Friday, December 11, 2009

Song Fun Facts: Who Will Cry

When the word came to make an album, we had about 10 good songs ready. Not bad for a first album but usually albums are 12-15 songs.


Given the option, I'm introverted. Growing up as a missionary kid, there were just too many churches to visit, Sunday Schools to speak in front of and foreigners to be totally-friendly-and-not-at-all-weird to, that I had to quickly adapt a new set of skills. But given the option, I am a homebody introvert...which doesn't help with singing my own songs in front of strangers. God is funny how He pairs gifts with personalities sometimes.


So at some point in album meeting #3 in Jess and Tim Power's music room, I confessed that I had two half songs that I might be able to develop. And then they asked me to show them the song portions *cringe*, which I did.

Those songs were Who Will Cry and Faithful As The Sun.

From that first moment in the Power's music room I said that Who Will Cry will just be a piano and voice song. Honestly, it was an effort to avoid creating one more arrangement for 5 musicians to learn and try to play over and over until just right. In fact, the song almost didn't make it on the album.

I was a little worried about the song. It seems my neutral gear is to write big, loud songs and this was the opposite. I wasn't sure how it would be received. I had only played it out loud twice in small devotional environments and neither time did I play the song correctly or with the right words. It wasn't even until our last trip to the studio in KC that I was finally forced to put all the words and chords on one page.

And it was the very last moments of our very last night in KC. We had put off recording it over and over. We were exhausted from recording, nit picking and listening all day. And someone turns to me and says, "Did you want to do that last song? We have to decide now."

Ok.

It was a bear to set up. It seems the best and worst thing in recording is to play and sing at the same time because the voice microphones pick up every sound. Even on the recording now I can hear the clicking of the keys and pedal behind the singing.

So I sat down with my music in the recording room. Warmed up a little bit on the keys. Aaron Swart, our sound engineer, has done this enough that he just left me alone with the record button on for a while. And when I felt ready I just gently went into the song.

One take. That was it.

It was a beautiful moment. I was shocked. Nothing went sour. We all agreed that it was just right as it was. As we listened back on the recording, I cried. It was moving piece of work.

I'll be honest, I don't feel much ownership on the songs I write. If I hear someone else doing them, I experience them all over again. It helps that the songs are mostly biblical principles and themes - I can't lay claim to those.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Song Exposition: Who Will Cry

This was born first from reading through the book of Jeremiah.

I have the practice of reading through the Bible. Some days I get in 3 chapters. Some days I get in as much as 10.

In truth, I'm trying to build my Bible reading muscles to take in 10 a day. I first heard of this extreme Bible reading tactic from a respected spiritual father, Pastor/Dr. Abu Bako. He gets in between 40 and 80 chapters a day. Seriously. And that's just daily maintenance reading. He also studies the word, mediates on the word, etc. When our church body heard about this, we decided to go for a year of 10 chapters a day (or 4X through the Bible in a year) and see if we could tell a difference. The most tangible difference was just that we were able to recollect scripture so much faster - which is very useful for praying publicly in the House of Prayer among other benefits.

As I read through Jeremiah I was moved. The description of the spiritual temperature of the priesthood and Israel in general, from the perspective of Eternal God, seemed to apply so vividly all these years later. I saw a priesthood standing before the Lord whose hearts were far from HIM. They were serving people and making the sacrifices, all the while in secret they were practicing sin completely void of the fear of the Lord. And what begins in the priesthood inevitably filters out to the people. And, like any flesh bound human, I first began to see the reflections of this carelessness in places and people outside of myself. And then I saw the priesthood of my own heart and mind behind its closed doors and my heart was broken.

And then there's Jeremiah. The kings and priests would ask him for direction from the Lord and when he told them, they called him a liar. And with each denial of the word of God the people were taking deeper and deeper into captivity. And Jeremiah's close relationship to God meant that he saw what God was seeing, openly and secretly. And his relationship with God meant that God would tell Jeremiah what was coming for the people - who kept refusing to draw near to God. A little humility would have gone a long way; a little lowness and repentance is strong currency...but they wouldn't.

