Friday, December 21, 2012

Singing Praises Day 7

Before you start reading this blog, if you haven't already done so, take a moment to read the opening blog of this series here

Missy Wilson

Thanks to Steve Cherrico of Singing Praises Day 6 I had the incredible opportunity to meet Missy Wilson a few months ago. Missy, her husband Mike and her family live in Franklin, TN. Yet I met Missy in an airport as we were headed to Haiti. Missy and Mike are the founders of myLIFEspeaks, a non profit organization that speaks up for those who can't speak up for themselves. Take a look at their website and their 2012 brochure and see what they are doing. Yep, I mean now.

Missy is feisty, energetic, outspoken, and determined. And I say those with the utmost respect and admiration. It is those traits that have made her the perfect person to change the world! And changing the world is what she is doing! Haiti will never be the same again because of her love and dedication to speaking up for those who can't. At first, I was slightly intimidated by Missy. I wasn't sure what to expect. It took all of 30 seconds of seeing her face light up when she stepped onto the myLIFEspeaks campus in Neply, Haiti to know how much she loves her Neply family. I had the opportunity to talk with her as we walked one day and her heartbeat was loud and clear...Family is for everyone. 

Missy and Mike have 6 children; 3 sons, 3 adopted daughters (2 from Haiti). One of their sons, Lane, has severe cerebral palsy. No one would have ever thought differently of the Wilson's if all they did was just raise their children here in Franklin. After all, they had enough on their plate. But, they never saw it that way. They were so in love with Haiti and they saw with their own eyes the need. They knew that they had to do something about it. Their lives were wrecked (in a good way). 

Missy has become a Mama to hundreds of and adults. It takes her twice as long to walk through the village because she is stopped by each person. They miss her when she's in the States. They welcome her into their humble homes. They smile and run to hug her. She doesn't offer them hand outs. She doesn't come in and try to tell them all how to do things the American way. She goes and loves on people, people she calls family. She lives out loud. And her life is LOUD! 

Missy is a world changer. She loves and loves well. She is a hero. And I am so thankful for her! Here's info on how you can connect with her and myLIFEspeaks:

Missy Wilson
Facebook: /missywilson 
Twitter: @missywilson

Facebook: /myLIFEspeakspage
Twitter: @myLIFEspeaks

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Singing Praises Day 6

Before you start reading this blog, if you haven't already done so, take a moment to read the opening blog of this series here.  

Steve Cherrico

I don't even know where to start on this one! Steve Cherrico may be one of the most incredible people on the planet. If you know him, you completely understand without further explanation needed. Steve may be one of the most genuine people I know. Let's be honest, many of his amazing attributes are because he is married to one amazing woman, the Jessi Cherrico. That probably was his wisest decision ever outside of accepting Christ as Savior, of course. 

I met Steve 13 years ago when I moved to Tennessee.  I have had the privilege of doing ministry with Steve in several capacities. I've had to opportunity to see firsthand how he leads with a love and passion for people, his insatiable desire to learn, and courage to stand for what is right and just. 

Steve currently works for First Priority of America.  If you've not heard of First Priority (FP), I would strongly encourage you to watch their video here. It's less than a minute long and worth watching. Go ahead. FP's Vision Statement is simply: The Hope of Christ in Every Student. I'm pretty sure if I was to ask Steve what his personal Vision Statement was it would be similar to FP's.

I have been on a couple missions trips with Steve and the most recent was to Haiti this past summer. There were reasons that it would be best for him not to go, but not going didn't make the list of options. His unwavering faith and trust in Christ has been an encouragement to me. This was definitely proven again recently when his son experienced healing in his body. Read the story on his blog here.  Yes, I mean read it's super encouraging and worth the read. I have never experienced a time where I was discouraged when I've talked to Steve or read his twitter/facebook updates. His words are always timely and laced with God's love and wisdom. You should definitely follow his twitter just to be able to receive a dose of spiritual vitamin C. He is a father and friend to many, but not one ever feels slighted. He walks in humility, confident in His God, with integrity and without judgement. He lives out a lifestyle that honors God. And I am so thankful that I get to call him co-laborer and friend (even when he tries to stir up some mischief...which has been known to happen)!

