Coffee, Kolaches, and a Chandelier

Photo taken by Steven Bush from the Austin Stone Story Team












"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." -Ephesians 5:18-20

Jarryd and I drove down to Austin and back last Friday night to go the the Austin Stone Worship Live album recording that will be coming out this fall! This night was well worth the exhaustion that we felt the next day... but more on that in a minute!

Any of you with children know how crazy it can be when you travel, EVEN when you are leaving the kiddos behind with friends or family. We had sweet friends offer to watch Liv and Landry so that both Jarryd and I could go to Austin but the hours leading up to us leaving were a little hectic. When we were finally out the door and on our way (at a much later time than we had wanted to leave) we realized that we had forgotten to eat!! It was about 1 o'clock at this point and we were running on nothing but coffee. We decided to wait a while and stop in West to go the Czech Stop for kolaches! Random I know... but it's a place everyone raves about and we had never tried before. 

We rush in, get our kolaches and inhale them as we continue our drive. We had initially wanted to get to Austin in time to eat dinner at a fun place (I dream of Austin food) before we had to be at the church but after our delayed start, kolache stop, and the insane monsoon weather we hit on the way down we realized that our time was running out and we were going to have to go directly to the church, malnourished and all.  

We finally make it to the Stone (on time) feeling a little sick but none the less so excited to be there. And NOTHING could have prepared us for what an incredible night it ended up being!

I told Jarryd when we left that it was the closest glimpse into what Heaven must be like that I had ever experienced in my 10 years of being a follower of Jesus. I was actually sore the next day from singing so loud and praising God with everything I had! This could mean I'm a little out of shape but it definitely is evidence of how powerful and incredible the night was! 

Worship has always been a deep love of mine... many of you know the Lord saved me (broken and deep in sin) in the middle of worship when I was a junior in college. (Read my entire salvation story here.) Leading up to that moment, as a non-believer who was dragged to church by her best friend, the singing worship part of the service was always so uncomfortable for me. Seeing all these people around me look so crazy... singing at the top of their lungs and lifting their hands scared me to death. But in addition to making me uncomfortable, it also made me so curious... 

Who was it that these people LOVED so much that they didn't care how crazy they looked?!

 They all seemed to authentically love something or SOMEONE and the Holy Spirit used that among other things in my life to open my eyes to His beautiful grace and mercy. It wasn't long before I found myself in tears with arms lifted high, singing a song about God's grace... finally understanding that THIS GLORIOUS GRACE applied to even sinful old me... crying out to the ONE who was to redeem me. After that I was given new eyes and a passionate love to sing praises to my God... this is what I was created for. 


"There is a horizontal spiritual impact when we, as the body of Christ, come together and sing.(Matt Carter) 

We are filled with the Spirit when we address one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs as Ephesians 5:18 says. However, we are not just singing for our own personal benefit, but so that others around us can be filled with the Spirit as well. There have been so many times where I have walked into a worship service so beat up and broken but almost immediately after I start to sing and hear the praises of God around me from my brothers and sisters in Christ, I am ministered to in powerful ways. Last Friday night, surrounded by over 300 amazing Christ followers from the Stone, we lifted our voices and hands together as one body... passionately proclaiming that Jesus is Lord. Praying that all who would hear this recording or see these videos would also be filled with the Spirit's power. A power that was so evident that night... we left filled to the brim! 


Click here to hear an incredible sermon by Matt Carter that explains why we sing in church! 

Love this picture from the live recording! The chandelier was meant to represent how when a bunch of tiny little lights come together, they are able to illuminate the entire room. This is representative of when the body of Christ (the light) comes together to worship God they can light up the darkness. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14  Photo taken by the Austin Stone Story Team. 






I know a lot of you have read by now our BIG news of stepping out in faith and moving to Austin for Jarryd to start a residency position at the Austin Stone. If you haven't read about it check out our story here.

We are walking away from a lot of perceived securities and comforts. We are leaving a generous salary, a spacious home, and dear friends. 

However...

We will be walking in OBEDIENCE to the Lord... we will be running into a season where we will get more of Him. Our love for our Savior and our passion to make His name known drives our ability to take this step of faith. Entering into a new season of ministry where we are having to raise our own financial support is already stretching us and strengthening our faith in so many incredible ways. 

We sang this version of Cornerstone at the live recording in Austin last Friday and the Holy Spirit comforted me with it's beautiful lyrics as it is so relevant to our life right now: 



So thankful that Christ alone is our cornerstone and that He is enough... He is faithful... and He is Lord of all. 

Thank you all for your prayers and support during this time. God is answering them in BIG ways and we are not even down in Austin yet. So excited for this new journey the Lord is taking our family on! If you would like more information about Jarryd's residency or how you can financially support us please check out his website: www.jarrydforeman.net

And be sure to look for the album and videos from the live recording sometime in the fall! 


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