And no matter what, Jeremiah had to keep caring. He had to keep going before the Lord though there wasn't any visible positive result from his words. Jeremiah, in obedience and service before the Lord, kept reaching out to the people and kept feeling their rejection of him and God who sent him. Over and over. Over and over.

This obviously was a great pain to my heart as I considered the weaknesses still in my heart toward to fear of man over the fear of God. And then I tried to imagine the perspective of the Lord as HE reaches out to man over and over with the constant desire to redeem and restore and bring freedom. How HIS eyes search to and fro (2 Chron. 16:9). How HE seeks for a man who would make a wall and stand in the gap on behalf of the lost so that HE wouldn't have to release the reward of destruction (Ezek. 22:30). And the cry was born in my heart for intercessors to stand before the Lord, share in HIS feelings and cry out, no matter the response, in hope for repentance and redemption.

In the song, there is a reference to the Song of Solomon. As my heart felt the pain of truth from this revelation, I felt like I needed to hold up 'time out' hands in order to recover from the burn of HIS word. I needed to be washed again. To leave this old way behind me.

Shortly the song sheets, with lyrics and chords, will be available for download on the website www.bizzygrapperhaus.com.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stonewall

I want to extend a huge thank-you to Lou Engle and the interns from The Call Institute for visiting us this past weekend and bringing what they do here to St. L.

Looking back, the weekend was a big defining point for our House of Prayer. But that was looking back. Looking forward was a completely opposite story. Many of us were very tired and most were beyond weariness. At those times it can be difficult to muster up energy, much less anticipation and enthusiasm. Even the first night kicked off with last minute scrambling as a vote in Congress prompted Lou to call a nationwide conference call - during our conference in St. Louis. So we joined over the phone, while he took the call in another room, but the whole thing ended in the passing of the Stupak Amendment! Hallelujah!

But to our great delight and surprise it was above and beyond even our secret hopes and expectations. It has become very apparent that the personality and identity of our HOP is very kindred to that of Lou Engle. If I can be so bold, it felt like we were corporately called in from tending the flocks to be anointed by the prophet. And today we go back to our work but with our heads a little higher, with clearer eyes and hiding in our hearts the precious humility that HE has seen us all along and knows our name.

Our HOP is small. We host conferences by the skin of our teeth and with some of the hardest working, devoted people I have ever met. But I can say with conviction they are mature believers, experienced in both serving and leading and with some battle scars to show for it. In conversation recently someone quoted from Judges when Gideon says, "I am the least in my family from the least of the tribes."

It can feel that way sometimes. But I want to encourage those who can feel that way - and if you've watched the KC websteam at all lately, this is the theme you'll hear - He calls you Worth It All. And He made you very specifically for His purposes and pleasure.

Well, I hope to post some album art work soon for Further Up, Further In - I just have to ask John to put it in a friendly format, but I'll throw it up and soon as I can. And in the next few weeks I'll be putting up a post per song to give the story of its inception and execution, for those who are interested.

May God richly bless you with wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of His perfect son, Jesus.

Friday, October 2, 2009

By the seat of my pants.

We all imagine our future. Like a Sunday School felt board, we place ourselves and others in a setting and try it out for a while to see how it feels or prepare ourselves for something.

I'm doing something I never....NEVER saw myself doing.

Homeschool Co-op.

Homeschooling, like any other encompassing pursuit, has its stereotypes that are rooted in a version of reality. And like other championed causes, it will, without fail, incite much debate and passionate conversation. That said....

*whispering because someone might be listening* I am not that passionate about it. I just don't feel I have the energy. And it already requires so much energy. But I am, in a sense, stuck with it. In a fantasy life where money is no object and there is no shortage of affordable Godly education, I would not be homeschooling. But, thanks ultimately to the fall of man and a few other things, here I am, somewhat unwillingly, diving into the all consuming task of homeschooling one little girl.

But that's not the point here, just the set-up.

For 8 million of my own, personal reasons I am homeschooling - by the seat of my pants. I'm freestyling to beat box. I'm doing improv. I'm playing music to a crowd without the sheets to the song. (aren't these all the scenarios of anxiety dreams? how curious.)

