Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year of Answered Prayer - "Hiding Place"

   Last New Year's Eve, our family prayed that this year (2013) would be a year of answered prayer. I could not have foreseen how many prayers God would answer, some of which I am probably even still unaware of. I would like to highlight a few as I take a look back on 2013.

- God's gracious intervention in my desperate health situation. I'm not 100% yet, but God has been so faithful to get me to where I am today. I am very grateful to be alive. =)

- My grandparents' move to Arizona which seemed like an impossibility for a number of reasons. God is the God of the impossible! It happened so fast, we couldn't believe it!

- God leading us to a church family. The day I walked in, I felt like I was home.

- And my favorite: Our son surrendering his life to Christ and becoming a born-again believer. That was such a tremendous blessing! =)

   There are so many more, too many to name. We also saw prayers answered in families we were praying for.

   But I feel so humbled to even name the four above. So humbled that the God that created this vast universe cares about me, smaller than a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things.

   I am so humbled by God's love for me. It is truly an amazing thing!

   And God gave me so many songs in 2013! Songs I know that are for others as much as they are for me. Here is a rough version of one of them - "Hiding Place":

   I am looking forward to sharing more of these songs with you in the upcoming New Year - 2014!

   My prayer for each of you this coming New Year would be that God would take you to higher heights and greater depths, that you would know Him in a deeper way and love Him more and more as each day goes by. A blessed New Year to all of you!

1Cr 2:9 NASB

A broken vessel saved by grace,

Sunday, December 29, 2013


   I just ran across this quote today by A.B. Simpson and was so inspired by it. It spoke volumes to my heart, so much so that I dove into my pictures and found this one I took of the ocean on a trip to San Diego years and years ago. It was perfect for the quote!

   Just last week, I was feeling "stuck". But the Lord spoke to my heart and told me that I wasn't stuck, but that I was right where He wanted me to be. There is nothing like God's voice that can still my heart. What a gift to hear His words that quiet my soul and help me rest in His perfect will!

"Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD."
Ps. 27:14

   Maybe you're feeling "stuck" too. Just know that in your waiting, God is working! And speaking of waiting, I highly recommend the book titled Waiting on God by Andrew Murray. It's awesome! Blessings to you today!

Learning how to wait,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Life is a Gift - "But for a Moment"

I wonder if any of us are really fully aware of how much of life - how much of what we are able to do, how much of what we have, how much of who we are - is a gift.

Before my health crisis, I know that I didn't even think of life being the gift that it is. I took it for granted.

I was capable, determined, strong, self-sufficient, composed, prepared, in control. Or so I thought. Such an illusion all of that was. Such a lie.

I do not claim to see life completely for the gift that it truly is, but I know I see it more clearly now than I ever did before.

Everything about life - every aspect - is a gift.

There is nothing like a jolt of reality to help you see the truth: Without God, we are nothing.

It was obvious to me I wasn't capable when I couldn't take care of my family. Determination didn't really amount to much when everything I tried and everything I did to get better made me get worse and worse. I clearly couldn't claim strength when I was too weak to hold my baby or even my Bible for that matter. Yes, even my Bible was too heavy for me to hold. Self-sufficiency was non-existent as I was dependent upon others for nearly everything. Composure was the last thing I was thinking of when, for weeks, I began not being able to sleep but an hour or two each night and I felt like the inside of my body was on fire. I was in utter agony and I thought I was going to lose my mind. When I was crying and begging God to keep me each little moment throughout the day and not let me go crazy, composure was all but gone. Prepared? No. I was completely unprepared for what I faced. It totally blind-sided me. And I realized as I felt my life slipping away and death's grip on me that I was not in control of anything. This was not how I had pictured life looking, but I couldn't do anything about it.

None of those things - ability, strength, self-sufficiency...you name it. None of it was true. Nothing.

I think sometimes God has to bring us to places as desperate as what I just described to make use face the fact that everything we are able to do, every good aspect about ourselves, everything that makes our life what it is, is a gift, pure and simple. Even sleep. I never thought of sleep being such a blessed gift until my body couldn't sleep. You don't know how thankful I am for sleep now!

I know that I still take many things for granted, but I'm learning to be grateful and thankful to the Lord for even things that may seem small to others. Even the strength to sit here and type this post is a gift. There was a time when even that was too taxing.

