Archive for October, 2013

October 30, 2013

Book Review Of Craig Groeschel’s New Book, ALTAR EGO

I just finished Craig Groeschel’s new book, “Altar Ego” and wanted to do a review for the blog. If you’re not familiar with Craig he’s a pastor out in Oklahoma City, OK. He first gained popularity as the pastor of his mega church in OKC, but has in recent years seen his profile rise significantly as a popular conference speaker and subsequent author. I  first got to hear him speak at Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA. He’s a great speaker and while I’d consider myself a fan, I’d never actually read any of his books before so I was really looking forward to reading his latest release.  And to be frank, I enjoyed it more than I expected. So below is my review:

Summary Of Content: In his book Groeschel invites readers to lay down the labels and destructive self-perceptions that have prevented them from being all that God wants them to be. And instead presents them with who God says we are: that we are his masterpiece, that we are overcomers etc. Then for the second half of the book he lays out the values, qualities and behaviors that should instead describe our lives, among these are, living with patience, becoming people of integrity, being bold, etc.

Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  I really liked the book.  I thought his writing style was easy and not difficult or convoluted.  Also Craig writes with a kind of transparency that really enriches the reading experience.

The Thing I Loved Most About The Book:  My favorite parts of the book were when Craig shared from his own life, I really loved that, whether its sharing his own struggles in these areas or telling us stories of how God did things in his life that just blew him away.  Like I mentioned before, Craig writes with a lot of transparency and I think this elevated the book considerably.

Biggest Surprise About The Book/Reading Experience:  The biggest surprise of all for me about this book is just how funny Craig is.  I found myself laughing out loud a number of times.  It was really a pleasant surprise.  For example, he tells the story of how he got a tennis scholarship to play tennis at college, but when he got there he was just horrible.  And he was surprised the coach never cut him, so one day he asked the coach how come you didn’t cut me and the coach said, “you were the only one with a car, and I needed you to take the others to practice.”  Or how before each match he would pray on the tennis court and one time he played against a guy Jeremy from Oral Roberts University and as Craig was praying he looked up and saw Jeremy praying too and yelled over, “hey, you can’t pray that’s my thing!”

Favorite Chapter: I think my favorite chapter was chapter 5 “Living With Patience” I was kinda surprised to realized that, but for some reason that chapter really resonated with me.  The idea of not sacrificing the ultimate for the immediate.  Really a sober call to not just live for immediate gratification.

Favorite Line/Statement From The Book:  “Integrity is living in full accordance with your beliefs.” (Honorable Mention: “Boldness is behavior born out of belief”)

Final Thoughts:

It was great just being reminded of what God says we are, because I think for many of us bad labels and self-beliefs creep up on us over time, so much so that we don’t even realize just how much it affects out lives, and so the book served a great tool for self-examination. Also, I really loved his final section on “Passionate Obedience” it was refreshing reminder and exhortation to live with boldness and to let that boldness infuse our prayers and our obedience.

Here is a picture of Craig Groeschel for those who aren’t familiar with him.

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October 28, 2013

Hannah Luce, Daughter Of Ron Luce, Signs Book Deal To Tell Story Of Surviving Plane Crash That Killed Her Friends

Hannah Luce, the lone survivor of a May 2012 small plane crash in Kansas, who crawled out of a burning aircraft and lost several friends in the devastating accident, has signed a deal with Atria/Howard Books for an inspiring memoir to be titled Fields of Grace. She is the daughter of Ron Luce, co-founder and president of Teen Mania Ministries.

Luce’s book will be published on Oct. 22 and will detail her struggles with her faith, her coming of age inside an evangelical home, her decision to join her father’s ministry outreach to teens, and her miraculous survival and recovery following the accident. It will also serve as a tribute and testament to the lives of the dear friends who perished in the catastrophic plane crash and reveal how their memory continues to inspire all that Luce does.

“Despite what I have been through, mine is a story of hope. Hope from knowing that, even through great adversity, we can live good and purposeful lives. It is the story of perseverance and finding light in life’s darkest moments. Above all, it is a love story about three friends whose bond cannot be broken by death,” says Luce.

Judith Curr, President of the Atria Publishing Group, commented: “Themes of friendship, recovery, faith, guilt, purpose, and ultimately the importance of moving forward while never forgetting the past will have readers looking deeply at their own lives and relationships. This will also be the first title published as collaboration between Atria and Howard Books, and we look forward to helping Hannah find wide readership in both the general and Christian markets.”

