The concert in the park…

Hey guys, my bad. I haven’t updated all summer. It was a busy one. Stayed on our fest grounds with Joshue for almost a month, came home for a week, went out to the Guild with Jan and some new folks too, home for a week and a half, and off for vacation in Bushnell.

Well today, I went out to Palmer Park in Janesville, WI to join some really sweet folks who really love Jesus in an outreach they had there. Free food and music from noon to five. I had the 3-4 slot and Colleen Davick from back in the Seeds days joined me to play some flute, whistle, some bgv’s and a djembe. Great, great fun.

I had the opportunity to share about our community, Jesus People USA and two of our larger outreaches, Cornerstone Community Outreach, and our fest, Cornerstone Festival. Just a wonderful time of celebrating with our Lord.

This is also Thyroid Cancer awareness month so I was able to share about my journey with it and hopefully, bring more awareness of it. More folks are being diagnosed with thyroid cancer over every other type of cancer right now.

To see the hope of Christ bringing so many things to life….Living with cancer, instead of feeling threatened by it. The chance to see people with broken lives being rebuilt by the Love of God at our shelters…unbelievable blessings, you guys.

Going in for my scans and possible treatment this next week, so today, was a celebration of God’s love and mercy not just for me, but for us all..
peace,
-a

Tapestry and Cornerstone

Wow, the Tapestry went really well. A great turnout and just a gift to share the evening with Glenn Kaiser, a mentor and friend.

The set went great.  I hope I’ve communicated how much of a gift it was to share that night and to share those songs. It was quite a blessing for me…”a party inside” is actually what I said as I shared my story. Remember, I was unsure whether I’d be able to sing at all…God continues to floor me.  I had several guests come up and join me..Hilde Bialach from the Crossing, Tom Cameron, my pastor and longtime friend, Colleen Davick from the Seeds days and another friend who checked on me just about everyday while I was in treatment for the cancer…Thanks for the harmony, Laura!  Our visuals guy captured a great vid of Tom and I playing one of the songs..check it out here…http://youtu.be/peep6ZKMQmM

I’m out at the Fest grounds now and doing a lot of weeding down in our community garden and in my own heart 😉

I get the opportunity to read and pray a lot right now. I’m asking God to open my heart up to receive more fully who He really is. If any of you have known me for any amount of time, you know of my struggles with fear. Unbelievable, isn’t it? His mercies new each day, unbelievable grace, immeasurable love and still yet, the “record” in my mind skips each time an uneasy scenario plays out. Forgive me, Lord.

That reflex reaction has been changing for some time now. It may not ever be perfect because I am part of an imperfect world, but I know it continues to change and I am more free in Christ. That skip in my mind that plays over and over, is being filled by His Holy Spirit even as we speak. Thy will on earth as it is in heaven…free and full of His light.
peace to you,
-Aracely
ps…see you at Cornerstone 🙂

pps…I’ll be playing at Silvie’s Lounge on July 18 from about 9:20-9:55 right after I get back from the Fest…Hope you can make it!

hmmm…

I’ve been off this for a bit while I’ve been squirming, but God is an amazingly loving Father. I can count three times when fear has just gotten so big in me that I can’t see. He faithfully sends someone around, either physically or even by phone, to remind me not to be afraid and that He has me…really, in every sense of the word. That just floors me.

I thank you for all your prayers and am looking forward to getting some more info from my doc tomorrow. A friend of mine encouraged me that my days were already numbered before one of them came to be. The challenge is to just rest in the One who loves more deeply than anyone I can ever encounter here.

Funny, that’s something I know in my head, but the movement from the head to the heart can be startling.

Anyhow, guys…really looking forward to heading out to share of His faithfulness once I know some more about my health. I’m putting a couple of dates together as we speak. I’ll post them as soon as things come together…

peace and strength to you,
-Aracely

Health Update

So guys, alot of you already know, but to those of you who don’t, I’m half way through my treatment for papillary cancer of the thyroid. I went through surgery about a month ago and will be heading into the next phase of treatment just after the first of the year. I sincerely appreciate all of you who’ve been praying for me.  Thank you.  I feel like I’ve been carried through most of this. I can’t really sing the songs on the demo I was working on at this point, but I know all will be well in time.

The day before I went in for surgery, I got a vision for a new project and I’m really excited about that. I’m really looking forward to getting back out there once I’m through the treatment and recovery…..I have much to be grateful for! 🙂

Grünewald Guild

I finally get the chance to tell you guys about my trip to the Grünewald Guild! It’s an ecumenical community in the Cascade Mountains whose mission is to allow faith and art to shine. One word sums it up…AMAZING!

