Life and Music Happens

I know you all haven’t heard from me in awhile, but I’m still around. This last year has been a year of pain and healing from a herniated disc with sciatica, relationships, and a recent huge career move, which was an arduous process in and of itself, while still working on new music projects.

If you have enjoyed my music and message I put out there, then I hope you’ll be excited to know that I have a new single that will be released soon, “Near”, and also a personal worship EP, “Sacred Space”, that includes a re-mix of Rest (sung by me), and three other new songs.

Near is about how God is near to the broken-hearted. Life happens and some things are just beyond what you ever thought you could go through or handle. When your spirit is crushed and you feel all hope is gone, He can give you just enough to go one breath farther.

I’m excited about Sacred Space because it’s a project compiled of songs from my time of co-writing with other talented Songwriters while I was living in Franklin, TN last year (2016).
You will enjoy the soft, inspirational and worshipful vocals as usual, along with some awesome instrumentals by amazingly talented Nashville session players, that will transport you to a higher place…a Sacred Space!

Stay tuned!

Blessings, Jen

New Release – Rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

Finding yourself weak and weary? Disheartened, fearful, or forgotten? Condemned, falsely accused, or persecuted?

I want to encourage you with a new song  released today called Rest, based on Matthew 11:28-30.

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Rest is a worshipful, contemporary hymn straight out of the Scripture with a creative twist reminiscent of the 70’s. It is a collaboration between myself, and veteran Nashville songwriters, Joe Beck & Chaz Bosarge, inviting you to come and find the rest you need.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

We are sons and daughters of the King, holy vessels that are set apart. And even though the darkness deepens and casts it shadows…trust in Him. Come. Take His yoke upon you and learn from Him. He is gentle and lowly in heart. His yoke is easy and His burden light.

Find comfort and rest.

Blessings, Jen

Rest is available on iTunes and CD Baby, and will soon be out on all other digital distribution sites.

Back in the Studio

Hello Everyone!

Just want to drop a note and let you know that I am back in the studio right now working on a new worship song, a Contemporary Hymn based on Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Seems like so many of us are tired and discouraged these days (for many reasons) and working so hard. The answer we need is in the rest that Christ is able to give us, when we lay our burdens upon Him. He longs for us to not be bound by such heavy things in our lives and to live a life of freedom, trusting Him.

The song I am currently working on in studio with Jim Frazier, is co-written with Songwriters Joe Beck and Chaz Bosarge. Joe is a very creative and talented veteran writer here in Nashville, with over 2000 songs in his catalog, over 650 cuts and  over 65 #1 hits in many different music genres (Adult Contemporary, Inspirational, Rock, Country, Gospel, Black Gospel). You have definitely heard his music through the years if you like Avalon, Philips, Craig & Dean, Michael English, Jody McBrayer, Diamond Rio, etc. I feel really honored that Joe has been willing to give me continued opportunity to grow as a writer, while I am finishing my year of “sabbatical” here in Nashville. Definitely, a great start to a new friendship that I hope will continue on. I have yet to meet Chaz. He, too, is a prolific writer in the industry and in country music. He contributed via email, and he just wowed me with his writing.

The goal for this song is to get it fully produced, to market and send out for the church, as well as for pitching to the industry.  I still need to raise about another $800 to complete the production and am asking for support from my followers if you can help out financially in any way. I have already put in half of the funds already from my own personal savings.

If you can give any contribution, I would like to bless you back for your support by sending you a digital copy of the song when it is finished. Go to my Patreon site here and pledge a “monthly amount”, although I am currently looking for a one-time donation. If you want to give only one time, you can do that by pledging this first month and then removing yourself as a donor before the next month begins (so you only get charged once). This is related to Goal #3 of my music ministry on my Patreon site. Thank you for your consideration!

Also, thank you so much for your support as a subscriber to my blog and music ministry. If you are connected to your church worship ministry, I would love to be able to share the new song with them when it is completed, so that we can get it out there and encourage the body of believers. So, let me know!

