Monday, December 28, 2009

Good for the Soul

The great thing about Christmas is that, despite the chaos the holiday brings, you get to spend time with friends and family that you may not get to see very often.

This year's Christmas has been different than the usual... we didn't have any celebrations on Christmas Day, and instead I spent most of my day working on planning the worship service for the upcoming Sunday. That evening we traveled out to Ohio for Christmas on the 26th with my mom's side of the family. It was good, and I got a few gifts I actually asked for (which almost never happens haha). I couldn't help but laugh when my grandma got literally every girl in the family the same sweater (aunts, cousins, grandchildren, etc.) and all of the guys in the family the same sweater..... I only wish we had been able to get a group picture of us ALL matching. :)

I was back at home Saturday evening and immediately went to the church to finish up planning the worship. Sunday morning came and worship went well, and the message Jonathan (our youth pastor) preached was really good. He talked about the geneology of Christ (Matthew 1:1-17) and how it included every kind of person... kings, sinners, ordinary people, and people we know nothing about... and it was a challenge to us to realize that no matter what our status in life, God wants to use us for the greater purpose of his plan. It reminded me that wherever I end up using my music (small town church or packed out stadium), God will use me. It also challenged me to make sure I am making myself available to God for Him to use me... which can be really hard to do!

Church was followed by an awesome time having lunch at Applebee's with the other young adults from church, then a "Christmas" party with my closest friends from high school where we got to catch up with each other and hear how God is working in all of our lives. After I left the party, I went to my grandma's house to celebrate Christmas on my dad's side.... however, it was cut short when I suddenly got a really bad migraine and had to go home and lie in the dark for 3 hours! It was so disappointing missing out on the entire evening with family, but I am finally starting to feel a little better after a night of sleep and taking it easy. I might even go to work this afternoon!

In case you are wondering, the scripture passages I shared with my friends that have been playing a big part in my life right now are:

1 Peter 4:10
Psalm 37:5-6
Ecclesiastes 3:11-14

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Take Two

I'm somewhat disappointed... discouraged, even.

Only two people have responded to "A Study On Worship". Maybe I picked bad timing, with it being the holidays and all. I at least hope people read it and thought about it a little bit. However, I am glad that those two people responded. It gave me a place to start, and I enjoyed hearing what they had to say.

I strongly encourage you to think about responding to those questions I brought up about worship. You don't have to post them on here... feel free to send me an e-mail ( or to send me a message on Facebook, if that is your preferred method of communication.

Again, this may or may not turn into something more than just a study. For now, I am leaving it at that... A Study of Worship.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. While you are spending time with friends and family, caught up in the merriment of the season, take time to step back and worship our King, who was born for the salvation of our sins. It's a beautiful story... one that I hope you will not forget this holiday season.

With love...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Study on Worship.

Everytime I hear Phil Wickham's song "Divine Romance", something in me is stirred.

For You I sing, I dance
Rejoice in this divine romance
Lift my heart and my hands
To show my love, to show my love

I love the instruments... acoustic guitar, bass, accordion, and brushes on the drums. And Phil Wickham's voice... it's like there's an angel singing in the room. But it touches something beyond.

So today I was listening to that song, as I do almost every day... and a thought came to me. How do people view worship? Is it an act or a lifestyle? Can it be both? Must it be both?


1. The activity of worshipping
2. A feeling of profound love and admiration


1. Love unquestioningly and uncritically
2. Show religious devotion to, as of a deity
3. Attend religious services

It got me to thinking... why don't I just ask people? Maybe I would learn something about worship if I took a closer look at how people worship... what people worship... where people worship.

So that's my vision... and I'm asking you. Yes, you... the one reading this. Tell me what worship is to you... do you do it or do you live it? How do you worship? What do you worship (be honest)? Where can you worship? Is there a feeling associated with worship, or is it a state of being? What have you learned about worship? What has Scripture taught you? What have loved ones taught you? Is it a discipline?

I'm not sure what I will do with the responses I get. My brother owns his own video editing business ( so I thought about turning my research into a video to show at church. Of course, I would ask Phil Wickham's permission to use his song as the music. After all, that is what inspired this whole thing.

I like to call it a study on worship.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Last 100 (cont.)

I now have the results of today's "Last 100" experiment. Below I have listed the last 100 songs I listened to today. While listening to my music, I was reminded that half of my music is actually on my work computer, and while I can still access those folders, my media player on my laptop ignores them... so therefore I only had about 1/3 of my music to listen to today! But, I think the outcome does a good job of summing up my musical tastes.

