Random and So fun!

This past Friday, my friend and co-worship leader, Christine and her husband Abraham met me at our church to have fun recording a cover song called, “No Matter How Long It Takes.”  We have led it at church a few times and it really ministered to us.  I thought that they would come with like one, maybe two mics, and one video camera.  I was a little nervous because I don’t like to be video-taped normally, but was pretty chill about the whole thing.  Then they came in with a huge set up of cameras, mics, and a computer. Oh my! My heart started to beat a little bit faster than “chill.” lol!  Plus, I always get nervous about my piano playing since there are SO MANY other amazing pianists out there.  Okay, yes I was being selfishly insecure!

However, we had so much fun doing what we all love to do!!!  Plus, I had the privilege of getting to know Abraham better since we’ve only met in passing.  It took a couple of hours to do, but time flies by with good friends and good company!

Here is the video we did of the worship cover song, “No Matter How Long It Takes.”  I hope it moves you too:

 

No Matter How Long It Takes – Cover

 

Christine and I

What’s New?

I cannot believe it has been over a year since I’ve written a blog post.  Blogging seems so “old school” now a days since everyone is constantly on social media talking about a mile a minute back and forth.  I’m sorry about that.  It’s been 15 years since I first started blogging, when a mommy friend introduced me to the latest way of communication.  Now it is almost a lost art form.  lol.

Well, I am excited to say that my producer has the vocal stems to 7 of the 13 songs on my next worship album and is chipping away at each song one by one.  This is a pain staking process for him, but I know I will be blown away by how he puts everything together!  This album has really been a testing of my faith and patience.  I’ve had to continually release the outcome to the Lord over and over again and still do.

We thought that since I wasn’t able to raise enough money for the rest of the album, we would just release an EP of the 7 songs that were fully funded, but recently I realized how important it was for all 13 song to stay together.  They completely tell the story of who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are and what the gospel message is saying to all of humanity.  They all reveal God’s love and His heart.  I still don’t have the money needed, but I am trusting that the Lord will provide the rest if He wants the same thing I am wanting.  It truly is up to Him.  If you remember, please pray for His provision and His direction.  I want His will to be done for His glory and work alone.  Thank you!

In the meantime, I wait, I pray, and I sing!  I have started to lead “Worship Times” every Monday at 3pm p/t on my Facebook page.  I also am sharing the songs on the album and new songs I have been writing there and on Periscope.  I know you’re asking “Periscope? Is it still around?” lol!  You know what?  It is! And I still really love it.  I love connecting with the world and having conversations. Periscopians are so used to conversing with one another, more so than on Facebook or anywhere else it seems.  So I am back on Periscope sharing songs and also reading the Bible from beginning to end.  I started that this week and we are already on the 10th Chapter of Genesis.  I read and we discuss what is going on and what stands out to us.  It has been a lot of fun!

So there you go.  That is what has been happening in parts of my world lately. =)  Please join me over on my social media platforms to stay up to date and connected.  Hopefully, I will get back into the habit of writing posts on my website.  I’ve actually enjoyed typing this out tonight.  It has been very cathartic.  Anyway, blessings to you.  Talk soon.

Lara~

My Next Worship Album Project!!

So it’s happening!  After 6 years of being quiet, God has opened the doors to record another worship album full of songs I’ve written and cowritten with other great songwriters.  40+ people have stepped up to partner with me in funding this project!  We’ve raised enough money for production on 3 songs so far, but we have a long ways to go.  Would you consider joining me and donating to this album?  I can’t do this with out you!  There are a few ways you can give: by using SongBird@hotmail.com you can give through PayPal and Venmo or you can click on my GoFundMe campaign to give: http://www.gofundme.com/laramarriottworshipalbum 

Anyone who is able to give $30.00 or more will be sent a signed copy of the album when it is done (you’ll just have to provide your email address) If there is someone (in the USA) who can donate $5,000 or more, I will do a full concert for free! =)

I know God is going to provide because He is already moving in powerful ways through this whole thing.  I am planning to share this music wherever God wants me to go.  Exciting times I tell ya!

