On The Road... Together.

We are now on the road together!

What?!

From the two us—our hearts are out of our skin as we write this.

A little over a year ago I (Guy) felt God saying something to me that I wasn’t expecting. An idea that “my ministry” and “Hosanna’s ministry” were going to become “our ministry,” and that soon we would begin to work closely together, using our gifts as a unit to uniquely share the name of Jesus to people all over the world. As time continued, I started having conversations with her and other people about what that would look like… what that could mean…. if that could even be possible…

After prayer, time in the Word, fasting, and hours of conversations with Hosanna and various friends, leaders, and pastors in our lives, God was tugging on our hearts so hard, we realized that doing ministry together isn’t something we should do, but it is something we MUST do. Our church and pastors agreed, and have officially sent us to do the work God is calling us to do through our ministry—side by side. We have officially said YES to God’s call, and will be partnering in ministry together full-time.

I have nothing but gratitude and thankfulness in my heart for Central Christian Church and all of the amazing people whom I have come to know over the years there. I have had several people ask me, “What is it like to leave Central?” And the honest answer is that even though we are leaving Vegas, Central is still our home, and we aren’t leaving that anytime soon! We are blessed to have such incredible pastors like Jud, Mike, and Ben as a covering, and as our sending church. We deeply cherish them and their families whom we have developed lifelong friendships with.

For me (Hosanna), I’m blown away by Jesus, and my husband’s bold & wild heart to pursue Him.

As we take this step of faith, the memories of the last time I went all in for Jesus are replaying in my head, and I could weep about how faithful God has been...

Almost 5 years ago, Jesus grabbed a hold of my heart and turned my world upside down. I said yes to a call that made little sense to anyone, including myself. I packed up my life, my dreams, my agenda, and all of my stuff into 2 suitcases and began traveling the country, nomadically and alone, sharing the Gospel through storytelling—or what is currently & commonly called spoken word poetry. Jesus wrecked me. Jesus rocked me. And by a series of miracles, I’ve been able to continue this ministry full-time, learning more and more about Jesus, His heart for people, and His heart for His Church.

Now, Jesus has grabbed a hold of me again—except now I’m One with my husband, Guy, and He has grabbed a hold of both of us at once. And as Jesus does, He is turning our world upside down. We’ve said yes to a call that makes little sense to many, including ourselves. With the blessing & sending of our church, leaders, families, & friends, we’ve packed up our lives, and our former plans, and are now traveling the country together full-time, sharing the Gospel through story-telling, spoken word, music, and creative experiences. Together, we are desperately seeking His heart, and through these creative mediums & experiences, begging the world to know Him.

And God is just so faithful, and so, so good… 

As Guy as the producer, manager, & creative director of this ministry, both of us are growing, thriving, and being stretched in the gifts God has given us, as we begin to combine our creative worlds together. So far, it’s been wild. Our fall schedule has us starting in Denver, CO, and ending in the East Coast this winter (with trips to the West Coast in between), before my album comes out in November… and then we start touring again in January (PS the shows Guy is producing for the new album are insane). I’ll be continuing to perform at churches, schools, conferences, camps, & other venues, and we will continue to be performing together (through spoken word & worship) at recovery ministries and urban outreaches all over the country. Nothing on that front has changed. It’s all just becoming… more.

From the two of us— Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support. Thank you to our church, Central Christian. To the greater Church at large and our many church families, including Palm Valley Church, Saddleback Church, and Calvary Street. Thank you to our friends and family who are always on board for whatever crazy ideas Jesus throws our way. Thank you to everyone who has booked us this fall, who has paid to come to a show, who has bought a CD, and who supports us through prayers and online shares. We love doing life with you. We’re looking forward to meeting many of you, hearing your stories, and partnering with you along the road.

As the call of Christ on all of our lives—despite titles, job descriptions, or geographic locations— is to love Him and love others like Him, wherever we are, and while we are going, we’re excited to just keep doing that… Wherever. Anywhere. Everywhere. While we are going…

We love you guys,

Guy & Hosanna

"When I Purchase from Hosanna Poetry, Where Does the Money Go?"

It’s a wonderful thing that in today’s day & age more brands, clothing lines, non-profits, and superstores alike are being open and honest about how their products are made and where the money goes. In the spirit of this same radical transparency, here is where your money goes when you purchase something from Hosanna Poetry.

The short story? Whenever someone purchases a CD, DVD, shirt, or other piece of merchandise, the profit of that money goes directly towards the ministry and organization of Hosanna Poetry Ministries, and funds the resources to bring the Gospel to schools, prisons, recovery groups, urban ministries, and other organizations and ministries with limited funding.