The deal, for North American rights, was negotiated by Atria Senior Editor Sarah Durand with Luce’s literary agent, Brandi Bowles at Foundry Media.

October 24, 2013

Popular Reality L.A. Pastor, Tim Chaddick, To Release New Book BETTER: HOW JESUS SATISFIES THE SEARCH FOR MEANING September 2014

Tim Chaddick, author and pastor of Reality LA, one of the fastest growing churches in the heart of Hollywood, announces the release of BETTER: How Jesus Satisfies the Search for Meaning. Hitting stores nationwide on September 1, 2013 through David C. Cook, Chaddick’s latest project addresses questions we often avoid but inevitably must ask while unveiling the answers to anyone asking the “Why” questions of life.

In Better, Chaddick unpacks the ancient wisdom of Ecclesiastes and wrestles with the hardest questions of life. He exposes the western myth that tells us we can be happy if only we get a bigger house, buy a better car, or follow our dreams. Better unveils an alternative way by pointing to answers from the heart of God. In Better, readers will find a vision of life that is neither naïve nor cynical, but realistic and hopeful.

“As a pastor in Los Angeles I come face-to-face with the harsh reality of the quest for success and fulfillment,” says Chaddick. “The woman in tears whose acting career is over because the other actresses always stand out more. The frustrated man who gained recognition for his musical talents but is now in danger of losing his record deal. I see the constant anxiety that stems from unmet expectations in a culture that promises so much. I know that you will face detours and dead ends-and it’s possible that life may not work out the way you hoped-but I also know that you can still enjoy peace and joy in this world.”

Filled with Chaddick’s personal stories, Better follows the journey of the ancient author of Ecclesiastes, taking readers on the mother of all road trips. Referred to as the “Question Maker,” Chaddick admits that the ancient author is provocative, seeking to make sense out of what he sees in this world before bringing God into the conversation.

“This is where most of us begin when we write our life-script anyway,” says Chaddick. “Most of us work out what we want in life before adding God on as an afterthought, viewing Him as some kind of cosmic vending machine here to help us accomplish what really matters in life.”

Better serves as a roadmap so that each person can have his or her life story redemptively rewritten as it guides readers through three main categories of life before arriving at the final destination. These three categories include aspirations (what we expect out of life), assets (how we use some of the things we have in life) and attitudes (how we respond to what life gives us). Addressing key life issues such as money, work, sex, relationships, anxiety, power and religion, Chaddick helps readers make the connection between these issues and the rest of Scripture.

BETTER: How Jesus Satisfies the Search for Meaning
By: Tim Chaddick
David C Cook
Trade Paper
Page Count: 224 pgs.
Firm On-Sale Date: September 1, 2013
ISBN- 978-1434705235
Price: $14.99

About Tim Chaddick
Tim Chaddick currently serves as the pastor for preaching and vision at Reality LA, which is one of the fastest growing churches in the heart of Hollywood, California with approximately 4,000 people. Tim’s teaching podcasts and Sunday morning sermons are massively popular on their web site, and from iTunes, having been downloaded millions of times. Tim has spoken at Calvary Chapel events, Gospel Coalition events, is on the steering team for Reality, along with pastors Britt Merrick, and Dave Lomas. He and his wife Lindsey live in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles with their three daughters.

Social media links:
www.realityla.com
realityla.com/category/teachings
www.facebook.com/timchaddick
twitter.com/timchaddick

October 18, 2013

FOR KING & COUNTRY NAMED NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Marks First Dove Award Win

 

Performed Hit Single “Proof of Your Love” and Debuted “Fix My Eyes”

 (October 16, 2013) – It was announced last evening that Joel and Luke Smallbone of for KING & COUNTRY received their first Dove Award win for the coveted category of “New Artist of the Year” at the 44th Annual GMA Dove Awards. In a celebration in Nashville, TN, the Australian brothers that make up duo for KING & COUNTRY were on hand to accept the award. They also performed their hit single “The Proof of Your Love” from their debut album and iTunes’ 2012 “Breakthrough Christian & Gospel Album of the Year,” Crave, and premiered new song “Fix My Eyes.”

“Luke came off the road for about three months with a digestive disorder and got down to about 125 pounds. For a 6’ 4” fellow that is pretty light,” said Joel. “It’s funny. I was so sick, in my bed thinking ‘God, why am I in so much pain?’” continued Luke. “God has a unique way of taking those moments and spinning them into something quite miraculous. I felt God say to me ‘Luke, no matter how dark things are or how difficult those trials you face might be, there is always hope in me. That is the reason why we do music. Thank you all so very much for this award. We are so blessed not only by God’s love but by so much love from the fans and the industry.”

