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Family Christian

  • New Movie - The Book of Esther

    Posted on May 3, 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:

    For more information on The Book of Esther, click here.

  • Serious Matters Need a Serious God

    Posted on May 3, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie

    "Keep in mind that the LORD your God is the only God. He is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands." Deuteronomy 7:9 (GWT)

    As I watched The Bible mini-series on TV, I was reminded in living color that God is a serious God. And when He says something, He means it.

    When He told the people of Noah's time to turn from their wicked ways, He meant it. When they didn't listen, everyone except Noah and his family perished in the flood. When God told Abraham he would have a son despite his wife's barrenness, He meant it, and she gave birth. When He promised the Israelites freedom, He meant it, and they were granted freedom from Pharaoh.

    When we face difficult circumstances, it's easy to doubt Him. But God means what He says—He is always faithful, forever righteous, never failing. He is a God serious about keeping His word.

    Last year when my husband's employment was affected by the economy, I wasn't sure if we could make it financially. But because God is serious about keeping His promises as He says in Deuteronomy 7:9, I had to seriously trust Him to provide. Despite my doubts and questions (How would we survive? How could God make money appear in our bank account?) I witnessed God keeping His promise of provision.

    Help came from unexpected places and in miraculous ways, financially and spiritually. God gave us peace and hope when my husband and I needed it most.

    In today's broken world where it's hard to know who to trust or what to believe, it's easy to succumb to an attitude of distrust in God as well, causing our faith in His promises to waver.

    If it seems God isn't answering our prayers, we may wonder if He is serious about listening to them. We can doubt if His Word really applies to our situations. We might question if His promises are meant for us.

    During these times, we are faced with two choices. We can either assume God's promises are not trustworthy. Or we can believe that when He makes a promise, He is serious about keeping it, just as today's key verse states: "Keep in mind that the LORD your God is the only God. He is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands" (Deuteronomy 7:9).

    You see, God made thousands of promises in the Bible and every one He kept. He has an infallible track record of perfect promise-keeping which certainly proves that when He says something, He means it.

    So when He promises in Lamentations 3:22-23 to be faithful, He means it.

    When He promises to heal in Psalm 30:2, He means it.

    When He promises in 1 John 1:9 to forgive, He means it.

    When He promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a plan and purpose for everything, He means it.

    When He promises true rest in Matthew 11:28, He means it.

    When He promises that He hears prayers in Jeremiah 29:12, He means it.

    God's Word reassures us that He is serious about us and what goes on in our lives. And He means what He says. If you have some serious matters going on in your life, remember that God is a serious God …. serious about keeping His promises.

    Dear Lord, forgive me for doubting You and Your ways. Help me focus on Your fulfilled promises in my life, and let them fuel my faith during trying times. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles

    NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women featuring devotions from all our Proverbs 31 Ministries writers.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    What is one circumstance in which you can begin leaning on the promises of God today?

    Write down three promises God has fulfilled in your life. How does remembering His fulfilled promises help remind you that God is serious about keeping His promises?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding ..." (NIV)

    Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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

  • Count the Costs

    Posted on May 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33

    Abandonment is the attitude of disciples of Jesus Christ. Utter abandonment to fame, fortune, friends and family to carry out Christ’s calling. I don’t like these hard words of Jesus, but they are a test of my true love for Him. Am I a casual Christian or am I a committed Christian?Motivations of convenience and comfort bear the fruit of shallow spirituality while the desire of death to self bears the fruit of unencumbered obedience. Count the costs before commitment.

    Zealous fools begin, but do not proceed down the path of the Lord’s purposes for their life. However, as a sober minded disciple who counted the costs, you answered Christ’s call to follow Him. Your commitment was based on the courage and resolution to do the next right thing, regardless. The gates of hell do not prevail, because you are executing God’s game plan. There is a visceral sense of destiny because you are following the most trusted One, Jesus. He is worth it!

    Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 2 John 1:8

    Furthermore, tribulation and persecution will come when we persistently love and serve in Jesus' name. The outside forces of radical resistance are not meant to be met with our radical activism. A combative and harsh religion loses its attractiveness to the spiritually unattractive. Thus, when we feel pressure to conform to the culture, we invite the Holy Spirit to conform us into the likeness of Jesus. He raises the stakes with our radical love, forgiveness, acceptance and service.

