The Much-Anticipated Album – Songs of the People

Integrity Music to Release “Songs of the People”

Songs of the People

Coming out later this month, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas offers their latest album, “Songs of the People.”

You may have heard of Prestonwood Baptist.

It’s one of the largest megachurches in America, preaching the sovereignty of the one true God. Prestonwood’s community and global outreach touches millions of lives across the globe. My husband and I have gone to their Christmas show for a couple of years now, and the quality of their productions is nothing short of spectacular.

A Golden Opportunity

I was blessed to hear an advance copy of their latest album.

My expectations ran high as I listened through each song on the album’s playlist.

And then I listened again.

Put me in an audience where a multi-voice choir is singing and I’m in Heaven, lost in praise and worship. It feels like you’re singing with the angels.

Prestonwood Baptist's new album

 

The album, “Songs of the People,” did not disappoint. Among the featured guest artists are Michael W. Smith and Paul Baloche.

Imagine those two distinctive vocalists, well-loved in the Christian music world, blending with hundreds of beautiful voices from Prestonwood’s choir.

Imagine More Than 500 Worshippers On Stage

The album opens with one of my favorite songs, “We Are Alive,” featuring Michael W. Smith.

I get goosebumps when I listen to it. The song builds from Smith’s stirring solo to a rousing crescendo of magnificent voices lifting up the name of the Father.

It’s a “close your eyes and listen” kind of song.

Understandably, there’s not a lot of the music on YouTube right now, before the album’s release, but I did find this cut for you of one of the featured songs.

As you can tell from the background, the video of “You Cover Me” was not filmed at the church or with the choir in the background. But, you’ll at least get an idea of the emotional and soul-stirring lyrics that qualify each of the album’s song choices.

Another song highlight for me is “Let The Redeemed,” featuring Dove Award-winning songwriter, Michael Neale, along with strong vocal support from Paul Baloche, Jordan Grizzard, and Stephen Miller.

“Let The Redeemed” is larger than life. I cranked it up as the masterful choir echoed the vocalists with ascending praises of the chorus.

The heart of this song serves as an important reminder for all Christians going forward.

We remember all the great things You have done.

In the times of great distress in your life, please never (ever) forget all that God has blessed you with in the past.

Gratitude For the Things He Has Done

Our God is faithful.

It’s not over until God says it is.

Realistically, Life seems upside-down right now. It’s disturbing to watch the news, but despite all of the bad, we must remember that God hasn’t forgotten us.

There’s Light up ahead in this darkness.

He keeps His promises

God keeps His promises.

Until then, I hope you’ll get a chance to check out Integrity Music’s release of “Songs of the People” on September 23rd.

To God Be the Glory!

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Worship For Kids

Worship For Kids – Music Your Kids Will Love

gift from God

Parents, the most precious resource you have is your kids. They are a gift from God and, with that gift, comes great responsibility.

You have the best intentions, right?

You want your kids to be respectful of others, to do well in school, and hopefully have a family of their own someday. But, what about their relationship with Jesus – the most important relationship of all?

In a world full of distractions, keeping this next generation of Christians engaged in worship is not an easy task. Even worse, some kids claim they don’t even like church and would rather sleep late or spend their day playing a video game.

children's ministryChurches have a big responsibility to keep their youngest members excited about Jesus.

Unfortunately, merely having a Children’s Ministry is not a guarantee of success. Sometimes, it’s budgetary restrictions that hamper the programs and, at other times, a church’s primary focus is on adult worship.

Why It’s Important to Invest in Kids

I would love to share some thoughts on this from a new friend of mine.

If churches took a cue from Disney, they would realize that the secret to reaching families is their kids.

Investing in kids is the biggest growing harvest anywhere, no matter which town you visit or country you explore! – 

Jill Anderson, WorshipForKids.com.

It’s Time to Start Harvesting

How can you reach kids for Jesus in a fun and interactive way?

Two dynamic worship leaders, Jill Anderson and her husband, Craig, have an answer for you. Worship For Kids ministry

Observing a lack of kid’s worship music in churches, they created their own called Worship For Kids. Jill shared some of the exciting details with me.

Jill – whose idea was “Worship for Kids”?

This was a fusion of Craig’s writing kid’s music and my looking for kid’s worship music. Craig was No. 4 in a family of 10 kids. He knew about kids! He had some kid’s songs that he would sing in concerts for fun. The kids responded to his few songs. Then I realized after looking for music for our kid’s worship time, Craig needed to write kid’s music because the need was far greater than for adult worship. So, it was God opening my eyes, telling Craig what I saw, and then the two of us began the journey of engaging kids in their relationship with Jesus through music. We’ve been doing Worship For Kids for over 15 years now.

