Consistent Joy with David Frey

The significance of taking time out with God

In an interview with Family Life Radio, singer and songwriter, David Frey with Sidewalk Prophets very candidly shared what God had placed on his heart. “Hands down for me,” David said, “is the word joy.”

David shared how much he enjoys C.S. Lewis’ literature. In his book, Surprised by Joy, Lewis wrote: “I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again … I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and Pleasure often is.”

David believes Lewis’ quote to be very telling because as Christ followers, we know that joy only comes from your relationship with God. “Happiness is wonderful,” David said, “but it doesn’t stick around. But there’s always joy – even in the midst of our worst day.”

You always have a reason to give God praise. It can look like:

  • A moment of peace on the most chaotic day.
  • Standing on a mountain top, singing.
  • Receiving comfort from a friend.
  • Remembering all God has done for you, especially when things look dark.

Regardless, His joy is always there for us.

“There’s a beauty in the stillness and the quiet,” David shared, “and it’s so scary to turn all the noises off.”

Sometimes God is just begging you to be quiet, to listen and to not make noise. David said, “The screen can be such a devastating destroyer of your time with the Lord. It clouds all the things He is trying to tell you.”

David shared, “When we named our band, the sidewalk portion was from a Jars of Clay song. It said, ‘Images on the sidewalk speak of dreams descent.’ And I imagined a man walking down the street. Right in front of him is what God wants him to see, but he’s so busy … so worried that he never sees. He walks right by it.”

So, what does a time out with God look like? Will Graham, grandson of the famous evangelist, Billy Graham said his public speaking grandfather rarely talked at home. “During the last few years of his life, as I sat with my grandfather, there was very little talk on either side,” Will shared in an excerpt from Redeemed. He said, “Words didn’t need to be spoken.” They sat quietly resting in one another’s presence.

Avoid distractions by becoming intentional with your time out with God.

When it comes to a time out with God, you have to be extremely intentional not to become distracted. Some of the ways to make your time quiet and productive is to plan your time.

  1. Leave your phone in another room, on silent mode.
  2. Bring your Bible, but only open it if the Lord gives you a Scripture to think about.
  3. Bring your journal to write down whatever comes to mind. And your mind will usually fill immediately with thoughts of all the things you could be doing instead of sitting in the presence of God.
  4. As thoughts of all the things you need to do come to mind, write them down and then set the list to the side.
  5. Refuse to get up and respond to the pull of any distraction. This is your quiet time.

Don’t be like the man David Frey described who was so busy or so worried that you walk right by the joy God wants you to experience.

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Family Life Radio is listener supported. Many who listen, also generously give to make the Christ-centered music and inspirational content possible. Family Life Radio is grateful to each one who helps to shine God’s love, peace and encouragement into hearts, revealing truths that direct people in the way they should go.

If you feel led to give a gift today to help provide more inspiring content through Family Life Radio click here.

The Hardest Thing with David Frey

Forgiveness is vital to your future

“I’ll never forget the day we wrote the song, ‘Where Forgiveness Is,’” singer and songwriter, David Frey with Sidewalk Prophets shared when he sat down for a conversation with Family Life Radio. “I don’t think there’s any song more honest that we’ve ever written about how hard it is to forgive, and yet how essential it is to be able to move on, to grow and to thrive.”

David describes unforgiveness as a huge boulder sitting in your heart. As long as it sits there, you can never truly be free.

“I think forgiveness is the hardest thing you can do in life.”

David said he, Ben Mcdonald, Casey Brown and Parker Welling Nohe had some very hard conversations while writing the song. “Parker was open and honest with her lyrics, and we were open and honest right back,” David said. “We said everything we needed to say, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s got a Tom Petty kind of feel, while at the same time it has a very challenging lyric that we hope people actually chew on and listen to.”

The song comes from the difficulty of forgiving others, David admits. “I’ve been slayed by circumstances and relationships. I was engaged to the wrong people. These things come up and rear their ugly heads, 20years later.”

“True forgiveness is giving it to the Lord,” David said. “It doesn’t mean you ever forget it. It always comes back in one way or another, but when true forgiveness is there, you can talk about it and help others through it. You can just find that freedom.”

It takes time and patience to let go of something and forgive.