The full-length story? In 2013, I was going on 3 years performing on the road-- full-time-ish. However, full-time grew harder and harder as there were increasing amounts of urban and low-funded ministries who wanted to hire me, but couldn’t afford it. Of course I was privileged and honored to perform in churches and conferences, but it was never my desire to perform in those venues exclusively. People in recovery, in prison, or on the streets? Those are my people. Broken people—whether in pew or in a cell— are the whole point. I couldn’t say no. So I needed to find a way to resource the funding for them. Truth be told, I did not want to sell merchandise—it felt pretty strange, and a little inauthentic at the time. But then I realized that it would fund the difference. And the ministry would be able to thrive full-time, while also reaching the lost in the less attractive areas. That was worth selling merchandise for. I would do whatever it took.

So that’s still what I do. I do whatever it takes.

Stewardship and integrity in using God’s money is no light matter, and the ministry operates with that in mind. Hosanna Poetry Ministries is a legal business, and every cent I am paid on stage, or at my merchandise table, or on the online store goes directly to the ministry. It does not fund my personal lifestyle. That is completely separate. I personally get a monthly salary like any other employee at any other job, a set amount that’s decided on in the beginning of the year by a group of pastors, based on the bare necessities I need. I grew up a missionary, and that minimalist’s mentality has never left me. I know how little I need to live. That’s what I live off of. Currently, the ministry continuing is the uttermost priority.

For those who consistently purchase merchandise from my team, or who give on the “Support” button of this website, you are able to request a detailed list of where your money went the month you supported this ministry, by signing up for the monthly newsletter on the front page here. In short, the money towards purchases and support in the year 2014 gave towards traveling to and performing in dozens of recovery programs & groups for either free, or at a reduced rate, in prisons throughout the US where free resources were also given out (thanks to you), in hospitals with sick or dying patients (one woman gave her life to Jesus weeks before Cancer took over her body), at homeless outreaches, and amongst former prostitutes and pimps, in safe homes, in recovery, or behind bars.

Thank you for purchasing these shirts, CDs, and more. Your support matters. I see it used effectively every month. And I wish I could thank you all, each to your faces, and tell you the stories of redemption that I’ve heard, the people who have been saved from their old lives, or given up their addictions, and the life stories we’ve all been a part of—because you purchased an album, or bought a shirt for a friend, and gave towards this ministry.

So thank you.

Thank you, thank you.

 

With gratitude,

Hosanna

Finding Home

As the pavement glides like fresh-paved ice underneath me, I drive into yet another sunset, soaking up the rainbow sherbet rays, savoring this familiar moment—a moment I used to live in— the moment of transition between two homes.

For four years I existed here— here in the in-between. I had no permanent home, no official address, and no guarantee of residence for the next month. With all the highs and lows that this lifestyle offered, I can confidently say it was the experience of a lifetime, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. From profound seasons of loneliness, to overwhelming seasons of community, from crying on my knees thinking I would always carry this burden alone, to having tours filled with inspiring, encouraging, partners in crime, feeling like anything was possible, I saw the world in a new way I never would have dreamt. I got a view of humankind that changed me—a peek into the depths of myself, and a glance at what the universe looks like from the seat of other countries, states, and living rooms. 

To the many whom I came across— It has been an honor and a privilege to be invited into your houses, your hearts, and your families. Thank you for allowing this missionary artist onto your couch.

Sure there is a great stage narrative to be told, and perhaps one day I’ll tell it, but as I drive into one of my final sunsets, one of my sacred transitional traditions as a single, homeless nomad, the off-stage story just feels far more significant. As I traveled from stages to streets, from prisons to schools, from churches to camps, from conferences to projects, and from one booking to the next, the story of the in-between is really where my miracle lies. It was here at these sunsets, on these freeways, in these airplanes, between these cities, where I really found Home. It was He who never left me. It was He who provided just enough money, even if only hours before that bill was due. It was He who provided not one father, but multiple fathers to fill the gap for this wandering daughter. It was He who provided my voice to thrive on-stage, when it was completely and utterly gone off-stage. It was He who protected me as I drove through the night for thousands of miles by myself. It was He who brought healing, and wholeness, and reconciliation to the darkest parts inside of me. It was He who brought friends. It was He who brought family. It was He whom I spoke to every night and every morning, no matter where in the world I went to sleep. He went before me. He was on that road with me. And no matter the season that’s coming up ahead, I know the Common Thread that lies underneath my every transition, my every ending, and my every beginning. He is my Familiar Moment.

