So excited! Just posted (well, actually it has been posted privately for about a week for our Patreon supporters ❤️) our very first live recorded worship cover song on YouTube! Recently made popular by Justin Bieber at Coachella, Reckless Love is a song that we feel speaks so well of the Father’s heart for each one of us. The song, based on scripture from Luke 15, reminds us that if we go astray or get a little lost in life or even run away from God, he would leave the rest to come running after us because he loves each and every one of us so personally.
Reckless? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely! YOU are loved by the best Father in the Universe, the Father OF the universe. He created you for a perfect purpose and that is to love him with everything in you and tell others that He loves them too. Please go check out our “live in the woods” rendition of Cory Asbury's Reckless Love on YouTube, and then go buy or stream his whole album, Reckless Love, at www.bethelmusic.com/reckless-love/
“Come along sons, let me tell you about what happened here...”
We must tell our children about the past so that they can understand the price of freedom and so they can know that many battles have been won, but the war for freedom for all is far from over. We must be willing to lay down our lives for the freedom of others and come alongside in the battles ahead. We can’t wait for our schools to teach our children because they either can’t (for lack of time or resources) or won’t.
What we as parents learned in school about the events of the civil rights movement was only the tiny tip of a massive iceberg that we still need to uncover and understand ourselves.
In a generation when more than half of young adults don’t know what Auschwitz was and black men are being arrested for simply sitting in Starbucks, we as parents need to wake up and realize we are doing our children a huge disservice if we aren’t talking about what happened before us and what is happening still today. As George Santanaya once so wisely said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We have no excuse.
So, you can’t bring your children to Selma and walk the walk that led to the hospitalization of 50 non-violent protesters and began the 60-mile journey on foot to the Alabama State Capital in Montgomery which eventual led to their ability to exercise their legal right to vote? That’s okay! Take a few moments at the dinner table to ask your kids what they know and fill in the gaps. Have conversations and keep the past alive so that it can be carried into the future and bring change.
#selma #civilrights #bloodysunday #remember #dontforget #history#handsonhistory #americanhistory #weareallamericans#teachyourchildrenwell #homeschool #roadschool #bethechange#tellyourchildren #edmundpettusbridge #righttovote#lifelibertyandthepursuitofhappiness #allmenarecreatedequal @ Edmund Pettus Bridge
We've got a lot of house shows lining up and great connections with campgrounds too. As well as the blessing to minister in churches across the US this summer. Here's rough draft overview of our schedule this summer. As always, it's subject to change as the cloud by day and the fire by night leads. We're hoping to line up some great connections in the New England states in the fall this year. Send us a note if you'd like to have us come out your way!
Yesterday I had the privilege to make a guest interview on the Family Man Show with Todd Wilson and Scott Moore! I just wanted to take a moment today to encourage dad's everywhere to be finding and seeking out inspiration for being the best dad you can be. This ministry has really helped my life and encouraged me weekly (through their podcast) to continue pursuing God and putting family next in everything we do.
Sometimes there's just people you talk to and feel like you are right at home with and that's how Todd made me feel the first day I met him. Siobhán gives a brief snapshot into how this ministry has blessed her in our main video on our front page. I hope that you go and subscribe to his podcast and if your ever able to hear Todd speak I want to encourage that as well. Not because I've been told to but simply because I do the same myself.
We are so overwhelmed with gratitude today! The past week we have been showered with love and support from family, friends and strangers in such an amazing way and we are just so thankful.
Our hearts were so sad last Tuesday at the loss of a dear family member and we were just so discouraged. Then the love started pouring in and everyone was praying for our cousin and her family and we were just so blown away by everyone's sympathy and genuine care.
Then last Wednesday we felt like it was time to share our new song on Facebook live with all of you, even though Trent is on the mend from a sinus infection and I'm just beginning to come down with something. It was just time and we didn't want to wait any longer to become well. It's all about the message anyway. And you guys were all so encouraging and shared our video all over the place and it just warmed our heartheart and reminded us why we are doing what we are doing.
Finally, we ended the night by sharing many of the songs that we have been writing over the last year, in the midst of our crazy journey, concert style at the campground here in front of a crowd of about 35 friends and strangers.
We were thrilled with all of the people who showed up to listen to a guy and a girl with a guitar and some songs none of them knew! That was so encouraging.
Afterward, we found out that a love offering bucket had been placed on our table and we were absolutely astounded at the generosity of all of these friends and strangers toward us.
We were just excited for the opportunity to share our songs, but we walked away soaked in the love and encouragement of this beautiful community we are so blessed to be a part of.
Thank you...all of you, near and far, from "deeper than the bottom of our hearts".
