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Fly Away

“I know there is a God, and that He hates the injustice of slavery.” ~ Abraham Lincoln “If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs.” ~...

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Something to Sing About

There are many days I think life is hard. I look up from the bottom of the perceived mountain I must climb with utter dread. I consider the battles I fancy myself entrenched in, and worry. And then someone comes along who knows something about real war. Someone whose life circumstances can shock me back to reality with grounding perspective…

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Four Life Lessons I Learned From Slime

Last month I made back-to-back trips to Tulsa and Minneapolis, and got to have back-to-back adventures with the new trendy kid toy – slime. My seven-year-old friends Tatum (in OK) and Maisie (in MN) taught me everything I needed to know about the stuff. Have you ever felt it? Ew…

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Pressing Into Tragedy

I don’t watch TV much, so it was midmorning on Monday when a friend texted me about the Vegas shooting that I dusted off the remote and tuned in. Just like you, I was horrified. Broken-hearted. Wondering what on earth would prompt someone to commit such a dreadful act…

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With All Your Heart

What do you love most? I’ll go first. I’ve always said my greatest loves are God, family, friends, and my job – in that order. But in the not-so-distant past, my life told another story…

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What Do You Really Want?

These days in Nashville, everyone is all about the Enneagram personality test. The Enneagram is a geometric map that outlines nine personality types. You can learn more about it and take a free test here. I’m partially a Nine. Nines are the peacemakers, who can see the value in all options. In a related story, never ask me where I want to eat dinner or get coffee. Every option will be just fine with me…

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Let’s Listen

I love listening. Lots of you already know this, because I talk about it incessantly. Not too long ago, I spent an afternoon in the Chicago airport on my way back to Nashville, as I often do…

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The Wit and Wisdom of Miss Josephine

Last week, I ventured to California to play some shows and meet some amazing folks…and have some In-N-Out Burger too. Naturally. (Protein-style, of course.) But the best part of the trip was the four days I got to spend with my wonderful brother JD, my lovely sister-in-law Chrissy, and my favorite niece, Josephine.

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Who Is My Neighbor?

Several months ago, my friend Kori introduced me to Ahmed and Mofeeda and three of their ten children. The family arrived in Nashville early in the summer, both thankful and apprehensive about leaving their war-torn Syrian homeland behind…

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2017: The Year to Just Do It!

Happy 2017! Are you excited it’s finally here? Me too! We can say goodbye to last year’s deadlines and drama, and we can say hello to an election-free year! Yay!

I love the clean slate of a new year – an entirely new set of days, weeks, and months to chase dreams, create opportunities, and make memories…

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What Patches Taught Me About Christmas

I’m spending the holidays in Northern Wisconsin this year, where I’m embarking on a little health and writing retreat. The 12 inches of snow and subzero temps are not what I’m used to, but I’m enjoying every minute of the healing time and space to breathe…

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The Sound Of Love

My life is often defined by listening. As a musician, I can’t help but be taken in by every song I hear – whether it’s coming from the grocery store’s P.A. or my Apple Music library during a workout. As an introvert, listening is part of my DNA…

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Get Inspired!

I love to be inspired by other people’s lives, which is why the Olympics are so exciting for me. I didn’t catch all the action this Summer Games, but I witnessed Simone Biles crushing it on the vault and winning gold, Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross battling Australia in the quarter finals of beach volleyball, Steele Johnson and David Boudia winning silver (and sharing their faith) in synchronized diving, among several others…

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Say What You Need To Say

During songwriting sessions, I often leave the voicememo app on my phone in record mode. That way I don’t lose any of the melody options my co-writers and I come up with. Unfortunately it means I have to hear all the silly things I said during the session…

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Bigger Than Fear

Lewie, my mini Australian Shepherd, came to live with me during a season when I wasn’t on the road much. And when I did travel, he’d often come, too – I played the music, but he was the hit. When I first got Lewie, I read an article that said puppies need time each day to learn how to play. So, like any over-the-top puppy owner, I bought too many toys and we played with a new one every day…

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Pokémon – Whoa!

Does anyone else love saying “Pokémon” as much as I do? The word makes me think of pocket-sized monsters with Japanese accents. I’ve been fascinated by the Pokémon Go craze because there is so little of it I can comprehend…

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Why Being Nice Isn’t Good Enough

I love pop music. If I could shed my singer/songwriter skin and become a pop diva for a day, I’d do it. One of my favorite pop artists is Tori Kelly… her voice is ridiculous!