I remember a moment on one of those bleak days when I didn't have the strength to walk, sitting in a parking lot waiting for my husband to get something at a store, watching people walk in and out of that store and wondering to myself how many of them realized what a gift it was to have the strength to walk like a normal, healthy person.

When you've had things stripped away and God gives them back to you, they appear much more as they really are: as gifts. Nothing that I could conjure up by myself. Simply gifts from my Heavenly Father.

Last winter was a difficult time for me, but today I am thankful for it. I know that the trial I passed through and continue walking though was and is a gift.

Perhaps you are in a season of winter yourself, feeling destitute and dead, wondering if spring will ever come again. I know...I wondered that, too.

This time of the year is usually merry and jolly for many people. But I know there are others who are hurting more than they can express. I've posted a video below with a song to encourage you if you are one of those people.

Don't give up hope! God will never leave or forsake you.

In Christ's love,


Monday, December 16, 2013

"Amazing" - Video

I did another quick video on Friday, which I call "Music Friday", because every week or so, my mom will let the kids hang out with her so I can work on music. That is what Music Friday is around here. =)

I wanted to share the video with you today. It's a worship song highlighting the gospel, what that means for us, and our response to the Lord in regards to what He has done for us, specifically being set free to live for Him.

I give a rather lengthy background and commentary on the song, so I won't repeat that here. You certainly don't need to hear it twice! And if you don't like listening to people talk, especially people like me that rattle on and on, the actual song is around 4:25. Yeah, I talk for almost 4-1/2 minutes! I'm not sure I'd do that in real life...I'm kind of shy, believe it or not...but the camera is not as intimidating as actual people, even though I know I'm talking to someone real. Anyway, I'm rambling again...here's the video. God bless you today! ~ Adriel

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Version of "I Come to You" is Live!

You can hear the new version of "I Come to You", which has been amazingly improved by Matthew Winfree of Hope66 on SoundCloud HERE. Matthew Winfree did a wonderful job in editing, mastering, producing, enhancing (what else am I forgetting?), this song - just really adding that sparkle to it. What a blessing! =)

I'm an amateur at best in the recording, arranging and audio aspect of this endeavor. Not even an amateur, really. So I really, really appreciated his help. I think that was incredibly awesome of him. =)

I hope you enjoy the new version and, most of all, that it encourages and blesses you. If you're interested in the story behind the song, you can find that HERE.

As always, all glory to Jesus,

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Music Updates from Friday

Friday, which usually ends up being my music day every other week or so, since my mom takes the kids so I have a quiet house to record in, I worked on some new stuff. I made a quick little video on Friday that highlights what's going on and people who are helping me. Check it out if you're curious. =)

Monday, December 2, 2013


As this new month begins, the flashbacks of last year's December come at me like arrows poisoned with fear. God has been hacking away at that root of fear this whole past year and I must admit that it has been somewhat discouraging to find fear still lurking in my heart.

A verse came to mind yesterday as I contemplated the upcoming new month.

"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You." Psalm 56:3

It doesn't say "if", it says "when". It's going to happen. There are going to be moments of fear, moments of being afraid. But in those moments, what I decide to do makes all the difference. The writer goes on to say that when he is afraid, he will put his trust in God.

blog, Richard Wurmbrand, VOM, SoundCloud, scripture, Christian

I watched a testimony of Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of Voice of the Martyrs, early last year (when I was right in the middle of physical turmoil). He described the few moments after he had been kidnapped and put into a car going who knows where (he ended up in prison for 14 years because of his faith in Christ). He related how as he sat there, he remembered that there are 366 passages of scripture that say to not be afraid or fear, one scripture for every day, even during a leap year. He made a decision at that moment to trust God.

That was and is so powerful and his response echoes what I want my heart's response to be as I face this month's anniversary of the hairy situation I faced late last year and early this year. Trusting God and knowing and believing that I am in good hands that will never let me go.

This song that God gave me is a song that helps me see the right perspective in relation to fear. I hear God speak to me through this.

So, to wrap things up, please keep me in your prayers. That I would walk in obedience to God's command to not be afraid, to not fear. That I would look with expectation on this month instead of dread, and have a grateful, thankful heart that is so full, there is no room for fear.

