He Has Chosen You.

Happy Friday y'all! And a happy first day of December! (aka, let the Christmas shopping chaos begin!) That is, if you have waited to go shopping until now for your loved ones like myself. This season is one that brings families together around the tree, Christmas wrapping galore, hot chocolate, tinsel draped around our homes and the acknowledgment of the birth of Jesus. It is a precious time of communion with those we love, all the while celebrating the life of a man that changed the course of history as we know it. Needless to say, I am stoked. FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA! 

Over the course of the past couple days, I've been preparing my heart and mind to sit down and write to you all; and the Lord has placed some things on my heart that I feel are needed to be said to someone today. HERE WE GO. 

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He has chosen you. 

Amongst all of creation, the Lord continues to choose us. This flabbergasts me. Why? Because he doesn't have too. A sweet friend of mine said something that really struck me yesterday; she said "It's not the question of why wouldn't He choose everyone? But its the question of why would He choose ANYONE?" Sometimes I wonder if the travesties and terror that an individual inflicts on to innocent people are worthy of Gods forgiveness or grace? I find myself judging harshly those who have sinned against me or those who have sins that are greater than mine. For instance, these are some thoughts that have crossed my mind:

If Hitler accepted Christ moments before His death, would He be saved?

Did "Christian" slave plantation owners go to heaven?

Do serial rapists who get saved in jail go to heaven?

On and on, we could scratch our heads wondering why God would accept those who have sinned against Him and so many others terribly. Then I am reminded of the grace of God. I will certainly not cast the first stone; because I am not worthy of His renewal and saving either. Sure, I may not have killed millions of people, but my entire being is imperfect and flawed; so is there really any difference between my fellow man and I? No, God does not cherry pick who He decides to extend His grace too. Since the Lord sent down Jesus, He has chosen us. He has sacrificed for us. He died for us. This is the depiction of the Lord I find so beautiful... He loves you and I, regardless of our human nature; which innately is so corrupt and impure. He enters our hearts and minds and cleanses us of all impurity; He fills our beings with the healing power of the Holy Spirit. This idea makes me so emotional. Papa God saves those who come to Him, regardless of what they've done, who they have hurt, the hearts they have broken... He wipes their tears away and casts those memories into the sea of forgetfulness. We are made brand new in Him! If this is not something to be grateful for during this Christmas season, I don't know what is. 

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As this wonderful time of the year commences, remember this: You are chosen by the Holy of Holyies, a perfect being that transcends time and space. No weapon formed against you shall prevail. So break out the Christmas onesie and start CELEBRATING! 

For those who need some tips and gift ideas for the holidays, keep on reading!

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I know that a lot of musicians and Nashville women read my blog. So ladies, (and men, hey dudes) Here are some ridiculously awesome ideas and companies that I swear by on my Christmas gift list. 

LLM Exclusive 

This Etsy shop is the best place to get beautiful, custom jewelry. And the good news is it won't break your bank. Personally, I feel there is nothing more precious then receiving something crafted and personalized just for you. That being said, when I received my incredible custom succulent turquoise ring, written on the inside of the band was Jeremiah 17:8 which states, "They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” When I say this, I almost WEPT. That is my verse y'all!!!! 

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Gretsch Guitars

There is no secret of my love for Gretsch guitars. I may have lost count, but I think I have accumulated about four now. I am such a fan of this company. They are incredible craftsmen, and also set their prices significantly lower compared to their counterparts like Taylor or Gibson. Y'all know how I feel about Gibson.... (; The model I have in these photos is the G9500 JIM DANDY™ 24

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In summary, I pray this Christmas season brings you a sense of deep gratefulness for our creator and for the people you hold dear in your life. I pray we can live candidly in that truth, that God does not have to save us, but He does anyway because of who He is and His gracious nature. Oh, and I hope Santa brings you all the gifts. I will leave you with this promise:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Sending you love always,

Carmen xoxo

Carmen Brandy