Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview with artist, Sarah Kelly

Last week was the re-launch of The Waking; the E-zine I co-run with my friends. You can now find us posting reviews, artist interviews, recipes, personal blogs, and more @!

In honor of the re-launch, I thought I would share one more interview with you guys that we did for The Waking back in 2008. It was the very first interview we ever did and it was with artist, Sarah Kelly! Sarah has been one of our favorite artists for quite sometime now, and we were so happy to get the chance to chat with her! I hope you enjoy reading along!

Also, please check out The Waking; explore the new site, look over the archives, and join the conversation by sharing your thoughts and comments with us! :)



TW: You just had your cd Born To Worship release in July,Can you tell us what inspired you to do a worship album and what was the writing process like?

Sarah: Well...I started most of these songs when I was really young....some as early as 7.....these songs brought me through some of the toughest times of my life...and I worshiped through a lot of circumstances I didn't understand with these songs....I wasn't ready to share them publically till now. My hope was to make my old home church in IL smile, cuz we used to play these songs all the time....and go back to the roots of who God made me to be, as I move from one season to the next in my was a message to them...that I am ok...and a reminder to myself...of my true roots.The writing process was just improving old songs...adding a bridge here..a second verse there...but the heart of the album was these simple songs from my early youth.(thus the name...born to worship)

TW: You've talked about how you were involved in abusive relationships,how has it inspired your writing?

Sarah:'s no secret that soul doesn't come from vocal chords...but from hard times....when someone is pushed to the limit, more risks are taken creatively and in life because there is essentially, less to lose. I have been completely honest in my the point where it has probably cost me...both financially and emotionally....but the bottom line one is perfect.....we all have our issues...and the "truth" part of "spirit and truth" is a little, well, missing in today's glossy version of Christianity...I am hoping that I will inspire honesty...not only on the issue of abuse...(which is totally relevant in the church!!!!...whether people want to believe it or not)...but on other issues as is a part of humbling ourselves...then God will heal our land!

TW: How did you start singing and when did you feel the Lord calling you to music?

Sarah: I was always singing as a child....then stopped through jr high...and then my pastor made me after college again. But I have always written music since I was a small child.

TW: How did you get signed to Gotee Records?

Sarah: I guess Toby's asst. heard some hype about the "new girl" (me) and the other labels that were approaching me....they called me...and it was magic!...Their down to earth approach was sooooooo nice!....and they really have been more than good to me through the ups and downs of the last 4 years!

TW: Can you talk a little bit about your song "About Midnight" and what inspired you to write it?

Sarah: Well....that song's hook line is "where the past meets today"....which is the theme of the whole 2nd album....which is by far the most personal of the 3. I bear all on that thing!.... About midnight is a song that I wrote at my darkest hour.... and Paul and Silas were my "mentors" of how to worship.....they worshiped when they didn't understand why God was allowing things in their life that seemed this song is what I guessed they would have sang in that hour...and it helped me through my "dark hour".

TW: You've worked with a lot of mainstream artists,can you talk a little bit about that experience and how has your music been received?

Sarah: I am more than pleased at the response I have gotten....I mean, how can I complain with 2 Grammy nods....that is just crazy!.....I really enjoyed working with Chris Chaney from Janes Addiction and Slash from Guns and Roses....but my very favorite was Mike Clink, who is a legendary producer....I learned that people are cool with a Christian long as your music is good enough to stand on it's own...I know a lot of people were not so happy with my decision to open my music to "main stream rockers"....but we are all just people trying to figure out know? Far be it from me to judge anyone!

TW: We heard recently that you started a music school,can you tell us a little about that and where the idea came from?

Sarah: Yep....I have been teaching songwriting since I was 17 years was what "got me here".....I used to have somewhere around 700 students enrolled in Rockford, IL...before my first nod...and the sad part about pursuing the new ops coming my way ....was having to put the schools on hold.You see...songwriting got me through some of the roughest seasons of my is a connection to God that is always there to run can be a voice when you are I have a passion to pass that knowledge on!.....And I am doing that for about 50 students right now in southern Cal!...That is all my calendar will allow for...but it has been sooooooooooo refreshing to me!

TW: So what should we expect from your new live dvd coming out soon?

