Step out of your bubble!

The Congress website poll on same-sex marriage is just a poll; it doesn’t influence policy in any shape or form. We’re just faceless voters in an online abyss.

People who want to really make their opinion known on this can contact their congressmen to voice their concerns. That’s what they’re there for, and if you feel passionately about a particular issue, you can try to reach out to their office and schedule time, or write a letter.

If you doubt you’ll get their attention, you can try to post it online; you never know if someone you know knows someone he knows, and somehow you get connected.

I just think that the time to play it safe politically has passed. So many are unhappy with the results of the elections, but few are willing to get out and do the legwork needed to get their chosen leaders elected, or hold the actual elected accountable.

If we want change, we need to also step out of our bubbles and do something… offline. My two cents. No need for a poll on that.

Quick update

The other day, I received an email reminding me that my domain was up for renewal. This is the thirteenth year that I will be renewing this domain.

I realise that it’s been a while since my last blog entry, and I have to tell you that I’m a bit overwhelmed by the immensity of it all.

When I first started the blog, it really began as a journal of sorts. I was connecting to a lot of Christians in the blogosphere, and I was forming online friendships that proved valuable, a few of which continue even to this day.

However, at some point, I shifted that direction, and moved into Christian music reviews. It became easier to produce content, but it also became less personal. Last year, I shifted it yet again to lifestyle (to include recipes and whatnot), and with that shift, came even more pressure because I felt I had to photograph and document everything.

It became less joyful to maintain the blog.

With the advent of social media, it also became easier to produce content and put it up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, because we could see immediate reactions and results.

How far technology has come, yet how mind-numbingly slow this site has developed. And in the thirteen or so years that the blog has been up, I’ve had two kids, both of whom are now teenagers, and my priorities have shifted. 

I think the reality is, over the past ten years, I was so deeply connected to online channels that the lines between online and offline became blurry. I was in constant pursuit of Likes and Shares. This pursuit of validation, whether it was producing funny parodies, posting puns, or trying to become Instafamous (which I never became, LOL), consumed me.

It took almost a year in another country for God to change my heart and my priorities. I have three lessons that I’ve learned in my time here in Canberra.

Lesson 1 is family is important. In my time here, I’ve learned to appreciate Caths, Nathan, and Nicki even more. We were literally all we had here. I found the less time I spent online, the more time I had to spend with them, and there were so many things we could do together here.

Lesson 2 is friends are important. On my social media accounts, I have almost 5,000 “friends,” and more than 4,000 followers. But most of them are friends of friends of friends, and my blog has been woefully ignored as a result.

Finally, Lesson 3 is the world is beautiful. Yes, Canberra is beautiful, and I honestly would not mind growing old here. But it took me almost a year to realise that there is beauty no matter where I am, and my constant pursuit of Likes and Shares was stopping me from appreciating the beauty of the world around me. The offline. The “real world.”

So, with this post, I just want you to know that 1) I’m alive, 2) I’m living, and 3) I think it’s time to bring the blog back to its original purpose. I’m done with chasing fame; I’m done with the pursuit of “hits.”

I just want to be me, and if you like what you see, you’re welcome to stay. Thank you for reading, thank you for listening, and thank you for being with me all this time.

Here’s to a new season.

Giving a Valentine’s gift? Here, take notes!

In just a week, the world will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re giving gifts–my top love language–or celebrating with a date–quality time, my second-least love language, LOL–there are many opportunities to honour the one you love.

Donut let this opportunity pass you by!

It’s a berry good idea!

I like puns, obviously, and if you’re at a loss for words, Shari’s Berries has produced these printable love notes that you can attach to a gift, or leave as a sweet pick-me-up in the middle of your day.

Check out all the printables here; I’m sure you’ll get a cake out of ’em!

Disclaimer: I have received no remuneration of any kind from Shari’s Berries for posting this. I just thought it’s a lovely and funny thing to share. Cheers!

Pat Barrett, “The Way (New Horizon)”

Housefires lead singer Pat Barrett has released an acoustic version of his beautiful worship ballad, “The Way (New Horizon).”

The song, which was originally done by Housefires, was written by Barrett with Daniel Bashta and Ben Smith. Easy to sing and wonderfully worshipful, it’s a gorgeous song that should be added to many churches’ worship playlists.

THE WAY (NEW HORIZON) Lyrics
Pat Barrett 

Through every battle
Through every heartbreak
Through every circumstance
I believe that You are my fortress
Oh, You are my portion
And You are my hiding place, ohI believe You are
The way, the truth, the life
I believe You are
The way, the truth, the lifeI believe
Through every blessing
Through every promise
Through every breath I take
I believe that You are Provider
Oh, You are Protector
You are the One I love, ohI believe You are
The way, the truth, the life
I believe You are
The way, the truth, the life
I believe You are
Oh, You are
Oh, You areAnd it’s a new horizon and I’m set on You
And You meet me here today with mercies that are new
All my fears and doubts, they can all come too
Because they can’t stay long when I’m here with You
It’s a new horizon and I’m set on You
And You meet me here today with mercies that are new
All my fears and doubts
They can all come too
Because they can’t stay long whenI believe You are
The way, the truth, the life
I believe You are
The way, the truth, the life
I believe You areIt’s a new horizon and I’m set on You
And You meet me here today with mercies that are new
And all my fears and doubts, they can all come too
Because they can’t stay long whenI believe You are
The way, the truth, the life
And I believe You are
The way, the truth, the life
I believe You areSongwriters: 

Needtobreathe featuring JOHNNYSWIM, “Forever On Your Side”

Contemporary Christian pop/rock group Needtobreathe has released “Forever On Your Side,” an intensely catchy track featuring JOHNNYSWIM.

