New Single

 I am so excited to share with you a raw recording of my future single,  Eyes of Faith.  I hope to go into the studio soon to do a full production and bring the song to life.  I have been in contact with my producer from Evergreen Sound and we are making plans.  I am excited to transition my music from my past story of brokenness to the message of faith.  It is what I love to talk about the most.  I love talking about faith and my favourite scripture is Hebrews 11.  God is a faithful God and I believe with all my heart that He is worthy of our complete trust, our faith, and our love.

If you would like to be a part of this project and get updates, please add your email to our list of prayer partners.  It would be such a blessing to have this project covered in prayer!  I am so thankful for all of the support of my fans and super fans.  May God be praised in everything we do.

Blessings, 

Andrea Vestby

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Beyond The Fallout - Digital Copy

Andrea Vestby

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Not Overlooked  

 

Hi Everyone! 

Thank you for your patience.  It has been a few weeks since I posted.  I have so much to share and couldn’t decide what to share first. 

I settled on one of my favourites.  It’s funny how we can read something in the Bible, over and over, and all of a sudden God reveals the deeper meaning.  It really caught my attention at a concert where Brian Doerksen shared about Hagar as a part of his message. 

The life of Hagar is such an interesting story.  It is timeless.  One that we can relate to in a deep and personal way.  What I love most is how God loved her and looked after her despite the trials she faced.  I know what it feels like to have to walk through the tough times.  There are times in our life when we cannot be rescued from our circumstances, and God walks with us through the valley.  Rest assured, he leads us by still waters and comforts our soul. 

Hagar was a slave.  She was a foreigner;  and she was a woman in a culture that did not give women equal rights.  She had three very big strikes against her when it came to life.  She was not living life the way I’m sure she dreamed.  I feel like that is life; it often rolls out in front of us in unexpected ways and rarely meets our expectations. 

In Genesis 16, it tells the story of how Sarai decided to give Abram her slave, Hagar, since she could not conceive.  When Hagar became pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.  In response to this, Sarai mistreated her.  It was not ideal (putting that mildly).  So, Hagar ran. 

How many times we wish we could run, but we can’t.  Life doesn’t work that way. 

The angel of the Lord met her near a spring in the desert.  The angel spoke to her “…the Lord has heard your misery.” Genesis 16:11 (NIV) He told her to name her son, Ishmael, and that God would increase his descendants;  they would be too numerous to count.  He blessed her. 

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’”  Genesis 16:13 (NIV) 

The angel told her to go back. Of all things!  I know…go back!  Some things we must walk through, not around.  God does not always take us out of our present circumstances.  Hagar listened to the angel of the Lord and went back.  Yet God continued to watch over her and he blessed her son.  Ishmael became a great nation.   When we cannot change our present reality, we can be assured that He is the One who sees us. 

God is with you my friends!  I can testify to all that God has walked with me through, and His love is amazing.  The hope we have in Him does not disappoint. 

Blessings! 

Andrea

Cornerstone  

 

 

Hi everyone! 

It has been an interesting week.  With being home at the moment, I have more time to pursue my faith in God than ever before, and I don’t want to waste it.  I have been reading through Matthew.  I love the scripture where God calls us not to worry about anything but rather to seek Him first and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. 

So, I have been living a life with no worry, and have been living in peace.  Instead of a new years resolution, I asked God for more revelation in my life.  Still, the more I seek God, the more I see the things in me that I need healing and forgiveness for;  struggles over bitterness, resentment, jealousy, disappointment, and envy.  It has been very eye opening, the condition of my heart. 

As God has been revealing my heart to me, my constant prayer has become like David’s prayer.  Psalm 51:10, Lord “Create a new, clean heart within me.  Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you.” 

It all made sense yesterday when I read in Matthew 21:42-44.  I have heard it so many times that God is our cornerstone, our firm foundation.  I believe He is the Rock on which we stand and our faith is built, yet… 

“Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: 

" 'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;

the Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes’? 

