Solace EP

Happy new year! Hope everyone had a blessed holiday. Things with the band have been slow due to Justin and Joannie’s ongoing wedding planning, but we’d like to give a heads up regarding Candice’s recently-released solo EP!  Entitled “Solace”, it is a compilation of personal prayers from times of distress, joy, and the journey to discovering her utmost satisfaction.

Check it out by clicking the cover below!

Solace EP

Comments Off on Solace EP

Reflections from St. Thomas

The Band with Captain Mark Hall of the Salvation Army (3rd from left).

The Band with Captain Mark Hall of the Salvation Army (3rd from left).

Picture seven young adults rocking out on stage before a small crowd of about thirty or so older folks, many with grey or white hair.  The phenomenon was a sight to behold, but perhaps the most beautiful part was that the young and old could sing hymns together in praise to God.  Afterward, we mixed and mingled over ice cream sundaes, and shared our lives with one another.  Many were delighted that we were so joyful to sing the hymns, the meaningful spiritual songs from their own upbringing and faith walk.  One mother was eager to buy a CD in hopes of enlightening her rebellious teenage kids with the gospel message in their musical tastes.

For the band, it was our first chance to lead worship music in an unfamiliar space and fellowship with one another beyond rehearsal.  In the process, we discovered some hidden gems in St. Thomas (town of 36 thousand), which included memorable moments playing Frisbee on the beach under a beautiful starry night after the concert, and delicious dessert nachos (who knew there was such thing?!!) at GT’s Beach Bar & Grill.

Jo & Heidi with wonderful hosts Al & Marilyn Mintz.

Jo & Heidi with wonderful hosts Al & Marilyn.

Heidi and myself had the pleasure of staying with Al and Marilyn, who were tremendously hospitable in taking us in, providing us breakfast in the morning, and simply sharing their lives with us.

Special thanks and blessings to our friend and brother, Captain Mark Hall, who graciously organized the praise event and took a leap of faith in allowing us to lead his congregation in worship both Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

The weekend in St. Thomas was by no means “perfect.”  In fact, several things had gone “wrong” leading up to the praise event, in spite of my best efforts.  As we were short a singer, I ended up singing while playing piano.  I had neglected to take a careful inventory of required equipment, and at some point, it became apparent that: 1) the keyboard needed cables that neither the church nor myself owned, and 2) we needed three stage monitors but the church only had two.  Right before rehearsal, Justin drove out to rent the missing gear from Long & McQuade, which took an hour there and back.  In the end, the wrong keyboard cables were rented, so I played the whole set on the acoustic grand piano (which was glorious, by the way!).  Technical difficulties prevented us from getting the third stage monitor to work, so that was also rendered useless.  Despite it all, we had a great time praising God with whatever we had.  Given the opportunity, I would be eager and joyful to do it all over again.

In my quiet time when I reflect on this trip, it is Verse 3 and 4 of “May the Mind of Christ” that sing out to me most:

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything
That I may be calm to comfort (the)
Sick and sorrowing

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea
Him exalting, self-abasing
This is victory

Last weekend I was humbly reminded of how undeserving I am of His grace, and how important it is for me to renew myself in His Word daily.  Whatever unexpected trials may come your way, I pray that His peace and love would overflow in you, that you might persevere in all things and bring glory to Him.

Comments Off on Reflections from St. Thomas

Hymn Remix Project on a Road Trip!

Well, the title says it all.  The Hymn Remix Project will be embarking on its first road trip to St. Thomas, Ontario, for a concert of hymns on Saturday July 13th at 6:30pm, and also Sunday morning service at 10:30am at the Salvation Army St. Thomas Citadel (see “events” link for details).

So many contemporary praise songs today are centered around the self: lyrics often contain “me,” “my,” and “I” — “I need you,” “I want to hear you,” “I’m falling on my knees” to name a few.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing: after all, we ought to surrender ourselves and seek the Lord with open hearts.  However, too many “me”, “my” and “I” songs make for an incomplete worship experience: ultimately, coming to the Lord in worship should be about Him.  And that’s the great thing about hymns: they are centered on Him and the timeless theological truths found in Scripture.  Both the Saturday evening and Sunday morning worship event will be filled with praises through the hymns: my prayer is that all who come might leave filled and refreshed in Him.

How many St. Thomas folks would give up their precious Saturday evening in July to hear a virtually no-name band at a free concert?  Perhaps not many, if there are even any at all.  How many St. Thomas folk would give up their precious Saturday evening in July to gather and sing praises and hymns to the Lord?  In faith, I hope there are some, if not many… and I pray they all can come!

The honest truth is that, a mere six days before our road trip, I have no clue how this will all turn out and that makes me feel nervous, anxious and wary.  And yet, in my quiet time, when I truly reflect on His grace and goodness, I find peace and joy knowing His name will be praised and lifted high.  I draw strength and hope from the chorus of “May the Mind,” which is paraphrased from Scripture (Colossians 3:15-17):

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, and His Word richly dwell in You

Let us sing songs, hymns of praise,

in the name of Christ, in the name of Christ, Lord Jesus

Please join us this weekend for a fun, passion-filled Saturday evening and Sunday morning service at the Salvation Army St. Thomas Citadel, as we sing and praise Him — Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour — through the hymns!

Comments Off on Hymn Remix Project on a Road Trip!

Thanks & Updates

Thank you to everyone who came out to hear us on Friday!  We had a lot of fun, and it was such an encouragement to see people get into the hymns and sing with us as the night went on.  Thanks also to Aileen Lee and Vanna Chan for joining us as guest singers, and Mississauga Chinese Baptist Church for hosting the event.

Now that we’re officially back from hiatus, here’s a sneak peek at what’s in the works for the coming months:

  • “Yesterday, Today, Forever” songbook with lead sheets and chord charts for all 10 songs
  • new Youtube videos
  • more gigs!

Stay tuned for more details!

Comments Off on Thanks & Updates