Sometimes we can find it almost impossible to forgive right away. David believes the ability to forgive right away is a gift from God. A child of divorce, David and his family went to Disney. His father, mother and stepfather all stayed at the same hotel. David asked, “How insane is that?” But he added – “I love it; I want to live life like that!”

David continued, “Seeing [forgiveness] displayed the way I did, it’s knowing who we serve.” Jesus said “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:34 GW).

Most of the time people don’t even realize the scope of what they’re doing to a human heart when they are the cause of the pain and heart break.

David believes he has experienced broken things so he could be free from them. Time and distance have allowed him to look back and say, “I never should have been in that spot.”

Sometimes the prayers you pray are out of a want. God hears you but doesn’t answer that prayer because in His wisdom and plan for your life, He knows you really don’t want to go down that path.

Let the words of the song, “Where Forgiveness Is” speak to your heart.

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Family Life Radio is listener supported. Many who listen, also generously give to make the Christ-centered music and inspirational content possible. Family Life Radio is grateful to each one who helps to shine God’s love, peace and encouragement into hearts, revealing truths that direct people in the way they should go.

If you feel led to give a gift today to help provide more inspiring content through Family Life Radio click here.

A Walk through Fire with David Frey

Giving thanks in the difficult and tragic season

Singer and songwriter, David Frey with Sidewalk Prophets has experienced a lot of devastation in his life. When Family Life Radio asked if he could, would he go back and change any of it, he said, “Selfishly, I probably would, but I’m glad I can’t because I wouldn’t have learned what I know now. I wouldn’t appreciate the sacrifices my wife has made. I probably would have taken all of it for granted.”

David attributes the walk through the fire as the one thing that brought him to the place he is in right now. Even though no one knows what their future holds, David finds the mystery of it all to be a beautiful thing.

“Our entire album, The Things that Got Us Here, is all about trying to find those things that have brought you [to where you are now. We hope] to encourage you to give thanks to God for those things because it’s the story He’s given you.”

To be thankful in the face of tragedy or something exceedingly difficult isn’t easy.

Your circumstances in life don’t make you who you are.

“That’s something I wrestle with,” David admits. “I’ve seen a lot of tragedy in my life, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without the struggle.”

Insert interview image or stage image please [to come from Jeno]

David believes God always has a blessing in the tragedy or difficulties you encounter throughout your life’s journey. When you share your struggle with others and find that they are going through the same thing or something similar, you develop a kinship in the family of God. You recognize you’re going through it together and can often help each other.

David said, “I find myself wondering if I’m a good enough husband? Am I a good enough Dad? I think when you’re at your best as a dad, you still are wondering, Am I doing this right? Am I going to screw this kid up? And in the midst of that, you wonder, Can I provide for my family?”

You ask yourself, “Can I overcome all these things, and then you get you start going down this rabbit trail of, does anyone care?” and “Do I really deserve to be cared about?”

Help for Your Unbelief

In the middle of those horrible lies that that have been told to  you, you can find yourself doubting God or even become angry at Him for all of it. Have you ever wondered if He sees what you’re going through or just where He is in all of this?

David said, “Even at my strongest, my faith can be shattered in literally, a moment.”

David found his answer on how to deal with the lies he sometimes tells himself in Mark chapter 9. A man asked the disciples to drive out an evil spirit afflicting his son, but they couldn’t do it. An argument arose among the crowd, and Jesus asked what they were arguing about so the man told them. Then the father said to Jesus, “… if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (Mark 9:22 NIV).

To which Jesus replied, “If you can? Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23 NIV).

“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:24 NIV). And Jesus removed the demon and return the man’s son to him.

“The lyrics to the song, ‘I Believe Now,’” David said, “is really just a prayer.” (Experience the song here.)

If you struggle with thoughts like David mentioned, know that they are lies from the enemy. Go to the Father today and ask Him to help you with any doubt you have about who you are in Christ and your ability to live the life He’s purposed for you.

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Family Life Radio is listener supported. Many who listen, also generously give to make the Christ-centered music and inspirational content possible. Family Life Radio is grateful to each one who helps to shine God’s love, peace and encouragement into hearts, revealing truths that direct people in the way they should go.

If you feel led to give a gift today to help provide more inspiring content through Family Life Radio click here.

Living Abundantly with Colton Dixon

Choosing to focus on God’s truth

Christian music singer and songwriter, Colton Dixon, got his start on American Idol. When he sat down with Family Life Radio, he shared about how his tremendous success does not guarantee his sense of security.

