Sometimes, God brings strangers into our lives who simply aren’t. Does that make sense? You’ve never known them, and yet, you connect on a level that makes you feel that you have always known, loved and needed them in your life. It only happens a few times in a lifetime, but when it does, it is the most extravagant blessing. That’s how our family feels about the Jester’s. We met them about a year ago, when Dan accepted the Youth Pastor position at our church. He and his wife Gretchen moved to our small community on a leap of faith, feeling God’s call in a most urgent way and blessing this little town in ways we never dreamed of or expected. On a personal level, their friendship and spiritual encouragement have overwhelmed our family with love and laughter and I have had the great privilege of serving in the Jr. High Youth Ministry alongside them.
Trusting God to provide the means and stamina to juggle every plate in her busy mom’s life, Gretchen has also obeyed God’s call on her heart to encourage, uplift and make Him known using the marvelous musical gifts He has built into her. She is an extraordinary vocal artist, song writer and performer. As I sit writing this, listening to her latest CD, I marvel at the talent that carries praise and worship throughout the rooms of my home and through my open windows into the neighborhood and I am so deeply grateful for and humbled by the love with which He pours out gifts on those who serve Him. What a blessing to call her, “Friend” and that I will be able to say, “I knew her when…” I can’t wait for the day when the glory she brings before the Lord is broadcast across the airwaves and her name is known around the world for what we already know — God is going to share His love, grace and salvation through her in a mighty way.
Her latest album is called Authentic and each time I listen to it, my heart is pierced and encouraged in such a way that I am often brought to tears. My Creator speaks to me so personally through the lyrics and melodies and leaves me feeling so enveloped in love, hope and praise. I am thrilled to be able to share the title track from the album, but even more, three Busy-at-Home readers will receive autographed copies of the extraordinary DOUBLE album as part of the celebration that is my 50th Birthday Bash! That’s right, it’s not one, but two albums in one CD package. You will receive Authentic AND Beginning. There are twenty-four original songs. Gretchen has written both the lyrics and the music, plus she performs them both vocally and instrumentally.
[mp3-jplayer tracks=”http://www.busy-at-home.com/images/gretchen/authentic.mp3″ title=”Authentic”]
Apprentice Ministries is the online presence that Dan and Gretchen have created to share their gifts of evangelism and evangelism training, as well as Gretchen’s music ministry and so much more. I encourage you to visit and learn what they are all about. And, if you are like me, and you can’t wait to get your own copy of the Authentic/Beginning double album, you will be able to purchase a copy there, choosing to have it autographed, or not.
You must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. to enter. The mandatory entry must be completed before any optional entries will count. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST) Sunday, September 11, 2011.
In a comment below, tell me who the CD would be for if you win. Would you use it for your own praise, worship and encouragement or make it a gift for someone else?
Optional Additional Entries:
- Friend Apprentice Ministries on Facebook. And, if you’re so inclined, leave my friend, Gretchen, a little thank you love on the wall. Leave a comment below letting me know you did. Be sure to include your Facebook name, so I can find you in their fans list.
- Sign up for E-News updates from Apprentice Ministries. Leave a comment below letting me know you did. Be sure to include your email, so I can find you in their subscribers list.
- Follow Busy-at-Home on Twitter. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
- Like Busy-at-Home on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
- Follow Busy-at-Home on Google Friends Connect. Use the “Join” button in the right-hand sidebar. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
- Subscribe to the Busy-at-Home Newsletter (in the right-hand sidebar). You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription. Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
- Post this giveaway on your Facebook page. Win an autographed copy of Gretchen Jester’s newest CD album, Authentic! @busyathome http://ow.ly/6e1Wu Leave a comment below with a link to your post.
- Tweet this giveaway (1x daily) : Win an autographed copy of Gretchen Jester’s newest CD album, Authentic! @busyathome http://ow.ly/6e1Wu Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
I received a copy of the CD album,Authentic/Beginning, in order to test it and conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and as always, at Busy-at-Home, views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.