Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

ROB BELL Teams Up With LOST Co-Creator Carlton Cuse To Produce New TV Show Called STRONGER

 

Carlton Cuse has teamed with author/pastor Rob Bell for Stronger, a drama project with spiritual overtones, which has been sold to ABC via ABC Studios in a hefty script deal. Stronger, which the former Lost co-showrunner and the founder of Michigan’s Mars Hill Bible Church are co-writing and executive producing, revolves around Tom Stronger, a musician and teacher, and his spiritual journey as he becomes a benefactor and guide to others. Music is expected to be a big part of the show, which features autobiographical elements as Bell is a former musician and played with rock/gospel bands in the 1990s.

Cuse and Bell met at the 2011 Time 100 gala — Bell was a 2011 honoree and Cuse had been on the magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010. The two immediately hit it off and soon concocted the idea for Stronger. While spiritual, Stronger won’t be supernatural. It will touch on the spiritual side of people’s lives much like the final season of Lost did and like Bell has done in his career as a pastor speaking to congregations of more than 10,000. Bell last week announced that he will be leaving the Mars Hill Bible Church in December to move with his family to Los Angeles. The series with Cuse is one of many things Bell plans to pursue, including touring and writing more books. (His most recent tome, Love Wins, is currently on the New York Times bestseller list.) Bell’s expertise is expected to add authenticity to the project, which won’t be straight and square like previous spiritual network offerings, including Touched By An Angel and 7th Heaven, and is also expected to feature a healthy dose of humor. Because the genre is missing from TV at moment, the networks have pursued projects with spiritual elements. Marc Cherry’s Hallelujah was picked up to pilot at ABC last season and is currently being redeveloped. In addition to Stronger, Cuse has another project, Civil War drama Point of Honor, in development at ABC.

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September 29, 2011

CHRISTY NOCKELS In Studio Working On New Album (PICTURES)

Christy Nockels, worship leader and recording artist on Louie Giglio’s sixstepsrecords, is hard at work finishing her new album.

“Making a record this week some amazing fellas” Nockels tweeted a few days ago and shared this picture below.

 

 

The “amazing fellas” she’s referring to I think is Chris Tomlin and his band, who can be seen in the photograph.

A few days later the singer tweeted: “Feel like I’m leaving camp as we wrap up this first part of recording, thank you to all who are making this the best experience ever!”

Chris Tomlin, tweeted the same week: “At the studio with Christy Nockels listening to the beginnings of her new record. a new sound, a new day. So good. Can’t wait for u to hear.”

 

According to reports, the new record will be titled, “Knock, Knock, Knocking On Nockels Door.”

 

September 28, 2011

ROB BELL Addresses MARS HILL CHURCH Sunday About His Reason For Leaving

 

Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, stood before his 7,000-member congregation Sunday to discuss his departure from the ministry he founded more than 12 years ago.

Telling Mars Hill Bible Church members that they would “be fine,” Bell spent much of his half-hour sermon discussing the new calling he felt had been placed on his life to “share God’s love” in new ways, according to ABC 13.

That new calling for his life involves moving his family to Los Angeles within the year to undertake several projects, which include penning more books and undertaking speaking engagements, such as his “Fit to Smash Ice Tour” in Canada and the U.S.

Bell, 41, also informed the Mars Hill congregation that he would not be starting a new church.

According to congregants who posted their reactions on Twitter, Bell’s remarks were very emotional. “To be honest with you, I thought I would die here, but that’s not really the right way to say it… Change is a form of loss,” Bell said, according to Heidi Fenton. Chris Zoladz, also tweeted Bell as saying, “We serve a big God and none of this is shocking to him. All we can do is embrace a future that is going to be brilliant.”

The Love Wins author attempted to comfort worried congregants at the Grandville church about his departure by telling them, “You are going to be fine.”

Bell, who received a standing ovation as he concluded his remarks Sunday, will continue preaching at Mars Hill Bible Church until he departs in December.

Mars Hill staff members made the announcement Thursday that Bell had resigned, revealing in a statement:

The news had attracted so much attention that Mars Hill Bible Church’s website suffered a crash that same night.

Bell’s recent book was so concerning to many evangelicals that some released their own writings to counter Bell’s claims about hell. Among them, Francis Chan recently released Erasing Hell, Mark Galli authored God Wins: Heaven, Hell, and Why the Good News Is Better than Love Wins, and a group of theologians including R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and J.I. Packer collaborated for Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go to Heaven?

Still, some applauded Bell’s work, calling it timely and prophetic.

Bell will be traveling across the U.S. and Canada in November for his “The Fit to Smash Ice Tour.” On his official website, Bell says “Fit to Smash” will involve “several hours of entirely new content I haven’t given before, exploring all the exhilarating ways we stumble and fumble and fail and bleed and limp along and just how good and sacred and thrilling it all is.”

Shane Hipps, the Michgan church’s co-pastor, will continue preaching after Bell’s departure. Hipps joined Mars Hill as a teaching pastor in early 2010.

 

September 28, 2011

LECRAE RELEASES NEW REHAB DELUXE ALBUM NATIONWIDE

 

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (September 27, 2011) – Today, Reach Records’ Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Lecrae is releasing the newly-formatted REHAB Deluxe. In this latest installment, Lecrae offers Rehab Deluxe, which includes the Grammy-nominated RehabRehab: The Overdose, previously unreleased tracks and a documentary chronicling Lecrae’s life and story of rehabilitation. In conjunction with the re-release, an exclusive offer is also available nationwide at Target this week featuring Rehab Deluxe at $9.99 which includes two additional songs (Finally Free ft. J. Paul and Hope ft. Coffee).

The new package features the smash “Hallelujah” and encourages listeners to keep pursuing Christ who brings freedom from our past experiences and present struggles. An album full of conviction, Rehab Deluxe features new powerful songs like “Wish it Wasn’t True” and “Jesus Muzik Dubstep Remix by Karac.”

The 4th project for Lecrae, REHAB is a straight up call to conviction in real life through its unique style and lyrical content. Lecrae gets support from Sho Baraka, Trip Lee, Tedashii, Pro, J.R., Benjah and many others along the journey towards restoration–with several memorable collaborations. PK, CheeseBeats, J.R., and Benjah contribute on production and sonically, help take the listener along a soul-full ride.

“My hope is that people will not just gain practical insight for their lives, but they would find real sympathy from myself and mostly in the High Priest who sympathizes with us—Jesus,” says Lecrae.

Having established himself as the frontrunner of Christian Rap, Lecrae returned in 2010 with an album whose influence extended into mainstream media and culture. REHAB, arguably his most heartfelt album to date, broke into the Billboard Top 200 Albums debuting at No. 17, while reaching No. 3 on the Top 10 Albums chart on iTunes. With an offering of rehabilitation found in Christ alone, Lecrae also maintained his established base, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Christian chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart. The impact of this album continues to spread across the globe, receiving nominations for several awards including a Grammy for Best Rock/Rap Gospel album.

With the influence of his groundbreaking album REHAB continuing to expand, Lecrae is gearing up for a nationwide tour in support of the new release. The REHAB Tour, featuring performances and also new music from label mate Trip Lee, emergent CHH artist Thi’sl and newcomer C-Lite, is an eight-city tour and will be kicking off in Indianapolis, IN on September 29, 2011.

REHAB 2011 Tour dates:

Date Location
September 29, 2011 Indianapolis, IN
September 30, 2011 Grand Rapids, MI
October 1, 2011 Cincinnati, OH
October 2, 2011 Pittsburgh, PA
October 6, 2011 Columbus, OH
October 7, 2011 Memphis, TN
October 8, 2011 Birmingham, AL
October 9, 2011 Charlotte, NC

For further information and a list of upcoming Reach Records and ReachLife Ministries events, please visit http://reachrecords.com/. For more information about ReachLife please visit http://reachlife.org/.

About Reach Records and ReachLife Ministries
Reach Records and ReachLife Ministries strive to, “bridge the gap between biblical truth and urban context.” Founded in 2003, Reach Records is a Christian music record label dedicated to using music as a means of reaching the urban community in a biblically sound way. While Reach Records employs music to reveal biblical truth, ReachLife Ministries aims to empower ministry leaders with this music in order to grow the urban church.

 

 

 

September 28, 2011

JESUS CULTURE To Release AWAKENING: Live From Chicago!

Jesus Culture To Release 'Awakening: Live From Chicago'

 

One of the world’s top worship bands Jesus Culturewill release a new full-length live album on 29th November 2011. Recorded live over three days in Chicago at Jesus Culture’s Awakening 2011 conference, ‘Awakening: Live From Chicago‘ will be the band’s sixth full-length album and follows last year’s well received ‘Come Away‘ live album.

Awakening: Live From Chicago‘ will feature worship songs by the Jesus Culture Band as well as songs from Jake Hamilton, Kristene DiMarco, and Byran & Katie Torwalt. “Live From Chicago is a highly anticipated release and is sure to ignite a generation of passionate worshippers across the globe”, says EMI CMG. The album is currently being mixed by Sam Gibson (Hillsong United, Delirious?, Pearl Jam, Crowded House).

Jesus Culture Band began as the local youth group worship team led by Banning Liebscher when he was youth pastor at Bethel Church. The band consists of Kim Walker-Smith and Chris Quilala along with Jeffrey Kunde (lead guitar), Brandon Aaronson (bass), Ian McIntosh (keys) and Josh Fisher (drums). In 2006 Jesus Culture Band recorded their first album ‘Everything‘.

A European Tour by Jesus Culture kicks off in London later this month. The band will perform at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo, on 24th September and then visit Amsterdam, Netherlands (27th Sept), Kolding, Denmark (28th), Berlin, Germany (30th), Budapest, Hungary (2nd Oct), Zurich, Switzerland (4th) and Paris, France (5th).

