Posts filed under I Like To Make Lists---

Christian Music To Run To #1

Running to an all Christian Music playlist can be dangerous. Perhaps it is only dangerous for music listeners like me, but let me tell you, if you add these songs to your running playlist and find yourself tripping over an unseen road hazard due to the fact that, instead of paying attention to what was in front of you, you were busy worshipping, don't blame me. I've warned you. But let's do this anyway. I am going to list my all time favorite songs that have been staples on my running playlist and then over time I will blog new running favorites songs that are creeping or bursting onto my playlist over the months.

These songs are NOT in any particular order other than alphabetical due to the fact that I went through iTunes alphabetically while I was deciding which were the songs for this list. There are songs on this list that are chosen more for their beat, making a steady rhythm for running (Hills Of Indigo Blue) and others are chosen for their lyrics (these will be the dangerous ones, i.e. Everything). Some were listened to clustered together because it almost seemed as if they were meant to be listened to together (the David Crowder list) and others were listened to at specific times in a run (Tear Down The Walls is 10 minutes long and I always used it during the most difficult part of my runs thus making that 10 minutes seem to fly by). Please let me know your favorites. I would love to add them to my next run!

I hope you enjoy and don't hurt yourself.

1. City Harmonic- Manifesto

2. David Crowder Band- Do Not Move, Come Awake, You Are My Joy, Our Happy Home, We Win, Rescue Is Coming

3. Future Of Forestry- This Hour, Hills Of Indigo Blue, Slow Your Breath Down

4. Gungor- Let There Be, When Death Dies, Wake Up Sleeper, This Is Not The End

5. Hillsong United- King Of All Days, You Hold Me Now, Tear Down The Walls, Take Heart, Like An Avalanche, Rhythms Of Grace, Bones

6. Jars Of Clay- Shelter, Run In The Night

7. Jimmy Robeson- Heaven Resounds, Light My Way

8. John Mark McMillan- Reckoning Day, Carbon Ribs, Skeleton Bones

9. Kye Kye- Introducing Myself, Trees and Trust

10. Leeland- The Great Awakening, I Can See Your Love, We Will Sing

11. Matt Redman- Wonderful Maker

12. Paul Baloche- Glorious

13. Phil Wickham- True Love, Beautiful, Sun & Moon

14. Tim Hughes- Everything

Found On Facebook...

I signed up for Facebook a few years ago and found myself jumping headlong into the blackhole/party that is The Facebook. Back in the beginning I enjoyed finding my family and friends (some I didn't find so I encouraged them to sign up so we could send witty remarks to and from each other for the world to see). I have started noticing, though, that in the last 6 months or so I have been getting more and more friend requests from people I knew in high school. Wow, I keep thinking. You remember me? You went looking for me and found me on Facebook? Weird. I barely remember myself from high school. Here are the things I do remember though:

1. Braces- Maybe I should go back a little further and say "Huge overbite and a smile that I covered with my hands when I laughed." Yep. Full blown braces, head-gear, upper expander, etc. I still have little prayers of thankfulness that I pray for my parents for the braces they scrimped and scraped so that I could have a straight smile.

2. Track and Field- I always thought my height would make me a basketball player but I can remember with fondness the time spent outside on the track, running and running and running. Basketball was no longer an option, all I wanted to do was run.

3. Emo- When I was in high school the term Emo was being reinvented with kids emulating bands like Nirvana, Sunny Day Real Estate, Fugazi and Green Day. I was the girl who never wore her hair down but kept it tied back at the nape of my neck while parted on the side in a very emo non-girlie style. I still laugh a bit about my attempts to keep up with which bands were cool at the moment and who had sold out, making them no longer cool. Me thinking, "Is Green Day still my favorite band or are they uncool and I hate them because they sold out and are actually making money now?"

4. Learning- Oh it makes me happy to think about the time I was able to spend in the library doing research. This was before everyone had a computer at hand and the internet to scour. I'm talking research in actual books. Piling them up on my table and pouring over them for a bit of information that I would scrawl onto an index card.

