'Empty Me Out' - Liz Vice
Ya can’t get too much of a good thing when that thing is music by Liz Vice.
So here’s a video of her singing ‘Empty Me Out' which is the second song on her debut album.
Get her debut album at
'There's A Light' - Liz Vice
"There’s A Light" is Liz Vice's debut album, “Recorded almost entirely live to analog tape over the spring & summer of 2013 in Portland, OR, this album is a gospel-fueled nod to the R&B / soul records of the 60's and 70's - modern enough not to be “throw back”, classically influenced enough to feel timeless.”
I’ve been listening to this album since it came out in January, and it. is. fantastic! The sound is just like what the description says above (from the press release)… and she and her band nail the 60s sound perfectly - each one of these songs should’ve been a million-selling hit!
I don’t think that Liz was born in the 1960s, so we who are alive now reap the benefit of these new-but-instantly-classic songs.
If I fly into the bye-and-bye, these are the songs I’m gonna sing.
You can get a free download (tips appreciated) here:
Here’s the opening track:
When I was a kid I would go into the basement and play the “Lion King” soundtrack over and over while I performed a dance alone for hours. Being the middle child of five children in a single parent home allows for one to vanish without anyone noticing.
I wanted to perform. I wanted to be an actress. Growing up poor, being brown little brown girl, didn’t lend itself to a lot of opportunities to pursue the dream of acting. I can remember at a very early age waking up to the sound of mother singing “Rise and Shine and give God the glory” when she wanted us up for school - to this day that song kind of drives me crazy, but this early memory just reminds me that I have always been around music.
My absent father is a very talented award winning musician, with his PhD in music, and he is still involved in the music business to this day. Although he has never been a presence in my life, I can’t deny that the musical gene has passed on to me.
Music was all around me, but never something I prayed that God would open doors for me. I was always afraid to sing on stage, and to this day my throat feels as though it’s caving in until I pray the simple prayer: “LORD, sing over me and I will sing over the people.”
One evening I was watching a man perform a cabaret of his favorite Broadway show tunes. As I sat and watched this man perform, I was hit with an image of me sitting in a classroom. The classroom was filled with students and God was standing at the front. He asked, “Who is up for the challenge?” All of the students raised their hands. I kept my hand down, and my head bowed. I didn’t want Him to notice that I had decided that whatever He was asking wasn’t my calling. The LORD slowly began to walk towards me and tapped on my desk. I look up and He asked again, “Are you up for the challenge?” I sat there and then I nodded yes. Who is going to tell God ‘NO’!?
So here I am, singing. Singing in church, singing with well-known local artists, and even though I can’t claim that the opportunities in music are because of what I’ve done, I will declare that saying “YES” to God’s calling will open your eyes to reasons for why you shouldn’t put yourself in a box.
Lenten Prayer: Fast From, Feast On
Perhaps the best Lenten prayer ever:
During Lent, let us…
Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ within them.
Fast from emphasis on difference; feast on the unity of life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from worry; feast on trust in God’s Care.
Fast from unrelenting pressure; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on verities that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.
-William Arthur Ward (American author, teacher and pastor, 1921-1994)
I don’t know who put the poem in this exact form. I found the same words, with more lines and not broken into stanzas, at
and this webpage has lines in a different order, and says at the bottom:
”adapted and revised from The Anglican Digest”
I can’t at this moment guarantee what the original version looked like. Someone is creating a website for Ward’s writings but it is currently ‘under construction.’
I did find that he lived much of his adult life in Fort Worth, Texas.
William Arthur Ward (1921-1994), author of Fountains of Faith, is one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims.
More than 100 articles, poems and meditations written by Ward have been published in such magazines as Reader’s Digest, This Week, The Upper Room, Together, The Christian Advocate, The Adult Student, The Adult Teacher, The Christian Home, The Phi Delta Kappan, Science of Mind, The Methodist Layman,Sunshine, and Ideals.
Sam Phillips - I Shall Seek Thee Earnestly (Ps 63)
Sam Phillips (born Leslie Ann Phillips in 1962) is an American singer-songwriter and composer. She began her career in the contemporary Christian music industry but, uncomfortable with that image and industry, she re-branded herself as “Sam”—transitioning into the mainstream market after meeting producer T-Bone Burnett.
I enjoyed her CCM songs in the 80s, and occasionally check in with her songs released after that.
In 2010 she issued a download-only EP called ‘Old Tin Pan.’ Here’s a terrific track based on Psalm 63.
In 2010, Sam wrote, “Four of the five songs on the EP are about Aimee Semple McPherson, an odd character in Hollywood history.” I believe she’s pictured in the video photo in front of the car.
A friend points out that this musical setting seems very vividly appropriate for Lent.
Follow Sam’s life and music at
Two Poems for Ash Wednesday
by Jan Richardson
To receive this blessing,
all you have to do
is let your heart break.
Let it crack open.