As always, I appreciate your prayers covering me, while I am so far away from home this year!

Blessings,

Jen

The Monster Just Outside

I released my new single, The Monster Just Outside in support of Mental Health Awareness during the month of May 2016. This is not your every day song, but rather a song to promote reaching out, finding hope and healing, from sexual abuse and other “hidden shames”.

As a Licensed Mental Health Professional, it is my desire to see this song reach everywhere it can, so it can touch the one soul that really needs it. I have offered it FREE here (the whole song), as an audio file, so that you can share it, forward it, tweet it, post it…

The song was written for someone dear to me who has struggled with sexual abuse, so it is even more important of a message that I want to see reach, anyone who may be desperate and seeking help.  It is a co-write with my Producer Eric Copeland (Creative Soul Records), with additional support by friend Steve Siler, Music for the Soul, who I will be partnering with here out of Nashville this year.

Here are some of the most recent statistics I could find, website and hotlines if you or someone you know needs help:

In 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.
Fear, shame and anxiety are main reasons why sexual abuse is not reported, but for men, there are additional reasons as they struggle with the shame of being male, and the loss of power and control over their body. Men do not usually report until at least 5 years later, if at all.

There is hope to help you on your journey of healing from sexual abuse. You are NOT alone. Tell someone. Speak out!

Call 911 if you are in immediate danger!
1-800-656-Hope (National Sexual Assault Hotline)
1-888-373-7888 (National Human Trafficking Resource Center)
1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Hotline)
rainn.org Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

The song is currently available on cdbaby, iTunes, Amazon, and other digital distribution sites.

We are also working on a music video for the song. If you would be willing to support the video project, we would greatly appreciate your financial support through my Patreon site.

Jen Haugland & Eric Copeland ©2016/Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP), From the Moment Music (BMI).

Additional Resources:

Trafficking in America – Real Life Stories: Human Trafficking – The Most Undetected Human Rights Violation of our Time

 

 

One Life – demo (official lyric video)

Friends, we are in desperate times as a church right now to be authentic, genuine followers of Christ. As a believer in America where we have so much free access to the Bible and so many opportunities to share Christ, we can easily grow complacent, while other members of the Body around the world have been driven underground and risk their lives to live out the Gospel.

I recently attended the screening of The Insanity of God, a new documentary coming out, to call us to consider the cost of following Jesus. It was humbling to say the least. Whether we are persecuted or not, we are all one Church, the Body of Christ.

The Gospel has always been free and sometimes we can think we should be silenced, because we don’t want to offend others, or we could risk losing friendships, family, or jobs. The Enemy of God rejoices in our silence and political correctness in regards to privatizing our faith. Complacency leads to apathy, which is not good for us as believers. It is time for us to wake-up and jump off our fence. It’s time to count the cost.

We are a privileged country and whether our rights remain or are taken away from us, the Gospel of Jesus is still free. The Church is thriving in China, North Korea, Russia and other Muslim countries. Persecution, as horrendous as it is, still will never separate us from Christ. In fact, it will make us stronger believers, refining us, making us bold witnesses for Jesus.

One Life is a song idea I had when I felt like I was growing complacent in my own life. I had let disappointment in the politics of church, sideline me at times. But somehow, I think none of that would matter if my focus truly remained in the right place: on Jesus.

I want to live every moment like it counts. I want to spread His love, because I know it is the only kind of love that breaks down all barriers. I want to sacrifice all that I have, because of the example that was shown to me: giving is what life is all about. Christ gave His life for me, so that I might live. What am I willing to give for Him?

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:15a

This song I am sharing with you is a co-write with my buddy, Scott Liebenow, from Chicago. We believe in this song so much that we wanted to make a demo of it and get it out there by way of a lyric video, so that the Church could be encouraged everywhere…right now. And we give it freely to you. We are honored to have another songwriting friend and demo vocalist here in Nashville, Amanda Kinner, sing on this…and her voice is just so heavenly.