    Have you given up everything for God, only to experience His generous return policy? All we have is His anyway, but our gracious Heavenly Father allows us to steward His assets. What we desperately hold on to, He often  takes and gives away. What we freely let go of, He may give back, since we can trusted with His blessings. Therefore, count the costs as a Christ follower by being a radical doer of the Word. Be known by how well you love. Give up everything for Him!

    I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, my heart is to die to self and to live for You.

     

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 9:23-24; Psalm 73:25; Romans 8:36; 1 Corinthians 15:31

     

    Post/Tweet today: When we feel pressure to conform to the culture, we invite the Holy Spirit to conform us into the likeness of Jesus. #conformed

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • SELFishness

    Posted on May 2, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4 (ESV)

    I am a magnet for strange.

    Seriously.

    A few years ago I was outside with my three dogs soaking up the sunshine. We had gotten a new puppy named "Willow" for Christmas. Well, our other dogs, Champ and Chelsea, weren't sure what to think of precious, little three-pound, Willow.

    She annoyed them. In every way.

    I thought it would be a good investment for the dog relations in our home if I spent time with them outside, to help them all feel the love. So, I sat on the ground and loved on each dog.

    They enveloped me in a flurry of wet kisses, fur, and stinky dog breath. I was having a ball. And they were all getting along. Bliss.

    Until ... Willow came and sat on my lap. Claiming the prized location of closeness with me, I don't think she realized the signal she was sending. Champ suddenly backed up and growled. His tail stopped wagging. And he was not happy.

    "Oh Champ," I reassured him, "Willow is a baby. Be nice."

    More growling.

    "No sir! Champ, be nice. Come here. I can love on you while Willow sits in my lap," I reassured him once more, while rubbing behind his ears.

    He seemed to be happy again, and licked my cheek.

    More bliss.

    But then, out of the blue, he walked beside me, looked straight at Willow, lifted his leg, and drenched me in tee-tee!

    What in the world!? I couldn't believe what was happening.

    After recovering from my shock and changing my clothes, I Googled it.

    Some articles I read said Champ was marking his territory. "That's MY mama!"

    His strong expression of "MINE" was a vivid reminder of just how disgusting a heart bent on self can be. Champ couldn't enjoy all he was experiencing in the moment, because he was so laser-focused on the one way he felt slighted.

    SELFishness! ME! MINE! MINE! MINE!

    Sadly, I recognize this behavior because I've demonstrated this behavior.

    Several years ago, God challenged me to recognize my selfishness by seeing—really seeing—all that I've been given. And never looking at a blessing as something just for me. Now, I make myself think two things ...

    1. Thank You God for entrusting this blessing to me. I know it is a gift from You.

    2. How can I use this as an opportunity to bless someone else? The blessing will be more rewarding if it's not all about me.

    Do these things come naturally? Not at first. Not in a "Me First, Mine!, Mine!, Tee-Tee on Others" kind of world.

    But we aren't called to live according to the norm, just doing what comes naturally.

    We are called to rise above. Be set apart. Be different. Be pure in every way. "All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:3 NIV).

    What blessing do you have that might need to be shared today? What blessing do I have that might need to be shared today?

    Right in the midst of what we're doing, how can we graciously and purely represent Christ as we RE-present Him everywhere we go?

    Good stuff to ponder as I washed my smelly outfit that day.

    Dear Lord, thank You for every good and perfect gift You have given me. Help me to put others before me and to have a heart to see them as You do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    If this devotion resonated with you, you'll enjoy Lysa's book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. For more information, click here.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    What opportunity has been given to you recently that you can pass on to others?

    Will you take the initiative to do that today?

    Power Verses:
    Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." (NIV)

    Romans 12:3, "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." (NIV)

    Psalm 133:1, "How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


  • 'Not Today' the Movie Opens in Theaters

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by Family Christian

    Film Shakes and Stirs Audiences; Many Communities Request Screens

    Can a movie entertain audiences into activism? And will active communities put a movie in local theaters? Yes and yes, says NOT TODAY—a drama on the fight against human trafficking—now adding 37 new openings in markets across the country, beginning May 3. Most of those new theaters represent “market pull”—communities pre-purchasing hundreds of tickets to open the film in local theaters—and the list is growing.

    “People see NOT TODAY and they talk—and talk spreads,” Producer Brent Martz said. “This second wave of theatrical openings is a testament to word of mouth. We’re humbled and pleased.”

