We have some giveaway items in support of the new Group 1 Crew album, Fearless. As you can see from the image above the gift box includes:
1 - Fearless t-shirt
1 - Fearless poster
1 - Fearless pair of sunglasses
1 - Fearless CD
The title and theme of this record, Fearless, arose from a turbulent period for the Group 1 Crew. While creating the album, they faced numerous challenges including evolving from a trio to a duo, the passing of Blanca’s father and learning how to balance newlywed life with a heavy touring schedule. Blanca and Manwell confronted these tests and have emerged stronger than ever before. Fearless takes listeners on a lyrical journey through the truths that they faced over the past couple years.
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).
What does it mean to be refreshed? It is to be made fresh, to revive, to enliven, to invigorate, to rejuvenate, to energize, to restore, to recharge, or to revitalize. A meager cup of lukewarm coffee comes alive with a satisfying taste when mixed with freshly brewed beans. A lukewarm life is warmed and encouraged when refreshed with words of encouragement and acts of kindness. Everyone we meet becomes a candidate for refreshment.
Our faith cools down when Christ seems silent and circumstances continue to crumble, but a sincere prayer from a righteous friend warmly restores our confidence. Our hope feels deferred in the face of disappointment and rejection, but we are energized by the acceptance and love of a community of believers in Jesus. Hope loves company. Seek refreshment from your Savior and His followers. Be refreshed so you can refresh others.
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jeremiah 31:25).
When your parched soul has been watered by dew from heaven, you can lead others to the Lord’s watering hole. People are frantically feeling robbed by insensitive institutions and greedy governments, but we can reconnect them to their generous God. Jesus gives us an abundant life to be shared with others who are absent of abundance. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV).
Lastly, your refreshment reciprocates refreshment. When you refresh another financially, you are refreshed by faith and fulfillment. When you refresh another emotionally, you are refreshed by peace and contentment. When you refresh another spiritually, you are refreshed by the grace and love of God. Are you in need of refreshment? If so, receive Christ’s full cup of joy. Drink often with the Lord so you can generously refresh friends.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).
Prayer: How can I stay in a routine of refreshment so that I in turn can refresh others?
“A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself” (Proverbs 11:16-17).
Kindness benefits everyone. It brings joy to the giver and peace to the receiver. The recipient reciprocates because respect is embedded in kindness. Kindheartedness facilitates respect as it treats others with dignity and honor. Even when offended or ostracized, a gracious heart takes the higher ground of humility and gentleness. It may not be liked, but it is respected. Kind actions attract the Almighty’s approval.
What is kindness? At its core it is a reflection of Christ. It is what we expect of the Lord when we desire good things. Listen to the heart of this employee’s prayer for his boss to experience God’s kindness in marriage: "O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham" (Genesis 24:12). In the same way your Savior shows you kindness in salvation and with His severe mercy.
Furthermore, because of Christ’s great kindness, you are compelled to compassionate action. Ruthless men and women use fear and intimidation to gain wealth and power, but considerate adults do not compromise their character for cash or influence. Indeed, God’s great kindness grants us the favor we need. “The Lord was with him [Joseph]; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden” (Genesis 39:21).
Who doesn’t need kindness? The undeserving especially need your kindness as a reminder of God’s lasting love and infinite forgiveness. Be kind to the unkind, and they will see what really rests in your heart of hearts. Your kindheartedness will lead others to your source in Jesus Christ. Here the kindness of the Lord leads to repentance. “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
Prayer: To whom can I extend kindness that has been unkind to me?
“And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel.” 1 Chronicles 14:2
God establishes people for His purposes. What He establishes no man or movement can stop. Establishments energized by the Holy Spirit enjoy momentum that propels them forward in faith. For example, a church or ministry freshly challenged with a God-sized vision and a unified mission will move forward by God’s grace. A leader led by the Lord will persevere through rough patches, because his motive is the sake of God’s people.
Where has God established you? Are you honored to be at home for the sake of your family? Your faithfulness now in disciplining, training, coaching and mentoring your child will pay a lifetime of dividends in their adult experiences. Does the Lord have you in an influential role at work? Your ability to see the bigger picture of service to the people is what will sustain you to lead well. God established you for His people.
“Then people will say, ‘The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.” 2 Samuel 7:26
Therefore, use your establishment as a platform for God and others. Your Kingdom opportunity may be a place, a position or both. Ask how as an organization and/or as an individual you can leverage your integrity for the Lord. You are blessed with moral authority to lift the morals of your community, maybe even the world. Your boat of honorable behavior lifts all boats of behavior. God established you for His glory.
