Music

Music for Your Midweek

Music for Your Midweek - February - Pray Live Create

I had this month’s M4M post all typed up and ready to go, but at the last minute I scrapped it. When I looked at it, I realized it was just a list of stuff that I’d been listening to recently, but it wasn’t for you. This one’s for you instead. See if you can catch a theme in it, but even if not, I hope you enjoy it.

As always, the playlist is streamable for free at the bottom. We use Spotify, because we like it, but there are no affiliate links in the post. Just good music for you to listen to.

Mandisa_if_we_were_real

Mandisa “Stronger”

This is one of those songs I heard a million times until I heard it at the right time and it claimed a whole new space of my heart. Mandisa brings it. Every single time. And the more I hear her, the more I like her. This is one of those songs that speaks straight to the hard times, so we’re going to start this playlist with a lot of energy and mellow out with the rest of the tracks as we go.

138426

MercyMe “You are I Am”

You guys, I am a huge Mercy Me fan. They just get me every time. Put on “Homesick” or “I Can Only Imagine” and I will shush you until I’ve heard every single string arrangement and sang along to every last line. I have played this latest album into the ground since it came out like a year and a half ago. The title track is amazing and this song is another one that feels like prayer in a song, and I love it.

image001

Ellie Holcomb “I  Place My Hope” & “With You Now

If you listen to one new album this month, let it be this one. Ellie Holcomb’s solo work (she also sings with her husband as Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors) is pure beauty. Plus there’s a hint of country in all the right places, and I totally swoon at how great it is. “I Place My Hope” and “With You Now” are making it onto the playlist only because I had to narrow it down to two.

51fTJbq1HAL._SY300_

Aaron Shust “Deliver Me”

I’m not sure what to say about this track other than it’s good, and it’s perfect for what we’re singing about or humming along to today. Also, can we talk about how right about now this is becoming the perfect playlist to listen to when you need a minute of rest? Or is that just me? That’s the hope, friends, and I hope it’s working!

amy-grant-how-mercy-looks-from-here

Amy Grant “Don’t Try So Hard” featuring James Taylor

Who doesn’t remember how the summers felt like when we were kids and who doesn’t yearn for that same kind of simplicity now? I love how she captures that in this song and speaks to that part of us that measures our self worth by what we do instead of who are are – truly loved just for who we are, because we’re His.

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg

Steven Curtis Chapman “Jesus Will Meet You There”

I stumbled across this song and Audrey Assad’s track on Songs Inspired by Jesus Calling, an album dedicated to Sarah Young’s devotional. It’s simple and acoustic and probably one of my favorite songs I’ve heard from him, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Audrey_Assad_2013a_cropped

Audrey Assad “Carry Me”

Oh, Audrey… We can’t get enough of her. She was in our last Music for Your Midweek, and this song is also from Songs Inspired by Jesus Calling. If you check in on us on Facebook then you might have seen me post this as a song of the day a couple days ago. But honestly, you guys, I had to close with this. Because I could listen to this song over and over again and let it sink in ten times over.

That’s it! I hope you guys like it. I hope it brings a dose of hope into your day. And I always want to know – what are you listening to and what would you recommend?

Advertisements

Music for your Midweek

Music for your Midweek

Hope you guys are staying warm this week! I’ve been off work since last Friday due to snow day after snow day so I’m keeping busy by commandeering Music for Your Midweek this month to share some of my all time favorite worship music. I love me a good mixtape / playlist, so I’ll be focusing on song selections here rather than full albums. Click the link under each album cover to listen for free on Spotify or listen to the full streaming playlist at the bottom (I’ll link to the full album, too, if you want to hear more). Hope you enjoy!

p.s. Sorry for the delay getting this up this morning! Spotify was giving me the cold shoulder, but we’re cool again.