The Anderson’s passion to impact young lives didn’t just pop up overnight. For over ten years, they served as adult worship leaders until they realized that God had something else in store.

I love how God works, don’t you? Creative juices start to flow and then a recognized need fuses together in God’s perfect timing. After that, great things start to happen.

Fun and Faith Go Together With Worship For Kids

worship music isn't boringThis might surprise some people, but fun and faith do go together. Sadly, there are many negative headlines right now that capture our attention. Even so, as Christians, God wants us to walk in this world, to reflect His love, and pierce through the darkness with His shining light. Kids hear about the negatives in the world, probably every day. They need the peace of Christ just as much as adults do, so why not show them that worship music isn’t boring?

We can have fun while we engage with God! I don’t think the average kid is looking for a quiet, contemplative session with God. They go in with their eyes wide open, wondering what is going to happen next? They are ready to get into it!

 – Jill Anderson, WorshipForKids.com.

 

The WorshipForKids.com website has a lot to offer to parents and church leaders. I encourage you to explore the many resources, including CDs, videos, and worship kits. Trust me; the kids love the music. In fact, the Andersons’ biggest hit, “Wonderful Books of the Bible,” had over 1 million hits on YouTube from all over the world. That’s quite an achievement.

I wanted to share a short video with you so you can see how kids enthusiastically respond to the music.

Jill – Can you recall a moment when you and Craig knew that you were making a difference in the lives of young people?

Actually from the very beginning the kids ate up the interaction, fun in worship, and eye-to-eye contact. I realized that singing with them and to them was a “God Grammy” because of the investment in their lives while they were in their own development. I was hooked. Every time I am with kids, they blow me away with their truthfulness, sincerity, and honesty to God. The raw investment in kids hit me one Sunday when I asked for prayer requests. A little boy about eight years old stood up in the middle of our large group of about 60 and said, “Miss Jill, my family needs prayer. My dad left us last night, and we are a real mess….” We stopped and prayed right then, as he looked to God for his help.

The power of the Holy Spirit blew me away at a camp in the Los Angeles Mountains. We had been singing a song in the worship time called “I WANNA BE LIKE YOU.” We had only sung it 1 or 2 times. That night on the hay ride the kids started singing it while they were riding and having fun with each other. It hit me that the gift of songs TO God will stay with them for a lifetime.

A Better Alternative to Video Games

For parents, the music available from WorshipForKids.com can be a lifesaver. There are so many uses.

kids just wanna danceHow about entertaining your kids with a sing-a-long on an otherwise boring car ride? Or, for kids who have trouble sleeping at night, the music might help calm them down.

And sometimes, kids just wanna dance! Parents too 😉

Worship For Kids music is typically for preschool ages up to about 5th grade, depending on the particular church.

Does your church know about this ministry yet?

Kids are just too much fun and such an incredible investment. The impact for their lives is HUGE, from birth through their developmental years.

 – Jill Anderson, WorshipForKids.com.

Live Concerts? You Bet!

The Andersons offer live events. They’ve traveled from the East to the West Coast, and even internationally to Canada and England. Depending on a church’s needs, they can do a one-time concert or even a one week camp, complete with music and Bible stories.

Their enthusiasm has now expanded into another important ministry and that’s engaging and showing appreciation for children’s pastors and leaders.

Jill – What is REFRESH and how does it relate to “Worship for Kids?”

REFRESH is an event for Children’s Pastors who minister to kids through church, school, and leadership events. These precious people put in hours of selfless commitment and dedication to plan weekly Church activities, special events, and help to provide the church with childcare needs for events. REFRESH connects Children’s Pastors and Leaders by engaging with them, equipping them for ministry, and encouraging them to continue the good work and not get discouraged.

Conservatively the average number of kids and families influenced by one Children’s Pastor is about 100. When 15 – 20 Children’s Pastors come to a REFRESH, the lives of an estimated 1500-2000 are affected by the encouragement these leaders receive. After interviewing a group of Children’s Pastors, we found out that what they miss most is uninterrupted worship time. So, during REFRESH, we have a time of worship music and scripture, devotion, interaction and then a catered lunch. We then send them home with gifts that are simply fun and let them know that they’re appreciated for all that they do.

A Thank You

Many thanks to the Andersons for sharing information with me about their Worship For Kids ministry and growing REFRESH events. I pray that God will continue to bless their outreach as they record new music and strive to create more online resources for parents and church leaders.

