A couple of years ago, a feral momma cat showed up at our house. This, in itself, is no rarity as living out in the semi-country, we have strays turn up on our doorstep on a regular basis. This momma kitty was no different and while she would occasionally bring her two babies out of hiding long enough for us to get a glimpse, we were never allowed to get close enough to touch them. One day, however, something changed. We never found out what or found the momma, but she brought the babies up on the back porch and disappeared.
The kittens were old enough to eat on their own at that point and would turn up for breakfast and dinner with the rest of the pack. We were able to socialize them enough that getting them “fixed” was doable. The little female was the adventurous one and she would come close enough to get petted and loved on. We named her Dora (as in the cartoon explorer) after she waltzed in the front door one day like she owned the place. The dogs didn’t phase her and as the inside cats watched in horror at the nerve of the “outside interloper,” she explored every nook, cranny and room.
After the one adventure to the inside world, she seemed content to stay outside with her colony and enjoy her feral freedom. Last fall, as the temperatures started to drop, she apparently decided that the outside cat condos weren’t where she wanted to spend the winter and she started pawing at the sidelites like a puppy wanting in. Dora became a permanent part of the indoor living crew before long! She was content to share space with us humans and the rest of the inside family until a few weeks ago. That’s when she started the pawing at the sidelites as well as the window in our bedroom to get back out. Going from climate controlled living to 103 degrees with the heat index is hard enough by itself. When you’re a long-haired cat, it’s nearly a death wish! So Dora remains trapped inside and we tolerate the incessant pawing.
Today was supposed to be like any other Tuesday … work for company A for a bit, work for company B and then talk with two potential new clients. Busy? Yes, but the norm for the past several years. But today was different …
Today, in the middle of working for company A, I got an email from company B thanking me for the past 13 years of working with them and telling me that due to their new direction, they “have decided not to continue to invest in the Christian Music Site.” My access to my site was cut, my picture/bio removed and in a blink, my place was gone. Shocked? Saddened? Stunned? Angry? Yes, I was all of those things. Since 2003, I have been (partially) defined as being the Christian Music and Gospel (“guide” / “expert” person) for About.com.
As I sat digesting it all, a gchat ding brought me out of my own headspace. The person on the other end was with company B and I was told that as early as Friday, that company was going to embark on a restructuring and while I had been recommended as one to keep on (part time at best), there were no guarantees.
In less than 10 minutes, 3/4’s of my income was gone and I was left sitting here in my office in stunned silence. And then it hit me …
Before she hit the national Christian music scene in 2000 as a solo artist, singer/songwriter Nicole C. Mullen worked as a vocalist with Michael W. Smith and Newsboys, as a songwriter for Jaci Velasquez, and as a dancer and choreographer for Amy Grant.
Once the two-time Dove Awards Female Vocalist of the Year came to our attention, the love affair with her songs and her heart was started.
Nicole C. Mullen Top Songs:
“Always Love You” – Found on the soundtrack of the 2005 movie that was based on a true story (End of the Spear), this song isn’t your typical Nicole C. Mullen ballad. Heavier than usual guitars make it stand out in a big way. (Download from Amazon)
Amy Grant – Be Still and Know
Amy Grant, Gospel Music Hall of Famer, has gotten another Dove nomination for Inspirational Album of the Year. Her album, Be Still and Know, is up against projects by Casting Crowns, Phillips, Craig & Dean, Selah and The Martins. If she wins, it will be her 24th Dove win in her 30+ year career.
Learn More About Amy Grant:
Amy Grant Born:
The youngest of four daughters, Amy was born on November 25, 1960 in Augusta, Georgia, but she grew up in Nashville in a Christian home that instilled faith, family values and support.
For Today (Razor & Tie)
I’m the first one to admit that metalcore (aka screamo) is not my thing. As a vocalist, my ear immediately listens for words and I’m not “tuned into” screams. My kiddo, however, has several Christian metalcore bands that she likes so being a wise mom, I dug into them. One of her biggees is For Today and regardless of my affection (or lack thereof) for their music, I simply adore their hearts. That is one thing I have to say about every metalcore band she’s introduced me to — they are more outspoken about their faith than most other folks around — and I respect that even more than their impressive musical skills.
If you’re not familiar with For Today (who I am congratulating because they got a Dove nod for Rock Album of the Year for their project, Fight the Silence), let me introduce you …
Skillet – Rise
Skillet is, arguably, one of my absolute favorite Christian rock bands so I was thrilled to see them get a Dove Awards nod for Rock Song of the Year for “Good To Be Alive” from Rise.
Back when the album came out in 2013, I gave it 5 stars (out of 5) because it was just that good! In case you missed it then, let me share that 5-star review! Continue reading