Monday, March 30, 2020

Favourite Things - March Roundup!

Welcome to the latest edition of 

Favourite Things!

Wow! What a difference a month makes...

When I started this series in February, I thought my Favourite Things for March
might include a few new books and perhaps an early "tasting" of Easter chocolate.

Who knew we would find ourselves in the middle of a worldwide pandemic?

None of us are unaffected.
We're all suffering in some way.

And yet, in the midst of it all, 
there is still beauty and grace and wonder.

More than ever, we need to take a moment of gratitude
and recognize a few of our Favourite Things.

Here are my 
Favourite Things - March Roundup!

#1. Live Streaming Worship - Raise your hand if you're thankful for technology these days! For those of us who love connecting with our church community, live streaming worship has been a godsend (pun completely intended!) A big SHOUT OUT to all the church tech staff and volunteers! We're so thankful for your ministry. This Wednesday and Good Friday, we'll be live streaming worship services from our hometown of St. Catharines. You can find the details on our Facebook page and the live link will be HERE. Please join us!

#2. Hygge - The Danish concept of coziness and intimacy has recently gained legions of fans around the world, and I'm now officially on board! Hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga") inspires us to slow down, enjoy the quiet things, and find comfort in everyday living. I feel like these days of self-isolating and social distancing are just crying out for this kind of philosophy. There are lot of articles, social media groups and other resources online. I've found this little book particularly helpful.

#3. Signs of Spring - My gardening heart is finding so much bliss right now! Every day, I'm out searching for new shoots in the dirt. My crocuses had a glorious display and as I'm writing this, my daffodils have just started their bright parade of colour. I know many of you are still buried in snow! But please know that the world continues to turn in the right direction. Spring is our Season of Hope! I pray you're seeking joy and new life in the world around you...

#4. Poetry - I love reading fiction and non-fiction alike (you can find my 2019 reading list HERE), but I recently decided to expand my repertoire with poetry. I thought I'd be alone in this venture, but simply asking for a few recommendations on Facebook inspired a long list of passionate suggestions! Reading poetry during this time is encouraging me to slow down and be mindful of the beauty around me. I've particular fallen in love with the writings of Mary Oliver. I'd love to hear your suggestions!

On a personal note:
We are one of many music groups affected by the closure of churches 
and banning of community gatherings. 
As you can imagine, this is having a serious impact on our creativity and livelihood.
We would love for you to please consider offering some support to our ministry this season:

These are my Favourite Things for March!

Have you tried any of these?
What new things have you fallen in love with this month?

Please share in the comments below...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How You Can Help Our Ministry...

Last week, we announced an important and difficult update about our upcoming 
East Coast Tour.

You can read the whole update HERE.

Losing our April and May events
means we have no income for this season.

We would love for you to please consider offering some support to our ministry. 

Below, you'll find 5 ways you can help support us during this challenging season.

We're lifting you all in prayer! 
We can't wait to get back on the road, 
and bring a message of hope and joy to your community.

Thank you! We love you and are praying for you...

Allison + Gerald
Infinitely More

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     

How You Can Help Our Ministry

We would love for you to please consider supporting our ministry 
in some small way:

#1. Donations.
We've just added a Donate button to our website. 
Please consider a donation to support our ministry. 
All donations will receive an e-gift!

#2. Purchase Music. 
Downloading songs or purchasing CDs directly from our site 
is a great way to add to your playlist, while also supporting our ministry. 
CDs are also great Easter gifts! 
You can purchase our music here:

#3. Book a Summer or Fall Concert.
We'd love to bring our music to your community this year!
Please email Allison for more info...

#4. Take an Online Lesson!
Why not take this quiet time to write some songs and learn a few new skills? 
We're offering lessons via Skype!

Gerald is teaching Songwriting. 
Get feedback on your latest creations, prepare your songs for recording, or if you're a beginner, 
learn the basics of crafting your first song!

Allison is teaching Performance Coaching
and Singing for Beginners.
Learn healthy vocal technique,
or new skills to help best communicate the message of your songs. 
Perfect for singers, musicians, or worship leaders.
Please email Allison for more info...

#5. Pray for us.
We believe in the power of prayer! 
Please pray for our practical needs, 
but also for our spiritual and emotional needs during this time. 
We're also keeping you in prayer!

Thank you for helping us during this difficult season!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions...

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Like all of you, we’ve spent the last few weeks glued to the news about the Coronavirus. In our efforts to “flatten the curve”, we’re staying indoors, not socializing, and endlessly washing our hands.

