Category Archives: Rhythm of the Soul

“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”

Music Monday – The Third Day Soul on Fire Tour

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Photo Credit: Lott Shudde, http://www.thirdday.com

 

Powerful. I went to a Third Day concert Saturday and it can hardly be categorized as a “show.”  Yes, the band performed but what they performed was heart and soul surgery. We were led. We were led to The Throne and sent forth to continue the worship in our lives. The album is Lead Us Back and the tour is Soul on Fire and if you don’t get to any other concerts this year, do try to make this one.  I would feel this way even if I weren’t already a Third Day fan. I went to this particular concert to meet up with almost 70 other fans (the Gomer Family) for pre and post-show gatherings and we had joked about how nice it was of Third Day to provide a concert for our party.  I thought I was going to serve cake and meet up with friends I seldom see in person but have been blessed to get to know and love.

What I found out was I was there for conviction. We have struggles here at the Fecher abode, just like everyone else. Sometimes we need slapped upside the head by the Spirit.  God bless Third Day for their anointed ability to slap people upside the head through their music. Your Words, Our Deliverer, Victorious – powerful.  Worship is a verb, a frame of mind and a lifestyle. It’s music like that found on the new album that challenges us to look inside ourselves and take inventory of what’s missing and what’s there that shouldn’t be.  I was prepped before attending this concert that this would not be like the typical rock-your-face shows that we are used to. I was expecting “mellow.”  Mellow is not the word.  Nope, nope, nope. Powerful is the word.  Lead Us Back is their first worship album since Offerings 2 in 2003. I hope they won’t wait that long til the next one.  Music speaks to us in ways nothing else can. Sometimes it’s fun, silly, beautiful, obnoxious, danceable, etc. but something we need a regular dose of in our music intake is, in case you missed it, powerful worship.

Get thee to a show: Third Day Tour Schedule

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What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

Music Monday – Lead Us Back

March 3rd. March 3rd. March 3rd. Lead Us Back, Third Day’s newest album is out MARCH THIRD!

Now, repeat it back. What day does Lead Us Back release? This is just review. There will be a test. If you are new here, I really, really love Third Day.

We were able to preorder ours awhile back and…..IT JUST CAME IN THE MAIL TODAY!!! WOOHOO!! I started writing this post before we received this so timing couldn’t be more perfect!

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We were also able to sing along with the first single, Soul on Fire, at a concert this fall before it’s release and it had me hooked from the first listen. It’s like a rally cry between myself and God and it comes with the attitude that the victory has already been won and I have the confidence that I WILL be a soul on fire.

The members of Third Day do seem to “get it” and by “it,” I mean the battle is won. It just so happens that “Victorious” is another song from the new album and “Victory” is on the “Miracle” CD.

I can’t help it; I wish Soul on Fire had come out before “Catching Fire.” It would have been an amazing theme song for Katniss. Can’t you see it? No? Okay, so load this video but don’t play it, yet, and turn the Youtube volume all the way down:

Okay, now load this Soundcloud:

Play the Soundcloud then start the video.

Am I right? Just sayin’.

Yes, I sometimes play around too much….I’m tho thilly.

Here’s the OFFICIAL Soul on Fire Lyric Video:

And Victorious:

I’m listening to the CD as I type and I have goosebumps.

And here’s where to preorder your Lead Us Back CD or CD Bundle (click that yellow tab with the plus sign down on the bottom right):

https://www.thirdday.com/home

Looking forward to seeing them next month! They are amazing live and we get to meet up with precious friends we’ve met through this awesomesauce band.  A Third Day concert isn’t just a show; it’s worship and a taste of Heaven. I hope you’ll join me during this Soul on Fire Tour as we worship together as we “Run to His heart till we are souls on fire!”

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

My Big Fat Mouth

I come from a long line of complainers on one side of the family and a long line of critical hot-heads on the other. I’m not worried about any family reading this because they will either know I am right or complain and criticize no matter how gently I put it. Left to my own devices, my mouth is a going concern. I am a complainer and have been critical of others. I have let expletives escape and I, man, can I gossip.

