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Family Christian

  • Matt Redman’s Receives ASCAP’s Award

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Family Christian


    The reasons to celebrate continue to add up for sixstepsrecords’ acclaimed worship leader Matt Redman. This year alone, Redman’s powerful single “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” has been certified Digital Gold by the RIAA, earned two GRAMMY® awards and is nominated for K-LOVE Fan Awards’ “Song of The Year.” The song is also up for “Top Christian Song” at the Billboard Music Awards, one of two nods for Redman for the award show. Adding to the worship anthem’s impressive honors came earlier this week when it was named ASCAP’s Christian Music Song of the Year at Monday night’s ASCAP Christian Awards at the Franklin Theatre.

    "I love watching the journey a song can go on," says Redman. "We wrote '10,000 Reasons' in a tiny little chapel in the English village I live in, and it's been a big blessing to see if fly around so many churches and radio - and then to receive an encouragement like this. Huge thanks to ASCAP for the award."

    Momentum continues for Redman as he is set to record a brand new worship album at Passion City Church’s ‘LIFT: A Worship Leader Collective’ in Atlanta, GA from May 31 – June. 1. Hosted by Louie Giglio and GRAMMY® winner Chris Tomlin, the event will bring together worship leaders from across the country. Redman's forthcoming project will be a live recording from the event, following suit with 10,000 Reasons, which was recorded at the LIFT gathering in 2011. The new album will release on Sept. 24.

  • SHINE BRIGHT BABY Debuts Dreamers

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Family Christian


    BEC Recordings is set to release the first recording from the band Shine Bright Baby. The national debut disc from the worshipful electronic rockers, titled Dreamers, is set to release July 23.

    The foursome comprising Shine Bright Baby - Emily Irene on vocals, guitarist Nathan Fertig, Joshua Fink on keys, guitars and vocals, and Karl Wendel on drums - each hail from Orrville, Ohio. Their unique band name comes from Philippians 2, which, shares Joshua, “Talks about shining brightly for the Lord, but we wanted to take what that verse said and apply it to the band’s mission and what we stood for. Emily wanted it to be more fun and playful, so she tacked ‘Baby’ on the end and it just stuck.”

    None of the members of Shine Bright Baby had the lifelong mission to be part of a band, yet when local reception grew so strong that major festivals and record labels were showing interest, they had no choice but to notice God’s plan for the band. “We all come from church backgrounds, all leading worship at church at various points of life,” says Karl. “Anytime we’re on that stage, our goal is to glorify God and worship through our instruments and voices, and hopefully in turn, help others be able to draw closer to God.”

    Emily and Nathan, who founded the band in 2007, started performing in the local scene in both mainstream club settings and amongst Christian circles, performing their inventive mixture of pop, rock, electronic and modern worship. During the time, most of the bands in town steered towards metal and Shine Bright Baby stood out from the pack, then adding Joshua and Karl to their lineup.

    Shine Bright Baby soon found themselves headlining shows as well as opening for acts like The Classic Crime, Ivoryline and Manic Drive, then quickly graduating to playing the major festivals with very little promotion. Soon after, they signed with BEC Recordings.

    “After we signed with BEC Recordings, we went into a really serious songwriting mode, coming up with 70 or 80 songs,” Emily shares. “We needed to find what we wanted and what felt right, and throughout that process, we experienced a lot of growth.” To create Dreamers, they worked with producer and songwriting collaborator Matt Arcaini, creative partners Mike “X” O’Conner and Tofer Brown, plus executive producer Pete Kipley.

    One of the band’s personal favorites from Dreamers is “Made To Glow,” a song about letting God’s love shine in everyone’s daily actions, while the piano/acoustic ballad “Love Restores” was written in the wake of a highly publicized school shooting near the band’s hometown. The group also shows its more aggressive side on “The Brave Ones,” a guitar-charged anthem centered on living a bold life of faith with a little help from Disciple front man Kevin Young.

    The first radio single from Dreamers is the redemptive tune “Beautiful Love.” After just three weeks since hitting the radio airwaves, the song is currently at No. 21 on Hot AC/CHR.

    Shine Bright Baby is on an extensive tour in support of Dreamers. They just wrapped an Acquire The Fire Tour and will soon embark on the Air1’s Club Awesome Tour, as well as numerous festival dates throughout the summer and fall.

  • Worth the Effort

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn

    "The purposes of a person's heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out." Proverbs 20:5 (NIV)

    There are two kinds of young women who live in my house. One speaks her mind freely; you don't have to guess where she stands or how she feels. The other is more reserved, holding her emotions and words in check.