The Blow Off

Weeks ago, my incredibly gifted, Type A, nothing is impossible for her, organized older sister tells me about how she and another homeschool ('hs' from now on) mom are going to help each other out co-op style (in this case it means that all these middle school-age children are together and the moms take turns teaching a subject to everyone).

Me:"Neat, how cool for you guys."

Then she tells me that if these certain other 'hs' moms, with children my daughter's age and in middle school, wanted to join up, would I be interested?

Now, because she is the oldest and there are certain stigmas attached to that role for a younger sister; and her Type A demeanor can make her seem quite fierce and unrelenting (perfectly suited to task and accomplishment, I should add), I didn't scream and run in that very moment. I didn't want to spook her. But then, days later, I saw the state requirements that I must meet and keep records toward. In that moment terror overcame me again, I promptly passed out and then when I regained consciousness I called my sister to see if her co-op thing would work for us.

*to give my sister some credit (because she might read this) she wouldn't have been spooked. She probably would have let me simmer in my juices until I realized how beneficial it was. Which I did. Through the very shallowly stuffed terror.

Present Tense

5 weeks later there are a total of 5 moms and their 9 homeschool children coming together for co-op (with the 4 bigger ones working on their own). It has been quite the show. We are all, to use my mom's phrase, 'tap dancing as fast as we can'. And while each of us are coming together with an unsure, "this is all I can do", its actually coming together. Its a little messy and a little chaotic, but it also a flexible environment with just enough control to maintain structure but not be stifling. I'm impressed with what is being pulled off.

Symphony

I feel like I must be seeing a heavenly definition of order or co-operation. Its too harmonious. Too symphonic to be just another obligation. Its kinetic and active. Its leading one moment and then flowing into serving the next.

I will be using this experience to define God ordained function - how it should be. Leading a small group in an explanation of primates and then quickly switching to support someone else while they explain and execute a craft to nine 4-13 yr. olds.

My sister initiated, the rest of us co-operated and lent our strengths for our mutual benefit. It also helps that we liked each other. And I can't help but notice that as I see each of them lead according to their anointing, I'm growing to love and appreciate them more and more. To me, that sounds like a working definition of marriage. And what is marriage but a covenant. Am I seeing a working definition of what covenant relationship looks like?

I'll keep pondering that one.





Monday, August 31, 2009

Pre-Sale Very Soon!!!

Yesterday the Gateway House of Prayer wrapped up the annual PRAY Conference.

It was DYNAMITE!! Pastor Abu Bako came in from Ghana, Africa and spoke as well as Robert Hagan, also from Ghana but now in Illinois.

It blew my mind. It broke up old thinking and started building new thinking. I think its safe to say that its been a re-defining weekend for me.

I and a team of excellent singers and musicians (Tim & Jess Power, Jeanine Rea, Ashley Helbig, Tim Shaefer, Tim Wiggins and Joss Riddering) had the privilege to lead the room in worship both Friday and Saturday nights. The environment and the atmosphere in the room was bold and on fire. I've been in plenty of conferences but this was beyond encouraging - it was reestablishing foundational truths of God in people, the city and the nation. It was very different.

Alright.

GUESS WHAT?! THE BALL IS ROLLING!!

We started to pre-sale the cd that weekend to the group at the conference!

We're anticipating actually releasing the album in another 4-6 weeks but we will SOON be making pre-sale of the cd available on the website!! Woo-hoo!!!

Personal Note: if you know me and are curious what this sort of thing feels like - well, it feel like the mixture of excitement and terror that you feel on a roller coaster. I'm not the best manager or organizer so I'm heading into unknown waters with GOD and the assistance of the Holy Spirit. But who better to have in your corner!!!! If HE can speak a universe, all its planets and creatures into being.....HE can help me manage this project! And that's exciting!

Well, I need to get back to homeschooling (YIKES). These are very exciting times!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fun News.

So way back when we just starting making the trips to KC to start recording with Aaron Swart, the guys (Aaron and Nate Panke) would ask, "Do you have someone in mind to mix and master the album?"
If they were looking at my face they would see a wash of blankness come over me. Somewhere they faint sound of crickets would be heard.

Huh?

