MAY 6, 2014


DVD hits CBA Retail on July 8 through Capitol Christian Distribution


Nationwide Movie Tour continues through May 2014


 SOURCE: Rogers & Cowan

Los Angeles, Calif.(April 2, 2014) – The Ragamuffin film, based on the life and legacy of best-selling Christian music singer/songwriter Rich Mullins, is set to release on DVD May 6, 2014.  The Color Green Films full-length feature will release first exclusively in Walmart retail stores through Millennium Entertainment followed by a nationwide CBA retail release on July 8 through Capitol Christian Distribution.

In conjunction with the DVD release, the Ragamuffin Movie Tour launched earlier this year and is currently screening the film across the nation.  Debuting to a sold-out house at the Orpheum Theatre in January, the tour will run through May 2014 hosting screenings in small venues – churches, college campuses…

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My One Word….and my resistance to it

Several weeks ago I shared that I felt I should choose one Word to focus on.  At the time, I really thought that word would be forgiveness.  That would have been easy, actually.

However, it’s been made painfully clear that my word for the year is TRUST.  Do I trust God enough with my life?  With the my family?  Do I trust His call even though…

My husband is a gifted guitarist and worship leader.  He has an uncanny ability to love on the people on his worship team.  To see their potential and encourage their gifts.  He understands the importance of worship, not just in a congregational setting, but in there being peace on the Worship team and being able to truly worship in the intimacy of that stage with those people beside him.  For many years he worked tirelessly on building up the worship team at the church (aka Church #1) where we were members.  Many, many years.  He even interviewed for the possibility of being brought on staff as a Worship Leader, an official title.  They chose to go another route and we were disappointed but he continued on in the work, knowing that he was using his gift as God called him to do.  Eventually, we left that church for a time.  I don’t regret that decision.  I was the one who needed to leave.  There were many issues which I will not get into here.  Most of them were personal.  There were misunderstandings and things said in anger to us and about us that were not true and hurt all the more because of it.  I stand by that decision because we needed to leave in order to come back.  I know it may not make sense, but sometimes things don’t make sense and we just have to ride it out.

We ended up attending two very different churches during that time (aka Church #2 and #3, respectively).  My husband even interviewed for a Worship Leader position at Church #3 and they decided to move in a different direction.  I will say that in each instance, the churches did not hire another person to fill the Worship Leader position.  They hired a staff member for another ministry.  I harbor no hard feelings about those decisions.   I don’t deny I was angry for a time after both pass-overs, but we worked through it – God and I.

Our family continued on living life as we had.  We returned to Church #1 almost two years ago.  It was a surreal experience.  It has taken about two years for us to feel comfortable in it.  It’s amazing how things change and stay the same 🙂

In those two years, my husband was only asked a handful of times to fill in with a Worship Team.  We thought that his time as a worship leader had passed.  A new generation had taken up the mantle.

Enter end of February 2014.  One couple we had met at Church #3 had also moved onto another congregation (aka Church #4).  They were now youth leaders at this church.  Church #4 had recently lost its on staff worship leader and was looking for someone.  They remembered my husband and made contact.  Church #4 asked my husband to come and lead worship the first Sunday in March as a fill in.  Since January they had been having people from around the community come each week.  Apparently, they liked my husband’s leading and the pastor asked him to breakfast the following week – with a job description.  Out of nowhere.  He also asked my husband to lead that following Sunday and yesterday.  No expectations, just quietly seeking and discerning if he is the person they want on staff.  I have been blindsided.  I am angry, I can’t deny it.  Why now?  Why are we being asked to possibly leave Church #1 again?

There were many tears and hotly spoken words yesterday as we fleshed this out and what it means for our family and for our marriage.  It was not pretty.  We did not have a relaxing and rejuvenating Sunday.  All of us just wanted it to end.  I am not proud of my attitude and my reactions.  I want to curl up in a corner and pretend I didn’t act that way or say those things.  That would be easier, hours of Candy Crush and Triple Town and Angry Birds would numb the pain and regret.  Another viewing of The Decoy Bride or a marathon of Dr. Who would remove me from reality.  My feelings are raw and the wounds are open, yet again.

In the midst of all this I am reading A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman.  It’s about our Art, the art we are designed to live.  The book is hits deeper than I thought.  I thought it was about me and it will be, but at this moment it is about my husband.  His Art – the work he was created to create is leading people in worship.  It’s his heartbeat.  How can I ask him to deny his Art just because I don’t make friends easily?  Because I know that, despite the best intentions, the friendships I have now at Church #1 will become memories?  Because I know how difficult it is to acclimate to a new church since I’m introverted?

My heart has already begun to pull away from those friendships.  I don’t want to feel that pain.  It would be easier to turn and run, not face it.  I honestly don’t yet know what I will do.  I may yet still turn and run away.

