Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby Monkey

What we're all singing in our house at the moment.
I was in torture, but now it makes me laugh every time...
because I showed this to my California friends, and it keeps popping into their heads...
which is *probably* mildly torturous for them, like it was for me...
which makes me just giddy with joy and laughter...
which is why I'm no longer in torture.

Watch and wonder, "What in the HECK?"
Then watch it again and laugh.
And then wait to see if it pops into your head and you start singing it at very odd and awkward times.
Muah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaa...


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Snapshots

What an amazing time we've had here in California!!!
We head out in the morning, diving into the drive home. =^(
Yes, I will do proper posts of our time here.
(What an AMAZING time it's been!!! So practically perfect in every way.)
 But tonight, in this moment, I wanted to share some iPhotoBooth snapshots.

Of my girls at the conference...

Me with Amy & Andressa

The amazing Lori Simmons

Yensi and Ann and... who is that? Oh, it's me again.

Some of the AWESOME girls at the conference!!!

More rockin' girls I got to hang with.
(Why does one of my eyes look mostly shut? What the heck?)

The incredible Kim. The fact that she does silly faces with me testifies to her incredibleness.


And of me and my sis... and some of our crazy kiddos...











...and then the boys discovered the effects...
(They were quite amused with themselves.)






WHAT FUN WE'VE HAD!!!!!!!!!!


And, I got to introduce the incredible new worship song Great I AM this morning at our California church.
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. What an honor to lead it... to worship with my friends to it. Almost speechless. *Almost*
(You can check the song out here: http://vimeo.com/20751103.)
They all agreed with me that, yes, the video is good... the recorded song is good.
BUT, there is something that happens when it is led live in a worship service.
It changes the atmosphere.

(It's from the New Life album coming out April 12th that you can check out here: http://www.vimeo.com/18401813.)



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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Musings from California...

*Last week I posted from Michigan.
This week I'm posting from California.
That's pretty crazy.
And I LOVE it!


*God is so good. (To remind you, in case you had forgotten.)


*We just spent two nights with my sister in Santa Barbara, which was AWEsome.
I sure love my adorable little nephews.
(Yes, I realize I have no pics for you right now. It's late. I haven't uploaded them yet.)
It was great to catch up with their family, even if it was briefly. What FUN we all have together!!!
Their house is so great, and the kids got to tromp around with goats, chickens, horses... what a dream.
Muddy boots = happy kiddos.
A view of the ocean during the day and bright stars over a bon fire at night.


*We get to stay there Sunday night, too... which just makes me very happy.
Any time with my amazing sister is a gift...
especially because we both laugh at the same silly things.
("Wow! It's very light in color!")


*Right now we're in Santa Maria, where we lived before Colorado Springs.
I get to speak to a bunch of teen girls this Friday and Saturday!!!!!
How stinking COOL is THAT?
(Once again, the fact that ANYone is giving me a mic and trusting me with it is a little hard to believe.)


*I saw the stuff the girls get at the conference.
It ROCKS.
I get it, too... which I'm sure I'll brag about if you happen to ask.


*And, the conference name is Rock What You Got, so of course it's going to rock.
And, pretty much everything Church For Life DOES totally rocks.
(It's always a given.)


*The next few days will be spent catching up with wonderful friends, shopping at my favorite Goodwill, and praying God shines through me as I speak to these girls and pour my heart out in worship with them.
The people here have been so instrumental in God teaching me how to rock what I'VE got.
It's amazing how He brings things full circle.
Love that.
Love them.
Love Him.


*I don't have a picture to show you yet of all our adventures... but here's one of me and my favorite guy sitting here in the hotel lobby.
I'm typing this post... he's watching Storage Wars.
Hee-hee.



*I think it's hilarious that quite a few people made the comment, "Nate! Is that the SAME In-N-Out shirt you wore when you lived here?"
"Yeah."


*I sure love this man.



(I hope you're super excited about New Life's upcoming You Hold It All album release.
Check out the promo video here.
And listen to the first release from that album, Great I Am, here.
I really believe in the power this song holds.
Maybe we'll get to do it in worship while I'm out here in Cali?)


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Saturday, March 19, 2011

From Michigan, with love...

The women's retreat was amazing...
because God is amazing...
so when He's in something, that something becomes amazing.

And now we're home at Rachael's house, kickin' back and decompressing...
and maybe being a little goofy because we're tired and happy and tired and full and tired and content and...



Goodnight from Michigan, with love...



(Fyi, still super excited here about the release of the new New Life worship album coming up on April 12th. You can see a bit of the recording night here.
You can hear one of the most amazing worship songs *truly* ever in my life here.)
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Musings in Michigan...

*I'm sitting here waaaaayyyyy too late at night in Michigan.

*I should have gone to bed for.ev.er ago, but I got all inspired and have been typing for the past hour and a half.
(Good and bad. Good = inspired. Bad = less sleep.)

