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User Archives: Family Christian

  • Operation Christmas Child

    Posted on October 29, 2013 by Family Christian

    Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.

    Two decades after it started, Operation Christmas Child continues to deliver shoebox gifts and the Good News of Jesus Christ to boys and girls around the world.

    Twenty years ago, Franklin Graham made a promise to collect a few gifts for boys and girls in war-torn Bosnia. Today, Operation Christmas Child has become a year-round, international project, delivering millions of shoeboxes to children in nearly 100 countries each year.

    Si Robertson, everyone’s favorite uncle and reed-maker for Duck Commander duck calls, has teamed up with Operation Christmas Child to get the word out about sharing God’s love through the joy of a shoebox gift. You can join Si and be part of sharing the Good News with children around the world by packing shoeboxes with a variety of small gifts.

    In July 1993, a man from the United Kingdom named Dave Cooke reached out to Graham because he needed help collecting gifts to send to children in Bosnia. Graham promptly agreed, then—as he tells it—just as promptly pushed the project to the back of his mind and continued focusing on various other projects at Samaritan’s Purse.

    Later that fall, Cooke called back asking when Samaritan’s Purse would send the gifts they collected. With the last-minute help of several pastors, Graham was able to deliver on his promise and sent 28,000 shoebox gifts for the children of Bosnia.

    Twenty years later, more than 103 million shoebox gifts have been collected and delivered in more than 150 countries, each one representing an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel.

    Whether their needs are physical or spiritual, the millions of boys and girls who have received shoeboxes have experienced powerful blessings through these simple gifts. Each gift is not only filled with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies, but also with the power of prayer.

    “We ask people to pray as a family as you pack the boxes,” Graham said. “Pray that God would use them. And He does. We have seen miracle after miracle of how God has used a box.”

    Twelve-year-old Dulce Maria lives in extreme poverty in Honduras with her father and four siblings. Her mother committed suicide in 2002 due to extreme depression over the family’s difficult financial situation. Her father takes her to school every day and then goes to do janitorial and maintenance work in households that hire him for a day.

    Dulce Maria always wanted a doll, but her father couldn’t afford to buy her one. Imagine the surprise and delight she experienced when she received a shoebox gift, opened it, and saw a doll! Jumping for joy, she said it was the most beautiful one she had ever seen.

    But her joy was not yet complete that day. The Gospel was shared during the distribution, and she learned more about Jesus through a children’s storybook offered with the shoebox. Dulce Maria went to her teacher and told her that she had received two gifts that day: the doll and eternal life in Christ.

    No matter who packs them, from three former U.S. presidents to the family down the street, each gift-filled shoebox throughout the past 20 years represents the joy of one more child, like Dulce Maria, who has been reached with a tangible expression of God’s love.

    “We are just getting started with Operation Christmas Child,” said Randy Riddle, director of the project’s domestic operations in the United States. “The potential is so great to reach more and more children.”

    Our goal is to collect 9.8 million shoebox gifts from 11 countries this year.

    The gifts will be delivered along with your prayers to places such as Argentina, Zimbabwe, Angola, Vietnam and more.

    And after 20 years delivering shoeboxes to 75 percent of the countries around the world, the motivation for sharing the gifts has remained the same.

    “I want the children of the world to know, I want their parents to know, that God loves them,” Graham said. “He cares for them, and He wants them to be with Him in heaven.”

    Suggested items could include:

    SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
    TOYS: Small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch,® toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky,® etc.
    HYGIENE ITEMS: Toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
    OTHER: T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)
    A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)
    DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out- of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

    Drop off locations can be found by clicking here.


    This post was posted in Missions and was tagged with Featured, Si Robertson, Duck Dynasty, Operation Christmas Child

  • Free Wallpaper for Your Mobile, Tablet or Computer - November

    Posted on October 28, 2013 by Family Christian

    Ahhh, November.

    It's the time of year that we all love. It's the cool mornings, followed by refreshing days, followed by cool evenings. It's the month where there seems to be a great aroma in the air. Either pumpkin spice... peppermint... bonfires... amazing baked goods... It's a month that just smells wonderful.

