Monday, August 5, 2019

One Nation Under Stress

Stress.

I truly believe it’s killing us all... and not just physically. It’s killing us emotionally and socially as well. It’s literally tearing us apart and America is showing signs that it could become completely torn in two if we don’t do something to stop it.

We recently watched the HBO documentary “One Nation Under Stress” , which tries to uncover the reason why American life expectancy has fallen in the last few years and is now officially shorter than all other major developed countries. And that is despite spending more on healthcare than any other country.

The physical ramifications of stress are real. Most of us have become way too aware of that in recent years. You can just do a quick google search and find out how we are suffering physically from the stress that our current culture imposes on us. That is not new news. Physical ailments ranging from heartburn to cancer are listed as the body’s inability to process the stress we are under. It is actually considered a public health crisis by most professionals. 

However, one of the most interesting things they talked about in that documentary was how when human beings are stressed, it severely limits their ability to be empathetic towards each other.

Ok.. now we are getting somewhere. That is explaining A LOT about the state of our nation as I see it now. We are losing the ability to empathize with one another because of our stress levels. It’s almost like the stress shuts down that part of the brain where we care about one another on a purely human level. Yes, we care about the people we are close to and love... but do we care about strangers? 

I’m a strong 9 on the Enneagram, which is the Peacemaker. I hate conflict with a passion and will do just about anything to avoid it. However, I have learned in recent years that there is a big difference between Peacemaking and Peacekeeping. Being silent about injustice in my view is not PeaceMAKING. It might keep the peace in my little world for a bit, but in the grand scheme of things, learning to speak up when I see something being done to another human being that I believe is wrong is something I’m only recently getting brave enough to do. And it does take bravery to speak up about anything in this current social climate. It’s especially hard for a moderate like me because when I speak up, I don’t risk being attacked by the “other” side.  A progressive’s voice will get attacked by a conservative and vice-versa, but when moderates speak, they usually get pummeled by BOTH sides. It’s a scary place to be. BrenĂ© Brown talks about this in her book, “Braving The Wilderness”, which I highly recommend.

But back to stress and empathy. How can we reverse this trend? How can we stop letting our current cultural voices convince us that we are each other’s enemies? Just because we don’t see eye-to-eye politically, socially, or religiously, does that mean we should fear one another? Not just FEAR each other, but actually HATE one another. That is the message I see from our loudest voices in America today. Our political, religious and social leaders are encouraging fear and hate and tribalism — and it is STRESSING ME OUT. ;-)

I had started this blog on Saturday before my show down in Alpharetta, GA - a couple of hours before I heard about the mass shooting in El Paso.  I had trouble sleeping on Saturday night because of this horrible news rolling around in my head. Another mass murder in America? What is going ON? Then I got up on Sunday morning to drive back to Nashville and heard about yet another shooting, this one in Dayton, OH. I was truly heartsick. 

I recently finished an in-depth study of the book of Galatians and I couldn't help but have Gal 5:15 running in my head: 

"But if you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out, or you will be consumed by each other."

The horrible truth is we are a nation that is consuming each other right now. And I believe it's because we have bought into the notion that we should be afraid....very afraid. Afraid of anyone that isn't like us. Anyone who doesn't look like us. Anyone who doesn't worship like us, vote like us, speak the same language as us. And how does fear manifest itself?  In anger and STRESS.

Guys, this mass murder problem that America has is a deadly combination of fear, stress, anger.... and guns. Too many dang guns.  

I'm not saying I'm for a complete ban of guns. We are gun owners ourselves, but good gravy friends, it has gotten out of hand!  America is the only country in the world with more guns than citizens. I know, I know.... I hear the common defense of "Guns don't kill people... People kill people.", but C'MON ON. Guns is definitely a common denominator in this mass shooting thing. While it's clear that the mental health issue is another part of the problem American culture is facing today, trying to ignore the consistent use of automatic rifles in these mass shootings is just INSANE. We have got to find a way to get these guns out of the hands of these angry white men.

