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JBT “A New Chapter” Releases TODAY!

Over the last few months, our lives have changed drastically.  Jim resigned from singing baritone with The Booth Brothers, I had achilles tendon surgery on my left foot, we started a new group, we wrote some new songs, and we recorded a new CD as The Jim Brady Trio.

There was also a week at The National Quartet Convention, Thanksgiving, Christmas and our first official concert on New Year’s Day.

To say life has been hectic would be an understatement, but it’s already been the journey of a lifetime!

Now, we’re watching our labor of love come to fruition as our CD “A New Chapter” is released today!

We’re excited to share our stories and our songs with you, and if you want to get a taste of the new sound, just click on the following link to hear our first single “Steppin’ Out In Faith” :    http://youtu.be/MuIgfp55O24

Big Changes!

There are big changes happening at the Brady House, as Jim and I are embarking on the adventure of singing together.  It’s bittersweet for him to leave the Booth Brothers, but so exciting for us to once again travel together!

There’s more exciting news to come, and we’ll be making an announcement soon!

 

WOW!!!

Something Beautiful was such an incredible weekend of worship, fellowship (Well, let’s call it sistership, since it WAS a women’s conference!) and laughter, that I barely know how to explain it.

Our weekend was a running over of God’s goodness, and every session was filled with encouragement and wisdom for the days ahead.   I was amazed as God met with us, right where we are, in the middle of our “stuff” and gave us exactly what we needed.

Joy overflows, and the writer in me continues to search for the words that will best describe how wonderful it was to gather with more than 150 women (and a few men) to encourage one another in faith.  It’s as if the weekend was filled with exclamation points and there just aren’t enough words to describe it.

So, for now, take a deep breath and as the oxygen fills your lungs, think “WOW!!!” topped off with extra exclamation points, and you’ll begin to feel a little of the exuberance that fills my heart as I remember Something Beautiful!

 

Something Beautiful

I’m sitting at my dining room table, overwhelmed by God’s goodness.  Tonight, we host our 2nd annual women’s conference where over 150 women will gather at the Nashville Airport Marriott Hotel to celebrate our faith at Something Beautiful.

Life is filled with blessings and it also brings hardships that sometimes test our faith.  This dream, to encourage women, runs deep into the core of my soul, and I’m so thankful God has given us this opportunity to celebrate that, through it all, He has a beautiful plan for our lives.

 

The Value Of Tradition

Christmastime is filled with traditions.  Going to Grandma’s house, big meals, football games, presents, candlelight services, favorite recipes, the Christmas story, cookies, Christmas carols, parties and more.

As a little boy, Jim’s family had the tradition of baking cookies together, with Jim’s job being the Chief of Sprinkles.  From the stories he’s shared each year, I’ve gathered that being Chief of Sprinkles was highly revered in his young heart and, to this day, when I begin holiday baking, he’ll make his way into the kitchen to be my sous chef for as long as I need a sprinkle on a baked good. It’s his tradition.

In my family, after the meal is over, the presents have been opened and the Christmas festivities have come to an end, the fun begins.  We play card games, and I love it!

Now, I have to be honest, just because I love to play cards, doesn’t mean I’m SKILLED at playing cards.  Early on, it was clear, I’d be the last person picked for a team.  Yes, I’m THAT kid.  Simply because everyone in my family knows their odds of winning go way down if I’m their partner.

In the end, it was my uncle, Bubby, who picked me for his team. (You got it, my mother’s competitive spirit wouldn’t let her pick her own daughter.  It was just too risky.)  While I’d like to believe love won out over sympathy, the truth is, it was probably Bubby’s talent to win in SPITE of me that helped him choose me as his partner.  Win or lose, I’ve been playing on his team every Christmas for as long as I can remember.  He’ll pick me again this year and I can’t wait!

As time has passed, and loved ones have gone to Heaven, some of our traditions have changed, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me sad.  But, I’m learning to appreciate that those traditions have given me good memories, and keeping traditions in my life gives me hope for the future. I have a card game to look forward to and, since Bubby’s my partner, I just might win!

If you’re like us, and circumstances have changed some of your traditions, while you’re heart honors the past, I encourage you to look for ways to make new traditions for your future.