At this moment, there is no certainty.  There has not been a formal “offer” but I can see the way the wind is blowing for now and I’m preparing my heart for it.

I don’t want to trust God in this.  I want to control it, to manipulate it, to force the issue at Church #1, to reject Church #4.  However, it is not my decision.  I must choose to trust my God and my husband with this decision.  I cannot ask him to deny his Art and his calling.

Trust….it could be a hard year.

p.s.  Our next book club book is going to be fiction.  I need a break from the deep, raw, uncovering books of the past two months.

Good Stories

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant-
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.
– Emily Dickinson

“Jesus must have spun stories because they’re sneakier than sermons. They infiltrate our senses and weave their way into our hearts before we see their deeper meaning coming. They tell us the truth, like poet Emily Dickinson said, but tell it slant, because the beautiful, weighty truth really is ‘too bright for our infirm delight.’ I’m convinced our Lord is still subversively telling stories. Have you heard a good one lately?”
– Leigh McLeroy from The Sacred Ordinary

Amen….Amen….and Amen.

I believe firmly that Jesus tells us His best and most profound truths, not in ‘Christian fiction’, but through the stories which do not bear the Christian label. Those gritty, messy, and sometimes (gasp!) offensive ones.

One Word

I’ve been using the You Version Bible app lately.  Particularly, the devotional plans.  I’ve been choosing short plans, less than 5 days because I know my attention span.  I chose the One Word devotional last week.  It’s a four day “devotional”.  I put devotional in quotes because it’s less of that and more of a how-to about hearing God’s voice speak a word into your life to focus on throughout the new year – I know it’s February, but work with me.

They give three steps to discovering your One Word (my adaptation):

1)  Look in – during unplugged moments, ask God to give you clarity; examine your heart and prepare you for your one word.  Don’t allow fear to surround it.

2)  Look up – ask what God wants to do in and through you this year.  Don’t just pick a good word, but ask for a God word.

3) Look out – keep your one word front and center; find an accountability partner to hold you in check; keep it in focus.

From my journal:

My one word must be easily understandable or I may abandon it (again, I know myself – sort of).  I need (will be given) a word that can be woven into all areas of my life. 

So, words that have come to mind as I’ve meditated on and asked for a word:






Prestidigitation (just kidding)

There are so many areas lacking in me and I feel overwhelmed.  I want to take all of them and do a crash course – preferably online- to fix me all up neatly, quickly, and with a pretty bow slapped on top.  Of course, that’s not the point. sigh

I’m also currently thinking of how I might speed up the process of discovering the One Word.  Cast lots perhaps?  I know, however, that this is not the point either.  Maybe the discovery part of the process is meant to prepare my heart to live out that word in obedience and with tenacity.

OK, I’m still working on slowing down and allowing the discovery to take it’s time.  Maybe I’ll have an actual word at the end of the year.  Maybe the word isn’t even one I’ve thought of…or maybe it’s the first one.  Trust…

That one is HUGE for me.

My Learning Curve

from Wikipedia:

“The familiar expression “a steep learning curve” is intended to mean that the activity is difficult to learn, although a learning curve with a steep start actually represents rapid progress.”

I didn’t blog during December, maybe you noticed?  I took the month “off”, although I can hardly justify blogging as work.  I lounged. I procrastinated. I ate. I learned to live with pain. I bought presents (one niece got three of the same thing from me because the first two wouldn’t arrive in time so I bought more). I read and read and read. I “started” a book club.  Started is in quotes because just two nights ago I decided on a book and a time and place for meeting – February 24th at Panera Bread. Yay, me!

Here’s the thing.  The books I read probably raised some eyebrows because through the wonders of social media and Kindle, people knew what I was reading and when I finished them.  In fact, I know some hackles were raised because folks were not stingy with their opinions.  Some backstory:

I live in south central PA.  A firmly evangelical, fundamentalist, conservative part of the state.  I drank the Kool-Aid often and from a very young age.  In fact, the church I grew up in had a Christian school (which I attended through 9th grade) and February was named patriotic month.  Wow!  Did we ever celebrate!  It was akin to Easter and Christmas.  There were month long school projects, American history dress up days, parties, and a patriotic cantata at the end of the month at the church with all the glorious school projects filling the large, grand lobby for everyone to ooh and aah over.  I was patriotic.  I was conservative.  I was evangelical and fundamentalist. I pledged allegiance to the American flag, the Christian flag and the Bible EVERY DAY!  The flags held prominent positions in every classroom and at the altar.  I have learned and re-learned Christian-speak from Kindergarten.  We even had Catechism, good, fundamentalist catechism.  I didn’t wear pants – they weren’t feminine or sanctioned by the pastor. I wore culottes.

from Wikipedia:

Culottes is a word that originated in the French language. Historically, “culottes” referred to the knee-breeches commonly worn by gentlemen of the European upper-classes from the late Middle Ages or Renaissance through the early nineteenth century.

