Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Your Great Name



Lost are saved, find their

At the sound of Your Great Name

All condemned feel no

At the sound of Your Great Name

Every fear has no place

At the sound of Your Great Name

The enemy, he has to leave

At the sound of Your Great Name


JESUS, worthy is the Lamb

that was slain for us           

Son of God and man

You are high and lifted up

And all the world will praise

Your Great Name


All the weak find their

At the sound of Your Great Name

Hungry souls receive grace

At the sound of Your Great Name

The fatherless find their

At the sound of Your Great Name

The sick are healed, the
dead are raised

At the sound of Your Great Name

JESUS, worthy is the Lamb

that was slain for us           

Son of God and man

You are high and lifted up

And all the world will praise

Your Great Name

My Healer, Lord Almighty

Defender, You are my King

Words and music by Krissy Nordhoff, Michael Neale

Copyright 2008 TwoNords Music, Integrity Music

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Here Comes Goodbye

In 2003, I was introduced to a guy by my best friend from high school.  His name is Clint Lagerberg.

My friend sent me Clint's song demos.  He had this song called “For All You’ve Done” that he had recorded. My wife and I loved it.  

I was working at Word Entertainment at the time heading up the International Division there.  It was a Christian song, so I thought I might be able to help him.  So, I decided to reach out to him.  Little did I know what that call would produce...

I called Clint and eventually spent lots more time talking with him about his career.  He became a friend over the phone.  I'll never forget those talks we had.  He was working what seemed like a dead end job in the Northeast and wanted to come to Nashville.  After a while, I invited him to come visit us.  My wife had a gig that weekend at a showcase and there was a slot open for Clint to perform.  I thought we could do some networking while he was here too and see what happens from there.  We spent several days dreaming about his music and songwriting potential together and introduced him to some people in the industry.  He did a killer job at the showcase too.  As a result of that week, Point of Grace ended up cutting the song “For All You’ve Done” on their record.. Lagerberg
Clint ended up coming to town one or two more times before he made the leap to move here.  He was offered a staff writing position at Word - thanks to Cindy Wilt Colville.  

I left Word in 2004 and Clint and I eventually lost touch a bit.  I started my own company and he kept on writing and producing and playing for Nicole Nordeman a bit.  He ended up getting a publishing deal with one of the biggest country music publishers in town.  He and Chris Sligh (American Idol) co-wrote a song called "Here Comes Goodbye", which eventually became the first radio single from Rascal Flatts new album – a huge deal.  Other than getting a cut on a Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood record, there is no bigger deal than getting a cut - let alone the first radio single - on a Rascal Flatts album.    

Tonight, I watched the single on YouTube for the first time.  Here it is (watch it in HD):

I think it’s so amazing to think that this video wouldn’t have existed without me taking the Rascal-flatts-unstoppable
risk of bringing this guy to Nashville, spending hours with him, loving on him and his wife and daughter and helping him get his first break.  I say that with humility - it wasn't because of me, God had it already planned.  I invested in this guy because I was called to and I knew he was super talented.  He's one of those guys that you just know is supposed to be writing, producing and doing creative things.   Of course, I just helped - he did most of the work from there and deserves all the credit he gets.  

What's cool is that, if I hadn't have helped him, the whole chain events wouldn't have happened the way it had.  He wouldn't have written the song with Chris Sligh, Rascal Flatts wouldn't have recorded this song and this video wouldn't even exist.  Who knows how many hundreds thousands of lives would never have been impacted.  

Clint and I keep in touch these days on Facebook and we're both super busy now, so we hardly see each other.  However, when we do, I just feel a love and kinship with him.  He's just a great guy. 

I write this story to hopefully inspire you.  Maybe there is someone you're supposed to help right now or in the future.  What if you unselfishly invested time in them and helped them along the way.  Even if you don't benefit directly from it, if you know you can help someone, do it!!  It's so much more rewarding to think of the chain events that the one unselfish act might spark.  Clint is going to benefit tremendously from this song.  He will get writing opportunities that he may not have had before.  His reputation as a writer and producer have just gone up to a whole 'nother level.  But even greater than that: hundreds of thousands of people are going to benefit as well – financially (publishing company, touring companies, record label executives, companies), emotionally and spiritually (by the message of the song).  That’s amazing to me!  What if I hadn’t done anything and said “I don’t have time for this right now” and only thought of myself and my own time?  It would have been a shame.  

Seeing this video put it all together for me.   