‘Awakening: Live From Chicago’ Track Listing (Not Final):
01. You Are Glorious
02. He Is Faithful
03. Break Every Chain
04. Father of Lights
05. Fill Me Up
06. Dance
07. My Everything
08. Burning Ones
09. The Anthem

September 26, 2011

Congratulations To Chris and Lauren Tomlin On The Birth of Their Baby Girl! (PICTURES)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are so excited here at Awaken Generation to congratulate proud parents Chris and Lauren Tomlin on the birth of their baby girl Ashlyn Alexandra Tomlin!

A big congratulations to the lucky parents from all of us here.

Ashlyn was born on Thursday, 22 September 2011.  Both Mother and Baby are doing great.

According to Chris, the name ‘Ashlyn’ means dream, because they have pray that she has great dreams for her generation.

September 24, 2011

Hillsong Australia Hard At Work Preparing To Record New 2012 Live Album TOGETHER AS ONE

Hillsong Prepare To Record New Live Album 'Together As One'

 

Australian mega-church Hillsong will record their latest live album on 30th October 2011 at a special event taking place in the Allphones Arena in Sydney. The album, to be titled ‘Together As One‘, will be the twenty-first in the annual live praise and worship albums from the Hillsong Church.

Each year Hillsong record and release a live album featuring new worship music from the Hillsong team, which includes Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, Ben Fielding, Darlene Zschech and Hillsong United.

The latest Hillsong live album, ‘God Is Able‘, was released in July 2011. Since 1992, Hillsong Live has resourced the local church and received gold and platinum album status multiple times, writing such well known worship songs as ‘Shout To The Lord‘, ‘Inside Out‘, ‘Hosanna‘, ‘The Stand‘ and ‘Mighty to Save‘, awarded the 2009 Dove for Worship Song of the Year and currently the Number 1 CCLI song in the USA and Canada.

September 23, 2011

JUDAH SMITH Guest Post: The Reason God Has Continued To Grow The City Church In Seattle

September 23, 2011

ROB BELL RESIGNS FROM MARS HILL CHURCH !!!!

 

Mars Hill

Rob Bell announced today that he has decided to leave Mars Hill Church, the Grandville megachurch he and his wife founded 12 years ago, to focus on a broader audience, the church announced today.

Shane Hipps, author of Flickering Pixels will take over for Bell during spring 2012 after Bell finishes his series on Acts in December.

The church released the following statement on its site:

Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor Rob Bell, has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.

It is with deeply mixed emotions that we announce this transition to you. We have always understood, encouraged, and appreciated the variety of avenues in which Rob’s voice and the message of God’s tremendous love has traveled over the past 12 years. And we are happy and hopeful that as Rob and Kristen venture ahead, they will find increasing opportunity to extend the heartbeat of that message to our world in new and creative ways.

 

Bell’s ignited a firestorm in the evangelical world earlier this year when he released his book “Love Wins.”  In it he questioned the traditional Christian view of hell, arguing that hell was not eternal. He wrote that people could choose to leave hell if if they wanted too.  This view drew the ire of some of the most influential evangelical leaders including John Piper. After seeing a video promoting “Love Wins,” Piper tweeted “Farewell Rob Bell” on his Twitter account. That set off a furious online debate about the book. The controversy helped propel it to the number two spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

 

Bell founded Mars Hill Bible Church in 1999, spending 18 months gathering in a school gymnasium before expanding to a former mall in Grandville, Mich. The church seats about 3,500 and holds two Sunday morning services. Bell was formerly an assistant pastor at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Other prominent pastors and leaders, including Francis Chan, N. T. Wright, and Jim Belcher, have left their church positions in the past few years to pursue broader activities.

Below Is The Full Text of Mars Hill Church’s Statement:

To our community of attendees, listeners, and supporters:

The infamous quote “change is the only constant” certainly holds true at Mars Hill. We have experienced ongoing changes that have improved and transformed—as well as at times unintentionally created tension or heartache within our community. And now, we have another significant change to hold together.

Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor Rob Bell, has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.

It is with deeply mixed emotions that we announce this transition to you. We have always understood, encouraged, and appreciated the variety of avenues in which Rob’s voice and the message of God’s tremendous love has traveled over the past 12 years. And we are happy and hopeful that as Rob and Kristen venture ahead, they will find increasing opportunity to extend the heartbeat of that message to our world in new and creative ways.

Rob and Kristen started Mars Hill and helped create a church that removes the barriers to meeting Jesus. And while we recognize that no one person defines a community, we acknowledge the impact of Rob’s leadership, creativity, and biblical insights on our lives, and face a deep sadness at the loss of their presence in our community.

Rob will be addressing our community in both Gatherings on Sunday, September 25, to describe his journey and call to pursue a new venture. For the remainder of this year, he will be teaching our Acts Series several times with his last teaching being in December.

As we plan for the future, Shane Hipps will continue to teach our community and we will be inviting other familiar voices to teach on Sundays during the spring of 2012.

We continue to be amazed by the grace and trust of the community we serve. Your voice and heart will be important elements of how we move forward together as a community of believers. We invite you to continue on this journey with us and ask that you would join us in prayer while we carefully discern what lies ahead for the Mars Hill community.

Grace and Peace,

The Elder Team, Ministry Leadership Team, and staff of Mars Hill

Our thoughts and prayers of all of us here at Awaken Generation Blog go out to Rob and his family during this time of transition.

September 22, 2011

Chris August adds ‘Living Room’ tour to summer fun for K-LOVE

 

Fervent Records’ multi-award winning artist Chris August has always loved spending his few days of summer vacation at home surrounded by friends. But, this summer he joined K-LOVE in honoring special families by filling his days off with intimate performances at their homes as part of his first “Living Room” tour. K-LOVE listeners had the unique opportunity to win one of only five intimate concerts for a local family in need or a family with a unique story, spreading the neighborhood ministry. Traveling nationwide the week of 8/22, August lent his talents to celebrate with and encourage communities in Indianapolis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, and Denver. The performance in Oklahoma City was not the typical family living room as the show was held at Fort Sill army base with about 30 soldiers and their families. The highlight of the day was when K-LOVE winner Bruce Chim presented August with personalized army fatigues and a plaque to commemorate his performance. The concert crowds ranged in size from an intimate group of 20 to a full on block party with over 350 neighbors gathered around to see August’s live performance featuring his smash hits “Starry Night” and “7×70” as well as his current single “Battle.” These fan-favorite tunes are from his award-winning debut albumNo Far Away co-produced by August and Ed Cash and available everywhere now.

“It was an amazing experience,” Chris August stated, “I can’t say enough about how much it blessed me to be a part of these peoples lives.”

August will be playing a whole different string of venues this Fall as he opens for David Crowder*Band on their upcoming nationwide 33-city farewell tour, “The 7 Tour.” The tour kicks off on 9/28 in Austin, TX, and will wrap on 11/13 in Jackson, MS.

Fervent Records’ Chris August is quickly becoming a favorite in the CCM genre. With an impressive sweep at the 42nd Annual Dove Awards, he earned awards for “New Artist of the Year” and “Male Vocalist of the Year,” adding him to an elite group of only three artists in the history of the show who have received both awards. He also claimed the nod for “Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year” for his debut album No Far Awaythat he co-produced with acclaimed producer Ed Cash. The album delivered August’s debut single “Starry Night,” which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian/AC chart in September and stayed put for six weeks as well as the hit follow-up single “7×70,” launching this self-taught pianist, guitarist, and producer as an artist in his own right. Featuring a resonant collection of soulful pop-rock sing-alongs, touching balladry, and heart-on-sleeve lyricism, No Far Away has become the best-selling New Artist project released in 2010. A native of Dallas, TX, August previously toured as the keyboard player and opening act for pop sensation Ashlee Simpson and worked with Ryan Cabrera, Brian McKnight, and Jessica Simpson before shifting his focus to a solo career.

For more information and additional tour dates on Chris August, visitwww.ChrisAugustMusic.com.

September 21, 2011

DONALD MILLER GUEST POST: Learning to Love Your Flaws

 

 

Had a long talk tonight with a friend about our flaws, how as we were growing up we were fat or freckled or wore glasses, and about no matter how much we change, we still feel like that rejected kid. She wasn’t quite as chubby as I was (or still am!) but she still got made fun of in school. For both of us, the healing really came when we learned to accept ourselves as we were.

It’s a slow process, for sure, and for me it included forgiving myself without feeling sorry for myself, and deciding to enjoy life now, not “when I lose weight.”

 

For me, that was the beginning of a long journey of losing more than 150 pounds. I don’t always love my body, but I rarely if ever hate it anymore. I’ve come a long way from those times that, in high school, I’d stress about not fitting into my band uniform. It’s been an incredible journey. I never diet anymore, and I keep a closer check on the crap I tell myself than I do on the scale (though I confess I weigh every day as, for me, it’s healthy to see that number and accept it rather than hate it.)

I used to hate seeing pictures of me back when I was so much heavier, but now, I love them. I was a good guy back then. I was carrying around a lot more than weight and it only produced muscle. And being that big gave me a big heart. I’m grateful.

It’s true we impress people with our supposed perfections, but we connect with each other in our flaws.

I’d rather be connected than perfect. After talking to my friend tonight about our flaws, I’m going to bed connected. Feels pretty good. Hope you’ve got some folks to celebrate your flaws with too.

Thought this video from Caitlyn Crosby was great.

 

 

 

Feel free to share your very favorite flaws in the comments below!

 

September 21, 2011

MATT MAHER To Headline New “THE LOVE IN BETWEEN” Fall Tour Along With Guests One Sonic Society And All Sons & Daughters

 

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Sept. 15, 2011 – Eight-time GMA Dove Award nominee Matt Maher heads out on a coast-to-coast fall headlining tour, visiting more than 25 cities through late October. “The Love In Between” tour is named after Maher’s forthcoming Sept. 20 studio release, whose debut single, “Turn Around,” is currently impacting Christian radio.

Kicking off Sept. 15 in Longview, Texas, the first half of Maher’s tour will be sponsored by his own non-profit, Comm+Unity, and feature guest artists Essential Worship’s One Sonic Society as well as recent Integrity Music signing All Sons & Daughters. Compassion International will present the remaining tour dates, joined by award-winning singer/songwriter Laura Story and new Essential Records artist, labelmate Andy Cherry. Information about the tour can be found at http://mattmahermusic.com/tour/.