Meet the Andersons

Worship For Kids ministry

Craig and Jill graduated from Liberty University. Craig has a degree in Youth Ministries and a minor in Counseling. Jill has a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish. Married for thirty years, they are blessed with four children, ages 14-25.

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A Glimpse of Heaven on Earth – 2016 Love Song Couples Getaway

How would you like to experience a little bit of heaven on earth?

Love Song Couples Getaway 2016

I’m talking about a fun vacation designed for Christian married couples – a chance for husbands and wives to renew their commitments to God and to each other.

Have I got a recommendation for you!!!

2016 Love Song Couples Getaway

This memorable opportunity is none other than the Love Song Couples Getaway.

My husband and I just returned from a trip to the Bahamas, our second year in a row attending this exceptional getaway for married sweethearts.

Married 4 ever sweethearts

You won’t be disappointed by the beautiful scenery in the Bahamas and at the Atlantis Resort.

Atlantis Resort Bahamas

The morning church services rose to a whole new level of worship with the sun rising over the waves behind us. Imagine singing praise songs with new friends from all over the country (and the world) knowing God was in that place.

Morning Church Service - 2016 Love Song Bahamas

The staff from Everlasting Tours outdid themselves again with a great lineup of speakers and entertainment. Two well-known, best-selling authors, Bob Goff and Gary Chapman, shared their unique insights into keeping marriages alive and healthy. How often do we get so tied up in our everyday routines that we lose sight of God’s plan for marriage? Marriage, modeled after Christ’s love for His church, is an honor that God has given us.

Bob Goff, author of "Love Does"

I couldn’t agree more with Goff’s urging to turn often to our spouse and say, “I’m married to youuuu? YES!!!”

Continual encouragement, appreciation, and prayer for each other is so important.

Another very cool thing about the Love Song Getaway is the access you have to top Christian recording artists.

One of my favorite songs is “He knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli. I got a chance to tell her how much her song meant to me at the Meet and Greet.

Francesca Battistelli - 2016 Love Song Bahamas

How cool is that?! Adam Agee, MercyMe, and the Newsboys also blessed the crowd with their God-honoring music.

Brandon Heath performing “Love Never Fails” reached right to my heartstrings. Pretty song.

The Love Song trip offers three bonus activities including a concert on Paradise Island.

MercyMe performing at 2016 Love Song Bahamas concert

It was a hot day so several of us moved from our beach towels to standing under palm trees or wading in the water nearby. You could still hear the music so it all worked out, new suntan and all.

Have I mentioned the snorkeling? Love Song getaway and snorkeling at Cove Beach

One of my favorite activities ever. We head over to the Cove Beach for this. There’s a friendly fish at the Cove that I’ve named George. He likes to swim near me a lot, daring me to follow him. We’ve become fast friends. 😉

Music Under the Stars

One of the bonus nights included a concert under the stars with Francesca and Brandon singing together, plus a delicious buffet provided by the Atlantis. delicious buffet at the Atlantis resort

The food was delish, but I had to chuckle. Out of all the choices, including a meat-carving station, seafood, and rice dishes, the food item several of us went back for seconds was – can you guess?

The macaroni and cheese! I don’t know why, but somehow mac and cheese tastes better when you’re in the Bahamas.  😉

I have so many good things to say about the Love Song Couples Getaway. This trip was a highlight in my life. It was a treat to speak with darling couples from Israel and also from the Philippines.

Here’s a captured moment with our friends from Boston, also here at the Love Song Getaway for the second time.

wonderful friends from Boston

Below is a photo of a new gal pal of mine. Janet and her husband don’t live that far away from us, so future dinner plans are on our schedule. Yay!

a friend for life - Love Song 2016

Details about next year’s Getaway will come out in July. Those of us on the trip got the inside scoop about next year’s artists. How about Steven Curtis Chapman, for one? Woot! Hope you can join us!

God bless

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Delight In God With Cana’s Voice

Delight In God With Cana’s Voice – Christian Recording Artists 

What happens when three award-winning Christian vocalists decide to combine their talents into an impressive powerhouse trio – you get Cana’s Voice!

I’ve mentioned this before, but I love all types of Christian Music. When I hear great musicians perform, I can’t wait to add their music to my iPod.

Cana's Voice Sounds of Joy tourThis past Saturday, my husband and I attended the “Sounds of Joy” tour at our church. Cana’s Voice, piano virtuoso Stan Whitmire, and talented vocalist/comedian Mark Lowry delighted the crowd with their passionate performances.

I could have easily renamed the concert “An Evening of Joy”.

Talk about uplifting. I walked out of church singing.

