Tag Archives: songwriting

more than enough with my teenager

so… this was one of the best days… Image

we got to give quint a car to drive. not just a car. but a mustang convertible. (it is a’94 with tons of miles and lots of fun things that make it “unique” we’ll say) nonetheless, it’s a convertible! and it’s a mustang! i think we are both a little jealous, if we’re being honest.

it has been perfect convertible weather this week too. 

here’s the lesson God had for me in all of this.

my joy for quint is nearly uncontainable. truly. 

how much more joy for us does God have when he gives us undeserved gifts that are just because they are our hearts desire. 

i think for some reason we feel so unworthy of his love, that we find it hard to believe that he would bestow his kindness and abundance on us too. shouldn’t his salvation be enough? 

well… i thought about this. bringing Quint into the world is enough. meeting his physical needs for food and shelter are enough. but BOYYYYYY did it make me thrilled, to be able to give him a car he could love, which is MORE THAN ENOUGH. 

our God will give us more than enough. 

i have been songwriting for about 1.5 years now. i love it so much and can’t stop.

i really want to figure out how to sell my songs. i want it so badly that i can’t let myself think about it too often.

but right now, i’m putting a circle around it, and asking God for MORE THAN ENOUGH.

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a B attitude.

props from You Are Blessed video shoot

props from You Are Blessed video shoot

on the off chance that you didn’t see it in a tweet, on my facebook or in an email, i wanted to post a link to my new music video.

a few weeks ago when we decided we wanted to teach the Beatitudes to start the year, i really wanted a song that would allow kids to learn the songs.

so beau picked up a guitar and we got writing… we read multiple versions of the bible and found different ways to communicate them. because they aren’t simple. they require explanation, they dont use words that are typically used to describe things. once we ran across the phrase “all heaven applauds” we knew what to do. mostly.

so… beau made some recordings.

i recorded some scratch vocals using my phone over the recording to send to jeremy.

jeremy, beau and josh performed and recorded the instruments. jeremy made them wonderful.

yesterday, brooke recorded the vocals with jeremy (i’m in there for the ‘hey hey hey’). last night jeremy sent me the song.

this morning i talked to emmy and made a plan for the video… was planning to use my phone camera because i didn’t have a video camera. talked to dyba about background, and he said brian zimmerman would be available to help instead (he shuddered at my phone suggestion)

emmy and i got the props ready. at 3:15 brian shot the video. at 5:00 i uploaded a completed lyric video to the dropbox for use on all of our campuses! whew! what an awesome turn of events.

thought you might find it interesting. i’m just standing here in awe of God and friends that made so much effort to coordinate the details of this project.

it is scripture, so it will not return void. YEA! I love that.


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i kept meaning to tell you…

but for whatever reason, i haven’t sat down to write it.

i kept meaning too.

then i read a blog post today by CrossPoint Creative Genius Stephen Brewster that asked a question at the end and i found myself answering it with the idea that i had been wanting to blog about anyway…

so instead of elaborating, i decided to share what i had replied in the comments:

as a lifetime writer, i’ve written so many things, but recently have been enchanted by songwriting – with the realization that it’s the one form of writing that you can experience over and over again, 1000’s of reruns, not just one or two… this seems like great stewardship of the best ideas and messages. all of that being said:

Jason (dyba) was telling me it was smart that i had started writing with really talented writers, that he himself spent more time writing alone before he started to write with others.
i said i was writing alone too… it just wasn’t songs. it was articles, scripts, books…

He said you were putting your songs into stories, and now you’re putting your stories into songs.

what a blessing to be able to do both.

the stories in songs… get told more often.

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give the love that you need.

friends. i have found a new love. songwriting.

i have often said that my goal is to find as many ways as i possibly can to tell the true story of Jesus. this is just the next new way that God is allowing me to do that. and i freaking love it.

i’m enchanted by the process, the craftsmanship, the team effort it requires and the results.

i believe it is great stewardship of a good idea to trap it in a song. it has an endless life cycle that is many time enjoyed more, the more times it is experienced. you might watch your favorite movie a handful of times… but a song… you will put on repeat. you will share. you will think about. i just love the nature of what a song provides.

when i first started wanted to write a song it was all about a certain song i wanted to write.

