Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Ask of Me" goes #1!!

Hey all from the UK!

Just wanted to drop a quick email to let you know something that I just found out! While I have been here in the UK, "Ask of Me" went NUMBER ONE on the ShineFM chart last week!! *jumping up and down* You can visit the website to check it out for yourself: http://www.shinefm.org.uk/. (Just scroll down a little and you'll see it.)

Things are going quite well here in jolly England. Mike Rayson & I are already talking about a return trip to the UK in May 2009, which we hope to go to Northern Ireland as well during that time. (hint, hint!) I'll be sure to keep you posted on those plans.

God is doing a great work here in the UK, but there are so many hurting people here. The media and gov't have become very sympathetic to the Muslim culture here. Many of the Christian churches are beginning to band together like never before to reach out to their communities, and I do believe that they are making an impact. There is a definite hunger and a need here for God like no other. For example, where the US has a ton of Christian radio stations everywhere you look, England has only TWO Christian radio stations for the entire country! But those are popular. In fact, Mike Rayson & I will be interviewed this Saturday morning, October 25, on Premiere's Big Breakfast Show w/ Tony & Lizzie. We are very excited about this opportunity to share our faith and personal testimonies to a large listening audience. I'd tell you to listen in online, but I dobut any of you would want to get up at 2 AM CST or 3 AM EST to listen. :)

This evening, we are in Gornal, and tomorrow evening we are in Stoke-on-Trent. Friday finds us back in Tunbridge Wells, Saturday in Huntington, Sunday AM in Potters Bar, and Sunday PM in Westminster at the Central Methodist Hall. Yeah...um..the Central Methodist Hall is DIRECTLY across the street from Westminster Abby & Parliment. How neat is that?!

Blessings to all of you, and if you need to know how to make a proper cup of tea, let me know! I've learned how! HA!

Monday, October 13, 2008

UK Tour Update!

Hello all!

We arrived safely in the UK bright and early Thursday morning. And let me just say that the jet lag is an absolute BEAR to deal with. I have never been so tired in my life. I'm sure it would've helped if I had slept on the plane, but that just wasn't happening. We were forced to stay up all day on Thursday, and as soon as my head hit the pillow that evening, I was out. The past couple of days have been better, but today (Sunday) was a little bit more difficult. Thank goodness for power naps!

England is absolutely lovely, and so are the people. There is an incredible move of the Holy Spirit sweeping through this country and the churches. England (and especially London) is in a lot of turmoil with racial issues and various things, but the Christians are completely on fire and wanting to reach their community, city, and the world beyond. Very encouraging!

We had our first concert last night at the Hornchurch Methodist Church, which is on the south edge of London. Small but appreciative and very receptive crowd. I also took part at their Sunday morning service today, and the crowd was very cool. They had a special guest praise band in, Re-Gen, and the leader was American! LOL But the theme was about worship and laying ourselves down to be used by God to go out into the world. That when the question is asked by God, "Whom shall I send?", our reply should be that of Isaiah, "Here I am Lord. Send me!"

I did my first solo concert this evening at Pembry Baptist Church, and it was amazing!! Great group of people in a cafe style setting, and we just had an amazing time worshiping. They were very receptive to the songs and the message. They want to have me back the next time we come to the UK! (Looks like that may be sometime next year!)

We have a few days off now before the next whirlwind of events. Tomorrow we are headed to downtown London to do some sight seeing, and meet up with my baby sister, Bethany, who is living in London for the fall semester. FREE tour guide!!

Thank you again for your prayers! God is doing a great work! Please continue to keep us all in prayer: me, Kyle, and Mike Rayson (the artist we manage from Australia). Especially keep Mike in your prayers as he acts as our tour guide and chauffeur while he is also preaching and performing. And pray for my parents, Bert & Joan, as they head over here to meet up with us later this week!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Little people, BIG World

Hello. My name is Tara Jackson, and I am a Southern Gospel artist. And most of you in the world, have no idea who I am.

And I'm totally cool with that.

It hit me the other day how small our individual worlds are, but how BIG the real world is. Make sense? Living here in Nashville it is very easy to get caught up in the industry of it all. Everyone is trying to impress someone who is trying to impress the next person up and so on and so forth. Think about it...in my genre of music, the big dogs are The Hoppers, Bill Gaither, The Booth Brothers, etc. There is an "all powerful" board of NQC (National Quartet Convention) that decides who goes on the sought after main stage. There are websites posting the press releases of the various artists within the genre. But...outside of our little world...no one has a clue who any of us are. Someone could see Bill Gaither walking around some airport (though I doubt that happens much anymore b/c he has his own plane) and would have no clue who he is. They wouldn't know that he wrote "He Touched Me" or "Because He Lives".

But the thing is is that the same can be said of almost any industry. The tech industry looks at Steve Jobs & Bill Gates as gods. The comic book industry (ComiCon anyone?) looks to the creators of X-Men, Spiderman, Superman, etc. as industry leaders. I went to visit a friend at the bluegrass convention in downtown earlier this week, and I walked in not knowing a soul in there. Yet, when I walked up to meet him, there was a crowd around some guy and a girl having a mandolin jam session. People were enthralled. They were taking pictures, video, and practically drooling. And I was standing there with absolutely no idea who any of these people were. But to the people at this convention, it was a BIG deal. And it's the same way at GMA week...or CRS...or whatever major convention is taking place.

Within any industry, there are people that are higher up on the chain than others. But what I think we (and many times, those people) forget is that we all still put our pants on the same way. And many of those people that are in those higher positions in their industry now, had to start out at the very bottom to get where they are today.

I don't know if any of this makes sense. I just felt like lately that God has been reminding me to not get ahead of myself. And if my talent is not immediately recognized, respected, or revered by people in higher positions, that it is totally fine. They aren't God. I feel like we all get caught up in a "who's who" game, trying to impress the ones that we feel need impressing. We unintentionally give people power due to the "need" to impress them. It's just like it was in high school. There were the popular kids, and if you weren't in that click, you tried desperately to fit in.

Really and truly, I'm just here to do what God wants me to do. If my ministry soars to the heights of massive crowds and spotlights and stages, hit singles, awards...then so be it. But if God has me fly under the radar, that's totally cool too! I know that I am somebody to my God and Creator. I don't have to try hard to impress Him to get ahead. He loves me just the way I am, quirks and all.

(Hope this post makes sense. I was typing as the thoughts came, so it's not like I thought this out in advance. Just something that's been on my heart & mind recently.)