[From Monday May 23, 16]
Last night I set out to bless others. I put together a VIP listening party for a few select people to have the opportunity to listen to my debut pop EP, You Loved before it releases to the public (June 10th), as well as play a few new songs from my upcoming praise and worship album. I wanted to create an intimate environment to catch up with these individuals, hear how they are doing, share with them some personal stories about the recording process, feed them some yummy food, and share a few live songs. My aim was to bless them. After all, these people have done so much to help make my dreams come true.
However, the result of the evening ended up being so much more than I could have asked for. In an attempt to bless others, I was blessed in return.
Throughout the process of writing and recording an album (or in my case, three) you’re so aware of the pressure. Pressure to please, wanting to make everyone happy. Whether that’s your friends and family, your church family, fans, financial supporters, people you’ve never even met before, or people who might potentially use your songs for other creative projects (like cinematographers)…the pressure is there. Last night, I was reassured that I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do. No matter what happens with these albums, these people are already proud. They may not love every single song, but they love and support me and are behind me in this no matter what.
I was reminded of this when I concluded the evening wanting to pray a blessing over everyone in attendance, and they turned right around and prayed a blessing over me. I was reminded of this when I was unsure how one of my songs would be received and the manager of the venue told me through tears that she had been searching for the perfect wedding song…and just found it.
I think that’s how God’s blessings work. He blesses us so that we might also be a blessing. And in blessing others, we are also blessed. It’s a continual cycle. It overflows like water being poured into a single cup stacked on top of 2 more cups...and 3 more under that…and so on.
What’s so cool about these blessings is, not only will I be able to overflow through songs and bless people through music, but because others’ have blessed me financially, I’ve been able to turn right around and support other friends in ministry.
Like my friends Tori & Jordan Vittum, who just embarked on a new journey through the High Point Leadership Institute in Memphis, TN. For those of you who saw my Kickstarter video, Tori Vittum was the brains behind that beautiful piece of cinematography, and her husband Jordan is an incredible musician who has played in my band over the past year. You can check out their story here
Or my new friends Mike and Kristin Williams who are part of a campus ministry reaching college kids with the gospel at Illinois State University. I met Kristin and Mike through a friend and after just one conversation, their hearts for Jesus and reaching the lost were so evident I knew the Lord was prompting me to get involved. I am so excited to partner with them and see what the Lord will accomplish through them, and also hope to visit them and lead worship at their campus church in the fall. You can read more about their ministry here
The point of blessing others isn’t so you get blessed in return, but that does usually end up happening. Of course, the blessings will always look different. Sometimes it’s the blessing of a new friend, sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s a career opportunity, sometimes it’s a support group; it takes shape in all different forms.
And sometimes someone who is a friend, of a friend, of a friend, of a friend of the person you blessed comes to know Christ…and you were a part of that. You simply cannot put a price tag on that.
My friend Amy reminded me that grace works that way too. When we extend grace to others in any situation, it is almost always followed by an opportunity where we are in need of that same amount of grace to be extended to us…if not more. Paul reminds us of this in Romans 5:20, where it states, “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.”
God’s grace…God’s blessings…they overflow. He never runs out of either and always looks for the opportunity to extend it and share it. Now it is our responsibility to take the blessings and the grace and pour it out all over everyone we encounter.
And the cycle continues…
“May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace”