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Family Christian

  • Absolutes Allow Freedom

    Posted on July 4, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” Judges 21:25

    Spiritual and moral decline is the fruit of a nation or person who abandons absolutes. Once absolutes are dismissed liberties are limited. A decline in spiritual fervor and moral purity always leads to the loss of freedom. For example, a home or car left unlocked in the past is locked today for fear of robbery. Indeed, small loses of freedom lead to larger loses of freedom. Without standards based on absolutes, absolutely anything can go.

    The threat of stealing moves from your home to corporate America where in some cases billions of dollars have been bilked to justify a short-term allusion of success to investors. Immoral and unspiritual individuals become deceptive and dishonest if allowed to do “what is right in their own eyes”. Without boundaries and absolutes anything goes and if anything goes, your freedoms will deteriorate and eventually be destroyed.

    The cultural battle that rages in our country is over the soul of our society. If absolutes win then our children and grandchildren will see their cherished rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness extended. Therefore, will we bow to the false promise of freedom wrapped in the guise of no absolutes, or will we expose the lies and uphold God’s standards and His definition of absolutes? People flourish where freedom loudly rings!

    We lead out of love and compassion, however there are behavioral boundaries to be guarded with vigilance. When the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage are under attack we cannot sit passively by and just pray. As followers of Jesus Christ we have a mandate to defend these bedrocks of civilization. Yes we are busy, and yes we have our own problems to deal with, but “you ain’t seen nothing yet” if good people do nothing.

    Your freedoms will continue to deteriorate like the “frog in the kettle”, unaware but slowly boiling himself to death. We should be the thermostats of society not the barometers; the influencers rather than the ones being influenced. Consider how you might get involved in the PTA at your child’s school or the local government. Volunteer in church or ministries that need your skill set, gifts and passion. Model the fruit of the Spirit (patience, gentleness, self-control…), as you influence the culture for Christ.

    Public policy is a reflection of private morality and spirituality. Absolutes abided by absolutely guarantee your freedoms. So, by God’s grace continue to raise the bar of expectations and absolutes, so that “everyone is doing what is right in the Lord’s eyes”.

    The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. Psalm 11:4

    Prayer: How can I best model and live out His absolutes in my life and in the life of my family? How would Christ have me engage in our cultural battle?

    Related Readings: Genesis 4:7; Deuteronomy 6:18; Galatians 5:22; Hebrews 13:7-9

    Post/Tweet today: Once absolutes are dismissed liberties are limited. #absolutes

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Judges

  • Afraid to Turn the Next Corner

    Posted on July 4, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)

    You know how some people love the thrill of being surprised? They love surprise parties. They would love to show up at work one day and be told they are actually going on a surprise vacation and be whisked from their desk to paradise in just a few hours.

    They would love to have one of those makeover shows pop up at their house with a film crew and be told they're getting a whole new wardrobe.

    Surprises feel thrilling to them. Like the thrill some people get when a roller coaster ride they thought was over suddenly takes off again and starts doing upside down loops. They throw their hands in the air and embrace the thrill of the unknown.

    They call that fun.

    I don't.

    I love a good birthday party. But I don't want it to be surprised.

    I love a good vacation. But I don't want it to be planned for me.

    I love winning stuff and would freely accept a gift certificate for a new wardrobe. But I don't want anyone to pick out the clothes for me.

    I like (not love) a roller coaster. I don't mind when it finally crests the lift hill and then careens downward like the bottom just fell out of the world. But I don't want it to take unexpected twists and turns.

    This dislike of surprises can usually be managed with all the things I mentioned.

    My friends know not to throw me a surprise party. No one is looking to give me a surprise vacation or new wardrobe. And before getting on a roller coaster, I thoroughly check it out and know its patterned route.

    But life is different.

    Life twists and turns and throws loops into those places we think will be flat and smooth. Because that's what life does. Sometimes it all just catches us off guard.

    And at the end of the day, I guess that's why I don't like to be surprised. I can't stand to get caught off guard. It makes me feel exposed and afraid.

    But slowly, I'm learning God can bring good out of feeling exposed and afraid.

    That vulnerable place reminds us we have needs beyond what we can manage by ourselves. It reminds us we need God. Desperately. Completely.

    And into that gap between what we can manage on our own and what we can't, that's right where faith steps in and has the opportunity to find deep roots. Roots that dig down and break up previously unearthed places within us.

    Our faith doesn't just need to grow big, it needs to grow deep. Yes, we need deep faith roots.

    I want to have faith like the believer that Jeremiah describes as, "... a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit" (Jeremiah 17:8).

    Deep roots anchor us when surprises blow like strong, unruly winds.

    Deep roots hold us steady during the storm that didn't show up on the radar.

    Deep roots find nourishment when the surface gets awfully dry.

    Deep roots allow for growth not previously possible.

    Deep roots yield rich fruit.

