Once For All

Recently, my husband and I had the blessing of attending Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church’s annual conference, Liberate. It was a sweet time of rest and reflection on God’s grace to us––His “one way love,” as pastor Tullian Tchividjian has called it.

I journaled furiously the whole weekend, and of course took away some wonderful reminders of God’s truths from the speakers (Matt Chandler, Steve Brown, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Paul Tripp, among others ). The truths I was reminded of were really a catalyst for some serious, spiritual excavation that needed to be done. Some of which you can read about here.  During this soul-searching, the music I learned at the conference has been my soundtrack. On repeat. Sinking in grace-truths in solid hymn-lyrics, melodies, and harmonies.

The band at Coral Ridge shared many wonderful new songs with us, some of which I hope will make it into our future repertoire at Redeemer San Diego, but the one song I want to highlight here I think sums up the theme of the conference well, and really, our very call as Christians, to live like we’re saved!

To stop clinging to the law and cling to the cross where GRACE has saved us ONCE FOR ALL!

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1. Free from the law, O happy condition,
Jesus has bled and there is remission,
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace has redeemed us once for all.

Once for all, O sinner, receive it,
Once for all, O doubter, believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
Christ has redeemed us once for all.

2. Now we are free, there’s no condemnation,
Jesus provides a perfect salvation.
“Come unto Me,” O hear His sweet call,
Come, and He saves us once for all.

3. Children of God, O glorious calling,
Surely His grace will keep us from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call;
Blessed salvation once for all.

It is finished

A Song For Advent

“Lo How A Rose E’re Blooming,” originally written in 1609 by German composer, Michael Praetorius, is traditionally sung around the Advent season. I chose this hymn because it’s not as widely known or performed by contemporary artists, and it has a beautiful melody line and the lyric is strong and poetic.  I wanted to give it a little folk feel and intentionally left some “imperfections” to keep it somewhat un-rendered, so to speak.

I recorded and mixed everything myself, which is humbling to confess, since I know I have SO much more to learn about the process! But, for the time and equipment I had, I’m excited to share this first solo production! I left the mastering to the very talented Drew Hodge (who produced and mastered of Dark Is Light in 2012).

Learning to Be A “Momsician”

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It’s been a year and a half since I released “Dark Is Light.” A year and a half since I was in the “zone” of writing and recording and getting to nerd out in a studio. A year and a half since we left family, friends, and half-a-house in storage, moved to California for Greg’s job opportunity in pastoral ministry. Since then, it has become quite obvious to me that the days of luxurious, uninterrupted studio time are a thing of the past… and maybe yet a thing of the future…

But with a 3 and 1-year-old in tow, and the unique challenges and joys that accompany this “age and stage,” it is most certainly not a thing of the present. A fact which I most wholeheartedly embrace! I love being a mom and wouldn’t think of trading it! But in the midst of growing in my call as a pastor’s wife and mom, I have felt an equally growing call to continue to pursue music as God provides opportunities.

And provide He has!

I have been surprised by even more opportunities than I’ve been able to accept, which is indeed humbling. I continue to prayerfully say yes when I can, leading worship, singing at events, and accompanying fellow musicians.

Other times, with gratitude, I decline, knowing that God, my husband, and my young children come first. My eagerness to serve, to use my voice and gifts, to write, arrange, record, and collaborate will always have to be carefully weighed against my primary calling as a wife and mom.

Sometimes I must find satisfaction in a toddler jam session in the living room (which is awesome, by the way) rather than in the creative energy and whirlwind of rehearsal, studio time, or a live performance. And I embrace that diversity! What and honor to impart my love of music to my children. Or, sometimes to just reserve that creative energy (which would otherwise be spent on a musical outlet) for story time on the couch, an outing to the park, or a much needed date night.

But it doesn’t have to be one or the other!

Lately, I am learning to be a Momsician. Living and creating in the “present” of fragile 2 hour nap-time slots, with towels stuffed under the bedroom door and duct tape holding the mic to its stand. I accept as a precious gift the few moments I can steal to be inspired and make art.

And I still have diapers to change, laundry to do, and dinner to make. But there’s inspiration in that too! There’s LIFE there, and a tender kind of exhaustion in parenting and ministry that is, when seen through the lens of Gospel gratitude, truly fertile soil for the art and music-making.

All that said, I look forward to sharing with you very soon my most recent “nap-time” project: an arrangement of the beautiful, old Advent hymn, “Lo How A Rose E’re Blooming.”

Stay tuned!!

**** You can now listen to “Lo How A Rose E’re Blooming” here.

Nothing But The Blood- A New Arrangement

I recently had the opportunity to lead worship for our church in Encinitas. It was truly a blessing and challenge for someone who is used to mainly just accompanying! I had my work cut out for me with the great team I had alongside me, and I was humbled and blessed by the experience.

As I was working on arranging the set list for the service I was inspired to try a different approach to one of my favorite hymns, Nothing But The Blood. I have further ideas for the arrangement and hopes for a recording someday, but here’s my first swing at it with the team. I would love some thoughts and feedback!

For those interested, you can download the chart of my arrangement.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace from Caitelen Schneeberger on Vimeo.

These words by John Newton ring true after more than 2 centuries:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.