Tag Archives: Christian Music

When Pain And Love Collide – How Music Is A Healing Balm For Shattered Hearts

Standard

PhotoGrid_1494365819240

If you know me at all, you know that I like my music. Music always has been, and remains a safe place. I have had life giving and life changing experiences related to music, and at concerts where I have the opportunity to feel and experience the music live. One week ago provided another chance to experience this breath of fresh air, and to be in a safe place. But, it was so much more than that. It was life. It was love. It was God in action.

Leading up to that Sunday, I won’t lie – mentally, I simply hadn’t been in a wonderful place. This season of life just hasn’t been easy to navigate. Pain and loss, brokenness and a shattered heart seemed to forge whatever path I was walking. It was nearly impossible to see anything other than pain. And, then this concert happened. Dan Arnold and DCA Events brought some incredible talent under one roof. Such great music – but more than music, was a really great message and experience. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

I was over the moon excited on Friday when a friend messaged me to ask if I needed tickets since she had purchased tickets, and would be working. The tickets were available if I needed them. I did. That was a direct answer to my hope and prayer. I love music, and I wanted to be there.  But, had not been able to purchase tickets. So, God made a way where there had been no way.
With my daughter in Heaven, and now my brother also with her – my heart has been shattered. It hurts, and feels irreparably broken.  Enter the power of music.

 


First up was our church’s worship leader, and my friend, Chris Habermehl. The one whose last name has many different pronunciations – go ahead, try and sound it out in your head. It really isn’t that hard. I digress. This mans heart for Jesus, and for people speaks so many volumes. Chris has a burning passion and desire to lead people intothe presence and heart of God through Christ centered worship. He believes that while music is definitely a form of praise, the true heart of worship is a lifestyle expressed through love and compassion. He did exactly that, as he shared with the audience beautiful words from his album, Galaxies. His down to earth attitude and the way he connects with people through song is unbelievable. It is truly a blessing to know this Chris and his entire beautiful family. They’ve stood by my side through some of life’s most heart wrenching moments. Love and compassion definitely lead the way and shows others what Jesus looks like.

 

Taking the stage after Chris was Tyrus Morgan. The words of his songs back up his incredibly beautiful heart. From his about me page, he’s quoted saying, “There are earthy, tangible things through the body of Christ that show us something greater than ourselves, something to believe in.” An encouraging word. A quiet compliment. A pat on the back. Tyrus Morgan believes these small gestures are important ripples in an ocean of eternal impact. He believes that we were created to not simply go through the motions, but to do life together. He also had his beautiful daughter with him. I had the opportunity to chat with her a few times during the evening. It did this mama’s heart good to connect with an incredibly beautiful little girl with a heart of gold like her daddy has. I’ll remain forever grateful for the entire evening, but especially the tender moments I got to just connect with her.

 

We Are Messengers followed Tyrus, and was the final group to take the stage. Their portion of the evening went quickly from a concert to a worship service, to an outreach, and so much more. Having never been to one of their concerts before, I couldn’t tell you if they were all that way, or not. It seemed as if, several times during their set, they veered offer script a bit. They took time to connect with people directly, and share the heart of God in such a real, tangible way. They reminded everyone with ears to hear, that it’s okay to hurt and to have pain – but, reminded us to go back to a place of God’s love. Pain blinds us from finding or even believing hope even exists. Ask me how I know. Wait. No, don’t.   On their biography page, their lead singer, Darren Mulligan shares, “We can’t fix people, but what we can do is holds people’s hands and stay with them in their pain and doubt.” He is also quoted, saying, “We want to tell people about the goodness of God. Music allows us to have that conversation. We want to live people the way He loves us.” They clearly take this mission seriously. Their mission to love people right where they are, and to connect them with the heart of God was lived out in every second they were on stage, and off.

