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User Archives: Family Christian

  • Five Questions With Author Tracy Groot

    Posted on September 9, 2013 by Family Christian


    Tracy Groot is the critically acclaimed and Christy Award–winning author of several novels. Her most recent books exemplify her unique style of storytelling—reimagining biblical stories within other historical contexts. Tracy's novels have received starred Booklist and Publishers Weekly reviews and have been called "beautifully written" and "page-turning" by Publishers Weekly and "gripping" with "exquisitely drawn" characters by Library Journal. Tracy and her husband have three boys and together run a coffee shop in Holland, Michigan.

    Tracy has a new book coming out early 2014 titled, The Sentinels of Andersonville. We thought that we would sit down with her and ask her a few questions about life.

    What got you interested in writing about the Civil War era?
    I watched a film when I was a kid called The Andersonville Trial. I was a film buff even then, and one element of the story stayed with me: a man testified that the commandant of Andersonville turned away four wagonloads full of food donated for the starving prisoners. He refused to allow Southern citizens to feed Yankees--even dying ones. The story haunted me. Then, in my twenties, a friend loaned me a book called John Ransom's Andersonville Diary. It was another heartbreaking story that never left me.

    In doing your research, how were you challenged the most?
    I had to get into the mind of a Confederate Southerner. I had to think like one in order to write like one. So to put it into a context I could relate to, I imagined how I would feel if, 10 miles from Hudsonville, Michigan, a prison had been built that housed up to 33,000 Muslim terrorists--and one of my sons had died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. How would I feel about feeding them, if I knew they were starving? Would I do what God told me to, and feed my enemy regardless? Or would I feel that to feed them is to be a traitor to my nation and to my son? And if I was inclined to help, then what would I do if my government actually forbade it?

    Are any of the characters in your books based on your personal life?
    Not any one particular character. I suppose they all have a little bit of me in them, because I have to tap into a lot of Me in order to get to Them. In early development, I tend to give characters recognizable elements from people I know, and then the characters take off with it and become who they are; I've found that real human beings defy getting trapped on paper. They won't stand for it, and fictional characters won't stand for it either. They want to be who they are, not Aunt Helen or my brother Rick. But when I start out with Aunt Helen or Rick, I start from a place where I am familiar with certain personality traits and I can write strongly--then the characters get some feet under them, and take it from there.

    What has God been teaching you lately?
    He's been reminding me that I need to put action to my thinking. G.K. Chesterton said that right thinking is a waste without right action. I believe that's true. Then we'd all just be a bunch of philosophers on a rock. I heard on the radio today that the action people took in the Bible brought about divine response. I've been meditating on this, from Psalm 50:23--"He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me, and to him who orders his way aright, will I show the salvation of God." Basically--God helps those who help themselves. It's not enough for me to mentally assent. God wants action, whatever it is. I may not feel like taking action at all. I may not feel like I have faith. But, as I also heard today, "You can be full of faith and no feeling." And this: "You believe by following through on the action proscribed." If I know I need to bite my tongue about something, mental assent does no good unless I bite my tongue. I believe God blesses the most faltering steps, if step out, we do. I believe he even honors and blesses it when I holler, "You know what, God?! I sure as heck don't feel like biting my tongue right now--so if you want me to, then you're gonna have to pull off a miracle--give me the want to." If I can at least tell God how displeased I am about having to obey something, that opens up a line of communication between us--it shows me and it shows God that I know who I need to go to for the hard things, when I just can't pull it off myself. I've also been meditating on a George McDonald quote: "He gave man the power to thwart His will, that when he comes at last to do His will, he may do so in a higher kind and way than otherwise would have been possible to him."

    What is on your "bucket list?
    A few bucket list things: I'd like to visit Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, and the Scottish Hebrides. Not necessarily in that order. I'd like to be on the NY Times bestseller list. I'd like to have lunch with the entire cast of BBC's Merlin for a cast reunion to talk about old times. (Well--they'll talk about old times; I'll interject pithy comments and take pictures.) Then I'd talk them into a new series, where Arthur comes back. Finally, I'd like to co-star on Alphas, my current favorite sci-fi series; I'd hang out all day with my favorite Alpha, Gary.