Among the tour’s key dates are a The Love In Between CD release show in Phoenix on Sept. 20 and a concert at The City National Grove of Anaheim (Anaheim, Calif.), host to several sell-out concerts including Ray Charles, Morrissey, Jill Scott, Cyndi Lauper, George Lopez, Merle Haggard, Jamie Foxx, Dropkick Murphys and Seal, among others, on Sept. 22.

Maher comments, “My hope for this tour is to bring together believers of all ages and denominations and provide a night where we can reconnect with God and each other; that we’d leave with a greater desire to see, in concrete ways, how connected we are meant to be.”

Interconnectedness is also a theme on Maher’s new album, along with the ideas of suffering, grace, redemption and hope. These concepts are neatly swaddled in a new folk-Americana “blue collar gospel’ sound, fusing rootsy, hook-laden tracks with compelling stories and undeniable truths. The project’s debut radio single “Turn Around,” is already connecting with listeners nationwide, climbing its way to No. 11 this week on the National Billboard Christian Audience chart and No. 10 on the Billboard AC Indicator chart. WONU-FM radio listener Jen comments, “The song is awesome. I think it has potential to reach non-Christians because it is realistic in its lyrics. Definitely play this one on the air.”

Greg Cassidy, JOY-FM music director and morning show host, also comments, “St. Louis is lovin’ the new Matt Maher tune! It’s hitting real people where they really are. From the 51-year-old woman in her seventh day of sobriety to the couple that have been pondering divorce…that simple reminder to ‘turn around” has made its point! Home run for Matt!”

To sample an audio stream of “Turn Around” and for an up-to-date tour itinerary visit http://www.mattmahermusic.com. Also follow Matt on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/mattmahermusic.

About Matt Maher
Matt Maher – worship leader, songwriter, singer and recording artist – has embraced his calling as a “musical missionary” to impact a global stage.

Maher is well known for writing moving worship anthems including “Your Grace Is Enough,” “As It Is In Heaven,” “I Will Rise,” “All To Us,” “Here For You,” “Hold Us Together” and “Christ Is Risen.” His songs have appeared among the top 10 ranked songs on the CCLI chart, marking their popularity in church services worldwide, while also being recorded by artists including Chris Tomlin, Audrey Assad, Matt Redman, and the Passion movement. Additionally “Alive Again” was selected by iTunes as the best Christian & Gospel song of 2009. Such popularity has prompted more than 350,000 career sales. National media exposure includes the covers of Breakaway and Christian Single, a live performance on “FOX & Friends,” and guest writer for Billboard magazine.

Maher sits on the board of directors for the Catholic youth organization, Life Teen, and is a staple writer with EMI CMG Publishing. Amid busy touring and writing schedules, he hosts WorshipTogether’s “New Song Café” and is an active, bylined contributor to The Washington Post’s “On Faith” section ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith), an interactive conversation on religion.

Maher is from St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada and currently resides in Mesa, Ariz. with his wife Kristin and son Conor. For more information on Matt Maher, visit http://www.mattmahermusic.com.

About Comm+Unity
Comm+Unity is a new non-profit organization started by Matt Maher with the objective to fund local relief organizations who might not otherwise have the opportunity to be publicly recognized.

About Compassion International
Compassion International is the world’s largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1.2 million children in 26 of the world’s poorest countries. Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works through local churches to holistically address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children – enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Compassion has been awarded ten consecutive, four-star ratings by Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.

September 20, 2011

PERRY NOBLE Guest Post: Ten Signs You Are Near A Burnout

 

My counselor shared a statistic with me two years ago that floored me…90% of the people entering ministry DO NOT RETIRE from ministry, they either quit or have some sort of moral/ethical failure that disqualifies them.

I’m not a rocket scientist…but I honestly do not believe that is what Jesus called us to OR what He wants for our lives.

AND yet so many of us (church leaders) struggle/wrestle with this (usually inwardly because if we said out loud that we are dying inside we fear that people may perceive us as weak!)

Here are ten signs that you are near a burnout and/or meltdown…

#1 – You are beginning to despise people and your compassion for them is continually decreasing rather than increasing.

#2 – You OFTEN think about doing something other than ministry…and your biggest desire isn’t to honor God and reach people but to simply find relief from the pressure that seems to be building daily inside of you.

#3 – You cannot remember the last time you simply had fun with family and friends…and joy is something you talk about but are not experiencing for yourself.

#4 – You are disconnected at home…when you get there you do not want to engage with your spouse or your children, you cannot enjoy being around them…you spend more time online than you do with your family…and you find yourself wanting to sleep all of the time.

#5 – You continually tell yourself and those you love that “this is just a really busy season and that you will slow down soon.”  (However, the truth is that you have been most likely “singing that same song” for years!)

#6 – You are continually becoming obsessed with what others say about you…and one negative comment from someone who does not like you can put you in an incredibly deep valley and cause you to feel hopeless.

#7 – You begin to make easy decisions rather than the right ones…because the right ones take too much work.

#8 – There is no hope in you…and, you actually despair life.  You have actually thought of death…and some have even entertained suicidal thoughts.

#9 – You are experiencing unexplained depression and/or anxiety.  You are even having panic attacks and you can’t explain it!

#10 – You are increasingly becoming withdrawn from family and friends.

“How did you come up with this list,” you ask…it’s quite simple, I went back to December 2007 until January of this past year and listed out the qualities that were the most prominent in my own life.  That’s right…my life!  I went through a trial of intense depression and anxiety during that time period and, the best way I can describe my life would be “dark!”

However, through me swallowing my pride and asking for help, the support of an incredible wife, the support of great friends and seeking out an incredible counselor…and the unbelievable mercy of God I broke free from my darkness this past January.  Oh sure, I still struggle with it more often than I wish I would…but I cannot tell you the incredible feelings of freedom and joy I’ve had since January that I haven’t had in YEARS!

And…this is the motivation for Reawaken – a one day worship/seminar for senior pastors, their wives and other church leaders as well.  It’s going to be an event where I am going to be talking about the things that pastors don’t talk about that often…how to overcome the desire to quit and actually get your passion/joy back at a level that you didn’t believe you could have.

ALSO…I am bringing in who I would consider to be THE BEST counselor on the planet for pastors and church leaders.  His name is Dr John Walker…and not only is he a licensed psychologist but he has also planted churches, pastored churches and served in nearly every capacity as a church staff member.  In others words…he understands our world.

It’s going to be an incredible day…in fact, it COULD be the day that the Lord uses to SAVE your ministry!  You can go here to find out more information about it...but I can tell you right now that it is going to be the most raw and real event that you will EVER attend.  AND…pastors, I am REALLY encouraging you to bring your spouse to this one!!!

God called us to do a lot of things for Him…but He did not call us to flame out or drop out.  I want what Paul said in II Timothy 4:7 to be true of all of us!  I want us to finish well!

September 20, 2011

‘TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS’ Presents “CHILDREND OF FIRE” TOUR In Partnership With Texas Rock Band “Oh, Sleeper”

 

September 19, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA – Fort Worth’s explosive heavy rock band OH, SLEEPER has announced a partnership with non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms to present the Children of Fire Tour, which kicks off October 27 in Little Rock, AR. The band will be joined by Greeley Estates, Ten After Two, At the Skylines and Secrets touring in support. Tickets are on-sale today (links are below).

“We are extremely excited to partner up with TWLOHA for this upcoming tour,” says guitarist James Erwin. “It’s an organization we’ve loved and supported for years now, so it’s cool to come together with them to help get the word out to our fans about TWLOHA. It’s an important issue, so hopefully this will help bring light to a situation that plagues so many youth today.”

“Over the past five years, we have found a home within the greater community of music,” adds TWLOHA spokesman Chad Moses. “Here, we have had some of our greatest opportunities to engage individuals and grow incredible friendships. We met the guys in OH, SLEEPER a few years ago at Cornerstone Festival, and they have since become some of our most visible supporters in the hard music scene. At TWLOHA, we value working closely with music we believe in, but beyond that we also get to work with musicians we firmly stand behind. I remember vividly an interaction between Micah and a young fan directly following their set at Cornerstone. The young man approached an exhausted Micah and simply expressed gratitude for the honest nature of their debut album When I Am God. He said that some of those songs kept him going and were the reason he did not die by suicide. Immediately, Micah stood up, gave the fan a bear hug and said, “We are honored to have you as a fan. Thank you for staying alive! Never give up!””

“Who wouldn’t want to collaborate with guys like that?,” continues Moses. “They are creating music because they have a message to spread and fans they love. It is clear that we are all working toward the same thing: spreading hope. OH, SLEEPER’s creativity and personality have had TWLOHA’s support for years now, and this Fall, we have the chance to work together on their tour for the release of Children of Fire. The new album exists in a world full of questions, a world which many of us relate to on some level. The hope with this tour is to start a conversation and let the people in the audience know they are not alone, that their story is important and their life matters, that hope is real and help exists.”

OH, SLEEPER unleashed their third studio album, Children of Fire, digitally on September 6 and will release the album on CD on September 27. The much anticipated release has set message boards, blogs and websites on fire with grassroots buzz and has garnered rave reviews across the board.

