Thursday, September 30, 2004

Amy & Vince Tonight!

I have looked forward to this concert for a long time...probably most of my life...and now it's finally here. Tonight Les is taking me to see Amy Grant and Vince Gill in concert!

Why does that excite me? Well first of all, it's a date with my handsome and amazing husband! That alone would be reason enough to be excited, but you see there is more...I have been a fan of Amy Grant since I was very young and have never seen her in concert. When I was a girl, singing into highlighters in the privacy of my bedroom, more often than not the singer I was singing with was Amy Grant. Then as I got older and my own relationship with Jesus became more personal, as I would drive between Saskatoon and Regina on the weekends, the singer who accompanied me on more of my trips than any other was Amy Grant. I not only sang her songs, but I found myself in them. It was amazing how her lyrics spoke my heart, and in a way discipled me in a time when my faith was maturing. ('Arms of Love', 'Raining on the Inside', 'I Love a Lonely Day', 'Father's Eyes', 'If These Walls Could Speak', 'Ask Me', 'That's What Love is For', 'All I Ever Have to Be', 'If I Have to Die', 'So Glad'...and so many more...)

Now I know there are many out there that simply don't like her music. I know that there are those who don't consider her to be an artist with depth. Perhaps you are more familiar with the exceptions, song-wise, that the rules of what sort of songs she usually writes or records, I don't know. All I do know is that as someone who took music lessons for over 8 years and vocal lessons later on, I see a lot I admire in this artist, and identify more than I can put into words with the lyrics she writes.

There is, of course, another objection that some of you may have...which is that she is somewhat of a 'fallen' person...she's had some pretty public 'failures' by the Christian community's standards. To that I say what I believe Jesus would say, "Let you without sin cast the first stone..." I actually think that I have heard some of her best work since the controversy over her marriage. Legacy, her hymns album from two years ago is one of the best albums I own, and I think I've learned a lot about grace from her recent album, Simple Things, with songs like 'Innocence Lost' and 'Out in the Open'...

They were the sweetest words I'd ever heard
My heart could barely take it in
Like water offered to the lips
Of a tired and thirsty man

it's a tangled web I've woven
I don't know all the reasons
But it amazes
me to wake up
To your mercy every morning

So I'm standing here
spinning around
In the fields of freedom
And I'm still alive and
reaching out
And I can feel the healing

Cuz you say
Come on out
come on out
Come on out come on out
Out in the open
Come on out come
on out
Come on out come onout
Into the light
There is no jury
There is no judge
Ready and waiting
Are the steady arms of love

For the sake of never making waves I
Kept my secrets to myself
And no one ever really knew the
Darker shadows of my heart

But I
will be a witness
That there's nothing in me dark enough
The power of
Cannot resuce from the deep

So I'm standing here
spinning around
In the fields of freedom
And I'm still alive and
reaching out
And I can feel the healing

And you say
Come on out
come out
Come on out come out
Out in the open
Come on out come on
Come on out come on out
Into the light
There is no jury
There is no judge
Ready and waiting
Are the steady arms of love
Oh how those words have helped me as I've walked beside a friend going through a dark time herself. That song has been like a personal witness of the truths in the Bible as we've read about Jesus and the woman at the well, the prodigal son and even the woman caught in the act.

Probably my favourite Amy Grant song is 'Open Arms'. It's an older one and you may not know it, but it's so personal to me. It's about God's wooing me and always being in His arms...

Guess I've got a lot of learning to do
About the
way that You love.
If it had been left up to me,
I'd given up a long
time ago.
But You've got a way of wooing me,
Tender and true,
though I don't deserve it,
I'm falling into Your

Open arms.
love has taken hold,
And I can't fight it;
I'm giving in to Your
Open arms.
They pull me to You;
They wrap Your love around me;
I'll rest in Your open arms.

Only yesterday the thought came the to
Is Your love as deep as they say?
Wonder where those questions come
Soon as I learn, I'll chase them away.
'Cause I've had a taste of
Simple and true,
It drives away the doubting
And draws
me into Your

Open arms.
Your love has taken hold,
And I can't
fight it.
I'm giving in to Your
Open arms.
They pull me to You;
They wrap Your love around me;
I'll rest in Your open arms

So that's where I'll be God's open arms, with the man of my dreams listening to a singer who, through her vunerability over the years, has meant a lot to me, along with her husband who is such an amazing musician... It's going to be an great night!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

"Greatest Hits 1986-2004" CD & Video To Be Released October 12th!

