Let’s Do This. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Let's Do This.

It's 2014.

Something funny about a New Year: It's no different than any other new day, except it is. It's a dawn that tantalizes us into nostalgia and futurizing all at once. That's different, right? Usually nostalgia is simply craving the moments of the past, and has a certain amount of sadness and longing to it. But on this one special day, we forget the regret and choose to believe the future holds more gold than yesterday. That, to me, is the magic of a New Year.

So, scoff all you may, but I will join the masses, reflecting and resolving.

Here goes nothing:

2013 was a rough, feisty year. It began with a move. To set the stage, I'll say this: This was the fourth move in the last 5 years. I was already tired of moving, of not being able to nest and settle in. It wears on a person. But I did have hope for this place, because our rent was to be $800 cheaper AND we would have more square footage! I was excited.

Problem was, the old tenants weren't so excited to get out of our to-be home on time. We were packed up and ready to go, and they weren't. We had to wait another week. Then, when we moved in, the place was dirty...there were still some remnants of the old tenants: a car in the carport, pieces of trash, forgotten items in storage. Oh, and the storage closet was still full of their stuff! It was a nightmare. A couple weeks of trying to move in, and finally their stuff was out of storage. Let's just say it was a long, long, excruciatingly long process of cleaning, moving in, and getting old stuff OUT.

We were happy that our landlord was planning to remodel the kitchen completely. That began a couple months later and took another month. Remodels are awful, people. Okay, they're worth it. But it's miserable living out of a car and not being able to cook or much of anything, really, because of the dust, construction workers, mess, lack of appliances, and general invasion of privacy that comes with a remodel. It was exhausting. I had to be out of the house by 8 or 9 most of those mornings.

But now i have a lovely kitchen! It's hard to complain looking at it now, but sometimes, even though you know you should be thankful, it doesn't keep you from feeling like a piece of garbage. :)

So when I think of 2013, I think of moving and remodeling.

I also think of family. All three sisters (sister-in-law included) had babies this year! That was a once in a lifetime, cool thing to have all the girls (except for myself) be pregnant! My family also visited from Cape Cod and Portland, and we threw a birthday party for Norah. That was a high point for me.

I think of being sick. I was sick countless times. It could be that I was working 6 (wait, 7, if you count Sacred!) days a week and coming into contact with tons of students. There was a stretch of me being sick for a few months. Ugh.

I learned a lot about myself. 2013 was a year that I had some major, major self-revelations involving my introverted-ness, faith, and simply me, in general. I began to set limits (in a good way) and boundaries to protect myself. Knowing thyself is super helpful, people! I started deleting Facebook "friends"...people I had absolutely no hard feelings against, yet hadn't talked to more than once in the past 10-15 years. It was refreshing looking at a News Feed that had people I knew! I began focusing on my immediate sphere of influence. I gave myself permission to rest and not be competitive.

I also starting writing more music, and did one of my first gigs since Norah was born! And within that, I have been allowing myself to write more honestly. I picked up my journal again. I had a friend record me (a project that isn't quite done, but hey, it was STARTED!).

2013 was also a disappointing year in friendships. Okay, I know this sounds super pessimistic, but the fact of the matter is that I have lived in very transient communities the past 5 years. The Bay resembles a revolving door too often, and it seems that every time I begin to invest myself in a friendship or have hopes of making a close friend, that friends moves away. Yes, I know that I have friends here (and am thankful for the closer friendships I do have–it's not like I don't have ANY)...it's just defeating when so many people move away. I know a ton of people and am on good–or even great–terms with them, but when it comes to people I trust and share more of myself with, I like to keep a select few. So when even one goes away, it's sad, simply put. I know, in my heart, that it will likely take me years, plural, to regain a friendship of that kind. And, to add insult to injury, my entire family is scattered throughout the country, so I don't even have the luxury of lamenting my predicament with a sister or parent over a cup of coffee. It's easy to feel alone.

So 2013 was hard, but did have some gifts in it as well. Let's move on now.


I'm hoping it will be a year of friendship.

I'm hoping I will write more music and find friends who share that passion.

I'm entering this year already feeling a little settled into my home. That makes me feel at ease.

I'm hoping to spend less time on social media and more time in my journal.

I'm hoping to travel and visit people I love...plus Disneyland.

I'm hoping to be myself. To be free. To discover where I stand. The water's been kinda' murky lately, and I'm hoping it clears a little so I can see my own two feet.

So cheers to hope. Cheers to dreams, ideas, discoveries, friends old and new. Cheers to remodels, babies, and books. Cheers to my journal, which holds pieces of me as potential melodies. Cheers to my piano and my ukelele, and all the lovely moments and sanity they give to me. Cheers to nesting and home decorating. Cheers to it all.

Whoever says we can only live in the now is kinda' daft, in my opinion. Of course the past is a part of us. Of course it makes us who we are, presently. Of course it causes us to dream of the future. I will drink up the past and let it be part of me. I will empty that cup and let the future find its way inside, day by day.

Happy New Year.

posted by ph on 01/02/2014

Why I Write Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

(Check Out More at http://evieherndon.wordpress.com/)

I've been writing songs since I was in elementary school.

I remember being inspired by my oldest sister, Peggy, who played piano and sang at church. She wrote some great songs in high school that she was able to share publicly. I aspired to improv like her, write and sing like her, and share my songs–like her! One day we had an especially stand-out conversation–one that involved me confessing being jealous of her talent. I was probably in junior high at the time, and it may not seem like a big deal, but that dialogue was a turning point for me...one that freed me to be me and write as Evie.

I kept writing, writing, writing. Journals, songs, poems, blogs. In college I blogged almost daily (oh, to have that amount of time on my hands again!). I would occasionally sing a song for someone who asked, but I was (and still get this way) so incredibly terrified to perform for people.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately: I, plain and simple, love the creative process. I love how a thought embeds itself in my brain–it starts with just an idea or an inkling, and over a couple weeks (or even years!), it develops. My experiences, emotions, thoughts, and conversations start to feed the thought-nugget, and one day, it's incubated to the point of a complete thought. It's a moment where I can finally pin-point what emotion I've been feeling–or what conclusion I've come to.

Sometimes this complete thought becomes a journal entry. Sometimes it's a song. Sometimes it's just a chorus or a Facebook status. But that 'aha!' moment where I'm able to express myself is a high for me.

It's never been easy for me to express myself in any other way than creating. I don't like imposing my voice or opinions on others, I don't shoot from the mouth...No, I need to process, write it down, mull over it. So to me, creating is how I process every bit of life and the world around me. It's a necessity. I'd go crazy without it. Not only is it how I process, but it is my voice. It is how I'm heard. Ask me a question, and I'll stutter and "um", but give me an hour, and I'll write a melody about it that will make you understand exactly what I'm feeling.

Do I think I'm an incredible songwriter? Well, I'll exude some confidence and say that I know I have talent, but no–I'm not the world's best songwriter. No way. But do I love it?! Oh, DO I LOVE IT! It is my home. It is my voice. It is my brain, working things out. It is how I love and show others how I love them. It's me.

And that's why I create.

Why do you create? Have you ever thought about that? I think there's a lot different reasons for creating:

1- Obligation (project, job, etc.)

2- Inspiration ("I just couldn't help it; I felt so ____!")

3- Ego (proving yourself and winning fans)

4- Love (showing love or honor to someone)

5- Being Heard

There's probably more. I've been thinking about it, though, and there's been different songs I've written for different reasons. I think probably the better songs I've written have stemmed from reason #2 or #5: Inspiration or Being Heard. Probably because my writing is how I figure out my emotions/feelings and how I AM heard. Because of that, those songs have a little more urgency to them. I think the dumbest songs I've ever written have been from #3- Ego. I've written some songs that are cutesy, but were totally for the purpose of "being indie" or "like so and so" or simply wanting to be "hip."

I'm working all this out now as I type this little bloggie blog. I've been going through a strange season in my life, experiencing all kinds of new, foreign, sometimes disheartening experiences and emotions–and all this is resulting in a "rebirth" of "songwriter Evie." I took a break for a while from trying to be an artist, do gigs, and upkeep my "artist self." Now, I'm ready to create for honesty's sake. I want the songs I'm writing to be perfectly me and what I'm feeling and thinking. I don't want to worry about anything other than expressing myself and creating. I'm ready to stop worrying about "likes", "listens", fans, gigs, or the fact that I'm NOT American Idol-esque, and I don't have perfect intonation all the time. Oh, I wish I did! But this isn't why I create. And these aren't the reasons I share videos or voice memos of what I'm doing.

I'm doing it because it's my voice.

I'm doing it because of love.

I'm doing it because it keeps me sane and helps me work things out.

I'm doing it because I. Love. It.

and I'm doing this as me.

I'm writing, I'm singing, I'm sharing not out of perfection, obligation, or ego...

but as myself.

So there ya go.

posted by ph on 12/28/2013

Being A Mom Has Taught Me. . . Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Here is a recent blog by Evie. Evie is now on staff as Worship Leader at The Sacred Church (www.sacredchurch.com) with her husband, Josh who is the pastor. You can keep up with Evie's blogs at evieherndon.wordpress.com

I've only been a mom for (going on) 11 months, and today I celebrated my first Mothers' Day. Things like this always make me reflect and think about how life has changed, what I've learned, and how I've grown since the last landmark.

In the past 11 months, I've learned a lot. I've been stretched (belly, mind, and soul) in ways I can't even begin to describe. But, without further ado, I am attempting to list a few right here, on WordPress:

- My girl is the cutest baby ever and I am not biased at all.

- So your clothes have food and drool smeared all over them? No big 'd'. Wear it with honor.

- There ain't nothin' wrong with a little poo on your hand. It wipes off pretty easy.

- Being patient isn't a moment's decision. It's an ongoing-through-the-night-into-the-wee-hours-of-the-morning-'cause-God-knows-I-need-it-right-now decision.

- Along those lines, it is possible to be completely ticked off and frustrated, yet maintain a calm disposition while interacting with people (or a baby!).

- It is possible that a girl who NEVER (and I mean, never) has yelled at another person in her life to suddenly and unexplainably yell at my baby, in order to keep her from harm.

- There is a Mama Bear in me that I never knew existed.

- Sleep is actually not necessary.

- The choice of a who you marry is more important than you'll ever realize, but you do come to see it a bit more once you have a baby.

- (Learning) You can find self-worth in things other than highlights, manicured nails, new clothes, and a good bod. Being a mom is the toughest thing in the world, and if you have clothes on, you're pretty much a goddess.

- How to find pride in the work I accomplish, rather than shame in what I did not.

- How to overlook undone laundry, sticky floors, and dirty dishes in order to look into the angelic face of my girl.

- I thought about it, and yes, I would likely walk through fire for my baby.

- Cheerios. are. everywhere.

- How to be selfless and not expect credit or applause.

- How to be all about the good of others and not always be concerned with 'getting mine'.

- The beauty of life and all its tiny miracles: crawling, breathing, talking, standing. Ah, yes. Life is beautiful.

posted by ph on 06/02/2012

Terms and Conditions Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)


Today I checked my iPhone, and noticed there were 5 apps needing to be updated. I did the usual "Update All", entered my password, and another screen popped up. Itunes had new terms and conditions requiring my approval.

