BL…Beautiful Lord. This simple song has gained a lot of traction lately.

Back in June, I served as the Director of Worship for the Diocese of San Jose’s Summer Youth Retreat. The song was in our setlist for the week, I just didn’t know when we would sing it. Prior to teaching it and singing it the 300 or so people on retreat, a young lady came up to me with her guitar while the band and I were just singing songs in our downtime. After introducing herself, she said,

“May I ask you a question? to which I said Yes to.

“Are you the Jon Manongdo that wrote “Beautiful Lord”?

I looked at my drummer and smiled since we had just finished singing it before she entered the room. I looked at her and said,

“I don’t know. Can you play it for me on your guitar?”

She then proceeded to sing my song. My drummer and I joined in and sang with her. She told me that it was the “go-to” meditation song at her parish’s youth mass. I had no idea. She also said that it was an important part of her faith journey. I was floored.

We sang it quite a bit on retreat that week.

A few friends and I did it at an Adoration prayer service for Youth Ministers this past week along with another song of mine called Holy Are You. A youth minister present that night (who attended the Summer Retreat also) said,

“I didn’t know you wrote Beautiful Lord! That’s my jam!”

That was a blessing!

Randomly, the next day my friend showed me a picture sent to her by another friend over Snapchat. A young adult group out of Southern California was going to do my song for mass. This picture (found below) is of their worship aid.

I feel so BLessed by this song, especially when it’s sung corporately. I had no idea that it would resonate with people in the way that it has. I had no idea how embraced it would be. To me, it’s the simple and repetitive song that I like to sing in quiet meditation. It’s also the song I like to sing with my daughters.

The Holy Spirit certainly works in blessed ways, writing this song upon my heart and apparently on the hearts of many others. I thank our Beautiful Lord for such great blessings.


#MusicMonday 05/09/16

Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

I just love the groove of this song! It’s such a positive groove that just makes you move…well bob your head at least. One can’t help but move!


Run Til I Finish by Smokie Norful

My grandfather passed away 2 weeks ago. Through the years, Mm cousin Josh made a bunch of videos featuring my Grandfather for his birthdays which we all came together for. He died at the age of 100 years old. This song was featured in his final video and shown at his funeral last week. This song is powerful and I loved it immediately.

You and Me by Marc E. Bassy ft. G-Easy

This song was released at the perfect time as it provides a Summer groove. I love the reggae feel, with the organ in the back just pulling off that vibe.


Solid Character

Check out this article of Rodney Smith, Jr. A young man of great character

Solid character can change the world.

A lot of people, especially the young, wallow in the idea that they can’t make a difference in the world. That they are powerless. This young man, Rodney Smith, Jr. defies that thinking. It is with a simple gesture of love and a solid character that this young man is inspiring others.

In dealing with young people, I come across people like this, but sadly it is so few and far between. I hate apathy, HATE IT. I am convinced that the greatest way to combat apathy is with empathy. This is what Rodney Smith, Jr. certainly understands.

Great job Rodney, great job!

Read the article!

#MusicMonday 04/11/16

Wave After Wave By River Valley Church
Here is yet another random find that just speaks to my heart. Sometimes we get caught up in the storm and wave after wave comes crashing into us. Sometimes we ask ourselves, or the universe just when is it going to stop. I’ve certainly had my fair share of such hardship.

When I heard of this I was reminded that maybe what we mistake as waves of pain rolling us for grace that is trying to cleanse us. Sometimes the baptism of fire is exactly what we need.

This song, Wave After Wave, helps shift that thinking from pain to mercy.

I stand on the shores of Your faithfulness
Ever my heart longs for You
One foot in front of the other
I will draw closer
Lord I need You
Waiting in the waters of Your great love
I’m up to my eyes in Your light
Sooner than later I’m under
I will swim further
Close to Your side

Wave after wave Of Your marvelous grace
Let ’em roll
Roll over me
I’m caught in the current Of Your majesty
Let ’em roll, Roll over me

I swim in the vastness of who You are
I’m home in the tides of Your trust
One ripple one after the other
I will go deeper Into Your love

Wave after wave Of Your marvelous grace
Let it roll Roll over me
I’m caught in the current Of Your majesty
Let it roll Roll over me

Let it roll over me
Let it crash over me
Let it sweep me away
Wave after wave after wave after wave
Let it roll over me
Let it crash over me
Let it sweep me away
Wave after wave after Wave after wave

I float in the still of this holy sea
Alive in the truth that I’m Yours
You speak Your word
And that’s more than enough
Praise the Lord oh my soul
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord oh my soul
Praise the Lord Woahh

Wave after wave Of Your marvelous grace
Let ’em roll Roll over me
Caught in the current of Your majesty
Let ’em roll Roll over me
Let ’em roll Roll over me
Let ’em roll Roll over me

#MusicMonday 1/4/16

Deep Water by Andrew Ripp
This is such a soulful offering by Ripp. The production is authentic, real, true, and just plain ol’ good music. The lyrics encourage the listener to follow the singer to dig deeper…to take life deeper, to level up, to answer to call to the depths. I love how it ends unresolved because simply life never really is resolved isn’t it? We just continue to live, and learn, and love.