After the concert concluded, I had the opportunity to connect with each of the bands, and talk with some of them individually as well. These people became the hands and feet of Jesus, in human form. I was asked about my tattoos, and had the opportunity to share a bit of my story, my daughters journey, and even shared about my brother. The pain. The brokenness. The overwhelming nature of it all.

What allowed God to grab ahold of my heart was that they didn’t greet my pain with silence. They did sit with me in the pain. They allowed me to cry, and even had tears of their own. It was mentioned that is okay to hurt, and to not always be okay. I was given a hug, and they prayed right then and there. This is God in human form.

From the moment I walked in, to the drive home (that’s another story for another day) and every musical beat along the way – my heart felt something it’s recently been hard to latch onto: hope. I’m not saying I’ve got it all figured out. I don’t have the answers, and maybe that’s okay. What I am saying is this. I’m profoundly grateful to a God that cares enough to orchestrate music, and undeniable moments of faith and love to instill hope like a healing balm for my broken heart.

365 Moments Of Gratitude – Thankful For The Redeemed Tour

Standard

I am blessed and encouraged to know that in a few short hours I will be able to attend the Redeemed Tour with Citizen Way, Chris August and Big Daddy Weave. It has been almost two years since I’ve been able to attend a concert. In an amazing showing of God’s love for me, a way has been made for me to attend a completely sold out show. What a blessing to be able to go “as a guest” of one of the artists.

These last couple of weeks have been an interesting variety of curveballs thrown by life. I believe this concert will a perfectly timed oasis in the midst of recent chaos.

Thankful for this opportunity. Now it’s time to hit the road and get there nice and early.

Spotlight On 33 Miles – Let It Be Glory: Here

Standard

I’d like to talk a little bit about this song, “Here” by 33 Miles. Before I go any further, I’d like to share a little bit about my life recently, so as to set up the background, and why this song means what it does to me.

Life hasn’t been all that fun lately. There have been many reasons to make me question so much of life. I do often wonder why certain things happen, but I have not stopped KNOWING that God is ultimately in control. No matter what comes up, and no matter where I am in life, He is always there. Though I have struggles, He provides peace and comfort in the midst of any storm I face.

So, with this all in mind, I’d like to share a song that has such a powerful meaning to me.

This song speaks of coming to God, right exactly where you are — no matter the situation. Even during the times you feel completely just empty, know that He is right there. This song speaks of the character of God. If you cry out to God, He will respond. Hope, though elusive at times, is very real. The beauty of this song is the reminder that Jesus is constant. He is right there with you, no matter what.

When you open yourself up to Him, He will show Himself faithful 100% of the time. All you need to do is cry out to Him, and ask Him to be your everything. The act of surrendering to Him, in and of itself, will bring hope and let you see how He is there with and for you…every step of the way.

This song is powerful. It’s message will speak to the heart of any who will seek after Him. This song is on 33 Miles album, Let it Be Glory. When it is released for sale, I strongly urge you to get your hands on a copy of the entire album. This song is just one of several that will bless you, and speak hope directly into your heart.

To 33 Miles – thank you again for following the heart of God and sharing His hope and love in such a real way through this album, and especially this song.

Spotlight On Allen Asbury: Somebody’s Praying Me Through

Standard

There is a song that a good friend of mine shared with me recently. It has come to mean the world to me. The song title speaks for itself: Somebody’s Praying Me Through. This song, like so many beautiful songs, has the potential to reach you exactly where you are.

When I recently found myself facing some pretty unsure circumstances, this song made it’s way to my email inbox. It could not have come in better timing. This song (lyrics below) helps you remember and simply know that somebody is praying me through. And, as the song also states – somebody is praying YOU through also. You don’t always know who, but there is someone who cares enough to pray. Don’t EVER feel like you’re walking through this life (or your struggles) alone.

