Kat & Jared – Out of Your Heart…

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38)

When I went to shoot photos for this article, I was honestly thinking of how I could help or encourage Kat and Jared in their music and ministry. I quickly learned that they were never focused on themselves and what they could gain.  Instead, I watched them effortlessly encourage and pour into others, including me. They stopped what they were doing to hear a man ask for guidance in a situation with his former wife. Their entire group took the time to speak with and pray for another fan who had recently been living in her car. They even took group prayer time to pray over my daughter. All I could do was be constantly reminded of the verse above in John and how when someone thirsts so much for the Lord, living waters pour out of their hearts and in turn encourages things to grow. All I felt was a genuine love, one that was contagious and comforting.

Kat and Jared, a husband and wife musical duo, spend their time cultivating their land in Texas, raising 2 beautiful children and focusing on “doing life together.” “We believe it’s our calling to pour into the lives of others, it’s something we want to do.  God works through willing hearts.  It’s really one of our greatest joys to empower other people,” Kat explained.

To be honest, people can easily say beautiful things like this.  Actually putting these hopeful words and positive goals into action is something that can literally impact a person’s life and is a testament of their character and true faith. Kat and Jared have found a key to a successful ministry: to be so contagious in the out-pouring of God’s love that people want more of it. The lost and broken would do anything to know it for themselves. I have never personally experienced this contagious encouragement as much as I did from interacting and spending the day with Kat, Jared and the entire group working with them. I was constantly thinking, “how can I learn to do that?”

Kat elaborated on their process of producing effortless fruit like the Bible says we should. “John 15:1 – 17 is a key passage that we live by.” In this reading, Jesus tells us the parable about Him being the vine and we are the branches. Verse 5 states “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” The parable ends by Jesus telling us of His love for us and how we must do the same for each other. “This is my command: Love each other.” (17)

One way to show love, is to spend time with each other and this is what Kat suggested anyone do. She and Jared are dedicated to spending time with anyone who crosses their path. With these people, they converse, pray and obey as the Lord directs them. Besides spending time with people, they make the time for Jesus a priority. “We focus on developing a friendship with God, and from that relationship flows the life and heart of our ministry. We spend time with Him every day, like we would a friend.  We don’t talk the whole time, we listen too, but we do keep a constant dialogue going with Him.  We’re always wanting to know what He thinks about situations, people, etc… He willingly fills us up when we look to Him.”

In aiming to see everyone as God does, she continued to explain, “We are set on being positive people and look for the gold in everyone.  When you aim to love people like that, your heart is open to hear more from the Lord because you can only minister to what and who you love.”

This article was written and photographed by Nadine Gillespie and edited by Asha Schein

ToddeFunk! – The Responsibility of Believers

“Out of all the pain and devastation, I really found hope and the Way in life and a real relationship with Yeshua.” – Toddefunk!

ToddeFunk! by Waves of the Sea

In my experience speaking with most people who have a relationship with Jesus, there seems to be an underlying theme. Something brings them to a “rock bottom moment.”  In the midst of hardship and trials, when they focus on God, He comes through and strengthens them. In turn, this makes the believer want to share their freedom and hope with others.

Toddefunk! is most known for his funky, bass playing, Jesus music. As a long running and accomplished musician he has played alongside TobyMac for over sixteen years, fronted the band Electric Church and is now pursuing his own music. Even in the middle of a successful music career, Toddefunk! tells us that he would “never lose sight of the Creator and his essential source of truth.”  To reach this perspective, he found his rock bottom and had a “sobering reflection” into his life. In the midst of this he found Hope. He found the Way. He found the true God of the universe and believes in creating his life as a “living sacrifice to Him.”

“I was living according to my own mandate, just coasting through life. Whatever belief I had was good enough and I didn’t need anymore than that,” Toddefunk! said.

Looking back on his life, even as a professing Christian, everything looked good. He had the house, the family and led a comfortable existence. That was until crisis hit his front door. “Separation from my former wife and children and an emanate divorce caused me to start rethinking everything I knew because I could finally see I was just going through the motions, up until that point.”

In these moments he saw his imperfections, took on responsibility and began truly searching the scriptures to know how the Lord wanted him to live instead of living by his own will.