At least I had the likes of Tim Power and Tom Helbig (dad) with me. Tim has put out a number of albums already with about two different bands. I think he may have started recording at 15. Composing at 4. Well, his composing didn't come up until his college years, so that's an exaggeration, but he's just one of those guys. Also, Tom has been around music his whole adult life and has had way more conversations about this sort of thing than I have.

(this, friends, is called the grace and favor of God. Being supported and aided by such as these guys.)

It ends up that Aaron and Nate, in their past collaborations, liked to refer thier clients to a particular Mix Masterer. Jared Logan. He lives out of town, but they showed us some of his before and after work. Pretty great. I was starry eyed, but T 'n T wanted to keep the door open reserve the decision until we got a little closer. And if I can tell on myself a bit - the whole project left me starry eyed.

So as our project is winding down and then eventually stalled in a holding pattern, something pretty cool happens. Jared Logan comes into KC to PRODUCE a little album for CORY ASBURY called JESUS LET ME SEE YOUR EYES which is doing pretty well right now.

Also, if you follow KC House of Prayer online then you'll see Jared Logan playing drums with Misty Edward's new team.

Oooh boy, am I just glad that we caught this guy right before he's taking off. He'll be more expensive next time - and worth every penny!

Hoodie Hoo!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Slightly Less Voiceless

Well its been several weeks now that I've been unable to vocally lead worship. It has been difficult, to say the least. Worshiping God is such a big part of my spiritual inhale and exhale that these constraints make me cry sometimes.

And while my mind is buzzing around the potential whys of something like this (a lesson in healing, a sign to step away from all my tasks, an attack resulting in more pressing in - I could go on and on), the truth, I find, is usually a little of each but never quite what I expect. HE is so interesting like that.

I am, in essence, hedged in with thorns all about me. And, my Father, who knows and is capable of all things is aware of me and where I am. Check out this encouragement from a sweet friend, Charis Scofield,

"press into Him in this season of laying down... it can be the greatest place of encounter because Jesus is the ram with His horns caught in the thorns."

(can you tell she's a writer? You can find more of her poetic wisdom here.)

There are other 'points of light' that make this all the more meaningful. And by 'points of light', its just my way of saying that God usually speaks to me in themes during a season yet in various, seemingly disconnected parts of my life. For example, while I'm home and struggling with hoarseness that keeps me from my occupation, my little sister is embarking on a life change but in her stories I'm distilling lessons that apply to me here and now. How could she know? Its unintentional. Its part of my ongoing divine conversation with my Maker.

She is in the first week of an internship at a prayer ministry. She is mature, freshly graduated from college and has actively followed the Lord her whole life. She is not a baby christian. However there are rules and constraints where she is that she must submit to in order to stay. So many of these are precautions to keep the weak and foolish safe (in my opinion) and are therefore redundant to the point of frustrating (in my opinion). Restrictions on internet use, curfews and few breaks are great for those attempting to break sinful, destructive habits. But she is a CHAMPION the whole way. When I scoff at how she can't use the internet in her room but must always be in a public place which is rarely accessed due to the minimal free time, I scoff, but she says, "I get why its necessary."

These are her rights! She's having to give over even the most simple of her rights! Without a fight! Before the Lord, none of these things are wasted and she is, in essence, laying down her rights just like Jesus did when he walked the earth "for the joy set before him" and for a greater glory. For the next six months she is laying it all aside for the greater glory of knowing Jesus.

As my heart warmed to the beautiful humility and glory of this gesture, I began to wonder when I would ever have the opportunity to do something similar. I have a family, I can't do an internship. When will I ever be exposed to a structured environment that would draw those things out of me - and will I realize it in time or will I choose scoffing, refuse the invitation and lose out on the whole experience. How heartbreaking.

This is why Charis' encouragement is so timely. I am hedged in with thorns! I love the book of Hosea. By the final chapters, I am always in tears at the Lord's words of kindness and patience to Israel who had been unfaithful over and over. HE is so glorious! And HE has invited me to restriction and dying to my own ways. This is good news. I would rather be near His fiery burning heart and get burned than be outside, choosing my own path, but of no consequence to the One who created me.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Colorless

I'm finding myself in a situation - over and over - where it feels like I'm being drained of my color.