    So, I'm learning to not be so afraid of what might be around the next corner. Even if it does catch me off guard. I close my eyes and whisper ... "deeper still."

    Dear Lord, deep roots of faith–that's what I need to grow today. Help me to trust in You above all else. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Do you want to grow your faith? Lysa TerKeurst's book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, will help you do just that as you learn to walk in radical obedience to the Lord each day. Click here to purchase your copy!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is there something dividing your heart and distracting you from knowing God more?

    Pray a courageous prayer. Ask God to show you one distraction you could distance yourself from to more fully embrace growing your faith.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 52:8, "But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Jeremiah

  • Christ and Country

    Posted on July 3, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind. Psalm 33:12-13

    God blesses a country that honors Him, but He brings down a country that dishonors Him. It honors Him for His people to pray in earnest for righteousness to reign in religion, the work place, seats of government and the home. It dishonors the Lord when we behave like His commands are suggestions and we marginalize His mandates. Countries founded on Christ are blessed if they continue with Christ.

    Where is our Christ conscientiousness? Do our actions reflect accountability to Almighty God and His ultimate judgment? Faith without the fear of God is weak and anemic in the face of moral relativism, academic attacks and the indulgences of affluence. A nation who fears the Lord fears sin and its deadly consequences. Thus, Christians are called by Christ to engage in their communities with compassion and a standard of right and wrong.

    The law of the Lord is the basis of the law of the land in a country that honors Christ. The Bible is clear, “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous” (Romans 2:12-13). God blesses a nation who obeys His laws.

    Therefore, for our children’s sake, let's raise our standards of acceptable actions for preachers, politicians and parents. Let’s return to public prayers of dependence on the Lord and private prayers of repentance from sin. Without God’s blessing a country creeps into moral chaos, an economic meltdown and institutional irrelevance. But, with God’s blessing a country thrives on trust in Him. We desperately need to stay bless-able before the Lord.

    If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

    Prayer: Am I a citizen who unashamedly represents Christ in my community? Do I pray with persistence and humility for repentance among God’s people?

    Related Readings: Exodus 19:5-6; Psalm 144:15; Romans 12:14-15; 1 Peter 2:9

    Post/Tweet today: Countries founded on Christ are blessed if they continue with Christ. #foundingfaith

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm

  • Michael Landon Jr. - Leaving a Legacy in Film

    Posted on July 3, 2013 by AlexMosoiu

    Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend, Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  Educated at USC and a Directing Fellow graduate of the American Film Institute, he has worked in just about every capacity of the movie making process including film loader, 1st and 2nd assistant cameraman, stedicam operator, Director of Photography, apprentice film editor, production assistant, and actor.

    Our buyer of DVDs had a candid conversation with Michael on his upbringing, his work in the past and what he working on now.

    Alex: So we'll kind of start out with a general question about your background. How have you seen changes in Hollywood from your days in Little House on the Prairie to your dad's involvement in Highway to Heaven, and to where Hollywood is today? How have you seen it change during that time?

    Michael: Well, there have been a lot of changes that have taken place since the Little House days. So there are different aspects and components to the business, right? For example, when Little House was around, you had three major networks, and they controlled most of the content on television, maybe four networks. Now there are literally hundreds and hundreds of channels to choose from. So the idea of families sitting down together and experiencing storytelling, whatever that might be, is no longer around. Everybody has a TV in a different room. And since there's specific, narrower targeting of the audience--stuff for teens, little ones, grownups, etc.--no one's sitting down and experiencing storytelling anymore together. That's definitely one thing I've seen.

    The other side is all of the different avenues in which media is being fed to us. It's not just TVs. It's the Internet, streaming, iPhones and iPads. And so it's coming in every sort of way, and there's the emergence of these social media things like YouTube and Twitter and Facebook, and other ways that media is coming and pretty much bombarding our homes.

    Then there's the content issue. Programming content has radically changed, which to me is extremely unfortunate. Family programming is almost completely extinct. There are a few reality shows that I feel like are probably fine, the singing shows and the dancing shows and things like that, where the content is suitable for the entire family for the most part. But gone are the days of the Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven and Touched By An Angel, and TV series like that. Now, fortunately, I do have the opportunity to create a new TV series for Hallmark based on a very popular Janette Oke book, When Calls the Heart. That is actually Hallmark's second foray into TV series work. So at least now there's an opportunity for families to have an alternative to the very sexualized sitcoms or the gritty cop forensic shows that currently permeate the airwaves.

    Alex: So what do you think that the lack of family type of entertainment has done to the family unit, you know, the idea of sitting down and all watching stuff together on a regular basis? What do you think that that causes in a family dynamic?

