Music for the Soul at the Bluebird Café!

The Bluebird Cafe

Tuesday August 27th ~ 9:00PM

In The Round featuring…

Kip Moore
(Something ‘Bout a Truck, Hey Pretty Girl)

Brett James
(Jesus Take the Wheel, The Man I Want to Be)

Tony Lane
(I Need You, Letters from Home)

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, August 20 at 8:00AM CST

Join us at the Bluebird for a night celebrating the power of a great song
all proceeds benefit Music for the Soul!

Bluebird Café
4104 Hillsboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37215 |
@Musicfor_Soul on Twitter | Music for the Soul on Facebook

Donations are tax deductible.
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Not Too Far From Here: Oklahoma


Somebody needs a little hope
Not too far from here
and I may not know their names
But I’m praying just the same
That you’ll use me Lord to wipe away a tear

~ lyrics from Not Too Far From Here

When Steve, founder and creative director of Music for the Soul, first learned about the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, he shared how he tried to pray for the families but found that he couldn’t. Though he felt deeply, especially for those who had lost their children in the day care center, he shared that he literally felt he had no words.

This week at Music for the Soul, we feel the same way in the aftermath of the news about so much loss and devastation in Moore, OK. We have struggled to find the right words to express our thoughts and prayers. And so the lyrics from the song, Not Too Far From Here, take on a new and special meaning for us.

As Steve wrote the song the thought came – this needs to be a prayer, never realizing how God would use it in the coming years.

Many of you know that Oklahoma City is the pilot city for our ‘She’s Somebody’s Daughter’ initiative, and we have made special connections and friendships in that city during our recent work there. Our hearts hurt for them right now.

We’ve been encouraged this week to follow the lead of the Spirit and reach out with musical prayers for healing in a city that has suffered so much already. We were prompted to offer to send copies of After the Storm to our friends and contacts for them to hand out and/or include in care packages. Yesterday over 300 copies were packed and shipped – just about every copy in stock.

Originally created for those suffering in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, After the Storm is a music and spoken word CD which offers a sense of God’s presence and hope for those whose hearts have been broken, and it includes the song Not too Far from Here.

However, we were not able to fulfill all the requests after making this offer, so we are in the process of securing a special pressing of a CD of Hope with a special Oklahoma City cover that can be given away and included in care packages. It will include the song Not too Far From Here, which is also on After the Storm.

Not too Far From Here was used in the days after the Murrah Federal Building bombing, as Mikaila Enriquez sang it in churches all over Oklahoma City and at the memorial service for the Oklahoma City Bombing victims.

Help me Lord not to turn away from pain
Help me not to rest while those around me weep
Give me your strength and compassion
When somebody finds the road of life too steep
Now I’m letting down my guard
and I’m opening my heart
Help me speak your love to every needful ear
Jesus is waiting

In 1996, Mikaila Enriquez sang Not Too Far From Here on Good Morning America, and many were stunned that she was given the opportunity to sing about Jesus on national network television. Afterward, she shared in an interview, “After the bombing, it was just a perfect song. It was just perfect. So many people are hurting out there and Jesus is waiting.”

The song continues to be an anthem for many Oklahomans. And at this time more than ever, it is our prayer for those in Oklahoma, after the tragic events of this week, that they will experience the strength and compassion needed in the coming days and weeks.  That they will experience the love and presence of Jesus through the waiting arms of those prepared to help and give hope.

We’ve been told that others are already praying that the music on the CDs would give comfort and peace, long after the perishable provisions of care packs are gone.

If you feel led to help with this CD, a project that will offer the kind of hope which points to the One who will still be there after the storm, we’d like to offer an opportunity to be part of this special project with us. Simply click on and visit our Donation Page to make a tax-deductible donation of any amount.

Maybe you have been considering making a donation in other ways to bless those in Oklahoma but have been undecided as to where or how to do so, we have found this article which lists various ways to help: How to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims.

Blessings to you as you prayerfully seek what God is laying on your heart for those ‘not too far from here’.