Colton can still get the feeling he is not good enough. The enemy can use things like social media to distract him from his work.

“You can post something on Instagram, and you can have ninety-nine amazing comments and one negative comment, and that’s what you focus on,” confessed Colton, “the one negative one.”

Colton explained that you can always choose to focus on the negative, regardless of who you are.

“You can even be someone like Billy Graham and still focus on the negative,” he commented. “It is your choice.”

What you focus on is a choice.

The inspiration for Colton’s song, “Devil is a Liar,” came from a book he read called The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere. He highly recommends it to everyone who reads, although if you are reading in public, you may get funny looks. “Read it anyway,” Colton encouraged.

The Right Category

The book highlights John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (ESV).

Colton emphasized the importance of putting things in the right category, either death and destruction or life more abundantly. You can rely on the Holy Spirit to navigate your path. When things seem a bit off, you can identify which category you are in.

Colton said, “Ask yourself, ‘Is this life abundant or death and destruction?’”

Often it comes through people. You may feel insecure or offended, but you are not in this life to fight people. The fight is, “Not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).

It is more obvious today than ever before that there are two opposing forces on the planet, and they are clearly clashing. The evil one would like nothing more than to take you down with feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness or offensiveness. You must not give up on the work God has set before you, the work of glorifying Him as you submit to His will.

Freedom to Choose

Relying on God’s guidance through His Holy Spirit allows you to avoid being caught up in the midst of the battle. It gives you the freedom to rise above and choose His best in your life.

Embracing this truth allows you to live with more confidence and have more grace for people and experience less frustration and offense.

Whether it is in church, marriage or other relationships, you can choose the abundant way of life rather than the death and destruction path by:

  • Praying for the person who has a different opinion than yours, instead of being offended.
  • Praying before you respond to the person who has hurt you, instead of jumping to conclusions.
  • Ask God to show you a respectful way to address a difference, instead of being resentful.
  • Ask clarifying questions in order to begin to understand another person’s point of view, instead of lashing out angrily in defense of your opinion.
  • Listen to show you care, instead of interrupting to get your point across.

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Family Life Radio is listener supported. Many who listen, also generously give to make the Christ-centered music and inspirational content possible. Family Life Radio is grateful to each one who helps to shine God’s love, peace and encouragement into hearts, revealing truths that direct people in the way they should go.

If you feel led to give a gift today to help provide more inspiring content through Family Life Radio click here.

A Shift in Posture with Colton Dixon

Overcoming Pride with Humility and Service

Christian music singer and songwriter, Colton Dixon joined Family Life Radio for a little conversation. When asked about what he struggles with, he candidly shared,  “When you show up to work and people clap, it’s dangerous. Pride creeps up on you.”

The world we live in looks so different from the way God asks us to live for Him. As a musical artist, Colton struggled as he was thrust into the spotlight. “The first couple years, I want to say I didn’t know any better – but I did,” Colton admits. “I just didn’t necessarily know how to navigate it, and I didn’t do it the correct way.” He said, “You really do need to be careful with pride.”

Guard against pride

Colton literally exploded onto the stage, placing seventh in the 11th season of American Idol. “When you walk on stage and people are chanting your name – which is so weird – it can very easily become about you.”

He quickly learned the posture for every believer is to humble yourself and to be a servant.

“Pride will creep in, and it’ll fill your head with lies,” Colton shared. He’s found the best way to combat pride is to show up and put himself in the right posture to serve God and others by asking –

  • How can I serve the people in the audience?
  • How can I serve the people backstage?
  • God, please, if there’s anything that you want me to say, bring it to my attention.

Before taking the stage, he reminds himself, I am I am here because God has given me these songs and a message that He wants to be heard. It’s not up to me to dictate how, but here these people are. So, let’s give them that message and God.

After Colton made that shift in posture, he says he was so much happier. He found it positioned him in a way that he was no longer dependent on how other people treated him.

Colton found something another artist shared with him humorous, “Your fans are never as cool as you want them to be.”

When the crowd is sitting down eating nachos while you’re pouring your heart out, it can be very difficult to block it out. But whenever you realize, I’m here for them. And if Jesus can meet people where they are, surely, I can do that too.

