Glorious Interruption

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* Available on iTUNES HERE 

In 2008, a good friend of mine Ted Lowe asked me to help him with an idea he had for a Christmas Married Life event.

He wanted to call it “Glorious Interruption.”
The story of how the birth of Jesus, gloriously interrupted Mary and Joseph’s plan for their life and their marriage, and how that same baby, later would give up his life to gloriously interrupt ours.

So the hope was to have a song that would accompany this special night at our church and really drive the point home.
I was so honored he asked me and am grateful to finally share the song now…
6 years later!!! (reason: I signed a label and publishing deal, had a couple more babies, released a few other records and just kinda… forgot… to share the song.)

FREE RESOURCES:
Through the years I’ve been asked often about a track or lead sheet to play the song, so I’ve included those as well.
The lead sheet/lyrics are free below.
When you buy the song on iTunes it comes with a performace track as well to sing wherever/whenever you want!

To read/download the full story with musical accompaniment, visit:
http://marriedpeople.org/couples/2014/11/glorious-interruption/

AND check out @TedLowe for excellent resources for the marriages in your church!

LEAD SHEET:
Glorious Interruption(RHY-Ab) (right click to download)

LYRICS:
So many plans we had for tomorrow
All of them replaced by what happened today
How can it be that you are here with me
When all our dreams have been changed
It feels like a weight I never could carry
And so I pray you’ll give me the strength
Is it real that now we must leave and go away From everything

Glorious interruption
by the Son of God, the Messiah
Jesus, how precious is the life you will give up
To be part of us

Looking at you
how could we imagine
The love you’d bring
that we had not planned for
And though it seems you needed us
now we know that we We needed you more

Glorious interruption
by the Son of God, the Messiah
Jesus, how precious is the life you will give up
To be part of us

Become all that we know
Become all that we need
You are our only hope
You are our everything
So Draw us ever close
Show us who you are
The savior of the world
We’re holding in our arms

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Shine Like Stars – Time to #BeRich

I love my church so much and am continuously blown away that I get the opportunity to play and write music sung in rooms full of the best people around.
One of my favorite things our church does is something called Be Rich.

Quick back story:
Be Rich is our annual giving and serving campaign—when our 6 churches in metro Atlanta and 24 partner churches domestically and internationally unleash a wave of generosity in our communities and around the world through our nonprofit partnerships—
that began in 2007 as a response to 1 Timothy 6:18,
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds,
and to be generous and willing to share.”

So this year, when I was presented with the opportunity to contribute through music
– I was FLOORED.  I love writing songs and when I get the chance to write for something special like this, it’s humbling and exciting!
The song is called “Shine Like Stars” and is inspired from Philippians 2:15 and the theme Andy Stanley is taking us through for this year’s initiative.
We believe that what this verse says is true, that in self-centered culture, when we put others first, we will SHINE LIKE STARS!
The song had to be written and recorded quickly and the entire process took a team of rock stars to pull it off like Jared Hamilton, Evan McLaughlin, Todd Fields, Brad Bretz and so many others across all the churches.
Ultimately the song exists to help capture the theme and encourage us in the days ahead as we move forward in love and generosity that we believe can change the world –and the reputation of the Church in the world!

You can download the song for FREE here:
http://howtoberich.org/freesong/

And then maybe check out how else you can be a part either with our initiative or in your own local church and community! #BeRich14

“Shine Like Stars” Lyrics:

VERSE 1
A new day is dawning and love is on the move
For all who are broken, a light is breaking through
To the wounded and weary who’ve had enough
Hope is not that far

CHORUS
Wherever we are, We shine like stars
Wherever we go, We will take your heart
Carrying freedom, Bringing your kingdom to all the world
Cause when we love one another, we light up the dark
Wherever we are
We will shine like stars
Whoa oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh

VERSE 2
With one spark of kindness, the healing begins
Where dreams have been shattered, let hope shine again
In the here and now let compassion rise
Let mercy come alive

BRIDGE
Stars that light the way
Burning like a flame
With every act of love
Your Kingdom comes

For in us you put your light
And what was dead is now alive
Like a city on a hill
We will shine

“In This House” on iTunes!

