Meaning in it All

Too many songs I’ve written then forgotten
Too many poems I’ve penned and never read
Bereaving of a song
Sand through my fingers, gone
How will they ever be…
The days, the lines gone into documentation
The waste of time, times two, I’ve told myself
But it’s a warring thought
Against my spirit, Not
Another day distraught
(There is)
Meaning in it all
A purpose and a call
Awaiting time to shine
Awaiting darker nights
Where only I can sing 
Into their suffering
Revealing You in me…The meaning in it all
   When they mine my grave
   For the treasure never spent (treasure never spent)
   They’ll sadly walk away
   For eternity
   Has all of me

Investing in Someone Else’s Dream

Today I ran into my old boss, friend and musician in the worship team I was a part of years ago; his name is Jerry. As I think back to my 3 years working for him as a dispatcher for a commercial miniblind and drape company,  I recall one main event. Continue reading

“This Jesus”~ a Christmas Song of How Miracles Still Happen Today

He was conceived

Would you believe, of a virgin?

A star in the east

Lead men to the King of all kings


Visions of old,

Prophecies told of a Savior

Whose blood would now cleanse

All men of their sins. And forgive


Miracles …  They still happen today

Just in a different time & a different way


(Well,) That baby grew to…

Change the tune of a world-song

From life to death to…life again

It’s chorus still remains:

This Jesus…There’s

Somethin’ to this Jesus

Because of prayer

My depression took flight as I started to dance

If unaware

I’d-a given the credit to meds… or to chance


marriage was through

Infidelity robbed us, & left us for dead

We had to move

With no job for 8 mo.s,  but had our daily bread

Miracles …  yes, they still happen today;

Just in a different time and in a different way


(Cause) my … Jesus grew to –

Change the tune of a world-song

From life to death to…life again

It’s chorus still remains:

This Jesus…There’s

Somethin’ to this Jesus (x2)

Miracles …  They still change lives today

Just in a different time and in a different way

Miracles …  They still change lives today

If we believe and we step out in faith! Faith in…

This Jesus…There’s still

Somethin’ to this Jesus (x2)

Lost and Found – a song I wrote about fulfillment & intimacy

Lost & Found

By, Chelan Rene’ Russ

2005 – Chords uncertain

You formed me from the depths; You made me your own

My range of thoughts are listened to; so I might as well expose

My deepest fears (that) I’ve held on too tightly for (all these) years

I choose to surrender & be…

Lost in the fullness of you

In the mountains of your grace (You are…)

Found in the emptiness of me (yeah)

Intimacy, Intimacy

With surroundings unfamiliar, I feel unknown

Tryin’ to make myself important; a vice to which I’m prone

Help me – to see – my value lies in nothing that I do,

But in Whom I belong to! I am…

(Chorus 2): Lost in the fullness of you

In the ocean of your love (where you are…)

Found in the emptiness of me (yeah)

Intimacy, (true) Intimacy (is when I’m…)

Chorus 1: Lost in the fullness of you

In the mountains of your grace (you’re finally)

Found in the emptiness of me (of me)

Intimacy, Intimacy

(Softer): Found in the emptiness

Of a broken vessel,

broken pride (linger on this note)

Intimacy, Intimacy

Intimacy, Intimacy

Slower: Intimacy (Lord) See into me


I wrote this song in reflection upon the previous year & how I’d become so self-absorbed, self-focused. After being a part of one church since age two, & a pastor’s kid at that, I moved to Southern OR. After 9 months of searching & praying, we found a great new church home & I thought I should join their worship team to make myself useful.

After reading a book, The Heart of the Artist, I can see now how I very slowly began receiving my self-worth from singing – in how many mistakes I made while on stage, or how many compliments I received later that day.

But if I take Him at His Word, I’m his child, worth everything to Him; I could be deaf, mute, blind, & brain-dead and not be loved any less than as I am right now…or as I have been in my past – right in the middle of sin. He gives his love & grace to us simply because we’re his kids.


* Psalm 139:13-14, 23-24 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it!

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

* Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NLV) In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

* Matthew 16:24-26 (The Message) Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself?

