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Autumn Change and A Giveaway!


Autumn Change and A Giveaway!

Autumn is quickly approaching and the hot summer days have already cooled a bit here.  Out of doors time is so much more appealing when the temperatures aren't licking the 100 mark on the thermometer! Join me at Beyond The Nook where I am sharing what God whispered to my heart as I basked in the pre-autumn breeze and the Shadows Beckoned.


This past week I have had the privilege of previewing The After's new CD entitled Live On Forever! Live on Forever releases TODAY and to celebrate I'm giving away a copy to one of my readers! This album is full of God's faithfulness and love. True to their contemporary sound, The Afters, share with us their heart in the midst of tragedy below. I thought it was too beautiful not to share with you.

The heart of Live on Forever:

It’s easy to assume stories of trial and triumph are just for the Bible or the history books. But miracles still happen, even when adversity hits hardest. Just ask Josh Havens, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Afters. He relates how the band’s latest effort, Live on Forever, began during a season of tragedy. 

Just as the band regrouped to record, Havens witnessed the wife of a close friend contract cancer. Drummer Jordan Mohilowski (who produced the new album) had a brief health scare, and a close companion in his church—part of the worship team—was hit and killed by an impaired driver. She was a young woman, Havens says, who had unlimited potential.

But Live on Forever–the band’s fifth with the Fair Trade label-still took shape as a celebration of faithfulness, protection and promise—one that shimmers with strong rhythms, undeniable energy and compelling pop hooks. The album finds Havens in strong, soaring voice as he invites listeners to find shelter and strength in God. “If any theme has emerged, it would be ‘inspiration and motivation,’” Havens says. 

Havens himself felt a deep need to hold on after another loss struck: The band’s longtime soundman, Anthony Martinez, saw his newborn daughter die in infancy. 

Ask Havens to pick out a song that sums up the spirit of the album, and he chooses “Battles.” “It was the last song we wrote and the fastest we wrote,” he says. “We don’t typically write songs fast; we’ll change lyrics and melodies and craft our songs carefully. But ‘Battles’ poured out, the music and lyrics, in one day. It’s about standing up against fear and knowing God is always with us,” Havens explains. “It’s one of the takeaways we hope people get: ‘Don’t give up to fear.

Havens shares how, half a world away from his home in Phoenix, he caught a small glimpse of heaven’s reassurance. The place: downtown Amsterdam. The occasion: a dinner between shows with band members and spouses—including soundman Martinez and his wife. For their baby daughter, the Martinez couple had chosen an unusual moniker with an unusual spelling: Pieper. Against all odds, it also happened to be exactly how the intimate restaurant they dined at spelled its name. Still, no one was prepared for what happened at the end of the meal. “We were talking about baby Pieper, and as we got up to leave, we noticed that the only thing on the walls—the only thing—was a framed document, an award for hospitality. And the date on the award—the only date in the place—was Pieper’s birthday. Her mother just started bawling.” Havens sums up the reassurance all took home that night: “We thought, ‘This is where God’s angels fly: right in the middle of the loss.’ God gives us little glimpses to show us he’s here.”

“We worked on this record for almost two years and over those two years, it was a real season of loss,” Havens recalls. “But in the end, Live on Forever is about moving us to trust God, to stand up against fear. It’s an ‘ante up’ record, an anthem for people’s lives: ‘God you are with me in all this. I’m not alone.’”

Congratulations to J. Kindle!
You're the winner of the new CD, Live On Forever by The Afters!



The Light of Change

The vibrant and fiery colors of the trees are almost gone. In Texas, it takes until the end of November for this beautiful display to play out…I am thankful for the longevity.

As each new autumn rolls in, I notice. I notice what type of tree changes first. I notice their colors. I notice which side of the the tree turns first…and I take note of why.

As the sun peaks over the tree tops, the fiery leaves of the treetops are illuminated by the sun. As the sun’s radiant beams touch another tree as it’s shaft radiates through the various obstructions..another tree is changing.

Do you long to exude vibrant colors? Do you need change that is miraculous and beautiful? Do you want your life to stand out among the forest of trees?

Stand in the Light of the SON.

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. Here was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.”

John 1:4, John 1:7-9, John 8:12,John 12:36, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Peter 2:9-10, 1 John 2:8

If you really want to shine with brilliant colors of LIFE…stay, abide, Live in the light of the SON of God…Jesus Christ.



What Change Are You Resisting?

There has been lots of change occurring around here!  A new season is beginning in our home and I was reminded of this post.  I thought I'd share again...  

Change Resitant

I have always thought and said that I am a person resistant to change.  I was disgruntled when the Texas Rangers changed their colors and when they moved stadiums. I don't like when rules change, when my plans for a day are changed, when a new addition of a perfectly good book is released and I am now unfamiliar with its format or page numbers. You know...the small things that no one usually cares about!

But... this week I have been watching the beautiful color change happening outside.  Our trees are filled with vibrant golds, fiery reds and oranges, rich greens and regal burgundy.  I LOVE the change.  I love the way the air smells different and the north wind plays a different melody on my wind chimes.

Today I was thinking...I am NOT resistant to change.  In nature, it's what I love most! Spring and Autumn fill my heart with Joy as the trees and earth put on new clothes of color that give glory to the Master Artist...God.

Intentional Living

So what is it that I don't like about change?'s being out of control!  I don't like when I cannot control my environment.

The Lord is showing me...again through creation...that he is in control of everything!  He wants me to give it up...let go...let Him direct my path and order my steps so that I can enjoy the view.

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way." Psalm 37:23

I am letting go...trusting in Him who will direct my path...taking every thought of discontentment and frustration captive and punishing it to the obedience of Christ...I WILL walk in Joy and Peace...Will you?




A New Season

As I sit outside under the canopy of trees that border my yard and shade the various sitting areas, I begin to see the changes already occurring. Yellowed leaves speckle the green grass. A cooler northern wind gently sways the wind chimes bringing forth its beautiful melodies. My rabbit is bounding about in her cage in the playful manner that the heat of Summer had robbed her from. The air smells different.

Intentional Living

A new season is brimming.  I can feel it in my soul.  I know it in my spirit.  It's not just a physical change here...God is moving and the change I feel are the preparations being made for the new and coming season.

Autumn, in the physical is a time of harvest.  It's a time of plenty. There is food, sweet and savory, and ample time with friends and family...also sweet and savoury.

I am filled with anticipation.

I am ready for the brilliant colors of the season to show forth its regal spender. I am eager to watch the unfolding of God's plan painted so magnificently in the lives of those around me. I am standing on the precipice of a new season in wonder and amazement.

God is moving...just like the north wind blowing away the chaff.

Lord, open our hearts' eyes to the beauty in the change.  Help us to marvel at what you are doing in THIS time, THIS season of our lives.  May we stand here, at the precipice of a new season eager to do your will and to watch the spectacular beauty unfold before our eyes.  Please help us not to miss it in the bustle of the jobs at hand. Thank you for your creativity. Thank you for moving in our lives. Thank you for manifesting your spender in every leaf that changes color, every breeze that blows in a new direction, every day that you lay our before us to travel.  We love you...Amen.

I am praying this over us all...