5. Friends- Here is where I get a bit fuzzy. I remember faces and names but, sheesh, I must've been aloof( I guess not everyone was hanging out with me in the library) because I don't remember super close relationships with very many. There were a few of course but this leads me back to why I started writing this blog, I am surprised anyone actually remembers me.

As I started to think about what I wanted to write in this blog I was reminded about the unfortunate reality of my spiritual life in high school. I was not the girl who carried a bible to school. I did not talk openly about my beliefs. In fact, looking back, I wouldn't doubt if some of the people who have found me on Facebook see my posts and think "Whoa! She is a Christian? I never knew that." It was different with the friends I had at my church, though. I still have close relationships with some of the girls I've known from a very early age at my church. But it still makes me sick to my stomach to think about how much I held back from talking about what was supposed to be the most important thing in my life to those who I spent 5 days a week with in school. Christ. Salvation. Rescue. Comfort. Joy. Life. Maybe this is why I am fuzzy about the friendships I had in school. How could I have had deep personal relationships with the kids at my school if I couldn't muster up the words to talk about what was deep and personal in my life?

So, I sit here and think about how much my relationship with the Lord has changed since high school. I've gone from knowing about God to knowing God. I have gone from talking very little about Him to making my life be one that is constantly telling people about who He is. What caused the big change in me? At one point I caught the scent of something. It was something that had been hinted at and I finally followed the aromatic trail back and found the source. I found a real Jesus. Not just something that I had been told about and hid because I didn't fully understand it but a real Jesus, Savior.

So now I know who I am. In high school, not so much but, hey I don't think anyone knew who they were in high school. Now, if you find me on Facebook I have something I want to share with you...

What are some things you remember about high school? Below is a shot of a friend of mine (that I still know) and he just posted this lovely photo of the two of us on his Facebook page. I asked, and he agreed, that I could post it here so I could show you what I looked like in high school. Notice the pulled back hair. Yep, that was my staple hairstyle. This was taken about 3 months before I graduated. Thanks for the photo Darren!

Posted on February 28, 2011 and filed under Anything and Everything, I Like To Make Lists---.

Music To Run To #2...

So I am posting my second installment of a few of the songs I currently love having on my running playlist. You can see my first list in my blog "Music To Run To...."

Go Do- Jonsi (This is a great starter song on the playlist. It always makes me feel happy I just headed out the door)

Manifesto- The City Harmonic

Bones- Hillsong United

Not In Love- Crystal Castles (featuring Robert Smith)(This song is ridiculous. When it comes on and hits the chorus I feel like I could run for hours)

Only The Young- Brandon Flowers

Grenade- Bruno Mars (Don't judge me. Just add it to your running playlist and see how much you love it.)

Airplanes- Local Natives

Wild Eyes- Local Natives

Rococo- Arcade Fire

I Am Not A Robot- Marina And The Diamonds

Lisztomania- Phoenix

1901- Phoenix

You Will Leave A Mark- A Silent Film

Age Of Adz- Sufjan Stevens (This one is only for the crazy. If you are not up for crazy then DO NOT add this to your playlist.)

Congratulations!- Towa Tei (This has long been a favorite song of mine since I first heard this song in 1999 but I just recently dug it back out of the cobwebs of my music attic and boy am I glad I did. Careful running with this one though because the beat is weird enough to make you trip.)

Well, there are 15 songs that could possibly make your next run (or bike ride or brisk walk) your best one in a while. I hope you enjoy the list of songs and, as always, I am looking for new good running music so send me any songs that make it on your playlist :)

Gotta take these songs out with me right now. This is the path that is waiting for me to run down it today:

Top 5 Favorite Worship Songs I'm Singing...

Two days ago I lead worship for a school that disciples and equips people to live lives that glorify the Lord. I have lead worship for this group of people before but there was something different this day. Maybe it was a sense of desperation in the worship. It made me think about the scene in the movies where someone is about to leave on an airplane or train and the person getting left behind shouts "I love you! Don't you know I always have! I love you! I love you!" At that point in the movies this last minute confession is painful to the viewer because we knew the love was always there but the character just wouldn't say it. Maybe because of fear. Maybe because of pride. Who knows. All I know is that it is frustrating being on the outside looking in and knowing that they will regret all the days they spent NOT expressing their love. This brings me back to leading worship the other day, that group of people were throwing aside their fear and pride and saying "I'm gonna tell Him! I'm going to shout it!" and within just a few minutes they were doing just that. They were the ones standing on the train platform shouting "I love You! I always have!" Hands were lifted, hearts were pumping, eyes were lifted, and voices rising. The room became a house of worship.