*I'm staying with my friend Rachael's family... and they're totally awesome... and I feel all pampered and spoiled... and Michigan is amazing... and I forgot how much I really don't mind humidity.

*Today we got manicures and pedicures.
I realized I haven't had a manicure in 13 years... because I've bitten my nails so what was the point?
But I don't (most of the time) do that anymore, so I went for it.
Easter egg blue! Yay!
I took a photo to show you, but the internet has some issues and it doesn't want to upload.

*The color is OPI and it's actually called Teal The Cows Come Home.

*I wish I got paid to name nail polish colors.
I'd come up with things like The Grape Escape and If You Currant All.
(Maybe that's why no one employs me to do such.)

*We've been talking about the new New Life Worship album coming out.
Everyone here is pretty darn excited about it.
1. Because it's awesome, and
2. Because Rachael sings on it, and
3. Because Rachael is awesome.

*You can check out the album promo here.

*You can check out the first single off the album here, which I think may rank in my top 10 best worship songs of all time.

*Nate makes fun of my top 10 because He says it includes more than 10.
I say no, because there can be lots of ties.
But, Great I Am really is Top 10.

*Actually, I think top 5.
(When you get to top 5 they all tie because it's impossible to rank in that range...
at least in Angela Land.)

*Night, night...
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Great I Am

As a worship leader, I obviously seek out songs that hold a special anointing, that are Truth in melody.
Even so, rarely have I encountered songs such as this. 
These words and thoughts are God-breathed, seemingly straight from the Throne Room of Heaven itself.
It transcends genre, transcends generation.
I believe this will be one of the greatest worship anthems of this time.
God-inspired and God-focused...

Watch and listen.
It will affect you.

Great I Am-Song from New Life Worship on Vimeo.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'M GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!

This April (Yes, in just a few short weeks.) I am going to get on a plane and do something I've never done before... fly across an ocean!!!

Then I will do something else I've never done before (obviously, since I've never crossed an ocean)... go to Africa!!! More specifically, Kenya. Even more specifically, Nairobi. 

But, then I will have the great honor of doing something I have done before...
something I am incredibly passionate about...
something I believe God has called me to in this life.
I will get to tell Kenyan women of the immense Truth of their value, worth, calling and identity in Jesus Christ.
I will get to love them and hug them and tell them God created them uniquely, with gifts and talents that He has plans and purposes for.
I will get to remind them that God does not lay down His purposes for our lives, and that He redeems everything.
Everything.
I will get to encourage these women to walk daily in the Truth that they are called to change the world.

I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been bouncing from Freak-out Mode to Of-course-this-is-happening Mode to How-in-the-world Mode.
And, this has all transpired in just the last few weeks.
Just. the. last. few. weeks!

Wait.

Let's back up *quite* a few years.

Fifteen years ago I laid a dream down.
Because of circumstances and choices being what they were and what I had made, I "knew" that God wouldn't be able to use me in a way I so desperately wanted to be used.

Nate was in Kenya. He was walking the streets of Nairobi.
He came back and showed us pictures and told us stories and spoke of the school children.
And I wanted to go.
But, I "knew" that I couldn't... ever.
Circumstances were what they were. I had made choices, and I was sure that God was forced to give up on that desire He had placed in my heart.
Because when we make wrong choices, it changes His plans for us. Right?
So, I laid the dream down.

Wrong.

When Kim asked a few weeks ago if I would go on the trip, saying she really wanted me to be part of this team, I was a bit surprised when she said the word Kenya... Nairobi.
When I came home and prayed with Nate about it, I was in shock.
It was happening so soon, so fast.
$3000.00? How would we pay for it?
When God answered, "Go. The money will be provided. I want you there. I WANT YOU THERE." I was speechless. 
(Rare, I know. The speechless thing, not the God speaking thing.)
I told Kim two days later that, yes, I would go.
I'm in.
For whatever.
...and then I sat outside in the car with tears streaming down my face and realized that God redeems everything.
EVERYTHING.
When we lay down our dreams and place whatever we have in His hands, He redeems the things we did not know could be redeemed.
He even redeems the things we had forgotten we had forgotten.

So, on April 16th I will board an airplane and cross an ocean and stay in the same place Nate was and walk the same streets he walked and look into the same faces he looked into...
the ones that I thought God could never send me to because of my choices and circumstances.

Part of me just shakes and tingles a bit and says, "This can't be happening."
But another part... the bigger part... says, "Oh, heck YES it IS happening... because MY God is greater, MY God is stronger, MY God redeems even the most seemingly impossible of forgotten dreams."

I'M GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!!!!!