    Michael: It's hard to probably calculate exactly what the repercussions are. I can't imagine it not having some detrimental effect to the family. I mean, technology is amazing, the way we use it, the way we can quickly disseminate information back and forth between each other. But at the same time, obviously, there is this fragmented aspect of being together, where everybody is in the same room and yet not really present with each other. They're on their phone and tweeting, or emailing or texting their friends. It's definitely breaking down the family unit in a way. It doesn't allow for intimacy to really grab hold of families. And also, I can't imagine that the increased and different content isn't breaking down the family unit as well. It clearly is. The messaging that's coming out of a lot of these shows sometimes is sexually promiscuous or shows a lack of respect for authority whether it be for parents or teachers or whoever. I mean, these are messages that our children are being bombarded with constantly--no holds barred. It seems nothing is really off limits. If you advocate limits, then you're against freedom of speech. It's always spun off in a very kind of negative tone.

    Alex: Michael, what do you think? Is life imitating art? Or is art imitating life in television and entertainment right now?

    Michael: Well, I definitely think they're pushing both, right? I think they're feeding off of each other. And I think we see that. I don't know the statistics, but I can just imagine in terms of the age of sexual contact between young people is getting lower and lower. The sexually transmitted diseases are out of control, from my understanding. Again, the respect issue for parents and teachers is completely falling apart in many areas. So, I think the media is feeding off society, and society is feeding off the media, and it's not good.

    Alex: So, let me ask you this, kind of along those same lines. You went to USC film school, right? One of the most prestigious film schools in the country, to kind of learn your craft. And obviously you grew up in the Hollywood business to some extent. What would you say, as a believer, what would you tell Christian parents whose kids want to grow up and be in the entertainment business in some way? How would you guide and direct them to be a part of the business?

    Michael: Right. Just a clarification, though. I did go to USC, but I was not in their film program.

    Alex: I guess I just assumed that.

    Michael: That was the game plan, but I ended up going to AFI for film studies.

    Alex: Got it.

    Michael: American Film Institute. I was a directing fellow there. It's a great question, because I think that many Christian parents see the business and they're terrified of what it will do to their children, and how it will affect them and the people that they'll come in contact with. It's a tough business. The film business is really, really tough. It's extremely competitive. If you're in front of the camera, your ability to make a living is very difficult, especially if you're going to keep your integrity in terms of the projects that you'll pick and choose. Because you'll see that it's a limited amount of family fare. A lot of it, especially in the younger category, is due to the fact that there are a lot of horror films out there, and teen party kinds of films. It's basically adults who run the business, and they know what teenagers want to see. So it's not an easy decision. I would say, however, at the same time, that the business is craving talented storytellers who want to tell stories that will be uplifting to families; ones that deal with issues of faith, forgiveness and love. So, I would probably still encourage a Christian family whose son or daughter is passionate about it—and they have to be passionate because this business is really tough. It's very competitive. If they're really passionate, you see signs of greatness when it comes to acting or writing, and I would encourage them to allow their children to become involved in that case.

    Alex: And so as a producer, or generator, I should say, both on the production and the directing end of Christian content, you're one of the most prolific people in our industry who generate content. How do you personally choose the projects that you get involved with?

    Michael: Well, a lot of it is generated by certain properties that I've purchased the rights to, for example, such as the works of Jeanette Oke, Beverly Lewis and Francine Rivers. The content is coming directly from like-minded storytellers, so that's definitely one avenue. Then there are other projects I'm generating, either through novels or I'm being hired to direct, for example, The Ultimate Life. So I, you know, it's a story that just needs to resonate, and then I'm going to try to either get the job or develop it. But the first thing that has to happen is that the story has to resonate with me deeply. I don't see myself as a Christian filmmaker. I see myself as a filmmaker who happens to be Christian. And I think there is a difference there.

    Alex: Talk about that difference.

    Michael: I think one main example of the difference would be that I see myself as someone who doesn't try to work outside the system, but work with the system. I don't try just to hire Christian actors and actresses. I try to hire the best actors and actresses to play the roles. That goes along with anybody else on my crew. I try to hire the best DP (Director of Photography). So I think that's probably one of the main differences. Not everything that I do has to be Christian, per se.

    Alex: Yeah, and I think from our perspective in the entertainment business, in any line of work that's what we're called to do as believers, right? Is to use our gifts and talents and apply them to being the best at that particular trade. So it's a good analogy, and I apologize for stating it the way I did. I should have stated that better. You don't find a Christian plumber and a Christian car repairman. You find a car repair guy who happens to be a Christian.

    Michael: That's right.

    Alex: For various reasons. You touched on Janette Oke. Obviously you had a lot of success working with the Hallmark Channel, starting with the Love Comes Softly series and that piece. And it's been several years now since that series started, and it had a very, very successful run. Tell us a little bit about how you got involved with Jeanette and that book series, and what that's meant to you in your career.