Tip extra at a restaurant, pay for a stranger’s meal, volunteer to ring the Salvation Army bell, read the Christmas story to children at your local library, go caroling, whatever means the most to you.  After all, they’re YOUR traditions!

From my heart to yours, have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New year!

A Lesson Learned In Stockholm

We recently went to Sweden and we had the most wonderful time! I’ll spend the next month going through the pictures and sharing about our adventures there.

Until then, I’ll share a little about our first day of sightseeing in Stockholm.

Our friends, Joakim and Malin were incredible tour guides, showing us the best sights in the city. I took nearly 300 pictures in two days!

What I didn’t take was tennis shoes.

You see, I was saving space in my suitcase, and I was proud of the fact that I had needed only one piece of checked luggage on this trip.

In my quest to save space, instead of tennis shoes, I took flip-flops & slipper shoes for my walking days. My thoughts were well intentioned, but very misguided.

Below, is a picture of my slipper shoes, after walking about six miles through the streets of Stockholm.

Notice the hole in the shoe on the left. The cobblestone streets of Stockholm aren’t kind to slipper shoes. Or the feet that wear them.

Lesson Learned:
No suitcase is too full for your tennis shoes!

Good Things!

We’re currently on a cruise to Alaska, where we’re enjoying gospel concerts, visiting with friends and LOTS of food!

My sister-in-law (along with her husband) is here, and we’ve already had more fun than any two people deserve in a few day’s time. And we’re only half way through the cruise! (Smiles)

One of the things we’ve enjoyed the most has been the cooking classes held in the culinary institute on the ship.

I’ve included a picture of us with the chef who taught us how to make a delicious salmon dish.

I’m so thankful for God’s goodness, and the way He blesses us with simple things that bring joy!

So, how has He blessed you today?

Farewell, But Not Forever

Today, after a brave fight with cancer, our brother-in-law, Steve Green of Lansing, MI, reached the end of his journey here on earth. Our hearts hurt in this loss, but we’re comforted to know he is no longer suffering.

He was a man of God, a loving husband, a great father, and a friend to us all. He was always willing to lend a hand and give of himself to help another. We will always admire his faithfulness. We love you Steve, and we’ll miss you! We’ll see you, on Homecoming Day!

 

A new chorus from Jim, in honor of Steve…

Farewell, but not forever
Goodbye, but not for long
We’ll meet again in Heaven
And sing a never ending song

 

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

The weather has been confusing, of late.  It’s been warm for a day, then overcast and cold for a week.  Then, rain. More rain. A glimpse of sunshine.  Then more clouds, more rain and more cold weather.  A few times, I’ve caught myself making the comment that I’m READY FOR SPRING!

In  reality, I know Spring is just around the corner but, some days, it’s felt like the rain was here to stay.

I’m reminded of a song by Alison Krauss & Union Station, that Dad and I used to love listening to and singing along with, called “Cloudy Days.” We’d sing….

“Cloudy days, don’t the sun ever shine any more?  Stormy weather will you always be around? When I’m down I can’t stand cloudy days.”  (Those words never fail to make me smile!)

Sometimes our lives can also feel overcast and gloomy.  The “stuff” of life piles up and overwhelms us to the point where it feels like everything is just rain, cold and clouds.

The reality is that, like the weather app on my phone says that tomorrow we’ll have sunshine and warmer weather, life will get brighter too.

We don’t have to sit around  fearful that our lives will always be overcast by dreary clouds of  worry or frustration.  All we have to do is remember that the sun is still shining, just behind the clouds and soon, when those clouds dissipate, the warmth of the sun will shine into our lives, warming all the cold places.

God promised He would never leave or forsake us and I’m thankful that the light of His love shines in my heart, even on the rainy days!

 

Coffee In San Juan

We’re enjoying day four of our cruise and today’s stop is San Juan, Puerto Rico.

We found a quaint little coffee shop called, Aroma’s, where I ordered their signature caramel drink. As you can see, the deliciousness comes in layers which you stir and then try not to devour all at once. It’s THAT yummy!

Hugs!
Melissa