Archive for February, 2009

Halfway to Africa and new songs brewing…

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Well, I spent a little time today recording some very rough scratch tracks of some new songs I’ve been working on, and sent them over to my manager and radio promoter to get their feedback. We’re planning on a new EP very soon, with a full album to follow, likely in the fall. I have to say, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by the prospect, but now that we’ve started, I am getting so excited! It’s always fun to see how God will give you the ideas He wants to put forward, and in this case, I also get to have the fun of creating with other people. I’m psyched to see what He’ll do!

And also on the psyched front, the numbers are in, and we are officially halfway to our fundraising goal for the tour to the UK and Kenya! Since most of the expenses are coming now, we are definitely grateful for that. So thank you to everyone who’s contributed, during my January/February tour and everywhere else – we really appreciate you!

Please keep praying for us to get the funding (it’s a really hard time for everyone, and not the best time to raise money), and please, PLEASE PRAY for the trip! The details are coming together, and we are so anticipating what the Lord will do there. He’s opening doors for ministry every day!

Please also pray for the people who are hosting us in Kenya, Wally and Donna. Donna’s father has had some really serious medical issues, and she’s stayed in the US for now while Wally’s in Kenya. Please pray for her dad, and for the Lord to make the timing clear for her, and for them as they are seperated.


Camp Mowana

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Okay, I know that name made me think of all kinds of crazy movies where the kids end up tangled in twine, covered with honey and chocolate, and chasing bears out of their tents, but Camp Mowana looked nothing like that. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I’m kicking myself because I forgot to take a PICTURE!! So picture this – pulling off the road onto a winding trail through the woods, over a rustic wood bridge with every tree outlined in white from the soft snow falling through the twilight.

I got to do the concert in a room with a wall made of glass, looking out into that forest, and it’s not hard to praise God when you see such beautiful creation!

What a great time I had with the ladies from St. Luke’s on their winter retreat. Thank you for having me! I hope we can do it again. And I will never malign the name of Camp Mowana after this. 🙂

New Scripture CD is here!

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Hey, check out the new kid’s CD! God is Our Superhero has 7 great new songs (if I do say so myself!) with verses highlighting God’s power to save and our hope in Him, all set from the NIV. We’ve posted the new song clips, lyrics, and artwork, and you can order the album or MP3 downloads in the store.

Rock on!

Home and Michigan and home again.

Monday, February 9th, 2009

My beautiful new niece, Allison!

We had another meeting Friday morning with my manager, and I’m pretty excited about the possibilities for a new album. Hopefully we’ll have something cooking in the near future.

We also got to have lunch in Franklin, TN, on an incredible day – sunny and beautiful and 60 degrees. Why are we heading north today??? Two days ago in Atlanta we were at 26 degrees in the morning, and now it’s all going beautiful. Oh, well, it’s supposed to be nicer at home too.

Got home at 9, put my kids to bed and hugged them a lot. I really didn’t like being gone so long – I don’t think we’ll do that again unless my family can be with me for more of it.

Got up the next morning, and had to be on the road by 8. My husband and I were heading to a show in Saranac, MI, at a church with wonderful, wonderful ladies I met at the Portage Lake retreat last fall. So fun to see them! But, (no offense, please, people at Saranac Community Church – you are lovely) even more fun was that we got to meet our new niece, Allison, who was born on the previous Tuesday. My brother and sister-in-law live only a few miles from Saranac (and how lovely of them to coordinate with my concert schedule – they are so thoughtful!!), so we got to see her and the rest of my husband’s family who were visiting. We may be biased, but Allison’s beautiful. 🙂

Then home again, and up for worship this morning. I loved being at my home church again. I really missed them, and really missed my band! And now, we’re seriously tired. Spent the afternoon lying on the couch with my kids and doing laundry from the last month. Not glamorous, but pretty awesome all the same.

Final days of the tour

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Janine, me, my mom, and Vickie at WECC

Me and Doug at WMVV

Martin Luther King Jr.’s first church

First White House of the Confederacy

Me and Bob at WLBF

So, on Tuesday we headed back to the coast. It’s pretty hard to ever make a tour make sense in terms of when you drive where, and this was no exception. We had to actually go back to Florida and through Jacksonville, and then back up the coast into Georgia to St. Marys. Apparently there’s a big (and I mean big!) swamp or something. No worries – gave us a chance to buy more Florida oranges.

We had a great interview at WECC on Tuesday with Janine, and even got my mom on the air. She’s editing my dad’s journal right now for a book, planned for release in the summer, so after my interview, they got her on to talk about the book. She’s never done that before, but she was a pro! I like my mom. 🙂 Thanks to Vickie for having us!

After our time there, we headed up the coast and realized we were going to be near Savannah at dinner time, so we decided to see if we could get into Paula Deen’s restaurant there – my friends are big fans of hers, and have talked about wanting to go. We didn’t think we had a shot of getting in, but we did, and great Southern food ensued. The funniest thing there was our gorgeous, 5 pound waitress who kept telling us how she was raised on fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and butter cake. Mmm, hmm. I can’t relate to that kind of metabolism somehow.