Yesterday the duo also released their live album and concert film, Hope Is What We Crave │Live, everywhere. The project features nine live performances from their critically-acclaimed debut album, Crave. Their new single “Hope Is What We Crave” just went for adds at radio and is already closing in on the Top 25. 

for KING & COUNTRY made their late night debut on January 10 when they performed “The Proof of Your Love” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, the breakthrough duo was named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch and were CCM’s best-selling new artist. ET’s “The Insider”said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” American Songwritercommented that “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”

About Word Entertainment

A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, NEEDTOBREATHE, Point Of Grace, Sidewalk Prophets, Skillet, Switchfoot and We As Human and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Music Publications & Church Resources, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

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For more information please visit, www.forKINGandCOUNTRY.com / facebook.com/forkingandcountry / Follow:@ 4kingandcountry

October 18, 2013

FOR KING & COUNTRY’S HOPE IS WHAT WE CRAVE │LIVE AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE NOW

The Live Album and Concert Film Receives Glowing Praise from Critics

 Exclusive Premiere of Aussie Duo’s “Fine Fine Life” Live Video Today at CBN.com

 

 

 (October 15, 2013) –  for KING & COUNTRY’s live album and concert film, Hope Is What We Crave │Live, is available today at digital outlets and physical retailers. This live project was filmed at The Factory in Franklin, TN, on the final night of their inaugural headlining tour, “The Proof of Your Love Tour,” in November 2012. It features nine live performances from their critically-acclaimed debut album, Crave, which was named iTunes’ “Breakthrough Christian & Gospel Album of 2012.” Fans can catch a sneak peek into the footage as the Christian Broadcasting Network is premiering the “Fine Fine Life” video exclusively today at CBN.com. This evening, for KING & COUNTRY will perform their nominated single “The Proof of Your Love” and will debut a new song “Fix My Eyes” at the 44th Annual GMA Dove Awards in Nashville, TN. They are also nominated for seven Dove Awards including “New Artist of the Year,” “Song of the Year” and “Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year.” The duo’s new single “Hope Is What We Crave” just went for adds at radio and is already closing in on the Top 25.

Hope Is What We Crave │Live has critics praising the project both for its exceptional live music and as a memorable experience:

“This is a live album not to be missed or even be unsure about- this is a great album, no matter what your genre of music that you listen to.” – Indie Vision Music

“Through their music, you can see that they are living proof of His Love. The live album as a whole is remarkably stunning.” – SJD Music for Christian Living

 

“While their debut album introduced fans to very solid songs, this release of live versions of those songs has taken them to a whole other level.” – Vertical Hope

“It’s not just an experience, but a time of worship with a band that in the end wants to point others to Christ.” – Christian Music Zine

 

“Whether you are just now discovering them or have enjoyed them since the beginning, Hope Is What We Crave Live CD/DVD is sure to be a great addition to your collection and one I’m sure you’ll want to enjoy over and over again.” – Christian Music Review

 

“For fans who want to watch the concert, there’s the DVD; for fans who want to sing along in the car, there’s the CD. Either way, you’re in for a treat.” – Hollywood Jesus

 

“for KING & COUNTRY’s ‘Hope Is What We Crave LIVE,’ offers up so much good music that you need to add it to your musical collection.” – Christian Rockers Online

for KING & COUNTRY are currently on the Newsboys’ “Restart” tour through October. In December, they’ll join Big Daddy Weave and Meredith Andrews for 10 dates on the “K-LOVE Christmas Tour.”

 

for KING & COUNTRY, recently named “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” at the first annual K-LOVE Fan Awards, made their late night debut on January 10 performing “The Proof Of Your Love” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, for KING & COUNTRY were named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch and were CCM’s best-selling new artist. New Release Tuesday noted that Crave was “One of the Best Debut Projects in Years!” ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” American Songwriter commented that “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”

 

About Word Entertainment

A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, NEEDTOBREATHE, Point Of Grace, Sidewalk Prophets, Skillet, Switchfoot and We As Human and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Music Publications & Church Resources, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

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For more information please visit, www.forKINGandCOUNTRY.com / facebook.com/forkingandcountry / Follow:@ 4kingandcountry

October 17, 2013

DAISY MERRICK Daughter Of Pastor Britt Merrick Of REALITY CHURCH Loses Her Battle With Cancer

Britt Merrick, pastor of Reality Church in California, and father of Daisy Merrick, whose battle with cancer as a five year-old was made public and touched the hearts of thousands through her dad’s very personal blog prayfordaisy, shared the sad news last night on twitter that his beautiful daughter had lost her battle with cancer and has gone on to be with Jesus.