Sorry, but that seems to be the other common denominator. White men. Should we round up all the white men in the country and deport them?  No?  That's crazy you say?  Yes, of course it is.  But let's face it.... we are a country under attack by our "own". Our fear of everything and everyone have led us towards a path of truly "consuming each other" (again -Gal 5:15).  

One of the main fears I keep hearing is of losing our "rights" in this country and the freedom to live as we choose to live. But we are actually losing our freedom by believing the lie that we must live in fear of each other.  

There is only one path out of this. And the answer is found again in Galatians.

"It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?"


 I just hope and pray that we can find our path back to loving each other again and not just picking sides and deciding that whoever isn't on our side is our enemy. That is the stress talking. We are not each other's enemies. We are each other's neighbors, even when we don't see eye to eye.

Let that sink in: WE ARE EACH OTHER'S NEIGHBORS. No matter our skin tone, religious affiliation, or political attachments. And we have got to claw our way out of the stress induced fear and hate in this country and find our way back to LOVE. 

Love your neighbor friends. Don't be afraid. Just love.

"There is no fear in love." - 1 John 4:18 

Much love,
M







Saturday, July 20, 2019

Loving Better: My journey towards becoming an affirming Christian

I'm finally ready to come out.

No, I'm not gay. My "coming out" is not from the closet of sexual identity secrecy, but from religious legalism and the exclusive Christian club that I was afraid of being kicked out of for many years. While my gay friends had to keep their true selves covered up because they were afraid they might not be loved if people knew the secret they were harboring, I too felt the pressure of keeping my support of them private.

However, after a couple of years of wrestling with this issue and going on a journey of deep study to try and find the truth about it, I can come out with full support of my LGBTQ friends and say that yes, they too are made in God’s image JUST AS THEY ARE. They deserve the same rights, permissions and respect as anyone else, and that includes marriage - as well as being able to be included in any church, or religious circles of their choosing. And it’s a damn shame that they aren’t.

After posting a recent link to a sermon by a "pastor" in Knoxville, TN saying all the LGBTQ community should be rounded up by the government and executed, I started having friends private messaging me, asking what my stance was on LGBTQ's and Christianity.  Then, after I posted my feelings about PRIDE month, I started getting even more people questioning my stance.  I am happy to say that almost every single person who contacted me privately expressed the desire to "get where I am" on this, and was honestly asking me how I got clarity on this polarizing cultural and deeply personal issue.

How did I get to my position on this?  Well, it’s going to be impossible to go through every single step along the way, every book I read, every scripture I studied, every trusted teacher I spoke with. My decision of affirmation came because of a combination of research, scripture study, experience and prayer. MUCH prayer.

First off, I studied the science behind sexual orientation. Meaning, is it a choice? My conclusions are that it is indeed NOT a choice. There are many medical findings to back up this stance, as well as some of my own experience. What I mean by that is that in my own experience, I certainly didn’t choose my sexual orientation. There wasn’t a moment in my life where I said, “Hmmmm.... shall I choose to be attracted to men, or women?”  Nope. I was hopelessly heterosexual, even though there was a time in my younger days that I thought it might be cool to be attracted to women, I just couldn’t go there. It felt completely unnatural— and it was.  Just like it is completely unnatural for a gay man to force themselves to try and have sex with a woman, or a gay woman to have sex with a man.  It feels unnatural because it is unnatural for them. And God doesn’t want us to participate in “unnatural sexual relations”.  I finally felt I had done enough study to conclude that our sexual identity is not a choice and since "sin" is a choice, then anyone who is born gay, lesbian, or any of the other letters in LGBTQ is not any more sinful than the rest of us sinning heterosexuals.  We ALL fall short. No question about that.  But drawing a dividing line between homosexuals and heterosexuals just doesn't make sense to me anymore.
---------------------------------------
Ok... so now let's go to the Bible and see what it says about it.  We know about the "Big Six".  Those six pesky scriptures that I've been taught all my life that are seemingly very clear about homosexuality being a sin.  Some call them the "clobber verses". Charming, huh?  ;-)

