Time – A New Music Release by Solveig Leithaugh

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Solveig Leithaug just released a new music CD entitled, TIME. The internationally loved singer-songwriter has released fifteen solo recordings, including her newest title, Time (spring 2017), and three best-selling children’s CD’s. In addition to being a wife and mother, she performs around 30-40 concerts per year, tours frequently in her native Norway and has performed in over twenty nations. Her website states: “Her repertoire ranges from original songs that mirror her life and faith, to her own arrangements of traditional Scandinavian folksongs and classic hymns.” Solveig is also a masterful guitar player. Learn more about Solveig and her music in the interview below.

AN INTERVIEW WITH SOLVEIG LEITHAUG:

Summarizing her goal as an artist, Solveig states: “Whether performing with a band, full orchestra and choir, or alone with my guitar, my prayer has always been that my music will be an artistic bridge of hope, connecting the listener to their Creator.”

“TIME” FROM SOLVEIG LEITHAUG’S NEW MUSIC CD BY THE SAME TITLE:

Award-winning songwriter Gloria Gaither comments on Solveig’s music: “Listening to Solveig singing is like the pure vibrations of an innocent soul. She bypasses our cynical scar tissue and stylistic prejudices and goes–like the laughter of a child–straight to the heart.”

READ MORE ABOUT SOLVEIG LEITHAUG HERE: Singer-Songwriter Solveig Leithaug.

Time highlights guest vocals by Anthony Skinner, Cindy Morgan, Kelly Willard and Solveig’s daughter Kari Julianna. Eight of the project’s eleven songs are new and were written by Solveig with award-winning songwriters such as: Reba Rambo-McGuire, Cindy Morgan, Sarah Hart, Anthony Skinner, and Kelly Willard.

Time was produced by Steve Hindalong and features some of Nashville’s finest musicians including Jeff Taylor, Stu Garrard, Matt Slocum, and others along with Solveig’s signature acoustic guitars.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE IN DIGITAL FORMAT: 

Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2psW00l
Tidal: 
http://bit.ly/2pYg3QO
iTunes 
http://apple.co/2qwwoih
Amazon: 
http://amzn.to/2qwAHKq

JOIN SOLVEIG LEITHAUG ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Best wishes to Soveig on the release of her new music CD, Time. I hope she reaches into listener’s hearts with her provocative and insightful messages.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Singer-Songwriter Solveig Leithaug

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Solveig Leithaug is a Dove Award-winning singer-songwriter and international recording artist with fifteen solo recordings and three best-selling children’s CD’s. She has just released a new CD called, TIME.

From her website: “She performs around 30-40 concerts per year, and tours frequently in her native Norway. Her repertoire ranges from original songs that mirror her life and faith, to her own arrangements of traditional Scandinavian folksongs and classic hymns.

Solveig has performed in over twenty nations, from Parliament functions, national and international conferences to cathedrals,  prisons, jazz-cafes and outdoor festivals. She is featured on the Billboard chart-topping Gaither Homecoming Series with her live performances of her original song “Everything Has Its Season” on Women of Homecoming, Volume 1 (DVD and CD), and the classic “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” on How Great Thou Art (DVD and CD) from The Grand Ole Opry. Millions have watched her perform on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) TV-programs over the years.

W166Award-winning songwriter Gloria Gaither comments on Solveig’s music: ‘Listening to Solveig singing is like the pure vibrations of an innocent soul.  She bypasses our cynical scar tissue and stylistic prejudices and goes–like the laughter of a child–straight to the heart.’

An ordained minister since 1994, Solveig is a commentary writer for Thomas Nelson’s Women of Destiny Bible and contributed devotionals for Thomas Nelson’s 2012 Gaither Homecoming Bible. She currently serves as a founding board member for Compassion International in their Nordic region.

Summarizing her goal as an artist, Solveig states: ‘Whether performing with a band, full orchestra and choir, or alone with my guitar, my prayer has always been that my music will be an artistic bridge of hope, connecting the listener to their Creator.’

In addition to her roles as an actively touring artist, and songwriter, Solveig is first a wife to Jim, a mom and a stepmom. Her family resides near Nashville, Tennessee.”