Let it fall apart
so that you can see
its secret chambers,
the hidden spaces
where you have hesitated
Your entire life
is here, inscribed whole
upon your heart’s walls:
every path taken
or left behind,
every face you turned toward
or turned away,
every word spoken in love
or in rage,
every line of your life
you would prefer to leave
every story that shimmers
with treasures known
and those you have yet
It could take you days
to wander these rooms.
Forty, at least.
And so let this be
a season for wandering
for trusting the breaking
for tracing the tear
that will return you
to the One who waits
who works within
to make your heart
Gape-eyed in the mirror
Of fun-house humanity
And see the smudge
Scrub-faced and sanitized
In pine-scent religion
And smear the coals
Bare-assed into hiding
In fig-leaved denial
And hear the voice of one calling
Who put the ashes of a sinner on my head
1996 for Ash Wednesday in Mars Hill Review
Herrlicher Gott - GlaubenszentrumLive
Titel: Herrlicher Gott
Album: Die Liebe des Retters
Originaltitel: Wonderful God
Text & Music: Denis Campos
Deutsch: Juri Friesen & Matthias Glaser
You’ll find this song and others on this album:
Darrel Petties & Strength in Praise - Thank Ya Jesus
[All text on this post from the group’s FB page]
Directing his church choir since the age of eight, and sharing preaching responsibilities with his grandfather/pastor from the time he was 13, Darrel Petties has always known and lived a life of maturity far beyond his years. With his debut solo release, Count It All Joy, he moves front-and-center in the elite group of young, modern Gospel artists and choir-leaders who are innovatively and excitingly breathing new life into that venerable musical genre.
Here’s one of their popular songs:
Discovered by Gospel superstar, Smokie Norful, at an Announcer’s Guild conference in Arkansas which they both attended, and at which Darrel and Strength In Praise performed, he was quickly signed by Norful to his Triune production company. With his career shepherded by Norful since that time, Darrel soon had a solo project in the works with Norful’s own label, EMI Gospel. With Kirk Franklin collabs not hard to see in Darrel a major new talent about to be discovered by the world beyond his Memphis, Tennessee home. Darrel overcame the hardships and tragedy of a broken home, with a frequently absent, drug-addicted father, and a mother who had her hands more than full trying to care for him and his five siblings, through both the obvious grace of God, and a large extended family that saw that his basic needs were always met.
Leadership of a week-long youth crusade in Memphis, when Darrel was 14, yielded miraculous results, including the formation of a 100-voice choir which would become the first incarnation of Strength in Praise.
Currently a student in business administration in a two-year program at Southwestern College in Memphis, as well as pursuing studies at Jacksonville Theological Seminary, Darrel sees music as but one key component of the calling he has felt for his entire life.
“My whole ministry is about how God always and eternally gives second chances,” Darrel says, “but that can’t just be words you give to people. I think that by me doing all of these things—going to college, to seminary, and carrying this music ministry to ever greater heights—are all going to tie together to really complete the total destiny that God has on my life. “I want to go places—street corners, the projects, foreign countries—everywhere—and show through this ministry that God offers this same life-changing experience to everyone. I pray that God is giving me that platform now,” Darrel concludes, “to get up close and personal with people to minister to them. There are so many things I want to do, but nothing is more important than saving that one soul for Christ, one life at a time.”
Thanks to Andrew for this song tip.
Lenten Songs from Bifrost Arts
Bifrost Arts is an ecumenical religious organization closely linked to the Presbyterian Church in America that produces written and recorded religious music, and frequently performs at Christian Universities and conferences.
For a 2009 article about the origin of Bifrost Arts, see
They’ve made lead sheets to 14 of their songs with a Lenten theme freely available in this PDF download:
You’ll find their 3 albums at
and you can stream most of the ‘Lenten’ songs there.
For more on Bifrost Arts, see
'PilgrimYear: Lent' multimedia devotional by Steve Bell
Steve Bell (born in 1960) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.. He is among the best-known Christian musicians in Canada and is an accomplished songwriter and record producer who has released around 17 albums.
His recording career began at 13 when his family’s gospel band, The Alf Bell Family Singers, recorded an LP. The album contains some of his earliest songwriting.
Steve has released a multimedia devotional (songs, art, poems, videos, etc) for Lent.
It’s available for several platforms including tablets, phones and computers. Get it for just $2.99 at
According to that webpage:
This second release touches on the major themes and traditions of Lent: a rich season of Christian reflection, which includes honest self-appraisal, repentance, renewal and yes, refreshment and rejoicing – all in preparation for the passion of Christ, and Easter.
What’s intriguing about this project is that the Snippet publishing format allows Steve to reflect in writing, but also to include songs, videos and visual images, which makes for a unique experience.
Of the sixteen songs that come with this new collection, three are previously unreleased, currently being readied for Steve’s next album. So this is your chance to get an advance listen.
Included also are several poems by Malcolm Guite with audio clips of Malcolm reciting his works. You’ll also see works of art, ancient and contemporary, as the book progresses through some of the themes, fasts and feasts of the season.