Before you see the list, I should give credit to Brandon Adam Bible... who I've never met... but whose blog ( inspired me to take on the task of completing this "Last 100" list. As mentioned in my earlier post today, I was seeking inspiration from other worship leaders who blog. Unfortunately I was distracted by this fun project.... but I will continue on my quest for inspiration. Take a look at who made the cut:


1. Iron and Wine – "Boy With A Coin"

2. Ian McIntosh – "Open Up The Heavens"

3. Hillsong United – "Devotion"

4. James Morrison – "The Only Night"

5. Joshua Radin – "Sky"

6. Mates of State – "My Only Offer"

7. Wilco – "You Never Know"

8. The Civil Wars – "Poison & Wine"

9. Planetshakers – "Cry Holy"

10. Sufjan Stevens – "Sister Winter"

11. Jason DeRulo – "Whatcha Say"

12. Coldplay – "Strawberry Swing"

13. Colbie Caillat – "Fallin' For You"

14. Norah Jones – "Waiting"

15. Phil Wickham – "Divine Romance"

16. Peter Bradley Adams – "For You"

17. Chris Tomlin – "Jesus Paid It All (Everything Glorious)"

18. Regina Spektor – "Eet"

19. Dave Barnes – "Greyhound"

20. Griffin House – "When The Time Is Right"

21. Iron and Wine – "House By The Sea"

22. Greg Laswell – "It's Been A Year"

23. The Gabe Dixon Band – "Further the Sky"

24. Jack's Mannequin – "Rescued"

25. Jack Johnson – "Middle Man"

26. Hillsong – "Mighty to Save"

27. Hot Hot Heat – "In Cairo"

28. Imogen Heap – "Bad Body Double"

29. Griffin House – "Lay Down In Your Fields"

30. Candy Claws – "Don't Turn Around"

31. Jars of Clay – "These Ordinary Days"

32. Matt Wertz – "Red Meet's Blue"

33. Shawn McDonald – "Beautiful"

34. Black Eyed Peas – "Imma Be"

35. After Edmund – "It's Alright"

36. Anathallo – "Hanasakajijii (Three: The Man Who Made Dead Trees Bloom)"

37. Ryan Myddleton – "On Your Own"

38. Moby – "Beautiful"

39. Amos Lee – "Black River"

40. Josh Garrels – "Mercy Triumph"

41. After Edmund – "Come and Rain Down"

42. Kyte – "Nothings Cruel"

43. Fiona Apple – "Window"

44. Eric Hutchinson – "You Don't Have To Believe Me"

45. Phillips, Craig, and Dean – "Hallelujuah (Your Love Is Amazing)"

46. Imogen Heap – "Swoon (Instrumental)"

47. Moulin Rouge – "Come What May"

48. Ellery – "Long Coat On"

49. My Morning Jacket – "Touch Me, I'm Going To Scream"

50. Patty Griffin – "One Big Love"

51. Erin McCarley – "It's Not That Easy"

52. John Legend – "Green Light"

53. Brandy – "Right Here (Departed)"

54. Eric Hutchinson – "Oh!"

55. Jars of Clay – "Revolution"

56. Jeremy Camp – "Beyond Measure"

57. Jazz Rolle – "Hiding Place"

58. TAB the Band – "Skip Your Class"

59. A.A. Bondy – "Witness Blues"

60. Ólafur Arnalds – "Raein"