Read More about singer-songwriter, Solveig Leithaug on her website and/or check out her full discography online.

CCM Magazine’s recent review of Solveig Leithaug’s new album, “Time”: Blending a mature adult contemporary sound with some Americana influence, Norwegian artist Solveig Leithaug has given fans a steady stream of heartfelt melodies since the mid-‘80s when she had a deal with Word Records. These days, she’s reaching fans as an indie artist with an impressive catalog and a enjoyable new release, Time. Leithaug’s buoyant, acoustic songs, such as “Lift You Up” and “Simple Things,” are filled with equal measures of truth and encouragement. Other favorites include the title track and the beautiful opener “Supermoon.” Click Here to read the full article.

Follow Solveig on Social Media:

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

 

 

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VICTORIOUS: An Interview with Singer-Songwriters Tito and Jessica Tosado

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VICTORIOUS is a newly released album by singer-songwriter, husband and wife team, Tito and Jessica Tosado. Their catalytic songs of awakening, inner healing, and anthems of praise define their signature sound. Get a taste for who they are and what they’re about in my interview below.

Q: First of all, congratulations on your brand new album!

A: Thank you for this opportunity!

Q: What is the essence or core message of this album?

A: The purpose of this album is to bring encouragement to anyone who hears it. That it can serve as language in prayer as well as be an onramp to experience God’s presence and love.

Q: What is the meaning behind the title of your album, “Victorious”?

A: Victorious has a two-fold meaning. One is the position of the believer who has gone through many obstacles and rough times but has leaned on God, and in the end will come out Victorious. Secondly, it’s about who God is in every situation. He is ALWAYS Victorious.

Q: It’s a big deal to have a dream that’s about to become a reality. But to be able to share in that same dream as a couple must just shoot you to the stars! How does it feel to have a shared vision and then to see it all come together in this album?

16938616_977724168994034_3214193466858908623_nA: Well, it honestly feels amazing! To be able to share a common goal with someone other than yourself is way more fun. One can put a thousand to flight but two can put ten thousand to flight. What’s fun about working together is the counter-culture we get to present to others. Modern ways of thinking are built on self-focus and independence. The ability to work together allows for us to consider each other, lay down entitlements and work in an interdependent way. His kingdom way is so much more fun!

Q: Have you both been musically inclined your entire lives?

A: (Jessica) Yes. It all started when I was 4-years-old and I started singing to Little Mermaids, “Part Of Your World.” (Laughs.)

A: (Tito) Not for me. I had no musical influence throughout my life apart from my love for musicals. Playing music didn’t become part of my life until the day I got saved and the desire to worship God was birthed.

Q: What or who were your early musical influences that helped in some way, shape who you are today?

A: (Jessica) The musical influences in my life were Rachel Lampa, Yolanda Adams, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Shania Twain. I really enjoy vocalists that portray emotion in there songs and tell a story.10423273_10153984681317028_5013986317083391874_n

A: (Tito) My musical influence that shaped my starting years, and still to this day, is the worship artist from IHOP-KC (International House of Prayer, Kansas City) Misty Edwards. Her life, worship and her reach for something more was the “inspirational spark.” Just like her, I wanted my music to match my hunger for Jesus.

Q: What do each of you appreciate most about having the “gift of song”?

A: (Jessica) What I enjoy about singing is that I get to give back to God everyday my song and that I get to share it with others. The ability that someone can experience God the way that I experience Him through song is a miracle that divinely connects us together in God. One of the things that I most enjoy about singing is the different genres and styles of music. As a singer, I am also a messenger, and I get to match God’s message to music that I feel most relays the message. And its cool!

A: (Tito) What I enjoy about having the ability to use music as a gift, is the creative way to reach individuals. Music throughout history has been an amazing tool to instruct, describe, motivate and encourage. The ability to now take the word of God through scripture and prophecy and put it to music is amazing!

Q: When did you know that singing was going to be a central part of your lives?

A: We felt singing became a central part of our lives during our time together being involved in the House of Prayer. Our intentions were never that our lives would encompass much around singing but it’s been amazing to see God use this as a tool in His hands.