Actually, before we go there, let's talk about the Bible. I've been doing a LOT of historical research on the Bible lately along with my studies and MAN.... for someone who has grown up in church all my life, I have come to realize that I knew very little about this great book.  That realization was horrifying and exciting all at the same time!  The last year or so I have found a renewed love of studying the scriptures. Even going back to understanding the original Greek and Hebrew words and the true context that the Biblical authors meant in their letters. Did you know that the word "homosexuality" didn't even show up in English translations of the Bible until 1946?  Probably because there is no perfect counter-part to the Greek and Hebrew words that we have now replaced with "homosexuality".   I'm not going to go through every passage individually here, but I can say that after my research, I agree with this statement from Brandon Hatmaker:

 "Every verse I have found in the Bible that is used to condemn a “homosexual” act is written in the context of rape, prostitution, idolatry, pederasty, military dominance, an affair, or adultery. It was always a destructive act. It was always a sin committed against another person. And each type of sexual interaction listed was an abuse of God’s gift of sex and completely against His dream for marriage to be a lifelong commitment of two individuals increasingly and completely giving themselves to one another as Christ did for the church."  

I have found nothing pointing me towards condemnation towards a loving, monogamous same sex relationship. And even more upsetting is the bad "fruit" that has come from the churches stance on this. When we are living right in the Spirit, it produces good fruit from our lives.  Galatians 5 says the fruits of The Spirit are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  What has come from holding onto this bad theological stance against the LGBTQ community has shown bad, stinky fruit. High suicide rates, broken families, loneliness, and exclusion from the church, just to name a few.  Our misinterpretation of scripture all these years has put up walls... stumbling blocks if you will, so that someone who is gay feels rejected by the church, and too often, ultimately rejected by God.  The church has done so much harm to these beautiful souls and I can't be a part of it any longer. I just can't.

Even if you can't hang with me on this and still believe that homosexuality is a sin, let me point out 2 things to consider:
1) We are ALL sinners. We all sin every single day. No one's sin is worse than another's.  To point out someone else's sin, as if it is worse than what you struggle with, is just wrong. Don't tell me you don't struggle with sin. And if there WERE a list of sins in order of how bad they are, there are MANY that show to be much more destructive to God's plans for us than loving someone that happens to be the same sex as you. The harm that I see done to others from gossip, gluttony, pride, adultery, greed and envy is incredibly damaging. And I see that being done DAILY by people who claim to live righteous lives. Righteous enough to feel confident enough to make it their lot in life to persecute those who just want to love.  God help 'em.

and....
2) As Beth Moore once stated, "You can't shame someone into a transformation on the inside."  Yes, you might shame someone into pretending for a bit that they aren't who they are so that they don't risk being excluded from their community. But shame only changes outward appearances, and usually only temporarily. No one can pretend forever without falling apart. (Remember the high suicide rates I spoke of earlier).  Only the Holy Spirit can change someone's heart, if indeed it needs to be changed.  Only the Holy Spirit can do the inside work. We humans don't have that kind of power.

What kind of power DO we humans have?  We have the power to love.  We have the power to point people towards Christ. We have the power to help lead them towards the Holy Spirit and then let Him take over from there.  That is all we have the power to do.... and yet, too many Christians choose another route. They choose to push them away from Christ instead of bringing them to Him.  They choose to shame, humiliate, and exclude.  Churches close their doors to the "gays", or at the very least make them feel unwelcome to serve as equal members of the community. I can't even imagine how it must feel to love the Lord and yet not feel I am welcome in a church of my choosing.

Let me finish by saying that there is more to my story than I am telling here. My story also includes getting to know many gay Christians whose lives are beautiful examples of GOOD FRUIT. They love and serve everyone they know in ways that I know would make Jesus proud!  I see the way they choose to use their lives helping their fellow man and making this world a better place.  I see how they choose forgiveness time and time again, as they let God keep their hearts soft in a world where I'm sure mine would have hardened by now. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about how they have been marginalized and mistreated for so long by a church I have loved my whole life.

Don't get me wrong. I still love the church. I still love the Bible. I love it even more than I ever have because I'm starting to really understand how it's meant to be used and interpreted.  It's a book of unsurpassed wisdom with a deepness and richness that no man is ever going to be able to understand perfectly. But I truly do believe it has been used wrongly, to shut out human beings instead of inviting them to the love story. The love story that is open to us ALL.

