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

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.

rest3

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.

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

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

(continued from Part II)

That night we stayed up late and we all gathered around the campfire. We worshiped our hearts out under the dark night sky to our Heavenly Father above and it was so beautiful. We thought surely God was glorified in His creation that night by us. After we worshiped we each shared a song we had written. It was incredible to hear all the talent that came from each songwriter. I learned a lot about the heart of each writer that night.

But nothing was more beautiful than our final morning together. Cindy gave us a gift of scripture to go and silently meditate on for 30 minutes. It is an understatement to say that the scripture each person received, ministered directly to his/her heart as if it were meant to be. God is so intentional! Afterwards we had a sweet time of worship in that upper room and then tears flowed as we shared what scripture we had received and what it meant to us in our lives at this time. Beautiful, beautiful hearts… and these are the hearts that will write the songs.

Thank you, Cindy, for a precious weekend of investing in us! We have started off your intensives with a new template… and as one of my new friends said this weekend, “until we meet again…”

 

(continued from Part I)

Our longest day was Saturday. We talked about the Big Idea and saying 1 thing and 1 thing only in our songs. We experienced two more opportunities of songwriting in groups of 3 or 4 to focus and write within a select amount of time around a theme. Probably the most grueling (and possibly because it was our third time that weekend) was the afternoon/evening session with special guest and gifted songwriter Sam Mizell. Sam critiqued our first round of our songwriting and then sent us off to make our changes. An hour later we had to come back and present our re-writes.

Sam was generous to come around and give us feedback even in our working groups, which gave us a lot of real-time feedback to work with. Not all of

Sam Mizell

his comments were easy to hear, but we were also stretched beyond the status quo as he challenged us to go beyond and consider the obscure. He pointed out hooks and themes that took our songs to different levels than we thought before. Sam has written for numerous artists, has a Grammy nomination and many Dove awards. We figured he knew what he was talking about! 🙂 Cindy wanted us to understand the importance of our words and that every one of them should be chosen strategically. We only have 3-4 minutes to convey our thoughts in a song so we need to make our words few as more words have less meaning. (continued in Part III)

 

I thought I would share about my weekend as I have finally recovered from it. There really aren’t a lot of words to describe it as it was beyond describable at times. But this last weekend 24 songwriters gathered from all over the country, including Canada, to attend a Cindy Wilt Colville Songwriting Intensive Retreat at Deer Run Retreat Center south of Nashville. Even though we all willingly went it was as if we were all happy little atoms gathering around, until we collided into each other in close quarters of the retreat center like atoms that bind together to make new molecules and then those molecules come together to form new elements… or for this purpose…new songs!

We were challenged in new ways as songwriters and in how to learn to work with other writers that had different perspectives, styles and skills of songwriting. Some were blessed enough to already have cuts by major recording artists, open for other artists in concert, perform in ministries, etc. Many were worship leaders in their own churches and others still seeking direction. But what we all had in common was our faith in Christ and to become better songwriters.

Here are a few highlights that made it so special:

Friday night we had dinner together, settled into our rooms and had our first lecture. Cindy’s theme for the conference focused around Psalm 45:1 “My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.” (ESV) We learned that the word of God really needs to be our wellspring in songwriting. We addressed creativity, what gives our song breath and being a songwriter in community. We were placed in our first small groups to songwrite from an idea or theme. For most of us it was a first time to come together in a group co-write. That night we went to bed wondering what the rest of the weekend would hold for us. It was our weekend for having “margin in our lives.” (continued under Part II)