When I got to the next screen, I was bombarded by a lot of words–words that, honestly, I wasn't in the mood to read. If I remember correctly, there were 64 pages I could've perused. 64 pages of things that probably wouldn't be very entertaining or exciting in the least. It was either suffer the 64, or simply click "I Agree". You can probably guess what I did.

Is that dishonest? I verified, on my name, that I read all 64 pages and agreed to every term, except I really didn't. Really, though, haven't we all been guilty of this?

Instantly, I heard a little voice inside my head: "Isn't this the kind of 'commitment' many Christians have?"


The truth is, many of us Christians have been raised to believe that if we simply say a prayer and say "I Agree" to a pastor, we are saved. We are Christ followers. We have agreed to all the terms and conditions, if you will, of being a disciple of Jesus. But does that really cut it? Aren't there pages and pages and circumstances upon circumstances that are involved in this faith? How often we have brushed them over for an easy "I do"?

Perhaps it's because we've become lazy. Perhaps it's because pastors don't think people will want to be Christians if we touch upon the tough realities of the faith. Perhaps it's because we're Americans, and things are supposed to be easy, right?

But as I read the Scriptures, I see that Jesus, when calling people to follow Him, said things like, "Take up your cross," and "Go and sin no more." Being a disciple meant dropping, selling, leaving everything to be with Christ. It wasn't just belief, it was dedication and baptism, in the fullest form of the word. True disciples submerse themselves fully. There are no waders.

Perhaps when we decide to follow Christ, we should think about the "terms and conditions". I'm not talking about a works-based faith. I believe our salvation only happens because God is full of grace; there is nothing we can do to earn it. But once we receive that grace, our lives should look different. If we're really, truly getting to know God, things happen.

Maybe we should consider these things. The awkward, isolating moments in what were formerly easy conversations. The sacrifice of one's reputation. Relationships that seemingly fall to the wayside. The crucifixition of selfish desires, lusts, and even dreams. Of course, the comittment is more than worth it–and 'sacrifices' we make lead to fulfillment beyond measure, but have we considered the cost and the commitment of being a Christian? Are we reading the fine print? Has our decision resulted in movement–shifting of desires–death of apathy?

It should.

posted by ph on 10/12/2011

Pregnant: Week 34 Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

I'm definitely counting down the days! I'm down to six weeks (but who knows, really? Could be less, could be more!)! In a way, it's gone by slowly; in a way, it's gone by quickly. It's exciting and a little strange; is anyone really ever ready to have a baby? I don't think so. So here I am, mixed emotions (mostly x + excitement) and all, awkwardly manuevering through each day, anxiously awaiting my little girl's arrival.

Yes, awkwardly manuevering. Today I decided not to tie my shoes until I really, really needed to (it's 10:30, and still going strong). It's too difficult! Even the 90 degree-angled-leg-over-the-other-technique is difficult, as my 90-degreed-thigh hits my belly now.

Bending over is a chore; I am dismayed whenever an object falls to the ground. Sleeping on my side is fine, but I wish I had more options (belly or back, anyone?), as flipping completely from one side to another is now considered a feat of strength for this pregnant lady. I have upped the number of pillows I sleep with (from 2 to 4, if I'm on my left side...don't ask), and my clothes don't last more than a day without having to go through the wash (I am a mess!).

It's pretty hilarious.

After going through 'the cyst thing', though, pregnancy has been put into perspective. I am completely awkward these days, a little sore, and very tired, but you won't find me crying about it (maybe at 3 weeks, but not at 6, anyway). After you undergo some of the worst pain of your life, a little awkardness and fatigue don't seem nearly as daunting.

Highlights of the last few weeks:

- Josh and I took a tour of the hospital we'll be delivering at. I was surrounded by about 20 other pregnant women, and it was awesome! I felt so good about myself, so normal, so like I fit in. And I was not waddling nearly as much as some women!

- I've officially outgrown all my non-maternity shirts...and some of my maternity shirts are getting small now, too.

- Setting new records for how many times I visit the 'little girls' room'.

- Being constantly entertained by Baby moving in my belly. So fun!

- More and more crazy comments from people:
3rd place: "It's a girl? It's okay, you'll have a boy next time."
2nd place: "There was nothing cute on your registry...."
1st place: "What will your little girl look like? ...Fat, pudgy, and long-haired."

- Outweighing all the crazy comments would be all the love and support Josh and I have received via baby showers and random sprinklings of generosity. People, you are amazing! We feel so incredibly blessed. God always provides in crazy ways!

- Surprising Josh by having the nursery set up when he came home from the Ecuador missions trip. A great memory.

All in all, if you are pregnant or ever want to be, you gotta' cultivate a sense of humor. Learn to laugh at yourself, others, and not take things so seriously. It's the only way to stay (questionably) sane!

posted by ph on 05/10/2011

Challenged, but Content Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Read my latest blog at www.evieherndon.wordpress.com

Challenged, but Content (Week 30)

Wow, it's going by fast! People keep asking me if I'm getting antsy yet, to which my response is a definite "no". I am not ready yet!! I think the big reason I feel that way is because I haven't had any baby showers yet, so I haven't been able to nest. Things feel a little unsettled. I know, though, that when Baby H comes, I will be ready...at least, as ready as anyone can be for such an event.

The last month has proved interesting, to say the least! I went through probably the most difficult physical challenge I've ever experienced when my right side began throbbing with pain. After about a week of calls, a visit to the clinic, and a bunch of hydrocodone pills, the pain wasn't going away. I gave up and went into the Labor and Delivery center of our hospital and ended up staying the night, feeling like a lab rat. They actually treated me very well, but oh! The tests were endless. They finally discovered I had a cyst on my right ovary. The only thing to do was wait and see if it would rupture or shrink...if not, surgery would have been an option (likely after the baby was born). So I lived on the couch for about 2 weeks.

If there's anything I've discovered about myself via "the pregnant experience", it's that I need to feel useful. When I'm not able to be active, helpful, and purposeful, I get depressed. I go crazy. The first week was okay emotionally, but the second week was ridiculous. I was crying almost every day....and I'm not much of a crier! Thanks to God, my friends and family, and lots of rest, I'm doing much better now. I'm assuming the cyst shrunk, as I'm not feeling the pain anymore–what a relief!

Going through these physical challenges has really given me empathy for those who are in pain or sick. It's one thing to have a cold or flu that lasts a few days; it's a whole 'nother story when you're house-bound and there is nothing that seems to relieve the pain and ache. My heart goes out to those who suffer with things like this, things much more serious and long-lasting than I went through.

I feel like these blogs sound a little complain-atory, but honestly! I am thankful to be feeling great now, and even the cyst episode, painful and difficult as it was, wasn't dangerous to the Baby or anything, which I'm also thankful for. And get this: I only got up ONCE last night to go to the bathroom! I can't complain.

Fun New Things:
- Baby is getting bigger, and so am I! Her kicks and rolls are SO stinkin' fun to watch! I could sit all day and just watch my belly contort and twitch. So cool.

- My weight gain has slowed down significantly, which is a sigh of relief, for now, anyway (who knows what will happen in the weeks to come). The second trimester was so fast and pound-packing, I thought I was going to set the new record for pregnancy weight gain!

- Latest Cravings: Still LOVING milk, but have added lemonades (especially flavored ones) and fruit juices. Mmmm.

posted by ph on 04/15/2011

Second Trimester Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Check out my blog at http://evieherndon.wordpress.com/

posted by ph on 12/31/2010

I'm Pregnant! Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)


posted by ph on 11/20/2010

Treble Maker Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Check out Evie's new blog site:


posted by ph on 09/24/2010

A Sneak Peek.... Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Just a handful of days ago, I ventured off to Franklin, TN., where I began the recording process for my sophomore project. I was able to narrow down my songs to a solid 10, lay down piano tracks, and record vocals for about 8 songs. We also arranged the songs and came up with some fun creative ideas.

Here is a sneak-peek into my project: http://www.imeem.com/people/bRTw9uD/music/9aiAQAMy/evie-haskell-sneakpeek/

There are two song clips here. This is a VERY rough mix, which means we have yet to add all the instruments and fix volume levels, etc. However, I wanted to give you some sort of feel for what is to come. I wish I could show them all to you--but I don't want to give it all away yet! So, for now: Enjoy!

I have one more trip to make. Like I said before, I'm taking this project one step at a time. I know God will work out all the details and provide in His time, and I am looking forward to seeing how He does.

Thanks again for your support! You are awesome.

posted by ph on 09/09/2009

Pre-Sale Update-and other fun things. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Evie Update
pre-sale and other fun things

Dearest Friends and Family:

A few weeks ago, I sent you an e-mail about my upcoming CD that I will begin recording THIS MONTH! I also presented you with an opportunity to not only raise money for the cause, but also take advantage of a great deal:

- An early, autographed edition of the new album
- A FREE copy of "My Beautiful Everything"
- Your name on the CD in the "Thanks" section

Thank you so much for being involved in this event. The fundraising is far from over, but I want to keep you informed as to our progress:

I put down my first deposit of $2,000 this week. One deposit down, just a few more to go! I am grateful for all of your support thus far, and am trusting that God will continue to supply all that is needed in the days ahead.

ONE MORE THING: If you are a ministry coordinator (ie: women's ministry, chapel organizer, church or college bookstore, non-profit, etc.), I would like to offer you a special deal on bulk orders. If you are interested in buying 10 or more, please let me know. I would love to support your ministry by lowering the cost on bulk orders.

If you have not secured your copy, you can do so now by visiting www.eviehaskell.com and following the instructions. But hurry! This deal won't last forever!!

Thanks again for your support!

Quick Evie Snippets:

* I am flying out to Nashville NEXT weekend (July 18th) to begin recording my sophomore album! I am so excited to start this process. I will do my best to update you as this journey unfolds.

*Josh and I took six students from our youth ministry to summer camp last week. We saw God do great things in each kid's life, and had a blast getting to know them a little better! We had youth group the day after we came home, and were thrilled to see that our youth "brought it home" with them. We had a special time of worship and testimony during youth group and on Sunday morning. God is doing something awesome in El Sobrante!

*My family has officially moved to Massachusetts. I am itching to visit them and see their new place--hopefully soon! They seem to really be enjoying settling in and re-acquainting themselves with the area and long-time friends from the Cape.

*I got my California license. :) Took the test and everything! Watch out, world!

God is good. and we know this not only in the easy, but most assuredly in the hard struggles we face. He is always good. He is always faithful.

Rest Easy.
- Evie :)

posted by Evie :) on 07/17/2009

Be a Part of Evie's Music Mission ( CD Pre-Sale!). Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Evie's Album Pre-Sale Begins NOW!!

I am officially pre-selling my album.