Will you help me go?
Will you please pray for me... for wisdom, for open doors, for open hearts, for safety, for confidence in walking out what I know God is calling me to.
And, would you please pray about helping me reach the $3000.00 I need to get on that airplane?
God told me it's going to happen, so I know it will happen.
Maybe He wants you to be a specific part of it?
Just ask Him.
Because I may be the one going and loving on these women, but you can love on them, too, and invest in their lives by helping me get there.

Holy cow, I'M GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!!!!

Please help me by praying.
And IF you want to help me financially, just click the donate button below. 
(It will also remain on the upper side of my blog over there.)

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'M GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




P.S.
If you would like to give in a way that is tax deductible, you can donate online at www.newlifechurch.org.
Just click on the "Give" icon on the right hand side.
A separate window will open and you will be prompted to create an account.
After doing that, select the Kenya Missions-Women's Adult Trip 2011 from the "Fund" drop-down box, then choose my name in the "Sub-Fund" drop down list.
New Life will issue a tax-deductible receipt in late January in 2012.
(EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!)



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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

DAUGHTERS

Hey, girls that are in or around the Colorado Springs area!
This Friday night and Saturday, March 11th & 12th, we're kicking off DAUGHTERS at New Life.

We're going to learn what it means to live life with courage, be blessed by the words of Stasi Eldredge, (Captivating, Love & War) and enter into worship with Jared Anderson.
Tickets are only $10... and that inCLUDES lunch on Saturday!!!
(Seriously. Best. Deal. EVer.)
You can register online here.
But, even if you don't get around to that, just show up!

This conference is not just for women who attend New Life.
It's for all women.
Any women.
Because we are all DAUGHTERS.

There will be lots of laughter, heartfelt connection... and candy.
Yes, there will be candy.
(Because it's a women's conference, so I think that's required somewhere in the rule book.)
There will be awesome door prizes. 
*ahem* Because some really cool girl with fun fashion sense *ahem* is in charge of that. *ahem*

So, come hang out with your girls. Make new friends. Laugh and chat and laugh some more.
But, most importantly, come be refreshed and reminded that...

We are women
rising out of the ordinary.
We know we are called,
we are embracing our commission,
and we are facing life with courage.
We are changing the world from right where we are, with exactly what we have...
and we are doing it together.

We are... DAUGHTERS.

(P.S. If you want me to save you a seat, just email me!!!)

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Monday, March 7, 2011

...with perseverance.


persevere |ˌpərsəˈvi(ə)r|verb [ intrans. ]continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty

Funny how we can read something so many times, then one day it jumps at us in a fresh light.
Maybe it's because our circumstances change from morning to morning.
So, what we need to hear changes from morning to morning.
And God knows that.

There are areas of my life where I'm looking for "fruit" ... expecting the change to come... and not seeing anything (yet).
I've been tempted to throw in the towel with some things.
My attitude? 
"But, Lord! I'm reading Your Word, I'm applying Your Truth, I'm walking it out. So, where the heck is the fruit?
Didn't you say if we did those things there would be fruit? Huh? HUH???"


"...who have heard the Word... and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance." Luke 8:15 (nas)

"...who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest." Luke 8:15 (msg)


Oh.


Sometimes we forget, don't we?
Okay, I forget. 
Or, I get lost. 
Or, I get frustrated. 
Or, my vision grows blurry.

The fruit does come... it will come... with perseverance.

In my mind I think, "We just need to shift this here and move this over there and take this out and put this in and, tada! That should produce the fruit we're after!"
But, it doesn't necessarily work like that.
Sometimes it does, but obviously not all the time because Jesus reminded us with His parable of the sower that it takes perseverance.


We hear it all throughout scripture. In Hebrews we run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
It's just that we forget.
We think results should come faster than they tend to.
We can chalk it up to our microwave, fast-food culture...
but, I think it goes beyond that... because Jesus spoke this to the crowds of listeners way back when.
Which means they needed to hear it as much as we need to hear it.
(And, I have some good intel that they didn't have microwaves or fast-food.)


...with perseverance.


It's not necessarily a cultural thing.
I think it's a human thing.
We want what we want and we want it now.

I want to see the change I'm hoping and praying for... now.
I want to see glory in the harvest... now.
I want to witness the fullness of the fruit I'm hoping to bear... NOW!


...with perseverance.


Perseverance is hard. It takes commitment. It takes energy. 
It takes time. It takes our resources.
Are we willing to give those things?
Maybe in some areas, but in every area?
Does a marathon runner have perseverance? Of course.
But, I know marathon runners who will stick it out 'til the end... cross that finish line... and then throw away a relationship because it would take too much to repair it.

I know successful businessmen who have worked hard... invested in company relationships... researched business strategies, sought wise business council... and then given up on their troubled teenager because they weren't sure how to move forward.

Jesus isn't talking about a specific area. He's talking about the whole.
All of it.
Life
...with perseverance.

