Natalie Grant Hits the Road This Fall with Jeremy Camp on The “Speaking Louder Than Before” Tour. Joining these powerhouse vocalists on stage will be BEC Recording artist, Bebo Norman.
Tickets for the 30+ city tour go on sale this Friday, July 10th in addition to a special iTickets / iTunes promotion. For those who purchase tickets via iTickets from July 10th until July 24th, they will receive a code for two free downloads at iTunes. The codes will be given out for each ticket purchased (not per order). Dates are listed below and you can check out www.nataliegrant.com/tour for ticket information.
I have one of the best tour managers around, Mr Chris Farnsworth. He’s the nuts and bolts of my touring operation. Chris is smart and talented, and an all around great guy to tour with. But one of the things I know he didn’t expect to be a part of his job description was the madness of having twin toddlers on the road. I’m hard enough to take care of (*wink*), but it’s a whole ‘notha level with kids on the bus. But he doesn’t complain. He carts the extra luggage around and has even taken out a poopy diaper. Haven’t gotten him to change one yet, but I’m working on it – haha! Seriously, this guy has worked with some of the biggest names in Christian music, but he’ll still call around to see if there’s a playround at the local McDonald’s.
What about you? When you’re asked to serve, what is your response? Do you say yes, even when it’s below your “pay grade” and requires you to clean up somebody else’s…poop? (for lack of a better word-teehee) Believe me, this is not something I have mastered. Especially given the nature of my job, people are doing things for me all of the time. It’s very easy to get used to someone serving me. But we are called to serve others.
Ouch. That’s a tough one. Oh sure, it’s easy to give lip service to helping the needy and being an advocate for the down-trodden. But what about serving those who are not easy to serve? What about helping someone else get ahead, even if it keeps us from advancing? What about serving in secret, even when it means getting no credit or recognition? Read how Paul puts it in Philippians 2:
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” (The Message)
Serving can sometimes be adventurous and exciting. Often times serving can be monotonous, mundane and may even feel like what we’re doing is “beneath” us. But in the end, it’s always fulfilling, because we’re doing what we were created to do. The above video, as silly as it may be, illustrates my point. My sweet tour manager does whatever he can to make my life easier, even if it’s not in his job description. And his simple little phone call brought a dance of joy out of my daughter, Gracie. And bringing that joy to her, brought joy to him. That’s one of the many benefits of being a servant. Bringing joy to other’s is quite rewarding. It may even make someone feel like dancing. Careful, it may make you feel like dancing.
Pray this with me: Help me, Lord. Help me to serve, expecting nothing in return. Help me to find opportunities to promote others, even if it keeps me in the shadows and puts the spotlight on someone else. Because ultimately, when I choose to live this way, it puts the spotlight on You. Remind us all that’s it’s about making YOU famous.Amen.
Recently, Focus On The Family, with Dr James Dobson, aired a portion of a talk I gave on The Revolve Tour about my struggle with an eating disorder. Honestly, I never listen to myself speaking. So, I went to the website and listened to the podcast. To hear myself recount my past struggles was more difficult than I had imagined. Immediately I was transported back to that place of brokenness and desperation. I didn’t realize that hearing the truth I was sharing would still hurt so deeply and make me realize that many of those insecurities still haunt me.
I am so grateful that I no longer struggle with an eating disorder and have found healing from that. But I still battle many insecurities, some that plague me everyday. That’s why it is so important to continually renew my mind with God’s truth. It’s His truth, and only that truth, that sets us free. While listening, I was also reminded how easy it is to begin to rely on our own strength. When in the desperate place, it’s easy for me to realize my need for God. It’s in the not-so-desperate place that the danger of self-reliance creeps in. Hearing my own story reminded me that in brokenness, Jesus does his best work.
What is your brokenness? What is your fear? What are you working so hard to camouflage? Embrace it and watch Jesus take the pieces and make an incredible work of art. And as you do, and the things that weigh you down become lighter, never forget the great Artist who did the work.
I didn’t know it would hurt to listen to this podcast today. But the hurt was so worth it, because it reminded me of the healing.
So it’s Memorial Day and I’m home with my family. It feels great to not be traveling. God Bless all of our heroic Veterans for their incredible service to our country.
Why else do I love Memorial Day? Because it seems about everyone I know has a cook-out or picnic of some sort which means there will be some good eating going on! After I twittered that I would be making my pretzel salad for a cookout with our friends, I got an incredible amount of @replies asking for the recipe. So…. You asked. So here it is. I’ve also included the other thing I made which is yummy-for-your-tummy onion dip. Both recipes are courtesy of my sweet sister, Jennifer. Happy cooking and happier eating
Pretzel Jello Salad 2 c. crushed pretzel sticks
3/4 c. melted butter
3 tbsp. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry or raspberry Jello
2 c. boiling water
1 to 2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen strawberries or raspberries, partially thawed (depending on how much fruit you like)
Mix first three ingredients and press in bottom of a 9″x13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees (metal pan) or 325 degrees (glass pan) 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Beat 1 cup sugar and cream cheese. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over pretzels. Mix Jello and water until dissolved. Add fruit. Stir into Jello, then set aside for 10 minutes. Pour over cheese mixture. Chill.
2 sweet onions, chopped
4 tbsp butter
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepperSaute’ over medium heat for about 20 min, allowing onions to brown and completely soften
stir the following:
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c mayo
add onions to mixture and stir well. be sure the onions are completely cool before adding to cream mixture.