To Write Love on Her Arms:
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inspire, inform, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. Since its start in 2006, TWLOHA has donated over $850,000 directly into treatment and recovery and answered over 160,000 emails from over 100 countries. http://www.twloha.com/

 

###

 

OH, SLEEPER Tour Dates:
Oct 27 – Little Rock, AR – Downtown Music
Oct 28 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Conservatory
Oct 29 – Rogers, AR – Pinnacle Hills Cross Church Oct 30 – St. Louis, MO – Fubar
Oct 31 – Omaha, NE – Sokol Underground
Nov 3 – St. Paul, MN – Station 4
Nov 4 – La Crosse, WI – Warehouse
Nov 5 – Joliet, IL – Mojoes
Nov 6 – Toledo, OH – Frankies
Nov 7 – Jamestown, NY – Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena
Nov 8 – Annapolis, MD – Knights of Columbus
Nov 10 – Richmond, VA – Kingdom
Nov 11 – Lynchburg, VA – Cross Point Venue
Nov 12 – North Charleston, SC – The Wharehouse
Nov 13 – Jacksonville, FL – Murray Hill Theatre
Nov 14 – Lake Wales, FL – Club DeCosey Nov 15 – Douglasville, GA – The 7 Venue
Nov 16 – Chattanooga, TN – The Warehouse Venue
Nov 17 – Nashville, TN – Rocketown (White Building)
Nov 18 – Tupelo, MS – Good Time Charlies
Nov 19 – Baton Rouge, LA – North Gate Tavern
Nov 20 – Waco, TX – Art Ambush/Runt Entertainment

For More Information:
https://www.facebook.com/ohsleeper
http://www.myspace.com/ohsleeper
http://twitter.com/weareohsleeper
http://www.twloha.com/

 

September 19, 2011

My Top Five TV Characters Of All Time

 

 

When it comes to TV Shows, I prefer sitcoms any day of the week over anything else.  I can watch the same episode 60 times and still love it and want to watch it again.  So I was thinking now the other day about who I think are my favorite TV characters of all time and I think I came up with a top five list that I think is on the money.

 

So My Favorite TV Characters Of All Time Are:

1.  Cosmo Kramer (Seinfeld)

2.  George Costanza (Seinfeld)

3.  Ross Gellar (Friends)

4.  Frank Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)

5.  Martin Crane (Frasier)

 

Who’s on your top five list?

 

September 16, 2011

Cool Song Fridays: AWAKENING Passion Cover Performed By Hillsong

 

In this week’s edition of Cool Song Fridays, I want to introduce to one of my favorite songs of the last few months called “Awakening.”  If you’re familiar with the Passion Movement (Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin etc.) then you’ve heard this song before, but if not you’re in for a cool surprise.  This version that I love, however, is a cover version of this song performed by Hillsong on their latest release “God Is Able.”  It’s the last track on the album and truly a gem.

 

September 15, 2011

DENVER BRONCOS Fans Boo QB Kyle Orton Live On Monday Night Football And Chant “We Want Tebow, We Want Tebow!”

 

First of all, let me open this post by saying that I’m a huge Tim Tebow fan.  I want him to succeed in the NFL like no one else (besides Colt McCoy).  So like many other Tebow fans I’m disappointed that we don’t get see him play every week.  In other words, I want Tebow to be the starter.  I think he’ll surprise everyone with just how impressive he is if given the chance.  Sure he’ll have to go through a learning slump but that’s just part of the process.  It’s not that I have anything against Kyle Orton or that I want him to fail, it’s just that I really really want Tim Tebow to succeed.

And it’s because of this that I had a big laugh while watching The Broncos vs The Raiders on Monday Night Football when I heard the Broncos fans Boo Orton and chant “We Want Tebow, We Want Tebow!!!”

The booing of Orton started early in the fourth quarter, shortly after a 1-yard run by Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell gave the Raiders a touchdown that put them in firm control against the Broncos.  The chants for Tebow were first heard with 6 minutes remaining in the game, even as Orton was marching the Broncos toward the end zone in an effort to rally his teammates from a 10-point deficit.  And when Broncos coach John Knox, was asked about the QB situation after the game he ignored the question.

If I could offer my two cents about the whole Tebow debacle:  Here’s the thing—I think given the chance and the right amount of time Tim Tebow would blow everyone away with just how good he is.  But so far he hasn’t been given the chance, so as a result I don’t think any criticism of him is justified.  Even his game time in the preseason games wasn’t fair in terms of seeing what he can do.  Because first of all, the Broncos kept running the ball – 2 out of every 3 downs they ran the ball leaving Tebow one chance per drive to throw the ball, meaning that if he didn’t make that pass they’d have to punt.  So he’d essentially get 2 or 3 chances to throw the ball the whole half of the quarter.  There’s no way that’s enough time to see what Tebow can do.

Of course Tebow’s success will mean nothing to those who don’t like him, even if they don’t know why.  Either way, in the end coach John Knox can’t ignore or drown out the call of the masses of Broncos faithfuls.  That’s a call he’ll have to answer one time or another.

September 14, 2011

REBECCA ST. JAMES PRESENTS “PURITY & WORSHIP TOUR” FALL 2011

 

(NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE) –September 13, 2011 –Salem Radio will present Grammy® Award winning Christian artist Rebecca St. James as the headlining force on the “Purity & Worship Tour” being presented nationally this fall in major Salem Radio broadcast markets across the U.S.

The concert dates will begin September 16 and 17 in Colorado Springs and Denver markets and continue through December. Salem Radio affiliates in Washington, DC, Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Omaha, San Antonio, and Houston are already committed with additional host cities being added.

The “Purity & Worship Tour” is being presented as an unplugged, acoustic evening of music and ministry geared to offer family themed entertainment, content, and messaging from one of Christian music’s most articulate contemporary voices.

The “purity” theme of the evening is designed to attract young people and their parents—mothers and daughters in particular, on a key issue of St. James’ messaging. Since the release of her signature song Wait For Me in 2000, the Australian born singer has been a major voice for the purity and abstinence agenda who has consistently carried the message throughout her ministry in music, books, and film worldwide.

Salem Communications is a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values. Salem owns and/or operates approximately 95 radio stations –58 of which are in 23 of the top 25 radio markets nationally. Salem Radio Network® syndicates talk, news, and music programming to approximately 2,000 affiliates nationally.

About the tour presentation of Rebecca St. James, David Santrella, President of Salem’s Radio Division, notes:

“The message of purity and abstinence in today’s culture that is saturated by sexual imagery is perhaps one of the most important messages young women can hear. Rebecca St. James has been uniquely gifted with the ability to deliver through her music and her ministry, a message of sexual purity in a way that easily connects with parents and their daughters, helping to open the door to discussions which may not otherwise occur. Salem Communications is proud to be partnering with Rebecca to present The Purity & Worship Tour which will deliver that message in an entertaining and relatable way to our Salem markets nationwide.”

A key element of the “Purity & Worship Tour” will also be the presentation of her established music as well as new worship material from St. James’ latest album release I Will Praise You which debuted this spring as her first studio project under a new creative association with the Provident Label Group.

Now recognized also as a best-selling Christian author whose latest book on dating What Is He Thinking? (Hachette-Faithwords)will release nationally on September 26, St. James will also share a special screening segment of her pro life message film, “Sarah’s Choice” at the Salem events.

Joining Rebecca on the tour dates will be exciting new Contemporary Christian duo, For King & Country, whose debut single for Fervent Records “Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)” is now reaching national audiences via Christian radio.

Resource Rebecca St. James online: www.rsjames.com

September 13, 2011

JAMES DOBSON Recovering From Horseback Riding Fall

Focus on the Family founder and best-selling author James Dobson is recovering from a fall while horseback riding in Montana on Sept. 10.

Dobson broke several bones, according to his successor at Focus and the nonprofit organization’s president, Jim Daly. In his blog, Daly wrote that Dobson, 74, was “in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery.”

Dobson founded Focus in 1977, resigning in 2009 so that the ministry could be passed on to the next generation of leaders. In 2010, Dobson—along with his son, Ryan—launched his new radio program, “Family Talk.”

Dobson’s fall caused a fractured and fractured scapula, as well as several broken ribs, according to a “Family Talk” press release. “His condition is stable, and his spirits are good at this early stage in his recovery,” said his daughter, Danae Dobson. “Hospital tests revealed there is no internal bleeding or other complications.”

Dobson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002. Dobson also experienced a major stroke in 1998, making it hard for him to speak and articulate words during recovery. In 1990, he suffered a heart attack after one of his tri-weekly basketball games, which forced him to give up the sport.

Dobson’s books include The New Strong-Willed ChildFamily ManBringing Up Girls and Bringing Up Boys (all Tyndale House Publishers).

September 12, 2011

PHIL WICKHAM On New Album RESPONSE “When I See Different Aspects of God In Different Situations of Life, My Response To That Love Is Equally Varied”

 

After selling a quarter million albums and over a half million song downloads to date, a chart topping radio single, receiving accolades for his previous three efforts and being featured in major publications such as CCM, Relevant, Worship Leader and Christian Music Today, Fair Trade Services’ recording artist Phil Wickham returns October 4, with his latest album Response.

On his fourth release, Wickham provides listeners with eleven tracks that seek to give a voice to humanity’s acceptance of God’s love in any circumstance. In the same way that the Psalms offer expressions of joy, sorrow, repentance, hope and victory, Response gives a voice to the appreciation and adoration of God in every chapter of life.

“When I see the different aspects of who God is in different situations of life, my response to that love can be seen as jumping for joy where other times I respond by saying, ‘You are Holy and I am not,’ humbled and falling on my face,” Wickham describes.

For his previous three projects- Phil Wickham (2006); Cannons (2007) and Heaven & Earth (2009), Wickham worked solely with longtime friend and producer Pete Kipley (MercyMe, Matthew West, The Afters). On Response, Wickham invited reputable producer Brown Bannister (Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith) to co-produce the album as an intentional effort to stay true to the album’s theme of voicing a collective worshipful response to God.

“There are more musicians playing on the record than I normally work with,” Wickham says. “Multiple drummers, bass players, etc and I wrote with more people on this record hoping to have these songs be an expression of everybody’s heart not just mine.”

The first single from Response, “At Your Name (Yahweh, Yahweh),” is currently receiving airplay on 26 stations nationwide, including national networks KLOVE and American Family Radio. The song has already cracked the top 15 on the INSPO radio chart and is No. 35 on the National Christian Audience radio chart. In support of the track, Wickham has been out on the road visiting radio stations across the nation including stations in Nashville, TN; Charlotte, NC; Minneapolis, MN and Kansas City, MO.

In conjunction with the new release, Wickham will also tour around the country this fall playing his new single, other songs from Response and more.