“I’ve been standing here looking out at paradise
Too afraid to leave the shore…

…Spent my whole life looking for ways to medicate
Too afraid to fight the war
And I’m sick and tired of this fallen chase
Never going back anymore…

…If I wake up tomorrow
I don’t want to be found in the shallow
All my life I’ve waited for this
I’m rollin’ out to deep water
I hear you callin’ out my name
Deep water
I will never be the same”


A Lot to Learn by Copperlily
This playful song is a back and forth conversation between a boyfriend and girlfriend and the thickness of relationships. The male talks about his frustrations, the female retorts. Both claim that the other might mean well, but they’ve still have a lot to learn about love.

The ending sums it all up very well, “WE still got a lot to learn about love.”

This song captures romantic relationships well!


#MusicMonday Christmas 12/21/15

Hark the Herald Angels Sing by Carrie Underwood
When I first heard this version, I loved it. I love people take a classic and make it better. This modern version slows it down, changes the Chords and gives it a totally different feels. If the words weren’t the same, it  could almost pass as entirely new song. I’ve always loved Carrie’s voice, and this song shows why.

Mary Did You Know by Pentatonix
This carol has easily become one of my favorites in recent years. Written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene in 1991, it has been covered several times by artists like Clay Aiken, Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers.

This acapella version by Pentatonix captures the spirit of the song well. The rich blending of harmonies just makes it so pleasing to the ear.


Silent Night by Matt Maher
For Advent, I featured Matt Maher’s offering/version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I mentioned how I love what he and Chris Tomlin have done to old classic humns like Amazing Grace. They’ve made simple changes in the chords, and add new verses or bridges. This Silent Night is one of my favorites. The cello weaves in and out so beautifully, and the new bridge gives it a whole new tension. While one might be a little bored by the orginal version, they might grow fond of Maher’s take.

Peace Has Come by Hillsong Worship
This is not a traditional Christmas song. Written in 2014 by Internationally known worship collective Hillsong Worship, this modern worship styled Christmas offering has all the elements of a Christmas song as it talks about the birth of Jesus, our adoration for the king along with all the angels. What more do you need right? The song also incorporates a snippet of the classic “O Come All Ye Faithful”.

#MusicMonday 12/14/15

O Come to the Altar by Elevation Worship
This song is simple, it’s corporate worship, and just plain beautiful. Ive always loved the idea of getting together with a bunch of friends, in a room, with instruments, and worshipping God in a simple way. Will Reagan and United Pursuit’s Live at the Banks house is a great example of that. Their song, Set a Fire is fruit of that collective. Check out this simple worship song here:


Anyway by Tori Kelly
Today is Tori Kelly’s birthday, so I figure it’d be a nice tribute to add one of her songs here on MusicMonday. Ive been a fan of hers since she broke out on YouTube and I had always wondered why the stupid labels didn’t pick her up. She is so talented, she has the look that labels are looking for (and sometimes puts before the music). I just didn’t get it. I hope these labels are choking on crow as she has now become a mainstream media darling. She is even nominated for a Grammy. It just goes to show how out of touch music labels are. I love Anyway, this song just grooves and celebrates the idea of loving someone  even with all their quirks and idiosyncrasies. That’s what love is all about isn’t it?

When a bunch of friends and I watched her live in San Francisco, she did this song and her band mixed in California Love by Tupac and Roger. The crowd went wild. She really is a showman or showwoman and has become one of my favorite artists. Oh and she has GREAT hair!! Happy birthday Tori Kelly!!

Good Luv by Jodeci
This throwback selection by 90s R&B sensation Jodeci reminds me of high school. But I appreciate the song for more than just the nostalgia. The acoustic groove along with the back and forth feel of a soloist with their backing vocal members just feels right. There are some drawbacks to the song however like how KC and Jojo’s leads are be a bit over the top, and the constant references to drug culture like smoking and getting high with your friends. I believe these offerings are overshadowed by the feelgood quality of the song. One might not listen to vocal renderings, and/or the unsavory references, but one cannot dismiss the groove.


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