I never lead worship by myself. Russell and I have gotten so used to singing and leading together that doing anything apart is foreign anymore…which is a good thing, really.  So when I got a call from Jen Weiler, our student pastor’s wife, a couple months ago asking me to lead worship for THRIVE, I was shocked, nervous, apprehensive, scared, all those insecure things.  THRIVE is a once a year event of over 300 6th to 12th grade girls gathering to be encouraged and pampered by women of all ages. It is the living out of Titus 2 where it says:  Older women…are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5 ESV)

Don’t get me wrong.  I wanted to do it but I was afraid of being by myself without Russell. He does almost all of the leading when we lead praise and worship.  I usually just sing, which I love very much!  So I told Jen that I would think and pray about it and then call her with a decision.  After talking it over with Russell and with God, I decided it was exactly what I was supposed to do.  I was excited, still nervous, but excited.

Well, the day came for THRIVE. I had assembled a team of three other women to help me and Tom Garber, our musical director, had put together an awesome band from the unbelievable talent pool we have at beachCHURCH. We were ready.  Was I still nervous, insecure, plain scared?  YES!  However, I was so encouraged by my awesome husband to step out and do what God was wanting to do in and through me.  I had been wanting to be more comfortable in leading others to worship our awesome Creator and King. Now was the time to do it.

Tom also told me something while practicing one day.  He told me that this is not about performing, which I had done in theaters for so many years. He told me to speak to them as a mom, to look at those girls, all 300 of them, as I would my own daughter.  That’s when it sunk in.  That’s what I needed to hear.  I was there to lead them to worship, all the while worshipping our Lord first.  I was to be the Lead Worshipper.  This was not about me after all.  Yes, God was doing something in me through this experience, but it was about these teenagers,  these beautiful girls that God has a plan and purpose for.  And ultimately it was about worshipping the One Who has each of their lives, and mine and yours, so intricately planned and designed according to our gifts and talents that He gave us when He created us.  We don’t have to be afraid to live out the life He has for us.  I didn’t have to be insecure and timid in stepping up and leading those girls, in doing what God was calling me to do.  You don’t either.

Let God do amazing things in and through you, things that you wouldn’t think possible.  That’s what He does best – the impossible, because all things are possible with God.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 ESV)

I loved seeing all those girls come together to have fun and just be pampered for the day. Not to mention all 200+ ladies that volunteered to do the pampering. I love to see the body of Christ serve each other.  I think that’s when we see Jesus’ love the most. We need to do more of that, serving each other, building up each other, mentoring the younger generation.

Jenna Lucado did a wonderful job sharing from her heart with the girls.  She related well to them with such ease and sincerity.  I loved her immediately upon meeting her earlier that day. She was real, very refreshing to talk to.  I have always loved her dad, Max Lucado.  I have read many of his books and have learned so much from them.  It’s great to see the next generation in the Lucado family rising up and taking their place among all those who speak into the younger generation.

I was just watching a video from Paul Baloche.  He recently released a new CD and the title song is awesome!  In the video, he is in a urban area, singing, oddly enough, into a red SOLO cup.  The cup is attached to a string and he goes across the city, in various areas, placing other SOLO cups, also attached to strings, where people will walk by.

I watched as numerous people, each wearing headphones, walked by these cups, not noticing the ‘sound’ coming from them that the singer was singing.  Immediately I thought, “They are so plugged in they can’t hear.”  I thought about our fairly recent visit to South Korea and how plugged in they were – a culture that barely talked on the subway, where everyone, and I mean everyone, had an iPhone or some other smart device.  I thought, then, that they were a plugged-in society, not noticing much of anything or anyone around them.  Then it dawned on me…Are they plugged in or are they tuned out?  Are they missing out on things?  Are we missing out on some things…maybe something God is trying to say?

Maybe we, also, are tuned out.  Maybe we need to tune in and plug in to our real Source…of strength, of hope, of grace.

I want people to look at my life and say…

She sure is tuned in!

How about you?

This is my sister, Tracy, and me before our first Half-Marathon

I love to run. Well…love might be a little strong. I love the accomplishment I feel after running and knowing I’m doing something good for my body. I also love running with Britt Nicole. Britt and I have been running together now for many years. On days when I’m not running with anybody else, Britt is always there. You see, Britt Nicole is on my iPhone and I love to run while listening to her. She has great music and seems to have such a heart for telling others about the love of our Savior.

Lately, I’ve been listening to her new CD, “GOLD.” I love it…didn’t really expect to feel any differently. The song I really dig right now by her is “All This Time.” The song talks about the day her parents’ divorced, how torn up she was about it, and how God was, and has been, there for her every moment from then to now. There is actually a track where she tells her story and why she wrote the song.

It got me thinking…we all have a story. What is yours? What is mine? We all have reasons to share our story because it shows the hand of God working throughout all of our circumstances. He is there all the time. He is using everything we go through to shape us and mold us into the people we were created to be. Philippians 1:6 tells us to ” be confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” That means that we can be sure that He isn’t finished with us yet. Our story, His story, our lives, have a purpose.