For more information and a full list of tour dates please visit www.philwickham.com

September 10, 2011

Inpop Records Signs Multi-Award-Winning Artist Jaci Velasquez To Roster

 

With over four million albums sold worldwide, 16 No. 1 radio hits, seven GMA Dove Awards, and three RIAA certified Platinum and three Gold records to her credit, Jaci Velasquez has signed a record deal with Inpop Records. Her first project with the label, titled Diamond, is slated for a Feb. 7, 2012 release.

“I’m personally and professionally thrilled to welcome Jaci to our Inpop family,” states Andrew Patton, GM/VP, Inpop Records. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jaci and her team for more than a decade, and to reunite and bring her new music to the world is an immense honor. Jaci has been and continues to be the driving positive force in the Latin music community, and her reach in and through the CCM world is also long and sustaining. Having the ability to link arms with any artist with such a broad foundational platform is a win-win out of the box for us.”

Taking a few years off to marry fellow musician Nic Gonzales (Salvador) and have two children, Zealand and Soren, Velasquez is returning to her career with a frenzy of activity. In addition to the upcoming release of Diamond, she is writing a new book and is starring in two new films, “The Encounter” and “Jerusalem Countdown,” both slated to release this year. And in the midst of all of this she manages to co-host Salem Broadcasting’s syndicated network show, “Your Family Friendly Morning Show With Doug & Jaci Velasquez,” which reaches more than 1.5 million listeners nationwide every week.

“I am so excited to be with Inpop,” exclaims Velasquez. “There are many new, creative, and talented faces in the Inpop family that I very much look forward to working alongside. This is in addition to a number of familiar faces that I have worked well with in the past, so it’s like a family reunion, but better! The way I look at it, it’s the best of both worlds.”

September 8, 2011

JOHN PIPER To Release New Book On Racism & The Power Of The Cross Called Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, September 30th, 2011

John Piper is releasing a new book on racism later this month wherein he candidly talks about his own past racial prejudice and the power of the Cross to overcome racial prejudice in all its forms.  He begins Bloodlines with a confession of his own sins and experience with racial tensions, and shares about the journey of transformation God has taken him and his Church on, on this deeply personal yet controversial subject.

“I grew up In Greenville, South Carolina, where enforced segregation was almost absolute,” he writes.  Comparing his world to that of Jesse Jackson, who lived just across town, he observed that it was no wonder Jackson attended a liberal theological institution rather than a fundamental or evangelical school in the South, which were “committed to segregation.”

Despite his racist tendencies, Piper had an affection for Lucy, a black woman who came to clean the family’s home every week. His mother, a “gutsy Yankee fundamentalist,” invited Lucy to their church for his sister’s wedding—a daring move in 1962 when the congregation had voted not to allow blacks into services. Piper’s mother was the lone voice against the motion.

Along with his mother’s good example, Piper was strongly affected by a comment by an Urbana missions convention speaker in favor of interracial marriage. God’s work in his life regarding his racist attitudes continued at Fuller Seminary and beyond.

Today, working in an urban parish, he doesn’t see himself as a model multi-ethnic pastor, but his congregation is intentionally aiming for greater diversity, and not long after he turned 50, he and his wife, Noel, adopted an African-American little girl.

Piper wrote Bloodlines with the aim of seeing Christ-followers learn to live “the kind of lives that advance the cause of Christ-exalting racial diversity and Spirit-enabled racial harmony.” He sees the gospel as “the only sufficient power for this effort, and the only power that in the end will bring the bloodlines of race into the single bloodlines of the cross.”

He devotes much of the book to the gospel remedy for racism, and addresses the Reformed church, acknowledging that some of its representatives have not always been good examples of racial reconciliation.

Piper also warns against another extreme—making race an idol. “Some churches have never taken the first baby steps in thinking biblically about race and ethnicity. Others devote so much focus to it that people get sick of the issue, and backlash sets in,” he writes, urging a God-centered balance.

In Bloodlines, Piper enables readers to grasp the reality and extent of racism, and then he demonstrates from Scripture how the light of the gospel penetrates the darkness of this destructive sin.

To order Bloodlines, call 800-323-3890, or visit www.crossway.com or find it on amazon here.

September 7, 2011

HEART BLEEDS LYRICS JOHN MARK MCMILLAN

We could be reveling
Forever in the love you bring
And we could be wasted on
You and not count it lost

Like fools in love
We’re bound to make a scene

Our hearts bleed for you, oh
Our hearts bleed for you, oh
Our hearts bleed, our hearts bleed
For you

We could burn down the days
Inside the light of your face
And we could throw the years away
And not regret the price we paid

Like fools in love
We’re bound to make a scene

Our hearts bleed for you, oh
Our hearts bleed for you, oh
Our hearts bleed, our hearts bleed
For you

You have loved alive the dead and gone
And filled our thirsty veins with blood and song

Our hearts bleed for you, oh
Our hearts bleed for you, oh
Our hearts bleed, our hearts bleed
For you

September 7, 2011

SHEET OF NIGHT LYRICS JOHN MARK MCMILLAN

 

The devil’s dealing dirty

In broken hearts and counterfeit currency

The living isn’t easy

When a heart’s regret can tax the air you breathe

 

But like diamonds we shine

Up against the sheet of night

The jet-black sheet of night

We overtake the cityscapes

We scale the heights

We break but we don’t die

 

Whoa we’ve got a blood

We’ve got a love that’ll brave the flood

Whoa we’ve got a blood

We’ve got a love that’ll brave…

 

The cold will leave you guilty

And the wind will shake you like a tambourine

The dogs will leave you hungry

And your superiors will tax the blood you bleed

 

But like diamonds we shine

Up against the sheet of night

The jet-black sheet of night

We overtake the cityscapes

We scale the heights

We break but we don’t die

 

Whoa we’ve got a blood

We’ve got a love that’ll brave the flood

Whoa we’ve got a blood

We’ve got a love that’ll brave the flood

 

But like diamonds we shine

Up against the sheet of night

The jet-black sheet of night

We overtake the cityscapes

We scale the heights

We break but we don’t die

 

The devil’s dealing dirty

In broken hearts and counterfeit…

 

September 6, 2011

PRO BEAUTIFUL LYRICS (FEATURING PK)

Something like my maker

I say you the best

I know you can’t see it all by yourself

But you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

‘Cause God ain’t made you like anybody else

Don’t let nobody tell you that you anything less

‘Cause you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, yeah

 

She check out her reflection in the mirror

But some reason,

She don’t see that beauty is in the picture

Thinking her image flawed

‘Cause he ain’t made her like these models

Or her figure’s a mistake, He only making Coke bottles

Naw, C-C-Coke bottles are plastic

Mannequins are plastic but you are fantastic

She don’t believe it so it’s driving her insane

This diet don’t seem to work,she eating to ease the pain

The world tell her that somehow she doesn’t matter besides,

The perfect girls live happily ever after.

No idea she been crafted by the master,

Uniquely in His image baby. That is no disaster!

 

Something like my maker

I say you the best

I know you can’t see it all by yourself

But you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

‘Cause God ain’t made you like anybody else

Don’t let nobody tell you that you anything less

‘Cause you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, yeah

 

She begging for a hero

But villains is all she see though

Thinks she’s less than other people, she is a size zero

Her ribs touching, not cuz of a lack of food

But after every meal, she heads to the bathroom

Stick her finger down her throat, thinking that will give her hope

If her weight will never grow, maybe they will love her more

On a journey to acceptance, ’cause she ain’t been there before

She ain’t perfect, and commercials do they best to let her know

But if she only knew who she was in God’s view

Made his children with a purpose, girl and that includes you

Let this statement give you comfort boo, ’cause that includes truth

God is in love with you, you ain’t gotta look far for proof.

 

Something like my maker

I say you the best

I know you can’t see it all by yourself

But you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

‘Cause God ain’t made you like anybody else

Don’t let nobody tell you that you anything less

‘Cause you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, yeah

 

I wrote this for you, this is your song

You his baby doll, I know I ain’t wrong

Beauty’s from the creator, and it ain’t measured in weight

You are great just how you are, I don’t care what that TV say

Your DNA is complete, His artistry is in your genes

That don’t make Him less creative ’cause you don’t fit in them jeans

You ain’t got a clue the way He see you, this planet is his canvas,

And you his Mona Lisa…

 

Something like my maker

I say you the best

I know you can’t see it all by yourself

But you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

‘Cause God ain’t made you like anybody else

Don’t let nobody tell you that you anything less

‘Cause you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, yeah

 

September 6, 2011

PRO NO LIMITS LYRICS

[Hook- Rio]

We know (We know)

That you’re on our side

We go (Yea, yea)

Ain’t no limit to where we go (No, No)

If we let you have control (Yea)

Ain’t no limit (limit) (Naw, Naw)

No, no, no, no (Repeat multiple times)

 

[Verse 1 – PRo]

I’m looking down on the sky

soaring on out of the atmosphere

Let me educate you boy

if you don’t know what’s happening here.

I’ve been riding in my lane ever since

I let Him steer.

Leaving all my troubles

I don’t plan on going back this year. (Nu uh)

That’s the only option

no matter what you tell me.

Keep Freddie out my dreams

no nightmare on Elm Street.

Couldn’t beat this kryptonite

I used to be a loser

Hooked on Lex Luther

Now I’m super-duper.

(?) in community and looked at (?)

Now we marvel at His glory

you can call us X-Men.

I’ve been called to duty

Christ made me a soldier.

Even if I don’t win it

He holds the controller.

 

[Hook – Rio]

We know (We know)

That you’re on our side

We go (Yea, yea)

Ain’t no limit to where we go (No, No)

If we let you have control (Yea)

Ain’t no limit (limit) (Naw, Naw)

No, no, no, no (Repeat multiple times)

 

[Verse 2 – PRo]

Now I ain’t mystical,

but I ain’t the same since they done (?)

You can tell me you all you want

but sin no longer master me

I let the gospel super shock em

hopefully you feel me

(?) you got the hook up

Holla if you hear me.