‘Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you

and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces;

anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.’” Matt 21:42-44 NIV (emphasis mine)

When I fall on Jesus, draw closer to him, the more I feel like I’m in pieces.  I see the things in my heart that need him more than ever.  I see the pieces that are broken, but I also see that He is the One who can redeem, can build new, and can build a stronger version of me than if I had been left to my own devices.  He is the cornerstone, on which I want my life built.  I believe, and I may be wrong, but the reason Jesus said this was because of the hardened state of the religious leaders.  If we think we have it altogether, then we do not have a need for the Saviour.  However, when we recognize our brokenness and our need for him, then He becomes our cornerstone on which our faith is built. Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (NIV)

In Isaiah 64:8 it says, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter;  we are all the work of your hand.” 

My prayer for you is that you will draw closer to God this week and fall on Jesus.  Though life may feel like it is in pieces, it is in His very capable hands.  I don’t know about you, but I want Jesus to be my cornerstone, and I want him to pick up my pieces.  I want him to build me.  Let him be the Potter and us the clay. 

Blessings friends! 

Andrea

Opposite Action 

Hi everyone! 

What an unusual time we are living in.  It is a time of isolation and with that can come a host of emotions.  So I want to share with you my experience this past week and what God has shown me from it. 

I used to be a stay at home Mom, but it’s been a long time since I had this privilege.  I must say I am enjoying the time with my family.  However, with increased time at home and less contact with others, we can get on each other’s nerves if we are not careful.  In saying that, I managed to make a mountain out of a molehill playing crib with my husband.  It can often be the little things that eat at us. 

What came to my attention was my own heart in the matter.  I didn’t realize how I can hold a grudge, and how hard it was for me to accept the word “sorry”.  Reflecting back on other situations, I started to realize the truth behind what my husband was saying.  I always thought I was a forgiving, compassionate and gracious person.  I can be.  However, at times, I can be a dog with a bone…not willing to give it up.  Especially when I think I am right and when I feel justified.  But, is that what God has asked of us? 

The other part of this story that influences me is my past.  Coming from an abusive past, the word sorry had lost it’s meaning. “I’m sorry” became synonymous with “I’m sorry it bothered you and upset you”, not really linked to actual remorse or change.  It was an attempt to make me feel better about what had happened and what I wanted to hear.  It did not change anything, and I continued to be hurt in the same way, over and over again.  So, the meaning was lost. 

Fast forward to today, and God has brought so much healing in my life, that I believe he wants to redeem the word “sorry”.   It is time for me to let go of the grudges, live a life of true forgiveness and accept those in my life who meaningfully say the word “sorry”.  Especially now that we are all cooped up together, with no where to go. 

I was reminded of something I had learned in a course my husband and I had attended, called Family Connections (put on by Sashbear Foundation).  In reality, how do we actually make healthy changes?  What is the practical way to deal with these emotions?  Emotions that are so strong like anger? Frustration? Fear? 

A practical application we can all put into practice is called Opposite Action.  It has a few simple steps to consider, but I believe it is invaluable, and practical.  The idea comes from Marsha Linehan, and she has some videos on Youtube you can check out.  She says that every emotion has an action.  We can change the emotion by changing the action. 

For example: The opposite of Anger is

  • to gently avoid 
  • to be decent, kind, don’t make it worse
  • to be empathetic and understand their point of view 

She lists out steps to take in considering Opposite Action.  She states that if you are going to do the opposite action, commit and do it all the way. 

Step 1:  What emotion are you experiencing? Identify it 

Step 2:  Ask yourself, what is this “emotion” wanting me to do? 

Step 3:  Do I want to reduce the emotion? 

Step 4:  What is the opposite action? 

Step 5:  Do the opposite action? 

In addition to this, I heard a sermon once, called “Do To Be” and the main point was that often we don’t feel like doing the right thing.  But if we make a choice to do it, embracing it,  it becomes how we feel and act in a positive way. 

With all this advice and reflection, when the time comes again and I’m living in the moment when it counts for me to put all this into practice, I pray the Holy Spirit will remind me to do the opposite action; to “do to be”.  I want to live my life out of love and forgiveness, to live by the Spirit and not the flesh. 