Q: Does your style fit into a specific genre?

14440633_10208992663688067_8318495817331016299_nA: Well, we are not very good at answering this question only because both of us have so many influences that have shaped our style. We currently have songs that sound R&B, Theatrical, Alternative, Gospel/Soul and Mainstream. But if we were to categorize our latest album, we feel like it would fit in the Alternative category.

Q: Do either of you play an instrument?

A: Yes, we both play the Piano. Self-taught too!

Q: What were the biggest obstacles in moving from singing at various events to getting an album produced?

A: The biggest obstacle was finding the right person to produce our music. It was important to us that the person was spirit-filled and after God’s heart. Furnace Music was that spirit-filled group of individuals that took the small seed of faith concerning our music and made it move mountains. We are truly thankful for that community and to Nick Rector.

Q: The title of your first single is, “Winning.” What do you hope to convey with this song?

A: Our hope is that this song will inspire listeners to feel worthy of His Love. That Jesus sees them worthy so much that He willingly laid down His life. Because of this truth, especially when it is coupled with a heart that believes, all forms of shame and condemnation are completely disarmed. Jesus wants us to stand victorious with Him. He won so that means we won as well. We are seated with Him in heavenly places!

Q: Tito, what’s one word you would use to describe Jessica?

A: Steadfast.

Q: Jessica, what’s one word you would use to describe Tito?

A: Faithful.

Q: What’s one bit of trivia that most people don’t know about each of you?

A: (Jessica) I went to college to study Psychology but never got my degree because I decided to go into full-time ministry.

A: (Tito) Most people don’t know that before I began worship leading I was the leader of a drama group. We would put on shows and travel across the state ministering through dance and acting.

Q: What’s one of your favorite things to do just for fun?

A: (Jessica) I love nature! I love exploring different places whether that be looking at the stars, sitting at the beach, hiking or fishing. Anything outdoors is fun for me. I also like trying and cooking new foods. As I do these things I love just to reflect on eternity, my purpose in life and how present God is at all times.

A: (Tito) I personally love various forms of art. Currently photography and fashion have been my recent fun activities to do. I have a dream in my heart to be able to somehow reach my generation of men through fashion and social media, to inspire them to not only dress their outsides but insides as well. That a generation of chivalrous mighty men filled with integrity will arise and be who they are made to be. Men filled with honesty, integrity, love and responsibility-takers.

Q: What advice would you give other people who are fearful or stuck in reaching out for their own dreams?

A: (Jessica) I would encourage them to just do it. Fear is a shadow and faith is the light that disperses the shadows. Part of faith is doing what we believe! Fear attempts to restrain us from living what we believe to be true. It says that if you try, you will immediately fail. But the truth is, it’s as easy as taking the first step. When we do that, we will learn to walk.17352387_996679570431827_3534030779256949098_n

A: (Tito) My advice would be to lean on God. Moments when I began leaning on my understanding or operating out of presumption, I always seemed to end up disappointed, hurt, rejected or discouraged. His ways are so much higher and seemingly different than my ways. Every time I come back to God and put those dreams back in His hands, the peace and hand of God becomes more evident throughout my life.

Q: If you could use only one word to describe how you hope listeners will feel after basking in your music, what would it be for each of you?

A: (Jessica) Hope.

A: (Tito) Faith.

Please feel free to share this post, leave a comment and get your copy (or send to someone who needs to hear it) of Tito and Jessica Tosado’s brand new album, Victorious!

Connect with Tito & Jessica Tosado:

Purchase the Album”Victorious” on iTunes: Click Here to Buy!

Website: www.titoandjess.com

Email: jaimetosado7@gmail.com / jessicatosado@icloud.com

Instagram: @titotosado_ / @jessicatosado

Facebook: www.facebook.com/titoandjess

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Celebrating Women: International Women’s Day

 

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I’ve been a long-time advocate for women and girls because I believe in the beauty, strength and value they possess. In many places throughout the world, women and girls are still marginalized, abused, treated unjustly and under-valued. Their unique gifts never opened.

To the women of the world… May you know that you are LOVED.