    Even movie reviewers are moved by NOT TODAY, the first church-made film on an international issue. The Washington Post’s Sean O’Connell writes: “If NOT TODAY makes even the slightest difference for a helpless child caught in this vicious cycle, then it earns the right to play on as many theater screens as possible.”

    “I just watched the movie in Fort Worth, Texas, and must say, it was extremely well made and definitely got the message across,” a fan writes on NOT TODAY’s Facebook wall. “I've read stories and statistics on trafficking over the last year, but seeing the story lived out and the hope that something can be done puts a whole new perspective on things. I've signed petitions and raised awareness among friends, but I want to do so much more now. Thank you all for not being afraid to speak the truth even when people would rather turn a deaf ear and blind eye.”

    Local fans bring NOT TODAY to their communities with a 400-ticket commitment. Information on how to schedule local screenings is at NotTodaytheMovie.com.

    Produced by Friends Media, an arm of Friends Church of Yorba Linda, Calif., NOT TODAY features Cody Longo (Hollywood Heights, Fame, Make It or Break It), John Schneider (OCTOBER BABY, Smallville, The Dukes of Hazzard), Shari Rigby (OCTOBER BABY, The Bold and the Beautiful), Walid Amini (Veep, NCIS) and Cassie Scerbo (Make It or Break It, Hot in Cleveland).

    SYNOPSIS: In NOT TODAY, Caden Welles (Longo) lives as large as any 20-year-old could dream. Then expectations of a never-ending party in India crash hard—but not as hard as his conscience when he refuses to help a starving man and his little girl. Attempting to right his wrong, Caden’s eyes are forced open to a world few Americans know exists: the thriving human-trafficking trade. Spurred by a true purpose, an unlikely friendship and the prayers of his mother and girlfriend, Caden leads an unlikely search for the girl.

    NOT TODAY is a powerful reminder that change is possible if we’re willing to open our eyes . . . today.

    Using education to lift lives and prospects of India’s “untouchable” Dalit people, Friends Church has committed $20 million to build 200 of 1,000 proposed schools for Dalit children in the coming decade. Friends already has funded more than 40 of the current 107 schools. The church’s profits from NOT TODAY go toward building schools and freeing children.

    For more information, visit: NotTodaytheMovie.com

    To bring NOT TODAY to local theaters: NotTodaytheMovie.com/theaters

  • Hidden Treasure

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Matthew 13:44

    Followers of Jesus have the joy and privilege of treasuring the treasure of God. Like an archeologist for the Almighty, they dig in the dirt of His love and are surprised by His generosity with the precious metals of grace and truth. Jesus is the preeminent jewel. When excavated from this field of faith, he invites us to a lifetime of discovery and renewal. Indeed, search for spiritual treasure requires trust and persistence. So, enjoy the process that produces character in sincere seekers.

    Are you motivated to make Kingdom priorities  your number one goal? Are you intentional in seeking intimacy with Jesus? To be sure, it feels laborious at times, but your labor is not in vain. Once you are converted to Christ, resolve to hide the truth of God in your heart and in the process position your life to be leveraged for the Lord. Your sold out life reflects a beautiful orchard for all to admire its Creator...Christ. Work in fields of faith that yield massive, good fruit.

    In whom [Jesus Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3

    We have the unique opportunity and stewardship to seek out the wisdom and knowledge of God in Christ. A good process is to process our findings in prayer and meditation. Like a California gold miner we pan for God’s gold nuggets with our wire filter of Scripture that separates fool’s gold from wisdom’s gold. In what can be a monotonous discipline we will find a variety of gold treasures: dusts of discernment, slivers of hope, nuggets of wisdom and rocks of faith.

    When you decide to sell out for Jesus, He may very well require you to sell off some or all of your stuff for Kingdom investments. Complexity is the enemy retaining an eternal perspective, while simplicity is a friend who facilitates Kingdom outcomes. Thus, pray about how to use your worldly assets to send ahead for your heavenly reward. Surround yourself with seasoned mentors who model investing in spiritual treasures. Yes, create Kingdom wealth, lasting now and forever!

    If you look for it [wisdom] as for silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:4-5

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I commit to seek  intimacy with my Savior Jesus to hideYour truth in my heart.