Paul talked about this,  he shared his struggles with us when he said, “My lofty desires to do what is good are dashed when I do the things I want to avoid.”  Romans 7:19 

May we all learn the power of Opposite Action and the power of forgiveness in our lives, that we can be like Paul and confidently say, 

“I give all my thanks to God, for his mighty power has finally provided a way out through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!  So if left to myself, the flesh is aligned with the law of sin, but now my renewed mind is fixed on and submitted to God’s righteous principles.”  Romans 7:25 

The principle of Opposite Action can be used for so many situations and emotions.  During this time of isolation, I pray it is a concept that can help you, as it helps me. 

Blessings friends, 

Andrea

It's Not About the Building! 

Hi Everyone! 

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter today.  We were sitting on the couch processing some of this craziness.  We talked about how home has been peaceful and we are choosing not to live in fear or anxiety.  However, she mentioned how some of the things her friends have been saying have impacted her and it’s been a struggle.  So, I asked what are the things they are saying.  The big “one” for her that came up is how the church is supposed to be a place of hope for people and now even they have closed. 

It was a great conversation about what church really means.  I encouraged her that the word church sounds like it is all about the building.  Yet…it is NOT.  Church is about people and about our community of believers.  Hope is never lost, just because a building is closed.  We can support each other and be connected.  We are the church.  In this media age with Messenger, Skype, FaceTime, livestream and so many more apps, we ARE the church. 

We talked about this scripture, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”  I Corinthians 6:19 

So with church being closed, I want to encourage all of us to stay connected.  Join the chats, join those who are reaching out to you to encourage you during this time. 

Let’s encourage peace in one another.  Jesus spoke these words, 

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27 

Message me anytime! I’m like everyone else…home.  I would love to connect with anyone who needs a friend.  If you are feeling hopeless, anxious, or overwhelmed…reach out.  I’d love to encourage you or be your listening ear. 

Blessings! 

Andrea

Red Lights 

 

 

Hi Everyone! 

This week is a grocery store lesson.  I went to our hometown grocery store and took in the reusable bags.  These bags are so easy to overfill because they carry so much!  So the bag was just a “little” heavy.  I put it on the passenger seat, so it would be easy to grab when I got home.  Call it lazy, or I’m just tired after work, either way, I’m okay with that.  However, as I started to drive, the seatbelt light came on and the little “bell” kept tolling, telling me that my grocery bag wasn’t wearing it’s seatbelt.  I kept driving home, it’s not a long way from the store to my house and I wasn’t going to stop and buckle up my bag, lol. 

It did make me think though.  How many times in life has a little red light gone off in my head and I have ignored it.  It might have not seemed like a big deal, but sometimes it’s those little things that become slow progressions towards the apathy that plagues us at times.  It could be something big that we choose to ignore and later have to deal with the consequences.  None of us are immune to missing those red “lights” and sometimes we choose to ignore them, thinking it will be okay. 

I know in my past, I have missed some significant red “lights” and dismissed them with such amazing rationality.  I know I ended up in an abusive first marriage by missing the red lights.  I heard things and dismissed them because I believe in the power of God to work in our lives and that God can change us.  Which I still believe with my whole heart.  However, it’s a willing heart that changes. 

So, as I get older, I hope I get a little wiser.  I want to listen to God when he stirs my heart.  When something doesn’t seem right, or when I need to do something different.  I want to hear from the Holy Spirit.  I don’t want to ignore or dismiss the little things, or even rationalize away what God is telling me. 

“So, as the Holy Spirit says:  Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” 

Hebrews 3:8 

There’s no time like today to start listening to God.  May we be aware of His Holy Spirit. 

Blessings! 

Andrea

 

Redeeming Emotions  

 

Hi everyone! 

Last week I talked about C.H. Spurgeon and his understanding of being chosen and planted by the rivers of water.  God supplies our every need; he is the water our hungry souls thirst for.  It does not mean we won’t face storms and challenges.  It means we are so close to the supply, that He is there for every need. 

So, I’m going to be vulnerable again and share a bit of my heart.  After experiencing abuse, one of my greatest challenges is redeeming emotions.  I believe we are created in the image of God, as spoken in Genesis.  This includes every emotion we feel….God has felt.  He has felt love, laughter, anger, sadness, joy and sorrow, and so many more.  These feelings are not bad, they have their place in our lives.  The challenge is to use them in a healthy way to express ourselves. 

