Tag Archives: worship

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

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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.

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Spotlight on Chris Habermehl: All Things New

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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.

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

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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.

Skyline Church – January 6, 2013 – Baptism Service

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Here is a full length video of Skyline Church’s service from January 6, 2013. What a phenomenal, God-centered service. I’m so blessed to call this church home.

Spotlight On 33Miles – Let It Be Glory

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In the coming days and/or weeks, I will be doing a series of blog posts about these guys (Jason Barton and Chris Lockwood – together, making up 33Miles) and their new CD that is set to release in a few months. The heart and passion that these guys operate with is very much a blessing in countless lives. From their website…For Chris and Jason, it’s that pursuit of a Christ-focused, heaven-minded life that fuels everything they do, especially their music. “nothing we can accomplish in business, no amount of education –nothing compares to Jesus,” says Chris, “But how our salvation translates to how we live today is the question. To wake up every day and make the choice to live with heaven in mind, to not let the circumstances of this day override that choice. It’s easier said than done, but getting up every day trying to make it more and more possible.” Jason put it well when he had this to say, “…it came down to, ‘What are we doing to live for Christ today, to make a difference?’ A lot of people live for the future, and a lot of people live in the past, but very few people tend to look at their lives and think about what life can be like right now.”

I recently had the opportunity to ask Chris if there was anything he’d like to say to his listeners. His response was heartfelt as he shared his own gratitude: “With the music industry being such a difficult place to work in these days, it’s our fans that allow us the privilege to even do it. We are nothing without them. Thanks!”

These, my friends, are artists with heart.

Here is a handful of questions I posed on Facebook, with the following thought from me: (If you’re reading this on my blog, and have answers – I’d love to hear your replies as well – feel free to comment below, or to send me a message via my “contact me” page.)

First Question: How many of you have heard of 33Miles with Jason Barton and Chris Lockwood??

Second Question: What is your favorite song by them?

Third Question: Did you know there was a way to support (via Kickstarter) their new worship CD production? And, in so doing, have the ability to hear their new songs as a pre-release?

If you were a part of their Kickstarter campaign, have you listened yet? What’s your favorite song on their new CD?
For those of you who did not participate in their Kickstarter campaign, and who are wondering what in the world I’m talking about it – trust me when I tell you, you need to get your hands on their new CD when it releases in a few months. Talk about God’s heart shared in music, for such a time as this.

What I said on Facebook was just the tip of the iceberg, with regards to my thoughts on this. These songs are the kind of songs that will reach out and touch you – right where you are. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you are going through – there is something for you in each and every song on this CD. Whether you need encouragement, love or to just take time in worship – this is beautiful music with such a greater message.

As previously mentioned, I will be highlighting my thoughts from the songs on their upcoming CD. I encourage you to get ahold of this CD when it’s released. Let’s support 33 Miles, and show them how much we appreciate the love and heart they put into their music, and on behalf of their fans!

Jason and Chris, always know how much you, also, are loved. Thanks for following the heart of God with passion. What you do has such impact. From a grateful world, thank you!

New Years Eve 2012 AHA Moments (Also Known As “God” Moments)

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I had an amazing few days recently. As this title suggests, I had some “AHA moments” this week. I have had the opportunity to dig a little deeper and seek the heart of God on many topics and areas of my life. I would like to share the personal aspects and thought processes I’ve gone through recently.

One such moment was with regards to serving / volunteering. I had an amusing reaction when I was sent a request to volunteer at church this past week. It wasn’t a bad response, as much as a “really!?” response. My thoughts went along a negative reasoning path. Meaning – I have just been missing out on worshipping lately…and sometimes just feel disconnected in a way.

I should also mention that I’d been having a pretty “not so fun” sort of time surrounding Christmas. To say depressed wouldn’t explain it fully. I had much on my mind, and then the things going on at home – it just wasn’t a good time. There were actually some pretty uncertain thoughts going on in my head. So, I saw the request to serve after having served a couple weeks in a row and at first I was worried. I was concerned that if I didn’t just have time to sit worship Him, that I might somehow drift or disconnect even more.

It was what happened next that rocked my world. Really, as plain as day – I was just mumbling – talking to God and it was as if I heard Him say “Is my arm to short? Do you not believe that I am able to take care of you? You’re my child – and when you serve in any capacity that allows others to come to know me – I can and will take care of you – physically and mentally.” In that moment, He helped me realize that what I tell others every day is true: He IS God, and He IS in control. It was as if He was asking if I even believed my own words.

It was also impressed on my heart to check my attitude – and that many things in life are a direct result of my own choices – mentally, in this case. Yes, there are evidently some chemical imbalances at work as well…but all in all, many things are within my ability to affect the outcome of. For instance, many many times in the past two days or so have popped up challenging my sanity. I have asked God to help me have His heart – to react to people and situations as He would. My children, and my husband alike – that I could have a soft heart, and make conscious decisions to do the right thing – even when it’s not fair, even when it may hurt, and even when I just plain don’t want to. If I aim to resemble and be the hands and feet of Jesus, life won’t always be this virtual bed of roses. However, in the midst of it all, He is – and always will remain – faithful…100% of the time.

I also had some more “aha moments” so to speak. Mostly, with relation to my health – mentally yes, but mostly physically in this case. Much of what’s going on in my body is out of my control. For those things, I put them in God’s hands. He knows exactly how to deal with me. For the things within my control, I have to act. Action is a requirement. To accept the status quo as a way of life, to just not care – that doesn’t end up working out in the end. I cannot eat whatever I want, and expect to look how I’d like. Conversely, I cannot refrain from exercise and expect my body to magically conform to my desires. When something pops up that irritates or hurts me with people I care about, it is my choice to harbor bitterness, or to forgive. Forgiving, however, sets me free – not just them. When I feel a bad mood approaching, or negative thoughts, etc – it is my choice to give them to God, or to try to battle on my own. I also have the ability to CHOOSE to think positively instead of dwelling on the negatives. If my house is a disaster (and I won’t lie – it is) – I can either choose to tackle it, even if that means starting with baby steps. I can do what I know to do, and allow that to make a difference. I can choose to be the wife and mom that God has called me to be…or, I can be self centered, and choose a selfish life of the status quo. I have to be the adult, and not allow things to just fly because I’m too lazy to deal with them. My children need guidance and direction, consequences to actions – and especially, consistency. Again, not going to end well if I’m content with the status quo.

It’s ultimately been a very deep and soul-searching sort of few days in my life. In so doing, I’ve also decided to get real with God, and with myself. I’ve chosen to make much different choices, to take proactive steps instead of sitting by, idle, expecting things to change on their own. And, I have to say, much of this was sparked by a conversation we had last week with someone unafraid to speak the truth, but in love. It made sense, and God touched my heart. It made me realize that I live much of my life for myself. Yes, I care and act on behalf of my friends and family, but I allow my own personal struggles and drama get in the way of doing the things I know need to be done. I’ve also made some changes with what I eat, and how active I am. Again, I can only affect the things within my power to do so – but I CAN affect those things. God gives us free will, but again, it is that free will that will either set us free and help us grow, or smother us and keep us trapped.

I can only pray that God use it to touch others, and help them come to know Him in a more real way – to also know they aren’t alone, etc. Something just happened, that light went on in my head, and some sort of switch flipped…and I see things in very much a different light.

If you find yourself relating to any of these areas of life, please know – you are not alone in your thoughts or struggles. Never give up hope – look to God as your source….knowing that He will not let you down. He created you, and He knows exactly how to take care of you, and every situation you might face.