Monday, November 25, 2013

Arise, Shine!

The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
the light will shine on them. (Isaiah 9:2)
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)

Thousands of years ago God made this promise through the prophet Isaiah to send His light to shine on those living in the shadow of death. That light came through the birth of a baby - Jesus. 

Ironically, it is the death of babies that is casting a shadow over families in China.

Under China’s One Child Policy, mothers who become pregnant with a second child are assessed huge fines (more than their annual salary); they face imprisonment, forced abortion and sterilization. Mothers who can avoid the authorities and give birth are often forced by their families to abandon their daughters in hopes of trying again for a son. Families who choose to keep their second child do so under the burden of huge fines that make it difficult to feed their families; these children are often refused schooling and health care.

Today, Pop Scripture Songs releases our first Christmas single – Arise, Shine! (Featuring our talented friend Chris Coleman and my husband and four kids!)  The digital download is available here.  All proceeds will go to an organization for the prevention of gendercide in China - All Girls Allowed. When you download this single, you’ll be helping mothers in China who are desperate to save their babies from abandonment or forced abortion. The minimum is $1 to purchase. However, you can give more or buy the song to send to others.

All Girls Allowed will use proceeds from our sales in two ways: to pay government fines for a mother so she is not forced to abort her baby and to give a monthly stipend to mothers who are trying to keep their babies but cannot afford to feed and clothe them.  All proceeds go directly to China.

Please share this Christmas single with your friends and family. Let’s spread the word and help save lives in China this Christmas!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Your Family's Path

Because of God’s tender mercy,
    the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
  to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    and to guide us to the path of peace.  Luke 1:78-79

I love that this passage is a part of a prophecy a dad speaks concerning his son. The Spirit came upon Zechariah. Simple as that. I believe we could all be prophesying over our children if we seek the Spirit of Almighty God. Zechariah's son, John the Baptist, was a world changer. His dad saw it and spoke front of all his neighbors. 

I've been going back to this passage for the past 6 months. Our family has kind of adopted this as our mission for our Pop Scripture Songs project.  As we meditate on this, we see that God is blessing our efforts to play and sing together to make this music. He is giving us great organizations to partner with to shine His light. And all of this is carrying us down a path of peace.

The path of peace is what I find intriguing.  How do you discover your path? What will bring your family peace?  I believe the path of peace is trod by obedience, by compassion, by love. God's specific path for each of us may be different. But our starting line is the same: HOME. Home is where we learn to obey, to love, to value others. So my challenge to you is to really love and serve the people you live with. Children who love their siblings will love others. Children who encourage each other will grow to be adults who lift up those who hurt.  Young adults who have felt compassion for their little brothers and sisters will step out of your door and into this world with an empathetic heart.  We have to teach our kids unselfishness. The world is not going to do it. So the next time you have to stop what you are doing to correct a child, to wipe up a spill, to sooth hurt feelings, think of it this way: you are clearing a path. Your example marks the path that your children will walk.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Pop Scripture Songs

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because when my kids did their year-end testing last week I realized I don’t know as much as they do!!

As a child, these words awed me and even frightened me a little. But as an adult, they carry an intriguing mystery that draws me closer to their meaning.

 “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”  Hebrews 4:12 NLT

One mystery is that God's Word does not wait around for someone to explain it. It moves out. In all its power, it seeks to transform.  And the innocence of a child’s heart has a way of recognizing and absorbing truth before the world has a chance to distort it.

Memorizing scripture is powerful.  Storing up God’s Word in the hearts of our children is an investment.  We can equip them with the truth they will certainly need to divide right from wrong, good from great.  Our family is excited to share with your family.  We've had so much fun making this music as a family. We hope you will have fun memorizing scripture together too.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Angels On the Farm?

"Thank you for the beautiful music," her text read. My neighbor sent that text at 12:42 a.m. The next morning when I saw it, I assured her we had been asleep. She said she was just sure it was Danny and the kids singing. She had taken her dogs out late that night, heard the sound and stood outside to listen.  "I thanked God for the beautiful night sky, wonderful neighbors and the music," her text continued.  That was three months ago.

I wondered myself from where the music had come. There is only one house close to ours. I know sound carries and I know it could be explained away.  I laughed it off until she heard it again. Sometimes the boys in my family drag the drum kit outside, plug up the amps and go for it. But we don't do that at night. And they haven't played music outside in a long time anyway. So I reiterated that it wasn't us. But she said:  “Are you sure? I was facing your house and it was coming from your way.” When I assured her that we had already gone to bed about an hour before she heard the music, she said, “Well it was the strangest thing! The minute the music stopped, the lights in your house went out. So I went back inside.  It sounded just like Danny and the songs he sings with your kids.”