We got up the next day and headed over to Griffin, Georgia, which is just south of Atlanta. I loved getting to meet Doug at WMVV – we had emailed some through Shoutlife, and he has a great ministry going there. We did an artist profile interview which will air next week.

After that, we headed out to Montgomery. I have never actually been to Alabama, so that was a state to add to my “places I’ve been” list. The next morning, we had some time to kill before the interview, so we checked out Montgomery. It’s a very interesting town with great architecture, and a lot of history, some of it very painful. We saw the first White House of the Confederacy just blocks from the church where Martin Luther King Jr. served – it’s pretty crazy to think about what was going on there not that long ago.

That afternoon I recorded an interview with Bob at WLBF which will air in a couple of weeks on a spotlight program. It was great to meet him, and hear about the ministry they are doing there!

After that, we headed to Nashville. I had a meeting with my manager there to talk about the next album. On the way, we stopped for dinner. We try to avoid chain restaurants whenever possible, because we get so tired of them when we’re on the road so much. When we got off the road, we were going to one, but then saw a place called “Clark’s” just down the road. It didn’t look very promising from the outside, but it was packed out! Always a good sign. So we decided to check out the menu.

I asked the woman at the front, “What’s good here?” and she said, “Every single thing.” “No, really, what’s the best thing?” “Every single thing is good. My husband’s the chef!” Oh. Then she says, “No, you listen, every single thing is good” and she yells across the restaurant at a man eating dinner, “Hey, Bob, what’s good on the menu?” and he yells back, “Every single thing.” “John, what’s good here?” “You know it’s every single thing!!” We were cracking up! How can you resist? So we ate at Clark’s. And while I didn’t try every single thing on the menu, you’re probably wondering, what was good? Well, every single thing, of course.

Finishing in Florida, heading to Georgia…

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

We’re in Georgia now!

Sheila, Jennifer, and Bill at WAFT

The sign that saved our interview

We had a beautiful time with Lighthouse Covenant Church on Saturday. What a warm and friendly congregation! I serve a Covenant church, and there’s always connections, so that was really fun. There were also a lot of retired missionaries in the congregation, and it was so fun to talk with them about their adventures, and our upcoming trip. They have promised to pray for us while we’re gone, and I know they will, so thank you!

Sunday morning I went to Christ Church in Vero Beach for their morning services and shared a little of my story and some music. We have dear friends in Vero, and have been privileged to have many opportunities to sing in that area. I love seeing how the Lord makes connections within His family, and I had the opportunity to meet for the first time personally several people I’ve known on email, and also to reconnect with others I’ve met before.

We crossed the border into Georgia last night, and it was an odd feeling – I’ve been in Florida (it seems, in every part of it, twice!!) for the last 3 weeks, so it’s strange that that time is over. I’m coming back in March, though (again to Vero Beach!) so it wasn’t too sad.

This morning I was on the morning show at WAFT in Valdosta, Georgia. A big shout-out to Sheila and Bill – it was great meeting you! Thanks for having me, I had a great time.

A funny story, though, about getting to WAFT. I couldn’t get my GPS to map it, so I tried googlemaps – it didn’t work. Then mapquest – no luck. What in the world? So we got to Valdosta and started asking people. We had one woman who was sure she knew, but we checked it out the night before, and it was actually a TV station – so glad we checked! So I pulled over and called them. What I got was a very mumbly man, who seemed to have never heard of I-75. Odd, since he was supposed to be right next to that. He kept trying to give me directions from I-77. What?! And I couldn’t understand him, and kept asking him to spell street names. I got off the phone really frustrated, and said to my mom, who’s traveling with me, “Wow, that was the most unhelpful person, and I can’t believe he’s in radio – I couldn’t understand a word he said!!” I checked the names of the streets he gave me, and my GPS couldn’t find any of them. And there was no I-77 anywhere.

We got to the hotel. I thought, I’ll ask them, and then I’ll call my radio promoter – someone has to know where this is!! As I’m asking the front desk person (a big shout-out to Thomas – you rock and you saved our interview!!), it dawns on me. I-77 is in Ohio – I’ve driven it many times. I called a number with a 330 area code, and now I’m thinking, wait, that’s up near Akron, OH. Oh my goodness! I called some poor man in Akron who was probably watching the superbowl, and made him spell every street near him, while saying, “No, you must help me, I’m meeting Sheila there at 7 in the morning!” He must have thought I was nuts! “Who’s Sheila, and why are you meeting at my house at 7? Oh, well, whatever will get this woman off the phone so I can watch the game – that’s B-E-L-D-E-N Avenue…” My mom and I just died laughing, I think poor Thomas the hotel guy thought we were insane.

Well, somehow Thomas got something to map it, although in the end it wasn’t right either! But it did take us by a big sign for WAFT, and we followed that – interview saved. And I won’t forget the area code for Akron any time soon. 🙂