     

    Related Readings: Isaiah 12:3; Psalm 105:3; Luke 12:34; John 5:39; 1 Timothy 6:19

     

    Post/Tweet today: When we decide to sell out for Jesus, He may very well require us to sell off some or all of our stuff for Kingdom investments. #soldout

     

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Q&A with We As Human

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by John van der Veen



    The journey of hard rockers We As Human from one of northern Idaho’s most beloved, bone-crunching indie acts to ink a deal with Atlantic Records is nothing short of extraordinary. After touring throughout the region alongside a soundtrack slot in a national commercial for Xbox 360’s “Section 8” video game, the guys scored an unexpected networking opportunity of a lifetime.

    “Our road manager at the time was working a Skillet show as a runner and a couple of the band members ended up in our touring van,” recalls frontman Justin Cordle. “As they were driving around, he said ‘Hey, I know you get CDs all the time, but this one from We As Human is way more awesome than all the others.’ It wound up making its way to the band’s frontman John Cooper, kind of as a joke at first because they really do get demos pitched to them all the time, but he put it in, absolutely loved it and said we were one of the best bands he’s heard in quite a few years.”

    The new album from We As Human streets on 6/25. Read below for our recent Q&A with Justin Cordle.

    1 - What is your background? Where did you guys grow up? What made you interested in music?

    A: We started our band in Sandpoint, ID, if you don’t know where that is, don’t feel bad, nobody else does either! We all come from different places though, Adam & I grew up together in Sandpoint and meet each other when we were kids attending the same church. Forshaw hails from Western Washington, Dave from Eastern Washington and Jake was reared in the lands of Austin, TX & New Mexico.

    Music was a passion in each of us from a very young age and as we grew, it became more and more obvious that we were of the musician kind. God gives everyone a very distinct desire and passion to produce something in this world, ours has always been music. From the first time I stepped on stage with my guitar at 8 years old and sang a Don Francisco song -out of key probably-, I was hooked.

    My desire to pursue music went into hyper-drive when I was 13, my parents and I were coming back from a conference in our 1989 wood-panel-sided Caravan, and I fell asleep and had the only dream I’ve had in my entire life that I knew was from Christ. In that dream I was standing on a stage singing and playing my guitar, I heard “This is what I have for you”, then I woke up. That was it, but, it was so profound, it altered the entire direction of my life to this very day.

    2 - What are your biggest influencers? Musically and spiritually?

    Our spiritual influencers are a ton of people you have probably never heard of, they are our friends, fans and family who keep us encouraged and accountable. When we’re on the road we often listen to guys like Ray Ortlund (My amazing pastor), Timothy Keller, R.C. Sproul, John Piper, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll and other dudes who love Jesus.

    Musically, well, that’s where it gets weird! A few artists that have shaped us into the musicians we are would be : Alterbridge, Skillet, Steve Via, John Meyer, Extol, .S.R.V., Alice In Chains. Garth Brooks, Darrell Evans, Hillsong & Keith Urban, just to name a few.

    3 - What does your live show look like?

    We love playing live, and I think our love for music and our fans comes through in our performances. I don’t know how to explain our show, but I can say, we leave it ALL on the stage every night. We have walked off the stage on more than a few occasions bleeding. There is an excessive amount of guitar-head dodging, accidentally running into each other and guitar shredding on our stage every night to be sure. It’s the epitome of our musical passion and it’s where we feel the most comfortable and alive.

    4 - Coffee or Mountain Dew?

    This one is easy, Coffee, but not just any coffee, we like coffee served by a spider monkey who is wearing sandals, lemon-yellow-pleated shorts, and a T-shirt that says, “I’m here for the party!”.

    For more on We As Human, and to listen to snippets of the latest EP, click here.

  • Praises for Home Run the Movie

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by Family Christian


    Big shot baseball star Corey Brand has it all—on the field. Off the field is another story. When Corey’s unable to escape memories from his past, one bad decision grants him a second chance: return to his hometown to coach the youth baseball team and enter a recovery program. What follows is an incredible tale of redemption: how God tests each and every one of us and never gives up on us.

    Praise for Home Run:

    It indeed was a Pleasure and Privilege to get to see the screener for Home Run.

    After seeing the Screening of Home Run at the meeting, I came home to my teenage children telling them as soon as the movie hits our market I am taking anyone in their youth group from church for Movie Night to see it.

    The stipulation is they have to invite one unsaved friend to come along.  Perfect for all ages!!!!

    Debra G. (District Manager)

    It was an awesome movie, (I was a baseball player and my son now plays in college, so it hit a special cord as well).

