Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Thankful Church

This past Sunday I had the privilege of playing a couple songs at a church in Vancouver, WA. The congregation of this church is mostly made up of people who have or are struggling with an addiction and many of them have served time in prison. You could call it a recovery church, and although I would say every church is a recovery church (or should be) there is something unique about recovering from the kind of pit many of these people have been in. When you’ve been down to the depths where there is only darkness, the slightest hint of light is enough hope to live on for days. And these people in Vancouver had hope, boy did they have hope!

Before the service Kirk and I got to pray with some of the church leaders. I’ve been a part of my share of church services across the country. All sorts of churches and all sorts of people, and the prayer before a service is normally filled with requests that the service go smoothly, that the Lord would be present, all great things to pray about. But as the circle of prayer chimed around me what I heard was

“Lord, thank you for waking me up this morning...”
“Father, thank you for saving me from destruction and bringing my children back to me..”
“Thank you Lord for giving me a chance to live again...”

Every single prayer was overflowing with gratitude and it moved me deeply. I actually had to bend my knees and sit down because I was so overwhelmed (and light headed, probably the babies fault as well :)

Out of that thankfulness came a natural attitude for worship, and the room filled with people bouncing with energy. Although I was part of the service, there was no talk of how the order would go, when lights would come on or off, who would introduce who, what time the service needed to be over, etc.. The focus truly was on worship and community, which was so refreshing.

They sang songs about being free and any chance they had to sing the words “I am free”, they yelled it! They know what it is to be in bondage and they know what it means to be free. As someone who grew up in the church, it was such a wonderful reminder for me of God’s grace and how powerful it is. And also, how celebratory it should be when someone is set free! What a miracle all those people are. I only heard a few stories but the ones I heard amazed me. It had me thinking, if God can turn her life around, he can turn anyone’s life around. I should be thinking those thoughts every day, Lord help me remember!

I was so blessed by these people and found my songs taking on new meanings as I played them. I’m so thankful that they let me be a part of their service!

Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!
O praise Him, O praise him,

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sunday in Seattle with Scott Erickson

Happy Friday everyone! I am headed to the Seattle area this weekend for a couple shows. I wanted to post and point out the sunday night show that I'm really excited about. I once posted about Scott Erickson and the Transpire Project and I'm excited to tell you that Sunday's show will feature Scott and his live painting!

I love Scott's work and am honored to get to share the stage with him. If you're in the Seattle are please come out and enjoy a night of music and live painting at a fun, inviting coffee house. I'd love to see you!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oso the Wonder Dog

My puppy, Oso, has been sick this last week. I've been out of town and it's killing me to be away, but in the last couple days he has started eating again and looks like he is on his way to a full recovery! I was really upset when he didn't seem to be getting better and am so thankful that he has turned around. I love that little guy. We took him in last winter and have loved watching him grow. He's a big dog now! Here is a video I made as my tribute to Oso (the wonder dog). It has some images of him as a lazy little puppy and also some more recent clips of him playing and swimming (his favorite thing to do!). I found the perfect song sung by Chet Baker too. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A week in photo's....

Still in Texas... The hurricane left a wake of beautiful weather which seems welcomed by the whole state. It's great! Here are a few fun pictures from this week:

The other day while we were driving we stopped at a gas station that had a Czech bakery inside and of course, everyone had to get something. I decided my safest bet was a texas shaped sugar cookie with red, white and blue sprinkles. I might as well embrace texas while I'm here, is what I figured. I didn't end up eating much of the cookie, BUT, the best part was that they wrote my name on the bag before they gave it to the cashier and when I sat down in the van to pull out my texas cookie, I noticed that my name was spelled right!! This NEVER happens. It's an easy enough name, but happens to have many spelling variations. Ali, Ally, Alley, Allie, Aly. I get them all. But it was right!! Alli. This totally made my day, as strange as that sounds. :)

And at lunch yesterday in College Station a nice guy who was eating with us, who goes by the name Frodo gave me the lid to his tea which happened to have a message that seemed especially pertinent to my specific situation:

It's kinda blurry, but it says: When in doubt, consult your inner child. :) Oh I will, and I am, trust me.

And here is a picture of the Palace Theater in Bryan, TX where we are playing tonight. (Chris is not at tonights show)

In other news... My sweet dog Oso is really sick. If you pray and do not feel strange praying for a dog, pray for Oso! I'm working on a video of him that I'll post soon. Until then...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Misc. Update

Hello from Dallas where the weather is surprisingly wonderful! I Know it's been a crazy and for some people devastating week here in Texas because of Hurricane Ike and I pray that those of you affected will find peace in all of it. It's been quite a year of natural disasters here in the states. Crazy.

Because of the storm, we've had to cancel some of the Hope Coffee Melody shows, and I'll miss seeing some of you in Houston, and meeting new faces. Hopefully we'll make it back there again when everything settles.

For now I'm enjoying a couple unexpected days in one place and am spending my time writing. I feel like I just finished You and the Evening Sky, but I'm starting to think about songs for the next record, which is always a fun period of time. That season before I feel like I need to write, and can just enjoy it. I think I'll do something different for the next record... we'll just have to wait and see what blooms. Funny how the winter tends to be one of my most creative times. I do love sweaters and hot chocolate. :)

Unrelated, but interesting, I read this article earlier on Zach's blog and thought it was a great story! If you like dogs, you'll love reading this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

... and a tour is not the only thing beginning.

I have a bit of news...

Some of you know that I was supposed to be in Uganda this past week with Compassion. And I was planning on going up until about a month ago when I found out that I was...


It's true, there is a human being being woven together by the hands of God in my womb. That is a crazy concept, trust me, it's blowing my mind.

I am only 8 weeks along but it's changing the way I look at everything. I know it's early to be telling people, especially the world wide web. (!) But I want this blog to be an honest place where I can write what is on my heart and connect with people. And what is on my heart lately is this baby. Which is why my blogging has been less frequent, I can't think of anything else to write about! Sort of like when I got Oso, I suppose. But this is slightly different. ;)

There you have it. Not that I have that off my chest, I'm sure I'll be writing more. For now, I'm going to ask for prayers. Being on the road isn't easy, and fortunately I'm traveling with great guys who barely even let me carry anything, but I need Gods strength to stay healthy (and sane). So I am grateful for any words you would speak to the Father on my behalf. Thank you!

I'll keep you updated...

A tour begins...

Yesterday I flew to Dallas to meet up with the Robbie Seay Band and Chris Taylor for the Hope, Coffee, and Melody tour. Last's nights show was a part of another event, and I only ended up playing a couple songs due to some time restraints. Thanks to your sweet comments about wanting to hear more! Hopefully I'll be back through Dallas soon.

Today we are in Waco at Common Grounds coffee shop. I've played here a couple times before and always enjoy it. I'm actually going to be back here on November 8th (my birthday!) with Waterdeep, Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken. Not a bad place to be on your birthday! I'm looking forward to tonight, and the 8th and I'm so grateful to be traveling with such amazing people this fall, it's a blessing.

If you're around Waco today, come out and drink some coffee, hear some music, and hopefully walk away feeling hopeful. That is the plan anyway. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Impossible to Eat Just One

I have another Soul-Audio blog for you- discussing 100 Calorie Packs, Dishwashers, and sin nature...

Read it here.

Ripening Grapes

I know I haven't been blogging much but I plan to make up for it this week. For now, here is another favorite quote of mine.

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
-Galileo Galilei

Tuesday, September 2, 2008