Photo Credit: Jamie Lapeyrolerie
Life | Photography | Love

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Waste Time. Permission Granted.

clockBeing a songwriter or musician can easily make one in to a workaholic.  This is especially true if you’ve got a passion for it.  Once one turns on the songwriting machine it is hard to stop.

Lyric writing is like working a puzzle.   “This a great line but it doesn’t rhyme. “ “This word makes it rhyme but now I’ve got too many syllables.”  “This word fits perfectly but I already used that word in the first verse.”

Being a songwriter means some part of your brain is constantly engaged in solving the puzzle.  As result you are never really off.

The danger is that writers can get to the place where they attach their value as people to how many songs they’ve written lately.  Or to how well those songs have been received.

But doesn’t this notion apply to each of us, no matter what profession or role we find ourselves in? Moms, pastors, authors, counselors, nurses, dads, and so on?

When we allow our worth as human beings to be attached to our performance, no matter who we are or what position we are in, we have fallen into a dangerous trap.

Time to renew our minds with some truth.

God doesn’t love us because of what we do.  God loves us because of who He is.

Anytime we try to perform our way into God’s good graces – or our own – we miss out on the beauty of the unmerited favor that God pours out on to us every day.

This mindset hurts our relationship with God, and it can also harm our earthly relationships too, not to mention our own sense of well-being.

So, dear reader, ifdandelions you are one of those writers or mothers or leaders who throws yourself with relentless dedication into your role, your ministry, your career every day,  please listen to this one small piece of advice.

Take a walk.  Go sit outside and listen to the birds or watch the clouds float by.  Go have a cup of coffee with a friend and talk about something besides your work.  Take your family out to see a movie.  Read a good book.  Non-song writers: listen to a song!

Waste time. Permission granted.

Whatever you are currently working on will be all the better for it.  And so will you.

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Ten Question Survey from Music for the Soul

Your input is important to us.

If you are someone who personally uses our resources, a counselor, or a pastor who is new to Music for the Soul, we’d like to hear from you.

In order that we might better meet the needs of those we wish to serve, we would like to ask ten questions in the surveys below.

Please take a few minutes to help us understand the ways in which we can best share the compassion and hope of Christ, through the ministry of Music for the Soul.

All answers are confidential and appreciated.

Business People Sitting Around Table

Take our Personal User Survey

Take our Counselor Survey

Take our MFTS Pastoral Survey


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Heroes Unsung: the best of us in Boston and Texas

We honor all our heroes in Boston and Watertown, MA and West, TX:

Police, EMTs, Firefighters, Armed Service Men and Women. 

Our hearts especially go out to those who lost loved ones.



Without a thought for yourselves
You race into the fires of hell
Unselfishly you sacrifice
and give your all to save our lives/ a life
Anonymity’s a pale reward
for all the things you’ve done
Heroes Unsung


You’ve seen the worst the world can give
You hold inside what you can’t forget
The armor grows to block the pain
It’s just so hard to communicate
And you never thought you’d burn out
But sometimes you feel numb
Heroes Unsung


With uncommon acts of bravery
You rush into harm’s way
Giving something to the rest of us
There is no way to repay
Have we taken you for granted
Without counting up the cost
’cause every time we lose even one of you
The best of us is lost


You’re a human being with hopes and dreams
You’ve got a name and a family
If we never stopped to tell you thanks
That day has finally come
Heroes Unsung
You’ll be honored for eternity
When all of heaven’s stars are strung
Heroes Unsung


Words & Music by Steve Siler

© 2002 Word Music, Inc. / Fifty States Music

heroesunsungHEROES UNSUNG: Download your copy today

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Healing’s Slow to Come: our response to suicide grief

1343629037_www.radionetplus.ru_20Healing’s slow to come
from this chaos of the heart

~ Lyrics from Chaos of the Heart

At Music for the Soul, our team has been prayerfully reading and re-posting various blogs and articles written in response to the very tragic loss of Rick Warren’s son, who took his own life through suicide.

Al Hsu, with Christianity Today, recently wrote in his article, “Even without knowing why someone chose to take his own life, survivors can experience God’s comfort and healing.”

