Thursday, July 10, 2014

Enjoying the Presence of God

Lately I've been so much more grateful than usual for the presence of God.

The song "Emmanuel" came out of a special quiet time with God while reading 2 Corinthians 4 at the piano one day.  Emmanuel means "God with us" and is often used in Scripture as a declaration of the omnipresence of God, specifically during times of distress.

Since writing and sharing the song, the times in my life that I've needed to be reminded of this truth (that God is with me) has been magnified.  What a blessing it has been to hear the words of the Lord, spoken through my own mouth, to comfort me and convict me when I need them most.

In the last couple of days, I've been constantly reminded of the presence of God.  Reminded that He sees, hears, and knows me. joy. pain. thoughts. good and bad. coming and going.

Nothing escapes Him.

Creepy?  No.


If I don't have God to be accountable to, I'm a lost cause.  His Spirit keeps me in line: convicting me and comforting me when I'm attentive to Him.  Best part?  Every situation works out when I am attentive to Him - whether it started out good or bad.

I've never heard this song before, or of this singer, but I really enjoyed the reminder of God's presence in my life, in our lives, as I listened to it.  I hope you are encouraged by this truth today - that God is with you - and that with Him we truly can have peace.

"Your Presence Is Heaven" by Israel & New Breed - Lyrics

Who is like You Lord in all the earth?
Matchless love and beauty, endless worth
Nothing in this world can satisfy
'Cause Jesus You're the cup that won't run dry

Your presence is heaven to me
Your presence is heaven to me

Treasure of my heart and of my soul
In my weakness You are merciful
Redeemer of my past and present wrongs
Holder of my future days to come

Your presence is heaven to me
Your presence is heaven to me
Heaven to me, God

Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus
Your presence is heaven to me

All my days on earth I will await
The moment that I see You face to face
Nothing in this world can satisfy
'Cause Jesus You're the cup that won't run dry
'Cause Jesus You're the cup that won't run dry
You never run dry

Your presence is heaven to me
Lord, Your presence is heaven to me

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Favorite Deal of the Week: Laundry Detergent!

Well, with all the preparation for my new family life, I am working extra hard to work within a strict budget and search for the best deals!  This week, I found such a great deal on laundry detergent that I really wanted to share it with my Mom, so I'm posting it on my blog.  ;)

Here's the deal: liquid laundry detergent for $.04/ounce!!

Where: Walgreens
When: Through June 21, 2014
What: Purex Liquid Laundry Detergent
How to Score: Buy 1 get 2 FREE with Register Rewards Card

The cost at my local Walgreens was $5.99 for a 50 ounce container.  With this deal, you pay $5.99 for THREE 50 ounce containers, getting 150 ounces for $5.99, and thus spending $.04 per ounce ($6 / 150 ounces = $.04).  Additionally, you still receive register rewards points by using your card.  Double score!

The most recent "best deal" I found on laundry detergent was at $.05 an ounce for the same soap on sale at Publix, so I'm very excited about this!  It may even be worth another trip to Walgreens before the sale ends to get another 6 containers...

Happy shopping and happy saving!

The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. - Proverbs 21:5

Friday, February 28, 2014

New Year - New Adventure

Welcome to the new year! It's a little late coming, so forgive me, but if you know me personally, you know my year has been a delightful new adventure!

A couple days before my birthday, I got engaged to an amazing friend and partner in the Kingdom of God.  We are working out details for a wedding, but getting to know each other better is our top goal right now as we pray about those details.

New adventures always bring more dynamic and thrilling views, along with the harder paths and rockier terrain.  I choose the hard stuff for the good stuff, and that's where I've been most blessed.  What about you?

If you've chosen a road less traveled, let me encourage you today... don't give up on the things you love because of the effort it takes to get them.  This is as true in any relationship as it is in a life-goal: hard times come, but the reward is worth it.

Hang in there and keep pressing forward!

Encouragement from Scripture...

Galations 6:9
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Philippians 3:14
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Night of Hope Benefit Concert 11.16.13

This weekend, I'm thrilled to be doing my first concert with artist Christaholik as an outpostChurch special event.  This concert is a FREE event (but please bring at least three canned goods per person!!), to help raise food for the St. Matthew's House of Naples.

We are calling this event the "Night of Hope", because of a startling realization: too many people are desperately trying to find a ray of hope right now - Christians included.  While we're solid on suffering, we struggle often for a strength of hope.  But hope is free to us!  The catch is - hoping in the right thing.

The Bible tells us that hope in possessions or status will be shaken, but that we can hope in this: the faithful love of the Lord never ends and His mercies never cease. (Lamentations 3:17-24).

There are two options to this - we can do a concert that plays on your emotions alone, makes you feel good, but leaves you helpless to invest that hope anywhere.  Or, we can do a concert that has an emotional impact because of the incredible truth it reveals, but gives you at least one solid option on how you can invest your hope and see it grow in your life and in the lives of others.

The St. Matthew's House is a place that fosters hope by showing love and mercy as God did when he allowed His son, Jesus, to take our place.  We want to encourage you to not only come out and support this organization, but to invest your time and prayers into their work when you're able to do so anytime during the year. 

Here's a flyer for you to print out and share.  Or, if you want to simply share this post on your social media site, feel free to share the link from your browser.  

Download and print to share with friends!
And if you've not yet checked it out, visit my new website at with a demo of the song "Emmanuel (With Us)" that we wrote for the church a couple months ago!  Saturday night's concert will feature several other new songs by myself and Christaholik, as well as a collaboration we're elated to share with you!

Don't miss it!

Peace has been stripped away, 
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
I cry out, "My splendor is gone! 
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!"
The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.  
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Yet still 
dare to hope 
when I remember this: 
faithful love 
of the 
never ends! 
His mercies never cease.
is his faithfulness; 
His mercies begin afresh 
each morning.
I say to myself, 
"The Lord is my inheritance; 
I will hope in Him!"

(Lamentations 3:17-24, NLT)