Toddefunk! went on to say, “I want to be more obedient to His word. I’m not concerned about how the world is trying to fit in.” Even as “Christianity” has been molded and sometimes warped he wants to be careful to live his life according to God’s will. “As Christianity tries to conform to the world it sets a false representation,” he added.

In the time I was able to spend with Toddefunk!, I can honestly say he doesn’t just say these things lightly. He strives daily to be a “living sacrifice” and continue to be the Lord’s representation here on this earth. He told us, “I’m a role model whether I like it or not, just because of the position I hold. This comes with a responsibility.”

ToddeFunk! by Waves of the Sea

He takes the time to encourage children who look up to him to continue on a straight path in life, inspires them to learn that skill they want or simply makes small talk with anyone because it brightens their day.

Because the world is in a place of looking for answers,  “My charge to believers is to stand up and do the hard things,” ToddeFunk! stated. Just as he has found enlightenment, he encourages others to look at what the stumbling block is in their life and how they could strengthen their witness to others. He encourages people to study and research the Bible for themselves and learn how God would want them to live. As we become who we are called to be we can help and encourage others to find the same hope and freedom we have found.

Just as our human existence and perspective shifts as we submit to God, Toddefunk! explains though his music he will elaborate on real things with a silver lining, it will also “always have the perspective of a disciple of Jesus.”

“I believe there is still room in our Christian music industry to grow stylistically. I didn’t want to conform to a particular sound just to follow the crowd. The Bible says we are made in His image and wonderfully and fearfully made. Our music should reflect the diversity God has made us.” Toddefunk! stated.

ToddeFunk! by Waves of the Sea

Just like other areas of his life, ToddeFunk! delivers exactly what he intends with his music and his latest song, New City. This song is a celebration of the afterlife for believers. It has that funky twist only he can bring. Being inspired by Prince’s song 1999, he saw this was a celebration, but without hope at the end. He wanted to present the message of eternal salvation and the living in a New Jerusalem as the hope we have as believers. “We have the ultimate reason to party” he said “because we will awaken to live a life with our King. We cannot fathom how awesome it will be.” 

ToddeFunk! by Waves of the Sea

As hard as Toddefunk!’s trials may have been, he admits “it was the best thing that could have happened to me because it woke me up.” He now has a real relationship with Yeshua {Jesus} and with his music he intends to help all those that hear it to take a deeper look into their lives, so that they may not have to have such trails to come to the same realization.

This article was written and photographed by Nadine Gillespie and edited by Lindsay Morgan Snyder

Haley Klinkhammer – The Valley

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com | Haley Klinkhammer

“People are so important when it comes to the struggles we go through, whatever they may be. Talking with those closest to you can help so much in knowing that you’re not alone.” -Haley Klinkhammer

The Bible calls us to tell our story. Psalm 107 begins by saying “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Haley Klinkhammer is someone who is gifted at telling her narrative through music.

Though never expecting to make herself a “YouTube star,” Haley first picked up a guitar at thirteen years old and began a YouTube channel.  Ten years later Haley has over 235,000 subscribers, most of which were built through cover songs she would perform in her bedroom. Soon after her success, she began writing her own music and eventually crowdfunded her latest CD From Where I’m Standing. This girl packs a punch of heart-felt life lessons in songs like Breaking Free and It’s Not You, It’s Me and upbeat reminders in songs like Clocks and Mirrors and La La La. The realness of her testimonies with an overall positive outlook is one reason for her success.

Because of the purpose behind Waves of the Sea and Psalm 107, we want to share the story Haley has written in her song The Valley.

“Our stories are so very important!” Haley explained. “I tell my story through music because I believe there is a reason God gave me the ability to create music. I feel that I need to use it to share my experiences and what I have learned and it will give people hope.”

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com | Haley Klinkhammer

The Valley is that place of desolation and bleakness that you may find yourself in. It’s easy to lose hope, focus or direction. It’s understandable to ask “Where is God?”

Haley explains the feeling in her song:

“Is this it, is this all there is?

Did I miss my chance to see all that you have for me?

I don’t know, I don’t know how to get myself out of here

But I know, yeah I know that I need your hand to guide me”

Haley penned these words in a moment when she felt God was distant from her.