God's Kingdom economy works so much differently than our worldly economy.  Now, looking back, His plans were so much greater than I can even imagine.  I could never have written this script.  Only He could have.  He's rewarded me with a beautiful family, nice home based business, He's protected me from pitfalls and my own mistakes by His grace.  It's actually not because I've done anything to deserve these benefits - I've not.  It's only because of His grace and because of His son, Jesus, loving me so much that He died for me that I can even stand on this earth - let alone have the blessings that I do.

Whew - I hadn't intended to go there with this blog...

The point is...

Is He putting it in your heart to help someone?  If so, do it!  Just watch God do something with that that you could not have imagined.  It took me 6 years to see more completely the impact some unselfish acts have made.  It was so worth it for this feeling I have right now.


This is one I'm still learning...

Subject: The Daily Verse on Rest - March 26, 2009

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:29,30

If you're working really hard to please God and impress others, consider the passage above. Rather than working yourself toward perfection, receive the gift of Christ and let Him teach you how to carry his yoke and burden. Rather than grinding toward your self-imposed version of living right, your actions will simply be an outpouring of what's going on inside.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Living a Life of Conviction

Living a Life of Conviction
By Os Hillman, March 26, 2009
For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. - 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5a

Everyone lives a life of conviction. Whatever we give our greatest time, our greatest energies, and our greatest resources to is a good indication of where our convictions lie. Some live a life of conviction about sports. Some live a life of conviction around pleasure. Still others live a life of conviction about very little that matters at all.

Whenever God chooses to do a deep work in a life, a strong conviction is born of the Holy Spirit. Conversions in the early Church resulted in changed lives that held to a deep, life-transforming conviction regarding what they believed and how they lived out that belief. Paul explains that the gospel they received came not just in words, but also in power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.

In order to impact the workplace for Jesus Christ, each of us must be reflecting a faith that is demonstrated through deeply held convictions. Are you living a life of deep conviction that spurs you on to reflect the power of Christ in your life and the lives of others? Paul was willing to suffer great persecution for his faith in a living God. God calls each of us to a life that is supernatural, not simply a good, moral life. The early Church understood the role the Holy Spirit played in demonstrating this power of the gospel. It was this deep work that resulted in living the gospel with great conviction. If you are not living the gospel with great conviction, ask the Holy Spirit to so fill your life today that the power of His Spirit is truly reflected in your life so that you may impact others in your workplace.
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Girl

I had been dreaming of holding my girl since July 2008 and this weekend I finally did.  Here's a quick recap of how I got here.

On the first day of Spring, March 20 at 7:30am, Krissy and I arrived at Vanderbilt University Hospital Labor & Delivery.  We checked in and settled into our birthing room (Room 4010 - 4th Floor North Tower).  By 9:30, we had met our nurses and our Mid-wife and Krissy's IV was started.  It was determined to start the pitocin IV treatment around 10am.  

Krissy's parents arrived shortly after the treatment started.  Our boys, my mom and Amy Stewart (our close friend and wife of our church pastor, Brett) arrived just after noon.  We waited...and waited...and waited.  After several checks, we knew the baby was not going to come quickly.  FamilyWaiting
After 8 hours of induced labor, Krissy's cervix was only dilated to 4 cm and 40% effaced.  Our dream of having our baby girl on the first day of spring was quickly vanishing.

We (all of us not in labor) made the best of things as we waited.  We had a good time together as family and friends - spent time in the Cafeteria and outside and together in the room with Krissy together.   We had wonderful nurses - particularly Jessica and Mary who were a great help when things were getting difficult for Krissy.

When Krissy's labor became more difficult late that afternoon, she was ready for her epidural.  After the epidural was put in, it still took 30-45 minutes until her pain was relieved.  

At 9:30pm, Krissy still was only 5cm dilated and 80% effaced.  We decided it was best that Amy took the boys to her house to sleep overnight and my Mom and Krissy's parents and I stayed with Krissy as she continued to contract with Anthem.   Amy told a funny story later when she returned about how Alex and Kaden didn't feel comfortable sleeping in their underwear in someone else's house.  AnthemBow
They kept their jeans on the whole night.  Plus, they were staying at their friends house where there were two little girls - so that didn't help the comfort factor for them.  They later told me they had a great morning the next day - ate pancakes with the Stewarts and played Wii.