In this house

A few months my friend Courtney Defoe asked me to write a song in support of her book titled “In This House We Will Giggle”
As she was describing the vision for the book and what it was about… I cut her off and told her I had to go because I had an idea real quick. She was like.. “uhhh.. okay great?!?”
A few minutes later I sent her a iphone recording of the first verse and chorus of this song.
Now to be clear, that doesn’t happen that often for me, but her words inspired me like crazy!!

This is not a surprise though, as Courtney’s heart for the family and her children has always been inspiring.
As clearly evident on her blog that she has had for years (courtneydefeo.com), the scripture memory cards for children…
and now this book!
I know I can’t wait for her book to come out and go through it with my own family.

So, to help get the word out we released this song and the promo video and we hope you’ll check it out!
I think it’s a MUST for any family, that desires to make the most of the days we have with our kids and make our home something more then just a building we eat and sleep in.
The home is the backdrop for all the memories and lessons that will be learned… and I know I want to live these days well and to the full!

So thank you for getting the song and don’t forget on OCTOBER 7 – go get her book!   (Amazon, or anywhere books are sold)

ITunes Link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/in-this-house-single/id915625194

VERSE 1: 
In this house we will giggle, We will laugh when we get tickled
Cause life’s too short to waste on bitterness
The days will fly and the years will fade, so don’t forget to laugh and play
and make the most of the life that God has given

CHORUS:
‘Cause families don’t come and go
Or turn away when you need hope
When what you have is more then hands can hold
And Don’t forget your not alone
When the road you’re on feels a little cold
The love we share is not in what we own, no
It’s who we are that makes this house a home

VERSE 2:
When the rainy days bring ya trouble c’mon jump around in the puddles
If there’s lemons at your door, pour lemonade
And on those days that you’re mistaken, in this house we’re always forgiven
I know it sounds too good, but it’s something we call grace

BRIDGE:
So forgive, forget with no regrets
put other’s first and give your best
Sing and dance with joy down in your soul

Don’t lose heart when times get rough
Be generous and shine God’s love
And remember…. you’re a treasure worth more then gold

VERSE 3:
And in this house we are learning
That we are all God’s children
And His love for us… it goes on without end

And someday soon before you know
when the years pass by and this house gets old
in heaven we will giggle once again

“It’s not a hollywood dream…”

My bride and I

10 yrs ago, this coming July, I went on the adventure of a life-time and married my best friend Anisa and we began our crazy journey together!
Thus far, a large part of the journey has been spent traveling and moving all over the place pursuing God’s calling on our lives with ministry and it has been awesome!
The point of this post though, is that with every step, Anisa’s encouragement and belief in me has been amazing.
She and my 2 daughters really are my biggest fans and it humbles me to pieces.

However, early on I never promised her it would be perfect.
Contrary to popular belief 😉 marriage “is not a Hollywood dream.”
(Oddly enough, I’m writing this post while on a flight to LA with Anisa to celebrate 10 yrs, since our 3rd little girl is showing up a week or so after our anniversary)

It’s not what we see in the movies or on the magazine covers.
I mean, we are having a blast and in our home we laugh a lot!
But our joy doesn’t come from the absence of issues, rather, it’s right in the thick of them.
The bad news, the bad hair, the bad breath, the unmet expectations and consequences of bad choices… All of it.
But don’t get me wrong, it would be FANTASTIC if in real life, when the movie score comes in, you suddenly figured everything out and all the junk just fixed itself… and all in just under 2 hours!!!

We knew, as with any marriage, we’d have our share of fights.
But what I wanted her to know then and still want her to know today, is that no matter what, SHE will always be WORTH the fight.

So a few years back, shortly after having our first daughter, I had been leading worship at a large youth gathering (Bigstuf Camps) and was now sitting in my hotel away from my family and getting home sick.
So I went for a run and started thinking about how far we’d come and how in the midst of all my dream chasing, this family we have going IS THE DREAM.

Every laugh and smile, every tear and painful heart break, have all been chapters of our story.
A wonderful story that all began with a smile I caught from the other side of the room at church.