"The first “best of” collection from Amy Grant to span her pop career, Greatest
Hits 1986-2004 (A&M/UTV/UMe), released October 12, 2004, also features two
new recordings, “Come Be With Me,” featuring Keb’ Mo’ and co-written by Beth
Nielsen Chapman (Faith Hill’s “This Kiss”), and “The Water,” co-written by Grant
and with husband Vince Gill on electric guitar.

Executive produced by Grant,
Greatest Hits 1986-2004 picks up where her platinum 1987 retrospective, The
Collection, left off. Along with the pair of new tracks are 17 of the best-loved
recordings, each digitally remastered, from one of the most popular, influential
and groundbreaking artists in music. Included are 15 of her Top 40 Adult
Contemporary hits (all but her first two), with nine of those on her scorecard
of pop Top 40s to date (all but her first). ..."

Click on this link to read the rest of this article...

Amy's website also reports that on August 27th she headed back into the studio to work on another Hymns project...haven't heard word of a release date will probably be next spring I'd think.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Isn't Fall Beautiful?!

Extreme Home Makeover

Last night after we put our Dolly to bed, Les & I watched the fall premier of Extreme Home Makeover, which we taped the other night. It was a very touching episode...the Woffards, a Christian family with eight kids that was hit with the most horrible tragedy four years ago. I think I spent most of the show in tears. This family truly deserved a new home, and what the show did was wonderful, but what I was most touched by was how the community pulled together and made it happen, how their very own Church pulled together on this was inspirational! The contractor (a guy from their own Church who had never even built a house before) was amazing, and there were people like teachers from the Church up on the roof joyfully pounding nails. The girls basketball team even came and pitched in! I've seen a few other episodes of this show, and I have never seen them complete construction a day ahead of time, but they did this time (a whole 2 story house in less than 7 days!) The 'design team' from the show kept commenting as well how they felt something else at work here. No doubt that was God and His people:)

...and I've been thinking about that ever since. You see, our Church is pursuing a new building project, and without getting into opinions on it (the size and design of the building, the cost, the financing etc.), I'll just say that it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing. I don't think it would be appropriate to go into detail here, but after watching that show, I couldn't help but think that if this building is God's will, that if our community, our Church (which is the people who make it up) were to get behind this the way the Woffard's did, well that it too would be amazing. I was deeply touched by the picture I saw of what Church really is on that program!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Tea and Giggles

Last night was so much fun...a girls'-night-IN, so to speak. My friends Tami and Arilee (and of course the darling Princess Aurora) came over for supper and to linger. Princesses Amanda and Aurora had too much fun playing Pollys and then Barbies, and Princesses Tami, Arilee and I had too much fun engaging in girl-talk and sipping on Tea of Love! These gals used to be part of my small group and I miss getting to meet with them and talk with them over some tea every two weeks.

Tami is gregarious and full of fun. She adds a touch of the unexpected to my life and reminds me to colour outside of the lines. She has the greatest laugh and an amazing heart.

Most of you who read this already know who
Arilee is. She is the 'auntie-extraordinaire'. She's a very creative witty woman...who is a wonderful mom and has been such a cheerleader for me as a mom.

I admire both of these women and learn alot from them. Being with them always encourages me. We need to make more time for evenings like last night. Tea and giggles go well together:)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

As I posted on Tuesday: "I guess I'm having a 'book-party' for Party-lite Candles. I went to a candle open house with my mother-in-law this weekend and somehow got roped into this. Actually, I was thankful to find a new consultant since my stock of votives and tealights was getting pretty I discovered some yummy new scents...belguim waffles, almond biscotti and pumpkin ginger:) If you're needing any votives/tealights and want me to bug you about it, let me know and I'll give you a call. "

Last night, the Party-Lite consultant called me with a special offer that I can extend to anyone who orders anything...
Buy 2 Get 1 Free!