For $15*, you will receive:

1 · An autographed, fresh-off-the-press CD before the official release in February 2010
2 · A complimentary copy of my first album, My Beautiful Everything, to keep or give to a friend
3 · Your name, your company's name, or your ministry's name printed on the album jacket of the CD to thank you for your support

You can pre-order your CD by clicking on the "Add to Cart" button at the top of this e-mail OR by visiting my website: www.eviehaskell.com and following the instructions. Every CD you pre-order will not only help fund this project, but will help us partner together to touch lives with the truth of God's love. I encourage you to think about purchasing CDs for those you want to bless: friends, neighbors, co-workers, employees, ministry partners. Each $15* you give includes the package described above. And, as an added incentive, if you buy 4, you get the 5th free! Just think: you could finish your 2010 birthday shopping before next year even begins!

My goal is to pre-sell 500 CDs in the next two months. Will you partner with me in furthering this ministry? Let's do this together!

*Shipping will be $3.00 per order. Bulk orders are negotiable.


Dearest Friends and Family:

I am writing to you today because I am SO excited to share that I am in the beginning stages of my sophomore album with producer, Billy Smiley! Thanks to your prayers, encouragement and financial support my first project, My Beautiful Everything, opened many doors of ministry for me. Since 2006, I have ministered at more than 150 events ranging from church services, schools, retreats, concerts, coffee houses, and fundraisers. All of these experiences have allowed me to grow as a singer and songwriter.

Highlights since the release of My Beautiful Everything:

· Momentum Award, 2007: Album of the Year, IndieHeaven
· Single, My Beautiful Everything, featured on SongDiscovery, ReignDown USA, and Top 20 Indie Worship Project by Indelible Creative Group
· Album reviewed and featured by Worship Leader Magazine
· Single, Longing to Worship, featured on SongDiscovery.com
· Single, Until Then, 2006 First Place Song, christiansongwriting.com
· Opened for Grammy Award Winning Group, Third Day

...and more!

Now, three years later, with much more experience under my belt and many new songs waiting to be heard, I am ready to take the next step.

My vision for this project: This album will feature songs I have composed during the past three years. Much has happened since 2006. Not only have I fallen in love, married, and moved with my husband, Rev. Josh Herndon, to California, but I also began pursuing wholeheartedly what I believe to be God's call on my life: to touch people through music and writing. With all of these changes and events came struggle, questions, and victories--each one with a song!

This CD is going to be quite a bit different than the last one. If you are familiar with my first CD, you will know that it had a very "CCM" sound to it--similar to what you would hear on KLove or The Fish Radio. My artistry and subject matter continue to develop. Many of my new songs are not explicitly about Jesus, but they reflect a life lived by a Christ follower. Whether I am singing about my husband, a struggle I am facing, or unashamedly singing the Gospel, I do it all to the glory of God. I am really excited about this next CD, because I have no doubt it will open new doors of ministry beyond the walls of the Church--even as I continue to visit churches, schools, and other Christian venues. My subject matter may have changed, but my calling and mission remain clear: To show and share what it means to have abundant life in Jesus Christ.

Every project for an independent artist requires funding. My first project was a step of faith and would not have been possible without the generous and sacrificial giving from family members and friends. This project is no different and once again I ask you to prayerfully consider how you can be involved.

God's Love,

posted by Evie :) on 06/03/2009

faith. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

I've been thinking about how important it is to have faith,

and how much faith I lack.

Just the other day, I found myself in a situation where God was obviously moving, and it was my chance to dive in and get involved. It was the very moment I had been hoping for, praying for, and here it was: A Divine Opportunity.

But when the moment came, I found myself sinking in doubt-sand. I think there was definitely a spiritual battle going on...and I think it was also a "human Evie" reaction to my chance to step out. It was where the rubber met the road: the very moment I needed to look through a faith-lense and not an Evie-lense.

Has that ever happened to you? I think faith is almost more difficult when the hoped for begins to take place. It's at that moment we MUST roll up our sleeves and trust God for the results. It's no longer a faraway dream or a nice idea--it's reality, it's being set into motion. It's our chance to be a part of the action.

What an honor. What a terrifying honor.

I am praying these days that God would give me more faith,

yet as I pray this prayer, I find myself wondering at the task ahead. I know that, in order for me to grow in faith, I will need to need it. In other words, faith only grows in circumstances where it is needed most. A little scary, perhaps?

But then, again, when we grow faith-muscles, those very circumstances become less like nightmares and more like adventures.

That's the kind of faith I want: the Indiana-Jones-stepping-out
-when-you-can't-see-the-next-step kind. The kind that doesn't simply dare to dream, hope, and pray--but the kind that dares to do, walk, and say.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

posted by Evie on 05/08/2009

Evie Update- Surprises. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Dearest Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful Easter! Our church had an exciting service, complete with one children's choir, two inspiring sermons, and nine baptisms. It was definitely a day to remember.

This last month proved eventful, to say the least. Before I begin telling you about it, though, something I've been mulling over throughout this Easter Season:

The first Easter was a SURPRISE. Followers of Jesus didn't know He was going to come to life post-crucifixion. Can you imagine? They were likely beyond desperation and hopelessness, having seen their Savior, their hope, die a terrible death. Good Friday, for them, wasn't a "Easter is only 3 days away" thing. It looked like the end. and then The Great Surprise happened.

Of course, it wasn't a surprise for God.

God's Ultimate Plan was one that even death couldn't disrupt. To His disciples, Jesus' death seemed like the end. To the Faithful and True, the All-Knowing, All-Powerful God, death was merely a segue in the Story of His Redemption.

So as I inform you of all that is going on in Richmond, CA., I am encouraged--and I hope you are, too--that God is in control. I am steadied by the thought of His Plans being perfect and His ways being beyond my own. Surprises, great and "terrible" to me, are not surprises for Him. The things I can't predict are the things that He uses for His glory. I like that. :)

With that said, here are the updates:

TEACHING: My class is gearing up for performances this next month. They continually improve and surprise me. I took them to Musicale, an ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) event in early March. It was at this event that they were able to observe quality high school choirs rehearse, perform, be adjudicated. It was so exciting to see the "lights turn on" for them, as they were inspired by these choral groups! They returned from the trip, determined and eager for what was to come.

YOUTH GROUP: CSM (Central Student Ministries) is doing really well. We have been retaining our numbers the last few weeks, having about 20-25 (including adults). We are also seeing a gradual opening-up of the students towards spiritual discussions and the worship times that we have incorporated into our services. THAT is exciting. We also took them to Santa Cruz on Monday--again, about 20 people--and had a great time!

Evie, Musically: Two BIG things here!

1- I am exploring the possibility of an East Coast Tour this summer. I would like to stay for 2-3 weeks, singing at churches, camps, coffee shops, and any other venues I can get my hands on.

2- I have decided to work with producer, Billy Smiley on my sophomore album!! I am beginning the process of sending him all the songs I've written in the last 2-3 years. ...That's a lot of songs. :) I am hoping to record this summer, or at least by the end of this year. This all depends on finances and time, of course. I am hoping that, as I get more bookings, I will be able to raise the money needed. I am also looking into other ways to make this venture financially feasible. If you have any ideas or resources you would like to share, please let me know! I am open to any ideas.

Evie, Personally: I turned 25 a few weeks ago. Yikes! For those of you laughing at my "Yikes!", I ask you to remember when you turned this age. Was it weird for you, too? It's as if, suddenly, I'm not "growing up" anymore; I'm AGING. What a weird feeling! On a happy note, it was one of my favorite birthdays yet. My parents, sister, nephew, and Grandma all came to visit me. We had so much fun!

The biggest update for me personally: For those of you who have not yet heard, my parents, oldest sister, and nephew will be moving to Massachusetts in June. This has come as a HUGE surprise to our family. I find this surprise bittersweet: I am really happy to see them follow God's direction in their lives and be used of Him in a new adventure, and yet I am sad to see them move across the country. I never would've guessed that in less than a year, my family would be dispersed all over the country. Just 6 months ago, we were all within 8 miles of each other. If we cross your mind, please pray for us during this transition. Pray also that my parents and my sister would be able to sell their houses soon.

Have you had any surprises lately? I'd love to hear them.

Have a Great Weekend--It's almost here!

God's Love,

Find me on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/dgwqn7

posted by Evie on 04/16/2009

Evie Update: Sun-Dry Stuff. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Dear Friends and Family,

Already Spring has sprung, and is putting a bit of Itself in my step. I am relieved to see the sun and feel a little warmth on my oh-so-very-white face. :)

Here's what's happening in my life:

Music: February was another month of staying busy musically. I have continued to lead worship at Central Assembly every other week, which I LOVE. I used to be very involved in leading worship at school and other events, and in the past few years, I have longed to resume being active in this passion of mine. I am so honored and grateful that Pastors Tim and Ginger Hohm have given me the privilege to do this on Sunday mornings.

I also sang at The Abbey, a coffee house based out of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz. Some of you may be familiar with this church and its pastor, Dan Kimball, author of "Emerging Church". I had a wonderful time singing during and after their service, and was able to share some new songs in their coffeehouse. I am looking for more coffee shop venues like this, now that I have experienced one and enjoyed it so much.

I also got new business cards! My goal was to unify all my merch. table elements, as well as my promo. kits, website, and other materials I send out to people. Josh helped me design these. He is a gem!

Church: Our youth group is going well. We had an exciting brainstorming session with 7 adult leaders, and are already beginning to implement some new ideas into our Friday night events. We now include musical worship in our Friday meetings, and have added further organization and structure to our meetings. In the next few months, we are looking forward to launching a "Parent Ministry" that will take place during our youth service. We are thrilled to see our students opening up and sharing their lives with us--and with teenagers their age!

My High School Music Class: They are improving leaps and bounds! They could hardly sing 2-part harmony a month and a half ago, and now they're singing 3 part! They are also learning to sight read with solfege and count and clap rhythms "on the spot". I am so proud of them.

BIG DECISIONS: I am considering obtaining a Masters in Music, and am looking into San Francisco State. I've been tossing the idea around for a while now, and it seems like it's now or never. The decision is not yet final, but I am prayerfully considering it. My goal: To become a better singer, pianist, songwriter, and teacher.

There is so much more I could say, but for now--whether you are in the midst of rain, sun, or snow-- I leave you with this verse:

Ecclesiastes 11:7
Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

Wherever we are, let's be Spring and "Son" to the world around us.

Have a wonderful weekend! You are loved.

posted by Evie :) on 03/26/2009

Evie Update- Just One. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Dearest Friends and Family,

Already, we are in month two of 2009. I still find myself writing "2008" on checks and letters. Yikes! I need to get with the times!

January proved to be a wonderful month. More than any other January I have experienced thus far, this one was a month of newness and resolutions. A few of these resolutions came --as usual-- with the New Year, and others came almost automatically with all the changes I have been weathering: marriage, family, ministry, music, work, and friendships.

A few highlights:

Marriage: Josh and I got Mario Kart. Good or bad? You decide. :) Actually, we've had a lot of fun, and it's introduced a whole new competitive edge in our relationship. ;)

Music and Ministry: I was able to reach my goal of 4 gigs a month for January! I have also been networking with people in the area and continuing to plan for my sophomore CD.

At Central Assembly, Josh and I have started a young adults' group: an informal study of Experiencing God (which I am facilitating) and a chance to build community within our age group.

