Our First Album “This is Life” was released December 2020

“This is Life”
2020

This collection of songs is an autobiography written from a place of desperation and brokenness. These songs are about real life stories and the healing process that takes place when you fall on your knees and suddenly find yourself at the end of yourself in need of a Savior. Songs born from situations like addiction, domestic violence, anger and resentment, divorce, faith, redemption and restoration, and the healer himself working miracles in and through it all. We write songs for the recovery community, our friends and forever family, and if we can help ONE PERSON find a seat at the table of love and forgiveness, then we have done our job.

Track list featuring 16 songs:

Mustard Seed, At Your Feet, Thank You, Silver Lining, Get Up and Walk, Through Your Eyes (feat. Rozneik Darling), Be Still, Football, Scars, Through Your Eyes, Grave Clothes, Faced With Grace, Human, Just Like the Eagle, This is Life, Stand in the Fire

Track 1 – Mustard Seed

Story-
“Jesus said, if you have faith even as small as a Mustard Seed, you can say to this mountain move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible!”
As I sat there in my room at the treatment center I was in for alcoholism and depression, I felt the presence of God wash over me like I’d never felt before and I clearly heard Him say- “If you just believe in me, if you just surrender your life to me and trust me, I will change your life and make your life better than you ever thought possible”
And His Promise has, and continues to come true every, single, day.
Chorus
You said believe
Just like a Mustard Seed
Faith can water the seed into a mighty tree
Tell the Mountain to move and make the blind man see
Let the lame man walk and make the dead man breathe
If you just BELIEVE!

 


“Nothing will be impossible!”

Track 2 – At Your Feet

This song was written in the summer of 2018 at the Celebrate Recovery Summit at Saddleback Church. Our ministry leader had challenged us to write an easy “singable” song about having your face on the floor, in true surrender, being honest and transparent and giving your brokenness to Jesus. There’s no shame at the Feet of Jesus. Only FREEDOM.
We also had a project that week of writing a song for an industry call out for a Christian song with certain detailed requirements. So we decided why not combine the two and write the one song for both!
The beginning lyrical bones of this song were written in the sanctuary of Saddleback church with 4000+ people who were worshipping and desperate for MORE JESUS.
Then we worked on the chords and music part on an old very out of tune piano at our friends house. So, desperate for something else we found a Guitar Center and worked out more there.
When we got home from California we had to get right to work in the studio recording it for our label to submit it. We spent about 60+ hours on it and long story short….. we loved it so much that we added it to the album.
This song is already released and available for listening on all online streaming Services.
“I’m not bound to remain
Day to day just the same
Every step that I take I’ll meet Grace
When I lay at Your Feet”

“Soak this ground with my fears and lay my life at your feet”

Track 3 – Thank You

Story-
This song was written in the first year of my Recovery from alcoholism and depression.
(I now have 9 years!)
I’m a huge fan of the Big Book of AA and I fell in love with the 9th Step Promises, especially when I realized that they were ALL coming true in my life!!! The ninth step promises can be found through pages 83-84 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word Serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change, fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these unrealistic promises? We think not.
They are being fulfilled among us sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will materialize if we work for them.”
I was in pure awe of the fact that I had truly, TRULY been delivered from the obsession to drink. I have never, not once in 9 years even thought about picking up the bottle and relapsing to cope with life and all the ups and downs along the way. That is GOD and GOD alone y’all!!!
God was doing FOR ME what I had tried desperately for years on my own unsuccessfully. So that is why so many of the lyrics in this song say FOR ME.
This song THANK YOU was the song that started it all. The song that ignited the fire inside me to start writing songs based off my testimony and started recording this Album in 2013.
THANK YOU MY GOD!!!!

 


“God was doing FOR US what we could not do for ourselves”

Track 4 – Silver Lining

It’s a fun, upbeat yet simple song with a deep meaning…..
Story – 
The Definition of a Silver Lining is that it is a sign of hope or a positive aspect in an otherwise negative situation. The phrase is often seen as part of the proverb “Every cloud has a silver lining”, meaning that there’s hope or something good to be found in every bad situation.
Scripture tells us over and over that God uses all things for our good. No hurt is wasted.
He does not remove anything from us that He will not abundantly replace with something far greater than we ever could have imagined. God truly is working all things together for the good, the eternal good, of those who love him.
No matter where you have been, what you have done in the past, or what you have ahead of you….. there is always something good you can find if you just look for it!
And the simple fact that Jesus is with you the ENTIRE TIME as your Hope, your light, your truth and the greatest love you can ever have….. is enough. He IS the Silver Lining.
This song is a reminder for us to look to Jesus in whatever circumstances we are facing. We can trust that He will be faithful to His promise. He’ll work all things together for the good of those called according to His purpose. And this will be for our joy and for His glory.
So take a breath, breathe it in, let it out.
Take a deep breath in, and let it out.
You will find Freedom if you look for the good in everything, and everyone!