Thank you for reading this blog post and watching the video for more detail and to listen to the first song my producer, Jeff Bohannon from http://www.jbomusicproductions.com

Blessings,

Lara~

NEW Original Worship Song!

Hey everyone,  so many things are happening, I have been bad not blogging for quite a while.  However, I just had to share this new worship song I co-wrote with Branon Dempsey and Holland Davis called, “I Call Your Name.”  Please feel free to share it in your churches.  This song will also be on my upcoming full length album that is in the works.  If you’d like to join the team behind this album project, you can donate by clicking the link below for my GoFundMe page.  It’s going to take a village of God’s people.  We can do this together for the Kingdom.  http://www.gofundme.com/laramarriottworshipalbum    Anyone who is able to give $30.00 or more will receive a signed copy when it’s out.

Many blessings to you.  I pray this song blesses and ministers to you like it has ministered to me.

Lara~

Where Is Joy?

Why is it when Christmas rolls around, life gets out of control?  It is suppose to be a wonderful time of cookie baking, Christmas shopping, tree picking, party going, Christmas light gazing, family gathering, and church going, right?  Yet, in-between all of those things, sometimes we deal with sickness, deadlines, financial difficulties, deaths, bickering, whining, loneliness, needing a vacation from the vacation.  Where in the world are we suppose to find joy in all of the mess?

I’ve found myself asking that very question this year.  Whenever I planned out my week, things changed and threw me into a forced decision; either I take the red pill of frustration and anger or the blue pill of calm and collected responses to life’s curve balls being thrown at me from all directions.

Normally, my default response is anger and frustration, but I don’t want to be that way this season.  So how do I change?  I need to find true joy!

The thing is, I know I can never find it from the world.  It is impossible.  The world only offers temporary gratification, like a box of Sees Chocolates. =) I don’t want to chase down happiness in empty promises anymore. I want the real deal.

Deep down I know it comes from keeping my eyes on Jesus.  That is the only way I have ever felt true joy in the past.  When I stop looking at Jesus, my mind returns back to the chaos and I take the red pill.  So I am making it my goal this Christmas to get my eyes back onto my relationship with Jesus.  He is so loving and such a great companion.  He has never been unfaithful to me.  I know He has all of the solutions to every conflict I face.  He needs to become my number one priority again.  I don’t know if you can relate to the same struggle I am having.  If you are, let’s pray that God will help us get our eyes off of our problems and onto His love.  As my pastor said, we receive joy from the Holy Spirit’s outpouring of joy over our lives.  We don’t create it, it is poured over us.  Plus, there is so much to be grateful for.  Pray that we counter negative thoughts with thankfulness instead.

I am thankful for being able to serve my family.  I am thankful I was able to sit and watch a show with my teenage kids.  I am thankful that I saw God’s faithfulness and grace today.  I am thankful for a loving husband and loving children who love Jesus.  The list goes on…What is your list?

Lara~

This Christmas ~

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I drew this on an airplane, flying up to the Northwest last year.  I don’t remember what it was that inspired me to pen this picture, but I just happened upon it today as I perused through my pictures and it was ironic how timely remembering such a beautiful memory was for me this Christmas.  Advent has been about unpacking the concepts of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace and how they came to us through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

My life has been jam-packed with four jobs, as a Worship Pastor, voice and piano instructor with 20 students, singer/songwriter, and a care-taker for my in-laws.  Because I have rarely had enough margin to rebound, I had lost the excitement of celebrating Christmas; until today.

Today, I sat down to listen to Christmas music as I planned out my Christmas Eve worship set.  As I listened, my heart softened in remembrance of how much God’s love was for me and my family.  “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You,” “O Holy Night,” “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  The lyrics in these songs have been carried from one generation to the next over hundreds of years, reminding us of the true promise of Christmas.   It is not about the Christmas parties, or the gifts that we must buy for everyone on our list, or the acts of service we participate in; it’s about how God reached down to His creation by sending His only son, Jesus as a baby, fully God and fully human, to be the redeeming sacrifice for our sin, and to rescue us from the chains of darkness that constantly entangle us, offering eternal life with Him.  When we think about it, why would we ever want to be separated from our Father?  Wouldn’t we want to be in His loving arms forever?

