Peter Pan

This morning I sat down at my desk to get ready like I do every morning.  I grabbed my makeup bag and started pulling out the makeup I needed to use.  As I was getting out my make-up, I couldn’t find my mascara for some reason.  Being slightly irritated and confused, I started riffling through my makeup bag looking for my mascara. To my surprise, I had already pulled out my mascara bottle and put it on my desk a few minutes prior.  I was so relieved and happy when I found it!  As I sat there, finally putting on my make-up, I started thinking about what had just happened.  While this was a simple little mistake / misplacement, it reminded me of one very important word: HAPPINESS

Our happiness is much like the mascara bottle, something that we already have / are capable of having we just don’t realize it sometimes.  We misplace it by relying on people and things to make us happy, even though these things never will.  We can’t rely on anyone or anything to make us happy.  Many times it seems as though we live in ‘Nevergonnabehappyland’ just waiting for someone to change our circumstances by sprinkling some magic fairy dust on our heads.  Joy is only found in the Lord, so why do we try so hard to find substitutes?  When someone treats us badly or we don’t get the raise we wanted at work, we trade in our happiness for frustration, disappointment, anger, and so on.  While we may have every reason under the sun and right to feel this way, this is an immature way of living.  Sure, we can live in a Peter Pan kind of mentality and refuse to grow past temporary happiness, but by doing so we will be missing blessings that God has for us along the way. 

Everyday that you wake up is a gift.  While some days it may not feel like it, it is.  Monotony can be a buzz-kill and steal your joy if you let it, anything can.  The world will do anything in its power to try to steal your joy.  That’s why every morning when you wake up you need to decide: am I going to keep my peace today no matter what life throws my way or will I sacrifice my happiness to the first moment of adversity that I meet?  Am I going to sacrifice who I am to make someone else happy or am I going to live for God and be happy to be who He created me to be?  Remember: the joy of the Lord is our strength.

“You have put more joy in my heart than when their grain and wine abound.”– Psalm 4:7

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10

If we continue to sacrifice our happiness and go through the day frustrated and discouraged, we make things so much more difficult than they need to be.  Our strength comes from joy and our joy should come from knowing that we are God’s chosen ones and that He loves us!  Whether you feel like it or not, He created you for an amazing purpose.  Out of everyone in the world, He chose you for amazing things ahead.  That’s right, YOU.  Your life isn’t just something you should go through begrudgingly, BE HAPPY!  God has given us everything we need to be happy and to be happy today! Don’t waste it. Grow in your faith and live happy! 🙂

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Three Trends For Fall

Three trends for the fall:

1 – Layers

Layering is a great tool for any age or body type. Layers are a great way to utilize most of your wardrobe year round.  By adding a long sleeved shirt underneath a sleeveless (summer-like) shirt, you will be able to utilize your summer season clothes even during the coldest of times.  Layers are also a great way to keep your wardrobe more modest while still allowing you to try out new funky fashions.  If you have a curvy body type, clingy under-layers (such as camisoles) along with a secondary blousy shirt (such as a poncho) are a great way to flatten your core and build your hourglass frame.

Examples of layering:

short sweater-layersmaller purple1bw

Form hugging camisole or t-shirt helps to extend the torso while adding more coverage to the bust.

2 – Boots

Whether you prefer short boots, tall boots, high-heeled boots or flat boots they are a great trend for the fall and winter months because they allow for extra warmth and protection to the elements.  What makes this trend a tricky one is figuring out what top and pants to pair the boots with.

Shirts – In this instance, choose grey tones (such as black or grey) when wearing a top that also features grey tones.  The same is true when wearing brown tones (such as brown or cream).  In instances where the boots are a bolder color (such as blue, red, orange, etc), make sure that at least a small portion of your shirt coordinates with these colors.

Pants – It is usually significantly easier to match to your boots to your pants especially if you wear jeans.  The main thing to keep in mind when pairing boots and jeans is contrast.  Many times it is best to pair light colored boots and dark wash jeans in order for the boots to stand out and truly make a statement.

High heeled boots:

brownheelsmaller DSCN1121

Flat boots:

DSCN1122

3 – Bold colors

This fall it’s all about making a bold statement.  Bright colors are great for parties and everyday wear.  One bright part of this trend is boldly colored pants.  If you are not completely comfortable in bold colors but still want to try out this trend, begin by adding accessories such as scarves that include bright colors.