Please help us out, by spreading this song to the farthest corners of the earth. We only have one life to live, one life to give and we need to offer it up to Him, so that the world will know how wonderful He is!

May God bless you wherever you are right now, and awaken your Spirit for His glory!

Love, Jen

The Gift of Life

I always loved Christmas, and we enjoyed each one every year when I was growing up by going to my grandparents and having a wonderful dinner cooked by my grandma (MeMe), listening to my grandfather (PaPa) recite poetry, stories and bad jokes…Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha,

“On the shores of Gitche Gumi, of the shining big sea water…”

football on the t.v. in the den, listening to the Christmas music in the background,

“Come, they told me, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum…a newborn King to see…pa-rum-pum-pum-pum”

and opening presents under the tree with dessert and coffee afterwards. My grandparent’s home was the typical “Leave it to Beaver” home, and my MeMe was June Cleaver. Things were always consistent, predictable and orderly. I thrived in this setting.

I loved listening to the banter at the dining room table, staring and listening to my PaPa who was larger than life. The hutch behind him that held my MeMe’s beautiful china, wrapping paper, and the decks of cards that would get pulled out later by us grandkids. MeMe would always get after PaPa when he would start picking at the food in the main dishes and eating just a little more, instead of adding it to his plate first.

I also loved walking around in the den, looking at the magical nativity scene in the darkness with the Christmas lights highlighting it. It sat above the t.v. I loved the story of Baby Jesus.

What if there was a drummer boy? I mean…maybe there was a poor shepherd boy that used to get bored out in the field as he helped his daddy, and for fun he would tap out rhythms and sing to God while watching the sheep? What boy doesn’t like tapping out beats? The Shepherds didn’t have a gift for the newborn Jesus…would make sense that the drummer boy didn’t have one either. But they brought their hearts. They adored and worshiped the newborn King. Their future Savior.

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Listen to a memory of my childhood – click on the photo

I have always loved the the little drummer boy and that song. I identified with him. I felt bankrupt emotionally in my heart as a little girl. My parents divorced when I was almost 4.

My sweet, sensitive spirit just ached so much and longed for an intact family. That’s why I always adored being at my grandparents and experiencing those memories. The abuse I later grew up with made those memories even bigger and more cherished.

But that drummer boy…it was just him before Jesus. He was alone. He felt like he had nothing to give, but what was in his heart (through his drum). That’s how I felt. I had nothing to give Jesus. But I was present, before him. I could offer him my heart and that was all. Yet, that was all that He wanted. It was more than enough. And his grace was sufficient to carry the rest of the brokenness.

2 years ago, this January I lost my PaPa on this side of heaven. And 2 weeks ago, my MeMe went to join him. I rejoice that there is now no more pain for my MeMe. Even though we lived so far apart in our latter years, I always made a point to go spend time with her (and my grandpa) and help be respite care with my older aunt as my youngest aunt and her husband would go on vacation. As my grandmother went into a care facility this last year, my last 2 visits were the hardest ever, as I watched her decline quickly. I have some very sad memories of those visits. But I also have happy moments in them, too.

MeMeChristmasVeteran2I couldn’t understand why God would let her suffer and remain, when she was so depressed and wanted to be with my PaPa. I believe it was because of one more thing she had to do. It was to write a Christmas greeting to a veteran somewhere in the world who needed a message of hope. On December 12, my grandmother breathed her last breath with loved ones around her and then took her first breath and opened her eyes in Heaven with Jesus and her loving husband, my PaPa. She is free of her pain and suffering. She is free of her Alzheimer’s. She can see and think clearly and rejoice! She is humming in heaven and I can hear her now.