Trusting and learning to trust God,

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Keep Me" Music Video

I did this music video for my friend, Karen. Some people are more visual, which she is, and this is her favorite song of mine. I thought I would share it with those of you who are visual as well. =)

I hope it encourages you today to stay covered by the Lord, abiding in Him throughout your day, whatever place you are at in your life at the present moment.

You may be looking at the sheer side of a mountain, wondering how you can possibly succeed in scaling it. Surrounded on all sides, the only way is up...but how?

Your boat may be capsized and waves may be crashing over and over you, and you can barely catch your breath. The sky is dark and cloudy, the sea angry and you wonder if you will survive this storm.

You may not be facing any big decisions or trials at this time. Your way is clear, your path level and easy. Your sea may be calm, the sky perfectly clear and sunny and everything is going absolutely wonderful for you.

Wherever you may be, the need for us to abide with Jesus is still true. May God keep you close to His heart.

To read the original post of and story behind this song, go HERE.

All glory to Jesus,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why I Like to Sing Alone

Last week, my two oldest were out for the afternoon and my mom took the littles over to her house for their naps. I was able to get some vocals recorded, which I had been itching to do for awhile.

Maybe someday I will give you a tour of my "studio"...it's a very simple setup, trust me. It would probably make some of you cringe. haha 

But the real thing (the real studio experience) would be terribly intimidating to me, I think. I'm so thankful that I can sing alone all by myself and not worry about those hiccups that happen and worrying about the professional sound engineer that is having to listen to me hurt their ears. Yeah, I guess I'm too self-conscious. I probably need to get over that. Not probably, but I do. Need to. Have to. Must.

But let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I wasn't nervous of being in front of people. I have fond memories of singing with my sister for special events. We did little duets together, people thought we were cute. You know, two little girls who are sisters, singing together, that's kind of cute. Anyway, I became confident and comfortable as time went on doing that.  

Then about nine years ago, I was invited to do a special song for the ladies' tea at the church we were attending. I don't know what it was - the combination of having to play the piano AND sing at the same time, or just not having been in front of people like that in a long time - but I totally, completely croaked. Waaah! My voice flew away and was replaced by a weak, pathetic sound. I'm not even going to call it a voice, it was that bad! And I was mortified. It left me scarred, but I'm really hoping not for life! Never give up hope!

So here's my question to you singers out there. How did you overcome your fear of croaking after you'd croaked? haha I really think it's bad that I even have that fear, because I'm just singing for the Lord anyway, but after you've had one of "those moments" (and you have to have had one of "those moments" to know what I'm talking about), it leaves you thinking that you will never try that again...EVER! Any tips? ;-)

Croaking and all, all glory to Jesus,

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Sample From Last Week's Recording Session

free Christian contemporary music songs singer songwriter Adriel Hong

Last Friday, after I was done for the day with recording, I mentioned on my Facebook page that I had some samples of what I had worked on.

Today, I'm going to share with you one of those samples. It's a little snippet from "When You Speak to Me" and I hope you enjoy it. My brother, Daniel Tekunoff, did the arrangement for me. He is not only very talented, he is a blessing, and I'm not just saying that because he's my brother. =)

Keep in mind that it's a rough draft, (not the arrangement by any means!), the vocals and levels and such. And it's missing background vocals at the moment. But it's a preview and I hope you enjoy it. You can listen to it HERE on SoundCloud. I'd love to hear what you think about it. =)

All glory to Jesus,

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Upcoming Plans...

First of all, I'm still alive. I haven't updated this blog in two weeks. That is terrible!

Second, I have a couple of projects mulling around in my head right now. I just don't know which one to do first. I'm somewhat torn. Should I do the one I planned on doing right after I Exist for You (which I planned on titling High Above Me), or should I do the project which chronicles my recent health crisis (which I plan on titling When I Look Back)?

Hmmm...any thoughts?? Too many songs and not enough time. I'm getting to the point where I'm willing to share the rough recordings with you guys. Just me and the piano. That would be really awesome (not really, I'm being sarcastic). I honestly don't play too great, but I may be throwing in a few songs that are a little "rough", just an FYI! =)

All glory to Jesus,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Exist for You Project Complete!

