Looking for More

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.

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Going Deeper

Recently I have been on quite the internal journey trying to grow deeper in my Faith and following where God is trying to lead me. It has been a journey that, like for many people, is at times a roller coaster ride and an adventure. One of my favorite scripture verses in the Bible is  “The spirit searches into all things, even the deep things of God.” (1 Cor. 2:10). My nature has always been one of always wanting to explore, to seek and peer in the unknown or at least the unknown for me. I have always wanted to learn new things and have never been afraid to look “under the bed” at night or walk in the dark: in fact I have always preferred the night and shadows and the quiet that seems to soothe me that I find there. Along the way in my journey, God has answered my prayer of 1 Cor. 2:10 and has not only helped me to let go of baggage that I didn’t need for my journey, healed wounds from my past as I got to places where I was ready to let them go but, HE took me into a deeper understanding of who He is and things that I have read and studied in the Bible have, over the years, begun to take on deeper and deeper meaning. Some will say that it’s “Christian Maturity.” (I hate that phrase by the way.) Some will call it gaining wisdom and to be honest, both may be true but I believe that it is also a reflection of that one verse. The searching of the deeper mysteries and the answering of just one of my many prayers. 
 
The reason I’m sharing this is because I think it’s important, especially in today’s climate and world with the evil that is seeping into every corner of our daily lives, that we remember what Jesus told the Disciples in John 16 vs 5-7 – 5, “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6“ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” 
 
Jesus is telling the Disciples here that he was going away and sending the Holy Spirit to dwell with us to help guide us and work through us. The part that I’m really focusing on today is that the Holy Spirit that dwells within us also guides us through and to those “Deeper mysteries of God” if we allow ourselves to trust and let go of all the things that weigh us down (or those buttons that the devil uses to cause us to get side tracked or stumble). I believe we should live each day with a sense of adventure and discovery. We should be as relentless in our pursuit of God as he is in His pursuit of us. I  also believe God delights and smiles when we discover something new about Him or have, as my wife calls it, “The Light Bulb Moment – the moment where you see someone understand something and it’s like a light bulb lights up in their eyes.” I believe perhaps God smiles and has that same reaction. I believe God desires us to draw closer and discover who He is ever deeper ways. 
 
My hope for those who may be reading this is that you, wherever you may be in life or your journey of faith,   dig in deep, be relentless in your pursuit, trust that God will pursue you just as hard and even harder because He loves us that much. Embrace the adventure and know it won’t always be easy, but it’s worth the effort. Remember, God loved you enough to send His Son to die for you so you can count on Him loving you enough to walk with you through this adventure we call life and reveal himself as you continue to walk and grow.
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A Cross Roads

cross roadToday 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 …

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The Music of Nicole C. Mullen – 5 Top Songs

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)


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Amy Grant Gets Another Dove Nod

Amy Grant - Be Still and Know

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.

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Congrats to For Today!

For Today (Razor & Tie)

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 …

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Congrats to Skillet!

Skillet - Rise

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

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