So, as I looked at this picture, I saw the gifts of the Spirit pouring down to a surrendered heart.  I saw an exchange taking place, a broken heart for Joy, Peace, Grace, Hope, Love, Forgiveness, Mercy, and Faith.  What an exchange!!  Let’s not forget about the real reason for the Christmas season and let all of the frustrations, sadness, uncertainties, sin, busyness be put to the side, so that we can be filled with the love of Jesus.

Lara~

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Last Day of Being 30 Something ~

~ Almost 40 ~.pngToday has been a good day.  I got a good sleep.  Hung out with my great family.  Took a long nap (I’ve been very tired lately) and dyed my baby girl’s hair (she is 13).  I wanted to sit here and document something on my last day before turning the BIG 40!  What has happened to me these last 30 years?  Well, I grew up in a loving, worship pastor’s home, traveled a lot and lived in 8 homes, in Canada, California, Washington, and Detroit, graduated high school, studied vocal performance privately and in college, traveled the world as a singer and speaker for World Vision and Mission of Mercy, got married to a worship pastor-in-training, had two beautiful kids, was called by the Lord to write, started writing songs, moved to three churches, produced my first debut album, continued writing and performing, homeschooled our kids for 3 years, was gently nudged to lead worship more often, became the women’s director for our church, moved again as an act of faith, put our kids in public school, became a leader for a moms group, had much needed rest from ministry, got confused about songwriting, my purpose, and my calling, so after every resource was gone and every idea was spent, I prayed and God opened the door for me to be a worship pastor and a private music instructor.  Because our church was in dire need of specific worship songs, my songwriting bug returned and I began writing again.

That is a lot of living in 30 years.  What’s next?  Hmm… Well, I’m getting more tired as I age, I have to dye my hair to cover grey.  I can pass as a 30 something still, but definitely not a 20 something.   My thinking has changed a bit.  I’m definitely more seasoned which has been the byproduct of years of patience, humility, disappointment, knowledge, experience, and perseverance.  I’m still someone who has too many ideas swimming in my head.  I like moving forward.  I don’t like being content with the same ol’.  I am more excited as a worship leader, more patient and sanguine as a music teacher, more social with my children, more grown up as a wife, more focused as a songwriter, more prayerful as a child of God.  What’s wrong with that?  Nothing.

Yes, it’s hard to think I will be 40 stinkin’ years old tomorrow, but I like who I am now way better than who I was at 19.

My hope is that in the years to come, Lord willing, I will be closer to the Lord, moving in the Holy Spirit, more thankful for what God has blessed me with instead of always wanting more.  I love my husband dearly, even though it doesn’t show too well when we are talking about finances, sorry babe.  I want to play more and do life together.  I love my kids deeply, even though they drive me up the wall with all of the questions and emotional outbursts, sorry kids.  I want to play more and be present in their lives.  I love my family members, even though most of them live far away.  I want to write them letters more and find ways to spend time with them.  I love to write songs, even though in the industry standards they are still not cutting it.  I want to continue having songs flow out of me and write for my church because it brings me so much joy and deepens my understanding of God.  I love being able to be a worship pastor, even though I don’t know how long this season will last.  I want to follow God’s lead and grow this church up to be in love with Him and transformed by His glory.  I love passing down what I know about singing, songwriting, and playing the piano, to the next generations coming up, even though it requires a lot of work and patience lol.  I want to invest all of my experience into them so that they can become great at their musical abilities.

I won’t be able to eat the amazing food I use to.  I won’t be able to shed the extra pounds that I use to.  I will probably still need to take naps and drink coffee.  But, that’s okay.  Here’s to the next 40 years.  I pray God will help me make each day count and never wasted.