You may feel as if your heart has been broken – again, and again. You may look at yourself in the mirror, not fond of what you see. You may sometimes believe that life isn’t worth fighting for, and that it won’t ever change. You may be hurting in a way hard to put into words. You may be facing health concerns out of your control. You may have a laundry list of things in your life that you feel like are helping you feel apart.

HOWEVER, do not lose track of the FACT that somebody is praying you through. You are NOT alone. You ARE worth fighting for. YOU are beautiful. And, somebody is praying you through. Never, NEVER lose track of that thought.

If you are in that place of struggling, feeling broken or just need a friend – please feel free to post below in comments, or send me a message through my “contact me” page. I’m human, not perfect, but have much love. It’s an honor to walk through life with you. If you need to know somebody’s praying you through – know that I am, or will be if you reach out.

To Allen – I just wanted to say thank you for following the heart of God, and for this song. You have many songs that speak volumes as to God’s love. This particular song has met me right where I am, so to speak, time and time again. You have my gratitude.

The song lyrics:
SOMEBODY’S PRAYING ME THROUGH

Pressing over me like a big blue sky
I know someone has me on their heart tonight
That’s why I know it’s gonna be alright
‘Cause somebody’s praying me through
Somebody’s praying me through

It may be my Mother, it might be my Dad
Or an old friend I’ve forgot I had
But whoever it is I’m so glad that
Somebody’s praying me through
Somebody’s praying me through

Through the tears, through the rain
Through the sorrow, through the pain
It keeps bringing me through
Over and over again

So when you’re drowning in a sea of hurt
And it feels like life couldn’t get any worse
There’s a blessing waiting to push back the curse
‘Cause, somebody’s praying you through Oh…
Somebody’s praying you through Oh…

Somebody… somebody is, Praying
Oh… Somebody is, Someone Somewhere

Someone got down on their knees and prayed for me
Somebody’s, praying
Somebody’s praying… you through

365 Moments If Gratitude – Thankful For WBGL

Standard

After all the talk of transition with our local Christian station(s), today was the first day as an official part of the WBGL listening family.

Although I have heard the music and message on air from WBGL before, somehow it seems more “my” station since the switch.  As I listened to the radio all day today, God touched me so many times – through the music as well as the spoken words.

More tears today. These tears, however, were not negative in any way, shape or form.  They were simply as a result of God’s love and grace. So many things that got said today were spot-on…pertinent for exactly such a time as this.

I am grateful for the on air voices who spoke from their heart and allowed God’s grace and love to flow through the airways. Thank you WBGL. It’s an honor to walk through life with you! You are also so very loved.

365 Moments Of Gratitude: Thankful For WIBI Memories

Standard

Well, today marked the “end” of Family Friendly WIBI Radio. I say “end” because, as referenced in this post, the call letters “WIBI” have been retired, so to speak. But, all is not lost. Instead, a larger extended family is gained. At 7 PM this evening, the switch was flipped, and WIBI was officially taken under the wings of then sister stations WBGL and WCIC.

A little before 7 PM, I felt some unexpected emotions. I was not prepared for tears. As I sat there, I had both “sad” but also really happy tears. Sad, only because WIBI was instrumental in seeing me, my family and so many people through many trials and life’s circumstances. I am grateful for the friendships and prayers that have become a part of my life because of a radio station that put God first, and allowed Him to reach out across the airways to meet people exactly where they are. I have had the honor of meeting much of the staff, and many of the volunteers over the course of time. I consider myself blessed to have been able to volunteer in the WIBI studio several times in support of this station that has come to mean so much in so many lives. Hearing the voices essentially say goodbye, that was sad. Hearing them say, “but welcome to WBGL and/or WCIC” that was happy. Hearing the heartfelt passion and love the on air personalities have displayed and I’m sure will continue to display on an ongoing basis – it was heartwarming, and very much a blessing.

All of these reflections have me going back through some of the pictures I have taken over the course of spending time with the WIBI family. This has been an honor, one I am grateful to now be sharing with the WBGL family.

