Gretchen here…so if you’re getting this newsletter, you’re on my ‘music updates’ list and i’ll be letting you all know what’s going on with not only the recording of the music, but the blessings God provides along the way and current prayer requests as well :~)

if you’re one of our youth, please pass this on to your parents as well :~)

if you’re getting this news for the first time, that’s because you’re probably an out-of-state close friend or family member and i’m just now getting my ducks-in-a-row and a detailed explanation will follow, so stay tuned :~)

for those of you that know what this is about so far, you can read the whole story of how this all began or feel free to skip down to the part IN GREEN that tells what will happen next, current prayer requests, and the top 26 songs (based on the screening we had on saturday) – hopefully you remember your ‘favorite picks’ and/or have the lyrics still and can see whether yours were in the ones that were rated to be the best :~)

so back to you all who have just now joined me in this amazing journey that God has begun leading me and my family on… it all began mainly in october 2007 when God just really grabbed ahold of my heart at a women of faith conference and let me know that He had waited long enough for me to do what HE wanted done with the music HE had given me…i had always prided myself on listening to God’s voice and obeying immediately and up until right then, i thought i was doing a good job…He told me otherwise and i found myself not only ashamed that i had waited this long, but finally willing to do what He wanted me to do, and so i committed myself to doing whatever He asked me to do to pursue getting the songs that He has given me out to those who need to hear them – there was not a whole lot of direction, but as ideas came, i pursued all of them anyway, knowing that it was up to God to both open and close the doors –
so the next major thing that happened has to be told from the beginning of the story, so bear with me, it all relates and will fall into place, i promise :~)
i’ve been wanting to get back into playing the tenor sax again recently and had found an antique silver tenor saxophone at a thrift store several months ago – then i also recently found out that Jillian, my sister-in-law, knew how to navigate ebay so i asked her to sell it for me – in about the first week or so of december, she was able to and so got it online and i began to watch…as almost nothing happened – see, i had found out that it was a very valuable instrument and wanted to sell it so i could not only pay myself back for buying it, but also get a tenor that i could play without feeling like i was going to damage it, and also maybe cover some extra expenses – so watching almost nothing happening was a little discouraging to say the least-
as i sat there at the computer watching it, God once again spoke and moved on my heart about the ‘music stuff’, reminding me that my dream and calling was not to play the sax again, it was to get HIS music recorded!
sooooo, after that very obvious prodding, Dan and i prayed over the sale of the sax and asked God to provide what He knew we would need to get started for the ‘music stuff’ and that whatever it sold for, minus what we paid for it, would go 100% toward the ‘music stuff’ :~) well, when it closed several days later, we found that we had cleared $1200 and we were on our way!!! PTL!!!
the next step, after rejoicing and feeling like we were once again handed what God wanted us to do :~), was to find a recording studio that fit what we wanted to do and would be able to work on our budget – we spent most of that day on the internet looking at site after site that looked cold and corporate and boasted many studios and employees, etc. but nothing stood out  – so we pressed on and later in the day, it payed off and God had once again gone before us :~)
we looked at a site that was named with someone’s personal name and finally, we thought, we found a PERSON instead of a business – and we were right – Randy not only laid things out cut and dry about who he was and what he did and what he had to offer, but he also had several pages that talked about his passion for music and what he was all about and after reading through the whole site, we knew we had found a connection! After a couple phone calls, we were encouraged that randy was our guy and we were given some tasks to accomplish before we could actually begin recording –

first of all, we would need to find a group of people that would be willing to help us narrow down the number of songs to just enough for two albums, about 24 or so, – this might sound simple, but there was much involved in this process – i had over 100 songs to go through [with dan’s help :~)] just to narrow it down to 50 songs to be brought before a group, AND we had to get people willing to spend most of a saturday sitting and listening to 50 songs and judging them so we could narrow them down to that 24-26 songs needed – all of that, according to God’s grace and timing once again, was accomplished on saturday the 19th and we have our top 26 songs!!! again PTL!

the 2nd task was to get musicians together for the basic 5: piano, voice, guitar, bass, and drums – so that we could begin practicing and recording –  Randy, who would also be taking on the position of producer (someone who offers ideas & suggestions throughout the recording process, keeps the cost as low as possible, and does all the mixing and finishing touches), also let us know that, although we would need to save up for the costs of mixing and the final product once we were done recording, we had enough with our $1200 to RECORD all of the songs for the first album, IF we were able to find musicians (guitar, bass, drums) willing to be a part of this project for their name on the album, gas money (as the studio is about an hour away), and food :~)
which, to say the least, was a praise that what we had was more than a ‘drop in the bucket’, but we also knew it was going to take another miracle if we were going to come up with musicians like that; talented AND obviously not in it for the money!!!
sooooo, just as before, we found that God provided and was really wanting this to continue to move forward, because on the same day that i found out that i had all three instruments that i needed for what i was able to offer them, i was also approached by two different people –
the first let me know that he wanted to design and upkeep my website so that i could be contacted, sound bytes, pictures, & video clips could be put on it, and product could be ordered from it  –
and the second let me know that he would take all the pictures needed for both the website and for the design and creation of the insert for the cd case (has the lyrics etc. on it)………..!!!!!!!!
there just really aren’t words to describe all God has done and i’m just so excited to see what He will provide next and what He will do in this process to continue to complete this work HE has started :~)
i’m so blessed to have each of you along in this journey and you wouldn’t be getting this email if it weren’t for the fact that each of you are considered close enough not only to rejoice as we rejoice, to praise God as we praise Him, but also to pray with us as we ask for God’s will and  purpose and timing to be fulfilled in our lives!
i will be sending more updates as things move and happen, so keep your eyes peeled for my ‘newsletters’ – (trying to think of a good name for the newsletters, by the way, so any ideas would be great :~) ) and i promise that they will never again be this long   – this was just the ‘catch you all up newsletter’ and i hope it accomplished its purpose and that you all want to be involved in this process with us! :~)


we’ll be setting up a time for dan and i to meet up with randy face to face to play the top songs and get a list from him of which are going to be on the first album – we’ll then begin practicing to perfect 1-3 songs at a time, then head to the studio to record as we are ready to do so –

1:  as a group we would be able to find times to come together to practice and, when we do meet, that we have practice times that are efficient and successful; that God again would lead in this with the same smoothness and grace that He has so far
2: that God would guide randy in picking the top songs for the first album so that they would be the ones that people need to hear – that’s the point right?! :~)
3: that dan and i would be given wisdom from the Lord about the timing of all of this within our personal lives so that we’re balancing our walk with Him, our time together as a family, our ministry with our amazing youth, and what He’s asking us to do with this ‘music stuff’ :~)

you alone
you know
living water
someone else
what would come
good thing
not about me
be still
the sea
now i sing
in the midst
we all, like sheep
west is from east
simple things
come be my child
here i am
see me through
on my knees
so you can know me
hold on
this hope
where you begin
amazing God
well, there they are :~) please feel free to email or call if you have any questions or as God leads – and thanx again for praying with us! :~)