Furthermore, do not treat lightly the deep pillars of honor that have settled onto a firm foundation of faith all these years. The Lord’s legacy over your legacy is a long shadow of influence that serves as a moral compass for your children, grandchildren and those you serve. Jesus Christ has established you to serve His people for His glory. What He establishes He sustains and blesses. He accomplishes His will through what He has established—thus make sure the neon sign on your life reads: ESTABLISHED BY GOD!
“The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.” Psalm 102:28
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may You establish me for Your people and for Your glory.
“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17).
Am I well pleasing to the Lord? Do I model a life of submission to my Savior? Do I defer all honor and glory to Him? For my heavenly Father to be well pleased with me is the heartbeat of humility. This means at times I displease others to please my Master Jesus. I will choose to embrace beliefs and behaviors that are other-worldly and can cause conflict.
A Christian, pleasing to Christ, first learns that to be raised high means to begin low. Jesus did not begin His ministry baptizing, but rather being baptized. He required of Himself everything expected from everyone else. Humble leaders do this; they follow the agreed upon guidelines, realizing no one is above the rules. It is with a humble heart that a leader discerns the Lord’s ways and then lives them out in front of the faithful and faithless.
Perhaps goodhearted people seek to place you on a pedestal of admiration and honor. It is at this point of recognition that you keep your spirit low, as your reputation is on the rise. The Lord sustains His blessing for those who defer honor back to Him. It pleases your heavenly Father to see you engage in humble acts, especially as your influence grows. The closer you grow to Christ, the more you see the need for His grace and forgiveness.
You can only deal with the soul of another if Jesus has dealt with your soul. It pleases Him when you first pronounce yourself needy before heaven, before pointing out the needs of another. Humility looks inward at the heart before it outwardly observes the issues of another. The Lord is pleased when you take the lead to repent.
Go public with your faith after you have been private in prayer. This solemn preparation pleases your heavenly Father. Moreover, have you proclaimed your faith publicly in baptism? It pleases God for you to go public for Him. It is an honor becoming your sacred accountability. Private intimacy with your heavenly Father leads to a public inauguration of your faith. He is well pleased with you when you publicly pronounce Him the Lord over your life. Humility pleases Him. Why? It listens and obeys.
“Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow” (Deuteronomy 4:12–13)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I bring a smile to Your face in honoring You with my attitudes and actions?
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
Prayer positions us to receive the peace of God. It is when we seek Him that we see Him. It is when we see Him that we are secure. As we travel across the choppy sea of life’s circumstances, we can become dizzy and fearful if we look down at the water of wonder. But if we keep our eyes fixed ahead on a stable object, we remain secure and feel safe. Jesus is our immovable object of belief. He is our secure Savior who is there for us when fear assaults our attitude and threatens to highjack our heart. When we seek His face He reciprocates by flooding our countenance with His peace. He replaces our furrowed brow of fear with a calm face of faith. He gives the righteous a radiant face that is never to be covered with shame. The Lord hears our prayers by extending His peaceful presence.
No one has ever been sorry for seeking the Lord. It takes time and effort but it is your best investment. Process your problems with prayer and you will be the most productive. We cannot come to the best solutions in our own strength. One dimensional problem solving only leads to average results at best. Why be satisfied with a perspective limited to your experiences, intelligence and giftedness? It is seeking the Lord that unlocks a treasure trove of truth that leads us to possibilities we would never imagine on our own. The fruit that comes from replacing fear with faith is unlimited. We can rest assured as the Almighty leads us down a new path. This is what may happen in the process of seeking your Savior. He delights in determining a better way for you.
This next season of your life is the Lord’s reward for your faithfulness all these years. You have sought Him unashamedly and obediently. Money has not been your motive. Pride has not prodded you. Fame has not been your forte. You have sought Him with your unselfish service. You have sought Him with your humble obedience. You have sought Him by ministering to the needs of others. Because of your faithfulness in seeking Him, He has grown your faith and marginalized your fears. Therefore, see this next season as an extension of His blessings. There is no need to fear because God is near those who seek Him. There is no safer or more secure place to be than in the process of seeking Him.
Moreover, God expects to hear from you before you can expect to hear from Him. If you restrain prayer; He may refrain grace and mercy. The more you think upon the Lord, and less of yourself, the better off you become. Seek Him, lose yourself, and you will discover the best way. Furthermore, there is no need to fear your next transition as your Heavenly Father has your hand and He is guiding you. There is no need to fear the cessation of this phase of your career as He is in control. There is no need to fear the breaking off of a relationship as He is in the business of mending broken hearts. There is no need to fear provision for your family as God is your provider. Seek Him and He will deliver you from your fears. Seek Him and you will be secure in Him. Seek Him before, during and after trouble comes. Then the process of seeking the Lord becomes second nature to your soul. Then fear fails its mission. Indeed, seeking Him fossilizes your fears!
