Shannon Alford serves regularly on the Gateway Worship team as a vocal director and vocalist. She and her husband have written songs for the worship CDs released nationally. She finished her first book September 2012 called 8 Is Enough which is available in the Passages bookstore at
Amazon or Barnes&Noble in Paperback or on Kindle. Gateway Church
Shannon and her husband, Sion, are originally from
Florida and have released six albums prior to moving to Texas. One album called Fresh Fire was released nationally over
fifteen years ago. Shannon and Sion have traveled to many churches over the US and
Internationally teaching on Praise & Worship.
She graduated from
Bachelor of Science degree in Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising. She also
has a Bachelor of Theology degree from Christian Life School of Theology in Florida State
Shannon and her husband, Sion, an executive worship pastor at Gateway Church, have been married for twenty years and are blessed to have eight children from 8-19.
Have you written other nonfiction books?
Do you have any other books in the works right now?
No, but I will start writing 8 Is Enough-4 Years Later when I have four in college and four at home.
What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I love leading worship, writing, reading, playing tenni,s and any water sports.
Why did you write the featured book?
My hope is to bring understanding that worship is not what you go and do but it is something you live. Also, to build faith in individuals to believe God despite the circumstances and bring healing and restoration to families.
What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
God is amazing and His love never fails.
Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
Facebook: 8 is Enough
Readers, I want to share with you this devotion that Shannon wrote for our church's beginning of the year devotional book for 2012.( Gateway always gives the first month of the year to the Lord by the whole church studying the book together as we dedicate our individual and corporate year to what God has for us in that year.)
I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
It was a typical Thursday morning in May. My two boys, Si and Austin, stumbled out of bed, quickly dressed for school and ran downstairs to fight over who would eat the last of the toasted waffles. Just as I yelled up the staircase for my daughter, Brooke, to come down and eat, our phone rang. It was only a few minutes after seven. Who could be calling this early in the morning?
I answered the phone and heard the anguished sound of my mom crying on the other end. I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. I stepped out of the kitchen and went into my bedroom where I could calm her without alarming the children.
“Mom, take a deep breath and start over,” I whispered.
she sobbed, “Stacey had a heart attack in the middle of the night and passed
I immediately fell to the floor and began to weep. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. Now all I could think about was the commitment my husband and I had made to my brother three years earlier, just before he died of cancer. We promised him that if anything ever happened to his wife, Stacey, we would take in and raise all five of their children as our own.
How could this be happening? We already had three children of our own … adding five more would bring us to eight! What were we going to do?
We often wonder why life is so full of situations and circumstances that cause us to constantly stop and ask for clear direction. The truth is God never intended for us to be separated from Him. And only when we’re placed in a difficult situation and our backs are against the wall do we tend to realize we need power and wisdom greater than ours to make the right decision. That’s when we all want a God who is larger, stronger and wiser than we are.
For 15 years, my husband and I had been worship leaders and songwriters and had taught others how to be worshippers. But now, God’s will was leading our worship to be a living sacrifice. Overnight, we went from being an aunt and uncle to being a mom and dad. Our kids went from being cousins to siblings. And instead of five people living in a house together, there were now ten.
I used to think worship was just the goose bumps I felt during slow songs, but God showed me true worship isn’t something I go out and do; it’s something I live. True worship begins when I place my life on the altar—seven days a week, 24 hours a day, offering myself as a living sacrifice to God.
Most of us long to know what God created us to do and have a desire for Him to reveal His will for our lives. In
the Apostle Paul gives us three steps to knowing His good, acceptable and
perfect will for our lives. First, give your life to Him daily as a sacrifice.
In other words, develop a consistent prayer life, so you daily give God your
life and ask Him for help to live like His (Matthew 16:25). Second, give up
your natural, carnal nature that is like the world. The only way you can do
that is through God’s grace—the supernatural power that enables you to do what
truth demands (1Corinthians 2:12–16). Finally, give in to allowing the Lord to
change you by daily washing yourself with the Word of God, because the truth
you know sets you free (John 8:32).
No matter who you are or what you’re doing, your life is worship. And as I learned, worship isn’t something you go and do; it’s something you live. When we live in God’s will, we learn to be thankful for Him and His promises. We know it’s not us that does anything; it’s Christ who lives within us. So I urge you, go out today and be “living worship” as you allow His will to be done through you.
God makes no promise life will be fair
But He does promise He’ll take you through every storm because He cares
If you’re struggling with past hurts and pain
Lay down your life and you will gain
Far greater than your eyes can fathom
The glorious hope His love has ransomed
Don’t let yourself be deceived
You serve a master every day in word and in deed
So willfully give your life up for His
And receive the reward of being living worship for Him
Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your book and life with us today.
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