You are seen. You deserve to be heard. You are worthy of all life has to offer you. You are capable of greatness. You don’t ever need to compete with others, because you are enough. Your gifts and talents can never be taken from you, they are yours and yours alone. You do not have to settle for less. You have a voice. You have a place. Right here, right now. You were born with a purpose. Your destiny is calling you. You don’t need to be hard to make an impression because the gentleness of your heart is your strength. Your mind is an asset. Your heart and thoughts filled with love and possibility will guide you. Your dreams were given to you for your fulfilment and to spill out into the world. Dream big dreams. Even if you don’t believe them yet, keep dreaming them until you do. Keep your faith. Believe that God loves you and you are worthy of love. You do not need to fear. Take hold of courage and expect to find goodness in uncommon places. Look for love and you will find it because it’s already looking for you. Breathe in life, because it is short and you don’t want to miss any opportunity to see, really see, what can be. Teach your daughters the same. And whatever you do, don’t settle. You are worthy.

“I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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SHUT UP! – A Poem About Verbal Abuse

 

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I wrote this poem a few years ago while I was doing research on the topic of women and verbal abuse. I believe in the power of words. The power to inflict harm and the power to produce healing. The power to damage someone’s self-worth and deform reality and the power to lift, inspire and affirm truth. Verbal abuse and bullying are never okay.

SHUT UP!

So predictable

So relentless

So cruel

With your words you carve out a space in my heart

A place you’ve claimed as your space

It penetrates like a fiery dart

So predictable

So relentless

So cruel

What’s your problem?

Why do you make me out to be a fool?

Am I your puppet, your punching bag, your trash?

All your words do is thrash

They cut and wound and pierce

The pain throbs inside, so fierce

The heat inside me ebbs and flows

No one knows, no one knows

And so, on and on and on it goes

How heavy and how frantic I feel on the edge of sane

It’s so inane

It’s so loud on the inside when I scream

Like a dream

Like a mad, mad dream

It echoes from every wall inside my head

From every chamber within my heart

When did this start? Why did it start?

Who even cares

It doesn’t even matter now

I almost don’t matter now

So predictable

So relentless

So cruel

Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!

I just want the pain to go away

Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!

Leave me alone.

Go away!

You,

Yes, YOU…

Take your words and go away.

-April McCallum

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Cult and Abuse Survivor Comes Full Circle

I love the title of Athena Dean Holtz’s book, “Full Circle.” Picture a half moon, and now, a full moon. When you hear the words, full circle, you know it means completion or the fullness of a thing. You’re hopeful from the outset that things will be set right in the end. The author’s story will lift you up, pull you back, fling you sideways, and then twirl you back around. And then you get to do it all over again! So, fasten your seatbelts. In reading Full Circle, you become an armchair traveler in the author’s very personal journey of restoration, reconciliation and redemption. Including periods of time trapped in childhood sexual abuse, deception, false religion and cults, along with poor personal choices. Choices that led to a ripple effect of mistrust, fear and damage in her personal and business relationships. As is so often the case, early memories of abuse, dashed expectations, not fitting in, or outright rejection can become false guideposts for what is to come, and what we are to become. They help fuel the flames of a morphed personal connection to our God-given destinies, dreams, reality and/or future.

We revisit her places of affluence and privilege, influence and prestige to places of failure and shame, false accusations, heartbreak and loss. A constant juxtaposition between having and losing, success and failure, fullness and emptiness. The author candidly shares of her great love for her father. The father who chooses another woman over her mother, redefining the family as they once knew it. A perfectionist mother who she never fully bonded with and whose approval she struggled to win. And early influences that shaped her perceptions about life and God. She walks us through her entanglement with cults, deception and legalism. And her inner struggles with identity, control, workaholism, perfection and perceived wants and needs. We see how her choices mixed with others’ controlling and manipulative influences made for lethal concoctions. A colorful, sometimes toxic, sometimes confusing, sometimes simply human whirlwind of individual pieces to an ultimately beautiful puzzle.