One last thing. I didn't write this to change anyone else's mind. There was a time when I was convinced that homosexuality was a sin and there was nothing anyone could do to convince me otherwise. I had the scriptures to back it up, along with a community of like-minded believers. And I'm not gay, so why would it even matter to me that I get this "right".  Why would I spend so much time on this subject... something that I don't personally struggle with?  The only honest answer I can give is that it's because God put it on my heart strongly to figure this out. Maybe it's because of my gay friends. Or my gay nephew. Or my friends with gay children. I've seen their hurt, their pain, their confusion. Maybe it's because we are all called to speak out when we see an injustice and God has laid this burden on my heart to speak up for these who I feel are being treated unjustly.  Or maybe it's just because Jesus said:

"A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love each other. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." - John 13:34-35

I am an incredibly imperfect ally to my LGBTQ friends. But I am trying to love them as Jesus would want me to. I hope anyone reading this will at least pray over my words and if the Spirit leads you to more study in this matter, I'll add a few resources that might help you along.

Much love and peace and blessings....
Marcia

RESOURCES:

"God and the Gay Christian" by Matthew Vines.  http://www.matthewvines.com/
His viral video sermon was one of the first resources that was put into my view as I started my journey. It also apparently played a big part in Rachel Held Evans journey towards affirmation.

"Changing Our Mind" by David P. Gushee: https://amzn.to/2Z1iVOr

Brandon Hatmaker's FB blog: https://www.facebook.com/pg/HatmakerBrandon/posts/?ref=page_internal

"5 things to remember when the Bible is used against the LGBT community":  https://www.rofum.org/5-things-to-remember-when-the-bible-is-used-against-the-lgbtq-community/?fbclid=IwAR3c8hJnWyx4OKg5ca3NdaGtehgKhspfg5c5p8cLy4BzivuGIPfRR2WOenI

"Penny In The Air: My Story of Becoming Affirming" by Sarah Bessey:
https://sarahbessey.com/penny-in-the-air-my-story-of-becoming-affirming/

Adam Nicholas Phillips blog: https://medium.com/@adamnicholasphillips/the-bible-does-not-condemn-homosexuality-seriously-it-doesn-t-13ae949d6619

"Does Jesus really love me?" by Jeff Chu: https://www.amazon.com/Does-Jesus-Really-Love-Christians/dp/0062049747/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=does+jesus+really+love+me&qid=1559765591&s=gateway&sr=8-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=sarahbecom-20&linkId=0de75fd4db2707e732e5a08834df1df8&language=en_US





Saturday, July 6, 2019

My own little faith shift....


I’ll admit that I’ve been in a “faith shift” of sorts lately. Certainly not shifting away from my love of Jesus or the Bible and it’s teachings. I’ve actually fallen MORE in love with Jesus and studying God’s word lately, but I’ve been worn out from the exclusivity of most religions and quite frankly, it has kept me from attending any church regularly for several years. Also....

I’m worn out from all the double standards I see in most churches these days.. The in-fighting, hypocrisy, and arrogance that seems to be coming from religious leaders these days is disturbing and frankly, extremely off-putting.  The “Who’s right/Who’s wrong” game is strong right now.  

I’m worn out from having questions about things that don’t make sense in the Bible and being labeled a trouble-maker for bringing them up. 

I’m worn out from having someone who interprets something in the Bible differently than me telling me I’m “being deceived”, as if they have a better connection with God than I do so there is no way it’s the other way around. 

I’m worn out from having to explain to my LGBTQ friends why they aren’t allowed in the “Christian Club” because of their sexuality, when they had no choice in the matter.

I’m worn out from seeing my divorced friends feeling like outcasts from a church home they loved and now aren’t welcome in because the church “picked his/her side”.  Apparently there is no way the church can minister to both sides. Sad. 

I’m worn out from women being held back and told they aren’t allowed to use their gifts to honor God because “the Bible says women aren’t allowed to teach.” Heck, if we believe the Bible, we aren’t even allowed to TALK!  Whoops.