    It's the in-between month. Helping us move from October and it's too much candy to a time to be thankful. A time to remember. Ahhh, November, we are glad that you are here.

    Look below for some free wallpaper to decorate your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. These are completely free to download. Just right click on the size that you need and you will be all set. To find out which size you need, click here.

    Both images are taking from our Coupon Calendars that we sell online and in our stores. Click here to find the Growth in Faith Calendar and the He Refreshes My Soul Calendar.

    Facebook 800 x 600 1024 x 768 1280 x 720 1280 x 800 1280 x 960 1600 x 1200

    Mobile 1440 x 900 1600 x 1200 1680 x 1050 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1200

    Facebook 800 x 600 1024 x 768 1280 x 720 1280 x 800 1280 x 960 1600 x 1200

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    This post was posted in Art and was tagged with Featured, Wallpapers

  • Behind the Album with Mandisa

    Posted on October 28, 2013 by Family Christian

    Coming up her most successful album ever, American Idol alum and three-time Grammy nominee Mandisa returns with Overcomer. Produced by Christopher Stevens and David Garcia, Overcomer showcases her powerful vocals and pop-leaning hooks that blend effortlessly through all 11 tracks.

    With caution-to-the-wind melodies weaved throughout the record, anchored by emotional songs like her open letter to her brother in "Dear John," Overcomer may be Mandisa’s most impactful release to date.

    To read our exclusive interview with Mandisa, click here.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Mandisa

  • Behind the Song with Britt Nicole

    Posted on October 23, 2013 by Family Christian

    Produced by Britt Nicole’s longtime collaborator Dan Muckala, along with producers Chris Stevens, David Garcia and Josh Crosby, Gold merges her passionately thoughtful lyrics with infectious beats and soaring melodies. The sweeping, slow-building "All This Time" recounts Britt’s struggle to overcome the pain of her parents’ divorce, while "Stand" blends high-powered beats with sweetly inspirational lyrics about rediscovering your strength. On "Ready or Not," sunny acoustic strumming gets elegantly layered over stomping rhythms and in-your-face electro effects.

    Whether delivering a soulful ballad or a beat-soaked dance track, Britt strikes a stunning balance between vulnerability and self-assurance all throughout the album. This re-release of 2012's Gold features new mixes of "Gold" and "All This Time."

    Here is Britt's story behind the song, "Ready Or Not" featuring Lecrae.


    Here is the lyric video.

    What do you think?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Lecrae, Britt Nicole

  • Keeper of the Stars - Behind the Song with Laura Story

    Posted on October 21, 2013 by Family Christian

    Laura Story is a sharer of stories. She has a way of sharing something from her personal life, while yet still making it completely relate-able to someone else.

    Perhaps it’s her quiet spirit.
    Perhaps it’s the story itself.

    Regardless, when Laura starts to tell a story, one can’t help but stop and listen.

    If you haven’t heard Laura’s new album, God of Every Story yet, you have been missing something. Laura has returned to that deep place of vulnerability before the Lord and honesty with herself.

    She is joined by producer Ed Cash on the making of God of Every Story. Together, they incorporated acoustic and epic instruments into a worshipful pop album. Lyrically, God of Every Story draws from Laura’s own life. Her husband’s brain tumor early in their marriage led the young family down a painful path she wouldn’t have chosen, but one that deepened her faith and her music. The resulting songs show God’s love and grace intersecting with real life, making this album a wonderful reminder that despite our questions or circumstances, God is the ultimate author of our story.

    Watch as Laura describes her new song, Keeper of the Stars


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Laura Story

  • 44th Annual Dove Awards

    Posted on October 17, 2013 by Family Christian

    Hosted in the hub of the Christian Music industry, Nashville Tennessee, the 44th Annual GMA Dove Awards included several powerful performances by Big Daddy Weave, Colton Dixon, Michael W. Smith, and For King & Country, to name a few. The official hosts of the event were Amy Grant and Kirk Franklin as well as pre-cast telecast hosts Jamie Grace and Chris August.

