Monday, August 30, 2010

Martha Meets Lake Michigan

So....I took a mini-vacation this weekend. It was great!! Two of my best friends and I drove to a family friend’s house on the other side of Lake Michigan for some much needed R&R. I won’t bore you with all the details, but here are a few of the things we did (I tried to make hearing about it more fun & exciting for you. kind of like a treasure hunt!! work with me. :) ):

Spent time in God’s Word:
…in an attempt to avoid this habit:
Took this KIND of a test (not this exact one….):
Read this book:
Watched this movie:
Ate here:
Did a lot of this:
And lots of this:

I am really, really thankful for good friends who know me. The book I've been reading (see activity #4 above) talks a lot about the beauty and joy of being known, which...I'm sure I'll turn into another blog, so, I digress. :) Even beyond my treasured earthly friendships, I’m so thankful that God knows me ( He knows you and I completely -inside and out. When we sit and when we rise, every burden on our hearts and before a word is on our lips, He knows it and He knows us ( He knows exactly what we need and when we need it, and is kind and faithful to make sure we get just that -which, for me, was this weekend. Isn't it amazing that God not only leads us beside still waters, but will make us lie down in green pastures if and when He needs to ( :) What a good, loving Shepherd.

As you head into this brand new Monday, praying this encourages you to wait for strength from the One who knows and anticipates your every need:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Totally Terrific Tuesday

I am dedicating this post to one of my very favorite things: NEW MUSIC. ☺

As a big time music fan (and especially of Christian music), I looooove when new music comes out. Be it from brand new artists or beloved veterans, I admittedly have very little self-control when it comes to itunes on a new release Tuesday. My poor roommate, Sandy, knows all too well that I’m a slightly obsessive compulsive listener –my preferred method of review is to put recently purchased albums/songs on repeat for as long as my contented little heart so desires. Which is usually until I have most of the words memorized (like I said: poor Sandy).

Anyways….last night my pre-ordered copy of Chris August’s new album (“No Far Away”) was unexpectedly delivered a few hours early, much to my delight. Let me assure you, I wasted no time cranking up my speakers. I’d heard a few of the songs several months ago (thanks to a mutual friend), and since then have been eagerly anticipating the album’s August 24th release date. After the first few listens I can now confirm my prediction: the entire album is fantastic. Consider it highly recommended. ☺ Today, however, I want to focus on one song in particular that has been stuck in my head and heart since I first heard it earlier this summer.

This past spring my pastor, James MacDonald, preached a series on forgiveness (,, that impacted me and my church immensely. Teaching from Ephesians 4:31-32 and Matthew 18:21-35, Pastor James reminded us that there are no enduring relationships without “several major forgivenesses and a truckload of minor ones.” Wow. As believers, Jesus said that it’s our responsibility to forgive just as Christ forgave us. For and of everything. Absorbing the pain and the cost. Forever cancelling the debt incurred –debt that could never be repaid by the offender. The magnitude and implications of that command are absolutely mind-staggering.

My favorite disciple (the well-intentioned, often-failing, yet still-incredibly-loved-and-treasured-by-Jesus Peter) thought he would ask Jesus for a little clarification on that instruction in Matthew 18, and probably figured he’d set the bar high with his suggestion: seven whole times. Now, for anyone who’s ever had/tried to forgive a major offense/injury, that number probably seems pretty generous, but Jesus’ response must have instantly silenced Peter and anyone else listening:

“Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

Seventy times seven. Seventy times seven?! The astonished, convicted songwriter deep inside me longed to translate that truth into music & lyrics, and a few weeks after Pastor James' messages I sat down to write and process with a good friend. My mulling was promptly interrupted, however, when my friend insisted I needed to hear a new song called “7X70”. I found the prayer my heart had been longing to echo:

7 times 70 times, I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
7 times 70 times, there’s healing in the air tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
I’m gonna wrap it all around
(-Chris August)

We love because He first loved us, and we can forgive because we’ve been forgiven. Praying this song encourages you as much as it has me. Happy listening!


PS: for all the other music junkies out there, a few other new albums coming out today are:

Britt Nicole, “Acoustic –EP”
Natalie Grant, “Love Revolution”
Jeremy Camp –“We Cry Out –The Worship Project”
Kerrie Roberts –self titled

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bucket List Ammendment

So, the other day I did something a little crazy. Ok….probably more like EXTREMELY crazy. I’ve never been a big fan of that unsettling dropping feeling that often accompanies roller-coasters or large, sudden dips on the road when you’re cruising down the highway (fortunately for me Illinois drivers don’t really have to worry about that). Needless to say, if I had ever written out one of those “bucket lists”, one of the main goals & aspirations missing from that tally would have been skydiving. Yep. No thanks.