I’m worn out from the political bias. If you are truly a Christian, you can only vote Republican?  News to me!

I’m worn out from seeing friends who gave their hearts to church ministry for many years, only to get discarded because the church elders now want to “go in a new direction”.  They lose their job, their friends, their church home... all in one swoop. Heartbreaking.

The bureaucracy, the hypocrisy, the political attachments, the exclusivity.... all things about today’s Americanized version of Christianity in many churches that I believe would grieve Jesus should he walk in one today. 

All that being said.... I love Christian community, fellowship, and group worship.... and I have missed it because the things I just listed above have kept me away for several years now.  I am grateful to have recently found a church that I am comfortable in again. One that loves and welcomes the people I love. One that gives much room for questions, contemplation and healthy examination of scripture.  One that encourages me to find my own connection to Jesus, my own personal faith... not a borrowed one. 

If you are thriving in your church, you are blessed.  If you are not, my encouragement today is DON’T GIVE UP.  Keep searching for your people, your community, your faith.  Christians are only human and can get it wrong sometimes, but please don’t let the failures of human beings run you away from a God who adores you.  He is there... and He is waiting for you.  I don’t have everything figured out, but I know that to be TRUE.

Have a beautiful weekend friends!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Newest video on YouTube - Abba's Child

I have a brand new lyric video out on YouTube that I'd love you guys to check out. It's the title track to my latest cd, "Abba's Child" and it's one of my favorites!  Being in the music industry, it is sometimes easy to let what I do DEFINE me, but finding my identity first and foremost as a daughter of The King is the only way to keep myself steady and grounded in this shifting world that we live in. 

I hope you all find the lyrics in this song inspiring. And I also encourage you to find the book "Abba's Child" by Brennan Manning. After reading that book, it turned my life around and was definitely the inspiration to this song!

May you all have a blessed holiday season and I'll see you all in 2019!

Love,
M

For more about the story behind this song: http://marciaramirez.com/abbas_child/


Friday, July 27, 2018

MARCIA RAMIREZ GO TO THE MOUNTAIN lyric video



I hope you guys enjoy the first lyric video from my latest cd, "Abba's Child"...... below is the story behind the song of "Go to the Mountain"!  

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THE STORY:
Go to the Mountain was written a few years ago with my friend Jon Vezner. Little did I know the true impact these words would have on me just a few short years later.  
I love the mountains. Especially the Smoky Mountains. We took vacations there as a child and I have very fond memories of times in Gatlinburg with my parents. My Dad especially loved the Smokies… and about a year before he passed away we got the opportunity to take him up there one more time. My in-laws, Ron and Jan Waldron had rented a cabin near Pigeon Forge for Thanksgiving, so all of Mike’s family drove down from Michigan and we met them there for the week. I think there was 12 or 13 of us in the cabin and Daddy was loved on and spoiled for a few days. It was his last trip on this earth and it was a great one.  Here is a pic we snapped of him up at Newfound Gap. 


After my Dad passed away, we had a little inheritance money that we wanted to invest. We decided to try and buy some rental property in Nashville, but were having no luck finding anything in Nashville.  I was having a lot of trouble shaking my grief and depression of losing my Dad, so Mike suggested we rent a cabin with some friends in G’burg for the weekend, and maybe do a little songwriting up there.  So we drove up there and met our friends Rob and Lara Harris, (that was the weekend Rob and I started writing “Abba’s Child”), and Ron and Cindy Melcher. We were all sitting around the cabin and started talking about our search for rental property in Nashville. Suddenly Cindy chimes in with, “Hey, there’s a cabin for sale right down the road. Why don’t you buy that?”.  We hadn’t even considered doing something like that but I was very intrigued. After looking it up online and seeing that the price was indeed right in the ballpark of what we had been looking to spend, we walked down the road to see the cabin. I swear it was love at first sight. It captured my heart immediately. It was at the very top of this mountain, with beautiful views of Mt. LeConte.  We called the realtor listed on the sign right at that moment and asked if we could see it. Unfortunately someone was in it that weekend so no showings, but we made an appointment to come back two weeks later. 