My mouth has been getting on my nerves. That realization occurs whenever I notice that other people’s mouths are getting on my nerves. I hear their tone or talking smack of others and ask myself, “Self, is that what you’ve been doing? Do you speak in that tone to YOUR kids?” When the answer is yes, I sometimes reel it in or I criticize and complain about the people who aren’t controlling their mouths. You all do it, too, you know it.

 God gave us mouths for his purposes and to eat pizza and chocolate. Our mouths should be used to encourage others, share what God has done in our lives, teach, pray and sing. However, God did not make us robots and will not control our mouths for us. A lot of people blame God for all the evil in the world. Do you know how we know? Because they used their mouths to tell us so. If God put a muzzle on every critical complainer, folks wouldn’t have the freedom to be atheists or mean, verbally-abusive husbands or foul-mouthed gang members making a drug deal in a back alley or the church leader persuading his followers to believe a falsehood as gospel. Blame God all you want, it’s our choice to control what comes out of our cakeholes and it ain’t easy.

James 3:3-5 says, “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”

 When I think about how this comparatively small muscle covered in taste buds and used to make goofy faces and lick ice cream can steer what direction the rest of me turns toward, it makes me a little nervous. A lot nervous. This thing we use to sing lullabies to our baby we also use to lie, cuss, and manipulate. I came across a pile of MEMLOCK cards this morning. Memlock is a Bible verse memory system we use with our kids. It uses cards with “trigger pictures” on them to help you remember the verse. Anyhoo, the card on top read as follows, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Here’s the trigger picture:

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SO, when I hear my kids’ mouths doing their thang, I tell them to eat a “Let Donut.” Finding these cards on the tongue was a smack upside the head. I’ve been letting my mouth do the thinking for me much of the time. There are several other verses in this pack of cards categorized as “TONGUE.”

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

You don’t have to be a believer for these verses to make sense! There are so many more but suffice it to say that the very BEST way to get control of our mouths is to use it to pray for our mouths. For me, I want what comes out of my mouth to steer me in a direction that blesses others, helps the hurting, encourages, empowers and, to me, most importantly, leads my children closer to Christ each day. I want to be an example worth following and I’m not sure I’ve been that.

How could a Third Day song NOT come to mind? Nothing At All was the first song my husband heard from this awesomesauce band and drew him in. The pictures used in this video certainly depict what I’ve been talking about (click HERE for lyrics):

 Then, of course, we can’t forget Thumper:

 My admonishment for the week – “What did your FATHER tell you? Eat a LET DONUT!”

Be blessed,

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – That Old Wheel

Yes, I’m still here. I continue to do that “thing” where I tell myself I’m going to reward a finished to-do list with sit-down-with-my-blog time. Yea…right…12 kids, 3 grandbabies, catering business, homeschool, laundry.  In light of the fact that I still have taxes to prep, I’ve decided that if I’m ever going to post again, I better sit down and do it then get on the list. Everything important eventually gets done and the things that don’t get done are the things that never get finished anyways. That being said, I’ve had A LOT on my mind! I could have 50 posts since the last one if writing was my job. I’ll get there…I won’t give up!

On my mind, recently, have been a few peeps who either are deliberately trying to hurt me or are carelessly and/or selfishly wounding my family and I. An ongoing struggle has been a family member that I sincerely wish would be involved with my children and myself but has spent years making excuses then blaming me that we don’t spend time together.  There’s more to it but suffice it to say, it hurts, it’s frustrating and I’m about fed up.

Others on my mind are some folks who I once thought friends but, because they believed the gossip of others without ever contacting me to confirm that what they were hearing is true, decided I was unworthy and “don’t pay me no mind anymore.”

Finally, I am a business owner. I own a catering and custom cake design business with my family. We have worked hard to create a legitimate food service industry business. There’s a whole other blog post on what that entails but for this one, being attacked by another for no other reason than we’re competition is aggravating. The quality of my product has been questioned and even lied about and it’s been implied that I and others in the business have been trying to sabotage this person who has a reputation for playing dirty.  The other thing about me is I try to be a nice person! I don’t “get” people who aren’t nice to others. And when they come after my family or me just because they’re mean, I kinda want to get mean back.