I'm out on a limb here. This is vulnerable discomfort. I don't like to speak in the midst of discomfort and struggle. I tend to go on 'lock down' and get especially internal when I'm wrestling for my footing. When I'm slipping around on old ideas that have melted beneath my feet and I need to search for rock solid truth on which to reestablish myself - and then I'll talk about it.

And when I know, I'll make sure to add some resolution to this post. But for now I'm leaning on the fact that the Psalms are full of victorious songs and vulnerable songs.

When I was 19 years old I was counseling at a Foursquare summer camp for the middle school age kids. The leaders of the camp and the represented churches took the counselors aside once to encourage, bless and pray for the counselors. I received two life defining words from the Lord (though I didn't know at the time). One in particular has become part of the language He and I have:
-a woman came to me and said, "I see you walking in the forest and the scene is black and white and you are happy even though its just black and white around you. And I see you reaching a gate and when you walk through the gate you and everything around you turns into bright and vivid color." I knew it to mean that my current life was black and white and I was headed into color. And I did.

So, I've reached this certain place again where for the 6th week or more...I feel the color draining out of me. Is it really draining? Am I just in a newer season of the invitation to take my Isaac, my color and lay it down before a trustworthy Father? I just don't know right now. I'll intercede with my tears until then, trusting that He is the Author and Perfector of my journey. Which I can say with all the confidence in me that is very much IS.

I've also spent the past 10 days dealing with a respiratory sickness that has effected my breathing and taken my voice away. I've had to forfeit my singing and worship leading to others for a week now. Without the release of singing, even my spirit feels like it can't breathe.

So...I guess that leaves me feeling a bit colorless and homeless. That is oddly funny to me!

Psalm 42
"As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?.......
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence."

(don't worry, I'm still smiling)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Law of Intention

Hm, its been a while. What can I say - I've been avoiding.

Cornerstone is over and I wasn't in the top 16 so I wasn't looking forward to posting, "Nope." Not that I'm terribly disappointed, taking it personally and wallowing in failure but the news is boring and I didn't have anything interesting to follow up. News, sure, but uninteresting news.

But my favorite thoughts recently have been buzzing around some teachings by Lance Wallnau. This dude is ON FIRE. He mentioned how he picked up a principle from sucessful business men that they called the Law of Intention. It's when you have a goal or a vision and if you keep your focus on that goal/vision then everything you need will come to you to help make it happen. Remember that for a moment.

I have realized some things about how the Lord and I work together - how we walk together. He has a big picture in mind and if I'm patient then, over time, the random bits will become a bigger picture. Like a pointilism painting (Seruat): blue dot next to a yellow dot....over time its a picture.

But while I'm waiting for all the dots to line up, I'm feeling a bit like John Nash (Beautiful Mind) circling random letters on pages, connecting them with strings......sigh.

So I have two themes I've been gazing into: the spirit of Elijah is one and the Tabernacle of David is the other. And while these themes have been pretty raked over and are already front burner issues in current times, I have some questions still.

For example, out of the 12 tribes of Israel, only 1 was designated exclusively to work in the tabernacle. How does that translate to now? What about Judah? Judah means praise and through Judah we get Bezalel, David, Jesus....in what capacity does Judah work today?

I have some answers to these questions and I'm starting to see a picture there, but its still pretty sketchy and it pertains mostly to my own, present tense life.

Law of Intention - I've realized in the last months that as I keep my eyes on the burning eyes of Jesus that he will continue to bring clarity and answers to the gaps in my understanding - because really I'm searching for my own identity.

Monday, April 27, 2009

49



49.

Since this Cornerstone contest seems to have the most activity right now, I find myself needing to give it my attention. Currently ranking at 49. I'm sticking with not adding any more promotion myself - its more of a litmus test than anything else. That test being: 'since I'm not sure how this does or does not affect me, I'm staying out of it and letting things fall where they fall. But I will most definitely need to consider the outcome.'


So I ponder these things in my heart - and in my kitchen this Monday morning. See? That's me pondering.