Well, after going back through the old recordings and polishing them up a bit, the whole I Exist for You project is now complete on SoundCloud. Eight years ago, when I first recorded many of these songs, I don't think anything like SoundCloud existed. It has been a wonderful way to share these songs! =)

You can find the entire project HERE and listen to it or download it for free. =)

All glory to Jesus,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

"So Good to Me" - Story Behind the Song

(Link to listen is at the bottom if you're in a hurry.)

Okay, you know when a song is not produced well when your almost-teen-daughter listens to it and laughs! LOL! =D

So, this song will be the most embarrassing one that I have share with you yet. But I'm making myself do this for a reason - this is where I started and I want to share that starting point with you.

I did go back into Cakewalk and adjust the levels a little bit, and the end result didn't make my daughter laugh as before, but I know it's still not all that great. Still, the words are true and they speak to my heart and soul.

This song was written back in 2005 in regard the same situation as "Whom Shall I Fear?" A scripture I wrote in my journal a few days before the writing of this song says:

"All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast." Proverbs 15:15

If we can learn to look at our circumstances and instead of considering ourselves oppressed, consider ourselves blessed and have a heart of praise and thankfulness, we will have a continual feast of joy which will not only give us strength to endure, but also to flourish.

When we go through hard things, there is a choice to bless or curse God. The enemy continually makes attempts during our trials to cause us to curse God, to doubt Him, to believe He is absent, to lose faith in Him. In the midst of our difficulties, it seems almost like a tug-of-war. Some days - or even hours - we pull strong on the way of praising and believing God; and other days we are pulled toward the doubting and despair.

Have you ever noticed, however, that once a trial is over with, once you have passed through something hard, the tug-of-war is over with? In whatever way those difficulties end - either with us standing on God's truth and blessing Him, or falling into despair and cursing Him - that is forever how the difficulty will be remembered. By us and by those powers in the spiritual realm.

A difficulty that was ended in blessing and praising God, the enemy won't dare touch. But a difficulty that was ended with us cursing and doubting God will be used by the enemy over and over again throughout our lives.

In whatever we are passing through, may we be found praising and blessing the Lord Who promised us that He would never leave us nor forsake us. This is a declaration in the spiritual realm of our God's faithfulness. He is worthy of our praise!

You can listen to "So Good to Me" and download it for free on SoundCloud HERE and view lyrics in the description of the song as well as HERE.

I hope you are having a blessed weekend. And in spite of the quality of this recording, I hope that it blesses you. =)

All glory to Jesus,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Your Word is a Light" - Story Behind the Song

(Link to listen is at the bottom if you're in a hurry.)

Time for another song from the old bunch. This is the second to last. I cannot believe I am going to let you listen to this. The lyrics are good, but the production is not. <cringe>

Anyways, yeah. Let's get back to the story behind the song, shall we?

First of all, this song is dedicated to my parents. I don't know if they want their names publicly posted, so I'm going to play it safe and not do so. <a big wave to Dad and Mom>
My parents raised me in a loving, Godly home. Now, as a parent myself, I appreciate them so much more than when I was a kid. I took so much for granted or wasn't as grateful and thankful as I ought to have been. They made a lot of sacrifices for me, my sister, and my brother. Sacrifices that they didn't have to make, but that they chose to make to give us a stronger, better foundation than if they had chosen the easier, more popular, route. They weren't always popular with other parents, I know they were considered "strict" by some, and they didn't try to be my best friend. They trained me in God's way and I am so thankful that they did. They truly showed me love as I see now how much they laid their lives down for me and my siblings.

Do you know how hard it is to get weird looks from other parents or have to explain your family's opposing position on something that is normal and benign to others? It's not easy, but my parents were a great example to me and continue to be.

So this song is just a tribute to them. A simple declaration that I will continue walking in the truth and Way that they trained me to go. I will not depart from it. Dad and Mom, I really love you! =)

I received this song in 2006. I think it was one of the last songs I wrote that went into the original project (I Exist for You) that I had started a year or two prior to that. Over the past several months prior to receiving this song, the Lord had put in me a strong appreciation for His Word and a realization that the truths that are found in His Word were a foundation that was to be stood upon and not compromised.

At the time, we had just been introduced to Precept Ministries and we were watching the Jude video with those whom we were in fellowship with at the time. The teaching from this book (Jude) was very sobering to me, as I realized that the Word of God had been lost in the house of God. This question formed in my mind: If God's Word is non-negotiable truth, why is it compromised to accommodate the ungodly?