So these situations have been popping around in my head like popcorn and my thoughts have not been passing the Philippians 4:8 test, I can tell you that. Last week, as I was running errands and running amuck, I popped in a cd I haven’t listened to in a while, Jason Hoard’s The Road Ahead.

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That Old Wheel came on and I had to listen to it over and over again (there’s kind of pun there – if you listen to the song, you’ll get it.) This album was released in 2011 and That Old Wheel was originally performed by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr., so it’s  certainly not new but this song in particular was just a friendly reminder to hang in there; what comes around goes around. The lyrics don’t mention it but it reminded me, also, to “do unto others as I would have them do unto me” and “do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Tsk, tsk….anyone who knows us knows that we’re some of God’s favorites so I feel somewhat sorry for those who want to muck with us.

I’m going to keep hanging in there and keep my chin up. For every person who wants to see me down, there are a bunch more who keep me up and I want to do the same for them. I’m going to try to remember to focus on those friends and family instead how low those “other” people can make me feel.  I hope you will hang in there with me.

Click on the album pic for the I-tunes link. You won’t be disappointed!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – Skillet, Columbus, Ohio

I saw Skillet for the second time last Friday. Mind. Blown. I took photos so am posting some because some of us people like concert pics. I have more but this is all I had time to edit. Enjoy if you are a Skillet fan!

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If you enjoy melt-your-face, palate-cleansing rock and have not heard Skillet, DO check them out at http://www.skillet.com/ and get your bum to a show. Crazy awesome!

Yea, I know, I haven’t been posting…again…taxes, working backstage for a play, being a theatre mom, homeschooling,  trying to keep a business afloat and being too dang tired to stay up and blog. I haven’t forgotten that I have a blog.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle, the Zookeeper

Music Monday – When Tragedy Strikes…

Yesterday, I heard the news about the church bus that overturned in Indy and the lives that were lost in the accident. The grief must be unbearable. I don’t even know these people but as I prayed for the family and friends of the young, expectant couple who died leaving a toddler an orphan and the mom of 5, I cried. There are so few words that can be said. When my brother died at 16 from a gun accident, many words were said with good intentions but made it more painful none-the-less. The words that did get me through, though, were from those that were honest and told me that they don’t understand, either, it won’t make sense to us but God loves me and is there for me. So I went to Him over and over again. He doesn’t mind when we raise our fist and ask Him, “Why?” David did it. He was called a “man after God’s own heart” and God, while He called David out on a lot of stuff, didn’t rebuke him for expressing his fear, anger and sadness to God. When Scott died, I went back to college and the friends who knew what to say said very little. They held me, let me cry and told me to give it to God because He’s the only One Who knows what to do with it.

My Isabelle was admitted to the hospital at 4 weeks old the day Katrina hit. Having nothing else to do in a hospital room with an infant, I watched the news in horror. We were there 5 days as I watched my baby girl struggling to get and keep nutrition in her then turned to the TV screen to see people lose loved ones and suffer. It was then my favorite band decided to release early the following single from Wherever You Are to be an encouragement, to direct people to World Vision for donations and as a benefit for relief efforts. There has been so much tragedy in our nation and world. Catastrophe hits everyone at some point and the disasters and calamity will only increase as the world descends more and more into decadence and greed. Scripture tells us this. So what to say when friends and family are hit? Cry out to Jesus. For the families hurting so close to home in Indy, that’s all I have. I am so sorry.

This song is one of many Third Day songs that has blessed me and helped me through tough times. So many have been heartened by this. If you haven’t heard it before, I hope it blesses you. If you have, I hope it blesses you again.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – Friend Fest 2013

WOOHOO!!! Friend Fest at Amish Acres in Nappanee, IN is awesomesauce! I know there are LOTS of music festivals out there but the folks at WFRN did their homework and have created the most family-friendly Christian music event I have been to or read about.  That this was just their second year is even more impressive. “What makes it so family-friendly?” you are wondering (I just know you are). Money, for one thing. Families want to take their families to worship with these A-MA-ZING bands but not everyone can afford all that a music festival entails, especially big families. You are usually nickeled and dimed for any and all amenities.