    The Dove Awards took place on October 15th and will be aired on October 21st at 8 p.m. EDT on UP.

    Click here for a list of the winning albums.

    Throughout the night, Matt Redman frequented the stage, winning 4 awards for his single “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” as well as the Songwriter of the Year Award. Matt was also a part of the Dove-Award winning album, “Passion: Let The Future Begin” along with Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Kari Jobe, David Crowder, and Christy Nockels.

    Artist of the Year was awarded to Tobymac who took home a total of 4 awards, including 3 for his short film and album, “Eye On It”. Upon winning the Artist of the Year Award, TobyMac stated, “It feels weird to be called artist of the year when I know it takes a family, and I always want to acknowledge that. I said in one of my songs a long time ago, ‘I’m just a little man trying to fit in God’s plan.’ I still feel like that”.

    Other winners included For King & Country as New Artist of the Year, Lecrae’s “Tell the World” for Rap/Hip-Hop Song of the Year, and Jason Crabb’s “What the Blood is for” (Southern Gospel Song of the Year). The Uplift Someone Award was given to Mandisa “for her music, message, and humanitarian heart, all of which (individually and collectively) have inspired others,” said Amy Grant.

    Among a number of spectacular performances, the musical tribute to the Gaither Vocal Band, performed by Karen Peck, Daily & Vincent, Signature Sound and the Isaacs, was one of the most remarkable displays of passion and talent. Another memorable moment included a collaborative performance with Michael W. Smith and the Newsboys in honor of evangelist Billy Graham.

    UP’s President & CEO Charles Humbard stated, “Congratulations to the GMA Dove Awards winners, performers, presenters and hosts Amy Grant and Kirk Franklin for a thrilling night a spectacular entertainment. This evening celebrates the unifying and uplifting power of this genre and demonstrates why this is the biggest night of Christian and Gospel music. There is no other network dedicated to showcase this prestigious musical celebration other than UP.”

    For a list of winners click here.

     


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, Lecrae, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Kari Jobe, Newsboys, for King & Country, Chris August, Michael W. Smith, Matt Redman, Kirk Franklin, Mandisa, Passion Conferences, Jason Crabb, Gaither Vocal Band, Kristian Stanfill, Amy Grant, Colton Dixon, Jamie Grace, Billy Graham, Dove Awards, The Isaacs, Big Daddy Weave, Christy Nockels, Karen Peck, Signature Sound

  • Natalie Grant - In the End music video

    Posted on October 15, 2013 by Family Christian

    Offering hope in the midst of life’s storms proves to be a central theme for Natalie Grant, and this album, Hurricane is no different, weaving together songs that offer listeners a greater sense of hope, peace and encouragement. With award winning husband/producer Bernie Herms at the helm, Grant poured her heart into this record and wrote on eight of the 10 tracks.

    Based on her own real-life experiences, Grant voiced, for the first time, her struggle with post-partum depression after the birth of her third child, her feelings of inadequacy when it comes to parenting and her feelings of guilt over the ceaseless balance of work, family, motherhood and faith.

    Check out her new video, In the End. What do you think?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Natalie Grant

  • There Is a Kingdom - Behind the Song with Laura Story

    Posted on October 15, 2013 by Family Christian

    Laura Story is a sharer of stories. She has a way of sharing something from her personal life, while yet still making it completely relate-able to someone else.

    Perhaps it's her quiet spirit.
    Perhaps it's the story itself.

    Regardless, when Laura starts to tell a story, one can't help but stop and listen.

    If you haven't heard Laura's new album, God of Every Story yet, you have been missing something. Laura has returned to that deep place of vulnerability before the Lord and honesty with herself.

    She is joined by producer Ed Cash on the making of God of Every Story. Together, they incorporated acoustic and epic instruments into a worshipful pop album. Lyrically, God of Every Story draws from Laura’s own life. Her husband’s brain tumor early in their marriage led the young family down a painful path she wouldn’t have chosen, but one that deepened her faith and her music. The resulting songs show God’s love and grace intersecting with real life, making this album a wonderful reminder that despite our questions or circumstances, God is the ultimate author of our story.