“I was in a place of feeling like I missed it. Like everybody else was feeling something I wasn’t feeling. It made me question if I had ever felt God’s presence in the first place.” she said.

I agree with Haley and I think many people have struggled with this doubt. Seemingly, God is silent and we’re not really sure why. What are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to get through?

Haley’s advice in The Valley is faith and worship.

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com | Haley Klinkhammer

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) is a verse that has been a foundation to her walk with Jesus. It’s important to remember we don’t have the whole picture. God has our best interest at heart, to be conformed to the image of Christ. When we choose not to focus on our problems, but rest in the faith of the “One who gave you breath” we invite God’s will into our lives and in turn He helps us get through the valley.

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com | Haley Klinkhammer

Jesus was the perfect example of God looking at a person’s faith, verses the situation they found need in. In Luke 5:17-20, when a man is lowered from the rooftop in order to be in Jesus’ presence for healing verse 20 says “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.” and he was healed. Jesus didn’t see that the man couldn’t physically move, but only that he had faith. Because he believed so strongly, the man got himself to Jesus by any means necessary and that is when God responded with an answer to his need.  

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com | Haley Klinkhammer

Singing and praising our way through life’s Valleys, is another way to help us all get by. This helps us to be filled with God’s Spirit (Ephesians 5: 18-19), shifting our focus, becoming more wise and keeping us in a spirit of rejoicing. Feelings are fleeting and even at a point of not understanding, Haley’s words also encourage us to praise, sing and dance! In this moment of praise, we invite God’s presence into our situation.

“Make a joyful noise to the one who gave you breath…. Make a joyful noise to the King of Kings”

We invite you to listen to The Valley by Haley Klinkhammer and to follow her here.

 

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com | Haley Klinkhammer

 

This article was written and photographed by Nadine Gillespie, edited by Asha Schein and Lindsay Morgan Snyder

Photoshoot location The Old Jefferson Cotton Mill

 

Lacey Sturm’s Music and Ministry

Lacey Sturm concert photos for Waves of the Sea

If you follow the Christian Rock music scene, there is a chance you have heard about Lacey Sturm and her encounter with God that changed her life.

Coming from a place of atheism and suicide contemplation, Lacey had such a life altering experience with the living God and His undeniable power changed the course of her life, setting into motion a powerful ministry.

Lacey Sturm concert photos for Waves of the Sea

My personal experience in following the music, writings and ministry of Lacey Sturm began in 2004. As a friend popped in the EP of a band called Flyleaf and said “you have got to hear this!” I was hooked at that very moment. It was like her music spoke to my soul without me even realizing exactly why. Later I came to realize it would be a platform God was using to shape my life. It was Jesus Christ, inside of Lacey, that was calling to me through her music. It was like I was hearing my story and a way to freedom that I was unconsciously wanting more of.

Lacey Sturm concert photos for Waves of the Sea

A few weeks after my friend and I were listening to Flyleaf in the car, I noticed they were  touring with Seether, Shinedown and Halestorm and I knew had to go!

I watched Lacey and her band get up in front of hundreds people wearing all black, dark make-up, chugging beers and yelling every cuss word in the book. As Lacey took the stage, people from the audience were screaming, “you’re hot,” wanting to get her attention. Without an ounce of judgement in her eye, Lacey stood confidently in front of them and began to explain the next song called “Cassie.”

This song was about Cassie and Rachel who were killed in the Columbine shooting after they were asked if they believed in God. Lacey then said, “We, also believe in God and we would die for that,” the crowd hushed and she began to sing.

When she spoke those words, something hit me, I thought “How could someone be so bold to announce that they would die for their beliefs to a bunch of people who probably didn’t care?”

It had me thinking and that would be my first of many Flyleaf and Lacey Sturm shows I would attend.

Over time she would write more music and books that would have a deep impact on myself and I know many others. She would always talk about the words of wisdom that God would give her and experiences that God would lead her through. It was contagious to the rest of us how God would care so much.

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com

Lacey’s heart for the lost, broken and hurting also shines through as she talks directly to her fans from the stage.

Recently at a show, she described two of her songs Vanity and Rot with a story from the Bible about a rich man and Lazarus. ( Luke 16:19-31).