The one emotion that I continue to struggle with is when others are angry with me.  After years of being subjected to unhealthy anger,  I cannot handle conflict.  I cannot handle when someone is upset with me.  It weighs very heavy in my heart and I struggle to find peace.  I find it really hard to read social cues, like body language, facial expressions and tone of voice.  Even if someone is not mad at me, I can pick up the feeling and can’t help but feel responsible for it. 

When I was subject to mental and verbal abuse, I often had the blame for so many situations shifted to me.  So I find it very hard to not take on blame when others are upset and angry. I often feel like it’s my fault. 

I am a work in progress, as many of us are, so what do I do when I feel this way? 

I go to the only source I know can give me the healing I need. 

“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”  1 Peter 5:10 

Whatever we have suffered, I know God can restore and redeem.  He can make us stronger.  And we can have confidence in His love.  The struggles I have with emotions, I can surrender to him and learn to find peace.  I am learning that it is not always about me.  That is often something my husband says to me, in the beautiful relationship God has given us.  The husband I have now, through God’s goodness, has shown me the beauty of healthier emotions.  Though not perfect, He has shown me that anger can be redeemed and not something I have to fear. 

May God be your redeemer today.  Give him your struggles and rely on Him.  He is the river you have been planted by and He is everything you will ever need. 

Blessings! 

Andrea

You are Chosen 

 

Hi Everyone! 

I am reading the Exposition of the Psalms by C.H. Spurgeon and  have been reflecting on Psalms 1:3 this past week.  My eyes have been opened to this verse with new revelation of it’s true meaning and I feel so amazed by God’s goodness. 

It is a beautiful metaphor, that we are like a tree planted by the rivers of water.  It says in Psalm 1:3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” 

A tree that is planted, is not random or wild.  God has chosen you, cultivated you and secured you by his rivers of water, his life-giving flow.  Spurgeon says, “The rivers of pardon and the rivers of grace, the rivers of the promise and the rivers of the communion with Christ, are never-failing sources of supply.” 

In living by faith, when the weather of life is rough, we can draw on this scripture to remind us that we are planted and we will not wither.  God has made us strong and he will supply our every need.  We can draw on him for our strength, our courage, our peace, our wisdom, and our every need. 

In his commentary on Psalm 1:3, he writes, “But to the eyes of faith this word is sure, and by it we perceive that our works are prospered, even when everything seems to go against us.” 

I have been reflecting on this verse all week.  We are like a tree planted by rivers of water.  We are chosen by God and cultivated, tended for and loved.  It is his stream of life that sustains us in the greatest adversities.  Spurgeon also writes, “Our worst things are often our best things. As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man’s mercies, so there is a blessing concealed in the righteous man’s crosses, losses, and sorrows. The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit.” 

Whatever you may be challenged by right now, may you remember that you are planted by God’s life-giving flow and He will supply your needs.  Live by faith and not by sight. 

Blessings! 

Andrea

Believing in What You Cannot See 

 

 

Hi Everyone! 

It has been an exciting week with the video release for the title track of my EP Beyond The Fallout.  Yet along with this excitement came some pretty big feelings.  Before recording my music, we sat down with the producer and talked about the songs I had.  We came to the conclusion, the producer, my husband and I, that I should record the songs that tell my story of healing and hope.  It was meant to bring conclusion to one of the toughest circumstances I have had to face, and continue to face as I deal with the fallout. 

In doing this project, I learned that my story is really a true story of faith.  I have always gravitated to Hebrews 11.  I love the first verse, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV).  In getting out of an abusive past and living the fallout from the trauma,  I decided to live by faith.  I believed in what I hoped for and knew that what I was seeing at the time was not how my life would remain. 

For example,  I’m not the kind of person who likes to be alone.  I thrive on spending time with others.  Even though my relationship had been so dysfunctional and unhealthy, I missed feeling loved by someone.  When I was on my own as a single Mom, it was really hard.  The nights after the kids would go to bed were so silent and the silence was deafening.  I prayed that God would have a good man out there for me and one day we would find each other.  I believed there were still good men in this world.  I did not want to be jaded;  I had lived in abuse in my first marriage, but that did not mean I would ever have to live that way again.  So I put my faith in God towards something I could not see, but I truly hoped for. 

