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,