At the conclusion, we are gratefully relieved and encouraged as we see the necessary course corrections put into place. We are relieved and encouraged in part, because readers can find bits and pieces of their own stories within her story. Places in our own lives where we drifted, (purposely drove, or were manipulated/coerced) off course without our navigational systems fully functioning, only to find ourselves shipwrecked and suddenly wondering how we got ourselves so off course.

The author touches on a multitude of issues in Full Circle. Issues that were no doubt difficult to deal with, much less admit. It serves as a painfully transparent reminder that we all have choices. Choices that will reflect what we believe. What we believe about ourselves, others and God. And because we are a part of a greater entity called humanity, choices that will, for better or worse, ripple out to effect the lives of those who touch ours.

Full Circle is the real and personal story of Athena Dean Holtz. But we all have a full circle story of our own. And even if our stories are stuck at “half-moon,” the best message in this book is that by making wise, discerning, healthy choices coupled with the faithfulness and grace of God, we too can come full circle. The stars can shine that bright for all of us! He is a God of restoration, reconciliation and redemption. He never leaves us alone. That’s his promise. If we seek him, we will find him. That means, step-by-step, thought-by-thought, choice-by-choice.

Thank you Athena Dean Holtz for being vulnerable so that others can be more alert, learn, change and grow. I love that when we give, we receive. As the author chose to give, forgive, “do the work” (reconciled business issues, restored personal relationships, redeemed the time and resources God had placed in her hands from an early age, took personal inventory, underwent counseling and now shares her “lessons learned” with others), she received. Not only wholeness, but forgiveness, restored relationships, healthy perspectives, new opportunities, and so on. I love that God’s plans and purposes for us are always for our good. And they are always so much better than we could ever imagine.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

You can purchase Athena’s book, Full Circle, online. Visit her website athenadeanholtz.com or blog. Athena also produces and hosts the Always Faithful radio show where she interviews authors, artists and women of faith spotlighting the faithfulness of God.

Athena Dean Holtz is an Author, Speaker, Radio Personality, Pastor’s Wife and Publisher. She has been speaking to groups, large and small, for over 30 years. She is passionate to see women recognize the faithfulness of God, no matter how difficult life may be. 

(I received an advanced reader copy of Full Circle. This writing represents my personal and honest review.)

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Singer-Songwriter Ashley Stringer: Songs of Healing and Hope

Ashley Stringer – Singer, Songwriter & World Changer

Ashley Stringer is a vibrant young singer and songwriter who hopes to change the world one song at a time. She started writing songs at twelve years of age and will be releasing her first album while she’s still fourteen. Her songs represent a journey woven into a musical tapestry of good news. News of healing and hope, identity and joy. She can be found in coffee shops, church venues, special events and sharing her unique sound on social media, including her own YouTube channel. I recently interviewed Ashley about her love of music and passion to express her thoughts and heart through songwriting.

Music & Song

Q: Ashley and music go hand and hand. Smile. Did you come from a musical background growing up, or was music just born inside of you when you came into the world? Or, maybe a little of both?

A: My mother’s side of the family is musically inclined but I have always had a love for music since I was very little. I was either eleven or twelve when I believe I realized music was my passion.

Q: You sing, but you also play the guitar. Do you play other instruments as well?

A: No, I would love to learn to play the piano soon.

Q: Music is a universal language. How does it feel to use your gift of music and then also to have a platform to share it with others?

A: I feel blessed that God has revealed to me the gift of writing and singing, and count it an honor to be able to sing His praises.  It’s a privilege to write music and I pray that with every song there will be an audience that can relate to it and be ministered to by it.

Q: What is at the heart of your music… What propels you to want and need to express yourself in song?

A: Writing songs and expressing myself seems like a natural thing for me to do. When I have ideas or thoughts I journal them and that’s where a lot of my music comes from. I pray that others are blessed by the songs that were birthed from personal experiences of my own or ones that others have shared with me that I have put to songs.

Q: Have you identified a word or a couple of words that describe what you feel most near to through your expression of music… meaning, your “message”?

A: Honesty, Joy and Freedom.

Ashley in the recording studio.

Ashley in the recording studio.

Songwriting

Q: Not only do you sing, but you are also a songwriter. When you write songs, do you have an idea in your mind of the person, or a type of person, you are singing to/for?