Work: I began teaching my choir/worship band class. I am loving it! I have come to the realization that teaching is one of the only jobs that energizes me. When I teach what I am passionate about, I leave the classroom pumped up and talking non-stop. Just ask Josh. :) Our class had a great conversation about worship this past week. For the first time, I was able to talk to these students about their desire for deeper worship and spiritual growth in their school. I realized that they were hungry for it--that they weren't satisfied with the status quo. I was able to encourage them to be leaders: all it takes is one leader to inspire another to rise, and soon, a whole group, a whole school to rise to a new standard.

Perhaps the highlight of last month was the Women in Ministry Retreat I attended. It was here that I was able to laugh, cry, linger in God's fantastic presence, and talk with other like-minded women. It was the right thing at the right time. At the end of the retreat, we had a hand-washing service (kind of like foot washing), in which we were paired up with whoever we were sitting next to. I was sitting next to a counselor named Robin: a lady full of joy and understanding. I couldn't help but think how good God is as we prayed for each other and shared a few struggles and joys as sisters in Christ.

God knows exactly what we need. I was emotionally on a swaying ship, and God placed me with the perfect person to share my heart with, pray with, and connect with later on. I feel like this retreat was the beginning of a healing, growing time for me: a time in which I could take my eyes off my problems, and look to the needs of others. A time in which I could be encouraged and inspired to cultivate a life of worship, joy, and connectedness with other women of faith.

Just One. As I look back on January, I am struck with this: It only takes one.

Just one student to stand up for Jesus in their school
Just one woman reaching out to another
Just one genuine moment spent with Jesus
Just one conversation, or even one word

With God's power behind ONE, the one becomes so much more.

I hope that's an encouragement to you. When words, work, and prayers feel futile, we can trust God's promise that with Him, our meager efforts become something eternal and extraordinary- Galatians 6:9.

As always, I appreciate your prayers and support. I am also continuing to look for music venues in the area, so if you hear of any events that would be "Evie appropriate", just let me know! I would love to hear what's happening in your life, too, so that I can pray for you as well.

Much Love,


posted by Evie :) on 02/20/2009

Evie Update- Changes. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Hello Friends and Family!

I am sending one of my first "Evie Updates", now as a pastor's wife, soon-to-be choir teacher, and California resident. I am still a singer-songwriter, piano teacher, and a puppy lover. Some things change, and others stay constant. I've been thinking lately about how, in the course of our lives, we try on different hats: either because we want to, we have to, or somewhere in between (God has called us to). :) I am in a very unique place in my life. Never have I experienced so many changes at one time. I married, moved away from family, experienced my first "nesting" process of setting up my own house, began working with high-schoolers, sub-bing at a local school, in a unique town completely opposite of anywhere I've lived.

Did I mention I'm going through a lot of changes?

I can't begin to explain all I'm learning and experiencing through this season--maybe later I'll write it all down. But I will say this: change is great thing when God is your constant. Not only does it cause us to cling to Him, but it gives us hope and happiness in the awkward, rugged stages of life. God is good.

I've named a lot of the changes, but I thought it might be good to list 3 of them a bit more descriptively. Many of you have experience in these areas, and many of you are great at praying for people. Josh and I would so appreciate your wisdom, pointers, and prayers in any or all of these 3 areas:

1- Josh and I are planting a youth group at Central Assembly in El Sobrante, CA. They have not had a youth ministry for at least a few years. We are meeting Friday nights, where we cook them dinner, eat family-style around round tables, and talk about Jesus. We have had about 8 meetings, and we currently have 13-20 kids coming. They are good kids, but definitely in need of a "Jesus experience". We don't currently have many spiritual leaders/kids really seeming to be seeking God. We are praying that their hearts would desire more of Him.

2- I am beginning to book gigs in the area, and I have 4 booked for the month of January. I am so excited to be active again! I am also continuing to write songs and looking for ways to record a new album, as mine is now nearly 3 years old. The way I write, sing, and express myself has certainly changed, and I can't wait to get it in recorded form.

3- I am starting a choir at our church's high school. They currently have no music program. It will be a small group to begin with--7-10 students, and will double as a worship team. I am praying that God would use this as a chance to be a musical and spiritual mentor to these students.

I will be sending you an update once a month, and am looking forward to seeing how this journey unfolds. As always, I would love to hear from you as well!

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Oregon friends--I miss you so much!
California friends--we should get together soon, because now--we can!

posted by Evie :) on 01/13/2009

Barefoot. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Friday night at youth group, Josh described the story in which Jesus washes his disciples' feet. I watched as a small group of students were offered a chance to have their feet washed by the adult leaders of the group. Uncomfortable, embarrassed, and nervous, they eagerly refused to take part in the activity. Granted, they are high-schoolers, and ones that have known these adults for merely a couple months. They had every reason to be uncomfortable, and I'll admit, I was uncomfortable, too.

But what hit me was this: all of us had been raised in Church and knew the story inside out. We all had an opportunity to make the story to come alive, to do what Jesus did, and to overcome physical comfort for spiritual benefit. Instead, we sat there awkwardly, and after a few minutes, the students were leaping at the chance to play musical chairs.

Sunday morning, a group of young adults from the Teen Challenge organization visited our church. I saw them worship, hands waving in their air, tears in their eyes. I listened as they sang, some out of tune, but all engrossed in every lyric that left their lips. They didn't seem to be concerned with how their choir uniforms appeared to others, or if their pride took a blow from the emotion that was displayed for all to see. No, there was a humility about the room and a grateful spirit about each of them. They told stories of how God saved them from livestyles of drug and alcohol addiction and pasts of hurt, loneliness, and suicidal temptations.

My heart felt as if it was being pulled out of my chest as I heard "Amazing Grace" echo through our sanctuary. It was a song I had heard many times and nearly grown tired of, until I heard it from those who had lived it and meant it. It couldn't have been more beautiful if it was sung by angels. It was a song sung from mouths that had once been more prone to nursing beer bottles and speaking curses, but had now been set free to praise.

and yet my heart sank. Perhaps it was the shocking contrast between Friday night and Sunday morning that made me quietly mourn inside. One group had been offered a chance to make grace come alive in physical form. When Jesus washed his disciples' feet, it wasn't just an act of humilty and service; it was an act of grace and cleansing. How amazing that Jesus, the King of the Universe, would do such a thing. And yet, how vulnerable and embarrassed these men must have felt to have their feet stains and stenches exposed to the Messiah.

Our Friday night group had a chance to kick off the shoes of pride and "strength", but it passed.

The Sunday morning group entered our church walls spiritually shoeless, knowing they had nothing but for the grace of God. And not only did they show the excitement of this revelation, but they relived it and displayed it with each testimony, each word they said, each song they sang.

In our semi-padded Christian circles, it is easy to forget the gravity of our sin, how it weighs us down. Many have long since been saved, or perhaps never been tempted with addictions or hardship, which is God's grace all over us. But I don't know that we can begin to understand the grace of God without a basic understanding of our filth.

This weekend, I saw a contrast that blew me out of the water.

As Christians, young and old, and especially as Christians "born in the pew", let us continually kick off the shoes of "grace for granted", and eagerly walk on the holy ground of humility and thankfulness. Let us be reminded daily that we don't deserve a crumb from the Table of forgiveness, cleansing, and freedom. and let us respond to that reminder in praise, joy, and humility.

We have been washed by a holy, loving God. By His grace, we are clean. By His grace, we sing with hearts afly: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now I'm found--was blind, but now I see!

posted by Evie on 12/08/2008

Not a Robot--our Youth Group Plant. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)


We have youth meetings Friday nights. In the process of planting this youth group, Josh polled about 50 kids. Most of them said they would rather have youth group on a Friday than any other night. Tuesdays/Wednesdays were the last choices. At first, I was leery of giving up my Friday nights. But then I realized
a- the students want this and
b- the students need this. You see, the Richmond area is not the safest or "best" for youth. Giving them something to do on a Friday night is a good thing.

All that said, the youth ministry is going well. We've been averaging 20 students each week (keep in mind there was NO youth group before this!). How exciting! We had our 6th meeting this last Friday, where we celebrated Thanksgiving with a family-style mock Thanksgiving meal. We bought pre-baked chickens and pretended they were turkeys (as youth pastor's wife, I am in charge of feeding these kids every week), sat down at round tables and ate a full meal together, complete with pumpkin pie and Martinelli's. It was my favorite night yet. We heard kids saying, "We're not having Thanksgiving this year" and saw kids interacting with each other like families. We played turkey games and laughed our heads off.

You know what being in ministry has done for me thus far? It's convinced me of the importance of ministry. I knew it was important before, but once again--taking ownership of a ministry makes you appreciate it all the more. God is definitely at work in our church--He's stirring up the waters, so to speak, and doing something new. It is so refreshing to see God ministering to others through these efforts.

We had a shy girl, her mom, and grandma (dad is in the military) stay with our church for a month or two. Their last Sunday was yesterday. Over the course of a few weeks, we watched this girl open up and smile more and more during this transitional time in her life. With tears in their eyes, they thanked our church for being an instrument of love to them and their family during the difficult time they are walking through. That's what it's all about! It's not numbers and status; it's about extending God's love and grace to all who cross our paths.

I could go on, but I'll refrain.

For now, you can check out www.imnotarobot.com for updates, if you'd like. I also have some fun videos up on my Facebook from these nights. :) We also appreciate all of your prayers...we don't have a clue what we're doing. We're just trusting the Spirit to lead and guide and make us effective in this adventure.

By the way, our slogan for the year is "I'm Not a Robot." We are trying to convey the fact that people are not all the same, and our identity is solidified in what God says about us. Similarly, as Christians, we are not the same. We all connect with God uniquely, we all have different giftings and callings on our lives (under the general calling of serving and walking with Him). Because of this, you may see a few pictures of robots flying around... :)

posted by Evie on 11/24/2008

What I'm Up To... Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

What I'm Up To...

Since last week, I have 2 (3 after sports season) new piano students--and a few more potentials! I also have agreed to be a part-time staff member at El Sobrante Christian School. I will have the challenge and exciting adventure of building a music program at this fairly new school!!

I am so jazzed (yes, I said "jazzed") about what God is doing. He provides every need, but not only that--He fit something perfectly in line with the gifts and skills He has given me. There was another opportunity on the table that I was considering, but it really wasn't a great fit for me--time-wise and skill-wise. Now I have a chance to use what I have AND gain experience while being challenged. God is so good, people!

There are some other opportunities that I'm looking at in regards to songwriting: like I said earlier, I am trying to get my brain and organization wrapped around all of the business aspects of this, but I am also looking for opportunities in serving churches in this area and recording more music. I will keep you updated--for now, I will say this: it's in motion. :)

The difference in my walk with God before and after marriage: trust. Not that I've mastered that art of trust, but I am learning to trust. When you're on your own and have your own new family, suddenly your relationship with God is yours--under your roof, and you are responsible for your own faith. Of course, I was responsible for my own faith when I was living with my parents, but now that I'm out of the house, there's definitely a more intense "this must be my own" factor. Suddenly, I'm not relying on how God provides for my parents or leads and guides them, but I have to listen to how God leads and guides the people under this roof. I am responsible to walk with God, to trust His providence and leading. I am responsible to make sure this home is one that highlights the name of Jesus.

