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Category Archives: video

Gifts of Grace That Will Help In Seasons of Pain

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Gifts of Grace That Will Help In Seasons of Pain

For the past few Fridays, I’ve been participating in the #FridayIntroductions on social media. Here’s where I insert a shameless plug for you to follow me on Instagram and Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter too, but it’s really not my favorite hangout so I forget about it sometimes. Should I admit that? Oh well, I just did.

As a way of letting you get to know me a little better and participating in today’s episode of #FridayIntroductions, I’m sharing with you a glimpse into how I’m navigating this painful season.

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Saturday Share #LinkUp 3.12.16 {Focus: Favorite Encouraging Videos}

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Saturday Share #LinkUp 3.12.16 {Focus: Favorite Encouraging Videos}

This week’s Saturday Share is centered around my favorite focus – encouragement. Although I’m a writer I’m not so much of a reader. This is why I understand when people don’t read my blog posts. Give me a powerful message of encouragement and motivation in a song or video and it takes root in my soul.

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Five Names of God: When You Simply Need Him

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Five Names of God: When You Simply Need Him

This week’s Friday Five prompt from my friend Kelly Smith at Mrs. Disciple, is Five Names of God. As I planned for this one, my thoughts immediately turned to who God has been to me in recent times when my heart has been in pain. In those times I need simple. I simply need Him. So for this post, for those who are hurting, I’m keeping it simple. I’m not writing too many of my own words because all the best words are in the songs. I hope you feel His love and comfort deeply as you listen to these songs that remind us of who God is. I hope these songs will be balm for your wounded spirit as they have been for mine.

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Get In My Car and Let’s Find Hope Together

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Get In My Car and Let’s Find Hope Together

I’ve seen this video, Hope in Front of Me by Danny Gokey, before but for some reason it touched me in a new way when I watched it just now. Hope has carried me through some junk. Hope continues to carry me through some junk. I’m a firm believer in hope. Hope has kept me alive. Hope has kept me fighting. I could not survive without hope. None of us can.

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Persevering: 5 Songs That Will Help In the Waiting

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Persevering: 5 Songs That Will Help In the Waiting

Per·se·vereˌ pərsəˈvir/ verb: continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. Facing difficulty with little to no prospect of success. Oh my goodness… This sounds so bleak! Persevering without hope, without Christ, is bleak at best.Persevere is a verb. And action word. My idea of persevering is waiting while moving forward. That sounds more hopeful, doesn’t it?

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A Harmony that Hisses

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Four Part Harmony

Harmony: the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect. An interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative.

Synonyms: accord, agreement, peace, peacefulness, amity, friendship, fellowship, cooperation, understanding, unity, sympathy, rapport, like-mindedness.

Origin of HARMONY: First Known Use: 14th Century. Middle English armony, from Anglo-French armonie, from Latin harmonia,from Greek, joint, harmony, from harmos joint

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I love harmony. I have as long as I can remember. But as far as I can tell, we don’t just know harmony. It is learned. We know melody, well some of us do. 🙂 We hear melody. We need to then train the brain to learn the harmony. If we choose to. Some people do and some people don’t or maybe they can’t. I’m not sure. I’m not trained in musical theory. Some people only hear one layer of harmony, some two and some three. Four part harmony jazzes me. I love it so much when it’s done well (aka everyone on pitch). As the definition above states, it has a pleasing affect.

I have been in choirs and sung in multiple groups and played instruments. Harmony is my thing. It is the part of music that speaks to my heart. It brings me peace. It connects me to my Creator. The Creator of all the parts. I hear and learn harmony parts of songs before I even know the words to.

I mostly grew up in an traditional Southern Baptist Church in South Texas. Maybe SBC churches don’t do it all right (really none do) but they know how to “sang”. As a young girl I would sit by my Mom in church and listen. Listen to the congregation belt it out, some not so well but you know what they say about a joyful noise. My mom had great pitch though and a great ear. She either sang alto or tenor to every song and sometimes switched back and forth in the same song. She knew harmony. It was beautiful. I listened. I heard. I learned.

I recently was accepted to be on a launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book, For the Love. It comes out in August and you should pre-order it now! Here’s the link and the shameless plug. There’s no shame in plugging this book because it’s fabulously written with laughter and tears. It frees a part of us that we may have kept locked up for a while. You’ll be hearing more about the book here in the coming months.

Anyhoo…. the launch team is made up of 496 women and 4 men from ALL walks of life. The diversity among this group of 500 has the potential of causing something far different than harmony. But, miraculously, it doesn’t!

As I’ve sat back and watch the communications happen (oh my, you wouldn’t believe how much is happening!! These people have some words!) on the closed fb group, people are sharing themselves and being accepted. People are asking for prayer and getting it and then being encouragement on top of that. People are being nice to each other. Like crazy nice. Even in our differences. Accepting. I haven’t seen one judgmental or condemning word yet. And there have been lots of words. 🙂

It’s been like watching a choir sing together. Not like a well trained, professional chamber choir but more like a small town church choir. With all the hisses. You know when the choir sings and the phrase ends with an “s” it’s like you here “s s s s s s”. Right? That annoys so many choir directors. Makes the rebel in me smile just thinking about it.