    For more information on Tracy, click here.


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Fiction, Tracy Groot

  • New Video from Sanctus Real - Pray

    Posted on August 28, 2013 by Family Christian

    Rather than simply glossing over struggles, Sanctus Real has never been afraid to shine a light on challenges and hardships. On the band’s sixth studio album, Run, Sanctus Real have written songs that promise to become encouraging anthems of hope and healing that listeners can cling to in their own trying times. Through both their struggles and victories, the guys in Sanctus Real have come to realize there’s only one place to run, and that’s into God's arms, and to his word and promises.

    The band continues to build on their best-selling and 2010 Grammy nominated album, Pieces of a Real Heart, that carried the breakthrough song of their career. “‘Lead Me’ was a cry from the heart that resounded with families everywhere. We've devoted the better part of our lives writing songs that we pray will matter. Hearing countless stories of how God can use a song has been both humbling and inspiring,” says frontman Matt Hammitt.

    Rather than glossing over their struggles, Sanctus Real is never afraid to shine a light on their challenges and hardships. On the band’s sixth studio album, Run, Sanctus Real presents songs that promise to become encouraging anthems of hope and healing that listeners can cling to in their own trying times.

    Songs like the first single from Run, "Pray," will find you exactly where you are, sharing the struggles and victories that make up the life story of a band that wears its heart on its sleeve.

    Watch the video here:

    What do you think?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Sanctus Real

  • The 44th Annual GMA Dove Awards' Nominations Are...

    Posted on August 22, 2013 by Family Christian

    The 44th Annual GMA Dove Awards is Gospel music's biggest night of the year, featuring top artists from the many different genres of Gospel and Christian music. The event will be an evening of music and celebration held at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena on Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Recently, the GMA announced the nominations for the 44th Annual GMA Dove Awards.  Some of the highlights are:

    Artist of the Year-
    Chris Tomlin
    Francesca Battistelli
    Lecrae
    Tamela Mann
    TobyMac

    New Artist of the Year-
    Capital Kings
    Colton Dixon
    for King & Country
    Rhett Walker Band
    Tasha Cobbs

    Again, for the full list, click here for a downloadable pdf.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, Lecrae, Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, for King & Country, Tamela Mann, Rhett Walker Band, Capital Kings, Colton Dixon, Dove Awards, Tasha Cobbs

  • Sara Groves Reveals The Collection On September 17

    Posted on August 21, 2013 by Family Christian

    Sara Groves is embraced as an esteemed, talented singer-songwriter and consummate storyteller. On September 17, Sara will release The Collection, celebrating her career thus far and culling the best and brightest from her 10 studio albums. The Collection weaves together Sara’s catalog of career successes from her debut record, Past the Wishing to her latest project, the critically praised release of Invisible Empires. In addition to the 23 songs from her repertoire, the September two-disc release will also include four brand new songs. Beginning next week and leading into November, Sara will release new live performance videos from select songs off The Collection.

    “I made a map of my life on my 40th birthday and remembered in broad strokes the first 20 years of my life and then the second,” says Sara. “I was amazed that there was rarely just one monolithic line, plummeting and rising, but that in the darker hours, there was almost always a counter-rise. You know what I’m talking about because when I go out and sing, you come and tell me about your plummeting and rising and these songs that mark each turn in the line. We’ve done our best to compile a group of songs to follow that line and 15 years of making music.”

    In tune with the release of The Collection, Sara and friends Andrew Peterson and Bebo Norman will embark on the “In The Round Tour” this fall. The multi-city tour begins in September and runs through November, sharing stories from each artist’s latest releases.

