasure in burnt offerings (Psalm 51:16)
  10. A broken and contrite heart He will not despise (Psalm 51:17)
  11. When it pleases Him to prosper Zion, He will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous (Psalm 51:18-19)
  12. When it pleases Him to prosper Zion, He will delight in burnt offerings offered whole (Psalm 51:18-19)
  13. When it pleases Him to build up the walls of Jerusalem, He will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous (Psalm 51:18-19)
  14. When it pleases Him to build up the walls of Jerusalem, He will delight in burnt offerings offered whole (Psalm 51:18-19)
  15. He brings the wicked down to everlasting ruin (Psalm 52:1-5)
  16. He snatches up the wicked and plucks them from their tents (Psalm 52:1-5)
  17. He uproots the wicked from the land of the living (Psalm 52:1-5)
  18. His people will always praise Him for what He has done (Psalm 52:9)
  19. His people will always praise Him for what He has done in the presence of His faithful people (Psalm 52:9)
  20. His people will hope in His Name (Psalm 52:9)
  21. His people will hope in His Name, for His Name is Good (Psalm 52:9)
  22. He scatters the bones of those who attack Him (Psalm 53:5)
  23. He puts those who attack Him to shame (Psalm 53:5)
  24. He puts those who attack Him to shame, for He despises them (Psalm 53:5)


The giveaway?

(I hope you didn't feel I was trying to bribe you -

I'm just so, so grateful for all of your help,

I knew I'd want to be able to give you something in return,

But wasn't sure how much I'd be able to give.

If you felt bribed, you could always share now, since the giveaway's over.)

I have the computer program all ready,

But I'm not going to use it.

There were three I saw who shared,

(Or are planning to share - I saw that, Deena, and I don't want to leave you out!)

Which is more than I expected, honestly,

I just wanted to be prepared . . . just in case,

And I have plenty of CDs available.

So, if Kelli Woodford, Pam, and Deena could slip an address or an email address into the comments?

(I promise I won't publish it, and I'll delete it as soon as I copy the information)

I'll send each of you a hard copy of the CD this weekend,

And, as promised, I'll sign it if you'd like me to.

I am just so, so grateful for each of you!

Thank you all for your help!

It means so much to me! 


Also, if anyone wants to share in a different way,

Bandcamp has released new "for fans" accounts.

(This blogger has some great thoughts about what that means for us artists and how wonderful it will be - although there are a few mildly offensive words.  My apologies.)

If you happened to be considering purchasing my album through Bandcamp

(Or at least downloading track 2 for free),

You could create a fan page for free

And tell others why you like my music.

Then, when people go to my page to look the album,

They will see your recommendations!

This could have the potential to reach a lot of people,

And would be a huge, huge help to me . . .

If you were thinking about it . . .

If you wouldn't mind?

So, so grateful for all of you!



(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>

Counting in community:


Also linking up over here,

Walking with Him in new habits,

Trying to learn how to really, really trust.



Would you take time to read some of the other posts?

It'll mean the world to those bloggers if you'd read,

Maybe even comment?

Thank you so much!


    

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Leaving My Comfort Zone (Giveaway!)


When I went to bed last night, I set my alarm for 9 A.M.

It went off right on time,

Playing music from the local Christian radio station.

I snuggled in bed,

Under all my warm covers,

Thinking "Just ten more minutes."

It wasn't that I was tired,

It was that I was comfortable.

Once I get out from under those snuggly blankets,

I know I'm going to be cold.

I don't want to be cold.

I want to be comfortable.

So I stayed in bed.

I stayed in bed until it was 10:00 and my alarm turned itself off.

I stayed in bed until I'd fallen back asleep and woken up again.

By then it was after eleven.

I had to get up.


See, I like to be comfortable.

Sometimes that leads to staying in bed an extra hour . . . or two.

Sometimes it leads to eating a snack an hour before dinner time.

Often it leads to me not answering questions in class,

Not speaking up during a discussion,

Not asking to have lunch with someone I'd like to get to know better,

Not stepping out and trying things that will scare me.