Paul Baloche Glorious

Paul Baloche “Glorious”

I cannot over exaggerate how much I love the title track from this album. It’s one of the best modern worship songs of all time. Of all time!!! But seriously, it’s epic, heartfelt, not at all forced, pure worship of our King.  You’ll catch me singing along to “Glorious” at the top of my lungs every single time.  Listen to the song without me singing along here and the full album here.

Lindsay McCaul If it Leads Me Back

Lindsay McCaul “Say My Name”

“Say My Name” has been on my worship playlists for a couple months now and is just a great modern worship song. Listen here or the full album here.

Audrey Assad Heart
Audrey Assad “Even the Winter”

Let’s pause and take a moment to appreciate how great Audrey Assad is. I’m head over heels for her voice. “Even the Winter” is a beautiful song about faith, and so appropriate for snowy, cold weeks like this one, even if she is speaking metaphorically. I just love it. Listen to the song here. And I totally recommend the full album here.

Chris Tomlin if Our God is For Us

Chris Tomlin “I Will Follow”

I don’t think there’s a single Chris Tomlin song I don’t love, and “I Will Follow” is probably my favorite song from the past 10 years. Listen here and stream the full album (highly recommended) here.

Watermark The Purest Place

Watermark (featuring Charlie Hall) “Captivate Us”

I love the stripped down acoustic mellowness of this track featuring Charlie Hall. It’s heartfelt beauty has me hooked every time. Listen to “Captivate Us” here and the full album here.

Elevation Worship Nothing is Wasted

Elevation Worship “In Your Presence (Live)”

Elevation Worship is quickly becoming a new favorite. I seriously want to visit Charlotte, NC for the sole purpose of seeing them live at Elevation Church, but in the meantime I’m tiding myself over with their albums. Listen to “In Your Presence” here and the incredible whole live album here.

Moriah Peters I Choose Jesus

Moriah Peters “Know Us By Our Love”

A couple years ago Moriah Peters auditioned for American Idol and was promptly rejected and told by the judges to go “kiss a boy” and experience life before trying to make music. She chose Jesus over pop culture and her album I Choose Jesus was born. “Know Us By Our Love” is such a fun song with a great message. Listen to the song here, or the full album here.

Stream songs individually above via Spotify for free, or listen to the full playlist here.

Music for your Midweek image by Stephanie Oh.

Music for Your Midweek

Christmas Music

It’s been four months since our last Music for Your Midweek, which means it’s been three months too long! Since December is the month I like to bump Christmas music all day long, let’s jump back in with a list of my favorite Christmas albums.

Usually we share these on a Wednesday, but my plans were foiled by delayed flight, super late (or early depending on how you want to look at it) arrival in Boulder for Christmas with family, and our two hour time difference. Not to mention lots of glorious sleep and family time. Since it’s still Thursday “morning” where we are, let’s get to it. (As always, I’m throwing in links to listen for free on Spotify. These aren’t affiliate links, just my favorite way to stream music and share it with others.)

FrancescaChristmasAlbum

Francesca Batistelli – Christmas

This is one of my favorite albums this year, and “You’re Here” is probably my favorite modern Christmas song ever. Listen to the full album for free here.

You’re Here

Glory_in_the_Highest_Tomlin

Chris Tomlin – Christmas Songs of Worship

Pretty much everything Chris Tomlin does is amazing, so it’s no surprise his Christmas album feels like an instant classic. Listen to the full album here.

Angels We Have Heard on High

cee-lo-green-christmas

Cee-Lo Green – Cee-Lo’s Magic Moment

I once managed a Tom Cruise style slide across the floor to the opening track. This is most likely to win “best Christmas party album” on the list. Listen to the full album here.

What Christmas Means to Me

img_pp_crop.php

Martina McBride – White Christmas

Martina McBride’s album is another one that feels like a classic from start to finish from her versions of “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” to “Jingle Bells.” Listen to the full album here.

Silent Night

sidewalk-prophets-merry-christmas-to-you

Sidewalk Prophets – Merry Christmas to You

This one just came out this year, and I’m already loving it. It’s quick and fun and “What a Glorious Night” is a great new track. Listen to the full album here.