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First, the biggie for us was food, if you want to call that an amenity. Friend Fest allows food to be brought in! I’ve not been to a festival that allowed you to bring food in.  A friend just informed this weekend that another popular festival recently banned even eating in the parking lot. Say wha? No tailgating? Good grief…  Food was available for purchase at Friend Fest, there was a water tent at the back of the field (only a buck a bottle!), snow cones and ice cream on a hot day were perfect (they even had vendors walking through the crowd selling ice cream out of a cooler). There was no lack of sweet, cold stuff. BUT we brought 9 kids with us.  Purchasing food for 11 people is not cheap…even when buying cheap food. It adds up, dontcha know?  We were able to keep our crew hydrated and nourished all day without paying out the wazoo. That we didn’t purchase food from Amish Acres didn’t seem to hurt their business; the food lines stayed busy and we saw plenty of folks munching on their yums.  Meanwhile, our clan kept busy snacking on Capri Suns, strawberries, Cloud Cakes and a variety of other items we rarely indulge in then we dined on Pulled BBQ Pork, BBQ Beans and Sweet n Sour Broccoli Slaw. It’s nice having catering equipment to keep our vittles hot. 🙂 Did we make folks around us jealous? Maybe just a little. 🙂 That being said, we saved a fortune!

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Secondly, there was no additional charge for the Kids Zone. There was even a Children’s Stage that featured juggling, an illusionist, illusions, music, puppetry and clowning around. Of course, the Bounc House area is a kid’s favorite part of the festival. I was a little disturbed, though, by the Gator Hide-and-Slide. The kids climb up into the gator’s mouth,

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bounce around inside

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then come out the back end.

When I went to take pics of my lovely children exiting the inflatable reptile, I didn’t find a slide as expected, I found a slit. I said, “Oh, unt uh…” Craig said, “Yep. That’s where they come out.” No no no…that’s messed up. I told my Lenae that the designer of said gator must not have liked kids. She quickly replied, “Or really likes them and knows how kids think. What kid wouldn’t love to say they were pooped out of an alligator?” She has a point.

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Thirdly, free parking. Nuff said.

Fourthly, the Coffee House Stage. If you had attended Friend Fest and  wanted to hear some other musicians and Break-Out Sessions with some of the Main Stage artists while using the, again, FREE Wi-Fi and drinking your gourmet coffee, this was the place for you.

#5 The Venue: Amish Acres is a fantastic location for an event like this! It’s clean, it’s lovely, it’s big! It’s also just 5 minutes away from Play-Mor Campground which means a lot to those of us who prefer “roughing it” in an air-conditioned camper.  Primitive camping is available at Fountain Acres but that’s not roughing it to me. That’s dying a slow death of humidity and allergies. The only thing I would change is placing a canopy section in the rear for those who don’t want to melt especially those with children, “older” folks and those wearing walking casts whose legs get over heated…not that I know anyone like that.

Observe the hot children covered in 3 bottles of sunblock.

Observe the hot children covered in 3 bottles of sunblock.

Sixthly, yes there’s more…The staff and volunteers were incredible friendly from the time you pull in to park. Some of the crazy antics of those directing parking had us smiling from ear to ear. Everyone was eager to assist, hospitable and, you could tell, happy to be there serving.

SEVEN: stewardship.  I was tickled to read the following in the program: “It takes 3-4 years for a festival of this magnitude to sustain itself. Currently, ticket sales, sponsors and partners cover just 80% of the festival’s total expenses. We are almost there, yet it is still not quite enough.” 80% and it’s just the second year! They accomplished this without charging for parking, the Kids Zone, and every other little thing and without forcing folks to purchase their food. Kudos! As soon as I’m able, I hope to become a Friend Fest Partner. We need to sell more cheesecake.