    Michael: Oh, Love Comes Softly was huge for me. The interesting thing about that particular property was that it took me 10 years to get made. Most people don't know that fact. But it was something that I championed for 10 years. When I started pitching it and shopping it around Hollywood, everybody just didn't get it from the title on down. They just thought it was too soft. You know, no one would be interested in this type of storytelling anymore. The Little House days are over. And then, so I knew that the next step was going to be, I needed to write the script. So I worked on it and co-wrote it with Cindy Kelly, who was a writer that I co-wrote The Velveteen Rabbit with, and had a certain amount of success with that. We wrote the screenplay and it still took a few years to finally land a home. Hallmark finally stepped up to the plate. Even they were a bit skeptical at the time, but when it aired, it ended up being the highest rated movie in the history of that channel by 40%.

    Alex: Hmm.

    Michael: And then the sequel, Love’s Enduring Promise, then became its highest rated movie in the history of the channel. Since then, Hallmark uses that particular franchise. They play that franchise more than anything they’ve produced, by far, and they've produced hundreds and hundreds of movies for that channel. So it proved the skeptics wrong, and obviously there is a powerful hunger and need for this type of family programming. To top it off, I formed a relationship with Jeanette Oke, who is really the pioneer of Christian romance fiction. She started that genre, and I have to say, she is one of the most beautiful, wonderful human beings I have ever met. Everything about her is so genuine and real. I'm honored that she has allowed me to use--and trusted me with--more of her material. I just think the world of her.

    Alex: Yeah, I've had the chance to meet her on a couple of occasions--certainly not on an in-depth level--but I would definitely agree with you that that's exactly how she comes across. So you're partnering with her again on this next project, When Calls the Heart. Tell us what that's about, the TV series idea and the movie piece.

    Michael: Yes, so the When Calls the Heart series has been a labor of love for us as well, my partner Brian Bird and myself. It is an offshoot from the original source material. The way the books are laid out, it wasn't conducive for a TV series. The setup is the same, which is that we start off with this very young, educated woman who has the desire to become a teacher. She's done all of her schooling, and she comes from this very wealthy family living in the city. She is challenged to take a job out West in kind of this unlawful coal mining town, where underprivileged children live. And she forsakes the comforts of home and goes on this daring adventure to teach these children. And so the pilot veers away from the book a bit, but thank goodness Jeanette Oke is completely in agreement with our take. The actual storytelling is in line with When Calls the Heart. But in order to keep a series going and create a world where we're not moving through the other books that we want to preserve of Jeanette's, the coal mining town that we've created, Coal Valley, is a piece of fiction that is separate from her novel. But the essence and the characters and everything are very much from Jeanette's imagination.

    Alex: Excellent. It sounds like both your fans and her fans will greatly enjoy that as well.

    Michael: I believe so.

    Alex: So you've had the chance to work with Jeanette Oke and then Beverly Lewis, which are kind of two very strong pillars in the Christian fiction community. You made movies so far out of Beverly Lewis' The Shunning and The Confession. So what attracted you to her writing, and what was different in portraying kind of that Amish lifestyle versus the more pioneer days in Jeanette Oke's books?

    Michael: Right. Well, you know, it's the fascination with the Amish. And obviously, Beverly Lewis has made an entire career out of that. I believe that the non-Amish all just have a certain sense of nostalgia for life without technology. It kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier. In our culture, technology is integrated into nearly every part of our lives, whereas the Amish pretty much avoid all modern technology, including the car, the Internet and, in many cases, even having an in-home phone. And it's all to preserve that social cohesion within their community. And I just think that when you have the modern world spinning around them at this lightning fast speed and pace, these people in like a time-stopping universe becomes just fascinating. Totally fascinating. Beverly Lewis has captured the hearts and minds of readers, and has created compelling characters that push her stories forward.

    Alex: Excellent. So we talked briefly about The Ultimate Life, the sequel to The Ultimate Gift. Share a little bit about that project and why you took it on. What is it about the story of Red that attracted you to it, and what do you hope that somebody who sees the film gleans from it?

    Michael: The Ultimate Life. The producer, Rick Eldridge, came to me last year in November and asked me if I'd be interested in directing The Ultimate Life. He gave me the script, which centered on Jason, the heir to the estate. And it got into all the machinations and crazy scheming of the dysfunctional family, and the story took place in a courtroom for about 80% of the storytelling. And I just felt like this wasn't where the story needed to go. I think what people were going to be fascinated by was the character that influenced Jason so much, which was the Red character. So in November of last year I pitched to Rick that this be a prequel, and not a sequel, that the story actually revolves around how Red became who he was, what his early upbringing was like and how he ended up becoming a billionaire and how he had a change of heart. And thankfully, he agreed, and we quickly brought on a few writers and built the story.

    I usually don't like telling what the audience will get out of it, because I feel like there are different messages that will resonate with different people depending on where they are in life. I do, however, believe that there is something for everyone in the storytelling, the innocence of young love, of commitment. You know, something that was really joyful and one of my favorite parts of this movie is Red’s young love story. I just love the innocence. I'm not saying that the 40s and 50s were perfect. But it sure was really joyful to be in that time period. That's all I can say. Just the music, and kind of innocence of romance and everything. I'm wandering a bit right now.

