Music

Strong through EVERY Trial.

406804_383769961700996_855137644_nA lyric in a new song at church caused my heart to stop and think a few weeks ago.  The line speaking of our mighty God sang, “strong through every trial”.  The word “trial” stopped me in my worship and suddenly my mind went back to the trial in court that 7 other girls and I had been through almost 5 years ago.

It was a very dark time.  On a worldly level, the man who sexually abused us over many many years got away free and clean.  A couple fines here, some community service there.  On a worldly level, my heart aches, bad.  I felt a huge sense of injustice, and for years there has been a wound of defeat and a lingering fear that he’s still out there; as though our cries for help meant nothing.  But when I heard this song, and was surfing back through the emotions of the trial, the feelings of defeat and the constant flow of pain, it all began to be replaced with the words “strong through every trial”.  My heart was still.

Though we knew the truth of what happened to us, it felt like our eyes were covered to the truth of what was really happening.  No amount of darkness can hide the Lord and his power and his strength and his goodness.  No court case, judge, defending attorney or jurors can say what our God does.  And he wins.  We had the truth, we were set free.  The truth is light.  And the light is God. “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it” (John 1:5) Nor will it ever.  The freedom we have is walking in the light and so we are blessed. WE ARE FREE.  The battle was not ours to fight, it was Gods.  In his hands, He replaces our fear with his perfect love.

A huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders.  I feel lighter already. It is not about the justice that man gives on earth.  We keep our eyes heavenward because under His care we are taken care of, in EVERY situation.  No longer do I have to worry about my enemies, “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”(ps 73:26).  Every trial, He is strong. Acknowledge him and watch as your chains melt to the ground.  Be set free lovely people.  What more do we need? The victory through HIM is ours. Claim it baby, claim it.

Psalm 85:10
“Love and truth belong to God’s people;
goodness and peace will be theirs.”

Psalm 34:13-15
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
SEEK peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive, to their cry;

Proverbs 3:3
Don’t ever forget kindness and truth. Wear them like a necklace. Write them on your heart as if on a tablet.

Novblog

You’ve Been Love Bombed: Georgina Grace

George! I’ve never met anyone like you.  I love imitating your accent.  You are an amazing artist, an amazing friend, and gifted beyond measure.  I can’t wait to see where life will take you.  You are an answer to prayer! Thank you for being in my life while I am across the world 🙂 Can’t wait to make music with you! Keep going, God is going to use you in AMAZING ways 🙂

She’s a tip of an iceberg.
She has so many treasure that was given by God.
She didn’t just bury that but she’s developing and using for God’s glory.  Eventually, God will say “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”  She’s special =) ~Daniel Choi

I love her tender heart, I love that she loves those who are hurting and down trodden, I love that she is strong and speaks words of wisdom and power. I love that she pulls funny faces. I love that she is beautiful but doesn’t know it. And above all I love that she is my daughter and I am so very proud of her, proud that she bravely follows hard after God even if that looks scary and unknown. And I also love that she knows how I am without being told. How could you not love that?
Be beautiful my dear child, put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time… Trusting God all the time. And He will unfold your way.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
~Mum

Gina is beautiful inside and out. She is so creative and is so sensitive to the Holy Spirit. She is a mighty warrior princess for Jesus a intercessor to the max. And she is a loyal friend 😀:D
~Jackie French

Georgina Kent, I have never met anybody like her. Her short hair was the first thing that draw me to her, but after a while I knew that it was way more then just that. Gina is creative, an amazing artist on paper but also with music. She is a special woman in the things she likes and dislikes, she is firm in what she believes in, and she is willing to teach and share with others. The thing that is probably the most beautiful about her is her sensitive relationship with God, in every conversation you can see who’s she is, and her life is a testimony that our God is alive and good.=)
~Nina Verhoog

I miss You!

Hello Friends and Family!