At Music for the Soul we understand that the journey between those two points – questioning or understanding why to experiencing that comfort and healing – can be a long and treacherous path when it comes to losing a loved one to suicide.

Lyrics from the song, How Could You, capture a piece of that journey:

What kind of God would let this happen?
How could you be so unfair?
You’re the one whose love
is supposed to be enough
It feels like you don’t even care
I thought that I could trust you

How could you?

I’m the Lord your God who loves you
Your rage is safe with me
I will never leave you
I’ll meet you where you’ll meet me
Tell me everything you’re feeling
You can’t make me turn away

Our hearts go out to those who have been affected by this recent news, to those who struggle with the questions, to those who have experienced or are experiencing what the Warren family and their church are going through right now.

It is our desire at Music for the Soul to offer hope and a safe place at times such as this.

Our resource, Chaos of the Heart, a unique, award-winning CD sensitively captures the wide range of emotions experienced in the family and the church in the aftermath of a suicide.

To download or order a physical copy of this CD today, click here.

Chaos of the Heart offers the hope and assurance of a God who is big enough to handle our honesty when the pain feels unbearable. It also thoughtfully addresses the often-misrepresented issue of the afterlife for one who has taken their life.

The accompanying Chaos of the Heart Discussion Guide, written by Sue Foster, MA, LMFT (Counseling for Individuals, Couples, and Families) is a six-week series designed to offer hope for the millions who have lost a loved one to suicide and for those families and friends wishing to be a part of the healing process. It can be used with large or small groups.


Overwhelmed by circumstances
out of your control
Hope can be the hardest thing to find
When you’re like a heart without a home
You don’t have to face this hurt alone

He sees every single tear

~ lyrics from Every Single Tear


The first time I listened to Chaos of the Heart, the music said everything I was feeling, and the words helped me so much…I can now say I am a Survivor of Suicide. ~ Sandy S


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Where is the Ground?


Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by the tragedy today in Boston.

Our song from ‘After the Storm’‘ seems fitting for such a time as this:


Wind and water
All we’d worked for
Crashing down
Fear and fury
But no answers
And a future
Full of doubt

What do I do now?
Will life be the same again?
The pain remains long after the waters recede
Where is the ground under my feet?

All the people
Lost and scattered
Things we held dear
Trashed and torn
Where’s the shelter
Where’s the comfort
From this never ending storm?

Where is the home?
What have we got?
Where is my life?
Where is God?

What do I do now?
Will life be the same again?
The pain remains long after the waters recede
Where is the ground under my feet?

Words & Music by Steve Siler

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” ~ Psalm 18:2

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Mental Illness: Helping the Church Help the Hurting

A blog written by MFTS Board member, Shelly Beach:

“We are called to be Jesus’ hands extended to the hurting. May our prayer be to see them, to know them, and to know how to love them.”



In the last decades of my father-in-law’s life, he slipped into a fog of mental illness from which he never returned. We did our best to help him–to find a diagnosis and effective medications. The years he lived with us were a constant battle of second-guessing, as we debated whether or not we were doing the right thing, doing enough, seeking out the “right” mental health professionals for his condition.

In my most recent book It Is Well with My Soul: Meditations for Those Living with Illness, Pain, and the Challenges of Aging, I devote a number of selections to the topic of mental illness. Dan and I both grew up in homes where mental illness was discussed in our homes and our churches as often as we heard about the mating habits of squid

This was probably a reflection, in part, of the generation we grew up in (a…

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NOT LISTENING: Writing a song in my head

inspirationpicTaking a look into the intricate world of songwriting, most people who haven’t done any – or who’ve just done it as a hobby – think songwriters are struck by inspiration and that great songs just ‘happen.’

A professional songwriter once said, “Inspiration won’t do you much good if it strikes while you’re on the golf course.”  In other words, one needs to invest the time in order to be present for “inspiration.”

A music publishing executive was much more direct. “If you don’t spend ten hours a day at the writing desk you aren’t a writer.”

When speaking to a group of aspiring writers at a Gospel Music Association teaching conference, I shared with them, “You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than you do of becoming a successful songwriter.”  Friend and follow songwriter, Grant Cunningham, was standing nearby and piped in, “And being struck by lightning feels better!”

