love. it’s always all about the love.

this year i’m already doing so much songwriting. which i love.

this year i’ve met some amazingly talented and generous people. which i love.

this year i’m creating curriculum and telling stories of truth about God’s love. which i love.

this year we have new team members at work that i’m already loving. which i love.

this year, we’ve already had some hard things happen and God has shown his unending grace. which i love.

this year… my word is love.

and i can’t even imagine how many songs i’m going to write about it this year. which i love.

this year i’m praying harder for my kids than i ever have. because i love them.

what do you love?

cousins are the best

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especially if you don’t have siblings. my cousins have always considered me a bonus sister. I started to believe it in the last few years as they loved me
hard and well. (Kimberly burleson , Teri netterville, lindsay shepherd)

they came to Nashville
for my 40th.
they listen to all my songs before anyone else hears them.
did I mention, they love my kids…

we made a spontaneous decision to drive 10 hours to and 10 hours from Shreveport to spend less than 48 hours
together… because… that’s what you do when you love people.
I’m so blessed and grateful for these cousin aunt and uncles for my kids.

have you driven the extra mile to let your family… and your own kids know how important family really is? it
to let people know they matter ? because people matter. love well and hard, and it will come
back to you beyond your understanding. happy happy new year.

whats a football doing in the nativity?

 

Imagetoday was a good one. several weeks ago i finished a christmas song, The Night that Changed My Life,  with Perry Miears and Alisha Sheely.

the song will be featured in our christmas musical by the same name.

today we shot a music video for the song. the wise men brought the baby… a football, a teddy bear, and some taylor swift perfume. you know, treasures.

the set was wonderful. (thank you @lhworship team)

the kids were amazing.

the video is going to be beautiful… i can’t wait to see it. 

and… oh… the baby! my friend Tyler Hirth brought his baby, Hudson, to be our baby Jesus. He was more than delicious! Ah. what a night.

Image,

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enoing is a verb

got to hang in an eno today at quints game. I no

20131008-025404.jpg understand the hype. like sitting in a womb.

fiddlin man!

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my favorite fiddler, jim vancleve, rocked my world this week when he led the session and played fiddle and mandolin on my new Christmas records! ahhhhhh
#thenightthatchangedmylife #somedayourprincewillcome

the night jackson was a girl

the night jackson was a girl

This is Jackson, my beautiful high school freshman. with the car that she would ride in on her homecoming court debut. the night was beyond imagination, and she looked stunning. she was also rocking some pretty sweet vans.
thanks to: ashley moore, for the hair and makeup; wholesale, inc. for the sweet ride; beech high school for honoring tradition and celebrating school spirit; amazing friends like casey shackelford, callie beasley, hunter melton, eli spiller for coming to participate; grandmama for making it to see us for the big things; jackson for being awesome.

when she learned that she received this honor, i was so proud of her and told her “jax, people like people that like people.” she is so good at liking people. she is a friend to the lonely, she is an “includer”. she is a smart, funny, and good-decision-making girl. it is an honor to be her mom. and… wow… is she pretty, especially on that night when she was dressed like a homecoming girl… at least until halftime, when she promptly rocked the camo shorts! love that kid. i may have to write a song about this experience…

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tonite at beech camp…. tomorrow on espn

lame mashup of Beech High School and Station Camp high school names.

beech bucs socks

beech bucs socks

but wow. what a night.

so… i live in a land where friday night lights is a way of life.

everyone comes to the high school football games, even if they don’t have kids playing, or even attending the school.

it’s part of the culture.

we have a couple of area rivals… the three big schools in our area are:

BEECH (our school), STATION CAMP, and HENDERSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL.

tomorrow Beech plays Station Camp.. and it’s going to be on ESPN. it’s a big deal.

tonite our church, Long Hollow, hosted a tailgate event honoring both schools, feeding the players and coaches from both teams, and sharing testimonies from both quarterbacks.

it’s one of the most beautiful things i’ve personally experienced.

imagine your rival high school, now imagine getting together before the game for a joint tailgate. they eat, they listen to music. they hang out.

now imagine that they go into a worship service together, will all their fans, and someone gets to share the love of Christ to all of you together… after you have just worshipped with music, singing together. it’s miraculous.

i’m a writer, but i’m almost at a loss for words to capture this.

what’s the most unlikely place you could find love? you might think among rivals… but it wasn’t tonite.

go wherever love is missing, and bring some.