Do you guys know how much I miss you and think of you? Know that I do a lot.   It has been 7 weeks in Australia for me, and I have already learned so much.  I am growing musically, biblically, and spiritually.  I want to share the amazing things with all of you!

Running from Bronte Beach to Bondi Beach
September 6, 2012

A couple weeks ago the Lord really made it clear to me that, HE brought me over to Oz, that HE would provide, but ultimately this journey at Hillsong would be about HIS glory.  For that reason I have not sought out a job.  He wants to show me that I CAN trust him, with everything.  He’s showing me that no matter what He’ll provide.  So here is a testament to His goodness, and His promise to me to provide!:

A couple weeks ago my rent was soon due, and I did not have all the money in my account to pay for it.  I prayed and asked for provision, and I remembered something I wrote down a week prior in my devotions, ‘Even if it comes at the last second, its coming!’  Well Friday came around, and I had peace still, but no rent.  In chapel we had a great time of worship, and I was deep in prayer, feeling peace still, without my rent money.  When I walked home I reminded myself to walk in the truth of what I knew, He said rent would be provided, even if at the last second.  I have been on my own for almost 6 years, and I am used to working and paying for my own rent, food, etc.  But in this season He is calling me to TRUST that He will be everything I need. And because of that my little faith is growing more solid.

Georgina and I heading out to swim indoors 🙂
August 2012

When I got home from school, I checked my mail, and in a little purple envelope was a check for $300.  The rent money had come through, at the last moment, but it had come, just like He told me.  I went to my room, fell to my knees, and cried.  He cares so much about each one of us.  He knows us better than we know ourselves, and the crazy part is how badly He wants a relationship with us.  Don’t neglect to acknowledge Him in your life.  In the little things, and the big, in the good, and in the bad.  He is there, just acknowledge Him and see what happens 🙂

We have a table and chairs now!

Hello Getty Owl!! I love you sis ❤

Writing songs with a friend across the ocean. 🙂 In progress.

Georgina is the BEST cook I know! Nom Nom.

Hillsong Foundation Dinner…Hillsong is amazing!

Skype is the biggest blessing EVER. Call me sometime! (Don’t laugh – my Skype name is “hotsizzlinchickie” 🙂

Mmmmm Toast 🙂 Ive never liked toast until I came here. Uh oh….gotta watch those carbs!! Haha 🙂

College Student Fun 🙂 Taha 🙂 Me and Jackie…I won this one, she beat me the other time.

Meet my band!! Richard & Sons!

Meet Jackie! She is my talented friend from Alabama. She is a vocalist, and an amazing guitar player. 🙂

Mom sent CHRISTMAS.

Grami’s letters bring me so much joy ❤

Getty takin care of me – ALWAYS reppin for my Getty Owl ❤
http://www.GettyOwl.org

Letters from my WJU Volleyball Player Charlotte. Thank you! I miss you girls to pieces!!

Pictures from home from Grami 🙂

Thank you Beibs. Thank you! I miss WJU Volleyball! Love from me to you!

New Haircut! (I need my sister!!)

What is Australia doing to me?? Haha 🙂

Great run….so beautiful Bronte to Bondi Beach with Anna from Ireland (I LOVE HER)

The view during my run…..Unbelievable.

Friday Night Live @church. Amazing.

I see you 🙂

I cut Courtney’s hair!! (Using techniques I’ve seen my lovely older sister do 🙂

Ridiculousness and hanging with girls from all over the world. Singing, dancing, playing.

George eating Nutella on the balcony. Beauty.

Georgina and Nina at Bronte Beach

God’s promises.

Performance Day! I had to sing “Real Life Fairytale” by Plumb
And back up sing for “I feel the Earth Move” and “Coachella”.
WE PASSED!!!

I love you all and miss you so much!  I appreciate every single prayer.  Lots of Love from Hillsong, Australia.::::::::Morgie:::::::::::

 

MONDAY MADNESS in the City.

Welcome to a typical Monday (this semester) during my Hillsong journey. The weeks are SOO packed there’s no way I could write about what goes on in ONE post.  So here’s a go!