With increasing restrictions of live events, we’ve had to face some very difficult decisions around our ministry. We’ve lost most of our Easter performances, which is very upsetting. But the hardest challenges have been around our upcoming 10th Anniversary East Coast Tour.

With a heavy heart, we’re cutting our tour from 7 weeks down to 3.

Unfortunately, to give us the tightest tour route possible,
this means cancelling all events in Newfoundland, Quebec, and PEI.

We can’t tell you how much it hurts us just to write this.

Our new plan is to offer a 3 week tour of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, starting after the May 24th weekend. Our prayer is that social distancing will do its job, and by that time, we’ll all be ready to gather together for a night of singing and praise.

We’re currently booking concerts, worship services, and music team workshops for churches of all sizes and denominations across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
We’d love to bring our message of hope and joy to your community!

To book your concert, please contact us HERE.

As a freelance duo, these tours provide approximately four months of income for our family and ministry. Cancelling any event is always a last resort for us! We’re booking events now because, if we wait until May when things start to clear, we won’t have enough time to put everything together. We would love for churches to please keep working with us in this regard, booking events, and planning for a more social spring season.

And we promise you: we won’t risk your church finances or your community’s health!
We’re closely monitoring the situation across the country. If we need to make adjustments closer to the tour dates, we’ll work with your church leadership to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone!

We know the communities of the East Coast are resilient, with a deep tradition of caring for one another. This is the spirit that runs in our veins, and we’re thankful for this heritage.

Planning anything in these uncertain days feels like a leap of faith,
but isn’t that the stuff that God is really good at?

As our inspiration verse tells us,
“God’s power, working in us, can do Infinitely More than we can ask or imagine.”

Please join us in this leap of faith and hope this spring.

Blessings and peace,
Allison and Gerald
Infinitely More

To make a Donation and support our ministry, 
please visit HERE.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Film Review: I Still Believe

I love storytelling. 
Gerald and I mostly express our passion for story through our music
but in our early careers, we loved creating plays and films.

So today, I'm excited to offer a review of a new film: 
I Still Believe.

In the world of Christian music, Jeremy Camp is a superstar. Millions of albums sold, gold records, sold out tours, shelves of awards - the stuff of music career dreams. We see him and hear him, and we think we know him. But do we ever really know someone else's story?

I Still Believe introduces us to a young Jeremy, leaving his loving family for his first week of college. He's passionate about music, and, like most people in college, he discovers first love.

Melissa is smart and quick, and full of a beautiful faith. On their first date, she takes him to a planetarium to witness the beauty of the stars. As they gaze at the wonders of the galaxy, she says,

"This is the definition of wonder... 
The God of a trillion stars knows my name, 
and He has a destiny just for me."

Jeremy and Melissa are played by KJ Apa and Britt Robertson. They're natural and charismatic, with lots of chemistry. The filmmakers did a lovely job of capturing first love - flirting to test the waters, wanting to know exactly how the other person feels, weighing every word the other person says, and losing hours to just spending time together.

The supporting cast is also fantastic. It's great to see a bit of "Canadian Content" with superstar Shania Twain as Jeremy's mother. The always wonderful Gary Sinise is understated perfection as Jeremy's Dad.

And, of course, the soundtrack is fantastic! Music plays a key role, and the performances are beautifully woven into the storyline.

Because I love good storytelling, I'm not giving you any spoilers, 
but I will say this: 
wear your waterproof mascara!! 

I love stories that show people of faith who aren't weird. You now what I mean? So often, Christians are portrayed as 2-dimensional. We're either demonic villains or Bible-thumpers.

The families in this film are just normal people who are also Christian. I truly appreciated seeing people of faith going through the stuff of life without perfection or pat answers.

The film's website describes this as a story "of love and loss that proves there is always hope in the midst of tragedy and that faith tested is the only faith worth sharing.”

Trust me: they don't shy away from the tragedy or the testing. 
Waterproof mascara. 
I'm not kidding...

Before watching I Still Believe, I thought the target audience was teens and young adults, but I'd definitely broaden that demographic now. Without revealing too much, this story resonated with my own story, and I found myself deeply moved by so many scenes. If you've also experienced "love and loss," and wondered where God is in it all, you'll definitely be moved by this film, too.

If you're interested, here's the trailer, as well as a special video from Jeremy.

Have you seen I Still Believe?

What did you think?
Leave your thoughts (but no spoilers!) in the comments...

Friday, March 06, 2020

Book Review: Praying Women, by Sheila Walsh

Yay! Time for a new book review!