Yellowsmaller with scarfsmaller

Album Review: “Meant to Love” by Rob Vischer

Meant to Love album art

Rob Vischer has been in the music industry for three years now.  After a cross-country biking adventure, he decided to give music a try and began his life as a full time musician.  Since hitting the scene in 2010, he has released two albums.  His first album released, “The Best Is Yet To Come”, proved to be quite profitable as it allowed him perform his music at various venues and also provided needed funds for his new album “Meant to Love”.

 “Meant to Love” is composed of 11 tracks and offers listeners a blend of indie, rock, alternative, and pop song styles.  Influenced by Death Cab For Cutie, Fun, Muse, and Snow Patrol; Rob Vischer creates a sound all on his own.  Love is the general theme for the entire album and each song consists of heartfelt lyrics, upbeat melodies, and great vocals.

The album begins with the single “Love For A Lifetime”, which has been licensed for Allegiance Health TV ads.  This song is so catchy you will fall in love with it instantly, I promise!  Following “Love For A Lifetime” is the happy-go-lucky single, “Once Again”, in which Vischer makes it impossible not to smile when listening to this song.  The title track, “Meant To Love”, feels much like the heart of the album.  Blends of soft piano keys and guitar chords keep the melody going with drums for added emphasis.  The song crescendos to the bridge “You gotta have faith if you wanna believe in love” which lyrically, seems to be the pivot point of this song.  “Hourglass” begins with driving drum beats and is brought to life with clapping and peppy guitar chords.  Lyrics and vocals make it fun to sing along.  “DNA” is one of my personal favorites on the album.  Composed of beautiful lyrics and growing crescendos, it feels very personal and encouraging, leaving you feeling empowered.  “Without Love” is a change to the previous happy-go-lucky love songs on this cd.  In contrast, it describes life without love by using peaceful and heart wrenching melodies.  Instruments and background vocals beautifully illustrate the broken heartedness of the lyrics.  “Airwaves & Envelopes” explains how time and distance can make relationships fizzle out and even though it may be hard, we need to pick up and move on.  While the lyrics are anything but a love song, the upbeat melody and song evolution helps express security in being along and leaves you feeling hopeful.  Following “Airwaves & Envelopes” is perhaps the sweetest love song on the album.  “Like This” describes a fairytale romance and would make a perfect wedding song.  “Never Not Love You” is a song about love facing all odds.  Guitar chords and drum beats continue from beginning to end of the song and support the lyrics.  Personally, I’ve added a new song to my holiday collection with “Neon Mistletoe” as it describes being in love on New Years Eve.  Violins, guitars, and percussion help to make the song happy and enchanting.  Last but definitely not least is, fan favorite, “Evening News” which provides depth and soul to the end of the album.  Gripping lyrics encourages listeners for change and gives hope for the future.

After having the privilege of listening to “Meant To Love”, I guarantee that this cd will keep you singing and clapping along from beginning to end!  Personally, each time that I listen to it I fall even more in love with the melodies and catchy lyrics!  Rob Vischer is an extremely talented musician and I am so excited to see what God has in store for him and his bright future in the music industry!

To learn more about Rob Vischer and to get your own copy of “Meant To Love”, please visit:

ITunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rob-vischer/id128899386

YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/robvischer?feature=watch

Website – http://www.robvischer.com/

Myspace – https://myspace.com/robvischer/music/songs

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robvischermusic

Twitter – https://twitter.com/robvischermusic

Instagram – http://instagram.com/robvischer#

SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/robvischer

Give Thanks Always.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” – Psalm 107:1

No matter how bad your circumstances may seem, remember that God is good! If we strive to be thankful for what we have, keep our peace, and rely on God; we can make any day a good day! 🙂 #keepthefaith #Godisgood

Bite Your Tongue

I remember when my brother and I were younger our mom used to tell us “if you don’t have anything good to say about someone then don’t say anything at all”.  As I’ve grown older I’ve not only learned how wise this theory is, I’ve also learned how difficult it can be.

A couple of weekends ago I found myself in this situation when I ran into a friend at the mall.  As we were talking, she brought up a person that I am not a huge fan of and it was all that I could do not to tell her what I was really thinking.  Thoughts swirled around in my head as I wanted to tell her how wrong she was about that person.  I mean, how could she not see what that person is really like?  Though my mind said otherwise, I held it all in and didn’t say a word.  As I walked away, I was really pleased that I didn’t say anything to taint my friend’s view of this person.