MeMeChristmasVeteran1

We are eternal beings. We have a choice. God sent Himself in the form of man, a lowly babe…Jesus, Emmanuel (God with us), so that we might have life…and have it abundantly. Will you come before him, this Christmas, with nothing but yourself? You and Jesus, alone…and give Him your heart? Sing a song, rejoice. Your suffering and pain here on this earth is only temporary in light of the eternal joy and happiness you will experience in eternity as a result of this Gift of Life.

I will miss my grandparents here on earth this Christmas as a chapter of MeMeChristmasTableNativitythe greatest generation has come to a close in our family. But I will rejoice in knowing I will get to see them again one day soon. The same dining room table and huMeMeChristmasOrnamentstch now sits in my Great Room. The same nativity scene is now sitting above the hutch each Christmas. And now we have just added the last of MeMe’s Christmas ornaments (which us grandchildren selected one by one the day of the funeral), to our Christmas tree. MeMeCousinsChristmasOrnamentsLife is but a vapor on earth: a mist. But where it goes…is someplace incredible and yet to behold. I can’t wait…

Maybe Christmas is a hard time for you? I know this is a hard Christmas for me and my family as we all wrestle with our loss PaPaMeMeKisshere on earth. Yet I also know, that if I can keep an eternal perspective of what is yet to come,  I will rejoice in God’s goodness all my life, regardless of my circumstances.

Thank you God for your gift of life this Christmas to me, to my grandma and all my family and friends. Thank you Jesus for coming.

Receive the gift of life.

 

A Still and Quiet Night - Cover

God’s peace to you this Christmas 2015!

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

   “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”

-Luke 2:8-20, ESV

Love, Jen

 

 

 

A Place for You

I was listening to an interview between Michael Hyatt and Jen Hatmaker​ today on the online Influence & Impact Summit  (some great things to learn about this week for FREE).

One of the things she said about how her platform of influence has grown (or “Secret Sauce”) is by putting “a much lower priority on self-preservation”. She wasn’t referring to NOT being a self-preservationist, but just making it a lower priority. It reminds me of this scripture:

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3, ESV

Is this not humility? Especially when considering others?

It made me think of things we have to put aside to do that as believers in Christ. If we are concerned with the care of others, it means we have to go beyond ourselves. It means we have to risk transparency, risk failure, risk being rejected. We have legitimate fears that can cause us to keep ourselves closed up from influencing others around us. Or even being willing to share our lives more publicly. But what is going to be our greater priority? In my life it means I have to risk to love and be transparent with my failures, while going after the thing I know God has planted in my heart to be a blessing for others.HumilityCSLewis

Are there places (or a voice you have) that you hold back in your life and heart, that you wish you could let go of, letting God be your strength, to risk and reach out with?

“‘There is always room at the table for another’ (writer, speaker, leader, etc.)…yes, everything has most likely been said…but ‘there is room for you to say it the way you are going to say it.'” – Jen Hatmaker, Influence & Impact Summit, Online Interview, October 7, 2015

There is room for me to be another singer-songwriter out there…and I have a unique way to share my message through a mental health, spiritual, life lesson and musical perspective.

Does knowing this encourage you? If it does, what is the next step you will take to move you into taking a risk for something God has gifted you so that you can share it with others?

Find out more about Jen Hatmaker here.

Find out more about me and my music ministry: Jen Haugland Music

LIVE Interview on RacMan Christian Radio

I was so honored to be interviewed live today on RacMan Christian Radio Program’s Artist Spotlight with Jesse Martin. If you would like to hear it again, you can hear it tonight or tomorrow morning. After that, it will be available on On Demand. I will keep you posted with that link when it comes out!

(From RacMan Christian Radio): Wow! What a night! Right now, more new music. We are done for the live show, if you missed it, please come back at 9 pm PST/11pm CST for the replay of our interview/fellowship with Jen Haugland Music:

Tune in TONIGHT at 9 p.m. Pacific Time/11 p.m. Central Time

The interview has now been archived here: http://www.spreaker.com/user/racman/artistspotlight-jenhaugland