Monday, December 14, 2015

~ New Music Monday ~ December 14th ~ Congrats on the Grammy Noms !! ~

Sam Hunt - House Party

#NewMusicMonday is officially on Christmas break , but we wanted to congratulate the #NewMusicMonday featured artists Little Big Town , Cam , Elle King , Chris Stapleton , Sam Hunt , Taylor Swift , Tori Kelly , Lauren Dagle , Carrie Underwood , & Kacey Musgraves on their 2016 Grammy nominations !!!!!! Congrats y'all !!! So exciting and so deserved ! Hope you all get time to enjoy this amazing moment ! Can't wait to see the list of performers . I fully expect to see several of the names above on it . If you wanna see what all the fuss is about feel free to check the #NewMusicMonday archives here at The Faith Journals for clips and fun facts on the artists listed above as well as many others . Also , don't forget , as a radio listener and music lover you have the power to get your fave artists on air . Call , text , tweet , e-mail , insta , fb , even snail mail will work to get the songs and artists you wanna hear on rotation . This is one of the easiest / most inexpensive / and quickest ways to show support for your favorite artists . Request now !!! Here are just a few clips of a few of the nominated artists .

Little Big Town - Girl Crush
Cam - Burning House
Kacey Musgraves - Biscuits
Chris Stapleton - Nobody to Blame

~ Insta Blog ~ Do Not Conform ~ You Be You ~

Perhaps one of the more difficult directives we will ever be given . It is a task to not allow ourselves to simply melt into the mold this world has created for us and the expectations it has put on us . Graduate at this age . Go to this college . Get this job . Marry . Have babies . Have grand babies . Retire comfortably . So on , so forth . But God has not called us to a neatly scheduled life . When we buck the " norm " of this world to pursue after Gods " norm " ( and I use the word lightly ) for our life it can make folks uncomfortable . It is frightening to see someone going against the grain confidently . Well , if I have learned anything in the last four years it is I do not mind to live a life that scares or makes people uncomfortable if I am living a life I am confident He is taking part in . Not falling into the worlds idea of what my life should be is a daily task . At any moment I could throw my hands in the air and say , " Fine ! I'll just do what everyone else is doing " . But I know in my heart I was called to be different . Right now that " different " is the schedule of my life . I skipped past a few things on the " worlds " list of who I should be and what I should be doing at this current time in the life line . But In a month , year , 2 years the different I am living may be , well....different . My prayer for you this week is that you would find the strength or keep hold of the strength to continue your pursuit of Gods " norm " for you and that you would not be tempted by the worlds idea of " norm " . You are not alone . He is FOR you and WITH you . If you know NOTHING else about His calling and plans for your life KNOW this , you were not called to conform to this worlds idea of " norm " . I hate to go all mom talk on ya , but if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you ??!! Square pegs rule !!! Let no one make you feel like less for being who God made you and for following His call on your life .

~ Merry Christmas ~

Christmas 2013

As you all know , I love me a holiday. Particularly Christmas . I don't exactly know why it makes me so happy, but it just does . The twinkly lights , the permission to decorate all things with glitter , the sweet treats everywhere , fond memories of Christmas ' past or maybe the excitement of a new year and fresh start ahead . Whatever it is I have found myself wanting to spread that cheer......( for all to hear , how was I to resist quoting Elf ?! ) . I've been saying Merry Christmas since December 1st . Right after thank you or have a good day or whatever other greeting is exchanged I follow it up with Merry Christmas ! Something that I have noticed , more so this year than ever before , is the actual surprise on folks face when I say it . Then the almost relieved tone in their voice when saying it back or saying " Thank You " in return . Its been so thought provoking for me . It is almost as if everyone is waiting for permission . Permission to express their joy , permission to say something semi-religious or spiritual , or just permission to be kind . I don't know . Its just so odd to me . I don't think I am even explaining it properly I am so baffled by it . I feel like with every surprised reaction the Lord is saying to me , " Yes . Keep reminding them . Keep loving them in this simple way . Keep surprising them with the reminder of the " reason for the season " . " If that makes any sense to ya . So , Merry Christmas loved ones ! I hope your holiday season is a merry and bright one . Lets not forget the true reason we have to celebrate . Spread His joy with someone today .

