Listening to Mark Schultz’s “Carry Me.”

“Even though I’m walking through the valley of the shadow, I will hold tight to the hand of Him whose love will comfort me.

And when all hope is gone and I’ve been wounded in the battle, He is all the strength that I will ever need, He will carry me.

And even though I feel so lonely like I’ve never been before, You never said it would be easy but You said You’d see me through the storm.”


To Jimmy Needham.

“Child, you are forgiven and loved.”


I’ve always been a singer.  Ever since I can remember I’ve been singing in church, singing in school, singing in the shower, etc. etc. etc.  I just love to sing.  I’m a classically trained opera and musical theater singer, but what I would really love to do is sing gospel music.  Not just any gospel music, but that certain type of gospel where that black woman comes in and just kills it.  Not so much Whitney Houston, but more that-lady-in-the-back-of-the-choir-who-brings-down-the-house style.  I don’t know why this desire has been instilled in me so passionately, but it’s almost like that lifetime goal I had in 4th grade that I was going to be a professional double-dutch jump roper when I grew up.  Is this realistic?  No. Is this attainable?  No.  Did I really truly believe it?  Heck yeah I did.  Unfortunately, I know I’ll never have the voice of that black woman whom I so much admire; however, I’ll never stop trying.  You’d probably be surprised to hear the music booming out of my car some days:  Kirk Franklin and the Nu Nation Crew and one of my personal favorites, Toby Mac.

Both artists roll with a crowd on stage.  As if Kirk Franklin or Toby Mac were not cool enough on their own, they show up with a team of incredible singers, and Toby Mac even enlists break dancers, DJs, horns, and puts on the most entertaining concert I’ve ever seen.  He’s not my absolute favorite artist to listen to on CD, but man, his concerts are just ridiculous.  I just stand there smiling and laughing at how cool it is, in some way wishing that I could fit in up there with all those amazing dancers and singers.

So getting to the actual story I wanted to blog about in the first place, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to the Toby Mac concert in Norfolk last Thursday with a family I have gotten to know through YoungLife.  They had gotten free tickets through a radio friend and somehow, we managed to score Meet & Greet passes before the show.  I didn’t have much time to prepare myself for this moment because I honestly had no idea I’d have the chance to get to meet Toby Mac… ever.  So I’m standing there in line, waiting to meet him, trying to wrap my brain around what I would say in my few short moments.  Should I tell him about how I’ve been listening to his music ever since I was about 10 years old when I got my first CD player?  Should I tell him dcTalk was the first tape I ever owned?  Maybe I can talk about his lyrics, and how compelling and inspiring they are, bringing me to tears at times.  Or I could explain how much I appreciate his music and how it helps to bridge the gap between secular radio and the stigma of  “Kum Ba Ya” Christian music.  There are so many things I could have said to him, so many moments in my life that his music has been there to put my thoughts into words when I didn’t have the words to speak, and put a smile on my face when the days were long and difficult.  But in those few short moments, I couldn’t think of any of that stuff.  I truly didn’t know what to say because all of those wonderful, inspiring, encouraging, and any other form of “good” things to say just completely left me.

I started to panic a little, “How can I listen to his music for so long, know almost all of his lyrics, and not be able to think of one single meaningful thing to say?”  So here is my moment, I step up to the front of the line and I can only think of one thing to say: “Dude.  You are so cool.”

Listening to…

Shawn McDonald’s “Have You Ever

“Have you ever wanted to be someone else?  Have you ever wanted to be someone?  Have you ever wanted to reach your dreams?  Have you ever wanted life to be more than it seems?

I have tasted of a love so wide that is stops all my time.  I have tasted of a love so deep that it blows my mind.

Have you ever wanted to reach up and touch the sky?  Have you ever wanted to pack it up and say goodbye?  Have you ever wanted someone to care?  Have you ever wanted someone to be there?

He is sweet, He is sweet, what you’re looking for is my sweet, sweet Jesus.

What you’re looking for is my sweet Lord.” 


I love this song by Matt Wertz.

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