Sarah: is a cd and dvd....and one thing I ALWAYS hear is that people wish the albums were more like my live we did it right...spared no expense..and are finally releasing what people have wanted for a long time from me....I am sooooo excited to share with people here what God is doing in Europe...I think it will open a lot of eyes.

TW: What music have you been listening to and what books have you been reading lately?

Sarah: I just read 2 books...."The Female Brain" which was written by a Harvard physician and professor.....about the physical differences between man and woman....I think to be the best woman I can be...I have to know my God given strengths!....

And also..."The Shack" , which I was not expecting to like, but told a friend I would I had to make good on a promise.....but I ended up loving it...God totally used it in my life huge!

TW: What do you think is the biggest problem facing this new generation and what would you say to them?

Sarah: I know I would say to my fellow drop the ridiculous judgment of churches going on right now...and if you have been burned...said lovingly.....move on...and find a new church...but we all need fellowship...the bible is clear on that....I mean if anyone would have a reason to hate organized religion it is is a choice to forgive and move on.....Josh McDowell says that 85%of the 18 to 30 are leaving not to return to the church....I really do understand the skepticism....I get the not liking the "monarchy" of what the church has question authority is to question God...and that is not what we are about...and we like it honest...not glossy.....but how are we gonna help this situation if we totally just stop going altogether.....give it another try...and then another.

For more info on Sarah Kelly go to:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Worst Enemy

It’s funny, sometimes in life it seems that nobody could possibly hurt us more than ourselves. We truly can be our own worst enemy. Sabotaging all the good things in our lives with all kinds self destructive behaviors .Sometimes it’s because we don’t know how to 1st, love God, and 2nd, how to love ourselves. Also because we often have no concept of God’s massive love for us. We can end up with so much anger, pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, ect.

When this happens we hurt not only ourselves but the people we love…it’s inevitable, I suppose. Often we will transfer how lousy we feel about ourselves onto other people. Picking fights with them, tearing them down in whatever way we can. All because we are so angry at the person staring back at us in the mirror.

But the good news is, you don’t have to live in tyranny to that person …to yourself anymore. With the love and power of God, you can confront that enemy without fear. You don’t have to confront those dark, scary places of your soul by yourself, he will go there with you.

In that place, where dark finally meets the light, you can find healing. You can be redeemed, healed, forgiven, delivered, and restored. Praise God for 2nd and 3rd and 4th chances… Praise God we do not have to be enslaved to ourselves.


Below is a little something I wrote about this subject a while back….

Worst Enemy

How is it that we our own worst enemy? Robbing us of all that we are supposed to have, killing all of who we are supposed to be. It's like we are shadow boxers wrestling with an invisible enemy. I fight off no one but an apparition that somehow looks a little too much like me.

We claim to hate our brother. Angry because we feel like we deserve more than what we're getting. We pick fights with one another and kill the innocent with our biting, cold as hell words. So maybe tonight after the battle is over, we just might finally have ourselves convinced that this is it, there within this tyranny is our only happiness.

So I breathe a settle sigh of relief, for one more night I am appeased to fool myself to believe that it's them I really hate. But truthfully, it's the enemy in the mirror I see so painfully staring back at me....

Laying all the cards out on the table, time to deal with this self conflicted complication. I think it's time for a confrontation...

I hate you. I can't forgive you. You are ugly. You are a stupid fool. You are unloved and unlikable. You've made too many mistakes and buddy, there's just no redemption for you. There's no hope for your cracked and broken soul. There's no where else for you to go. You are worthless and will never be anything more. The end. My dear the story's over and the book is closed.

"No!", I hear myself scream. Do not tell me the book is closed! I no longer want the conclusion that I have chose. This can't really be the final word, this can't be the final page. Is a period at the end of a damning sentence all that remains? In spite of all these things, I wish for more words. I wish for more than a self inflicted curse. Jesus, oh Jesus am I more than this? Tell me there is redemption for all of my sins....