Anyway, I’d love to share some pictures and videos with you. I have plenty more – and as I sift through them, I will update. To any of you pictured in these photos, know it was an honor to meet you, and to have you as a part of my life. No matter how small or how large of a part you have played, know that I am grateful.


365 Moments Of Gratitude: Thankful For A Tighter Knit Radio Family

Standard

Recently, there was an announcement from one of our local Christian radio stations. There were changes in the forecast – the very near future, actually. As part of New Life Media, there are currently three radio stations that wear the title of Family Friendly Radio: WBGL (serving the Chicagoland and surrounding areas), WCIC (Serving the Peoria, IL and surrounding areas) and WIBI (serving St. Louis, Southern and Southwestern Illinois and surrounding areas). It has been announced that the three stations have much change taking place, and an actual merge soon to happen. You see, WIBI will cease to exist as WIBI. Instead, Family Friendly WBGL and WCIC will expand their listening audiences and WIBI will merge with the two stations.

What I find great is that virtually nothing is going to change. It is, and will remain the same Family Friendly radio that so many people, myself included, have come to love and enjoy. The listeners accustomed to hearing the on-air voices of WIBI will still hear many of the same familiar (and loved) voices, but will be blessed to add a few new voices to the mix. The actual number on the dial will not change. The amazing music that meets you right where you are will remain that same positive influence.

Since this announcement was made, I have heard many people share their personal disappointment with the situation – noting that they almost feel betrayed. It is at that moment that I would like to reach out and hug them…letting them know that it IS going to be alright. It’s not as if we are losing a family member – but instead, we’re gaining more family. People (myself included at times) need to remember that change isn’t always fun or easy. It can, however, be rewarding in so many ways. As this transition is gearing up to take place, I truly love seeing the heart and passion from the on air voices, and those you don’t always hear — but who work behind the scenes to make this family of radio stations what everyone has come to know and love.

I had the opportunity to hear the New Life Media Network Director, Barry Copeland’s heart on the situation and the pending change. What he had to say blessed me in many ways. His heart for God, and his love of people is a beautiful thing. It is his desire that the listeners can see that this move won’t detract from local community involvement. Instead, he states “Our plan is to have staff being enabled to interact more with local supporters/ministries by identifying the needs, then creating opportunity for listeners to make an impact for the kingdom.” This transition, and the thought process behind it was not come to in haste. As Barry states, “All our decisions have been through the lens of the listeners. They weren’t easy to make.” Barry has invested many years of his life in this, and understands completely the emotion that accompanies such a change. He agrees that WIBI has been an amazing experience, and he believes it will continue – only with a new name. As I mentioned, this wasn’t a decision made easily, or selfishly. I will let his own words speak the volumes they did to me, “After much prayer and consult, I knew it was the right thing for the listeners and donors. It’s about them.” The heart of the matter truly is about doing what makes sense, and has the greatest overall impact with the listeners and supporters of all the stations.

I am grateful – not just because of this pending transition, but because there is leadership – from the staff / on air voices – all the way up to the network director – that truly love people. More than that, they love God, and allow His love to filter through their faith, heart, music and messages to all on the other end of the airways. I, for one, say thank you to God for each and every one who works to make this a reality. God is able to reach out, through them, to meet people exactly where they are – at exactly the right time.

As this transition takes place, I will follow up and share reflections after the actual merge has taken place.

Spotlight on Chris Habermehl: All Things New

Standard

460144_515035378509452_1251456424_o (1)

Chris Habermehl is a humble person with a heart of gold. He loves God, and he loves people. He is the worship pastor at Skyline Church in O’Fallon, IL. His newly released CD entitled “All Things New” has many songs that will connect you with the heart of worship. Have you picked up a copy yet? You can order through his website. It’s also available for download at iTunes or Amazon.