Eight: Enough space for Ultimate Frisbee. The kids did mention that Frisbee to Building 429 made them feel like they were in a movie or a music video, LOL! They rawked, incidentally.

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Nine: Friends. We drove 4 hours from home and ran into several friends. Many hugs were shared and, of course, Frisbee.  It really was a Friend Fest! (Cheesy, I know).

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And last, but not least, the music.  We went Friday to see some of our favorites: Carrollton, Rhett Walker Band, For King and Country, Big Daddy Weave, Building 429 and Matthew West. If we had gone Saturday, we would have enjoyed OBB, Hyland, Moriah Peters, Finding Favour, Chris August, Kari Jobe, Jamie Grace, the Peter Furler Band and TobyMac. We opted for some R&R with the kiddos at the campground. That aside, the weekend held a high-caliber line-up that did not disappoint. I CANNOT wait to hear next year’s line-up!!!

(What? No pics from the bands?! That’s another post….;) )

www.WFRNFriendFest.com

Have you been to a music festival that was as family/pocketbook-friendly as this one? Let us all know!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

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Music Monday – When Mercy Found Me by the Rhett Walker Band

There’s really no need for commentary here but I have some anyway. This song chokes me up. Anyone who has been found chokes up when they hear it. If you claim to be a Christian and you don’t choke up when you hear this song, I seriously question if you have wrapped your brain around grace. Just sayin’.

I wear out this song out because it reminds me that even though Mercy found me, I will manage to lose myself in my bad habits, my worries, loneliness, temptations and fears again and again. When I do, I have the comfort of knowing that Mercy knows where to find me even if I don’t and, though it’s stupid to ever leave Jesus arms, they’re ALWAYS open, ready and waiting for me when I’m prone to wander. I know that’s not necessarily what Mr. Walker wrote into this song but it’s what I take with me. Here’s the story behind the song:

Here’s the song. Even if you know it, read the lyrics again…and get choked up:

Did I mention I wear this song out? Heck, I wear out the whole CD.  Rhett has an intense voice and style, the band has great synergy and there’s not a song on Come To The River that I don’t love. I own so many CDs that I skip around to hear my favorites but not this one; it’s played straight through then started over again.

I cannot wait to see the Rhett Walker Band in concert again! If you’re not a Certified Rhettneck, yet, you need to get on the bandwagon!

http://rhettwalkerband.com/

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – The Last Bison/ Switzerland

I’ve been expanding my musical horizons over the past year or two. Partly due to the fact that when we opened our catering kitchen, we discovered that we had G101.3 parked, pretty much, in our backyard and we rarely can get anything else in on our little radio/I-home. For years, I’ve stuck pretty much to Christian music (especially, of course, my all-time favorite band Third Day, duh), which isn’t a bad thing at all. There’s a lot of crappy music “out there.” On the other hand, there are some amazing musicians in this world  that aren’t in the Christian music genre and they are worth listening to. My horizons have also been expanded by friends who are music aficionados like my friend Brian who has a pretty nifty music blog over at Something For Your Ear Hole which is where I was introduced to Bison. Besides being a great read, Brian has an ear for great music and shares his opinions of the good, bad and ugly with honesty and wit.  That being said, thanks for providing new and interesting waters to dip our feet in (as well as warning us of dangerous or boring waters to avoid). Back to The Last Bison; their website describes their style as “… an alternative folk band that refers to their music as Folk-chestral! Their spiritual and lyrical strength combines with authentic rootsy hooks that keep you singing along. Switzerland is the first song on the band’s debut album titled Quill.”
Without further adieu, I have been enjoying Switzerland immensely!
 
 
Let me know what you think – unless you don’t like this then go tell someone else because you, obviously, don’t have very good taste in music.
 
What’s not shared is lost,
Michelle

Music Monday: When It Seems Hopeless – Cry Out To Jesus

“Where words fail, music speaks.” I don’t know who said that but it’s true. There are no words that can adequately express the heartfelt sympathy so many of us wish to offer to the families and friends who have had their worlds shattered on Friday. My heart is turned inside out. Our family has been praying.