It is interesting to see how this huge shift affects my relationship with God. Once you take responsibility and ownership of your own faith, there is a joy and a peace in knowing that God is completely present in every aspect of your life. I don't know how to explain it, except that this: the more reliant you are on God, the better. In the places that you find yourself without a "plan b"--or someone to do it for you--you, if you trust in Jesus, also find that He is the only Plan you need. That is trust.

posted by Evie on 11/12/2008

a new day for evie. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Many of you are probably aware that I got married about a month ago and moved to northern California. Finally settled in (girls like to nest!!), I am feeling that I can begin to re-focus, write songs, and begin to book myself in this area. Right now, I am doing my best to learn as much as I can and truly take ownership over all of the business aspects of music. Up until now, my mom has helped me out a LOT in this area, but now we are in 2 different states and 2 different roofs, and it is time to grow up. Oh, how I wish I could simply write songs and not have to worry about all that business stuff!! :) But I am going to do my best with what God has given me.

Lately, I've also been wrestling with "how far" I want to go in this music industry. I put "how far" in quotation marks, because I don't like the mindset that the farthest one can go is radio play and gigantic crowds. If God leads me to simply minister in my own church, then I will go "all the way" in that capacity, and I don't consider that "not going far". Does this make sense? God's leading in our lives is big, whether or not we perform in front of tons of people or not. It's BIG when we throw caution to the wind and do what He has called us to do. But I digress...

My point is that I am in a new season and feel like this is my chance to re-align myself with God's purposes in my life. It's a new day for Evie. Why has God put me in California? What does He want me to do here? What is His vision for this music, and where do I run with it? In my heart, I know the answer: "One step at a time, follow Him. Trust and obey, Evie. He will take you where He wants you to go."

This is a beautiful time for me, and I know God has me in the palm of His hand. Something wonderful is coming.

So here I am...a married woman...soul searching, asking for guidance and wisdom, and learning to be an adult. :) Marriage has been AWESOME!! I am happier than I ever could've dreamed I'd be--I love him more than the day I said "I do." We are being pleasantly surprised by each other--learning that, yes, God knew we were better for each other than we realized. We are able to encourage each other in our gifts. I get to be with my best friend every day. What a gift life is.

posted by Evie on 11/06/2008

Recent Reflections Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

How incredible that the God of the universe cares about the "trivial" details of my life! He shows His care in every aspect. Much of it I'll probably never know until I see Him face to face. He shows His love for us constantly; the question is, will I open my eyes and heart to these acts of Love?

Protection. On I-5 today, a hubcap suddenly flew across the lanes in front of me. It had some air. I almost ran right into it. But I didn't. Do you ever think about how many "almost accidents" you've been in? Or how many times God has protected you that you were never aware of? Like locking your keys in the car and being frustrated you're an hour late to your destination, only to drive by a huge car accident on the way there...makes me think, "Man...if I wasn't late, who knows? Could've been me."

Provision. A dinette set. A wing chair. A loveseat in the exact color we wished for. A cottage. A job that perfectly employs our gifts. All these things are things I've seen God provide lately. From furniture to career choices, He has proven that the "gravity" of the need doesn't matter. He does it.

Guidance and Confirmation. He gives us direction in little and big choices. Nothing feels better than when I know I am going where He wants me to go. He leads wonderfully.

Jesus Moments. You know, those moments where the heavens open and you're so aware of God's Presence. What a feeling.

Discipline. We talked in church today about how God's discipline is really proof of His love for us. So when we go through difficult times, we can rest and find peace in knowing He disciplines those He loves.

The Joys of Life. Laughter. Music. Art. People. Color. Food. Need I say more?

There's so much more I know I'm missing, but these have been popping in my mind lately. If you think of more, go ahead and add to my list!

posted by Evie on 08/26/2008

Thunderstorm Theology. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

We had a huge thunderstorm a few nights back. Normally, I love thunderstorms and am not afraid of them. This one, however, was HUGE. It woke up the whole family and kept us up for a good 30 or so minutes.

It was a strange feeling I had. I felt pretty vulnerable and at-the-mercy of the Force behind the storm. And then I thought, "Wow. God is huge and is control of this storm." And it kinda' knocked a good dose of the fear of God in me.

Our society --and sometimes, the Church, sadly-- tends to be super out of touch with this concept. Because we can't see God or see the consequences of our own actions, we tend to shrug Him off in our decision making and in our attitudes. But just because we can't see things doesn't mean they don't exist. Just because we can't see the ramifications of our hearts' dirt doesn't mean it doesn't affect us and others. And just because we don't fear God doesn't mean He is fear-worthy.

Most of you who actually read this are familiar with this concept: Fear in this case isn't equivalent to shivering and nervousness; it's more defined by a holy, healthy respect and reverence for who God is and what He is capable of. Once we begin to see how big God is, we see how small we are. Once --and only once-- we gain this perspective, we can begin to live wisely and worship fully.

It was a really good reminder for me. God is very, very real. He is also capable of anything. The world's largest thunderstorm is not even the extent of His power. He is in charge of the wind and the waves, and this is a comfort, but also a reality check for me and the way I respond to life...and Him.

posted by Evie on 07/13/2008

His Peace Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

John 14: 27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

There's only so much we can do.

I believe we should work, plan, strategize, and be prepared as much as we can. However, as good as these things are, they are not what gives me peace. They only get me so far...and there are still things I do not know or foresee.

When I've done what I can, and it is not enough...and others give their 2 cents...and don't quite "get it"...when I don't "get it"...there is One who does. I am trusting Him. His timing is perfect. He does not give as the world gives. His ways are higher, His thoughts are different than this world's thoughts and ways. So, sometimes, as a Christian, things don't go as planned--but we continue to wait on Him for His answer...even if our self-help books say to do otherwise.

His peace is the only peace that is real, trustworthy, and all-emcompassing. I will not listen to the frequencies of fear that swarm around me; I will not "hit the rock" repeatedly for the answer I want (Moses). I will listen for the One, true, Voice that knows everything and follow my Shepherd's leading.

posted by evie on 06/07/2008

Naivety, the forgotten virtue? Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Genesis 3:

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.


In conjunction with my last blog, I was also thinking about the Garden of Eden, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I thought the name of that tree was interesting: The Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Why was it such a problem for them to want to simply know good and evil? Was the first human sin caused by simply disobeying God's "random" command--or was it also that this disobedience went hand-in-hand with curiosity of the other side?

Up until now, I've always thought of it as "God told them not to do something, and they did it. Bad." I still believe that, but I'm wondering why, out of all the commands He could have given, it was "don't try the fruit". It could've been "don't lie" or "don't hurt the animals"; why was it "don't eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil"?

Is the tree meant to be a pandora-like symbol of how sin entered the world? Or is there more to it--as if our curiosity--or rebellion, perhaps disguised as 'hunger for knowledge'--is the root of the problem?

If that's the case, I'd like to add this thought to my last little blog about our experiential hierarchy. It seems that God had a wonderful, perfect experience all paved out for us--and this hierarchy (the attitude of "experiencing this will validate my existence, even though I know it's foolish"), born out of pride, curiosity and desire to be 'cultured', perhaps, ruined it for all mankind.

In culture's hierarchy, knowledge and experience are the ultimate aim and earns the most respect (please don't confuse these with wisdom or Jesus-experience/knowledge--I'm still talking about good and evil). But in God's eyes, should we really pursue them? I've heard many Christians rant about how we "need to" do our research and be 'relevant' --usually using this argument to justify certain ...questionable behavior-- but is this really true?

Why can't we be content and fulfilled in keeping our hands and eyes on the things He's provided for us?

Like everything I write, just a thought. Bible scholar friends, I'd like some input as to what you think.

posted by Evie on 04/30/2008

Culture's Experiential Heirarchy. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

The world is upside-down and backwards.

This is the conclusion I have come to. The more I am alive, the more I see how deluded our un-redeemed thinking can get.

I am under the impression (partly because people have outright told me this, partly because I am smarter than the average bear :) ) that many people think me to be naive. There are a few reasons I think they assume this:

1- I am a virgin.

2- I had a "sheltered" upbringing (which, apparently assumes I have no brain, eyes, or ears).

3- I don't live on my own.

4- I turn red a lot.

5- I don't normally talk about things that are really private in public places and with "public" types of friends.

All this, I think, is really ridiculous. First, it makes no logical sense to think any such person is naive, because I would have to have none of my 5 senses to avoid the many ads, stories, situations, and life around me. At 24, it's pretty much impossible to do this, unless I chose to shut out the world completely. Secondly, this is completely arrogant thinking. Since when are your experiences more "life-like" or credible than mine? My life is just as real as yours. It isn't that I'm "naive"; it's only that my experiences don't match yours. Third, in that case, I'd rather be "naive", because most "enlightened" people I see running around are facing innumerable problems and heartache because of it.

But the main thing I wanted to vent about today is our culture's (or perhaps humanity's in general) backwards and upside-down thinking in regards to life's experiences. There is a weird, unspoken, un-thought-through assumption that, in order to have a "real", technicolor, "sing-worthy" life, you have to experience certain things. There is a spooky experiential heirarchy that many people cling to...that, in order to be one of the cool kids, you have to undergo some type of moral/experiential initiation.

Those who have undergone this initiation are almost proud of it. They have now experienced "real life". They are now "mature" and "worthy of respect" because they've been there. Almost like "I am proud of my foolish decisions." They wouldn't actually say that; I think many do genuinely regret their decisions...and my heart goes out to them. But there are some out there who are almost proud of their regret. Does this make any sense? I'm not here to bash on anyone that has made bad decisions (I'd only be bashing on myself in the process)...but here's what I'm thinking:

**Why is getting drunk a "higher rated" experience--then a life free from addictions, health issues, regretted decisions, and hangovers?

**Why is "looking hot" more sought-after than avoiding heartache, exploitation, and degradation? I mean, I'm girl, so I know that it feels nice to feel pretty--nothing wrong with that. But it breaks my heart to see girls throwing away their whole hearts to those who don't truly love them. Breaks it. and I know it's no cake-walk for the girl, either. It's just that--I know no one really wants to experience this pain, and yet, we set ourselves up for sometimes with the way we present ourselves and the things we place value on.

**Why is attraction always assumed to be sexual/physical? Yes, that's great and God created it, but why don't we try putting our values on qualities in guys that really matter- loyalty, honesty, respect, integrity, love, servanthood...and work to be attracted to those, not accepting or standing for any deviations? Why not change our definitions of what is attractive (and socially accepted as attractive) for things that will make a healthy, fulfilling true romance? ...Unfortunately, not many of those values are included in the hierarchy of culture's experience.

**Why is it more "progressive" and "relevant" to embrace everything (and ultimately, nothing) than to believe in and search for an ultimate truth? I'm not talking about embracing people, but rather, empty philosophies and ideas that give us temporary warm fuzzies.