I see a new light for your soul and this story is far from over. My child, you are beautiful. You may not forgive yourself but just know, I forgave you 2000 years ago. You are not too far gone, my love, you will never be. If you could even for a second comprehend, if you could only see the deep love I have for you, you would never be the same again. Deeper than the deepest oceans, higher the sky seems to reach. Hope abounds in my arms, you will find me if you only seek. Redemption is just an arms length away. Let my love quiet your crying today. Come to me when your heart is breaking and your soul is dying. Call out my name. I am always here, I am always the same. You, love, are more precious than gold, oh the worth of your being you'll never know. Die to yourself and come live for me. There is freedom from your self, freedom from your tyranny. You see, on the cross I eternally conquered your worst enemy.

(C) Krystal Celeste

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tonight {Eternity}

How will you see the next move you make in the light of eternity? How would you live if you had no tomorrow to go back to? To make things right, you say you have plenty of time. But this night has a voice. If you listen you'll hear echoes in the wind, an invitation to be innocent again.

Tonight is the night I finally surrender this fight. Want to be one with you in spirit and in truth. Tonight I will surrender my will to you. Wave my white flag to this passionate pursuit. See clear tonight for the first time that eternity is just a breath away. Can't escape it for it's a mere step from today.

You can't re-write your story and you can't change the past, but refined through fire, it's beautiful at last. Today has a ripple effect on tomorrow. The choices you make change the world a little everyday. And the clock is ticking away. If you listen you'll hear echoes in the wind, an invitation to come to life again.

{Repeat Chorus}

Take note of your life before it's too late to change. Everyday eternity is taking it's place. And the tune of whatever song you choose to write will play on through the rest of your life. Think about it, think about it tonight.

{Repeat Chorus 2x)

(C) Krystal Celeste

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Chapter

There’s such hope in the new. I believe in a God of purpose and adventure. And even though it may not seem like it sometimes, he is doing a work in our lives. Never lose heart in his plan, he’s always working in the midst of everything to give you something beautiful. You don’t want to miss it…I know I don’t. Never give up or settle for less…keep trusting against all odds. He’s just getting ready to give us new, beautiful adventures and chapters. Chapters just waiting to be opened and trusted in.

God please give us new chapters … and the courage to turn the pages and trust…

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"  Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

New Chapter

Unfamiliar words written by a person I vaguely remember. A passion and fire that could melt any frozen December. She said “Life is a beautiful journey, a novel full of mystery”. But somewhere along the line apathy plagued this expectancy and the pages remained empty. Until you finally said…


It’s time to start a new chapter in my life. Time to see what life has to offer. Laugh and cry, maybe be surprised of what I find. Step off the ledge and fly. Cause this book has tons of empty space to fill and the pen is in my hand tonight. So I guess it’s time, time to start a new chapter in my life. 

We’re all just trying to figure out how to live. How to deal with the wild strokes of someone else's pen. But these pages are blank and wearing thin. Oh where’s the ink hidden? My story is still floating somewhere beneath my skin. Write me in a beautiful journey, write a melody to this song. Want to know invisible ink was there all along.

(Repeat Chorus)

Dusty blank books waiting in a library dimly lit. Who I was meant to be is someone I often forget. Oh it’s so hard to say goodbye to the character you were in chapter nine. But she said “Kiss this little girl goodbye, cause she starts over tonight”.

(Repeat Chorus 2x)

© Krystal Celeste

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2010

Happy 2011 you guys! Hope everyone had a very happy new year! Mine was spent with my family, we made a delish Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Drizzle (I know…as if we haven’t had enough sweets already over holidays! Hello diet Monday ;), watched the ball drop, and prayed in the new year like we do every year. It was really nice and I’m looking forward to all the many blessings 2011 will bring. :)

There were a lot of lovely tunes that kept me company through 2010! A few of my favorite artists released some great new music, as well as newer artists that have become fast favorites. This is a list of my top 10 favorite songs of 2010. I added the videos to these songs so you can listen along with me, these videos are also pretty incredible, so be sure to check ‘em out! Can’t wait to see what new music will come out of 2011! Also, would love to know what songs, or artists were your favorites last year! Hope your new year is off to a great start! :)

1. Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

(If you haven’t heard of The Civil Wars yet… I think it’s about time you did! The indie/folk collaboration of two very talented singer/songwriters, Joy Williams and John Paul White. This song is amazing, seriously! Definitely the #1 song I had on repeat in 2010!)