While driving around and introducing myself to some churches today in the Central Kentucky area, I was inspired to give some helpful tips for aspiring Christian artists.
The message is more important than the music
To an artist the most important thing is their own craft and the work of their hands. But to the listener or the viewer it means nothing until you give it purpose. Especially people who do not have a taste and interest as to why they should like your artistry. Don't get me wrong, I love the music and we aim to write good music. But if it's about that first then it will just get lumped into the same category as every other band out there just trying to "make it."
Be confident even if they say "no"
Truth is... you are going to hear "no" 99% of the time, especially in the American church today. This is an unfortunate reality because there is such a large degree of protection, skepticism and lack of trust in our society that trickles into the church. Quite frankly, we've probably heard more stories of bad encounters with guests artists than good. That is sad. But that doesn't have to be you and there is an uphill battle when it comes to these sort of things. Don't let it rock you or discourage you. The most difficult thing that we have to do in order to put the message out there is continue to learn to be a good sales person. I personally despise this part because I am not gifted at sales and I don't believe the evangelistic movement of the gospel of Jesus Christ should be relegated to that. However, what I am saying is be confident enough in yourself to not let it affect you negatively when someone says no, rather be kind and courageous anyway. You never know when that small introduction and attitude of kindness may circle around and help out in the future.
One on one is still better than social media
This is like asking, "Is it worth it to date online?" Eventually you have to meet someone. Why not make it part of the beginning of your connections. Yes, people want to see the details. And yes, social media is so very important in an age where everything is competing for our attention. However, social media can be so very impersonal. There is truly nothing like walking up to the door to someone's office or calling them on the phone that builds character in you. There are some out there that would say that you just need to be the artist and let the people come to you. That's amazing if you can do that and show how spectacular you are in comparison to the other billions of people in the world. I am speaking with a little sarcasm here. It's not that stuff like that doesn't happen, but I would rather speak to and encourage people who work, are passionate about their craft and don't treat others as less than they are. Let's just say this is more of lesson in how to communicate with people kindly. If you're intimidated talking to someone one on one, what makes you think that you are going to be able to talk/play in front of hundred or even thousands?
Follow-up at least four or five times
We follow-up with every connection at least this many times and I am so amazed at how many people never email or call me back. This also is sad. Don't be this yourself. If someone contacts you back via phone then you need to call them back until you reach them and preferably within a few business days. Email should be responded back to within twenty-four hours. I use Boomerang for gmail to help me with this. Follow-up after you play an event with a Thank You card and a special shout out with great imagery on social media. You may do well to be invited back to that place with steps like that. Then go over and above and continue to tell stories of your great experiences there with others. This was one of the primary reasons for us starting our YouTube channel. It gave us an opportunity to not only capture our moments and share them with others but also it gave us the ability to retell the stories we come across.
I hope this encourages you and blesses you in the work of the gospel as you go out into all the world and speak of His name in a great way. You can see my talk on this on our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/trentsiobhan. You can also help support our ministry as we share the name of Jesus everywhere we travel by clicking here.
Most definitely, if you would like to be the first to know what we're doing, I encourage you to sign-up for our newsletter here.
In today's ever growing digital economy, entrepreneurs are popping up everywhere making a decent living right from the comfort of their living room. The playing field has expanded significantly as well. In the world of music (especially Christian music), artists are frantically looking for new ways to earn an income. CD's don't sell anymore. Even digital music doesn't sell much anymore. Everyone is streaming. I feel like singing Video Killed the Radio Star. Except now it is - streaming killed the recording artist. Everywhere I look I see a new podcast opening up. Which is great. It is something. We hope to do a podcast someday soon as well.
It's advertiser driven rather than fan driven though. Which brings us to Youtube. Yes, it is advertiser driven, but there is something very personal about it that we enjoy so much. Plus, if we never get any subscribers it really doesn't matter. We are on a journey of a lifetime and I want our kids to remember it. If we can turn it into something fun for other people to watch too. That's even better. Because the message of the good news of Jesus Christ comes through in everything we do. Our daily vlog on Youtube is just an extension of that. It is more about who we are than the music we do. Don't get me wrong. We love the music and we love to share the message. But if we just simply live a life that is different, then the love of Christ is spoken louder than words.
We started out by lining up our tour dates based on four anchors. Chicago | DC | Dallas | Seattle. For various reasons some known and some unknown to us three of these anchors dropped out on us.
Meanwhile our time with Fair Haven in Grand Rapids was only for six months and Pastor Greg asked us every week if we would consider staying on permanently. We had already knew that God had called us to this path and this road and we knew that even if the schedule didn’t line-up for us to share this message of hope and taking leaps of faith (like we are) we were still to stay the course. That meant not leading Fair Haven on and also meant for us to continue to do what we sought out to do here which was to develop leaders from within and bring in new fresh perspective from the outside as well as rebuild trust for the congregation to worship again. We did all that and they have hired our friend Craig Aven who starts in August. That said, we didn’t know about our tour schedule getting wiped out until after Craig had been hired.