    Neither one is right or wrong. Both are deep thinkers and deep feelers. Yet my girls couldn't be more different when it comes to how their thoughts and emotions are expressed. With one, I have a sense of her constant pulse as she daily shares her joys and struggles. With the other ... well, as my mother used to say about my father, "Still waters run deep."

    The writer of Proverbs 20:5 encourages us to make the effort to "draw out" people. As I have found with my daughter, there is much beauty and young wisdom in the deep well of her heart. And while it takes extra work to tap into that low-lying spring, it is often rewarded.

    In a culture where our conversations are often capped at 140 characters on Twitter or summed up in 2-3 sentences on Facebook or text messaging, real conversation may be in jeopardy. The days of front porches and Sunday dinners seem to be all but gone. Yet God's Word tells us a person's heart is deep waters-not something simple and concise that can be summed up short and sweet.

    Whether it is with our daughters, neighbors or girlfriends, we need unhurried moments to draw from each other's hearts. We need time to listen to the wisdom and work God is accomplishing in another's life. These types of conversations usually don't develop in a quick greeting of "How are you?" as we're moving from one task to another. But more often, they are in the intentional moments when we purpose to listen.

    In the original Hebrew language of the Old Testament, "purposes" in this verse means advice, counsel, and plans. Many times, when we take time to listen, we can discover plans our friend has tucked away in her heart. Sometimes it will mean realizing her hidden hope of visiting prisoners and sharing the Gospel with them. Or you might discover your child is reading the Bible on her own as she shares a verse she found.

    Drawing out others or engaging in purposeful conversation also helps us gain insight, wisdom, hope and encouragement when we listen to all God is doing in their heart. We can receive advice and counsel simply by listening to one of His children.

    Stop right now and look at your calendar. Pick a time—tonight, tomorrow or this weekend, and invite someone dear to you to spend time together. Whether it is your daughter whose life spins in and out of your home, or that girlfriend you haven't had coffee with in months, be intentional. Send her a text, give her a call, just make sure to make time. And to listen to the deep waters of her heart.

    Jesus, help me to slow down today, and listen. I need to be present in the present and intentional in investing in others by listening. Make me one who draws others out. Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Help a teen girl in your life learn to fill that deep well in her heart with Lynn's book Devotions for a Revolutionary Year - 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love for You.

    Follow us on Facebook.

    Reflect and Respond:
    When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart with someone you love? How can you be more purposeful and make this a habit?

    Think back to a time someone asked you to share what God was doing in your life. How did that make you feel? Excited, joyful, loved?

    Power Verse:
    Proverbs 18:4, "The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


  • Place of Torment

    Posted on May 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Luke 16:27-28

    There is a place of torment designated for those who die without trusting in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is a lonely place void of the Lord’s presence and His loving comfort. No courier can be sent from the other side to warn those on this side. A decision to follow Jesus must be made on earth to gain a future place in heaven. Those who reject the Lord before they die will be rejected after they die. But, salvation from a tormented soul is sure through faith in Christ.

    Life on earth is only a brief prelude to our eternal existence. The proud strut across life’s stage concerned only for themselves. The humble bow in dependence on Christ, prepared to meet their Maker after death’s final curtain comes down. Only fools jog down the path of the devil and his demons. Yes, evil on earth in compounded in eternity where the influence of Holy God is nonexistent. The place of torment is no place for those who have placed their total trust in Jesus.

    It has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10

     

    Have riches kept you from a real relationship with Jesus Christ? Are you warning friends and family members today of the judgment to come outside of Christ? Yes, we are to engage lost loved ones with eternal truths wrapped in our care and concern. We love others at their point of emotional, physical and financial need, so we can share with them the significant spiritual truths of heaven, hell, sin and forgiveness. Love is relational lubricant that allows us to speak boldly.

     

    Lastly, be intentional to love those with riches. Who are the rich? One definition is: those who have extra beyond life’s necessities, or it could be someone who has more stuff than you. Serve the wealthy without expecting anything in return and you will earn the right to influence them for the Lord. Warn them not to let riches keep them from an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Challenge them to simple living so they can serve and give generously. Help another avoid the place of torment by abandoning themselves to Jesus Christ. He alone can save to the uttermost!

     

    Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I place my trust in Jesus Christ to save me from the place of torment.

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 62:10; Jeremiah 49:4; Luke 12:20-21; John 5:24; 1 John 3:14

     

    Post/Tweet today: Those who reject the Lord before they die will be rejected by God after they die. #besavednow

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • New Movie - The Book of Esther Pt. 2

    Posted on May 13, 2013 by Family Christian

    Good battles evil in this timeless story of Biblical heroism. The righteous Jew Mordecai and the despicable Haman square off for control of the young Persian King Xerxes. But Haman’s plans include something horrible for Mordecai and his people. It is up to Mordecai’s niece Esther to win the affection of the King, unmask Haman’s treachery and save the Jewish people. Based upon the Book of Esther, this delightful retelling emphasizes the values of courage, faith and obedience.