    Watch as Laura describes her new song, There Is A Kingdom


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Laura Story

  • New Video From Stryper - No More Hell to Pay

    Posted on October 14, 2013 by Family Christian

    Stryper fans need to check out the premiere of the brand new video for “No More Hell To Pay." The song is the title track of their forthcoming studio album NO MORE HELL TO PAY and is the band’s first new video in more than 20 years. NO MORE HELL TO PAY will be released on November 5th in North America via Frontiers Records and will be available in two formats – standard CD and deluxe digipak featuring exclusive video content. Produced by frontman/guitarist Michael Sweet himself, the set features some of Stryper’s strongest and heaviest material ever.

    To pre-order a copy of NO MORE HELL TO PAY, click here.

    Stryper is one of the top Christian rock bands of all time. Comprised of the original line-up of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass), and Robert Sweet (drums), Stryper has been rocking since 1984, and is responsible for such '80s metal classic albums as SOLDIERS UNDER COMMAND, TO HELL WITH THE DEVIL, IN GOD WE TRUST and such MTV hit singles/videos as "Calling on You," "Free," and "Honestly." After a sabbatical for much of the 1990's, Stryper returned strong in the early 21st century. To date, the band has sold upwards of 8 million records worldwide and is a Dove Award-winner and Grammy nominee. Stryper is the first band to have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously.

    What do you think of the video?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Stryper

  • Clergy Appreciation Month

    Posted on October 7, 2013 by Family Christian

    photo credit: Jake Liefer

    You may not realize this, but your pastor works more than just one day a week. A lot oftimes pastors are taken for granted, because people don’t understand the amount of work it takes to prepare and deliver a sermon, visit with people who are sick, counsel others, and lead a church staff all at the same time. It is not easy to juggle all of these duties, and it can be physically, mentally, and spiritually taxing on them.

    Now it is time to show how thankful you are. This month is Clergy Appreciation Month. It is a time to do something above and beyond the norm, in order to give back to your pastor.

    Below are eight different ways you can express your gratitude to your pastor. While this list is not all-inclusive, it does provide you with a number of ideas to get you started thinking about how you can celebrate.

    1. Do Something Special During The Service: This could be anything from a testimony shared by a couple people, to a video or slideshow presentation, or even a thank you flash mob.
    2. Do Something Publicly: Connect with your local Christian bookstore or radio station, and have them recognize your pastor through activities or advertising about them. You could also ask local businesses to put up signs, or put up a special message if they have signs already.
    3. Plan A Big Event: You could organize a big banquet, or just a little after church picnic one Sunday. You could also try and plan a fun night out of bowling, or something similar.
    4. Create Special Decorative Pieces: Create a giant banner and have as many people as you can sign it, put together a memorial scrapbook, or gather people in front of the church and take a picture of everyone together.
    5. Renovate: Maybe your pastor’s office is a little dark and plain. Brighten things up with a new paint job and a new picture. You could also buy them a new desk, or other office supplies. Don’t limit your interior design skills to just the office. Their homes may be in need of a makeover as well.
    6. Purchase A Large Gift: You could either use the church budget, or collect special donations, and then purchase one big item for your pastor.
    7. Purchase A Lot Of Small Gifts: Does your pastor love a certain kind of candy? Get a lot of people to bring in a small bag, and you’ll be able to give over a month’s supply.
    8. Often Overlooked, But Most Important: Your pastors are always in need of prayers, love, and support, just as much as anyone else. These are gifts that should not be saved for clergy appreciation month, but given every day.

    These are all great gifts that your pastor will surely be grateful for, but you don’t need to wait until next October to give them again. Some of these gifts can be weekly, or even daily, and can really grow your community.

    For gift ideas, click here.


    This post was posted in Uncategorized and was tagged with Featured, Gifts, Clergy Appreciation Month, Pastors

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* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

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