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3 Tips for Conquering Squirrel-Chasing

One of the best friends I’ve ever had was Lindy. We met in Columbus, Ohio a month after I graduated high school. Lindy loved everyone, except people with hats. Her favorite food was anything off someone else’s plate, and our favorite game was playing ball. Lindy was my guide dog…

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Don’t Lose Heart

Have you ever been chomping at the bit to learn a new skill, only to discover once you did it, the skill was too much effort to be fun? As a kid, I felt this way about songwriting. I’d get to the end of writing a song, look back over the lyrics, and completely forget how the melodies to each section went. Each time I thought, “Man, I’m never doing that again.” I still think that sometimes…

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What I’ve Learned From My Friends Named Michael

Last Sunday, Michael W. Smith led worship at our church. As I listened to him play the piano like a beast, memories flooded back of the first time we met. I was a kid just out of college and he was two decades into his career, about to release the popular “This Is Your Time.” A last-minute meeting with his label had been scheduled right after I got off work and I had no idea he’d be there…

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Word Power

“If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.” –Chinese proverb

These days, I’m swimming – often drowning – in a sea of words. With songwriting appointments nearly every day, the constant composing of social media posts and blogs, and the endless crafting of emails and text messages, I’m always thinking about how to use words wisely…

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Lose The Mask

A few days ago over lunch, Charlynn showed me the Chewbacca mom video. Have you guys seen this? I know, I’m late to the party. But I loved it. As the video played, on the other side of the restaurant from where we were sitting, a lady heard the peals of laughter pouring out of Charlynn’s iPhone and yelled over to us, “Are you guys watching the Chewbacca lady? It’s awesome, isn’t it? I love her laugh!” I obviously can’t see the video, so I missed the mask…

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The Secret

How’s your week been? I had a couple fun and productive songwriting sessions, but otherwise it’s been a heavy week around here. Octavia, my childhood best friend, called on Tuesday to tell me she’d lost her grandmother. On Wednesday, my college friends and I learned that Jason, a free-spirited, fellow music major, had passed away of a massive heart attack. I also found myself facing a personal loss this week which totally bummed me out, bringing on lots of tears and not much sleep…

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How I See It – Baking

I love to cook! OK, let me rephrase. I love the idea of cooking. I’m always collecting new recipes to try. Just this week, I acquired a recipe for some delicious chili our new friends, the Jacobsons, made for us in Trabuco Canyon, CA. Sweet and spicy and delicious! Can’t wait to make it for friends back home!

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Unfolding Stories

One evening earlier this week while in L.A. for shows, we stopped at Santa Monica pier to enjoy the Pacific Ocean and watch the sunset. As we walked the pedestrian bridge above the freeway, I couldn’t help noticing the sound of endless cars flying by underneath us…

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Permission To Speak

The past few months, I’ve experienced some major vocal challenges. Singing has been uncomfortable and sometimes painful, especially high notes. (Not great news in my line of work.) My first vocal coach was very concerned and offered a discouraging diagnosis. I shared her concerns with Charlynn, a bestie since college, and before I’d finished the entire story, she interrupted and insisted I see a vocal coach she knew who had expertise in this area…

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Happy New Year’s Resolutions!

I think New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap. Why not try to set new goals each year that can change our lives for the better? Since we only need thirty days to create a new habit, if we can do something for a month, we can make it a lifelong practice…

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The Greatest Gift

Last night at a Christmas party, a friend said to me, “I didn’t even start thinking about Christmas until yesterday. I just don’t want to think about it.” I get it. Christmas can be too much. It is overwhelming for some of us, and troubling for others. Annual visits are suddenly upon us again, resurrecting complicated relationships we’ve put in the back of our minds since last year. A loss or tragedy makes celebrating impossible despite the bright, Christmas cheer all around…

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How I Ended Up Here

I always thought people were the toughest part of navigating life until I opened up my life to them.

My good friend Kori broke her foot this summer. It was a pretty major break, and even with crutches, it was difficult for her to get around. One Sunday after services, our friends Dave and Reba and I came over to Kori’s house with lunch and a plan to take her to the grocery store. After solving several of the world’s problems over Firehouse subs, Kori and her crutches, me and my cane, and Reba and her sense of adventure piled into Reba’s SUV for a trek to Kroger…

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Welcome To The New

Three Mondays ago, Kyle, Andrew, and I packed up our van and headed home from our last summer festival, LifeLight in Worthing, SD. Six states, fourteen hours, one new song composed on the ukulele, four Seinfeld episodes, and a thousand fits of laughter later, we arrived in Nashville, thankful and exhausted. This trip marked the end of an intense summer of touring—twenty-five festivals and concerts since June—and without a doubt, it has been the most rewarding summer of my adult life.

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