    Track Listing for The Collection:
    *New tracks

    DISC 1
    1. Strangely Ready*
    2. Maybe There’s a Loving God
    3. The Word
    4. You Are The Sun
    5. Something Changed
    6. Add To The Beauty
    7. How Is It Between Us
    8. Awakening
    9. Fly
    10. Painting Pictures of Egypt
    11. You Cannot Lose My Love
    12. He’s Always Been Faithful
    13. Blessed Be The Tie*

    DISC 2
    1. Lay It Down*
    2. When The Saints
    3. Eyes Wide Open
    4. Come Thou Fount
    5. Every Minute
    6. Fireflies And Songs
    7. Setting Up The Pins
    8. Miracle
    9. Roll To The Middle
    10. I Saw What I Saw
    11. All Right Here
    12. Eye On The Prize
    13. Why It Matters
    14. Kindness of Strangers*


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Bebo Norman, Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves

  • Christmas Oranges Comes to DVD

    Posted on August 21, 2013 by Family Christian

    Share a slice of Christmas sweetened with friendship in this classic story based on the book by Linda Bethers and Ben Sowards. When an epidemic forces the closing of Greenwoods Orphanage, a young girl named Rose (Bailee Johnson) is abruptly shipped from the only home she's ever known. From the warmth and kindness of Mrs. Hartley (Nancy Stafford), Rose finds Irongates and its strict headmaster, Mr. Crampton (Edward Herrman), to be cold and cruel. When Rose learns that each child receives an orange on Christmas, she waits in eager anticipation, but will Mr. Crampton's cruelty take away her special treat on Christmas morning?

    Look for Christmas Oranges by clicking here.


    This post was posted in Movies and was tagged with Featured, Movies, Christmas

  • Laura Story's I Can Just Be Me (Lyric Video)

    Posted on August 19, 2013 by Family Christian

    Talented worship leader and songwriter Laura Story is best known for her inspirational hit "Blessings" and for co-writing "Indescribable," a Chris Tomlin anthem. Now, with her third studio album, God of Every Story, Story returns to that deep place of vulnerability before the Lord and honesty with herself.

    Award-winning producer Ed Cash helmed the deeply personal project, and their shared Carolina roots led to the incorporation of acoustic and epic instruments into this worshipful pop album. Lyrically, God of Every Story draws from Story’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.

    For more information on Laura, click here.


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

  • Audio Adrenaline Head Out on Tour

    Posted on August 19, 2013 by Family Christian


    Audio Adrenaline is ready to get back on the road to take on the fall leg of their "Kings & Queens Tour," hitting at least 30 cities throughout the nation. These fall dates are the extended run following up to the band's successful return to the touring landscape this past spring, coming on the heels of announcing their return last September. The tour, which will also feature Disciple, Stellar Kart, and Ryan Stevenson, is in support of Audio Adrenaline’s Kings & Queens.

    This fall the band will continue to convey the passionate message for their non-profit ministry, Hands & Feet Project. The Hands & Feet Project is dedicated to providing long-term, family-style care for orphaned and abandoned children in need of a home and family. Joining in to help support this mission is Food For the Hungry, a Christian organization serving the poor globally since 1971, who will sponsor the "Kings & Queens Tour."

    "Food for the Hungry is thrilled to be partnering with Audio Adrenaline on the Kings and Queens Tour," shares Ben Greene, Senior Director at Food for the Hungry. "The FH staff has admired the wonderful work of Hands & Feet Project for several years and is privileged to have the opportunity to partner with all that they are accomplishing."

    According to Mark Stuart, Executive Director and co-founder of Hands & Feet Project and founding Audio A member, "The relaunch of Audio Adrenaline and the message of 'Kings & Queens' has blessed the ministry of the Hands & Feet Project beyond measure. Now, with Food for the Hungry as the new Audio A tour partner, more of Haiti's needy children will be reached with the sustaining hope of Christ. We are so thankful for FH's partnership and their on-going commitment to provide help for those in need."

    Although Audio Adrenaline has been appearing at various festivals throughout this summer sharing their music and ministry with thousands of fans, they are more than ready to kick off this leg of their tour, planning to deliver an exciting live show with the same heart and more energy than ever before. Concertgoers will be able to hear the band's latest singles, "Kings & Queens" and "Believer," as well as well-known previous Audio A hits.

    Already more than 40 stations are playing the newest radio hit, “Believer,” which can be heard on such stations including K-LOVE, SiriusXM, ReachFM, KLJY/St. Louis, KXOJ/Tulsa, KSGN/Riverside, and WBVM/Tampa. Don’t miss the music video for "Believer" as well as the story behind the song, which can be viewed here.