What a Glorious Night

Mariah Collage

Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas / Merry Christmas II You

It goes without saying. I play these every year, and “Oh Holy Night” still gives me shivers. I like Merry Christmas II You just as much as the original, and “One Child” is also high up on my list of new songs I love. Listen to Merry Christmas here and Merry Christmas II You here.

O Holy Night” / “One Child

61fgOE+MQ+L._SL500_AA280_

Phil Wickham – Songs for Christmas

Love, love, love this album from start to finish. “O Come O Come Emmanuel” is incredible. Listen to the full album here.

O Come O Come Emmanuel

You can listen to all of the above tracks plus some in the playlist below. If you don’t have a Spotify account, you can sign up for one for free to stream music on a computer or phone. Wishing you a Merry Christmas season!

Picture by Stephanie Oh.

What I Learned and Loved in October

What I Learned in October - Read more at the link

Can you believe October is really over? It came and went before I even knew it was here, but like all good months it left its share of good lessons and things to love. Here are a few of them in no particular order.

Like a good conversation and a good relationship, pursuing more of God’s best takes time. We scratched the surface this month on what it means to pursue more of God’s best in our lives, or in other words, what it means to live in the full knowledge of His love and be a greater force of love in the lives of others. I learned a lot from joining The Nester in her 31 Days challenge, but most of all I learned that stuff like this just can’t be rushed. Taking part in this experience confirmed that I like to leave a little more breathing room between posts, both for myself – so I can live out the things God is speaking to my heart with intention – and for you guys who are stopping by.

Josh Garrels Love & War & The Sea In Between is amaaazing. This album was named the best album of the year in 2011 by Christianity Today, but I just discovered his music at The Price of Life event to raise awareness around human trafficking. I’m equally as obsessed with Love & War B-Sides & Remixes. Listen for free here and hear “Farther Along” below.

I’m less likely to read a series if I fall a few days behind. Can I get an amen on this one? Am I the only one who will skip reading a blog post if it’s labeled “Day 15” and I missed days ten through fourteen? I know it’s not necessarily the best thing, but it’s just who I am, and in the words of Popeye, I am what I am.

Now that October is over, I’m dying to go back and read Edie at Life in Grace’s 31 Days to Less and More and Mandy’s 31 Days to Greater Self-Discipline.

Multitasking is not where it’s at. Add this to my testimony: chronic multi-tasker turned serious intention freak. Despite what every job description in the modern world says, multitasking does not make us more valuable. It just makes us burnt out. The Lord has made it very clear He has a rhythm for my life, and when I follow it, things are pretty peachy keen. When I try to take on too much, I end up stressed out. I’m loving this new rhythm and I’m never going back to multitasking again.

care package at wearegospelgirls

Care packages are a big deal. I got the one above in the mail from a wonderful friend, and it made my day. The mug is a permanent fixture on my dresser.

Our love can’t be counterfeit. This is also another big take away for me from October. If we’re going to love ourselves, our families and the people we do life with, and our communities well, we have to really love them. Sometimes this means sacrificing what we want to do for what’s most needed by our people, and sometimes it means giving ourselves space to do what we want to do in order to love ourselves well. Long story short, there’s no formula for love. It just has to come from the heart, and we’ll probably spend the rest of our lives getting better at it.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. – Romans 12:9a (NLT)

Sundays = Sacred. I’m not just talking the sacred act of coming together with people and worshipping. I’m talking about my Sabbath, which also just happens to fall on Sunday. This is my day of rest. The day I get total unhindered restorative time before I enter the world again on Monday. It is glorious, and I look forward to it all week long. I learned the hard way twice this month that I can’t miss it. A day of relaxation is a total must have if I’m going to love my people well.

And that’s it! October’s most read posts are…

we are gospel girls top October posts

Why Loving Our People Matters | How Do We Share God’s Best at Home | Why Does Loving Ourselves Matter | How to Throw an Owl-O-Ween Party

What did you learn and love in October?

