Alyssa Sellers


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Sing, Sing A Song

Elvis Thumb War ~ Nashville, Tenn. ~ September 2010

I often speak in sounds effects and song lyrics so for my first 12 months as a blogger all of my entry titles were song lyrics that continued to play in my head as I wrote my entries. To celebrate my success of one year of semi-consistently blogging, I’m listing out all of the songs and artists to which they refer.  Yep, I’m THAT kind of nerd.

Post Title: Song Title: Artist

  1. Express Yourself: Express Yourself: Madonna
  2. Ch-Ch-Changes: Changes: David Bowie
  3. The Shot Heard ‘Round the World: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World: Bob Dorough for School House Rocks 1976
  4. Dream On: Dream On: Areosmith
  5. Blame It On The Rain: Blame It On The Rain: Diane Warren for Millie Vanilli 1989
  6. Seasons Of Love: Seasons Of Love: Jonathan Larson for the musical Rent
  7. So This Is Christmas: So This Is Christmas: John Lenon
  8. Christmas Time Is Here: Christmas Time Is Here: Vince Guaraldi Trio for A Charlie Brown Christmas
  9. It’s Not Easy Being Green: Bein’ Green: Joe Raposo for Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) 1970
  10. What You Waiting For: What You Waiting For: Gwen Stefani
  11. I Say A Little Prayer: I Say A Little Prayer: Burt Bacharach &Hal David for Dionne Warwick
  12. Would I Lie to You: Would I Lie to You: Eurythmics
  13. Let Your Colors Burst: Firework: Katy Perry. (You can judge me. I’m OK with it.)
  14. Fascinating Rhythm: Fascinating Rhythm: George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin
  15. Little Things: Little Things: Good Charlotte & Little Things: Bush. (My mind shuffled back and forth between the two.)
  16. A Time to Dance, A Time to Mourn: Turn! Turn! Turn!: The Byrds
  17. Time Is On Your Side: Time Is On My Side: Rolling Stones. (This is a testament to how I sometimes mishear and/or misquote lyrics. And how for the entry, I liked my version better.)
  18. Time Is Wastin’, Time Is Walking: Time: Hootie & The Blowfish
  19. They Say the Neon Lights are Bright on Broadway: On Broadway: George Benson
  20. Life is What Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans: Beautiful Boy: John Lenon
  21. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 1966
  22. I Sing Because I’m Free: His Eye Is on the Sparrow: Charles H. Gabriel & Civilla D. Martin 1905
  23. Hazy Shade Of Winter: Hazy Shade Of Winter: Simon & Garfunkle
  24. Let The Sun Shine In: Curtain Call –Let The Sun Shine In: Cast of Hair
  25. All You Need Is Love: All You Need Is Love: The Beatles
  26. The Weather Outside Is Frightful: Let it Snow: Jule Styne  & Sammy Cahn

Going forward, some titles may be song lyrics it the description fits. Like today. The Carpenters.

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Blame It On The Rain

I speak in sound effects and song lyrics. Sound effects are hard to convey in writing so, today, I choose song lyrics.

Portland was smacked by its first big storm of the season yesterday. It’s been windy, rainy and slightly chilly so most people with any sense stay inside except for when venturing out is absolutely necessary. Needless to say, I went for a walk along the Willamette River this morning. I needed some movement, some nature and some God. I pressed play on my Season of Singing playlist and after some Kanye West and Ben Folds, The Weepies began to play “Painting by Chagall” as a train rumbled alongside the East Bank Esplanade.

Thunder rumbles in the distance, a quiet intensity
I am willful, your insistence is tugging at the best of me

Sometimes rain that’s needed falls…

Coincidence? Possibly. I mean I did make the playlist and it does rain constantly in Portland. Although, we get little to no thunder, so a train is as close as I am likely to get and the song starting as a train rolls by, well…

I am humbled in this city
There seems to be an endless sea of people like us
Wakeful dreamers, I pass them on the sunlit streets
In our rooms filled with laughter
We make hope from every small disaster

I created this playlist toward the end of March when I was creating the proposal for my book; a memoir about holding onto hope in the midst all sorts of disasters. With the book and proposal nearly finished I felt the winter was over and now it was my season of singing. It’s the end of November and my book is still a Word document on my laptop but there has been lots of singing and laughter over the past nine months. The playlist flows into Lenka’s “Everything’s Okay” as I near the Morrison Bridge.

Sometimes I need a little sunshine
And sometimes I need you

The Esplanade is one of my favorite places in the city but I didn’t step foot on it for the first six years I lived in Portland. Sometimes the things we will love are within reach, we just haven’t embraced them yet. Fear kept me from embracing the joy that is the East Bank. Fear isn’t from God, hope is.

Keep giving me hope for a better day
Keep giving me love to find a way
Through this messy life I made for myself
Heaven knows I need a little

Hope for a better day
A little love to find a way
Through this heaviness I feel
I just need someone to say, everything’s okay

And then the crowd resounds with:
Everything’s okay!

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.
1 Corinthians 13:13 The Message.


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Dream On

I am a part of this awesome church called The Groves.

If you know me, that sentence carries a lot of weight.
A. Because I don’t just go throwing compliments around. If I say, it I mean it.
B. Because I don’t take publicly aligning myself with people, places, things or ideas lightly.
C. Because I have a lot of opinions, some of which are about churches.

All that being said, I love my church. Thanks in part to some excellent sandwich board marketing I stumbled into a Groves Sunday service a year ago today. By the time I left that afternoon, I knew I was home. Since I moved here 8 years ago, my heart has been for my neighbors in downtown Portland. I want them to know what true, unconditional, never-ending love is, that, that love is God and through his son Jesus, brokenness is transformed into good. The Groves shares my heartbeat.

Dream+Weaver

Yesterday in our Sunday service we continued our journey through Genesis and read about Joseph’s dream. And while I tried hard to get the vision of Donny Osmond in a technicolor dream coat out of my mind, Paul and Sunia spoke about God dreams. Here’s my take away: Joseph’s dream eventually came true but this was after his character was developed enough to catch up to it. A number of people scoffed at his dream and were pretty mean about it. But you can’t hold a good God dream down. Mary the mother of Jesus had a God dream, too. She was a little more reserved in whom she told and found encouragement in her cousin. Over time God prepared both Joseph and Mary for the actualization of their dreams.

The Groves Church is full of dreamers. I am one of them. Sometimes I encounter scoffers, oftentimes my scoffer is myself. Lately lies have tried to swoop in and snuff out my dreams. But, yesterday, I was once again reminded that I can’t let them. A couple of weeks ago I began a practice of beginning my day with dancing. I get up, turn on some tunes and shake out the lies. It’s a good time my friends. You should try it. One of my favorites, Florence + the Machine, sings it well, “It’s hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off.”