    The most current tour dates for the "Kings & Queens Tour" are listed below
    OCTOBER
    03 - Wilkes-Barre, PA
    04 - Watertown, NY
    05 - Rehoboth, MA
    06 - Pittsfield, MA
    10 - Greenville, SC
    11 - North Charleston, SC
    12 - Shallotte, NC
    16 - Somerset, KY
    17 - Lebanon, OH
    18 - Cherryville, PA
    19 - Woodstock, VA
    20 - Nashville, TN
    26 - Jamestown, ND

    NOVEMBER
    08 - Oceanside, CA
    10 - Sparks, NV
    12 - Salt Lake City, UT
    13 - Grand Junction, CO
    14 - Roswell, NM
    15 - Parker, CO
    16 - Pampa, TX
    17 - Midland, TX
    *Tour dates subject to change


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Audio Adrenaline, Disciple, Stellar Kart, Ryan Stevenson

  • Stephen and Alex Kendrick Dare Couples

    Posted on August 19, 2013 by Family Christian

    A yearlong journey helping couples transform and deepen their marriages, The Love Dare Day by Day, releases in padded hardback Sept. 1. From groundbreaking filmmakers and best-selling authors Stephen and Alex Kendrick, the new release of The Love Dare Day by Day from B&H Publishing Group.

    “You’re about to learn more about yourself and your marriage—some of it encouraging, some convicting,” Alex Kendrick tells readers. “In either case, you gain a new view of where you are with your marriage and with God.”

    The Love Dare Day by Day—A Year of Devotion for Couples joins the international phenomenon of The Love Dare, with nearly 6 million copies sold. In The Love Dare Day by Day, 52 biblically based “dares”—one each week—challenge married partners to unconditional love. Daily devotions amplify each dare’s scriptural base.

    “Our marriages reveal our need to grow and deal with our own issues and selfishness,” Stephen Kendrick said. “But if we are teachable, we can learn the single most important lesson in life—to love. One powerful union, our marriage, invites us to learn to love another imperfect person unconditionally. It’s wonderful, it’s difficult and it’s life-changing.”

    The Love Dare Day by Day features:

    • 365 readings on aspects of genuine love
    • 52 weekly dares to help readers better live out their love in marriage
    • Dozens of prayers spouses can pray for themselves and their partners
    • Questions to spur creative thinking about your marriage
    • More than 100 “Go Deeper” sections for personal Bible study on marriage and love
    • A link to a free online marriage evaluation resource

    The Love Dare Day by Day is for one or both spouses. Each week’s “dare” ranges from focused prayer to specific ways spouses can build each other up. A few examples:

    • “Begin praying this week: ‘Lord, teach me what real love is and make me a loving person.’”
    • “Make a list of positive attributes about your spouse, then choose one each day and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.”
    • “Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements and needs before the Lord. Don’t forget to thank Him for His provisions and blessings.”

    Simple? Yes. Easy? Rarely. But practical, doable and potentially life-changing. The Love Dare Day by Day—A Year of Devotions for Couples can lead to new marriages with the same partners.

    Brothers, pastors, filmmakers and authors, Alex and Stephen Kendrick co-wrote the international bestsellers The Love Dare, The Love Dare for Parents and The Resolution for Men. They are among the co-founders of Sherwood Pictures and worked together to write and produce the hit Christian films FLYWHEEL, FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF and COURAGEOUS. Kendrick Brothers Productions is expanding their movie productions with renewed focus on encouraging and equipping the next generation of Christian filmmakers. Alex and Stephen continue to serve on the pastoral staff of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.


    This post was posted in Books, Movies and was tagged with Featured, Courageous, Marriage, Fireproof, Alex Kendrick, Facing the Giants, Stephen Kendrick, Flywheel

  • Show Your Love for Mandisa

    Posted on August 19, 2013 by Family Christian

    Show your love for Mandisa with these exclusive cover photos for your Facebook page!

    Add one to your page today.

    right click on image to download

    right click on image to download

     

    right click on image to download

     

    right click on image to download

    To read our exclusive interview with Mandisa, click here. Check out her new album by clicking here.


