Kids Singing My Songs? I Never Imagined.

Last week I was invited to come visit the kids choir at CCV (my home church). Rebekah Neilson, our kids worship leader, said that they had a surprise for me. Oooo… I love surprises! So this past Tuesday, after I led worship for the women’s bible study group, I went to pay them a visit. As I walked down the hall to Room 201, I heard the voices of many little worship leaders in the making. They were being led to sing vocal warms ups. As I walked into the door, I saw a few of them turn their heads to look at me. They smiled in anticipation.

I wondered what the surprise was going to be. I had an inkling to what in might be… Rebekah had introduced my song, “Heart After You” a few months back for the weekend kids services, and they have been singing it in rotation ever since. I had seen little snippets of video here and there of the kids singing out the lyrics with their sweet hand motions, but had never seen it in person. Shortly after I arrived at their rehearsal, Rebekah had them turn around towards me (all of their cute little faces) and wave hi to Mrs. Ashley. They cued the music and sure enough it was the intro to my song. They all faced Rebekah as she led them in singing the song, hand motions and all. I pulled my phone out to capture the moment and tears started to well up in my eyes.

 

I never thought in a million years that the songs I wrote for my album would reach kids. But after seeing them sing one of my songs the other night, I have never felt so much joy! I have seen youth and adults of all ages sing this song in particular, but the kids were the ones that melted my heart.

My writing inspiration for my album was to put scripture to song, and my goal was that the songs would be catchy enough to stick in the hearts of its listeners. The night of my album release, I showed a video that expanded on this idea. I mentioned the songs that I used to sing in Sunday School as a kid. These songs put scripture into my heart even at a young age. And they were catchy enough to stick with me even until now! That is amazing! And that is why the moment I saw the kids singing “Heart After You”, it became more special to me than anything I have ever experienced.

Psalm 51:10 (“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”) is the scripture inspiration for “Heart After You”. The lyrics to the song read, “Create in me a heart that’s clean, A heart that’s after You.” My prayer is that as these kids continue to sing out these lyrics, the Word of God would become a part of their vocabulary… their being… their life. And in years to come, they would never forget.

To God be the glory.

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“The Vow” Challenge

For those of you that don’t know, I am on staff at Christ’s Church of the Valley as one of the weekend worship leaders. I love my job and I love my church. I feel so blessed to be a part of what God is doing in the life of our church, and I love seeing how God has been moving in the lives of our people. However, this particular post is not to tell a story about someone else within our church… it is to share what God has been doing in my life through this season of ministry. I thank God for my church and the way that the leadership is stretching me in my walk with God.

Our pastor, Jeff Vines, recently challenged us to take a Nazarite Vow. This is a challenge taken from the Old Testament (Numbers) and brought into our current context. It is similar to a fast… where you are giving something up that is very dear to you, and in the midst of this fast you are pleading with God to help remove a sin in your life. (To see the entire sermon, CLICK HERE) In summary, the vow comes with 3 challenges:

20130801-115937.jpgAs I prayed through this, I realized that there were some specific sins and issues in my life that I needed God to deal with. I am going to keep those between me and God right now, but these issues have been eating away at me lately. So I came to a point where I needed God’s help. And to show Him how serious I was about getting rid of these sins, I decided to take part in The Vow with our church. Since I started this fast, God has been working on me and my heart in a huge way.

For the first challenge, I decided to get rid of TV completely. For those of you that know me, I love my shows on Netflix and watching TV is a way for me to decompress from the day. I am refueled when I get the chance to curl up on my couch and watch the latest episode of whatever show I am into that day. TV has become my “thing to do” when I have nothing else to do. So giving up TV has definitely been a huge challenge for me. I have had to learn to fill my time with other things… such as time with God, time with family/friends, reading, songwriting, etc. I have had to ask God to give me rest in other ways, because the main challenge has been finding the same rest that I find in TV. But amazingly enough, God has been teaching me how to find rest in Him, and rest in other things. Now I am not going to lie, after a month into this, I am not looking forward to not having TV for two more months! But I know that God is going to teach me so much in my time of sacrifice and fasting. And every time that I have the urge to watch TV, I am reminded to pray through my sins and refocus on God. Lord help me though! Haha!

Wherever you are in your walk with God, I challenge you to listen to the sermon from my Pastor (link above) and take The Vow. We all have something that we need to work on, but how serious are you about getting rid of that issue in your life? We have a God who can help us through anything and deliver us from the chains of sin, so why not plead with Him to help? I challenge you to get serious about your sin, because freedom awaits us on the other side.

Meaning Behind: Lord Of All

Age to age You stand tall
Nations rise, Kingdoms fall
Oceans rest at Your call
You alone, Lord of all

Have you ever thought about how sovereign our Lord is? Sovereign is defined by having supreme rank, power, or authority. Our God is above all, over all, and in all. Age to age and year to year, He stands tall. He has witnessed and orchestrated the rising and falling of nations and kingdoms. He has commanded the oceans and calmed the storm. He is the God who was, and is, and is to come.

