Minneapolis

Worship Music Collection Refresh: Vol. 2

I thought I’d share some of the albums/songs that have been playing on repeat lately in the background of this new season.

If it’s time for you to refresh your worship music collection then I’d highly recommend these additions in your music library!

All Sons & Daughters – I’m not usually a fan of live albums but I love the intimate feeling that they’re able to cultivate and convey in these songs. It almost feels like you were a part of the live studio recording, surrounded by sweet friends, singing your heart out. This is the perfect collection of worship songs to fill your candle-lit room with late at night as you’re winding down. There’s something about the sound on these recordings that makes you FEEL the songs of praise filling the room, it’s truly beautiful.

Matt Redman – We love to sing “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” around our house but the other day I had my Sovereign Grace station playing on Pandora and found his song titled “Never Once” and I can’t get enough!  Maybe it’s the lyrics that seem to hit me so deeply:

“Scars and struggles on the way but with joy our hearts can say, “Never once did we ever walk alone. Never once did you leave us on our own. You are faithful, God, you are faithful.”” 

That’s been my prayer so much lately, before I even heard this song, just praising God that He never left us to fend for ourselves. Over all these years and all these trials (that He worked for our good) He’s never left us; He’s always protected, provided and sustained us.

“Carried by your constant grace, held within your perfect peace: never once, no we never walk alone.” 

Meredith Andrews – Following in that theme of God’s faithfulness is this song: “Not for a Moment”. It sounds like the typical contemporary worship song (reminding me of Laura Story or Hillsong) but the lyrics are so true and good to remind your heart of:

“After all, You are constant. After all, You are only good. After all, You are Sovereign. Not for a moment will you forsake me.”

Rend Collective Experiment – I first saw Rend Collective Experiment during a worship night at a local Christian college in Minneapolis. They were the worship band opening up for Frances Chan and their energy and joy was infectious! I later purchased their first album, “Homemade Worship by Handmade People”, and it was the perfect little summer worship collection to dance around my house to (someone should put them on tour with Benjamin Dunn). I kind of forgot about them until my husband showed me this video from when they were on tour with Lecrae:

Then I stumbled upon this gem that they put out at the beginning of the year: Campfire. It’s basically the sounds of a friends praising Jesus around a beachside campfire. How perfect! Itunes introduces this album by saying that the new material is infused “with a foot-stomping energy that brings to mind the likes of Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers.”

Another great summer album but this time with more of an alternative, organic vibe. I love that Rend Collective writes Gospel-centered lyrics that keep you mindful of WHY we are free to experience such wholeness & joy.

What worship songs have you had on repeat lately?

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Does God Make You Sick?

A lot has been going on around here as we are now almost a month away from our move date.

Eric’s cousin Faye came into town just as the temperatures started to warm up (to 30) and we got to introduce her to our little city of Minneapolis.

In the five years that Eric has lived here she’s always been a big talker about visiting but never did. Right before we move, knowing this will be her first and probably last visit, she follows through. Sounds like this was her strategy all along…

We were so happy to have her here to see what life in the “Great White North” is like for us! We visited Lake Calhoun so she could play in “the woods” (apparently any area with a couple of “Christmas trees” and the absence of palm trees is considered the woods) and have a snow fight with Eric.
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We took her to this cute little ice cream shop just up the street from the lake. It’s an old house that’s been remodeled into the sweetest little cafe with a garage that has been converted into a four seasons patio with an indoor/outdoor fireplace and gorgeous lighting.


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Ice cream in the middle of winter after a snow fight sounds sort of strange but here you get a certain percentage off your bill depending on how cold the temperature is outside. I thought this was a creative business strategy for ice cream or soft-serve businesses in the north.

I’m not a desert person and I’m really picky about my ice cream but this place always surprises me! Two summers ago, after a long run around Lake Calhoun & Lake Harriet, I stopped here for an ice cream treat. I had the most amazing Almond Limon ice cream. A sweet lemon ice cream with real lemon juice and zest with pieces of sliced toasted almonds. Delicious!

This time I tried a flavor that was a fresh strawberry ice cream with pieces of shaved coconut and cayenne pepper. It was perfect! I loved the warm finish from the heat of the cayenne in the middle of winter.

Ice cream was followed by coffee time as we stayed out of the cold and enjoyed each other’s company. I found a lavender syrup to lightly sweeten my coffee – a flavor that more coffee shops need to offer.

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Our adventures around Minnesota didn’t last very long since Faye brought something from the plane that sent my low immune system into a downward spiral.

It started off with a sore throat and body aches on Friday, turned into a hacking cough with no voice on Monday, congestion, watery eyes, sneezing by Tuesday and a full blown sinus infection by Wednesday.

I’ve been researching all sorts of homeopathic remedies for sinus infections.

So far I’ve been:

  • eating cloves of fresh garlic
  • taking shots of organic apple cider vinegar
  • drinking lots of fluids and warm water with lemon and local honey
  • using a neti pot several times a day with a few drops of eucaylptus, tea tree, and peppermint oil
  • taking a spoonful of coconut oil with four drops of oregano oil (anti-bacterial – powerful oil that burns on contact)
  • creating my own vapor rub with grapeseed oil and a combination of eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lemon, rosemary, and lavender oils.

I’ve also been taking shots of this amazing new kefir I found that’s made with coconut water instead of dairy. Your immune system is directly impacted by what’s happening in your digestive system so probiotics and kombucha go a long way in helping restore your body to health.

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My go-to potion of water, lemon, honey and cayenne that I posted about just a few days earlier wasn’t cutting it. I was trying anything holistic and natural since I can’t take any over-the-counter meds or antibiotics.

Trying everything and still being so miserable got me thinking that there is no “secret weapon potion” outside of the Lord’s will. I’m not entitled to complete health no matter how healthy my choices are, no matter how powerful my natural remedies may be.

I had tried everything in MY power to heal myself and when none of it worked I remembered that the only way I’d be healthy would be if the Lord willed it. He gives and he takes away.

My strongest remedy wasn’t anything listed above but the kindness of God to give grace and make me whole.