* Table Rock Fellowship – Medford, OR

Me, on Stage, @ Austin City Limits?!

One of my family’s favorite shows is Austin City Limits.  And today my mom & dad joined Angel and I (finally after 16 mo.s living in Austin), as we carved out some time to stop by the KLRU studio and “grace”  that stage, just like so many talents…artists I would love to see live, like  Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, B.B. King, Joss StoneCorrine Bailey Rae, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt & Alison Krauss.

I was sure to have my black guitar in tow so I could do a lil ditty jus’ for fun! The only songs I could think of at the time were part of “Lie to Me”  (Jonny Lang) and my ol’ stand-by, “America the Beautiful“. On the way home I was thinkin’ “Dang it! Why didn’t I sing the song I just wrote?! At ACL, they never do cover songs! Just like the moments after a bad argument, my mind kept comin’ up with “shoulda’s”.

As Angel cheered us on from her stroller, my mom played the piano and then my dad took the stage with a guitar solo before we all headed to the hall of framed photos…about 40 great shots of musicians in action – hanging on the hallway walls. It was soooo fun.

Today was my day to dream. Not really dream BIG…but to dream, nonetheless.


     singing    into-it   dancing   cmon  

Maybe one day I’ll go back to that studio, and it won’t be for pretend. I’ll get to sing that original song (“A Psalm for Today”)…and I’ll be in my element ~ sharin’ with others some weighty words, a soulful melody and a voice God has been so good to give to me.


worship to a new song…from hillsong: “HEALER”

UPDATED 8/21: what i’ve learned about this song’s writer is disappointing…but it doesn’t change the fact that God doesn’t change. the lyrics still ring true. the most impacting way to glorify God is through our lifestyles. and the most impacting time? when we are in our most broken state.

i’m praying that through this controversy, the essence of true grace be realized in churches & Christians worldwide. for more on this story, i’ll just “ping” you over to chris from canada who’s posted some really great thoughts & discussion…and has more time than myself, to write on this.

how ’bout this week, let’s think about what God’s Word says: pray for those who hurt you.

7/9: how can we not worship HIM!? every time we do, truth rings in our hearts & our faith is strengthened.

music, song-writing, singing, guitar and the kitchen sink

i have this urge to write more songs, sing ’em, & learn chords to them on my black shiny 6-string. the urge to act on the art within won’t go away…not that i want it to. it fades from the front of my mind to the sides, & some days sinks to the bottom pleading with me all the while to let it out. what i struggle with is who i’m supposed to let it out to.

i’m writing, maybe posting it on my songs, poems or lyrics page. i’m singing it to my family (but usually to myself trying to perfect it in my mind – love those shower acoustics!). i may find chords to it, play it as best i can, & then wait. on what? i don’t know! i used to be able to bring a selection (cover or original) up to a song leader i knew & could collaborate with on it. i have no one like that here. i tried craigslist ads, but two ads that i responded to so far didn’t work out. i tried my church’s 2 bands, but one’s not open to recruiting & the other i’m meeting with in a few weeks…so we’ll see. i think they’re lookin’ to keep doing all covers w/the david crowder band pop worship theme & may need one more bgv (background vocalist).

my heart is open to whatever God wants. it really is. but it burns for outreach. i may try connecting w/other artists thru above grounds, but there are so many in austin, it can be overwhelming. it’s not that i need an audience. God has been my main audience for, goin’ on 3 yrs now. i just dont want to miss an opportunity to bless anyone he puts in my path…or to grow in my potential by working w/other talented artists.

for now… i’m waiting with as much patience as i can muster, i’m writng, i’m changing poopy diapers, i’m singing & dancing around the house, i’m doing dishes, i’m playing the same old chord progressions over & over while the laundry pile seems to reproduce before my eyes (ew, that was a strangely vulgar image), i’m making chicken spaghetti, i’m writing and singing lullabies. i’m running out of gas.

it makes my heart slow & my eyes fill when i think about it long. i so want to learn more, create more music & serve a lot more ~ with all i have. you’d think since he put ’em all in me, he’d show me how to get them out…these gifts he’s given. maybe someday soon.

i’m listening.