Alas, these savory drives into the sunset will soon feel a little different. I’m marrying an incredible (and I mean, an incredible, incredible, incredible) man. We will have an address together. And life on the road will start to look a little differently. Aware of the beauty of this closing season, I took the past two weeks off in order to travel to various homes and loved ones, to reconnect and bid farewell to monuments of seasons past, to remember the landmarks of God’s faithfulness, and to soak in the joy of the Lord that feels so strongly tangible in the midst of these transitions. It was such an important trip—for me personally, for my many communities, and also for me & the Lord. Soon it won’t be just me and Him. Soon it will be me, Him, and my hunk of a husband, more of a trio at times than a strict duo act. So I will enjoy Him in this present. And I will enjoy Him all the more in the near & dear future. In every season. In any location. Certainly, I will continue to change. Even more surely, He never will. He is our Constant, our Foothold, our Solid Ground in this ever-revolving world.

He is the same Yesterday, Today, Always, and Forever.

In the transitions, in the staying still.

The Common Thread. The Familiar Moment.

Wherever I am…

Indeed, He is Home. 

Less Things

Hey, my friends-- In response to the questions I've received about my choice of minimalism, the team & I have decided to release a single-- a piece from my heart that was written a while ago, but is not on any album. There's much to say about living a life with less things-- but the choice of minimalism means something different to everyone, & no one's journey is the same. Certainly, it's not "How to Own 50 Things or Less" or how loving your prized possessions is wrong. On the contrary, I know minimalists who own nice cars and have great homes-- but they don't have anything in their lives without intention and purpose. I know individuals who chose minimalism so they'd have the freedom to travel, and families with children who chose a lifestyle of less so that their kids grew up with more experiences than items, and so their home could house many guests. Again, everyone is different. It's not a check list. Or a cult. It's more of an outlook-- a decision to be rid of clutter, so we don't miss out on the important, beautiful things in life. It's a choice-- to not let consumerism, or the world's idea of status define how you live your life, make your purchases, or how you define yourself. I could talk about minimalism in clothes, social media dependency, nostalgic collectables, how we should only own what we love, etc., but the heart of my personal choice is this: I want to make room for an extraordinary life. I want to be intentional with the time I've been given. Let's not be so distracted by stuff, status, or the pursuit to always be buying the latest & greatest-- otherwise, our lives may pass us by, and we never had the chance to truly live it.

Hope you enjoy, "Less Things."

Download "Less Things" for free here.


Less things

More experiences

Less things

More joy in the world around us

Less things

More indulging in communities surrounding us

Less things

In hope to be free, and deliberately live lives of purpose

 

We can get so distracted

This culture of consumerism has conned us

Into letting materials and status define us

Piles of purchases have persistently persuaded us

That they will somehow fulfill us

But this pit is practically bottomless

If it were truly fulfilling we wouldn't keep having

To fill it

And all of our energy, all our time is wasted

On things that don’t add any value

And subtract from what's really important

 

But there must be more to living

Than competing to be impressive

 

If we

Emptied ourselves of our materialism

All that extra space

All that extra time

How would we fill it?

 

Less things

More conversations

Chances are high

That the world's greatest riches

Are in the lives

Of the people right next to us

Less things

More passions

The art of hobbies and daring dreams cannot be dead to us

Complacency and laziness

Cannot hold a flame to minds motivated by purpose

Less things

More investments

Into leaving legacies

That out-live trends

Into relationships

That can't be purchased

And that inspire others to live beyond them

 

For though we

Have become

A culture of hoarders

I want to propose this

That we start hoarding experiences

That we can't get enough

Of exploring new expeditions

That we become community gluttons

Obsessed with

Knowing

Loving

And sharing life with everyone

 

Minimalism

In the end

Is not about owning less

It's about loving what we have more

 

And finding joy

In the things that grow you

The things that make you know you

Living the life you want to

 

Having less things

Is really

About having a life of more

 

I've chosen

To live my life a little more empty

So experiences, stories, and communities of people are what fill me

 

Less things

More intentions

 

Because in the end

Life is brilliant

And we don't want to miss it

MAPS: Finding God's Perfect Place to Be

(This blog speaks on the piece, "Maps," available to watch below.) 


I wrote “Maps” on my knees, crying before the Lord, in the middle of my first “tour” as a solo artist.

