Rather than focus only on the ways that we have failed or fallen short, how might our Lenten journey (indeed, our life journey) change if we begin with an affirmation of our beauty and worth as beloved children of God? When doubting voices inevitably come, will we let them derail us? Or can we learn to respond with a powerful assertion of trust – ‘God calls me good, beloved child. I am a treasure deeply prized’ - and live in freedom and love instead of fear.Read More
The best way I know to express the joy of being forgiven is through song. I've been excited to find and compose music that celebrates God's unconditional love and boundless grace, names its power to liberate and lift us, and then invites us to share the blessing with others.Read More
I wrote the text and a musical sketch for ‘You Are Present’ months ago but returned to it a few days after the mass shooting in Orlando. The initial feelings of shock and disbelief had given way to anger at the perpetrator and a broken political system that refuses to enact sensible gun control legislation. Anger melted into sadness for the victims, whose lives were ended far too soon, as well as their families and friends.Read More
Is it a creeping tension in your neck and back? Perhaps you're finding it hard to focus or can't quiet your thoughts? Maybe your stomach is upset, your head aches, your teeth are clenched? Maybe you find yourself hyper-vigilant or distrustful of others in public spaces? You are feeling the subtle and insidious presence of anxiety, which seems to affect us all in these difficult days.
While I don't have a quick fix to our collective unsettledness or the anxiety that ebbs and flows, I have noticed that singing settles us. Perhaps one of the ways we can defuse anxiety and diffuse peacefulness is through song, specifically songs that remind us who we are and whose we are.
Invitation means opening the door of our churches, of our choir rooms, and organ lofts so others can tentatively, confidently, or curiously step through. It requires a willingness to put our agendas aside and meet people where they're at. It's more than a handshake with a guest or visitor but instead taking time to know them and to affirm that their presence really matters to us. Invitation includes the possibility of carving out new spaces for others' gifts and talents, rather than assuming they will fit neatly into existing structures or schedules. Invitation is doing the hard work of opening our lives and hearts to all those God might bring to us, not just when it's convenient.Read More