The songs we sing and lead have a lot to do with the worshippers being able to express this. Each mouth/heart is waiting for the words to take root inside them and become the expression of worship that they feel towards the Lord. Each time someone like Tim Hughes or Paul Baloche or Chris Tomlin sits down to write, they are coming before the Father on our behalf because we will be the ones who get to grab a hold of their words and make them our words. We are the ones(if we are worship leaders) who will look at the congregations we are leading and say "What do they need to say? What are they waiting to say that will tear down the walls of distraction that are between them and their Savior?"

With this in mind I have found that there are songs that I am leading or hearing led that I see are doing this. Some songs are new, some are old but each one fills our mouths with what we are desperate to say to our Savior.

1. Our God- Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin, and Chris Tomlin wrote this song and I am seeing it change peoples lives of worship. This is the song that gets people shouting. This is the song that gets those who never sing, singing.

2. Glorious- Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown. Brenton sang this song to my husband and I while we were at a retreat up in the mountains a few years ago and I remember getting a catch in my throat. Ahhh! That chorus lyric(Glorious! My eyes have seen the glory of the Lord!) and the chorus melody grasp hands to provide the rescued with a song of response to our saving.

3. Hosanna- Brooke Fraser. In comparison to the number of the male worship leaders/songwriters that are currently writing and singing for us, there are few that are female and even fewer that are great female worship leaders. Brooke Fraser is one of those and this song is calling people to worship across the globe. Recently I had a girl tell me that she is attending a discipleship school because of the lyric "I see a generation, rising up to take their place, with selfless faith." A song that can call the worshipper into a life of worship is exactly what it should be.

4. Revelation Song- Jenny Lee Riddle. I grew up in Texas with a man named Mark Jobe as my youth leader. This same man is the father of the gorgeous voiced Kari Jobe who is now one of the worship leaders of my mothers church in Texas. One Christmas a few years back I was in town at church with my mother and had the opportunity to see Kari lead this song, I had never heard it before and I was rocked. The idea behind this song is simple, describe our God and respond and ohhhh does that chorus give us the perfect melodic/lyrical response.

5. How He Loves- John Mark McMillan. A friend of mine sent me the link to a youtube video of a girl named Kim Walker-Smith singing this song and I think I have watched the video perhaps dozens of times since. I simply can't put into words the effect this song has had on me as a worshipper and on those around me worshipping along with me. John Mark doesn't walk through the front door of songwriting. There is nothing typical or expected with the way he writes to or about our Savior and it is because of that that we find ourselves with tears in our eyes as we sing "If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking." Ahhh that makes my heart ache just in the typing. O How He does indeed love us!

There are many more songs I could put on this list but these are the ones jumping out to me this morning. These are the songs that I know you could add to your set list(if you are a worship leader) or listen to on your ipod and life shifts. These are the songs that are tilting our chins towards our heavenly Father. These are the songs that are the words for our mouths and hearts. Spend some time praying for the songwriters out there that are writing our songs. Pray that the Lord will bless them and reveal Himself to them and provide for them and challenge them and teach them...all so that they might continue to write so that His praise can ring out around the world.

At Look At My Top 10 Blogs Of 2010...

Due to the nature of a blog people frequently visit my site and see only the latest blogs I've written because they are the ones that are on the front page. Without someone to tell them which blogs were/are the most popular they might not read the ones that have had the most impact on my readers. So I will be that someone to list out my blogs that have received the most attention, whether by most total hits and/comments they attracted. Another note: many people come to my site and read my blog and then comment to me personally, via facebook, or twitter. I have taken all of this into consideration and will give you the list in order that they ranked. If you don't see your favorite on here feel free to comment me and let me and the other readers know which is your favorite. 1. Music To Run To:

This blog was a fun one to write. I spend many hours running and listening to music and after one of these fun run days I decided to list the songs that make my run faster/better/smile-yer. Little did I know so many others are always on the look out for lists such as these.