7:15 am : Wake up, look at my watch (which is set to California time) and jump out of bed to get ready for the day! Bring some kind of food to school to coordinate with my friend Gina.  Today we had avocado & pesto toast for lunch with an orange. IT WAS DELICIOUS.

8:15 am: Make the 0.3 mile walk to school 🙂 Spoiled! I get to listen to about 1 or almost 2 songs on my iPod.

8:30-8:45am: Voice Class Warm-ups (This pic I tried to snap while no one was looking….LOL) The blonde gal in this picture is Mel, she is one of our vocal teachers!

8:45-9:45ish: Voice Theory

9:45-11:30am: Band practice in the Auditorium or in the Silent Library.

LUNCH (or Coffee stop)

12:30-1:30: Worship Band Tutorial (Lecture)

1:30pm-5:30pm: Skype, Study, Exercise, Free time!

5:30pm – Meet at School for “Backpackers” In which we literally drive to 3 hostels and make them pancakes! Its awesome you meet a lot of people who are on life journeys. So fun.

9:45pm- Get back home, do some reading, and konk out.
There it is!! Crazy Awesome Packed Mondays!

Passion with a Purpose.

Thought I would share my Hillsong Application letter.  I’ll be stepping on Aussie territory in a little over a month.  Appreciate all the prayers!

My name is Morgan Haley Saunders and I am applying to attend Hillsong Leadership College in July of 2012. I grew up attending church and lived as part of a Christian family as a child. I accepted Christ as a 6 year old in fear that I would go to Hell. My parents instilled good values and disciplined us and we were pretty good kids. I was always joyful. I loved life.

In 6th grade, at a church camp, I recall wanting to encounter Jesus for myself, but I felt like I had not been able to. I wanted him to feel real to me, but I felt like he was distant or mythical. I kept a positive outlook on life and continued to “follow Christ” but I did not have a real relationship till later down the road.

In high school my world got rocked upside down when some sexual abuse from a family friend to me, my sister, my cousins, and two close friends surfaced and became known to our parents. Quickly after we began dealing with that hurricane, a close friend and mentor of mine passed away. I found myself dealing with so much loss. The tsunami of pain that hit our family’s shore was unbearable. Our foundation in Christ was not strong enough at the time and the enemy found it as an easy route to slip into the cracks of our lives. We were not able to talk about the abuse with anyone because we were now involved with a court trial. I found my heart grow cold to God, and I didn’t read my Bible or pray for two months straight. At the time I didn’t know him like I should, and I doubted His goodness. I was mad, confused, anxious, and shaken. I quickly slinked into a depression.

All of a sudden life was gloomy. My joyful attitude on life, stolen from me. I was missing my friend that had passed away. I felt so old and cold and I was only 17 years old. My life after that until college is somewhat of a blur, but God literally kicked my butt through William Jessup University’s doors. William Jessup is a four year private university with Christ-centered education. I did not want to go there, but thankfully God knew me and what I needed more than I did. WJU opened the door to some major healing I needed in my life. The professors and friends I was surrounded with did not fix my life for me, but their support helped me grow out of my pain. I am forever grateful for my journey at Jessup.

Up until college I consider myself to have been a closet singer. I would sing in the shower, write songs about my shampoo, and karaoke in my room. Sometimes I sang for my younger sisters, but that was about it. It was a passion without a purpose. Then my freshman year of college I was given the opportunity to help lead worship in chapel. It was a good experience and a lot of people complimented my voice. I was flattered, but I felt a deeper connection with my savior, and that was the most important factor. God was showing me how to use his gift that he had given me.

As I grew, leading worship became my quiet time with God. Though on a stage, in front of my peers, it felt like He and I were the only ones in the room. Suddenly that thirst and desire that I had experienced in the 6th grade was being fulfilled. I was singing with my mouth, but praying with my heart. It has been the most amazing thing I have ever experienced.