While I knew that I made the right decision by keeping my mouth shut, I began reflecting on that day and on our conversation.  Why did I feel like I needed to tell her about my experiences with that person? Why was it hard for me not to?  Why did I feel like I had moved mountains afterwards when all I did was simply keep my mouth shut?  We can wonder about these things all day long but the truth is that we are all sinners.  We all say things and do things that we shouldn’t at times.  Even if what we say may be true it doesn’t give us the right to talk about someone behind their back.  Similarly, God doesn’t want us to speak negatively about ourselves and our life.  We need to remember that the words we speak have power whether we realize it or not.  Don’t just waste away this power condemning anything in your path, change the words you speak!  As God’s children, we are all called to rise above our sinful nature and do the right thing: learn to control our tongues!  The Bible gives us many examples of the importance of controlling your tongue:

“A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!  It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.  This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!”

-James 3:3-10 (courtesy of BibleGateway.com)

Like the verse says, this truly is scary but it doesn’t have to be that way.  The great thing is that God realizes this and loves us anyway.  He is a God of second chances, which means that even if we blew it yesterday, He has new opportunities for us today!  Don’t walk around wishing you wouldn’t have said this or that, start fresh!  God has given us a clean slate so let’s make the most of it!

On The Rise – “The Protest”

The Protest

Meet The Protest!

The Protest is a hard rock Christian band from the Midwest.  The band is composed of Josh “Shred” Bramlett (lead singer and acoustic guitarist), TJ “Texas Two Step” Colwell (rhythm guitarist and vocals), Jarob “Animal” Bramlett (drums and vocals), Adam “Sarge” Sadler (lead guitarist), and Chase “Sludge” Reagan (bassist and vocals).  Around a year ago, the band released their most current album “Game Changer” which contains driving guitar beats, honest lyrics, and melodies so catchy you won’t be able to sit still!  Just one listen to The Protest and there is no denying that these guys know how to rock!  During their time together, The Protest has toured with bands such as Family Force Five, Icon For Hire, Decyfer Down, Red Jumpsuit Aparatus, The Afters, and many more!  With live shows being a huge part of their ministry, they play around 150 shows/festivals a year.

While they love music, their real passion is changing the world for God and living the great journey that He has for them!  This is evident not only in their Christian based lyrics and live show but also in their outreach.  They have been involved in suicide prevention campaigns and have even visited schools from time to time. They strive to encourage and remind people that even when everything feels hopeless, there is still hope!

We recently caught up with Josh from The Protest to learn more about them as artists and individuals.  Check out our question and answer session!…

 

Q:  Where are you from?

A:  4 of us are from a small town called New Castle, Indiana and our bassist is from Bristol, Tennessee.

 

Q:  How long have you all known each other?  How did you meet?

A:  We have known each other for 8 years. However our drummer is my brother so I have known his since I was two I guess. 🙂 The band was formed by me, my brother (Jarob), and our rhythm guitarist (T.J.) in the Spring of 2004. Our lead guitarist (Sarge) actually began giving me guitar lessons when I was in middle school but wasn’t in the band for the longest. Then he decided to move to L.A. to study guitar and upon returning he joined the band. Our bassist (Chase), joined the band when he moved up to Indiana. He was sort of a family friend, but I didn’t know him at the time. He recorded our first record and when we had member issues he filled the slot temporarily but he felt God wanted to join full time, so he did. That is how the current Line-up of The Protest was formed.

 

Q:  How did you decide on a band name?

A:  We went by the name Protest For Pluto for many years. It wasn’t until we went into the studio to record our last album, Game Changer, that we changed our name to The Protest. It was a little under two years ago that we emerged from the studio with the new album. We felt that this new music was so different and so powerful so we wanted a re-birthing. We wanted to start over with a bigger focus on reaching people with the word of Christ and his love as well. So we changed our name and treated ourselves as a new band.  The Protest name isn’t a negative name at all. We actually wanted a name that would be attention grabbing so we could share what the Lord gives us with as many people as possible. Some people, however, have seen the name and thought there was an actually protest going on! Which isn’t at all what we do, but if it get people there it can’t be that bad!

 

Q:  What artists have influenced your sound?

A:  We have been influenced by so many artists. I would say Disciple, Sevendust, Avenged Sevenfold are our biggest influences musically. Lyrically we are influence by Disciple, The Classic Crime, Sent by Ravens, and Red are big influences for us. We are also inspired by the hundreds of bands, like us, that are fighting the good fight everyday for little money. Their character and integrity speaks to us big time.

 

Q:  What are your songs about?