After viewing the video that evening, I came home and sang this song. It is very simple, yet true. It is good to be reminded of these things.

"Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

You can listen to "Your Word is a Light" and download it for free on SoundCloud HERE. Lyrics are in the song description as well as HERE.

All glory to Jesus,


Monday, October 21, 2013

Music Developments

Please note: This is NOT where I record. I have never set foot in a real recording studio.
It seems somewhat premature to tell you about my brother's recent involvement in this music endeavor since I have yet to update that part about him in my bio.

Regardless, I am going to proceed to do just that and completely ruin the cliffhanger in my bio. Oh well.

My brother is an ultra mega, super-duper, exceptionally talented musician. (He is going to be so embarrassed that I said all that about him. The joys of being the big sister.)

I'll probably write more about this in my bio, so as not to talk your ear off about him here, but I've handed the arranging of the songs off to him. He's much better and faster at arranging than I am. Hey, sometimes you just have to admit what's true.

I have four (almost five) arrangements from him that are just waiting for vocals. It's pretty exciting!

My mom took all the kids for me last Friday so that I had a quiet house to record in. That afternoon flew by so fast! I really only got the main vocal for "I Will Not Forget" done, along with the basic ideas for the background vocals. It was awesome to hear it all together! Cannot wait to share it with you!! 

But first, I've got to finish the BG vocals and then send my brother back all the audio files and then he will mix it all down. I have no idea how long that will take. A month? Two months?

I've got to admit, this music recording stuff is not all that easy to accomplish when you have a "real life", and by that I am in no way implying that those who make a living recording music do not have one. Just for those of us who are not "professional artists", we have other priorities or occupations. The music part is just one part of our life - a part of many parts.

My brother is busy himself with two businesses of his own, I'm busy with life in general, along with reconnecting with life/people/God's church after being so out of it there at the beginning of the year! If you're wondering why that is, you can read my bio. It will explain a lot.

So the music stuff happens a little on the slow side around here. But trust me, it would be exponentially slower if my brother was not on board with the project. I am very thankful for him and the fact that he does it for free, too. Having talented family is really nice. =)

And I am very, very thankful to the Lord God for giving me the opportunity to share His songs. =)

Hope you're having a blessed week.

All glory to Jesus,


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"It's You I Adore" - Story Behind the Song

(Link to listen is at the bottom for those of you in a rush.)

I've been saving my least favorites of the batch of songs I recorded eight years ago for awhile now. I keep putting it off. I'm honestly embarrassed to let you hear these. I'm not pleased with them. They either didn't turn out sounding as polished as I would have liked, they ended up sounding tacky, I didn't sing a certain part just so, the music doesn't really fit the song, and on and on my reasons go.

The story behind this song, "It's You I Adore", is sweet and simple. I was privileged many years ago, to be invited to participate in the organization of the worship time for an upcoming women's retreat. One of the women from our church had invited a friend of hers (sorry, I don't remember her name), who was very gifted in music, to basically lead. A group of four to six of us met once each week in preparation, and I gleaned a lot from the leader. "Free worship" was a gift of hers, which I had experienced as a kid, but not at this particular church. It took some effort for some of us to get out of that comfort zone we'd been used to, but once we began to sing out things on our heart to the Lord as the music kept going, the response came easier. I treasured that time and still do to this day.

This song was an overflow from that experience. It is based on the book of Song of Solomon (or Songs), and is just a love song to the Lord. I hope to one day record a more appropriate version of this song - I'm thinking acoustic, no electronic stuff. You live and learn!

Of course, the whole "free worship" thing, also known as "spontaneous worship", can become weird and disorderly, and that is certainly not what I am talking about here. I know are movements that have popularized this type of worship and they are way off. With the right leader who is truly in tune with the right Spirit, the Holy Spirit, (not something weird), free worship can truly be beautiful. =)

You can listen to "It's You I Adore" and/or download it for free on SoundCloud HERE (you may have to register, but it's free and easy), and lyrics are also there in the description, as well as HERE.

All glory to Jesus,

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New Melodies to Hymns Continued

  I enjoyed all the feedback I got regarding new melodies to hymns. It was enlightening and encouraging to hear what each of you had to say. So I made a video of a hymn with a new tune! (I am completely new to videoing and that whole process, and I am really surprised at the bad quality video from our relatively new video recorder, but...)

