New Christmas project and a great weekend at Portage Lake!

Teaching up at Portage Lake

We’ve been kicking around an idea for the last three years, and we’ve finally decided to jump in and give it a try. I love Christmas music – Christmas is my favorite holiday all around, although Easter’s pretty incredible too – and I’ve been wanting to do a Christmas album, but just don’t have the time to make an entire project that will only be used for part of the year. I’ve been thinking of doing a shorter project and putting it in a Christmas card that people could send to friends and family. Then, if it goes well we could possibly do another the following year and then a full album on the third.

So, we’re doing the experiment! I hope it goes smashingly well, but if not, at least I got to do some versions of songs I love. 🙂

Since I hadn’t really planned to squeeze this in, it’s made the last couple of weeks much more interesting. Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to go back up to Portage Lake Bible Camp in Onekama, MI to teach the life of Peter at their weekend women’s retreat. I’ve been up at this camp a couple of times before, and they are just fabulous. I love that the staff intern I met the first year I was there, Beth, was the program director the second time I came, and is now the assistant director. 🙂 I know why too – she’s amazing.

I really have a special place in my heart for this camp and for the ladies who come. This retreat draws women from about 40 difference churches, and I have been to several of them and have met a lot of the women over the years. It was also one of the first camps to give me a chance when I started speaking years ago. So now when I go there, it feels a little like a homecoming event.

I taught on Peter’s life and how he was transformed by his time with Jesus from an ordinary, uneducated, working class guy, to the head of the church and a force that God used to literally change the world. All along we also looked at how God might want to change and transform us, and how He could use us in the world today right where He’s put us.

After a great weekend, I headed home and then headed back out two days later in the opposite direction to Nashville in order to put together the Christmas project with my producer, Paul Marino. We wrote a new song called “Christmas is Forever” that I am super excited about – it’s a prayer for people at Christmas. We also wrote new arrangements and a new bridge and verse for the songs “What Child Is This?” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.” I am so excited now to see how they will all turn out! Once we have all the songs planned out, I love putting them all together – it’s like painting with sound.

I got back yesterday and have already been talking with my graphic designer about what we would like the card to look like and how to put the whole package together. It’s always shocking how long artwork takes, and since I started this late for a Christmas thing, we can’t afford to lose any time getting the packaging together. Can’t wait to see how it comes out and to share it all with you!

Leave a Reply