A:  We want our songs to reach as many people as possible without turning them away so many of our songs deal with issues that real people face each day like suicide, hate, self-loathing, and desperation. We want to give people hope because God gives us hope every day. We have been blessed by so many fans telling us that our music has touched them or has changed their lives. It is a true honor to do what we do.

 

Q:  Do you find it difficult being a Christian in the music industry today?

A:  Being a Christian in the music is tough. The music industry is so cut throat, they don’t care what you are doing as long as you sell tons of albums and look good doing it. Every day our integrity is tested and we are tempted, but we have to rise above these things. It’s not easy by any means, we are human and it is hard sometimes to stay positive in such a rough industry, but God is faithful and always provides a way out. We play all types of venues from bars to churches and not every venue is receptive to what we say and opposition is a common factor. Being a disciple is hard, but I like to think of it like we aren’t in the music business, but in God’s business.

 

Q:  What great moments have you experienced along your journey so far? Any challenges?

A:  In our travels we had laughs, tears, we’ve seen people accept Christ, and we have met so many amazing people. There honestly too many amazing stories to tell. Maybe we will write a book with all of these stories in there someday.  🙂  It is awesome doing what we do, but it does not come without its challenges. With any ministry or small business money is always an issue. We have loans to pay off, merchandise to buy for our shows, and of course gas to get from show to show not to mention all the other expenditures along the way that further our ministry. Money gets tight sometimes but God ALWAYS provides and we are so blessed by that. So many people donate to our cause and it is so humbling because we are nothing more than a vessel. God is real talent and the real life changer. Being away from home can also be tough. We don’t get to spend a lot of time with our friends and family, and sometimes because of our schedule we have to miss out on things going on at home. We look at it as a sacrifice. Everyone must sacrifice something if they are to do God’s will for their lives. Living in a van is a minor inconvenience. We are all young so we can do that now, but when we get older we may need to invest in a bus. 🙂

 

Q:  So far, what has been your favorite city you’ve performed at?

A:  We have performed in cities all over the U.S. and have been some amazing places, but nothing beats coming home and playing for our hometown fans. They support us like none other and we are so grateful.

 

Q:  What Bible verses inspire you the most?

A:  Many verses inspire us but our band’s verse is 1st Peter 4:10, “Everyone should use whatever gifts they have been given to serve others and faithfully administer God’s grace in its various forms.”

 

Q:  Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians and/or songwriters?

A:  Pray. When we write we ask God to place on our hearts what he wants said. Always keep your lyrics. If you have a random idea write it down and put into a word document. Your never know when something will hit you. So I recommend buying a notebook or journal for lyrics.

 

Q:  What do you like to do to in your free time when you’re not performing?

A:  Free time is such an amazing and rare gift for us! We love watching movies, playing video games, working out and hanging out with friends. On the road we love to stop at antique shops and flea markets. We are nerds so we are always looking out for rare movies, games, comic books, or trinkets that we just can’t live without.

 

Q:  What support have you received from your hometown throughout your journey?

A:  Our church family has blessed us so much with a van, gas money, and prayers. We receive so much love from people in our area. It is not uncommon for fans to bless us with gift cards or gas money before we leave for a tour.  I’m sure every band says this but we believe that we have the best fans in the world. We don’t even like to call them fans. They are family. 

 

Q:  If you could describe your band in 4 words, what would they be?

A:  A Work in Progress. We are always trying to better ourselves whether it’s musically or spiritually. We never settle for mediocrity. The people deserve our best and God deserves our best so we try to give it. Each night we hit that stage we go to war and give it all we’ve got. Our blood, sweat, and tears have literally been spilt all over the stage.

 

Q:  What would you say to others who are trying to follow their dreams?

A:  Do not give up! Follow that dream and pray hard. So many people will question why you are doing it. So many others will give up for money, but remember that our reward lies in heaven. Cling to the people that support you, give in to God’s will, and hold on!

Last November I had the privilege of seeing The Protest live and I must admit, I became a fan that night!  Their high-energy performance, heart wrenching lyrics, and catchy melodies kept me entertained from beginning to end!  The band individually and as a whole is incredibly talented and a pleasure to watch!  While The Protest really knows how to rock, the biggest take-away for me from the concert was the heart that this band possesses.  It’s so encouraging to see a group of guys who live their lives for God and are determined to make a positive mark on the music industry.  With so much darkness in the world today, it’s refreshing to see a ray of God’s light shining through!  🙂

The Protest rocks and I guarantee that you will agree! Check out these links:

www.theprotestrocks.com

www.facebook.com/theprotest

www.youtube.com/theprotestbandrocks

www.twitter.com/theprotestrocks