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Ten Songs Your Church Could Be Singing (But Probably Isn’t…Yet)

April 1, 2012
What is on your playlist right now? If I could pick all the music that graced the glorious glow of the church projector, these would be the first songs on my list. Anything I missed?
Dawn to Dusk (All Sons and Daughters) – The lyric -“Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender, we come before You, lay our burdens down” – in this song has been rolling around in my mind for weeks. Every song on this album is good, no exception. This might be the most congregational. Charts here (All the charts for this album are on their site).
Beautiful Things (Gungor) – Can be paired with Crags and Clay (Gungor) for a great medley- works lyrically and musically. These songs both lend themselves to really creative instruments (strings, bells, other very acoustic stuff).
Movements (Rend Collective Experiment) – This one is a few years old already but it is a great one. I am amazed at how Gungor takes a theme that most artists would give a sombre tone (the “when things are hard, we’ll keep trusting God” idea) to and make it fun and so fresh. Rend Collective charts are on their site (for their first album at least, the other ones should be there soon).
Never Once (Matt Redman)- Good song for recognizing the seasons of the church and of people…this song acknowledges the pain that we walk through that the promises God makes to be right there in the midst of trouble until we can look back at how far he has carried us. This one gets the tail end of my vote because we’ve done it a few times now, but I think there are some churches that would really get into it.
Build Your Kingdom Here (Rend Collective) – Fun and rhythmic, with endless possibilities for adding weird instruments. Bonus points for adding a whole bunch of brass instruments to your team to lead this one.
All The Poor and Powerless (All Sons and Daughters) – The bridge on this one is pretty anthemic (“Shout it, go on and scream it from the mountains”) and the way these guys write and sing together is something really new and I can’t wait to see where they go. This is a keeper.
Restless (Audrey Assad) – Probably not congregational, but a great offertory song. This one is a bit of a cheat but I can’t make a list of great music without Audrey Assad.
Come And Listen (David Crowder Band) – Great call to worship. More song info (keys, origin) here. Song is short and simple, a bit like Come On My Soul (Rend Collective) which is another call to worship. Had to sneak that one in there.
Awake My Soul (Mumford and Sons) – “In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life. Awake my soul, for you were made to meet your Maker.” Not a “worship” band, but they draw you into worship again and again…best done with a banjo, but anyone who can handle an Appalachian feel can probably handle this on guitar too.  Some of the other songs on this album have words you’d prefer your kids not to repeat. Be warned.
The Earth Is Yours (Gungor) – I will never forget the Gungor concert in Oakville last year when the whole room was singing this- such a swell of praise and deep adoration of the magnificence of the Creator. Awesome.
In addition, all these bands have dozens of other great songs and are worth checking out on iTunes. I would have included Josh Garrels too (all his songs are free on his site), but I couldn’t find anything that was congregational enough to make the cut.

Send a little love this way?

February 13, 2012

I’m excited to be showing off my latest Pinterest-inspired creations at The Pinterest Challenge because, hey, just like me, there are many people who need an extra bit of motivation to actually make the things they see online.

It would mean so much to me if you’d go vote- just click the start ABOVE the picture of mine. The site seems to scramble all the entries every time you visit so you’ll have to look for these crafts of mine:

Upcycle lace scarf

Scrappy T-shirt rug

Handmade Bakers Twine


Hope your week is off to a great start! I am counting down the days till I leave on holidays this week- a little Caribbean cruise on the horizon 🙂 What a treat.

Thoughts for a Winter Day

February 12, 2012

made with the girls at Drop-In a few weeks ago

Doing some quiet crafting, candles lit. Saw this at Shaun Groves’ blog and thought you might enjoy it too.

You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics — in physical laws — every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff…

I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity…

I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there’s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled… It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.


Have a great week.

Next Time You Need A Baby Shower Gift…

February 10, 2012

…check out the beautiful diaper cakes made by my friend Robin at her appropriately named store, Robin’s Nest!

Robin has been making these beautiful diaper cakes for all sorts of people and the gifts are always so treasured by new mommas and are the centerpiece of the party- everytime I see one of these cakes it makes me briefly consider procuring a baby of my own, mostly for the sake of getting a Robin’s Nest cake (oh, and for this). On top of that, I am so excited when any of my friends, like Robin, use their amazing creative skills to bless people with beautiful baby swag. Warms my heart.