Sunday, December 6, 2015

~ New Music Monday ~ December 7th ~ Dear Santa ~

I am dedicating this weeks #NewMusicMonday to Santa and the wish lists we send him each year . Now , I don't know about you , but I am positive I am on the nice list . I'm almost sure of it . I mean , other than that one thing , that one time at that place ...... I have been super nice all year . Enough about me . It isn't too late to add any of these sweet selections to your wish list . Below are artists that have been featured on #NewMusicMonday , CD's or downloads that I already have and feel you should too , and/or are on my wish list as well . Cause I mean , what am I , a Rockefeller ?! SideNote : I have been struggling with a migraine all weekend . So , if any of my written thoughts make no sense , let us choose , at least for this week , to blame my #MigraineBrain . Now , onto wicked sweet tunes .

Lets go ahead and state the obvious.....

Kip Moore - Wild Ones - If you thought any other artist would be on the top of my list you have not been paying attention . First of all , the in store cut and the online cuts of this album are different . If you purchase the download deluxe version you get three more tracks than what is on the in hand version . I of course own both . I don't even care if you judge me . Going through my CD bin I found three , I repeat THREE of the same Keith Urban album . I have no clue how I got two of them . Clearly I have hoarding issues as well as musical FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) . So , owning only two of Wild Ones is actually progress . The Wild Ones tour just finished its' Fall leg and will hit the road again in 2016 headed to mid - America , Canada , and the West Coast . I also believe they may be doing some Aussie dates . You can check Kips site for further details , purchasing tickets , etc . would make for a great Valentines present . Yes , once again , I am already thinking of Valentines ideas . I'm a pre-planner and can't control it .

Kip Moore - Running For You - Current Single

Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood - dropped secretly the night of the CMA's and has been charting since . I do not own this album yet , but have heard and read nothing but goodness from it . It is on my list to Santa . The fact he dropped a free copy to his die hard fans causes me to believe that despite his bad boy style , Church is on Santa's nice list .

Chris Stapelton - Traveler - Has done 2.5 million-ish , I believe I read , sales wise since his performance with Justin Timberlake on the CMA's - That's just about a month ago.....meaning that is some mad climbing . Just goes to show how much the art of craftsmanship and performance plays . It would seem that no has doubted that Stapelton could experience this kind of success . Everyone was just waiting for him to get his shot . Well , he got that shot and aimed square at the bulls eye . Sharp shooting Stapelton !

Chris Stapelton - Tennessee Whiskey fr " Traveler "

Carrie Underwood - Storytellers - Just released her second video and single from the album titled , " Heartbeat " . The audio can be found on last weeks #NewMusicMonday if you wanna take a listen . But lets all be real honest with ourselves . It's Carrie . Vocally , she can do no wrong . So . Even if you bought it without YouTubing some of the tracks I doubt you'd be disappointed . There is a YouTube video of the writers and producers listening to the final tracks while being unknowingly videoed and it's awesome . If you got time to spare and need a giggle I vote you give it a watch .

Adele - 25 - Because Adele . I mean , do I need to say more ? Hello !!! 25 seems to have broken basically every record ever . So . Just go get it . Right now . Stop reading . Like , put this on pause or whatever and go .

Little Big Town - Pain Killers - About this time last year , give or take a month " Girl Crush " was preparing to hit radio and I was blogging about the madness and idiocy of people requesting it be banned from radio play . Well , I suppose LBT and normal thinking people showed them . " Girl Crush " won song of the year at CMA's and almost immediately landed at the top of all charts . It stayed at the #1 slot on GAC - Country Countdown for weeks .

Little Big Town - Girl Crush fr Pain Killers

From one of my very first #NewMusicMonday postings , I recommend The Lone Bellow's , " Then Came the Morning " . I love the entire CD and can listen to it front to back with out feeling the need to skip a track .

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material - I have featured several Musgraves tunes on the #NewMusicMonday posts . I love her style !! Writing , performing , singing , fashion , I love it all !! I wanna be Kacey Musgraves when I grow up is basically what I am saying here . Pageant Material is one that I don't own the entire album yet . Mainly because I want the actual vinyl copy and I just haven't been around to look for it in stores . Not all stores carry vinyl . So .

Dierks Bentley - Riser - I have shared several of Bentlys tunes as well on #NewMusicMonday and I am still so in love with " Bourbon in Kentucky " that I listen to it on full blast while singing at the top of my lungs whiles driving to and fro . Again , you're welcome car beside me at the red light . You . Are . Welcome . I also , wanna recommend " Up On the Ridge " a more earthy , blue grassy offering Bentley did several years ago . I just kinda feel like Dierks can do no wrong . He is the guy you want to see do well .