Stay the course. We knew that we had been called to go into the world and share the love of Christ. We feel we do this with the church first. And given our simple life in an RV we also knew and felt that we should be aiming to be farther south by the time winter comes. (Watch us talk about all of this on video)
We are still booking and our plan is to line up dates in the Georgia, South Carolina, Florida area for Winter/Spring of 2017.
So here’s where we are sharing our plan with you and asking for you to pray with us. We have brought this before the Lord and shared this with our coaches and mentors.
After we play in Chicago we are moving our family to Nashville.
We will be continuing to write for our next project. Our hope is to meet and write with as many people in the Christian music industry as possible. Our goal is to get our music on Christian Radio as a way to open up doors for us to speak the life-giving message of Christ to the world. We know this is a bold move. Every leap of faith is usually followed up by the thought that that is crazy. Lots of people move to Nashville in hopes that their dreams would come true. Lots of up and downs. So we felt that we would do this YouTube channel so that you could see our journey along the way and be a part of it. Celebrate with us in our wins and pray with us in our failures.
I hope that you have picked up the album We Can, if not please do so. That helps us out a ton. It is streaming now on all major platforms. But that doesn't pay a lot. If you buy the actual physical album it blesses us more than you can imagine. Either way - we are grateful to get it in your ears and heart. It helps spread the message of hope to people everywhere. I also have one last goal this week. We need 100 Subscribers to our youtube Channel in order for us to be able to claim a URL. That means an easy way to brand like youtube.com/trentandsiobhan. So help us reach that goal.
So friends, our brand new album just released today and we are so excited for you all to get to hear it finally. It will give you a little glimpse into the journey that we have been on for the last year as a family. Songs like Trust Fall show you how the Lord has been carrying us, one step at a time, through our fears and uncertainties all the while teaching us how to FULLY trust our lives into His very capable hands. I hope that the stories of our journey will lead you all to stories of your own and if they do PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let us know! We want to share your #TRUSTFALL stories wherever we go.
Anyways, this post today isn't really about our new album, but in a way it is because it's how we got here, to this place where the Lord is revealing to us the chains that have our nation and world all bound up and fruitless and helpless. The chains of fear hold us back from effective change in our world and we need to break free. But, how do we do that when we are surrounded on all sides. Seriously friends, the moment you log onto Facebook each day you are hit by wave after wave of fear. I could be like all the religious Christians out there and say that Facebook and other social media are the tool of the enemy, but I just don't believe that to be true. Yes, the enemy of our souls is definitely using it in a big way to perpetuate fear and violence in society right now, but I believe the people of God and really anyone who believes that we need some change in social media can CHOOSE to change the tides. We can CHOOSE to make social media a platform for love and unity rather than fear and dissension. Every day we are met with choices of all kinds. Some bring life, some don't.
The word of God says in 1 John 4:18 that "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." So, what I am challenging all of you to do is, for ONE WEEK, commit to CHOOSE LOVE on Facebook. If you see a post that is rooted in fear, DO NOT SHARE IT! Pass it by and don't give it a second thought. Do not be a tool for spreading fear. For some reason we feel like (and I'm including all of us "well-meaning Christians" who feel the need to witness of the impending doom in our world) sharing some of these posts we are protecting our loved ones by letting them know of all of the evil things lurking out there in the world. I hate to break it to you folks who like to break the news of horror as soon as it makes the local news pages by being the first to share it on Facebook, but we all have computers and televisions and we can see it for ourselves without your help. Trust me, you're just feeding fear. Instead, choose not to post it. Just for a week. Instead CHOOSE LOVE.
What does it mean to CHOOSE LOVE? So, instead of reposting stories and articles that are fear based, lets post the heck out of stories that are rooted in love. See a post where someone did a good deed, or where someone apologized for having a wrong view or attitude, or where something beautiful happened. POST IT! Shout it from the mountain tops! Let the world know there is goodness out there! In Philippians 4-9, Paul wrapped up his letter of encouragement by saying, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is ANYTHING WORTHY OF PRAISE, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me - practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." If we just change the things we are feeding our minds , this world will have peace because fear will dissipate. I don't think it will ever fully go away until Jesus comes and brings eternal peace, but it will make a HUGE change. we just have to choose it. I heard a very prominent pastor recently share "what you give attention to, you give access to." That is so true and we don't even realize it. Choose today to give attention to love and that is what you will give access to in your heart. Don't believe you can live free from fear? Take my challenge and see what happens!