When we drove back up there for the showing, our realtor had also gotten 8 more cabins for us to view. We went from cabin to cabin looking at beautiful places, each having it’s own charm.  The last cabin she took us to see was the one we had found on the previous trip. When I saw it again my heart I loved it just as much as the first time I saw it and I swear, when I walked through the front door, I just felt like I was HOME. I honestly can’t describe the feeling.  As I started walking around the cabin, I started noticing little signs on the walls with sayings like, “Family is everything”, and “This cabin was blessed from above”, and something inside me just knew that Dad brought us here.  I walked out on the deck - overlooking those amazing mountains and I felt peace for the first time since Dad had passed. “This is the one”, I said to Mike. “Are you sure?”, he asked. “Oh YES, I am SO sure.”. 

I’ll spare you all the details, but I can’t begin to describe how smoothly and easily the negotiations and process of buying the cabin were. I kept saying how it was obviously meant to be. This cabin was just dropped in our laps out of the blue and it truly felt like a gift from God.. and my parents too.  So, we named it “Heaven’s Gift”.  We bought HG on Jan. 4th, 2016 and those first few days in the cabin felt like a dream. Being in the mountains was salve for my wounded soul. I feel close to God (and my parents) in a way I can’t describe up there.  I had dreams of many songs being written up there.. and family gatherings… and special moments with friends. It would be a legacy to hand down to my children from their grandparents.  I was attached in a BIG way to this place.  But I was about to get a big lesson in the futility of attachment to things in this world. That lesson came in the form of the Gatlinburg Fires on Nov. 28th, 2016.

If you are interested in reading about that horrible experience, you can read about that in my blog: Pt 1: The kids escape HERE… and Pt. 2: Mike's discovery HERE.  But for now, to say I was traumatized would be an understatement. I was inconsolable for days. How could God give me such a beautiful place of respite for my soul and then rip it away so violently only 11 months later?  It just didn’t make sense to me. But it was a stark reminder to me that there are many things that don’t make sense in this world, and me losing my 2nd home was probably not in the top million of unjust things happening.  Still, I was pretty crushed.

One week after the fire, Mike drove me up to see the property. My friends were concerned that I wasn’t ready to see it, but I knew i needed to go. Mike had already made one trip there, so he knew the devastation I was about to see. As we drove into our beloved mountain town, the tears flew freely as we drove through all the damage done by the fires.  I’ll cover more about that in the story for “Out of the Ashes”, but it was horrible to see what had happened. When nature roars, no man can stop it. The damage was powerful to see.

When we finally made it to the top of our mountain, I definitely cried many tears as I stood where our cabin used to be, only the walls of the basement remained. I prayed to the Lord up there… I prayed for the souls that were lost…. and for all the people who had lost everything… and I prayed for perspective in it all. I opened my eyes and looked around and I was suddenly taken aback by the beauty all around me. While driving up the mountain, all I could see was the damage the fire had caused, but now I was seeing the beauty of God’s work. The fire had taken what man had built, but NOT what God had made!  What I loved about the mountains was STILL THERE.  It wasn’t the cabin itself that I loved. It wasn’t the cabin that God and my parents had given me, it was THE PLACE. It was that mountain… and it was STILL THERE. 

Now the tears are flowing again, but for a different reason. My place of respite wasn’t in the four walls of the cabin… my place of respite is in God. He is my shelter. He is my safe place. And yes, I could feel Him so strongly up there… and that hadn’t changed one bit.  