This came up again when some gals from our little community got together last week. Another neighbor said she hears the music too. She said if she goes outside late at night she sometimes hears singing. "It's coming from your house!" she insisted. 

I'd like to think there are angels singing over us. That our neighbors are being blessed by something we can't explain. I don't really know because I've never heard it. But I know this: Often in the Bible, God's presence is manifested through visits by angels.  Zephaniah 3:17 says,
"The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Some time ago, Danny called me while on a trip in Australia. The reception was bad and he was kind of shaken up.  All he said was, "Cindy, angels are singing over us." That was six years ago and we are just now beginning to see a glimpse of the vision God was revealing for our family. We have been recording an album over the last 10 months. Much of the vocals were done here on the farm.  These are scripture memory songs.  So I can't help but think that all that scripture being sung in our house, is bringing the presence of the Lord.

One other thing. And I will finish with this. Our youngest son (who is very musical and sings all the time) pulled me aside this summer. With tears in his eyes he said, "Mama, when I sing I can hear angels singing with me. It is so wonderful that it makes me cry." A couple days later, I took this photo. It reminded me that God assigns His angels to watch over us.

So there you have it! I don't know exactly what is going on around here or what my neighbors are hearing. But I know the time on this farm is special. It has been a place for our family to be set apart these three years. We have grown in our love for Christ, for each other and for the people God has placed in our path. So I have no desire to try to explain it away. Much like my neighbor, I'm just saying, "Thank you."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We are not here by chance.

There's a quiet route I like to take when walking near our farm. It meanders past a field of at least 50 donkeys. Though they are curious when I pass by, they are always respectful of my longing for silence.  Because of this, I often wish I had 50 carrots in my pocket to share.

Tonight I am recalling one such walk when the silence paid off.  As my path turned, I saw three of our neighbors with whom I have developed a close friendship.   They were chatting and examining the hooves of a horse.  Just as I glimpsed them, a voice from beyond my own imagination seemed to whisper, “This place is set apart, protected.  It is for healing. And right now it is for them.”  That confidence grabbed my attention and I stopped to consider what I was hearing.  It was as if the veil between heaven and earth opened and I was allowed a glimpse of something rare.  Three very different women, one quiet country pasture, something at work beyond their awareness. I think I felt the peace intended for them.  I have no idea of the hurts they may have. But I am aware that my friendship with them is calling me to more diligent prayer.  As I am woven more tightly to the people of my community, I am beginning to understand why we have been placed here together. 

One of these women later thanked me for the singing she said was coming from our house at a time we were asleep. That will be my next post.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Fertilizer Fieldtrip

"All the manure you can fit in the bed of your truck for 20 bucks," I hear an old farmer say.  Hey that's music to my ears!  I don't have a truck, so I call my friend Lisa and say, "Do you think your husband would let us take his truck today and fill it with poop?" Of course he says yes.  He's a farmer. 

I can hardly contain my excitement as I wait for Lisa to come and get me. We are going to fertilize the organic way. Considering the price of a bag of fertilizer, this is cheap AND good.  I dress in old clothes. But I really don't have a clue what's ahead of me. We jump in the truck and drive to the chicken farm.

When I arrive, I discover that this old farmer is younger than I am.  I tell him why we've come and he takes us to this huge mountain of manure. He says, "OK. If you really want it, I can scoop it into the back of your truck."  He climbs up on his tractor and we are standing there ready to watch when he says, "You might want to get back in your truck and roll up the windows."  Before we can heed this sage wisdom, we are covered in poopy dust. I mean head to toe! Up our noses, between our fingers - it's the nastiest smell I've ever encountered. It's all over us!  We make a mad dash for the cab, rolling up the windows as fast as our fingers will move. We can feel the back of truck sink lower with each scoop.

As we drive away with our treasure, we feel like REAL women. I mean really! Who does this? We stop by the corner gas station for a Coke and a bag of peanuts. We've worked up quite an appetite. But we consider that our hands aren't clean enough to eat with. Should we wait til we get home to wash our hands? Nah...

The moral of this story...Everything washes off. I'd say we cleaned up pretty well.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Write to Your Children

 I love a good one liner. They are easy for me. I love Instagram and Twitter. But they fool me into thinking I am keeping a record of the best moments of my life. Often I need to be reminded to write on paper...with a pen...something that will last.  

My dear friend, Lisa, saw something silly I tweeted this week and reminded me of Isaiah 30:8
Now go and write down these words.
    Write them in a book.
They will stand until the end of time
    as a witness. 

 I keep a different journal for each of my kids where I write down funny things they do, amazing things I see in each of them and just how much I love them. I hope these will be something they treasure one day. I want them to read their book and remember how God's hand has been on them since birth. They are each so different, so unique. I want them to know that I paid attention to the little things, the special things.