But I ain’t on that Block-O

(?) no longer (?)

Fighting everyday though

Just like Cain and Abel

Cause Christ was true to me

when your boy was dead wrong.

So I go hard for the body

get my Mr. Serve on.

Man I used to date the world

Thought we was in love fasho

Now she callin me her ex

I don’t fool with her no more.

Truth up in my heart.

I can live without it.

That’s just what I’m on.

Call me (?)

 

[Hook – Rio]

We know

That you’re on our side

We go

Ain’t no limit to where we go

If we let you have control

Ain’t no limit

No limit

No, no, no, no

 

[Bridge – Rio]

There’s no limit for me now.

Feels like I’m flying

and it don’t feel like I’m lowing down.

Cause I beleive You hold me up

You’ve got it all planned out.

You’re the controller

And once you’ve found me

No one can ever take me

 

[Verse 3 – PRo]

I ain’t gotta worry bout a thang.

You still got the rains.

Hit the target everytime

we know nothing’s out your range.

And even though them haters wanna block us like Mutombo

we keep fighting

claws scratchin’

Garauntee we ain’t gon run though.

And you can keep your box.

I put my faith in the ruler

See chains are for slaves.

Boy my name ain’t Kunta (No)

No more working on this plantation

My emancipation is true.

Keep on livin free

keep this Gospel in my roots

and yea they talkin

Blah, blah, blah

they yappin ain’t a factor

cause our faith is in Christ

He got our back like chiropractors.

All that hatin gotta moonwalk

and they movin but it’s backwards.

Cause God protects His children

He won’t lead us to disaster.

 

[Hook – Rio]

We know (We know)

That you’re on our side

We go (Yea, yea)

Ain’t no limit to where we go (No, No)

If we let you have control (Yea)

Ain’t no limit (limit) (Naw, Naw)

No, no, no, no (Repeat multiple times)

 

September 6, 2011

PRO GOING IN LYRICS (FEATURING LECRAE)

I’m going in (16x)

I’m goin’

Now that I’m up from the dead

Ain’t no way I’m turning back

I don’t like my grave no more

You you can have it back

I’m going in (8x)

I’m goin’

 

Hopping out my casket trading in my-my tuxedo

For this Unashamed Tee rep-rep-repping for my King though

I was dead and broken ’til maker He make me alive

Two bolts in my neck you-you can call me Frankenstein

I been set ablaze on the fire with the Flame

Well I’m not from the Louis but I got Clear-Sight

You see the way that we be living unashamed and it make em wanna ride

That’s why we fight

Why would I ever change my endeavor

Turn away from the faith I say never

Trials in my face is making me better

You can hate all you want but I bet I

Keep my nose to the grindstone long as the spirit live in me

The fruit I bear is proof He’s there through the fire purging me

They look and stare but I ain’t scared ain’t no way they merking me

And if they do His Word is true boy His blood has purchased me

 

I’m going in (16x)

I’m goin’

Now that I’m up from the dead

Ain’t no way I’m turning back

I don’t like my grave no more

You you can have it back

I’m going in (8x)

I’m goin’

 

I wish they would hold me back Don’t they see me grindin’?

They go’n have to turn my lights out I’m too content on shinin’

Ya my shoes may be clean but my fingers extra dirty

Got my hands to the plow if this music thing ain’t working

I don’t care about a plaque or a trophy bearing my name

I hock a loogie on the fame just tell em I’m Unashamed

Nothing odd about my future ‘cept the 3 within the Trinity

Only reason I’m doing this hey you ain’t gotta remember me

Mock me on the message boards drop me ’til I hit the floor

I’m just getting up and they won’t stop me ’til I’m with the Lord

Hey from my hood North Korea to Baghdad

If I get martyred tell my kids to follow their dad

 

I’m going in (16x)

I’m goin’

Now that I’m up from the dead

Ain’t no way I’m turning back

I don’t like my grave no more

You you can have it back

I’m going in

I’m going in (8x)

I’m goin’

 

Hello

I’m goin’ in this ain’t a game until the end I’m unashamed

Hey I been bought with a price this ain’t no longer my life

This thing is Deeper Than Rap that’s why I call it Blacklight

I’m goin’ in you already know passenger seat gon’ ride with the flow

But I take a back seat since He’s in the lead

Man I play the Background He’s in the starring role

Man that’s for real baby we Go Hard for the Lord up in His glory

With no Pause ’til the end call it curtain call

Man no game since it forfeit sin business call it corporate

Man I’m out this world cause He keep me going in circles Orbit

But He save’s and it’s clear that’s the reason I am here

So until my casket drop make Him known without no fear

 

I’m going in (16x)

I’m goin’

Now that I’m up from the dead

Ain’t no way I’m turning back

I don’t like my grave no more

You you can have it back

I’m going in (8x)

I’m goin’

 

 

September 6, 2011

PRO MERKED PT. 2 LYRICS

Ay. He think he Big Mitch, Larry Hoover.

Flippin’ work got him hit with the Ruger.

Chasin dough, tryna make a pizza pimp.

Now his brain’s blown – tomato sauce on a deep dish.

We invincible til we get made invisible.

This here is not difficult, everybody is killable.

You in these streets everyday while the world turn.

That’ll put you in the ground like an earthworm

See in this concrete jungle Satan is the zookeeper.

Put us on display and turn our pain to entertainment bruh.

Rappers manufacture stories, they aint never lived at all.

Then our children listen, emulate it, just so they can ball?

Nah I aint sayin a goon aint got the 9 on him.

Whip work, surge to the fiend so he can shine on em.

Buy that clean Chevy Biscayne just to flaunt it

’till he get hit with a Mac with no Apple on it

 

You say you in the kitchen steady whippin’ ’bout to make a killin’

Streets stack money to the ceiling, boy that’ll

Get your head bust, Merked, Get your head bust, Merked

Get your head bust, Merked, Get your head bust, Merked

You going hard for that paper, stuntin on them haters

Guarantee it’ll happen now or later, boy you gon’

Get your head bust, Merked, Get your head bust, Merked

Get your head bust, Merked, Get your head bust, Merked

 

Now you can catch him on the block, even when it’s hot

Got enough rocks to make, gravel parking lots

He on top, bet he ain’t gon’ stop

Don’t play with his guap, you know that’ll get you shot

His attitude like, forget you pay me

No iPhone, sling birds like they angry

Watch him get it, whip whip whip it

Plenty flour in the kitchen, but he ain’t cookin’ chicken

’till them folks kick in the door, tell him run me all that dough

And all that work, and all that perk is coming with me boy fo sho

What he holdin’ he cocking and start poppin’

’till that chopper turn his watermelon into fruit salad

Now what did he gain from all that hustlin’

Gave his whole life to the streets and got nothing

Pride will turn a fool into a G

That’s why you think like it won’t happen to me

 

You say you in the kitchen steady whippin’ ’bout to make a killin’

Streets stack money to the ceiling, boy that’ll

Get your head bust, Merked, Get your head bust, Merked

Get your head bust, Merked, Get your head bust, Merked

You going hard for that paper, statin on them haters

Guarantee it’ll happen now or later, boy you gon’

Get your head bust, Merked, Get your head bust, Merked

Get your head bust, Merked, Get your head bust, Merked

 

September 6, 2011

PRO STRONGER LYRICS

I go harder

Cause I done been knocked down again

But what don’t kill me that make me stronger

Stronger that make me stronger stronger

I gotta live

And ain’t no way I’m going back to my sin

I know you live in me and that make me stronger

Stronger that make me stronger stronger

 

You say the righteous never get forsaken

Well help me understand while I feel like a orphan lately

That’s such a selfish statement look how my heart impatient

You send these trials to make me

But never let em break me

Media hate us set that on top of our hate list

My homies get glad for bangers

Detractors just wanna debate us

Hey You sustain us won’t let us get devoured by evil

They want us lost and swimming with the sharks-Finding Nemo

And even if I die today or this world don’t ever change

I give glory to your name cause we on

And I ain’t talkin bout the shows they put me in

But through His blood He bought me back

So if I fall in faith I go

 

I go harder

Cause I done been knocked down again

But what don’t kill me that make me stronger

Stronger that make me stronger stronger

I gotta live

And ain’t no way I’m going back to my sin

I know you live in me and that make me stronger

Stronger that make me stronger stronger

 

Sometimes I just wanna end it all it’s like this after the fall

They beat me until I crawl still I’m hearing you’re call

I’m begging for assistance while in this life I’m resistance

See I have no resistance minus my Father’s persistance

So even if life wanna throw me a curve

We’re building everything top of His Word

That’s how we fight forget what you heard

Say what you want or what I do or what I don’t

For every sin we knows the cost and He paid that on top that cross

We know this life is full of pain but for Him I’m unashamed

Cause He gon’ call my name and I’m gone

That’s why I live my life in light of that

Ain’t no way I’m turning back

Call me out, a matter of fact

 

I go harder

Cause I done been knocked down again

But what don’t kill me that make me stronger

Stronger that make me stronger stronger

I gotta live

And ain’t no way I’m going back to my sin

I know you live in me and that make me stronger

Stronger that make me stronger stronger

 

Throw them hands up wave em in the air

If you know you’re stronger c’mon everybody say Ya

Yeah yeaah

Now throw them hands up wave em in the air

If you know you’re stronger c’mon everybody say Ya

Yeah yeaah

 

I go harder

Cause I done been knocked down again

But what don’t kill me that make me stronger

Stronger that make me stronger stronger

I gotta live

And ain’t no way I’m going back to my sin

I know you live in me and that make me stronger

Stronger that make me stronger stronger

 

September 6, 2011

PRO MISSION TO MARS LYRICS

Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission

P-p-p-playing my position, playing my position, playing my position, playing my position

I-I-I-I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping

I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping, I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping

 

Ok I’m blasting off to Mars, (Houston we have a problem)

Soaring like a rocket, but I’m not Kevin Martin

I’m so unashamed for this cross I got my heart in

He set me ablaze I’m on fire, arson

Ain’t no turning back boy, I have just departed

It’d be Looney Tunes to quit, Marvin Martian

Yeah I’m on a mission, I ain’t worried ’bout no hator

I’m blowing up this gospel with my space modulator

 

Wait a minute it’s the grace of the king coming forward, no opposition

In a marathon running for the cross

I can see the finish line and there ain’t no quitting

Everybody wanna rep for the Lord

What you asking for, boy yes I’m with it

Our hearts are ready for the takeoff, do we have ignition?

