I sent out this letter today to all the folks on my email list (and really, if you're not on that list, why not? Please feel free to sign up on the right hand side of the home page of this site.) Anyway, in case you're not on the list or you missed the email ... here's a wee update from the Land of the Arends ...
I hope September finds you in a good place. We Arends are busy labeling school supplies and otherwise prepping for the year -- our Bethany picked up her trumpet for Grade 5 band last night, so it's a little loud in here. But it's a good kind of loud!
If you're interested, I wanted to give you a few updates on what's happening in my life. This fall I'm scaling back somewhat (though not completely) on touring commitments in order to pursue graduate studies at Regent College. Some of you are aware that I've been a "dabbler" at Regent for a while now, with a growing desire to dive in more deeply. I'm enrolled in the Masters of Christian Studies program, with an intended concentration in "Spiritual Theology," and will be attending close-to-full-time this term. This fall is a bit of an experiment to see if I can manage school, family life, and my other vocational commitments simultaneously. I'm equal parts excited and scared -- grad school feels like kindergarten all over again!
A lot of people have been asking me what I want to do with a Master's Degree and my somewhat chagrined answer is "Exactly what I'm doing now -- only better." Over the years my musical touring career has morphed into a music-touring-speaking-teaching-writing career, and I am always humbled and a little overwhelmed by the opportunities I have to speak into people's lives about the Most Important Things. I take that honour very seriously, and I just want to make sure that whatever I'm growing (be it a song, a column, a book, or a retreat series) is being planted in the best soil possible. So far, the coursework I've done at Regent has born much fruit my creative life (my LOVE WAS HERE FIRST project is brimming with Regent-related epiphanies], so I'm very excited to see what flows out of this adventure.
I'll still be hitting the road, though, and hope to see you out there. Be sure to check out our TOUR DATES to see if there's somewhere we can meet up. And I've just signed a contract to continue on with my CHRISTIANITY TODAY column for at least another year.
Many of you know that I've taken special delight in our FEED THE LAKE online store, where I've had a chance to offer not only my own books and music but the work of other artists I really believe in. I've loved being the lifeguard at the LAKE, but as I've prayerfully sought places to streamline in light of the upcoming demands of school, it's become clear I need to simplify the store. Rose is busy building a brand new CAROLYNARENDS.COM store, which we'll be launching very soon. While the new store will still feature some other artists I have close relationships with, we won't be able to take everything from feedthelake with us. The GREAT NEWS for you is our MOVING SALE -- in which we've marked down CD's from tons of fabulous artists (including Steve Bell – Bob Bennett – Bec Abbot – Ashley Cleveland – Sara Groves – Kim Hill – Layton Howerton – Jacob Moon – Mike Janzen – Cheri Keaggy – Keith Kitchen – Sarah Masen – Ali Matthews – Lance Odegaard – Andrew Peterson – Adrian Plass – Gayle Salmond – Greg Sczebel – Glen Soderholm – Jon Buller – Keri Woelke). Do check it out while supplies last -- every single thing at FeedTheLake was lovingly hand-picked for its awesomeness, so this is a chance to get great thoughtful music at a great price.
Well, if you've read this far -- thanks for your ongoing interest in my life and work. I'll do my best to BLOG about my adventures at Regent and beyond, and I hope to see you soon.
I'll leave you with this from Tertullian, just 'cause I love it: "Whenever the soul comes to itself and attains something of its natural soundness, it speaks of God."