Colton laughed, “I was doing a show not that long ago with maybe 50 people in the entire audience. I don’t know what happened, but two girls around 13 years old came to the front, turned around with their backs to me, sat down on the subwoofer and started texting. Wow. It was at that moment that I said, ‘Lord, you’re going to have to help me do the show. I’m here for them; they’re not here for me.’”

In those moments it’s easy to forget your posture of humility and service.

Colton says he’s very thankful for that perspective shift and the work God did in him when it comes to pride.

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Family Life Radio is listener supported. Many who listen, also generously give to make the Christ-centered music and inspirational content possible. Family Life Radio is grateful to each one who helps to shine God’s love, peace and encouragement into hearts, revealing truths that direct people in the way they should go.

If you feel led to give a gift today to help provide more inspiring content through Family Life Radio click here.

Jesus is the Main Thing

Meredith Andrews reflects on where she believes the church is today

Although Meredith Andrews, singer, song writer and worship leader, hoped Jesus would come and pour himself out on the church months ago, she is good to wait for tomorrow.

With all the crazy things going on in the world today, Meredith is sensing that each person has to get serious and prepare the way God has asked you to.

These things will help:

  • Read the Bible
  • Read the book of Daniel
  • Read Revelation
  • Roll up the rapture rug, because there is still work to do

Meredith believes the church is entering the beginning of the end times and there is a huge assignment for the church.  She believes there will be a cleaning of house and that the days of “rock and roll celebrity culture” are coming to an end.  

“Jesus is the only famous one,” commented Meredith, “And following people will only get us in a bind because people are still just people. They are human.

We are entering into a season of coming back to the main thing.  There needs to be a repentance of the church and what we’ve made it.  There is a great awakening coming and it will begin with the church.”

Meredith is committed to praying for that.  She believes the denominational and doctrinal issues that have so divided the church are not going to be important.

Jesus is at the center of it all.  The Spirit of God will move like only He can and show up because He has heard the cries of his people.  He has heard the cry for justice and for mercy.  He longs to be gracious, show himself and pour himself out. 

You have to pray with expectation,” explained Meredith.  “Posture your heart in such a way that you are not living in fear, but in faith.  Ask God to awaken His bride and awaken the world to who He is.”

As Meredith reflected on what is happening in Afghanistan, her heart breaks, but she has also heard stories of the church there not doubling or tripling, but growing seven-fold since the U.S. pulled out.  Devastatingly, there is a good chance many of those people might not be alive for much longer, but persecution grows the church. 

“We in America have not experienced anything near persecution,” said Meredith. “But that time may come.  We have to prepare our hearts and be willing to lay everything down for the sake of the gospel, for the sake of someone else coming to know the Lord.

This is a wakeup call.  Brothers and sisters in Christ who live across the ocean will spend eternity with you.  Pray for their kind of faith. 

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.  For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’  But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls (Hebrews 10:35-39 ESV).”

 Endure until the end.  Watch expectantly for his outpouring.  Be found faithful.

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An Undeniable Call

Meredith Andrews shares candidly about fostering

Although Meredith Andrews, singer, song writer and worship leader, was an only child, she grew up with many foster siblings. When she was eight years old, she began begging her parents for a sibling.
She felt “alone in the world” because all her friends had siblings. She prayed her mom would have a baby.

Soon after, Meredith learned her parents had been praying about adoption, but felt confidently led to do foster care. A little two-year-old girl came to live with them, and Meredith was “in heaven” with her little “sister.”  Eventually, there were five children all together – three in diapers. 

The first little two-year-old girl who came to their home was considered a “failure to thrive” child who wasn’t walking yet and had some health complications. By the time she left to go home with her biological mother, she had outgrown these issues and was running around playing. 

Meredith became very attached and had thought her family would adopt this little girl. She will never forget the day she came home from school and found out her little “sister” had gone home. 

The most difficult part of fostering was when the children would leave. Whether the children were with them for a weekend, a week, a year or more, they experienced love. Meredith is certain these children enjoyed the presence of God in her family’s home. She is convinced God has not wasted what they experienced. 

It has met them somewhere along the way and brought back to their memory who Jesus is,” Meredith shared. “They saw a picture of how much He loves them and what a loving family looks like.

Over time, Meredith’s family fostered about twenty children. They eventually adopted her three brothers.