“Where you are right now is beautiful”

Track 5 – Get Up and Walk

Story – 
In the city of Jerusalem, there was a pool called Bethesda. This is where a great number of people would go hoping to be healed– (many of them were blind, lame, paralyzed)
There was a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him lying there and when he heard that he had been in that condition for all those years, He asked him, “Do you WANT to get well?”
“Sir,” the man replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” (John 5:6-8 NIV)
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
This story is a sad reminder of so many of us today. We have physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual conditions that we are desperate for healing to take place in, and yet we take no responsibility that it is US that can make it happen. We are stuck in victim mentality.
When it is in relation to our personal lives, rather than taking responsibility for ourselves and the role we must play in bringing about the desired change/s in our lives, like the man in the story did, we are quick to blame others.
We make dumb excuses. We look to others to fix us. We expect others to know what we need. We blame others for not doing for us what we need to be doing for ourselves.
We blame our addictions, relationship failures, health problems, financial problems and our inner emotional pain on everyone else.
I do believe that if we are really honest with ourselves, all of us, whatever difficulty we are faced with, we all hold the power to be healed and changed when we surrender and let Jesus help us to get up and walk out the truth in every situation.
There is a process and a cost to being made whole. We need to have faith and trust that with God we have the power to get rid of all the dead weight and hindrances that are preventing us from walking and embracing God’s gifts and callings for us.
We have the power inside all of us to fight for the things the darkness has stolen. We all have a story, and from that story we have a purpose. And that purpose is to tell our stories about how God has saved us and healed us so others can see that they have that same power inside of them, and Jesus is waiting for them to ask him to help them to Get UP and WALK.
This song was written for our dear friend Val, who is in the arms of Jesus now.

“We’ll know He’s here, when the light in the room, is shining thru our brokenness….and we’re laughing again…”

Track 6 – Through Your Eyes (feat. Rozneik Darling)

Story – 
This song is all about self esteem, self worth, and learning to love yourself.
I am someone who has suffered with very low self esteem my entire life. I did not grow up hearing about how loved and cherished and worthy I was or how much God loved me just the way I am. How nothing I could ever do would stop Him from loving me.
I based my self image on how other people treated me. How other people spoke to me. How other people saw me. The names that I took on as my identity were
“not good enough” “ugly” “fat” “stupid” “worthless” “alcoholic” “drug addict”
“Liar” “cheater”, and the list goes on……
I remember the day when this song came to my mind, I was standing outside at night, looking up at the sky where the Moon was perched up there watching over me. And I had a realization in my prayers that there had been a shift in my heart, in my perception, in my opinion of who I am.
I realized I was being reprogrammed if you will, to see myself thru the eyes of Jesus. And I felt like I was truly happy for the first time in my life. Like, TRULY happy. That I am surrounded by his breath giving light and loved JUST THE WAY I AM.
I was learning to love myself. Learning to tell the truth, and stop justifying my pain. Learning to forgive myself and forgive others. I was learning not to run away from my own reflection, naked, baring all my flaws and imperfections. I was learning to face the enemy within MYSELF. I was learning to see myself for WHO I REALLY AM, not for what I have DONE.
Because the album is planned out strategically song by song in order of the 12 steps of recovery and how the healing process takes place, this is where the album takes a more personal, introspective turn. Where the album starts to tell the deepest parts of my heart, the more painful stories that have shaped me and molded me into who I am today.
This song features Rozneik Darling on spoken word, reading a beautiful poem written by our friend Shandell Orr.

“Grant me serenity, courage, and wisdom too”

Track 7 – Be Still

Story – 
I call this my Divorce song. This song was written in the depths of my depression and “almost” mental/emotional breakdown of 2017.
I had reached the point of no return knowing that I could not spend one more day in my life and be OK. I had done my best and my best wasn’t good enough for the marriage to continue and be a healthy place for my soul.
I had been praying desperately for God to tell me what to do. Praying fiercely for Him to fix us. To heal us. Waiting and waiting for the next right step. And for so long I just kept hearing God say “Just Be Still.” So I stayed still making no decisions other than that I needed to just take care of myself because I was losing it bad.
Until one night, one of many sleepless nights full of racing thoughts and anxiety, I lay there pouring my heart out to Jesus telling Him I just couldn’t do it anymore. And then I clearly heard Him say “Well, then don’t. And I’ll still love you just the same.”
In those months, if not years, of waiting and waiting…. doing the best I could, loving when it was hardest, working on myself no matter what, I earned the right to speak my truth and walk away with my head held high. And giving myself permission to live the life I’m meant to live where I am cherished and respected and I am able to receive GOD’S BEST for me.
The life where 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is the building blocks and the higher standards I now know I deserve, and always have deserved.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