We Were Made for More

The Price of Life Festival - River Run North - wearegospelgirls
Earlier this month my friend Courtney invited our small group to a series of events raising awareness against human trafficking, and as luck would have it I was able to join her for the finale concert on a Friday night. This is remarkable, because 1) I do not do things on a Friday night unless it involves being at home on my couch, and 2) ending human trafficking is an issue I care deeply about and have wanted to get involved in for a seriously long time, which is why I was away from my couch and at a big concert hall instead.

The event was called The Price of Life. It was amazing. If the Lord wasn’t there, I don’t know who was. The speakers preached it, they brought it, they brang it, they prayed it. The bands brought the Kingdom to the stage, and God’s best was there in that room as together we stood in agreement that we were made for more – that everyone is made for more. This photo is of Run River North. No words. Just know they are amazing. If you click over to their website, watch the video for “Fight to Keep” and “Foxbeard” (also below). Both are even better in concert.

There’s more I’d like to say about this event that totally changed my perspective on how each of us can play a role in the movement to abolish slavery or about what I learned from a survivor of sex slavery at the event or even how the gospel is brought to a group of people eager for more. But even more than going into all of that, I want to just share with all of you that we had a moment and in that moment God’s best was there.

Follow along with 31 Days to More of God’s Best and Less of the Mess with the outline at the bottom of this post or click the button below.

31 Days to More of God's Best

The Intro Stuff

What Does More of God’s Best and Less of the Mess Mean?
How to Get Involved
Where Does the Best Come From?
Free 8×10 Scripture Art Printable of 1 John 4:4b
Guest Post: More of God’s Best in My Life (Krystle)
A Dose of Hope and  Preview of What’s to Come

God’s Best in Your Life

Why Does Loving Yourself Matter?
How Do We Love Ourselves Best?
Eight Things for More of the Best in Your Life
Free 4×6 Scripture Art Printable of John 3:30

God’s Best in Our Families

The Best for Our Families: Why Loving Our People Matters
How to Share God’s Best at Home
Seeing the Beauty in the Undone
Six Things for Loving Our People Well
Dose of Hope: Philippians 2:3-4

God’s Best in Our Community

Why Loving our Community Matters

Music for Your Midweek

summer jams for the start of the season

You know what makes a midweek special? Music. This is a bunch of music that has been keeping my booty moving and my toes tapping all month long, so let’s listen to it together.

sowewouldknow_album_j100_print.indd
Treva Blomquist – So We Would Know

Remember my love of all things folksy / bluegrassy / and a little back country? It’s in my blood, friends. It’s in my blood. My friend Julie told me about Treva Blomquist‘s brand new album, and after hearing the single, “Ain’t No Grave,” (as in “Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down”) I was hooked.  The rest of the album is more singer-songwriterish, and it’s fantastic to the end. Listen to the full album here.

Ain’t No Grave

Jadon Lavik - Roots Run Deeper

Jadon Lavic – Roots Run Deeper

I like hymns. Jadon Lavik‘s new album is full of hymns, so it’s no surprise that I love it. Plus it’s super catchy. I dare you not to sing along to the first song. Try it out and see if that clappy part doesn’t get you. Listen to the whole album here.

Fairest Lord Jesus

SO - So it Continues
S.O. – So it Continues

Did you all know that back in the day I was a publicist for some pretty popular rappers? It was another time as they say, and that’s all I’ll say about that. Hip hop is not a big part of my listening habits these days, but S.O‘s album was recommended, and I like it a lot. It’s clean and when he raps about “bread” he’s talking about the bread of life. Listen to the full album here.

So it Continues

Jared Anderson - The Narrow RoadJared Anderson – The Narrow Road

My friend Karyn sent this album to me this spring, and I recognized some of the songs right away. I thought they were cover songs, but it turns out Jared Anderson is a pretty amazing songwriter who’s been covered by The Newsboys and Philips Craig and Dean. We popped this into the CD player on a road trip, and the hubster is now addicted. He listens to it everyday. No joke. Listen to the full album here.