**Why are all of these considered "really living" when there is a way that is full of persistent hope and full love??

What about the pursuit of joy? peace? truth?
Why are these of "lesser" value?
Why does no one consider experiencing these?
Why is there no social respect for those who do?

Of course, I know the theological answers to these questions. I know that we are broken and confused. I know that sin (deviation from true, rich, abundant Life) is in our spiritual DNA. But logically, it doesn't even make sense that we are continually drawn to these things. It is really, absolutely brainless to be drawn into a moment of fun and "living in the moment" instead of a life of the best kind of fun achieved in spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, financial wisdom. Any sex ed. teacher/counselor/person who's been there would tell us that.

And yet--all of us--though we see the foolishness on paper, are ushered like sheep in to this foolish heirarchy. I know; it happens to me constantly.

But perhaps it is that the more we experience True Love and Life, the more we will see Its value.
The more we know It, the more we will want It, pursue It, promote It.

It has become a huge personal soapbox of mine lately to see others experience the crumbling of this experiential hierarchy, resulting in a glorious earthly and eternal life that happens ONLY when they first experience Jesus Christ. He is the only Way to overcome, to shift this experiential paradigm. He's not meant to be simply a way to eternal life, or a way to live. He's everything. and in Him only can we stand, can we have wisdom to live, can we live abundantly, can we say no to our sheep-like tendencies.


If you read all of this, thanks for sticking with me. I'll probably edit this later, because I know there's more I want to say and more that I could say good-er. :) As always, I write this because it makes me angry when people hurt because of decisions made based on these backwards assumptions. I write because I care...and because I want to do something to help....somehow. With Love, Evie :)

posted by Evie on 04/22/2008

Worship in a Movie Theater and Christian Schools Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

I led worship in a movie theater on Sunday morning.

A new church, Mercy Hill, meets at Regal Cinemas in Wilsonville. Just another reminder that God isn't confined to steeples and pews-- we can worship Him anywhere! It was pretty cool! The people there were very inviting and friendly. Right now, it's a baby church, only a few weeks old. If you don't have a home church and you're looking for an untimidating, family-style church, you should visit!

Here's the link: www.mercyhillonline.com

One thing I love about what I'm doing is being able to contribute to Christian schools in the area. Christian education is something I truly believe in. My parents have been "in it" for over 25 years (maybe even 30 now), and I grew up in Christian schools. I can't begin to list the ways it has shaped who I am and the effect it has had on my walk with God. Teaching and raising children to look at the world through an educated Christian worldview is so tremendously important.

This past week, I played some background music for West Hills Christian School's auction. This auction raised over $60,000 for the school! Way to go, West Hills!

I also sang at Portland Christian Elementary on April 11th, another great school! I was very impressed with they way they listened and participated in the chapel. It was a lot of fun.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

posted by Evie on 04/19/2008

Love... Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Sometimes we think we have it all together. We read our po-mo books, drink our coffee, and claim to be full of love. ...but sometimes we forget to love our own.

The old grumpy man who wears a sour face to church every Sunday.

The grandma who only wants to sing hymns.

The "Southern Belle" who is "too perfect" and put together for our liking.

The girl who has less-than-perfect Bible study attendance.

The introvert who is difficult to talk to.

The choir diva.

The hypocrite.

The critic.

The gossip that we know is talking about us.

The Jr. Higher who always has something "smart" to say.

The guy who doesn't know how to have a 5 min. or less conversation.

The girl who can't stop talking about boys.

I don't find myself tempted to gossip about those who don't know God...but why is it so easy to talk about people in the Church? We are a Body. I don't know about you, but I don't ever notice my foot kicking my stomach or my back back-stabbing my knee. The physical body nurtures itself. It has veins that carry blood and nutrients to the other parts. It sweats when it's overheated; it breathes when it needs air. It works as one organism should work.

I am challenged today to not only look for those who are spiritually lost and in need of love, but also to love those who have been "love sponges never squeezed", sitting mildewy and smelly in the pews of my sanctuary. I want to be someone who loves not because of one's situation, demeanor, or even their spiritual condition, but because God's love in me compells me to love that which is human.

But what does it mean to love?

Does love = approval? If that were true, God's love for me would be very unstable, considering I don't think He 100% approves of everything I've ever done.

Does love = pity? ha! Although the two go hand in hand quite often, no. How would I love those who aren't sad or unhealthy? How would I love the rich and successful? and how could love be so proud to be confined to pity?

Does love = non-commital "I care"s? No. It doesn't count when it's just a phrase said because it "has to be" said as a Christian. and I don't think it counts when there is no committment or action taken.

What is love, then? I often think about the verse that says "Greater love has no man than this: that he lay his life down for a friend". For many years, I only thought it a verse about dying physically. But tonight, it has clicked inside of me as a verse about giving oneself up for another.

Although a life given up is considered the greatest sacrifice, there are other ways we can give ourselves up to others:

Prayer instead of gossip, anger, or jealousy

A kind word in response to a piercing one

Calm understanding/allowing God to teach instead of enforcing "our right to be right"

Patience in place of rushed conversation

Generosity in place of suspicion

Face-to-face truth instead of rumors spread

Apologies in place of pride

Background in place of spotlight

One more verse before I'm done: This is how we know what love is: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." There it is! While I was completely undeserving (and still am), God lowered Himself as a servant to the human race--even though He was right and we were wrong--even though He sees every flaw and messed up tendency we have that must seem so obviously wrong to Him. He loved and He gave Himself in that Love. Wow. Let that Love be in me! I want that!

That's it for now. I'll be chewing on this for a while, because I am challenged....g'night!!

posted by evie on 04/11/2008

Evie Update. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

[from an Evie Update letter]

Dear Friends and Family,

First of all, thank you for your sweet responses to my last e-mail! It's so great that you are excited to share life with me! Please send me your updates as well; I'd love to hear what's going on in your life and be able to pray for you accordingly.

In my last update, I explained that I had been nominated for a couple of awards: Song of the Year (www.songoftheyear.com) and Worship Artist of the Year (www.IndieHeaven.com). After the last couple weeks, I have finally heard the results: I didn't win either. The winner of Song of the Year was an electronic dance song and Worship Artist of the Year was awarded to Broken Vessels, a worship band from Mississippi. By the way, you really should check out Broken Vessels on Indie Heaven. They are so talented and so humble. The award was well-deserved!

Although I would've enjoyed getting $10,000 (who wouldn't?) and another PR platform, I still feel more motivated and inspired than ever. As I attended Indie Heaven's CIA Summit (for Christian independent artists), I was encouraged to take ownership of the calling on my life.

Let me explain. I am a girl full of disclaimers. I've been using them forever. This weekend I learned a lot of good information that will be useful in business, but the most important thing I learned was this: If God is leading you to do something, don't use disclaimers. Do it whole-heartedly, knowing that His power is in you to accomplish it for His glory. This was liberating!

This being said, I feel that my next big project is booking. If I'm not actually ministering to people face-to-face, I can only accomplish so much. If you have any contacts, ideas, or venues coming up that I could help with, please let me know. I would love to partner with you.

One more thing: Two and a half years ago, Josh and I began dating. Today, we're a little under six months away from our wedding! We are officially launching our wedding website today: www.joshandevie.com. You'll find our story, pictures, and wedding information on this site. We would love for you to be a part of our wedding ceremony! It will take place September 27th, 3 pm, at Portland Christian Center.

Also, if you'd like to see more pictures/stories of my trip to Nashville, you can visit my blog: http://www.xanga.com/mellowdiVine/649925422/item.html

Much Love,

Evie Haskell

posted by Evie on 04/07/2008

The Creative Mind, Jesus, and "Nevermore." Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

This is a blog I wrote a few months ago...I came across it again today and wanted to share. Be sure to check out my most recent xanga blog [with pictures!!] from the CIA Summit, too: www.xanga.com/mellowdivine

The Creative Mind, Jesus, and "Nevermore."

"But then, no artist is normal;
if he were, he wouldn't be an artist.
Normal men don't create works of art.
They eat, sleep, hold down routine jobs, and die.
You are hypersensitive to life and nature;
that's why you are able to interpret for the rest of us.
But if you are not careful, that very hypersensitiveness will lead you to your destruction.
The strain of it breaks every artist in time."
- Irving Stone, "Lust for Life"

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how a creatively- minded Christian remains effective and empowered in their daily walk.

Some of you may think it's just the same as everyone else--and perhaps in many ways it is--but I have found a few simple truths through reading, living, and conversing with like-minded people:

1- The creative mind is sensitive to the world around them: emotions, injustice, reality. Much of their inspiration comes from the world around them--good and bad.

2- The creative mind is very self-aware. Constantly peering inside themselves, asking questions, coming to grips with their own frailty (causing fear/depression), or in some cases, their strengths (causing pride).

3- The creative mind needs alone time to process these thoughts, transferring them into inspiration, and ultimately, a work of art-- whether that be a painting, a poem, a song, a story, a dance. Their time alone is precious: it's part of their coping mechanism, it helps them sort out their thoughts, and create the works the rest of us know and love. HOWEVER, time alone can cause a couple problems:
a- Causes them to appear aloof, insensitive, apathetic.
b- Causes them to spend too much time alone, wallowing in thoughts of self-loathing and/or depression caused by their reactions to the reality of the world around them. Furthermore, too much time alone = not enough time and interaction with others. As humans, we need to interact, to be encouraged, to dialogue, to share our lives. "It is not good for man to be alone." I'd go further and say, "It's reeeeallly bad for an artist to be alone for large chunks of time."

If you've ever looked into biographies of famous artists, you will see a huge trend of depression, insanity, suidical behavior, or, at the very least, strange behavior/social awkwardness. Poe, Dickinson, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, the list is endless [check this link out for more current accounts: http://www.talentdevelop.com/depression.html ].

The tragedy: the very sensitivity to the world around them and the time taken to create their art transformed into a self-harming lifestyle.

Having somewhat of a creative mind myself, I can empathize. And maybe you can, too. I began to catch onto my behavior especially in the past 6 months or so. I was seeing patterns of attitude and behavior in myself that sometimes hurt others--and myself. It was the last thing i wanted. No, I wasn't suicidal. But as I spent more and more time by myself, I began to realize that this precious gift of time alone to think, process, and create was morphing into something that was hurting me and those around me.

Alone--with my thoughts of injustice, reality, personal flaws, and, yes--even good thoughts: dreams, hopes, and my vivid imagintion--it was as if my mind couldn't handle it all. As it is, my mind is constantly spinning in 1,000 directions at once, causing me to be forgetful and often aloof (I literaly walk up the stairs and have already forgotten why I walked up them in the first place, and it happens often). Add that to a mere 3 deep thoughts that needed creations of their own, and I began to form my own inner world. I grew a little melancholy--and a little confused--not sure which conversations were just dreams or thoughts of my own...all I could do was keep thinking about everything that walked its way into my brain...

Does it sound strange? Probably. But I know I'm not alone.

What do we do, creative people?