“When all else fades away, the Lord’s love never dies”

Track 8 – Football

Story
Domestic violence. The dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about, yet everyone has either experienced it themselves or knows someone who has. It tends to be the generational curse that keeps on giving until somebody brave steps up and breaks the cycle.
God had been nudging me for quite some time to write a song about this painful topic. From my own personal life and experiences with being a survivor, and also from all my years in recovery I have met so many people who have been hurt terribly by verbal, physical, and mental/emotional abuse. I had so much to say, but how can you say it all in just a three and a half minute song?
For us, this song is the perfect marination of the pain, heartbreak and drama that surrounds these stories. Written from many perspectives from the child, the spouse, and the survivors who live to tell….. from the beautiful dramatic piano compositions from Damien to the weeping electric guitars that Dan and Steve add and then the sad, and vulnerable vocal telling you the story…..
We try to write music that the listener can connect to on a soul level and communicate their deep and often hidden or repressed feelings with words and sounds that tell them it’s ok to be real and speak their truth thru the tears of another, and then claim them as their own tears in the collection of what it is to be human and healing together.
“I believe in me, and my voice is found”

“I believe in me, and my voice is found”

Track 9 – Scars

Story-
We have all been thru something that left us with a Scar.
Proverbs 18:21
“The tongue has the power of life and death.”
The stakes are high. Your words can either speak life, or your words can speak death. Our tongues can build others up, or they can tear them down.
Some of us have physical scars from accidents, abuse, injuries or other things that have happened in our lives. But, even more of us have emotional scars. Scars that cannot be seen. The scars that leave their mark deep beneath the skin.
These scars are hard to see and harder to heal.
Verbal abuse. Lies. Gossip. Character assassination. Betrayal. It all hurts terribly and leaves a scar. And time truly means nothing, because it is about what YOU CHOOSE to do with that time. Otherwise it is just time that passes by and nothing changes if nothing changes.
But the Scars of Jesus. Oh the beautiful Scars of Jesus. They hold within them the weight of every single story and experience that created your Scars.
His Scars are there to remind us how much he loves us. How much is forgiven, forgotten, and covered in Grace. His Scars are where we begin and end when we offer up our Scars and pray for healing.
In recovery we learn to open up and show our scars, speak our truth and we reach a whole new level of intimacy and learn what it means to be close to someone.
Having safe people to turn to and share our Scars with is one of the most important and sacred moments that starts the healing process. We are not alone and we are using the time to turn our pain into purpose.
May we never forget or take for granted that-
HIS SCARS ARE OURS

“His Scars are Ours”

Track 10 – Through Your Eyes

Who says you can’t have 2 versions of a song on an album? No one!
We love the feel of the chill and funky vibes and drums/beats mixed with the electric guitar.
You will never regret taking the time to work on your self esteem and seeing that your identity is who HE says you are, not the lies you’ve absorbed from your circumstances. The healing begins when you start seeing yourself through the eyes of Jesus.
“Grant me, serenity, courage, and wisdom too so I can face these things, and change these things, and love myself the way you do”

“I’m surrounded by Your breath giving light”

Track 11 – Grave Clothes

Story – 
We’ve all been there. Hurt by someone we love and trusted. Betrayed. Lies spread. Gossiped about. Judged. Ignored. Abused. Left.
Resentment sets in. Anger fills our hearts and love is lost. Friendships are destroyed. Trust is forever changed. And sometimes you forgive and give another chance, just to have it happen to you all over again. And then you are really hurt. And maybe blame yourself for letting them back in to hurt you.
Time passes. And joy is hard to find. You build walls up around yourself to protect your heart from being hurt again. You are in a darkness, and your heart is aching. You are angry. You are so angry. And sad.
And then Jesus speaks to you and you realize forgiveness is the key to unlock the prison you are in. It’s the only way that you can climb out of your Grave of misery. You are tired of walking around with this heavy dead weight. You make the choice to forgive.
And let it GO…..
And you begin to awaken and feel the sunshine on your face again.
This active, living, breathing choice, has set you FREE.
You take off your Grave Clothes, and you learn to dance again. You FEEL the power of forgiveness is inside of you, because that is where the Holy Spirit resides.
“The voice that rolled the stone away, is alive in me, He’s here to stay”