Lacey said, “Lazarus’s whole life he suffered [and was poor]. The rich man’s whole life he was living in luxury. They both died. The poor man was in Abraham’s bosom, in paradise and the rich man in Hades, suffering.”

The rich man, now in Hell, pleading with Abraham finally cries, “if someone could just go warn my brothers about this place so no one has to come here… Surely, if someone raised from the dead they would believe and repent.””

Abraham said back to him, “If they do not believe Moses or the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone raises from the dead.”

In continuing to explain, Lacey said, “The next songs remind me that there is still time to hear truth and come out of death and have life, tonight. I just want you to listen tonight, and if there is death in some area of your life you can make choices to change from death to life. You still have time.”

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com

When speaking with Tom Gascon, Lacey’s drummer, he confirmed that their touring life is really going into the “Rock n’ Roll world” to find people that may be unreachable except through music. “I personally take the time to minster to anyone the Lord puts on my heart,” Tom told me. “A lot of times, it results in prayer over that person and we’ve seen a lot of deliverance on the road! We also get to see many people turn their lives back over to the Lord!”

Tom knew from the beginning of his time with the band that the power of God was on Lacey, her team (Lacey’s husband and guitarist – Josh Sturm, and bassist – Ben Hull) and the message they wanted to deliver for the Lord. “At our very first practice, in a tiny basement-like room, the Holy Spirit was so thick that it was obvious that the Lord was blessing what we were doing. In that moment, I knew that He had amazing plans and purpose on this calling into the rock ministry.” 

In another message Lacey was delivering to our crowd, she would explain that she needed to talk to us, as everywhere she goes she knows there is a different reason why they are there. She knows how each person in the room was unique and had a specific purpose.

“You are God’s art!” she exclaimed.

“We all say something about who God is. You have a unique DNA for a reason. You have a purpose that no one else can fulfill the way you can fulfill it. That’s an amazing thing…There’s someone here that needs to know, you are important, significant.”

In concluding her explanations Lacey said she had already prayed for everyone in that room. She asked God for each of us to have our very own encounter with Him and that our lives would be changed.

To really sum up the impact, heart and ministry of Lacey Sturm to a single article would be impossible. She has written two amazing books: The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living, sharing her encounter with God and her drastic life change from atheism to having a relationship with her Creator and The Mystery: Finding True Love in a World of Broken Lovers. Her music written with Flyleaf (FlyleafMemento Mori, and New Horizons)  still speaks volumes of life’s truths and her latest music, Life Screams, is a perfect continuation of the creativity God pours through her and her bandmates . We here, at Waves of the Sea, hope to feature more articles about the amazing things God is doing through this group of people.

To Lacey and her team, thank you for what you do. You’re making a difference. We are big fans over here at Waves of the Sea.

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com

 

This article was written and photographed by Nadine Gillespie and edited by Lindsay Morgan Synder

If you would like to use any photos on social media please email us at nadine@wavesofthesea.com and link back to our site!

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Fallen Crown

 

As a child of refugees from the country of Laos, Venex grew up with a faith that now informs her music. Although, it wasn’t until she was in her late 20’s that she realized life was more about helping others than just helping herself. She realized that God had given her a passion, a desire in her heart that had been with her since she was young. A passion in which she could help others but at the same time, find purpose herself.

What a gift.

Venex decided to step past her deep insecurities that tried to hold her back most of her life and step into what she knew she loved, music.

Venex’s lyrics are real, true and raw and talk mostly about the darkness of humanity and yet the hope. She finds the promise of HOPE through God and her belief that people, despite their hard hearts or circumstance can accomplish incredible acts of compassion, creativity, and love.

“Things don’t have to stay the same.” Venex said.

It’s when times are at their darkest that the Light in the world is most bright, most precious, and provides the most hope.

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com
Venex Music – Fallen Crown

Venex said “after dealing with a selfish period of –why is my life so hard, I realized I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t the only person dealing with insecurity and doubt in people and sometimes myself and my faith”.

It was in that period that Venex grew compelled to help others through her passion of music.

