Weekend Review: Laura Story and Blessings
Sometimes you get a particular image of a person when you hear them in song or on the radio. Chaplain Terry likes to joke that people think he’s a 70-year old white man (he’s not).
I imagined that when I met Laura Story I’d meet the most quiet and reverent person possible who would end every sentence with “Praise God” and could back up every statement she made with a bible verse. I mean this is the person behind “Mighty to Save” and “Indescribable” – I’m sure most of her thoughts sound like lyrics to new praise and worship songs.
But this past Friday, I got a chance to meet and hang out with Laura and her husband Martin and a couple things were made clear immediately. They were laid back, they were fun and they were down to earth. It was clear that they have their priorities in the right place: with God and with their family. They were so easy to talk to, like friends you had known for years, even though I just met them hours before. It was weird to think that this normal couple had a major part in two of the most powerful songs in Christian music today.
Laura arrived on Friday afternoon and immediately sat down to chat with Chaplain Terry on Breakaway and talked about how she got in music. She even talked about the story behind some of her songs, including her brand new song, “Blessings,” a song that came out of her husband’s struggle with a brain tumor. Click here to check out that interview and download it.
Later that night, after she got a chance to practice with the WGTS Gateway Praise Band, Laura, her husband Martin, Chaplain Terry, Chaplain Pete, Music Director Ben, Production Assistant Warren and I piled into a car for a night tour guided by Chaplain Terry. (If you didn’t know he used to be a tour guide at the Pentagon) We got a chance to see the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, Washington Monument, FDR Memorial and the White House. You can check out some of the pictures here on our facebook page. It was so much fun, in fact click here to check out her blog for a few of the things she learned on Chaplain Terry’s tour.
The next night, when Laura got on stage, I saw the exact same person we hung out with the day before. She was real, down-to-earth and passionate about God. I didn’t see someone who put on a show for the people who came to WGTS Gateway that night. She was a little goofy at times, worshipful when she led the audience in song and showed a little bit of vulnerability as she shared her thoughts and experiences that have been poured into her music. But it was never about her. It was always about God and how we all came together that night to praise him.
When the night ended (far too quickly) I not only had a great time, but I had experienced the kind of worship that allowed me to reflect on the blessings God has put in my life, even if I sometimes see them as challenges.
It showed me that simply being a normal person just like Laura Story who is willing to take life’s challenges and turn them into blessings is a great way to encourage myself and those around me.
Baby Conway is here!
After cooking in momma’s belly for a very long 9 months, our new baby boy arrived this past Saturday, the 20th at 5:42am. Caleb Dean Conway came into the world at a very hefty 8lbs 7oz and 21 inches. We were so glad because we were beginning to wonder if he was getting too comfortable in there. We learned there are actually Castor Oil recipes to help it go down easier (drizzle over ice cream, for instance)…fortunately, it never came to that! I was personally hoping he’d come on my birthday (the 16th) but I suppose it’s good he gets his own day anyway.
Christian the Lion
If you love cats, or really just animals in general, you’ll love this heartwarming video. I can just imagine what our reunion in heaven will look like…
It’s time to expand your music library! It doesn’t happen very often, but the group Downhere (they do those songs “How Many Kings” & “Little Is Much”) is offering their ENTIRE brand new album completely free to download. But you only have until the end of June to do it!
Just go to www.musichristian.com/downheredownload and download away!
Idol does Shout to the Lord
By popular demand, I’ve posted both performances of the Idol contestants doing “Shout to the Lord.” Many of you noticed they took out the word “Jesus” the first night, but put it back in the following night. My guess is the producers received a lot of flack for it. Enjoy!
Washed By the Water
If you’ve heard the new song “Washed By the Water” from Needtobreathe, well here’s the video that goes with it! I think we’ve all been through seaons when we feel like our friends and the world are out to get us. The truth is, we only have one place of refuge. http://youtube.com/watch?v=3p_Akkx00k4
Love Is Not a Fight
It’s not very often that I come across a song where the lyrics just about knock me out of my seat. But Warren Barfield’s latest song “Love Is Not a Fight” did that to me (more than once). I had the unique privilege of chatting a bit with Warren about this song not too long ago and to pick his brain on where the inspiration came from.