    Stars Jen Lilly, Robert Miano and Joel Smallbone (For King & Country).

    Behind the scenes Pt 2:

    The Book of Esther trailer:

    View Part 1 by clicking here.

  • Live Where You Live

    Posted on May 13, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie

    "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11 (NIV)

    The spring air was crisp. Just right for a hike up Sparrow Hawk Mountain. Richard and I stood at the edge of the cliff, watching the winding river meander along the banks below.

    When we moved here three years ago, this quickly became one of our favorite places to hike. "It's so beautiful," I said. And then with a sigh, "I wonder if we'll live here after you graduate."

    Richard took me by my hands. "We live here now, Suzie," he said. "Don't you see that?"

    No, honestly I didn't. We had moved to this small college community when Richard went back to school to receive his master's degree. We stayed on as he earned the 3,000 hours needed for his license. I saw our move as temporary, and even though it had been three years, I mentally lived in limbo.

    I thought about our next move often. Where would God take us? Would it be somewhere new? Perhaps God would lead us back to our old community. I dreamed and planned it out over and over again. Not knowing where we'd end up made me discontented. I didn't feel settled or at peace.

    That day, after coming down the mountain, I wrote in big letters in my journal: Live where you live.

    It was time to put down roots right where I was, and be content in the present, regardless of where God might take us in the future.

    Paul the apostle never knew exactly where he might be next. He landed in extremely difficult situations for a few days, and at other times lingered with new friends. Sometimes the doors opened immediately for his next move, and at other times he waited for years. But Paul was content where he was, wherever that might be, in whatever situation he found himself.

    What was his secret? One commentary shares it like this:

    Paul learned to leave it to others if they would, to be discontented. But he, on his part, learned by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and the dealings of Providence (Hebrews 5:8), to be content in every state.*

    As I determined to "live where I live," rather than living with my thoughts and heart wrapped around a future I could not see, I began my days like this:

    Father, show me Your plan for today and help me accept it.

    God, let me not be so farsighted that I miss the miracles around me right now.

    Lord, help me to celebrate small gifts of this day.

    Slowly the door to contentment opened. I began to invest in the community I lived in, enjoyed the scenery even more, and developed relationships with those around me.

    It's been two years since our conversation in Sparrow Hawk. Richard and I found out this past month that we are moving. God did indeed open a door that will uproot us to a new state with a new church, new friends and new possibilities.

    I'm packing my house and preparing for the move, but just yesterday my neighbors dropped by with their girls.

    Trinity, who is six, showed me a turtle she had found. Macey, age two, climbed in the flower bed to peek at a purple-striped petunia.

    Yes, there are new adventures ahead, but today I celebrate the joy of having close neighbors, and am satisfied with sitting with a sweet toddler with a pretty petunia in her hair.

    Dear Jesus, You are the God of my future. You whispered plans in my heart, but the journey to that destination is just as important. Help me plant roots in today, and be content with what is in front of me as I trust You with tomorrow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Walk In Faith by Karen Ehman

    Follow us on Facebook.

    Reflect and Respond:
    We often celebrate the greater events in our life, but today let's celebrate the smaller ones: A neighbor who is kind. A good meal. Laughter of a child. A beautiful sky.

    Breathe a prayer of thanksgiving as you celebrate each and every one of those gifts throughout the day.

    Power Verses:
    1 Timothy 6:6-7, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." (NIV)

    * Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Php 4:11). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


  • Happy Mother

    Posted on May 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.      Psalm 113:9

     

    What makes a mother of children happy? Is it just the child? If so, there would be a world of happiness. Children certainly contribute to a mother’s joy. Jesus said, “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world” (John 16:21). However, offspring cannot be the only reason for a mom’s feelings of fulfillment. In fact, if a mother’s happiness is contingent on her children, she will quickly become discontented. There is a greater source of happiness based on gratitude to God and His glory. She can rejoice because God opens the womb and invites intimacy with Him.

     

    The Holy Spirit initiates the miracle of conception (Matthew 1:20). Pregnancy is a gift from Providence. The Bible says, “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3). Therefore, you can be extremely grateful for the gift of God’s child. Your son or daughter is a stewardship from your Savior. This new life is not competition for your time and money. Rather, it is an opportunity to serve, build your faith, and become more like Jesus. Have you written your Heavenly Father a thank you note for the gift of your child? Happiness comes to mothers who experience hilarious appreciation for the Almighty’s entrustment of children. Be eternally grateful for the Lord’s unspeakable expression of love through the life of your little one.