A: First, I always write for the glory of God. Second, I write songs for people who are walking through challenges. I want my music to bring hope, encourage, and help others realize they’re not alone.

Q: When did you know it wasn’t enough for you to only sing, but you also felt compelled to write your own lyrics as well?

A: When I was being bullied, I taught myself how to play guitar and not too long after, I started writing songs. During that season of loneliness, writing music was my stress relief. Anytime I was hurting I would play my guitar and God would put lyrics on my heart and notes to strum on the guitar, He helped me author what I think is beautiful music.

Q: It must feel extremely freeing and gratifying to be able to sing words that are straight from your own heart and mind. With both gifts (voice and writing), you are able to truly express, in the way that you want, ideas and thoughts and challenges for others to hear. Would you comment?

A: Absolutely, every song is a story that allows the listener to pierce into the window of my soul. I pray that through my honesty others will be touched and experience healing through Jesus.

Listen to Ashley’s single about bullying and fitting in called “Simple Smile“on YouTube. (See the cover photo below).

Growth in the Journey

Q: Have you ever felt fear or comparison creeping in, and if so, how do you deal with that in order to push forward?

A: I have to remember when I feel this way that God only created one me and my story isn’t going to be like everyone else’s and that’s okay. I sing only for God’s glory and I don’t let comparison creep in. 

Q: What types of things have you done to help yourself communicate your messages through music even more?

A: I have been actively a part of dance troops and taken vocal lessons since I was very young. I’ve ministered in worship and word at several churches and coffee shops. I’ve volunteered for several years leading worship in kids ministry at a church. I feel that all of these things have helped prepare me.

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Ashley’s anti-bullying single, “Simple Smile”.

Following Your Dreams

Q: What have you found to be one of the most challenging parts of seeing your dream become a reality?

A: Patience and trusting God has perfect timing for all things. I was hoping to have this current album completed a long time ago, but studio production is time-consuming and costly. We have had to wait on producers, musicians laying tracks, and much more.

Q: How did you overcome that?

A: It’s a daily “die to self”. My parents remind me often to trust God and His timing for it all.

Q: If you could give one or two pieces of advice to others who want to follow their dream, what would it be?

A: Dream Big! Trust that God knows what’s best for you and know His timing is Perfect. God won’t put you in a situation you can’t handle.

Q: I know you have amazingly supportive parents. What’s one of your favorite things about how they’ve come alongside you in your musical journey?

A: I’m grateful to have parents who are willing to invest in my dream. They constantly encourage my gift. They have absolutely been a pillar of strength for me on this journey. I owe so much of this to my Dad for being our family’s covering, priest and encourager.  My mom is co-producing everything with me and the other producers.  She has a good ear and gives me advice and keeps me grounded.  She takes me to vocal lessons, studio recording sessions, and makes all possible on the ground-level.

Ashley wrote a song for her father while he was undergoing treatment at MD Anderson for Stage 4 cancer. They later created a short video featuring her song, “Journey“.

Social Media

Q: Where can people connect and learn more about your music? Do you have a website, blog, FB or Instagram page? 13007283_113616142377329_2278447126599045461_n

A: I am available on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. I also have a YouTube channel where you can see covers I have done, and more. (My website is currently being updated.)

Q: How has Social Media made an impact or opened doors for you to share your talent?

A: It has allowed me to get exposure from people I would have never reached before. 

Q: How have your fans played a role in building your momentum?

A: I really wouldn’t say I have much of a fan base, only time will tell. I have followers on both Facebook and Instagram, but haven’t intentionally sought to build a base yet.  It has all been organic and we trust in time it will grow on its own.

Q: Do you use any hashtags specifically for your music on social media?

A: #SimpleSmile, #AshleyStringer and #ConsumedByYou which is the title of my album.

Personal

Q: Your faith is at the core of who you are as a young woman. How has your faith strengthened you, inspired you and/or made you more confident and free to be who you are?

A: The bottom line is, I couldn’t do this without God. He’s the one who has opened every door, made way for every relationship, and empowered me to do what I do.

Ashley with her father, Doug Stringer.