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fire on the mountain…

fire on the mountain...

went with this red head to the mountains this weekend.
we’ve been co-writing since last august, and have some good stuff to show for it… more than that we have a good friendship to show for it.
we laughed our way up the mountain and back down again.
we were there for the “2nd annual smoky mountain songwriters festival” https://www.facebook.com/smswf

alisha had a set on the aquarium stage with a group called Songtown USA. this group was started by ridiculous song writers Marty Dotson and Clay Mills… they wanted to create a community for songwriters, even if you don’t already know what you are doing to navigate the “Scene”.
met another amazing writer, Marc-Alan Barnett.
such kindness. i love songwriters that love songwriters.

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grace is. not “grace if…”

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i have been exploring this exact thing lately.
interestingly, it was a conversation with a recent college graduate, worship leader… and Lutheran.
Ben Eggebrecht (@myredandblue)
i asked him to talk to me about grace. I asked him to talk about the fall. i wanted a new way to think about how to teach. he was so excited to share, but prepared me to hear some new ideas.

he said something like this: so many churches teach how to be a better christian. what i remember growing up in the lutheran church, was that i always left relieved.

he explained that the sermon template is: teach the law, teach how we can’t measure up, teach “but the gospel”.
he went on to say that grace is … it just is. and it is for everyone. it’s not grace if…

this blew my mind. i realized that at times in the past i have fallen into the trap of teaching that our behavior reflects the heart of our savior. 

for example, in the past I taught “Jesus forgave us, so we should forgive others.”
now I will teach “Jesus forgave us”, trusting that understanding this beautiful truth is far more likely to translate into action, than my directives.

it set me on a trajectory toward grace-filled teaching. now, everywhere i turn, or read, i feel that i’m affirmed in this intention. 

how wonderful to realize, that really, you can’t do anything about how much God loves you. He just does.

You don’t receive grace because of something you do, or don’t do. Grace just is.

grace is for everyone.

grace is undeserved.

grace is freeing.

grace is beautiful and mindboggling.

grace is the best.

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what i’m learning from a kid i never met

super dylan ... a boy i never met preaches to me every day.

super dylan … a boy i never met preaches to me every day.

I never met Super Dylan… but he continues to teach me every day.

he fought a valiant fight with cancer.

now he is perfectly healed. in heaven.

and i think about him all the time.

his family did an excellent job of sharing his journey and his life with a very thorough blog. http://dylan.ericdavid.info/Home/updates

interestingly… i only kind of know his parents, but we share a history. we were at samford at the same time. we studied some of the same things. so i somehow got connected to them, and fell in love with their boy and the lessons he taught in his short life. his main message was “remember always to love”.

now, if you know me at all, then you know i talk about LOVE alot. I talk about what it means, how important it is to remember that everyone has a story, and we should approach them in love. for some reason, this particular sentiment is rocking my world. because love is hard. and you have to remind yourself to give love.

this wonderful testimony by this boy who was facing his morality and the promise of eternity around the corner every day inspires me, encourages me, and i think about him every day.

tomorrow i get to talk to my team of treehouse volunteers about the upcoming year. i can’t wait to talk about GRACE, and all that grace gives us. Grace covers us. Grace is for all of us. Grace cannot be earned. And I can’t wait to share this idea to REMEMBER ALWAYS TO LOVE, as I encourage them to be prepared to extend the grace that God has given us, to others.

ahhhhh. dylan. thank you for saying this. and preaching with your life.

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