Consider sharing your story. Leave it in the comment section. I encourage you to think about your life so far and what God has carried you through. I’d love to hear about it and it just might be used to encourage someone else.

Have a great Saturday!


About three years ago, we began meeting with some other couples about a potential marriage event in Myrtle Beach.  At the time, there were no other marriage enrichment events in the Myrtle Beach area, but we felt that God was leading us to begin this ministry.  We have been extremely blessed to be a part of so many great marriage events over our years of ministry, like Lifeway’s Marriage Impact, where we will be again this summer, and God has continually presented us with opportunities and intersections for encouraging marriages. Out of the initial meetings, the Adore Marriage weekend was born.

Earlier this month, we held our second year of Adore Marriage at the Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation.  I can truly say that God is good and has blessed this ministry immensely.  When the conference team had done all that was humanly possible, we know that God took the next five steps that only He could.  To Him be the glory for all that happened during and around Adore Marriage.  God presented us with a new ministry team partner, Theresa, whose contacts and skills propelled the conference forward by miles.  And in addition to that, we ended up with about 30 couples from 6 different states who attended the conference.

Most exciting for us is the prospect of adding a second Adore Marriage event each year.  With the Myrtle Beach weekend, we sought to keep costs as low as possible and make sure that the most value was given to couples for the costs they paid.  We have tried to keep the costs as all-inclusive as possible, as well, so that when a couple commits to attend, there are no hidden costs.

In the weeks leading up to our Myrtle Beach weekend, we were presented with an opportunity to take Adore Marriage out to sea on Royal Caribbean later this Fall.  While we weren’t actively looking, the opportunity came up and fell into place through God’s divine plan.  So, at our conference earlier this month, we announced an Adore Marriage Cruise setting sail October 19-22, 2012.  We are very excited to see what God has planned for the future of this ministry.

We have a busy summer of marriage events with our ministry partners Lifeway and the North Carolina Baptist Convention.  We will be leading worship for two Lifeway Marriage Impact events later this summer and those events are always fun.  Hosted at Lifeway’s Ridgecrest Conference Center, the weekends offer a great marriage getaway to the North Carolina mountains, along with all sorts of activities in the area.  We will also be traveling to Ft. Caswell to lead worship for a Pastor and Wives event sponsored by the NC Baptist Convention.

For all of our upcoming events, please visit our Concert & Events page.

On the set for the Arise music video

Getting in the Way

I was outside spending some time with God this morning. I love the mornings. Not the 4:30 or 5:00 mornings, but the 6:30 or 7:00 mornings. I love to get up before anyone else and get my Bible and go outside on our deck and sing and pray. It does something to my day…starts it better.

Well, this morning was one of those mornings. It was especially nice and beautiful outside and I brought my computer with me to listen to some awesome music. While I was singing, worshipping, lifting my hands to God, I noticed a shadow come over my face. I had blocked the sun with my outstretched arm. I felt like God said, “Make sure your worship of me doesn’t get in the way of Me shining on and through you.” Wow. Wow! How many times have I gotten caught up in the song, or the speaker, rather than the One I’m singing and speaking and preaching about?! How many times have you?

I want my worship to be only for my Creator, my Salvation-Giver, the only One worthy!!

Help me, Lord, to give You praise, honor and glory from a pure heart. Help me not to get caught up in doing. Help me to sit at Your feet and soak up what You are speaking, ever so softly. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

We just went to see the movie “Courageous” for the first time. I wept! There’s no other way to say it. If you have kids, you probably wept, too. I was so encouraged to see a movie that had such a powerful message, was produced well, and had no cheesy acting. I really had nothing negative to say. I saw the director’s ministry heart all the way through the movie. Not to spoil the movie for those of you who haven’t seen it, I want to say we came out of the theater with a renewed sense of our purpose and role in God’s plan as parents.

Sometimes, I know I can lose that sense of purpose when my day seems to be consumed with homework and refereeing. Our kids, Will and Sidney, go to a University Model School, which means they go to school on Tuesday and Thursday and are home on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We are with them often because of the nature of what we do as Christian Musicians. We are so thankful for that and often sit together for lunch and tell the children how nice it is to be able to have the time we have together. That being said, we, kids included, are together a lot! So we can sometimes forget the amazing privilege it is to have the time we have together. I guess that’s normal – to not take advantage of the time you have when you have it. I don’t think someone would think we’re bad parents for not realizing every moment that the time we have is such a gift.

But isn’t it good to be reminded, once in a while, how the people in our lives are gifts from God? Isn’t it good to sometimes be reminded that God has a purpose for us as parents, and children, to be the ‘gifts’ He created us to be? After all, He knows the plans He has for us and they aren’t to harm us. His plan is to give us hope and a future! (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thank You, Lord, for the little (and big) reminders You give us. Thank You for my kids, Will and Sidney. Please help Russell and me to be the parents You’ve created us to be. Help all of us as parents to be who You’ve called us to be and deny what this world says we’re to be. This is, after all, about You and Your plans. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.