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My Music Monday {Casting Crowns}

“As a believer, all of your life has to stem from what you draw from,” says Casting Crowns frontman and principal songwriter Mark Hall. “If you’re drawing from a marriage, you’re in trouble because that person wasn’t created to complete you. If you are trying to draw from a career, you’re in trouble. If you are trying to draw from your strengths, strengths come and go. All these things are really holes, not wells. Jesus is the well.”

“Your friends aren’t the well. They aren’t always going to do the right thing or be there for you. You draw from Jesus. You pour into your friends. Your scholarship can’t be the well. If your knee goes out, your well is dry. You need to draw from Jesus, pour into that. It became such a theme for everything that I have been teaching. Your walk with Jesus is where it all starts. It’s where it all comes from. That is where it started with the idea of Jesus being the well vs. other things. I knew before any other songs were written that this album had to be called ‘Come to the Well’ because that is the central theme of everything we’re going to talk about in the next two years.”

“It’s the story of the woman at the well and when she first meets Jesus,” Hall explains. “Jesus says, ‘If you knew who you were talking to, you would ask me and I’d give you living water.’ She’s like ‘what kind of water is this that you’re speaking of?’ In other words, I’ve got my water that I’m talking about. You’ve got your water you’re talking about. We’re talking about two different things, and he says to her, ‘well if you drink the water I have you’ll never thirst again.'”

He alone can satisfy. Come to the Well.

Visit Casting Crowns website here.

 

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My Music Monday {Bethany Dillon}

“The last year has been the sweetest year of my 21…” Bethany Dillon says, “There are so many layers to it, and I don’t always feel like a grown up, but it’s been a really sweet time of learning. I can see the grace of God in it. So much has come to the surface.”

That Bible story of Mary and Martha has always been special me. There’s Martha working so hard to get everything right and Mary sitting at Jesus feet. And Martha, in all her frustration, saying ‘Don’t you care that I’m doing all this?’ And Jesus replying, ‘You’re anxious about a lot of things, but Mary has chosen the one thing necessary…’ That’s such a hard thing for anybody to hear– that haunting call of the Lord. When I see Him face to face, I want to know Him. I’m called to know Him. Mary took advantage of being in Jesus’ presence. Such a story begs the question of us: are we desperate enough to have that kind of faith, to pursue Jesus at any cost? Because He came to change everything for us. He came and gave everything He didn’t have to give so that we could come to Him. While we were His enemies, He chose us. He didn’t have to. Do we really understand and take advantage of this amazing truth?

“The Way I Come To You,” reflects this singer/songwriter’s spiritual journey as of late: “I love being married to Shane for lots of reasons—one being, how much I’ve learned about loving Jesus from him. He is constantly talking about the glory of God in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The more time I spend with him, the more I’m hit with the reality… the forgiveness and reconciliation found in Jesus is staggering. The freedom that we who are in Christ have is ETERNAL!”

The Way I Come to You by Bethany Dillon

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My Music Monday {Natalie Grant}

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:22-25

So often we are focused on what we want to change about our physical appearances. What about what is inside of us? What do we need to make over in our hearts and lives? If we truly want a heart that is captivating, there are many things we need to take out of our hearts, and not only make it over….. but let Jesus make us over.

Beyond her artistry, she declares this message as an outspoken advocate for victims of human trafficking. The Home Foundation, which Grant created in 2005, has raised over a quarter of a million dollars to fight the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Visit Natalie’s website here.

Enjoy… :]

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My Music Monday {Nichole Nordeman}

This song is so special to me because it hit me at a very special time in my life. In {Pornography is not ok}, I tell about my personal experiences with a guy I loved, his addiction to pornography, and how it destroyed our relationship. At that time in my life, I felt so low and really worthless. I listened to this song over and over. It was really a turning point for me when I decided to look at myself through Christ’s eyes, and define myself with His beauty. Not physical beauty because while looking nice is fun and good, none of that really matters. I truly want a heart that’s captivating. A heart that captivates the heart of my Prince for He is the only one who I need to be beautiful for. Not a man, not other women, not the entire world, but I only want to be beautiful in the eyes of God… because His is the only approval that brings true satisfaction.

The song was written for the Veggie Tales movie “Sweetpea Beauty.” Here, Nichole Nordeman talks about what her song meant to her. :]

Q: What was your favorite part of the show?
“If I had to choose one, I’d say my favorite scene is Sweetpea in the forest finding beauty in all sorts of unconventional things that might not be considered beautiful to anyone else. Her friend Prince Larry says to her, “How is it that you find beauty in everything?” And Sweetpea says, “I don’t. It’s God who sees beauty in everything. I just choose to agree with Him.” And I thought that was a great way to look at ourselves. God’s the one who sees us as beautiful, and we can either choose to agree and say, “Thank you. I feel cherished and loved and I choose to believe that,” or “I disagree” and work like crazy to improve on His work.”