The things we are called to, we are called to.
Regardless of timeline.
In spite of not seeing what we want to see when we want to see it.
"Delayed" results don't give us an automatic doctor's note to sit on the bench, to get out of the game.
This isn't jr. high.
And God's timeline is not ours.


...with perseverance.


Okay.
I'm reminded.
Let's do this thing.
Are you in? For the long haul?
Because I am.


...with perseverance.



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Saturday, March 5, 2011

On photos, a friend & magicness...

Yes, I finally changed my bloggy profile pic... for anyone that even notices.
I decided to go with dark hair last September (It's closer to my natural... just richer and a shade darker... even though some of you don't agree... I see my roots.) after getting highlights for seven years.
Yes, I was blonde.
Loved it, but just was ready for something different.
(It's hair, people! Live life! Make the change you want to make!)

The problem with changing hair color so drastically is that all of my bio-type pics
(read: headshots, for all you pros out there)
were no longer current.
Eeeek!
And then I was getting asked for headshots for some upcoming stuff.
Double eeeek!

Enter Brianne to the rescue!!!

My amazing friend Bri met me outside the church the other day, whipped out her handy-dandy camera and seriously worked some magic.
I don't know how she does it, but she does.

I just wanted to give her a shout out here on the blog because
she is so incredible!
There I am, just sitting and being goofy and trying to look normal and smile but that's really hard because all I want to do is make silly faces into the camera...
and somehow in her magicness (Yes, it's now a word. I just made it one. Officially. In Angela Land.) Bri captures exactly what I've needed.
Plus a few extras (shown below). Hee-hee!

So, peeps. If you're here in the Springs, book her now for whatever.
Go check out her facebook page.
Witness her amazingness. 
She's here in Colorado through the Spring, and this summer she'll be in Sioux Falls... but then *hopefully* back here.
(Right, God? That's the plan, right? Please?)

And, because it's just so hard for me to look normal...
(Bri obviously has soooooo much grace. Like, inordinate amounts of grace.)


(This may be officially titled my "Dave Simmons" look. My Cali peeps know the down-low.)


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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My partial thoughts on 2011 Oscar fashion...

...because there were just too many thoughts to give you all of them.
So, here's a smattering.

Gwyneth, I know this is a little more out there than people are used to from you. But, I'm not sure why they don't like it. I actually think it's pretty great.
I would have chosen a different something around your waist.
And I would have paired it with some long, liquid-silver type earrings that mimicked the shape of the dress.
But, I think it's fashion-forward and futuristically elegant.


Halle, I want to like this. I really do. But, I just don't.
I mean, it looks like it should be amazing, but it just doesn't feel that way.
Something is off.


Cate, ummmm... I give you kudos for always being different on the red carpet.
You never fail to showcase your individual style.
This makes me think of a 1970's Greek Goddess. I'm not going to label good or bad, but just different.
Because it's you.



Reese!!!! I love it! Yes, it's Barbie... and yes, it's totally amazing.
I love the classic vibe it brings out. And pairing green drop earrings?
Brilliant.


I do. not. see. what everyone is swooning over with this.
I just don't.
You know those lace curtains that are in brothel windows in old western movies?
That's what this reminds me of.
I mean, it's paired with the right jewelry and clutch... but I just can't get past the drapery-ish-ness of the dress.

Matthew sure knows how to pick 'em. Camila, Camila. Ab.so.lute.ly stunning.
Yes, a plunging neckline. I'd be a tad self-conscious. But, this is just gorgeous.
She is just gorgeous.



Helen, have you ever gotten it wrong? I want to be you in fashion when I grow up.
You're impeccably perfect every time.



Mommy-to-be is so glowing. I'm not a huge fan of the shoes, but it all goes so well together.
And, even if it didn't, she's so beautiful that would we even notice?
Loving the side-swept 'do.



Sharon, this is just really scary. Like, really, really scary.
I'm not sure what else to say.



Anne, I'm not sure why some people didn't like this dress. Too much material, they said.
I think it's lovely and that you can totally pull off that shade of red.
(I can't.)
But, all of your looks were amazing. I'm just wondering how they change your hair and makeup so fast?
I guess that's why they're professionals.
(I especially loved the tux look.)





Hilary, I don't know why this dress didn't get more press.
I this it's the definition of fabulous. The texture? Oh, to die.
I would have maybe gone with a bit bigger earring, but really it is so perfect.

But, who I think unexpectedly stole some of the show?


...Christian Bale's wife, Sibi. What a great dress, and paired with such elegantly un-perfect hair.
I know everyone was watching your husband and super excited for him,
as, I'm sure, were you.
But, girl. You were stunning.

And there you have it, my very incomplete Oscar 2011 fashion thoughts.
If anyone ever needs any help putting together the perfect red carpet outfit, just give me a call.
I'm always more than happy to help.  *wink*


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