61. Justin Currie – "What Is Love For?"

62. Shawn McDonald – "Lovely"

63. John Mayer – "Stop This Train"

64. AM Drive & Cliff Ritchey – "Don't Fear"

65. The Weepies – "Can't Go Back Now"

66. The Fray – "We Build Then We Break"

67. Kyte – "Boundaries"

68. Ratatat – "Five"

69. OneTwoThreeFour – "Leave Me Sleep"

70. Toby Lightman – "My Sweet Song"

71. Michael Bublé – "Sway"

72. Ben Folds Five – "Best Imitation of Myself"

73. Fall Out Boy – "Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today"

74. Anathallo – "All The First Pages"

75. Nickel Creek – "Can't Complain"

76. Lili Haydn – "Strawberry Street"

77. Mat Kearney – "Undeniable"

78. Neo-Classical Piano Music – "Gray Sky Tone Dance"

79. U2 – "Breathe"

80. Snow Patrol – "Open Your Eyes"

81. Scott Tyler – "Storyville"

82. OneRepublic – "Someone to Save You"

83. Andrew Bird – "The Happy Birthday Song"

84. Will Gray – "I Can't"

85. Sigur Rós – "Inní mér syngur vitleysingur"

86. Augustana – "Rest, Shame, Love"

87. Dave Barnes – "Jackson"

88. Joshua Radin – "I'd Rather Be With You"

89. John Legend – "Everybody Knows"

90. Will Gray – "Where You At"

91. Matt Wertz – "Everything's Right"

92. Sigur Rós – Milano

93. Rihanna – "Wait Your Turn"

94. Iron and Wine – "Innocent Bones"

95. The Gabe Dixon Band – "And The World Turned"

96. Ted Nash – "Cheryl's Theme"

97. Phil Wickham – "Heaven Song"

98. Sigur Rós – "Gódan daginn"

99. The New Pornographers – "The End of Medicine"

100. Jack's Mannequin – "The Resolution"

The Last 100

So I've been wanting to learn more about being a worship leader. I'm only 22 years old (23 in only 14 days!), have had pretty much no training in worship leading, and feel like I've been thrown into this position with only the gifts God had given me.... along with a lot of His grace & mercy cushioning the fall. I decided that I would search for other blogs that other worship leaders write, to see if I can gain any insight from what they write. Needless to say, my noble pursuit came to a halting stop when I came across a blog where the guy's last entry was the last 100 songs he listened to. I read through the list. We have very similar tastes. In fact, I would say about 75 out of the 100 songs were songs I know and love. It got me thinking about what I listen to, and so I've made it my goal today to listen to 100 songs while I work, and to keep track of what they are. Should make for an interesting finished product I think. Stay tuned (no pun intended).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Card

I mailed out my Christmas cards last Friday. Unfortunately I couldn't send them to everyone I wanted to... so I decided to give you all a glimpse of the card and what I wrote in my mini "Christmas letter" to everyone!



Another year gone by...
In the last year, I have experienced a lot of new and exciting things. I was able to travel out of the country for the first time to perform music in the Bahamas. I released an album ("Seasons") and performed my own music live for the first time in front of an audience of 700 or more. I walked across a stage without an instrument in my hand, and instead received a diploma for a degree in Music Business Management from Taylor University. After moving home, I purchased my first professional guitar, a Martin whose name is Isabella. While working part-time for the family business where I have kept busy doing marketing, administrative, and legal projects, I also pursued other jobs and opportunities in music around the world. God had other plans. In October, I was hired at Crossview Church as the new worship leader. God has been doing incredible things in my life, and showing me that all the plans and dreams I have can't even come close to where He is leading me. I may not know what the future holds, but I have so much to be thankful for: a job, friends, family, and a God that always provides. If you are reading this, you are one of those friends. And so, I am sending out my first Christmas card to you, wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

- Megan -

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Perception

So I wrote a new song... a while ago... but since leaving college my regular audience is no longer easily accessible, and therefore hardly anyone has heard it. I thought I might share it with you today. You can listen to a demo version of it at: I encourage you to listen to all of my songs - I love feedback! This song, however, is titled "My Perception"... I think it's always best to read the lyrics and listen at the same time. By no means is the recording on the website a finished version... in fact, it's quite the opposite. It's my very first demo recording of it for me to work off of... so you can judge me, but just don't judge me quite as harshly as you would if it were the final studio cut. The male vocals that come in on the last chorus with me are done by my talented friend, Kirk Hacker (, who so generously has been letting me use his studio for free! Talk about amazing.


My Perception
(c) 2009 Megan Sauder

Turn on the spotlight
To my insecurities
Afraid to face the spotlight
Down on my knees

I know that there's beauty
In the things I do
But why can't I see it
When I'm compared to You?

There's beauty in everything
All I see and I hear

But I just keep missing it
It would lead me to You
Please lead me to You

Cloud my perception of this world
I want to love like You love them
Heal this broken world
And I know that I've failed You
Time after time
Can You see through me
And see what's on the inside?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

For All Practical Purposes.

When you graduate college, you tend to spend a lot more time "getting on with life" and a lot less time conversing with friends. This a change I have not enjoyed adjusting to. Not one bit.

One of the things that bothers me is how when I get the chance to see a friend or talk to them on the phone we spend most of our time catching up on what we're doing in life. Suddenly my life seems so stagnant. Suddenly I feel like I don't know my friends anymore, or maybe it's more that I just feel like a bad friend because I don't know what is happening their life all the time like I did in college. Distance tests the endurance of friendship. It's not convenient anymore.

I spent half of my day today hanging out with 3 Russian kids. Artum, Will, and Reagan. A good family friend adopted them about 2 1/2 years ago.... the oldest, Artum, is 15 years old. Reagan, the girl, is the youngest, and boy does she shoot fire when she talks! Today she asked me if I was in high school or college.... and when I told her I just graduated colleged she said, "And you're not married?!?! Why aren't you married?!?! Don't you have a boyfriend?!?!" Hah. In case you haven't guessed, she's not very shy. Will is, in my opinion, the sweetest of the siblings. He is kind, helpful, more mild-tempered (he seems to have less hot Russian blood running through his veins), and has a good sense of humor. I spent 4 hours playing Wii with Artum. Way too much time playing Wii, but all in all it was a fun day! They are spending the night tonight - so I will probably get to spend a little more time with them tomorrow on my lunch break.