I.  Am.  Shy.

When I say that, I don't mean that you could be my best friend and I'd still hardly say a word to you.

I'm shy around people I don't know,

Shy when I want to share something others might not want to hear,

Shy when I make myself vulnerable and play a song that others might very well hate.

I'm shy.

And I don't know why God would take a shy person like me

And then lead me to write and share music -

Write and share myself -

Other than He uses weakest of the weak,

The most unlikely of all,

Just to show how great He is.

And if my music is ever going to go anywhere,

It will be solely because of how great He is,

Because,

Honestly,

I'm scared.


I'm scared to leave my comfort zone,

To put my music out there,

To ask people to pay money for something I'm not sure is any good,

To try to advertise something I'm not sure is any good,

To ask people to help me spread the word about this when they might not even like it,

To walk into a world that will require me to step outside my comfort zone for the rest of my life,

In writing,

In singing,

In performing,

In marketing.

But that's where I feel He's leading me,

So, as much as I would like to run away sometimes, I'm not going to.

And I know I shouldn't be scared,

That "Don't worry about anything" is a command,

That my fear means I don't trust Him enough.

Well, honestly, I don't.

I'm trying, but I still have so much to learn,

And I think the first thing I need to learn is how to step outside my comfort zone,

To take these risks that scare me,

And watch Him come through,

Because He will.

 
On a long drive home last Friday night

I sat in a van with several of my friends from school,

Some people from a church I attend regularly,

And I decided to work on a song

So that I wouldn't have to do it when I got back to my house at 4 on Saturday morning.

As I sat down and started thinking, a line popped into my head.

It wasn't exactly what I was feeling, but it had potential.

I went with it.

I chose my words carefully,

Putting rhymes in the middles of lines, not just the ends.

When I finished, I reread it.

And then I stepped out of my comfort zone.

I asked if anyone would critique it for me.

The person next to me took the book and read the song,

Said, "It's really good."

The people behind me insisted that I sing it.

I don't like singing songs that I've just written.

Even though the melody comes with the words,

It's hard to remember the melody I started with once I get to the second verse

When I haven't had the time to think about it and get it into my head.

So I warned them,

Asked the copilot to turn down the music he was playing for a couple of minutes,

And I sang,

And when I finished

They all clapped.

I couldn't believe it!

I'd just sang a song I wrote in a little over half an hour,

Hadn't really fixed yet,

And I'd probably sung parts of it incorrectly,

And they all clapped for me.

I asked what I could do better.

Most didn't have any suggestions.

One mentioned two lines that sounded "elementary",

Changing the melody on the refrain the last time through.

I thought hard and changed the lines,

Gave him the new version for approval,

And he did approve.

As if that wasn't enough,

Sunday night I went to church

And one of my friends asked if she could hear the song sometime.

She'd been in the van, but too far away from me to listen.

She said the driver had told her that the song was "incredible".

I could not believe it.

I would never describe one of my songs like that!

I was just blown away by the fact that people actually liked it -

And, apparently, they liked it a lot.


God has been showing me His faithfulness in this this past week.

Every single time I've stepped out of my comfort zone, there have been results.

I sent out an email to the 43 people who had downloaded my music off NoiseTrade,

Shyly, quietly letting them know I had a new album out,

And two people had downloaded the album by the next day.

Now, that might not sound like a lot,

But, to me, the fact that two people like my homemade music enough to download more of it -

Well, it's incredible!

And that's only the beginning of it!

The more I step out,

The more I learn of His faithfulness,

Of His trustworthiness.

He is so faithful!


So, now, dear reader, I am stepping out of my comfort zone again,

This time to ask for your help.

If I'm really going to do what I feel He's calling me to do,

I kind of need people to know I exist,

That I'm writing this music,

Trying to share it with people.

So, if you haven't yet, read this post about my new CD,

(My biography might be helpful, too.)

Go to either my NoiseTrade page or my Bandcamp page,

(Speaking of pages, I also have a new Facebook page!)