We were hoping Dr. Spetalnick could break Krissy's water, but Anthem was still sitting too high above the pelvis for a safe water break.  If the water breaks when the baby is too high in the womb, there is a greater risk of the umbilical cord choking the baby.  

At 12 midnight, Amy and Jill Perry came to join us at the hospital.  AnthemPapaAmyJill
We spent some time talking together in the waiting room, but beginning to get very tired.  They were such an encouragement to us though.  We're grateful they were able to be there for the birth process!!

Krissy was only 6 cm dilated, 80% effaced and began to feel very uncomfortable during her contractions.  It was determined that the epidural medicine was only getting into her right side.  She was laying on her side because of her high-blood pressure.  So, they turned her to her left side, but the pain was terrible for her.  They put additional medicine in her epidural.  The hours between 12:30 and 2am were the most difficult for Krissy.  She was having really difficult labor pains during her contractions.  I was there with her, by her side coaching her through it.  Little by little, the labor became easier and she fell asleep even while she was having very large contractions every 90 seconds or so.

At almost 2am the Dr. broke her water and we waited.  All of the rest of us: My mom, Grandma, Papa, Amy, Jill and I found places to sit or lay as we waited.  It was just quiet in the room as we waited for the next check of Krissy's cervix.  

Finally, at 3:30am, we were ready.  The nurses sent everyone except the moms and me out of the room.  The next 30 minutes were a blur or preparing, comforting and anxiously waiting for the pushing to begin.  

At 3:50, Krissy was in position and pushed once.  We could see the beginnings of the head and my heart began to beat faster.  I was wide awake holding Krissy's right leg, while the nurse held the other. 

On the second push, we could see Anthem's black hair and head clearly.  On the third push, Anthem came out.  It was a perfect birth.  4:04am.  No problems whatsoever.  Our Dr. and nurses were wonderful.  Anthem cried immediately and lay on Krissy's chest for about 2 minutes.  It was wonderful.  Anthem didn't cry much and just seemed to love laying next to her Mommy for the first time.

I'll spare you the details from here.  I can say that it was all very wonderful and a joy to be there with Krissy, Anthem and my mothers during those minutes.  We watched as they cleaned, tested and weighed Anthem (6 lbs 3oz). She was a very good baby - we have it all on video.  Once she was clean, she was wrapped in blankets and lay with her mommy.  She nursed very well the first time.  We took lots of pictures and let the rest of the visitors come in to see and take pictures with Anthem.  I bet Anthem felt like a celebrity with all of the flashes.  

I later accompanied her to the nursery where they gave her her first bath.  I got some good quality time with her there.  They also measured her: 18 3/4 inches.  Pretty petite - all of our children were small.

The rest of that day, we spent looking at and holding our baby girl.  The boys came later that morning with Amo and Krissy's parents to meet Anthem for the first time.  They are already so good with her.  We had a couple of visitors.  We were very tired and asked the remaining friends that had planned to visit to possibly come on Sunday.  After our family left, Krissy and I gave Anthem to the Nursery and slept on and off for a total of 11 hours until 9am the next morning.  Of course, Anthem had been nursing every 2-4 hours with Krissy.  

So here I was holding my sweet, beautiful Anthem.  I'm looking forward to raising a daughter.  What a privilege it is to have a girl. I thank God for her and for trusting me to raise her.  I hope I please Him in the process.  With His help and grace, I know I'll do it.  

More Anthem stories to come...OurFamily

Thursday, March 19, 2009

God Speaking

"For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight."

Matthew 3:3

Leading up to this point in Matthew, it's been mentioned several times that prophesies have been fulfilled. Let that remind us that even when circumstances point you to doubt, when God says something, He means it and intends for it to be fulfilled.

Taken from "The Daily Verse"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Story of Anthem (Revisited)

Krissy has taken the time to write out the story of our baby girl to come. Here it is, in her own words...


Feb 07 I had a dream which I believed may be a vision. It woke me up out of a dead sleep. In the dream, I had just given birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl. Her name was Anthem.

The next day, Eric said that New Day had told him that all the sales reps’ favorite song on the One compilation worship CD, was the song that I sang. It was called “He’s Always Been Faithful.” I began to sing the song, and I was in shock as I got to verse number 3 (very symbolic.) It says, “This is my anthem, this is my song. The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long. God has been faithful, He will be again. His lovingkindness, it knows no end.”