2. Something Beautiful by Needtobreathe

(These guys have gotten so much attention over the last year, and it is very well deserved! This song is one of my Needtobreathe favorites. It’s definitely the song I found myself randomly humming to the most in 2010. “Hey now this is my desire, consume me like a fire, cause I just want something beautiful”.)

3. For Those Who Wait by Fireflight

(Title track, “For Those Who Wait”, is my favorite song off Fireflight’s newest cd. It’s so full of truth and encouragement.The powerful lyrics sung lead singer, Dawn Richardson’s rock vocal is the highlight of this album to me. “The struggle makes us hunger. The hard lessons make the difference and the difference makes it worth it“. I had the chance to see Fireflight in concert back in ‘09 (which was an incredible show by the way!), before this cd released. Definitely looking forward to seeing them in concert again to hear all these new songs live!)

4. New Fire by Sent By Ravens

(These guys have become one of my favorite bands over the last year! This was the first song I heard by them. The powerful lyrics sung with so much passion by this talented rock band caught my attention instantly, “A new fire lit you. A new fire circles this room. May you never be afraid of your father.”)

5. God Save The Foolish Kings by House of Heroes

(House of Heroes has been one of my favorite bands for years now, and it seems they just get better and better with each album. This song is the first single from their new cd. It’s a fun tune to rock out to; the guys sound killer on it! Singer, Stephanie Smith, even makes an appearance on this rock track.)

6. Trinity by Paper Tongues

(I first discovered these guys when I saw the video for this song on TVU last year. An infectious rock track from an incredible band.)

7. Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful by Seabird

(This is, in my opinion, the best Seabird song and music video! I love the sound of this song as well as the message in it.)

8. Beautiful, Beautiful by Francesca Battistelli

(The first time I heard this song was live in concert at the Rock & Worship Roadshow in Dallas last April. It was such a beautiful & worshipful moment, you could feel the presence of God in that stadium. I’ve loved this song ever since!)

9. Flags by Brooke Fraser

(Just bought the new Brooke Fraser cd a couple months ago and have been savoring every bit of it! The title track “Flags” is the song that currently has my heart...chill inducing! The lyrics are so heartfelt and powerful, “You who mourn will be comforted. You who hunger will hunger no more. Oh the last shall be first, of this I am sure. You who weep now will laugh again. Oh you lonely be lonely no more. Yes the last will be first, of this I am sure.” I would definitely recommend this whole cd, Brooke is one of my all time favorite artists!)

10. Lover, Find Your Cover by  Joy Williams

Couldn’t find a video for this song but you can Click Here to download the song as well as the whole ep!


(From her incredible ep, “We Mapped The World”, this delicate piano tune gave me goose bumps the first time I heard it. A highlight for me last year was doing an interview with Joy for The Waking, where she let us in on the story of writing this song and what it means to her.)

Honorable Mentions ~

Yes, I did honorable mentions because I couldn’t choose just 10….I know, I have a problem….  I just couldn’t help myself. :P

*Back To Innocence by Stephanie Smith

(Stephanie has become one of my favorite artists! This song caught my attention instantly with it’s powerful rock declaration of regaining lost innocence. An important message set to a great rock tune! “Man I’m ready for change I want to regain every bit of innocence. This is out of control I’ve gotta let you know I’m getting back to innocence”. )

*Close Your Eyes by Abandon Kansas

(Great new band that I’ve become such a fan of! I love the lyrics and the way the guitar sounds in the beginning. And not to mention the awesome dance moves of the guitarist in the video! :) 

*You Are For Me by Kari  Jobe

(One of the most beautiful and worshipful songs of 2010, sung by the lovely vocals of new artist, Kari Jobe.)

*Lead Me by Sanctus Real

(In my opinion, this is the most impactful song I think Sanctus Real has ever written. A song every husband and father…and family actually, should hear. Written by lead singer, Matt Hammit, after his wife challenged him to be more of a Godly leader in their family. “To lead them with strong hands / To stand up when they can’t / Don’t want to leave them hungry for love / Chasing things that I could give up / I’ll show them I’m willing to fight / And give them the best of my life / So we can call this a home / Lead me, ‘cause I can’t do this alone“)