Listen to the CD (in its entirety - for free!),

And then write a review of it.

It doesn't have to be long.

It doesn't have to be all about how wonderful it is.

Be honest.

Be sincere.

Critique it for me.

But let people know it exists, and where they can get it.

You could write a blog post,

Or just write a few words on Facebook.

Be creative.

If you can get the link to what you've written

(And, if you post on Facebook or use another social networking site that uses brief messages, copy and paste what you wrote in addition to giving the link)

And put it into a comment,

Leave that comment on my blog by next Wednesday (January 16th),

I will put your name in for a giveaway.  (My first ever!)

(If your review talks in-depth about each and every track on the album, I'll put your name in three times.

If you share about the album in more than one place, I'll put your name in once for each place you shared.)

For every ten people that share about my album,

I will randomly select (using a computer program) one person to receive a free copy of the new CD.

I will mail it to you with my eternal gratitude.

And, if you really like the CD (or if you just really believe in my potential), I'll sign it for you.

Just, please, if you would share?

We independent artists don't have fancy marketing departments working for us.

We rely on the fans,

And, right now, I honestly don't have that many.

So would you help me?

Please?

I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

(Whether you help or not.)

God bless you, friends!


Reasons 2803-2861 today,

Starting this new habit of stepping out of my comfort zone,

Learning how to trust in who He is:

  1. His city is beautiful in its loftiness (Psalm 48:1-2)
  2. His city is the joy of the whole earth (Psalm 48:1-2)
  3. He is in the citadels of His city (Psalm 48:2-3)
  4. He has shown Himself to be the fortress of His city (Psalm 48:2-3)
  5. When kings see His city, they are astounded (Psalm 48:4-5)
  6. When kings see His city, they flee in terror (Psalm 48:4-5)
  7. When kings see His city, trembling seizes them (Psalm 48:4-6)
  8. When kings see His city, pain like that of a woman in labor seizes them (Psalm 48:4-6)
  9. He destroys kings like ships of Tarshish (Psalm 48:4-7)
  10. He destroys kings like ships of Tarshish shattered by an east wind (Psalm 48:4-7)
  11. He makes His city secure forever (Psalm 48:8)
  12. His people meditate on His unfailing love (Psalm 48:9)
  13. His praise reaches to the ends of the earth (Psalm 48:10)
  14. His right hand is filled with righteousness (Psalm 48:10)
  15. Mount Zion rejoices because of His judgments (Psalm 48:11)
  16. The cities of Judah are glad because of His judgments (Psalm 48:11)
  17. He is His people's God for ever and ever (Psalm 48:14)
  18. He will be His people's guide even to the end (Psalm 48:14)
  19. He redeems His people from the realm of the dead (Psalm 49:15)
  20. He will surely take His people to Himself (Psalm 49:15)
  21. He is the Mighty One (Psalm 50:1)
  22. He speaks and summons the earth (Psalm 50:1)
  23. He speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets (Psalm 50:1)
  24. From Zion, perfect in beauty, He shines forth (Psalm 50:2)
  25. He comes (Psalm 50:3)
  26. He comes and will not be silent (Psalm 50:3)
  27. A fire devours before Him (Psalm 50:3)
  28. Around Him a tempest rages (Psalm 50:3)
  29. He summons the heavens above (Psalm 50:4)
  30. He summons the earth (Psalm 50:4)
  31. He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that He may judge His people (Psalm 50:4)
  32. The heavens proclaim His Righteousness (Psalm 50:6)
  33. He is a God of Justice (Psalm 50:6)
  34. The heavens proclaim His Righteousness, for He is a God of Justice (Psalm 50:6)
  35. He testifies against His people (Psalm 50:7)
  36. He brings no charges against His people concerning their sacrifices, which are ever before Him (Psalm 50:8)
  37. He brings no charges against His people concerning their burnt offerings, which are ever before Him (Psalm 50:8)
  38. He has no need of bulls from His people's stalls (Psalm 50:9)
  39. He has no need of goats from His people's pens (Psalm 50:9)
  40. Every animal of the forest is His (Psalm 50:10)
  41. The cattle on a thousand hills are His (Psalm 50:10)
  42. He knows every bird in the mountains (Psalm 50:11)
  43. The insects in the fields are His (Psalm 50:11)
  44. If He were hungry, He would not tell His people (Psalm 50:12)
  45. The world is His, and all that is in it (Psalm 50:12)
  46. If He were hungry, He would not tell His people, for the world is His, and all that is in it (Psalm 50:12)
  47. He does not eat the flesh of bulls (Psalm 50:13)
  48. He does not drink the blood of goats (Psalm 50:13)
  49. His people call on Him in the day of trouble (Psalm 50:15)
  50. He delivers His people when they call on Him in the day of trouble (Psalm 50:15)
  51. He delivers His people, and they honor Him (Psalm 50:15)
  52. The wicked person has no right to recite His laws (Psalm 50:16)
  53. The wicked person has no right to take His covenant on their lips (Psalm 50:16)
  54. He arraigns the wicked one (Psalm 50:21)
  55. He sets His accusations before the wicked one (Psalm 50:21)
  56. He tears those who forget Him to pieces (Psalm 50:22)
  57. He tears those who forget Him to pieces, with no one to rescue them (Psalm 50:22)
  58. Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor Him (Psalm 50:23)
  59. To the blameless He shows His salvation (Psalm 50:23)