Q: Why do you think Sweetpea is described as a girl after God’s own heart?

“I think that she’s described as a girl after God’s own heart because she is always looking for and finding real beauty in people and in the world around her, and seems to be able to look past all of the “surfacey” stuff everyone else seems to be getting caught up in.
“She’s not afraid to peel back as many layers as she needs to in order to find something beautiful. And I think that is certainly what God asks of us -to peel back a few layers and figure out what’s happening on the inside.”

Q: How did the lesson of Sweetpea Beauty influence the writing of the song, “Beautiful For Me?”

“One of things that was most inspiring to me that I literally stole right out of the story line was the mirror idea.
“I was so interested in how devious that mirror was and how he gave Queen Blueberry the espresso and said, “whatever is inside your heart is how you will finally look on the outside.” And you know, it was just hysterical that she instantly sprouted facial hair and warts. I was instantly grateful I didn’t own a mirror that possessed that power.
“But the mirror throughout the whole story intrigued me and ended up being a pretty central part of the song. Because we all tell ourselves lies in front of the mirror, and we all want to believe in the improvements it suggests we make, it’s very difficult to walk away. In fact, I know an artist who was struggling so much with the issue of beauty in her own life that she covered every mirror in her house so that she would not even just casually walk by and sort of catch a glimpse of herself. She really wanted to get real beauty back in perspective. I thought that was really cool.”

Q: How does the song tie into the lesson of Sweetpea Beauty?

“The song is written from God’s perspective, which is always a tricky thing to do. But I so much wanted to capture that moment where a person realizes from the Lord’s vantage point how beautiful He really thinks she is.
“And how broken hearted it must be for Him when His own creation is so unhappy with the work He’s done and spends a lifetime trying to improve upon it. I just wonder if that doesn’t break His heart a little bit. So I really wanted the song to capture how much He adores us and how we captivate Him because He made us in His image. I hope the song does that.”

Q: What lyric of the song best describes the theme of the show?

“I think it’s one line after the second verse, where I say, “I want a heart that’s captivating.” To me, that’s it. I can stand in front of the mirror all day long and like what I see or not like what I see, or lose five pounds or gain 25 pounds, or cut my hair short or dye it brown…but in the end, I want a heart that’s captivating. It has to be about that.”

Q: How did you choose the title of the song?

“Well, the title kind of chose itself. When you finish a song, you go back and you say, ‘What’s the obvious title?” Initially it was, “Beautiful To Me.” But as I thought about things from God’s perspective, I changed it to say, “Beautiful For Me,” which made it more about belonging.
“He created us to beautiful FOR Him alone, and I thought that was an important distinction.”

Q: Explain the line “You should have seen the day I made you beautiful for Me.”

“I was trying to imagine How God must have felt when He deliberately designed us and formed us our mom’s bellies when we’re just itsy bitsy…and how much love and care went into that design.
“I was just trying to imagine what that would be like for God to care so much about His creation. And I know that on the day that He made each of us, He smiled and rejoiced and danced, and breathed life into us.
“So that was a fun line to write.”

I hope this song encourages you the way it did for me. :]

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My Music Monday {The Bowling Family}

The Bowling Family combines talent, sincerity and experience to create a memorable concert experience. Their goal for the evening is to usher in the presence of God and celebrate the Christian message. They feel privileged and honored to enjoy the freedom to honor Christ with any and all of their abilities.

This song speaks for itself. The truth never gets old, and grace is still amazing. I’m blown away every time I really reflect on the love of God and the old rugged cross. It is such a reminder that He is here and He is the answer. There is power in the blood, power for everything we need in this life. Power to overcome sin, power to praise His name, power to walk through pain, power to preach the gospel. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing. This song hit a nerve with me, and I really hope it encourages you!

Enjoy :]

Visit the Bowling Family website here.

 

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My Music Mondays {Selah}

Ok, you have gotta listen to this one.

Amy’s story is not unlike so many girls today… and even men. We define ourselves by so many other things in this life. Although we know this in our heads, we allow ourselves to be deceived by the lies of the world and the lies of Satan. Satan is bombarding us with the lie that we are simply not good enough. Whether “not good enough” means .. not good-looking enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not funny enough….whatever it might be, Satan wants us to believe that we are not good enough to be loved.

Jesus Christ is so beautiful, and when we find our identity in Him alone, we are defined with HIS beauty and HIS worth. Is there anything more beautiful than Jesus? He left the splendor of heaven, came to the earth, lived 33 years, died on a cross, and rose from the grave JUST to pursue you. You are THAT valuable to Him. If that doesn’t change the way you see yourself and treat yourself,  I don’t know what will. To read more on this subject… read {REdefining me}.