Sam Hunt - Montevallo EP - Not a full length album , but it will not leave you disappointed . It took me a minute to warm up to Hunt . But now that I have , I can't wait to see/hear what the next album is like . Hunt is also the male BGV's on Underwood's " Heartbeat " track . Fun trivia for ya there .

The Shires - Brave - A band out of the UK , they spent several dates on tour with Little Big Town just last month . I hope they will tour in the Spring with other American bands in the US . I love the album and could so easily hear it on US radio . Their harmonies are on point , making them the perfect opener for a band like LBT . It is my understanding they have written with Kip Moore , am I the only one who would love to hear that tune ?! I didn't think so .

The Shires - Brave fr " Brave "

Cam - Burning Houses - Cam's first disc is a EP that features her current climbing hit , " Burning Houses " . I love this song so much . I get all the feels when listening to it . Her voice is gorgeous and for what is out there right now I feel it is really unique .

To Be Released : The following albums are still TBR (to be released) , but have produced a single that is currently downloadable . IDK that's a word , but I'm gonna say it is for this situation . Downloadable .

Clare Dunn - Move On - I believe that at the moment only the single or a EP (Extended Play - bigger than just one single , less than a 10-12 track CD) is available for purchase for Clare . She is a new artist and is currently touring with Chris Young on the " Coming Over " tour . I would advise looking her up on iTunes or amazon to download " Move On " . I LOVE IT !!!! And am finally starting to hear it on my local radio stations . Clare is on her way up and I highly recommend giving her a listen . Girls with guitars can't help but be awesome . It's just who they are .

The Cadillac Three - White Lightening - White Lightening vinyl is currently available for pre-order at the bands web site . TCT will be hitting some of the Spring tour dates with Kip Moore and the Slow Hearts . I feel like , we should just go ahead and call the cops , because there ain't no way you're walking out of that show anything less than fired up . I kinda can't wait to see all that comes from it . Not just the hilarious #insta's and tweets that I am confident will be shared , but also the possibility of a single coming from Moore and Johnston . They have written together in the past , but neither have recorded any of their tunes so far . Fingers crossed !!

The Cadillac Three - White Lightening

Thompson Square - Trans Am - I haven't read or heard the details of the original release for TSquares upcoming album , but the announcement of their pregnancy I am sure played a roll in scheduling . I believe the duo is taking a baby break over the holidays and preparing for T3 to arrive . You can keep up to date on all info via their site . In the mean time go download " Trans Am " .

Meredith Andrews - Soar - Coming this spring Andrews will release what I believe is her 3rd or 4th studio album . The single " Soar " is currently available for download at iTunes , etc . I love all of Meredith's work . I feel , much like Underwood , vocally , she can do no wrong .

The Band Perry - Live Forever - " Live Forever " , the first single off The Band Perry's forthcoming album has been working the charts for months now . And just several weeks ago the band announced they are pushing it's release date to early 2016 sometime . Stating that after working on finishing touches they got struck by the creativity bug and ended up wanting to rework the album a bit . That's alright with me ! I love TBP and feel like if in the 11th hour they came up with something that inspired them so much they felt they needed to push the album , then I trust it is worth the wait .

AGAIN , I want to remind you that as a music lover , radio listener and TV Watcher you have POWER !!!!! Call, text , tweet , insta , facebook , e-mail or snail mail those requests to your local stations . Requesting your favorite artists tunes is one of the quickest/easiest/cheapest ways to support them . It only takes a second and can be done while waiting in traffic (on a speaker of course ) , waiting for a meeting , whatever !!!! Make the call ! Make the request ! Make the difference in your fave artists career !!! Yes , it's that big of a deal . Trust me .

I will be taking a holiday break from #NewMusicMonday for the next several weeks . I may do a few other type posts , but we will see . I have a lot swirling about in my mind . I hope that I have given you enough material to keep your ipod on shuffle for the rest of your Holiday and well into the New Year . Looking forward to what 2016 has not only for music , but for myself . Thank you all for your continued support in reading , commenting , and simply being supportive of The Faith Journals . It means a lot to me .

Merry Christmas Y'all !!!
A little throw back for ya . Maraiah Carey Christmas Album
I believe it is the best selling Christmas album of all time .
Again , another fun fact for ya . I hope you get to play some trivia over the holidays .
I have really set you up for some winning .