Is it love or fear? Use this verse as a measuring stick:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 "Love is PATIENT and KIND; love DOES NOT ENVY OR BOAST; it is NOT ARROGANT OR RUDE. It DOES NOT INSIST ON ITS OWN WAY; it is NOT IRRITABLE OR RESENTFUL; it DOES NOT REJOICE IN WRONGDOING, but REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH. Love BEARS ALL THINGS, BELIEVES ALL THINGS, HOPES ALL THINGS, ENDURES ALL THINGS. LOVE NEVER FAILS.
If you do decide to take the Choose Love Facebook Challenge, share it on your wall and be sure to hashtag all of your posts throughout the week with #chooselovechallenge
Here is a link to a video I made for Choose Love. Please check it out and take the challenge!
We had a great time with our family and friends at Fairfax Community Church this weekend. Now we're on to Nashville. Thanks for all your continued prayers over this journey and our safety as well as for God to continue to open doors for us to spread the gospel.
We did "Lion and the Lamb" by Bethel this weekend and I'm encouraging myself with this word this morning. Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.
We are so grateful for encouraging friends along this life we live as well. It just so happened that some good friends of ours, that we never see because usually they are traveling all over as well, came to the Sunday evening service and the story he told me was so life-giving and faith building in such a God-timed moment.
That's my word and encouragement today and this week. Be still. God will fight the battle for you.
We had such a wild day this week. Everyone has those times when everything goes wrong. You stop and say, "God, what's going on here? Is there a reason maybe that we shouldn't leave today?" You have really listen if the answer is to not go. But then there are the times like yesterday when you know, and there is confirmation, that you have to go and the answer is to pray because God wants to reveal something to you and the enemy is trying to stop those plans.
Trent had read the book "Look & Live" by Matt Papa and he continues to reference that book in times like these. It's this belief that if we look to God then we will see his glory revealed in the things that would try to steal our joy.
It's been great to live this life where we are passionately pursuing the gospel and telling the story. Living in an RV so that others could be inspired by the leap of faith that we are taking.
There is another side of it that is always nagging at us. It's called fear. Fear that God will not provide. That's crazy right!? That paycheck that is Americans all strive to get. What if that isn't there?
Our prayer for you today is to take a leap of faith. We are. And we have chosen to see the goodness of the Lord like the sparrow.
Thanks to all of you who are praying for us. Pray that we can continue to tell the story and inspire like wildfire. That our needs and our children's needs would be provided for, that doors of opportunity would continue to open for us to speak loudly the good news.
Getting ourselves ready for a short trip is week. We're headed out to DC to be with our good friends at Fairfax Community Church. It's also Siobhán's birthday this weekend so we're spending a little time on Monday just playing :). Her parents are coming up from Central Virginia to spend the day with us. We're gong to IKEA (a very special treat for those of us who live in an RV) and then finishing the day going to a Nationals Baseball game.
Then Tuesday we're headed to Nashville to do some writing and meeting with some new/old friends. We've been spending some time writing for our next project. We haven't even launched our EP of We Can yet. Haha.
I consider myself to be a pretty techsavy person. But I guess there comes a time in every parent's life when you have to ask you're ten and eight year old kids, "Can you show me how this works?"
This may not be the most spiritual blog I've ever written but it definitely is relatable. I keep dying in this game that I've been trying to teach myself and the truth is that, even if it hurts my pride, I need to ask for help.
I guess the lesson here is: we need each other. If we're going to be the hands and feet of Jesus then we all need to work together. Just like the song we're singing. We can make the world better, I believe we can.
So, I was sitting in the "greenroom" during a service the other day with my friends at Fair Haven Church and we got on the subject of names with accents in them. I chimed in and said, "My name has an accent in it, I just don't use it." At that moment, I heard a huge gasp from across the room large enough to suck the air out of the entire space. It was my good friend, Daneen (aka Neenr) expressing complete shock over the fact that I had been given a name that can be spelled with an accent and that I wasn't using it. She demanded that I absolutely must start using it right away and so I have now given into her demands and have updated our webpage to include the accent on my very traditional Irish name.
And for those who are looking at the name, accent or not, and saying "Whaaaa???" It is of Gaelic origin and is pronounced Shi-vawn. If you still are unsure, check out this recent segment on Late Night with Steven Colbert where Saoirse Ronan tries to teach Steven to speak with an Irish accent and talks about her name (pronounced Seer-sha) as well as other Gaelic words and names, including mine. In fact, my name is the only one Steven already knew how to pronounce. So proud...Steven Colbert knows my name :)
Oh, and Daneen....maybe you should start spelling your name Danēn ;)