Hillsong was an idea, but I believe it will become a reality. I have had a lot of people that have encouraged me to go for it. I do not know the impact that Hillsong Leadership will have on my life, but I feel called to go there.

 

Persevere my Child.

Verses, pictures, and messages keep landing in my path that have the word “PERSEVERE” in them.  While running for Getty this past year and a half, I have continually come across verses that had phrases such as ‘finish strong’, and ‘run the race set before you with perseverance’.  They say when God uses a word more than 2 times in scripture, its because He wants you to pay attention to it.  I believe in my heart that God is going to continually plant “persevere” in me until the roots are too deep to dig up.
 The antonym of persevere, is “give up”.

“Giving up” is out of the question.  It is out of the question for the cure for SMA, when I have my little Getty fighting with every cell of her body.

“Giving up” is out of the question for going to Hillsong College, when my little sister gives up her Disneyland fund to help me get there, and when a 4 & 7 year old are saving their weekly allowance of $1 in a mason jar so I can go.  I have no way to repay them for just how much they are actually sacrificing.  “Giving up” is out of the question because of all the people who know me and who don’t who believe in me and are making it possible for me to go.   It actually brings tears to my eyes.

I decided to focus a Bible study I am helping develop on “Perseverence”, for the sheer fact that it keeps coming up.

Then I get an email from Hillsong tonight:

“It is common at this time, for some of our Students  who are about to arrive, to have distractions come their way, often in the form of family challenges, finances, unexpected situations, job offers, etc. My encouragement is found in the 12th Chapter of Hebrews “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” The Message version is even more graphic, “Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—He could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever”

God, thank you for continually reminding me that I need too, but more importantly, I CAN persevere.  That the struggles, the weights, the heartaches, the betrayals, the hurdles, and the pain, they are just small distractions on the course of this race.  YOU ran the race.  YOU never lost sight of where you were going. YOU put up with everything that was thrown at you and the best part in all this > YOU made it, and I follow YOU.  I am running in a path that you, the VICTOR has already paved.  I will keep my eyes focused on what YOU have for me because I can see YOU at the end.  I will keep working on being a liaison for SMA and finding the cure because you have told me to PERSEVERE in my races and awareness efforts.  I will continue to keep sight of Hillsong when the money is not there because YOU have pushed me through the encouragement of strangers, children, family, and your word and YOU will provide all I need to persevere.  I will “”Strip down, start running—and never quit!” I will run the races you have put me. Amen!

The Next Adventure.

This July I have the opportunity to attend Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia!  Tuition is around $5,200 for the year and if you wanted to “walk” to my apartment it would take you 185 days to get there (Side note: Google says there are some missing sidewalks and ferries you will need to take).  In the heart of Sydney I will be studying musicianship, worship leading, songwriting, and the theology of worship for a full year.  It should seem unbelievable, but I really feel in the depths of my heart that I am supposed to go.  If I am not, I am sure it will be made clear to me the more I pursue it.

So, why I am going to Hillsong College?:
I have wanted to attend Hillsong since I was a junior in college.  It felt like a great goal for my future, but it remained a dream.  When I doubted that I should go there, God brought people into my life who consistently asked me how it was going and why I hadn’t applied yet.   Early last year I attended an info meeting that was held in Sacramento.  They cut the application fee in half for people who attended the meeting to $100.  I had $100 cash in my wallet (That is NOT normal).  I took it as confirmation to apply.

About a month ago, I got a letter that I had been accepted into the July 2012 school year.

Leading worship at a church in Arizona 2010

I started my blog last year with a love for blogging, but an uncertainty if my blog would ever hold a theme.   Now I have a purpose to blog….to keep you guys updated on this adventure to the Great Down Under!  One thing I know, I am in my element when I sing.  I am in the Lord’s element when I lead worship, and so I hope that this could be preparing me for something greater than I can imagine.  Thank you for your prayers and your support that you have already shown.
Love, Hugs, and Prayer,
Snazzy