So as all this flooded my heart that day, a song began to brew in me and “When you smile” was what came out… with some pop-country flare.
And as the songs says, “When I see you smile, it’s like a melody I’ve known for a while”
I realized our relationship is like a song I’ve been singing and I realized my family are the most important songs I’ll ever write.
Hope you enjoy the song and may it encourage us all to remember when it comes to our families, we are all song writers!

Download on iTunes

Download for FREE here

“When You Smile” – LYRICS

Verse 1:
I remember all the times we would laugh and we would sing
You’re a girl who loves to dance, I’m a little clumsy
It’s just who we are, were good together not apart

And I know there were sometimes
we thought we wouldn’t make it
But standing here now, Can you hear me saying…

CHORUS
When I see you smile
It’s like a melody I’ve known for a while
It always makes the darkest times seem light
I’m gonna love your for the rest of my life
Yeah, When I see you smile
To be with you I’d walk 1000 miles
Because our love is always worth the fight
I’m gonna love you for the rest of my life… when I see you smile

Verse 2:
And no matter what the heartache or joy the future brings
when the sun is shining down or we cry ourselves sleep
it’s Not Hollywood dream, it’s a lifetime thing

and we may not be a book that’s ever best selling
but this family is the story we’re telling…

(Chorus)

Bridge
it won’t always be perfect,
when our faith if hard to find
know this promise is forever,
every season of our lives

Who’s ready to Dance? :: Home made music videos for family time

“Me Without You” – by Toby Mac  *This was part of a daddy-daughter date

We have a fun thing going the last several years of making music videos.
They keep getting more involved as I get better at IMovie but mostly we make the motions up, then randomly drop what we’re doing, flip the iphone around and press play on iTunes.  It’s that simple.
I posted more below but here’s a few reasons why we do this:

ONE.   It’s silly FUN and a super easy activity to do with your kids.
TWO.   My wife is Canadian and her family all lives there, so this is a way to keep them involved.
THREE.  Ava helps me lead these kind of songs at Lighthouse Family Retreat,  so it’s a learning moment for her, making the BIG picture connection with what her dad does, the content of the songs and how we can encourage others.
FOUR.   When we are singing, dancing and videoing it, it seems to shrink those “other things” that are a stress in life and I remember what is most important and how these times are not forever.

So, we hope you’ll dance along, make your own videos and share them!  I know we’d love to see them and steal your motions 😉

“Gold” by Brit Nicole  *We’ve been singing this all summer and Ava asked if we could vidoe our motions for other kids to learn.

“The Great Divide” – From the Disney movie “Secret of the Wings” *Ava had a rough day at school, so this was my awnser to that.

“Dynamite” –  (because we had to… Ava called it “Mine-O-mine” from watching me and my band play it)

And these videos are all reminders that it is going to go by FAST!!!

I know who goes before me…

mongoose rail bike - tandem_mg_9515
I was riding one of those tandem bikes with my daughter Ava this past summer, and we were a few miles out, when out of nowhere one of those gulf-coast storms descended on us.
Around the panhandle area of Florida, massive storms can show up in minutes and that’s exactly what happened.
Lightning and thunder accompanied the ever-approaching and GROWING dark clouds.
The kind of lightning and thunder that happen simultaneously, sounding like it hit the tree beside you, so you know it means business.

At this point, Ava and I hadn’t been riding this type of bike long and I had just gained her confidence that I could stear both of us without crashing. However this storm brought on a new sense of fear for me.
Mainly… my daughter is in harms way and this situation has become very dangerous for both of us.

The next moment I won’t ever forget.
Desparately trying to get us to shelter, completely soaked and barely able to see through the rain,
I glanced and yelled back, “Ava you okay back there?!?”
Fully expecting to see her terrofied and crying, I saw and heard something totally different.

Ava responded, “DAD, THIS IS AWESOME!!! BEST DAY EVER!!! God You are AMAZING!!!”

Awesome?!? Amazing?!?
I busted out laughing and was like “It sure is Ava, God is awesome… just keep holding on!!!”

We got home safe and sound. Got cleaned up and had a blast of a time.

Later on I was leading worship and this story jumped in my mind right before setting up the song “Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)”
How was Ava able to be so excited and say that in the midst of a clearly scarey storm?
In the face of something terrofying, over our head and out of our control, Ava was worshipping with her heart full of amazement and her voice full of praise.