Friday, December 4, 2015

~ I'm Sensing A Pattern ~

I have been struggling lately with something I have never , that I can recall , have ever struggled with before . Not since my salvation anyway . The fight . The desire to physically tear someone up . I recall that when I was knee high to a grass hopper I had a bit of bite to me , but that was literally decades ago . So , with this seemingly new struggle of wanting to put up my dukes I feel in my heart that I am stumbling all over the place . I know . I know !! Physical violence is NEVER the answer . I know . I know !!! But , knowledge does not always triumph over desire . Knowledge does not always triumph over instinct . Especially when it isn't about defending yourself , but another . All rules , out the window . However , I cling to the knowledge that God is higher . That vengeance is the Lords . I am doing my best to cling to the truths He has instilled in me long before this particular battle was my own . I was looking back over a few of my social media posts from the last few weeks that have come as a result of my quiet time with Him . I have posted them below in their entirety . I'm sensing a pattern . Give them a glance and you may as well .

" Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind ."  " You are engaged in massive warfare , spiritually speaking ." "....; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you ." Jesus Calling - Proverbs 3:5 " Trust in the Lord with all your heart , and do not lean on your own understanding ." - Psalm 3:3 " But You , O Lord are a shield about me , my glory and the lifter of my head ." - Know tonight that whatever you are going through , struggling with , or are being weighed down by , He fighting FOR you . We are at war on every front . It should be no surprise that it includes spiritual warfare too . " Trust the Lord with all your heart " because He fights FOR you !!!! You are not alone . He loves you . He as planned ahead for you . He fights for you . I can't seem to say that enough tonight . He . Fights . For . You .

Exodus 14:14 " The Lord will fight for you , you need only to be still . "
In the last few days I have really felt the Lord taking me to task with this verse . I had become proud thinking the "be still" part was so simple . Well,  I don't think I had really known what it was to want to fight , kick , punch , smack , swear,  yell , hair pull & all the other violent actions of a fight until recently . Wanting to physically come to blows with someone and having this verse brought to mind is a real genuine struggle . Put down your dukes . Quiet your tongue and your mind . No kicking . No scratching.  It isn't so easy . Today , hands to myself and mind everywhere else , I am clinging , like perhaps never before to the truth of this verse . He WILL fight for you . Matter of fact . It's so important for us to know that He will stand in front of us and in place of us to take or deliver a hit that He made sure the writer of this verse used the word FIGHT . Fight and Be Still . What contradictions!!! But His directive is clear . My job = Be Still . His job = Fighting . Whatever He may be taking you to task on believe on Him to keep His word . He is the most faithful of us all .

" We must pray with our eyes on God , not on the difficulty . " Oswald Chambers

Current Struggle . I'm unsure I have ever struggled like I am now to focus on just the God part of a prayer . Some situations we just continue to stare at the issue/problem/situation afraid that if we take our eyes off of it , it will sneak off and God won't be able to find it and "fix" it . I've got it twisted . Its about keeping my eyes on God while no matter what happens knowing 1 . No sin is hidden from Him . 2. Vengeance , is the Lords . 3. He loves Me . His desires/plans for me are to prosper and keep me well . Gotta keep m'eyes on the God of the situation , not the situation . Lord come quick .

Do you see it ? The pattern . As I pray , as I struggle to leave this particular time in my life at His feet , He is speaking to me . He is answering my prayers as they leave my lips . He . Will . Fight . For . Me . So , tonight as I settle into an attempt at thankfulness over wallowing in negative thought , I will thank Him . Thank Him for fighting for me . Thank Him for providing and weaving all these truths into my heart and mind before I even knew I needed them . Thank Him for a million other things He does daily . He's got this . He's got me . Also , He has you . I share what I share on social media and this blog for 1. Selfish therapy . It feels good to get it all out of my head . I feel when we let things linger in our minds for long we give the enemy a open shot at us . 2 . I don't believe it's all about me . I think that when the Lord shows us something , shares some sort of wisdom , provision , protection , etc . it is as important as the gospel it's self . It is a reflection of His character and goodness and it is our job to share that with folks . So , even if just one person feels a little less alone in their struggle because I am sharing mine , mission accomplished .

My prayer for you this weekend is that you would stop to consider what the Lord may have been preparing for you and whatever struggle you are going through before it began . He equips us . He does not lead us astray . He is purposeful . Let us thank Him for going before us in ALL situations .
Happy Weekend !!