“The voice that rolled the stone away, is alive in me and He’s here to stay”

Track 12 – Faced With Grace

Story – 
“Grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favor of God.”
We’ve all heard the saying “Hurt people hurt people.” And I can guarantee we have all experienced pain and suffering at the hands of another’s pain. We have all hurt others because of our pain and brokenness.
But what happens when we look past the bad behavior and see thru to the heart of a person who really just needs love, unconditional love, and grace? What if you were able to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself “How would I want to be treated here?”
Forgiveness. Beautiful Forgiveness. And Grace.
Oh sweet, Amazing Grace.
Your Grace offered to another over and over again, and never failing to see the person as a soul loved by Jesus is NEVER a waste of your time!
Your Grace could be the reason that someone who doesn’t know Jesus wants to know Him because they see the difference between you and someone who is grace-less……. Let us never be the reason that someone who needs Jesus doesn’t want to let Him in because of YOU.
“What if it was YOU that needed a friend?
What if it was YOU that needed a hand?
You’re lying on the floor and you’re broken and bent
What if it was YOU ya
What if it was YOU???…”

“What if it was you in their place?”

Track 13 – Human

In 2017 my friend Barb came to me and asked if I could write a song inspired by her experience with people judging another’s Faith walk based on not being “perfect.” Of course I said YES!
I myself have experienced a lot of spiritual abuse in my life from religiosity and legalism that led me to judging God based off how I saw Humans behaving. I turned my back on God for 15 years because of PEOPLE.
She had a base line story and intentions for the song based off a poem she had written.
Barb says…. “I wrote this poem shortly after I was saved and I kept noticing people judging Christians about things they did wrong. Instead of focusing on Jesus I was seeing too much focus on our sins and judging each other instead of seeing the true gift of Grace. I would hear people say you can’t believe in God if you do X, Y, Z wrong and it made me sad. I wanted to put a message out about our Humanness and the love of Jesus, available for us ALL Eternally!!
We are all Human, we will never be perfect, and just because you are a believer doesn’t mean you will never sin again. But knowing Jesus really does change you from the inside out. If you REALLY let Him in.”
This song has undergone many different versions and edits since its birth. But we are so happy with the final recording and believe it has an “anthem” feeling that leaves you with the perfect mix of conviction and hope that you are truly making a difference in the world by being raw, and open and honest about your Humanness.
And then pointing to the ONE who’s love covers ALL of us and says “YOU ARE STILL GOOD ENOUGH IN MY EYES”

“He’ll give you life worth living, covered in Hope and Healing”

Track 14 – Just Like the Eagle

Story – 
This song is about Grief. It is about the heartbreaking pain of the death of a loved one. How a piece of you dies when a loved one is no longer here with us.
Sometimes this grief is so unbearable that it leads to self destruction and abandonment of all we were before. And we are desperate for God to heal our broken hearts.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like Eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
This song is about rising from the ashes of defeat. And how pain can become your wings to purpose. Even if your only purpose is to know the LORD more and have HIS JOY BE YOUR STRENGTH!

“His joy is my strength”

Track 15 – This is Life

This is the Title track for the album.
This song was written as a gift to our recovery forever family. We were going through a great loss when one of our beloved Celebrate Recoveries had to close. We performed it on our last night of gathering with this group.
We wanted to leave them with the message that life is full of ups and downs. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is the end of the world except the end of the world. The true and lasting things that DO last forever are our memories, our love and friendships, and Jesus. Always Jesus. And thats all that really matters 🙂

“Keep swimming, keep smiling, Get Up”

Track 16 – Stand in the Fire

I have always loved the story of the Refiners Fire and how God uses pain and suffering and the hardships of life to grow us and to refine our character to be more like Him.
This blew me away when I learned these verses and truly studied and reflected on them. My struggles in life are not meant to break me, but to MAKE ME!
And this is where me turning my pain into purpose began! I no longer fear the dark days of life. I no longer run from my problems! I face them head on. I run towards Jesus and let Him have His way! I let Him mold me and refine me thru the Fire!!!
I will STAND in the Fire 🔥 and make the best of all that life throws at me!
The Refiner’s Fire Story
“As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: ‘He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.’ (Malachi 3:3) She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’ He smiled at her and answered, ‘Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.’
And just as the album begins with just a little bit of faith the size of a Mustard Seed….acknowledging that my life had become unmanageable and that I needed His HELP. It ends with living my life one day at a time. Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. Taking this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make things all right if I surrender to His will, not my own. So that I may be reasonably happy in THIS LIFE, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
Thank you for listening to my recovery journey and letting me share!

“They say… life is a journey… live one day at a time”