He told me that he and his wife never fight…really…except for maybe once a year where everthing kind of builds up and they let it all out. Then they’re fine for the rest of the year. They had one of those fights not too far back, over something pretty silly. In fact, he can’t even remember what the fight was about. But at one point he says he actually uttered the words, “Well it might be easier if I just left.” He couldn’t believe he had actually said it. And he realized it’s that simple…just to walk out the door.
In this song, he asks God to send down his angels to guard the door. That’s what he imagined God doing that night he almost let it all slip away. And the resounding chorus reminds us “Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for.”
Most of us either know someone who is going through the process of separation or divorce, or perhaps have been down that road ourselves. May this song be our anthem, to remind us how fragile love is. Hear a sample of the song in the player below and be listening for it here on WGTS 91.9.
Saving $$ at the Pump
Well, just in time for one of the busiest travel days of the year (the day before Thanksgiving), gas prices have hit an all-time high. And we’re just beginning to see it at the pump. So here are some tips from ABC News that I thought could help you get the most out of your tank this season:
Choose the right octane. For most cars, the recommended gas is regular octane. Using a higher octane gas than the manufacturer recommends offers no benefit, and it costs you at the pump. Unless your engine is knocking, buying higher octane gas is a waste of money.
Stay away from gas-savings gadgets. Be skeptical about any gadget promising to improve your mileage. The Environmental Protection Agency has tested more than 100 such devices — including “mixture enhancers” and fuel line magnets — and found that very few provided any benefits. Those that did work provided only a slight improvement. Some can even damage your engine.
Stay within the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour.
Avoid unnecessary idling. It wastes fuel, costs you money and pollutes the air. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a wait. Stop and start gently. You can improve in-town gas mileage by up to 5 percent by driving gently.
Use overdrive and cruise control. They improve fuel economy when you’re driving on the highway.
Inflate your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated and aligned can increase gas mileage up to 3 percent.
Keep your engine tuned. Tuning your engine can increase gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
lean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and removes harmful substances from the engine. Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the performance symbol of the American Petroleum Institute contains friction-reducing additives that can improve fuel economy.
Is it possible to be an overprotective parent? It seems there is some arbitrary line from being a normally protective parent to being overprotective. I don’t know if I crossed that the other day when I took my 14 month old to the ER.
I was getting his bottle out of the fridge when I closed the door and noticed him screaming. Usually that means he just really wants his bottle really bad. Then I realized, to my horror, I had closed the door on his left thumb. And it was in the hinge part, not the soft rubbery part of the door. Immediately I opened it up and picked him up into my arms and held him while he whailed.
The first logical thing to do was to call my wife (she’s much better in these situations). I burst, “I think I broke Benjamin’s thumb!” There was silence. Usually that means I’m in trouble. This time, though, she spoke softly, ‘Well, you’d better take him to the ER and get it checked out.’
“The ER?!” I didn’t like the idea of sitting for hours with a screaming baby waiting to get an X-ray. But I quickly got him together and Aimee met me at the hospital.
We didn’t even have to check in when we walked in. A doctor happened to be available and looked at it right away. By this time, Benjamin was cooing and in a good mood (he likes car rides).
“Doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with it,” the doctor said almost immediately. “Baby’s fingers are so small and mostly tissue, it’s really difficult to break, so I doubt there’s any damage,” he continued. I felt a little sheepish, as Ben was now playing with the doctor’s stethoscope.
“Are you sure?” I inquired. I just had to be sure the trip wasn’t for naught.
But in the end, I felt like an overprotective parent. Fortunately, my wife who is so understanding told me she was glad that I overreacted than find out later that something worse had happened.
What will I do when something really bad does happen?
Please help me feel better by sharing your “overprotective parent” stories. Just click the comments button below.
[thumb:630:l] The WGTS family just keeps growing. If you’ve heard Blanca Vega on Saturday afternoons over the last few months, you probably heard about her exciting news that she had a baby on the way. And during the last month, we all wondered when this new bundle of joy would arrive! After several weeks anticipating (and several months for mom and dad), Blanca gave birth to a healthy boy this past Sunday at 8pm…Joshua Alexander Vega. He entered the world at a very healthy 8.5 lbs and 21.5 inches! Mom, dad and baby are all doing well. Please help us in praying for the family as they learn to care for the new little one (and that they get some semblence of sleep) and that he will grow to be what God has in store for his life.