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Blog Summary for May 2014

Here are the most popular blog posts as read by you. Thank you for following us!

Shane Harper on Living Out the Gospel

Shane Harper established himself as an artist with a quadruple threat—singer, actor, dancer, and songwriter. He began working as a professional dancer in the entertainment industry when he was just 13, appearing as a principal dancer in High School Musical 2, and in Nickelodeon's show, "Dance on Sunset".

Shane transitioned easily into acting, and is recurring on the hit Disney Channel show, "Good Luck Charlie", for all 4 seasons. He guest starred on "Wizards of Waverly Place", and "So Random". He also guest starred in a 4 episode arc for the scripted MTV series, "Awkward."

As an actor in film, Shane worked with Rob Reiner, in a supporting role for the movie, FLIPPED. He also had a small featured role in the Bollywood film, MY NAME IS KHAN.

Shane has a principal role in the feature film, GOD'S NOT DEAD and recently, I sat down with him to talk about faith, Hollywood, books music and coffee.

Read the full interview here.

Michael W. Smith - Behind the New Album

“Sometimes you’ve just got to shake things up,” Michael W. Smith says with a smile. After selling more than 15 million albums, scoring 28 No. 1 hits, earning three GRAMMYs and more than 40 Dove Awards, no one would blame the Christian music icon if he decided to coast just a little bit, but that’s just not in his nature.

On Sovereign, Michael’s first worship album since 2008 and his first project since signing with Capitol Christian Music Group in 2013, he deliberately steps into a new creative chapter to craft a vibrant collection of vertically focused songs with a fresh sense of musical innovation.

Read the full interview here.

Question and Answers with Nick Vujicic

Being unstoppable is about believing and achieving. It’s about having faith in yourself, your talents and your purpose and, most of all, in God’s great love and His divine plan for your life.

Millions around the world recognize the smiling face and inspirational message of Nick Vujicic. Despite being born without arms or legs, Nick’s challenges have not kept him from enjoying great adventures, a fulfilling and meaningful career, and loving relationships. Nick has overcome trials and hardships by focusing on the promises that he was created for a unique and specific purpose, that his life has value and is a gift to others, and that no matter the despair and hard times in life, God is always present. Nick credits his success in life to the power that is unleashed when faith takes action.

Nick took some time out of his busy schedule to do a little Q&A with us. Read them here.

Pulling No Punches - an interview with Lecrae

From “latch-key kid” to key player in the Man Up movement, Lecrae’s life is an example of God’s transformative power – and he’s not quiet about it. In his signature straight-shoot approach, new album Gravity calls Christians to open their eyes to the weight of need in their world and share the love of Jesus as never before.

Read the full interview here.

A Q&A with Capital Kings

There’s no denying much of today’s music has the power to move the masses physically. Inventive beats and hooky choruses are the currency of the day. Now enter Capital Kings, a talented duo that blends pop, electronic dance music, and rap into an intoxicating musical mix that makes audiences want to move, and yet there’s a thought-provoking, life-affirming undercurrent. Capital Kings combine style with substance and introduce flash with a foundation.

Jon White and Cole Walowac have parlayed a long-term friendship and shared passion for music into one of the hottest careers in the industry. Despite their young age, the duo’s
history is a lengthy one. “We were in the nursery in the same church,” Jon says. “We moved away to Massachusetts for a few years, Cole and I met back up in the same middle school and we started playing in the youth group band. Cole would play drums and I would sing and that’s how we started making music.”

Read the full q&a here.

All or Nothing with Mike from MIKESCHAIR

The band may have been formed in a dorm room with a group of college friends, but it has since become a music ministry that has touched peoples hearts and minds all over the globe.

Here is Mike Grayson, the lead singer of Mikeschair, speaking about how he got involved with music, his songwriting process, and explaining some of the tracks from the latest album, All or Nothing.

Read the full interview here.

Matt Maher. On Being Christian.

Matt Maher's newest album, All The People Said Amen," fuses the popularity of his vibrant live show with several new studio cuts, offering fans an assortment of writing and performance styles.

“This project,” offers Maher, “is a real collage of who I am musically. You’ll hear intimate worship songs, anthemic praise tunes often sung and shouted aloud together in unison, and celebratory songs that inspire the whole church.”

I chatted with Matt on cold winter day.  What follows is a conversation on who Matt is, what he hopes to accomplish and how he just wants to sing about Jesus.

Read the full interview here.

Francesca Battistelli - A Girl. A Voice. A Mission.

"The more you walk in relationship with the Lord, the more you learn to trust him. I'm learning not to focus so much on the issues I think are so big right now—our bus has broken down, or someone said something that frustrated me. I'm learning to slowly let things roll off my back, to say, 'Hey, God knew about this before it happened and He's got a way out or a plan better than mine.' I've learned to stop freaking out and just trust that God knows what he's doing. He's not going to leave me in a bad place because He never has before."

Such it is with Francesca Battistelli. Honest. Simple. Beautiful. Intentional.

We have all been exposed to her music. Starting with "I'm Letting Go," or "Free to Be Me." "This is the Stuff" or "Strangely Dim." It doesn't matter. For every time that "Franny" opens her mouth to sing, she is opening her heart.

There is a vulnerable side to this young lady. And if you didn't know it already, you will be able to hear it by reading the interview below. Franny came to our corporate Christmas party to bring encouragement and holiday greetings. After I sat down with her, I was reminded again about her passion.

Read the full interview here.

Kari Jobe - Pioneering New Roads in Worship

Dictionary.com gives the definition of pioneer in the following ways
1. a person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others.
2. one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress.
3. one of a group of foot soldiers detailed to make roads.

For more than 15 years, well-respected worship leader Kari Jobe has been using her gifts to lead people into the presence of God. When she began leading worship at age 13, she never imagined she would be nominated for a GRAMMY®, win a Dove Award or be praised by the New York Times. She only knew she had a heart for broken people and a deep desire to lead them to the cross.

Pioneer? This may be the word that describes who Kari is and what she hopes to do as an artist.

I sat down with Kari and asked about her background. Where she came from, how she found Jesus and where is she going. Read the full interview here.

The Life, Legacy and Music of Bill Gaither

The pages of history have been written by ordinary people who had something extraordinary to say with their lives. Bill Gaither is just such an individual… an Indiana-born kid with an insatiable love for music who grew to become an industry leader who would change the course of gospel music history through the songs he has written and through his influence as a mentor for other artists.An avid fan of gospel quartets throughout his childhood, Bill founded his first group, The Bill Gaither Trio, in 1956, while he was a college student. He began teaching English in 1959 because his musical aspirations couldn’t support him full-time… yet. In 1962, Bill did one of the best things he has ever done. He married Gloria Sickal, who became the best writing partner Bill could have found anywhere. The couple spent the first five years of their married life juggling full-time teaching jobs, writing, singing, recording and publishing until music became their full-time career in 1967.

Read the full interview here.

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