I hesitate in calling it a tour because that sounds way more extravagant than it actually was. It was Summer of 2011—earlier that year I had turned down stable jobs, left relationships that meant a great deal to me, and was throwing a wrench into my life's plans as I packed up my bags and crossed state lines in pursuit of preaching the Gospel through spoken word. What was this girl thinking? Who knew. I had close to no idea what I was doing or what it would turn into. I lived out of a suitcase—literally. I had no place to call home. I was going from booking to booking, city to city, state to state, just barely making ends meet. “Tour” seems to imply that it was a temporary journey, an expedition to various places that would eventually come to an end. That is not what this was. I had burnt all my bridges. I had nowhere else to go. I was far more of a starving, nomadic missionary than a touring artist. I had bookings for the next few weeks, with no idea if I was going to keep getting jobs for the rest of the year or if I was going to be homeless. I so badly wanted to go where God wanted me to go, to be where He desired me to be. But all alone, in a new city and state, in the guest room of a pastor’s family that I didn’t know, whose church had hired me for the weekend, I thought, “Am I in the right place? Where am I supposed to be?

I am not alone.

We’ve all been there. Juniors in high school and college, desperate to pick the perfect school or pick the right job. Singles in their mid-twenties, longing to find “the one.” Anyone & everyone thinking of switching careers or relocating a family. We’ve all been at this place, a place of internal desperation & seeking, or quite literally on our knees, begging God to reveal to us His cosmic preferences.

For me, it was here, on my knees on the side of a bed, in my early 20’s, hoping that I was in the exact physical location God wanted me to be.

Turns out, there is far less in the Bible on God being specific in His preferred destinations & plans for us, and far more of an emphasis on where He wants our hearts to be. He doesn’t talk so much about the precise “will” He wants us to follow through with, but instead talks abundantly about the “way” He wants us to do things in the first place— the way He wants us to think and treat people, the way He wants us to surrender and be faithful. He never seems to care about anything more than people knowing and loving Him, and loving His people. He doesn’t seem to care too much about the things we so adamantly obsess over.

The verse I reference in my piece is from Paul, in prison for preaching the Gospel, speaking on being content wherever He is. I love that verse. He did not care if he was behind riches or behind bars—as long as he was living for Jesus, he was content wherever.

Another verse that really spoke to me in that state of wondering is found in James 4.

Verses 13-15 state, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city. We will spend a year there. We will buy and sell and make money.’ You don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist that appears for a little while. Then it disappears. Instead, you should say, ‘If it pleases the Lord, we will live and do this or that.’”

Here the writer is practically mocking us, giving us a fresh perspective on the things we worry about. He is saying, “Who cares about the details? Who cares about the plans? You’re not going to be here for forever anyway. Wherever you go, whatever you do, make sure you please the Lord there.”

I learned something that changed my life that year, and it’s the ending line to my 2013’s album & tour’s title piece, “Maps.”

When I am here, asking, “Where’s the right place to be?” He answers simply, “Where you are seeking Me.”

As it turned out, my physical place didn’t matter all that much. What mattered was that I was in a place of surrender. I was in a place of seeking God. I was so desperate for Him, reading His Word everyday, having hours of intimacy with Him everyday, longing to have His discernment everyday—and that place of hunger, that place of obedience was indeed the right place to be.

We can’t ruin God’s plan by choosing a certain school, job, or city. We are just not that powerful. But we can ruin our own relationship with God, the quality of our own lives, by not being in a place of seeking Him daily, by not being in a place where He is in the center of our thoughts and desires. If we miss Him, then we are the ones who undoubtedly miss out. Instead, we need to be in a place where we are content with knowing and following Him. We need to be in a place where we say, “If it pleases the Lord, I will do this or that.” We need to be in a place where we say, “I am seeking God with all my heart. I am right where I am supposed to be.”

In Psalm 84:10, the songwriter states,

“A single day in your courtyards is better than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather guard the door of the house of my God than live in the tents of sinful people.”

Prior to the Summer of 2011, I had been in a place of worshipping men, status, and my own fleshly desires. But that day, I was in a different place. For the first time in a long time, I was in the right place. I filled that room with worship as I spoke to the Lord over and over, “One day with you is better than a thousand somewhere else. I just want to be where you are. I just want to know you.”

I was in the right place.

May we all be in that right place. That place of seeking God. That place of indulging in His Word. That place of looking like Him, loving others like Him, and trading in our own desires for Him. May we not obsess over the maps. May we not worry about the plans. If we are pleasing the Lord, we can do this or that. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we will be in the right place if we are seeking, loving, and following Him.