2. When My Feet Are Pointed Home:

This blog was written from a heavy heart of knowing I was about to loose someone I love. Although I feel the loss of her I know she is now home and feeling the peace that we crave.

3. Burned By The Church:

I am constantly hearing people say that they or someone they know were "burned by the church/a christian/etc." They use it as an excuse when they are found living lives apart from or denying God, blaming Him and accusing Him. This blog vents my thoughts about this.

4. The Kick And Scream:

This and one other blog on this list was the most passed around friend to friend suggested of all the others. If you know someone who needs this blog feel free to forward it to them(you won't be the only one).

5. How To Feed A Baby Deer:

It makes me laugh that people get to take a look at my ridiculousness but oh this blog and have a good laugh, on me.

6. Songs I'm Loving

People love to find new good music. I hope that this list provided a jumping point for many to find new songs/artists to add to your listening catalogues.

7. Modern Worship Vs. Classical Music:

My husband and I had one of our many discussions on worship music and he brought up the thought that the writing of worship music should be and is (when done well) like classical music. I then went and did a lot of research about classical musicians, composers etc. and wrote this blog showing the truth to his statement.

8. Her Favorite:

Ahhh one of the many blogs where I learn something from watching my daughter. We all need a child around to learn from. Although she is learning multiple words per day from listening to us(her parents) I know that I have learn tremendous amounts of things about my heavenly Father just from watching her.

9. Does Music + Saying Jesus = Good Music

Oh just a little rant about the uniqueness of the market of music(christian music to be exact). This blog connected with all of those struggling/indie/hopeful/hardworking musician/artists/songwriters out there who just want Christian music to be better on all accounts.

10. Fragrance:

I am about to embark on a new form of blogging...I am going to shoot a video blog. YIKES! but yep. Many people have a hard time reading through a blog...I don't know, something boring about the look of words I guess. Anyway, the video blog will make things a little more interesting and this is the blog I will be starting with...wish me luck!

Well there is the list and I hope you find something that resonates. If you do remember you can always link to facebook or twitter with the links at the bottom of the blog. Also don't forget to comment with your thoughts...I know you have who are shy and end up telling me in person with a red face...yes you...just click right below and let everyone hear from you too :)

Posted on January 3, 2011 and filed under Anything and Everything, I Like To Make Lists---.

Songs I'm Loving...

I am always listening to new music or finding newness in older music and have a playlist of favorites that are making me smile/laugh/cry/feel. I thought maybe I could make a list of my ten favorites every month so that you might be able to check them out if you want and also share in this beautiful thing that is a love for music, with me...Perhaps we would even find ourselves with our headphones on at the same time listening to the same song with the same pleased smile on our faces...

Here's the list and some of my thoughts on why these songs made it on the list(sometimes I love the songs for lyrical content and sometimes it is purely for the music). Also these songs are not in order of favorite to least favorite. They are just in alphabetical order. Here goes:

1. Animal Collective "My Girls"-This band/song is fresh. Each time I listen I hear something new and it makes me grin (note to myself: grinning while listening and running looks creepy). 2. Brandon Flowers "Only The Young"- Chorus. The chorus melody on this song is sublime. Done. 3. Brooke Fraser "Crows & Locusts"- This song makes me want to weep. There is a gorgeous lyric that says

"She puts some water on the wound And hums a little tune While her courage puddles on the ground Pooling, pooling