One song in particular, “All Things New” is beautiful, and holds great meaning to me. There is so much hope in the music and message contained in this song. This song is comprised of some beautiful instrumentals and vocals alike. God has blessed Chris with talent like no other. His heart and love for God and loving people enough to create music that connects them with God points back to his character. He is someone I am honored to call friend.

This is a song that reached out and touched me – right where I was. The lyrics are my hearts cry to our God larger than life. All of it. It’s pertinent in every way to me. “My heart is overwhelmed.” I often feel this way. I cannot imagine His amazing love. God has such crazy, unrelenting love for each of us. It can honestly feel overwhelming. Even when I don’t feel worthy, His love is redeeming. That’s the thing. I’m NOT worthy, but through Him, I’m precious. And, you are too.

As I mentioned previously, I was recently (January 6th) baptized, and this song just speaks volumes to me – especially in light of and in the timing of that. It speaks of being in despair and how God reaches deep within, lifting up my head, not letting go — and then being made whole. God takes each and every one of us from whatever place we come to Him and turns us into new creations — beautiful in His eyes. He lifts us up, and never lets us go. He makes us clean – all dirt washed away. He loves us that much.

He, and He alone can make all things new. This song so sweetly captures the heart of God and His love for us. That love is life changing. He makes all things new.

Thank you, Chris, for allowing God’s heart to flow through your music. This CD will touch the heart of many people.

Spotlight On 33 Miles – Let It Be Glory

Standard

This new CD “Let It Be Glory” from 33 Miles has, literally, a message for anyone – any living breathing human being. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat listening, tears in my eyes, as God touches me and blesses my heart – exactly where I am, exactly when I need to hear the words. When this CD is released, you need to get your hands on a copy. If you, or if someone you know is hurting, your heart will give thanks for playing this CD. I can speak from a personal place when I say this is God’s heart poured out right here.

This song, also entitled “Let It Be Glory” is so very powerful. It speaks volumes to the hurting heart. It contains a powerful reminder to those who are struggling – who are walking through life, dealing with what may seem to be a sequence of unbearable trials. In a way hard to put in words (yet they did so beautifully) this song brings peace by explaining that you are not alone. No matter what burden you bear, there IS hope. Things may be hard, and you may not be able to see the light at the end of the virtual tunnel. You are not, however, alone. What you are going through right now will not last forever.

The biggest thing I walk away from this song knowing is that I am not alone in my struggles. In the midst of those, there is – and always will be – HOPE. No matter what I am, or will go through, God’s hand is in the midst of it. There is a reason for every tear, for every moment, for everything that is a part of my story.

God is God, no matter what. He is in control.

If this speaks to you as much as it has to me, I urge you to pick up a copy of this CD when it comes out in a few months. In the mean time, if you would like to talk about it, please don’t hesitate to post below, or send a message via my “contact me” page. I look forward to connecting with you.

Smile. You are not alone. Hope is real. Don’t ever forget how very loved you are.

To 33 Miles, you have my gratitude (again) for following after the heart of God continuously with such passion. You may never know the impact your music has on people, but never doubt the difference it makes. Your hearts and love of God and people touch and bless so many countless people, myself included. Also, never doubt how loved and appreciated you are.

Chris Habermehl – All Things New CD Release Concert – January 6, 2013

Standard

Last night was a phenomenal CD release concert from Chris Habermehl – Skyline Church’s worship pastor. He leads Skyline in worship Sunday mornings. In time, I will be doing separate posts about the songs on Chris’s new CD. Please know I speak the truth when I mention what an amazing heart Chris has – for God and for people. What a blessing it is to be able to hear his heart through music on such a regular basis as well. I know God will use the music from Chris’s new CD to touch and share His love in the lives of countless people.

I’d like to personally say thank you to Chris for following after the heart of God with the passion that you do. It is an honor to call you and your beautiful family my friends and to do life together with you guys. Thank you for making this concert possible, and for sharing the talents God has given you. You are very much a blessing.