 

Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission

P-p-p-playing my position, playing my position, playing my position, playing my position

I-I-I-I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping

I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping, I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping

 

Ok I’m blasting off to Mars, yes sir I’m ’bout to leave Earth

And if I fall Christ catch me like a wide receiver

Bye-bye to my problems, they are old like a beeper

I hope you hear me loud and clear let me adjust my tweakers

The stars have war ’till they get crushed by Darth Vader

But I walk on that sky and be at peace with my maker

I don’t need your fame, addicted to the Lord’s name

I’m a fiend while my heart beat, Eddie King

 

I don’t ever wanna be the one the Lord said lived his life in vain

If that sounds crazy, then guess I am clinically insane

I’m not of this world, boy you should get that up in your brain

I-I am taking off, but I-I-I ain’t on a plane

 

Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission, Yeah I’m on a mission

P-p-p-playing my position, playing my position, playing my position, playing my position

I-I-I-I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping

I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping, I am blasting off to Mars and you know I ain’t stopping

 

September 6, 2011

PRO DRINK FROM HIS CUP (FEATURING SUZY ROCK)

Knockin’ knockin’ at my door

Yes I know what they are here for

They kick it in, run inside

Kidnap my wife this is goodbye

I see hate inside your eyes

My God and I you do despise

If this prayer’s my last time

Hope through this He saves your life

I will never hide I will never run

I will sacrafice my life in the name of the Son

Beat me to the ground i see the Glory of the Lord

This the moment we all been waiting for

Let ’em stab me, burn me

You are worthy

Drown me, starve me

Bruise me, harm me

The pain that i bear cannot compare

To your arms once i get there

 

People don’t hear You so I’ll be your voice

Suffering daily but still we rejoice

Time for your glory, I’m just telling your story

We’ll carry the cross you suffer before me

People dont know you so I’ll be the one

To introduce them to Your glorious Son

And until that day when we see Your face

This race we will run inspired by Love

We’ll drink from His cup

 

Dead in sin – the state of men

Dirt and filth – they lay within

Sacrifice – they need to live

So I’ll go down and walk with them

They’ll reject me – disrespect me

Laugh and mock me – as they test me

Send the guards to come arrest me

I know that they won’t accept me

Thorns on my head nails in my hands

But for the Father and His glory I will take this cross

Cup full of wrath pour it on my head

I will take every single drop to atone for the lost

Let em whip me, curse me

You are worthy

Beat me taunt me

Move me-hardly

The pain I bear cannot compare

For the glory of the Father – for You I share

 

People don’t hear You so I’ll be your voice

Suffering daily but still we rejoice

Time for your glory im just telling your story

We’ll carry the cross you suffer before me

People dont know you so i’ll be the one

To introduce them to your glorious son

And until that day when we see your face

This race we’ll run inspired by Love

We’ll drink from His cup

September 6, 2011

PRO GET BUCK LYRICS (FEATURING CHAD JONES, BROTHATONE AND CANON)

(The Kraken)

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

Hey where you goin’! where you goin’!

We give our life for the king and you know it!

Everybody get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me

Now give me elbow room, give me elbow room, Now give me elbow room, give me elbow room

Everybody get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me

 

[PRo]

My wife, my family ain’t seen me like this

I told my mama I ain’t never goin’ quit

He done made me alive I ain’t worried ’bout my health

If I ever turn around it’s like i’m killin’ myself

Where my soldiers at?

(RIGHT HERE RIGHT HERE GIVE OUR LIFE FOR THE CROSS WE AIN’T GOT NO FEAR!)

Yeah I know it, We marching strong

Boy we got our armor on (It’s on)

And we goin’ set it off

Till we finally see our final throne

 

[Chad Jones]

Here’s the Truth in 3D clear, No glasses though

Your visions jacked-up, kaleidoscopes

We goin’ home, what’s the big hurry

The truths is sweet black and white McFlurry

See sin is like a water cycle, ‘vaporate and come right back

Rainin’ down on everybody, flood the earth just check the map

Make us wanna get the cash, stack the checks true collectors

Now we’re showin’ his glory new projectors

 

Hey where you goin’! where you goin’!

We give our life for the king and you know it!

Everybody get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me

Now give me elbow room, give me elbow room, Now give me elbow room, give me elbow room

Everybody get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me

 

[Brothatone]

Uh, everything I have I lose it

Trusting in Christ I got something to gain

And nothing to lose I give up my life for the cross and it’s never the same (nah)

I’m lettin’ Him rule, ’cause livin’ my life on my own can bring nothin’ but pain

And livin’ for Strenth, nothing can change

I’ll pour out my life and now nothing remains

Yeah, i’m just a vessel for the master’s truth

Givin’ my life for the faith, I wanna imitate everything the master do

Get buck when we say through the masters grace

Walking in love with the Masters crew

Can’t wait till I see my masters face

Tell the whole world I’m passing through

 

[Canon]

We coming with the fellas who be living unashamed of the gospel

Anybody wanna rather get it with Father

Perfect model, for the Father we will take gun shots

(brakabrakabrakabraka)

Can’t nobody tell me that He really never died

In the grave never living, and ascended up high

Ha, you get high high, man I’m in and like “In and no lie”

When I’m coming get up out my lane

PRo’s hard in the paint, Chad Jones, Brothatone pumping up like veins

To strong coming and they running and beginning in believing in the Father we running

Ha, can’t nobody stop us but our King

Can’t nobody knock us, knock us

We’re hotter then weather, now put it together, we coming harder then a

“I’m done”

 

Hey where you goin’! where you goin’!

We give our life for the king and you know it!

Everybody get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me

Now give me elbow room, give me elbow room, Now give me elbow room, give me elbow room

Everybody get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me, get buck with me

 

September 6, 2011

PRO NO ONE GREATER LYRICS (FEATURING JSON AND TRIP LEE)

There is no one greater, Elohim the only creator

You sent your son to earth, He is our only Savior

You are our only maker all of the claimers are fakers

They try to take your glory; can’t get any lamer!

Break out in precious jewels, wearing it look something mean

But they cheap imitations; they gon’ turn yo neck green!

Wear my faith on my sleeve even if they make me bleed

Let ’em take my life, I give you all of me

Omnipotent, Omnipresent, you rule over earth and heaven

Time is on the plot as you, you see past, future and present

I don’t deserve to know you, yet you give me your blessing

You made me new and gave me life, I’m forever indebted!

 

Who can be compared to you? No, I see no one greater

Who can be compared to you? No, I see no one greater

Who can be compared to you? No, I see no one greater

I-I-I see no one greater, that’s why I live for the savior

Flow is not good enough, I give you all of me

They-they can take everything, I give you all of me

Itching to serve more, I give you all of me

I give you all of me

I give you all of me

 

JSon:

Yeshua, tran-translation Jesus Christ and He’s ruler

Who you got that compares to him

Only stands as …..

…………………………………………………

Lacking passion

Passion has us in his fabulous grip

…………

and let him go,

He made the grave breath,

literally coughed him up,

he looked like, “what?”

there go you …..

All things were made for him,

Through him,

By him,

Just read Paul and you’ll see

I denied him

Tried to fight him

His light kept drawing me

So here, take all of me

And I won’t hold back no part of me

See there was nothing but dark on me

Til the Son (sun) made himself dawn on me

Now see He should blow your mind today

Li-listen to every line I say

His watch is broke

Our skies are low

Cuz he stands outside of time and space, Who’s greater?!

 

Who can be compared to You? No, I see no one greater

Who can be compared to You? No, I see no one greater

Who can be compared to You? No, I see no one greater

I-I-I see no one greater, that’s why I live for the savior

Flow is not good enough, I give you all of me

They-they can take everything, I give you all of me

Itching to serve more, I give you all of me

I give you all of me

I give you all of me

 

Trip Lee:

Hey what they think this is, think they messing with a rookie?

Now He’s the Holy Spirit, you should see from where he took me

Was running from the Lord, He chased me down and then he booked me

The Father sent him out to get me, He never forsook me

The holy hound dog, the holy bounty hunter

The lord sent him for ya? Then he’s bound to hunt ya

You will be found dawg, then you’ll be crown called

That mean the king’s calling, knees to the ground dawg

Then you’ll be running to him,

Can’t put him on the back burner,

Old me,

He put him in a casket,

…………..

…………

It’s clear from the head that the back bled,

Raised from the dead I’m back

Seem like everything’s covered like flat screens

Ever since I got bowed down to the Great King

 

Who can be compared to you? No, I see no one greater

Who can be compared to you? No, I see no one greater

Who can be compared to you? No, I see no one greater

I-I-I see no one greater, that’s why I live for the savior

Flow is not good enough, I give you all of me

They-they can take everything, I give you all of me

Itching to serve more, I give you all of me

I give you all of me

I give you all of me

 

September 6, 2011

Christian Author To Release New Book THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO TWILIGHT: Women, Sex & God

 

It’s no secret that the Twilight book and film series have become a phenomenon among teenage girls, and in her new book, The Gospel According to Twilight: Women, Sex, and God, author Elaine A. Heath takes a closer look at the vampire story’s theology and the impact it could have on young women and girls.

Heath, the associate professor of evangelism at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, told Awaken Generation Blog that the first reason why girls love Twilight is because it’s exciting.

“I think it really captures a lot of the spiritual and social questions and anxieties of a generation that describe themselves as spiritual but not religious,” she observed.

Twilight, which began as a series of novels by Stephenie Meyer and has since been made into several blockbuster films, is centered around a teenage girl, Bella, who falls in love with a vampire, Edward. Mix in a few werewolves, some danger, and a lot of romance and you have a cultural phenomenon.