So why make such a big deal out of it? Why not just enjoy the ride and see where it takes me? Why not put all my energy into this, if this could be a career? Why not pursue the dream?

Easy answer. Its not my dream (thank you Mike Bickle for your revelation). With the time that comes with staying at home with small children, I have been able to devote myself to teachings from Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, Robert Hagan, Abu Bako, and more - be it books or cds. And there are a few extracted principles that apply here.

1. He is my dream. Jesus is my exceedingly great reward. Everything on earth will pass away and when it does, He will remain and that's not the time to decide to try and get to know Him. My dreams toward accomplishment on Earth could never compare to what He would make available to those whose eyes are set on His eyes and His heart and fulfilling HIS DREAM!

2. And thus, as I take pains to position myself to know His heart and His dreams, I have to be purposeful and careful. Not blown about by anything that comes along. I so want to be faithful to His heart and to Him.

I sometimes take this too seriously - lose my fragile grip on joy, etc. If I'm wrestling with anything in this season its the question, "How do You make us glad in the house of prayer?" I mean, its part of the fruit of the kingdom of heaven: righteousness, peace and joy. So where is joy? Hmm. More things to ponder in my heart.

Hi, my name is Bizzy. I'm a compulsive ponderer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

57

For those interested, at my last look, I've moved up to 57th out of 131 bands at the Cornerstone New Artist Showcase. All I can say is thanks to the people who are out there voting everyday. I've been purposeful about not talking about it, or promoting it overly much - honestly, some is fear but most is a strong desire to just let God author what happens. Since it wasn't on my own radar, I haven't been taking much ownership in the whole thing - all my energy is otherwise budgeted into my other areas of responsibility. So this is interesting. And the question lingers in the back of my mind, "oh no. what if I have to go?"

In other news, I've taken the advice to heart and I'm stickin' with my name! I'm so much happier with keeping the whole thing, bizzygrapperhaus, than shortening it in some way. So thank you Rachel, Mindy and Charis. I'm also taking Charis' sage advice and grabbing up bizzygrapperHOUSE.com since its a very common misspelling and we'll just redirect those poor spellers to the proper site. We've got some fellas working on it now - even video! I know, fancy, right?
I read this today and just loved it. 2 Samuel 7:19b. Its right after David got those promises from God, one of the things he says is,"Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign Lord?" Its so great. When I read it, it unfolds in my mind like David's blubbering, crying Academy Award speech before God. He's choking his words out, eager to say them, but they're a little garbled as they make their way through his emotions.

So, let me give a shout out to Charis Scofield, beautiful woman of God in Redding, CA.; mother of 3 handsome boys; worshipper; builder of a House of Prayer in Redding. Check out her words of wisdom at http://www.charisscofield.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fast Foward - Grapper Who?

I heard Cindy Jacobs say once that God seems to have two speeds, Pause and Fast Forward. I love that. I get that.

Desert & whirlwind. Echoing emptiness & Christmas morning. Dead calm & high seas. I dunno, I think I'm beleaguering the point.

And how often have I squandered the rest and refueling of Pause in pouting and self examination, wondering why nothing is happening?

How often I have I fearfully squandered Fast Forward by retreating and throwing up the stop sign?

Thankfully, I'm getting more accustomed to His pace and I'm learning to respond better though I still get impatient and alternately, I still get scared.

Anyway....

Domain name. I'm in a bind. I followed the leading of the Lord into a better than expected marriage, but I inherited a difficult, 3 syllable last name. I've grown to love the name. Love how I can identify telemarketers quickly - love how I can always see who has done the research to spell it correctly, etc..

Think of the worship leaders you can name. 2 syllable last names! And none too ethnic either excepting Zschech. Houghton, Edwards, Beeching, Whickam. Don't get me started on the unfair nature of the name Power! Their name IS their domain name. But the consensus is to ditch Grapperhaus. Its understandably too long, too weirdly spelled, too many syllables. But I just don't know what to do. Just 'Bizzy' is already taken everywhere - .com, .org, .net.

I'm in a bind.

Suggestions are welcome.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Jacob

The song Jacob was born from what feels like innumerable points of disconnected revelations from times of worship, gleanings from my own experiences or the experiences of others and just desires from reading the word.