Being a Christian with a creative mind means that we must submit our thoughts, our alone time, and our creations to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Our THOUGHT PROCESSES mustn't stop at hopelessness; rather, we must make a constant, conscious effort to fully embrace the Hope we have in Jesus. When we are bombarted by negative thoughts, we must make sure that those thoughts end with the choice to take our eyes out of our brain and look up to Heaven, where there is life, joy, and purpose. 2 Cor. 10:5 - Take your thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.

Prime example? King David, in the Psalms--we see emotions strewn about all 150 of 'em; yet, no matter how desperate or depressing the psalm is, there is almost always a visible choice to look to God in an attitude of hope and trust. A musician, a writer, a king, a worshipper, a man constantly faced with situations beyond his control: King David knew what he was doing.

Our ALONE TIME must be in moderation. We are called to create; but first and foremost, we are called to serve and love Christ--and others. This means spending time with loved ones, communicating our thoughts with them (and not just our scattered scraps of paper), and accepting distractions/catering to the needs of others....EVEN when it impedes our creative process.

My advice? 1- Have a close friend to be on your case if they see you are beginning to withdraw. 2- Be proactive about spending time with your friends.

Finally, our CREATIONS are an act of worship to the ultimate Creator. We can't close the creative process with thoughts of self- glorification or the deep emotions we may feel while creating...It's important that we dedicate our efforts to God. Involve Him in the process--He is the ultimate Owner of your gifts. He is the One who gave them to you.

For everyone--"artist" or not, the walk with our Savior must be daily. We can't compartmentalize our faith. It's not a faith that is only effective in our Christian circles;

Jesus must reign over our art, our work, our play, our love, our everything.

posted by Evie on 04/02/2008

my Graceland blog. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

I went to Nashville this weekend (Thursday-Monday morning) to attend IndieHeaven's CIA Summit. No, I am not a secret agent. Yes, I am a Christian independent artist....

to read more, go here: www.xanga.com/mellowdiVine

posted by Evie on 03/31/2008

An Update from Evie Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Dearest Friends and Family,

I thought I'd write a little update before the next two weeks come at me. They will prove interesting, for sure! This weekend, I find out the final results of the songwriting competition (www.songoftheyear.com) I entered last fall. Last week, I discovered that my song, "Talk Me Home", is the number one song for the Adult Contemporary genre, which automatically puts it the top ten overall songs. From these top ten songs (one from each genre), there will be one grand prize winner. The grand prize is $10,000! Wouldn't that be nice? If I won, I would use every penny to make a new album. I'm not expecting anything (I don't want to be disappointed!), but can't deny that I am eagerly awaiting the results.

Next weekend, I am off to Nashville, where I will be attending Indieheaven's (www.indieheaven.com) CIA Summit. This is basically a information/networking conference for independent Christian artists. I'm really excited to meet new people, be inspired, and gather lots of valuable tips on writing and ministry. The results of the Momentum Awards will also be announced that weekend. I found out that I was nominated as one of the top 5 Worship Artists a few months back, and many of you have likely received e-mails from me and my mom asking for votes since. :) This award is given based on fan votes and the opinion of a panel of industry professionals. I'll definitely be keeping you updated!

One more thing: I now having a booking agent. Her name is Darla Harman, and she is a gem. She is best known for being the mother of Katie Harman, Miss America/Miss Oregon 2002. Since then, she's worked with Miss Oregons, helping prepare them for competition and booking them in venues across the country. She is simply the sweetest lady ever and God is totally using her to get me organized. :) Seriously. We're not quite sure what the future holds for us, but we're excited to team up together in the present and see what God does.

All this to say: Being a Christian is the greatest adventure. This adventure is not about success, awards, or popularity; it's about setting our hearts on following God's Way. When we do this, there's no telling where that will take us! We will cross paths with people and befriend people we might not have otherwise; we will find His desires blossoming in our hearts and taking over our own; we will take steps we didn't think we could ever possibly take. Following God isn't boring; it's really an adventure that brings the deepest joy and peace, even in the middle of struggle. I hope and pray that we all can live this life --and the next-- the way He called us to live: more abundantly.

Have a good week!

God's Love.

Evie Haskell :)

posted by Evie on 03/19/2008

Trust God. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Hi Everyone!

Ah, Spring. I can't tell you how happy I am that the sun is out in Portland (well, for the most part). I have the windows open in my room as I type this, and I can hear birds! Beautiful.

My life has continued to be pretty eventful since my last update. I feel like the last couple months have thrown me into lessons of faith--whether I'm ready or not! It's been a good thing. God is so faithful.

It began when I received a major cut in hours at my morning job. I also lost a few students for reasons beyond me control. Gasp. In my thinking, it was terrible timing, especially as I'm trying to save up for a wedding and suddenly have a $700 medical bill to pay (trips to the hospital for heart palpitations are no fun). Thinking about it, praying about it, and talking to people I respected, I realized it was time to quit my morning job. Although it didn't make sense to quit something while I was in need of money, it made sense in other ways. I felt like God was asking me to take a baby step of faith and trust Him with the outcome. I also knew that this job wasn't my career choice...I don't think making smoothies is my calling! :) So yesterday was my last day.

The outcome: I already have two new students (and other potentials on the way). I also met a wonderful lady who has credentials and experience with booking, and is totally supportive of me. In our first meeting, she was saying things that I simply knew God wanted me to hear. She will be booking me now--we got our first booking this past week!

I also went to a cardiologist yesterday and they assured me there is nothing to worry about with these palpitations (I've been experiencing them since November). She encouraged me to "go and enjoy my life." That did my heart good. ;)

I also recorded one more piano/vocal demo a couple weeks ago. That makes 5 so far! I can't wait to get them all down and add some intrumentation to them for a new album.

A couple recent musical highlights:

** Leading worship for Lake Bible Women's Retreat--with an oceanview. It was a really meaningful time for me.

** Singing in CA. with Josh's dad preaching--my first time doing so with my "to-be's". Very special.

** Sharing with Damascus Christian High School

Wedding update (I have to include this!): Everything is coming along nicely. I am waiting for something to be difficult, because I have been really decisive about everything so far. Evie, decisive?? Yep. Josh and his family are coming out next weekend, and we will be checking things off the "to-do" list. I can't wait.

The subject line of this blog is "Trust God". It's a phrase that perhaps is used too often without full understanding of what that implies. In the past couple months, though, I've been privileged to learn a little more about it and do my best to live it. It did not come naturally to me, but I kept praying and I kept trying. Now I see that God was and is always countless steps ahead of me. He's already there--and that assures me I can continue trusting Him.

God's Love,


posted by Evie on 02/23/2008

Empty Swings. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

I feel that I've been batting at the air. No base runs, no hits, nothing accomplished...just a whole lot of energy and swings gone to waste. But for some reason, I feel that I must keep swinging at this nothing, for fear I'll be called off the field and out of the game. Is this the American way? Or is it just me?

I'm constantly writing down details, to-do lists, running from one to the next, forgetting to breathe.

I find myself irritated by those who slow me down. I find myself suddenly aware that my heart, 2 months later, has not stopped palpitating.

I can't seem to set aside a mere 15 minutes of relax time.

This can't be what was intended.

How do I find this elusive ball--the thing that is worth swinging at? It's time to take some of these pursuits off the microscopic slide and see them for what they are, I think. This is a process that needs direction. This is a process that need faith that God can fill in the "gaps" caused by my human "neglection". I think I am afraid, sometimes, that I'll be behind or lose friends if I don't check my e-mail twice a day...or run errands that make me feel productive and on-top-of-it, when all I feel is tired and anxious. Sometimes people have to learn to let go of things they think matter--and learn to hold only what is truly precious and intended for them to hold. I think today, I am one of those people.
Matthew 6:31-34
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

posted by Evie on 02/05/2008

"Hippest Christian" Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

I think it's pretty hilarious how many people are running around trying to be original, shocking, controversial, and unique. I feel like telling them, "There is nothing new under the sun. You're really not as cool as you think you are."

Of course I don't, but it's a nice thought and it makes me feel silly and slightly better than them on the inside.

I just feel like countless people are busy trying to make a statement or spread their own fame, that they've lost sight of real life. It's as if they've become trapped in their own world of image-inflation that they can hardly see beyond it. Their "causes" and passions are so tangled in their desires of trendiness that they can hardly seperate the two.

But I am no judge (or, I should say, "I have no right to be"). I can't point fingers, because I've been there and realize that it's such an easy place to go--and a hard place to steer clear of. It holds such a magnetic pull--especially in today's culture--that it's hard to simply be faithful, diligent, and others-centered without a secret desire of pedestal-placing individuality. It's really, really difficult...especially if we don't continually plunge into the Words Jesus has given us and spend time in deep, desire-melting prayer.

Jesus, help me to be true. I don't need to win the "Hippest Christian" award, I just need to walk closer to You. Teach me how to do that.

posted by Evie on 01/31/2008

An update from Evie Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

All is well in the life of Evie. So much has happened since my last update, so I figured a list would make it look a little cleaner....here goes! Oh, and read number 10, because it's fun.

1- I continued to have PVC's and went to the doctor a couple more times. They went away...only to come back again about a week ago. I'm going to be calling a cardiologist to have it further checked out, just to make sure.

2- CHRISTMAS! It was so nice. The Haskell girls even put on a mini-production (a Haskell family tradition), complete with Tommy (my nephew). I got a bit emotional realizing the tradition was finally seeping into another generation. :)

3- I sang a new song I wrote -- He Came --for our Christmas Eve service. I'm going to see if a friend of mine is still interested in creating a choral arrangement for it--which would be so awesome! We'll see...

4- Josh (my fiance) came. We had a ton of fun hanging out with the fam and nailing some wedding details down. Did I tell you bought my dress already? This whole thing has been so UN-stressful, it's amazing.

5- Speaking of wedding--a September wedding date has been set!

6- I'm back to 20 hours at the smoothie job. There's new management there, and I love it. The new guys are hilarious. They're also Christians, which is super cool. I read my Bible a lot on my shift, which has been incredible for me.

7- Josh and I are reading through the Bible this year. He's on a hardcore reading plan, and I'm just sticking to Old Testament for now--I figured--knowing myself, it'd be awesome to simply read every day and actually read through it, instead of skipping around all the time. I'm on Genesis 31 now. I can't say how sweet this has been for me.

8- Got a few new students, so now I'm teaching lessons every weekday and saving every penny of that that I can, because life is so expensive lately!!

9- I have a meeting this week with an amazing lady (more details to follow, perhaps) who wants to help me with my music and ministry. I am excited.

10- Today I made a new goal: I'm going to schedule in my songwriting. Sure, I'm open to random moments of song, too, but I want to be more intentional about improving my craft. I should've done this LONG ago...but I think I have a plan: Each week, I'm going to pick a topic (ie: food, people, cultures, objects, names, etc.) and every day try to write a ditty about something that falls in that topic. It doesn't have to be a heart-wrenching-Grammy-winning song--I'm thinking even a minute of music that expresses an idea or thought (including some kind of chorus and verse) will be good.

posted by Evie Haskell on 01/20/2008

The Mission Field is Everywhere. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

And the guest speaker said something like this:

"Other countries are sending missionaries to the United States."