That last paragraph was a major side note to what I really started writing this about.

I thought I'd give you all a look into my weekly schedule. Maybe the next time we talk on the phone or run into each other, we won't have to spend our entire conversation talking about what we're doing and actually just BE together. Also, this might give you a better idea as to when I'm free to hang out or talk on the phone! So, here goes:

Sunday - 8:15-11:45 lead worship at church
1:15-2:00 my precious rest & relaxation time
2:15-4:45 volleyball at Brookside
5:30-10:00 work at the church*

Monday - 8:00-5:00 work at Sauder Feeds
6:30-??? work at the church*

Tuesday - 8:00-5:00 work at Sauder Feeds
6:45-10:15 volleyball at Brookside

Wednesday - 8:00-1:30 work at Sauder Feeds
3:00-9:00 work at the church/rehearsals

Thursday - DAY OFF (clean house, practice music, be lazy)*

Friday - 8:00-1:30 work at Sauder Feeds
3:00-??? work at church OR begin the weekend!*

Saturday - a.m. - finish up any final details for Sunday
p.m. - 2nd official DAY OFF!*

* These times are the best to reach me by phone!

Oh yeah, for those of you who don't know... the reason I spend so much time at the church working is because I was hired as Crossview Church's new worship leader in October! As you can see, I put in a lot of time at the church.... I've been working hard to organize our very chaotic music library with the hopes of eventually increasing productivity, decreasing the amount of paper we use making copies because we can't find music, and creating an organized library so that the new worship leader that comes in after me will be able to jump right into the position without worrying about doing this tedious and time-consuming task. While I only get paid for 15 hours of work a week, I don't mind putting in more than that... the fact that I'm getting paid at all to do MUSIC is such a blessing. I find that I've been more joyful in the past few months because I'm not only doing something that God has given me the gifts to do, but also something I'm passionate about. Sure there are new stresses with a new job, but it's been really good. While I never saw myself becoming a worship leader, I know this is where God wants to use me right now, and that He is using it as a way to help me grow closer to Him. The verse I put in my profile has sort-of stuck with me through this new experience of working on staff at a church:

"God has given each of you a gift... Use them well to serve one another."
- 1 Peter 4:10

Who to pray for today:
- The country of Russia, and Amy Laur, one of my closest friends from Taylor who is doing the YWAM program in Perm, Russia. Spending time with the Russian kids today reminded me of her and her ministry there. She is doing her 2 months of outreach right now in another country. Pray for the people of Russia, and specifically the people that Amy has been and will continue to be meeting. If you'd like to read about her experiences in Russia, you can visit her blog at:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lyrics to Start

Here's what I do when I try to write lyrics. I piece it together bit by bit. Rarely do I just sit down and write out a full set of lyrics. It can take weeks, months... even years to finish a set of lyrics, let alone put it to music. I normally find randomly jotted down phrases or subject matters in a sheet music notebook, and try to work with it again... molding it until I feel like I am writing something worth saying.

I am notoriously bad at writing "Christian" songs. If you think about it, it's quite the overwhelming task. I sit down at the piano, read a Psalm or two for inspiration, and then think to myself, "Why would I ever try to write something myself, when David already said it so beautifully?" So, I usually stick with my usual mind-wandering lyrics that sometimes make no sense. I always like to say that it's up to the listener's interpretation. It actually works quite successfully sometimes. Other times people will ask me what the lyrics mean... and then I have to try and remember why, several months ago, I wrote those lyrics.

So why not write lyrics that require no explanation? Is it so bad to be blunt? Metaphors can be very poetic, and lymerics can be very witty. I love being both of those things. But when the point of a song becomes the poetry, or being witty... has it lost all meaning? Can there be meaning in the meaningless? I mean... there is hope for the hopeless. Does the same rule apply?

I started writing some lyrics a month or two ago... haven't gotten very far. But it's one of those attempts I rarely make to write something about my faith. God hasn't gifted me with an incredible ability to write worship songs that churches will want to sing on Sunday morning services. No, I don't posess that gift. But I went to a Josh Garrels concert last weekend and realized that all of his songs overflow with spirituality... yet they would never be sung in a church on a Sunday morning. Not for theological reasons, and not because they aren't wonderful songs... but they are artsy, creative, and well, very different from most stream-lined Christian music you hear today. It was refreshing.

I only have one verse. But you can read it... it's nothing extraordinary. But maybe in a few months or years I will have something more. These are just lyrics to start.

I'm trading my sorrows for victory
Hoping that they will see Christ in me.
You say, "Seek and you will find."
But what happens if I've gone blind?