    The story of god touching and transforming lives was very well done. Kept my attention the entire movie and a great ending!

    Mike G. (District Manager)

    Home run is a tremendous story about pride and redemption.  It also shows us the beauty of Celebrate Recovery and how they work to strengthen the whole of an individual which finally brings out who God created them to be.

    Curtis C. (District Manager)

    I have had the pleasure of watching Home Run several times already.  Each time I have been struck by a different theme in the movie.  First it was parenting, then it was dealing with hurts from your past, then it was seeing a model of how to overcome addictions and lastly how the Gospel has the power to change lives.  Cory Brand, the main character in the film was raised by an alcoholic father and he has become the last thing he ever wanted to be:  he is just like his father.  This theme relates to many of us who experienced the damage our parents did due to their own hurts and are unable to overcome the pull of generational sin.  Cory also has to tackle his past mistakes and make restitution for his actions which are both themes that we can all learn from.  What I also like about this film is that although it deals with home heavy topics, it does not condemn the viewer who may have similar issues, but gives them hope and a possible way out of their circumstances.  And it makes for a great date night film too!  I would highly recommend this film to anyone from the sports fan who likes an inspirational story to the fan of life-changing messages in film.

    Alex Mosoiu (Sr. DVD Buyer)

    With its honest portrayal of overcoming life’s difficulties, everyone from Major League Baseball players and key Christian leaders have rallied behind the film and its message, reminding everyone that with God, it’s never too late … freedom is possible.

  • Sanctus Real's Song "Pray" Featured with National Day of Prayer

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by Family Christian



    It has been announced that GRAMMY-nominated and Dove award-winning band Sanctus Real is featured in this year's National Day of Prayer campaign with their single "Pray," a song from their latest project Run (Sparrow Records). The song is currently being used to further promote The 2013 National Day of Prayer, which is this Thursday, May 2nd.

    Explaining the message behind "Pray," Sanctus Real's Matt Hammitt recently shared, "We wrote the song 'Pray' because these are anxious times and the awareness that we’re just one thumb tap away from another shocking headline can be stressful. Sometimes it’s not world news that leaves me anxious, but parts of my own little world that seem to be falling apart. The pressure of holding it all together is daunting when I get to thinking it’s on my own shoulders. Sometimes I find myself tossing my hands up in the air and asking in an exasperated tone, 'What in the world is going on?'"

    Hammitt continues, "Every public headline and personal challenge is a reminder, as well as a call, not to lift our hands in despair but rather to continue lifting our hands and voices in prayer. We are longing to see a move of God in our nation, amongst its people and leaders, and we are excited to partner with National Day of Prayer in an effort to urge and inspire people to pray. Will you answer the call?"

    A list of videos from the members of Sanctus Real promoting the National Day of Prayer is now available. There is a video already posted of the band sharing about the importance of prayer and in the days to follow, a video from each of the four band members talking about prayer will post.

    Sanctus Real - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real (Matt) - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real (Mark) - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real (Pete) - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real (Chris) - Importance of Prayer

    Sanctus Real - Pray (lyric video)

    “PRAY”
    I bow my head to pray, I don’t know what to say
    I’m not sure how to fix the things I’m dealing with
    I’m in a desperate place, I need to share the weight
    But I just don’t know how to let it all pour out
    And though I’m silent, my heart is crying ‘cause I was made to come to You

    SO I PRAY GOD, I NEED YOU MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY
    RIGHT HERE IN THIS MOMENT YOU KNOW MY HEART
    YOU KNOW MY NEED YOU KNOW EVERY PART OF ME
    SO EVEN IF IT’S JUST TO SPEAK YOUR NAME I’M GONNA PRAY

    I’ve failed to find the time, but You’ve been calling out
    I let the days go by as if I could live without
    But it’s gotta be here and now I won’t be pulled away ‘cause it’s just You and I
    So let the world around us fade
    Father, will You meet me here right now
    Father, I surrender, lay it down
    Father, and every time I close my eyes
    I know that I was made to lift my hands and pray
    I lift my hands and pray You know my heart
    You know my need You know every single part of me
    More than words You want my life
    Take it as an offering

    Written by Matt Hammitt, Chris Rohman, and Christopher Stevens
    © 2013 Birdwing Music / Toledo Tomorrow Music / 1012 Rosedale Music (ASCAP) / Meaux Mercy / Chriscendo Music (BMI) (Admin. at EMICMGPublishing.com)