    Alex: Oh, no, that's okay. Yeah, the brief time that I had on set, and the interactions that I've had with Rick and the scenes I've seen of it, definitely resonate the differences in time periods. Also the timeless things—the lessons or gifts--that no matter what time you interact with, it's still a very appropriate message.

    Michael: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, one of the big themes is gratitude. The one conclusion I've definitely come to is that if you don't have a grateful heart, you can't be a happy person. And listen, I completely understand that there is a lot of struggling going on for a lot of people in this country. But when you look at other countries and what their struggles are, as a whole, we should be pretty grateful. I know we had worked together on getting the film Jamah out, you know, you look at worlds like that, and you see the spirit of those people, and their gratefulness for basically having nothing. It's just so important to try to have a grateful heart no matter what the circumstances are that you're going through.

    Alex: That is very true. Very true. In fact, I was talking to my kids the other day, and we were talking about the scene in Jamah of the little boy and the girl having to haul the coffin halfway around the country, and thinking, my kids are about that age. Boy, you know, I'm eternally grateful that they don't ever have to live that sort of thing. So you're right. Gratitude is such a very important thing.

    Michael: Yeah. And I just want to make sure I'm clear that I'm definitely speaking to myself when I talk about gratitude. Something that I constantly need to remind myself. If I'm acting spoiled or feeling down because something didn't happen right, I try to remind myself that it's ridiculous.

    Alex: Yeah, I got frustrated last night because my WIFI was down for 15 minutes at home--it was a meltdown—so, I know the feeling.

    Michael: Right? And then you just take a step back. You go, oh, my gosh, this is ridiculous. In reality I'm so blessed.

    Alex: Absolutely. So let me ask you one more question as our time winds down. We usually like to find one crazy, off-the-wall question to ask folks. So, if you were sitting down with an 18-year-old Michael, what would you tell yourself all those years ago?

    Michael: Oh, if I was sitting down with an 18-year-old Michael.

    Alex: Like with yourself, not just a random 18-year-old kid named Michael.

    Michael: With my actual self?

    Alex: Yes. What would you have told yourself when you were 18? What wisdom would you have imparted?

    Michael: I would have told him… Just trust in Jesus. Trust Him. Trust that He's going to bring you through to the other side, and don't try to do it on your own strength. And I mean that sincerely. This is not just to tell an audience of Christians. When I was 18 years old, I was a wreck. I was a wreck. My parents had divorced, and I was completely lost in the world. And I fought. I fought The Message. I fought it all the way, all the way. I didn't want to have anything to do with Jesus, nothing. Yeah.

    Alex: Excellent. Well, that sounds like very timeless advice. Michael, thank you so much for this time; we appreciate it. We very much look forward to partnering on these upcoming projects, and I definitely look forward to our paths crossing again.

    Michael: Appreciate that, Alex.


    This post was posted in Movies, Interviews, Alex Mosoiu and was tagged with Featured, TV, Beverly Lewis, Janetto Oke, Francine Rivers

  • TFK Releases New EP Metamorphosiz II

    Posted on July 3, 2013 by Family Christian

    Modern rock favorite THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH will release its second remix EP, Metamorphosiz II The End Remixes Vol. 2.  The EP features six songs from the independently released, five-star acclaimed and No. 1 selling Billboard Hard Rock album, The End Is Where We Begin, by noted remix talent Robbie Bronnimann, Andy Hunter, Solomon Olds, Rui Da Silva and Joshua Silverberg.

    The new EP follows the success of Metamorphosiz: The End Remixes, Vol. 1, which released Dec. 4, 2012 and sparked ESPN2 to load up “War Of Change,” “We Are” and “Let the Sparks Fly” remix tracks for placements on its show “First Take.”  New ESPN placements for “Vol. 2” are being considered now, including for NASCAR coverage.

    Bronnimann (Nicki Minaj, Chicane), Hunter (The Matrix: Reloaded, The Italian Job, ABC’s Alias) and Olds (Family Force 5, Newsboys), all featured on the first EP, return with brand new remixes.  Bronnimann tackles SiriusXM’s Octane Big ’Uns Countdown Top 10 single “Fly On The Wall” and hit radio single “Be Somebody. ” Hunter and Olds ‘trip out’ “Down” and “The End Is Where We Begin,” respectfully.  New to the mix are Portuguese musical innovator Silva (“Touch Me”) who takes on the militant “Courtesy Call,” and producer/songwriter Silverberg (Edison Glass, Abandon) with an unsullied take on “So Far Gone.”