The Twilight franchise raked in nearly $70 million in U.S. ticket sales on opening weekend for both the first and third films in the saga, according to The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website. In 2009, the second installment, “New Moon,” brought in a staggering amount of nearly $143 million.

Despite its popularity, Heath has concerns about what young people might be learning from the stories.

“The most alarming aspect of the books,” she said, “is the systematic gender violence and gender stereotyping that’s negative … especially about women and girls.”

She believes the main female characters in the series are all victims of violence, but because it is mixed with romance and justification attempts, the violence toward women becomes “normalized” to the audience.

“Edward has many characteristics of men who batter,” she noted, “and his behavior and his control (stalking, demanding to know where she is), all these different things that he does to intimidate and control her, those are things that abusive men and boys do to girls.”

On the bright side, there are a number of positive theological themes to be explored in the series as well.

The strongest Christian theme, Heath suggested, is that of reconciliation. In the end, Bella’s character is able to bring peace between the warring species of humans, vampires, and werewolves. The theme of salvation is also present throughout the series.

The Cullen family (Edward’s parents and siblings), she added, are also a model of what a strong faith community is like – they encourage each other to do what’s right, sacrifice for the common good, and use their gifts to protect one another.

There are also Mormon themes present in the novels, Heath pointed out, because Meyer belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

So there are good and bad lessons to be learned from the series, but the story can be used to open up a dialogue with younger generations.

“I think it could be very helpful in unearthing unhealthy relationship and gender issues that are in our culture,” she said. “Likewise, it could help us to have some great spiritual conversations and critiques of social problems in our culture.”

The key to discussing cultural issues, Heath noted, is to do so with respect.

From her experience, Twilight fanatics will “shut down” if you speak badly about their favorite character; so in order for parents or youth leaders to create a dialogue over cultural issues they need to approach them thoughtfully and lovingly.

Many more theological and social issues are covered in Heath’s book, in which she included a series of questions to help encourage dialogue over the important issues she discusses.

The newest film in the Twilight series, “Breaking Dawn, Part One,” opens in theaters on Nov. 18.

 

September 5, 2011

MARK BATTERSON Guest Post: “At The End of Our Lives, We’ll Regret Opportunities Missed More Than Mistakes Made”

 

A few years ago, I was part of a mission team that helped build a Teen Challenge Center in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. After a week of hard work, our family stuck around for a few days to enjoy the island. When we checked into our hotel I happened to pick up a tourist brochure about cliff jumping and the second I saw it I knew I needed to do it. But a few lazy days later, we were on an airplane headed back to Washington, DC and I remember having this thought at about thirty-thousand feet: I might never get back here. I felt like I had forfeited a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And I still regret it. In fact, one of my life goals is to go back and not just jump off a cliff. I want to do a cliff baptism. Talk about baptism by immersion!

So I missed an opportunity to jump off a cliff. So what? In the grand scheme of things, that regret is rather benign. But that experience taught me a valuable lesson: at the end of our lives, we’ll regret opportunities missed a lot more than mistakes made.

That conviction is backed up by the research of two Cornell sociologists, Tom Gilovich and Vicki Medvec. According to their study, time is a key factor in what we regret. Over the short-term, we tend to regret our actions. But over the long-haul, we tend to regret inactions. Their study found that over the course of an average week, action regrets outnumber inaction regrets 53% to 47%. But when people look at their lives as a whole, inaction regrets outnumber action regrets 84% to 16%.

In theological terms, action regrets are sins of commission. And they certainly cause a twinge of guilt. But it is the inaction regrets or sins of omission that haunt us the rest of our lives. We are left to wonder: what if?

One of our core values at National Community Church is everything is an experiment. And that experimental approach to ministry gives us the freedom to fail. We’re not afraid of making mistakes. In fact, we’re afraid of not making mistakes because that means we aren’t taking enough risks.

Every sermon series is a teaching experiment. Every outreach is an evangelism experiment. Every small group is a discipleship experiment. Even our vision of meeting in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the metro DC area is an experiment in doing church in the middle of the marketplace.

I just don’t want to get to the end of my life and my ministry and wonder: What if?

I’d rather have some action regrets from falling flat on my face than leave a trail of inaction regrets in my wake.

I’m afraid that too many churches are playing not to lose instead of playing to win. We’re playing a prevent defense instead of storming the gates of Hell. We’re boycotting the Aeropagus instead of competing for the truth like the Apostle Paul.

Does it bother anyone else that the church is known more for what we’re against than what we’re for? We can do better than that can’t we? Instead of pointing our finger at what’s wrong with culture, the church needs to offer better alternatives. We need to make better movies and better music. We need to write better books. We need to start better schools and better businesses.

In the words of Michelangelo, we need to criticize by creating.

I have a core conviction that drives my ministry: there are ways of doing church that no one has thought of yet. That is what gets me up early and keeps me up late. I can’t imagine a more exciting time to be doing church. Podcasting is e-vangelism at the speed of light. Blogging is digital discipleship without borders. Our generation has an unprecedented opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission if we simply redeem technology and use it to serve God’s purposes.

But we need to stop doing ministry out of memory and start doing ministry out of imagination. We need to stop repeating the past and start creating the future. We need to stop being so afraid of doing something wrong that we don’t do anything right.

I know sins of commission grieve the Spirit of God. But I honestly don’t think they grieve God half as much as the God-ordained opportunities we fail to seize.

So what will you always regret if you don’t at least try it?

My advice is this: go jump off a cliff.

 

September 3, 2011

CHRIS TOMLIN To Release New Record “HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD: The Essential Collection” On November 15, 2011

(Nashville, Tenn) September 1, 2011— According to TIME magazine over 40 million people sing the songs of Chris Tomlin each week, suggesting he is “likely the most often sung artist anywhere.” As a result, church congregations worldwide feel a connection with the lyrics and music Tomlin writes. On November 15th, sixstepsrecords will release a collection featuring many of Tomlin’s most defining songs to date on How Great Is Our God: The Essential Collection.

How Great Is Our God: The Essential Collection will feature 14 tracks; seven of which went to #1 at Christian AC Radio, 4 are currently in the Top 10 of most sung songs at Churches, and all 14 songs are in the top 120. Accolades aside, these are songs that not only have defined Tomlin, but have given a voice to the Church and millions of people around the world as they worship Jesus. Most notably, the record will also include new renditions of “Forever,” “We Fall Down” and a new version of the title track and current #1 CCLI song newly entitled “How Great Is Our God (The World Sings)” featuring the voices of influential worship leaders from around the world. For a full track listing see below.

Before the release of his new project, Tomlin will once again unite with friends Louie Giglio and Christy Nockels for the fall leg of his “And If Our God Is For Us…Tour.” Tomlin’s spring leg of the tour drew sold out crowds across the country. The event was in such high demand, second shows were added in Portland, Phoenix and Houston, and seats sold out shortly after they were announced. This season the tour will visit fans in Colorado Springs, Washington D.C., Indianapolis, St. Louis and more. See a full list of tour dates below. Tickets for all dates are currently on-sale now at http://www.christomlin.com.

Track Listing:

  1. Forever (New Recording)
  2. Wonderful Cross
  3. We Fall Down (New Recording)
  4. Famous One
  5. Enough
  6. Indescribable
  7. How Great Is Our God (The World Sings) (New Recording)
  8. Holy is the Lord
  9. Made to Worship
  10. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
  11. Jesus Messiah
  12. God of this City
  13. I Will Rise
  14. Our God

Chris Tomlin AND IF OUR GOD IS FOR US… TOUR with Louie Giglio & Christy Nockels 10/19 Colorado Springs, CO
10/20 Wichita, KS
10/21 Little Rock, AR
10/22 Pensacola, FL
10/25 Austin, TX
10/26 Corpus Christi, TX
10/27 College Station, TX
10/28 Shreveport, LA
10/29 Hattiesburg, MS
11/2 Indianapolis, IN – SOLD OUT
11/3 Johnstown, PA
11/4 Washington DC
11/5 Charleston, WV
11/11 Nashville, TN
11/12 Corbin, KY
11/16 Bourbonnais, IL
11/17 Memphis, TN
11/18 St. Louis, MO
11/19 Birmingham, AL

September 1, 2011

Renowned Gospel Singer Marvin Sapp to Record First Album Since Wife’s Death

Marvin Sapp, whose wife passed away in 2010 after a battle with cancer, has announced plans to record songs for a new album expected to be released in 2012.

Sapp, who wowed fans with his 2010 Here I Am album, will be recording his next body of work live on Oct. 7, at Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro, Md., near Washington, D.C.

The album was expected to address how Sapp overcame the loss of several people in his life, including wife MaLinda Sapp, who passed away in September 2010 due to complications from colon cancer.

“The focus of this record is how you can come through situations and still remain on top. It’s about how the enemy has a way of hitting you with stuff to cause you to fold and buckle, but I’m still standing,” Sapp told Billboard.com.

Sapp noted that although the album would be recorded live “some will sound like it’s studio. We’re gonna mix it up.”

As for why Sapp, pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to record the music at a church in Maryland, the minister said Washington, D.C., is home to some of his biggest supporters.

“D.C. is one my largest audiences. They buy tons of records of mine in Washington, D.C. … So we’re going to do something different and see how it works,” he told Billboard.com.

The gospel album to be released in 2012 will be Sapp’s seventh, according to his official music website.

Sapp’s 2007 album “Thirsty” went gold and won seven Gospel Stellar Awards in 2009. His 2010 album, “Here I Am,” won several Stellar awards and a Dove Award. “Here I Am” was also recorded live.

Sapp debuted in the 90s as a gospel singer with the group Commissioned before launching his solo career in 1996.

“I am a preacher, called by God, who happens to sing,” was how Sapp defined his ministry.

 

In case you’re not too familiar with Marvin Sapp’s music, you can take a listen to one of my favorite songs by him below entitled, “Never Would’ve Made It Without You.”