Captivating Harmonies

I’d never heard Cana’s Voice before. Each individual member of Cana’s Voice – Taranda Greene, Doug Anderson of Ernie Haass and Signature Sound, and Jody McBrayer formerly of Avalon, are talented artists in their own right. I could list all of the awards and nominations they’ve won as recording artists since they started sharing their voices with the world, but this blog post would then be very, very long. 🙂

I was thrilled when they sang one of my all-time favorites, “Jesus Never Fails.” I’ve sung it in choirs before and this heavenly song gives me goosebumps every time.

Close your eyes and listen. Let the beautiful harmonies and words sink into your soul. I’m sure you’ll be blessed by it as much as I am.

Have you ever sung a song in church and found yourself shedding a few tears because it’s so powerful and beautiful? I have.

It’s no wonder that TaRanda wiped away some tears while singing this song. I felt it too just being in the audience. When you simply let go and lose yourself in a love song to God, something amazing happens. Let the words of praise and lovely melodies fill every part of you and you can experience a lot of peace.

I was able to buy the limited pre-release of the Cana’s Voice CD at the concert. There are seven songs on the CD. It will be available in music retail outlets in late May of this year. I have a feeling it will be a success. How could it not?

For more information about the “Sounds of Joy” tour with Cana’s Voice, you can click their social media here:  

Website: http://canasvoice.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Canas-Voice-1544640015826556/

Twitter: @canasvoice

Be blessed this week, delight in our amazing God, and may you keep His songs in your heart.

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Rising Above Life’s Storms: Austin and Lindsey Adamec

Rising Above Life’s Storms: Austin and Lindsey Adamec                    

I can’t wait for Austin and Lindsey Adamec’s new album to come out. I recently heard an advance promotional copy and I think their new self-titled EP from Radiate Music is incredible. Their vocals are simply beautiful. The Adamecs There are six songs on the album. The lyrics of every song are heartfelt jewels of encouragement reminding us that God wants none of us to perish and that, with our heartfelt prayers, He will walk with us through every one of life’s storms.

This extremely gifted husband and wife team have dedicated their impressive musical talents to sharing God’s word through song. My favorite song on the album is, “Lost In You.” You can hear an excerpt of it in the video above. The guitar intro and soft harmonies lead the listener along a tranquil path. Sometimes I need that, just to hear a soothing song during the day.

Mysteries unraveling, hope that’s everlasting,

safe in the unknowing is where I want to be.

I’m lost in You, I’m lost in You.

Do you need encouragement? Are you facing a difficult challenge? This song affirms the real peace that comes when we are walking with God. He is always present, just a prayer away, when we put our trust in Him.

It Is Finished

Another favorite song of mine is “It Is Finished.”

A war was waged inside of Heaven,

a war the enemy has lost,

a war that ended with a sentence,

it is finished on the cross.

I love that! There is power, awesome power, in the name of Jesus. Through Him alone we will have the final victory. Spiritual attacks come into our lives, but remember that victory is ours. We must keep our focus and persevere in Jesus’ name.  When our hearts are heavy, we can shout it to our souls, “It is finished on the Cross!”

Rising Above Life’s Storms With Austin and Lindsey Adamec

Austin and Lindsey Adamec have weathered many storms in their own lives. In the beginning of their relationship, their busy schedules often kept them apart. Lindsey’s cup was already full as one of the talented singer/songwriters of 1 Girl Nation and Austin was burning the midnight oil as a singer and songwriter.

“With endless nights away from each other on the road and a growing whisper in our hearts to root ourselves back in the local church, we were desperate for signs in Scripture that pointed to such a crazy blind faith to step out into the unknown. That’s when the familiar passage of Peter walking on water came to us. In the midst of a massive storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus tells Peter to ‘come’ and walk out on the storm-battered waters,” 1 says Austin.

The reminder of Peter’s stormy encounter with Jesus marked a renewed commitment for the couple. They faced their challenges head on with fervent prayer and an unshakable faith. Austin and Lindsey AdamecThey decided to take a different path, become a duo, and the resulting album is a testimony to their beautiful story. I love that they are celebrating God’s faithfulness for the world to see. I hope their album will be a huge success. The album drops on March 29. For more information, you can find their website here: austinandlindseyadamec.com. They also have a Facebook fan page at: https://www.facebook.com/Austin-and-Lindsey-Adamec-461601650710092/ I hope you get a chance to check them out. Love and blessings to you!

[1] Single quotation from Hoganson Media Relations. (2016). Austin and Lindsey bio. [Press release}. From http://www.austinandlindseyadamec.com/about/

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