Ashley with her father, Doug Stringer.

Q: You travel a lot with your family. What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?

A: I’ve traveled to seventeen countries many of them multiple times and so far I don’t have a favorite. I’ve enjoyed them all!

Q: What’s someplace you’ve never been that you’d love to visit one day?

A: Greece, although I will be traveling there in the next few weeks! (Ashley just returned from Greece and loved it! See her photo below.)

Ashley’s 2017 trip to Greece.

Q: Name a musician, past or present, that is one of your favorite inspirations.

A: Tori Kelly and Celine Dion are my two favorite artists. I admire their vocal ability and Tori’s consecrated walk. 

Q: What is your favorite genre of music? Is there a genre you’ve not yet explored but would like to?

A: I really like Christian Pop and Christian Rap.

Q: Tell me something that your followers may not know about you yet.

A: Most people don’t know I’ve been homeschooled most of my life and really enjoy it.

About the Album

You’ve been busy preparing to release your new album…

Q: What is the name of your album and can you tell me a little about why you decided to do it?

A: My album will be entitled “Consumed By You”. I began to write music and thought releasing an E.P. would be cool but then God gave me enough material for an album.

Q: What is something significant that you’ve learned or discovered through the process of stepping out with your music and sharing it with the world?

A: Just how much healing can come from music

Q: Okay, Takeaways… What do you hope people will come away with after listening to this album?

A: That whatever my listeners may be facing, they can make it through. God loves them, and with Him, all things are possible.

Q: It’s been a joy to watch your talent and journey unfold. I’m sure this is just the beginning. Can you share something you’d love to explore or do next?

A: It’s hard for me to see too far down the road. I’m just excited for every ministry opportunity I have today. 

Q: Where can we hear and purchase/download your music?

A: I have a single out on iTunes and the album will release mid-February. You will be able to listen through Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.

Love this Girl! Stay tuned for more of Ashley Stringer, singer, songwriter and world changer.

Connect with Ashley Stringer!

The best way to connect with me is through my website or my social media accounts.

Facebook: @AshleyStringer

Website: AshleyStringer.com

Instagram: @Ashleymstringer

Twitter: @AshleyStringerr

YouTube: Watch/Listen to Ashley on YouTube

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Speaking of Love…

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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Simple Smile: Anti-Bullying Song by Ashley Stringer

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“Simple Smile” is an anti-bullying song written by Ashley Stringer. Ashley is a fourteen-year-old singer-songwriter who has a passion to share her gift of music to bring hope and healing to those who need it most. She writes:

“This song was written when I was twelve years old. I realized the value of affirmation that would come from a smile, and the deep hurt that can occur when one feels rejected by their peers.

My prayer is that we would recognize that smiles are priceless, and when shared, they can change someones outlook. Share a smile, and be givers of hope.”

“Bullying is a physical or psychological aggressive behavior intended to harm or hurt others. The bully uses offensive bullying words in the process of victimization, states NoBullying.com. ” The general view is to make the affected person seem worthless, unloved, and uncared for.”

The Bully Project says, “Bullying today does not just happen at school. It happens on the streets of our towns, in our homes, at extracurricular activities, at camp, online (cyberbullying), and in many other places.” They’ve created a film called, “Bully” that speaks to this issue. According to their website, 3 million kids are bullied each month, and 13 million kids are absent from school every year because of bullying.  

Many youth suicides have been connected with some form of rejection or bullying, to the extent the victims no longer felt welcome in this world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on youth suicide states that suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, resulting in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year. Read my blog Victims of Bullying.

Whether bullying occurs at home, in school, in a public venue or online, it is always victimization. It is always connected to rejection or trying to diminish another’s self-worth. And it is always wrong.

The Bible says that out of the heart, our mouths speak. Unfortunately, too many hearts, instead of being filled with contentment, goodwill and joy are filled with just the opposite and it’s spilling out and doing incredible damage. I’m grateful for people like Ashley, who understand that even the simple, under-valued things like befriending someone who’s lonely, listening and showing compassion, helping someone in need, offering a prayer, or a simple smile can literally change someone’s day, their mind, their world and possibly even their future. Just by knowing someone “out there” cares, means there is still hope. Listen to Simple Smile and Watch the Music Video by Ashley Stringer and share with someone who needs to hear it!