Photo on 7-1-17 at 3.54 PM

Lara~

Praise the Lord for All He Has Done – Psalm 111

111 Shout praises to the Lord!
    With all my heart
I will thank the Lord
    when his people meet.
The Lord has done
    many wonderful things!
Everyone who is pleased
with God’s marvelous deeds
    will keep them in mind.
Everything the Lord does
    is glorious and majestic,
    and his power to bring justice
    will never end.

The Lord God is famous
for his wonderful deeds,
    and he is kind and merciful.
He gives food to his worshipers
    and always keeps his agreement
    with them.
He has shown his mighty power
    to his people
    and has given them the lands
    of other nations.

God is always honest and fair,
    and his laws can be trusted.
    They are true and right
    and will stand forever.
God rescued his people,
    and he will never break
his agreement with them.
    He is fearsome and holy.

10 Respect and obey the Lord!
This is the first step
    to wisdom and good sense.[a]
    God will always be respected.

Back To Periscope!

Happy 2017!  Can you believe we are in the year 2017?  I am really having a hard time coming to terms with this.  =)  Well 2016 was a good year, full of learning experiences and rest.  God was faithful and a good, good Father and I know He will continue to be this year!

Through prayer, I am starting back up on Periscope again in a more focused and structured manner.  I really feel led to broadcast about things that I am passionate about.  So I am including my schedule on this post for those of you who would like to join me in the broadcasts that matter to you! periscope-broadcast-sheet

We will begin our study in the Book of Matthew today at 9am p/t.  Then, I will teach a vocal class at 11am p/t.  Lastly, we will have some casual worship time at 6:30pm p/t where I will lead you in worshipping the Lord through song, with prayer time at the end.  It is going to be a good day!

Hope you will be able to join me on Periscope.  Here is the link to my Periscope page: https://www.periscope.tv/LaraMarriott/1yNxadnkyBXJj

Blessings to you as you go into this year.  It is my prayer that God’s Holy Spirit will draw you closer to Him.

Lara~

 

By The Streams Of Grace

Here is another song I wrote years back.  It is based out of Psalm 23, my absolute life verse.

By The Streams Of Grace

©2007 Lara Marriott

By the streams of grace I find You

Down the paths of righteousness

In the stillness of Your mercy

Is where I long to rest

By the streams of grace I find You

You supply what I need

A place where Your abundance flows

You renew me

 

By the streams of grace You restore my soul

By the streams of grace is where Your love is shown

You’re my shepherd, my father

I serve and adore

I long for nothing, but to be

By Your streams of grace

 

Your rod and staff protect me

Through the valley of dark despair

You are walking right beside me

Taking me away from all my fear

Your rod and staff; they guide me

Your blessings are awaiting me

It is only in You I trust for

You are saving me, Oh

 

By the streams of grace You restore my soul

By the streams of grace is where Your love is shown

You’re my shepherd, my father

I serve and adore

I long for nothing, but to be

By Your streams of grace

By Your streams of grace

I will forever rest

By Your streams of grace

By the streams of grace I find You

Celebrate The Seasons

I’m sharing three of my songs today that I’ve written.  I hope they will bless you.

 

Celebrate The Seasons

©2007 Lara Marriott

I found myself reflecting back to memories

I thought about every numbered year

In all the things I’ve gone through, in all the years I’ve found

Times of joy, love, hope, and the tears that I’ve battled

What do I do with all these painted pictures

There are too many to count

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

 

Each year of mine in worn upon my face; in my eyes

I wear them as proud badges of honor

The portraits of my life are completely designed

My experiences come in every kind of color

What is told in all of these painted memories

They are what I’ve been blessed to leave behind

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

 

What a gift from God I’ve been given

To say this is where I’ve been

To tell the stories of my past glories

And the hard times I’ve come out of

Oh and still I will say

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

I am blessed by my journeyed road

I am thankful…

It’s All About You

 