    The full Metamorphosiz II The End Remixes Vol. 2 track and remix artist list follows:

    1) “Fly On The Wall (The Robbie Bronnimann Mix)” – Robbie Bronnimann
    2) “The End Is Where We Begin (Solomon Olds Remix)” – Solomon Olds
    3) “Courtesy Call (Rui Da Silva Remix)” – Rui Da Silva
    4) “Down (Andy Hunter Remix)” – Andy Hunter
    5) “Be Somebody (The Robbie Bronnimann Mix)” – Robbie Bronnimann
    6) “So Far Gone (Joshua Silverberg Remix)” – Joshua Silverberg

    As the band prepares to releases the new remix EP, TFK is also hitting the festival circuit this summer following its “War Of Change” winter/spring tour that was named one of Pollstar’s Top 50 tours this year.  While on tour, the band is performing fan favorites and hits from The End Is Where We Begin, including the top 40 Active Rock tracks “Let The Sparks Fly” and “War of Change.”  The latter song not only hit No. 1 on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown and is the No. 1 most-played this week on KADR FM (Des Moines), but also has become the band’s first-ever independent music video.  The video has recently been picked up by ClubCom Hard Rock (500 health clubs in the U.S., as well as locations in England, Australia and Japan), Promo Only Video Pool Express Video (Walt Disney World, MTV, Harrah's Casinos, Hard Rock Cafes, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Universal Studios, more), California Music Channel, TVU’s The Most Wanted, JCTV, Video Hits and many more. “War of Change” further became TFK’s 13th No. 1 song overall at Christian radio.

    TFK’s current single, “So Far Gone,” busted into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot AC Christian chart for the first time April 15 at No. 9 and remains a Top 10 hit today, a full 8 weeks later.

    “This is a very intimate song. It’s a love song, and my way of saying, ‘I can’t get enough of you,’” says TFK frontman Trevor McNevan. “It’s a worship song to me.  There’s not a day in my life when I don’t need God more and want to get closer.”

    TFK has found that sometimes the best way to move forward is to go back to the basics, taking all of the raw energy and emotion of the past and channeling it into the present.   For those who’ve been following the Ontario, Canada-bred players since their formation in 1997, it’s been a continuously escalating highlight reel that includes best-selling albums, top Active Rock hits (“War Of Change,” “Let The Sparks Fly,” “Fire It Up” and “Move”), tours like last summer’s Third Annual Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival, plus a slew of soundtrack slots. In fact, the group has literally infiltrated every facet of pop culture, from ongoing ESPN appearances, to various NASCAR, MLB, NHL, WWE, NCAA and NFL airings (including the 2010 Super Bowl and Tennessee Titans’ 2012-13“kickoff” song), along with the “GI Joe” movie trailer, WGN-TV’s “Smallville” and EA Sports’ NHL 2010 and 2013 video games.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Thousand Foot Krutch

  • I Didn't Sign up for This

    Posted on July 3, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good ..." Genesis 50:20a (NLT)

    "I didn't sign up for this!" my friend moaned as we reviewed the printed class schedules we'd just picked up in the school office.

    While I had gotten all my desired classes, she had been assigned one she had absolutely no interest in taking. She couldn't imagine spending four months stuck in a classroom studying something she disliked.

    I tried to empathize, but truthfully I felt she was whining about a very minor issue. Her life, in my estimation, was absolutely fantastic. She came from a well-to-do family. Her parents had been happily married for over 25 years. She had a big extended family and fun get-togethers. She had straight teeth and a nearly-new car.

    I, on the other hand, came from a family rocked by divorce and financial struggles. I had only one brother with whom I didn't get along. My car was old and ugly. My teeth needed braces, but the funds had never been available.

    Hearing her complain about her schedule started my descent into self-pity as I compared my circumstances to hers.

    The more I thought about the unfairness of my life, I reached the same conclusion she had when she spied that unwanted class: "I didn't sign up for this!"

    My friend and I both felt stuck. However, our situations weren't life-threatening. They were issues we could work to change. We could learn the lessons God had for us by not always having a perfect life. And if truly unable to change parts of our circumstances, we could still change our attitudes.

    A young man in Scripture, Joseph, also found himself smack dab in a heap of hassles and difficult situations he never signed up for. His jealous brothers sold him into slavery. He was whisked away to live in a foreign land. To top it off, he was falsely accused of raping his master's wife even though he tried his best to stay away from her. He even wound up in prison.

    These unjust circumstances could have had him complaining, "I didn't sign up for this!" He could have retaliated against those who had caused his turmoil. But he didn't.

    Joseph maintained a God-fearing, God-honoring attitude throughout his ordeals, even as a slave with no freedom in sight.

    At the end of his life we get a glimpse into his continual Christ-like behavior. He'd risen from slave to governor of Egypt through his discernment and wisdom. When his brothers came to buy grain during a famine from the Egyptian authorities, they were shocked to see their younger brother—long thought dead—sitting in a position of power. They feared he would retaliate for the cruel things they did to him, but Joseph's response? "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good ..." (Genesis 50:20a).

    Joseph refused to let life's hard knocks knock him off course, preventing him from living a life that pleased God. He believed in a God Who works all things together for good. By recognizing God's redemption of horrific circumstances, he found true spiritual freedom from self-pity, anger and retaliation. Instead he characterized what God wants of us in Micah 6:8b, "And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" (NAS).