  The other day I decided to just browse through an unknown hymn site (or else I would tell you where I was), and a title caught my attention because I had never heard it or of it for that matter.

  I really appreciated the lyrics, but there was no info regarding the hymn as to the year it was written, etc. I decided to do some investigating, because I certainly did not want to get into any hot water by using a hymn that wasn't "public domain".

  The story behind this hymn was very touching and I've included a link HERE where you can read it yourself if you would like, but I do cover that briefly in the video if you want a condensed version. =)

Here's the video. Sorry it's not the greatest. I'll be looking into ways to improve for (possible) future recordings. ;-)

All glory to Jesus,

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Let Me

It's funny to revisit a song recorded eight years ago, written before even longer than that. The message God gave me through it is still relevant to me today. But those words seem more precious now - more of a reality.

There are seasons in our lives when we are physically weak, either from a burden that is weighing heavily upon us or just because of natural circumstances. My experience when I received this song, "Let Me", in 2006 was a combination of both. I was sitting at the piano and the Lord spoke this song to me and I began singing it. The words were so comforting to me, releasing me from the burden that I was carrying, allowing me to rest in the Lord regarding my health.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and 
heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, 
for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

  God's invitation is, "Let Me hold you. Let Me take this weight from your heart." He's always willing. But I'm not always willing to let Him. I'm not sure why I fight God, pushing Him away when I am in desperate need of Him. I have become keenly aware in the last 12 months that I am naturally a self-sufficient, self-reliant, self-righteous, proud, strong-willed, determined, stubborn person, trying to do everything myself. (I sound really nice, right?) I suppose that it is easier for some of us to do that very thing - let God. But for someone like me, "surrender" translates into "failure" in my mind and soul. "Letting God" means that I'm too weak to do it myself.

  Fast-forward to several years later and God is still extending that invitation to me. "Letting Him" is really what God has been teaching me through the last year with my health collapsing and being pretty much bedridden for a month or two. God doesn't love me because of what I can do. He just loves me because I am His. That was a really hard concept for me to accept. I don't know why. It's all over the Bible. It's not like it was new or anything. But I knew it in my head, but not in my heart.

  That time of being utterly dependent upon other people for just about everything was excruciating for me. I despised it at first. But God taught me so much through this trial and continues to teach me more, and I am so grateful that He cared enough about my spiritual health to allow my physical health to fail.

  I'm learning how to be a dependent, humble, submissive, pliable, reliant, surrendered person, looking unto God for my righteousness, goodness, strength, and salvation. Ultimately, "letting Him", instead of thinking I can do it all by myself, which is such a ludicrous idea anyway.

  I could write a lot more, but that's quite enough for one post. I'm sure I'll be talking about this at another point in time along the way. After all, I'm still learning. =)

  You can listen to "Let Me" and download it for free HERE if you want (signup may be necessary, but it is quick and free). Lyrics can be viewed HERE.

All glory to Jesus,


#music #songs

Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Melodies for Hymns

Did that subject line make you do a double-take? I'm certainly not wanting to step on any toes, but just explore an idea and I'll tell you why.

We recently were attending a Baptist church where the vast majority of the songs sung were hymns. These songs were packed with wonderful truth and depth, but most of them I didn't know. I know most of the common hymns that the average Christian knows. These hymnals even had the notes in them, which was somewhat helpful. But when you're trying to read words that are new to you and trying to sing by reading notes (which I'm not good at), it didn't make for the most worshipful experience. I could hardly focus on what I was singing.

I remember several years ago at another church we attended, a man there shared with us how they had written new tunes to hymns that they didn't know the tunes to. I thought this was an interesting and creative idea. I have a hymnal WITHOUT any notes, just words, so I even tried doing that very thing with a couple hymns and they turned out sounding nice. I still have no idea how the original tune went! =D

The lyrics are so rich, it's a shame that not more of these hymns are being sung. But for most of us, we don't know the tunes. Yes, I have found sites online that have a general tune and whatnot, but sometimes that isn't quite enough to really get the feel for the song. In addition, sometimes it sounds like some of the hymns need a little "freshening up". What are your thoughts about writing a new tune for words to a hymn? Good idea? Bad idea? I'd love to hear what you have to say!

