Tour Features Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton With Special Guest BJ Putnam
World-renowned worship leader and best-selling author, Darlene Zschech, and five-time GRAMMY Award-winner, Israel Houghton, open their U.S. “Revealing Jesus Tour” in San Diego today (April 16) followed by events in Las Vegas (4/17), Phoenix (4/18), Irvine and Rancho Cucamonga, CA (4/19), Houston (4/20-21) and Dallas (4/21). In addition to new music from Zschech and Houghton, the events will feature special guest worship leader and songwriter BJ Putnam. For all the latest tour detail and ticket information, go to www.darlenezschech.com.
Christians across continents are joining in the call to worship presented through Zschech’s Revealing Jesus live CD/DVD and 365-day devotional hardcover gift book from RGM-NEW BREED Music / Integrity Music and Bethany House Publishers, respectively. Released March 19 amidst international acclaim, her long-awaited new recording was produced by Houghton and features special guest appearances and song co-writes with Michael W. Smith, Kari Jobe and Houghton. The first video from the Revealing Jesus DVD is “Victor's Crown.”
Dr. Chuck Fromm, founder and publisher of Worship Leader Magazine / Song Discovery says, “Among today’s hymnwriters and music creators, Darlene Zschech is a pioneer, mentor and vital contributor with worldwide impact.” Charisma Magazine says, “Zschech, with Houghton’s direction, has crafted one of the finest live worship projects in recent memory, which serves as a bridge for those raised on early Hillsong music who want to sing a new song.” CCM Magazine says, “In her classic fashion, worship leader Darlene Zschech brings her A-game once more in this newest release.”
In addition to the 12 new Revealing Jesus CD/DVD worship anthems, bonus tracks in custom versions of the album will include fresh takes on such internationally acclaimed songs as “Shout to the Lord,” “Hosanna” and “Worthy is the Lamb,” as well as the Houghton-penned “Jesus at the Center.” The custom versions include a “deluxe” CD/DVD combination.
The companion Revealing Jesus book was poured out from the pages of Zschech’s personal journals. Honest, raw, and beautifully written, the devotional contains meditations and Scriptures revealing the heart of Jesus. Worship Leader magazine says the book is “beneficial for those who may feel stuck in a rut in their prayer life or for those who may not know where to start, overwhelmed by the vastness of the Bible…[it] will help readers to gain a fresh perspective and renewed hope for each day, deepening their understanding of God and drawing them closer to Him.”
To listen to song samples from Darlene's newest album, click here.
Life is Beautiful even in the midst of a hectic tax week.
At least it is for The Afters who release their fourth studio album today, April 16. The chart-topping foursome delivers their much-anticipated release to a sea of high praises after more than two and a half years since their last studio album. The project plays anthem to the heartbreaks and life experiences that lead to the album’s appropriately titled affirmation – Life is Beautiful.
The band kicks-off the release of Life is Beautiful with a week-long media run in New York City with visits to Billboard Magazine, FOX News Radio, Guideposts Magazine, Liberty Treehouse, Sirius FM and Star99.1 FM, among others. In addition, The Afters will perform their infectious lead single, “Every Good Thing” on the highly acclaimed morning show, The Better Show. Their interview and performance will air on the nationally syndicated lifestyle TV program next Monday, April 22. The single is also making impressive gains at radio, breaking into the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot AC/CHR Chart and jumping to No. 7 on the Billboard Christian Audience Chart.
Check out a few of the glowing praises on Life is Beautiful:
"Four albums into its hit heavy career, The Afters are continuing to craft hook heavy material with thought-provoking lyrics, which in this particular case, seek to encourage and enrich fans’ faith journeys while giving glory to God for even the simplest blessings."
“This album challenges us to dive into our own lives and make sure that the beautiful moments aren’t forgotten. Life Is Beautiful encourages us to live our lives head on to experience the wonder and beauty set before us.”
- Indie Music Vision
“Filled with fun, encouraging and several heart-touching moments, Life Is Beautiful is easily one of the must-own albums of 2013. If there was any time to discover The Afters, it's now. “
- New Release Tuesday
"In the midst of discouragement, disappointment, and overall disarray, an album like Life Is Beautiful speaks directly to these injustices"
- Jesus Freak Hideout
"This is The Afters’ best work to date... It speaks to the being of humanity, God's greatest creation, that Life Is Beautiful."
- Christian Music Zine
The Afters are currently on the Hundred More Years tour with Francesca Battistelli, Love and the Outcome and Kyle Sherman. For more information on tour dates and tickets click here.
