It's my fifth Christmas in Santa Barbara this year. Amazing how fast time passes and the beginning of a new year is knocking at the door again.
2016 will be somewhat of a crossroads for me. Hopefully in January I will know if my Green Card application is approved or not.
That means, I might be back in Germany this coming June!
It's so crazy to even think about that possibility. It rises both, excitement but also sadness, in my heart and emotions.
After being in California for more than 4 years, Santa Barbara has become quite my home.
There's not a day that passes that I am not touched nor amazed at the view of the mountains that are so close and seem to have been painted in the background of this town. The ocean holds its own magic of course, and every time I actually walk out onto the pier I cannot believe that I LIVE in a place, where other people spend their vacation.
My life has changed. I've been through some personal ups and downs while fighting away panic attacks and anxieties, and got to know God as my "Jehova Rapha", God who heals.
I am becoming a runner, which is quite unusual for me, cause I would always reply to the questions "do you workout?" with a witty "I am a musician.". (But, let's be honest, the nice weather, the scenery, and the fact that half of SBs population runs - at least that's what if feels like - make it easy to get out there early in the morning.)
My ministry has changed as well. I mean, I am still a worship leader and songwriter, and that calling will probably always be the most dominant one in my life.
But I've become more of a musician. Working with Calvary Chapel has drawn me back to playing electric guitar for the worship band. And I also picked up Bass, which I actually LOVE playing, cause it's challenging me on a different level. It's making be a better musician.
I've also been venturing out into more administrative gifts, which I've always known I've had. I like organizing and taking "stuff" off of the shoulder of the pastors is a highly underestimated ability. I love making people happy and helping them thrive in what they need to do.
Particularly working alongside our worship leader, Joseph, has been great.
So, it's somewhat a funny thing to think about that maybe God might call me back to Europe to be a worship and band leader full time. But I am open to anything, like I guess I have always been in my journey with the Lord. The main point is, we need and need to want to be wherever God wants us to be.
It is never so much a matter of what we do as much as it is how we do it, meaning with the right attitude of our heart. God has been working a lot on mine these last years. I can honestly say, so far it has probably been the most fruitful time in my life.
So, please keep me in your prayers as the Lord is arranging the near and far future of my life and ministry.
Thank you so much and Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!
"We try to make calls out of our own spiritual consecration, but when we are put right with God, He blights all our sentimental convictions and devotional calls. He brushes them all aside, and rivets us with a passion that is terrific to one thing we had never dreamed of, and in the condition of real communion with God, we overhear Him saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" and for one radiant, facing moment we see what God wants, and say in conscious freedom - "Here am I; send me."
From "So Send I You", Oswald Chambers.
A year from now my Visa will run out. That means I've already been almost 4 years in Santa Barbara. A time that truly challenged me, taught me so much, blessed me abundantly and has let me grown in my walk with The Lord and in my ministry as a worship leader and musician.
And it still goes on. It always does. And it's never so much about our ministries as it is about our relationship to our Heavenly Father. It's about our hearts.
I guess the main thing in life is to stay moldable, flexible and open to go where He leads us. I can honestly say that I don't know where I will be a year from now, and that I am excited to see what God has in store for me.
In the meantime, asking myself what's the next logical step?, I will apply for permanent residency with the United States. If God says "Yes", I might stay much longer than I had thought a couple of years ago. If He says "No" it will lead me back to Europe.....or wherever He will call me.
Who said being a follower of Christ is boring? It's the most exciting adventure in the world.
Here am I; send me.
That's right. That's what I am, we are in Christ. Theme of the Women's Conference in Siegen was "Who are we in Christ?"
We are Princesses, yes. But we are also Warriors. Warriors-Princesses.
It was such a good time with the ladies of CC Siegen. We spend a weekend in a wonderful Sports Hotel near Siegen, enjoyed times of fellowship, got to worship the Lord together, and listened to very profound, honest teachings by Peggy Ball, wife of CC Kaiserslautern's Pastor David Ball.
Oh, and it was funny, too!
Someone might think "Germans and funny? That's an oxymoron!"
Well, we've proved them wrong!
I'm back in Santa Barbara, where I am still recovering from the whirlwind of a weekend.
I am working on my skills as a bass-player, taking baby steps in learning how to mix songs in ProTools, and continue to write and record songs.
Besides that we here at CCSB are trying to get our heads around the Easter Service that's coming up so quickly.
I am also involved in many ministries like Women's, leading worship for a homegroup, front desk duty ("Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara, my name is Andrea, how can I help you?" :-)) ), High School worship coaching......
All for His Glory!
Stay tuned and be blessed!
.... for the Calvary Chapel Siegen Women's Retreat!
I am super excited about this trip! I will get to worship with 120 ladies and serve alongside Peggy Ball, who's the wife of Pastor David Ball, Calvary Chapel Kaiserslautern.
Please keep us in your prayers!
I know the Lord has huge blessings in store for every woman that will take part in a time of worship, teaching, prayer and fellowship. Pray that the Holy Spirit will minister to every heart in all liberty, that God's truth will shine into our hearts and minds.
My time in Europe was super blessed! 8 different churches. 11 different events that I either led worship for or played concerts. Besides teaching a couple of workshops on worship.
The Lord has been so good. We faced a few hick ups with people being sick, kids being sick, that kinda stuff, but all in all it couldn't have gone any better, or more relaxed.
My appreciation goes out to my amazing band, Marika and Martin Varnholt, Olli Dangendorf, Ecki Jung. Those guys made it so easy. And a lot of fun. It's one kind of fun to be playing music and playing for The King. But when you get to do it with great musicians and good friends, that's like the icing on the cake.
I've been back to Santa Barbara for a little over a week now, and it's great to be back! I'm excited for what the Lord has for the church here and and for me this coming year.
We are getting ready to prepare the Easter service, the new Generation Bible College semester has started and I am looking forward to being part of teaching the Women's Discipleship class.
Besides that I am writing and working on a CD project, arranging and producing for a dear friend of mine.
It's already February....time flies.
God bless you all!
I'm excited to be playing in different cities in Germany this January, starting on the 3rd with a concert at Calvary Chapel Freier Grund.
For most of my concerts I will be playing with my whole band, consisting of dear friends of mine: Olli Dangendorf on guitar, Martin Varnholt on bass, Eckhard Jung on drums and Marika Varnholt on vocals. Should be a lot of fun! We will dig into the songs and start practicing this coming Monday and Tuesday.
But, before I do that I will be flying to Dublin, Ireland, today to play at the sunday service at Calvary Chapel Dublin tomorrow morning. One of the greatest blessings for me in my ministy is that you get to know so many brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world. My Irish side of the family has always been so dear to my heart, and after not having seen many of them for at least four years I am looking forward to be part of their sunday service.
Check out my On The Road link on this site to find out where and when I'll be praying!
It's been over a month now since "WALK ON" came out. It feels good to have a new project out, to finally get to share these 11 songs with listeners all over.
After a CD release is always before a CD release, so I am actually writing again, gathering some ideas, looking forward to co-write with some people and somebody even suggested that I should release a Christmas album……hum…..so everything's possible.
But for now, I enjoy playing "WALK ON" live and am looking forward to take the album on the road in Germany beginning of the next year.