That means if you buy 2 dozen votives, you get 1 dozen free; if you buy 2 dozen tealights, you get 1 dozen free; if you buy 2 candle holders, you get one of a value no greater than the average cost of the 2 free.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

When I got home from work yesterday, I headed to the bedroom to change my clothes, and there, on the bed, on top of a heart shaped pillow, was this book, 'Keeping a Princess Heart in a Not-so Fairy-tale World'. (If you've read this blog before, you'll know that I wanted this book:) I cracked open the cover and the inscription read: "To the fairest and most beautiful princess of them all. Love you, Les" I have THE BEST husband! Have I mentioned how much I adore that man?!!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Drum roll please.....

I just learned that the release date for
Carolyn Arends' new album, "Under the Gaze" is....TOMORROW! If you follow the links above to her site, there are lyrics and song-bytes from it.

I've been feeling a little bit Fragile lately... know, easily moved to tears, needing a little extra care...and as I sampled Carolyn's new album on my tea-break this morning, the words to the song 'Fragile' really spoke to my heart. Here are her thoughts about writing the song along with the lyrics:

"I was once chatting with a group of good friends from my church about a mutual friend who was absent, and – to the best of our knowledge – had been struggling of late. "I think," one of my friends confided, "she’s always been a little fragile." We all nodded knowingly.

However much we loved our absent friend, in all truthfulness we didn’t label her "fragile" as a complement. It was a nice way of saying something along the lines of "emotional" or "weak". But I got to thinking later about how much we fight our weakness, and how much that fight flies in the face of the Apostle Paul’s promise that it is in our very weakness that God is strong. Leonard Cohen once said "There are cracks, cracks in everything – that’s how the light gets in." So why do we spend so much time trying to cover over the cracks?

I’ve come to think of my fragile friend (actually, I’ve got several, and one of them lives in my own skin) more like fine china – rare, valuable, easily broken and therefore deserving of respect and the utmost care."
(Fine china, eh? ...hopefully I'm a teacup with pink roses! ...SB)
Carolyn Arends

Life would be easier in thicker skin
Yours is thin
It would be better if you wouldn’t cry
All your friends
They wonder why

You’re fragile, easily broken
You’re fragile, already scarred
You’re fragile, but haven’t you noticed
All the most precious things are

Well if the eyes are windows to the soul
Yours is blue
And beautiful
You just don’t have the knack for building walls
Whatever comes
You feel it all

You’re fragile, easily broken…

I’ve heard it said there’s got to be a crack or two
For the light to get through
It seems to me that you are meant to be the kind
Who shines

You’re always trying to find an even keel
Somewhere safe
And not so real
But you were made to live the lows and highs
A winter rose
A butterfly

You’re fragile, easily broken…

C 2004 Songs of Peer, Ltd / Mr. Marley's Music (ASCAP)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sometimes we just don't know how to accept a gift...

...or a compliment, for that matter. One day this week at coffee time, I decided to head out to get myself a cup of tea. I offerred to get one for my co-worker as well if she would tell me what kind she wanted (she can't have caffeine, so I needed to know what her favourite herbal was). She fought me vehemently about it and decreed that I better not get her anything! was just a cup of tea?! I was left feeling like I would offend her greatly if I did bring her something back. It left me wondering if I don't sometimes have trouble receiving a gift as well. I know I can have trouble receiving a compliment sometimes. I've learned to smile and try to just say thank you, but inside something just fights it. Maybe that's not good. I've been thinking about God's it's a it is undeserved....and how we must receive it. Do we receive it as fully as we should? Is there more grace that would pour out into our lives when we received it and said thank you if inside we weren't fighting it because we know we don't deserve it? My 'Devotion for Ragamuffins' said this today:

"Against all the canons of prudence and discretion, Jesus announced the dawn of a new age, the inbreak of a higher righteousness, that he had come to save not the just but the sinners. And the sinner is accepted prior to any statement of sorrow. First comes grace (given tenderness), then metanoia. Real sinners deserving real punishment are gratuitously pardoned: they need only accept tenderness already present. Forgiveness is granted: they need only the wisdom to accept it and repent. These are the poor in spirit whom Jesus declares blessed. They know how to accept a gift. "Come on, all you who are wiped out, confused, bewildered, lost, beat up, scarred, scared, threatened, depressed, and I'll enlighten your mind with wisdom and fill your heart with tenderness that I have received from my Father." This is unconditional pardon. The sinner need only live confidently in the wisdom of accepted tenderness."