When I was newly married, I attended the church my husband grew up in.  A little Mennonite church on the “wrong” side of town.  It was intriguing to me and I was astonished at the non-patrioticness (call me Noah Webster) of it all.  But, not being patriotic didn’t mean that they weren’t conservative and it didn’t mean they weren’t properly schooled in Franklin County political culture.  We were in a young marrieds Sunday School class (which also included singles and older marrieds – it was a small church) and the teacher one Sunday actually called me a feminist.  A FEMINIST!!  I was appalled…offended…irritated…angry…flustered.  The nerve of this guy!!  I was the anti-thesis of the “feminist”.  Not only had I continued on my conservative, fundamentalist, patriotic trajectory, I had recently added conservative talk radio to my daily diet, with enthusiasm.  I think you can do the math and figure out who I listened to religiously for many, many years and I’m not dissing him.  I still agree with him on some things, but I’ve moved on.  Honestly, I NEVER thought I would say those blasphemous words.  Hello, I’m Deanna and I’m a recovering conservative talk radio listener.  Nice to meet you.

Fast forward many, many years to this past November and December.  Through the world of the internet and blogging and Facebook, I was introduced to a blog, then to a book, then to another book and another.  In the past eight weeks I have read A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans, Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey, and Seven by Jen Hatmaker.  Wow!  I was busy curled up on the couch reading and wrestling with all those thought, phrases, and emotions instilled in me from that Kool-Aid.  I’m exhausted by the mental gymnastics I’ve had to perform to readjust my conservative thinking.  I’m convicted because I am part of the problem.  I have hope because of these women and so many, many more who are smart, articulate and, wonder of wonders!,  Jesus followers.  I want to be like them when I grow up.

I want to challenge the status quo in the church’s view of women in ministry, of patriarchal hierarchy.

I want to change my views on the poor and destitute in which I insulate myself and my family from “the least of these”.

I want to empower women all over the world to grab hold of their God-breathed gifts and use them for his Kingdom.  We’re missing the Kingdom, people!  Missing it in the midst of the American church.

I do not want to throw stones anymore.

My path will have many stops and starts.  I won’t make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things, but I will make a difference.  It may not be seen by anyone but God.  And that’s okay because He’s the only One who really matters in these changes.

I haven’t wrestled out all these thoughts yet and I’ve already come under criticism.  I can deal with that.  I’m admitting here and now that I know I won’t agree with everything these women say, write or speak, but that’s the beauty of the Body of Christ.  I can learn from them, just as I learn from Lydia or Bethany or Ann or Tsh or Rachel or Emily or Lysa.  As I learn and gain rapid progress (see Wikipedia definition at beginning), I will be able to answer those criticisms with wit and grace and maybe a tad of sarcasm because, after all,  I’m only a women…right?

and…drumroll, please….

I’m a Jesus Feminist.

I guess Mr. So n’ So got it right all those years ago, but not in the way he meant it.

Wick Trimming Update

In an effort to trim wicks during the Season, I’m taking some time off from scheduled blog posts. If I find something to write about that I just can’t wait to share, I’ll post.
Otherwise, have a meaningful Advent and Happy Christmas!

Worn In vs. Worn Out

My kids are very different.  Aside from the fact they are over a decade apart in age and are different sexes, there are many others things that are night and day.  However, there is one idiosyncrasy I’ve noticed that they share.  They like things that are worn in.  My daughter prefers clothing, particularly jeans, from a second hand store.  My son prefers his shoes to be second hand.  In other words, worn in.

Once this thought came into my head I immediately thought about the difference between being worn in and worn out as moms.  So often we are just worn out.  Worn out with all those things that need to be done.  As a wife or mom, whether you bristle at it or welcome it, your home and taking care of your family is your calling.  It is a Divine thing.  Did you ever notice how God created the family first?  Not church or ministry or jobs or friends, but family.  Sure, he gave Adam some chores such as naming the creatures, but Adam was still alone.  To meet Adam’s needs, God gave him Eve – a family.

“Worn in” conjures up feelings of comfy pj’s and slippers, the favorite spot on the couch or your favorite jeans and boots.  Worn in means comfort.  Isn’t that what we want for our families – comfort.  Particularly during this time which gets a lot of lip service about remembering “the reason for the season”.  Choose events during December carefully.  Choose those things that are life giving, not life draining.  Choose those permanent things, not the urgent things.  Usually the things that are screaming the loudest are those things that you can and should ignore.

Ann Voskamp says “Life is not an emergency.”  Most of our daily lives are not urgent.  Dropping things from your calendar to give your family some white space during this season can help you to breathe and relax and breathe new life into your life and those of your family.

Can I encourage you this holiday season to allow yourself to be worn in and comfy?  To be the mom who says “no” to those extra holiday things (although good) just for the sake of not getting yourself worn out.