God is a redeeming God.  He did bring me an amazing man of God, five years later.  He is my biggest fan and is a part of the reason I am sharing my story.  He has encouraged me to advocate and share what God has done for me; and what I know he can do for you. 

Faith is believing in what you cannot see and what you hope for.  Life does not usually turn out the way we expect or think.  It has many circumstances and challenges that are out of our control.  However, when we choose to see past it and put our complete trust in God, He will redeem.  It is not always fast.  Life doesn’t get “fixed” that easily.  I have been living the fallout of my past for over ten years and there is more healing I know I need and I know I have more challenges to overcome as my family works through their pain too. Yet God answers prayer, and for me, I am not on this journey alone; thanks to His love and His goodness. 

May God be your Redeemer as you put your faith in Him. 

Blessings, 

Andrea

 

I am what I worship 

Hi Everyone! 

In my attempt to build my relationship with God more this year, and fall in love all over again, I read something this morning that really challenged me. 

I’ve been reading a book called True Worshipers by Bob Kauflin.  In the last chapter, he talks about the anticipation of true worshipers in relation to what worship will be like in Heaven.  Anyone who knows me, knows I love to worship through music.  I love music period.  He says, “It’s easy to forget that what we’re doing now is only an introduction, a foretaste, a shadow of what’s to come.” (P. 146) 

He also says, “One of the challenges we face on earth is the disconnect between worship as an event and worship as every moment. While we understand that worship is something we do in all of life, we’re constantly tempted to view Sunday mornings as ‘true’ worship.  We end up seeking to recharge our spiritual batteries on Sundays, struggling the rest of the week to be aware of God’s presence in the mundane affairs of life.  That won’t be a problem in heaven.  God will be supreme in our thoughts, attitudes, motives, actions, and words.” (P. 150) 

So this morning, I was tempted to do what I always do before work when I have extra time and that’s to watch tv.  But, I felt the Spirit of God challenge me.  I said I wanted to fall in love with God again and the only way to do that is to actually spend time with him.  I really don’t want that to feel like a burden, a ritual.  However, when I think of it, it’s like spending time with a friend.  Often friendship only grows when you spend time with each other.  It’s because you love each other’s company and you feel connected, more energized by the relationship. 

In his book, Bob writes this challenge, “We are given only two choices in life-to worship God or idols.  There are no other options…Life on earth is not meaningless.  Our decisions reflect our worship.  Every person is constantly making choices for God or against him.  We are exalting either the only Saviour or the world or something else.  No one can maintain neutrality.  There is no imaginary fence we can straddle.” (P. 152) 

So, I chose not to turn on the tv this morning, and instead spent some time with my friend.  God is in the ordinary, daily life (the mundane) and I want him with me each day, not just on a Sunday.  I am what I worship, and so I want to invest my thoughts and time with him.  Not, that I still won’t watch tv sometimes, I can’t be a monk as my one friend says.  However,  I chose to make sure that my time is well spent invested in my relationships.  I know, as well as anyone, that what I invest my life in, what I put into my mind and my heart will overflow into my actions.  As I wrote previously, I want everything I do to be done out of love; out of this overflow from my heart. 

This is my encouragement to you this week.  We are what we worship.  It’s a great day to reflect on what’s important.  May we all be challenged to choose wisely. 

Blessings friends! 

Andrea

If Not for Love 

 

Hi Everyone! 

My last blog was about finding revelation this year.  As I was driving to church with my family, I reflected on how God had answered my prayer last year to become more passionate.  Yet, with all this passion for music and for trying to tell the story, I feel like I am missing one thing. 

If I do all these things but have not love, it is all for nothing.  It makes me think of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 

I need to seek out my motives this year and make sure that it is from a heart of love.  I want faith that can move mountains, I want to serve God with everything in me, and I want to continue to follow my passions.  I know God has put a passionate desire in me to write music and worship.  Yet, I need to find love.  I feel like I need to fall in love with God all over again, and I need to fall in love with serving.  I do not want the things I do to be for nothing.  I believe in God’s greater purpose and plan.  I believe in His love. 

It’s a challenge I believe for all of us, to seek God and discover what is actually our motivation for the things we pursue. 

May you have a great week full of self-discovery! 

Andrea Vestby