Check out Robin’s website and consider ordering a diaper cake for your next party- it makes a fabulous centerpiece too! She’s working on some for wedding showers and housewarming parties- can’t wait to see those on the website! She has a knack for finding beautiful ways of styling the cakes and including all sorts of baby items (blankets, toys, books, clothes) and other sweet surprises.

PS- Robin isn’t a sponsor or anything like that, so this shout out is entirely because her diaper cakes are beautiful and she has great ideas for bringing joy and fun to families and their little ones.

Crafting: Scrappy Rug…Or The New Cat Bed

February 7, 2012

It is a funny predicament. Seriously, nobody in the upcycling world warns you of the excess crap that you end up with when you save something from a bleak and dismal future in the dump or maybe worse, the thrift store. I was pretty proud of all the men’s XL t-shirts that I had repurposed into scarves and headbands. The issue is that I really only used the body of the shirt and so I’ve been stashing all the shoulder/sleeve material in a drawer that was close to overflowing. It looked like a manly crop-top factory exploded in my craft corner and I wasn’t really eager to do anything about it.

Manly crop tops. Not the most inspiring way to start your Tuesday.

When I saw this pin, I knew it was the only good way to use up my t-shirt scraps and end the near-Hoarders level of stashing that was going on. Darcy felt the same way. He was worried that things were getting out of control.

I followed Rags By Sock Monkey‘s tutorial for the rug and decided to knot all the pieces at the end, making the rug a bit lumpy but more sturdy. All in all, it took about 5 hours for a fairly large rug. Almost all of that was done watching television and the total cost of the project was $0. The best!

I am pretty happy with how it looks. I wonder if it could be a bathmat, although since it can’t easily be washed (maybe by hand in the tub?) it would probably get too dirty. For now, Darcy has claimed it and doesn’t seem to be interested in giving it up.

Happy crafting!

P.S Want to follow me on Pinterest? I’d love to see your boards too! Just leave your name in the comments and I can’t wait to see your crafty inspiration.
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I’m sharing this project here:

The Pinterest Challenge

Missing in [Crafting] Action

February 3, 2012

I wouldn’t call this “neglecting the blog”…more like “drawing out your eager anticipation of the next awesome post”. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I did too…don’t worry, I am working on a few projects and am excited to post them pretty soon.

Recent awesome finds: tons of big pillar candles for $0.25 and tealights for 100/$1 at Superstore…I used some of them to fill up the mantle over the fireplace. I was trying to ration my candle usage and now I don’t need to at all! I guess my views on candles are that if you’re going to burn something, you shouldn’t pay much for it. That really explains why I dislike fireworks! Wow, self discovery.

Here’s what I’ve been eyeing on Pinterest lately. It is kind of a testament to my longing for a little apartment to decorate, but maybe that era will be coming soon. A girl can dream!

1. Ombre nightstand 2. Ombre shower curtain 3. Twinkle Light art 4. Distressed plank desk 5. Mirror tile lights hanging 6. Map garland

I also have the wonderful privilege of  teaching a crafting badge to the girls at Gems. It is so pleasant to create together for hours at a time! Last night we made felt flowers on headbands and hairclips and the girls made such beautiful stuff. It was so quiet most of the time because everyone was concentrating on using their glue guns and picking colours. Can’t wait till next week- I’m thinking some mixed media art pieces and maybe even pendulum painting!

Building Ikea Furniture Is Like Following Jesus

January 23, 2012

Just read this gem of an analogy over at Put Up Your Dukes. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve spent time contemplating the logistics of going to Georgia to stalk casually approach Keight and tell her something insightful like:


We’d hit it off and I’d eat Chick-fil-A for the first time ever. BFFL? You bet. Read her blog. She’s cool and makes stuff and is real about her life and about Jesus.

Anyways. Here is what she had to say about building Ikea furniture. Love it.

building ikea furniture is like following jesus (stick with me). even though i LOVE everything they’ve ever made before and they have never steered me wrong, in the middle of the instructions i am always straight up doubting that their method is going to turn out right. i am sure they have made a mistake because nothing looks like i expected, and it seems like pieces are missing, and i even sometimes try my own methods for how it should all fit together (with disastrous consequences and much doubling-back onto the written path). by the end i always end up following their original plan and it always ends up better, even if is was totally whack-looking, upside down-seeming and confusing as hell while i was doing it.
thank you jesus for being so dope that you can use flat-packed swedish particle board to teach me about your love.”