I don’t know about you, but my mind cannot even comprehend that! How is God here, there, and everywhere all while holding supreme power over it all? How does He control the mighty ocean and calm the winds? How does He know exactly what I need, yet knows the same about everyone on this planet? I don’t think my mind will ever fully understand the complexity of His being, but that is why God is God and I am not. I choose to trust Him and all His ways, despite being in the dark at times. He is sovereign and I will follow Him.

Blessed are You, Your name is good, Blessed are You forever

Because He is mighty and unchanging and good, I WILL CHOOSE TO BLESS HIS NAME. No matter what may be going on in the world or in my own life, I WILL CHOOSE TO BLESS HIS NAME. Even though I may not understand completely, I WILL CHOOSE TO BLESS HIS NAME. When nations rise and kingdoms fall, I WILL CHOOSE TO BLESS HIS NAME. As oceans obey the call of God, I WILL CHOOSE TO BLESS HIS NAME. I challenge you to do the same. Let us bless the name of the Sovereign Lord of All.

800828343620.MAINPsalm 113:2-6 “Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and  forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?”     

To purchase the song, Lord Of All, click HERE.

Valley Worship Blog

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For those of you who don’t know, I am a worship leader at Christ’s Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA. To go more in depth, I am specifically a part of Valley Worship: the worship, creative, and performing arts ministry of Christ’s Church of the Valley. We serve the various technical, music, performing arts, and creative needs of CCV while implementing a vision, philosophy, and theology of worship all the way from the multi-generational services on the weekend, to youth, and children. In addition, we equip and empower others by developing and providing innovative and engaging resources and training that help to develop a deeper devotion of worship for individuals and churches nationwide.

Our Valley Worship website has just launched and I get the privilege of blogging for this site about every other week. I will still be blogging on this site, but I want to be able to share some (or all) of the blogs I write on the Valley Worship site as well. I will post links to the blogs when they are posted… just another way to hear what’s on my heart! 🙂 Enjoy…

Valley Worship Blog- OH TO BE LIKE AN OAK TREE

-Ashley

“Alive” New Valley Worship Single

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Hey everyone!

The songwriting community that I am a part of at Christ’s Church of the Valley (Valley Worship) just released a new Easter single. We have been teaching this song in our weekend services and it is one of my favorite songs to sing right now! The lyrics are so powerful, especially in this Easter season, and the melody is interesting enough to keep you hooked, yet simple enough to sing along. The writers of this song are good friends of mine, Jeff Jansen and Joel Ceballos, and I am so impressed with their writing on this song. “Alive” is the next “Happy Day”! Seriously! If you don’t believe me, take a listen yourself… http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=g-high-u&v=QW_poTWPPIc

If you like the song, we would appreciate your support!! You can purchase the song through our publishing company, Risen Music. http://www.risenmusicpublishing.com/alive .
I hope this song and the message it displays helps you to enter into a state of celebration, because our Jesus is no longer dead… he is ALIVE! Here are the lyrics…

ALIVE

The earth it shakes, clouds give way, angels sing and celebrate
He is alive
Oceans roar, mountains bow, love laid down, joy poured out
He is alive

Alive Alive, He’s alive
Risen from the grave
Alive Alive, He’s alive
What a glorious day

Empty cross, ransom paid, curtain torn, an open grave
He is alive
Trumpets sound in victory, people stand in liberty
He is alive

He is the holy one, our God King of Glory
He is the risen one, our God

Meaning Behind: Jesus Lives

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Jesus lives is the first song on my album “Heart After You”. I would like to call it one of the singles on the record because of its feel-good sound and strong message. But I’ll let you decide that!

This song is based off of 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As we approach Easter in a few weeks, I am reminded of the victory that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ. He chose to follow the will of God, and give his own life on the cross. And because of that, we have been set free! We are no longer under the power of sin, but we are under the power of Christ. Thank you Jesus! It makes me want to shout out at the top of my lungs that Jesus lives! (If you could hear me through my writing… that is what I am doing! 🙂 ). Let’s get exited about our victory through Christ this Easter season.

Listen to Jesus Lives: https://soundcloud.com/ashleybeckford/jesus-lives-mp3
Free Chord Chart/Lead Sheet: http://ashleybeckfordmusic.com/chords.html

JESUS LIVES

Verse 1
Jesus came, humbly gave his life his pride his all
Set us free through victory, o death where is your sting
Our God reigns!

Chorus
Shout it out, Shout, Jesus lives, Jesus lives
Lift your voice loud, all our days Jesus saves
Crucified to set us free
In Christ alone the victory
Shout it out, Shout, Jesus lives, Jesus lives

Verse 2
Hope is found, hear the sound of peace rest and joy
We will sing, for Christ our King has conquered sin through love
Our God reigns!

Bridge
One God, One hope
Now with one voice we sing