She was able to rejoice in a storm, because she believed that the one who went before her was in control and would bring her through it. Her trust in me gave her freedom to sing!

It painted such a picture for me of what that song is putting voice to, that I had to share the story before we sang.
When leading, I love finding ways to re-canvas a song when I can or feel it’s needed.
Taking the lyrics we’ve maybe been singing a lot and giving them a fresh perspective for the audience.

It also lead to the writing of the song “Marvelous” I wrote about in a previous post.
Marvelous was heavily inspired by what I saw in Ava and was written a couple weeks later.

His strength abounds in our weakness, and we are changed from the inside out when we declare how awesome and marvelous He truly is, regardless of the storms of life we may be experiencing.
Our attention is shifted from the storms that surround us, all that is broken in this world and in our lives, to the ONE who will one day heal and restore all things!  We can choose to lift our grateful voices in song and praise Him, “even when…”

So may we have that same joy and confidence that I saw in my little girl, knowing He goes before us and is by our side! May we trust Him, with confidence that He is always with us, in everything… so that we too can say,
        “THIS IS AWESOME!!! BEST DAY EVER!!! God You are AMAZING!!!”

Marvelous

Since the release of my self-titled record in November 2013, we’ve been traveling around the country a good bit doing our best to incorporate some of the new songs in worship.  Primarily Let My Soul Sing, All The World, We Believe and Marvelous.

The song “Marvelous” has shown itself to be a grabbable tune right out the gate, bringing a high energy to the front end of a set list.
At the core, it’s a song of gratefulness and sets the foundation of “Why” we sing… kickin off a time of worship in praise for all God has done.
A shift can happen in our thinking and in the way we view our circumstances or purpose in life, when we proclaim His power and awesomeness over our lives.

However, since its release, it has undergone some… changes… updates if you will.
Enough so that we’ve been getting a lot of questions about it… 2 things actually:  (the reason for this blog post)
     1. How to play the song (chords etc)
     2. How we play it live (why is it different) vs. the recording.

In short, this song was a late addition to the record.
We were already done tracking 10 songs and had begun vocals when this song showed up.
Feeling like their might be a gap on the record, Ian and I, basically wrote this song in the kitchen of his studio in about an hour, and then tracked it and sang it down the next day.
Sometimes that can be an awesome thing, othertimes it can cut short the process needed to make sure it’s right.
Unfortunately this wasn’t realized in time.
Not that there is anything wrong with the original version, but with some encouragement and help from friends of mine like Todd Fields, it became clear the song could be better.
However, it’s the hard work of taking criticism, keeping humble and choosing to see if something could be better, that ALWAYS pays off in the end.
So we feel like that’s what we now have in Marvelous… a better song.
(Huge thanks to Todd for believing in and pushing on this song and helping make it better!!!)

So what changed???

About half the lyrics got a face-lift.
The video demos those and how they sit in the melody.
The melody and arrangement are basically the same.
Overall it gained focus, became more co-hesive and now connects better.

Hope you like it and if you try it out leading worship, I’d love to know how it connected for you!

VERSE 1
Em                                    C             G
We can’t hold back our grateful song
Em                                    C                  G
For Who You are, For what You’ve done

PRE-CHORUS
C                                                   Em    D
Wonderful Savior, No One is Greater

CHORUS
G
How awesome is the Lord our God
C
Rich in grace and full of love
Em                                 C                        G
How marvelous, how marvelous You are

TURN G

VERSE 2
Em                               C       G
Day after Day, Your glory shines
Em                              C                  G
Salvation’s Love, Redemption’s Light

(repeat PRE-CHORUS)

CHORUS 2
G
How awesome is the Lord our God
C
Rich in grace and full of love
Em                        C
How marvelous, how marvelous
G
You are, the hope for all our days
C
With every breath, We sing Your praise
Em                     C                            G
How marvelous, how marvelous You are

BRIDGE
G                                                     C
We sing for the Risen Son, We sing for the Victory won
G                                                   C                          C
For Jesus has overcome, Marvelous, He’s Marvelous
G                                                     C
We sing for the Risen Son, We sing for the Victory won
Em                                               C                              C
For Jesus has overcome, Marvelous, He’s Marvelous

(repeat CHORUS)