We know that everyone around us has pain… so at our best we try to extend grace.

then i started realizing something adults (eh hem, myself) were kinder to each other than they were to kids they encountered.

but somehow when it comes to kids, i think we(I) default to thinking: that just because they are smaller, they should just obey and listen to us (whether they are our own or not) and we(I) forget that they have a story, too. many kids have more pain in their lives than you or i. and they are powerless to change their situation. unlike adults, kids are trapped in whatever situation the adults around them have put them in.

so… i wanted to write a song that was convicting… would move people to action … to love…

which is not altogether horrible, but if my premise is to look in love, then i also have to look at those who i’m trying to encourage with that same love.

you’ve possibly read about “THE LOVE FILTER” before, and in fact, you will see the thought process behind the song from months ago.

anyway, here is where i landed… i dont need a convicting song. or tearjerker. i want to remind people about the love they have been shown and encourage them to show the same love.

in a writing session with one of my favorite worship leaders and voices ever, Jordan Reynolds… we finally wrote the song that has been in my heart and mind all of this time. the song that started my journey, even though it’s not the first song i’ve written.

i’m so stoked and can’t wait to have a recorded version that i can share

this is the chorus:

people are crying,
inside they’re dying
that’s why you gotta keep trying
if someone needs a helping hand
give em both and help ‘em stand
you don’t always have to agree
just give them the love that you need.

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up in my treehouse…

up in my treehouse

oh. friends. i can’t freaking wait for you to hear the new treehouse song!

(my friend curt campbell and I wrote it)

as soon as it is available for free download i will let you know.

it is so catchy and fun and says exactly what i wanted it to say.

we are using the song to open our spring musical. the musical is set in a treehouse… 4 kids are spending their last day before middle school opening up their time capsule from kindergarten: THE REVERED TIME CAPSULE OF KINDERGARTENESS.

except for the title song, all of the remaining songs are some of my very favorites from Slugs & Bugs, Underwhere. with titles like ‘Ninja’, ‘Mexican Rhapsody’ and God Makes Messy Things Beautiful … people should be prepared to be enchanted.

the kids are loving the songs. i’m loving the music (which is really good because i have heard each of these songs 1000 times, at least)… and the best part is that we get to point to Christ. with a song about cheese dip! and an all-the-faraway in my backyard treehouse … it’s going to be fun.

i’ve been working on the poster today… thought i would share it.

what are you so excited about today that you want to make a poster?!

if you tell me… maybe i’ll just design a poster for you!

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write here. write now. write on…

recently i’ve been caught up with the idea of writing songs. mostly because i want new songs for things…. and i was wondering why so many song writers were hesitant to want to co-write… until i had this really helpful conversation yesterday with ben.

the week before i had been talking about the idea of wanting to write songs, because i wanted a song that had a specific message in it … and wasn’t understanding why some of my inquiries had been shot down… but yesterday we were talking about writing in general.

ben is about to release a new song and he’s excited, but it’s been awhile since he released a new song so he’s anxious. a little bit. (he needn’t be… it’s a ridculously good song). anyway, in discussing how it can be nervewracking to reveal something you’ve been working on… this led to him talking about co-writing. when we talked about co-writing he mentioned how it’s difficult to co-write sometimes because you have to give up some of the control and sometimes it’s not EXACTLY how you wanted it. this made me think about scripts, stories… the things that i usually write. and i realized…i don’t really like to co-write either. not all the time, anyway.

i’d typically rather share in brainstorming and then one or the other person write the thing out. now, it makes sense to me… why certain songwriters dont want to give up the control or risk having to accept ideas into their work that they may not really want… with an untried, unproven writer. i don’t either! this was a very important lesson for me… humbling, and freeing at the same time.

now, sometimes you find your perfect writing partner… and that is why so many co-writers write so many things together… once you find one, that you trust. you will write with them any time. any thing. (my favorite co-writer is Jason Vaile. and i am grateful to have built a couple of great writing teams… wright’s direction team-book of destiny-ishine knect and currently lhkidz company of heartists).

i think because i have had great co-writers i didnt understand what i was asking when i wanted to write a song.

with that being said… i’ve co-written one song, that i’m waiting to see what happens. and am working on another. and once they are in a format that you can hear them… you will be the first to know.

i’m grateful for this realization and parallel. i love when you learn something while you are in a conversation with someone. that’s the best. thanks ben.

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