A common misconception about songwriting is that it isn’t work; however, like anything worth doing, becoming a good songwriter is really hard and takes a long, long time.

What many may not understand about it is that songwriting is also the kind of job where you are never off.   It is not a 9 to 5 songwritersmusicians (640x547)job where you punch the clock and go home.   Once you are in a song you are in it.   Everywhere your brain goes the job goes too.   The Write about Jesus conference which meets every October in St. Louis has a great T- shirt that says: NOT LISTENING: Writing a song in my head. Unfinished songs follow us into our dreams, our family time, even into the bathroom.

Songwriting is typically an all-consuming task that takes a deep and sustained commitment to studying the craft, listening to music and to language, observing life, and investing the time.

Occasionally God will touch us on the shoulder and grace us with a song that feels like it was written through virtually no effort of our own.

One of the sonchofGgs I’ve written that was quite a profound experience for me as a songwriter is Child of God. This was written after living with the dark topic of sex trafficking for several weeks. This song, written for victims of this horrific abuse, offers a voice and a message that these ladies can’t quite speak for themselves, but need to believe. It can be found on our Child of God page.

At Music for the Soul, we believe that music is one of God’s greatest gifts of communication.

It is also our belief that Jesus is the compassionate healer who loves us unconditionally, and is always with us especially in our times of greatest challenge and darkest despair.

It is these two core beliefs that thread through every song written and every resource created, along with the hope that the light of Christ will shine in any darkness. It is our desire that our music will help hurting people feel known, understood, and supported by others – and by God.

ponderingAnd so while we, at Music for the Soul, think, dream, and pray about future projects, we anticipate times of ‘not listening’, which only means that new songs are being written and new projects are being created – ones that we trust God will use to touch hearts as the words offer hope and healing, blessing lives for years to come.

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Music: a charm to sadness this Lenten season

  musiccross Do you love music?  Do you love Jesus?

If you’ve answered yes to both, then I believe that as people who love Jesus, and who also love God’s glorious gifts of music and song, we’re called to a response.

We may be called to the act of personal worship.

We may be called to joy.

We may be called, through the act of more intentional listening, to re-examine the way we’re living our own lives or to the need for our own spiritual or emotional healing.

We may be called to the giving of our own gifts to lead others into a deeper experience of God and God’s life-transforming power.  This might mean being a worship music leader or being part of a worship music team, singing in a choir, becoming a performing musician, or a songwriter.

This last category might manifest itself in various acts of service.  In rare instances it might even manifest itself in a career ministry path.

guitarnotepadFor me the calling has presented itself in all of these ways at various times. Being the founder and director of Music for the Soul, a ministry bringing the light and hope of Christ through song to people living through life’s darkest, most difficult moments adds a whole other layer of perspective to this.

I believe many have yet to discover what God’s purpose for music, and more specifically Christian songs, may be in this time in which we live.

So, let me ask you this: why is music, as represented by the gift of song, God’s greatest gift of communication?   

There is actually a biological reason.  Language is processed primarily in the left hemisphere of the brain.  Melody is processed primarily on the right.  So, if I want your total attention to convey a message to you, my best bet is to sing it!  Advertisers have known this for years – that’s why they sing to you about cheeseburgers and car insurance.

Secondly, music is a memory devworshipice.   Studies have shown that people remember more of what they read than what they are told, and more of what they hear in music than what they read.  Why do you think we teach the ABC’s with a song?  My guess is you couldn’t forget that melody if your life depended on it.

So, with a song your whole brain is engaged, your heart is open, and there is a better chance that you’ll remember whatever I sing to you.  This has massive ramifications for us as people who wish to share the Gospel, and offer hope and healing to a hurting world.

During this season of Lent, reflect on those lyrics, songs, and music that “gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything; It is the essence of order and lends to all that is good, just, and beautiful.” ~ Plato

Which piece of music or song speaks to your heart of Christ’s love for you during this season?


One of my favorites is ‘Twenty-Three’: listen here.

Post written by Steve Siler / Director, Music for the Soul


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