All glory to Jesus,


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Song I'm Loving Right Now...

We all have tough days, right? Some of us have tough weeks, tough months, and even tough years. Yeah, life can be pretty rough.

I have had a tough year personally, with my health collapsing over a year ago. And today is another doctor appointment. <sigh> I'm just not one of those people that likes doctor appointments. Especially when no one can tell you what is wrong.

   Anyway, today has the potential to be a rough day. But I am so thankful to have my faithful God holding me, carrying me, and giving me hope in the middle of questions, unsettled-ness, and the unknown path in front of me. He has been so good to me through this entire year. God has never left me, never let me go.

   I've listened to this particular song on SoundCloud a few times now and it just fits for today. It's called "Glorious Ruins" and I hope you are encouraged by it as I have been.

   I appreciated this Psalm a couple of days ago, reminding me that my hope is in God, not in being healthy, not in answers to perplexing problems, not in continuing to improve, not in anything else but Jesus - just Jesus.

"How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God."
Psalm 146:5

   I'm preaching to myself, just so you know. I need pep talks!

Learning each day to trust Jesus
more and more,


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"I Come to You" - Story Behind the Song

After a mid-week Bible study some time in 2002, I sat down at my keyboard and started singing this song. We had been talking about letting the Lord fill our lives with more of Him and this song was just the response in my heart. When I sing this song, I sing it as a prayer to the Lord. It is a very intimate worship song, good for reflection and reminding. We have a constant need in our hearts and lives that can only be filled by Jesus. He is the One!

  I have noticed in my own life that during hard times, my need for "comfort" climbs incredibly high. But the things that my flesh finds "comforting" are not, in actuality, filling my heart with the comfort and peace that only Jesus can bring.

  As hard as those times are, I am thankful for them, because they help me grow and mature in the Lord. I find myself running to the Lord more and more instead of running to those other things that are so empty. Do I still try to find comfort from other things or people instead of the Lord? Yes, I do. But I catch myself at it faster than I used to (or rather, God reminds me of what is really true) and I remember the One whom I should be clinging to.

  I love these encouraging verses that are wonderful reminders in those times when I am feeling that need for comfort:

"You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, 
and cling to Him."
Deuteronomy 13:4

"I cling to Your testimonies; 
O Lord, do not put me to shame!"
Psalm 119:31

  You can listen to and download "I Come to You" HERE at soundcloud (you may have to register, but it's easy and free) and you can view the lyrics HERE. This is the newer version - mastered, edited, sweetened up, produced, and much more by Matthew Winfree.

  May God bless you and may you come to the Lord today to be filled with more of Him. He alone can satisfy!

All glory to Jesus,

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Encouragement

Happy Sunday to you! I recently found this song on youtube from Gateway Worship. I am always a sucker for new worship songs, especially ones that declare the greatness and truth about my glorious God!

The challenge, of course, is that these types of songs are so inspirational and uplifting that you can walk away from them feeling like you are in the clouds and closer to God. But the real deal is how it affects my spiritual walk. My desire is to hear these beautiful, inspiring songs and walk away from them with my walk changed and my mind renewed, not just a good feeling.

God bless you this coming week!

Friday, September 27, 2013

What's New?

How is your week going? Mine has gone really well! I survived my third 9am women's Bible study. Getting up at 7:30am is a HUGE accomplishment for me... please, no applause is necessary.

   In all seriousness though, I have really been so blessed by this Bible study. My only regret is that I don't have more time to talk to the other gals about what we're learning and gleaning from God's word... time just seems to fly away when we're together. I am just so thankful to be able to even go. I could not have imagined I would be able to be part of something like this a few months ago. What a blessing! =)

   We've been doing an inductive study from Precept Ministries on 2nd Peter. Wow! It's been awesome already and we're only three weeks into it. I am just loving it!!

   The second week, we were going around taking prayer requests and one woman's words just echoed in my heart over and over that day. She said that we are not our own. It was just so profound to me and caught my attention. Of course, I've known that, but for some reason, her saying it that day just really stuck out to me. And lo and behold, I think it was the next day or day after that God gave me another song highlighting those very words. No wonder those words were so important.

   My brother let me know yesterday that he has another arrangement for one of my favorite songs, "Song in the Night", just about ready. I can't wait to share that one with you! It will be a little while... I still have to do the vocals for it. Suspense!!