Taken from Reading #23 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE
Post/Tweet this today: Prayer positions us to receive the peace of God. It is when we seek Him that we see Him. #prayer
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)
Small things are big to God, so they are not to be discounted or despised. After all, our Savior is into the small things. Our pride wants to get on to the larger and more important opportunities. It dismisses the mundane or the monotonous. But success and significance are also found in the small details.
A quiet smile to a restaurant server is small, but significant. A little gift to an unsuspecting sanitation worker is small, but significant. Learning the names of a blue-collar worker’s children in your company, and occasionally joining him for lunch is small, but significant. Attention to small things makes people big. Celebrate an office employee’s birthday over breakfast, or an important personal milestone over lunch or dinner. When we give attention to small things, we say we care. Private acts of love foster public loyalty and long-term commitment. It is the attention to small things that builds great people and grows great companies.
This is also true with our children. If we want influence with them when they face big issues as teenagers and adults, it is imperative we show interest in the small things of their childhood. Parental investment in ballgames, recitals, school plays, scouts, church camps, outdoors, homework, shared hobbies, and church all add up to an invitation to big things. Little things like tucking them in at night will one day give them the trust to invite us into the dark night of their souls. Investment in the small things invites our having influence with the big things.
Therefore, do not despise this season of small things. They are like seeds that eventually grow into grand and glorious opportunities of influence. There is a definite sequence of seed planting, watering, fertilizing, and cultivating. The process can become boring and seem unproductive, but this illustrates how God works. Your Savior is into stringing together a sequence of small activities that lead to larger outcomes. So stay with the small things, for in due season you will reap the harvest.
God may allow you to harvest far beyond what you could have imagined in the beginning. How much is it worth for your spouse to become your best friend? It won’t happen overnight, but faithfulness to the small things will facilitate the reality of your hopes and dreams.
Furthermore, when you experience a string of small things with Jesus, your faith becomes large. So, be aware of the need for a little prayer to the Lord. Stay dependent on God along life’s path of small steps. When He sees you being faithful with His small opportunities, He can then trust you with the larger ones.
The small things you do honor God: bowing a head before a meal, showing up early for an appointment, memorizing a brief Bible verse, or giving a small anonymous gift. Any small expression with the Lord in mind goes a long way. The Almighty values small things because everything is small to Him. He is large and in charge, but His small tests lead to His best opportunities. Don’t miss this, or you may miss Him. Big things are often disguised as small things, so treat them with respect.
You never know when you might be serving Jesus or entertaining angels. Therefore treasure small things. They are big and they matter, and they may matter most. The Bible says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).
Taken from September 18th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE
Post/Tweet: Investment in the small things invites influence with the big things. #investment
"As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you." 2 Thessalonians 3:1
Prayer for one another is a spiritual secret weapon. It rocks the devil's world, wins over a lost world, and brings peace in this world. Prayer for another is a necessary ingredient in the recipe for successful living. A prayer investment is an eternal investment. Prayers for healing, prayers for wisdom, prayers of praise and prayers to courageously spread the gospel all acknowledge the Lord's priorities. Indeed, prayer promotes God's agenda.
Moreover, our prayers for others change us. When we implore Christ to heal the illness of a sweaty browed small child, our heart grows tender. When we ask God to give a friend wisdom in a crucial decision, we grow in wisdom. When we pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers, the Spirit directs us to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Prayer is a platform that produces righteous results for the giver and the receiver.
"And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:15-17
Be careful not to take your prayers for granted, treating them as an afterthought or mindless routine. Asking God's blessing over a meal is a big deal. Whether in private or in public you give glory to your provider and sustainer, Jesus. Are you bold when eating out to politely ask permission to pray out loud before you partake? Yes, you can pray quietly, or you can remind everyone present who is Lord of the meal.
Who needs your fervent prayers today? Do they know you are praying for them? Perhaps you send an email or text prayer to a special friend in need. Sometimes a hurting person needs less advice and more comforting words of Christ on their behalf. A supplication to your Savior for suffering saints brings fear to its knees and elevates faith and hope up front and center. Thus, ask for prayers and offer prayers for God's glory. Prayers hold up one another.