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Ps 145:8

Roses in Me Heart...

That's what this site would be translated into pirate talk?!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Image Hosted by
It was too close for me to call last night when Theresa and Kalan performed for the final vote. I was especially moved though by one performance...
In tears, I watched Kalan Porter sing the song of his choosing, 'I Can Only Imagine'. What a beautiful performance! I am so proud of him for picking that song and bearing his soul that way. I completely disagree with the commentary of the judges, who appeared to not be able to understand.

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever ... worship You

I can only imagine

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Well, tonight's the night...the finale of Can-A-dian Idol. I'm really looking forward to it. What started out as a program I watched with/for my daughter became something I've looked forward to the last couple of months...yes, because I could share it with Amanda and Les, but also because there have been some truly wonderful performances and some truly wonderful talents. Tonight it is down to Kalen and Theresa. Most people are predicting that Kalen will win, and that wouldn't upset me, but my heart is rooting for Theresa, the Saskatoon singer with so much heart...and being from Saskatoon, myself, I know that anything is possible...this is a generous province and I'm sure her voters will be out in full force. Whatever happens, I am sure that both Kalen and Theresa will have wonderful careers ahead of them. Each of them will sing 3 songs tonight: one they've sang before, a new one they choose, and the Can-A-dian Idol single which will be released shortly after the show. Each of these singers have given us a lot of wonderful performances, so I'm not sure which songs they will choose to repeat. I'd kind of like to hear Theresa do 'Good Mother' by Jann Arden again. We'll see... :)

I’ve got money in my pocket
I like the color of my hair
I’ve got a friend who loves me
Got a house, I’ve got a car
I’ve got a good mother
and her voice is what keeps me here

Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Facing forward
Be yourself
I’ve never wanted anything
No I’ve, no I’ve, I’ve never wanted anything
so bad

Cardboard masks of all the people
I’ve been
thrown out with all the rusted, tangled
dented miseries
You could say I’m hard to hold
But if you knew me you’d know
I’ve got a good father
And his strength is what makes me cry

Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Facing forward
Be yourself
I’ve never wanted anything
No I’ve, no I’ve, I’ve never
wanted anything so bad...
so bad

I’ve got money in my pocket
I like the color of my hair
I’ve got a friend who loves me
Got a house, I’ve got a car
I’ve got a good mother
and her voice is what keeps me here

Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Facing forward
Be yourself

Heart in hand
Feet on ground
Facing forward
Be yourself
just be yourself
just be yourself

Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Feet on ground
Heart in hand

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

3-2 Whooo-hooo! Canada wins!

I don't agree with Lacavalier as MVP, but why swabble when we won! (Maybe that stands for Made us Vunerable with a Penalty in the semi-final?!)
Jacob Hoggart (top 3 finalist in Can-A-dian Idol) or rather his band has a web page. He has even written some prose in journal entries there....
Well, Princepessa Amandalena had her first ever dance lesson last night! She's taking Worship Dance. It is offerred at Emmanual Baptist Church, and is taught by a wonderful woman who is, herself, a dancer. She teaches the girls various styles of dance including some ballet, jazz and even some hip-hop. Amanda is in a group of grade 4 to 8's, and it's so different to see her not be the tallest girl in her group:) When we came to pick our girlie up at the end of class last night, she was already doing a new dance she had just learned. Les said that he couldn't tell who liked Amanda's dance class more, her or me! I guess this look overcame my face as I watched her. I love dance! I wanted to be a ballerina when I was a little girl, but never got lessons, so a few year's ago, I enrolled at Juliet's School of Dance for the adult class. It was wonderful! Last year, I encouraged Amanda to try ballet, but she wasn't as interested, so I didn't push. Then this class came up this year and it's perfect. Amanda is so excited, and I'm just thrilled for her:)

Next, I'll have to make her a circle skirt....

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Words mean alot to me, and these lyrics are so personal they are hard to share...