As best as I can determine, this launch team is singing in harmony with all the s’s because of one common denominator – our love for and devotion to Jen Hatmaker and wanting the best for her and her book that we’ve agreed to help promote. To share what she created with all of her heart. Oh yeah, you know where I’m going with this right? We will sing in harmony, even with all of our s’s, when we have one common denominator – our love for and devotion to Christ. To share what He has created with all of His heart.

Some days, weeks, even years, music may escape us. Harmony may be something we can’t even reach much less hear. May I encourage you to find the melody. Christ sings it over us. When we can hear His melody. Sit with Him and listen to Him sing over you. Sit with His people as they sing harmony around you. It is beautiful. Listen. Hear. Learn. One day you might just find yourself in smack in the middle of harmony. Interweaving different parts into a single song. Even if it hisses a little.

We sing because we’re happy. We sing because it frees us. We sing because it pleases our hearts and it SO pleases God’s heart. Even when the harmony hisses a little. We’re different but we can find a way to sing together. Whether it’s 2 part harmony, 4 part harmony or 500 part harmony. Beautiful hissing to follow. Our Choir Director doesn’t require perfection. But He sure does love harmony.

A harmony that hisses…. let those “s’s” fly free!

~Andrea

Sing because you’re happy… Sing because you’re free!

Navigation System

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We are in the process of teaching our youngest daughter to drive. We’re going the parent taught route again. We made successful drivers out of our two older children so we feel like we’re reasonably qualified to teach another. There are so many correlations between our physical journey and our spiritual journey.

As I drove down the highway yesterday, I thought about how I didn’t need my navigation system. I knew where I was going and I knew the route to get there. I didn’t need signs to help me. I knew the route well. I did have to drive much slower because of bad weather but I still had no trouble getting to my destination. I’d gone that way before. I knew

Sometimes that is not the case though. We need the navigation system. Remember maps??? Like those massive paper fold out ones that filled up your whole front seat. You’d pull them out on the table before you left and pour over the routes to make sure you get it right. If you had to look at it while on the road you had to actually pull over to look at when we got lost. Yeah, that never happens anymore. Sidenote: I actually shredded some paper maps this past Christmas to make some really cool world map tree ornaments. haha! That was justice for me, therapy if you will, for not ever being able to fold it back up the right way. If you’re young and reading this, you probably have no clue what I’m talking about. Just be grateful and continue to happily click your instant gratification, must have it now, touch screen map.

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Anyway… our navigation system usually gives us a play by play, in a Kiwi accent I might add, of what we need to do in order to get from where we are to where we need to go. It tells us in advance when a turn is coming so we can get into the right lane. You don’t even have to think about it unless there’s a malfunction of some sort or you lose satellite. Then you’re sunk. Wingin’ it. Lost. Late to the party.

Unless you prepared ahead.

When I pull up a route on my navigation system, I typically look at the overview just to have a general idea of where it’s taking me. i might miss a turn or make a wrong turn if Kiwi Katrina isn’t as prompt with her directions as I’d like her to be.

Isn’t that how it is with following God? We need His navigation system. Some of us generally know where we’re going but we have no clue how to get there. Some of us don’t really eve know where we are. We won’t get anywhere without a starting point and a destination. Sometimes we’re wingin’ it but if we’re following His navigation system, we’ll get there. His commands are never late. If we don’t hear them, it’s because of our malfunction, not His.

Missed turns, U turns, wrong turns… we’ll get there if we follow Him.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

~Andrea

This is a great song by Casting Crowns, Follow Me. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen.

At the end of myself
Judgment calls out my name
Ive been looking for love
But Im swallowed by shame
Throw away all your stones
Find forgiveness in Me
Let Me be your new passion
My daughter, you’re free

Say What You Want To Say

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We all have a voice. How we choose to use it, or not use it is up to us. Some don’t have any trouble in this area but some of us do. insecurity, past mistakes, voices from our past that tell us we can’t… If this is you, you know exactly what I’m talking about. This SNL clip resonated with me because I am not a good communicator with my voice. I can communicate fairly well with my fingers (writing) but not with my voice. I either don’t say anything or I say something that just doesn’t come out like I wanted it to and it ends badly.

I can’t say I condone some of these particular choices to use their voices but it’s funny and I needed the laugh so I thought someone else might too. Note: I’m sorry but there is one bleeper in the clip. Apparently you can try to say what you want to say but some things still get bleeped out. haha!. What if we got bleeped out in real life. Man, some of us need that!

Wouldn’t we all love to have the courage to be so brave at times? Oh come on… you know you would.

Be brave today. Find your voice. Say what you want to say …. but be kind. Always be kind.

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer” ~R.J. Palacio, Wonder