Hillsong UNITED's Joel Houston appeared in studio April 14th on FoxNews LIVE talking about their recent release Zion as well as their upcoming US tour. In case you missed it, watch below to view the interview.
In the interview, Joel talked about how UNITED has grown over the years in their mission, "Our music has found a voice and given us the opportunity to take the songs places we could never have imagined. Our main cause is to unite people around common causes in the name of Jesus."
And UNITED's new studio album, Zion, has done just that as the international worship band earned its highest ever Billboard 200 debut at No. 5 .
In June, Hillsong UNITED will debut their USA summer tour, "WELCOMEZION." UNITED will be appearing at 12 venues across the nation including the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver. Tickets for all dates are currently on sale here.
If you like faith-based films that inspire and encourage you, then plan to see Home Run when it opens in theaters on April 19.
About Home Run
Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control. Hoping to save her client's career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory's agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up.
Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can't wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible. As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future … and win back the love he left behind. With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.
Max Lucado says, "'Home Run' reminds us of the power of forgiveness, the richness of redemption, and the wisdom of trusting God to revive us."
Joyce Meyer adds, "'Home Run' portrays the church in its beauty—true life transformation through real and honest relationships with one another and with Jesus."
Tickets are available and show times are listed here for the theaters where this powerful, redemptive parable will be opening. Make plans now to bring a group to see HOME RUN on opening weekend, April 19-21.
Wondering who will be impacted by Home Run? Take a look at this DadPad blog post written by Jeff Abramovitz:
"Raise your hand if you had or know someone who had a difficult childhood. Raise your other hand if you or someone you know has struggled with some kind of addiction. Since most of us now have two raised hands put them down and get ready to buy a ticket for the opening weekend of the movie, Home Run that comes out April 19-21."
One boy with a love for soccer imagined more and filled children’s hearts around the world. You’re the captain of your life. Become part of the change, and put your faith into action.
What does it mean to live a life of generosity?
Alister McGrath is one of the world's leading Christian theologians. He is Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at King's College London, and Head of its Center for Theology, Religion and Culture. Before moving to King's College, he was Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University.
Like Lewis, Alister was born in Belfast, and became an atheist as a young man, before rediscovering the Christian faith at Oxford University. His deep knowledge of Christian theology, history, and literature allowed him to interpret Lewis against a broad backdrop, presenting a fascinating portrait of the development of Lewis's mind and his impact on western culture.
1. What stimulated your interest in writing a new biography of C. S. Lewis?
I started reading Lewis in the 1970s, when I was a student at Oxford University, and my admiration for him has grown over the years. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of his death, and it seemed right to mark the occasion with a new biography.
2. Describe the parallels between your own spiritual journey and that of Lewis.
Lewis and I have many things in common. We were both born in Belfast and spent our childhoods there. We were both students and then dons at Oxford University. Both of us were atheists who discovered Christianity at Oxford. And we both try to defend Christianity against its critics. I think these parallels made it easier for me to understand Lewis.
3. You note that in the late 1940s, the famed “Kilns” where Lewis and his brother, Warnie, lived had become a dysfunctional household. What created the tension, and how did this affect Lewis’s writing?
Lewis shared The Kilns with his brother, Warnie, Mrs. Moore, and her daughter, Maureen. Maureen left home after her marriage in 1940. Shortly after this, it became obvious that Warnie had become an alcoholic, and Mrs. Moore began to develop dementia. By the late 1940s, Lewis found himself acting as a full-time nurse to Mrs. Moore (who could no longer look after herself) while trying to cope with his brother’s frequent absences on alcoholic binges in Ireland and their aftermath. It was unquestionably one of the darkest periods of his life.
4. Lewis was regarded by many of his academic colleagues at Oxford with suspicion or derision during that same period. Why did he experience such academic hostility?
There were two sources of concern to Lewis’s academic colleagues at Oxford in the 1940s. The first was Lewis’s explicit commitment to Christianity, which irritated the more dogmatic academic atheists of his day. Yet the evidence suggests that this was not the major concern. Academic hostility towards Lewis really began to develop in the early 1940s, and largely rested on the perception that he had become a populariser rather than a serious scholar. This impression arose primarily as a result of The Screwtape Letters. These were seen by many of his colleagues as academically frivolous and lightweight. Lewis would probably have got away with this, if he had produced some major academic works around this time. But it was not until 1954 that Lewis produced a really serious piece of scholarship, which restored his academic reputation and helped secure his appointment as Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University.
5. One of the most compelling aspects of your research involves the redating of Lewis’s conversion to theism. What led you to reexamine this chronology?