"So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him." Acts 12:5
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to pray for those who need your comfort and conviction.
We love getting to know the artists behind our favorite Christian music and we’re pretty sure you do too! Here’s a quick Q &A with the artists appearing on the Proof of your Love Tour: for KING & COUNTRY, Dara Maclean and Jason Castro.
FC:What was the first album you ever owned and do you still own it? If so, do you still listen to it?
Joel (for KING & COUNTRY): I'm not sure I could say I official "owned" this record but nonetheless, when I was about 5 years old I clearly remember sitting in front of a vinyl 45 record playing in my parents home in Sydney Australia. I was staring at a Stryper record cover in awe with the music blaring in the background! Good moment.
Luke (for KING & COUNTRY): Hmmm, this is a really sad realization but I don't remember the first album I bought! Now that being said, our Dad was a concert promoter in Australia and brought over bands like: Stryper, Whiteheart, Carmen and Amy Grant. I might not remember the first album I 'bought' but I certainly had those records around my house from when I was very young!
Dara: The first significant album I ever owned was not one, but all of Crystal Lewis' records! It changed my world musically when I was 8 and inspired me and my sound as a female vocalist.
Jason: One of the earliest memories I have of actually owning an album goes back to when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old. I was at a Christian bookstore with my parents and my dad told my brother and I that we could each pick out a CD to take home. My family was pretty frugal, so this was pretty special! I bought the very first Relient K album and listened to it non-stop. I don’t have that CD anymore and I'm pretty sure that if I did, it wouldn’t work because I know I wore that thing out!
FC:What was the first concert you went to?
Joel (for KING & COUNTRY): Our pops was a concert promoter and he had brought over Stryper for an Aussie tour. I remember the concert well, I sat on Dads shoulders with the palms of my hands over my ears soaking it all in. I was also the on-stage t-shirt mannequin. I went up with my pops and stood there during announcements, the shirt was so large it was touching the floor.
Dara: KLTY Joy Williams Brown Bag concert!!
Jason: Hmm...I think the first concert I actually went to was at Six Flags Over Texas. There were a lot of bands playing, but the ones I remember most from that show are The O.C. Supertones and Switchfoot. It was a blast!!
FC:What has God been teaching you lately?
Luke (for KING & COUNTRY): My wife and I are expecting our first child this Christmas and I've been challenge by the thought of how my kids will view me as their father. God calls us to be servants and if I can think of one characteristic that I'd like to be known for, it would be having a servant’s heart. Certainly easier said than done, but I feel the Lord tugging at me to be a servant to all.
Dara: He has been teaching me about rest. How when we trust Him and His way of doing things, you can do more by resting in Him then by striving and exhausting yourself all day. True rest is only attainable through Him, the greater one living within us.
Jason: Humility, humility, humility! Pride makes everything worse and it never ceases to amaze me how fast humility can turn things around. "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."- James 4:6. Another passage I have been loving on humility is Philippians 2:3-11, check it out!
BONUS - Here are the latest music videos from each artist:
for King & Country
“And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.” Romans 15:14 NASB
Admonishment is a gentle, but firm warning. It is best received when the words are delivered clearly and directly in a well-oiled relationship of trust and love. A recommended idea is optional, but an admonishment is a strong suggestion. It implores an idea to an individual by almost demanding, but humility holds it back. A brother or sister in Christ admonishes another to protect them from foolish friends or an unwise choice.
Blessed are we to have men and women in our lives, who feel the freedom to warn us of potential train wrecks. Those who have traveled the road of life longer know where to tread lightly or not at all. It is a blessing, not a curse for us to have someone who cares enough to tell us the truth. A messenger who means well is not meant to be dismissed, but desired. Be grateful for a reproving word, an honest assessment or direct warning.
"It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:5
Who do you know who needs you to tell them what you know? Are you withholding valuable information that could save someone from a financial or relational crisis? Yes, make sure your motive is to bring help not harm, but don't wait until it is too late. Busyness or fear of rejection is not a good reason to hold back. Summon up your courage in prayer and with practice. Do for one what you would like to do for many.
Moreover, there are those who are not ready to receive a rebuke. A fool is like Teflon—responsibility rarely sticks to his or her life. The immature cannot handle truth, so don't waste your words on those who are not ready. However, God knows the heart. So ask the Spirit to lead you into conversations that cultivate a heart of good soil, where a seed of admonishment grows a tree of wise decision-making. Indeed, admonish the teachable.
"Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you." Proverbs 9:8
Prayer: Heavenly Father lead me to love your children with a gentle heart, a firm faith and with clear truth.