HELPFUL RESOURCES:

“Understanding Bullying” CDC Fact Sheet

Information on Bullying by StopBullying.Gov

“Impact of Bullying Words on the Victim” by NoBullying.com

Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide: The Lasting Effects of Bullying 

The Bully Project

Online Security Tips for Parents & Kids

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2015

Stop Bullying Now!: A resource website sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that addresses the warning signs of bullying, how to talk about bullies, how to report bullies and cyberbullying and offers a 24-hour help hotline for victims at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Scars Speak

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What comes to mind when you read the word SCAR?

A scar can be left over from a surgery or a “trophy” on a veteran of war. It can be a reminder of a painful accident or a traumatic physical assault. And not all scars are visible to the eye. Sometimes we carry internal scars caused by wounds from a verbal assault, emotional or psychological damage.

“We’re stronger in the places we’ve been broken.” – Ernest Hemingway

One thing all scars have in common is they tell us that at some point in time, trauma occurred. They also tell us by their nature, the incident that caused the trauma happened in the past. The hurt may or may not remain, but the scar always does.

Some may look at their scars and be unaffected or even laugh because they don’t have any recollection of the actual incident. They may have had surgery and been under anesthesia. Or, they may have received their wound in an accident but their memory of the event has been erased.

There are some people, however, who have to look in the mirror and live with negative memories associated with their scars every day. They are the ones I’m writing about today. Scars caused by abuse, neglect or violence. Their scars are a constant and merciless reminder of pain. The relentless pain of hatred, rejection or violence against their person or spirit. Those memories summon our worst nightmares and haunt us with torment. Sometimes the scars taunt as if to say, “You deserved what you got” or “You’ll never be good enough. You’ve got the scars to prove it”. They are reminders of the powerlessness in abusive encounters. To some, a permanent warning sign to stay inside an imposed boundary. And they can’t be erased. The most we can do is cover them so the world can’t see. Because if the world sees them, they will wonder how our scars came to be, and we can’t bare to reveal or re-live the trauma.

Donita’s mother burned her with cigarettes and left scars from beatings with an iron hanger. Veronica’s uncle sexually assaulted her and her sister leaving a different set of scars. The pain of shame on top of sexual assault with the pressure of keeping a secret no girl should have to bare. Morgan’s arm is scarred with needle marks from a life she desperately wants to forget from her drug-addicted past. As beautiful as she is, Chandler wears scars under her clothes from cutting. No one knows because she masks it with a fake smile. Shauna wears long sleeved blouses and lots of bracelets to cover her wrists after attempting suicide. Makeup and jewelry cannot completely hide years of abuse to Trina’s face and neck at the hands of an abusive husband. Women and girls with faces and bodies acid-burned by their own husbands, fathers, brothers and family members–people they should’ve been able to trust to love and protect them. Every single scar from abuse cries out, “Why me?” Our faces, our bodies, our minds and our spirits are such a deep part of our identity. When we are assaulted in any way that is meant to inflict injury and pain by another, visible or not, it is inexcusable. When it is self-inflicted pain or abuse, we hurt and scar the same.

Thankfully, as the saying goes, beauty truly can come from “ashes”. We can rise to a better place. The other thing that all scars have in common is they Tell a Story. Your story. A very personal story. A painful story. A pain-filled story. But yours, nonetheless. So what’s so great about having a personal painful story? Nothing. That is, nothing in and of itself. But your scars, our scars, tell us and the world, “I am here!” They say without speaking a word, “I lived through it!” THAT is the story. THAT is the grace. It is your badge of courage. It says you are a fighter, a victor.

The truth is, the scars are proof that you made it through. You are meant to be here. And maybe one day, you will come to understand that you lived (or made it through the pain) to tell your story so that others can learn from it. And in so doing, what someone tried to take away from you, (your confidence, self-worth, freedom, identity, voice) ended up positioning you to give strength (and courage and hope) to another. And in the process, gave you back the voice no one could ever truly take.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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