(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>

Counting in community:

Also linking up over here,

Walking with Him in new habits,

Struggling to leave my comfort zone behind.


Would you take time to read some of the other posts?

It'll mean the world to those bloggers if you'd read,

Maybe even comment?

Thank you so much!



Linked up here, too, once I discovered it.

This dream of mine is definitely God-sized.

No one but Him could ever make all this work!

And He has truly amazed this week!!!


 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's Finally Finished!!!!!


Remember when I told you I was working on a new CD?

Well, it took awhile.

By the time everything was mixed, it was too close to Christmas to release it in 2012.

So I waited.

And I released it in 2013.

Today, in fact.


It's called Masterpiece

(Not because it is a masterpiece.

I'll explain in a moment)

It's my second full-length album,

At twelve tracks, the longest one yet.

At the time I wrote those songs, God was teaching me about who we are,

How He sees us.

He kept leading me to this one word in Ephesians 2:10.

The Greek word is "poiema".

It's where we get our English word "poem".

Usually, it's translated "workmanship",

As in, "We are God's workmanship."

The New Living Translation renders the word as "masterpiece", which better captures the emotion of the word.

We're not just a work of God,

We're His poetry,

His masterpiece.

As these thoughts turned 'round and 'round in my head,

Songs came out.

My friend helped me pick ten of them.

I added two more because they were things I wanted to say.


Here they are:

1.  Song That You Sing

I wrote this as I was meditating on Ann Voskamp's post that inspired the song "How Emptiness Sings" by Christa Wells, and I took away something a little different from it.  So I wrote a different song.  My friend Kassandra came in and played a flute part for me, which was just what the simplistic accompaniment needed to keep it simple enough for the lyrics but interesting enough to be . . . well, interesting.

2.  By Name

I wrote this song meditating on the idea that different people know more about different aspects of God's character than others.  In sharing our stories, we witness to those aspects of God's character, which helps others to have a better understanding of those aspects of God's character, which helps us to know God better.  Obviously, the first place we should be looking for information about God is His Word, but other things testify to who He is as well, and we shouldn't ignore them.

3.  The Masterpiece

This is pretty much the title track.  It's based on Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) - We are God's masterpiece!  So amazing!

4.  Safe

This one's about my own personal struggle between a natural desire for safety and God's promise of Safety.  There's so much in my life pushing me to get a college degree, get a "safe" job, have a stable income, . . . and all the while God's pushing me toward something the world would tell me is dangerous and risky.  Well, who am I going to listen to?  Everyone on this planet, or the God who created all of them?  Still, I have a lot to learn about trusting Him with this.