May 07 I went out to visit my sister Maribeth in Phoenix. Her mailing address is Phoenix, but when I arrived there, she actually lived closer to a little city called Anthem. I felt amazed again in wonder, as we drove by all the Anthem signs.

December 07 I remember being at our church’s Christmas Eve service on the 24th. I couldn’t believe the number of times the word “anthem” popped up in the Christmas carols. I was tearing up and had goose bumps! Lord, was this You?

March 08 I went to a beautiful prayer service with my friends from church. I felt God touching me in a very deep way that night, healing some emotional scars that I did not know were there. The next morning, I opened my Bible up to this verse: Psalm 27:6 (The Message) “God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof (the title of one of my songs as well)! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.”

April 08 Jim Harrison, from church, told me twice within a short amount of time that the Lord was about to give me a new song. Did this mean literally a song, or an anthem?

July 27, 08 Eric was insisting that I was pregnant, and I was only one day late. We were getting ready to go to the airport, and I told him that he would have to go get a test for me if he wanted me to take it. He did, and it was positive!!!! Anthem, is it you?

As I flew up to Michigan for concerts that weekend, these are all verses that I randomly opened up to over the weekend.

Isaiah 54:2-4 …You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so! “Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family…

Isaiah 66:9 Do I open the womb and not deliver the baby? Do I, the One who deliver babies, shut the womb?


Matthew 1:20-23 While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’--- because he will save his people from their sins.

Psalm 92:1-3 What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to you, the High God! To announce your love each daybreak, sing your faithful presence all through the night, Accompanied by dulcimer and harp, the full-bodied music of strings.

July 30, 08 At a concert I was singing in Michigan, the pastor introduced me as having 3 children even though he didn’t know I was pregnant.

August, 08 I was experiencing lots of cramping. I was very scared. I called the doctor, and he told me, “If you’re going to have a miscarriage, you’re going to have a miscarriage.” I held on to the picture of the healthy baby in my dream, and changed doctors.

More verses I opened up to:

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you….”

Psalm 89:5 God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways, the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!

Our good friends Amy and Brett Stewart were praying for us and the baby. As we were praying, Amy found Isaiah 44:1-5 “But for now, dear servant Jacob, listen--- yes, you, Israel my personal choice. God who made you has something to say to you; the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you. Don’t be afraid, dear servant Jacob, Jeshurun, the one I chose. For I will pour water on the thirsty ground and send streams coursing through the parched earth. I will pour my Spirit into your descendants and my blessing on your children. They shall sprout like grass on the prarie, like willows alongside creeks. This one will say, ‘I am God’s,’ and another will go by the name Jacob; That one will write on his hand ‘God’s property’—and be proud to be called Israel.”

The next day as I was reading this passage again, I read on. This is Isaiah 44:6-8. God, King of Israel, your Redeemer, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: “I’m first, I’m last, and everything in between. I’m the only God there is. Who compares with me? Speak up. See if you measure up. From the beginning, who else has always announced what’s coming? So what is coming next? Anybody want to venture a try? Don’t be afraid, and don’t worry: Haven’t I always kept you informed, told you what was going on? You’re my eyewitnesses: Have you ever come across a God, a real God, other than me? There’s no Rock like me that I know of.”

The same day, Amy called. She said she got up at 4:30 in the morning because she was so excited about our news. She decided to read her daily Bible reading. For the Old Testament, her reading for the day was in 2 Chronicles 35:25. It says, “Jeremiah composed an anthem of lament for Josiah. The anthem is still sung by the choirs of Israel to this day. The anthem is written in the Laments.

I had lots of problems with blood pressure and finding the right medication and dosage. I called my new doctor one night, and he told me that I may not want to continue the pregnancy. This followed with continued nausea, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. Still, I tried to fend off fear by holding on to my dream.

September 08 Our church worship department began writing songs for an upcoming CD. I sent a partial song to our worship leader, Michael Neale. He sent me back a finished song, writing in the email that ‘the chorus ended up sounding like an anthem. God is using this song!’

October 08 I was getting very nervous for the ultrasound coming the next week. I asked God to speak to me. He showed me Psalm 135:3. It says….Shout “Hallelujah!” because God’s so good, sing anthems to his beautiful name.