Lead vocalist Bear Rinehart sounds incredible on this track, which is aiming to match the phenomenal performance of the band’s recent No.1 hit, “Brother,” featuring Gavin DeGraw. His bandmates Bo Rinehart, Seth Bolt, Josh Lovelace, Randall Harris, and Micah Nichols do a phenomenal job of putting together a radio-friendly CCM track that can easily cross over.

FOREVER ON YOUR SIDE Lyrics
Needtobreathe

I won’t pretend that we can control the night
Or what kind of road we’re on
Or where we will see the light
But right now I’m talking to ya
I’m looking into your eyes
Right now I’m trying to show ya
That we’re gonna be alright
Oh I don’t know what’s around the bend
Oh, all I know is that my love, it knows no end

All these pieces they fall in line
Because I’m forever on your side
Take my hand when you can’t see the light
Cause I’m forever on your side
I will carry you every time
Because I’m forever on your side
Oh I’m forever on your side

They’ll beat you up
But don’t let em keep you down
You’re always tough enough
And I’ll always be around

All these pieces they fall in line 
Because I’m forever on your side 
Take my hand when you can’t see the light
Cause I’m forever on your side
I will carry you every time 
Because I’m forever on your side
Oh I’m forever on your side

Oh I can’t promise that a day will never come
Where the ground beneath us falls out and we got nowhere to run
Oh but you won’t be alone when the water starts to rise up
No you won’t be alone my darling when the rains come

All these pieces they fall in line 
Because I’m forever on your side 
Take my hand when you can’t see the light
Cause I’m forever on your side
I will carry you every time 
Because I’m forever on your side
Oh I’m forever on your side

Crowder, “Red Letters”

Contemporary Christian singer David Crowder has released “Red Letters” from his new album, “I Know A Ghost.”

What I love about this song is that Crowder’s distinctive voice is on full effect on this passionate ballad. Lyrically and thematically, “Red Letters” is one of his best. Actually, Crowder’s been on point lately–his “All My Hope” with Tauren Wells was my second-favourite song of 2018–and “Red Letters” is a phenomenal follow-up.

RED LETTERS Lyrics
David Crowder

LYRICS: There I was on death row
Guilty in the first degree
Son of God hanging on a hill
Hell was my destiny
The crowd was shouting crucify
Could’ve come from these lips of mine
The dirty shame was killing me
It would take a miracle to wash me clean

Then I read the red letters
And the ground began to shake
The prison walls started falling
And I became a free man that day

Felt like lightning hit my veins
My dead heart began to beat
Breath of God filled my lungs
And the Holy Ghost awakened me
Yeah, the Holy Ghost awakened me

When I read the red letters
And the ground began to shake
The prison walls started falling
And I became a free man that day

For God so loved the whole wide world
Sent his only Son to die for me
Arms spread wide for the whole wide world
His arms spread wide where mine should be
Jesus changed my destiny

Thank You, God, for red letters
When the ground began to shake
The prison walls started falling
And I became a free man that day
The prison walls started falling
And I am a free man today

MercyMe, “Best News Ever”

Contemporary Christian supergroup MercyMe’s new single, “Best News Ever,” is one of the group’s most singable singles in a while.

Written by MercyMe frontman Bart Millard with Barry Graul, Ben Glover, David Garcia, Michael Scheuchzer, Nathan Cochran, Robby Shaffer, and Solomon Olds, “Best News Ever” offers listeners a truly catchy melody. 

Its message of hope in Jesus is just what the doctor ordered for Christians needing an extra boost of encouragement.

BEST NEWS EVER Lyrics
MercyMe

Some say, “Don’t give up”
And hope that your good is good enough
Head down, keep on working
If you could earn it, you deserve it
Some say, “Push on through”
After all, it’s the least that you can do
But don’t buy, what they’re selling
It couldn’t be further from the truth

What if I were the one to tell you
That the fight’s already been won
Well, I think your day’s about to get better
What if I were the one to tell you
That the work’s already been done
It’s not good news
It’s the best news ever

Some say, “Don’t ask for help”
God helps the ones who help themselves
Press on, get it right
Otherwise, get left behind
Some say, “He’s keeping score”
So try hard, then try and lean on God
Hold up, if this weren’t true
Explain to me, what the cross is for

What if I were the one to tell you
That the fight’s already been won
Well, I think your day’s about to get better
What if I were the one to tell you
That the work’s already been done
It’s not good news
It’s the best news ever
Best news ever

So won’t you come
Come all you weary and your burdened
You heavy laden and you hurting
For all of you with nothing left
Come and find restWhat if I were the one to tell you
That the fight’s already been won
Well, I think your day’s about to get better

What if I were the one to tell you
That the work’s already been done
It’s not good news
It’s the best news ever
Best news everIt’s not good news
It’s the best news ever
Best news ever
It’s not good news
It’s the best news ever