Nichole Nordeman

Bless the day
This restoration is complete
Dirty dusty something must be underneath
So I scrape and I scuff
Though it's never quite enough
I'm starting to see me finally

A gallery of paintings new and paintings old
I guess it's no surprise that I'm no Michelangelo
Every layer of mine hides a lovely design
It might take a little patience
It might take a little time

But you called me beautiful
When you saw my shame
And you placed me on the wall

You who have begun this work will someday see
A portrait of the holiness you meant for me
So I polish and shine
til it's easier to find even an outline of mine

But you called me beautiful
When you saw my shame
And you placed me on the wall
And you placed me on the wall

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I'll admit, I was hesitant to try it, being the true tea-girl that I am, but I tried one today and all I can say is mmmm, Tim got it right!

New Steeped Tea!

"Over the years, the one thing we’ve learned about making tea, is that there’s no improving on tradition. Tim Hortons is proud to introduce a new way of making tea using a time honored tradition – loose tea leaves. Why loose tea leaves? The secret behind great tasting tea is allowing the water to flow freely, surrounding the tea leaves and coaxing out every last drop of flavor. But we didn’t stop there. We asked a third generation tea master to design the ideal machine for making perfectly steeped tea, cup after cup. A lifetime of tea experience went into our new tea steeper. It gently steeps Tim Hortons own unique blend of orange pekoe tea leaves for consistently full-flavored results. So tea lovers, try a fresh cup of our new steeped tea."

Now if only it came in that cute cup with the spout in the's just not right drinking tea from a disposable cup (with NO saucer I might add)!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Upcoming concert dates to remember:
  • September 30th - Amy Grant & Vince Gill - Despite the fact that it falls between the two day crazed inventory count at work, I'm excited about this. This will be Les & my next date. I'm very excited. I have never seen Amy in concert but have listened to her music probably since I was 13. Les is also pretty excited about Vince Gill. I don't think Les is a huge country music fan, but Vince is an amazing guitar player, so Les is pumped!
  • October 24th - Carolyn Arends - She is probably one of my very favourite artists. I love the way she writes. Her lyrics express my heart:)

Monday, September 06, 2004

He said he was taking me out on Friday. I didn't know where, but when I got dressed, I just felt like dressing up. I put on the strappy black dress. He seemed to like it:) He took me to The Granary. We sat in a booth. Candle-light, dinner, the eyes of the man I love... When we got home again, my husband went down on one knee and asked me if I'd marry him all over again! YES!

(10 days from today is the second anniversary of the first time he asked me:)

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Back to School

I loved this time of year when I was a child! I loved school! I was always excited to find out who my new teacher was...I loved teachers (even wanted to be one!) I loved getting new pens, notebooks...kind of like a fresh page to start again:)

Yesterday was registration day for Amanda for grade 4. Afterward, we stole a little time alone for another 'Mom and Me Having Tea' time. Amanda's big prayer request these days is 'confidence...heading back into the new school year.' Here is this adorable girlie who is bright and imaginative, who is respectful and attentive, who is at a reading level grades beyond her age, and yet she is still a bit nervous about a new grade. I remember feeling that way too. We've been praying for Amanda's new school year that she would get the perfect teacher and the right class for her.

I took Amanda to her first day of classes this morning and stayed through the shuffles as they sorted out who goes where. At first Amanda was in a straight grade 4 classroom, and I was pleased because she's been in a couple of splits the last two years. I'd also heard good things about the teacher in this room, but before anyone could get too comfortable there, they announced a list of grade 4's that would be going into a grade 4/5 split. Inside I was kind of disappointed at first. I followed behind the kids as they walked up the stairs carrying some of their heavy stuff. It turned out that the 4/5 split is being taught by Ms. Buckley, Amanda's grade 2 teacher, and I saw Amanda relax into the comfort of being with a teacher that she had loved. The next thing I noticed is that the kids who formed a bit of a clique in her class last year did not come along to the split class, and my heart relaxed a bit more that maybe, just maybe this would be a really good class for Amanda this year. It may mean making some more new friends this year, but I'm thinking that perhaps God did answer our prayers for Amanda's teacher and class this morning. Oh there still could be changes and shifting, so we'll wait and see, but I left our girlie there with a strong sense of how much she is growing up...

Grade printing, there was handwriting on all the walls in the classroom...Grade more cloak-room, she'll have a locker...Grade 4...our girlie is growing up and it looks like it's going to be a great year!

(Now I have to look into hip hop classes as Amanda thinks this is what she'd like to do this fall...any suggestions out there?)