    Today when I am tempted to whine as I compare my life with someone I perceive has an easier one, I remember Joseph, the slave-by-force. I want to emulate his attitude, be spiritually free, and walk in the ways of God.

    It also prompts me to remember that today forced slavery still exists; women and children are forced into the sex-trafficking trade every day. These precious ones sit in atrocious circumstances due to no fault or choice of their own.

    We enjoy simple freedoms they never get to experience. Unless ... we band together, purposing to do something about this awful practice. Could we dare to get our eyes off of our sometimes minor problems and spend time doing justice, acting kindly and humbly walking with God to help free these slaves?

    No matter our circumstances, it's never too late to be free. Our God-honoring attitude that comes from a shift in perspective can help us find spiritual freedom. And our intentional actions can help others imprisoned in slavery find freedom, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

    Dear Lord, help me take my eyes off of my circumstances and fix them solely upon You and Your plan so I can find true spiritual freedom and offer freedom to others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Priceless: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom Davis

     

     

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    When you can't change the circumstances, how might you change your attitude, bringing it in line with Scripture?

    Power Verse:
    Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." (HCSB)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Genesis

  • Cultural Christianity

    Posted on July 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    She [Lydia] was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. Acts 16:14-15

    Cultural Christianity has a form of godliness but no faith in Christ. There is a resemblance to righteousness, but not an authentic heart change. Because the culture may understand the tenets of Christianity, a citizen may think their birthright into that society makes them a Christian. However, understanding without conversion is just head knowledge. Familiarity does breed contempt where cultural Christianity replaces personal faith with a general "feel good" faith.

    Yes, there are those like Lydia who may even worship God but are worshiping as an unsaved sinner, not as a saint. As Paul taught, she came under conviction from the Holy Spirit to believe in and accept the resurrected Christ into her life. Her baptism was an outward confession of her inward conversion to Jesus Christ. Conversion Christianity is a person who came to the end of themselves and confessed their need for Jesus as Savior. Transformation is from the inside out.

    Assuredly, I [Jesus] say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3, NKJV

    Have you been genuinely converted to Christ? Have you humbled your heart like a little child and embraced Jesus Christ as the resurrected Lord and Savior of your life? Your individual conversion to Christ is a significant source of strength for your church, community and family. You become “salt and light” for a society in search of its soul. Preachers, lawyers, judges, students, mechanics, coaches, teachers, homemakers, executives, artists and athletes who love Jesus begin to influence friends for Jesus. Converted Christians change the culture for Christ.

    Cultural Christians blend into the culture. Converted Christians influence the culture. The apron strings of your parents' faith can not make you right with Almighty God. Your beliefs cannot be a barnacle on the cruise ship of someone else’s conversion. Personal conversion is your only qualifier for heaven after death and abundant life on earth. Cultural Christians are only an imitation of real intimacy and salvation in Jesus. Repent therefore and be converted to Christ.

    Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19, NKJV

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me out of the comfort of cultural Christianity to the transforming power of being an authentic convert of Christ.

    Related Readings: Psalm 51:13; Romans 16:6; Acts 9:1-6, 15:3; 1 Timothy 3:6

    Post/Tweet today: Your beliefs cannot be a barnacle on the cruise ship of someone else’s conversion. #personalsalvation

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Acts

  • The Cost of Freedom - Jenny Simmons

    Posted on July 2, 2013 by Family Christian

    written by Jenny Simmons

    Two days before my wedding, my dad received a call. He was being called up on a surprise deployment for the first anniversary of 9/11. He would leave in two days. By God's kindness, this was extended to four days and he was able to stand on the alter and lead my husband and I through our wedding vows before leaving to serve. He is a Chaplain- and as long as I have been alive- he has been in the military. I am 32.

    My mom could tell you the same kind of stories about her dad. My grandpa spent the better part of her growing up years deployed to Vietnam. He has four daughters and they all have moments where dad couldn't be there.

    My sister has a similar story. She and my brother-in-law tried to get pregnant for several years without luck. Then one day, they found out they were pregnant. The next week- literally the next week- he was deployed to Afghanistan. His third deployment to the battle zone since graduating from West Point nine years ago. My little sister is the most brave woman I know. As are most military spouses. He deployed and she journeyed through her very first pregnancy alone. Stationed half way across the world from our family, with her husband in eminent danger each and every day, she grew a baby. In the military, you get something called R&R, rest and relaxation. It's a two week escape from war. He chose his R&R for two days before her due date. He flew from Afghanistan to Hawaii- and I promise you my sister coaxed that sweet baby girl out of her the second he landed on Hawaiian soil! They knew they were on borrowed time. He watched his daughter come into the world. He spent two weeks with her. And then? He flew back to the war zone of Afghanistan.

    No new momma should have to figure out motherhood alone by day and pray that her husband will come home alive by night. But she did it. With grace. Strength. And bravery. She did what was required.