Great I Am

JJ Heller - Deeper
JJ Heller – Deeper

This album isn’t new, but it’s new to me, and that’s enough to make it into a Music for Your Midweek. I’m on a major JJ Heller kick right now. Her songs are super adorable and folksy love songs to her husband, her baby, and our Savior. I can pretty much imagine adding this to every playlist I make for the next three years. Listen to the full album here.

Boat Song

Jenny and Tyler - Open Your Doors
Jenny & Tyler – Open Your Doors

I may have saved the best for close to last. Jenny & Tyler‘s Open Your Doors was a surprise. They’re a folksy acoustic singer-songwriter duo. “Little Balloon” is one of my fave songs right now. Listen to the whole album here.

Little Balloon

Beckah Shae
Beckah Shae – Rest

This album is weird, trippy, introspective, and suuuuper good. Basically right up my alley. Beckah Shae explores what real rest looks like with this album, and I played this on repeat for like weeks. Listen to the full album here.

Without You

You can listen to all the tracks for free on Spotify, which basically has changed my life.

What’s on your playlist these days? Something new or something old? Tell us!

Music for Your Midweek

summer jams for the start of the season

Once upon a time I worked in the music industry, and I knew a lot about music before it even hit the radio. These days I do not work in the music industry and I do not know the newest songs before they hit the radio, but I still like to shake my booty and sing along to a good song. Just ask the hubster. I made him listen to Sirius XM’s 90’s radio the whole way back from our date in Connecticut on Sunday, and I’m pretty sure my dance to Kriss Kross’s “Jump Jump” will give him nightmares for weeks to come.

These are some albums and songs that  I’m singing along to – click the “Listen Here” link under each of them to listen. What about you guys? Any old or new faves to share?

torches the friction

Torches – The Friction

The hubster and I know the lead singer of Torches, and by “we know him” I mean the hubster knows him and I just listen to the album like crazy. Think Hillsong United-ish. Totally addictive. Every song is gold, and I can’t take it off repeat. Listen here.

cassadee pope

Cassidee Pope – “Wasting All These Tears”

You know I love me some Cassidee Pope ever since Steph and her husband got us hooked on The Voice. I’m rooting for the Swon Brothers this time, so don’t tell me if they’re still in the running. I’m a few weeks behind! Obvs, I love this song. Listen here.

natalie grant hurricane
Natalie Grant – “Hurricane”
Summer is the season of the pop song, and Natalie Grant‘s “Hurricane” has become my unexpected summer jam this year. It’s upbeat, it’s girly, and it’s good. Listen here.

the lone bellow
The Lone Bellow

Here’s a not-so-secret secret: I’m a sucker for anything that sounds like it could have been recorded on a big porch under a sky full of fireflies. A couple of months ago, some of our good friends asked us if we’d heard of The Lone Bellow. And because I’m not that hip I said no. But now I’m hooked. Listen here.

sara bareilles brave
Sara Bareilles – “Brave”

Annie Downs posted this song on her blog, so I checked it out and I love it. It’s about being brave enough to say what’s right and speak truth, and isn’t that the truth? Listen here.

branches thou art the dream
Branches – Thou Art the Dream

Branches is another band that makes me want to shake off my shoes and lay out under the stars. My friend played this album last weekend while we made girly crafts for her wedding day, and I was into it. Listen here.

david crowder band all this for a king

David Crowder Band – All This for a King: The Essential Collection

Of course I’m saving the best for last, and that’s because if you and I are honest with ourselves it’s hard to top David Crowder Band. Sometimes I sit around (i.e. work very had) and make “best of David Crowder Band” playlists on Spotify for the fun of it, because a girl needs something to sing along to while she works. So their new best of album is obviously fantastic from beginning to end. Listen here.

What are you guys listening to?