Response: a mixture of laughter and shock.

I felt disheartened. Why is it so shocking that people view our nation as a mission field? Is it that we view being a missionary as confined to the rich 'saving' the poor? or the 'rich' saving the 'poor'? What kind of dilluted, North American-Christianity have we inflicted ourselves with if that's how we see missions?

I love my church. It's filled with people who inspire me; people I love. In no way am I saying that this is the general viewpoint of our Church body...but the response to that statement yesterday kind of made its way under my skin. Perhaps it happened simply because no one had given thought to the U.S. receiving missionaries. Either way, I had to vent a little here, because I knew it would make me feel a bit better. ;)

The way I see it: North America needs missionaries. Supposedly the U.S. is a Christian nation. I understand that in comparison to other countries, we have much more freedom and many are nominally Christian--but at times, I wonder at how spoiled and self-sufficient we've become. We don't think we need missionaries. We have money, clean water, food, and roofs over our heads. What else could a missionary possibly give us?

Indeed--what could they give us? Perhaps they could give us the very thing we need: an example of self-denial, courage in the face of persecution, a life truly devoted to following God's Call (no matter what the "consequence"), a Message not colored or fancied with fireworks, a Gospel that doesn't beg for culture's acceptance.

The United States needs more missionaries. Heck, I need a missionary! They can come from overseas or across the street...but we need more missions-minded Christians to impact, inspire, and ignite God's Message of Truth and Love in our country

posted by Evie on 01/05/2008

Cosmo. or the Bible? Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Tomorrow's Monday, already?!

Where weekends go will forever be beyond me. It seems that we are constantly looking forward to them, only to constantly be waving them goodbye.

But tomorrow will be fun, because the cutest students ever will be stepping inside the doors of our lesson room with shy little smiles on their faces, ready to rock on the piano. I love my job(s...there's so many of them lately).

I will also be faced with a serious question:
Cosmo. or the Bible?

You can call it coincidence all you want, but since I've been journeying through Romans (which, by the way, has been kicking my booty, in the best way possible), certain distractions have found their way into my reading time. For example, stacks of magazines have been strewn across my workplace quite suddenly, presenting me with the question: "What will Evie read today?"

Now, if you know anything about the world of magazines, you will know that Cosmopolitan is quite possibly the most wordly, raunchy girls magazine of them all. All you need to do is read the front cover headlines. It's stuff I couldn't even justify, even if I was married...I mean seriously, not to get on two soapboxes at once, but sex should be something between you and your God-given spouse, not you, your spouse, and a magazine. I'll go there in another blog, perhaps.

Either way, I find it ironic--and predictable--the way the enemy works. I'm not one of those "I have gas...it must be the enemy" people, but I definitely believe there is just as much of a spiritual world as a physical, tangible world out there. And really, it's not "out there"...it's all around us, within us, and it is very real. I happen to know that diving into the Bible is one of the BEST things anyone can do; even better than reading Blue Like Jazz (gasp!) or Mere Christianity (I love you, C.S. Lewis). It makes me wonder if there's something or someone who does not want us to delve into the richness of God's Word. Consider how easy it is to read People magazine for 20 minutes, yet how unbearably hard it is to read your Bible for five.

Perhaps we view it as a chore. What a tragedy. Perhaps we find it boring. In all honesty, I can understand looking at it in face value and not understanding its worth. But when you know God, when you ask His Spirit to illuminate the pages, when you come hungry, when you find out the deeper meaning, it's so extraordinary how life-filled the Book is. (and even many who don't believe find it to be an incredible work of literature--but that's beside the point)

His Word is:
-sharper than a two-edged sword (that's sharp)
-a light, a guide

It keeps us in check. It keeps our heads on straight. We are so bombarted by culture and the world every day--and we simply sit and eat the filthy muck plated to us, because everyone else is eating it. Do we ever stop to pour something God-fueled inside of us? How can we hope to run this spiritual marathon with nothing but garbage in us? It won't happen.

We need the Word. How can we as Christians even expect to live without it? I've "done that"--but it was such a human-efforted religion...full of my own ideas, my friends' ideas, my pastors' ideas, culture's ideas. I'm done with that. I want to be a real, Biblical follower of Jesus--the way He intended me to be. Are you?

posted by Evie Haskell on 10/02/2007

We Call it "Church" Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

We Call it "Church".

We call it Church.

Church, for some, is four walls entered once or twice a week.

For others, it is complete only when it involves singing, teaching, an offering, a handshake, and an echoed prayer.

There are some who see Church as stage time--a gig, if you will. They're singing a solo, they're spending hours figuring out what to wear, they're displaying 'wisdom' to be admired.

Week in, week out, I see those hindered by the wrong definition of Church as they stand on the outskirts. They're lingering in the lobby, unwilling to enter the sanctuary. They're bitter, critical, angry messes. They're hurt, and rightly so, perhaps. They're fighting the battle for their position on the spiritual totem pole.

They're waiting--desperately waiting--for a miraculous sermon to whisk them away to a higher place. If only the choir would sing the right song--or the preacher preach something to convict so-and-so of their faults, there would be revival. If only.

They go because they have a reputation to uphold. They go because someone told them to.

Honestly, I don't know why they go. What an empty place to be. I would know, because I've been there.

We call it Church.

It is a community of sinners--- turned saints--- by God's grace.

It is a family of those who believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God.

A group who believes in the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. A group searching for greater Truth, greater depth--together.

A multi-generational, multi-ethnic gathering of people from different incomes, different life experiences, different problems--coming together for the sake of One. Lifting up One. Learning to know One. Growing together, spurring each other on.

Have you experienced that lately?

Perhaps there is a more pressing question:

Has the Church experienced YOU--
diving in and giving of yourself for these purposes?

Something happens when we give of ourselves for the Church. "Church" (by our incorrect assumptions) is redefined. Our sideline, selfish definitions are suddenly demolished, only to reveal the true beauty of the real Church.

You see, when I decide to invest myself to a deeper walk with God and others who love Him, Church isn't just a place. Neither is it a dead routine or a social club. Church becomes what it what meant to be--a living, breathing, active organism consisting of other living, breathing, active believers. There is value in it. There is passion for it. There is an eagerness to see it thrive and be all it can be.

I was reminded of Acts 2 today, when the Church was giving to each other--sharing all they had. The corporate body of Christ was growing, learning, and benefitting from each individual's walk with Jesus. That's what it's all about. To experience the true definition of Church--we've got to be willing to be the Church.

These past few weeks I've experienced something wonderful. I've experienced Church. It hasn't been my usual idea of Church...no, it's involved God-filled conversations, humble worship, tears, struggle, and encouragement. I've been prayed for, and I've prayed for others. I've been able to share what God has been stirring up in my heart through His Word and leading--to Jr. Highers and to senior citizens.

No, it's not hokey--and no, I'm not just saying this to sound Christian. It's the truth. I've been reminded that I am just a finger, lonely and incapable without the rest of the Body. Church is only Church when it involves you, me, and Jesus--no exceptions.

I have a renewed passion for the Church, and it has filled my heart with the irresistable urge to give of myself--following the greatest example of Christ, who literally gave Himself up for the Church. May we all be imparted with that kind of dedication, that kind of devotion and love for His Church.

We call it Church. It is God's plan and God's gift to us, Himself, and the world. It is eternal, and it is wondrous.

posted by Evie Haskell on 09/17/2007

Home at Last Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Ah! The past few weeks have been simply crazy.

Since I've been home from my month-long stay in Massachusetts, I feel as if I've done nothing but play the game of catch-up. I finally feel like I'm getting there...slowly, but surely.

For those of you who I haven't told, the trip was great. I had so many new experiences--all so different. I played for 1300, and I played for 10. I had my first radio interview and my first outdoor concert. I played in coffeehouses, churches, and right down the street from Plymouth Rock. The humidity was icky. The people were appreciative. And while I was there, I received more calls and opportunities to minister. A month wasn't long enough.

I'd like to go back. I'm not sure if that means I'll go back next summer, or 5 years from now. We'll see. I have a feeling that change is coming soon, and I'm in a pray-and-see mentality lately. I'm just waiting for God to lead me on.

Meanwhile, I'm still making smoothies in the morning, watching my nephew some days, and singing other days. I went to Eugene this last Sunday and sold almost 80 CDs!! Crazy! (Thank you, Jesus...I needed that.) I'm also planning on teaching music lessons in the fall.

Many song seeds have been planted and I'm anxious to nurture them and create more. A lot of different types of songs--more fun, more artistic, more "out of the box" for me. I have enough for another CD, which I'd like to create in the next year. I'm thinking low-budget, acoustic, chill. :) ie: piano, guitar, percussion, some other cool instruments like cello, maybe harp, harmonica....oh, we'll see. I'm excited for that.

I like Josh. For those of you wondering, we're still together, we still like each other, and we do have very open communication about the future. That doesn't stop me from being shy about it, though...I still feel like a baby...I'm too young to think about being adult-ish! :) But I am beginning to believe that no one loves me like Josh. He loves me more than I love myself. He has seen the ugly me, and still thinks I'm beautiful. How that works, I do not know. But I like it!

I'm also working to lose this vacation weight. :) hehe. It's bad enough when you takes 2 weeks off your normal routine--but try a month?! And add the "staying with grandparents" factor, and you're done for. I'm actually a girl who likes herself and is pretty comfortable with her physical self...but I do love the feeling of being healthy and active. Nothing like it. And so--it's off to the gym for me!

So there's the update for now. One of these days, I'll sit down and write something I've been learning--there have been MANY of those lately...maybe tomorrow. :)

Much Love!

posted by Evie Haskell on 09/02/2007

Truth, period. Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

There is nothing that tastes better than Truth-- un-gimicked, un-decorated, un-complexified.

Why do we feel such a need to fiind hidden meanings, self-help plans, or books we can write about unimportant details?

I'm a songwriter. Easter came, Easter went. I wanted to write a song or write something about the Truth and power of Easter--but something that no one had said before...a new 'spin', if you will. I let my mind wander to motifs, people of the story, and objects involved...and felt uninspired.

That's when it hit me.

I was missing the point ENTIRELY!!

When did Christ's sacrifice begin to lack power to save, to heal, to inspire? When did the resurrection become old news? When did the Gospel become "not enough" to awaken my heart to my Savior?

No, it's not the truth that has become dull, it's me. It's my own heart that has lost its life, the excitement it once had hearing the story--the TRUTH--of what happened 2,000 years ago.

Now, there have been some great messages, songs, and books about these details and different perspectives of Bible stories--but the problem arises when we are so focused on being different or 'hip' or 'relevant' that we miss the point. The presentation is never greater than the Message.

The Truth is enough. The Word is enough. It is 'sharper than any two-edged sword', 'God inspired', living, breathing active. The moment we ask for additives is the moment we begin doubting the Word's power, life, inspiration. If it really is true, if it really is inspired, it will be enough. and then some. :)

what do you believe about God's Word?
how do your actions show what you believe about God's Word?

posted by Evie. on 04/26/2007