HOWEVER: my adventurous, persuasive roommate on the other hand has always –very unlike me- wanted to go. For some reason jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet with another person strapped to your back hurtling towards the earth at 120mph sounded like a blast to her. Now, in the few years we’ve been roommates, Sandy has convinced me to do some pretty crazy things with her ( -uhh…yeah.), but I never thought she’d be able to talk me into skydiving.

Wrong. Through some serious coercion (just kidding. well…kind of. ☺) and a 50% off deal, I finally caved and agreed to accompany her and a few other friends on the adventure of a lifetime (the adventure I was worried might END my lifetime). Leading up to the day I did the best I could to not think about what insanity I’d signed myself up for. I’m not gonna lie –it was by far one of the scariest (well…up until we actually jumped), craziest things I’ve ever done, BUT, all that said, I’m so glad I did it!! Obviously there are certain risks that accompany such an extreme “sport”, but the company we jumped with was very reputable and I felt really safe with the pro I jumped in tandem with (...after he assured me he’d been doing this for 27 years & met his wife –the wife he intended to live to see again- jumping many years ago. whew.). The free fall was absolutely surreal (no roller-coaster stomach drop!), and after the parachute came out beautifully (HEEUUGE sigh of relief), the view was INCREDIBLE. What an amazing, unusual way to peek at the magnificent planet we live on.

So now my question is: what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Any bungee jumpers out there? That’s one thing I really don’t think I could ever do. Seriously. Just don’t tell Sandy.

☺ lindsay

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Come Rest

Wow...the first blog on my new page. Here goes... :)

This past month I was honored to have one of the songs from my new album (coming out in 2011) on this year’s WOW music “New & Next” compilation CD. Having grown up listening to, loving and being deeply impacted by Christian music, it is the strangest thing to look at the latest release of a long-trusted & treasured resource and see your name on there. What in the world?! What an incredible, amazing, humbling privilege.

I wrote the song (“Come Rest”) with two of my good friends after I’d been thinking through (and being convicted by) the story of Martha & Mary in Luke 10. It struck me that maybe one of the most easily and often confused lines in the life of a believer (well…mine anyway) is that between self-reliance and setting aside the time to wait for strength from God. In the fast-paced culture we live in, taking time out of a hectic schedule to rest and spend time with God can easily be viewed as an unaffordable luxury! Subconsciously, some of us might even see it as a waste of the precious time we’ve been entrusted with. It seems so ridiculously, obviously backwards typing about it now, but I know I’ve definitely been guilty of this. We press on and push through our growing stress, anxiety and weariness, surviving on a slim weekend diet of time in the Word, all the while ignoring the invitation to trade our heavy burdens for rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30). Wow. I’ve subconsciously hailed and emulated Martha’s exhausting work ethic and shared in her incredulity at the Mary’s of today –the people who sit content at Jesus’ feet and unknowingly add fuel to the pride of my self-sufficiency. Man. It looks harsh now on paper, but this thought also hit me: God would never have extended an invitation that we didn’t desperately need to accept!

So, all that to say, Come Rest is my attempt at retelling Martha’s side of the story from my own perspective/experience. A few people have asked to see the lyrics, so I’ll post them (and the Luke passage) below. Hope it’s an encouragement to you today as you draw close to Jesus –His yoke is easy and His burden is so light.

<3 lindsay

Come Rest
Music & lyrics by Lindsay McCaul, Jason Ingram, Mia Fieldes

Busy, busy me, full of self-sufficiency
I have tried so fervently to earn Your love
But any joy that I once found is wearing off, is winding down
And I can hear You in the madness calling out

When You say come, rest -should I be working so hard
When You say love, rest -did You want hands or my heart
'Cause I have done my best and still I miss the mark
But I remember You said its done
So I come

So convinced that it was right, adding weight to what was light
Seeking value in Your sight, but I was wrong
For all the labor I have done is but a candle to the sun
And I can see that it would never measure up

When You say come, rest -should I be working so hard
When You say love, rest -did You want hands or my heart
'Cause I have done my best and still I miss the mark
But I remember You said its done
So I...

Come to the water's edge
I rest in Your promises
That all You ever wanted was me here
And if there's nothing left that I can do
To earn the love I need from You
Then all that's left to want is to be near
So I come when You say come

When You say come, rest -should I be working so hard
When You say love, rest -did You want hands or my heart
'Cause I have done my best and still I miss the mark
But I remember You said its done
So I come