This song is so powerful. It is truly a cry to God of praise and thankfulness. We have so many questions, so many struggles, so so many hard times. No matter where you are in your life, no matter what you are going through….. Look to Jesus. Lay it at His feet. When you think you can not go on…. there is only Jesus. Lift your head. You are never lost in the arms of Jesus.

Visit Selah’s Website and listen to lots more songs here :]

“I was moved to tears upon hearing this song for the first time. The melody is gorgeous, and the lyrics perfectly describe feelings that we all have experienced — loss, regret, exhaustion, pain. But in the beautiful chorus, the lyrics also point us to the source of our hope in troubled times : “… after all my strength is gone, in You I can be strong…… when melodies are gone, in You I hear a song….”. I hope you can hear and sense God’s comfort in this beautiful song.” — Allan

Besides that…. this girl can SING. :] Enjoy!

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My Music Mondays {Moriah Peters}

We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

“I choose Jesus was written out of the experiences i had in highschool when i was one out of a handful of people in my classroom were Christians, and where most people were either atheist or agnostic of following a different religion. I realized very quickly in that environment that you have to take a strong stand on what you believe in. My teachers and classmates had asked me so many questions, it came to the point where I felt I didn’t have enough answers… I realized that if there is not a God then nothing mattered, but if there was a God then nothing ELSE matters, and I need to choose to follow Him. So I chose, in that moment, I chose to follow Jesus, and I feel understanding has been a result of my faith.” – Moriah Peters

I just discovered this song last week and fell in love with it. There are so many days we can get discouraged and distracted by our schedules and our problems by this life and by the world. Every day we have got to choose Jesus. Not only that but we have to let the whole world know. He has done so much for us and so much for the world. They need to know that He has chosen them too. I don’t know about you, but I will stand and let the whole world know that I choose Jesus.

Visit Moriah’s website and download this song FREE here :]

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My Music Mondays {Lauren Talley}

There people who can sing… and then there are people who can SING. Lauren Talley is one of those people. Along with performing with her family, The Talley Trio, Lauren has an extensive solo career and has recorded four solo albums. Her latest, Songs In The Night, also accompanies her first book of the same title. Her voice is rich and powerful, and this song is one of my favorites.

It is easy to forget just who we are. It is easy to forget just how hopless our lives were before Jesus. He really gave everything He had to us. Everything that we could not attain on our own, everything that we did not possess, He gave to us in return for our brokenness. And when we think about who He is… righteous, holy, royal.. it should break our hearts that He did for us what He did. How could it ever be? Listen to this song and be thankful for the gift of God that gave us life. It is not about me and it is not about you.. or what we do.  It is about Jesus, and what He has done. What love divine? He have His life for mine.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15 

Visit Lauren’s website here.

His Life for Mine by Lauren Talley and the Talley Trio

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My Music Mondays {Francesca Battistelli}

“The more you walk in relationship with the Lord, the more you learn to trust him. I’m learning not to focus so much on the issues I think are so big right now—our bus has broken down, or someone said something that frustrated me. I’m learning to slowly let things roll off my back, to say, ‘Hey, God knew about this before it happened and He’s got a way out or a plan better than mine.’ I’ve learned to stop freaking out and just trust that God knows what he’s doing. He’s not going to leave me in a bad place because He never has before.” -Francesca Battistelli

So many good songs by this artist, and it is usually a struggle to pick just one. However, with Francesca Battistelli, I knew exactly the song I would post. I believe this song is applicable to a lot of people. Everyone has been in a place in their life where they felt they were “in between” what has been… and what is to come. What God has done… and what God will do. It takes so much faith, trust, and obedience to wait on Him in every situation- to follow Him no matter what the outcome and no matter how I feel because God promises a good result. It will always be worth it to follow our Jesus. Everything that God has done for us should bring us to our knees, and it should always be enough for our time in between.

Enjoy..

Visit Francesca’s website here :]

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My Music Mondays {Britt Nicole}

This song makes me cry every time. Sometimes I get so focused on the here and now. Sometimes I get so caught up in my current situation and today’s struggles, that I forget. We do. We forget that God has been there throughout so much in our lives, and when we truly look back and are able to see everything that God has brought us through, it might make our situation seem not so big…. or maybe it gives us a little more faith to carry on and trust Him more.

If you are human,  you know that sometimes our faith and trust in God can slip. Until it slaps us in the face that God really has been there all this time. In every pain and every struggle, He has brought us through. We owe everything to Him. It is really humbling to think about how God cares for us, and heals us. Whatever your situations were, however hard they may have been or might be, you are not alone. God is there, and you can trust Him. He will never fail you. If you haven’t in the past, trust Him now… and one day, you can look back and say…. “You’ve been walking with me all this time.”

All this time by Britt Nicole