I met a boatload of folks who really love the Lord and want to make space for art, truth and love to breathe. All you guys made such a huge impact in my life…thank you! Take some time to check them out here….http://www.artfaith.com/

Making space for quiet and inspiration is difficult in my activity driven world. I live and love it here in full time ministry at Jpusa, but it was quite a treat to have more space for contemplation and prayer. The beauty surrounding me was breathtaking.

One of the founders of the Guild, Richard Caemmerer, began the week for us by sharing a new painting and his heart and hope for us..to see God in the small things that for the most part, go unnoticed in our world….truly inspiring.

The songwriting class was amazing and focused. We began the week by dissecting some songs and getting a gist of what works and what doesn’t work in writing songs; learn all the rules and then break ’em basically. It was great. Jan Krist taught the class and she is as gracious and patient as a teacher, as she is gifted in the craft. It’s a true privilege to learn from her.

We wrote ALOT to get things going for our songs and shared thoughts and critique along the way. By the end of the week, each of us had finished at least one song we could share at the house coffeehouse and our communion service on Sunday morning.

Each of the artists actually brought the piece they worked on through the week, shared the heart and story behind it and placed in a table for us all to see and appreciate; an offering to the Lord. It was beautiful to see mercy, love, truth and compassion shared by His family.

We had devo’s in the am and vespers at night to close out the day…An amazing artist in the kitchen provided a feast for our tastebuds each night and many hands made light work in doing dishes, preparing breakfasts and all the things that keep this haven running. Personally, I loved working in the garden.

As I said, an stellar group of people on staff and then all the sweet folks who were attending and teaching the classes; a beautiful gathering of God’s people celebrating together…what a blast! I’ll post some pics soon…

I loved hiking up the side of a cliff with Andrea, jumping in the river with Sarah Jane, the walks with Diane and Robin, laughing in the kitchen with a crazy bunch of sweet, sweet gals and an art installation by Emily that took my breath away and ended with praying for each other and anointing our hands with oil. Jan prayed for me and was a constant source of encouragement through the week. She had to room with me!

I haven’t even mentioned the dancing, Yonnah and Chaim, Cynthia, Nathan, Erika, Dan, Lois, Sonna, Joanna,…the list goes on and on! My time with you was truly a gift from God…

peace to you,

-Aracely

wow guys

I was looking at the old posts and I’ve been trying to get up and running with wp for almost four years now.  I guess I’m a little slow.  I’m really glad you’ve stopped by though.  If you’re interested in what’s going on here in Chicago, drop me a line.  I’ve got some new songs I’m working on; mostly contemplative worship, but I’ve been working with Hilde Bialach from the Crossing for a couple of years now as well.  I’ll post some mp3’s as soon as I get some more storage space!

peace to you,

-a

Hey guys…

Just a quick hello from the new site.  It’s somewhat symbolic with the new year and all.  It’s interesting how we all get a chance to start over in some ways every year.  No matter who we are or how we are doing, there is a calendar that tells us all, “We can start again”  New Years’ resolutions, hopes and vision for new things.  How much moreso we get that chance with God…and at any moment that we choose.  It’s almost too profound for words.  My personal challenge this year is to believe what He’s said…to take the moment and have faith.

It would be amazing to be unhindered by old fears and doubts from the past that somehow find their way into our thoughts.  Some thoughts we may battle till we’re gone, but maybe this year, the war won’t seem as hard as we take the challenge and walk on.  

God’s peace to you…

-a

Seasons Are Changing

Hey guys,
As I post this, the weather is getting colder, we’ve made it through adjusting to Daylight Savings Time and Thanksgiving is around the corner. This has been another incredible year of growing and seeing God’s hand in our midst. I’m excited to say that one of our artists at Cornerstone Festival is revamping my website. I’m excited at it’s new look and hope you guys will keep walking with me and seeing what God has. So hopefully, I’ll be touching base with you soon from my new site. His peace to you..
-a

ReImagine

ReImagine went really well last week. It was great to see Fred and Carol continuing to shake things up in their congregation. Fred shared from Henri Nouwen’s book, “Wounded Healer” and we had roundtable discussions about it. Sang a few songs, shared a bit about God’s hope in the midst of the struggle of the human condition. Had the chance to pray for God’s healing and offer our time and efforts to God…what a blessing…

See you next week at Starbucks…Hilde Bialach from the Crossing will be joining me…it will be great…peace..
-a