It’s All About You

©2009 Lara Marriott

When I am sick, You make me well

When I am tired, You provide my rest

When I am cast down, You lift me up again

When I am poor, You offer Your wealth

When I am lost, You see that I’m found

When I’m in doubt, You reveal Your promise

For it is You who’s life

You are truth

You are the way

 

It’s all about You

You have my heart

It is You my bright light

When I am weary from the dark

Oh, it’s all about You

You’re in the lows and in the highs

You’re the giver of my life

It’s all about You

 

When I am joyful, You make me dance

When I’m at peace, I see all Your goodness

When I have faith, with you nothing can stop me

For You are life

You are truth

You are the way

 

It’s all about You

You have my heart

It is You my bright light

When I am weary from the dark

Oh, it’s all about You

You’re in the lows and in the highs

You’re the giver of my life

It’s all about You

 

You have restored me

You’ve forgiven me

You have made all things right (2x)

 

It’s all about You

You have my heart

It is You my bright light

When I am weary from the dark

Oh, it’s all about You

You’re in the lows and in the highs

You’re the giver of my life

It’s all about You

What Legacy Are You Leaving?

This question really hits home when you attend funerals.  You look around at how many people came to pay tribute.  You listen to the stories of how lives were forever changed.  As a worship leader, do you ever ask yourself what kind of legacy you’re leaving?  How are you investing in the people you serve?  Does your family see one person on stage and another at home?  How’s your integrity; your loyalty; your leadership?

It is so important for us worship leaders to keep this front and center in our minds; not as a prideful thing, but as a God honoring thing.  Too many times we allow the fruit of the spirit to take a backseat to our own agendas as well as compare ourselves to others.

There is something so beautiful to experience when going to a funeral for someone who lived out a life for Jesus.  Their legacy doesn’t stop when they pass away, it outlives them many times forward.  It can even cross the generational divide.  We need to be “legacy- minded” worship leaders.  It keeps us from focusing inward and drives us out-word towards others.

Being a “lime-light” worship leader can only bring superficial satisfaction, but being a “legacy-minded” worship leader will bring long-lasting fulfillment and love.

How do you want your eulogy to read?  Who would you like to see at your memorial service?  What would people say about your character? Do you want everything to point to your achievements and accolades?  Or, would you rather the stories told about you and the memories shared end up pointing other to Jesus?

What legacy are you leaving?

 

comparison-trap-blog

THE COMPARISON TRAP

It is so easy to fall into this trap!  It doesn’t matter how spiritual you are, nice you are, trained you are, we all are susceptible to the lies that entangle  us when we compare ourselves to others.  I’ll give you a current example from my life.

My family and I have recently moved and started attending a church where we live.  We are not on the worship team right now, because we are having a sabbatical break.  The first couple of weeks I was just so happy to be apart of the congregation worshipping Jesus.  However, when I finally decided it was time to see if I could serve, I started mentally gauging where I would fit in, comparing myself to the other worship team members leading on stage.  Lies filled my mind like; you are much older than they are; your voice doesn’t sound like any of theirs; I don’t like the way I look on camera; I lead differently than they do, and so on.  It was because of these lies that I began to shut down and become fearful.  I was allowing these lies to cloud my judgement and push aside the knowledge of WHOSE I was; that God had made me uniquely the way I am for a purpose and I didn’t have to apologize or compare myself to anyone else.

Satan is extremely sneaky.  Scripture says in John 8:44 that he is the “father of lies.”  He will do whatever he can to make us ineffective for God’s work.  When we start comparing ourselves it leads to pride and selfishness.  In God’s Kingdom, He is not looking for what the world looks for, no, He is looking for someone after His own heart.  Yes, we need to do all we can to train and condition our voices to be the best that they can be, but that is not the most important factor in God’s eyes.  He wants us to reflect His character and traits by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He also wants us to be submissive to His leading.  As worship leaders, we need to be ready to serve our church in any way we are asked.