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

  • Jars of Clay Release Eleventh Studio Album - Inland

    Posted on August 14, 2013 by Family Christian

    GRAMMY and Dove Awards winning band Jars of Clay is set to release its eleventh studio album, Inland, on its own Gray Matters label with distribution through Tone Tree.  Produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Beth Orton, The Decemberists) and mixed by Beau Sorenson and Jacquire King, Inland is available today for pre-order and will be available Aug. 27.

    It’s been nearly twenty years since Dan Haseltine, Steve Mason, Charlie Lowell and Matthew Odmark released their debut Frail. Students at the time, Jars of Clay once again harness the youthful ambition and uninhibited creativity of their beginnings for Inland, while cultivating a maturity in sound with embellishments of violin, horns and ambient melodies that attests two decades of experience.

    “These are songs for the ordinary days – when life is weighty and uncertain,” reflects Matthew Odmark. “It is this middle space that we have inhabited over the years.  It’s where you and I do the gritty work of actually living.”

    The music on Inland has a rich cinematic quality, marked by Lowell’s lush keyboard melodies, Odmark’s strong acoustic rhythm guitar and Mason’s serpentine bass lines. The album’s first single and upcoming video, “After The Fight,” featuring the atmospheric guitar textures of Adrian Belew, has a low-key swagger that brings to mind the intergalactic art rock of Bowie and Peter Murphy. “We asked Adrian Belew if he’d come in and work his magic,” explains Haseltine. “He produced two songs on our first record, but we were too intimidated to let him play guitar. This time he added his big, wild, twanging guitar sound, the reverse solos and all the other effects he’s famous for.”

    Following years on labels, Inland marks Jars of Clay’s first independent release, “We’ve had enough experience with record labels working a project because they have to,” says Haseltine. “Everyone we work with loves the record and wants to help us build something as a band with a big creative vision.”

    Part of that creative vision is to shatter some of the preconceived notions built over the years by label marketing strategies. “It took a long time to strip away every voice that wasn’t ours to make Inland,” explains Haseltine. “For me, it's always been about a great song. We want to connect with people who love music for music. That's why created our own label.”

    Jars of Clay is currently on tour, playing new music from Inland and fan favorites spanning the band’s repertoire that includes 16 No. 1 songs.  Confirmed tour dates follow:

    August 15         BIRMINGHAM, AL                           WorkPlay Theater^
    August 16         CHARLOTTE, NC                              Amos’ Southend^
    August 17         KNOXVILLE, TN                              Bijou Theater^
    August 18         CHARLESTON, SC                           The Music Farm^
    August 21         GREENVILLE, SC                              The Handlebar^
    August 23         JACKSONVILLE, FL                         Murray Hill Theater^
    August 24         ORLANDO, FL                                  The Social^
    August 25         ST. PETERSBURG, FL                       State Theatre^
    August 29         NASHVILLE, TN                               3rd & Lindsley
    September 10   LITTLE ROCK, AR                            Revolution Music Room#
    September 11   TULSA, OK                                        The Vanguard#
    September 12   HUTCHINSON, KS                           Kansas State Fair#
    September 13   COLORADO SPRINGS, CO             The Black Sheep#
    September 14   SALT LAKE CITY, UT                      Urban Lounge#
    September 15   BOISE, ID                                           Knitting Factory#
    September 17   SEATTLE, WA                                   Puyallup County Fair#
    September 18   PORTLAND, OR                                Aladdin Theater#
    September 20   SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA                    SLO Brewing Co.
    September 21   PALMDALE, CA                                Palmdale Amphitheatre#
    September 22   SANTA ANA, CA                              The Observatory
    September 24   MESA, AZ                                          Mesa Arts Center#
    September 25   ALBUQUERQUE, NM                       The Lobo Theater#
    September 27   DALLAS, TX                                      House of Blues, Cambridge Room#
    October 23      SPRINGFIELD, MO                           Gillioz Theatre
    * Brooke Waggoner
    ^ The Last Bison
    # Brooke Waggoner/Kye Kye


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Jars of Clay

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