I did not expect to raise questions about the traditional dating of Lewis’s conversion to theism. Yet the method of research I used forced me to this conclusion. In preparation for this work, I read everything that Lewis wrote in chronological order. After I had read everything for 1929—the traditional date of his “conversion”—I was puzzled. Nothing fundamental seemed to have changed.
Yet beginning in February 1930, his writings show obvious signs of some kind of reorientation. I then examined the evidence for the traditional date of his conversion in minute detail, and concluded—for reasons set out clearly in the biography—that his conversion must have taken place a year later than everyone had believed. I think this is the most significant finding reported in the biography.
6. In the course of your research, you conducted a complete, chronological analysis of the entire collection of Lewis’s letters and archives. How long did this take you?
This took me fifteen months and involved long periods of reading and note-taking. But it was fascinating, seeing how Lewis’s ideas and style developed and how his authorial “voice” emerged. I took the view that you simply could not write a biography of Lewis without reading his total output.
One result of this is that I quote from Lewis more than many of his earlier biographers so that my readers can hear Lewis’s voice, and not simply my own. I also explored archives, mainly in Oxford, and was able to turn up some important material never used by Lewis’s biographers that casts new light on his life, especially during the 1910s.
7. Many readers are fascinated by the love relationship late in life between Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham. You quote her son Douglas as stating that his mother originally went to England with one specific intention: “To seduce C. S. Lewis.” How did he come to assess the situation in that manner?
Douglas Gresham bases his judgment on his memories of his mother from that time. We don’t know quite what led him to that judgment, but the evidence now available confirms his suspicions. It is clear from some of Joy’s writings of the period—especially a collection of “Sonnets” that have only very recently come to light—that she actively set out to seduce Lewis. We can hope to have some fine new biographies of Joy from significant scholars in the near future which will explore this matter in much greater detail.
8. You write that Joy’s marriage to Jack was, in Lewis’s view, purely a marriage of convenience at first. At what point did Lewis’s feelings for her begin to change?
Lewis initially saw his clandestine civil marriage to Joy as a chivalrous act which would enable her to remain in England and develop her career as a journalist and writer. The evidence strongly suggests that Lewis’s feelings towards Joy began to change when he became conscious that she was seriously ill. The realization that he might soon lose her seems to have triggered a deep sense of compassionand care, resulting in a romantic love for Joy that doesn’t seem to have been present earlier. It’s hard to date this development, but it’s clearly reflected in a letter Lewis wrote to the novelist Dorothy L. Sayers in June 1957.
9. The friendship between Lewis and Tolkien cooled as the years progressed. Why did Tolkien’s views about Lewis darken?
The relationship between Lewis and Tolkien was of major importance to both throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s. The cooling seems to have taken place mainly on Tolkien’s side, reflecting three issues. The first was what seems to have been jealousy on Tolkien’s part about the growing influence that the novelist Charles Williams had on Lewis in the early 1940s. This was alleviated somewhat with Williams’s death in 1945. The second emerged in the early 1950s, when Tolkien began to suspect that Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia borrowed some of his own ideas without due acknowledgment. Third, Tolkien regarded Lewis’s views of marriage as inadequate and was dismayed by Lewis marrying a divorcée and hurt by the fact that Lewis failed to tell him about it. In any case, Tolkien cordially detested Joy personally. Yet Lewis always respected and admired Tolkien. One of my discoveries in researching this biography was a hitherto unknown letter in which Lewis proposed Tolkien for the 1961 Nobel Prize for Literature, which clearly reflects this high regard.
10. Lewis’s death on November 22, 1963, was overshadowed in the media by the assassination of John F. Kennedy. How are we to judge Lewis’s life and legacy fifty years after his death?
The most important thing is that more people read Lewis today than at any point in his lifetime. Although many—including Lewis himself—believed that his influence and reputation would quickly fade after his death, Lewis has bounced back. Partly this reflects the imaginative appeal of the Chronicles of Narnia, particularly now that some of the novels have been turned into major movies. But there is also substantial interest in Lewis’s literary and religious writings, some of which have established themselves as “classics.” My biography provides a solid base for future exploration of Lewis’s legacy, which I think is going to be significant for some considerable time to come.
To download and read the first chapter of C.S. Lewis - A Life, just right click and "save as" here.
Have you or your family experienced the Creation Museum yet? This state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers. The serpent coils cunningly in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Majestic murals, great masterpieces brimming with pulsating colors and details, provide a backdrop for many of the settings.
Enter to win tickets for you and __________ to the Creation Museum.
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