It took me a very long time to write and develop - on of the longest so far. I had a chord progression I had found while messing around that I really liked - which became the 'one way' chord progression. Such good energy, but I had nothing to go with it.

I did Bible research (mostly w/Strong's Concordance) into the story of Jacob's wrestling. It took hours and eventually turned into 6 pages of notes.

Highlights:

- Jabbok means "emptying". the experience empties him of reliance on his natural strength, his Supplanting tendencies.

- Prevailing WITH God. He kept up with the angel. Jesus is waiting for bride that can keep up with him, that can contend alongside him. This is what equally yoked looks like.

- Touched on his side. His reward for enduring with the angel was greater weakness.
- Song of Solomon 8:5-6 where the bride is graduating from the wilderness by leaning on her Beloved.
- John the Baptist called it "I must decrease, He must increase".
- Jesus told Peter his reward for feeding the lambs was to be so at the mercy of another (we can put God here) that Peter would be clothed and led about by Him. John 21:18.
- I see and established precedent for walking with God results in a greater reliance on Him.

- Supplanter/Prince With God. He was born with a God given ability/calling to rule over people and places like a prince. He wasn't born into people or places. He wasn't in line to inherit people or places and so he used his natural ability in his natural strength which resulted in a defiled result. The goal is to yield our natural strengths to God, aka weakness/leaning/limping. The correct equation is God given ability/calling + God's strength yields Prince With God.

The research was like fireworks going off. Completely enjoyable and exciting. The labor was putting it into a song. It took long bouts of time at the piano, several tries and LOTS of praying in the Spirit.

But it has become a song that people in our prayer community enjoy.

Whew.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Journey Into the Work

I have always been fascinated by the journey an artist undertakes while they make a piece. It is very likely I never thought of these things until I married an artist and these things became part of my life, thoughts, conversations, etc.. But very often the story behind the work is as fascinating, and often much more fascinating, than the work itself.

Peeking into the lives of Toulouse-Lautrec and his friend and fellow artist Van Gogh speaks so strongly of their personalities, perspectives on life and from that vantage point their work becomes so much more than paint on canvas.
Here's Toulouse. He's cynical, bombastic and dark. He hangs out in bars and with questionable characters. Due to a little too much marrying of 1st cousins he had some strong deformities.
Van Gogh. He was sensitive, son of a pastor and prone to melancholy. He would swing between hope and hopelessness and eventally shot himself.

Or am I just a creeper?

Here's my point: I'm gonna use this area to talk about "what" and "why" behind the songs. I always wonder with other people's songs, art, etc., and I thought I would make it readily available. For the creepers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As of Today

As of today, the album is finished recording.

The last few steps are polishing and packaging - which will still take a number of weeks. Mixing and mastering will take everything we've recorded and make it sound like a cd. Packaging will determine what we'll put the cd in and what that will look like. This portion is still very up in the air.

We've been paying for the project as we go and with these two big steps left, part of the hesitation is wondering....how will we pay for this? I'm positive God will figure these things out, but I haven't found a way to enjoy waiting and wondering. Sigh.

Until then - here's our latest and greatest news.

Cornerstone Music Festival's website has a new artist area with a contest. New artists can post their music and people can go and vote for their favorite. 16 winning bands will get free passes and play on one of the small stages. The winner with the most votes will play on the mainstage at Cornerstone. There are a lot of different styles and artists. And a lot of very good bands.

http://www.cornerstonefestival.com/content.php?p=108

We'll be putting up versions of In The Presence & Faithful As The Sun (a new one) soon.

*I have very mixed feelings about this. All I want is to be in the House of Prayer and to be found there. My dream for the future is to be part of the House of Prayer. But, I'm sure God will make Himself completely clear on this journey and move every circumstance according to His plan.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Firsts

Father God,
Here is my first offering to you. Another in a season of firsts. Unto you be all the honor, power, glory and strength. All my heart wants is for Your son, Jesus, to be lifted up so that he would draw ALL men to himself.
I love you, Father. I love Your son.
Your servant, Your friend and one day Your bride.