  • Hezekiah Walker Presents Azusa The Next Generation

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by Family Christian


    Hezekiah Walker has experienced some major developments since the release of his last album nearly 5 years ago.  For one, he became Bishop of the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ Fellowship, providing leadership to more than 30 churches around the country in addition to the Kunjalo Diocese in Cape Town, South Africa that he oversees – all while remaining Senior Pastor of his thriving Love Fellowship Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York and Bensalem, Pennsylvania.  Secondly, Walker has become a mainstay on New York radio where he hosts a popular mid-day show for WLIB and a Sunday morning show for WBLS.  Most recently, he created the Azusa Next Generation conference that brings together the nation’s most prominent pastors, speakers and worship leaders, ultimately revitalizing a defining moment in the Christian faith.  The next conference will be held May 19 at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York.

    With each of these developments, Walker is motivated by his commitment to Kingdom relevancy.  “One must continue to evolve so that the Kingdom can stay fresh, exciting and most of all relevant,” says Walker.  He pours this passion for Kingdom relevancy into his upcoming album AZUSA THE NEXT GENERATION, being released June 11 on RCA Inspiration.

    “This project honors the legacy of hand clapping, foot stomping Gospel music and also provides a next generation swag that creates a foundation for where Gospel music can go,” says Walker.  “It has a variety of styles, and the collaborations really make it stand out.  It is a next level project for me and, I think, for Gospel music.”

    Azusa is cited as the catalyst for the charismatic movement in the United States, and had two significant phases.  It began in 1906 with an unprecedented, powerful revival held on Azusa Street in Southern California then, in the 80s, was introduced as a conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that featured dynamic preaching and a who’s who of Gospel artists.  The artists would record together at the conference and, with AZUSA THE NEXT GENERATION, Hezekiah Walker revisits that spirit of collective worship.  The album features guest appearances by Timiney Figueroa; Deitrick Haddon; John P. Kee; Donnie McClurkin and Brian Courtney Wilson.  Walker’s robust Love Fellowship Choir is also featured prominently, and is expanded here to comprise the 500 voice Azusa Mass Choir.

    “With the collaborations, I wanted to let people know there are artists out there who love choir sounding songs and who don’t mind singing choir songs,” says Walker.  “Part of my musical mission is reminding people that choir music is not going out of style, ever.  When you have vocalists like these who love choir music, it will always thrive.”

    The first single EVERY PRAISE is currently a favorite at Gospel radio.  The song debuted on the Yolanda Adams Morning Show, and Adams said:  “Bishop Hez has done it again!” “’Every Praise’ is the epitome of worship and its proper direction!”

    Hezekiah Walker says the song is likely to catch on quickly because it is relatable across genres, nationalities and denominations.  “Whether they go to church or not, people have a praise in them that is reserved for God,” says Walker.  “This song connects with a feeling of thanksgiving and honor that everyone has at some point.  I hope that choirs and praise teams will gravitate to it, and that it crosses boundaries to people outside of the church as well.”

    Joel Osteen, one of the nation’s most influential pastors, heard “Every Praise” on the radio in Houston and simply fell in love with it and immediately invited Walker to minister the song at Lakewood, which he did on April 14.  “It was my honor to welcome Hezekiah Walker to our church,” says Osteen.  “We here at Lakewood love him and were excited that he performed ‘Every Praise’ with our church choir,” says Osteen.

    “That was just an incredible experience that I will never forget,” Walker adds.  “I did all three services, and there were at least 16,000 members in each one!  The church loved the song. I was amazed to see thousands leaving worship singing ‘Every Praise.’  It was an honor to worship with the Lakewood family, and I thank Pastor Joel Osteen for the warm welcome.”

    AZUSA THE NEXT GENERATION was co-produced by Hezekiah Walker and produced by Donald Lawrence, who also produced Walker’s last release - SOULED OUT.  The two have a winning combination that balances the contemporary and the traditional while amplifying Walker’s straight-to-the-heart worship style.

    “The project is about unity, and I feel really good about it,” says Walker.  “This is the first time in the history of my career that I’ve done collaborations with so many artists. This is monumental for me. That’s what it’s all about in this season, us coming together and letting the world know that it is possible for us to stand together as one.”

    The new album will be in stores June 11. Click here for further information.

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