A few years ago, I reviewed Sheila Walsh's inspiring It's Okay Not To Be Okay. I loved it, so I was super excited when offered the chance to review Praying Women.

First let me say this: 
If you're a notetaker, 
you'll want to read this book with your pencil!

Even though I occasionally read an e-book, I'll always have mad love for proper paper books. My copy of Praying Women is completely marked up. Pages are turned down, passages underlined, and notes in the margins. It's not a journal, but my copy kind of became one.

The images in this post are just a few of many provided to me as a review resource, but seriously - it was tempting to skip the review and just post quotes from the book. So many wonderful thoughts!

Praying Women in organized into ten chapters, each exploring a different challenge to prayer, such as:

  • Pray When You Don't Know What To Say
  • Pray Hardest When It's Hardest To Pray
  • Pray When God Seems Silent
  • Pray When You Need a Breakthrough

And perhaps my favourite chapter in the book:

  • Pray with the Power of the Word of God - an inspiring dive into the Psalms, and literally praying Scripture directly back to God. This chapter alone is worth the price of admission!

Sheila is honest about her own story and struggle, but never makes it "all about her." Her stories share her heart and her sensitivity to the pain of others, all of which create a great feeling of trust between writer and reader.

Each chapter is also supported by Scripture, meaningful quotes, and Sheila's own wonderful thinking. Her writing is focused and thoughtful, with lots of practical ideas for enhancing and strengthening your prayer life.

At end of each chapter, you'll find a 3-point summary, as well as a prayer for that particular chapter's focus. I can see these prayers being particularly special to people, and heavily bookmarked for future use.

If you're a fan of free bonus content (and who isn't??), Sheila offers lots of resources on her site, including a Bible study and videos.
You can find it all here:

So much of Praying Women resonated with me personally,
and I can already feel it making a difference in my prayer life.
I hope this book is a blessing for you, too!

Have you read Praying Women?

If so, please leave your thoughts in the Comments...

I love reviewing books, but every once in a while, I get to review a movie!
Stay tuned to the blog for my review of Jeremy Camp's story:
I Still Believe
Coming next week...

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Turn Around - A Lesson from Niagara Falls...

My totally expert opinion:

The best time to visit Niagara Falls is in the winter!

The subzero temperatures and constant mist create the most beautiful ice formations! Imagine if Elsa's dream castle had a raging Wonder-of-the-World waterfall, and you have a hint of what the Falls look like in the depths of winter.

And not just the Falls: when it's super cold, the surrounding hillsides, trees, and buildings are all covered in shimmery splendour.

There's also that perk of the tourists!

The summer is a crowded time in Niagara Falls. Millions of people cram around the edge of the water to get that perfect honeymoon selfie.

In the winter, you get a sparse, more reserved crowd. And if polled, you'll probably find more locals like me.

Last week, I took advantage of a quiet Sunday to enjoy a stroll by the Falls. It was breathtaking! The sun was bright on the water, and the cascading mist formed billows of brightness.

As usual, I was struck by the diversity of the crowd. All ages; all races; all abilities. All gathered to look at one majestic sight.

All eyes were glued on the Falls in their winter glory. All cameras pointed in one direction. All attention stage right...

I took my fair share of photographs, too, 
but then, 
something told me to turn around...

I pointed my camera in the opposite direction, 
away from the attention-grabbing noise and wonder of the Falls, and that's when I saw this...

The rainbow.

Not in the churning of the Rainbow Falls, but clinging against a wall.

Nestled on a bit of ice, out of sight for most people.

I wanted to scream, "Turn around! Look at what's right here! Isn't it fantastic! So unexpected..."

I didn't, of course. Not just because it would have surpassed my own weirdness comfort level, but because, somehow, I felt it had to be discovered to be admired.

There are things like that, 
aren't there?

Sometimes, we get into a truly amazing, spectacular place, full of noise and busyness and wonder. There's so much to see and take in, and we find ourselves transfixed by the big, loud stuff right in front of us.

But what happens if we slow down, 
turn around, 
and just for just a moment, 
look in the other direction?

What quiet, beautiful wonders will we find hiding in the corners?

What miracles are happening, not centre stage, but just at the edge of the wings?

And how might we be blessed by seeing the things that other people miss?

I snapped a photo of my secret rainbow. 

I wonder how many other people turned around and noticed it? 
I wonder how many other people would call it their favourite photo of the day?

Today, I encourage you to take a moment to turn around.
Discover the beauty in all corners of your home, your community, our world.
Let's share that beauty with one another...