     

    Of course, children will frustrate you and let you down, just as you have your parents and God. So learn to liberally apply love, grace, forgiveness, and discipline in the same way you administer ointment to their ailments. Teach them the truth of Scripture, model faith for them, and joyfully watch as they enter into a personal relationship with Jesus. The Disciple John experienced this. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). Mothers experience happiness when they praise God for the privilege of being a parent. Your role as a mom is your glory to God. You smile because you know that as you serve your child, you are serving Christ (Mark 9:36-37).

     

    Therefore, be happy, because your Heavenly Father has blessed you. He has given you the gift of His son for your barren soul and the gift of a child for your joyful service.

     

    Post/Tweet: A mom’s role is her glory to God. They smile because they know as they serve  their child, they serve Christ. #moms

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Happy Mother's Day!

    Posted on May 12, 2013 by Family Christian

  • A Mom’s Mothering

    Posted on May 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home” (John 19:25–27).

     

    Moms are magnificent, especially the ones placed in my life by the Lord. My mom and the mother of our children, in particular, are emissaries of encouragement. They are messengers of comfort and care. No one loves more unconditionally than mothers. They see only the good and forget the bad. A mother’s love extends way beyond what is required creating a reservoir of hope.

     

    Furthermore, they are not afraid to speak the truth laced with an attractive attitude. It is not unusual for moms to become their child’s best friend. This is a natural outcome of their acceptance and relational relentlessness. Because their emotional intelligence quotient is high, they are able to discern and remedy heartfelt needs in an instant. Indeed, they are compulsive givers with a propensity to out-serve everyone.

     

    “Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2 nkjv).

    This outlandish outpouring of love concerns me. It does not bother me that moms love so generously. What troubles me is their need for unconditional love. Are moms being mothered to the extent that their needs are being met? An un-mothered mom is a good candidate for a miserable mom. If moms are not receiving what they need in emotional and spiritual support, they whither under the pressure. Like a flower in an arid climate, they need the saturating love, nurture, and security of their Savior Jesus.

     

    Lastly, they value being valued and desire acceptance. They are secure, living in security, and long to be loved.

     

    Lord, lead me to model this for my mom and the mother of our children. Show me how to shower on them what they have rained upon relationships, season after season, in unselfish service. I want to give back to them in the same way they have given to me and our children. I long for You to bless moms!

     

    “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:28).

     

    Prayer: Lord, lead me to another mother whom I can mother on Your behalf.

    Related Readings: Ruth 1:22; 1 Timothy 5:4; 2 Timothy 1:5; Titus 2:2–4

     

    Post/Tweet: No one loves more unconditionally than mothers. They see only the good and forget the bad. #moms

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Shrewd for Jesus

    Posted on May 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. Luke 16:8

     

    Christians can be guilty of not being shrewd for Jesus. I can falsely feel like the Lord will take care of things without my best efforts. On the contrary, Christ expects us to be as innocent as a dove and as shrewd as a snake (Matthew 10:16). Gentleness and astuteness go hand in hand. The gullible miss out on God’s best, but the shrewd know how to manage well the wisdom of God. Engaged and mature thinking considers creatively and calmly how to capitalize on a difficult situation.

     

    Apathy breeds despair and panic creates contempt. However, we who know God, have the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit is our advocate, whose insights transcend conventional solutions during tough times. The Spirit will lead us as we move forward by faith, but if we remain immobile in an anxious state, we will fail. As children of the light we have heavenly resources at our disposal. God’s favor rests on us when we attempt to influence people for His purposes.

     

    Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 1 Corinthians 14:20

    How do you use your resources to reach people for Jesus Christ? One gauge of your effectiveness for the Lord is how well you make friends who grow in their faith. People are attracted to your authenticity and audacious faith. Bold risks breathed over in prayer become trophies of God’s grace and work. Use your business or work as a platform of creativity for Christ. Shun the status quo and lean into innovation. Last year’s success needs this year’s relevance.

    Lastly, do business with other believers who are excellent in their field. You support the economics of God’s Kingdom when you support other brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, Christians will let you down, but learn how to work together and look for those whose values and maturity are similar to yours. Unite your community of faith around Christ. Use the synergies of other Jesus followers to leverage service to society and in the process build eternal dwellings!

    For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Corinthians 5:1

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me Your wisdom to be shrewd for Jesus.

     

    Related Readings: Exodus 1:10; Psalm 18:26; Ecclesiastes 11:1; Ephesians 5:8

     

    Post/Tweet today: The gullible miss out on God’s best, but the shrewd know how to manage well the wisdom of God. #shrewd

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

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