   And lastly, I thought you'd like to take a peak at what my journal looked like a couple of weeks ago when I was writing two songs at the same time. It was crazy! I don't know if God has ever given me two songs at the same time before like that. Twins! You can see how messy it was.

   I hope you've been having a wonderful week and even if you haven't, remember that God is good and He is always faithful. Speak it to your soul!

As always, all glory to Jesus!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

"You Deserve" - Story Behind the Song

  Journal entry from 3/18/05: "Lord, You deserve nothing short of my best. You deserve an offering that is complete, not partial. You deserve the highest place in my heart, not somewhere in the middle. Lord, give me the willingness to give You everything."

  I actually wrote some of this song on a trip I took with my husband for our wedding anniversary in Flagstaff. It was somewhat snowy when we went and there was this massive mountain that just stood out to me. The words for the song just flowed out of the beauty around me.

  The comparisons between the Lord reigning above the earth and Him reigning in my heart; of the heavens declaring His glory and my life declaring His glory; these are not by accident. The earth, the heavens - they don't have free will or choice. But I do. I choose to give God the throne in my heart. I choose to allow His life to flow out of me so He can be glorified. He deserves everything that I can give (and more).

  I need to believe this truth and make the choice to walk in it each day. God's power is inside of us who are born again believers in Christ, ready to make us into His image, ready to glorify Him, but we make the choice to believe it is true and to have faith and walk in that truth. Let us choose to give what is already His!

  You can listen to this song and download it for free HERE on SoundCloud (sign up is easy and free) and view the lyrics HERE.

  Hope you're having a great weekend!

All glory to Jesus,


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Keep Me" - Story Behind the Song

 Wallpaper tree, glade, sun, light, shadow, grass  During the summer of 2004, my husband began looking into starting our own business. After praying and finding the Lord's peace in this new venture, we decided on a franchise and began looking for a location. We found a spot and began the lease negotiations.

  In the process of the negotiations, my husband felt led by the Lord to be closed on Sunday. This was kind of a scary step of faith, as we had already paid the franchise fee and this closure had to be approved by corporate in addition to being approved by the landlord, not to mention the closure of that day taking a bite out of our total income. If anyone said "no", the whole venture was going to end for us, regardless of the money we had already invested.

  The Lord gave me this song during this time of uncertainty and wondering what was going to happen. My journal entry that goes along with this song says, "We still haven't found out for sure if the landlord is okay with us being closed on Sunday, but we will find out soon. Even so, it is so good to be resting in the Lord and trusting Him. Sometimes we can get ahead of God and lose the peace and it's so good to just stop and see where we lost it."

  Everything ended up going through fine with those critical negotiations and decisions. Actually, we didn't even end up opening up our store in that first location, but at a different location three years later, in February of 2007. And wouldn't you know it, that location was in a more corporate business area, so being closed on Sunday was no big deal, even income-wise. It was pretty dead around that area on the weekends.

  That whole experience of owning and operating our own business is another story in itself. I'll just say for now that we ended up selling it almost four years after we opened.

  It's kind of interesting to look back to those times which, at the time, seemed to be desperate and urgent, as if our very lives were hanging on by what happened or didn't happen. Now, that whole "drama" seems somewhat insignificant, especially when I compare it to things we would later face in our lives. But that's just part of the journey. Growing up and maturing in the Lord. It begins with the small things. And staying with God, right where He is, is so important - more than I can say.

  You can listen to this song and download it for free HERE on SoundCloud (you may have to register, but it's simple and free), and you can view the lyrics HERE. Enjoy!

All glory to Jesus,


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Encouragement

Happy Sunday! I hope you're having a nice day and that your weekend is going well. We enjoyed the service today with a great worship service and encouraging message. 

Yesterday, my family and I went to an apple orchard and picked around 100 pounds of apples. We weren't able to go last year, so it was a blessing to be able to go this year.

Today we are busy peeling, coring and slicing the apples for applesauce and freezing. I'm at my parents' today, so I don't have access to my song files, but I decided to share a song with you from SoundCloud that I've enjoyed recently. I hope it blesses you, too. =)

The song is called "Celebrate" by Dan James and is a great worship song with the truth of the gospel woven in beautifully. Hope you enjoy it! Click HERE to listen.

All glory to Jesus,