So… Go to the Mountain can be taken literally or metaphorically. The “mountain” is a place… but it is so much more. The “mountain” is also God. I was lucky enough to get my sweet sisters-in-Christ, Carole Ford and Vanessa Connor to sing bgv’s with me on this one and their voices lifted this track to a whole ‘nother level.  I honestly can’t listen to it without crying. But then again… clearly, I’m a “cryer”.  LoL  




GO TO THE MOUNTAIN
Writers: Marcia Ramirez/Jon Vezner


CREDITS:
Drums-Wes Little
Bass-Brian Allen
Acoustic Guitar-Mike Waldron
Electric Guitar-Derek Wells
Keyboards/Strings-Blair Masters
*BGV’s-Carole Ford, Vanessa Connor, Marcia
Recorded at Sonic Eden Studio, Nashville, TN

Monday, April 2, 2018

Spring updates 2018

April 2018
Happy SPRING!  I mean, I think it’s spring. I am actually sitting on our tour bus in Warrendale, PA looking at 3 inches of snow on the ground, so apparently, spring is taking its own sweet time getting to this part of the country! LoL

I’m in the middle of a 3 week East Coast tour with the amazing Christopher Cross and his fabulous band.  After this we go home for 4 days and then fly to Japan for our annual shows at Billboard Live in Osaka and Tokyo.  Although it’s a l-o-n-g flight to Japan, it’s always a super fun trip. I adore Japan and the Japanese people. It’s always a trip I look forward to! 

For all the info on where the CC gang will be playing this year, go to: www.christophercross.com/concerts  

Also, I’m starting to book some shows of my own to help promote my newest project, "Abba's Child" — Hopefully, I’ll be able to announce those soon. 
 If you haven't checked out "Abba's Child" yet, please give it a listen.  It's my first Faith-based project and I couldn't be more proud of it.  My husband, Mike Waldron did an amazing job producing this CD. It's got a wide range of musical styles, but he somehow managed to make it all work together!  (I married a genius!).  Lyrically, it's basically the story of my faith. Beginning with my early days in the church, losing my way a bit, and then coming back around.  Hopefully, you'll find something you can relate to in my journey and feel hopeful after you travel this road with me. It truly IS a story about HOPE -- which we all need a little more of these days!  :-) 
  



In other news: As many of you know, Reba McEntire has a double CD that was released on Feb. 3rd, 2017 and one of my songs, “God and My Girlfriends” is on it! (It is also on "Abba's Child" as well!) We were SO PLEASED that her CD, "Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope" recently won a GRAMMY for "Best Roots/Gospel Album"!  GO REBA! 


I wrote “GAMG” with my friends Lisa Hentrich and Patricia Conroy and we immediately felt like it was perfect for Reba and pitched it to her.  Apparently she loved it too, because she quickly put it on “hold”.  Well…that was 8 years ago!   LoL   So yeah, Reba took her time, but in her own time (or maybe in God’s perfect time!), she finally recorded the song and did a beautiful job!  We are happy and very proud to have this song finally coming out!  Although the song isn't a "single" (yet, she hopefully types!), I have heard from many of you that it is getting a lot of radio airplay around the country, and there is a hashtag #GodAndMyGirlfriends, with women posting pictures and videos on social media with their girlfriends.  Some of them made me cry!  It’s so sweet ya'll!  Truly!  I love that the song is empowering women to bond together because THAT is a beautiful thing!  Ya'll go download the CD!  

Speaking of empowering women.... all you LADIES in the Nashville area, please mark your calendars for a special event that I'm co-hosting on May 20th!  We will be having our very first "God and My Girlfriends Gathering" and I'M SO EXCITED!  God recently planted a seed in my heart to start a women's event that would help encourage, inspire, and empower women - learning to lean on our friends and our faith to help us follow our dreams.  I reached out to a few of my friends recently and told them my vision.  They said, "LET'S DO IT!"... so we ARE!  I will be sending out ALL the details very soon, so keep an eye out on my social media!  But just so you can mark your calendars, here are the basics:

"God and My Girlfriends Gathering"
WHEN: Sunday, May 20th  from 4:00 - 6:00pm
WHERE: World Music Nashville 
             Bellevue Valley Plaza
             7069 US-70S, Nashville, TN 37221

We are getting a great line-up for this event, so I promise, you will NOT want to miss this!  I'M PUMPED!  :-) 


That’s about it for now.  I truly hope to see some of you at upcoming shows.  That is one great thing about doing so much travel is getting to run into old friends and meet new ones!  I am looking forward to an exciting 2018 for us all!

Ya'll be good to each other and check www.marciaramirez.com now and then for more updates!

Love, Peace and Blessings,