Meredith believes the call from God to foster or adopt is undeniable. There will be difficult times since many children have been through really tough situations. “Things no child should have to go through,” Meredith described. You can tell by the way they act out.

As a follower of Christ, it’s in those challenging times you ask God to show you how He sees these children. He is faithful to not only give you grace and strength, but also the ability to move forward in love. 

God teaches you dependence on him through uncharted waters, whether it’s through fostering children or another scenario. As you confess to Him your inability, He displays his power in your weakness.

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Not My Soapbox, But God’s Checklist with Meredith Andrews

Handling the chaos of our world today in a way that honors God

Even though Meredith Andrews, singer, song writer and worship leader, doesn’t get it right every day, she believes there is much grace from the Lord in navigating these crazy times in our world.

As a follower of Christ, a wife and a mother, Meredith sees the need to take it one day at a time and have compassion, knowing things are different, hard and often feel heavy.

It is important to remind yourself what is true. “God is on His throne,” Meredith explained. “I know He is not side-tracked, not thrown off or panicked one bit.”

 

“When I remember what I know is true,  it helps me to have the right perspective.”

 

Meredith said she has to get to the place where she can tell God she trusts him even though she has strong opinions and feelings about things.

“Sometimes God asks me to share my opinions, and sometimes He asks me to keep them to myself,” Meredith observed. “But above all else, He’s called me to love people, even the people that don’t think the same way I do or see things the way I do.”

There has been a lot of fear and Meredith does not believe that fear is ever from the Lord.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).

When things are swirling around and seem to be on the brink of disaster, Meredith reflected on what it looks like to endure and be faithful to the end.

“It may not look like me being really loud on social media, although I have shared strong feelings. It might actually mean me getting into my prayer closet and telling God I don’t understand. But I choose to trust Him, and I can’t fix this. I must choose to surrender my feelings to Him.”

God has convicted Meredith to examine what she is making the “main thing” in a certain moment. Things in the world need to be addressed, but that’s not necessarily her role. First, she must intercede, be willing to surrender her opinions, which is hard for her to do, and then get involved in the community and continue to stand for truth.

Your view is limited, but God sees all things. Meredith acknowledged God hasn’t asked her to wrestle, or strong arm, a particular problem. He has told her not to be anxious about anything.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).

You can take your anxiety to God and thank him that He is sovereign. You can trust Him. You can choose to do what Meredith is doing, taking her eyes off the news, off social media, off of everyone else’s opinion and focusing on things that are unseen.

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (ESV).

You have to remind yourself you’re just passing through and hold on loosely to the things of this world, so you don’t get tangled up in the chaos. Meredith has no solutions except to get into the Word of God. The more you do, the more you find His peace. The distractions are less.

Meredith explained, “Our assignment is to:

  • Make disciples.
  • Love people well.
  • Point people to Jesus.
  • Bring God glory.”

“That’s my checklist. Are those boxes getting checked?  Or am I on my own soap box?”

“I have to trust that God is the just judge and He is merciful. I can pray that God would let justice roll like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream in our nation and around the world.”

Meredith’s challenge to you and to each person is to pray to “see things not as right or left, anti-this or pro-that,” but to seek to live like Jesus in this time.

She said, “He was willing to:

  • Be interrupted.
  • Not be easily offended.
  • Not look for a fight.
  • Just love people well.
  • Be about the Father’s business.”

“He also turned over the tables in the temple, so He wasn’t passive. When there was religion and sin that infringed upon the heart of God, He said, That’s not okay.’”

Meredith encouraged believers to notice those who have been rejected and let them know God sees them and loves them right where they are. When you notice something is broken, raise a red flag and stand for what is true. Don’t stand on principle, but on the Word of God.

 

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is tell someone the truth in love, tell someone what God’s Word says.

 

It’s what He has for them, and it’s better than what they are walking in.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV).

Meredith used the analogy of a baby, “We celebrate when a baby takes the first step. We celebrate as they become more and more independent. It’s the opposite with God. We become more and more dependent on him as we take each step.”

Ask yourself, “Am I relying on him and his Word or on my own strength?”

“For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10b ESV).