Brooke is a great lyricist and an awesome vocal. When you put those together on a song like this with lyrics like these weeping is inevitable. 4. Dr. Seahorse "To Move You"- Trevor Davis + Mark Suhonen = Aural Joy (this song also creates the creepy grinning runner problem) 5. Florence & The Machine "Cosmic Love"- Production, Lyric, Vocal, Melody, Instrumentation are all saying the same thing. This is beautiful/aggressive/tragic/passionate. 6. Jars of Clay "Run In The Night (Psalm 27)"- Here is a band who knows who they are and because of that continue to make beautiful music. The first time I heard this song I listened to it 3 times in a row. The lyric "For I am such a man seized by the power of great affection" broke me. I love when I find an artist who writes lyrics that are for me. This song, these words are my words. No I didn't write this song but they are what I need/want to be saying. Then add the gang vocals on the chorus and outro and I see that they are the lyrics for many. We all need songs like this to fit inside our mouths. We need this music beating in our chests. 7. Local Natives "Airplanes"- I'm just addicted to this song. I love the visual imagery and the sound of this band. 8. Phoenix "Fences"- The beat. I love the feel of this song. Thank you Phoenix. 9. Sufjan Stevens "Age of Adz"- If this list is looked at as a hand full of pills/medication then this song is the monstrous pill that you need a piece of bread and 2 glasses of water to get it to go down. The record that this song comes off of is splitting die hard Sufjan fans in two. Those who are coming with him on this musical change and those who will remain behind with his older style. I'm along for the ride and loving it. Choral vocal parts that send chills, and crazy instrumentation...classic Sufjan. 10. Lissie "Everywhere I Go"- Beautiful (period)

Hopefully you find something on this list that you enjoy and I'd love to hear any songs that are blowing your mind right now. Comment below with your favorites and I'll give them a listen. Who knows, maybe they will be on my list next month. :)

Poll Results...

So a couple of days ago I posted a "wee little poll " to see what people's thoughts are on christian music. Most of the results were not really shocking to me but a couple of the results made me wonder. I am going to list the results below where they stand right now and then give you my answers and a little feedback...Here we go... Question #1 Do you listen to christian music? 70% said yes 13% said sometimes 1% said no

-As for me I answered yes. Although San Diego is notorious for bad christian radio reception I don't think I would listen to the christian radio station anyway. Most of the best christian music isn't played on the radio and never will be so I stick to the christian music I buy (John Mark McMillan, Hillsong United, etc.)

Question #2 How much christian music do you own? 65.43% said 20+ CDs 20.99% said 10-19 CDs 13.58% said 1-9 CDs 0% said None

-I have 22 christian CDs. What's most interesting about this number to me is that while 22 CDs equals about 220-250 songs I have a total of 4000 songs in my itunes. That means that christian music is only 1/16th of my music collection.

Question #3 Do you think christian music quality is as good as non-christian (mainstream) music? 46.25% said Yes 43.75% said No 10% said they are Equal

-I answered no and found these results as a little of a shock. Especially when you know that a christian music budget to record a cd is anywhere from $25,000-$75,000 and to record one of the well known non-christian mainstream records record labels could spend over a million dollars.

Question #4 Who is the the best christian band of all time? 29.67% said Other 20.88% said Switchfoot 15.38% said Hillsong United 10.99% said Delirious? 10.99% said Michael W. Smith 8.79% said Jars of Clay 2.2% said Mercy Me 1.1% said Third Day

-For this answer I chose Delirious. Out of all of the bands that I listed Delirious is the only band that has hugely impacted the christian pop/rock and worship communities. Their songs are being sung around the world in churches as well as being able to deliver creative christian music. Some of the "Other" bands that were written in for the 29.67% of voters were:

Leeland Hawk Nelson David Crowder Stryper Keith Green Rich Mullins and one vote for Sarah MacIntosh (thanks mom!)

Question #5 If you had to listen to only one of these two bands for the rest of your life, who would you choose? 52.63% said Mercy Me 47.37% said The Beatles

-These results were the most shocking to me. I chose The Beatles and thought that the results would be a landslide but in fact as you can see Mercy Me came out on top. My husband said perhaps it shows that most of the voters are in a new generation that is too young for The Beatles but maybe people just love Mercy Me. Way to go Texas boys.

Question #6 In what area do you think christian music needs to improve? 36.89% said Originality 21.31% said Creativity 17.21% said Content (lyrical depth) 13.93% said Musicianship 6.56% said Other 4.1% said None

-I chose Originality but quickly realized that I should have had an option for "all of the above." A few of the "Other" voter's did list "all of the above" as their write in.

So, are these the answers you expected? Let me know your thoughts and feel free to continue to vote if you haven't already or send the link to your friends so that they can vote. I will post any major changes that happen. Well done you guys and thanks so much for your honesty!