    Freedom is never free. It always requires sacrifice. And sacrifice hardly follows our plans. It doesn't check to see if anyone is getting married, buried or having a baby. It doesn't inquire about whether this is good for the kids or good for the spouse or even good for the man or woman being asked to serve and put their lives down on the line. And still, for hundreds of years, men and women have voluntarily said that this experiment in freedom is worth it. If, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, we truly hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; then someone has to bear the cost of those liberties both at home and abroad.

    As we celebrate the birth of our nation and this grand experiment in freedom and self-governance, I am so grateful for the men, women, children and families who understand that freedom is never free. To those who offer themselves up as willing and ready- no matter when the call comes in- we thank you for protecting our inalienable rights. Life. Liberty. And the pursuit of happiness. We remember and celebrate you, and the many men and women who have served America before you, as we remember and celebrate our own freedom. Thank you for paying for the cost.

    "Our great modern Republic. May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose." ~Ulysses S. Grant

     

     

     

     


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Jenny Simmons, Freedom

  • "Blondes Do Have More Fun" Says Chonda Pierce

    Posted on July 2, 2013 by Family Christian

    Chonda Pierce Is The RIAA's Top Certified Female Comedian

    Chonda Pierce is known for Southern charm, neck snapping wit and a consistent ability to fill an arena, so it's no surprise that the sassy sensation was recently honored as the 'Top Certified Female Comedian' by the RIAA for career certifications comprising eight gold and three platinum long-form DVDs.

    In addition, on Saturday, June 22, Pierce performed to a sold-out, hometown crowd at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The venue echoed with laughter as she delivered three hours of non-stop hilarity. The event was captured on film and will become her 10th long-form DVD. From Spanx and plastic surgery to men and 'tips for speaking Southern' Chonda's infectious style has earned her spots on The Wanda Sykes Show and The View.


    This post was posted in Movies and was tagged with Featured, Chonda Pierce

  • Love & the Outcome to Release Self-Titled Debut

    Posted on July 2, 2013 by Family Christian

    Word Entertainment’s Love & The Outcome, recently included in Billboard’s “Bubbling Under” feature on new and noteworthy acts, are gearing up to release their self-titled debut album on August 27. The 11-track album recalls the highs and lows of the journey vocalist Jodi King and bass player/vocalist Chris Rademaker have braved since departing their homeland of Canada, risking it all to pursue their musical dreams. That Jodi and Chris are also husband/wife makes the story that much more vivid. The album features the duo’s debut single, “He Is With Us,” which skyrocketed to the Top 25 on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart and No. 10 on Canada’s CCRC chart in a little over a month since its release.

    Co-Produced by Seth Mosley (Newsboys), Ben Glover (for KING & COUNTRY), David Garcia (TobyMac) and Jeff Pardo (Matthew West), Love & The Outcome balances Chris’ rock sensibilities with Jodi’s love of melodic pop artists. In addition, the duo’s influence is also revealed in the lyrics as they had a hand in writing each of the 11 tracks on the album.

    “We want these songs to become the soundtrack to people’s lives, and hope that the truth of these songs goes beyond the thrill of the live show to plant a seed in people’s hearts: to go for the things that they might be afraid to go for and join this joyful revolution,” said King. “That’s the whole point. A life that requires faith is worth living, and a life on the edge is one where you live hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm with God. That’s what we’re living for.”

    Love & The Outcome Track Listing:

    1.       When We Love
    2.       He Is With Us
    3.       No Mistaking (It’s You)
    4.       City Of God
    5.       Ask
    6.       The Story You’re Building In Me
    7.       Closer To You
    8.       Bring Us Back
    9.       King Of My Heart
    10.   Heart Like You
    11.   What A Promise

    Currently Love & The Outcome are on the road playing dates with the following upcoming shows:

    June 29 – Marina Park – Menominee, MI
    July 18 – India Hook United Methodist Church – Rock Hill, SC
    July 19 – Topeco Church of the Brethren – Floyd, VA
    July 20 – AllOutPraise! Festival – Donegal, PA
    July 23 – Celebration Community Church – Celebration, FL
    July 28 – CornerStone Church – San Antonio, TX
    August 3 – Covenant Ranch – Caddo Mills, TX
    August 9 – Knoebels Amusement Resort – Elysburg, PA
    August 10 – Royal Tailor @ Back to School Bash – Harrisonburg, VA
    August 11 – Indiana State Fair – Indianapolis, IN
    August 17 – First Baptist Church – Newcastle, OK
    August 19 – Young Harris College – Young Harris, GA
    August 21 – Cornerstone Church – East Longmeadow, MA
    August 22 – Crossroads Church – Pelham, NH
    August 23 – Sunday River Resort – Newry, ME
    August 24 – Keswick Landing Mall – Keswick, Canada
    August 31 – Van Wert County Fair – Van Wert, OH


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, Matthew West, for King & Country, Love & The Outcome, Newboys

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