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Surprised by Worship

The inspiring benefits of worship with Meredith Andrews

Meredith Andrews, singer, song writer and worship leader, has a full length Spanish album called Ábrenos Los Cielos.  She fell in love with the language, culture and people while on a mission trip to Costa Rica when she was a freshman in high school.  She began taking Spanish at about that time, and it was her favorite class.

After taking six trips to Guatemala while attending Liberty University, and then other trips to El Salvador, Peru and Dominican Republic, Meredith planned to move to Guatemala to work in an orphanage after she graduated from college.  

Instead of majoring in Spanish, Meredith decided to major in Family and Child Development. It had nothing to do with music, which had been a huge part of her life. She’d led worship at her church since she was about twelve years old.  With her other interests, she thought she needed to study something different.

God had other plans for Meredith.  She found herself going from the balmy tropics to the blizzards of Chicago to lead worship.  Although she was passionate about music and worship, there were times when she wished God would send her to Guatemala instead.

Meredith always knew leading worship and writing songs would be a part of her life, but she had her eyes on the Guatemalan orphanage.  Then one Wednesday night, she vividly remembered singing “Sing to the King,” while leading worship for her college campus service.  That was when God made it clear to her that leading worship is what He called her to do.

She loves worshipping and leading people in worship.  Even though it may look different from one person to the next, Meredith is blessed to see people change in His presence.  She considers it a privilege.  

“It’s not so much about the music.  It’s the vehicle and I get to facilitate,” Meredith explained.  “It’s really just singing these truths over ourselves and back to the Lord and recognizing He comes to meet us right where we are.

“Worship is ascribing worth to God.  It starts with the posture of my heart.”

“What do I hope to gain?  What do I hope to give?  What do I hope to experience?  Or do I have no expectations at all?”  

Meredith believes God wants you to enter into worship with expectations.  You should expect God to move in your heart, even if it’s to shift your focus off your circumstances. 

You may not feel like being there when you initially walk into worship, but you do it because God is worthy and He deserves it.  Somehow, in His kindness you receive the benefit. Enter into worship with the expectation that God will do great things.  

“It’s this beautiful exchange that happens,” Meredith said. “I’m bringing my offering, but He lavishes his love on me and reminds me of who He says I am. He reminds me that His presence is with me every moment of every day, not just in the four walls of a church building.

“It’s a perspective shift.  When I worship, I get my eyes off my circumstances and look at Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.  I walk out without the weight of the world on my shoulders.”  

When you walk out of worship with something in your life that is still really hard and heavy, you know you can bring it to God, knowing He will carry and hold you.

Psalm 59:16-17 says, “I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.  For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.  O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”

Worship in any language is the key to unlocking faith and peace that trusts God no matter what is happening in your life.

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Balancing Boundaries in Parenting

A transparent conversation with Meredith Andrews about children and screen time

Singer, song writer and worship leader, Meredith Andrews has three children. She and her husband have two sons, Maverick and Remington, and a daughter named Francis – a common family name on both sides. 

Although they are all her children, Meredith thinks it’s crazy how they all have such different personalities. She teased that they should have named Maverick “Compliance” since he’s such a nonconformist. She explained that Maverick is the boy version of herself.  He looks like her and acts like her.  But “Rem,” her second son, is more reserved like her husband, and he’s also the comedian.  If she wants to know how he’s doing though, she has to get him alone and question him to pull it out of him.

Her daughter, who they call Frankie, is the free-spirited youngest.  Her name means “free one,” which is fitting. 

Meredith’s kids are into video games, and although she has never done it, there are times when she’d like to throw the Xbox out the window. 

She and her husband had to set boundaries in order to balance things out and “not be ruled by screens and devices” as Meredith put it.  Most of the time, they reserve Saturdays for Xbox time. Every now and then, if her children have done something extra, like tennis or piano practice, they will allow additional Xbox time as an incentive.

Meredith remembered playing Nintendo and Mario with her friends, but it wasn’t the thing she lived for, but for today’s kids it’s different.  She has regular conversations with her children about how they spend their time.  She has noticed that her children are “not their best selves when they’ve had lots of screen time.” Without it, they become bored since they’re so used to being entertained. 

In order to encourage her children to think of something else to do, she’ll suggest, “Even if it’s just to lie in the grass and stare at the sky.  You might invent something while you’re there.”

Trusting God for guidance through the real parenting challenges common to many families today, Meredith finds joy along the way in her “hilarious and amazing children.”

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