Britt tweeted:

Pray for Daisy ‏@prayfordaisy

At 2:40am this morning our sweet Daisy went to be with Jesus. Christ is with us as the God of all comfort. http://blog.prayfordaisy.com 

Retweeted by Britt Merrick

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Merrick’s during this time, and the entire Reality Church family.

You can watch Britt’s recent talk “When Sparrows Fall” here

Pray for Daisy ‏@prayfordaisy

Listen to “When Sparrows Fall” from @brittmerrick @realitysb sharing the journey with Daisy http://blog.prayfordaisy.com  #prayfordaisy

October 14, 2013

Orlando-Based Worship Leader and Pastor William McDowell To Release New CD/DVD Withholding Nothing On November 5

Packed With New Songs and Extemporaneous, Unrehearsed Moments,
Withholding Nothing Takes The Audio Visual Worship Experience To New Level
ORLANDO, Fla. (October 8, 2013)- – On the heels of two critically acclaimed, genre-bending albums, worship leader William McDowell prepares for the November 5threlease of a groundbreaking new CD/DVD that takes the audio-visual worship experience to a new level.  Appropriately titled Withholding Nothing, the project contains over 60 minutes of passionate, extemporaneous worship in the form of songs, choruses and instrumental interludes that reverberate with themes of surrender and thanksgiving.
With 14 tracks recorded on CD and 20 on the DVD, including standouts from his chart-topping albums Arise and As We WorshipWithholding Nothing highlights 2,000 people immersed not in a recording, but in worship.
“These people don’t know they are being heard by anyone but God,” explains McDowell. “We don’t get pre-claps, we don’t stop for any reason. The focus is 100 percent on God and what He’s saying, and the songs just happen the way they happen…we rehearsed, we prepared, but in the end, the Holy Spirit led the evening.”
So how does one go about capturing that shift in the atmosphere, that moment when the order of service takes a back seat to the work of the Holy Spirit? According to McDowell, who is also the lead pastor at Orlando’s Deeper Fellowship Church, you simply “get out of the way.”
“The best you can do is to prepare your heart and be obedient,” says McDowell. “…you have to be willing to become invisible. It’s never about you. Nothing in the service is about you. People aren’t coming to see you. They are coming to experience God.”
And throughout the two-hour-long DVD, viewers are captivated as the presence of God takes complete control of the room while McDowell introduces a plethora of new worship anthems and songs of praise for today’s church. These include “Can’t Live Without You,” featuring guest vocalist Nicole Binion, “Are You Ready?” featuring guest Aaron Lindsey and “My Heart Sings,” in which McDowell cries out, “My worship is too deep for my words…I’ve got to cry from the depth of my heart… my vocabulary is too limited when it comes to God.”
The complete tracklist for the CD portion of Withholding Nothing, including guest vocalists, is:
1.   Releasing A Sound
2.   Bring Me A Minstrel
3.   Expecting
4.   Are You Ready (featuring Pablo Villatoro and Aaron Lindsey)
5.   Through Christ
6.   We Will Prevail
7.   Sovereign God (featuring Danny Gokey)
8.   When I Call Your Name
9.   There Is Something About That Name
10. My Heart Sings
11. Can’t Live Without You (featuring Nicole Binion)
12. Withholding Nothing
13. There Is A Sound
14. Withholding Nothing (Radio Edit)
Withholding Nothing, which is distributed by Entertainment One Music, will be available in stores and through iTunes and Amazon beginning November 5.
Modern worship pioneer William McDowell is known for crossing musical genres and blending styles as he brings people of all ages, cultures and denominations together through passionate, Christ-centered worship. The lead pastor at Deeper Fellowship Church in Orlando, Florida, McDowell has a sphere of influence that reaches far beyond his hometown. The ASCAP Award winning and Dove and Stellar Award-nominated worship leader’s songs have traveled the world, ministering to the global church through his recordings, international worship events and 18 million Youtube views.
October 14, 2013

People Who Look Alike – Chris Tomlin And Michael J Fox