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

Looking Forward

How often do we miss the new thing God is doing in our lives? On the one hand, it is important for us to remember how God’s met us in the past…..moments when He reached from outside of time to remind us, “Yes, I’m here with you…come on, let’s keep going.” We run into problems when we let that become the yardstick we gauge everything else by and are unable to see God move in a different way; maybe something utterly more we could ask for or even begin to think. I’m not talking a new theology or something that goes against scripture, or a prosperity doctrine, but just the amazing way God works.

The story of the woman at the well in John, chapter four. Jesus asks her for a drink of water. She’s astonished that a Jewish man would ask a Samaritan woman. Jesus says, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. ”

The woman said to HIm “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Is she insulted? Is she bothered that this stranger is claiming to have something more to offer than what she already knows and is familiar with? Our ancestor Joseph’s father, Jacob, the surplanter,the one who wrestled with God, the man who worked for 14 years for Rachel, the one who lost his son only to receive him back as a leader in Egypt, who would provide for his entire family through the famine..that Jacob. How is that even possible? Jesus was claiming to have something for her of a depth that she couldn’t initially understand.

Do we get stuck here? Again, there is a definitive line here…not prosperity, not material things, but God Himself is what He has to offer us. That is of more worth than all He’s provided before….

Take a step forward today…Stop looking back, even the good things can be distracting and keep us from what God is trying to show us today. Maybe you’ll be shocked to see how you’ve grown in an area, maybe you’ll allow God to be who He says He is in your life. You’ll never know, unless you take that step.
peace,
-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

ReImagine

Hey guys…I’m going out to play at Redeemer Church tomorrow night. Colleen Davick and Tom Crozier from the old Seeds days are joining me, along with Joby Morey who plays with the likes of the Psalters, GKB, Leper and many more. We’ll be doing some of my newer material, worship and have a time of sharing and the opportunity to ask for healing prayer…hope to see you there..
-a

Just Back

Hey ya’ll…I’m just back from St Louis.  It was an incredible trip…I was actually overwhelmed to be honest.  Pastor Don invited me to be part of some pretty significant moments in his flock.  Some of it was heartbreaking and further evidence that we are in a battle.  I continue to pray for all those we prayed for and hope that you can all find strength in our Lord. I’m reminded of Romans 8:28; ” And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ”  Sometimes, it’s hard to believe what God says to us.  How many of us have been disappointed by promises made and broken?  Somehow through years of heartbreak, words begin to lose their meaning.  Or even worse, the words that remain in our minds are the destructive ones that take life and hope from us; rather than the life giving words of God.  I heard something referring to the average attention span of an adult.  It varies from 7-90 minutes!  Depending on the topic at hand.  At the bare minimum, a little longer than it takes to bake a potato.  At it’s peak, the length of a full length movie.   For today, can we ask God for the ability to believe His words through the darkness of our circumstances, for seven minutes ?   Maybe that 7 minutes can grow to 14, 21  and beyond that for today.  May we find comfort in the arms of our Savior.peace-a   

just a note

Hi guys, just wanted to post a little note and put a song up.  I’m headed down to St Louis to see some old friends.  Church of God at Baden is a great church.  They’re really active in their neighborhood providing free meals, clothes, fellowship and the love of God.   I’m thinking I’ll be playing at their coffeehouse Sat night, then leading worship Sunday morning, but you’ll have to call them for times…see you later…