It might be more glamorous to be asked to lead on stage in front of the entire church, but God might need you to lead at a funeral, a bible study, a moms group, a youth service; who knows.  We need to be ready with a “yes” God.  He needs worshippers who are servants first!  This is such an important lesson to learn.  The sooner we learn this the more effective worship leaders we will be.  Plus, God has hidden blessings in the places He asks us to serve in.  I was asked to lead the music at a memorial service for a dear friend today.  I was honored and extremely blessed by the experience.  Was it in front of thousands?  No.  Was I on camera, surrounded by lights and smoke?  No.  I was in the exact place, at the exact time, with the exact people God wanted me to be with.  And because I said yes, I was able to sense God’s incredible love and presence.

Is comparison worth it?  NO!  When we have those thoughts creep up on us we need to speak out scripture and fight back with the sword of the Spirit.  We need to remember we are God’s servants, fulfilling His purposes not our own.  His ways are ALWAYS higher than our ways.  Let’s get excited about where God will have us serve next and say, “Yes God!”

Embrace Me

This is the second song I wrote.  You see, I was a singer, not a songwriter in 2005, however through a sequence of events, God specifically asked me to write.  Because I was a singer and I never, ever ran out of things to say, I thought being a songwriter was exactly what I needed to do!  One thing I love about this song is that I was child-like and expressive with my lyrics and delivery.  You can listen/buy it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beginnings/id438824578

 

Embrace Me

© 2005 Lara Marriott

Walking up the stairs, casting all the world’s cares

Upon my shoulders

Searching for a place to find a peaceful state of mind

to get away

I shut the darkest door to hide for awhile

I need You Lord to comfort me

I close my eyes and try to think about You

Oh Lord, what should I do?

Embrace me, taking

all of my fears, my worries, and my tears

I’m feeling inside

Embrace me, flowing down

the warmest of Your love

reflecting from above

Embrace me

Gazing at the sky nature’s calm I find

that You’re all around me

The sun glistening the trees, clouds are changing what I see

a place of wonder I’ll never leave

I find a shady place to stay for awhile

I know You Lord are here with me, yeah

I close my eyes and start to dream about You

Is this what heaven’s gonna be?

Embrace me, giving

all of Your joys, Your wonders, and Your glory

I need inside

Embrace me, shining down

the warmest of Your love

reflecting from above

Embrace me

Day or night, by Your side

You have revealed

You are real and I feel you inside

Day or night, by Your side

that’s where I’ll always be

You are real and I feel alive

Embrace me, shining all of Your love, Your love

Embrace me, fill me up with Your love, Your love, Oh how I love You

I Love You Jesus

Here is one of the first songs I had ever written.  I wanted to write a song that didn’t need accompaniment; just voices.  I was envisioning christian martyrs, prisoners, or slaves needing to sing a song that was easy to learn, that could remind them of Jesus’ love for them.  You can listen/buy it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beginnings/id438824578

I Love You Jesus

© 2007 Lara Marriott

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

and I’m so thankful

thankful

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

and I’m so thankful

thankful

thankful

You chose to love me, undeserving

and to forgive upon a tree

Your grace is never, never-ending

and forever I will sing

 

The Breaking and Blessing

This was written by my cousin. She feels, sees, and thinks deeply about life’s ups & downs. I love reading her ponderings. Blessings~

jacquimignault

IMG_7900

When I saw this picture my husband took this past week in the mountains near our house, I immediately thought of this sentence:

“For there is the thing itself, utterly irresistible, the way to the worlds end, the land of longing, the breaking and blessing of hearts.”

Come on.  That’s a good sentence.

This sentence of C.S. Lewis’ has always stuck out for me. It’s from the memoir of his coming to faith, Surprised by Joy.  I wrote this sentence out on a blue sticky note and had it above my desk for a couple of years. Isn’t it a great sentence? Maybe its just me; I mean, its my kind of sentence – its got a lot of commas.     But its an opening sentence, as in, it’s a sentence that opens up…..something…. before you, a world you could inhabit, or maybe just a world that you could look around…

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