Learn more about Steve Cherrico and First Priority by connecting with them here:

Steve Cherrico
Twitter: @SteveCherrico
Facebook: /steve.cherrico

First Priority of America
Twitter: @FPofAmerica

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Singing Praises Day 5

Before you start reading this blog, if you haven't already done so, take a moment to read the opening blog of this series here.  

Anne Kiernan

Okay, so moving on from writing and songwriting right into another form of art. Design Art. Anne Kiernan embodies the meaning of an Artisan. Her graphic design is stunning art. Her ability to portray visually what 1,000 words could not express is priceless. She is gifted at many types of art and she continues to grow and mature in her talent. You can check out her portfolio here. Go ahead, check it out now. She also has countless of pieces of commercial design artwork that makes any marketing department happy to hire her. And...she loves to cook and bake...which mean if you're her friend you reap the benefits of her trying new recipes out! She never has to worry about not being invited to a potluck...she has secured her spot at each party. To her, it's an art form. Speaking of art forms, she even make gift giving an art! She loves to give gifts (which is yet another benefit to call her friend). You can rest assured that she put thought into the gift. I am enjoying a Christmas Gift this year that is taking me 25 days to unwrap and I couldn't be happier! You see, I was pretty vocal about wanting a Christmas Countdown/Advent calendar this year. You know...where each day you get a gift. I, obviously, didn't want to do it for myself. That would just take the fun out of the surprise (one of the few surprises that I actually enjoy!). 
Well, on December 1st, I walked into my office and there is Advent Calendar! I had received some pretty rough news the day before, so this couldn't have been more of a blessing and gift! Now until Christmas I get to open a new treasure. I look forward to it each morning as I walk into my office even more than I usually do (just in case you're reading this boss). And if all that wasn't enough, she is a true friend. She cares. She loves. She challenges. She mourns or celebrates with you depending on what you need. She lives a life that is full of integrity and honor. She honors others...not just the cool people. Her only flaw might be that she was born in Kentucky, but I guess she couldn't help that one. Anne make my world a better place. She laughs at and with me...a lot...and for that I'm thankful! If you know Anne, you should tell her how awesome she is. If you don't know her, you are missing out on some of the best Bourbon Bars ever. :) 

Twitter: @annefkiernan
Instagram: /annefkiernan

Interested in Anne for freelance design? Check out her contact page

Monday, December 17, 2012

Singing Praises Day 4

This blog is part of a series, so if you have not yet read the introduction do so here.

Jason Wain

And today I continue with the theme of songwriters in this post. I met this stellar person through Writer Will (I wrote about him on Singing Praises Day, here's another reason to sing his praises). His name is Jason Wain. Jason writes, plays and sings his own music (and has been known to do a Journey cover before). And you can watch all his videos on's one of his newest ones: When You're Gone
As you can tell (since you just watched at least one of his videos) Jason is talented musically, but I'm sure you know by now that there's more than just having talent. Jason is probably one of the top 5 most positive people I have ever exaggeration here. Top 5. EVER. He's kind...and not the southern type of kind...he's genuinely kind - to your face and when you leave (if I've offended you, think about it, you know it's true). I'm not sure he's met someone that he wouldn't be friends with or that he would consider a stranger. His twitter feed is littered with encouragement and inspiration such as:
"Stay connected to your purpose and destiny it's worth it."
"Choose to have a good day no matter what happens."
"Today is another day to be the best you. Don't waste it."
 He celebrates love, life and people everyday in all that he does. He drinks some strange green mountain smoothie (that I'm sure tastes better than it looks) because he's always in pursuit of bettering himself...and not just physically, but in all areas of his life.
If you're in Nashville, you should get to know him in person. If you're not, connect with him via any social media outlet you wish...but connect. I'm thankful for people like Jason Wain that are refreshing and always encouraging! Thankful for Jason!

Twitter: @jasonwain 
Instagram: /jasonwain
iTunes: Jason Wain