Venex’s latest single Fallen Crown alludes to the present darkness in our world and this is exactly when we as humans tend to cry out to God more than ever, because in the darkness we are looking for Light. It seems fear can draw us near to God, looking to the Creator for answers when we can’t find them anywhere else. The inspiration behind Waves of the Sea is this exact idea of calling on God in our fear and seeing His faithfulness towards us. Psalm 107 explains how He hushed the waves of the sea and guided them, he wants us to follow Him day by day and watch for His faithfulness.

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com
Venex Music – Fallen Crown

As far as Venex and her heart for injustice, she is compassionate towards those who are oppressed in 3rd world countries or teens that are bullied in middle school. As a child of refugees, she knows how difficult it was for her parents just looking for a safe place to lay their heads.  Her heart burns for those less fortunate and she wants to make a difference. And like the parable of the five loaves and two fish she knows all she can do is start with the gift God gave her, which is music.

She hopes to inspire people to be all they want to be, to move people out of the limitations that others place on them and the pain of their past. Inspiring them to step into what makes them come alive.

Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com
Venex Music – Fallen Crown

Venex said “I have my doubts too somedays, I wonder if what I am doing helps anyone?  I want to inspire people, but some days I am discouraged myself”

But as Venex was honest with herself and the people around her, she realized that most people have doubts in their abilities and that shouldn’t stop any of us, we need to keep stepping out, doing what God gifted us to do and knowing that even if we help one person in this world, it will all be worth it.

Please listen to Venex’s single Fallen Crown.

For more info and music please visit Venexmusic.com

This article was written by Lindsay Morgan Snyder.

Photography by Nadine Gillespie.

The purpose behind the Waves of the Sea blog

I don’t remember where, but I recall being told once that if you wanted to know God all you had to do was ask for him to reveal himself. It was in his character that he had to answer. He had to respond. I wanted to know if there was a god, was the one I was raised to “know” truly him or did some other religion get it right?   I began praying and asking the real god to reveal himself to me, whoever he was.

As time progressed without a reply, I began to get a little angry because He wasn’t answering me. He wasn’t doing what I was asking Him to do and in my frustration I yelled out “God, why can’t you hear me?” Flipping open my Bible a second later, I looked down and read Isaiah 59:1-2

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,

   nor his ear too dull to hear.

But your iniquities have separated

   you from your God;

your sins have hidden his face from you,

   so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2

Reading this was like having a direct conversation with the god of the universe. I asked a question and He answered it, right there in black and white. This wasn’t just a coincidence, it continued. God persisted on answering long unanswered prayers, one after another straight from the Bible. It made God a tangible presence and someone I wanted to know.

Waves of the sea at sunset
Waves of the Sea | wavesofthesea.com

In college Nadine studied photography with an emphasis on her passion for photographing musicians. After her internship with Turner Broadcasting, she got married, and a few years later welcomed the birth of her daughter, Eliza. Her dreams became less of a focus.  Shortly after, she discovered that her child had a puzzling, recurring illness and Nadine was no longer able to work full-time. Still wanting to find purpose and a way to reach people with the life giving message of Jesus Christ, she became inspired by Psalm 107. From the story of the merchants at sea, Waves of the Sea was created. The story accounts, calling out to the Lord in a time of trouble and how He calmed the storm and led them to their desired haven.

23 Some went out on the sea in ships;

   they were merchants on the mighty waters.

24 They saw the works of the Lord,

   his wonderful deeds in the deep.

For he spoke and stirred up a tempest

   that lifted high the waves.

26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;

   in their peril their courage melted away.

27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;

   they were at their wits’ end.

28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

   and he brought them out of their distress.

29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;

   the waves of the sea were hushed.

30 They were glad when it grew calm,

   and he guided them to their desired haven.

Anything in our lives that causes us distress can be considered “waves of the sea.” Just as the merchants called out to God in this story and He stilled the storm to a whisper, He calms the waves in our lives too. But we must keep our focus on Him.

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

   his love endures forever.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—

   those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

This is the purpose of the Waves of the Sea blog, to “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” We promise you will hear unique, inspiring and real life accounts of the goodness of God’s love to those willing to call out to Him.

Psalm: 107:15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

   and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

43 Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.

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This article was written by Lindsay Morgan Synder. Please check out her blog here.

Photography by Nadine Gillespie

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