5.  Free (The Wave's Song)

This one was inspired by James 1:6-8 (NLT).  The metaphor of people being like waves, driven and tossed by the wind, was too good for me to pass up.  I wrote it during a sermon on those verses instead of paying attention.

6.  He Does Not Make Junk

I wrote about this song in this post.

7.  Yahushua (Jonah's Prayer)

When I read the prayer Jonah prayed in Jonah 2, how he was thanking God for saving him while he was still inside the belly of a fish, I knew I had to turn it into a song.  So I did, staying as close to the text (I was reading it out of the Contemporary English Version Bible) as I could.  I then decided I wanted a sort of one-word refrain, kind of like Heather Williams' "Hallelujah".  I'd recently watched a song that contained various names for God and wondered if there was a Hebrew name for God that meant "God saves".  The closest Google could come was "Yahushua", which, interestingly enough, is the word that the names Joshua and Jesus come from.

8.  What I Love

Another one I've already written about.  You can read the story here.

9.  Impossible

This was inspired by a passage from Madeline L'Engle's Walking on Water.  She spoke of the Transfiguration and how the things that we think are impossible really aren't impossible at all.  So I wrote a song about it.  Go figure.

10.  You Said My Name

This was inspired by a video by the Skit Guys.  They were telling Peter's story, a story of grace, how he denied Jesus and Jesus still said his name.  So I had to write a song about Peter.  This is one of my favorites from this album, because I need to hear Him say my name, too.

11.  The Poem You Write

I wrote this after a sermon explaining that "poiema" is where we get "poem" from.  As a sort of poet, I couldn't let this image of God as a Poet slip past me.  It became a song.

12.  With Abandon

This one was probably the most intentional of all of them.  As I thought about all these things I'd been writing about, I was left with the question, "What should my response to all of this be?"  And I decided the answer was to do what He's told me to do, and to do it with abandon.  This one's a little more cliche than the rest of them.  I couldn't think of any other way to say it.  I decided to leave it on the album, though, just for that thought:  I need to live with abandon.


I'm not going to post the lyrics for all of these,

Mostly because I don't have time,

But also because they're somewhere online already,

Which leads me to what I have to share with you next:

The CD will be available for one week for free on Noisetrade.

You can go to my page now and download it and my past two projects

In exchange for your email address and zip code.

On January 15th, most of the album will be removed.

A few songs will still be available for free,

The rest will have vanished.

So, you may ask, where will I be able to get the CD after the week is up?

Well, yesterday I signed up for a Bandcamp account.

Bandcamp is an incredible (free!) tool for artists.

On my Bandcamp page, I have my new album available.

You can download tracks 1 and 3-12 for $0.50 each,

Track 2 is free in exchange for your email address

(For the first 200 people, apparently - I'm only allowed to give so much away at this site),

Or you can download the entire CD for $5.00.

If you want to give me more money than I'm asking for, you're welcome to.

The files are uploaded in .wav format, so you can download them in virtually any format you want

(Unlike NoiseTrade, which only offers .mp3s)

You can also read the album description

And buy a physical CD.

Yes, you can buy a real, physical CD for $5.00 (the same price as the download)

Plus $2.00 shipping

And I will send you a real, homemade physical CD in a clear jewel case -

And

Just for buying the physical CD,

You'll get to download the CD, too - for free!

So you'll have the music immediately,

Then have the real CD within a few weeks.

Isn't that awesome?

And,

As if those things in and of themselves weren't awesome enough,

Downloads include bonus .pdfs of my CD booklet -

So you can get all of my lyrics just for downloading a song

(Or you might have to download the whole CD . . . I'm not really sure how it works . . . but somehow you'll be able to get them.)

I officially like Bandcamp.

So, you can visit my Bandcamp page by clicking here.

My biography,

Discography,

And music pages have also been updated,

If you'd like to read them.

Thank you all for your support.

I now have to get back to cutting out papers and burning images on discs

So that, when you order those CDs,

I'll have some to send to you. :)

All of you here really do mean the world to me!

God bless you!


 
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