November 1, 08 The next day, Eric’s Quietime Christmas DVD was delivered. The last verse on the DVD was Luke 2:38 …(Anna) never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

November 2, 08 This was the day before the ultrasound, and I was VERY nervous. I wanted to know that all these things were truly from God, and that the baby was safe. God showed me Isaiah 45:9-11 “I, God, generate all this. But doom to you who fight your Maker—you’re a pot at odds with the potter! Does clay talk back to the potter: ‘What are you doing? What clumsy fingers!’ Would a sperm say to a father, ‘Who gave you permission to use me to make a baby?’ Or a fetus to a mother, ‘Why have you cooped me up in this belly?’” Thus God, the Holy of Israel, Israel’s Maker says: “Do you question who or what I’m making? Are you telling me what I can or cannot do? I made earth, and I created man and woman to live on it…” Okay, God, I know I can trust you.

November 3, 08 The day of our ultrasound, and I was still very nervous. The boys came with us and watched it all happen. The nurse spent 20 minutes looking at every possible body part of the baby. The baby looked healthy, and finally it was time to check the gender!! She asked me if I could tell what it was and I responded “Is it a boy?!” – mainly out of fear and family history. And she said right after, “No, it’s not a boy.” And I thought, ‘she said it’s not a boy, does that mean it’s a girl? She didn’t say it was a girl. What if it’s both?!’ Then, I looked at Eric. And he said with tears in his eyes, “It’s a girl.” Right then, the boys smiled the biggest smiles they’ve ever made. I am so glad we were able to share that moment as a family. It is ANTHEM!!!

February 2009: Brett Stewart, our pastor, at Anthem's baby shower with our church family, said wouldn't it be just like God to give us Anthem on the first day of spring?  Well, Krissy is scheduled to be induced on March 20th - the first day of spring. We'll see...

God, you have been amazingly faithful! We love You.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Song Was #1 The Day You Were Born

This is pretty cool.  I found a guy who had nothing better to do than post every possible #1 pop song for every possible day for every possible year that anyone could have been born that could possibly be alive today. Check it out. 

The song that was #1 when I was born?  "Want Ads" by Honey Cone.  Pretty cool.  

Monday, March 9, 2009

We Have A Date

Krissy was at the hospital today.  We received the good news that she will be induced into labor on Friday, March 20th, if she doesn't go into labor before then.  It's good to have a date / goal we can plan toward.  We can't wait to meet Anthem! Alex and I felt her toes yesterday.


"And the Lord said to Joshua, Do not fear and do not be dismayed."
Joshua 8:1

One very common command in the bible is "do not fear." Especially in the Old Testament, the literal translation of "fear" means "to run." Take this into consideration - God may not be asking you to not "feel" afraid, but what He may be asking you is to not run from what He's placed in your path.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Never Be The Same

Our family stopped our busyness for a few hours, sat down and watched “Invincible” last night together.  The movie is an inspiring football story.  It gave us one more time to cuddle up with our boys and watch a “guy flick” together.  It particularly special because things are about the change soon in the Nordhoff household. 

These times have been sweet counting down the days until our new baby, Anthem, arrives. I feel particularly emotional about these last few days together as a foursome with the boys.  Our family dynamic will never be the same when the baby comes.  It will good change and one that we've been looking forward to for a long time.  But, for now, the time we have with just the two boys is very special.  I've been finding myself appreciating every precious moment I have with them.  

I remember clearly the last few days Krissy and I shared together before Alex was born.  We were so eager for Alex to come, but we also knew it would never be the same again. And so, I'm glad we took the time to appreciate the last precious days together as just the two of us.  The same can be said the last days before Kaden’s arrival.  The time we had with Alex alone was precious too.  We could never imagine how competitive Alex would be when his little brother would compete with him for attention.  :)

Krissy went to the hospital on Friday with high blood pressure.  With her being 35 weeks pregnant, we know the baby can come any day now.  So, with this emergency, we realize more than ever that the time is near when our family dynamic will change once again... forever.  

I’ve been noticing myself becoming very sentimental about the moments we have together with Alex and Kaden.  What I realized most is that I’m enjoying the moments with the boys more – looking for teachable moments or moments just to hug ‘em.  

I know I’m going to change when Anthem arrives...and it will be good.  For now, I just want to hold onto these precious moments as the four of us, for as long as possible.  It's been this way for 7 wonderful years.  We're now about to enter a new stage of our family's life. 

Living day by day and appreciating every moment together has it's benefits.  It is nice living this way.  It would be nice to live this way every day, but we don't always.  So, I'm glad I am.  I love you, my family of four.  Thank you for making my life full of joy and giving me a greater purpose for living.  Thankfulness - it's a good place to be.